Sunday, July 31, 2016


Remember - 
those waters,
that bank,
that pile of wood,
those blazing flames,
those people,
those sands,
that day and, 
that promise.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Spin Doctor

I am not an alcoholic. Let me rephrase that. I do not ‘do’ alcohol. Hmm, let me rephrase that as well. I have never done alcohol in my entire life. True Story!!!! Of course, it has dawned on me that this information is, somehow, unbelievable for many.

You know how it is at get-togethers; almost everyone is doing alcohol. There is nothing wrong with that, is there? But there will be someone who will surely ask me why I wasn't drinking. Clearly, there is a problem with not drinking. I used to, until recently, tell them that I do not drink. The first reaction, almost always, is disbelief, which slowly changes to that human being seeing a halo around my head. Then I am prodded further about my drinking habits or the lack of it. Answers such as I do not feel like drinking or I have never had the inclination to drink are unacceptable. More questions follow – Are you that religious? Did your parents tell you to not drink? Do you think people who drink are bad people? (Yes, it’s true, I have been asked this).

There is often too much explanation and my having to needlessly defend my non drinking state of being. And then, as if almost by magic, I found the perfect answer. At a friend’s wedding I was asked why I wasn't drinking? Out of jest, I said that I was just out of rehab and was trying to keep away from alcohol. Guess what, this answer worked. There were no more questions, period. On another occasion I said that I was bored of alcohol and was hence taking a break. No more questions followed. So, I just make up answers now. Anything random always works. I had always heard that the truth was often stranger than fiction, it was only then that I realised what it truly meant.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

How to De-addict yourself from Fb (for dummies)

At some point in your life you have wanted to de-addict yourself from Fb. Come on, admit it, everyone has. It is equally true that you have found the process grueling. You have deleted your account on many occasions but that lasted for a day. Let me also tell you that I have been successful in de-addicting myself from Fb. This is how. Follow these simple steps to lead a Fb free life.
Step 1: Check updates and pictures of each of your couple of hundred friends. You will get to know everything about them which will include what they had for breakfast, where they are, whether it is their cat’s birthday or sometimes, even, the colour of the undergarment they are wearing (though be prepared to also know that some may not be wearing any and are not afraid to announce this to the world). Clearly, all this newly acquired knowledge has enriched your life beyond measure. Now reflect on your life and realise how sucky it truly is.

Step 2: Just to be counted in the fbosphere you must upload a picture of yourself with someone really cool. Say if you are an aspiring chef, you could use the guys from Master Chef Australia, or if you’re a racer somebody like Schumacher will do or if you’re a budding economist, a God of economics like a Nobel Laureate will do (nothing else is cool enough). Engage in insightful conversation with this God of your field and get her/him to say “Oh! I did not know that”. Clearly, now you have “earned” this picture with your God. Use this picture as your Fb profile picture. Obviously the fbbrazzi will “like” your picture in a half a second and people who are not truly your friends but are on your friends list will also congratulate you on your “achievement”. With many “likes” you would have arrived in fbosphere, until you realise that your friend’s selfie has got twice as much “likes” than your picture with your God. This should enrage you. However, do not engage in complicated math like trying to figure the percentage of friends who have “liked” your picture versus your friend’s. This may turn against you. Remember the goal is to de-addict your- self and the fact that 56 per cent of your friends have liked your photo as compared to 17 per cent of your friend’s friends should not be considered. Be truly pissed at this rat race of mediocrity.

Step 3: Keep looking for more pictures of your friends. You will come across a picture of this dude/chick from your school/college/ex-workplace doing really well in life like studying at Harvard or working at a global investment bank or playing cricket for the national team. You remember this dude/chick as a complete lout but you cannot figure out how he/she got there. Now it is very important for you to think this dude/chick went to study at Ivy League/play in the national team because of “baap ka paisa” or because his/her family has pull. But never bother to check the facts, it could turn out that this dude/chick actually got a scholarship or is really good at what he/she does. In that case your anger will be completely unjustified. So as a rule do not check facts and let the, often unjustifiable, anger build inside you. Remember the aim is to de-addict yourself and facts can ruin this process.

Step 4: Repeat actions similar to steps one to three many times over for best results. These steps are most effective when administered on days when you are having a bad time. By the step 3 happened to me I was so fed up that I willingly gave up being on Fb. So now, I lead a Fb free life. If I can do it, so can you. Good luck.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

The Constant

Among the myriad changes in life and the various perceptions of what life could be, there is this friend who is always a part of your tomorrows. Amid all the change which is happening within and around you, this friend is the constant. 

You hang on to this friend forever (but just not against its will) !

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Letting Go

Down memory lane,
I walked again.
Through the times,
which had flown by...

...and there you stood cleaning your closet. Sorting clothes to give away. Until you realise that the shirt you held in your hand is the same shirt you wore on the day you got your award. It is hard to let go. But then you figure someone in the hills needs is much more than you do. You let go! come across a picture on your computer with many happy faces. You take a moment,  you reminisce. Happy memories come flooding, in a fleeting moment you realise that, that was the past.In the now, you have have changed and so have the times since then. It is hard to gather how could such a past have existed given the now? Ctrl+Shift+Del is executed. You let go or in the least you try to. But did you really let go? You still think about the picture, the faces and the times !!!

