Friday, March 9, 2012


Audio-Video and Print media declared in big font that Samajwadi Party won the elections in UP and the Congress party lost miserably. In the US, Mitt Romney defeated his Democratic contemporaries to gain a majority in six out of ten states. At the other end of the world, Putin was declared the victor for the third time in a row. Back in India, Sonia Gandhi was heard saying that the party will now have to rethink their strategies concerning the elections in the rest of the states.

Lost. Won. Victor. Defeated. Strategies.

Smartly dressed news anchorwomen, heftily equipped with satellites providing wireless communication, cry these words out loud, again and again. The common man’s TV screen is filled with tiny boxes, each representing senior journalists and former party leaders who dispute and quibble over the strengths and weakness of each party. On the streets, some party banners are raised higher and others are lowered completely. Slogans are cheered and curses are bawled. Sentences are “He cheated”, “He bribed”, “He lied” are exchanged between lower party members, while partaking in official effigy burnings. I understand all the hue and cry and I ask why.

Hear me out. I got it when they said that India lost to Australia in a cricket match. It’s fine when my neighbour kid comes home, all happy, saying that he secured the first rank in his exams (he got sweets for us all). Win and lose are applicable to the above situations since the end point involves a trophy, or a cash prize or even a new watch from the parents. A personal gain. Something you receive as a reward for yourself in the end for your efforts. But when it comes to Politics, if you are elected, you are to represent a large number of people of a particular region; basically take care of their welfare and needs. Hence a non profit job with the title that says ‘Public Servants’. So all that unfettered campaigning, drama loving MLA’s walking in and out of parties, and lest we forget, the tonnes of mud thrown by each politician at the other (apart from chairs and mikes), and they say all these frantic acts are for that sacred chance to do public service. I don’t buy that.

India is not under a Monarchy or a Dictatorship, where the potential heirs have to fight for the right to ascend the throne. Ours is a full fledged, out and out Democracy (with a little bit of Capitalism here and there). In our country, the voter fellow is the king and the queen. We hold the power to assemble or dismember governments. We have the last say. Having said that, let me not go into why you and I are afraid of the government instead of the reverse.

All that am saying is that let us use our words well. We have already corrupted the word POLITICS – it means ‘art and science of administration of government’ and Not ‘dirty devious underhand ways to obtain an upperhand in a hierarchy’. The more we sensationalize elections by using words that represent it like a race, a contest, or worse, a war, then all that we are doing is to make the elections, which is a public issue, a personal one for the politicians. No matter who loses and wins, all that gains momentum is the ego drive of the entire Khadi wearing crowd.

Let us not lose our focus. All the electoral hungama is for that plain and straightforward common man coming out of the polling booth, admiring his middle finger that has the drop of blue indelible ink on it. Remember that he now pays more and more each year for petrol and buys less number of vegetables for the same price. But his income and hunger remain the same.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Priya and Ravi

Limping slightly on her right foot, Priya walks out of her college building. Checks her watch, and it’s 5-ish in the evening. Morning, mercilessly, killed Celsius with its heat, but evening got morning covered. Evening brought along with it, some cool breeze and black clouds from the north. A promise of a much needed rain hung in the air, like the anticipation of meeting a long lost school friend.

Another day of college has ended and the students are hurrying up home. The sky is already quite dark and nobody wants to get caught in the rain. Eagerly waiting autowallahs are called to attention and rapt negotiations ensued. One by one, all the autos departed. People with bikes and cycles followed the same. Priya just stood there under the banyan tree, waiting for the shower to start. She loves the rain. Kinda like Trisha in Varsham. Just that she doesn’t talk to the rain. She likes to listen to its fall. Priya leaned against the tree, waiting patiently for the familiar rush of heart, which comes with the first drops of rain. People say, one day, one becomes too old to play in the rain. Nah! Frolicking with water, falling from the sky, is fun at any age.

Priya unties her hair knot, and lets the breeze handle the rest. Her long, silky hair, dancing in the wind, and the way she pushes back them strands, as they fall on her face, complements the romantic evening.

“Auto madam?” a driver asks, as he pulls up beside her. She slowly nods her head sideways saying no. Her head, still in her favorite thoughts, doesn’t wanna leave the place and go. The auto moves away, revealing the other side of the road, where he is standing beside a Red Pulsar. The bike’s been bought only a few minutes ago and his name is Ravi.

Priya, for a couple of seconds wonders whether those 2 things are real or not. The bike’s shining big time even in low light, and he standing beside it, staring at her. His eyes declaring mine. Not sure whether they are referring to Priya, the bike, or both. Ravi smiles. Priya realizes she has been staring back for long and looks away. She could only manage to look away for a second or two. Her eyes dart back to Ravi.


