Category Archives: Heebi Jeebies

A Mess Called India


Even since AAP came into existence and especially after it’s historic win and meteoric rise to power, I have been listening people and their aspirations. As if they have voted in power some Messiahs who will do magic and turn India into US or London, while they keep on with their usual life; “Usual Life” – with all its mess and madness. We still remain the same; same uncivil, intolerant, insensitive near barbarians who let others rule us. Yet we are not ready to accept that the mess we are in is not become of politicians, Babu’s or police – as they are also part of the same society that we have made. To put in short – will AAP coming to power make us not break the queue? Will the AAP government stop us from crossing the road on foot from wherever we want and not using the over-bridge or underpass? Will AK come down and see that all cars are not driving with “High Beams” and breakings lanes in the madness of going ahead of everyone? Will AAP ministers see that we care for elders and women in busses and metros by giving them our seat? I have serious doubt.

We will keep doing all the things wrong with the “excuse” that everyone does it. We will complain that the roads are dirty; but won’t think that it is dirty not because someone failed to clean it, but because someone dirtied it in the first place. We will keep throwing our extra food in the waste bin, and complain that so many people go hungry every day.  We will keep killing the female foetuses and glorify the male child, and then cry hoarse that our society – law and police are insensitive to females. For every law mad to help us or get us a better life, we will try to first find a loophole in it to bypass or exploit it.

All these because, we have degraded as a society. We have lost our sense of dignity and morale. We have lost the sense of right and wrong. If something we see others doing, we get encouraged in doing the same, irrespective of our own senses telling us that it is wrong to do so. If something does not affect us directly, we will always turn away saying that not my responsibility. If we find something affecting us is wrong we will always put the blame on “someone else”.

One AK or even a AAP can’t change anything, unless we start accepting our own faults. The goal needs to be accepting our faults, analyze where we have done wrong and then change it. But for now at least we can start by owning our own faults. We need to remember  – “you cannot change anyone else but yourself”. So to change this society, country and life we live, we need to change ourselves. These changes in us will help motivate our kids to change themselves. And it is our only hope for a better future for all of us. Till then we can only vote – hope and denounce governments after governments.

Baul : Wandering Minstrels of Bengal

“Ore Chhere Dile Sonar Gour
Khyapa Chhere Dile Sonar Gour
Aamra Aar Pabo Na
Aar to Pabo Na
Tomay Hrid Majhare Rakhibo
Chhere Debo Na
Tomay Hrid Majhare Rakhibo
Chhere Debo Na”

Once we part with golden “Gour”
Dummy – if we part with golden “Gaur”
We can never be back again
Can never be back
But will keep you in heart
Won’t let you go
Will keep you in heart
Won’t let you go

A patchy saffron gown and old white lungi, curly hairs flowing up to shoulders, “Jhola” – a side bag on a shoulder, “Khamak” – “Ektara” or a “Dotara” – their musical implements in hand, “Ghungur” – anklets in their feet and music in their lips and heart – that’s the “Baul” – the “Wandering Minstrels of Bengal”. No one can pin point their origin, and they themselves care the least. Yet the world knows about them and their song.

Travelling from Kolkata to Bankura, Birbhum or Bolpur, you can hardly miss them; on railway coaches, on busses and around the villages. And these are not those who you see on TV or those performing the world over. They are the original keeper of “Baul” heritage. They are supposed to live on your alms, that too allowed to spend only “char anna” (25%) of what they collect on themselves and rest for others. Yet, when they sing – they are lost in it, even a note of hundred bucks, won’t make them budge or stop singing. If you enjoy their songs, they will keep singing and engulf you with their song. You can either get lost in the soulful tune and earthy sweetness of their musical instruments or choose to listen to the lyrics too. If you choose to listen to their lyrics and the passion with which they utter them, you can never escape from wondering about the life they lead.

Listening to two of the Bauls on a recent trip to Bolpur, I got amazed by the zest for those lyrics. The happiness they derived from going over those lyrics took me to path or wonder. What do we strive for in life? Peace and happiness? And what do we do to get that? We plan to buy them with money. So we work all our life to earn and then run after Peace and Happiness to buy them out with the money earned. Simple isn’t it? Can it be simpler than this? And if it is really so simple why cant we get that Peace and happiness? And why do I see those Peace and happiness oozing out out from the faces of these Bauls lost in their song?

I guess I know! They have found the short cut. They have realized it’s not with money but with Love you get what you seek. They know the futility of running after money. They know the futility of life itself that only distracts us from reality. Reality that this life is a dream – maya to keep us busy. Life only leads us to “Aham” our ego and far away from the “Atma” our soul. To realize what your soul wants is to immerse yourself in love. Singing again and again the futility of the rules of society they have found Peace and happiness in their God. That’s why they say in Lalan Fakir’s word :-

“Khachar Bhitor Ochin Pakhi, Kemne Ashe Jae?
Tare dhorte parle mono beri, ditam pakhir pae.

Mon Tui roili khachar ashe
Khaccha je tor khacha bashe
Kondin khacha porbe khoshe
Lalon kede koe

Kemne Ashe Jae!”

Look how does the Mysterious Bird inside the Cage
comes in and goes out.
If I could only hold it back,
I would put chain around Bird’s leg

Lalon Laments,
‘O mind you are deluding in your dependency on the Cage,
Your cage is made of weak wood
your cage is destined to doom someday.’

See how it comes and goes.

While they sang, many were moved – most may be because of their soulful music. But it was their state of bliss that touched my soul. And their touch warmed my emotions, and I helplessly cried in joy !


The Cursed Ganga

When Vishnu took the form of Vamana avatar to slay Demon king Bali, Brahma washed his feet in respect, whose three footsteps covered the entire earth, heaven and the head of the demon king sending him to the nether world. The water he collected after washing in his Kamandul came to being as Ganga.

