Monday, December 30, 2013

At our own mercy

How does one gauge slavery? Is it even possible in today's timeframe? I've never been jailed though amma often locked us up so that we weren't subjected to scorching summer sun. But that doesn't come close to what a slave must feel under his/her master's command. For reasons plausible, slavery is attached to people with darker skin shade although people across the spectrum—irrespective of their race—suffered at the hands of those who were comparatively more powerful. And in some parts of the world, continue to. 
Wait a minute. 
We are all slaves, right? We might be the captain of our souls but we don't always win the toss. We are captivated by the desire to gain something even at the cost of losing our sanity. We often get ourselves in such a goddamn hurry that we don't even realize where we're heading towards. It's a strange world and our species, stranger. With the change in era, we've become our own whiplashing masters. Aren't we the victims of our accomplished milestones and unaccomplished dreams? I don't know about you but i'm engauged now.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

On the seventh day...

  • God took to music.
  • God said, "Screw this experiment! It's not working."
  • God laughed at the mystery that engulfed nothing.
  • God already knew what everybody was going to do on their first summer. 
  • God rested to figure out what drove him on the first day to such madness.
  • God said "Let there be light" instead of "Let there be delight."
  • God got irritated and reminded us to thank him for Sunday too.
  • God lost count of her mistakes.
  • God went to LA and got wasted.
  • God created a competitor in the form of a short cricketer.
  • God finally stopped procrastinating.
  • God turned pro and declared himself infinite.
  • God missed humour. 
  • God felt loneliness.
  • God grinned in between.
  • God wondered why weren't there any Udupi hotels yet. 
  • God took a break and thought for a while - "WHY ME?"
  • God took early retirement.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

That underrated actor

If Farooque Shaikh were alive, he'd have disapproved of what i'm going to write. Not because it's false but because of his nature. The endearing actor cautiously stayed away from accolades and made sure he was as stardom-free as humanly possible. However, interestingly enough, he cared about his films and how they turned out in their essence compared to box-office figures. And this is from what i know of him. Having met him twice and having spoken on phone more, i'm pretty sure that there are very few actors around who ponder about the kind of work they are doing than the consequences it's going to have. With him gone now, that precious number has dwindled further. Remember that climactic scene in Shanghai where he's unable to enjoy his food after Abhay Deol's rebellious character has left him with no choice? Or throughout Club 60 where he balanced Sarika? Well, these are instances from his second innings (although he denied ever going back to the pavilion) and there are a lot more from his younger days. The range he exhibited was par excellence—be it the so-called middle-of-the-road cinema, theatre or television. Come to think of it, his Jeena Isi Ka Naam Hai brought us closer to Bollywood stars long before KJo's caffeine did. He kept moving from one platform to another. The most impressive thing about him was he didn't take himself seriously throughout and admitted that he was painfully lazy. Always the first one to poke fun at himself, i remember him telling me "Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani did so well despite me being in it!" with deadpan expression. I don't know about others but these are the kind of folks i look forward to in my day-to-day existence. They don't own a car but are happy doing what they love. On top of that, they don't harbour bitterness for the boats they missed. They address you with warmth and respect unseen in most of their contemporaries. They are a rare specimen and it's an utter shock to wake up to rude news of their departure. I can only wish him a peaceful second innings.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Eyes and lows

Every single day, we learn something about ourselves. Something we overlooked otherwise. Something others saw but we somehow failed to. Yesterday, a colleague pointed out that i walk in the office with my eyes fixed on the floor as if i'm searching for a lost coin. Until he brought this to my notice, i had no idea that i walked like that. That sounded like the walking posture of a serial killer with a day job. In my head, i walked like Brad Pitt or Ryan Gosling or both. But in reality, turns out i walk like...err.. me. For an introvert briefly experimenting with extorvertism, it was a mixed epiphany: "Wow, 27+ years on this planet spent avoiding as many eye contacts as possible!" 
Well done, me.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Being bipolar

Do you get that feeling you're way too awesome for this planet? If you do, congrats! You must be a modern-day messiah. You are exactly what humankind has been waiting for so long. You're the reason why aliens never landed on our soil. Not that they'll do anytime soon but at least they'll have a good enough excuse to. You're the Moses of legs and the Muhammad of chastity. Our species deserves to be delivered by you and it's high time you converted water to beer. Speaking of which, we want you to moonwalk on water. In return, we promise to celebrate your birthday according to your birth certificate, not by some folklore. There's much more in store. So don't waste time and let's get cracking. To begin with, why not provide you with what Jesse had two millennia ago?

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Cardinal assassin

Don't you wish you did something that'd touch lives all around? And there are several ways to do that and all of them require time, effort and the ability to accept failure with as much zeal as success. Some people don't fall in this category although they pursue the same procedure for a living. They change lives too. When a contract killer is assigned a task (no, not the Bigg Boss-types), doesn't he achieve something life-changing? He's going to bump off someone and that person's life is bound to change. In fact, change way too drastically. Life will change to death. It can't possibly get more drastic than that! I was flooded with these thoughts after reading a piece on Ahmed Ali Khan, a social activist from Cheeta Camp. He had been constantly raising his voice against drug peddlers in the locality and even threatened annshan if police remained indifferent to his pleas. Unfortunately, he was attacked by an unidentified guy last Friday. What's worth noting (at least for the assailant) is that the crusader was struck on his left buttock with a knife. Khan sustained injuries as expected but what does it say of the wannabe-murderer. He ran away from the scene creating a bloody mess but i wonder what must be going through his head. How disappointed must he be with himself? His companions must be laughing at him. After all, who mistakes gluteus for guts? Even if he's not a trained professional, who does that! Maybe he watches too much porn and took the "Stab me in the ass" line way too seriously.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

On the defense

Lately, sentiments spend a lot of time getting hurt. 
ABC said something in jest. DEF, GHI, MNO, STU and YZA get offended. PQR, VWX and JKL don't because they happen to be ABC's friends and know that s/he was just trying to be funny. The point being Justine Sacco is an international figure now. 24 hours ago, nobody cared whether she existed. One lousy *white* tweet and the lady (because of the way she conducted herself post that stupid tweet) has turned jobless, facing online harassment while providing free fodder for viral news.
Let's gear back a bit.
The issue here, at least for those who are offended (or want to be offended), is the utter generalization on Justine's part. She cracks a joke insinuating AIDS is restricted to Africans or blacks in general. Of course, she's grossly mistaken—factually speaking. At the same time, one can't dismiss the fact that she's white. If the offenders say that not all Africans suffer from AIDS, then she can rebut that not all whites suffer from AIDS either. For argument's sake of course. The prism remains the same. Perception differs. 
The real reason why her case got highlighted is because of the sensitivity attached to AIDS and its correlation to Africa. She would have had it difficult if she were to associate a country/continent with a joke on cancer. She was simply idiotic enough to choose the wrong disease. She should have gone for depression. Nobody flinches a bit while hearing a terrible gag on depression. On the contrary, people laugh along. Always. Which itself is a joke because depression is so damn neglected while it silently does the damage. Perhaps ignorance and humour work for each other. 
Let's gear forward a bit. 
Ironically, the aforesaid furore took place on an online platform. A mythical place where you could say anything and get away with it. Unless you fail to get away with it. Like Ms Sacco recently learnt. She just didn't realize the extent of poor souls she might hurt by her words. You see, the thing is these wounded folks never cracked a clichéd/chauvinist/jingoist/sexist/biased joke in their life, let alone posted something equally dumb on Twitter. They love each other like biblical God meant them to. They never post an offensive one-liner about a country they don't approve of or a football club they don't support. Just pure love trending everywhere. In such a scenario, it's hard to understand how sentiments end up injuring themselves so much. 
Oh, i forgot to mention the word racism above. How insensitive of me!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Request of the day

Stay where you are, not because that place needs you but this moment expects you to. Between now and later, here and there, yes and no, the difference is you. And the beauty that you bring to everything that touches you. You're wonderful. Effortlessly. Perhaps we are set for eternity and then some. I could be mistaken but who cares? The venue won't vary with time but i might. Let me selfishly hope you remain a constant to this change.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Fire to the flame

Since i turned 18, i've been to a handful of weddings and one funeral. Both events are on the extreme ends of human chart. The former is said to provide us a second chance at life while the latter, a final go at salvation. What marks these events are those who surround us during its separate execution. People who cheer you while you're circumambulating the holy fire and the ones who see to it that your body burns to ashes. They are there. As if the whole world's a stage and everybody, a mere witness. Maybe we shouldn't have stopped being catalysts. We could have done better. Fuck it. Imagine attending a wedding where the couple somehow get caught in the flames, thus transmuting into an unwarranted funeral. God forbid, if that happens, the Cosmos would be more just a witness.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

If and then

Remember those school days when they asked us to pen imaginative essays on 'If i were the Prime Minister blah blah'? If only i was enlightened enough then to begin my first and final paragraph as follows:

If i were the Prime Minister of this chaotic country, i'd have not wasted a minute on writing this silly piece of garbage. Besides, there's hardly any probable merit attached to this futile exercise when all that matters is the score a student grabs at the end of the semester—forget his/her reading skills, pronunciation or the ability to sustain a conversation in English. No offence to the authority. Just that i'd be having far more important things to deal with if i were the PM. Like making sure more concrete steps are undertaken to educate our kids in a manner that will make them feel learned and proud of their mother tongue, not forcefully Anglicized with an overdose of lingual superiority complex. 

