Sunday, December 30, 2007

If you can't return it, just throw it back ...

Give me back my love, my love.
If you can’t return it, just throw it back
But just don’t keep it with you like that

It’s all that I had that I gave to you
But maybe the meaning did not come through
So now that you don’t need it, just pass it back

It's not meant for a public view
So it wouldn’t suit your showcase
or your mantle-rack

Nor akin a library book overdue
That’s tossed in a corner untold
And lost under heaps
And heaps of memories old.

It is worth a bit more than that
As much as you may not realise
It is worth a man’s dreams, joys, sorrows,
Everything he is at
It is worth a man’s life.

I am without, and so I am not
‘coz I need what you’ve got
So just pass me back my love, my love
You can’t return it, so just throw it back.
But give me back my love, my love
That is one thing I need, to be.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

IITK - Book of Institutional Harassment [3:14]

... and then the powers-that-be said, “and thou shalt hence be known as The Academically Deficient One, and by the instrument of this name thou shalt be treated as a lowly mongrel, and looked upon with suspicion wherever you go or in whatever you do, and any attempt that thee shall strive to make to clear thyself of this name shalt be trodded down upon sans mercy by us who are invested with the clout to do so.”

Thursday, October 18, 2007

To Each His Own

Scene : High Speed Aerodynamics Laboratory, Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur, India
Players : Saumya Jain and Ashish Vashishtha
Mood : SLEEPY!!!

Saumya is working on the computer, fiddling with the Quotations page. Apparently a day to think up something profound. Picks up a Shakespeare quote and puts it across on the blog. It goes something like this...
"It is not important to know who you are, than to have faith in what you can become."
Thus satisfied, he is about to fall asleep on the keyboard when Ashish returns from MT. With an eclectic, jovial and recently-had-something-to-eat mood, Ashish comes and sits next to Saumya. Saumya, beaming from inside at his recently plagiarised quote, points out the verse to his mate.

Ashish looks at it, grows serious, and remarks with a straight face...
"A call-girl is better than a girlfriend."
Silence. Ashish looks at Saumya; Saumya looks at Ashish. They laugh. Period.

P.S : What an anti-climax!

In The Arithmetic of Love ...

Henry and Melinda - Prologue

"... one plus one equals everything, and two minus one equals nothing."

This is a quote by Mignon McLaughlin, and this is the pure essence of Henry and Melinda. More chapters to come along!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

The Walk

HENRY AND MELINDA - Chapter (Minus) Five

The market in old town was an old one, as anyone would guess. It had huge, Roman pillars and a covered space in front of the shops, much akin to Victorian architecture. Legend has it that the town designer had a inclination to include elements of architecture from major world cities in our town, and the municipal corporation five years back had gone on a record digging spree to identify these and utilise this information in adding to the town’s tourist value. As we had entered the central sidewalk of the market, a sign read, in Municipal-speak, “Welcome to Connaught Place, New Delhi, India.” I could not hold a smile back every time I saw one of these boards. It was like travelling to a new city every time I went out to town. We had a Times Square, a Colloseum and even a Sydney Harbour amongst so many others, all in this sleepy town in the middle of nowhere. However, that was beyond the point. We were here, now, going around in circles of the Connaught Circus, the three of us, while the whole world seemed to be moving against us, and she was angry. Yes, we were literally going around in circles for the past half an hour now, without ever reaching an end, or a beginning.

* * * * *

“Don’t you use that tone with me!” she hissed as we walked on. I kept up pace, trying to avoid bumping into someone, “What tone? WHAT TONE?! I am just talking to you. Where did you hear a tone? Oh and by the way, did you listen to what I was saying, or were you just too much worried about the tone?” She was getting angry by the minute, and I couldn’t make out if it was the quick walk or her anger that was making her breath so short. Her anger was still short on the fuse though, “Yeah yeah, I did listen to all that crap. You are an idiot Henry Paige. Billy, tell him he is an idiot and I don’t wanna talk to him.” Billy looked at me, gave me a smirk and said, “Henry, you are an idiot. She aint talking to you. You get that?” “Yea,” I smiled a wry one, just avoiding a protrusion jutting out from the railing along the sidewalk on which all three of us were, umm, walking. Well, no, you couldn’t call it walking; it was more like rushing, although we did not know to where or why. “Tell her I aint wanna talk to her either!” Billy found it very amusing, “Oh you guys! What am I doing here? Don’t drag me into this.” And then Billy saw me winking at him to keep playing on for her sake, so he said in a mechanical tone, “Okay Mel, he doesn’t wanna talk to you either.” He grazed past a burly man who gave him the eye and Billy was like “Oops, sorry!” I thought it was meant for the fatso, but it could also have been for Melinda who was eyeing him with equally bloodshot eyes. She was really angry, and only the Gods above know what I had done to earn that ire from her.

* * * * *

When I had woken up that morning, she was angry, and after a not-so-lovely Sunday breakfast she had called up Billy to “help us out”, and an hour later here we were, in a busy market in a crazy city of this screwball world, walking-on along the sidewalk, at the peak of Sunday, out in the sun, hustling and bustling across this sea of humanity which comes out on a holiday to do exactly the same thing. Walking, frantically trying to keep pace with each other, talking to each other and jostling with the crowd coming from upfront, avoiding as well as revelling in the sights and sounds of this world, and at the same time, discussing something which was so personal to just the two of us. The irony of it all was just too much to come to terms with all of a sudden. But yes, there I was, in the rush of things, sorting out a domestic problem in a place where I could least expect to walk straight, leave alone thinking likewise. My life couldn’t have been more dramatic or more extreme.

And this entire time one thing seemed peculiar. We were walking and it suddenly occurred to me as though all the people were only coming from the front, and it seemed odd. It was as if the three of us had been the only people headed in our direction, with the whole wide world walking to an entirely another tune. Moreover, this sea of humanity that was headed in our direction for the entire last half an hour we had been walking seemed to be surging and fading with time. It had a character of its own, the human wave I mean. It had its heaves and its bows, just like the emotional ups and downs, the pitches of her voice, the gyrations of Billy’s lanky figure to avoid bumping someone and the pace of my crazy walk. There seemed to be some sort of a synchronised dance of nature going on, and the three of us, our emotional states, even the proverbial sea of humanity all seemed to be dancing to it.

* * * * *

Why and how would Billy “help us out” I could not figure that. Billy was “my” friend and as he met Mel and time passed, he became “her” best friend. So much so, that sometimes I felt that she could keep things from me and tell him. Did this disturb me? I would honestly say yes. I am a man, programmed on an 8052 processor or its equivalent, which basically means I am very primitive and laidback. To have someone who is like your soul mate, to confide in your friend rather than yourself is a hard fact to accept. Women call it jealousy. I call it insecurity. Plain, simple and dead honest. It’s insecurity. It tells me, “Dude, she cannot tell you everything. She would choose someone else to open up to.” It makes me feel insecure, and I don’t like it. It doesn’t matter for me whom she chooses, but as long as it is not me, I am worried. Sometimes, I would wonder, how something like this could be explained, but I suppose I had attributed this to the enigmatic nature of ‘woman’kind and the old-fashioned attitude of ‘man’kind, and let that be that. (For women, I believe, have been the products of a CRAY or its computer sibling) So, Mel told me she wanted Billy to come and sort it out for us. Although outlandish the idea seemed to me, I humoured her, knowing perfectly well that Billy knew Mel enough to play on with her little game. And Billy and I knew each other too well. Nothing could disrupt that understanding between me and him.

Billy came and Mel prepared some coffee for him. I was in the other room watching a stand-up comedy show while they chatted in the kitchen. Sometimes, over the sounds of the television I could hear something from her, like a rise of her voice as Mel generally does when she gets too excited, or too angry about something, but I figured that as long as Billy is there, I don’t need to worry about my Mel. If there was anything troubling her, I had gotten her “her best friend” to sort it out for her. I needn’t do anything more. She did not tell me whatever was troubling her anyways. So the only thing I could do to help her out was to give her some space and put Billy on the job. I could watch my TV and forget about the whole episode. She had her medicine, I had mine, I figured. Then a few minutes later Billy came upto me and winked, “Let’s go out Hen'y. We are goin' shoppin'.” Without thinking twice, I put in my overcoat and walked out the door. Mel emerged a little short of two minutes after I had come out, escorted by Billy. I saw her and I lost my heart for the millionth time to the same woman. Oh my, she was the most beautiful woman I had ever known, even when she was in her worst mood. Something told me she was extremely sad, but I did not know what or why. I chose to play the game as she wanted, give her the time she needed, the stuff she needed, and keep a distance from her, near enough to make her feel safe and far enough to have her own space.

* * * * *

Soon, it had started raining, we were still pacing around the merry-go-round of life, with my better half been literally steaming now that she was wet too, and Billy and me keeping pace and shouting at top of our voices to make her hear. But no, Melinda Parker wouldn’t listen. She wasn’t one to listen. She kept ranting on, “Billy he is this …”, “Billy, he is that …”, “Billy, he doesn’t …” and “Billy, he always …”. Billy was as sympathetic as a friend would be, he kept comforting her all along, but no, she did not need comforting. Finally, I could handle it no more. I still don’t know if it was because I was hearing so much of “Billy”, or that I was tired of this game, or that I just had been fed up with all the idioticity, but something tugged at my spine and I spoke up. I spoke up, with such a start that I surprised even myself, while Billy just had to stop a minute and gave me a look of extreme puzzlement. He was like, “No! Henry! Don’t!” But it was too late. My gates had been opened, and they weren’t going to close till I had let it out. A lot of it had been stored away for long and over time it had coagulated and gotten thick. Today it had to come out.