The young Ganga was known and loved in entire heaven for her liveliness and merry dance. But she was not aware of the wrath, ill temper and powerful curse of sages such as Durvasa. Once while walking the great sage Durvasa, collides with the invisible wind god Pawan, and the resulting whirlwind around him took away his garments. Durvasa tried to clutch on to his robes but failed against the power of Pawan. All the gods although bemused turned their faces away – to not look at the embarrassed sage and not to enrage him. But little Ganga, unaware of sage’s infamy for ill-temper, pointed at Durvasa and laughed her heart out.

True to her fame – Durvasa could not stand being a subject of fun. Grimly he turned and his anger turned into a curse – “O impudent girl, devoid of respect as you are for elders and respected saints, you should leave this place and go to earth as a River. When people will wash their dirty clothes and spill all their dirt on you, you will realize the privilege of being in Heaven!” Realizing her folly, Ganga fell on the feet of the great sage and pleaded for pardon. All the other gods, who were so fond of Ganga, joined her to plead the sage to lift the curse. But the power of curse was heavy. Though Ganga promised not to misbehave ever again, even Durvasa couldn’t lift the curse. The only thing he could do was to lighten it. So to balance the harshness of curse, he gave her the boon of cleaning the human’s of their sin along with the dirt they thrown in.

How powerful was the gift of washing off Human sin that Ganga received? As explained by Bhishma in his deathbed to Yudhisthir, after the end of the war of Kurukshetra:

“The places through which River Ganga passes, those places are holy places. A dip in River ganga attains the fruits of performing Yajnas, observing Brahma Charya, Tapas and making charities. Even if the water of Ganga touches the body, all his sins vanish. Whatever be the sins committed by him, if he takes a holy dip in Ganga, he goes to heaven. For how many years the bones of a man soak in Ganga, for such number of years he enjoys heavenly pleasures. Place without Ganga, Yajna without Soma, night without moon, day without sun, Ashram without Dharma are equal to trees without flowers.

Even performing one hundred Chandrayana Vratas is not equal to consuming Ganga Water. Human beings regard Ganga water as Amrutha. Rubbing the sand of Ganga on head and taking holy dip in Ganga removes all his sins. Even the air coming from Ganga is sufficient to vanish all the sins. A holy dip in Ganga attains higher regions to Pitaras. While taking bath in any place, feeling in mind that he is taking bath in River Ganga, is sufficient to attain the fruits of holy dip in Ganga.

One who beholds Ganga is human being and the others are equal to beasts and blind. Thinking about Ganga at the time of death attains him liberation. While Ganga was coming from heaven to earth, in between Lord Siva held it on his head. When the sons of Sagara were reduced to ashes as a result of the curse of a saint, Saint Bhagiratha, while bringing Ganga from heaven to earth, made Ganga to flow on their ashes, as a result they attained higher regions. Ganga had its way from heaven to Moon, from moon to Sun, from Sun to Vishnu, from the feet of Vishnu, Ganga landed on the head of Siva and from there to earth through Himalayas.

Whoever worships Ganga with devotion, he will be blessed with all riches and at last liberation. O brahmin! This much I know about Ganga –  said the Sidha to Brahmin.”

The eighth Vasu, born as Gangaputra Bheeshma further explained to Yudhisthir, – “The sin of killing 1000 Jeeva (animals) is equal to killing one Manav (human); Sin of 1000 Manav Hatya(killing) is equal to sin of one Go-Hatya (killing a Cow). Sin of 1000 Go-Hatya is equivalent to sin of one Brahman-Hatya. And mere one drop of river Ganga can cleanse the sin of 1000 Brahman-Hatya. Thus is the power of purification of Ganga.”

That was the relevance, purity and respect the society and religion gave Ganga. However I guess finally the wrath of Durvasa’s curse is winning the battle over the boon he gave young Ganga. Add to that the Parvati’s curse of being always impure, for not being able to protect his son Kartikeya. Though Vishnu later decided that by flowing into The Ocean and by the mean of cleansing the sin’s she will finally atone her sins and will return to heaven.

So “Sins” it is what she is burdened with. All the chemicals, excreta and remains of animal life being dumped on her, are the sin’s she is relieving us from. With age – she has become slow, adding to her misery, she no longer could carry them to ocean. It is also said the half of Ganga remained in the clasp of Mahadev’s locks, from where she flowed. I haven’t come across any story that narrates what happened to that half. Is it the part frozen as the glaciers in Himalayas – the abode of Shiva? Will it merely unite with the half that flowed out after she dies and return to heaven?

I think it’s time when God decides, it is enough. Ganga has done enough to complete all her curses, suffered enough in the hands of Humanity to wipe off all her sin, and its time she returns to her heavenly abode. Unless we decide to take care of our own sins the way we used to before she came down to earth – through our action, penance and worship, she will surely die soon. And in that case too – we will be left to take care of all our sins ourselves.

So why wait? Lets take responsibility of our deed, lets atone our sins through our karma, and help mother Ganga in return for all the help she has offered us through the ages.

Divided India – Lost and Unaware

It’s truly amazing yet bitterly painful – to see fellow countrymen still enveloped by petty differences based on religious and geopolitical differences. Even the language they speak divides them and the “choose” to look away from the real crisis in hand.

Couple of year back – I had developed and idea that could revolutionize the online news media – in the same way how Google had revolutionized the way we see online content. I even presented that to certain forums hosted by Times of India. I failed to impress too many – yet today Times of India site has part of it implemented. That enthused me more to visit its site and see how people are contributing and reacting to news. My idea was to make news more broad-based and inclusive; to bring all perspectives together and make it acceptable to all. Yet what I saw made me crest fallen.

Every time I see news – be it rape of a hapless woman, corruption charges against a political leader or even an article by a writer, the people who comment on them are anything but clear on what they are reading. They would prefer to jump into conclusions based on their religious – political – regional leaning without bothering to digest even part of the actual news. Rarely would I find a person who actually understand the fact behind the news and respond to it. But even they get hammered down by others with leanings for being upright.

