Sunday, December 31, 2006 0 reflections

Revisiting Resolutions Regardless

DESPITE THE FACT THAT only a few I have known actually bother talking about New Year resolutions, I feel obligated to write about it for personal reasons. A year of committing to something has come to pass me by. Safe to say that this is one of the few, rare in fact, instances in my life where I have actually bothered, nay managed, to fulfill a promise I made myself. Does that make me sound disconcerted? Oh why not. Who isn’t?

Much like the jolly old chap Santa, who I had mentioned about in one my earlier posts, resolving to keep a promise to one’s good own self is also about hope. Who cares if I decide to take up yoga and burn off those extra calories next year? Who is concerned that I will consciously try and read more books during 2007? As a matter of fact, neither am I. If it happens, it will be a completely unplanned and totally random event as far as I am concerned. I belong to that part of the social fabric that is terrible at planning for it. Tell me to organize a party or a social reunion, I am your man. But tell me to ensure I will take the metro every time I step out of the house it is more likely I’d instinctively hail a cab the first chance I get.

People wonder what kind of individuals can keep promises made to others when they can’t even hold on to their own. You will be amazed how much better off you are with that kind which is, least of all, self obsessed.

But I have hope in myself. And why shouldn’t I? I will be 29 next March and that puts me in a delicate age range where I am expected to be committed. To myself, to others and of course, to resolutions that I pretend I plan for. And that very hope is what makes me not want to wonder about what I will try to improve my lifestyle in two double zero seven.

Thinking about such things makes me nervous. Since once a plan, as tentative as it maybe, enters your system the needless pressure of having to follow it up begins. As I said, being answerable to your own self is the worse. Resolutions are like mirrors that keep looking at you every passing day of the year. Do I want to live each moment with that disturbing glare? I think not.

Let’s take my ’06 for instance. I had never planned to write (read finish) a complete book and publish it. I actually managed to do it. The one major milestone of being an officially published writer is mine for life. Who’d have thought I would become part of a major Internet initiative like I’d be the last person for that guess. But it happened. Launched in November ’06 the website is getting more hits everyday. The feedback and positive energy I have seen about it is just keeping me more inspired to go on with it. Who’d have thought I would get my articles published in leading newspapers across India at least a dozen times? And of course, who on earth would have guessed I would start blogs! Believe me when I tell you, when I went to bed on December 31, 2006 I had none of this planned. All I had on mind is the hope that the New Year would be pleasant and uneventful.

And it was. For the most part anyway. Life is all about ups and downs. Things you can neither plan for nor predict. Resolving to do something important with yourself can only be truly accomplished if you are trying to get rid of a vice. That is the only single thing you can ever accomplish and actually see the difference right away. No negatives there as far as I can tell.

So do yourselves a favor this year, don’t make any resolutions. Revisit your life around March, and see what needs to be changed. If you are happy with it let it be. And if you are not then don’t worry too much. Hopefully you will get to it in the remaining days of the year. Revisiting is always fun. Isn’t it?

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2007 everyone. Live it up.


Saturday, December 30, 2006 0 reflections

The good ones are always taken

Sagar had tried to alter his schedule to hit the bazaar early. It had involved some near impossible feats like him getting up with an alarm on a weekend. This, in itself, had to be a true event of oddity he had partaken in almost a year. Notwithstanding the week’s fatigue at work, he had managed to drag himself out of his blissful oasis of dreamful slumber. A quick shower and a hasty breakfast later, he was ready.

Morning crowd slowly trickled into the brightly lit open spaced aisles of the supermarket. Every section of the society he knew was there, pushing their carts into the various columns of prosperous perishables. Sagar’s eyes were particularly aimed at the vegetables section. He knew it was the third Saturday of the month, and that meant only one thing – fresh bitter gourd. If there was one thing he loved more than cooking it, was buying it. There was something about the quiet victory in getting a handful of the farm fresh vegetable that gave him immense pleasure. Born into a culture that thrived on good appetite he wasn’t any different.

The squeaky wheels of his rusting shopping cart were headed to their destination. A few more meters of travel and he would have achieved the one thing that had made him get up at an unearthly hour on a holiday. A rapid yet well angled turn to the right and there it was. Heaped in a perfect little bundle, it was glistening under the brightness emanated by the lights around. A few curious onlookers hovered around making a beehive of hands and faces. He had to act quick. As he approached that section, his heart skipped a beat as a dull yet familiar emotion came over him. A few more steps and his emotion had turned into reality.

