Monday, December 17, 2007

To Sir, With Love - 1

As I finished reading this classic by E.R. Braithwaite today, I lay in bed, thinking of my students - some of whom I have forgotten and some of whom I can never forget. Ahhh... those were the days!!!
A brief background - I was preparing for an MBA admission at ICC in Lucknow and in my first attempt, got several calls but none converted. So one fine day, when I was sure of giving it a second shot and I was sure of not spending another 10K on coaching, I went to the coaching where I was a student thus far and proposed to teach. They knew that I have the potential and I knew that they don't have anyone for DI, so despite being more comfortable with maths and reasoning, I offered to take DI. So, soon enough, I was there as 'Sir' before so many pairs of interrogating eyes.
And believe me, it was difficult for all of us. For me, the tables were turned and I had to face people similar, or even senior, in age and qualification. For them, I was a young novice - just a graduate with one year of M.Com. to back up all my claims of seniority. Although, contrary to my expectations, first few classes went quite well - I was prepared, my questions and logics were readily accepted, and blind feedbacks were almost all positive.
However, the problems began to erupt once the information about me spread. Some of them started posing difficult questions in the middle of class to take me by surprise and to check my aptitude. My solutions and logics were argued upon or refused many a times - it became a question of prestige for some to accept me as a teacher but mostly, they meant to have some fun by playing smart or making a fool of me. I remember that during the first year of my teaching, I preferred evading surprise questions and doubts - most of the times, they had the most difficult questions to test me. I was not very experienced and more than expertise, I lacked confidence.
Incidentally, three of my friends had also joined that coaching and suddenly became my student from a friend. That proved to be a lot helpful for me - I used to get 'secret' feedbacks from them and that helped me a lot. As I kept on improving, it affected the general perception as well and finally, even the most nasty ones became, more or less, friendly. Anyhow, I survived that year with finally positive feedbacks, a raise in pay, and more freedom in teaching, including additional areas to handle - content development, reasoning, puzzles, and economy.
By the end of first year, I had a final call from IRMA and a waitlist at IIT Delhi, among other calls. These calls and my CAT and JMET percentiles helped me gaining more supportive attitude from many. By the time I went away to join IRMA, I had spent some two-three months with the new batches. This time, I was quite easily accepted. My classes were sought for, I was enthusiastic on getting new puzzles and teaching materials from wheresoever possible, and I, along with Anand Sir, had started handling free-flowing discussions in class. More importantly, I was no longer 'afraid' of taking up questions in class - students could ask anything they want and even if I was not able to answer, for the first time, I was not embarrassed in accepting the challenge.
Then, in a completely strange twist of fate, I ended up leaving both, IRMA and IIT-D. As a result, I found myself standing again at the doors of ICC - to give 'it' a final shot. This time, I really had to prove myself and I was applying to elite colleges only - no fall-back options or buffer like earlier times.
At teaching, I had stopped preparing beforehand for the classes. I was taking up the things as they came - asking for doubts, stimulating discussions, giving open-ended assignments, and to top it all, I was teaching my own short-cuts and techniques. Students now were happy with me and the director now more often got requests for my classes. After the classes, I used to have discussions and unplanned sessions with students for every sorts of things - academic problems, CV making, personality problems, and even personal problems. However, there was still a lot disapproving of me but that was insignificant and it didn't bother me to face them. I was as confident as ever.
By this time, not only students were loving and enjoying with me but also the faculty had accepted me as one among them. I was having intellectually stimulating discussions with them, especially with Anand Sir, Gurjeet Sir, and Burn Sir - details of those encounters in some later post. And in retrospect, that part of my life is the most beautiful one - I was having fun, knowledge, respect, money, and all that I could long for - well, almost all.
I got final call from IIM Ahmedabad on 13th March,2005. After this, I spent two more months at ICC and in every respect, it was wonderful and enjoyable. I got plenty of farewell wishes, cards, and gifts. In fact, till very long, I was willing to get back to teaching. Even now, I miss teaching and talking to students so much that whenever I get back to Lucknow on vacation, I try to interact with a few classes at my old coaching. And again I have had a few wonderful experiences.
I am in touch with very few of my students now but I wish them all success and happiness wherever they are. It really feels great when one of them crashes into me and shares their success stories with 'Sir'.

Monday, December 10, 2007

The Loner

I have changed my name so often,
I've lost my wife and children
but I have many friends,
and some of them are with me.

There were three of us this morning
I'm the only one this evening...

- 'The Partisan', Leonard Cohen

Yes!!! I have lost so many of my dearest ones to the hands of times and tides and to the hands of myself that there are hardly few now. And I really don't want to lose anyone anymore. I want to keep them close to me - well and forever.

