Monday, January 30

Hi Calvin, I am Hobbes

I look around and find that I am not the only one. The Calvin loving Hobbes exploring generation, that I thought would outgrow its “childish” ways and matured into responsible individuals settled down into the respective places they have found for themselves as Cogs in the wheel of the society, is still all around me. Shifting in their chairs, kicking beneath their desks while typing away furiously and being productive without getting engaged /indulged in the work they do. They toss, twist and turn in their sleep every night for two thoughts keep pulling them in opposite directions. The need to satiate the child in them. And the laziness erupting from the thought of going back in the morning to the mundane routine of professional life. Every night when they sit on their bean bags with a scotch on rocks next to them and the PlayStation console in their hand they do recognize that these amenities for massaging the child ego in them come from the same jobs where they sit, kick, scream and “belong”. But how far would they go to belong is a question all these Calvins, riding the sleds of their childish egos, ask the Hobbes in them everyday.
I was reading an article recently, sent to me by a dear friend of mine and a fellow Calvinite, where Calvin has grown up and has “belonged” but Hobbes is nowhere to be seen. The author has written this article as Calvin in first person and is talking about how he helps his kid find his Hobbes and in turn rediscovers the connections he had with his Hobbes earlier. The article made me wonder if its better to stay on, hold on, Velcro stick on to your Hobbes all through your life or to let go of it to ensure you fit, belong, mature, acquire responsibilities and then rediscover the Hobbes in you. The questions that grapple me in the second possibility are about the health of the relationship between you and your Hobbes after a really long gap. Just like two good friends who lose touch for a really long time and get together only to become better acquaintances.
Would you be able to communicate your deepest innermost thoughts with your Hobbes or merely be able to find a comforting fur belly to lie on. Not someone who can say, “Boy! And that has been fairly easy task for you” with a sarcasm when you say “I have been a good boy... all this morning”. To me the dichotomy is not so dichotomous in a flexible individual based TTMM society but fairly uphill a task in a society where the tightness of it all renders you helpless. And you begin to “BELONG”.

Friday, April 29

वो जो मुझसे दूर हो गयी

मुँडेरों से झाँकती हुई,

ओस की बूंदों सी,

मेरे आँगन में गिरती है |

सतरंगी परचम लहराती ,

बादलों की ओट से,

लुकाछिपी खेलती खिलखिलाती है|

अधनंगे बदन पर,

सिर्फ़ एक सफ़ेद रेशमी दुपट्टा ओढ़े,

मुझे ललचाती है|

जो हर सुबह,

अखबारी काला सफ़ेद पोंते,

मेरे दरवाज़े पर दस्तक देती है|

खोलते हीं गुम् हो जाना,

मिचमिचाती आँखों के साथ,

लुकाछिपी खेलती है|

वो खुशी आज सुबह,

मेरे बिस्तर पर लेटी मुझे मिली|

उठने के साथ चाय की प्याली देकर,

झिलमिल सी आँखों में मुस्कान भर कर,

नाश्ता बनाने किचन में चली गयी|

जिस खुशी ने मुझसे दूरी कर ली थी,

दिन भर मुझसे बतियानें बैठी|

बोली अब यहीं रहूँगी|

जब तक वो काले घनेरे बादल,

फिर तुम्हारे अंदर से मुझे धकेल नहीं देते|

Saturday, April 9

The skeptic in me writes away

The skeptic in me writes this,

Always the skeptic in me writes this,

I hear my heart pounding,

Trying to ignore the creaking in my greys,

The skeptic in me types away.

It makes so many attempts,

Emoting on paper, the rapid swims,

The perspiring tinges of rainbow,

Hoping for the glint

The skeptic in me withers in words hopelessly.

Gleaming, the golden orb,

Sinking deep in the calluses,

Dark and dingy in the corners,

Shining in black grease,

The other part of me keeps surfacing,

While the skeptic in me wordsmiths.