Priya’s unsuccessful attempts to control her eyes tell Ravi that he got her attention. Time to make his move. With a swift, stylish use of his skinny arms and legs, he unparks the bike from the main stand. The bike is bit too heavy for him. Priya gives an involuntary jerk forward, as the bike almost topples on Ravi. But it’s ok, since Ravi somehow clumsily manages to push the bike into upright position and regains his composure. He looks around quickly, to see if anybody noticed his trail and error. Priya is trying hard to look away and trying harder not to laugh out.

Ravi sees her suppressed laughter and smiles back innocently. He bends down as if to intelligently check the bike’s tyres, and silently curses himself. He knew this was a bad idea to impress Priya. His attitude is not built to act dude. He knows he is not the kind of a person who can show off with a brand new bike and his body is not built for branded clothes. So he decides to walk over to her, before the bike also starts finding him foolish.

Pushing the bike beside him like his faithful pet tiger, Ravi walks towards Priya. “What took you so long?” Priya asks.

“Had to sign many bloody documents. The whole registration process used to be simpler before.”

“Do you really need a bike Ravi?”

“C’mon! It’s my birthday tomorrow.”

“Then get a new car love.” She is concerned. “What did the doctor say after the surgery? Bike riding can be risky for you. And am sure you dint start it yet. Dragged it all the way just to show it to me first.”

“Don’t worry Priya” he assures, “The showroom is just a block away. And the bypass was like an year ago. Am fit as a fiddle. Get on. To the beach we go.”

With her right foot on the metal step, she slowly raises herself onto the seat.

“Careful.” He is concerned. “Your arthritis. Don’t put too much stress on the knee.”

She sits sideways, comfortably on the back seat and slides her hand around his waist. With a simple kiss on his ear, she says “Am fine dear. Now start. I wanna be at the beach when the rain starts.”
As they ride into the wind, with her orange sari pallu gracefully flying behind them, like a beautiful sunset, she’s glad that Ravi bought the bike. It would be a nice gift to Manoj. He would be starting college next week.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

On one lonely night

The email contains nothing but 3 black & white photos. As usual. She nods her head from side to side, with a muted smile. He tries so hard to impress her all the time. Showing off with his half sketched writings and incomplete frames. Should she like him for his efforts or pity him for his attempts? Either way sounds the same.

She takes the road less traveled.

A single click here and here and she's done seeing his photos. Likes them but finds something missing. As usual. Gives him a call and asks him not to send anymore photos again. "Why?" he asks, "Are they not good?" "No."
"There is no Then" she frowns. "There is not a point sending them to me. I'm not a professional photographer."
"That's not the reason why am sending them to you every time."

I Love you.


"So", a smile explains, "You've become my most important person ever and I wanna share all that's me and mine with you."

"I don't want to."

"I understand. I'll wait"

"I don't want you to"

"I'm not doing it for you love. Its for my love. I'm holding onto the most precious thing I ever saw and loved. I don't need you near to feel you love. Your thoughts in my mind. Your presence in my heart. Your picture in my wallet. Couldn't ask for more. Whatever tomorrow brings, I'll be there."

She cuts the call. Bloody fellow.Always talks this nonsense.
She switches off the light and lies down on the mattress. Its late and she has to wake up early for work. Pulls the blanket around her tighter and closes her eyes. Bloody fellow. Always talks this nonsense.

A couple of curses and a couple of minutes later, the weight of a long day takes over the steering. Slowly, her eyes become heavy and breathing goes steady. His gentle humming in her ears, softly cradles her into a dreamless sleep.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


“Storytelling is not what I do for a living - it is how I do all that I do while I am living.” Donald Davis

I knew last night’s fried rice would do me no good.

My large intestine woke up before me, and spent the next fifteen minutes trying to wake me up. Quietly I made my way to the bathroom, with my intestine honking to make me go faster.

As I sat there, feeling good about going with the flow, my drowsy mind switched to a video of a tumbler with limited water, a hand carrying it, and two feet rushing on a dirt road along a paddy field, desperately trying to find a secluded spot. I felt grateful. A thank you for planned cities.

My work’s almost done and I have almost gone back to sleep. Wish I had something to do than just sit. I would have brought my Fountainhead here to read, if my fried rice dint rush me in. I could have brought my cell but it wouldn’t come. It has heard the rumors. Rumors of the tragic end of my ex-cell.

