Sunday, December 28, 2008

Of Nadirs, Zeniths and Sojourns in the Midst

We have a choice. We either choose sad or we choose happy. Then after a while even these two options seem very superficial. What are we born for? Why do we exist in our respective spaces? We are and hence there has to be a cosmic reason for our state of ‘areness’. But then do we have the time or the inclination to find this reason…or for that matter the reason for this reason?

A wise man stated - get lost and remain lost. But what on earth would that achieve? And are we so non-materialistic and maya-free that we would want to give up on the pleasures and pain of life? No…we are not. Unless of course we are saints. (Fat chance, that) Maybe the trick is to remain in the material world, to remain in the matrix, but hold on to the idea of realness.

I heard a very fascinating thing one day – this swamiji asked all of us to look closely at a question mark and at an exclamation mark. The question mark is actually a twisted version of an exclamation mark and the exclamation mark is actually a straightened version of the question mark. He went on to enumerate that the minute a thought becomes a question it twists and turns and makes us all the more confused. And at one point it comes to a halt. But the instant it becomes a wonder it gives rise to more wondering thoughts and it progresses to heights that we never thought we could reach.

For me, personally, it has been a terrible year. Mostly lows and only one high. The stops in between were inconsequential, to say the least. This is not a “I am going to be this next year” or “I am going to do that next year” kind of post. It is just a wondering ponder.

We’ve all seen weird stuff happening in our country. Some of us have also seen weird stuff happening in our personal lives. Many of us wanted to concede. Many of us might have conceded. Yet we go on. Because essentially we have no choice but to continue going on. The hidden factor, though, remains that it is up to us to decide on HOW we want to go on.

Over and out!

PS: Phew! Sitting in Padmasana can be painful!

Friday, December 26, 2008

The Identification of Identity

I am Al-Kahira, the conqueror of nonsense and flowers.

I am grateful for my stupidity, admitted easily, yet I am
concerned with specific details of style as I sit here in rags.

By circumstance and not by choice this shrub has blossomed:
by choice and not by circumstance this life has been kept

I made an effort and found stuff to ignore, leave rusty things
I neglect the spectacular and overlook the apparently
important with deliberation.

I’ve waited aeons for the reversal of my interests: Now life
has become the joke and sweetness and hilarity of my own
thoughts have turned into a fascination for me.

No matter what anyone tells you: I do not belong to any
creed or sect, culture or race, nor to any period in history.

My only qualification is the age of my soul: I own three
palaces of quiet pre-dawn moon sound.

Humiliation is my clothing that I wear to sit and bark with the
dogs. I disconnect like dusk and most likely no one will bring
flowers to my grave.

I am ardent without deed and I am information zero,
unimportant iridescent: Grand Palace of Mercy.

Till now I stayed in one place not avoiding you:
now that the traditions are beginning to dissolve, I
put on my wintercoat and walk away.
Business done.

My contemporaries have declared society to be the central
item and are discussing things of importance as
I am speaking to you now.

As my mother taught me to, I keep to myself a lot.

I am the lover of trees, found worthy of loneliness.

I could be the postman, the milkman, the sick person,
the transvestite.
It takes one to recognize one…

I am the unknown dervish.

St.Scribbler identifies himself with this statement drop-down...and i was mentioning to him that if ever there was a female counterpart to this, i would love to be that (maybe i am, maybe i am not). He is a philosopher and a saint in his own rights apart from being one of the best unpublished writers i've ever read. I got this beautiful piece of literature from him and felt that the poignancy that it is suffused with, like an intoxicating perfume, is so pure and raw. There is also this sufi, off beatish, mystic, vagabondish aura that surrounds it.
Nice. Definitely.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The banalities of finalities

No intro outro this time around...mainly because there are no stories to retell.

i thought that the recession would not make a difference to me and mine. but it has hit us well above and below the belt. the fact remains that we are shamelessly progressing without any qualms. it is a new experience for me because there seems to be some one who is stating some kind of an ultimatum. buckle up..or else...i have no clue as to who the someone is...