Nice try though, teacher.

Sincerely yours, 
Honourable Prime Minister of India. 

PS: Don't forget to vote.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Setting the record straight?

On one hand, you're homophobic. On the other, you masturbate. Pray tell me how do you manage to do that? Forget love, lust and related abstract nonsense. Talk practical common sense. If you find gays so despicable, how do you tolerate your body in the name of gratification? Curiously when you're mentally screwed by the poison fed by that machismo attached to heterosexuality. Tough questions, huh? Surprise: bullying is passé yaar. Insofar, hypocrisy is the easy way out for a reason, na? What if being different perfectly fine? Perhaps you aren't civilized enough to come to term with the ground realities. Accept it. You aren't on the wrong side of history. Just that you're on standing on the line that might attack your gumption tomorrow. Also, the realities are changing faster than we'd like. Get used to it. There's no other option, dino. Lastly, why impinge on somebody else's space for your godforsaken self-righteousness? Let them breathe and heave a sigh of relief. They deserve the polluted air as much as you do.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Wake her up

She was great once. At least that's what the stories imply. To her credit, she has always been benevolent to everyone who stepped on her land; even the ruthless marauders. However, over the past few centuries, she has slipped into a nauseating slumber. Unchecked selfishness cascaded with unscrupulous acts of corruption and utter abuse of power sedate her. Yes, there are infrequent sparks indicating every now and then that she is awake and willing to kick—a self-fulfilling illusion by any means. For an ocean of people that she somehow nurtures, she appears abject. Overall. And she deserves far better than what she's presently receiving from our end. A little bit of an attempt on an individual level might make a considerable difference to her well being and thus to the generations that shall supersede us in the future. Yeah, that's it. Just a little bit.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Half full, full empty

I can relate to the local train. When it's empty, it wobbles a lot while the breeze seeps in from all directions. It makes a strange yet harmonic clanging noise as the hanging straps collide with the rod above. It seems like it's moving faster though. A zen monk sans the demons. But when it reaches the next station, there is an underwhelming sense of wasted energy and time as the passengers aren't oozing out. That emptiness is unbearable. On the other hand, when it's full—brimming with people literally stuffed in—the train has a purpose. So many hold on it and that's a worthy feeling. It's willing to carry the load and wouldn't even mind if some unlucky souls lose grip hanging outside or some get knocked out on the jaywalking railway track. To the train, the reputation of being full of passengers is more important than the infamy of being a mass murderer. Being a human who has his ever-changing phase of holeness and wholeness, i can totally relate to it.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

In the air

Don't know about you but Jonty Rhodes was the finest fielder from my generation. It was because of him kids like me opted to be a fielder. Not a batsman or a bowler but a proper fielder. Although this had something to do with the fact that we were hopeless at batting or bowling is a different story. Going back to the South African, he was a role model in the '90s. Jonty caught some of the most spectacular catches you'll ever see. An indomitable figure in the gully point where he usually stood guard, he dived with a purpose unlike 21st Century footballers. An affable personality with no controversy whatsoever, he was always clapping and encouraging his teams-men. There was something about him. Most importantly, other than being a reliable middle-order batsman, he saved a hell lot of runs during his tenure. I remember watching him run all the way to the perimeter, slide and stop the ball from cross the boundary line thus saving that precious one or two runs. Time and time again. Now, do we have a figure to calculate? How many opposition runs did he stop from culminating? His record at running out batsmen with his bull's eye is a stuff of legend but what about the runs he saved? We probably don't know. Maybe greatness doesn't require statistics to prove itself. Particularly when a great is too busy doing his job.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Behind bars

You've watched The Shawshank Redemption, right? Of course you have. Or else, you don't qualify as human. Even if you haven't, guess what? You're alive. So do the needful. In the meanwhile, let me tell you that the gist of the film is one shouldn't give up on hope—specifically when you're wrongly (or even rightly) imprisoned. Apparently, the thing about a jail is it not only reminds but also reveals who you are. On that bittersweet note, ever wondered why India's founding fathers were such visionaries? Maybe because they were repeatedly sent to the slammers where a person can do nothing but think and write. They had so much time to ponder about the future of our country. Think about it.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Leveling ground

Seldom does a statesman's death invoke the sports page in a newspaper. Then again, Nelson Mandela wasn't your everyday leader. He realized the importance of sport quite early and made sure it executed a significant role in the shaping of his country. Interestingly, a century before Madiba did so, Swami Vivekananda went on record saying that he'd recommend football for those who are too lazy to read Bhagavad-Gita. His axiom was refreshingly elementary: you draw similar lessons in life from both of them. The stakes may not be even given the past circumstances but once you reach the hallowed ground of competition, all the members are equal. It doesn't matter who your father is or whether you're rich or poor. Your background is left behind. The only thing worth contemplating is victory and if possible, fairness. The sun will be equally harsh on all the players on the ground. The breeze will play its part accordingly. It's the closest one can get to creating a leveling ground. And we all know how practitioners of politics make sure that such a ground remains a myth.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Padhe likhe anpadh

Don't you just hate it when you view people on the street litter, spit and abuse public places? Ditto. Guess what? It's worse when you see them do the same from the confines of their four walls. The thing is we Indians like to keep our home clean and streets untidy. There are so many instances around us where people casually throw rubbish out of their window and don't even care to check whether it hit somebody walking on the road outside. Indians would do anything to keep their new-found traditions alive.
Case study: Last night, i was returning home tired from Nashik and it was quite late. I was about four buildings away from ours when a banana peel landed right in front of me—about three feet away. The ironical part was somebody from that very building could have unassumingly slipped on the slippery slip in the morning. Anyway, i looked up as anybody who believes in God would do. From the open window and the functioning tubelight, it was patent that the banana skin flew from that house on the second floor. I used to play cricket once so it wasn't too high for me. I could have easily thrown the peels back into the window—if not on the first attempt, then at least on the fifth. However, i changed my mind at the last moment. Instead, i opened the gate and walked up the stairs despite feeling terribly weary. On ringing the bell of the 'guilty' house, a tall man in lungi opened the door. Before he could ask anything i said "This must be yours. You left it downstairs" in Hindi, before handing him the abandoned banana skin. I was prepared for denial but he didn't say anything. He simply took my offer, looked at his window and pulled a face. I wanted to take out my unrelated frustration by lecturing him: "Padhe likhe log aisa karenge toh anpadhon se kya ummeed karna?" But there was no need for it.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Lie and fall

I don't wish to touch you. 
Just want to sleep next to you
and see you fall asleep.
But before you do so, 
i'd tell you stories filled with funny yet wise characters.
They might make you laugh
— they certainly made me.
You can keep your eyes closed 
while hmming every now and then.
To signal that the night ain't over. 
Being imperfect, it'd only get better
—  trust me although i don't know why —
like a moon vying for limelight through dark sky.
The distance between me and you is sacred. 
Let it be. 
You're safe in my vicinity. 
Fetal position, face-to-face. 
Your beauty can't be threatened by my lonely gaze.
It's beyond us.
As far as i can see, i won't ever be able to claim your soul.
Or your reason to stay awake.
Why try and waste time on it?
Just sleep next to me and fall asleep.
I'll lie next to you and fall in love.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Word of the day

Run. [...and don't look back unless you're sure it's God herself!]

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Fans and fanatics

I'm a Liverpool fan and i prefer to walk alone. Always did. Been cheering the team for more than a decade now. I've seen it rise and fall and ebb. Players come and go. Only somebody like Gerrard or a Carragher sticks around. However, despite my concern for this particular club, i can't claim to be a hardcore Scouser. I just can't. Maybe by birth. Not because i haven't been lucky enough to visit Anfield or Melwood yet. It's actually basic common sense. I have nothing to do with those places to begin with. I can't even point out where Liverpool is on a map—not that it matters anyway. All i am is a Liverpool fan. I love the integrity it shows on the field and i admire the way it plays and the way it's run. There's no point in being more organic than necessary. The problem with the current lot of Indian football club fans is they want to be part of a history they shall never be. This behaviour would have made more sense if Indians were fond of clubs that aren't in the top-5. But that's not how it is. Success is the key. A majority are plain glory-hunters though they'll never admit it. They want to touch the peak their favourite club did in the past. They are offended by slangs that were coined much before they were born. And the worst part: they generally don't respect other clubs or their fans. Generalizing football fans is wrong but when it comes to adherence to clubs, it's alright to kick logic.