“Billy, am I the only one who is wrong every time? Yes, I am the man around here, and so everything is my responsibility, and I take responsibility for everything Billy, but in the same breath I would daresay that that does not mean it is my fault Billy, let Her Highness know this.” Ah! The irony of Love. I knew perfectly well, and so did she, that we were both comfortably hearing each other, yet neither of us had any reservations about pulling poor Billy in. But I guess, he is her best friend, and if it is her who wants to involve him in this, then I have no qualms about it. I am speaking my mind out, and an audience of two makes no more difference to me than an audience of one. Moreover, a best friend is supposed to help her out, ain’t it so? Billy, heh heh, no running away from it now, I thought.

“Yes, Billy it is indeed his fault. He is such an idiot. God knows what he keeps thinking! He just thinks something up and sticks to it like an adamant kid.” At this, I smiled, and said, “Yes Billy, you see, I am the one being adamant here, and I am the one not letting go of weird notions. I am the one who is being close minded and all that. I am the one who is running around the market seething at Henry Paige for the last forty five minutes without even telling him what my problem is! Yes Billy I am the one who is an idiot!”

Mel's pace quickened, as though she wanted to get away from it all now. The crowd was relentless though. I still had to look over a couple of heads to locate where she was. I caught a glimpse of my angry angel’s face. Her cheeks were wet. It could have been due to the rain. It could have been due to the crying. The sight, and before that, thought that she was crying, stung me out of my anger. I felt an intense hate for myself. No matter what happened, no matter WHATEVER happened, I had told myself long back, those eyes will never cry. They were crying now, and it was my fault, this much I knew. The why hardly mattered over the what. I will not speak any more now, I had decided.

The rain was coming down heavily now and she had lowered her head a bit. I pushed across a few people to be walking just to the left of her as she came out with one final backlash. “Billy,” she continued, “he wouldn’t listen to me even after I have told him the same thing over and over. It’s for his own good, but he doesn’t understand, Billy.” Yes, I knew now what she was talking about. She was worried about me! All along! And yet it had been left up to me to figure this out all along! My, my, my, strange is the logic of Love. Mel’s been furious with me, for me, and it’s me who is the last person to figure it out. Beautiful. “He doesn’t work Billy. He doesn’t work to realise his potential. He gets into needless arguments, weird explanations and funny stories, but doesn’t ever work.” She was so emotional and worked up right now that she did not even realise that Billy wasn’t here with us anymore. He had long been swept away by the crowd. Must have ‘bumped into’ one of his former girlfriends I suppose, heh heh, but yeah it was just me and her and the crowd now.

She went on talking to Billy nevertheless, as I could only feel emotion welling up in me, “Billy why doesn’t he understand, he’s got to work, he’s got to succeed, he means so much to me and still he can’t do that one thing that would make him happy.” I just kept listening and walking along with her. Slowly the thick crowd seemed to dissolve. It was getting thinner and thinner as she poured her heart out. Her volume had gone down, maybe talking so much had tired her out, or maybe she had gotten more relaxed just by letting those emotions out in the open. I kept walking, listening and taking in this beautiful sight of her. Only I knew right now that there was no Billy there, and no crowd left between us. We were alone in the market. The shops were closing early because of the heavy downpour and the marketplace visitors were going back to their homes.

And then, I realised how strangely parallel it was to what we had been experiencing. After all, it was just me and her. No one else mattered. Just me, and her. Billy could only have gone a few hours with us, but after that it was me, and her. The crowd was totally external to the both of us, just me and her. No crowd, no Billy. Me and Her. And she was still walking, talking and I was still walking alongside, looking at the only woman I had ever loved and the only woman I would ever love. She was there, and she was sad, and she was slowing down, and she stopped. All that I had just realised was probably dawning in on her too. She turned around and looked at me. I was right beside her shoulder, the two of us alone, in the market, the rain coming down on us. There was no world to find fault in, no Billy to be used as a stupid excuse to talk to each other. It was just me and her in our silence, and the pitter-patter of the raindrops.

I opened my overcoat. “Melinda, you are soaking, come here.” She looked at me. I was standing there like a lovesick idiot, totally drenched myself, calling out to my beloved, the lapels of my coat opened up for her, just as my heart was at that exact moment. I was looking at her lovely face. No sight of heaven could have been more comforting than what my eyes beheld that moment in the old market of the old town we lived in. “Come, honey, let’s just go home. I am sorry.” At that, Melinda Parker, the love of my life, silently came into my overcoat and took me in an embrace. Her wet cheek touched my collar, a little to the left, and I could feel its warmth reach deep up to my heart.

* * * * *

Thursday, September 20, 2007

What went wrong?


Henry had lunch in the district court premises itself. As he was climbing down the steps of the old, Victorian building, having just been legally declared single again by a piece of paper and an old, tight lipped man who knew nothing about who he was, who "they" had been or what had gone wrong, he saw her wave to him from a tree shade near the parking lot.

Why now?, he thought. Why NOW? Isn't it over? Why now? It hasn't even been an hour! She still wants to talk? What is left to talk about after all this? He had avoided looking at her all through the proceedings, as she had avoided looking at him, they had let their lawyers take up their cases and strangle out whatever little life must have been left of their bond. He was still thinking all this, when instinctively his hand waved back at her. If this was not enough, his lips betrayed him into a smirk. She smiled back warmly.

As he stepped down the last step, she had crossed the lot and was there in front of him. She opened her arms and they hugged, and he could already feel an alienness in her, she was not his anymore. He felt awkward at touching her, hugging her, even looking at her. She is now a stranger to me, he reasoned and accepted his quirky behaviour thus.

She looked deep into his eyes and asked, "What went wrong Henry?" He just gazed at her, astounded that she could even ask him this question, amazed at her naivette and enraged at her neglect. Doesn't she know? Or maybe she genuinely didn't. Oh well, if she doesn't know, then maybe she doesn't deserve to know as well. He just gazed at her for as long as he could remember. She could gather that Henry would not be answering her question. They both wandered into each others eyes for what seemed like eternity, each hoping to get a glimpse of the other's soul. He, inquiring the nature of the query as a genuine one or a mockery of what they had just ended; She, trying to get an answer to her question and in the absence of it, a reason for the same.

Henry dropped his bag to break the silence. They were back into the world. He bent down, hoping to catch a glimpse of her pink sandals for one last time that he wanted to, collected his papers, stood up, looked at her curtly for one last time and said, "See you Melinda. Goodbye." And he walked up to his car and drove away. Melinda, looked at the cloud of dust of the departing car, sighed, and muttered to herself, "You should have answered that Henry, if not for me, then for yourself. You should have answered that."

That night Melinda got a note delivered to her house. It said not much, but she knew from the handwriting that it was from him. It went something like this ... "You know when I went away this afternoon, I thought, I should have answered that question. If not for you, then at least for myself I should have answered that question." Melinda smiled to herself, remembering what she had said that afternoon when Henry had gone away. Yes, little, unimportant, human, social differences will never ever change the fact that she and Henry were as close as it came to soul mates. Nothing could change how similar they would think or react to situations. It was reacting to one another, though. where they surprised themselves. Anyhow, she continued to read ... "Yes Melinda, something went wrong. I was seeing it all along, and maybe it was my mistake that I took it as another of your childish idiosyncracies and ignored it. I did have it in my mind for a long time and yes, I DID tell you on multiple occasions, but maybe you were not listening properly or I was not telling it right. You wanna know what went wrong, Melinda? I know what went wrong. It was honesty. Honesty went wrong. I was more honest than I should have been, and you were just not. Honesty went grossly wrong with us Melinda. I was bad for too much of it, and you were worse for too little. That is all.
-Love(?), Henry."

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

saummy's back!

saummy's back, and back for good.

wayy back down the annals of old father time, there was a guy, studying, slogging it out for prestige. there was a saumya jain who did not care who or what. emotions was not what he was carved out for. pure performance, impeccable perfection was all he knew, and all he cared for was his goal and the means to achieve it.

soon, it changed. he fucked up.

he started noticing people around him. people with selves, with hopes, aspirations, with dreams. he started respecting that. he started learning that people need to be taken care of, attended to, loved. he started to love them. he started to see to it that they felt important. that their egos got tingled every now and then. people like that you know. he fell in love. with the whole of humanity. yes, he fell in love. with that one girl who meant the life to him. was it love? he still doesn't know. but whatever it was, it changed him, nurtured him for well over four years and brought out a side to him that he never knew he had. did it really nurture him? or was it him who was nurturing this idiotic farce that he thought was love? he had become vulnerable, he had become weak, he was pitying himself for the first time in his two decades of existence.

and then it happened again. things changed. he fucked up again.

he was never a change-happy guy. that part of his personality, ironically, had been the same since his childhood. he screwed up whenever things changed. he had the capability of screwing everything up BIGTIME. things that weren't even related to the change, got fucked up at his hands. he had lost everything once more. everything. and he went back in a shell. from his recluse he could see everyone bubbling around, moving on with their lives. he hated himself, hated the world. he hated and hated and hated. and then he slept.

he slept the whole of summers away.

it was a summer hibernation. he went to the point of no return and stay put. in his sleep, he could listen people coming up to him and try to waken him up. he wanted to, but couldn't. and then one fine day, he met a flock of angel-sisters. some of them seemed familiar, some of them were strangers. he reached out to touch them. they opened up to him. they told him their stories, as he told them his. as he heard about their pain, he realised what an ignorant fool he had been all this time. what he had was no pain at all. it was his own undoing that was lashing back at him all this time. saummy knew now what he had to do. he woke up and started working. from the depths of his heart saummy felt thankful to the angel-sisters. they had shown him how to feel love and still not corrupt his mind.

he was back.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

A Quote pour Moi!