Honing all these thoughts, gargantuan in nature,

The ticking continues, ahoy ahoy up the sails,

Turning those wheels that direct,

Shining the curb I always bite,

The skeptic in me now strikes

Monday, March 28

No Smoking - A review - Visited via The Fountainhead

No Smoking, for me is one of the finest Hindi films I have ever seen. Primarily because it has said things that I have been wanting to say all my life and it has, hence, made an impact on my life like no other. It has layers set so deep that they cut through your bones, only if you are willing expose your bones to it. At a superficial level it is a convoluted narrative, supposedly borrowed from Quitters Inc, about a guy’s struggle to quit smoking. With support from family, friends and finally Baba Bangali (Paresh Rawal in the role of the executioner played with chilling precision), the job becomes only difficult as the story progresses, before finally the protagonist collapses at the hands of a minor surgery.

All this at a superficial level. Bubbling layers below is the story of our very own Howard Roark (K, played suitably by John Abraham) and his struggle against a system that would not let him be. The story of a person who struggles and finally is left with only the Peter Keating in him. Letting the Ellsworth Tooheys (Baba Bangali) of the world win and take control. I am not going to go into the narrative and the entire movie description but just give you snippets of how The Fountainhead of India succumbs to the Indian version of Toohey (Baba Bangali).

Ayn Rand said, and I believe many others have as well, that Man’s greatest ability is the faculty of thinking. The power of his own mind. By corollary, his ability to take decisions and then follow them without regret. And decide without intervention from others. Without influence from others. The power to act upon his free will. K’s story is about the struggle between a society that wants to control and an individual that wishes to live and in order for him to live he relies on his free will. The act of smoking is an assertion of his independence not his interdependence. And therefore he is seen as being liberated from a suffocating water swamped bathtub every time he takes a drag. Where he can’t breathe and his smoke has this power of liberation for him. His cigarettes help him swim and then breakthrough to the other side. Remember how others also CAME OUT from closed cupboards, from under the table and other traps. And when he does not get his cigarettes, to act on his free will, he gets trapped, becomes un-confident and becomes part of a world where everyone is an enemy.

Till the end his struggle is to live his life based on this motto, to follow through with his decisions and his struggle against a system that cannot allow him as it is a risk for that system. That would forcibly want to change him and take control of him to make him part of itself. Forcing others to submit to the demands of a power forces all to submit. A dictator that is so omnipresent it moves about like a ghost (like a green film), a contamination that promises to engulf all. The movie does not choose to depict one person as the antagonist, though there are times when Baba Ellsworth does command the screen with his madness, it’s a collective that attacks K. That threatens to consume him and no matter where he hides he can’t escape.

The society / system / Toohey / Bangali find ways to punish him and coerce him. If he does not relent they make him deaf, he persists and they kill his brother, he does not desist and they destroy his wife. Until finally he gives up and turns into Peter Keating, a spineless worm who merely dwells in the society and finally leeches off them leaving behind his Howard Roark / soul behind the glass door feeling dejected and defeated. And not able to communicate.

Some thematic / story specific observations:

1. AK has used green as a color to show contamination of the society and the soul

2. The green ghost is the all pervading dictator trying to control the world

3. The dual personality of various characters is a primary theme. K behind the glass and staring at himself. Anjali the wife (who wishes to mould him into her world) and the secretary (who is willing to do anything for him), Jesse Randhawa song which is sung by Adnan Sami (a man singing for a woman) and finally Baba Bangali and the doctor (btw Jab bhi cigarette jalti hai is one the most erotic songs I have seen / heard)

4. AK probably had to dumb down the film a bit to show that there is always someone watching you. The Ram aur Shyam bit in the lift

5. How life does give you the opportunity to take back what you lost but you fight it so that you don’t risk what you have. The scene where Alex (Joy Fernandes) forces him to smoke a cigar This film is not about cigarettes, it’s about a man losing the connection with his soul, his conscience, his mind and losing his ability to communicate with his inner voice.