Monday, December 2, 2013

One last leaf

With winter fast moving in, trees can be seen wholeheartedly embracing nudity. One such specimen lives in my neighbourhood. Every morning, as i walk towards station, i see the giant slowly shedding its inhibitions. One leaf at a time. The branches are visibly prominent while the road beneath is left with a carpet of dried leaves. Temporary joy to walk on them, got to admit. Shade, interspersed with harmless sunlight, guaranteed too. Going back to the leaves, i remember this very tree was left with only one leaf last year. Or maybe two or three but it looked like one. As if it was proving a point against the nature. As if it was ready neither for reincarnation nor for hibernation. Nothing could persuade it to change its photosynthetic mind. December passed by and so did Jan. It hangs on—not metamorphically. Let's just say that it enjoyed the view from the top and wouldn't have it any other way.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Rock, stones and pebbles

Millions of years ago, there was a rock lying somewhere. To protect its interest, we won't disclose the location. Regardless of the geography, the sun shined on it for months before it finally cave in. Or cave out, not so sure. It developed a number of cracks in any case. Just a matter of wind before it fully disintegrated. It had to crumble, thus giving birth to heavy smooth stones. The comparatively little ones rolled away from one another, each trying to create its own identity under the sky. But then, how far can stones travel? They had to stop somewhere. And wait. Something what their mother did long ago. It was their turn now. So, they waited. The sun did what it was good at and the wind blew whenever it felt like. The stones family stood where they were hoping to move an inch away. But it never did so. The whole exercise was a pitiless harness of patience. Insofar the amount of hope invested, something noteworthy had to take place. Hence, after a long interval of days turning to night and summer turning to winter, they too found reincarnation by transforming into shiny pebbles. The pebbles seemed smarter though as they harboured no wish to move. They were glad with where they were. Neither the sun bothered them nor the wind or the weather. Being at peace with themselves helped—a luxury that eluded their ancestors.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Across the boundary

Some friends i met last week, 
which happened to be the first time ever!
Though we've known each other for a long time.
— more than three years now, actually.
Would have been impossible to interact,
and keep in touch constantly,
recognize each others' face and voice,
share videos, verses and songs...
if it weren't for Internet.
Anywhichway, we finally came face-to-face
in a rather strange city.
No melodrama. Pure excitement. Simple broad hugs.
Silly jokes to start with and political debates to end.
Otherwise done via online messages.
It could have been home though.
If not mine, then theirs
— Bombay, Karachi, Islamabad, Pindi or Lahore.
But that's now how it works perhaps.
Bureaucracy sucks.
Big time.
As a subcontinental past scratches the present. 
By two nations separated at rebirth.
So near, yet so far.
Too big a price paid for being neighbors.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Culture matters

It's only when you travel that you realise the importance of getting lost and finding yourself. Those who indeed travel—not just fly around—know what i'm talking about. I happened to visit Thailand last week. Not the entire country, just two cities to be precise. Bangkok was fastidious and Pattaya, avid. What connected both of them was the civic sense so prevalent amongst Thais. The stuff they do to English could be the worst form of torture but it's worth accepting that they know how to keep the tourists in. How they manage to do that despite their allergy to Angrezi is mind boggling? Oh wait, it's the cheap(er) currency. And during my stay, i couldn't help notice how their cities are so well-planned and maintained. Vehicles wait for you to cross the street first. Honking is a rare phenomenon there. Unlike ours, their footpaths are meant for walking and people don't litter. For a country filled with Sanskrit titles, it was nothing less than a surprise. I was expecting a few lapses in infrastructure but i was utterly disappointed. Throughout my stay, i couldn't locate a single pothole. Compare that to Mumbai where all roads lead to huge ugly craters. It's depressing, actually. A nation that was struggling not so long ago is now doing so well for itself. They have their share of problems—the ongoing anti-government protests being the least of them—but at least they are working towards finding a solution. In retrospect, our sexagenarian independence seems like a series of lost opportunities. On top of that, we haven't been lucky enough to find ourselves yet either.

Monday, November 18, 2013

What you see is what you read

There's a poem hidden somewhere in this blog post.

If you can't see it, you obviously don't deserve poetry. Sorry.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

The perfect farewell

India's favouritest son is leaving the battleground. For good. There have been several strong voices postulating that he should have retired immediately after our World Cup triumph. Well, you can't blame him. The man that he is today and the boy that he was have only one thing in common: they see themselves doing nothing else but playing cricket. He's 40 now and there is very little doubt left in anybody's mind that we'll never be able to replace him. Interestingly, his meteoric rise coincided with the economic liberation of early '90s and it's a fitting tribute to his endurance that he has had his highs and lows just like our humble Rupee did over the years. But he always made a comeback. Unlike our Rupee. Although his 100th century tested our patience like nothing else, he made sure he dictated his own exit. In style. The way he played the game. With respect. So it's OK to go overboard with his swan song. However, is it perfectly fine for the media to go overboard with Sachin's valediction? For argument's sake, let them have a field day on his past, present and future. Besides, the sort of impact this pint-sized sportsman had on our psyche is beyond quantification. I used to be a huge cricket fan during my school days and to me, Sachin was greater than God. (And this was before Mathew Hayden called Sachin God and the phrase struck.) Akin to millions of my countrypeople, i often used to watch matches only to witness his innings. I remember having this huge lump in my throat when Shoaib Akhtar castled him on his very first delivery to the maestro. I don't think i would have felt that much sadness for anybody else's failure. Moreover, he wasn't anyone else. He was Namma Sachin, to borrow my dad's words. (After so many years, that grief is being successfully being gifted by Roger Federer every other month.) As a consolation, Sachin went back to the pavilion. Head held high with a bit of disbelief—sans theatrics—touched with a tiny grin that said it all. But then, the kind of pressure he performed under was unrivaled. Try going to work assuming that your output is going to affect a billion unknown souls. He did that for nearly a quarter of a century. There are several more reasons why it's perfectly fine, even for the media, to go overboard with a farewell that we deeply feared. For a nation that not only lacks but also needs heroes, he's a rarity. To those who don't think so, find a replacement and then we'll talk. He may not be a saint so to speak (not that he claimed to be, anyway) but at least he never once tweeted during working hours. Unlike the rest of us.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Unusual distractions

Yesterday, Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh visited our office for the promotion of their upcoming film. In the conference hall, all the team members gathered for the usual group Q&A, around the long oval table. I've personally met the gorgeous Mangalorean (so what if she grew up in Bangalore?) beauty before but this time around, she appeared like a dream-come-true. I didn't ask a single question during the hour-long audience. Later, my colleague pointed out that i seemed way too much in awe of her. Truth be told, i wasn't. I was just enamored by her ears. Yes, that organ through which we hear. Hers have a personality of their own. They literally stick out but not like Dev Patel's bunny pair does. Deepika's ears are pointed and pulled back, a bit like those Na'vi characters. Maybe there's a reason why almost all her photoshoots hide her ears à la Hrithik Roshan did with his double-thumbs. Or maybe i should concentrate on better things in life. Like her deep eyes, for instance. Or her heartbreaking smile. Or maybe i should have done my job and asked: "Don't you think Bollywood stars—not all actors—in our country are ridiculously overpaid?"

Sunday, November 10, 2013

The burden of distinction

I don't get art. It's much easier to understand artists though. I can't call myself an expert yet but i carry a hunch when it comes to cinema and poetry. The former undoubtedly qualifies for art but i'm not so sure about the latter. However, i also feel that the exact opposite should be true about the two. In my spaced-out eyes, art has to create noise despite being absolutely silent. And it's pretty obvious that cinema took birth out of silence before turning noisy while poetry came out of voice before becoming mute. It's quite an interesting development. Since i haven't made any attempt towards film-making, i wouldn't know how close to art it is. I'm an unaccomplished former poet so i know a bit about verses and metre. As a viewer, i can tell that a movie is originally made in a director's head—no, not the writer's—and from that moment onwards, the whole effort is to convert that vision into reality. Henceforth, the concept of art suffers a bit as too many people are involved. On the contrary, poetry is a one-man-standing-against-nobody exercise. So where exactly do you place art in a poem? In the core selfishness of words or the gaps left by phrases and punctuations? Wherever you please. At least the purity of an idea is maintained. Furthermore, art is not a pursuit but a creative journey to find respite in the end. Like the act of masturbation, for lack of a terribler example. You know when it has to end and there's no such thing as perfection in it. What could be finesse for one could be an interval for another. A poet has nothing to prove while a filmmaker has a lot. Precisely why a poem can never be perfect. Precisely why a film can.

Friday, November 8, 2013

After decline

When times change, new faces take over. Somebody is going to replace someone. Nobody can be the sun of a team. Steve Ballmer is moving out. Alex Ferguson has moved out. NR Murthy has moved in. It's all in the family now. Similarly, Kasturis of The Hindu are witnessing upheavals in their setup. On an individual level, all one has to do is look at sports and the ranking system. Nothing is constant there. Messi, by his standards, is suffering a rough patch. There's no doubt left that CR7 and Zlatan are having better days at office than the little genius. Even Aaron Ramsey is making hay of his brilliant form. And so is Arsène Wenger. These are the very guys thanks to whom football-related Internet memes flourished last season. The same is true about Rohit Sharma as far as cricket is concerned. Now they are at the top of their league. As an unbiased fan, you crack silly jokes now and then revere them later. There are exceptions too. You never throw a jibe at a legend like Federer. The Swiss ballerina-turned-tennis-player is currently going through the worst phase of his illustrious career. Even lower-rung players are proving to be massive challenge to this otherwise invincible 32-year-old. However, he can take heart from how his arch-rival from Mallorca resurfaced during this calendar year. Let's hope RF doesn't cave into maudlin and hang up his racquets prematurely. Justin Timberlake plays the lead in a Coen Brothers movie. Who could have thought? It's all about time. Sometimes, you succeed and sometimes, it takes a bit longer. The trick is to never give up. Even Jesus Christ took three days to resurrect himself, right?

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

What's in a gender?