People saw me and my cell go into the bathroom together. Later they saw me come out fine. The cell never made it. Its death was blamed on me. They said I mercilessly drowned it. Like it was the garbage that it fell into. I pleaded innocence. I reminded them of the day of me and my cell’s auspicious union at the cell store, where I pledged my solemn vows to be with it through thick and thin. For four years, we never were even an hour apart. It was guaranteed that we would stay together forever.

Tear-faced, I explained why it committed suicide. It was dying. Its suffering was huge from some rare spare part dysfunction. It almost died once. Fortunately, the fat bald guy at the cell service managed to resuscitate it somehow. Wiping his sweat off his brow, the guy told me it hasn’t got much time left. An immediate replacement of one of its essential parts is a must now. I ran some small errands here and there, desperately trying to raise the money. I almost pooled in the required sum. Just wasn’t in time. It couldn’t bear the pain anymore.

They felt the loss I went thru and sympathized with me. Searched for another cell and finally found someone compatible. Months passed and people forgot and only I remember that fateful day.

It started as just another time in the bathroom for me as I sat there relaxing. I was engrossed in the Hindu, reading about what’s gonna happen next with the Nuclear deal between us and them. I forgot I had an appointment. My cell sat waiting for me in my jeans, which I hung up on the wall. We usually spend time together whenever we come here. So it waited. I was reading. It waited. I was still busy reading. It was losing its patience waiting. I moved onto another article. It started calling for me. Loudly. My senses panicked. I thought I told it to remain silent till I’m done. It was an awkward position, where I needed to sit still as much as I needed to stand immediately. Finally, with a lot of haste and extreme muscle stretching, I managed to reach out to my cell. But before I could let it know that I was here, somehow my hand slipped. The scene turned slow-mo from there. My cell jumps my fingers with a small vertical leap and lands with a smack on the newspaper folded on my lap, which tilts slightly downwards, letting my cell take a grand nose dive into the murky depths. It was there and gone within the bat of an eyelid.

Maybe, it was my hurry, or my anger that I got disturbed, or just wet fingers. I know not till this day.

There was never a day in between when I dint regret what has happened. We were so close. Day and night, we used to sit and talk to each other for hours together. Even though considerable time has passed, its memories are still fresh within me. It’s sight real. It’s sound clear. As clear as the angry knocks I hear on the door now, followed by a crisp female voice asking me to come out immediately or face the consequences. It’s funny how time flies as time flies. Time. Fragments of space moving forward with us, connected by our lives’ little tales. I’ll make a move now. Brush, bath and get ready. Start the bike and college. That’s one story. There is another one where I skip and go to my friend’s place. There could be another one where I go back to sleep complaining about pseudo fever. All stories and everything in between are as interesting as its next.

Its time for me to clean up and move onto another story. By the way, to cut it all short… I fumbled, it fell, and I flushed.
Have a Nice Day.

Monday, April 20, 2009


Ladies and Gentlemen! I am at the bus stop. I am wearing my favorite shirt. It’s spotless. It’s neat. It’s clean. Just has been expertly crafted by our colony’s dhobi. My certificates in my right and my watch gleaming in the sun on my left. And why am I here? That’s right people! Today is my day. Today is the day I nail it in! Today is the day of my first ever Interview. And what a day it is! Its feels so good… Looks so good… Smells so good. I know I’m not making any sense, but I’m so excited! It’s an interview for my dream job. Something that I always really wanted to do since I was a child. All those studies, books, schools, colleges, sum up to this day that I have been earnestly waiting for, over the years. That’s it baby! Today is my day. I’m going to crack that interview wide open. Whoever that guy taking my interview is, he better be ready. Ready for this smart guy’s charm and ready wit. One look at me and all my A+ certificates, he will be like “Sir! Why you come all the way, sir? Please sit down sir. Why only one job sir? Take two jobs sir. Take my job also if you like sir!” What more could an employer hope for, than for a guy like me. Tell me?

All these people here at the bus stop look so sullen in the morning. Not me. I’m just all smiles and happy to be alive. Well, its 9 already and the bus would arrive any minute now I guess. Never traveled much in buses before. Guess have to ask one of these sullen guys for which bus to get onto. Look at this guy! He is so tensed and all. Rushing through these long sheets of paper. Busily preparing for god knows… hey! He is also going for the same interview. He has the same letter, the company sent me a few days back, to attend the interview. Cool! Let’s ask him about the bus. “So when do you think our bus would come?” I ask, and give him this friendly wink of understanding that I know, we both are going to the same interview. “5 minutes” he says seriously, adjusting his specs, and dives into those papers again. Preparing for an oral interview!? This kid here needs to loosen up a lot. Look at me! No preparation nothing. It’s all processed and complete in my head. I’m ready to rock and roll!

