Saturday, March 13, 2010

2009, a year without parallels

Nearly a year after I stopped writing, I want to start again. They say words are composed in moments of great emotion. They couldn't be more correct (sorry JPM, i compose any crap for u, I just wait for my month-end sms from u). Oh btw, great emotions need great intoxication Ah well some things never change. Megha, I promised u a 2009 report. So here goes, even if its belated. 2009 got me love. And its much more important than anything else. 2009 got me to be a human being and not a machine that survived on alcohol and smokes. And you know what, it all started on the 1st day of the year. Shreya, megha and MR thanks for pushing me to confront my fears and approach the brave new world (see last post, again another bad habit acquired from the bert gochets of the world). So what was 2009?, a year of diseases, birthday without a phone, clutching cakes in pinching rain and more importantly warm sunshine :) MR must be growing wistful of the sun now :) Dreary foggy london. 2009 was when I chose myself over everything else. And come to think of it I had never paid any attention to myself. In school, I never wore denims and used to dress in a over-sized T-short to hide my man-boobs and large trousers to hid my girly ass :) Well not any more :P (sunshine u must be patient). All I cared about in life was food and later in college (thanks to boozy) lots of the good stuff. Things changed dramatically last year. I am learning to dance although my attempts at singing have been widely rebuffed. I quit smoking apart from the usual oner in a month (sorry eric). Oh my mocktaves moves are lost now forever, including the famous video that was flicked along with my hard disk. I guess tis the first year in my life when I can't crib about anything. I have a few people to thank this year. MR and the king for being the most important people in my life. Eli for taking me in when I was homeless and giving me a home so close to where I wanted to stay. Chummi and Mrs Chummi for supporting me every single day. The HUL girl (She knows why i thank her). please gimme ur no. I lost it again. Shankar, when r u coming back to bbay. Mom and Anny for being there for me when I needed u and for accepting me+ somebody. E, I live for you alone. Thank you for coming into my life.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Brave New World

I can't think on paper anymore, so here goes...

A destitute man finds reason

To fashion a new spirit

In every moment of defiance

Hope springs from the flower of courage

In every debacle I see promise

Every blow is but a brick

One more stone in a mighty edifice

For a world far far better

I know you don’t find it

But I see it tall and inviting

A more radiant smile I have

Yet to see from a woman

The tower all aglow with mystery

An impish charm surrounds it

Long languorous curls descend

In thin wisps they brush my face

Searing my skin one moment

And whipping a gentle breeze after

The dark eye holds me still

Commands me with delicate grace

My palpitating heart must in her coil

Tremble and abandon reason

My every living second must behold

Her beauty but from a distance

My past has proven me unworthy

The gilded halls are just a dream

Friday, December 5, 2008

Bleeding Hearts

I dislike labels and I dislike people who act according to what their self-chosen label tells them to do. Life often asks upon us to deliver extraordinary responses which our label may not allow us to indulge in. And I must confess an increasing sense of dismay these last couple of months as every belief I have held to, save one, has come crashing around me.

Should I believe in the unrestrained power of free individuals to transact their every day business safe from the regulation of the state, secure in their natural ingenuity? Is all innovation good? Can numbers triumph over the ills of everyday life? And is economic progress more important than anything else? I guess most of my carefully practiced answers, all couched in perfectly reasonable logic, have changed now.

I am the old man all alone at sea trying to reel in the gigantic fish which he thinks lies at the end of a frightful struggle. And while I figure out my answers to questions posed by others who are cocksure about their own ideas, I am not ashamed to say that I am still confused.

I did not have a close brush with death those days in Mumbai as so many of my acquaintances did. The closest experience I had was of being evacuated from office on Friday after rumours of multiple attacks broke across TV channels. Nor have I lost any near and dear ones. So I cannot betray a personal sense of anger. I however seem submerged in a public sense of outrage emanating from every sensible person I know. The outrage is not unjustifiable. Most of us who live in Mumbai and who commute daily to India’s Ground Zero feel unsafe. We flinch each time we hear a loud sound. We start if we see someone run across the street. Our government has failed us more spectacularly than ever before in our independent history. And yet I pay my taxes, the model of a law-abiding citizen, knowing very well I shall not receive any incremental benefit from any public good.

I have seen people take the streets in protest against the government, proclaiming war on terrorism. I have heard the media saluting the Mumbai spirit of resilience and indifference, the ability to get on with our lives as if nothing happened. I have seen the photos of the slain policemen displayed at every roadside crossing with messages stating that they never will be forgotten. And I have witnessed politician after politician committing one unforgettable gaffe after another. Quite simply they would serve their cause best by just keeping quiet.