But you know what - there is a sinking kind of feel that visits me more often these days, a gut feeling that I have just lost them - well, at least, few most important ones. These are the times when I realize how hollow my claims are - the incessant claims of never giving a damn about anyone. But then, there is this 'looks like freedom, feels like death' that encompasses my being, my existence, and my soul.

And howsoever absurd it might seem but I live on extremes of affection. I can love from the deepest of my heart and then I can break it all in a blink. Only I know how genuine I am when I say not to trust me and not to trust me at all. I know that there will be a day when I will leave everything and everyone. Who knows when will that day be, when I 'll say...

Call me any name you like
I will never deny it

Farewell Angelina

The sky is erupting
I must go where it's quiet.

- 'Farewell Angelina', Bob Dylan

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Laughing at the Narcissus

Yes, I know I write a lot about myself but believe me, I think a lot more about myself than I write about myself. Didn't you notice one of my post labels read 'Narcissus'. But I am not self- obsessed for nothing as most of us are. I talk so much about myself just because I like talking about interesting and important people (well, to me at least).
OK, PJs apart, I am not as self-obsessed as I may seem. In fact, I have been deft in proving a dork of myself, that is - knowingly and intentionally too. And I have had cracked quite a few practical jokes on myself, just to make some special folks smile. I re-realized this when I read some old mails and found a few of the jokes I used to crack on myself.
One of my most oft repeated one (well, most of them are) is "Had my teeth been just a little larger, I'd have sold them for elephant tusks." And another one "my face is so oily, I fear USA might attack it".
One was during the lazy summer days, when I used to watch at least a movie a day. I wrote in an e-mail, "When I watch a movie, I feel guilty of not studying and I can't study when i feel guilty. so i go on to watch another movie, which makes me even more guilty and ......the cycle goes on."
And whenever I cook, I recall the first time I cooked a full meal at home - the 'parantha' made a 'tannnn...nnn...nn..n' sound as I placed it on my plate. But since the first time, I've learnt a lot and now I am a lot less pathetic cook, so my latest RCP (Repeat CP - sort of gobbledygook for IIMA people, so if you are not one, leave it) is - "Wah (with a big Waaahhh!!!), kya khana hai! Man karta hai ki banane wale ke haath choom loon." As a matter of fact, I do :D.
And being a cleanliness-freak, there is a lot about that as well. Like - how I emphasize on keeping my doormat on 17 inch from the door, 21 inch from the wall, and equally divided by the line between first and second floor-stone. Just because of this simple aesthetic sense, some people believe I have OCD, i.e. - Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. I mean, what the heck man!! Ain't you misunderestimating (sic) me??? Au-contraire, I think I have not only OCD but also schizophrenia, social anxiety disorder, narcissistic personalty disorder, avoidant personality disorder, neurasthenia, Asperger syndrome, separation anxiety disorder, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, borderline personalty disorder etc. etc. At the end of it all, I was told I am just hypochondriac. How disappointing for an aspiring psychopath.
But to forget yet another failure, I crack another joke on myself and laugh on...

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


लेकिन एक दिन उसने एक निर्णय लिया और पिछले सब कुछ को छितर-बितर कर दिया। मैनें देखा और एक क्षण के लिये सहम गया। उसके निर्णय पर कोई भी सहम जाता। फिर कुछ समय बीत जाने पर एक दिन उसके पास बैठ कर मैनें शान्त भाव से पूछा,"यह तुमने क्या कर दिया चन्दन...?

उसने भी उतनी ही शान्ति के साथ जवाब दिया - "एक क्षण आता है देवेश, जब निर्णय लेना ही होता है। चाहे वह कितना भी कठिन क्यों ना हो। असमंजस के बीच जीवन नहीं जिया जाता...!"



देवेश ठाकुर

मैं इस कहानी का चन्दन हूँ जिसने एक दिन एक निर्णय लिया और पिछले सब कुछ को छितर-बितर कर दिया।

I have always been wary of taking decisions, especially where others have stakes or concerns - 'what if something goes wrong? what if it hurts anybody? what if the other one wants it the other way?' Not that I never took decisions but I always preferred to think through and a bit longer (often irritatingly too long to be noted as 'a bit') than it should be. Further, I also almost always accepted what others had decided for themselves and even for myself - again just because it makes the other one happy and I always liked to respect others' opinion than thursting mine on theirs.

And ironically, I never realized when this respect and concern for others' decisions got the better of me - I just forgot that I can decide. I became impotent of settling matters. I started evading decisions, even if I am not fine with that - the respect and concerns, all got submerged into a submissive timidity and I followed what others decided for me. Even more ironically, I persisted on thinking that this is out of my concern for them and not out of my impotence as a decision maker. This not only costed me heavily in the form of confusions and sufferings but also irritated my most near and dear ones as well for this evasive and submissive attitude.

