Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Matrimonial Skirmishes - Part 1

Case One:
What is your designation?

What do you do?

No,no, what exactly do you do?
Err, I solve business problems.

No response.A blank expression is waiting to greet you. I never thought that explaining what I do would be so much of a problem. The prospective in-laws, in their effort to understand whether I work at all and how much I earn and what are the chances of their beloved daughters getting to try her luck at a casino in Vegas start off with this questionnaire. And I flop, again, repeatedly, time and again. Without remorse or repentance.

I am pretty sure that the impression I give them is that I don't draw a salary at the end of the month and most likely their daughter would end up at one the harems of Arabia and be the subject of a book to be written 15 years hence.

Case Two:
Which company does he work for?
Chainalytics Services Private Limited.

Chainalytics = Chain + Analytics (MY mom, exasperated and trying her best to hide it!)

Is it a software firm?
No. It is a consultancy firm.

Silence. After the exchange of a few pleasantries, the conversation ends. And my mother asks me to join a software firm ! And I, am convinced beyond doubt that I made the greatest mistake of my life going for a MBA. You see, the software industry being India Shining's mascot has great asset value in the matrimonial market and not been part of the bandwagon is seen here, in this market, as a disturbing trend.

Whoever said that a weak dollar is hurting India? And whoever said that the software market is a commoditized market now?

There was one response which was kinda reassuring. The person said "Oh, even my daughter is in consulting - she works in a placement agency." Finally, someone who KNOWS what consulting is !! Such knowledgeable people !

Shit! I had an offer from HCL Tech. !

Monday, December 10, 2007

What they say MIGHT not mean what they mean

What is said:: You are looking so young and fresh.
What it means:: Earlier you used to look like a haggard, nowadays you are barely tolerable.

What is said:: You are very good guy.
What it means:: You are a complete moron. And that is why you are lagging behind and you will continue to do so for times to come.

What is said:: YOU don't have a girlfriend?
What it means:: Thanks for reinforcing my faith in God.

What is said:: You deserve the best. Just wait for the right girl.
What it means:: Can't you even see that you getting a girl is more than what you can ask for? The fact that there is someone out there for you is enough of a gratification for you. Be happy knowing that.

What is said:: You are such a charming fellow.
What it means:: You ham people to death. Sometimes we feel like paying you to stop your blabber.

What is said:: You write so well!
What it means:: Please do not waste paper and please refrain from cluttering up the net with your useless rants. There is enough shit out there already.

Righto !

Thursday, September 27, 2007


I do not know why I suddenly break into a smile out of nowhere in a clear electric blue sky. I guess the electrical impulses in my brain have started its tricks. Or is it the heart?

I have not an iota of an idea in this goddamn world why I feel exhilarated without any substantial achievement both professionally or personally. Is it you?

Why do I want to play, play music, create symphony out of cacophony, feel a pulse which makes me lose control of my feet in the surreal illusionary world of Bach and Mozart?

What have you done to me that I feel that THIS is life. That it can actually last more than a lifetime. That in its sheer, utter uselessness it is unbearably useful?

I am lost, and I want to be found, not by you, but by myself for only through myself can I be you, with you, for you. Is THAT called hide and seek?

Why is everyone talking to me, even those who would maintain a harsh stony silence when I used to ask them the 'why' and the 'how' or more importantly the 'when'? Why are they looking at me in all their glory gleefully mocking me in jest and with that "I-told-you-so" attitude? And why am I not feeling irritated or skeptical about it?

Where has my pragmatism vanished, who has called my senses, in which street of paradise can it be found, if at all?

Why have you taken me from myself when you know I cannot afford it, not again, or did you do this only to prove that I can? That actually I - can.

How the hell am I supposed to explain to my ever-critical mind that my heart says that there is no tomorrow, that what lasts is today.

And today, you are all that matters.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Et All...

Dreams are dangerous. If I had power, the only good service I would have possibly allowed myself to indulge in would be to strangle the dreams of the world. There is simply no point in wondering what could be when what is does not paint a rosy picture. In fact, if it does paint a beautiful canvass then all the more reason not to think about any great stuff since by law after every great time you have you are bound to have a pretty lousy time. So just enjoy the moment and shut the fuck up !

But there is one inescapable fact of life. Its exhilarating to daydream. I mean, by now, I must have scored at least 10000 test runs with consecutive centuries at Lord's and Eden and must have shot all the communists out there and danced with Salma Hayek and Catherine Zeta Jones innumerable number of times.

In my dreams !

And that why they suck. You have to be out of it at one point and thats when it hits you that, well, they were dreams.