As if in this world it is not right to maintain a vertical posture – you have to align to this direction or the other, otherwise be ready to be object of suspicion and scorn. And this is coming from so-called “Educated” and “Informed” class of people. We as a collective called Indians, irrespective of our location in India or abroad are anything but united. We have reached a state of frenzy where we find pleasure in opposing for the sake of opposing. We would do anything to denounce and pull down others, without spending even an aorta of the same energy to introspect. Yet nearly all of us seek salvation. We would pray and observe all possible rituals specified by the socio-religious norms, but won’t even try to seek the truth.

It’s a pity that even after being the most developed beings in this world, having so much of analytical power trapped inside our skull, undergoing so much training to learn how to use that power only results in using those powers only in the negative direction. Seek all but the truth. Run after everything but away from the reality. And after all of that put the blame of all our sorrow on everyone else but ourselves. I feel pity on all the efforts put in by the stalwarts like, Swami Vivekananda and Mahatma Gandhi to guide people towards truth, yet they will choose to worship their image and not follow their teaching.

For the sake of whichever God you choose to put your faith in, listen to your inner voice. Listen to what all those illuminated souls have told us. The answer is always within – not out there. Look inside and correct yourself before pointing the finger on anybody. The government and police are not the answer to the plight of womenfolks in our country. It’s us who can make the change with our effort to correct ourselves first and our immediate surrounding next on how to respect other human beings. If you want to be religious, first “try” to be religious, instead of being “ritualistic”. Know what has been preached. Feel and unravel the meaning first, before thrusting it upon anyone else. No religion on the world wants us to do so. It’s those who try to wield power and use it for their narrow personal growth who does it. Stop being manipulated by selfish ideologies and listen to your heart and grow the love that guides you to truth.

Truth is we all are part of the same whole. So even to be selfish, we need to love others, who are nothing but part of the same me! Will anyone of us punish, rebuke or scorn our own hand because it looks different from our head? Will we not care for legs because it is not from the same locality where our eyes are? Should the left hand be against our right because its orientation is different? Or do we disbelieve our heart because we can see it? We don’t – cause all of them are part of the same ME. Then why can’t we see that all other entity in this world are ALSO part of the same ME, the same ME called GOD. Who asks nothing from us but to love all other parts of him. The day we do this, we are united. United in idea, knowledge and spirit.

Pencil Ganesha

Pencil Sketch

A pencil Work after ages !

Haiku’s of June 12

It always used to rain on 16th June
First rain of the season;
Seasons have changed.


Shadowy still water of a green pond
A frog jumps in;
Ripple of memories spreads.


 I remember her – Summer,

And Autumn and Winter;
Rain has promised to come this year

Monsoon is Here

So finally it is here – the monsoon decided its time to pay a visit. Notice how no longer its “she” but “it”! Yes, monsoon the way I knew is dead – yet decides to come back – hence the neuter status of “it”. Yes I still look and sigh at the dark clouds, I still feel the droplets on my face, I still have goose bumps walking on rain soaked dark evenings; but they all glide off the thickened skin. I still am the cloud filling the ether but the “Winds of Amazonia” no longer whistle its way through. Droplets evaporated from the parched forehead – yet cloud decides to return to Cherapunji.

During the latest roller-coaster ride, first got introduced to the charlatan world of anti-depressants, shrinks and ever approaching point of no-return, and then thanks to the god
sent Virgo – clawed back my way into terra firma. Life is indeed dramatic than any fiction. So many characters encountered in these last couple of years – each having a story of their own – stranger than any best-seller in the market.  

Sometime back read the account of a blogger – her adventure on matrimonial alliances, and I smiled at my own and thanked her luck that she didn’t venture beyond the obvious.  Myriads of shades – bright white to all possible grays, blacks as well as kaleidoscopic that shames the rainbow itself; so many of them that if I were a student of psychology, I would have filled a library and added at least five path breaking research to my name.

But here I am, still surviving the onslaught, smiling at all those who still keep on trying to
shoot, not knowing that the heart no longer exist – at least not the way it used to be.  They have done their best, with all the weapons handed over to them by myself, yet I refused to die. May be I need to check the color of my throat to see if it has turned blue! Time changes the perspectives; some loose shine – while some shines brighter than ever before; and I keep moving from evening to morning like the tireless Mercury.

So monsoon is back, to water the garden; little shoots will emerge once again – the memories will keep on resonating, sometime to shake – sometime to spur, and life will keep smiling back at all those who missed the chance to board the bus. I know all those departed will have their own consolation in belief of avengeance, yet I only smile back; relieved to note that after all I have not met n lost my soul mate. Worshipers of Loki can try their best to deceive, forgetting that one cannot imprison a soul. Phoenix? Horus? Or is it just “Megh”? The river of time keep flowing – universe watches  – while the obscure farmer from the sleepy village looks up at the rain clouds, smiles, puts his tiller on his shoulder and starts walking to his farm. Lots of work left to do!

4th Decade –

The mandatory cloud cover is on – the raindrops showering kisses! yet…

Midway through the journey
Without a start
Whipping the bullocks to pull
Without the cart

Best-selling novel, that no-one read
Half, yet zero; pages of history – blank
Winding watch; hands won’t move
Screeching to a halt, moving full speed ahead

One smile – ripples in the pond
Pair of eyes that burnt eagle’s heart
Husky voice merging time n space
Quivering lips pulling you through
Memory mob, mobs the peace
Silence prevails half way through

Passage warped in time
Time wrapped in maze of masks
Clouds, raindrops and mossy steps
Sailor’s whistle swamps em all

Does phoenix have any more lives left
Midway through the journey

Fork in the Road

Its yesterday once more; once more standing at the cross-road – while life demands me to choose. I hate to choose, its always difficult to leave something behind. Yet, that’s inevitable, as you cannot travel with baggage increasing. Personally I always love travelling light. And sometime ponder, is it the same reason why I have so less with me, in my journey of life!