But then, as they say, wisdom dawned upon me. I realized that this is not concern anymore - this is cowardice, pure evasive cowardice. This is my life and if anybody can decide for it - right or wrong, good or bad - that one should be me. And I have to face the music for my own decisions, I have to face the repercussions of whatever I decide, and I have to stand up to whatever I deserve. This is for the good of not only me but also those who are close to me and matter to me. And I have already taken a decision that has affected many and has cleared a lot of fog from many lives, including yours truly.

After this enlightenment, I felt really ashamed of my cowardice and idiocy and wanted to confess. I hope all who endured me with all my idiocies and idiosyncrasies so far would forgive me and just keep loving me (or hating me) as they always have had.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Of Charandas, Meursault, and Martyrs

Part one: Charandas Chor
Charandas, the thief, commits jokingly to a sage that he will never ride an elephant in a procession, will never eat in a golden vessel, will never marry a queen, and will never accept to be a king. All four being improbables for a thief, the sage asks him for one more promise - of speaking truth always. Charandas agrees to that. Fate brings him to all four opportunities - the queen, impressed by the truthfulness of Charandas, invites him to the palace riding on an elephant in a procession and to dine with her in a golden plate. He denies both. Even more impressed, the queen proposes her to marry and become the king of the land. He denies that too. Finally, queen requests him not to tell this to anybody that a thief rejected the queen for marriage. Charandas says that if somebody asks he cannot lie. The queen threatens him of death but Charandas remains firm on his commitments. The queen kills Charandas, the thief.

Part Two: L'Etranger (or) The Outsider
Meursault, a French in Algeria kills an Arab by mistake. He is trialled for murder. A chaplain insists him to confess in the name of God and set himself free. Meursault says he does not believe in God. The chaplain insists that it doesn't matter, even if he doesn't believe but he must say so to save his own life. Meursault says that he cannot lie and gets a death sentence.

Part Three: The Martyrs
Charandas and Meursault are no less than martyrs. Both of them sacrificed their lives for truth. They made a commitment - to oneself or to others, and stood by that. To me, they are no less than martyrs who die for values, for truth, for justice, for rights. They could have saved their lives easily with just one lie. But then, I guess, they would have had to die a million deaths with the burden of a lie in their heart. To them, it was better to die for what they believed to be right than to live with what they didn't. And to me too.

Saturday, November 3, 2007


There is a classic movie titled "It's a Wonderful Life". The theme is pretty simple yet the direction, actors, and the juxtaposition of events made it one of the most memorable classics. The protagonist faces a lot of difficulties and finally, after a failed attempt of suicide, wishes that he had never been born. His guardian angel grants him the wish and he realizes that he had brought so many changes to so many lives and that the world was even worse without him.

How would this world look like without me?? Better?? Worse?? Even better?? Even worse?? As it happens with everyone, I cannot judge myself either. It is better left to others - unto them whom I have caressed or harassed, kissed or kicked, loved or loathed...

But I got a feeling that something somewhere has gone wrong - terribly wrong. The real problem is that I really don't understand anything of it - when, what, where, and how? On second thoughts, I feel even more terrible - I seem to know it.

I guess, the world would have been a much, much better place without least for me.

As Ghalib said:

डुबोया मुझको होने ने
ना होता मैं तो क्या होता

and the tumult stretches itself even force me to write:

रहा गम मुझे अपने होने का लेकिन
अगर मैं हूँ तो इसमें मेरी खता क्या

Thursday, November 1, 2007

All that comes and that doesn't come to my mind

Life is a pendulum. The more the things change, the more they remain the same. Its yesterday once more. And once more...

So don't fear
if you hear
a foreign sound
to your ear
It's alright Ma,
I'm only sighing!!

Some apt line comes to my mind:

इलाही फिर मज़ा क्या है तेरी दुनिया में रहने का
हयात-ए-जाविदा मेरी ना मरग-ए-नागहा मेरी


किसी मौसम का झोंका था
जो इस दीवार पर लटकी हुई तस्वीर तिरछी कर गया है।

बस तेरा नाम ही मुकम्मल है
इस से बेहतर भी नज़्म क्या होगी।

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Its life and life only...

As Bob Dylan said, or rather, sang - it's alright, Ma, it's life, and life only!!!