There is one more thing I would like to shoot down if I ever have the opprtunity. The question "whats happening in your life?". Really, in recent times, no other question has bothered me more than this one. I sort of squirm when I hear that and nowadays I even have the premonition that its coming (the question, I mean!) and it starts to tickle me. To me, that is a helluva stupid question.

What is there to happen?
Why should anything happen?
Why should I want anything to happen?
Even if I want something to happen, why should that happen?
The fact, that I might want something to happen ensures it will not happen!

I am an incurable optimist. How else could I explain my commitment and undeniable, stupid fetishness to perfectionism being fully aware that I would be successful 2 out of 8 times, at the max on a perfectly fine, sunny day, 3 out of 7?

If THAT is not optimism, then, what is?

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

For tomorrow

Of all the posts I have written so far, this would be the first of its kind. And I am a little unnerved by the prospect of writing something which I am not comfortable with. I have serious reservations about this since I am sure that most of my friends would be equally unnerved and to some extent perplexed by this.

I am happy.

This, is, a transient state. No doubt about that. Before you all start barking mythological philosophies and philosophical discourses about all feelings being transient and life being all about moments and how to seize the moment and strike it when its hot (or hard ?!) I assure you, I AM aware of all that. But for the moment, I am happy.

Now, DON'T ask me why. I, myself, am perplexed no end. I am not a depressed sort, never been one, except for a brief phase in my life, many a winter back and I can safely say that, that was an aberration. There is not a reason in this entire universe which could have transformed my perspective from cautious optimism and confident pessimism to a feeling of utter, carefree, boundless enthusiasm.

Or so I thought! And as with many other cases, I was wrong.

This weekend I went to the best city of India (no, its not Kolkata and I am a wee bit sad about it) to meet up with friends and my two and a half year old niece. Looking at her, I realized why it is necessary to have kids (apart from the usual reason of they being a part of me and my loved one!). It is unbelievable, the amount of pristine joy they can provide and how just by dint of being themselves they are perfectly capable of making you feel on-top-of-the-world. Pure, unadulterated joy.

When you come back home after a gruelling day at office, feeling all lost and tired, then that little bundle of energy, without a care in the world, oblivious to your tirade against the mad, bad corporate world, comes running to you - that feeling cannot be recreated or fabricated by anything else - not even by a hopeless session of passionate, tender love-making, let alone a Ganguly cover-drive, a Rafa-Fedex duel or a Kurosawa creation.

The fact that for someone, whatever you say, makes sense, the fact that, to her you are the world, the ludicrous assumption that whatever you say is right and there is no other supreme being, the exhilaration that is evident when she says the most mundane thing to you thinking that to be of greatest importance makes everything right at the end of the day.

And I guess, that is what makes people look forward to tomorrow. If tomorrow comes.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Epithets and Learnings

Yesterday, after a pretty long time I was in an introspetive mood. And I just started listing down some of the adjectives that I have collected over the years.

1. Self-proclaimed movie aficionado
I hardly make proclamations except about love, and that too, sometimes erroneously!
2. Self-proclaimed cricket expert
A big FO to modesty, I DO understand cricket. Or am I just been presumptuous, again ?
3. Elitist
Yes. Cheers to capitalism.
4. Left-leaning intellectual
5. Opinionated sonofabitch
Former, yes; latter - leave my mum out of this please!

Quite a decent list I should say, considering I have just about completed 30% of my life. Phew ! 30 percent ! So, what have I learnt?

1. Talk less and listen more
Its funny, post engineering days and pre-MBA days, I had lost my words. And had successfully unconsciously implemented this strategy. And it did pay dividends. But
then MBA happened. And it made me a little more educated and slightly more optimistic. And miraculously enough I found the words. And I am not sure whether I should be happy or sad about it.

2. 23 years wasted
All, or should I say, nearly all that I had learnt in the first 23 years of my life, I had to unlearn. The process was quick and was made unbearably easy by a whole lot of incidents, some which has made me write this post, some which has made me tougher but most importantly some which has taken me out of me. Good or Bad? Verdict still awaited.

3. Tomorrow always comes
Irrespective of what happens, tomorrow always comes in to say 'hello'. Sometimes, even when I did not want to see tomorrow, just wanted to shut my eyes and sleep, even then, my eyes would open to a tomorrow staring me on the face asking me to don the gloves for one last time for a battle against time. I have won, I guess. Would I have felt any different if I had lost?

4. I will always be a spectator
Because I lack talent to make it, because as my father put it succinctly one day a lot many days back that I am hopelessly mediocre, because I lack courage, because I have always been hypocritical, because there are still a lot of 'becauses'!