It was all over. Only ten to eleven sad looking rejects stared back at the sharp frown on Sagar’s face. ‘Take us or leave us,’ they seemed to say. He looked around at the soft giggle that seemed to echo from within the passers by who had once again gained access to his ambitious goal before he could. Three more Saturdays, he thought to himself as he gingerly picked up whatever remained and looked remotely edible.

The unfortunate part of his story is, however, larger than just this one episode. He has faced similar situations almost everywhere he has gone. Be it getting the good seat at the cinema or be it hailing a healthy looking taxi-cab on a busy afternoon. Be it wanting to chat up cute girls or be it fishing out the kind of T Shirt he always fancied. The good ones are always taken.

But being the perseverant example of a human being that he is, he pacifies and rationalizes his near success attempts by giving himself a bonus. ‘Good guys always finish last,’ he maintains as he gleefully boils his favorite spiced bitter gourd curry. His hope relies on the reverse concept, that since he is a ‘good one’, he will be taken soon.

We wish him all the best with his concept in 2007.

0 reflections

Too good is too bad?

Not a generation has gone by without feeling the heat of this culture. For decades this concept of ‘too good is too bad’ has existed. Why? Because we allowed it to.

In the 1990s came a revolutionary concept called ‘Seinfeld’ in the United States. And with it came a cult following that believed in ‘nothingness’. It was the first show that gained popularity of being about nothing. For close to ten years Seinfeld ruled the roost with its ground breaking themes and out-of-the-seat funny episodes. It looked like there was nothing that could top this genre of comedy in the sitcom scene. Millions of dollars were made enough to feed a few generations to come for the people involved in this production.

Once the show was off air so were the lives of the lead characters. Till date, except with very strict exceptions, none of the characters have been able to carve a similar kind of success for themselves. They got stereotyped for life.

This is not something that plagues only sitcoms in the United States. Almost every country in the world has that one miracle success story that could never be repeated. There are several examples from the Indian entertainment scene that fit this example. People who were so mind bogglingly awesome that it was impossible for them to be anyone else but those characters. Characters like Gabbar Singh from Sholay, or Mogambo from Mr. India or Rama Shastri from Nagarahavu in Kannada. These are shadows that get attached to the performer for life. Nothing he/she will ever do surpass that. Success may come, but in the proportion of that initial impression.

Take Dr. Vittal Rao from the mini series – Silli Lalli – on ETV Kannada channel. Hands down it is one of the most outrageously hilarious and genuinely funny characters that have been ever created. The supporting cast is equally competent, but Rao’s character covers more range in terms of emotional quotients.

What is the problem with it? He got typecast. Anything he ever does from this point on, post Silli Lalli, will always be a yard shorter than his portrayal of Dr. Rao. Performers like him, and the ones listed above, have a tough task to deal with. Their performance is so good that they find it impossible to live up to with their follow up assignments. Rarely, has there been an odd man out, who was able to come out of that shell of infinite seeming fame. It is not known to happen often though.

Sad but true. Apparently being too good in the entertainment business is not always the best thing to do. Pace yourselves people, since there is always a future ahead.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006 2 reflections

the PITAR syndrome

I was introduced to this syndrome by my good friend Theju. I use the word ‘introduce’ with caution since I later realized that I had shown symptoms of it long before I actually acknowledged its existence in me. It all began one breezy afternoon when we were returning from college. At a traffic light we paused on my modest Kinetic Honda ZX as an auto rickshaw coughed to a halt next to us. Instinctively, Theju and I had fallen once again to the famous PITAR syndrome that seems to have special affection only to people of dear Bengaluru.

Let me first explain to you what PITAR means - ‘Peek Inside The Auto Rickshaw’. A swift and drifting gaze into the occupancy of the auto rickshaw that stands next to you at a traffic light. Why? Well…maybe you will see someone you know sitting there and might want to start a brief conversation. Why else? Well…you might find someone you wish you knew sitting there.

This sort of random behavior only seemed to happen between two wheelers and auto rickshaws. No other automotive combo presented such a reaction by their occupants. The other discovery I made was that most of the time it was the male gender who would be exhibiting PITAR symptoms. I never once saw a female two wheeler rider look into the auto rickshaw I was in. Never. They were PITAR free.

I also realized that some of the PITAR victims were more affected by it than others. They would stare longer at their targets than others in their clan. While some would look at the footwear of the target then others would glare at their watch. It wasn’t for too long but it was long enough to make the other person uncomfortable. All in all, the making of a disturbing trend.