Yeah, I know I have been off for more than a month now and haven't written anything in my birth month thus far but it doesn't imply, by any means, that I have not been willing or have not been trying to write. In fact, there is a lot to write and I tried my hands several times at that stuff but that is simply too much to handle and then, everything can't be put in the constraints of 26 letters.
I have been traversing and still going through a turmoil of thoughts - a thinking process which is changing, or may be, has already changed the road map of my entire life. And the irony is that there is no scope for outsider's perspective - I can't tell anyone anything about that. In fact, I wonder if I can tell all that even to myself. I just couldn't share any of it - neither my earlier plans or the direction of those nor the changed amalgam of ideas and plans nor the factors or events that contributed to the change nor the thought process that culminated in the change. The only thing I can share is that that turmoil is still inside me - and I am still in the process of change - don't know for better or for worse.
I guess thats why I still like my good old diary much more than blogging. I can tell my diary everything and in fact, I have - well, most of it. May be in retrospect - 3 or 5 years from now, all these things on which I am putting so much weight and value, and letting them determine the path of my life will become frivolous or worth a laugh only like many have had; or may be, these will become milestones of my life - the watersheds of my life. I don't know what future holds but whatever that be, I understand that this time at least, it is beyond my control and ironically, it's in the control of those who are completely unaware of it all. But nonetheless, I am striving for the best by doing things as good as I can - Karmanyevadhikaaraste mafaleshu kadachan!!!
And in any case, it's life, and life only.

Friday, September 28, 2007

There's Heaven everywhere...

Yes! There IS Heaven Everywhere!!

It is just that I got to realize it a few days ago - in India's most polluted capital city, Ahmedabad. I always thought that for peace and serenity, one has to reach to the heights of the Himalayas or the depths of untamed forests or the beauty of untouched islands.... but then, I met the heaven - just in the middle of a hell of pollution and crowd and noise. It was in the form of a calm and beautiful Vaishno Devi temple, in the form of Adalaj Vav (a 60+ feet steeped well, with wonderful carving in stone), and in the form of Akshardham temple.

And I am sure that Ahmedabad is not the exception, because Heaven is everywhere. In hindsight, I recall that even Delhi has plenty of places, where you can steal some moments from time and let the world go at its own pace while enjoying natural beauty and serenity amidst miles of pollution, noise, and crowds. It is just about exploring, for albeit meek shall inherit the earth, heaven is definitely for the daring.
Now my plans include exploring my good old city, Lucknow, the same way as I did with Diu, Ahmedabad, and Delhi. And I am damn confident that Lucknow has the same, or may be even richer, heaven lying around. Although I had seen the tip of that iceberg (Imambaras, Clock Tower, Residency, Martyr's Memorial etc.) but there must still be a lot to explore.

And I believe, I'll find a heaven there too, for I am carrying it within me.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Nomadic Dreams

It was my dream to roam around a lot like nomads - just pack a knapsack and go where the road leads you... And now, when I have had my first such trip, the craving for one more and another and another is getting insatiable.
After a brief two days trip to Diu - a small union territory between Gujarat and Arabian Sea, I am planning for many more such trips - to mountains, to deserts, to monuments, to pilgrimages, to forests, to beaches, to cities, to villages... I am in love with traveling.
I have never had the chances of so many trips. Before the one to Diu, had been to Mumbai for some 10 days for playing National Judo Championship but I was too young then. Then, Varanasi was not meant to be a tour and just saw the tip of the iceberg called 'Kashi'. Even Goa was not so much fun from travel point of view as I spent most of my 3 days indoors. The only real traveling venture was to Dudhwa National Park with two friends immediately after graduation but even that was marred by the chilling weather and three novices. Besides these, all were business trips - to Ahmedabad, to Delhi, to Kolkata, to Vadodara, to Pune...
But the one to Diu was fabulous - weather was a bit hot but not enough to stop us, place was scenically wonderful, and we had bike, camera, and food. What else could one ask for!
Now, I am planing to clear the backlog of traveling the same way I did with movies, music, and books - do it insanely and do it instantly. Now, I am planning to take a trip at least once every quarter. And my hot spots include Goa, Somnath - Dwarka, Agra, Andmans, Ujjain, Rajasthan, Puri, Kerala, Mahabaleshwar, Kanha, North-East, Kashmir, Simla, Haridwar, and anywhere else too. And this is not the end of the list, for once I begin earning enough, I'll hit the road for the rest of the world - may be, beginning with Mauritius, Paris, and Australia.
I just pray that like all my other hyper-ambitious plans, this one doesn't sink midway. Just wish me luck, for I have miles to go before I sleep...

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Bon Appétit

I have opted to sit through the sessions of 'Philosophical Foundations of Management' (PFM), taken by Prof. Sebastian Morris (the God) and Prof. Ajay Pandey (another God). Yesterday evening, sitting in the library, I started reading the case mat of PFM and my appetite for philosophy is on new heights. It's really amazing stuff - the style of argument, the troika of grammar, rhetoric, and logic, the questions they explore, the questions about questions, and most interestingly, the paradoxes embedded. I think I should always have studied philosophy - as my main subject for masters and for thesis also.