Good! Here comes my chariot. It’s already filled to the brim. Cool! Now is the time for some foot board traveling. It’s been long since I have done that, and I’m in the mood for an adventure anyway. I squeeze in my hand and manage to get a hold on, on the edge. “Hang on buddy!” I call out, as the bus starts, to my nerdy friend dangling beside me. This is so cool man! Nothing but the road below me if I look down. As if I managed to levitate off the ground. And as the bus picks up speed, I can the feel the rush of air thru my hair. Bright sun and heavy wind on my face. What a combination! Feels just like flyi…

I open my eyes. I’m sprawled on the side of the road, on the grass and on the mud. Many eyes are on me. I try to get up and hear this crunch somewhere near my knee, followed by some excruciating pain. Its better I just sit. I look around for some explanation about what just happened here. Everybody is having this anti foot boarding expression on their faces, which pisses me off. “What happened?! Where is my bus? What am I doing here?!” I shout hoarsely at the nearest bystander. “Try to relax. The ambulance is on the way” he says. Who wants the ambulance? Call that bus back! It may not have gone that far. I need to be on that bus now. Call it back!!
As I am being hauled into the 108, I hear a guy say that he thought he saw a guy in specs push me off the bus. He is not too sure since it happened so fast. I dint care much about it. I don’t care much about anything now. I just wanna go home and get some rest.

Monday, April 13, 2009


I knew she was the One. One look and I knew it had to be her. I was just headed home, sipping lemon tea, thinking about the Parent-free week ahead of me, when I caught sight of her. She was standing at the entrance saying bye to someone. I just couldn't take my eyes off her. I found an empty bench opposite her, and just sat there, forgetting to sip the tea, forgetting the time... forgetting to breathe.
She felt the same when she looked at me. She pretended to talk to that grey haired man, but kept throwing those quiet and shy glances at me. Standing at the threshold, her eyes were asking me to take the first step. Oh man!! This is love. I knew she is like that Rainbow about to disappear any second. I didn't want her to. She didn't want to. Alas! Too Late... The whistle sounded, and the train started to move. Her gaze stayed with me as long as it could. Then it got stuck to the last bogie of Guwahati Superfast Express and rolled away. Reality stepped in. I had to get up. I had to move. Finally, got my feet to work the way out. Walking towards the Station exit, one can always wonder, how a guy can fall in love with 6 girls (or was it 7 girls), just within 45 minutes of his trip to the Railway Station.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Makes Sense

The sound of my cell ringing is distracting me. I am trying to concentrate on listening to the wind screaming in my ears. It blows real hard at these heights. This is a building under construction at a busy intersection. I guess the work here has been stopped since sometime. Probably from the time a couple of workers were killed while unloading a lorry of bricks. Unfinished building in the middle of its finished peers. Reminds me of myself.

I have no idea how I ended up all the way up here. It’s ok with me though if I can’t remember how. My end is more important than my means. It’s actually quite good up here. A long stretch of waving blue far off. Twists, turns and rows of trees interlacing to form huge patches of green here and there. Long arteries of roads, alive with noisy people and quiet machines. Crowds. People with their purpose, and machines with their function, long forgotten. Suddenly I’m wishing I wasn’t here to look at them. I can close my eyes to block out the view, but the hope that I can open them again disappoints me. I can doze off, but I will wake up soon. I can blindfold myself but it will start itching.
After all, the best way to make the world disappear is as simple as closing one’s eyes… and keeping them closed.

I think the workers knew that I would wander up here one day. They left without building the parapet wall. I stand on the roughly cemented edge, with a little bit of my chappal hanging out. I look down. It’s pretty high. Not scared, just excited. I smile mischievously at all the innocent bystanders below. They have no idea whats gonna hit them. I take pride in thinking that in a few moments so many eyes would be on me. Soon, one question would be on everyone’s mind “who was that guy!?” I feel light.
The wind is blowing from behind me. One simple leg and hip motion and I would be facing it. Arms stretched wide, and eyes wide open. I guess it doesn’t require much physics. A gentle weight transfer to my back and the wind would take care of the rest. I would be reaching the earth fast with eyes straight towards the heavens. I can feel all my blood pulsating thru my body, my nerves strung tight. My head is as clear as the blue skies above me and I know my time has come. I’m the one who called it.
I take a deep breath and let go. I laugh all the way down.

I am hungry. Feels like ages since I’ve had something proper. Got bored sitting here on my terrace, staring at that god forsaken building all day long. I know I need a bath. It’s been a hot day. I probably can come back later in the night. Or there are always other ways to keep oneself amused.