On one hand, you have a name that is probably one of the most popular words in the country. And on another, you have a name that so often fails the sex determination test.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Vehicle, aaj aur kal

As little children, we used to play this game called gaadi-gaadi. Nothing exceptionally innovative about it. We had this oversize rope which we tied at the ends so as to create a circle and then we got in it creating an imaginative vehicle. Once inside, the driver would be at the forefront while the others held on to each others' back of the shirt—beginning with the driver's—creating a queue. And then the driver will take us around. Of course, we had to trudge along 'cause there was no motor involved. To paraphrase Gabbar Singh's quote, Jab tak hamare pair challenge tab tak gaadi challengi. Being the driver of such deluxe automobile was a huge honour during those days. Apart from enjoying the forward view during an automobilic thrill, s/he was also the one who'd steer as per her/his liking. It was totally up to the person behind the non-existent wheels to take the rest, wherever, within the allotted time. Needless to add, i used to crave for my turn to be that person. 
At breakfast, my amma taunts me that while my best friend bought himself a car on Dhanteras, i don't even know how to drive at the age of 27.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Nirvana by accident

In movies, the screen is at times decelerated to bring in the effect of how time can be manipulated. During these instances, actors move with a grace otherwise unnoticed. The same theory is applied in sports entertainment. You can even count the number of revolutions a football completed before it skewered in to kiss the back of the net. Slo-mo, they call it. In real world, this shit happens to you whenever you bang your head into a wall or a glass door. As soon as the stars clouding your eyes are gone, everything starts to make sense. But not before everything slows down like a glacier succumbing to global warming. Even your thought process takes a beating. It's an interesting phenomena. The only trouble is you've got to be fast enough to die down a bit and young enough to live again.

Friday, November 1, 2013

A rare specimen

As i'm growing older and seeing my hair grey and teeth decay, i'm understanding how this world really functions. The element of surprise is lost on us. Maybe because we've stopped looking for it. Much against the ongoing trend, i recently bumped into a fellow commuter who exemplified coolness. He wasn't this look-at-me-i-am-so-cool cool. He was far better. Must be in his early 20s, he was standing near the door with his concentration locked on his smartphone. And as the train approached Kurla, the crowd got panicky as nobody wants to land up in Virar or wherever they think the train will take them if they don't behave like they're about to be set free by their masters. Coming back to our guy, he got pushed and as bad luck would have it, he lost grip on his phone. The poor thing flew and crashed on the platform. I couldn't feel the pain of such horror unfolding in front of my eyes but i could relate to his upcoming grief. The only catch here is he wasn't sad. Or anything close to it. He didn't even lose his temper. On top of that, he didn't even bother to look back to see who really pushed him. He calmly got down, collected the scattered chassis of his phone and reassembled it. There was a smile on his face throughout. And off he went shaking his head. Either he thought he was at fault for not being able to take care of his non-living friend or he's about to buy a new model so wouldn't mind any less. Whichever way you look at it, that was a rare sight in a city where people just need a reason to valve off their long-accumulated fury.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Nonsense of tumour

Thought of the day: Try not to die today. Thank you.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Laughing stock and a smiling dog

As a kid, i was fond of animals. Except lizards. I still am. For one, dogs always enthralled me. Especially those stray ones. There was this abandon they represented without uttering a word. It's a miracle how they are still found on our streets. Excuse culling please! They teach us our species so much. And by lessons, i don't just mean the very facts of life. Porn happened to me a decade later as mating in public turned out to be their way of letting us know that they are cooler than hippies. You laugh at them because they can be so stupid as well. Chasing cars long before Snow Patrol made it a song? What are bicycles for? Whatever. There are exceptions too. I remember this female-dog—an adorable bitch, actually—who smiled as soon as you utter the word 'siri'. Now i'm talking about an era where Apple hadn't discovered the alphabet i. At the risk of turning nostalgic (more nostalgic than usual), i can clearly picturise her broad bright smile. Absolute beaut. She was the closest any member of the canine family ever got to us. My assumption is that she learned Tamil in our chawl and then put it to good use.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Figure this!

There are more than seven billion human beings on this ever-evolving planet. Out of which, about 40% are Internet users. That translates to 2.8 billion people who have unlimited access to food and water...err..Internet. However, in India, online penetration is as low as 13%. Which means, less than 160 million Indians can afford to spend their time browsing. There are around 1.23 billion humans in India and for every Internet user in the country, there are five in China. A lot of these users are very active on social media. Now, if you break down the global population into Twitter consumption alone, there are more than 500 million active tweeps who are either learning or know how to limit their thoughts to 140 characters or less. 20 million (or so) of them are from India. A majority belongs to the metropolitan areas followed by Tier-2 cities. This section is basically fluent in English and takes as much pride in their selfies as their grammatical errors. It's a commune with no boundaries. And in the grand scheme of things (and ballpark estimations), even if your tweet manages to earn 500 RTs from them, it means nothing in comparison to the aforementioned figures. Regardless of your followers count, your life still sucks.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Sooner or later

The standard of press ain't falling but sooner or later, it will. Sooner or later, morning shall come to your rescue. Sooner or later, silence keeps its word. Every act of lunacy will be sooner or later replaced by a grander act of lunacy. Sooner or later, time wins. Coffee, because everything else, sooner or later, disappoints. Sooner or later, you realize that your superpowers are simply useless.  Perhaps the risk you're unwilling to take today will sooner or later take a risk on you. Sooner or later, everybody realizes that trying to change the world was a terrible idea. Well, opinion is like water that evaporates sooner or later. We are beautiful because sooner or later, we're going to wither away. Sooner or later, life moves on. Sooner or later, everyone falls down (if not asleep). Sooner or later, we'll realize that we were not as fucked up as we presumed. Sooner or later, everyone runs out of good jokes. Never trust a poet with words as he's going to misuse them sooner or later. Whatever shit you're going through, be patient because sooner or later, you'll get used to it. If you’re really growing up, you’ll realize—sooner or later—that it’s impossible to REALLY grow up. The stuff we hold close to our heart is going to hurt us sooner or later; even if it's a non-living thing. If you study others closely, you'll acknowledge sooner or later that you've wasted a significant amount of your existence. Sooner or later, everybody accepts what they really are. And what they are not.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Untying the knot

They say love happens just once in a lifetime. If that is so, then it may take more than a genius to recognize when and how and whom it happened with. Falling in love again and again and again and then again is what eventually wears us out. Let's call it the perks of being confused. But they have their limitations too. You can be wrong. After all, you get many chances. On the other hand, marriage is something that should happen just once in a lifetime. Give it a shot. If it works, well and great. If it doesn't, don't ever walk that wretched aisle again. Simple. Maybe it's not that simple. People get married hoping to give themselves a second chance at life. Create something least on a personal level with somebody you supposedly adore and want to "share the rest of your time with" without a second thought. Well, the idea is noble. The application is quite different. When the veneer of novelty starts fading, that's when reality strikes you. At that point, it's up to you to whether you want to fall in love again or rise in marriage for a change. I'm so glad that George Clooney didn't choose the latter.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Game, set, mismatch

We are living in undeniably atypical times. 
Shutdown and USA are being used in the same sentence for a change. And so are Sachin and retirement. Ditto for Russia and peacemaker. NaMo and secular. IRCTC and fast. Remake and Zanjeer. Malala and Pakistan. Manchester United and Muslim. Photography and Instagram. Gravity and jaw-dropping (no, wait). Nokia and extinct. Mumbai and Metro. Kim Kardashian and motherhood. Obama and warmongering. Asaram Bapu and molestation. Neymar and overrated. Sanjay Dutt and prison. Ship of Theseus and Bollywood. Nitish Kumar and kingmaker. Money and spiritualism. Yoga and industry. The Good Road and The Lunchbox. Facebook and Unlike. Expressions and Deepika. Harbour Line and delays. Literature and Fifty Shades of Grey. Hugh Jackman and Micromax. Science and God particle. Jeff Daniels and Emmy. Passenger and eargasm. Blackfish and white lies. Fashion and Lady Gaga. Arvind Kejriwal and politics. Superheroes and franchise. Assange and hypocrite. Film festivals and endless queues. Vidya Balan and married. Bigg Boss and entertainment. Justin Bieber and trend. Journalism and paid news. Batman and Ben Affleck. Poetry and passé. Twerking and dictionary. LK Advani and alive. Curable and cancer. Rohit Shetty and cinema. Lifestyle and diseases. Carlsen and Chennai. Dengue and Yash Chopra (as well as Ranveer Singh). Parsis and poor. Iran and understanding. Tourism and Kashmir. Pope and selfie. Gen. VK Singh and moron. Buddhists and murderers. Pharma and loss. Rahul Gandhi and responsibility. Neighbour and MILFs. Lungi and dance. Break and Adele. Heartbreak and Robert Pattinson. A-Jolie and malnourished. Terrorism and Nairobi. Kunal Nayyar and Salman Khan. Arnab Goswami and silent. Mars and mineral water. Saviour and Raghuram Rajan. Steven Soderbergh and last film. Beckham and farewell. SRK and sex determination. Murakami and Nobel. Homosexuals and pre-nups. Maggi and nutrition. Federer and decline. Politicians and common sense. Dr. Amartya Sen and mistaken. Breaking Bad and Way too good. East India Company and Indian owner. Anil Kapoor and ads. Twitter and BFFs. Al Jazeera and unbiased. Lionel Messi and tax evasion. Honey and sing. Lalu Prasad Yadav and prison. Court cases and fast track. Arsenal and top. Gareth Bale and slipped disc. Weird and awesome. Nawazuddin and hero. Johnny Depp and England. Natalie Portman and Paris. Emraan Hashmi and versatile. Willing and wayward. Theatre and profits. Radio and comeback. Truth and facts. Nelson Mandela and dead. John Abraham and breakthrough. China and role model. Vella and you.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Mere pass maa thi