But that happens with me all the time - when I study Economics, I am more than fascinated with the objectives, arguments, methodologies, and conclusions. It was the same when I was deeply into history - I wanted to read and interpret ancient Hindu scriptures and explore Indian history, European history, Maya, Inca, Greek, Roman, and Sumerian civilizations. Then, after reading a lot of it, I grew interested in religion and in a fit of reading more and more about religion, I read a lot about Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, and Judaism. I even read Quran at that time.
From there, I moved to geopolitics of religion. I studied about crusades, Constantinople, expansion of Islam, the Islamic rule in India, and also about Israel. Then, I wanted to visit Israel and want to make that nation the main topic of my future studies. Everything about Israel - from their history to their present, from their agriculture to their valor, and from their religion to their rituals.
But as I went back n forth in time with Israel, I started reading about World Wars, especially WW II, Nazi Germany, cold war, communism and capitalism, dictators, and world politics. The despair of those times, the fatigue of a war-torn world, the social and cultural revival and retaliation against constant wars, and finally the hippie - movement, Beatles, Marijuana, oil crisis, and times of peace.
Around the same time, I also read a lot about pre and post independence India, the politics of Indian independence, the politics of India, leaders of India, and the wars of India. That is the time when I decided to go in politics. Somehow, like all my ambitious and foolproof plans, this one also fell to the ultimate fool of 'em all.
In the meanwhile, I kept reading a lot of classical and contemporary literature - of Hindi, English, and also translations of Urdu, Punjabi, and Bengali literature. I wanted to understand better the human nature and behavior, so I tried face reading, voice reading, body language, neuro-linguistic programming, psychology, and even palmistry, numerology, and a bit of horoscope reading also. Now, I want to learn at least two more languages and German and Bengali are on top of my priority list.
But after reading this much and this diverse range of things, I feel, my appetite for reading and understanding has only increased. So I wish myself years of untiring reading, knowing, and exploring - Bon Appétit to my only friend and to my only foe.

Friday, August 31, 2007


So finally I got to spare some time to fulfill my long nurtured dream - the first part of which is reading philosophy. Although the second part - to become a philosophy writer, and a good one at that - is yet unaccomplished but I am joyous and at peace, for I never anticipated to attain even this little.

My encounter with philosophy began with Bhagwad Gita - I aspired to be the selfless, the unattached, and also the man of action, as I identified myself more with the man of thought.
Then, I started reading western philosophers. Read a lot of it on net and in books. And the deeper I go into philosophy, the more I feel that they are writing for me, about me, and what I always wanted to write, or felt, at the least.

Be it Bertrand Russell in 'Marriage and Morals', echoing my thought - "The fact that an opinion has been widely held is no evidence whatever that it is not utterly absurd; indeed in view of the silliness if the majority of the mankind, a widespread belief is more likely to be foolish than sensible." or in the same book, echoing my experience - "Love can only flourish as long as it is free and spontaneous; it tends to be killed by the thought that it is a duty."

And there is Camus in 'The Outsider' - the book which affected me a lot, probably second only to Bhagwat Geeta, and I identified the most with the protagonist of 'The Outsider', who declares the life itself is absurd. And then I happened to lay my hands on 'Existentialism' - a collection of introduction and excerpts of works of philosophers of existentialism, absurdism, nihilism, and to some extent, post-modernism. Camus is again my favorite among all, declaring, in 'The Myth of Sisyphus' - "There is but one truly serious philosophical problem, and that is suicide. Judging whether life is or is not worth living amounts to answering the fundamental question of philosophy."

And then I read what, I think, is my biography - 'Steppenwolf'. It's written by Hermann Hesse, better known for writing 'Siddhartha'. I guess he put my name on one book and my story in another. Just a quote from 'Steppenwolf':
" He finds in himself a 'human being', that is to say, a world of thoughts and feelings, of culture and tamed or sublimated nature, and besides this he finds within himself also a 'wolf', that is to say, a dark world of instincts, of savagery and cruelty, of unsublimated or raw nature..... and to explain so complex a man as him by the artless division into wolf and man is a hopelessly childish attempt. He consists of a hundred or a thousand selves, not of two. His life oscillates, as everyone's does, not merely between two poles, such as the body and the spirit, the saint and the sinner, but between thousands and thousands."