when we decide that it is time to get over and start anew we fail to comprehend that it brings with it heartache and headache. the brain overflows with plans and the heart overflows with pain. rerooting as a concept is wonderful to talk about but as an action it is wonderfully butt-breaking!!!

preeti and i finally met. although we werent strangers to each other, off late there seemed to have been some kind of a wall between us. i wouldnt say the wall has been pulled down completely but we are definitely peeking into each other's domains over the wall and seeing what the other person is up to.

there is something called Peter's Principle. it says that an employee can be judged on the basis of his degree of incompetence. it seems that there are many of us who indulge in what is called 'creative incompetence' wherein we find out creative ways and means of being pains in the asses of our employers. and our future in the organization then seems to be hinged upon the way our employers judge our incompetencies. so if you are a creative incompetent fool watch out...they might just make sure that you get laid (or is that fucked)... no i meant... laid off !!!

an organization working big time in human trafficking called me last evening. i have worked with sexual minorities but not in context with trafficking. and some days back Copyrioter put up a post along similar lines. when something big is finally about to happen there are these micro-hints that keep popping up as a prelude to a macro-event.

over some time now i have been noticing that the gyaan i have been getting from the self-destructing, neurotic, schizophrenic, infested with all kinds of mental disorders generation aka my younger (really younger) friends...has been strangely solid gold. age in terms of number has just gone and gotten itself obsolete. i love them though and some of them are so darned young it actually breaks my heart. but they hang around and show sweet concern and care so it makes me feel GOOD!!!

Friday, December 5, 2008

There is something about this man...

I could not forget
But I will not endeavor
Simple pleasures aren't as special
But I wont regret it never.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Emotionally Crippled Narcissist…?


An extremely super sarcastic and ballistic doctor is highly irritated with the resident shrink at his hospital. She is one of those eternally positive persons who tends to spread the happy feeling everywhere. And this really makes him scream bloody murder. She comes up to him and says: “no one's pure evil! I mean, yeah, some people have a hard outer shell, but inside, everybody has a creamy center.” He retorts: “Lady, people aren't chocolates. D'you know what they are mostly? Bastards. Bastard-coated bastards with bastard filling. But I don't find them half as annoying as I find naive bubble-headed optimists who walk around vomiting sunshine.” But she smiles and walks off. So he and the chief of the hospital (who by the way also hates her) decide to ‘destroy her’.

And he says: “when I want to crush somebody’s spirit I employ a combination of intimidation and degradation.” And he actually does that. He is PURE EVIL.

Then there is this time when one of his doctors’ dad dies. He remains his oh-so-fucking-sarcastic self but actually looks out for that boy. Like giving him a day off and taking his calls and also what follows next. The elder brother is wallowing in depression and all he does is soak in a bath-tub and drink beer. And he continues doing this for 2 days – continuously. So the sarcastic doctor goes to him (in the absence of boy doctor) and says: “Let's break down the kid's support system, shall we? He's got me, an emotionally crippled narcissist, and he's got you, an emotionally crippled narcissist who is soaking in a tub of what by now has to be mostly your own urine.” And together they make things all right for the boy doctor.
Well sarcastic doctor also goes so far as to tell the boy doctor that he is proud of him. So … yeah!!!


Like I was telling somebody – these are people whom you absolutely love to hate and hate the fact that you absolutely love them. There are exceptions. Basically those who are really mean and malicious. But eveyone hates them anyway. Now the former are the types that are probably irritated and cynical at the way things are happening around them. Hence they lash out at everything and everyone. Their sarcasm makes you cry and you feel like strangling them or probably make them stand on an ant-hill and pour sugar syrup over them (Oh god, have I read this somewhere or did my mind just make it up…? Shit). But then they go ahead and do really wonderful things that is so contrary to their otherwise mean natures. Like this sarcastic doctor. He may not give you a hug or say something good to make you smile. He may call you a nooby and a crunchy and a moonbeam. But he will silently do things that actually make a whole world of practical difference to you.
So... are these people really the ‘emotionally crippled narcissists' that they make themselves out to be? Hmmnnn…

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Will you let me eat you…? I’m starving…