Before i begin my diatribe, let me state this very clear: I'm all for equal rights. In fact, i strongly believe that there should be unequal rights—in favour of women—so as to make up for all those lost centuries of abject injustice. But then, i don't run this planet so the thought will remain just that. However, what won't remain so is the ongoing trend of kids growing up with parents who are barely there. In most cases seen, both the mom as well as the dad are working (read: earning). As a result, they leave their offspring at someone else's care. It's always about money and the so-called good life. So the child is enrolled into various classes that are simply a euphemism for killing time. I'm not being nostalgic here but what's the point in having children when you can't even spend time with him/her? On top of that, most families prefer being nuclear so the conveyor belt that leads to grandparents (of the child, of course) is extended. It doesn't matter whether an adult is dumb or 200 IQ-ed. As long as s/he has time to spare for their immediate descendants, it's all right. The most basic education a child receives is from his/her parents. That is the period when a bond is created that might last a lifetime, if not more. That's when stories are told to curious ears, values are inculcated and images, drawn. Who can possibly replace the protagonists? A nanny? A tutor? It doesn't even make sense. And then one day, when that baby of yours speaks for himself/herself, you're surprised to learn that you played a minor role except for that abominable part where bills had to paid. Not very long ago, women used to take care of the house. Majority still do; at least in our country. I believe there's nothing demeaning about it. If a mother raises her children expeditiously, what's there not to admire? What's sad though is, since most mothers are selfless to their core, their efforts are taken for granted. And that's one of the reasons why womenfolk feel that being restricted to homemaking is a defeat. Furthermore, most men are ungrateful jerks. Some of the urban men who attained fatherhood learned it the hard way that it's not easy being a parent. One of the few positive outcomes of the Paradigm Switch in the unique institution called an Indian family. Whatever be the current scenario, children deserve better. Feminists love to pick up fight saying how kitchen is not a women's prerogative but they are missing the point. Nobody dislikes a good cook. Or an able housewife for that matter. As long as you're good at your job, well and great. For instance, be a doctor as well as an honourable parent. You chose to bring someone into this world. Now wo/man up and take responsibility. In a set up where each member of the family is respected, there shouldn't be any gender-centric ego hassles. What's really happening, as of now, is the newest crop seems lost in trying to get the best of both worlds, especially when neither of them have that always-in-demand extra minutes. The old set up might appear subservient but the kids benefit a lot. At least it ensured children receive what they were entitled to by birth: childhood.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

An argument with yourself

People keep asking themselves questions—if they can afford to—with no real answers. WHY ARE WE SO FUCKING SAD? WHY IS HAPPINESS SO EXCLUSIVE? WHY DOES AN ORGASM HAVE TO BE OVER-RATED AND YET SHORT-LIVED? Even a silly laughter lasts longer for truth's sake! The answer to the above queries—like most stuff that bothers us—lies inside. We are inherently selfish. And it doesn't take molecular physics to figure out how this happened. Industrial Revolution is not the culprit here because we've always been miserable. So blaming it on an event that kickstarted a few centuries ago would be misguided. What won't be, though, is the present generation's tendency to sit on padded chairs and pass judgments at will. Building castles in air is out of fashion hence nowadays we build opinions instead. The worst part is we like them to spread to every nook and corner of this planet. A little bit of effort with genuine displacement and force won't hurt. 
OK, Internet has to be the most contagious remnant of modernity but it's still not the reason behind our misery. Perhaps our bouts of sadness emanate from our digital loneliness. This remarkable sense of being someone and doing something (that doesn't translate to actual work) in our career are just few of the several symptoms attached to our current state of lostness. For instance, we seldom make eye contacts as we let our hands dance so that the person in front of us stays distracted and doesn't detect our lies. Even on the personal end, we are no different. We don't keep in touch with our old friends even  though we continue to seek newer ones on virtual platforms. The fact remains that we don't feel for anybody except ourselves. This world could do far better given the knowledge it has accumulated over the eras. It's like we know every freaking thing except how to live. If the whole idea behind existing is to be happy, then it can only take place when there's a willingness to share it. It could be anything with anyone. If nothing lasts forever, why should the rules be any different for sadness? Besides, happiness comes in all sizes.
NB: I have a problem with everything i̶n̶c̶l̶u̶d̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶m̶y̶s̶e̶l̶f̶. As i'm growing older, the realisation of time being finite is disturbing. Of course, there's always something called choice which is generally followed by a heavy dose of pain and then later hopefully, delight. But you can neither have everything nor live with nothing. There has to be a balance somewhere in the middle. Once that is located, the distinction between knowledge and wisdom shall be established.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The unhappening

My life is so fucking brilliant that i've got nothing to write on.

( If only the first part of the above sentence was as true as the second.) 

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Remember us?

Remember the time when nursery rhymed?
Remember the wind when our curtains chimed?
Remember the beauty that you once defined?
Remember those lies—like yours and mine?
Remember the reason why you were left behind?
Remember the place that we couldn't find?
Remember the past carpet-bombed by time?
Remember those moments that were too sublime?
Remember the envy that our friends couldn't hide?
Remember the shine in my eyes and the warmth in your smile?
Remember the passion we learned to remind?
Remember those, eight or was it nine?
Remember the doubt that wouldn't bide?
Remember the corner where you cried?
Remember the relief when we got denied?
Remember those words that traveled far and wide?

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Uncommon courage

Some years ago, there was this superb ad running on TV about a guy for whom even a local train bothers to slow down. As he gets into the compartment, his co-commuters share an idea why the aforementioned miracle happened. Turns out the young man had done something remarkable just the day before. Apparently, a group of loafers were harassing a girl in the train and our hero decided to stand up. He didn't wait for others to take an initiative. "Yeh bhaisaab akele hi bidh gaye," adds a bespectacled elder in the video. The details of his actions weren't conveyed but the message was clear: he did a brave job in a city and an era that strictly follows the tujhe kya policy.
PS: I've been trying to find that bravery award commercial on YouTube but to no avail. Also the year when it came out on air, i was in Nashik and had done something similar with a different result. I ended up with bruises and the damsel was still in distress.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

When jokes kill

Once upon a time, there was this one monkey left in a jungle. Raised by nature, he fell under the impression that he was too smart. Because of this misconception, he started playing pranks on whoever he could lay his eyes and words on. Sometimes, he was funny and sometimes, nasty. To his good luck, nobody seemed to mind his antics. Everybody waived the impact of his outrageous behavior. So the monkey ended up spending his time either feeding himself or fending for new victims for his practical jokes. One day, he came across a lazy elephant who was already struggling with weight issues. Out of attitudinal compulsion, the monkey blurted out some mean sentences. The frustrated pachyderm didn't take any of the nonsense kindly and pulled down the branch on which Mr. Tail was perched. The violent shock was too much to bear while getting crushed under a wooden being was bit of an unpleasant surprise.     
Moral of the story: Luck sucks especially when you're idiotic as well as endangered.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Medical ahemergency

For almost a month now, i've been waking up with a severe pain in my back. The funny part is it gets better moments after i get up and stretch myself. I've heard of biological clock but this must be a biological alarm that doesn't want me to sleep after sunrise. After the usual morning rituals that includes feeling bad for myself thanks to my failing health and telling mother that she deserves a maid—if not a daughter-in-law—i reach workplace only to station myself into a god-forbidden chair whose sole purpose in life is to make sure its adherent end up with sedentary diseases. By afternoon, the pain miraculously shifts to my front. It's definitely not stomach—some inches above it actually on either side. Must be the liver and whatever that is on its opposite end. Again, i remedy myself by taking a walk. Boom! The discomfort is gone. One of the lessons life teaches us is to amble without purpose as often as possible. Some learn it early. Some by the time they're retiring or retired enough to spend quality time in the local park. Coming back to somebody who is neither retired yet nor has a promising career, i feel a sharp tinge in my head as the evening approaches night with an offer it can't refuse. It's not headache for certain. Definitely not migraine. It's more of a sensation. Like electricity running in your optical veins. Damn, it's annoying though! It reminds me of that hernia which i got operated several years ago. However, the solution is simpler this time around: i look out of the window before going back to watching movies/sitcoms/series and sleep with the PC eventually slipping into standby mood. With the 24/7 downloading on as usual. Fortunately enough, the backache politely waits for the night to end.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

A for Assholes

Homo Erectus > Neanderthal Man > Cro-Magnon Man > Homo Sapiens > Assholes

After reading the above deduction, you might be wondering whether you're an asshole. If you are, chances are you aren't. Doing what makes you happy doesn't make you selfish. However, if you overdo that, it makes you an asshole. As simple as that. Our whole planet is full of people who hurt others through action, words, intent or accident. Some of them do have reasons. Some of them don't. But it's OK. That's how nature works. Even democracy is three out of five guys concluding that the remaining two are assholes. Anyway, the latter shall inherit the earth. Fuck meeks! You see, the benefit of being an asshole is you can be yourself. There's nothing to hide behind. And it's never too late to be what you are. The advantage of being an asshole is you can always do worse. Sadly, the sophisticated assholes are replacing the original ones. Those who don't know the difference between the two are doomed to deal with the former.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Crazy, Stupid, How?

