Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Chinese Dust Storms in Delhi

There’s dust-storm tonight. It’s not very fancy though. Just a few blobs of dust swinging around; perhaps doing the Tango or Salsa or whatever dance it is that dust particles do.

There are two kids on a bicycle, and one of them is perfecting the art of persuasion while the other perfects the art of argument.

“Chinese phones are pretty damn good, good features awesome price,” says Persuasion Jr .

“No way! They last less than a year, once it goes then what?” says Argument Jr, convinced that after this statement he now has an upper hand.

“Like you can bloody afford anything else anyway?” Persuasion Jr retorts back.

The argument pretty much closes there. I walk on, wondering whether dust on ice-cream makes it taste nuttier, or am I just a victim of a temporary lapse of normal imagination.

Argument Jr. doesn’t give up yet though.

“Right! Turn right you idiot!” Persuasion Jr screams as the bicycle takes the wrong turn.

The last thing I hear as the bicycle goes out of earshot at a very high speed is;

“What the fuck? I told you to go left”

I finish Argument Jr’s reply in my head

“Never mind! There are many ways to go right in life!”

I decide against eating ice-cream while strolling in dust storms. I rather have my ice-cream nuttier because of actual nuts then just salsa-dancing dust.

I wonder though, is Chinese dust cheaper and does it have economies of scale like everything else Chinese?

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

यो मामा! Jokes

Biblical Embroidery

बेस्ट practices @ HR 1

बेस्ट प्रक्टिसेस @ HR 2

Sandman: Useless conversations

[A caramel cappuccino and an Iced Tea lemon]

“You remember how I used to bore you about the Sandman series? I just found some of those graphic novels I had shelled out a fortune on back then!”

[A cigarette lit with a ten rupee Manchester United lighter]

– Yes I do? Much too clearly actually, who were they? The eternals, that’s what they were called right?

[One sachet of Equal-low Calorie sugar poured, caramel’s too sweet anyway]

Hmm...Yeah, Death, Dream, Desire, Despair, Destiny and destruction.”
– You used to make it sound so cool back then, with all your gestures and stuff and the damn back stories, pretending you were a Professor of all that is that there too know, with all your hand gestures and stuff.

[The inaugural cigarette stub on the silver coloured ashtray]

“True, true!”
– But you always had that glint in your eye, when you spoke about your Batman’s, Superman’s and your Sandman’s.

[A distant look out into space or a coffee shop poster]

Heh! Yeah, I used to be so excited about these things back then.”
– Yup, haven’t seen that glint in your eyes, or the stupid grin ever since.

[A puff before a profound statement]

“I believed in them, back then...I believed in Morpheus, I believed in dreams.”
– And now?
“Now? Well, now I just dream...”

[A momentary silence that echoes into infinity]

Friday, September 28, 2007


So I pulled out the Significant Other CD from my CD jacket,
It was a formality...
My i-pod collection needed compiling,
Named after a useless penis.
This was a band I loved once,
Well i was 16, accelerating hormones notwithstanding,

Believed them to be gods of nu-metal,
Believed that their songs meant something...
I also believed that i would get laid by the time I was 17
Sigh, Naivety!

Saturday, September 30, 2006

The frozen chill of the winter sweeps in as the world fades away in the smog. There is a faint smell of disappointment in the air. I soak in it in, let the endorphins kick in. With each breath I wait; essentially for the inevitable.
The song loops in my head all over again. It’s that same song by the Boss; “No surrender”. I put my head back drift away into it, into a lifetime.
You there with the killer smile and those unfathomable eyes, do you remember the promise, the one we assumed we made? Doesn’t matter if you don’t for I’d never forget the grace in the way you moved, the energy as you fluttered across the dance floor swimming upon those drumbeats. The rhythm was smooth, the music close to divine as I searched, searched amidst those lyrics, amidst those faces, searched for fulfilment, for purpose and found you.

“We learnt more from a 3 minute record, baby; than we ever learnt in school.
…Cuz we made a promise, we swore we’d always remember.
No retreat baby, no surrender”

No surrender, it was and will be, not to the all- pervasive meaninglessness of life, to the shallowness of attachments that constituted my existence. As the photographs and the journals burnt across the bonfire, lit under the careful watch of the Orion, I was still trying not to give up. There was beauty in those burning embers then and in the snow capped peaks. A hallowed beauty in the clouds of vapour formed from the warm breath, clouds that wished they were similar the ones caressing the glow of the full moon. Memories roasted upon the fires of emancipation.
But you weren’t there for any of all that were you girl; the purposeless drifting from one version of myself to another. The guilt of her departure, from my life and then life itself, the pointless amassing of fame and fortune, the loss of a friend and the loss of alternate lifetimes; you weren’t there for any of it. I forgave myself, had no choice but to. How do you justify throwing everything away? Well, you don’t, that takes the fun out of it, doesn’t it.
Memories you cannot get rid of, but mementos, well those you most certainly can. So I tossed into the fires of purgation, those CDs, books, photographs, journals, things, all except one, that particular CD. The soundtrack of my life, girl; one which you were an unknowing part of.
I didn’t realise that it would come to pass like this, as the road snaked ahead in the silent chill of the night, bathed in the full-Moon’s glow. I didn’t know that I would find myself here. My head feels heavier. Any second now.