When you keep winning, its easier to make those choices, as you have that latent confidence in yourself to make all that you choose – work for you. Its when you are unsure – it gives you the chill. For some, its game of cricket, where the ball is bowled and you need to take split decision, to hit or to block! To lift the ball over the mid-wicket for a six, or flick it towards the fine leg for a quick and safe single. For others it’s a game of chess; weighing all possible options and then pondering over what all could be the next move and the next to that – till a possible end is reached; plans for all of those possibilities, and then weighing each individual move before you move your piece on the board and hit the clock for life to make its move.

Someone said, life is rocking – and I said to myself, yeah you bet – mine too! Its rocking my boat. When you ask something from life, be sure what you are asking for; ‘coz life has this uncanny habit of giving you what you want, yet send that chill down you spine with the unexpected flip side.  I do remember, I used the Chinese proverb, quoted by Bibhuti Bhushan that says – “Instead of spending a tranquil, immobile life of a square tile of a roof, being a marble rock on a river-bed, rolling and vanishing off is far better – far better – far better”. Yes I wanted a action from life – and what it gave me is labyrinth of choices. To move me away from in-action it threw me into a vortex of instability. So keep guessing, keep choosing and keep thinking “what happened if” (oh yeah! I remember those long list of “what happened if” questions I prepared for JEE. Unfortunately none of
these “what happened ifs” are from that list).

 When you are clear about “why” to live, none of the possible “how” matters. And it’s these “why”-s that makes the choices of life tricky. So once more I am with my chess board, counting my “why”-s, and drawing myself inwards into the drawing board. The game of snake and ladder with life continues.

Idiots, Amir, Sagarika and a bit of blabber



Wow! That was something quite interesting to read. Not the article alone but the near 90 responses too. The Article in question is one by Sagarika Ghose on 3 Idiots published in Hindustan Times. and a similar one posted on ibnlive. Most of the thoughts that came to mind while reading the article already got thrown back at the author in those 90 odd responses. From both perspectives; and I couldn’t say either the article or the people responding for and against it were wrong, just because they are opinions and everyone has the right to express their opinion.


But the Gemini in me was actually bubbling to look at it from all possible perspectives. And some interesting perspectives started to reach the surface and burst. So lemme see if I can capture them in my long pending effort to start writing once more…


Perspective 1


It’s a question of supply and demand! Things that are less in supply are hugely in demand. Things that are in fashion are in demand. Things that are different from the one in vogue are new and in fashion, hence in demand. “3 Idiots” scores in all of them. It shows a story where the protagonist fights the rat race and creates his own path. He is a protagonist who fights the shackles of societal system. So he is “different”, makes him “in-fashion” hence in demand! No one likes to have a bitter pill to have fun. So the movie adds oodles of comic takes – so fun. And something that is in “demand” and “fun” has to be successful.


Perspective 2


Does everything in demand or liked by youth has to be bad? Is moral policing right? (Well they are in fashion now days, because it sells!) But the question is if too many people demanding something, then there is a big possibility that it is a basic need? When Nehru – Patel established India, the basic needs were “Roti – Kapda – Makan”. And people craved for that much only. But we have come a long way since. Now we have our government stressing the need of health & education as basic needs, as that’s what today’s populace demand and aspire for. Hence the basic need is driven by national demand. And the basic need can not be good or bad – it’s just the basic need. Same way today the overwhelming success of 3I shows the demand is for alternates – to break away from stifling education system, so isn’t it possible that it is also a basic need of present society? And there can not be a right or wrong about it – it’s just the “Basic Need”.


Perspective 3


From the perspective of back benchers, there’s nothing wrong being a back bencher. Whether I have the knowledge and capability, if I chose not to boast that and simply love doing what I do – is that wrong? I sit on the back bench, listen to what the professor explains, and instead of concentrating my effort to prove to the professor and call that I am the best person who have understood it, I try to dream, in what will this information be useful? May be the next prank that I was planning? May be the great business plan that I dreamt about? Yeah – that what I love and that’s what I will continue to do. And that’s what the movie shows.


Perspective 4


Now, let’s have a totally different take on it. The history is decorated with personalities who always left the beaten path, and chose to be “different”! Even the IIMs keep teaching you to think “out of the box”. Don’t know how to think out of the box while trying to protect the box itself. Amir is just trying to join that bandwagon – of “Maggi Hot n Sweet Tomato Sauce”: “This sauce is different baass!” And so a continuous effort to break out of the mould – RDB, TZP and now 3i. Dreaming about a rebel world – and THAT’S youth. The rebel! The romanticism of breaking the shackles of law and “usual”. That’s how you invent – that’s how to innovate, that’s how the history has been mile-stoned by the events that changed history. That’s why people from Kamal Ataturk to Che Guevara are respected. Even Galileo and Einstein are accused of it, yet they have achieved and attained what was due. Can then trying to be different ‘be so bad? At least I am all for breaking the mould and try something different. “Follow your heart” – that’s what my professor taught me two decades back!

Happy(???) Feet

All the love in the world can’t be gone
All the need to be loved can’t be wrong
Oh the hearts all start sing and my heart will keep sayin
Boogie Wonderland, wonderland

@ Paolo Coelho:

My Space at his

End – Begin



“Meethi, don’t walk so fast! It’s pretty dark out there. Wait and walk with all of us.”

“Its ok Papa, I know the way back home. Don’t worry.”

“But there could be dogs there, wait till I come to you.”

“Then come fast na!”

“Wait a bit beta, Mom cant walk so fast.”

“OK! You come with Mom, I going ahead.”

“But the dogs! They will start chasing you!”

“Where are they Papa, I cant see any!”

“They are there, just around the corner.”

“I am telling you na, they are not there. And if they are, why should I be afraid? I have done anything to them. If anyone should be afraid, then its them. They should be afraid of me. I am already five, I am not afraid of dark or dogs!”


She was five and not afraid. May deep down, she knows, papa is there, right behind. Or may be her five years, have not shown her, how things could change; towards where it shouldn’t have. Even when she is right. Even when everything around her is right; it could still turn bad. Sometime we fail to believe in fairies, and they die. And demons take over. Hell raiser returns.