"He is a man of letters, but not a man of his word" ;) Heh heh heh!!!

Monday, September 03, 2007

RKN ki Guide!

(Pre Script : This is my first attempt at dissecting a book. Please be soft on me.)

Okay, so I named it just like RGV ki AAG :) but that's where comparisons, and comedy, stops.

The Guide as a book was an exquisite piece of fiction, and the movie kept match. Well, if you haven't read the book or watched the movie, I suggest read the book first and then watch the movie. The book takes us through the life of a boy-turns-man-turns-saint and his adventures as a guide, a lover, a hoodwink, and finally as a person.

The portrayal of characters is as real as it can get. There are no black or white characters, they are all just human, having their own shares of fallibilities, weaknesses and villiany as well as our keep of fame, money and power. The protagonist, while on one hand is a gentleman, a passionate person with a zeal for life, and who also finally puts up his very survival at stake for what he himself at a point thought of as a stupid superstition. A Hero? But Wait! At the same time, he is also in love with another man's woman, elopes with her and then even lives off her talents. It even seems that he made money by cheating her in business!

The book shows us the nature of humanity. No one's proverbially 'good' and no one's proverbially 'bad'. Rosie, the woman, is a dancer. She uses her womanly charms to catch hold of this smart guide and gets rid of her old husband to whom she is supposed to be avowed for seven births. She gets him to leave his mother, gets him to make her famous, and when he has done that, wants him to go back to the old days. Aren't we all like that?

We strive for progress. We toil for success. And once we have it, we reminisce about the "good old relaxed days". Why is it so? I could not figure it out. The book told me a lot of things that showed me that it IS so, but the cause eluded me. For a long time, I pondered over this question. And then I found the answer, or at least something that left me with some sort of satisfaction. I still haven't gotten the "Why" but just read on what I got, and you'll know why the "why" doesn't bother me anymore.

Oddly enough, the solution (or something like it, as I have already mentioned) came from the movie version of the book. Its a song that the movie opens with, and here are the lyrics. I would like to try an English version of it, but till then, let's just keep it to this itself.

Wahaan kaun hai tera, musaafir, jaayega kahaan?
Dam lele ghadi bhar, ye chhaiyaan, paayega kahaan?

Beet gaye din, pyaar ke palchhin,
Sapna bani woh raaten...
Bhuul gaye woh, tu bhi bhula de,
Pyaar ki woh mulaaqaaten.
Sab door andhera, musaafir jaayega kahaan?

Koi bhi teri, raaha naa dekhe,
Nain bichhaaye naa koi...
Dard se tere, koi naa tadpa
Aankh kisi ki naa royi.
Kahe kisko tu meraa, musaafir jaayegaa kahaan?

Ho musaafir, tu jaaye-gaa kahaan?

Kahate hai gyaani, duniya hai faani,
Paani pe likhi likhaayi...
Hai sabki dekhi, hai sabki jaani,
Haath kisike naa aayi.
Kuchh teraa naa meraa, musaafir jaayegaa kahaan?

This was sung by S. D. Burman in his oh-my voice. Here's a video link.
Yeah, so that was that. I don't know if I made a lot of sense, but heck, it makes sense to me. :)

Sunday, September 02, 2007


Aloo ke paranthe.
Tawa Pizza.
Mooli ki bharwa roti.
Butter Toast.
Daal Baati.
Moong ki daal ki khichdi.
Makhani Daal.
Dahi Bhalle.
Besan ka Chilla.
Aate ka halwaa.
Thanda Mathha.
Sem ki sabzi.

Aaye Haaye.

I'm at home, and my tummy is in tummy heaven. :)
The tongue can't leave the cheek though!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Was it you?

Was it you or was I dreaming?


the late phone call at night
the stupid idiotic worthless fight

the million lines of online chat
talking about anything, everything, this n that

and then came the time, the first meeting
seeing you was enough, the rest was fleeting

the one when i became deaf and dumb
you saw me trembling, actually i was numb!

the bangles and the sarees, all that too,
was i dreaming or was it really you?


it wasn't you, now i have known
everything was a dream, all of my own

it was a picture that i had drawn
it was a dream that is now gone

it was a silly heart and a stupid man
doing and thinking only what stupid things can

its not your fault, you never knew
heh 'cause for me "you" were not you

from the outside, in the mold you fitted right in
but the silly me forgot to look within

you weren't her, umm maybe close
but just not her, the one that i chose

that doesnt send the real you any afar
you're a wonderful girl just as you are

but i'm a simple man and thus i opine
couldn't want something that was never mine

it wasn't you, i was dreaming all along
and then i heard the Pope singing his song

"How happy is the blameless vestal’s lot!
The world forgetting, by the world forgot.
Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind;
Each prayer accepted and each wish resigned"

the reverie is over, the dream is gone
but just don't yet talk about moving on.

Friday, August 03, 2007

The Change.

When we are young, we have dreams.
When we are young, the world's a beautiful place.
When we are young, we have a future.
When we are young, we believe in peace, in honesty, in ideals, in love.

and then ... we grow up.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

From the 90s and still there.

I am a retro.
I grew up in the 90s.
A good part of me still lives in those times. No matter how much I try to keep pace with the times, I am stuck!

Wanna know why? Here's 50 reasons, in no particular order...

1. The never ending mythical cultural dose of Mahabhaaaarat, Ramayana, Shri Krishna, well maybe even Alif Laila on DD1

2. Oh yes and talking about DD1 ... Surabhi, Tehkikaat, Byomkesh Bakhshi, Nukkad, Circus, Hum Log, Chanakya, Shanti, Swabhimaan and the Saturday waali fillum and the Sunday shaam waali fillum.

3. Do I hear more? Yeah, DD2, the Superhit Muqabla, the Rangoli, the Chitrahaar, the video "albums", the non-stop 24 hour channel, the Govinda and Rajnikant movies, the Regional language films, the late night English flicks from the 70s, the NFDC art films! Heck even the "Munna zara paas ki dukaan se namak toh le aa" (IODISED NAMAK campaign), "ORS ka ghol", "Mile sur Mera Tumhaara", "Ek Titli, Anek Titiliyaan"

4. The Kiddie specials - Talespin, Duck Tales, Tom and Jerry at 7:00 a.m., Guchha, Daanu Danasur, Alladin, Disney Hour, Alice in Wonderland (Tap tap topi topi topi jo duube), Potli baba ki, Mulla Nasruddeen :)

5. Taking "money" to school to buy Crax from the DPS-EOK canteen, making a very long face in case you lost the money, and trying to explain how you would make up for it.

6. Watching jingles like : Washing Powder Nirma ... , Lifebuoy hai jahan ... , Bol Sakhi Bol tera raaz kya hai ;) ... , Humaara Bajaj ... , Vicco Turmeric nahin Cosmetic ... , Babool babool paise wasool ... , Dhoondte reh jaaoge ... , Joote mein hai light ... , Hum do humaare do ... , Melody khaao khud jaan jaao ... , Coffee or toffee ... , Maggi hot and sweet tomato "chilli" sauce, its different ... , Jab main chhota bachcha tha ... , Asli masaale sach sach ... , Liril girls ... , Lux adverts ... , Haan bhai haan, Coldarin li? ... , Saatth saal ke boodhe ya saatth saal ke jawaan? ... , Raju tumhaare daant toh motiyon jaise chamak rahe hain ... , Bhala usski saaree meree saree se safed kaise? ... ,

7. The aampapad/chooran waala who used to sit in front of the school gate. Or the Kwality icecream waala, hey even the Kwarly or Quality icecream waala. And how can one forget the 2 rupees ki kulfi.

8. When V.P (Singh) caused a nationwide bandh (Mandal Riots) and then P.V. (Narasimha Rao) took over and got us a stable government. What the heck, did we even care? ... Economic Liberalisation by the sardar uncle in the Blue pagdi (Manmohan Singh) whom Papa and Joshi uncle would ardently listen to every March for some strange discussions on "budget"

9. Speaking of budget, Ma and Papa writing their daily hisaab at night and doing the books to see how to plan for our bright future.

10. The Cricket World cup of 1996, the Eden Gardens burning, Kambli crying ... Azhar, Kapil, Sachin ... Match fixing, Cronje getting killed, oh man!

11. Nasnal eleksons, all the time, post PVNR ... I.K. Gujral, Hardhanhalli Dodde Deve Gowda (I memorised this one for my GK exam) ... Pa and Ma proudly showing off the black tickmarks on their fingernails everytime they voted (and probably it was all the time) ... Photo Voter I Cards.