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Worshipping False Gods

Yes! The title is due to Arun Shourie but it's not about Ambedkar here. Shourie has screwed him more than enough with a 600 page book. But there are many more such 'False Gods' whom we worship without ever analyzing their deeds and misdeeds objectively. And what better day can there be to do that than the 60th independence day of India! Although the list is too long but I'll restrict myself to a few prominent and modern historical figures.
To begin with, what would you do to a man who jumps the gun and begins an operation much before the time planned? What about worshiping him. That is exactly what we do. We worship Mangal Pandey, who started the rebellion some 50 days before the date decided. As a consequence, most of the mutiny forces were ill-prepared and the rebellion was nipped in the bud. Although Pandey was a patriot and a brave one on that but, as they say, a wise enemy is better than a foolish friend.
And among the modern 'Independent' India's Leaders, there is Indira Gandhi - the only man in the cabinet - who practically ruined the economy as Indian economy showed a net capital outflow in her times when she closed down all the avenues of investment through the draconian acts like MRTPC, FERA, and license - quota - permit raj, and all this finally lead to what we know today as the 'Lost Decades' , stretching from 1966 to 1980; made bureaucracy omnipotent by giving it devastating powers of holding files indefinitely and allocating resources and licenses on their whims, which established bribery as a part of social ethos; and then, the political dictatorial fiascoes - from Bhindaranwale, uprooting of virtually every non-Congress state government, call to beat the Congress candidate Nilam Sanjiva Reddy through conscious vote in presidential election and later on, getting Giani Zail Singh elected, who ended up crawling when asked to bend; and finally, toppling the judgment of Allahabad high court.
Move back a little and answer this - what would you say of a negotiator who lost a battle on table despite a massive win on field? Well, call him Lal Bahadur Shastri. Indian forces were in Lahore in 1965, when he agreed to unconditional ouster of Indian forces - without claiming any compensation for the war thrust upon us or settling down the Kashmir issue.
But probably Shastri was just living the legacy that Nehru left for him. After all, it was Nehru who insisted on keeping the negotiation with the state of Jammu & Kashmir under his ambit while the remaining 561 were dealt with by Sardar Patel with swift dexterity. Nehru gave us Kashmir, Sheikh Abdullah (apocrypha claim them to be half-blood brothers); he gave us a humiliating defeat from China in 1962; he gave us a crumpled economy - trickle down never worked, capitalists cornered all the dividends because capital was allocated by government, and he was too hasty in declaring mutatis mutandis for agricultural economy in 1956; a communist intelligentsia who'd open their umbrella when it rained in USSR and who laid red carpets for their 'communist brothers' when China invaded India in 1962; he also gave us a limping foreign policy and despite championing NAM, he sat in the lap of USSR, thereby alienating USA. He was the first one to recognize Tibet as a Chinese territory and congratulated Mao. Although he learned about the communist brotherhood the hard way in 1962, when USSR refused to help India on account of the communist China being the brother and the socialist India a mere friend, and it was USA who moved its aircraft carrier into Bay of Bengal for assisting India against China.
Then, there was the political godfather of Nehru - Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, about whom the less said the better. He preached everything noble and refrained from everything he preached. In an attempt to be the undisputed leader of the whole nation, he appeased muslims on every occasion, e.g. - After the 'direct action day' in August 1946, he defended Nawab Suhrawardi and declared him his 'Maanas-Putra'; after slaughter of Hindus in Noakhali, he said that it was a spontaneous response of 'poor and downtrodden muslims' and they were just following their religion by killing the kafirs; and even after independence, his fast-unto-death for giving Pakistan Rupees 55 crore; a request-cum-order to the Indian government to 'evacuate' every mosque, even if abandoned and in ruins, from migrating masses; and to protect the evacuated properties of muslims who have left for Pakistan so that they can come back anytime they want. As a matter of fact, they came back - to sell the properties and left India with a pocketful of amount. His political favoritism is also well known, wherein he shamelessly promoted Nehru (who always claimed to be the 'Last English Ruler of India') over Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose and Sardar Patel.
In fact, I would count Patel and Bose also in this list precisely for being so submissively giving in to Gandhi's whims and preferred to follow his diktats in former's and leaving silently in the latter's case.
There are a lot many more names in this list. The irony is that despite all this being in the public domain of information, we are still lead by sycophants and we are still 'Worshiping False Gods'.

Monday, August 13, 2007

The Me...