“Knock! Knock!”
“Who’s the Hell is it?”
“The Girl,” she whispers.
“The Girl?” I ask.
“Yup!” she says with a giggle.
“Damn! How’d you get here?”
“Always been here, and always will be, true nature of time n’ stuff.”
“You know, Eternal Return and Nietzsche do not feature anywhere in my romantic conversations key-points list.”
“I know, but Vanilla Sky definitely did,” she says with a smile
“Hmm….yeah…come to think of it, this is indeed very Vanilla Skyish!”
“Yup!” she giggles again.
“I have a question though, where had you been all this while?”
“Like I said, was always here, always have been, in the moment in the time frame etc., you just gave up looking.”
“That’s, so unfair, I never really did. I still am looking. No surrender, girl.”
“Well, that implies you really cannot stay can you?” she asks.
“I guess so, have to find you somewhere.”
“Well, then you better be moving along then, must warn you it’s not at all comfortable back there.”
“I know, but I have to. What about you? Where will you go?”
“Where? Hmm…well its’ like that line from the comic you once told me;
Where does a wish go…where does a dream go, when you wake up and cannot remember it…”
“Nowhere,” we both whisper in unison.
“Goodbye it is then.”
Fade to Black.
I feel for my stomach and shiver as I put my hand up to my face. The river of crimson flows profusely.
“Not now!” I say to myself. “No tunnels, no soft lights, and no people I know; nothing. Not now Goddammit!”
I manage to crawl out of the mangled steel monster and pull myself on the road. It’s been a peach of an existence mind you. But I promised to find you someday, girl, and that is a promise I intend to keep.

Redemption train

The wait comes to an end as the train slowly pulls into the station. Pushed along with the relentless tide of people struggling to get in, getting into the local train doesn’t take much effort. A quick check of pockets for wallet and ticket and soon a place near the window seat is found.
There are people, places, lives and events unfolding in front of you between the two rusted iron rods on the window-frame. There is a sense of hurry, of frantic pace, similar to a movie viewed in the fast forward mode. That is the moment, confronted by this pace that your mind slows down and begins to reminisce.
You remember the essay you had once written in school, an amateur attempt at philosophy. ‘Human beings are like stars dotting the night-sky; a night-sky that is the sum of life-experiences. Each star has its own story to tell. Occasionally, you get one which burns brighter than the other and sometimes you get a fallen star. A star which burns away, but not without the everlasting promise of hope, manifested in a wish made upon a shooting star.’
“Bullshit!” you say to yourself. And then you remember the event that sent your life into a downward spiral.
A summer afternoon it had been, characterised by friends, cigarettes and weed. The concoction of weed, nicotine and the beer had, along with the scorching heat had blurred your perceptions and judgment considerably. So when your heard your friend scheme for help, you just ran headlong in that direction. So what if your friend was about to be stabbed by the ‘gunda’ he had been trying to avoid for quite some time. It was none of your business, for as a matter of policy these days, a person’s troubles are his own.
Your lawyer tried to construe the event as self-defense. You yourself aren’t too sure if it was that. For eventually as the media portrayed it you were a typical example of the junky college student who committed murder for the weed and got a jail term. Deservedly so they said, as it would serve as a befitting example to others.
Did your friend come forward to save you? No, he was just a leech for a weed and he of course didn’t want to get involved, he had a career to save.
What really happened you don’t know. You just remember him and the gunda struggling on the floor. You remember yourself getting in the way, the sharp pain as the knife entered the palm of your hand. You don’t remember anything between the grip on the knife and the accidental taste of someone else’s blood on your tongue. You remember the court case, the 14 year term, parole after eight years, the odd jobs here and there for three years and then the familiar stench of dried sweat as you sit on this local train to your ancestral house in the suburb of Calcutta.
The train rolls into the station, your train of thought stops too and rolls into the station of harsh reality. ‘Konnoghor’ the station board reads. If your family, which had evidently abandoned you is anywhere it is here. As you walk in the markets you see the changes too, between ‘pre-liberalisation’ India and now. Dutta Tailors with Raymond’s suiting posters earlier now sports a Reebok G-Unit poster saying ‘I am what I am’.
You find the famous ‘Madras Coffee House’ in the middle of a Calcutta Suburb. You go in to grab a cup of coffee and gather strength so that you can finally banish your demons. The coffee shop remains a witness to the antiquity of the market for innumerable coats of paint cannot hide the fact that the furniture is still the same as it was fifteen years ago.
The man at the counter hasn’t changed either. He will not recognize you with your cropped hair and beard and a face aged beyond the actual years it has been around.
You have your coffee and out of a strange impulse you ask the man at the counter a question; he always kept a tab on everyone who resided in the small community.
“Dada, do you know the Ghosh family who live in the 7th house near the lake?”
“Abhijit Ghosh you ask of?” he inquires back.
“Yes him, is he still there with his family?”
“No! The Ghosh’s moved out long time back. Four years back once their daughter finally managed to get married,” he replied.
“Their daughter is married?”
“Yes! They couldn’t find a suitor for her initially, for all of them would refuse once they would find out about the brother. Then when Mr. Ghosh passed away, God bless his soul, she got married a year after. It was a love marriage, but given the circumstances what could the mother do.”
You try and gather yourself, the succession of breaking news gets tough to handle.
“Okay! Do you know where they are now or know anyone who knows where they are?”
“No Dada, no one has heard from them since they left. They didn’t even sell the house, it lies empty and discarded,” he replies with a tinge of regret.
The coffee starts tasting sour in your mouth and after so many years you feel the urge for a cigarette. You leave the money on the table and start walking away.
“You know Dada, you seem familiar, have we met before?” he asks as you exit the shop.
You give the clichéd reply, “In another lifetime maybe.”
It is that period when twilight merges into the darkness of the night. You are seated on the steps of you house, overlooking the garden and the lake. The Marlboro Lights in your hand burns itself onto your fingers.
In that moment an epiphany occurs, you take off your slippers and run across the dusty path in your garden and dive into the lake. You float on your back, just below the surface of the lake. It begins to rain. As the raindrops fall across the surface the sight and the natural rhythm of the raindrops soothes your senses. You hear your mother from across the garden on a hot summer afternoon, telling you to stop playing in the lake and come home for lunch. You hear the whisper of the girl you thought you would love forever as she confided her secrets to you. You hear the sounds of the Sarod blend into the gentle pluckings at the Cello in Pachebel’s Canon. You hear the voice of your favorite English teacher as he read you favorite Yeat’s poem.