Home-works done, the kid with the curly hair, sits on his table. Looking at the ten yard sky visible from his window, he knew the clouds were gathering. He quietly starts building an elaborate grid with the pack of cards. One by one the layers started taking shape. A few more cards left, the anticipation made the breath move slower. He tried to hush the entire room, that all he commands. A quick glance at the grey ten yards, a few more layer added to it, an air of apprehension floating. Two more, may be three… and a gust creeps in, sweeps over the table, and… gone…


While rest of his family was enjoying the surf, the kid was oblivious to all his surrounding. Sand is stronger than cards. And he has collected shells and stones to decorate. Red, green and even a few little blue ones. The house was coming to shape nicely. The doorway, windows, terrace, wall around the open space around it. The floor above was also complete. The decorating pieces fell in place one by one. Just to create a drive way.. through the wall, to the main entrance.. he looked up, tried to find out rest of the known faces. He wanted to share his pride. Wiping his sweaty forehead, he pans his eyes around, and a smile was about to break on his lips; he found them. But he felt cold on his feet; it was not smile the tat broke, the surf had silently crept up. The dream was gone… washed out… before he could share it…


Bricks are stronger than sand; and definitely more stable than cards. One by one he carried the bricks from the narrow lane to the second floor roof top. One by one he started putting them together. It was not as intricate as the card house. Definitely not half as beautiful as the sand house. But its stronger. The strong roof top wind blowing from the river side couldn’t budge it a millimeter. There is no chance of sea waves creeping up to wash it off. He decorated it with the Shiuli and Jaba. He took his cousins dolls and placed them in it carefully. A few broken branches around it, made it look a bit softer, covering the barren bricks. He ran down the stairs to call his mother, and grand mom. Asked them to leave their cooking for a while and have a look at his dream first. He ran back upstairs, to make sure its still looking as beautiful, till they come. Beautiful? It was already a ruin. Only the fleeting tails of the monkey army gave him the hint. Its gone, once more…


She told him, “You looked like an angry kid, sitting in the corner with all doors and windows closed. Cross at the entire world, silent, damp eyes, hands and mind closed.” She was right. And then she came, to open the doors and windows. The light flooded the room, sun kissed his cheeks; Looking at the silken strands, tilted head, angled smile, he stood up; stepped out in the rain; only to look back and see, the wind gushed in through the window, surf washing in through the doors, and monkey army once more running amuck. And he went back to his corner.


The smell of the smoke coming out of the soldering iron was heavenly. The curly hair head was leaning onto the circuit board, the gleaming eyes were feasting on the plot unraveling slowly. As the expert hands slowly kept putting the pieces in the exact place, soldering them neatly, like a magician he was putting together the pieces of jigsaw puzzle. Occasionally he was glancing up, to record a view of the master; pride filling his heart for this man he knew as his father. Slowly, a foundation was getting laid. Snapshots and recording of the general, who silently and elegantly took over the roles of chief organizer of kalipujo, tantra-dharak and the leader of the Prasad serving team. The person who always took pride in his innumerable broken bones, yet never taking pride in the selfless eldest son of the family. The person towards everyone looked up, yet when the time came, he silently passed on the mantle. The dependable became the dependant.


Looking at the figure smaller than his forearm, lying between his proud parents, he remembered,


Yes its shared, but its there. He needs to treasure each moment. Maybe this is one of those opportunities that life has thrown towards him. One of those small packages, with a promise of a life time.


Promises, or were they silent expectations? Unfulfilled desires and dreams, lost in the war of life. In course of delivering the “needed” and “expected” to all around perhaps the very personal “aspirations” were wrapped and tucked behind some unwanted wish list. Just lighting a small candle or hope and prayer, that maybe – just a “maybe” another eldest will take care of them. That “maybe” might have been defeated by another “maybe”. This eldest might not be as capable as the “eldest” senior. And a lot of those tucked up aspirations just fizzled away, unlike the crackers they were bursting a few days back during Diwali. That day, the mute eyes and a clenched fist proudly declared that he fought his last battle with all his heart, and came back from the brink. But he was unaware that the last battle was still left, as he sank back. And this time the face turned only to show a pair of tearful eyes, telling “Sorry kid, I tried my best. I really gave my best shot. But my best was not enough. I lost it. I don’t have another battle left in me anymore. Please don’t ask me for it!” Its me who is sorry. I failed. “Maybe” I didn’t had it in me. You deserved better, much better. I know you dreamt for that peace and love all of your pears were enjoying. And just when the youngest gave you a piece of it, the time was up.


It was a bad time. The streams never stopped, not yet by a long shot. The bottle with the blue and pink pills kept popping in and out of its place. The sales of Cipralox saw a steady growth. Many said, 07-08 was worst for a long time. I knew its just another of them. They keep coming back. 91-92, 97-98, 02-03 and now 07-8. Amazing accuracy! It’s apparent, 09 will see the change; one more fight back, another resurrection. Another beginning from scratch. Another buildup, pieces being put together, and a wait for the storm to come and snatch it away. Well, when you are in the battle and still alive, you need to pick up the sword and keep swinging. Just that the kid went back his room, locked up, closed down; this time might not be for the monsoon to come back. His mind-brush keeps painting, a welcome note for 09, come lets begin the fight!!


Claw, Crawl, Climb

For The ERO (Eternal Romantic Optimist), the choice is not difficult, its those everyday steps in the darkness that takes it toll. He knows what he wants, his destination never sways, he keeps the snippets of memory flashing across his vision, as he keeps looking for the next step. When all his friends shouts from the other side for him to step into the light, he smiles back. This is not the light he dreams of. His light is much brighter, yet calm. It doesn’t burn but nurtures your vision.


He remembers that smile and a faint hint of smile emerges at the corner of his lips, unnoticed by all; and he starts crawling ahead again. Just one prayer in mind, “God please keep her safe and happy till I reach!” He pauses only to gather few drops of life, stored deep inside his eternally optimistic heart.