Millions of small thoughts, unlimited confusion,
a bit of poetry, few incomplete verses,
a little concentration, lots of distractions,
drizzling rains, green woods, nostalgia,
desires, memories,
lovable cartoons, soft music,
readable books, a library,
finicky cleanliness, collectible junk,
bathroom singing, arguments,
some crushes, some loves,
some close friends, some close enemies,
some more enemies, even more animosity,
some lies, lots of procrastination,
truth, malice,
belief, mother,
some teachers, faith,
estranged kins, forgotten friends,
some personal diaries, dry roses,
some sketches,
a leisurely walk,
some evenings on riverbank,
some mornings at Roomi Gate,
breaking pessimism,
spirit of warriors, anger,
long term optimism, persistence,
flights of fancy,
some scars, frozen heart,
rejections, fears,
fear of rejection, fear of approval,
some cards, an album,
an old file, lots of paper-cuttings,
arts never learned,
words never said,
missed calls, calls never dialled,
confessions never made, regrets,
lots of questions, very few answers,
and an incomplete blog entry...

Sunday, August 5, 2007

The Ships that sank...

It's Friendships Day today and I've received several calls, SMS, scraps, and wishes so far. Although I don't like commercial stunts like friendship day yet I enjoyed communicating to so many of them.
By the end of the day, I was thinking of the friends who went missing in the endless layers of time, and then I noticed I couldn't even identify the voice of two of my very old friends, and still have some unidentified well-wishers in my cell phone's inbox. Distances have increased - not only in terms of geography but also in terms of chemistry.
Sometimes I feel like having all my friends around, having fun together, living those good old days with the same warmth we once shared - the plans, the dreams, the giggles and screams, the laughs, the sighs, the lows and highs.....

And then I recall the times when I tried to catch-up with old friends - finding out friends of junior-high during my grads; when I'm in Ph.D., meeting friends of graduation days; and yesterday, meeting with batchmates of IIMA.... The only thing common, every time I tried revitalizing those old friendships, was we ran out of things to talk about after asking and telling each other about old friends, classmates, and teachers - we had nothing to talk about. I felt completely alienated with them and their world. They have moved on and so did I. When it happened for the first time, I was taken aback by the sheer shock of it but since then I have matured a lot more. It doesn't hurt me to lose friends now. In fact, I have stopped fishing out friends of bygone times, for their memories grow fonder till our paths do not cross. I try to accept all this as a part of life and reiterate:

कुछ दोस्तों से वैसे मरासिम नहीं रहे
कुछ दुश्मनों से वैसी अदावत नहीं रही

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Living and Loving it

Since after accident two weeks ago, I am lying in bed first at home and then in hostel - reading books and watching movies. Frankly, this is the kind of Life I always wanted - not by the way of an accident of course but this is for what I had decided some five years ago to get out of the business and started thinking of other career options.
Though haven't got any such laid back time since I left business, for initially It was coaching, then teaching, and then course work but now, post-qualifier before result period is such where I am free to do whatsoever I want. Although I got a brief spell of reading during the year when I was back at home, having an academic nil year. But even then I was not so free for I was teaching and also, God was playing dices. Not that that is not the case now - God has always played dices and in my case, usually he has thrown them all in the most unexpected and unfathomable places.
Soon I'll be beginning with my thesis work and then again, this all will come to a halt till, God knows, when. Meanwhile, I must enjoy blogging, Orkutting, Writing, watching movies, and reading books.
Life is livable and lovable for the time being. And I am loving it :)

Sunday, July 22, 2007


Just watched Peter Pan...n^th time :)
And I am thinking of my dreams, my fantasies, my wishes.... and smiling!!

I want to fly like Peter Pan. I want a healing touch like Jesus. I want to read everybody's mind. I want time-travel to correct all that is wrong. I want to be invisible and beat the hell out of all those I don't like. I have many more fantasies, like - having an 'Akshaya-Paatra' with which I'll remove all the scarcity of food and water in this world. And there are many more... I know the child in me is really imaginative.

And to add to these supernatural powers, I want some very general ones too. Like - I want to play flute, learn at least 2-3 more languages, singing, dancing, writing, brains, knowledge, energy, looks, and a lot more. I know my vocal chords are as good as my foot-steps, i.e. - heavily out of tune. But still, I sing a lot and I dance whenever I get a chance. Because I sing or dance not for others, not for applause; but just because I enjoy it, but what's the harm if I can do some magic :D

And I dream of a meeting all my old and new friends (and teachers too) - with the same warmth which we once shared and have fun with them and re-live those good old days - yesterday once more. I love being nostalgic, like I was yesterday while scanning my childhood and graduation pictures.

I know I want too much. Everybody does.
I know this day is also gonna disappoint me. Everyday does.
I know I will dream the same dreams again tomorrow. Everyday I do.
I know I will fight back again next time. Every time I do.

Tomorrow will be a new day :)

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Confessions of a dead poet

For the past few years, I am rendered poetically handicapped. This doesn’t mean I cannot write at all or I’ve not been writing…but I don’t seem to be able to write spontaneously or at least to my satisfaction. Why is that??