Then you wish that you could no more. There is star falling across the sky; yours. But you make a wish upon that star, a wish for another life, another chance, a wish that you could burn brighter. And then you stop yourself from doing the inevitable. For the first time you feel a strange control over your fate.
You walk out of the lake; cleansed.

Moti's Bluetoothed controversy. Maina Pyaarkiya

A piece of investigative journalism by Maina Pyaarkiya
"Love is the most natural and beautiful thing in the world, So what’s wrong in watching on video what is happening between a Man, a Woman…and a Horse?"
Sasha Baron Cohen, "The Ali-G Show"

The whole controversy started when Moti, the colony’s favourite Dalmatian, felt very horny and managed to get his paws on the neighbour’s bitch. Stuff happened and while it was happening Moti pressed the video recording button on his master’s cellphone which was left out in the backyard to dry in the sun (his master was sloshed at last night’s party and fell into a swimming pool.).

As a result very naughty things were recorded between Moti and the neighbour’s bitch. Incidentally, Moti’s arch nemesis Hiralal Spotwalla a.k.a. Hispotty managed to catch hold of the cellphone. His original idea was to just piddle on the cellphone, but he decided to play around with it before he actually piddled on it. As a consequence of this the naughty video was transmitted to his master’s friend cellphone.

Moti’s master’s friend found the clip very tantalizing and decided to pass it on to his friend, who passed it on to another friend and so on and so forth till the whole city was scandalized by Moti’s naughty deeds. Once Moti’s master got to know he called Moti and gave him a nice scolding. To this Moti replied with an unapologetic "Woof! Woof!" (‘Bugger off’ in doggy language).

Some people eventually started showing off the video on projection screens and flashy cellphones at the P3P parties. One of the P3P’s found the clip very artsy and tastefully executed and thought Spielberg might be interested in it, (his only claim to fame was that he had had coffee with Spielberg, sat in the same café more like it…). The P3P then went to the bartender paid him Rs 10 and the ‘blue-toothed’ the video clip from the bartender’s 6600.
Some people even started selling the clips in bootlegged versions and it was freely available over Kazaa networks. There was reportedly an extended clip with Hispotty and Jenna Jameson making a cameo together.

Finally police decided to do something about it as the clip was distorting the moral fabric of the human and canine society alike. But after the initial excitement this is what the police found: 1. Moti was absconding. 2. The master’s backyard had been broken down by MCD as it was illegal, thereby removing all evidence. 3. Hispotty’s piddle on the cellphone had damaged the cellphone beyond recovery 4. They had no evidence and Pappu Yadav had ordered 3 Maharaja Macs which had to be delivered to Bihar pronto.

Police didn’t know what to so when Spielberg came to India to slap the P3P who had sent him the obnoxious clip, they immediately arrested him and subsequently denied him bail. This really pissed of Dubya and he cancelled all H-1B visas for all Indians for the next 2 years and told India to release Spielberg within 2 weeks or face the consequences. If that wasn’t enough Osama Laden renewed his jihad against India proclaiming the clips were corrupting the minds of his wives, kids, cats and dogs. The constant airing of the clip on The Al-Jazeera network was also eating into his precious airtime. The Planning Commission is yet to determine the economic repercussions of all this.

Recent developments that have taken place include the arrest of Moti, once he returned from his evening walk. On interrogation he revealed nothing, and on being subjected to torture he just said "Wooow!"(‘Ouch’ in doggy language but it doesn’t count as testimony in court anyway). The P3P involved has also been arrested and he insists that the 10 bucks were tip to the bartender and not the price paid for the video. He has also offered to marry Spielberg, the bartender or Moti in an attempt to become more famous.

Spielberg is now hospitalized and waiting for the eminent invasion of India by Dubya. Osama has threatened to blow up Moti in his latest tape, but no one seems to be taking him very seriously.