I further noticed that if the auto rickshaw occupant was a male and the PITAR infected person was a male too, then the glare would rarely extend to the face. It usually hovered around the arms, legs, hands or any other materialistic item such as bags, books etc the rickshaw occupant possessed.

But why does PITAR exist? Is it boredom of having to wait till the light turned green? Is it the lack of company on the pillion seat that made these people look at strangers and analyze them? I have not found the answer to this but one thing I am sure of. This is not going away anytime soon. Since PITAR inflicted folk don’t know they have it. It is as natural to them as say, eating. They never realized they learnt it but now they can’t do anything to get rid of it.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006 0 reflections

:: the loud silences::

The whisper was strong enough to pierce the silence that inhabited the dark corridors. The dull aroma of dying paper filled the night that settled around like quiet fog.
‘Yes yes…you…over here brother!’ the whisper continued.
Nehru looked around and found Gandhi looking back at him with a grin.
‘Aren’t you asleep yet?’ asked a visibly surprised Nehru.
‘Oh…’ moaned Gandhi exhaling a deep one. ‘Sleep left me ages ago. It has been close to a decade when I slept in satisfaction of being useful.’
Nehru smiled back as a response to Gandhi’s complaint. He knew what Gandhi meant.
‘It seems that everyday this place is getting quieter and darker. Don’t you think?’
Nehru looked around.
‘I don’t know,’ he responded after a moment of reflective inspection. ‘It is active during the day time. I have heard people walking around. Some of them pass by here as well. I am sure you have seen that too. You are right across me!’
‘Sure…sure…’ Gandhi’s feeble whisper echoed back. ‘They come and go. No one stops here anymore. No one wants to hear what we have to say. Makes me wonder what it was all for. Look at the dust here. Looks like a haunted place.’
‘Hmm…’ said Nehru. ‘Well...I think we did OK.’
‘Of course!’ screamed Gandhi hitting a high tone. A pitch that echoed in the gloomy silence of the corridor like a child's cry for help.
‘You are the one to talk!’ he continued. ‘You got to be the Prime Minister for God knows how many years. Of course you had it OK. What did I get? I spent a lifetime spreading peace and truth and got a bullet in my chest as a reward.’
Gandhi mumbled something to himself which might have been a vent of frustration.
‘Oh come one…’ Nehru said trying to sooth the old man down. ‘Did you know they are making movies on you these days. Your philosophy. They call it Gandhigiri!’
‘What? Really?’
They both chuckled briefly.
‘Ah…Gandhigiri. Guess no one seems interested in Nehrugiri, eh?’ said Gandhi feeling a little better.
Nehru was silent. He smiled back.
‘But still…’ continued Gandhi’s cracking whisper ‘I wish they would come visit us sometime. We have so much left to share! So much to give. Some of our concepts are universal don’t you think?’
Nehru nodded in approval.
‘I wish we could be used again. The silence these days is the loudest thing I hear. It keeps me up all the time.’
‘For God’s sake!’ they heard a disturbed voice pierce through their chatter.
‘Will you two be quiet! I am trying to get some sleep here!’
‘Oh! Mr. Tagore! How are you doing?’ asked Gandhi who seemed glad to have annoyed Tagore.
‘If you must know. No one visits me either. So I too am not doing good,’ responded Tagore faintly.
‘Not surprisingly. Which one are you?’ asked Nehru.
‘Geetanjali. And you?’
‘Discovery of India.’
‘No one seems to experiment with truth anymore,’ said Gandhi closing his cover. ‘It’s all over. All over…’
The three continued looking into space as the other books in that part of the library continued to sleep in undisturbed peace.

Monday, December 25, 2006 0 reflections

Merry Xmas to everyone!

Please click ON the card to send it to your loved ones...