Love is one-quarter deaf, half blind and a quarter mute. I arrived at this conclusion after realizing that i've never really been in love since my vote became acceptable. Nor have i felt deafness, blindness and muteness at a fixed proportion. Though the whole business of propositioning a girl with promises still intrigues me, i haven't asked anyone out yet. I've had moments that lasted a few days here and there but i never felt the urge to envision a life with someone. That's what folks in love do, right? Apparently, it requires courage and a level of selflessness that i stunningly lack. Not a single night has passed by when i couldn't sleep because i was thinking of someone. Nor a day has greeted me to shake me off my daydreaming spree. Maybe i'm too idealistic for my own good. Put in a sentence, my idea of love is simpler because it doesn't prescribe to any condition and is bereft of pretensions. It doesn't require someone to be something. It's either there or not. Almost all my friends turned cosmic-eyed when they confessed they had feelings for someone they never ended up with. That never happened to me. Too much exposure to cinema, poetry and existential thoughts can do so to anyone. In unrelated news, not very long ago, a friend of mine told me that i'll never be happy because i bask in my loneliness. The exact words were "How can you be so consumed by yourself?" before my mind-screen went blank. All i remember from that conversation is a concerned voice. It didn't belong to me. I was three-fourth blind and a quarter mute.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Statements of purposelessness

Sweetheart, welcome to my life. Or the lack of it.
Sweetheart, would you mind if i love you?
Sweetheart, your cold shoulder is the hottest thing about you.
Sweetheart, our in-laws are meant for each other.
Sweetheart, i'm asking you to read that poem because i wrote it in your voice.
Sweetheart, were you mistreated by your own convictions?
Sweetheart, would you agree that your heart was broken long before i entered the scene?
Sweetheart, has anyone told you that you'd be wonderful with your mouth shut?
Sweetheart, you can never defeat me as i don't even attempt.
Sweetheart, why do you need a lipstick when your lips don't? 
Sweetheart, let me cry you a river so that we can drown in it.
Sweetheart, where the fuck is your umbrella?
Sweetheart, stop blushing in disguise.
Sweetheart, i'd respect your opinion provided you tell me where exactly it is.
Sweetheart, your issues aren't as big as me.
Sweetheart, dieting is clearly not working for you. Starve.
Sweetheart, do you remember the last time you killed me?
Sweetheart, they care about heart diseases, not broken hearts.
Sweetheart, keep me in your pants. Your prayers and heart can wait.
Sweetheart, we've got a gorgeous past laid out in front of us.
Sweetheart, don't fall for me. That would defeat the purpose.
Sweetheart, maybe you should stop blowing my mind and try something else.
Sweetheart, let's get marred. 
Sweetheart, you put the dent in my confident. 
Sweetheart, how did you manage to get lost in your own desert?  
Sweetheart, i love eww too.
Sweetheart, doesn't it hurt being so fabulous? 
Sweetheart, kiss me. I'm that frog you've been waiting for. 
Sweetheart, please continue to remain ignorant of your own brilliance.
Sweetheart, is that your natural countenance or do you practice? 
Sweetheart, you haven't changed a bit since the last time i saw you in my dreams.
Sweetheart, you are the answer to all the horrible questions i troubled God with.
Sweetheart, if only you could change your habit of constantly changing your mind. 
Sweetheart, of course i like you. Why else do you think i'd put up with all your crap?
Sweetheart, you don't have to work very hard to earn my disrespect.
Sweetheart, let's not compromise on the element of fakeness.
Sweetheart, stop repeating "What?" and listen to WHAT i'm saying.
Sweetheart, we can work this out provided we both try not to forget that i'm bound to act like an idiot.
Sweetheart, i'm too illiterate to read your mind. 
Sweetheart, to be or knot to be, that is the question. 
Sweetheart, don't mean to be rude but you're absolutely beautiful.  
Sweetheart, the reason why i tell you the truth is i know you're not paying attention.
Sweetheart, your beauty is trying to keep up with you.
Sweetheart, how is your health and others' weather treating you?
Sweetheart, kindly parole yourself out of my mind.
Sweetheart, i'm willing to spare my 21 grams for you.
Sweetheart, you put the promise in promiscuous.
Sweetheart, how can you be imaginary and awesome at the same time?
Sweetheart, you're something else! Now, is that enough or should i carry on?

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Will the real messiah please stand up?

Mallika Sherawat thinks Narendra Modi is India's most eligible bachelor. But then, she also thinks she is the Marilyn Monroe of 21st century. You can't blame her for being so delusional. What else can justify her singing the Happy Birthday song in an accented tone for the charismatic candidate à la the Original Sex Symbol did for JFK? It's plain craziness. From what one can gather from this episode is NaMo Fever touching a new high. And the Haryanvi actress is just cashing on publicity by riding the wave. She's not the only one though. All you've got to do is look around with your eyes open. Social media is abuzz with fanatics who don't like BJP but would sacrifice their fingertips for their leader. The general public seems to be rooting for his designation come 2014. Congress, on the other hand, appears abysmal thanks to their Somalian track record. It's nothing less than a miracle that they are still governing our country. The worst part, however, is their lack of a face. Rahul Gandhi, someone? Naaaah. Even though he doesn't have a single smear of corruption on his dynastic brow—just like his dear Gujju foe—the "young" gun has been far from impressive. Personally, i don't like either of them. One is a communal hardliner who hasn't tested himself at the national level and the other is a sickular softie who might never be tested at whatever level. But for the sake of argument, it'd be interesting to see NaMo at 7, Racecourse Road. Ek chance toh banta hai, for all the momentum his name has gathered in the past few scam-filled years. It behooves us to check whether he's really that messiah who'll deliver our beleaguered nation from further damage. If he succeeds, well and good. If he doesn't, bad for his supporters. Anyway, between the devil and the sea, it's better to choose swimming.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Leh'ed back and forth

Ladakh is breathtakingly beautiful. I mean every single word of it. The place takes your breath away. Quite literally. You experience mild asthmatic attacks even after doing something as banal as walking. Of course, the lack of oxygen at such a high altitude must be the culprit. But that's not it. Your body often fails to fall in line with the laws of mountains which can result in headache, nausea, nose-bleeding, anxiety, vomiting, fever and weakness. There might be other effects as well but i experienced each of the above during the first two days of the 'acclimatization' process. What this term refers to is the period and precaution your system take to adapt to the weather up there. The usual tip handed to a tourist is "Lie on your bed as much as possible" and "Sip water/fluids as much as possible". Guess what? Both tasks are impossibly boring in nature. Especially when you can see apples and apricots hanging onto the tree right outside your hotel window. Apparently, the trick is to curb excitement and channel one's energy very wisely. I couldn't. And by the time i was 'acclimatized' enough to call myself a Ladakhi, i was already flying to Mumbai via Delhi.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

An act of expecting memories

September 11 isn't just another day. Some historic stuff have taken place on this particular date. Swami Vivekananda delivered his remarkable speech in Chicago (1893), thus introducing the hitherto ignorant West to Hindu philosophy. In 1906, Gandhi wholeheartedly adopted Satyagraha in South Africa making sure non-violence becomes more than just an afterthought. Leaving his experiment incomplete and his baby directionless, Jinnah succumbed to TB today in 1948 as well. Lastly, we all know what happened in New York at the turn of the century and how 9/11 became a proper noun while terrorism, abstract. And tonight, i'm leaving for Ladakh. Got to admit it feels nice to include myself in an illustrious league of extraordinary gentlemen. Long live exaggerations! For the biographer's record, i've been in awe of that place (along with Tibet and Tawang) long before Aamir Khan made it a household name. It's supposed to be scenic—something i'll confirm when i reach there tomorrow—hopefully, that is. Though i'm visiting for work, being there won't be anything less than a wish come true. The only trouble is whether i'll be able to bring myself back home. 

Monday, September 9, 2013

Aim but don't shoot!

Ladies, pepper spray is overrated. According to recent studies, it won't work four out of 10 times and even if it does, your safety will depend purely on your ability to sprint. You can't afford to stay in the area where you've unleashed a pepper-heavy whiff. If you don't run, you'll end up falling into your own trap by sneezing in tandem with your assailant/s. So what you need to carry in your purse/clutch/whateverthatisyoucarrywithyou along with a pepper spray is a gun. A real one but unloaded. Nothing scares the shit out of a man like a pistol. It doesn't even have to be filled with bullets. All you need to do is posture. Imagine you're eve-teased or wolf-whistled or violated in any form by the public. Now imagine the reaction on the faces of those who attempted these aforementioned idiocies provided you're aiming a gun at them. You'll attract attention, yes, but you'll also help divert some to ground realities. Women are deemed effete because they've chosen the same. Our nation ain't anti-guns so i'm not really propagating anything unconstitutional. You can legally register and thus get a firm grip on reality. Moreover, when a messenger is bringing a bad news, it's OK to scare him.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