Amidst this pandemonium the Neighbour finally decided to break his silence. He woke up in the morning to find hordes of reporters outside his house. The perennial question that has been haunting everyone was hurled at him:
"Mr. Neighbour can you tell us where your bitch is?" The question caught Neighbour by surprise and he replied:

"Dude! I don’t have a bitch!?!"

Valentines Day: The Socio economic effect. by Maina pyaarkiya

We all know that recently there was a decision taken by the government to dissolve the Lok Sabha early by February 6th. Opposition and all other Partygoers blamed it on the upcoming election campaign and a lack of confidence on part of the government. But recently,(since they now have nothing better to do) Tehelka revealed that there is actually a secret reason many of us have ignored. If you haven’t guessed it by now then it is (yes now you get it!) Valentine’s Day on February 14th.
Now, a major political decision and Valentine’s Day may not seem to have anything in common, but government analysts have predicted that if the government stayed in power till that date then it might have had adverse effects on their election campaign. How, you ask? Well, some insiders say that the fact that our prime minister is a bachelor might have had some serious repercussions in the season where love is in the air and result in a lack of votes from the youth.
Actually, in light of this major-decision, it has become imperative to analyse the significance of this day from a socio-economic perspective. While to most of us it is mainly about ‘going round and round’ with someone, many people do not ignore the importance of the actual message that St. Valentine tried to convey. Love has no borders; so on this day people display their deepest love towards their wives, husbands, parents, sisters, bosses, secretaries,dhobis and pets. Amazon was recently seen tapping the pet market by selling gift-wrapped cans of salmon or dog biscuits with free pet-cards, to show them how much you care!
Also, celebrities and other such popular species of humanity don’t ignore this event; all of them displaying their love for each other. Recent displays have been George Bush to Saddam Hussein (though George is still wailing over his lost love Osama), Michael Jackson to 12 year old kids, Britney Spears to Madonna, Pervez Mussharaf to his Kursi, Indian batting for the Australian bowling (and vice-versa) and Laloo Yadav to his idealistic Governor. Lalooji was quoted as saying, "I loving my state too much,that is why I keeping it family affair. So what if there being corruption? All fair is love and war! So Governor sahib don’t feel jealousy! Isme Bhi Aupposition Kaa Haath Hain! "
Economists predict that this love hysteria will step up economic reforms in the country. Valentine’s day will help start-up the music industry battling desperately against piracy, as lot of those ‘Lubby-dubby, Have I told you lately’ albums hit stores now. No comments could be received ‘on record’ regarding this matter from the piracy industry executives, but they add that fikar-not bootlegged versions by Sadaf Stereo will soon be available.
Also, this event is expected to give a major boost to the agro-based sector as the flower (and subsequently the fertiliser) sales will go up drastically. Youth organizations like the DUSU have recommended application of the MRTP Act on the numerous phoolwallas, as they will attempt to hike their prices and exploit the hapless youngsters.
But there are some political parties who are wholeheartedly opposing this event. Shiv sena is known to have issued a notice saying that if such an unconstitutional and phirangi festival is to be celebrated then they’ll dig up each and every street of Maharashtra (this is in light of their successful digging-up of cricket pitches a few years ago). On hearing this statement the Ambanis were delighted and immediately decided to undertake a gas-line project in Maharashtra, as Shiv Sena would definitely cut down their pipe-laying and digging costs.
Health experts are concerned too, considering the number of chocolates that will be sold and the amount of worms that have been found in them recently. They predict over-consumption of chocolates will lead to obesity, diabetes and loose-motions in young people. Most common (and perhaps the most drastic) fear is the rise in population by November 14th this year.
But then the government is happy as love is in the air and it will further add to their already inflated feel good factor. It’s all about feeling good, eh!
Personally, I am a believer in stability of relationships and the everlasting power of love, thus I made an extremely taxing resolution this new year’s eve: that I shall I have only one new valentine every year.
Optimists say that if this love fever prevailing around February 14th continues to grow every year then India will definitely be a superpower by 2020. So all you young lovebirds ask that female or male bird out, (one that’s been chirping at a Barista or a CCD near you) you’ll be doing your country a great favour. India Shining!

Lady in white

[Lady in White can you tell me how I got here?]

"Shit! Where were you?" said Scott with a smile and an expression of relief.
"Just late! Just late!" replied Ratin.
"I am taking a break, your turn to get this place up!" Scott said as he cleared out the vinyl and CDs from the decks.
"No problem. As long as they don’t dig Punjabi MC, I am fine with it." Ratin said with a wink, "and I’ll see you back here within an hour."
"Sure thing! If the music doesn’t kill you and the floor first!"
They both laughed as Scott picked up his jacket and made his way backstage.

[Lady in White, can you tell me why you treat me as if I were a baby? I sure don’t like it.]

There were hundreds of people on the floor. Some were here to get away from things, others mostly to celebrate. The getting away part never helped, he knew that, he had tried it. The drugs, the alcohol, the music eventually made you come back full circle. Left you wondering why you started that circle in the first place. But the music alone had the power and he felt it, every time he played here or was on his way back home; the music drifting in his earphones. It was the one thing that made everything else sublime and made life worth living.
He looked at the people on the dance floor. A lot of them did not know how to dance; they were flaying their arms in all directions. Hell! There were those who were way too good at it. There were some who were just standing there listening to the music, probably under influence. And of course there was that one pretty female as always whom he noticed in the crowd. As usual he placed a bet in his head; as to whether she would at some point of time smile at him.