Sunday, December 24, 2006 0 reflections

:: the lullaby ::

She shifts uncomfortably in the prison cell. It has been a long day for her yet sleep seems to evade her eyes. The cold earth that has cracked open in a random pattern seems to be the only comfort she has to look forward to. She starts to measure the width of the room with her swollen legs. She sighs in despair as the final count does not seem to please her. Her eyes reluctantly look at the pale patches of blood on the wall. Distinct spots of dry blood stare back at her sorrowful face. She murmurs something slowly to herself as her empty eyes fill with quiet tears. She sniffs after a moment of silent weeping and looks away.
Her thoughts now drift to her loved ones. Her family. Her friends. She thinks back to the happier days. Days when she was loved by them all. A time when she was wanted and cared for. Faces and voices seem to take shape on the lifeless walls that surround her existence. She sees her parents there. Her friends and relatives. She sees her brother. A cold shiver of shock suddenly emerges and vanishes in her heart.
The reflection of those times bygone vanishes in the flashes sent down by the heavens outside. The merciless rain has not stopped in several days, she ponders. She smiles to herself faintly as she wonders if the skies are crying with her, or for her.
Her thoughts then shift to her unborn child. She caresses her seven month old stomach gently with her hand and starts singing a soft and soothing lullaby. She walks over to the grilled window of the small cell and continues to hum looking at the dark heavens whose floodgates seem to be open with a supernatural force.
‘Are you still awake?’ she hears a man scream from behind her. ‘Do you not know it is past midnight? Go back to bed now! Come on!’ he thunders with a scowl of disgust.
‘Let her be! She is only singing!’ shouts another man’s voice confronting the previous one.
‘Don’t make me come in there! You both will have to pay!’ shouts the former one again.
‘It is alright,’ she softly tells her husband as she turns away from the window. ‘My child knows all the songs without even singing it.’
She walks up to him and sits down beside him.
‘I hope this one makes it Devaki,’ says her husband looking at her pregnant stomach. ‘We cannot afford one more stain on that wall. I cannot survive another one of those,’ he says choking a little.
‘Don’t worry. I have a feeling this one will. I just know it. Now go back to sleep,’ she tells her husband as she continues to stroke the sleeping Almighty inside her warm belly.

2 reflections

:: the window ::

The black discs studded in the white of her eyes are motionless. It is as though they got stuck in a moment. She sits unsmilingly gazing outside her window at the continuous flow of heads below on the crowded street. The array of sounds the world underneath her generates is disturbingly soothing to her lost senses. She starts braiding her long and black head of hair into a strong garland of well aligned knots. She hears uneasy footsteps outside her door. A familiar female voice dominates the rest of the vocals in an authoritative tone. For the first time in several minutes, she attempts to smile. A half hearted, half real and half conscious hint of it appears and briefly holds a place on her full lips. Her relaxed posture seems to emanate a calm and serene essence into the partially lit room. The window she sits at is the only source of natural light the room has seen in all its existence. The door creaks open in a hurry as a familiar female voice shrieks behind her.
‘What are you doing? Aren’t you ready yet? How long will you take? It is time!’
She does not move. She continues to braid her hair which has now almost reached an end. In a few more minutes her long forest of shocking black will resemble the flowered headdress of a bride.
‘Are you listening to me?’ the voice continues as her gaze shifts from the crowd to the visitor’s face. ‘You have five minutes. Do you hear me?’
The visitor grunts in unhidden fury and walks out slamming the door shut.
Her smile recedes into a dull emotionless shot of stillness. She stops braiding her hair which looks spectacular in the sunshine that peers from outside the window. She walks up to the old wooden dresser and looks at herself in the foggy mirror there. She slowly starts removing the tough knots that had appeared so beautiful on her tress just moments ago. Short lived, once again.
‘This way, sir,’ she hears the voice from outside the door again. ‘Please go in. She is ready. We all know she is your favorite’ the voice continues with an unnatural giggle.
She turns towards the door and sees a familiar face there. She smiles again and walks up to the window to close it this time. No lights required for her anymore. She is a bride once again and her groom is someone else this time. Her braid comes lose as her hair starts dancing in the final gasps of air that enter the window she closes. Soon her window to the world is closed once more.

Thursday, December 21, 2006 3 reflections

- existing in pieces - NOW AVAILABLE!!!

YES! It has finally happened. After several weeks of editing and inhumane proofreading I have finally made my paperback book - existing in pieces - available for people to buy online. Please click on the image above (or on this link ) to visit the place where you can buy it from. I hope my readers are able to share my world of words with this first attempt of mine.

Also check out the all NEW website launched exclusively for this book -

Thank you very much.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006 0 reflections

shubhashaya :: [Kannada Greeting Card Website]

Sunday, December 03, 2006 3 reflections

The thrill of a kill

The lethal gloom was apparent. Her nose twitched involuntarily as she looked down upon her latest victim. The weapon used was still in her hand. Happy to have finally been used.

‘You left me no choice buddy,’ she murmured fully aware that she was not being heard.

It all had been so sudden that she suddenly had no memory of having struck the blow.