A touching story

I recently bought an Android embedded phone. It's a delight actually to see how amazing a piece of technology could behave. Even Graham Bell would have been surprised! At least i am. I knew that something incredible is going on on the cellphone front but my curiosity never got the best of me. I somehow managed to stay indifferent. To the point that i was the only with an outdated Nokia handset while my friends and colleagues shifted to QWERTY. In my defense, i was happier with the longer battery life of my poverty-stricken phone. Slowly but steadily, i could see the world falling for touchscreen and before i realized it, Android was in vogue. Everybody's fingers were seen tap dancing smoothly on the screen allowing fingertips to don the proverbial power. Awesome indeed. 
Well, i had progressed to QWERTY by then. No shit. I was content nonetheless. It wasn't like i didn't have the money. Just that i never felt the need to buy something fancy. 
This was before i finally bought something fancy. 
I took Tushar to shop and we ended up buying a phone none—let me repeat, NONE—have heard of. I sprang upon it because it perfectly matched my low budget. I brought it home but couldn't bring myself to give up on my old phone. As a result, i kept using it for 1.5 months more than intended before finally switching to the one with the influential touch. I'm still getting a hang of it. It's cool though to learn so much about apps. Speaking of which, WhatsApp has become a toy. It takes me back to the cyber café days of chatting with strangers. However, i'm not chatting as such. It's more of Hi-Byes and nobody on my gadget is a perfect stranger. Nice to be distracted by real people for a change.
Besides, there's no advantage, whatsoever, in being a Luddite. You just do one thing: suffer. The adage of ignorance being a bliss doesn't help either. That burden of holding a scepter which says TECHNOLOGICALLY CHALLENGED has no pride attached to it. I can say all this and much more because i am one of them. It's no surprise that electronics gave up on me before i could. Also, humankind needs smarterphones with higher touchscreen accuracy and lower charge wastage.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

For old times' sake

It was evident from the wrinkled face of that old man standing in the super-packed local that Harbour Line is the worst. It's worse for senior citizens. And the younger lot seldom stand up for what is right. They somehow remain seated. I don't know if that poor fella was expecting anybody to give up one of their seats but what i know for sure is—as expected—none did. 
Is shehar ne jaanwar bana diya hai hamein; aur humne ise chidiyaghar. 
I sincerely hope the grand/fathers of all those who overlooked him last night find someone kinder in their commutes. It's as if they couldn't keep their ass from touching a surface for even few minutes. Apparently, running is the only non-gymnastic function in which gluteal muscles get to work. Otherwise, all these internal organs are good at is expanding. 
For the dismal record, Mumbaikars run only after public transport. Makes sense when they over-credit themselves for finding a place to sit.
At times i wonder why isn't there a separate compartment for oldies, especially when there is one for the womenfolk and the disabled. Lastly, why not an Oldies Special in the line of Ladies Special?

Friday, September 6, 2013


Whoever you are, thanks for visiting this page. 
Turns out i've got nothing insignificant to share this time around. Been too occupied with saving the world and all that razzmatazz. Which is just another lousy excuse for not having anything to write on. Sometimes the wannabe writer in me behaves a bit like Pakistan. He's unsure whether he has failed already or is still failing. It's very similar to humanity taking a fall. You never know whether it's for real.
Better luck next time.
PS: Yeah, i love you too for being so dramatic.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Byproducts of progress

Crows, rats, owls, dogs and cats—wittingly or unwittingly—help in keeping our city clean. While facing starvation, they put their dignity aside and find the grub in garbage. Nothing astonishingly new in that. What's worth noting here is the rising number of filth and the decreasing number of bins. For what can't be explained, our urban planners (if there are any) don't count the need to put trash cans in adequate numbers at appropriate distance. Even a cleanliness-obsessed citizen would lose morale to such apathy. And believe me, he does. 
  Which brings us to the question: is littering an urban phenomena?
I've been to villages. Quite a lot of them, actually. And one thing is common to all of them. They are clean. You don't see vile polythene carriers strewn helter-skelter. On the other hand, there's hardly any wastage. Consumerism is low and practical minimalism, high. Yes, it can't be denied that lack of development is to be squarely blamed for the relative orderliness. But then, even small villages are slowly getting a hang of urbanity and the first sign of this change are the plastic bags half-buried on the side of the kaccha roads. 
  Which brings us to the illation: the culprit is not modernity but incompetence. 
We know how essential plastic has become in our day-to-day life. What we may not know is the potential danger it poses to our future generations (if there will be any). A replacement is going to be costly and by the time something comes up, the ugly polythene pile one witnesses while travelling in a local train will have turned uglier. At the same rate, the plastic bags will be fully buried on the rural roadsides.
  Which brings us to the remedy: it's high time crows, rats, owls, dogs and cats ate plastic!

Friday, August 30, 2013

Oxymoronic home truths

Even though calling yourself a Hindu nationalist might inspire awe, it's nothing more than a collaboration of two completely out-of-place powerful words. Indian nationalist makes real sense. First of all, the term Hindu has more to do with geographical identity than religious. Thanks to whatever has happened to our great civilization over the past 2000 years, this distinction has sadly blurred to the point that politicians are making hay while Sanatana doesn't shine. It's a clear case of myopic ignorance. People would probably disagree with this as they don't like to see beyond what's visible. Regardless, who liked geography in school anyway? Or for that argument, history? Going back to the aforementioned magical words, if a person is a Hindu (which anybody who feels s/he's part of this ageless land is), he doesn't have to be nationalist. It's a given. On the contrary, Indian nationalist is more specific. It subscribes to the colonial truths and the lengthy embarrassments that piled one over the other. What's also evident is its adherence to the current political border. The term 'Hindu' doesn't give a damn about LOC. It could pertain to those who call themselves Pakistani today because they are unwittingly a cog in the Ferris Wheel of Islam or a smaller guinea pig in Jinnah's Lab. Besides, who knows for sure how far the so-called Hinduism initially spread? The truth is actually a bit complicated. The great souls who could come up with something as gorgeous as Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam are dead and gone. And their wise language is dying a painful death too. Small wonder why a majority of the current lot get goosebumps when they hear their pseudo-saviour utter two words that aren't meant to be a couple.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Over and above

In case if you haven't noticed yet, monsoon is abandoning us. The seasonal love affair is gradually coming to an end. It can't help but move on to wetter pastures leaving us baking under the sun. For some reason, umbrella personifies this connection between the sky and lesser mortals. Of course, sunlight and celestial dust touch us too but rain ki baat hi kuch aur hai. You know exactly when it hits you except when you're busy under Rihanna's umbrella. Moreover, we don't come across a lot of people who use it to avoid sunshine or heavenly powder. The poor thing not only protects us but also teaches a few lessons in life—provided you're paying heed. The beauty about this humble non-living creature is it has learnt to forgive the weather. An umbrella acknowledges the universal truth that there ain't no point in arguing with the clouds. Or the mighty sun. When it's open and wide, it's either keeping you dry or drying itself from the warmth outside. Of course, when the wind is harsh, all its philosophies go for a toss, including itself. Every once in a while, it loses itself too and the blame falls on you. But then, it's not monsoon unless you lost an umbrella or two...before it bids us goodbye!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Why doesn't Leo turn into a chameleon?

He's indubitably one of the finest actors in recorded history. And he has bedded so many supermodels that he must be knowing Victoria's secret. His playboy image notwithstanding, he brings to his craft a touch of unforeseen dedication. But Leonardo DiCaprio is rarely seen in heavy makeup. Or crazy costumes. Or for that matter, a makeover. He finally managed to break his onscreen good-guy image with a racist act in Django Unchained last year. Oh yes, he put on an accent in Blood Diamond and bulked up for J. Edgar although the awards didn't roll in. Speaking of which, his second film What's Eating Gilbert Grape earned him an Oscar nod. For the record, he played a mentally challenged boy in it with such panache that the drool-worthy Jack Dawson had to redeem him four years later. Of course his career literally launched into new heights post-Titanic with dismissible bumps in the middle. The new millennium saw him collaborate with bigwigs like Scorsese, Spielberg, Ridley Scott, Clint Eastwood, Nolan, Luhrmann and Tarantino. He's doing great but wouldn't it be greater to don on a mask for a change or build six-packs or something? Johnny Depp has been so much into character that you may not even remember the last time you saw his face in a film. Similarly, it's impossible to separate Wolverine from Hugh Jackman. Brad Pitt went a step ahead and wore a skirt in Troy. When was the last time Leo did something crazy or wasn't similar to how he looked like in his previous film? He'll be turning 40 in a couple of months and has already starred in 24 full-length movies. The Wolf of Wall Street will be 25th. Does he look different in the trailer?

