Monday, December 01, 2008


Just another day, after wrapping up dinner and putting the days spoils away we faced the cancer of our country, yet again.
Only on this occasion we could not shy away thinking, terrorism affects the plebian. We, who frequent the seven star lobbies for our coffees and tete-e-tete were immune.As Bombay turned into Kashmir and Assam, we watched, without grasping immediately the reality knocking at out doors.Many went to sleep thinking the dawn with wipe away the blasts and grenades of the night before and the celebrated spirit of Bombay would once again be, well, celebrated.
But it went on to the point when each one of us were left with no choice but to accept the actual state of the world and our homeland.

Years ago when Nehru was foiling his ambitions to become the Prime Minister and garnered the idea of Pakistan, the benign tumour turned into cancer. With decades that followed, it grew, spread and finally metatesised to it's current state.
Today news spells sensationalism, many have complained of the live telecast of the holocaust claiming it aided the terrorists to battle on. Yet, if we step back, can we actually honestly claim that we were unhappy with the second by second updates? It was like PS 300, adventure but with little or no risks.

We all say we need answers, for the politicians callousness, the NSGs delay, the inadequately armed police, the dated bullet-proof jackets. But do we know about the Instrument of Accession? Does the geography lessons in school maps the true geographical boundaries of Kashmir, differentiating the Indi-Pak-China occupation within the state? We all know about the Cargill war, but do we know of its coordinates? Do we know whether the Babri Masjid is in Ayodhya or Lucknow? The water disputes of the Indus River Basin between India and Pakistan?

Frankly we dont care. We care only as long as we are TOLD to care. As long as it is in the news, we read, talk, debate. Once it ceases to be there, we forget, and distract ourselves with the next Friday release giving Raj and Bal Thackareys a playing ground.
With the information available at the click of a button, this is a very do-able task,yet when Barkha and Prannoy stop talking about it so shall we.

Terrorism is a religion, a very strong one. For every Partition there will be a 1947 war, 1971 and a Cargill. For every Cargill there will be plenty of Babri Masjid and Mumbai riots and blasts, and for each such there will be a Godhra and a 26/11. Each giving rise to thousands of Qasabs.
To talk of India being a super power, due to its market potential and nuclear capability is as laughable as imagining Ritchie Rich as the next IMF chief. Unless the emotional maturity of the nation is nurtured we will continue to live amidst todays times. Only perhaps, India would become a Terror-Tourism state, after being declared amongst the top 20 most dangerous countries to visit.

It is a small step to sanity when the collective asks for accountability, and the Central and State Ministry takes blame.
But, are we not to be accountable at all? If we stop flouting laws a little less, care a little more then we can make a difference.
If we dont, the Rang- De Basanti movement is not too far away, when democracy after 6 decades of molestation would give way to vigilante and finally anarchy.

Let us remember 26/11, with shame and failure, and not as a faraway memory of the time when we were glued to the television for 60 hours.If you care, reject sensation, be sensible and proffer accountability and awareness. The passing of the buck clearly does not work here, we have done this for 60 years and it did not serve us well

A last word, remember we did not need a fully declared war, just a few well armed men to bring the nation to its knees.
Remember this, and remember this well.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Intoxication, Birthdays and Macs..

Intoxication reminds me of sherbet lemon. In hot days they are extremely useful but in excess it’s a trifle grating on the sensibilities.

What Doogie called the journal we call the blog. As part of my 31st Birthday Resolution, I have decided to only deal in fact and rid my blog of fiction, hence please ignore the pseudo beginning.

My peripheral knowledge of psychology has taught me that it is my misfortune that I am not mad. There are basically just two kinds of us, the Mads and the Nomads. My misfortune is that I populate the latter. Though sometimes my life reminds me of the jungle book, it’s so wild, deeming, maybe I do have the eye to see the myriad designs in the kaleidoscope where the gods worship the demons. That is the surrealist intoxication of all.

One windy January night, we were walking down a serpentine road, enveloped in the cold Delhi mist, taking puffs from our cigarettes in spite of the mind-numbing chill. The smell of the winter night bringing with it more nostalgia than the beef kebab rolls of Nizam’s, as our noses watered with cold. We were all suitably spiked in individually preferred ways and we were all missing something, someone or some time. Years later I went back to that road and missed the night we were all walking. In Time, Past is always the present, while the Present becomes passé and life remains sepia tinted forever. Devoid of colors.

Another December midnight, I was standing next to a roadside eatery. The days soiled utensils were being cleaned, flour kneaded for the next morning, the leftover food stylized to look fresh the next day. The radio played in the background, “Bodo Aka laage…ei andhaarey..” The workers: undisturbed yet mildly acknowledging the soothing sounds of the song. The moment personified, eternal, ephemeral Kolkata at her most intimate. I hung on to it, memorizing the moment before everything transmogrified into the real image of Dorian Gray.

I repeat, I have decided to only deal in fact and rid my blog of fiction, hence please ignore the abovementioned.