People keeps laughing at him, looking at his improbable journey, they declare him a madman. They laugh at his decision. They laugh at the path he chose. They cant see the destination he keeps looking at. He knows he has made mistakes. He knows he has swayed away from his path. He knows coming back to his chosen path has become harder. Yet he knows that’s the only way forward.


“Double or Nothing !”

My opinion on “Your Opinion On: Good Deeds” – Paolo Cohelho’s Blog

My Grandmom used to say, when you give someone, your right hand should not know what your left has done. Essentially meaning, when you do good, dont remember that, or mention that to anyone, as it turns into boasting and that eventually defeats the idea of doing good.
Besides when you dont remember when you did the last good deed, you will always feel the urge to do it, as you feel you have not done enough.
On the opposite note, one act of kindness in the sea of inhumane actions… does it have any effect? Does a single rose plant in a huge garbage dump has any effect? Or do we need to clean the garbage first and plant the rose only after we have cleaned?
I always said, hope is good, expectations are not. Is it ok to hope (without expecting after every good deed!), that someday, all the good act done will be rewarded by someone somewhere? Will it be too late?
What if the deed you did with a good intention and hoping to benefit someone turns out to be something totaly unwanted by the person you did it to?
What will the "Warrior of Light" do if he keeps seeing that his good deeds are having no effect whatsoever? so much so that people have started telling him not to think of doing good to others? So many questions.. so less satisfactory answers!

Buzz, Din and Blabber

 Why cant the things be simple anymore? Remember those days
of childhood, when you always looked forward to the days when all the cousins will come together. You play, you share, you quarrel and you reconcile again. So easy! When you are angry you could thrash all those bushes and shrubs with your wooden sword; or pierce the hapless banana tree trunk with all the arrows you have; spin the snakes by their tail, pick n throw the frogs at will and chase the shadow of cloud through the open fields.

 That buzz in the head, just cant keep it down. As soon as the commercials appear, it grows into a roar from the din. So many thoughts; but they remain just at that. The moment I thi8nk of putting them together – swoosh… thin air. Thought of jumping up to the keyboard and hit them as fast as I can to trap them before they pull up their Houdini act.

 Never thought I will catch up so many movies. Hmm .. can call it a true sabbatical. Only if I could junk the feeling that keeps nibbling and those uncontrollable showers. Last time I caught so many movies of my like
was after the higher secondary and before the college. In those two months, partnering with the tall guy, who was my best friend, (and am sure still is!) But they were not one tenth as many mush flick as I do now. Someone changed it, and vanished. But I keep watching them and keep feeding the din n buzz in the head.

There you go; the rain comes again. And I am not talking about the ongoing shower that’s indoors. Why is it this year, its raining so much? Or is it that I am seeing it more this time around? May be it always rained this way, and I never noticed? Or is it telling me that no matter what, some things will never change? Like my longing; like the fragrance I keep smelling behind my back, and the hand that kept clutching mine in the darkness
of night.


Whatever! So what I was saying? Why aint it that easy anymore? When you knew if your eyes were moist, sooner or later someone will come up, hug you and ask, and tell you that everything will be fine. That time, when you know, that if you miserably lost the match or got beaten up by the bully, or all the friends were angry on you and didn’t take you in their same, you can always run back to you mom, sink your head in that soft cotton sari covered lap, and cry your heart out. And nobody will scold you, no body shout back at you and explain you, show you the way out of the dark.


Ya ya, I know, I have been told enough times now, that I have not kept my side of the promises; SO I need to live this one out. So the green bottle with blue and white pills can only come out from the pocket to the hand, and no further. Whtaever may be the situation, I need to show, how strong men are supposed to be, and fight it out. SO what if it takes the entire life, fighting. Always be just there, but never actually. Good enough just to see it. And be told how envious I am, and not fit for anything and all that. But I still need to survive, may be just to show that, after all I did keep my side
of the words, and expected the same on the other side. Yeah that’s my fault, expectations, and hopes and dreams. Let kill some dreams tonight…

I do believe, I do – I do


Yes I do believe. I believe in fairies, I believe in Santa Clause, in Peter Pan, Elves, Prayers and all that gives hope. Sitting in this chair, watching the incessant rain outside my window, that’s my only hope. I want to belive that when it rains, someone, somewhere IS there who is feeling something good about me. Someone loves me. Anyone who is a believer can not be unloved.


I do not know the wrongs that I have done; I sincerely have never tried to deceive or bring any harm to anyone. Have always trusted my granny when she told me the stories of “madhusudan dada”, the little Krishna; I always believed that if I do good things, someday, might take some time, but still someday I will be rewarded. I know when I want to talk to her, she does listen. May be I am yet to learn her language to know what she tells me back, but she talks.


Its my only ray of hope; a light that can take me away from this little plastic bottle I hold in my hand; from the ever lasting darkness, the despair and the incessant impregnable wall of black all around. I do not
know how long I can, but I genuinely want to believe that there must be some hope. There must be some hope of my dreams. I sincerely want to believe that if I keep shouting – “I believe in fairies, I do, I do,” somewhere a fairy will live, and she will grant me my wish. Just one wish – that’s what I always wanted from god.


Yep, can do with a real warm, cozy, genuine hug! The nights have become really prickly and tricky. But I still desperately want to believe. Want to see the phoenix rise once more! Will it be able to d it this time…

Eclipse! and its marketing in India

So even the Reuters bungles and that too about such a big event!! The article in Reuters about yesterdays solar eclipse, and its coverage in IBN Live states the next solar eclipse on July 22, 2009. However the solar eclipse calendars in BBC and NASA states otherwise; as per these two the next solar eclipse in on Jan 26, 2009. The fact is that the next total solar eclipse is on July 22, 2009 and the one on Jan 26, 2009 is a Annular Eclipse.It was fun watching its pre-event coverage on the Hindi news channels. They have this amazing control on the language, by which they can state the same statement and sentence in 20 different ways, and one after the another; and when they get something as interesting as solar eclipse, they go on overdrive to cover how its going to effect our lives. Amazingly watching all those channels covering a scientific – astronomical event, makes one wonder if they live in 21st century or mid of 16th! They state everything except the facts. The trick is to captivate unsuspecting Indian audience, and as always the weapon is terror. Marketing the woes and suffering, rather than anything remotely related to positivity.