Monday, August 26, 2013

A wrong of change

Last year, just before 2012 was coming to an end, something happened in New Delhi that shook us. Last week, an incident of a similar nature took place in a city that isn't the official Rape Capital of India. The guys who orchestrated that heinous crime in the North were majorly Hindus while those repeating the same in the West were mostly Muslims. What it tells is violation of a woman happens irrespective of region and religion. It doesn't even matter whether they are literate or not even though it's worth nothing that none of our educated friends are rapists even if they are bona fide chauvinists. 
Is this true in your case too?
However, there's something much more complicated at work than what meets the eye. Rape is not the only act meriting an unambiguous scorn. Making the most of a crowded public place—be it molesting or eve-teasing—is equally contemptible. Secondly, there needs not be any distinction between a member of a gang-rape squad and a pack of wolves as both attack with an intention to destroy. At least the latter don't blame anything on inebriation or propaganda. As a human society, we can step back and ask why such horrible non-events take place. 
And why always men?
Is it because we usually think with our genitals? If so, why aren't all men violators? Or are they? Maybe they are but are just too smart to get caught. Hmmm. We'll never have a clue for sure. Perhaps the answer lies in the fact that the day before a guy decided to turn shameless in order to execute an act that he wouldn't like his sister to be part of, he was just another guy who hadn't committed that act at all. The point being you never know how you'll behave next. Uncertainty sucks. The circumstances that drive one towards a dark abyss might very well reveal some psychological clues. 
But that's not it. 
During the Year Mayans Predicted The World Will End, around 25,000 of our womenfolk were raped. This year won't be very different given the higher rate of reporting injustice which is a healthy as well as a sad sign. The figures aren't going down though. On the other hand, the number of AIDS patients are decreasing in such a manner that pharmaceutical companies producing antiretroviral are filing losses! But then, rape is incurable. No amount of penance can rid the perpetrator of his unspeakable crimes and nobody can possibly bring normalcy back to the victim.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Not always

Sometimes not knowing much helps. Sometimes seeing is belying. Sometimes even life can't prepare you for death. Sometimes the rain stops in the middle but your tears don't. [Related: Crying in the rain is a risky business!] Sometimes our mood is so blue that Coldplay's Yellow can't fix us. Sometimes we express words and sometimes, words express us. Sometimes beauty kills us and at times, it does worse. Sometimes strong sentences don't make as much of an impact as broken jaws. Sometimes you breathe because you've got nothing better to do. Sometimes your face feels like it has been punched by the mirror. Sometimes all you want to do is use your superpowers to log off. Sometimes you don't know why you're happy. [Warning: People often find themselves getting married during such uncertain moments.] Sometimes conversation is the last resort to silence. Sometimes your true calling turns out to be a false alarm. Sometimes the least one can do for others is not exist. Sometimes you star others' tweets just to annoy them. Sometimes even emoticons fail us. Sometimes we act exactly the way we are—and are duly surprised! Sometimes i feel emptier than my bank account. Sometimes music ends up touching all the inappropriate parts in an appropriate manner. Sometimes the darkest hour takes place in broad daylight. Sometimes you need chaos to remind yourself that you're alive and kicking. Sometimes the questions are wrong and answers, right. Sometimes even the superheroes don't come to our rescue. Sometimes you feel older than death. Sometimes we're too selfish to understand love. [Corollary: Sometimes that's how it should be.] Sometimes opportunity loses direction and knocks on your window. Sometimes forever lasts a bit too long. Sometimes you don't know what you're trying to do until it's done. Sometimes people talk to you because they want to hear their own voice. Sometimes you have to destroy yourself to know who you really are. Sometimes our mere existence is a euphemism for getting a joke right. Sometimes even death falls shot of curing fame. Sometimes you feel trapped like that fart inside an overcrowded compartment of a local train. Sometimes your youth outlives you. Sometimes you do your friend a favour and he doesn't forgive you for that. Sometimes she stares at him and witnesses herself fading away. Sometimes "How are you dying?" evokes a more honest response than "How are you doing?". Sometimes life cycle gets punctured by career. Sometimes you're merely few people away from getting a headache. Sometimes giving up requires courage too. Sometimes cussing works wonders while prayers don't. Sometimes things are right in front of you but you don’t see them. [Addendum: Precisely when an eye checkup comes handy.] Sometimes you're so hormonally fucked up that even Kolaveri Di or Gangnam Style makes you weep. Sometimes you need that someone to wake you up from your hopeless dreams. Sometimes you just want others to tell you "It's alright" when you yourself know that it isn't. Sometimes all you need is Rajinikanth to pat your back and say "Don't worry". Sometimes we ask questions only to receive more questions in return. Sometimes joking is injurious to ego. Sometimes your entire body feels like that fingertip on which a butterfly just landed. Sometimes we feel like that finger that has just gotten out of the nose. Sometimes the night feels like talking to morning but then realizes that the latter doesn't deserve such cruelty. Sometimes i wake up in the middle of the night to make sure i ain't dead yet. Sometimes we've got to heel ourselves. Sometimes your inner voice is accented too. Sometimes you wonder why you waste your time on something as trivial as virtual world. [Rebuttal: But then it's almost impossible in today's age to win a widespread audience in the real world.] Sometimes i wish i was a shepherd who earned at least as much as i'm currently doing. Sometimes our luck can't help being a kleptomaniac. Sometimes your plans resemble an e-mail typed with buttocks. Sometimes all you need is a voice to tell you how messed up you really are. Sometimes our soul sounds like it's taking a dump. Sometimes enough is almost enough. Sometimes she acts like a guitar with messed up chords. Sometimes a song doesn't like you. Sometimes you feel as clueless as that toothbrush lying on the dining table. Sometimes your office appears a lot like home but with more egoistic characters. Sometimes sentiments are available in subsidized format. Sometimes all you need to do to make the world a better place is sleep on time. Sometimes it takes more than a lifetime to find that place called home. Sometimes silence is the biggest lie ever told. Sometimes even an elevator lets you down. Sometimes your past dances like crazy in front of you leaving you wonder - "What the fuck is this all about?" Sometimes we are what we are—nothing more, nothing less. Sometimes she misses his incompetence. Sometimes it appears like our whole existence is staged. Sometimes fate makes you feel like an unpaid whore...and then you get used to it. Sometimes all you want to do is nothing and still you're unable to do it. Sometimes i wish i was bored like you instead of busy like me. Sometimes starting sentences with 'Sometimes' doesn't help the case.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Quote unquote

"Hi. This is Shakti Shetty calling from Midday.


"Shakti from Midday."

"I thought you were female. Shakti sounds like a girl's name."

"Sorry to disappoint you, sir, but do you have 5 minutes?"


"Do you think Bollywood is a surname-driven industry?"


Wednesday, August 21, 2013


First truth first. The economy isn't in doldrums. We are. With India's growth rate and inflation both hovering around 5.5%, Rupee becoming the newest world diving champion isn't astonishing. I saw it coming. I even tweeted about it more than two years ago. [Related: That's the Raghuram Rajan in me talking!] Not that anybody cares, my expertise in the field of economics is limited to my pocket. But i know for sure what suffers the most when things aren't running hunky-dory. Smile. People fall victims to amnesia that keeps them from letting that shade of light enter their eyes or brighten their faces. Inflation of emotions ain't a good sign for the economics of reality. Thus Great Depression takes place. As a result, laughter becomes a rare commodity. The fact is that economy is too wide to be understood by commoners. When an economist asks us to do the math, we don't. We'd rather count the number of zeroes in Gareth Bale's estimated value in the transfer window. Words like liquidity, depreciation, fiscal deficit and ilk require degrees to grasp. But given the significance they have in the current scenario, it's a pity that kids don't aspire to be economists. Although the subject deals with natural elements that have hardly anything to do with humans—or their so-called money—and their intelligence, it's pretty hypnotic. Furthermore, it ain't cute to have an opinion about FDI when you can hardly understand the mechanics of market. It's way so complex that a phrase here and an idiom there won't help. Speaking of which, life has stopped handing out free lemons and freer jokes. Blame it on economic uncertainties. Dismal is in the air and growth is far from taking root. In fact, the only growth i've personally witnessed were in my pompous one-liners, corny blog-posts, expectations, movie downloads, Internet bills and beard.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

One man, two insights

One man's hunger is another man's food for thought. One man's meat is another man's proverb. One man's "Oops!" is another man's "You're fired". One man's mistakes are another man's wisdom. One man's Saturday is another man's Friday. One man's Monday is, well, another man's Monday. One man's courage is another man's outrage. One man's anger is another man's nirvana. One man's tweet is another man's uncredited quote. One man's onion is another man's opinion. One man's salary is another man's joke. One man's dream is another man's nightmare. One man's wife is another man's password. One man's truth is another woman's rumour. One man's food is another man's thought of hunger. One man's :( is another man's :P!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Small joys in life

Feeding sparrows with your hand.
Receiving a hand-written letter.  
Getting off safely at Kurla station.
Finding a girl who's fluent in expletives. 
Strong memory.
Kori Rotti.
Father taking pride in your work although he doesn't understand a sentence. 
Bitching and wailing in self-pity.
Being punctual.
Gifting a book to an online friend with a personal note because you can't wait till you write your own.
Witnessing an argument when you know both parties are wrong.
Train fights.
Grandma's nonsensical stories that still make sense.
Cool breeze running through your hair even though you aren't heading to Hotel California.
Independent artistes not giving up. 
Working hard. And then some more.
European leagues to spend weekends on and then spend the following weekdays pretending to be football pundit.
Scratching yourself or picking nose without societal scrutiny to worry about.
Finding a window seat. 
Having a really good topic to write on.
Kids walking like penguins to school.
Choosing to stand in a queue that eventually moves faster than the one on its side. 
Making mother laugh with your jokes.
Making your designate-girlfriend cry with your tales.
World cinema.
Natalie Portman on desktop. 
Early monsoon followed by early winter followed by late summer. 
Mowgli's and Calvin's relative immortality. 
Attending the ceaseless marriage of music and lyrics in Bollywood. 
Salary, no matter how pitiful it is. 
Brilliant ideas only to get wasted in a tweet.  
The acknowledgement of your perfect flaws. 
Free hugs.
More than enough sleep.
Leaving your past behind...for a few moments.
My pals in Pakistan whom i haven't met yet. 
Friendship that shall last longer than forever.
Enmity that doesn't bother you anymore. 
Touchscreen letting you type exactly what you want to.
The belief that everything's going to be OK when you wake up.