There are two homeless friends living on a street. One of them dies one day. The other one watches him rot on the sidewalk. Then he decides to cremate him rather than let him decompose in such a manner. He sets him on fire. And then he starts eating him. A woman living in a nearby house calls the police and gets him arrested. The charges are human rights violation and desecration of a human body. The DA is the prosecutor and wants to capitalize on this case because he is standing for elections. The defense lawyer says in his closing speech: “There are close to 11 million homeless people in America. Nothing is being done for them. But here 50,000$ will be spent on prosecution and 45,000$ will be spent on the imprisonment of a homeless person. And why? Because he ate another human being. Why did he do that? Because he has been starving for 2 weeks and hunger was driving him insane. In a quest to feed the hunger for political power if such human beings are eaten up alive by the so-called protectors of the society then the question to be asked here is – WHO IS THE CANNIBAL?”


We may not identify with this feeling because we may not have been in a situation where we had to go without food for 2 whole weeks. Food is one of the basicest rights of every human being. I remember during the extreme drought situation in Rajasthan (5 consecutive years of no rain), people there would feed grass (the little bits that remained on the cracking earth) to their children. Animals were left to die as there was nothing to feed them. There were mountains and mountains of animal bones, stacked up high and vultures would fight dogs for the rotting meat stuck on those bones. So the next time you order more than required at a restaurant I wish you remember this. Imagine if you were in a similar situation like the homeless person. Would you be able to eat your dead friend? I don’t know.

PS: If the title made you read the post then this is exactly what I meant by “Sitting in padmasana and expounding truths about your pathetic existence.”

Friday, November 28, 2008

Poetralyzing into Obscurity

“We’ve got everything under control”
The system wears these words
And naked bodies lie
Exposing the truth
A missed train, a much awaited dinner
Wrong place wronger time
Well it’s over for now
What next?
Routine, I guess
One more event will be penned down
The Establishment will dance a jig
For all the neutralizing
The effects have made it to the centerpiece
The cause is lying under the carpet
Ignored forever conveniently

Thursday, November 27, 2008

To the city of mine - WOMBAY


We are a family of five. My father came to Bombay in the early 60s and so did my mother. They have seen bombay grow and grow and grow. They grew with the city too. On the 9th of July 1978 at around 4:50 am i was born. Out of my mother's womb into another mother's womb - WOMBAY...My childhood i spent with her. She gave me an entire playground to play the game of life. i remember my christian and muslim neighbours celebrating diwali and holi with us. i remember waiting in anticipation for the goodies during christmas and id. i remember travelling alone in local trains and BEST buses late in the nights, being accompanied by wearied sabjiwalis and machchiwalis. we would sit down near the exit in EMPTY local trains, ignoring the seats, letting the wind chill our faces and share a companionable silence. i remember rejoicing the first rains and then alternately cursing it because it would gather strength at the beginning of the academic year. new uniform, newly plastic covered books all a soddy mess. when i left the city and moved to bangalore, i acted as though i was unaffected. well...

Outro: AND NOW

Today the five of us - my family, we sit in front of the television. we watch what is happening in bombay. there are tears in my mother's eyes, in my father's eyes. they are watching the city where they built their dreams and their lives, burn and fight. i wonder why one needs to kill... to state one's case. and whats the point in killing innocent people? and the 100 odd who died - what about their families? what happens to them now? what about children who have lost their fathers and mothers? what about parents who have lost their sons and daughters? what about all those people living in the city unsure about their neighbours, about friends, unsure about their own safety?
and me...i feel sad. i know that loved ones are safe. yet i feel the way a child feels when her mother is not doing too good. this is a city that took care of me and kept me safe. i love her tremendously and i know she will bounce back to her old, raunchy, metrosexual, speed demonish self. but till then...

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The ‘Vision’aries


There is a vocational training center for the visually impaired near my office. A group of three, sometimes four blind youths leave at the same time as me. And I help them cross the road. One day I saw one of them being helped by someone else. He reached the opposite side of the road and stood there looking in my general direction. I was waiting to cross and ultimately I did it. He smiled at me and said hi. I was a little rattled. Did he know who I was? If he did, how did he figure this out? I asked him this question. My mind (the stupid, evil bit of it) said – “he’s not blind. He’s just acting.” He grinned and almost blushed and said (in Kannada) – “it’s easy. It’s your smell and your footsteps.” And before you start using that non-existent brains of yours, the smell referred to “something sweet and pleasant (in his words)…” hmph!!! I was stunned but I walked with him to the bus-stop and, yeah…I waited for the bus to take me home.