On that note, did anyone note the next date with the sun and moons I-spy game? Yep, its the republic day, 26th January 2009. SO I am sure all of them will be licking their paws in anticipation. They must be already preparing their bytes and copies, how bad its going to be for India. Also note that it will be an election year. Wow! double whammy! and icing on the cake? Its a Annular Solar Eclipse. Long live India! Long live Indian television!! and longer live Hindi News Channels in them!!


On another note.. for all those who have written the obituary and engraved the tombstone of Horus.. the ERO can not die.. never ever. You can subdue, pin down or even make him buckle.. but Horus can not be killed. He lives and will live for his dream. Everyone dies, and I might die one day too – anyday (who knows about tomorrow? the crystal ball gazers has always gone wrong for me), but till then, its one battle after another. And the stakes are always – as ever –
“Double or Nothing”.


Dreams of a Single Father!

61% of all child abuse is committed by biological mothers

25% of all child abuse is committed by natural fathers

Statistical Source: Current DHHS report on nationwide Child Abuse79.6% of custodial mothers receive a support award

29.9% of custodial fathers receive a support award

46.9% of non-custodial mothers totally default on support

26.9% of non-custodial fathers totally default on support

66.2% of single custodial mothers work less than full-time

10.2% of single custodial fathers work less than full-time

7.0% of single custodial mothers work more than 44 hours weekly

24.5% of single custodial fathers work more than 44 hours weekly

Statistical Source: Technical Analysis Paper No. 42 – U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services – Office of Income Security Policy

44.5% of fathers with no visitation pay all the support due

37.9% of fathers are denied any visitation

66.0% of all support not paid by non-custodial fathers is due to inability to pay

Statistical Source: 1988 Census “Child Support and Alimony: 1989 Series P-60, No. 173 p. 6-7. and U.S. General Accounting Office Report” GAO/HRD-92-39FS January, 1992
40% of mothers reported that they had interfered with the father’s visitation to punish their ex-spouse.

–See “Frequency of Visitation….” by Stanford Braver, American Journal of Orthopsychiatry

The  data is from here

“Unmarried and just 33 years old, Sandip recently adopted Arjun, the first in the country to do so in almost a decade.
… Sandip had applied for the adoption with Bal Darshan four years ago.  “I did get frustrated at times,” he admits. “I had to answer weird queries like ‘why would a tall, good looking young man like me want to adopt a child?’ Or I would be asked to get letters from people who I had absolutely no association with. For instance, the builder who was bringing down our bungalow in Mumbai to construct a building,” recalls Sandip.”

“In the country’s first case of a surrogate child conceived for a single father, a city-based infertility clinic handed over the infant to its proud parent in Kolkata Sunday evening.… “The pre-requisite for single parenthood through ART is marriage, which Banerjee fulfilled,” the doctor, who is a member of the national committee set up to frame guidelines for ART clinics in India, said.”



Each of the report one comes across shows how much a male wants to be blessed with fatherhood. How much importance a father gives to the feeling of being with his kid, yet, its always the mother who is given prominence. I have always maintained that just because of the pain a mother felt, the child should always be grateful. Yet, isn’t a father equally giving and feel in his own way, the emotions attached with parenthood? Doesn’t he spend sleepless nights looking at his little angel? Doesn’t he toil those extra hours just to have those extra pennies for the future of his child? Doesn’t he go through the same, excitement, anxiety, pain and ecstasy that a mother feels? Why is the society then so much bent towards mother then?

So much so, that its so hard for a male to be a father, when he is bootstrapped? He is dependant upon the lady’s consent to bring his own offspring to earth. And if he cant have one biologically, and wants to adopt one – regulations galore; until he has a wife at home, or lives in a joint family or of a particular age, he can’t even adopt. And even if he somehow meets all the criteria, the point (j) of 1.1.10 from the regulations termed by CARA (Central Adoption Resource Agency), is a killer. By the way, that’s one of the “safeguards”. And it states – “Placement of girls with a single male is not allowed as also placement of children with same sex couples.” Poooof!! There goes the dream. A single father can never adopt a girl child!! Though a female can. And even if a male is a widower, he can! And there are examples galore that how caring those fathers are. Yet…

Well it doesn’t “term” any guideline for a single father who is divorced or separated, who knows, when a hapless one embarks on a journey, some over-enthusiastic “babu” (or “bibi” – it might be) might interpret some of the guidelines which asks him to hang from the cliff in one hand and take out money from his pocket and count it, to show that he is capable of becoming a father. And I am not even worrying about the remarks, expressions, and reactions he has to face. As if the separation was something that he has charted in his own terms and will. Why is it so difficult? Why is the society so much biased towards females? Even when it comes to the question of maintaining a relationship, till such time that the relationship exist but in doldrums, in some case the woman will be termed guilty and in others the man; but when it ends, it will always be the man’s fault. Why so much prejudice? Why so much predefined conceptions? Why can an individual be treated as an individual?

So you are free to give! Anything! Whether its your blood, eyes, other organs or hard earned money, you can give it to the society. But the moment a man asks for something in return, the society arms itself to its teeth. The males are the one who has to be strong, who needs to earn the bread, who has to be one of superlative moral character, who has to be caring, giving and forgiving, who needs to be loyal, and has to be understanding. Yet he is not someone who should be understood as an individual. On the other hand, the females are the enigma! They are the one who needs to be protected and ..  Each of the statistics collected shows what  men do, and contrary to the  popular and safe beliefs, yet, they are bound and gagged and labeled  for life.  Life alone is  a  real  tough alley my friend! Why cant a single male be allowed to dream and live his dreams?  