[Lady in White, what’s there in that bottle you carry? It tastes sick!]

Life passes you by, a sort of fast-forward in between the pauses of your plans. His was no rags to riches story. Good family, good life. Some people, like him, get the generous genie of life that lets one live his dreams. Others, at times, get a genie that just kicks you in the face and tells you to live your own life. One that tells you that dreaming is for dreamers. He had the money, and the itsy-bitsy fame that came with his profession, but the music was the only real thing while it all lasted.

[Lady in White, turn the light off. It’s too white and bright!]

The song was slowly reaching its peak. The beats, the people, the kaleidoscope of lasers and lights, his Console made a beautiful and serene scene. A sense of serenity that does not come with silence but with the rush of the blood through your veins and into your head.
He smiled to himself. He could live forever like this. To live is beautiful and to live life the way you want to, even more so.

[Lady in White, can you tell me what am I doing here? I want to go back. It took me a long time to get to the end of the rainbow.]

"Embrace me! Surround me! As the rush comes!" the vocals screamed.
He felt the music surround him; he felt the colours dance with him. He looked down. The pretty face in the crowd smiled back at him. He won the bet this time too (he always won either way). He threw his head back and spread his arms and jumped up with the beats. He was the sultan of his rainbow kingdom, the sultanate of music, lights and colour.

[Lady in White, we are all mortals aren’t we? Why is it so? Can’t we go on living forever?]

No one saw it coming. He felt himself thrown back. There was a sharp pain in his abdomen, as if someone had just squeezed his guts out. He heard the deafening noise of the explosion and the fireball that engulfed the dance floor. He thought he heard himself scream in anguish, in pain, in a desperate attempt not to let go.
Strange, if he were dying shouldn’t the scenes from his life flash past him? Or was it all just a cliché, something that happened only in the movies. Worse still, had they already flashed past and that pretty smile in the crowd was all that now remained of them.
The roof caved in. He felt the dust and cement mix with the gushing blood in his mouth. He tasted death. Then the darkness engulfed him.

[Lady in White, I am screaming! Can you not hear me? I don’t want to let go!]

The nurse, dressed immaculately in her whites picked up the crying baby. The mother looked on tired, but glad, the happiness stemming from the act of creation.
"He must have had a bad dream," said the nurse, "they say little babies dream of their previous life, the first few days."
"And you believe that?" the mother asked.
"It makes it reassuring you know, you mess up in this life, you can always cover up in the other," she replied. The mother smiled. The baby stopped screaming.
The nurse put the baby back in its crib. On television an ordinary looking newsreader said in an excited tone:
"The Police are yet to find any leads in the twin club bombings in Goa. The two simultaneous attacks during the New Year celebrations have left, till date, 173 dead and almost 450 severely injured. No terrorist group has claimed responsibility for the attacks yet…"

[Lady in White, what use is a second shot when you know the first one was your best?]

Friday, July 07, 2006


In case of Fire-Break glass

I stand,pointless.
I walk, aimless.
Dying embers of a cigarette,
They burn, endless.
I observe.
A fire alarm.Says:
"In case of Fire - Break Glass!"
There's a fire in my heart,
That needs dousing
I sit down, musing.
What would I have to break?
A heart? Mine?

Monday, May 29, 2006

Lying awake in search of sunrises


4:00 AM: Too much to drink but not drunk enough.
4:30 AM: Too much to drink but not drunk enough. Have a smoke lying down. Can’t Sleep.
4:35 AM: Too much to drink but not drunk enough. Can’t Sleep. Strange buzzing in my ears. My roommates’ snoring sound like the rumblings of the Two Towers of Baradur and Isengaard and it definitely doesn’t lessen my misery!
4:45 AM: Can’t Sleep. Nusrat Fateh and Massive Attack on the Dum Mast Kalander track aren’t helping the cause either.
4:50 AM: Pushing the Goddamn envelope. Sleep dimension breaks into the real world.
4:55 AM: The melodies of progressive trance merge with the first rays of the sunlight. I decide to go see the sunrise. Sleeping can take a hike with me.