Imagine a black world. Everything dark. You can’t see anything. Try being in this condition sometime. I don’t mean sleep. I mean awareful wakefulness in pitch black, complete, darkness, understand!!! You’ll feel like tearing your hair out at the end of an hour.
The blind live day in and day out, for years together in this darkness. All they have is the sounds and the smells. When God impairs one faculty He tends to gift highly active co-faculties. If you think about it, people can be characterized and identified by smells. We just don’t pay attention to it because we don’t need to identify anyone with their smells. You see, we can SEE them!
Even footsteps are dead giveaways. People are at times identified by the way they tread.
With the blind, these faculties automatically work overtime because it is their way of identifying people and environments and also protecting themselves. I feel that they are far more sensitive and intuitive than most of us. These are people who see beyond what is seen by the eyes. So the next time you (including moi) crib about something stupid and mundane…remember that you have all your faculties in order – a benefit that is helping you lead a normal, independent life.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Motherland Afghanistan


This is a documentary that I happened to see the other day. It is a story narrated by an Afghani daughter – Sedika Mojadidi about her father Dr. Qudrat Mojadidi who is a gynaecologist. The family migrated to America in early seventies and the father kept coming back to Kabul in an attempt to serve the mothers of his motherland. The film takes you to the maternity ward of two hospitals in Afghanistan. 85 minutes of varying emotions flashed across the screen and some of them I took back home with me.
A woman 7 months into her pregnancy is suddenly brought to a provincial hospital (rural to be specific). An ultrasound diagnoses the presence of 2 heads. She delivers one baby who happens to be a purpling lumpy mass of flesh. The second baby comes out soon and is as big as your palm and wrist combined. Dr. Mojadidi says: “I have done all that I could to provide support to the baby.” The mother says: “I am not worried. She’ll live or she won’t.” The baby dies, it’s a bluish green dead body and a small mouth, like a fish, parted as though trying to breathe. The mother, for all her braveness, breaks down and cries.
A pregnant mother comes in an unconscious state. She has what you call eclampsia (fits) a potential fatality during pregnancy. There are wounds on her neck. Dr. Mojadidi sits on one of those long desks kept for waiting patients, leaning against the wall, with a resigned, tired look on his face. He says: “you can’t imagine how hard it is to try and battle these cultural problems.” The pregnant woman has been ‘exorcised’ by the mulla in an attempt to cure the ‘fits’ by beating her repeatedly with a stick on her neck, shoulders and legs.
On a lighter vein is this scene where they are leaving for Kabul. The bags are packed and Sedika tells her dad to not carry the heavy luggage down the stairs. She goes back inside the house to see him do just that and scolds him to no avail.
The movie ends with Dr. Mojadidi coming back to Kabul and working with an Ngo as a medical doctor.

Some more quotes from Dr. Mojadidi:
“Every class I go, they are so thirsty for just one word of wisdom.” – referring to his interaction with trainee doctors.
“All my dreams are in that house because I grew up there.” – referring to a flat land where once his home stood. It was demolished by Russians.
“You are the light of the future. My time is over.” – In a speech to students of a school where he is invited as a chief guest.


Every woman reserves the right to have a dignified pregnancy and childbirth experience. And for all your information, this is not happening for most women. Be it Afganistan, Africa or India. The situation is the same, the reasons are the same. There are cultural obstacles and there are systemic obstacles and there are the self-generated obstacles too. No one person is to blame because everyone shares the blame. The basic set-up required for care of the newborn is actually cost-effective and easy to be adopted in every kind of hospital setting. The reason why it does not work is because if there is the infrastructure, there are no human resources to, fucking, man the infrastructure. And well the list is endless. I can rant on and on.
You know, women face stigma because unfortunately they have the enabling reproductive system from which the product of procreation emanates. A multiple pregnancy and other factors lead to something called obstetric fistula. It is a condition where the woman constantly urinates. She is wet, raw, odorous. She is out-casted and she can’t conceive. There is a cure but she can neither afford it nor access it.
If she can’t bear children she is labeled barren, infertile and beaten up.
If she bears girl children, she is beaten up.
Hmmnn…think about it, people.