Twists and Turns


When Newton came out with its theory of gravitation people
first didn’t believe; and then were mesmerized. So happened with Einstein’s
theory of relativity. Then the theories and mysteries of science kept on
coming. Weather it quantum mechanics, string theory or the now coming of age –
Chaos theory, all of them had the classical content to mesmerize people. Amaze
them and make them sit and think at awe. But they are still not the match.


Chemistry has its own set of puzzles. Materials reacting
with each other, some taking in energy, while some throwing them out with fury.
While some chemicals present you with most valuable of gifts, some others
simply corrodes them off. And we even use their corrosive power to our use. But
still can they match the reactions happening elsewhere?


Freud, Maslow, Pavlov, Adler and others kept on raking their
brain to get a glimpse of what is happening on most of the human (and not so
human) brains. Theories, and hypothesis kept flowing. People kept on debating and
discussing possibilities and realities. From dreams to conscious, sub-conscious
and unconscious all were dissected, and the followers kept on gazing
mesmerized. They still are – as still lot is left in this fathomless pit. Yet
it can only become a second best in terms of ability to amaze.


When I was thinking about it, I tried comparing it with a
game of 20-Twenty cricket. With all the twists and turns. Or should it be the
game of snakes and ladders; no – may be the giant wheel? When I tried to see
the maximum amount of twists and turns a game can offer – the Net suggested a
game from Hasbro – “Life twist and Turns”. Now these guys seems to have got a
whiff of actual things. Still it’s a game. And I am sure even the Holyfield –
Tyson match cant compare with it. Not a match between McEnroe and Byon Borg


People keep saying its boring, and nothing much happens. Yet
writers and philosophers keep saying its more dramatic than any drama. And I
fully support it. At least my three decades tells me so. And I also strongly
believe nothing is more constant than the change. So many changes, so many
nooks and corners; so many blind lanes and blinding lights of traffic. How can
anything even dare to be compared with life in terms of twist and turns and
surprises? Some get baffled, most gets fatigued. Some leave the game half way
through, and a few keep playing. Its not the plot but the climax on the last
page that keep most going. And so do I. Sometime the events are so much close
to each other that they can hardly be distinguished from each other. Yet one
knows that the overlapping payers are part of unique experiences of life.


The only words that come to my mind are few borrowed one
from Robert Frost,


The woods are lovely, dark and deep

But I have promises to keep

Heaps to get before I sleep

Heaps to give before I sleep


Miles to go before I sleep

Miles to go before I sleep…

Passion and the Passionate…


Off late I keep on remembering about this friend of mine, a childhood friend, who still remains one because of a special characteristics he has. Most of us has at least one characteristics, that makes us an individual – a different person from the others. Some have physical ones – some have intellectual characteristics. This guy had something, which he could associate with anything. It is his passion. Passion to immerse himself in anything he got involved into.


Ya, ya ya! So what? Lots of us are passionate; we can easily find a passionate sports-lover, a passionate partner or even a passionate foody. Hmmm – but how about someone who is just passionate, about anything he chooses for. When he learned to take the first step on two feet, he became passionate about walking; and so he wandered off his house on the deathly silence of a summer afternoon, away from his father’s state government quarter, leaving a unsuspecting mother sleeping, crossed the village farms and reached the highway, on his two and a half year old feet. And never ever liked to be denied the option of not using his feet. Isn’t that passion?


Then when he was hardly able to manage the amar chitra kathas and chandamamas, he suddenly gets his hand on a translated novel on Tarzan, and finishes all of the 200 pages at one go. And then kept on reading all he could lay his hands on; novels, comics, short stories and even original volumes of Ramayana and Mahabharat. Isn’t that again a passion, this time about reading? What about his mastering the art of hiding, with a carefully developed hideout in the middle of the unkempt groves, with entrances only known to his friends. Or cutting all the joints of his index and middle finger of the right hand, trying to learn flying a kite in the shortest possible time, till he had one flying high on a clear blue Benaras sky, unchallenged.


He took his passion to new heights on his games. To play Carrom, his board had notches, and lines showing angles of deflection all over it, because he wanted to master the art of striking from impossible angles. He spend nights after nights to learn the best moves in chess to device a blitzing opening game that can check mate a unsuspecting person in first 7 moves. Or spending long evenings with his partner to master the calls of contract bridge, to converse freely and knowing the exact cards in each other’s hand. Or running, on hazy winter mornings and drizzly July dawns; running the 4-kilometer stretch, sometime with his best friend, and sometime only his breathe as partner. People thought him to be crazy, but his passion was for himself, not to show off, hence he always kept his tries under wraps, it was something only to be shared with himself or those very very close to his heart.


It was his passion to learn, that saw him learn all the tricks of the trade he wanted. No one to guide, except his passion to know, and he spent those hours alone, to fiddle and learn the software’s. He didn’t have any certificate to prove his knowledge, but people knew what he is capable of by the works he did. Bosses came down to congratulate, but he knew he has only done it for his passion.


He carried his passion to his love. He loved someone so dearly that forgot the world around. He was ready to loose all he had. He knew the lurking problems. But his passion for the loved one believed that he could treat them all. He went in headfirst, dived and tried with all his might, for fifteen long years. And after he thought that it’s the end of life, and again found a candle burning for him, he raised his passion once more. The way he loves is only because of his passion. As always, some might think, that he masters his moves to showoff his capability, even when loving. Some seems to think that his ability to love stems from the words and tricks that he has mastered. Some will keep thinking that his craziness for love is a carefully cultivated skill that he uses on others. But he knew it’s just his passion. Passionate about life, passionate about love, and passionate about those he loves. His passion for life means he cannot kill himself. His passion for his loved ones means he will keep doing all in his control to see them happy. His passion about love means he will keep being that incurable romantic optimist.


Just wondering, when will his passion die?