Sitting in the National museum last week, I was pondering about this precisely. Is that so that Life has drained of all its sweets?? or is it that thoughts have decided to escape my imagination (udte rahte hain titliyon ki tarah, lafz kaagaz pe baithte hi nahin…)?? May be, I have become too structured in thought and imagination…may be I have lost my inspirations( bakaul Ghalib, thee wo ik shakhs ke tasavvur se, ab wo ranaaee-e-khayal kahan), may be that divine flame is burnt to ashes now, or may be I’ve just exhausted my quota of creativity.

Thinking of those good old days, when I used to get up at half past night, at two or three in the morning and start scrapping something in a rough, crumbled paper in the dim light of the night bulb…when even a single word or thought was enough for me to write a good composition…or even, when my friends used to give me situations, and some of them even dared to bet with others on my poetical abilities….. ahhh…Life…or something like that… seems well past me!!

I had written about personal grief but never about happiness, about parting but never reunion, about death but seldom about Life, about losing but about winning in only a passing reference. I am not a pessimist; in fact, As Anand sir used to say – I am a long term optimist. Then why this sad intonation in poetry??

Actually, I love the eternal. I love immortality.
Life is a blink, a momentary existence in between a constant non-existence. And I love turning the things upside down…that’s why I sing for the beauty of Life in my poetry…but then, turning that upside down – craving for the eternal, moving from momentary to the eternal, I denounce the shallowness and hollowness of Life… That’s why I seem a narcissist in my poetry, conquering everyone and everything and then, at the end of it – it’s all hollow. I lose.

Monday, July 2, 2007


I was reading the other day "Laughable Loves" by Milan Kundera. The book is a collection of seven stories by the Czech-Franco author. The last story - Eduard and God - is a seemingly simple story of a young man, flirting and trying to impress a girl in the communist republic. The problem is that the girl believes in God and the authority doesn't. The boy has actually never thought about God and is trying to persuade both the sides about either his beliefs or the lack of it. In the process, he puts forth very interesting arguments and insights. Although he is joyously confused about God and his existence or absence, but I can certainly identify with him.
He says, "It would be better if God didn't exist. But what can I do when here, deep down... I feel that he does exist." and one of his musings about Life was - "If I did not believe that I am living for something more than just my own Life, I probably couldn't live at all." sounds like I'm listening to my own.
In fact, I am confused not only about God but also about almost everything. That is why I liked most the idea of Douglas Adams in "The Hitch hiker's guide to the Galaxy" where God disappears in a whiff by proving his own existence. That was really neat. And also the title of a universal best-seller - "Who is this God Person Anyway?".

Not that I am atheist, agnostic, or devout - I am just confused about God - what is his form and feature, why is he the way he is, and why is he not the way he is not...and so on!!

concluding with a quote that really questions God, even if he exists:

"Man made booze, God made grass. Whom do you trust?"

P.S. - I have used God with masculine words only but I stick to my opinion (and the confusion therein), even if the God is a woman.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

I love...I hate... I love to hate

well....what I love will take some time....but what I don't like or rather hate requires the kind of laid back time which I have after finishing my qualifier exam yesterday and a dorm treat today. so here is a partial list (however long, its always partial) of things I don't like...

#Lies - Not that I don't lie...but doing so for political mileage or for manipulations in relationships is as disgusting and unacceptable as anything can be.

# Cosmetics - take the most beautiful face in the word and then - ruin it with cosmetics.

# Artificial Behavior - Behaving not like yourself and pretending to be what you are not.

# Not being blatantly honest with friends - If I've to think twice or if I can't say whatever comes to my mind in front of someone, its not true friendship.

# Refusal to craving for perfection - I know I'm not perfect - nobody can be. I just want to keep improving moment by moment, grain by grain. But what I really hate is when people refuse to see they can be wrong or there is a scope of being a better person. What I hate even more is when people justify this attitude and say that they have been like this so far and its not possible to change now.

# Misers and non-sharing friends, who want to have the biggest piece of the pie - I'd give it to them anyway, but not happily if they don't wanna reciprocate the same. I know its cyclical and confusing but thats what Life is.

# Hypocrites - who have different parameters for themselves and some different for others.

# People who are dirty, those who litter around, those who have an odor, and those who touch me - despite howsoever clean they might be.

# Idiots who think they are too smart and rest of the world is an idiot.

# And last but not the least, I really hate people who keep counting what they don't like in others.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Who am I???

well...May be - I am Life. I am The Life. or may be I am something like that...
I still am in the quest of exploring that who I am and why I am here.
May be we - means me and my blog - will discuss it more.

Do you get the point?? No?? It implies that you are not wanted here!!


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