...the old diary is found in the cartons with the books. You flip through the pages. You realise that you don't write often enough any more. In fact,  you don't write at all. Tucked away in the middle of the diary you find an old unsent letter. The contents of which, once pertinent and powerful, are not that pertinent or purposeful or even relevant any more. In that moment you realise that some bridges have been broken, forever. The letter is placed with the other papers to throw away.

..."...I won't be playing in the IPL next season"...It takes a moment for you to register this. Tendulkar had just announced his retirement nonchalantly. You sense that the final good bye is round the corner now. You don't know how you are going to cope with it. Somehow you have to prepare for the inevitable. You just don't know how! It is not just about Tendulkar, in many ways it is about you. A part of you will go away with him. You see the team doing well even when Tendulkar is not in the ranks. You tell yourself that it is going to be fine. Deep down, you know things will be fine but they will never be the same again.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

The Night Rain

I went to the window side,
And climbed up a bunker.
I opened the window
And let the air of the night into the dorm.
My head rested on a pillow against an iron rod.
The night was still but the dorm awake.
The sweet smell of the night earth wafted into the air.
A drop of cold liquid ice fell on me,
I shivered.
The smell was intoxicating, I fell asleep
Forgetting to learn for my exam.
I dreamt of playing in the rain
After a day of school.
Time elapsed and closer I moved to the examination.
But God be thanked for sending the Messiah
In the form of the night rain.
The night rain hit my face,
I shivered.
Had it not been for the night rain
                                                   I would have surely failed. 

Dated: September, 1998

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

He Must Go, Must He?

The cheer gets louder when Murali Vijay, batting on a 167, gets out. Surely, the Australians must have thought that they were hearing wrong or that they were in a surreal cosmos which was haunting in many ways. They should have seen this coming for the Master was to come in next. 

You have to admit that His performance in the recent past has been below par. Perhaps, age is catching up with Him! Or perhaps, concentration is hard to come by after having achieved almost everything there was to achieve! Now that Australia have been handed a 4-0 score, there is hardly any overt scrutiny of His performance.

Although, you will come across the odd article from noteworthy sports journalists suggesting that He should hang his boots. You will also come across ex-cricketers insinuating that his time has come. You may even come across legends of the game diplomatically putting it across that the old horse must give way to new blood.

Surely, carrying the aspirations of nation on his shoulders for 23 years 4 months and 12 days have given the Man, the right to decide when He should go. 662 international matches and 34273 international runs have also added weight to that right. So unless one has numbers better than His, it would be a wee-bit improper to even insinuate that He must go! Wouldn't it?

A highly revered ex-India captain recently stated that since Virender Sehwag had been dropped on poor form, He must also go. May be there is some merit in that argument for Sehwag is one of the greatest opening batsmen from India and perhaps, also, in the world. Who hasn't loved Sehwag tear  attacks apart and re-write the rules of cricket. Surely many from the "cover the swing and play straight" school must have switched to " see the ball, hit the ball" school of batting. May be Sehwag was given the short end of the stick. But does that justify that He must also go? After all, is it not true that even Virender Sehwag and is still not Sachin Tendulkar. 

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Turning It Square

Everything stood in readiness as I reached the top of my bowling mark. I was unsure if I could bowl at all, considering I had not played cricket for a long time. The close-in fielders stood bending at their knees. I begin my short run-up, trying to concentrate on the grip with which I held the ball. The ball is delivered, it is air-borne for what seemed like an eternity. My gaze fixed on the revolving ball. The line is awry. It lands far outside leg stump. I cringe. It grips and turns with the wicket-keeper collecting it outside off stump. I burst in to a huge smile. It did not matter whether the line was wrong, or the ball was too flighted. The square turn was still there and that is what mattered. I am pumped up. I remove my heavy sweater disregarding the acute winter and reached the top of my bowling mark a lot more confident. The second ball pitches on middle stump and turns square, a wide is called. I correct my line and bowl a flipper on the third ball. The ball skids on. The arm movements are slowing falling in place. The fourth ball is pitched way outside leg stump, this time intentionally. The batsman leaves the ball alone and doesn't bother until he hears the sound of timber. The ball gripped and bowled the batsman from behind the legs. I was back and so was the spin. 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Haunting

It haunts me. I squirm inside.

It is often hard to not compare yourself with your contemporaries. She has a fancy job; he is at a fancy university. You seem stuck in limbo. But then you console yourself. Others think you have an awesome life and a good job. Your boss thinks highly of you, some of your colleagues think you are prodigious. You are able to speak to a God of Economics, hold his attention and even tell him something which he did not already know. Of, course this should make you happy. Should it?

You stand before the mirror before you go to bed. You ponder for a moment and try to shut out the noises in your head. It yells at you – Judge yourself not by comparing yourself with others but with the difference between who you are and who you can be. Much chaos happens in my head. What if I am unable to close the gap? I tell the man in the mirror- “I spoke to God”. The man in the mirror smirks. A wry smile covers his face. He retorts – “Others may think that you are good, God may like what you have said, but where is your work? Where is your ORIGINAL WORK?"

I squirm inside.