Thank You AK

p.s: do visit

for another article on No Smoking

Tuesday, August 24

Apocalypse Now - A Review

Hi Readers,

Another review i wrote for passion for cinema has been published. Please visit the same and update any comments that you might have. Join the discussion.


Tuesday, August 17

Lost and Found

You are lost, feeling your wounds with your fingers, stabbing and jabbing, running through them, feeling your blood between your fingers, like oil slick, you know the smell, you know the grimy texture, you sniff and almost cough up more of it through your stomach. The process of self discovery, exploration, all the signs of what an infant feels and absorbs. The symptoms of being in a world where suddenly everything is a variable. The child grows up and while growing up continues to explore. As his body and mind permit him. His limbs move about and find those awkward protrusions, the invariably present cavities, the excrement and the process of self discovery continues.

You step into a temple seeking another meaning and find it teeming with a bevy of people. People who are so lost they don’t even know that there is a process of self exploration. The bells jar your ears and you shift heavily. The stomach churning vehemently. No medicine in sight. You feel your life seeping through your fingers and giving way to contamination. You shift heavily on your feet and end up on the bed. Few rapid breaths later, you untangle yourself, jolted from the reverie, the sweet intoxicant of the perfume haunting your thoughts till the next night and stumble out of the promise of self discovery onto the streets of being lost. The journey continues.

You travel miles and let the butterflies fluttering in your stomach take control, cling to the conical heads of your ears, lifting you in the air. Flailing, flickering, kicking your legs about, you circle the horizons and land on your haunches, crashing, bleeding to death. Passing through all the flashes of monstrosity meted out since conception. The pain of being, the pain of seeing, THE PAIN…..

All the images imprinted on your mind, you find the meaning. That there is no meaning. You walk back holding gathered, close to your heart, the remains of what was, the evidence of a journey made, and submit the YOU to the finality of being YOU. Nothing changed paths, but none stood still. You come a full circle, womb to womb.


Monday, August 2

My Impression of the movie "A Clockwork Orange"

Hi Everyone,

I have written an account of my impression of the Stanley Kubrik movie "A Clockwork Orange" on a premier movie portal Please visit the link given below and follow the discussions:


Saturday, December 12

Paint it...

I itch all over,
stains of blood hardened on the skin;
Blue black, frenzy of colours.

I bleed all over,
frozen veins exploding;
Tattered patterns of hope.

I have wounds of the soul,
transcending all creation;
Smeared hopes of attainment.

The garb pretends,
it tends to expand all in vain;
Dots mere on the canvas.

I play hither tither,
sheltered in my being me;
Fudged reflection in the mirror.....

Saturday, June 13

Random Ramblings - A collection of my dreams/nightmares

This is random rambling. In fact the random is rambling. Why do I feel my head reeling at the speed of light when all around me everything moves in slow motion, I feel nauseous, hideous, completely torn apart with merely flashes of energy sustaining me through the day? The moment passes into hours to be swept in a sea of thoughts leaving me exhausted and drained. I manage to wake up in the morning, with the reluctance of a kid on school day, but unlike the kid who is also reluctant to come back from school, not wanting to separate from the friends, I rush home. Not having anything worth breathing for is worth living for.

I have to decipher and understand the meaning that is hovering around and still not knocking loud enough or not knocking at all. My veins, turning blue, red, purple, yellow, and green, hardly managing to pump anything but fluid of poisonous nature, are just like the dark falling bark pieces from a rusty old tree, looking to be detonated, exploded, compounded, and shredded to pieces just so that existence will be of different nature and most importantly in different form. Not having anything worth breathing for is worth living for.