* * *

Sunrises are beautiful, and a sunrise in Mussoorie is as beautiful as any. Trapped between the stunted Shivaliks, the mist that extends from your hands all the way to the Doon valley below is surreal. The upper layers refract the sunlight, giving a strange rainbow effect. Well, the only difference is that there are no clouds with silver linings here, and neither the hope of a treasure at the end of a rainbow. It is just the chilly wind and the silent mist that constantly whispers to you in your solitude.
There are people awake and working at this unearthly hour. There’s a maid washing dishes in the cottage below. There are two different men carrying cups of tea to different people, people waking up from different dreams and perhaps different nightmares.
I wonder if tea has different flavours (I realize it does!), and does a particular flavour have a different effect on your waking up and the way the rest of your day goes? If anyone has the answer let me know. I am not a tea drinker. Sorry Tea Board of India!
There’s a dog down there too, a mother, playing with her pups and occasionally chasing a flight of pigeons away (Three sunrises later I was to realize that it was almost a morning ritual). I see a monkey who walks past on the railings I am leaning against. He picks up one of my lit-out Benson and Hedges Lights cigarette butts, has a sniff and a lick, looks at me, (I thought gave me a “My favourite brand too!” look) and then walks away to spend the rest of his day.
I realize I am here searching for sunrise. I suddenly wonder if monkeys search for sunrises too? I wonder. I like to believe they do. And since we are their descendents, maybe that’s why we look for sunrises too.
My Discman is playing Dj Tiesto’s In search of Sunrise 3. The album has built up beautifully, and it reaches its peak, which comes at Solar Stone’s Solar Coaster track. The beats come; then the melody and I close my eyes.
“How can you see the sunrise if you shut your eyes?” a part of my brain asks.
Shut Up!” says another part, “what’s the point in looking at the sunrise when you can feel it!”
The booze the nicotine, the visions, the music; they all form a concoction and make their way to my consciousness in the rush of blood, through my veins to my head. I stretch my arms out and touch the receding mist; I imagine I can feel the rays too. I stay in that ephemeral moment, try to hold on to it. Then it vanishes into the bright sky above, the valley below, the fading beats in my ears and into the visions trapped in my memory.

* * *


Why do we search for sunrises? That is a question I wish to ask Mr. Tiesto if I ever have the pleasure of meeting him. He has made five albums in his ‘In Search of Sunrise’ series, each one as good as the other. Maybe he would know all about it…
It is symbolic I guess, and it still confounds me. Why is a sunrise (or a sunset) romanticized so much? Is it not the same thing over and over again? Doesn’t it get boring after a point? And if that is the case then every human being should catch only one Sunrise and one Sunset per lifetime to save the human race for eternal boredom.

But, I got my answer there in Mussoorie. It is because each one is different. It is about searching for the perfect sunrise, the ominous fulfilling moment.
I hadn’t found my perfect sunrise yet. Hell, I hadn’t even been In search of a sunrise till that day…damn!
I had a minor epiphany then:
“Waking up is the best when you weren’t asleep in the first place.”

The Incredible Mr. Sen

Mr. Sen is an ordinary man, an ordinary Bengali man to be precise. Slightly strange he definitely is, but it’s not evident to the naked eye. It is not his hairstyle, held in a constant off-centre parting with the aid of Olive and Keo Karpin oil, neither is it his ‘fashion’ sense. He is pretty much as Bengali as Bengali can be.
His prejudice against Jon Bon Jovi may seem strange to some, but that is not that grand enough on the scale of all things strange. He has a knack of inventing a new concept of utopia every week over a cup of tea (with a hint of ginger for his mild sinusitis). He is teacher of History and Political Science by day and by evening he dons the avatar of the mild-manner Kartik Sen, tutor of ‘Pol. Sci.’ (and history, English, Bengali etc.) to the hopeless youth of his colony. That too is done at a very nominal rate of Rs. 60 per hour, per child.
Well, the above description would make him border towards the banal, but it is in his life beyond 7 p.m. that the strangeness lies. Coming straight to the point Mr. Sen is a distinguished ‘fish reader’. He has a talent for reading the thoughts of people who have come in certain proximity of the dead fishes, or touched them. This does not imply that he has the useful power of foretelling the future or anything; he can just download the thoughts of people into his brain via fishes.
He does this fish-reading on a daily basis, during his daily jog at 8:30 p.m. He first runs from his house to the Kali Mandir and then to the local fish market. On reaching the fish market around 9:00 when it is mostly emptying out, he does his reading at his own leisure. He feels the fishes, dead, kept constantly wet to maintain their freshness. He runs his hands over the scales, prods them and at times (to gain access to some very deep thoughts) he put his hands under the flap where the gills are meant to be. He then makes his way back home.
On further analysis it would be evident that Mr. Sen.’s field of expertise will be restricted to Bengalis as it not often that you find any other species of humanity buying fish in a Bengali fish market. That does not bother Mr. Sen much though, not as much as the fact that the ability to read fishes (or human thoughts downloaded onto fishes) has to be weirdest talent on face of this earth.
And what does Mr. Sen do with this talent? Nothing, really. He jogs back home, en route he analyses all the thoughts of other people in his brain and separates them from his own. He then finds out the ones that are funny and has a laugh. By the time this process is over he is already home and then he forgets all of it with a glass off Royal Stag (with Coke or neat). He then muses over the pace, the imagination, the diversity, the convoluted nature and the depravity of the human thought process for 10 minutes and then has his dinner.
That is just another day in the life of the strangely talented Mr. Sen. He deems himself and ordinary Bengali man, which automatically implies that inaction is his birthright. For it has been that many times during his readings, that he has come across people who fall in the wrong end of the moral spectrum and has done nothing about them. Well what if he manages to stop one wife beater? That is not a big enough dent considering that the population of India is 1 billion, and a very optimistic assumption that only 1 out of every 10000 is a wife-beater. He’d rather discuss faults of Marxism in class when he is supposed to be teaching about the rise of the Mughal Empire.
One day, all that was to change. Mr. Sen on his general fish-reading trip came in contact with another strange man from the far side of the moral spectrum. Well, this one wasn’t a wife beater, but that was because he wanted to do away with his wife altogether. This somehow managed to arouse the latent emotion of standing up for what is right in Mr. Sen’s heart. He decided to stop this man.
So, he was going to follow this man and luckily he had got his Maruti 800 (1992 model, no AC, in desperate need of servicing) to the market. He got behind the wheel and started pursuing the man’s car (Chevrolet Optra LSI).
The man drove and drove and drove…evidently aimlessly. A usually very Mr. Sen was about to get bored and give up the chase when the Optra pulled over. The man came out and started to fiddle around with something he had taken out of his jacket. It seemed on Mr. Sen’s immediate analysis to be a gun (or a knife, or a hammer or a very old and big cell phone). The man fiddled around with it for some time and then got back in the car and started driving again. Mr. Sen followed suit.
“Suoererbaccha! He’s going to do it!” thought Mr. Sen.
“I have to jump that red light,” thought the man.
“I will have to stop him,” Mr. Sen said to himself.
“Maybe I won’t, that truck’s not slowing down,” the man thought.
The Optra halted ahead of the Stop sign at the red light. The truck was still speeding and coming from the other side.
“Shit! My brake doesn’t work!” Mr. Sen cursed.
The Maruti 800 didn’t stop and hit the rear end of the Optra. The front of the Maruti collapsed inwards (1992 model, insurance not renewed either), the rear of the Optra got a dent. But that wasn’t it; the impact made the Optra inch a little forward, so much so that it hit the side of the speeding truck, ricocheted off it and hid the side pavement hard. The man inside had just taken off his seatbelt, so he had no chance. Gone in 60 seconds.
The police came and after a thorough (yeah, right!) investigation deemed it what it actually was; an accident. There was nothing fishy about it. Mr. Sen’s Maruti sold for scrap value.
Mr. Sen later felt triumphant, some good had finally come of his fish reading skills. He had been the hand of God, of divine justice. He felt like a superhero. Well, he was no Batman, Superman or Hellboy, but he sure had the weirdest superpower on the planet. The mild mannered Kartik Sen by day and the ‘shorts’-wearing fish-reader by night he was.
“Good must always triumph over evil,” he would tell his students.
“Sir, what does that have to do with Sir Roger Dollar?” and impatient student would ask.
“It’s Siraj-Ud –Daullah son, you are not British mind you. And I ask the questions here not you,” he would reply with a sense of authority.