12. A time when a telephone in your house was a luxury. Oh and wait, there was these long queues at the local STD-PCO after 9:00 to talk to my Nanaji in Kanpur or Tauji in Muzaffarnagar.

13. Knowing the mohalla waalaas as "16 wali aunty" and "17 waali aunty" ... "Roorkee waale tauji", "Modinagar waali buaji" ... "Pinky didi" ... "Bittoo bhaiyya"

14. School "picnic" to Lodi Garden or Humayun's tomb. Planning in advance and ending up just rolling down the slopes. Or Maybe Appu Ghar, Delhi Zoo, Or the National Science Center, Rail Museum, Bal Bhavan, Shankar's Library, Doll's Museum.

15. Chacha Chaudhary, Billoo, Pinky, Saboo, Raman, Channi Chachi.

16. Manorama, Sarita (with Shrimatiji) and Grihashobha (Bunai special) and then Ma became "mod" so Women's Era. Heh heh heh ... and then "we" grew up a bit so, adieu to Champak, Nandan, Nahe Samrat, Balhans and hello to Cine Blitz and Filmfare. Super Commando Dhruv and Nagaraj stayed, though.

17. Endless games of scrabble with Ma, Pa, me and Joshi uncle. Loads of board games with KJ, I DO mean LOADSSSSS! Still have more than 20 games saved.

18. Garmiyon ki holidays!!! Chhutti chhutti and Tarramtoo on DD, Nani ke ghar ki trip (Sleeper class mein half ticket, hahaha!), last week mein holiday homework!

19. Cricket with the muhalla. Fighting for batting, and then howling when getting out ... and then when all else failed ... threatening to go away 'coz the bat was mine :)

20. Making charts for the class board, giving the thought for the day or the news in the morning assembly, then later on debates, declamations, quizzing, clay modelling, "spring house" prefect, bombs going away in school toilets, class monitors, forgetting the tie in the assembly, nail size checks and duster waali punishment, "go stand at the back of the class", and oh yes ... moral science classes!

21. And yes ... Vinod reminds me ... sex education ... reading the agony aunt, vyaktigat samasyaaein, "sharmaayein nahi humse poochhein" (Thanks to Vivek for this!) etc. columns of newspaper to expand our sexual knowledge, chhup chhup ke :)

22. On the same note ... a short skirt was a treat to the eyes, a mini skirt on TV and ma would cover your eyes, and a bikini was blasphemy! Beyond that, we couldn't even imagine!!! Our share of titillation? Karishma Kapoor singing "sexy sexy sexy mujhe log bolein" in skimpy nothings ... Govinda crooning "meri pant bhi sexy" with his gyrations, et cetera. ... oh and how can I forget ... Madhuri (the queen of seething hearts) and her "choli ke peechhe" uproar! For the real perverted guys, there was the morning show listing on the Hindi newspaper, while the classy ones like me preferred "watching" Delhi Times (oh once an NIE volunteer told us ... everyone "watches" DT, no one "reads" it ... that is the way it is to be used). By the way, just for the ones who are interested, DT started out as a Tuesday supplement, then gradually from a 2-day to 4-day it became a regular, remember? :)

23. Stapoo, Pitthoo, Chhupan Chhupaai, Pakdam Pakdaai, Vish-amrit, Four corners, beech ka bichhoo, Chain-chain, Tennis ball se football khelna, "Jab miss mary chhoti thi toh unki aadat aaise thi...", "Das patte tode ek patta kachcha...", "Posham pa bhai posham pa, lal quile mein kya hua?...", "I sent a letter to my father, on the way i dropped it ...",

24. Saanp seeddhi, Ludo, 3-2-5, Rummy, Laad, Patte-pe-patta, Rang-mila-le-rang, Business, The Game of Life

25. Maggi, Thums up, Citra, Gold Spot, 7UP, Canada Dry, Tawa pizza, Brown Bread, Mother Dairy ke doodh ke sikke, Wimpys, Nirulas, Nice Biscuits, Monaco,

26. Aishwarya, Sushmita, Aamir, Shahrukh. On another level there was Sunny, Sanjay and Salman, Akshay. Babes? Karishma, Raveena, Rambha, Ramya, Divya Bharati (and her sudden death) ... Goddess? Madhuri.

27. Paras, Odeon, Priya, Amba, Regal.

28. Alaknanda, Kalkaji, Tara Apartments, Lajpat Nagar, Palika Bazaar, South Ex.

29. Maruti 800, Maruti Gypsy, Maruti 1000, Maruti Zen, Maruti Esteem. All Maruti. Or maybe the FIAT Padmini and the 118NE, Ambassador and Nova.

30. Then ... Santro and Matiz!

31. He-man, GI Joes, Trump Cards, Barbie doll sets, Hot Wheels!

32. The weekly movie that used to play at 16-waali-aunty's "imported" VCR and the whole of the mohalla's aunties with their chunnus and munnus sitting round to watch.

33. Janmashtami ki jhaankis made by all the didis and bhaiyyas of the neighbourhood.

34. Clandestine love affairs between the same didis and bhaiyyas of the mohalla, one of them even had a marriage :)

35. Aaloo ke papad and aam ke achaar being put out to ferment in the sun.

36. Pakistani plays on Mamaji's VCP, which he had got in "dahej" when he married my beautiful Mamiji.

37. The joint family met at least once a year. Every year played witness to more than 3 marriages (of my cousins or someone!) Every marriage used to go on for weeks, and it would mean meeting up my cousins and loads of comics and chocolates! and Gende ke phool ki fights, gende ke phool ka cricket match, sleeping with cousins on terraces, Bittoo bhaiyya ki ragging ke kisse, Chunnu bhai ki kahaaniyaan, Nishu ki girlfriends, ha ha ha!!!

38. Sans shopping malls, the only places we bought our clothes were from Chunmun, Ritu wears, Snowhite or Shyam's. The only places we did go to eat was Sagar and the likes ... we had pet shops for all purchases ... and the major ration used to be bought from Khari Baoli in Old Delhi.

39. It was a time when everything was semi-automatic ... Refrigerators that required defrosting through the little red button, Washing machines that saw mom wrestling and jostling out all over the house with clothes ... In fact, even now, years later since she has gotten herself an automatic front loading version, she still plays out her old schedule everytime the clothes are laundered.

40. A microwaves oven, a personal computer, a dining table, a new bed, a fully automatic fridge, a water purifying system other than the ceramic-candle-filter, were all items that were put on the wishlist every year and then were pushed down in priority because of other pressing expenditures, like children's clothing, children's books, children's fees, children's savings. We really owe it to our folks for what we are. They missed out on the best years of their lives so that we could enjoy ours.

41. Suraj Kund ka mela!

42. Begging and crying for a T.V. Video Game on my 9th birthday. Exchanging cartridges with friends. Endless Tennis, Mario, Street fighter and Spartan bouts. Oh, and Double Dragon and Contra!

43. Back to DD. Forgot to add the ones that we never watched. The UGC programs, the Akhil Bhartiya something something which showed classical dance and music, Krishi Darshan, National News (Papa was the only one who watched it). And the ones we did ... Turning Point, Living on the Edge, The World This Week, Kya aur Kaise. Once again, the first ever TV soap for children ... Hint? "Jungle jungle baat chali hai pata chala hai ... chaddi pehen ke phool khila hai phool khila hai!"

44. "Chandrakaanta (ting a ding)... ki kahaani (dham!) ... yeh maana (ting a ding) ... hai puraani (dham!) ... yeh puraani (ting a ding) ... hokar bhi (ting!) ... badi lagti (ting a ding) ... hai suhaani (dham!) ... sorry people this thing warranted a special place! So did Krur Singh and Shikha Swaroop (who has been immortalised in this role, coz this is the only one she ever did!!!)

45. The Pragati Maidaan fairs ... World Book Fair, World Trade Fair - toys section, books sections, food section!

46. Kumar Sanu, Anuradha Paudwaal, Udit Narayan, Mohd. Aziz, Alka Yagnik, Kavita Krish.

47. That reminds me of "Yeh aakaashvaani hai, abhi studio ki ghadi mein shaam ke aath bajkar chhabbees minute ho rahe hain. Abhi abhi aapne Manju Sharma se hindi ke samachaar sune..." and "...geet gaaya hai Kumar Sanu aur Anuradha Paudwal ne, bol hain Sameer ke aur sangeet Anand Milind ka hai" and "Yeh hai VIVIDH BHARATI!" ... Speaking of which, those little Transistors which everyone used to glue to their ears, especially when a cricket match was being aired. AIR rocked!

48. Katti-Abba :)

49. Dekh Bhai Dekh and Zabaan Sambhaal Ke. Street Hawk and Knight Rider. I Dream of Jeannie and Bewitched.

50. "Teri Chopsy ho gayi!" :)

I could go on and on with this one. Haven't even started out on the Zee TV programs and the Star Plus with its humble beginnings, heh.

Too high on nostalgia right now to continue rambling. If there is ANNYTHING you feel I have missed out ... continue the list on the scrapbook!


Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Commemorating today.

Impulsive writing can bring forth a lot of things. Here's some of it.