She let out an extended gasp and collapsed against the wall. The sweat trickled down her spine keeping her awake. Aware. She looked at the dull lamp that lit the room and felt hypnotized under the morose effect it was emanating.

Her fuzzy thoughts took her back to the planning that had gone into this. The various schemes she had drawn out with her partner. The tension that filled those discussions was still fresh in her memory. She felt nauseous at the sight of the blood that trickled from the edge of her weapon.

She flung it to one corner of the room. She was finally glad she could hear herself breathe. She wiped the sweat beads on her forehead and cheek with the sleeve of her T Shirt. She glanced at the motionless body of her victim.

‘Gone with the wind…’ she said to herself with a disturbing giggle.

‘Are you done?’ whispered her partner from outside the room.

‘Yeah…yeah…’ she said with an air of modest confidence.

‘This is not my first time. Yet it feels like one every time I do it’ she added.

‘You are sick. How can you enjoy this?’ the partner whispered coarsely.

‘Hey!’ she yelled ‘One of us had to do it? This was the best shot we had! You chickened out so I did you a favor pal.’

‘Whatever…’ the voice behind the door said,

She sat there admiring her latest execution. She was thrilled at the thought of how she was getting so good at it.

‘Just one shot…’ she said after a few seconds of reflection ‘that’s all I needed. Just one good shot. I should consider baseball seriously.’

She got up lazily and walked towards the door. Her partner stood outside squirming at the sight of the whole incident.

‘Alright…’ she said walking past him ‘…be a man now. Go in and dispose him off. I am not doing that bit. I need a shower. I smell awful.’

He let out a grunt of frustration and walked in with a plastic bag. He kept telling himself this would be the last time he would get involved in the killing of a rodent.

‘These guys are getting smarter each day. No more traps for them…’ he murmured as he reluctantly picked up the dead mouse and placed it into the bag.

5 reflections

Religious Inspiration

The gloss on the posters was still intact. They seemed to be fresh ones. They were the kind one could see during major Hindu festivals in the city. The kind that was so bright and vibrant that one’s attention would be caught immediately.

The range it covered was quite a wide one. Everyone from Lord Vishnu to Lord Ganesha was on display. If one were on a tour of Hinduism then this seemed like the spot to be.

‘Impressive,’ said one passer by as he watched the display.

‘Indeed,’ said another pausing to kick up a conversation.

The chill of the early morning was still in the air as these men wore caps that covered their ears and carried a rolled up newspaper under their arms.

‘This had to happen one day you know,’ continued the first passer by pensively.

‘He had no choice…’ said the other one equally thoughtful.

They stood there admiring the colorful display of glossy posters that adorned that cream colored wall.

‘Looks like a temple now!’ said the first passerby with a chuckle.

‘Can he do that? I mean is it legal?’ the other passerby enquired.

‘Oh! Of course. Not a first time in the neighborhood. I have seen this done before.’


‘Well,’ said the first passerby conclusively ‘whatever helps Mr. Rao keep his wall from being urinated on. The smell was unbearable.’


They resumed their walk with the newspapers under their arms.

1 reflections

A moment in time

The translucent curtain of darkness and light played between them. No other power, man made or supernatural, could take away the moment they were sharing.

She looked into his hopeful eyes and smiled. A smile so mesmerizing that he knew he would never forget it even if he wanted to. It had registered deep in the mysterious chambers of his aching heart and there was no way he could make a conscious attempt to reach those spots.

‘Do you love me?’ he asked her as her hair cascaded down like a fountain of infinite happiness.

‘No,’ she said mischievously giggling and trying to get away from him.

‘Will you be mine forever?’ he seemed to ask her as he watched her million-dollar smile.

‘Never,’ she responded looking like an immaculate version of the soul mate he had always desired.

They were one, for a brief moment, across the translucency that enveloped them like a silent snowfall.

Their eyes continued to appreciate each other’s company when he heard a whisper. Something so intrusive that he felt like pulling out a dagger and pushing it through the throat of its source.

His moment with her was in disarray. The split second notion of having been hers was gone.

Possibly forever.

He turned to the whispering and clearly anxious voice.

‘What is it?’ he impatiently asked wondering what mighty force might have motivated the ridiculously ill timed intermission.

‘It is interval now…lets go before everyone else does…’ the voice continued.

The lights came on and the darkness vanished like it had never been there. He and his friend walked out to get some popcorn and a cola.

They wanted to come back and watch the previews.