It is generally perceived that the great that give new directions to our society and it is the mediocre masses who push the train in that direction. Mr. Sen might have been one of them, the mediocre people, but now he felt that he was meant for greatness. A secret desire to break out had risen in him, one that had long been thwarted.
So Mr. Sen is now devising ways change the world with his fish reading skills. May God grant him the favour of all the fishes in the world.

Friday, May 26, 2006

The Boxer Rebellion 2: the apocalypse by maina pyaarkiya

It is generally believed in the civilized world that the men of any nations would rather wear briefs as compared to boxers; but this very essence of human culture and existence seems threatened with the Boxer Rebellion 2.

The roots of this global threat can be traced to the American invasion of Iraq. Inside sources like Jay Leno and Letterman had reported that America had indeed found WMDs concealed in the form of Saddam Hussein’s boxer shorts. The army and the government had quickly underplayed the incident. But fate it seems has caught up with the erring superpowers of the world.

Analysts have aptly decided to name this new wave the Boxer(s) rebellion 2; as the perpetrators of this movement have decided to outlaw all briefs and similar underwear and make Boxer shorts a worldwide phenomenon. Professor Jocky Khanna form the OOGABOOGA University, an expert in this field, says “Boxer shorts can indeed be deadly weapons of mass chaos. They are known to cause hernia, carry rashes and if modified and engineered in the right manner can bring about impotency and other viral diseases. The usage of suicide bombers may further aggravate the problem and expose the female species to the risks as well.”

At the not so recently concluded UN Insecurity Council summit, President Bush had this to say

“We as nations cannot afford to be threatened by Boxer shorts in the new millennium. We cannot have a nation suffering from hernia. So my message to all those nations supporting those involved in the boxer rebellion is: In this war against global underwear terror, you are either with us or against us. Either you wear briefs or you don’t wear anything at all”

President’s comments were received internationally with much accolade, except for Scotland and Africa. Scottish ambassador John Rivolta said that his country does not know how to respond to Bush’s speech as they didn’t wear anything under their Kilts in any case. As for some of the Africans, well, they are not sure if skirts made of leaves count as briefs or boxers.

Back home India’s position in this movement is generally seen as having a pro-US incline. However, the PM received a lot of flak when he supposedly told Bush in a private meeting that even though the country’s foreign policy is generally unanimous, he still didn’t understand why the opposition has decided to stick to wearing ‘chaddis’

The opposition raised a storm in the media and vehemently denied the allegations. They said that chaddis are made of khaki and are in not even remotely similar to boxers. They say that internal matters of the nation should be kept internal and not made public internationally. A prominent opposition leader even said:

“PM saab…Ab aap kahenge…ki…..Shri Raamji ne…dhoti nahin…sarong peheni thi!”