दुनिया से जब नाराज़ होने क बहाना ना रहा
आजकल खुद ही से गोया परेशान हूँ मैं

जिसके आँसूओं का सैलाब भी सूख गया हो
ऐसा ही एक खंडहर-ओ-वीरान हूँ मैं

खुद पर भी अब किस हद तक तरस करूँगा
अपने ही ग़मों की जीती जागती खान हूँ मैं

जिस शहर में चलती थी कसमें मेरे ईमान की
उसी शहर में आजकल बदनाम हूँ मैं

ज़िन्दगी से हारे हुए बहुत देखे होंगे तुमने
मौत से हारा हुआ पहला इंसान हूँ मैं

जिन कूचों से निकला था काफिला मेरे जश्न का
उन्हीं गलियों में अब अंजान हूँ मैं

मगर इस बात का गुमान आज भी है ...

मिटाने से भी जो नहीं छूटेगा तुम्हारे दामन से
ऐसा ही एक बेगैरत निशान हूँ मैं

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Kabhi Kabhi

This is the original version of the sher by Sahir Ludhiyanvi that inspired the beautiful rendition of one of the most heart rending verses I have heard lately.

(Note : A self-attempted glossary follows for words in blue)

Kabhi Kabhi

Kabhi Kabhi mere dil mein khayal aata hai
ke zindagi teri zulfon ki narm chhaon mein
guzarne pati to shadaab ho bhi sakti thi
ye tiragi jo mere zeest ka muqaddar hai
teri nazar ki shuaaon mein kho bhi sakti thi

ajab na tha ke main begaana-ilm hokar
tere jamaal ki raynaaiyon mein kho rehta
tera gadaz badan teri neem baaz aankhein
inheen haseen fizaaon mein main ho rehta

pukarteen mujhe jab talkhiyaan zamaane ki
tere labon se halaawat ke ghoont pee leta
hayaat cheekhti phirti barehna-sar aur main
ghaneri zulfon ke saaye mein chup ke jee leta

magar yeh ho na saka...

magar yeh ho na saka aur ab yeh aalam hai
ke tu nahin tera gham teri justajoo bhi nahin
guzar rahi hai kuch iss tarah zindagi jaise
ise kisi ke sahare ki aarzoo bhi nahin

zamaane bhar ke dukhon ko laga chuka hoon gale
guzar raha hoon kuch anjani rahguzaron se
muhib saaye meri simat bhar aate hain
hayat-o-maut ke pur-haul kharzaron se

na koi raah na manzil na roshni ka suragh
bhatak rahi hai khalon mein zindagi meri
inheen khalon mein rah jaaonga kabhi kho kar
main jaanta hoon meri humnafas magar yunhi

kabhi kabhi mere dil mein khayal aata hai ...

Shadaab : Taaza
Tiragi : Andhera
Zeest : Zindagi
Shuaaon : Roshni
Begaana-ilm : Jaankar bhi Anjaana bhi
Jamaal : Husn
Raynaaiyon : Adaaon
Gadaz : Mulayam
Talkhiyaan : Kadwi baatein
Halaawat : Chaen
Hayaat : Zindagi
Barehna-Sar : ...
Justajoo : Longing
Rahguzaron : Raaste
Muhib Saaye : Bhayawah Parchhaiyaan
Hayaat-o-maut ke Pur-haul kharzaron se : Zindagi aur Maut ke dardnaak kaanton se
Khalon : Khaalipan
Humnafas : Dost

By the way ... Here's the much simpler Hindi Version

Kabhi kabhi mere dil main khayal aata hai
Ki zindagi teri zulfon ki narm chhaon main guzarne pati
Toh shaadaab ho bhi sakti thi.
Yeh ranj-o-gham ki siyahi jo dil pe chhayi hain
Teri nazar ki shuaon main kho bhi sakti thi.

Magar yeh ho na saka ...

Magar yeh ho na saka aur ab ye aalam hain
Ki tu nahin, tera gham teri justajoo bhi nahin.
Guzar rahi hai kuchh iss tarah zindagi jaise,
Isse kisi ke sahare ki aarzoo hi nahin.

Na koi raah, na manzil, na roshni ka suraag
Bhatak rahin hai andheron main zindagi meri.
Inhi andheron main reh jaoonga kabhi kho kar
Main janta hoon meri hum-nafas, magar yunhi

Kabhi kabhi mere dil main khayal aata hai.

And while I am at it, if you would listen to the song, here's the best stanza

Kabhi kabhi mere dil mein khayaal aata hai
Ki jaise tu mujhe chaahegi umr-bhar yun hi
Uthegi meri taraf pyaar ki nazar yun hi
Main jaanta hoon ki tu gair hai, magar yun hi

Kabhi kabhi mere dil mein khayaal aata hai.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Random Thought No. 001 : Brutal honesty eh?

"Being too honest reflects a serious lack of tact"

[Reader warning : Rant coefficient almost unity. For most of the visitors, the quote above should be all that they take away from here. Still the whole story follows for the inquisitive ones.]

One need not be too honest, neither with others, nor with one's own self. This has been pointed out to me time and again by a lot of people around. I am told that being honest just for the sake of telling the truth as it is is really not the name of the game. Or rather than calling it a game, we have a very good word for it, it's called TACT.

One needs to have tact, to be able to put things across in the most slightest of manner, and in a way that they would be noticed and still not be taken offence of. That cannot be achieved by a single minded quest for the truth itself. No sirree, that's not the way to go about it at all! All it requires is a little thinking on your part and a little knowledge about the other party in the vocal or physical transaction.

For a person like me who is definitely *tactless*, let me try to analyse what this attribute really is. I'll start with some questions and build it up. Let's see where we go from here.

1. Is it about being dishonest? Not so. I wouldn't call a tactful person a dishonest one. But at the same time, would I call him/her guileless? No, I wouldn't (Yes. You might, so what, we can always disagree!) The way I see it is, its like using the truth as a tool to reach an end.

2. Is it about being smart? Very much so. If one is smart, one WILL be tactful. If one is not tactful, then one is dumb. At least that is what is on the face. I'm blunt, and I'm called an idiot on multiple occasions, and yes, I'm on first hand familiar terms with the word dumb! I don't know how to treat people well, and I hurt them for no reason at all, but for my philosophy of serving the pie as it is. And it is true to a large extent. One should have enough brains to know what to say when and to whom, even though it is the truth, but one should exercise some restraint sometimes. So, yes, it IS about being smart. Which I do not claim to be.

3. The technical alibi. I had noted back there, that tact is basically empoying truth as a tool to reach an end. Whether the end is good or bad, selfish or selfless, right or wrong for that matter ... all that is very subjective and depends on how one approaches the whole thing, but as long as you are on the right side of humanity (whether or not the right side of morality, which itself has its own unique definition to every individual), you're allowed to use the truth to reach that end. The means of using the truth to your advantage might not be morally correct, but then at the end of the day, you are not dishonest, you are not hurting anyone, so you come clean.

4. (Most interesting) Does one really need to be tactful? Well, I have survived 22 years (minus two) sans tact. I have had rough time, paid my share of dues for not having this "vital" component on today's sociehety and it is now that I am having second thoughts about this which is precisely the reason why I am writing the post.

<Diversion 1 : Why this post?>
So I am sitting in my room, and just randomly thinking when I think about how tactless I am and how blunt I am taken to be. For the past few months, I have been using what I later discovered is called 'mindwriting'. Umm, not exactly mindwriting, but the concept is similar. When I am brewing over with some philosophical dilemma, or just some question troubling me, I start writing, spew out everything I have in mind on the paper, or the keyboard. Most of the time, I start seeing some way out of the dilemma or the problem at hand. The trick is to write everything that comes to your mind and then read it. As one writes, as one's thoughts are formed, one starts analysing the good and the bad, the strong and the weak, and then the situation clears up by itself.

So the reason I am writing this random thought is to clear up my stand on my being tactful, or the lack of it. Let's see how it develops. I have no idea as I write this. True, once I am through, I shall edit it out and remove the really crappy things, hehe, but yes, I want to record this process of clearing up my mind as an overall exercise in mindwriting.

So coming back, does one need to be tactful?

Well, that depends.

That depends on what kind of a person you are. One thing that I can definitely say, if you are not tactful, you'll not be able to befriend everyone coz you'll be too blunt to make everyone happy, but the ones who do become your mates, will have very deep bonds with you. On the other hand, a tactful person would always have a couple of people around to share a joke with, have a laugh and move on in life. They are the happier lot. Or at least, they do seem to be.

Furthermore, if one is a puritan, then any form of manipulation of the truth is a falsehood, an illusion and an attempt to deceive. Whereas for a practical person, truth cannot be manipulated, but it definitely can be shown to someone in a manner he or she wants to see it. That's tact.

It's like advertising and marketing. You need to sell what they'll buy. If you don't have the goods they need, package them in a way that they are tempted to buy. If even the packaging doesn't lure them in, offer a discount!!! There's nothing wrong in that as long as they are buying it out of their own free will, isn't it? For the salesman, its just ringing in the cash registers that is important ... for the consumer, consuming is important. In this age when individual demands are much more important than societal development, this automatically becomes the thumb rule. Sell and buy. I've been told that this is how the human mind works. Everything's a transaction. Is it? Well maybe, but why isn't it so for me? Was I made differently? I can't believe it to be true. I think we are just closing a channel because its either too difficult to follow, too unrewarding in this present world, or maybe yes, too impractical!