Dr. Mojadidi carrying luggage brings to mind a Universal Father Syndrome. Be it an Afghani dad or a Tam Brahm Dad. They are all the same. No matter how old they are they want to lift the heaviest luggage. Tcha!!!

PS: There were some ethical lines that were crossed by the filmmaker. In our quest to expose the reality (which is a commendable action) we tend to forget that the victims are also human beings who have their own dignities.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

She made me feel like a degenerate. I’ll miss her.


Alan Shore comes across this woman who has recently joined the firm. She is nicknamed The Squid. Now The Squid knows what she wants and gets it. Shore and Squid strike a deal wherein they meet every morning at 10 - IN THE CLOSET. And Shore comes out of these sessions with at times a black eye, at other times a cheekbone bruise. Squid is obviously one of those violently, kinky types. In the new season The Squid comes up to The Shore and tells him that she is leaving for New York. And he says: “this is it?” She turns around with a deadpan look (she always has a deadpan look) and says: “yes.” Pauses. “I’ll miss you.” Towards the end of a case Shore talks with this sex counselor who happens to be someone he consulted once and he tells her in his usual drawling, deliberate, whispering, soft as silk voice, “She made me feel like a ….. degenerate.” A long pause (he pauses a lot) “I’ll miss her.”


Degenerate: debauched- unrestrained by convention or morality

Squid’s personality is like one of those, you know, crash-boom-bang-thank-you-very-much-leave-without-a-backward-glance types. And Shore is a total womanizer. Hence, when Shore exhibited an obvious disappointment in not having the chance to feel like a degenerate anymore I started wondering:

1. Is it only about sex?
2. Or is it the connect that he felt with Squid which went beyond all conventional levels of morality and inhibitions?

I’d like to think that it was the second one. And I think that it is incredibly amazing to find someone whom you can be uninhibited with. At each and every level and type of interaction. Though I would like to add that with Shore even the second possibility would ultimately boil down to sex.

I heard you are in Heat


It was one of those perfectly straightforward nights when dinner was done with and my sister and I horizontalled ourselves in front of the television for some good ole’ watching. Boston Legal had rebegun … kickstarting the new season. The rushes came in and there was Denny Crane looking smugly at this woman and stating, “I heard that you are in heat…”
Whaat TF???
I thought that I had heard it all wrong, but I saw the poor recipient’s flabbergasted speechless reaction and I realized that yes I had heard it right. My sister sat up, hissing, spitting, fuuuuurious. There were outraged outbursts: what does he think of himself? That was such a sexist comment? He is such a lecherous bastard…? After my initial shockful wordlessness I just exploded into a laughter that literally gave me stomach cramps. It enraged my sister even more and I would probably have been slapped if I hadn’t stopped.


What is it about some men? Do they deliberately like to shock people by making such statements or is it so much a part of their personality that it comes naturally to them to be this a way. When I think of Denny Crane I see a smug, successful old man who is a total womanizer and who basically gets away with charming women.

The moral of this story is: Such kind of men,
1.Start off as juvenile lechers and end up as advanced geriatric lechers.
2.Are so full of themselves that they are totally unaware of being offensive sons of bitches.

The heights of all depths

Before I go into details… the following two posts will enumerate on two statements made by these two men. They are characters in this lawyer series called Boston Legal. It is an amazingly incredible production and at times insightful too.

1. I heard you were in heat.
2. She made me feel like a degenerate. I miss her.

Mike testing...

There is this wonderfully crazy man filled with loads of senseful insanity. He is a true friend, a rock in fact and is seeing me through turbulent moments. This blog will, hence begin with a simple THANK YOU to him for just being there for me. And although he would never least i am very glad that he was born!!!