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!!!