But I believe in absolutes. The fact that there are no absolutes per se, doesn't hold here because I believe that every human being knows where to draw the line between moral and immoral, the right and the wrong, the truth and the lie. Everyone of us knows what is the truth and what is not. Sometimes though, we just grow up and teach ourselves new definitions. Maybe we brainwash ourselves away from it. But yes, ab initio, we all know. I don't sell, I don't buy. I don'r market. I don't advertise. I just cut the truth up in little little cubes and ration it out to anyone and everyone who cares to notice.

At the same time, one needs to be careful in distinguishing ideas and opinions from the facts. In being brutally honest about the facts, one cannot be very judgemental about one's own opinions, that would definitely be unjust. Opinions don't count. The facts do. Maybe later than sooner. They hurt, they pinch, they remain static for long after they have been put forth, but they are just that, the facts. Nobody can deny them. That is why an argument based on facts is solid as a fortress. So, being brutally honest has its own takes as well.

All said and done, its basically about your own comfort. The only person you have to be comfortable with after all, is your own self. One may be comfortable by stating the truth on an as-is-where-is basis and then leave it to the sensibilities of the other party. For someone else, their viewpoint of being comfortable might to see to it that everyone around them is happy and they have a role in it. That's a very genuine concern as well. Its basically a difference of ideology. While the first one is more like a traditional reformatory approach, the other one is like a modern indulgent soft approach. Both work. Both are acceptable. It depends on you. It also depends on whom you apply it to. As well as when.

Hmm, now for the results.

Honesty? Yes.
Brutal honesty? Umm, maybe not so brutal.
Tact? Not really my piece of cake.
Self regulation? Definitely.
Solution? Look inwards, introspect and improve. Once through, then look outwards and demand a better world. But first, one needs to prepare oneself to be able to be justified in making that demand.

On the opening quote, 'Being too honest reflects a serious lack of tact', I agree.
Couldn't care less though!

That's it for now.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Child's Play

"This should do it. Another couple of cupfuls of sand and this would be complete." He had marked the boundaries of his castle with shells he had come across his strolls on the beach. The castle itself had been made by his little hands, decorated with all the things he had loved. Everyday he had brought along one of his favourite things and given it a place in the castle. He himself imagined moving into his 'home' very soon. Not that he did not realise it was very small for him. But still, when he slept at night, he could see himself living in that home, with all his favourite things around him. All his toys, his books, his playthings. He was building a home for himself in the sand. Life would be so wonderful in that house. Such were his thoughts!

He lifted up his eyes and saw that the sun was setting, its golden rays bouncing off the silent waves of the ocean and tickling his vision. "Time to go home." His mom's voice rang in his head. He pulled out the big cardboard box which read in all the English he could scribble. "Varun's hause. Pleze do not distrub" and covered the castle with it. Inside his mother had made cookies. Munching the fresh and hot confectionery, he switched on the television and watched Popeye beat up Bluto. His father came back from office soon, and then he spent the evening chatting to him about the new factory that he was setting up. Not that he understood a lot, or at all, of what his father used to say, but he liked talking to him that way. After all, he was grown up. Very soon he will be 10 years into the world. He was definitely a grown up now.

The next evening, he lifted the box to resume the castle work. It was just a few days away from completion. Today, he was going to put in his most cherished toy in the castle. He opened his bag and pulled out his little red ferrari. He placed it at the entrance gate. To him, it never seemed illogical as to what a ferrari would be doing in front of a castle. But all the same, it was his house, and this was his car.

That day before leaving, he saw the skies turning red. It occurred to him to raise the fence. He had ample shells with him. It would have taken him only half an hour to scatter them all around the castle, safeguarding it from the waves. It could get stormy in some days, he had thought. Deciding to do the reinforcement the next day, he ran back to his mother, who was waiting for him with snacks.

That night, the storm hit the sea. Giant waves made their way to the house. He saw from his window how badly it was raining. The winds blew away the cardboard cover. The castle was all at the mercy of the wind and the water. He wanted to run out to the courtyard and protect his "home". His mother had forbidden him to do that, fearing he would catch a cold. He had shouted out to his father to cover the castle as he drove in after work, but he couldn't listen to the boy's voice above the thunderclaps.

He saw from the window as the "fence" crumbled. "I should have raised the fence," he thought. The castle's top was blown off the next. And then to his horror, a large wave approached the castle, menacingly as though it was determined to crush out all his dreams tonight. He ran downstairs, pleading to his mother to let him out in the courtyard. She didn't know why he was so desperate and crying. His father took him inside to the television and switched on the cartoons. They didn't interest him anymore. All he could think of right now, was the castle. A giant splash at their doorstep made him rush frantically to the window.

The castle was gone.

So were the books, the GI joes, his ferrari. Everything.

His mother called out to his father to take care of the porch. He heard him talking, "Its nothing, it'll soon be over. Don't worry. It was in the weather report today. Just a minor tropical disturbance, it'll be over by the morning."

He was sent to sleep. He couldn't sleep. He couldn't believe it was gone. He went to his mother. Climbed alongside her in the bed. She could see the tears going down his cheeks.
"What happened beta?"
"Mamma, the house is gone. MY house is gone."
"Don't worry beta, it was really very bad weather. It could not have survived."
"No mamma, I should have raised the fence"
"It was only a castle made of sand. Raising the fence would not have helped. It had that fate."
"No mamma, it was my house!" She just couldn't understand!
"Arrey beta, it was only a week that you have been building it. Tomorrow, we'll start again, OK? Now sleep."
Only a week? It was 7 days of his work. Full seven days! The mother could not understand the difference of the duration which she had perceived and what it meant to her little boy.
We'll build it again? But what will I put inside the new one? My GI Joes, my ferrari all went away with this one. What will we put in the new one, mamma?

He knew he could not make her understand all this. He sulked back into his room.

The next morning, he woke up and rushed out. The place was flat. No signs of the castle, or its inhabitants. No ferrari, none of the books, no toys. He suddenly felt a rage. At himself, for not raising the fence, at the weather for being so ugly, at his mother, for talking as if it was just another sand castle. He just felt very angry.

When you are 10, and very angry, you cry. He ran towards the ocean, screaming that he had taken away his house, tears running down his cheeks, his hands trembling with anger, his feet working up a sprint and then tiring themselves on the sand. He kept shouting and cursing the ocean. His mother looked at his father. "Child's play," they nodded to each other in affirmation.

The ocean just moved to and fro, smiling at the little kid.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Time cannot be turned back, and words cannot be taken back.
I am not what I was, and I hate what I am.

But I'll no longer hurt anyone. I'll just shut up till I get back to myself.

I'm sorry.

Friday, June 29, 2007


I'm gonna close my body now. And my heart too. This makes sense.
Die Another Day - Madonna

I'm gonna wake up, yes and no
I'm gonna kiss some part of
I'm gonna keep this secret
I'm gonna close my body now

I guess, die another day
I guess Ill die another day

Sigmund freud
Analyze this

I'm gonna break the cycle
I'm gonna shake up the system
I'm gonna destroy my ego
I'm gonna close my body now

I think Ill find another way
Theres so much more to know
I guess Ill die another day
Its not my time to go

For every sin, Ill have to pay
I've come to work, Ive come to play
I think Ill find another way
Its not my time to go

I'm gonna avoid the cliche
I'm gonna suspend my senses
I'm gonna delay my pleasure
I'm gonna close my body now

I guess, die another day
I guess Ill die another day
Another day.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Mirza Ghalib, mera Dil-e-Naadan aur असमंजस

This is a very famous ghazal by Ghalib, which (strangely) I stumbled across today. Its a sweet piece, describing very beautifully the असमंजस of a man in love. (Oh yes, I had promised, there wont be any further mush on the blog, but wtf, read this and you'll stop being so picky about my words) Anyhow, I was saying, this one describes the whole situation so perfectly that I couldn't resist putting it on the blog. The actual ghazal has more verses, but I have chosen to present here the ones which I could connect to at some level.

दिल-ए-नादाँ तुझे हुआ क्या है?
आख़िर इस दर्द की दवा क्या है?

हम हैं मुश्ताक़ और वो बेज़ार
या इलाही ये माजरा क्या है।

मैं भी मुँह में ज़बान रखता हूँ,
काश! पूछो कि "मुद्दा क्या है?"

जब कि तुझ बिन नहीं कोई मौजूद
फिर ये हंगामा, ऐ ख़ुदा! क्या है?

हमको उनसे वफ़ा की है उम्मीद
जो नहीं जानते वफ़ा क्या है।

जान तुम पर निसार करता हूँ
मैंने नहीं जाना दुआ क्या है।

Its just so very smooth and satirical, I am almost falling in love with Ghalib, lekin, "humko unse hai wafaa ki ummeed, jo nahin jaante wafa kya hai" Heh! Naah, Mian Ghalib can wait till I finish reading the complete Diwaan-e-Ghalib in Urdu, which will take time (since obviously Ill have to learn to read in Urdu first, ha ha!). I have a copy of the book somewhere, courtesy my dad, who's probably the one who unconsciously got me hooked on to urdu poetry. All that, for laters.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Daddu speaketh...