The body is exposed to miniscule explosions of chilling nature, the impact being as though you are burnt with Ice. It’s a difficult feeling to explain just doesn’t fit into any metaphors. You breathe and then find that the lungs refuse to inflate or even deflate. They stick to your rib cage and flap about in a desperate attempt to become independent of you just so that they can fly. You are caught in the turmoil of dizzying forces, as though all matter inside has collapsed to form a solid ball which is semi fluid in nature. Green in color, contaminating and disintegrating at the same time, enough to make you cough and vomit and ensure that the more you vomit it out the more it grows in size. Not having anything worth breathing for is worth living for.

You knock a few cans around and find swept in the nature of the intoxicant itself, pure, senile (it’s an attribute of old/age), degenerating and rejuvenating. You try various colors on only to see which fits, leads to redemption and then you drown yourself in the color. You become the color itself. First blue, as pure bliss, ABHAAMAAN, then red angry and mocking the rest, then purple, turning inward with shame and fear, unable to grapple with reality, yellow with fever trying to shake off the sickening dogs wagging it’s tail forever at you, and then finally green (completely contaminated) marking various shades of jealousy (all the seven sins amalgamated) only to leave you with a feeling of being licked by a rabid dog who has seen and smelt the fear in you, the vomit on you. You try to find and then know that not having anything worth breathing for is WORTH LIVING FOR!!!

You are running at feverish pace, perspiring, perplexed at the reason and still not able to understand it fully. You tie a knot around your waist, just to brace yourself for the situation, and then rush headlong into Vortex*, spiraling ahead, just ahead to glimpse your future and then recoil at the sight of the dripping, slime covered, green creature that you have become, blotches of sun forming their mark on the face, bathing in your own sweat, swearing loudly and lamenting at the obfuscation around, all pervading darkness and still everything so clear. You try to clear the fog and then know that not having anything worth breathing for is WORTH LIVING FOR!!!

*(Ashok Banker – Thanks)

Wednesday, May 13

Fair & Lovely

Leaving behind a healthy household (it was health & hygienic from my comfort point of view and I can see Gols, Murs and Govi grinning from ear to ear reading this), a lavish lifestyle, and a comfortable city for all purposes, I have shifted to Chennai. Pune is the city that I will always remember for giving birth to who I am today. Pune gave me a second life. But coming to Chennai, despite mixed reactions from my friends and family, I am confounded by a myriad of feelings. I am confident to do something new, I am apprehensive about the weather and all the new people (anyone who knows me, knows well enough that I do not like new people, be it Tamizhs or Biharis), I am ready to explore and find newer avenues, some which I might not have found in Pune, and above all I have the desire the excel at my work. It’s a challenge I am willing to accept and overcome.

But all this is a part of a long list that will take time for completion. I would, for now, settle down to observations and one of the curious things I observed was the Fair and Lovely phenomenon. I have had in my life the pleasure of interacting with a few unique people and observe from close quarters their personal grooming process. A lot of the middle class young men (I am stating this at the risk of generalizing) seem to be pre-occupied with two things. The hair, the length of it and the gloss of it and the skin the gloss of it and the fairness of it. A comb in the pocket and a tube of Fair & Lovely on the dressing table. I have seen similar skin tone in South Africa and found that among the “blacks” an amazing sense of pride in their skin color exists. I saw a hoarding advertising for a product called “Dark & Lovely”. This to me sums up the entire colour skin debate sparked off a few hundred years ago. While the most oppressed in the matter have moved on and started taking pride in their skin tone as a sign of struggle and liberation, some here have bought into the advertising imperialism / colonization and have become rampant consumers of a product whose results are at best unfounded and imaginary.

To me the most surprising is the fact that those who can afford this product are educated young men!! The drivers for consumption of this product could be many viz. getting a fair girl for marriage, attaining a supposed social norm. I might never be able to find the underlying cause, but one thing I do know that trying to change who we are in order to attain what is socially acceptable is not just trying to lie to oneself but also a small step towards a Unitarian society, where independent thoughts and new ideas seize to exist. Once that happens, we would be mere puppets in the hands of the nefarious social engineers. Like a herd of sheep being led by the mountain goat.