Profoundest fact of all: Mood is seen to be directly proportional to the bowel, it lightens in tandem!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Somewhere I Belong:

The best laid schemes of mice and men often go awry

Home is special because it is the place where we belong. What if you felt out of place, unbelonged in your own home? This is a melancholy which cannot be fought, no matter how hard you try. While you look at the bed you sleep in, the cupboards to house your clothes,the pink toothbrush that brightens a cold grey early morning for you, the mug you drink your first cup of coffee from, imagine feeling none of it belongs to you. Nothing. You were using the discarded wares of a certain someone and benefitting from ‘the’ absence.
Goldilocks felt it, albeit rightfully, as she WAS trespassing into Messrs Bear’s home.

Now imagine a step beyond. If you could not believe that your family belonged to you, but you were merely a filler for somebody who is not there.
The affection of a husband or a wife, attention of a parent, which builds you basic confidence as a child, the unconditional love of a sibling, nothing belonged to you. It is all rightfully somebody elses, while you, were merely a trespasser who was forcing yourself into the lives of others.

Probably the equanimous owner bore a resemblance to you, probably the people were just too polite to point out that you did not belong. Like the pauper playing the role of the prince, the global sum of creature and emotional comforts would never let you rest in peace. Simply because, it did not belong to you.

What would you do? Would you simply walk out, because your morals guided you so, or would you continue to enjoy the sun while it lasted, hoping the thorns of conscience would quieten over time or you would learn to ignore it.
What would you do?

The best laid schemes of mice and men often go awry

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Hail Halcyon

Some halcyon days comprise of me,
Some of our errant hearts
As promised.
We often did that
Make promises.
Then one day we broke them.
Sometimes our hearts
Sometimes our promises.
Sometimes both, together.
My yesterdays are sad
Because my day-before-yesterdays were beautiful

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Write Colours

Sometimes, I write for him

Of words, feelings, sights and sounds
Of highs and lows, heart breaks and burns
Of togetherness..
Of the sea, its waves, as they shimmer with the moon
Of the moon: its elusiveness, poignance, innocence
Of the cloudy tumultuous sky and rainbows
As she rains with joy, jubilance and jealousy
Of the smell of the earth when it rains
Of the shining freshly bathed leaves
Of the gentle sun on a winter day
All soothing tender touches of nature
They all leave and yet he remains
Always, I write for him.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Of Rains and Bows

Another pregnant miscarriage. With every fetal conception, the mind, heart and body work in tandem coloring the future with multilayered hues. They borrow colors from nature and turn my sepia tinted days into a display of never ending rainbows.

One of the most coveted memory of my childhood, holding my father’s hand by the Strand on a stormy day, when suddenly the thunderous threats of the clouds and lightening mellowed into a rainbow. It was almost as if the sky was making up with me after engaging in a fisticuff that left me exhausted and battered.

Every pregnancy introduces such a rainbow in my life, soothing me from the stormy past. Then voila! It deserts me, leaving the past and present looking bereft of any compassion and placate. Each time I tell myself not to seek those rainbows till my term is complete. But not unlike a mirage, I can never fulfill term and hold my newborn in my arms, exhausted from the experience, but enhanced, enriched and enormously fulfilled.

This eternal quest for motherhood stems from an innate intrinsic incompleteness. The one being, who erodes all the lacunae in me, and completes me. With each miscarriage I try to remind myself of the eternal nausea that entailed my pregnancy, the sleepless nights, the endless weight on my feet which made my toes invisible. But all I remember is the wholesomeness and purpose I was gloating with.

Seldom is the sense of longing compensated with time, but as I brave Time, I await its tenderness, expecting it to immune me to the hurt, or, make my rainbow a reality.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

My Moonbeam:

My grandfather loved telling stories. My four-year-old nights are still vividly etched in my mind. He and I snuggling under a quilt, the moonbeam creating a halo around his face, his cigar tainted breath along with the warmth he exuded was perhaps my first conscious security blanket. Then, as the rest of the house was sleeping, he would tell me stories. Stories of his boyhood, with which he painted, sepia tinted pictures of a childhood idyllically spent, amidst acute joy! The moonlight lent a magical feel to these moments and I fell in love for the first time in my life, with the moon.
My grandfather ensured my first love did not go unrequited. He taught me the trick of holding the moonbeam still in one place for 15 minutes.

“Meet me tonight in the moonlight
Meet me tonight all alone”

He said, if I could say this wholeheartedly, like a virgin prayer, to the moon, then I could actually hold the moonbeam in my hand. This was perhaps the purest form of innocence but I believe I could actually hold the moon still with my grandfather’s help.

It has been thirty years; I have matured in years as well as cynicism. We have grown, while the world, our minds, have shrunk in tandem.

But I still go to sleep each night, looking at the moon, searching in it, for those moments spent long ago with my grandfather. When life was simpler and days were happier. These few moments soothed me and filled me with love and longing.
Few months back I came to know that the vacant plot next to my house was going to accommodate another vertical monstrosity.

Today is the last day when I go sleep with the moonlight reminding me of the happiest days of my life, of days, that will finally be 'no more'. For, from tomorrow, I would see a concrete dark wall, blocking away the last shreds of innocence, permanently.

I go back thirty years and try to gather the innocence and wholeheartedness of a child and say to the moon:

“Meet me tonight in the moonlight
Meet me tonight all alone”

As I held the moonbeam in my hand for the last time in my life, I realized that finally, my childhood would leave me, for good, with this night.