For all that matters, I could have also chosen this post to be titled, "Vinod Khare and the girlfriend, the lover and the whore". Here's why ...

One good friday, when we were all ready to throw Rakshit out of the campus with an awesome party, this is when Daddu was hit by one of his creative bolts and said something which went like this...

"Your girlfriend is someone you have sex with, while a lover is someone you make love to." Then he paused, waiting to see everyone's reaction, when at once, Saumya, hit with an equally intense bolt of curiosity asked, "then whom do you fuck?" "Oh that?!" said Daddu, "obviously, a whore."

That's more than just wordplay. I'll leave you to figure that out.

Thursday, June 07, 2007


Yep, it seems I couldn't stay away from this place for long. The blogging vibes soon got back to me and thus I am here! It's almost an addiction. No mater how much you try to quit, it sucks you back right in.

I feel I owe an explanation for all the hulaabaloo going on. Sometime back, I had decided to stop blogging for good. The reasons, I did not know exactly, however, I kind of figured I had to stop my blabberings. Maybe it was the old going-into-a-shell syndrome that keeps happening to me again and again, or maybe because of the turn of events that I have been witness to recently, really give meaning to < quote > things stand now, there's nothing to say, nothing to think, nothing to discuss, absolute zilch.< / quote > The "turn of events" is a bit inolved story and I wouldn't bother you with that. Just that it wasn't something I would be boasting about to my grandchildren, hehe!

Anyhow, whatever it was, it has passed, and soon with my proverbial life proverbially back on the proverbial track (henh!) I am all ready to start off again.

To the casual reader, this (15 odd days) is the typical time gap between posts on my blog generally, and with which information someone might just assume that nothing actually happened, I'll differ. It is definite that the comeback to blogging is just as serious as the decision to quit. When I had quit, I really wanted to. The blogs and the posts lately had been too specifically oriented in one direction and truly lacked my overall profoundness (yes, i am a narcissist, so sue me!) In simple terms, I was writing either only about mushy things, or only about depressing things (one and the same). That is something that is just not me. Although if you would know me, I have been so for quite some time now. Depressed and mushy. Just like a blob of deflated candy floss. At which point I think, I could take it no more, and told myself, no more depressing and mushy things to talk about. At least not the depressing part. And at the same time, try to get over the fixation for the cutie, pinky stuff.

And once the machine was stopped, things started improving on other fronts, independent of this event, and I kinda got hold of myself. Life cleared up, I again have things to tell, ideas to discuss, people to deconstruct, events to describe, emotions to dissect, and rants to get out of my system. Who knows, maybe more.

So, Saummy's back. Hopefully to stay for long. Hopefully having more to talk about than just his mindless rantings about himself and his life. Maybe something meaningful as well. Definitely something worth your time. Whoever you are, wherever you are. We promise to deliver hence(TM). Or, as the Tatas would put it, more blog per blog. :)

Keep reading, and commenting.

P.S : Or if you may so believe, it was a cheap publicity trick to garner awws and tcho-tchos from the readers of this blog, and then I could have been back "on public demand". But unfortunately, I got only 3 responses, one of whom was visitng my blog for the first time (!), hence whatever the trick was, it bombed! :) So, I am sheepishly trying to restart the machine. Hate me, Kill me!

P.P.S : Love you Ravi, love you Vinod. At least you guys noticed me (or the lack of me). (sniff!) Respects even towards the kind lady who had been on my blog after I had visited hers, and managed to write something good back here. The rest of you, who are just too busy or find Saumyasaez too boring, I think you have a surprise coming up in the next few weeks. Watch this space.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Goodbye, and thanks for all the fish.

Dear Reader,

This is meant to be a goodbye post. The author of this blog shall not be writing anymore, there won't be any more posts/material on this blog henceforth.

Here's a thank you for bearing with me all the time, and here's hoping I resume this activity soon, sometime in my life. But as things stand now, there's nothing to say, nothing to think, nothing to discuss, absolute zilch. I have a few drafts handy, maybe in my effort to clean up my baggage I'll complete those as I go along, but yes, officially, no more stuff to be blogged.

Saumyasez no more.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007


Here's a short piece I just wrote randomly. I don't know in what genre of literature I should basket this one, but here goes ...

Beyond the mazes of time,
Beyond the veil of reality,
Beyond the spaces that be,
There exists an ‘us’

There’s an ‘us’;
Silently, Patiently, Serenely.

One day,
I shall meet ‘us’
Will let you know.
Just keep in touch.


Sunday, April 29, 2007

Random Thought No. 666 : Hum Chlormint Kyun Khaate Hain?

Well, so if you don't know what Chlormint is, (a) you don't need to waste your time on this post and (b) if you still wanna do that, here's where to start, not that this page is any informative, but then you just need to know this.

Ok, so, "hum chlormint kyun khaate hain?". Here are some introspections.
  • ... taaki Praty ki moochhon ki kheti hamesha hari bhari rahe
  • ... kyunki pan/cigarettewaale ke paas chhutte paise nahin hote
  • ... taaki ghar par pata na chale ki sutta maara hai
  • ... bekaaj, Chlaarmint ij MAI CHOEES.
  • ... saadi Chlormint da jawaab nahi
  • ... kyunki Chlormint ko peeya nahi jaa sakta
  • ... kyunki peene ke liye toh Limca hai
  • ... waise Sprite bhi hai.
  • ... kyunki "hum" Kanpur mein rehte hain, agar dilli mein rehte, toh hum poochhte, "main" chlormint kyun khaata hoon?
  • ... kyunki hum fukke nahi khaana chahte
  • ... kyunki Chlormint humko nahi khaa sakti
  • ... kyunki deepu bahut lamba hai aur prinshul bahut hi dhakkan
  • ... kyunki saumya ke paas exam mein aur koi kaam nahi hota blog likhkar timepass karne ke allaawa ...
Issliye hum Chlormint khaate hain. Kuchh chamka ab? :)

Friday, April 13, 2007

Random Thought No. 9 : Questions

  • Is it the end, or is it the beginning?
  • Why do we do what we do?
  • Was it always meant to turn out like this?
  • IF not, then how was it meant to be?
  • Can something I do or anything I can do, have an impact significant enough to change the scheme of things that be, and things that are to become?
  • IF so, how? why?
  • Are YOU a part of this? Is anyone? Isn't everyone?
Guess that's some food for thought.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

The I-Hate-My-Life post

Right now, I hate my life.
I just hate it.
For no particular reason.

I am sick of the way I am, sick of the way I live, the way I think, the way I work. I am just so sick of it all right now. Its like everything I do or think of doing, defines "sick"

I am so yellow, so sick sick sick.
And I don't know what to do!

Oh damnit! Why did it have to come to this?

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Early morning vibes...

The following transpired between me and Praty on our way to the morning chai at MT, worth a blog.

Scene : The half-asleep duo of Praty and Saumya trudging along the Hall of Residence Avenue, crossing the Hall 2 gate towards MT. As they see, a localite lady is boarding a Rickshaw. She'll be around 30, attired in Saree and with a voice as shrill and as loud that is associated with my perception of the Kanpur babe. The rickshaw puller and the lady soon start making small conversation, and both of them laugh.

Saumya (feeling sorry for the lady's hardworking, bread_winner_for_the_family, middle class husband) : Dekh yaar, aunty toh rickshaw waale se hi las rahi hain! [Behold thine eyes to this scene my friend, this fine young lady here is categorically "flirting" with this gentleman rickshaw puller here!]

Praty (...) : huh? [huh?]

Saumya (still inquizitive) : Yaar dekh na, aunty lase hi jaa rahi hain ... kyun? aakhir kyun ? aakhir kyun praty!!! [See, she is still flirting, why why why oh WHY!]

Praty (! - which means he is on the verge of getting to a big time earth shattering realisation) : Simple hai, aunty soch rahi hain, thoda lasne se agar 6 rupay ki jagah 5 rupay dene ki ho jaaye toh kya nuksaan? ['tis but simple, for she thinks what is the harm done if for a few moments of her sweet chitchat, this foolish rickshaw puller would charge her a rupee less for the ride?]

Saumya (still doubtful) : Lekin yeh baat toh rickshaw waala bhi jaanta hoga na? Wo kyun las rah hai? [Yes my friend, but would not the same realization dawned upon the rickshaw puller aswell? Why is he playing the game?]

Praty (!!! - which means that he got a time slice of clear vision and spoke the ultimate truth) : Dekh rickshaw waala soch raha hai, mere 6 rupay toh kahin jaane nahin doonga, woh toh wasool hi loonga, ab tab tak agar lasne ko hi mil raha hai toh main kyun mauka haath se jaane doon [He knows that he will anyhow take the exact fare from the woman, so why not enjoy the ride with a little spice?]

Well, that's the world for you, as we realised it one sleepy Spring morning on our way to the MT.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Random Thought no. 42 : what do we learn at IIT

Yep, this is a new thing on this blog, and I'll post 'em under the title "Random Thought"s. Each "random thought" will be assigned a not-so-random_ number ... wait, wait wait ... well that's debatable, at the end it IS a random pick from a finite list of numbers I have in mind :| ... anyhow, back to where we were ... so a not-so-random number shall be assigned to the incumbent thought while it is being posted on "the blog".