India has thus decided to play a key role in removing boxers from Asia, which will help in reviving its stagnating textile sector. The global council against underwear terrorism has taken key initiatives against fighting this menace. The five-fold program is:

a.) Coerce countries with sweat shops from where these boxer rebels mass-produce to get rid of them or hand their management and control to Nike, Reebok or Adidas, failing which such countries will be wiped off the face of the planet.

b.) Create a global intelligence network to infiltrate the boxer distribution systems around the Globe.

c.) The US along with UK and France has established an elite military task force by the name of G.I. Jockeys. They will also be getting their own reality TV series soon.

d.) Introduce more comfortable, cost effective and luxurious forms of Briefs in the industries

e.) Mass produce briefs in China and outsource the rest of the work to India.

The future of the world and our way of life definitely seems unstable. Even as I speak numerous ‘suicide boxer-wearers’ are being trained all across Bangladesh, Indonesia, Thailand, Pakistan, Sudan, Iraq, Afghanistan, Egypt, Saudi-Arabia, Africa, South America, Antarctica etc. etc….

One can only hope that this menace is quickly dealt with before the threads of the boxer rebellion spread all over the globe and our planet becomes just another pair of Boxer shorts floating in space.

Greek Gods and The Bubbly Grind

Smoke rises and thunder bellows at the gates of Hades. His quest has finally reached an end. A warrior of the Gods he was, tricked into insanity and bloodlust. The fumes come out from under the gate, rendered white in a pixilated hue. He grips his swords tighter. A drop of sweat falls of from his palm and disappears onto the floor. He is a Demi-God standing on the edges of the underworld seeking retribution, seeking answers. At the Gate of the Underworld he seeks his end.
A distance voice seems to beckon him. Voice of a lover, a companion but he pays no heed to it. He wields weapons worthy of the Gods, and to be distracted by such worldly affairs would be like accepting defeat. His quest is much more important, so he steels himself against the coming danger, the last challenge he would have face. He steels himself against death.
His clenches his hands, tightens his grip around his sword and shield. That distance voice calls for him again. “Bugger off!” he tells that voice, “half-mad Demi-Gods do not yield to worldly things.
His nemesis arrives right on time, Ares, a God personified as a monster, the Guardian of the gates of Hades, one that would intimidate mortals and immortals alike. But nay, not him, unfazed he marches on swinging his swords and then lashing out at him from all sides, dodging the monster blows, piercing its side. Mountains are hurled at him, he dodges them. And he rises once again, pierce Ares’ side. But victory is never easy is it, Ares lashes out and gets him right across the forehead, his helmet falls off. The monster swings it sword again and connects sweetly across his chest. Not only does his armour wear off but also for the first time his blood spills. He moves away tries to gather strength and sanity. It is then that he realizes that he just has one blow left to finish the monster and the monster needs one blow to finish him. The monster charges, his palms are sweating now, any second now it would all be over. He lifts his sword, the monster leaps in the air to attack.

“Hey! Bubbly! Oh Yeah Bubbly! Be my lover Bubbly!” The cellphone rings. Its her, its always her.
He lies there blood spilling profusely from his guts.
“Restart game from the last checkpoint. Yes/ No.”
The joystick is hurled to the floor. He gets up from the couch, picks up the phone and screams, “You bitch!” into it and hurls it at the window. The recently purchased K-700I splits into two in mid-air. The battery hits the window pane and shatters the glass. The rest of the cellphone goes flying out the window and into a world of lesser mortals and scavenging mongrels.

X3 and the last stand against Bollywoodisation of Hollywood

I saw the posters for this movie in august last year and since then i have had this strange itchy feeling in between my knuckles...the same itchy feeling to grow adamantium claws i have had since the first X men movie had me hooked onto this comic and movie series...Given the mind blowing teasers, trailers and promotions for the movie I was convinced that this was the best way to start the movie season this summer...Watching it on front row seat i was quite enjoying the adventure that unfolded onscreen....gloating over the fact that my predictions of Cyclops' and Xavier's deaths were coming true...and perhaps i was a psyhic mutant myself...Well starting with the positives the CGI is top-notch, the effects are cool, the wide variety of characters even better...everyhing was going fine well until...globalisation and outsourcing happened...oh yeah believe it...I believe Brett Ratner had a surreptitious meeting with Dharma Productions and had decided to outsource some parts of the script (the filler pages that make a movie 2 hours long) to bollywood. Luckily someone turned down their ludicrous request to cast Shah Rukh as Wolverine as they were catering to a 'white' crowd. I guess outsourcing has its 'white' people not understanding Indian accents... and thank god for it!Wolverine giving a 'senti pep-talk'. Oh please!!...wat were u thinkin 'bub'?! That is reserved for Storm...ur the guy who kicks ass...the guy who cuts up stuff...breaks the rules...and questions speeches given!juggernaut...u loser...kitty pryde defeated u...kitty pryde!! lame are u?jean and wolverines oscillating love angle...oh please Dharma Productions all the way...But i guess i am being very unfair to the movie is is good...but i really wanted it to be a masterpiece like batman begins i guess...but in the words of Kurt cobain, "Well Whatever, Nevermind!As of now I'll wait for X4...if it get my admantium transplants...till then i am happy driving my batmobile...