No wonder, a lot of public outrage has been directed at the nation’s politicians. Face it, they are a angry nation’s favourite whipping dogs. The anger always smouldered but stopped at that, not surprising for a country of armchair critics. A lot of questions have been raised about the lack of disaster management, poor policing and above all India’s Pakistan policy. I welcome all those questions. Maybe such terrorising epochs serve to shake a nation out of complacency, push her to introspection. Oh but what a terrible price to pay!!!

What I am afraid of is that this anger will be misdirected. I am afraid that a party under siege for its’ poor handling of terror attacks and with an eye on national polls will push this country to a messy war. A war which will consume more lives than we can even imagine now. A war that most of Mumbai’s street protestors are vociferously demanding today. I believe the solution lies closer home.

A lot of public anger against the political class is a sum of India’s rural-urban divide. Increasingly most of urban India like me, has chosen to be apolitical. Most of them don’t even turn up to vote. The vast rural masses, whether out of free will or no, still turn up enthusiastically on election day and decide the course of action for India. No wonder, the average legislator or minister turns a blind eye to national issues for his survival in politics does not depend on it. Do you think the people of Sangli would think less of their four-time MLA who thinks that such small things do happen in large cities? Or the people of rural Malampuzha care about their representative making a public mockery of a slain martyr? Unfortunately for us, the former happened to be the home minister of Maharashtra and the latter the Chief Minister of a state.

India’s have-nots couldn’t care less about terror or war because they have other pressing issues. Issues that the media and the urban elite cannot pretend to understand. The cost of pushing the nation into war is further economic deprivation and stalling the growth engine that has made entrepreneurs out of nobodies. We need banks to keep lending, we need goods to be produced, we need investment in roads and irrigation. And to a street protestor who symbolically held up bangles, I say this - there is nothing eunuch-like about having a bleeding heart. Every year, our growth engine pulls thousands out of poverty. We cannot afford to throw that away.

Instead of diverting resources to destructive means, they should be focussed here at home. Into more recruitment into the police, higher salaries, better bulletproof jackets (instead of the torn dilapidated sorry things they carry now, which allowed them to be shot at will). Everyone’s talking about a fiscal stimulus anyways. Don’t stop at the cities though. We have to accept that we are vulnerable to conflict. And we have to deal with it. And attacking other countries will not end the threat of terror as America has realised to her dismay. It will only delay it.

I realize I am more afraid of my government than of any terrorist. Will that ever change?

Friday, November 14, 2008

The Age of the Liberal

I write not for myself. I write for the wind which touches every fellow human being. Take my words to the farthest corners of the world so that it resounds forever. I write for the waves which dash unrepentant against the rocks and will continue to do so till the end of time itself. I write for freedom. I write for those who still writhe under the yoke of slavery and thralldom. Your pain is mine. Your tears flow freely from my unblinking eyes. I live within you, feeling every emotion every thought that flows through your mind.

I rail against my oppression. Together we shall defy timelessness, misery and death. Together we shall wreak vengeance against those who seek to tie us down. For the undying spirit soars far above what you can understand.

This is the kingdom of love where all are welcome to partake of my feast. And you shall feel my strength flow through your veins. Believe that you can change your world and I shall empower you. For there is none that can hold you back. There is none that can hold me back.

The tide has turned. I can feel it in every pore. For here come my immortals, resolute and bold. Fearless they stride across the face of earth. For they belong everywhere and yet they belong nowhere. What is my identity? What is my nationality? What is my language? I do not know nor do I care. For I am neutral and serene. I am no one and yet I am everyone.

Every boundary you have known will soon be cast away, like it never even existed. Every illusion you have known and lived by will be discarded. I do not wish for you to join me in my quest. I only ask to be understood. I only wish to be heard.

I will not yield...

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Cocoons of silence enrapture me
A medley of insanity in wine
And while they converse in whispers
I see every loose end, every pattern

The blue see beckoning me
Into her delightful arms gasping
I pause greedy for breath
To still the shooting pain

I stumble past a dark alley
Still looking for a reason spent
For years a beacon had helped shape
The direction my life had flown

Emboldened, I would scatter cynics
Non-believers to my chosen faith
I would impress my unyielding mind
To turn the weak into me

Till the green house came crashing
Its smithereens rendered unrecognizable
My illusory belief no more solid
Than the wisps of my cigarette smoke

My faith in freedom now shaken
By avarice and greed
The scepter of innovation broken
By those who said man was free

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Careless Whispers

Mere whispers running amok
Riddling me with doubt
If rules are never kept
Why must I keep faith

All around me they drive
With debris of failure
And yet they hold true
Without a trace of failure