Each random thought, as it were, would have a short but precise idea thrown upon at the reader to (hopefully) stimulate his (or her, if you may so please) senses/ego/spirituality etc. and shall also carry some background about its origin. Well, if I am in a good mood, I'll also post the significance of the random number so assigned to the random thought.

So here's this time's dose. Ladies and Gentlemen, Random Thought number 42.

Scene : Vivek Madnani and Saumya Jain, sipping away Sprites at MT (that dingy, stinking place frequented by early risers, late sleepers, class bunkers, samosa seekers ... basically one and all from IIT). Kaboom! Madnani gets a flash of insight and thus he spake...
One thing that IIT teaches you is to accept defeat.
We come in here as heroes, each in his/her own right, struggling through school, all lamps burning, all engines fired, all horses on ... oh well yes, in short, we come in after a good fight, as champs.

Then, the dream-run ends.

Everyone starts expecting/assuming/presuming that yeah this guy is a slog-horse. Let's just get him. Everyone. Friends, society, teachers, professors. Everyone! "Oh yes you are an IITian, blah blah blah ... should know ... blah blah blah ... should handle ... blah blah blah ... should slog away like everyone else ... blah blah blah ... should do this ... blah blah blah. What they forget, the IITian included, is that this is at the end of the day, an "educational insititution". It is expected to provide education, not distribute it away and expect people to lap it up! We slog horses, slog as expected, slog slog slog slog and slog.

And then, we lose. We lose to ourselves.

We just lose. BIG TIME. And what do we feel about it? Nothing. That's what we are taught here. Lose and stay down. Don't fight. It's not gonna change anything. As long as you get your degree in time, its all fine. Stay hungry, stay foolish, stay selfish. Be a jerk all your life!

Enough random rant. Don't you think so?

and 42 ... next time folks, my head's starting to hurt a bit.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Tagged! - Spilling the guts.

So now that everyone knows what being tagged means, I can spill the guts.
Ladies and Gentlemen, this is Saumya Jain out and about for the whole world for one time, thanks to the lady. (Remember, what follows is privileged information! and you're getting it for free, grrr!. OK, maybe the silly internet charge - that doesn't count)

Oh I just came to know, it was the international women's day yesterday, all the more reason. [Official] This post dedicated to Shubha, my rep for all things woman :)[/Official]

    I FEAR
    • Death
      Death represents not only loss or pain or sorrow to the next of kin, I fear death for much more. A dying man takes with him all his unfulfilled quests, dreams, desires, thirsts, longings. Talk about unfinished business. Its a great leveller, but I fear it nevertheless.
    • Loneliness
      I have been a total introvert. I used to be alone most of the time. Lately, however, that has not been the case. I am around with a lotsa people all the time. So much so, I take time out to be with myself for a change. But too much loneliness gives me the creeps. I want to be a part of a sea of humanity. Maybe that's why I love the discotheque.
    • Small talk
      Not my idea of a perfect way to pass the time. I can discuss business with anyone and everyone. Without business, I dont talk. I keep shut. Zipped up, so to say. Very poor at making pointless conversations. Especially on the face. Very especially with a girl.

    • Myself
      Never fail to amaze myself. Whether its searching for the cycle keys when I have them between my teeth, or fretting over an assignment that I have already submitted, I have made sure that I kept laughing all the way to this day.
    • Pratyush
      No need to explain. We are almost brothers. More. Pulls out a smile from me in everything he does.
    • KJ
      My sis. My chhoti behen from the time she was born to the time she started talking. Since then, I have been considered the youngest one in the family.

    I LOVE

    • You know who
      If you know me, you already know who's the numero uno on this list.
    • Myself
      Never before since the time of Narcissus has anyone loved himself more.
    • A sleepy february afternoon ... and it starts raining in campus.
    • Myself again
      Goes on to prove point no. 2 :)

    I HATE

    • To see myself spiralling down into nothingness, for nothing at all.
    • People who lie to themselves.
    • Waking up from sleep, especially if I am dreaming. :)


    • Women
      Seems nobody gets round to that!
    • What's this whole hullabaloo about being in love. Its just a state. Like being drunk, for example.
    • Why people complicate their lives so much. Its all very simple if you just look at the situation from a little higher perspective.


    • Keys
      Lotsa keys. I am a lock and key person. I just feel safe around them.
    • Paper
      Rough paper, roughed up paper, blanks, printed, scribbled upon, sweated upon etc.
    • Empty ciggy boxes, from a long time back.


    • Listening to Ghulam Ali
      "Maine lakhon ke bol sahe..."
    • Contemplating dropping out of college, sans an engineering degree.
    • Writing this post, duuuuh!


    • Raise a child with a woman I am totally and madly in love with (a lots of children, actually)
    • Go on a world tour with a camera
    • Jump off a cliff, just for kicks!
    • Introduce a new world order, one without boundaries, without war, suffering. In short, Utopia. But yes, I can dream of it, you can dream of it. Why not, then?


    • Be very confused about everything
    • Sleep endlessly for a whole day
    • Read, Write and Count


    • Speak to a gathering without getting the blues.
    • Look at a girl in the eye for more than 8 seconds.
    • Become Jeff Murdoch, although as much as I would want to! Sigh! :(


    • The small voice in your head. Listen to it everytime.
    • Your Parents.
    • Ghulam Ali
    • Simon n Garfunkel


    • Strangers
    • Yourself when you are drunk/high. Especially if one of your aims in life is to jump off a cliff, just for kicks :)
    • Am I allowed to say, Heemays Resammaiyya ? [figure that out :)]


    • A lot of languages
    • Ball room dancing. The one with the 3 piece suits and the white gowns. That one.
    • Actually, if there is anything out there that is there to be learnt, I'd like to learn it.


    • Sweets.
      Actually, I believe, sugar is a very good solvent for bad taste. Anything sweet, and I am up for it. Laddoos are just the top ones on the list.
    • Anything well prepared and well served.
    • Anything that my Mom makes (for the love of it), my Sister prepares (for the fear of her) and whatever my wife will prepare sometime in the future (for the sheer romance of it all)
    • For Thought.


    • Water
    • Tea + Coffee
    • Milk
    • Blood, if that counts, eh heh heh!


    • I was fed on TeeVee and Books. Cannot list 'em down like this.
    • Was crazy about Comics till a time, after which Children's Pop Science books took over. Not too much into Novels and stuff. Have read random picks from Daddy's collection.
    • All DD shows of mid-90s. Lately, Sony and Star Plus. "Surabhi" (Sunday nights on DD1) was a good one.
    • Watched Cartoons till very late. Would still be watching T&J, Dexter's Lab, Popeye et al had it not been a strange discord with the television set that I have been experiencing lately.


    • You?

    So, this post draws to its end. I'd like to invite comments + additions which I would happily incorporate to "things about myself" in this post.

    'til then.

    errm ... tagged [!] / [:)] / [:?]

    [Spoiler : Long post, written in a mood of vengeance, and a pinch of I.M. (don't ask me what that means...its close to B.S, a little on the deranged side though)

    So, I was "tagged" here by Shubha, one lovely lady I know from school. To make it more interesting, she realised that I hadn't taken notice of the whole "saumya-jain-has-been-tagged" thing because I had not seen the aforementioned post on her blog, coz I hadn't checked her blog for a long long time, and that's coz I had been kinda stuck up somewhere important (saving that for later). So she had to do that extra effort and reminded me on a chat that, well, I had been tagged.

    There I was, chatting to her about how sick my life was, how I was planning to change it all, how the people in my life were goofing up with themselves, how I was falling apart for a silly thing (saving ALL that for later as well) when I get bombed by her TAG. And I do the silly thing ... I ask her what it means.

    Now Shubha told me a bit about it, and I could figure it out, going through her "tagged!" post. But then, looking back, I kindof find it insulting to me to have asked that question. Am I not supposed to know? Well I did not, but I could have made out, had I read Shubha's post. She linked me to the post 'coz after that I was supposed to know what getting tagged means. But I didn't, I just felt comfortable knowing at the back of my mind that yes, I had been tagged and that was that.

    We live in a fast-food world. We take things as we are told them. We don't explore, we don't think by ourselves. [ideas courtesy "The Weatherman", "Thank you for Smoking"] Wanna see an example? I linked to her post in the beginning of this post, hoping that by the time you read T.H.I.S. you would have gone through that and thus know what being tagged means. Well...Do you?


    First read her post, then you can go on to mine. Its up there.

    Friday, March 02, 2007

    perhaps, perhaps, perhaps ...

    This is the song that came as the title song of the TV series "Coupling". As I just found out the original of this song was sung by Doris Day and here goes the lyrics.

    This is really exquisite :)

    you won't admit you love me
    and so how am i ever to know
    you always tell me
    perhaps perhaps perhaps

    a million times i've asked you
    and then
    i ask you over
    you only answer
    perhaps perhaps perhaps

    if you can't make your mind up
    we'll never get started
    and i don't wanna wind up
    being parted

    so if you really love me
    say yes
    but if you don't dear
    and please don't tell me
    perhaps perhaps perhaps

    perhaps perhaps perhaps

    if you can't make your mind up
    we'll never get started
    and i don't wanna wind up
    being parted

    so if you really love me
    say yes
    but if you don't dear
    and please don't tell me
    perhaps perhaps perhaps
    perhaps perhaps perhaps
    perhaps perhaps perhaps