Yeh Mahalon, Yeh Takhton, Yeh Taajon Ki Duniya
Yeh Insaan Ke Dushman, Samajon Ki Duniya
Yeh Daulat Ke Bhooke, Rawajon Ki Duniya
Yeh Duniya Agar Mil Bhi Jaaye, To Kya Hai ?
- Sahir Ludhianvi-SD Burman-Mohd. Rafi(Pyasa,1959)

Wednesday, July 25, 2007


I am yet to get my hands on Harry's latest tryst with destiny which is his final one and I do know how its gonna end. And I am NOT complaining and neither did I have this irresistible urge to know whether he dies or lives. I like Rowling's characters a lot. Its one of the best books written in some time, thanks to her this dying art has received some interest.

But what's the fuss?

It is phenomenal - this utter madness, utter fanaticism about its launch. Even, 20th century's most celebrated writer Salman Rushdie never faced such mass hsyteria. Neither did Stephen King or Michael Crichton, whose movie rights are sold even before they have penned one single line of their next bestseller. And I am not even bringing Tagore and William into this.

The funny part is that it cuts across the colour of skin, across media, across spectrums, across everything. And more often than not, the repurcussions are negative than positive. Consider the following cases:

1. Diana's death
A woman who has nothing to show for, except her multi-billion dollar boyfriends, whose only claim to fame was that she loved children (show me one lady who does not!) and who had nothing to do with any 'common man' dies while trying to flee with her companion. And the entire bastion of modern civilization comes to a standstill with all whos-who attending the farewell. Never before have we seen such useless, brazen show of wealth and irrationality and maybe hypocrisy?

2. Rajkumar dies
Karnataka's best actor ever died - of perfectly natural causes. Shops were looted, businesses forced to shut down, scuffles with policemen for a glimpse of the dead body - total mayhem for a week in a city which is the face of a resurgent India. Professionally he might have been excellent and his death to be definitely mourned because of his unparalleled contribution to Kannada films, but are we so naive as not to separate a screen image of an actor with his personal life?

3. MGR's death
24 people committed suicide because he died. Our obsession of portraying ordinary mortals as our messiah of hope, of catapulting them to altars destined for the supreme has gone to such a level that the casualty has been the most basic ability of humans. To think.

4. Harry Potter's (death)
People stood in queues for three days to get their first copy! One of my friend, who is a Potter-fan, said "Its a part of growing up!". It is perfectly fine to be inquisitive about the book but 'what' 'growing up' ? Growing up essentially implies an ability to separate propaganda from facts, to look at things rationally as the way they are, to channelize impulse on things which are of some value.

I, of course, understand your basic right of attributing value according to your own choices in life but I cannot understand you attributing it to your inquisitiveness getting the better of you for a character which is fictitious, in a world which is fictitious and something that would only let you know what happens to him and which would have no consequence on anybody's life after you have turned the last page.

Isn't that a trifle ridiculous?

To quote a professor of mine, "A book is a book is a book!" Nothing more, nothing less. And one more "Get a grip!"

Monday, July 09, 2007

Wanderlust to Wonderland

A house by the edge of a cliff overlooking a vast expanse of a bright clear blue ocean, a stretch of lushy green grass in the front porch, a hammock between two banyan trees, a cuckoo making its presence felt intermittently, a great wife and at least five great children - if I can make this happen, then maybe, just maybe, I might one day be able to look up to my father eye to eye and tell him that finally I have done something worthwhile, that I have not just earned more money than him by doing half his work with half his ingenuity.

Mornings would be spent flirting casually with the fragrance of nearby tulip gardens, jogging with Sushmita Sen and then I would saunter in to the tennis court next door to 'play' a game with Rafa on clay. And beat him.

Since it would sap me of all my energy, a refereshing cup of freshly brewed Darjeeling tea would be next on the cards with Khaled Hosseini listening to how he can magically weave a story with so much emotion, so much intensity without actually having lived through any of it.

Back home an hour later, would spend time with my family, Kishore and Lata being played on the background, kids asking a hundred myriad questions and I sometimes glancing at the laptop in front advising different heads of state on how to run their governments and some fortune 10 companies on how to effectively market their products!

A short nap post lunch and the afternoon session would be spent playing Michael Holding and Dennis Lillee on a grassy Sabina-ish wicket and then bowling gentle outswingers to Vivian. Thereafter, a post match session with Sunny on how to play the straight-drive really straight and with Abdul on how to bowl the googly.

The evening would start with attending a live rendition by Abida Parveen followed by a jugalbandi by Amjad Ali and Zakir Hussain. Over coffee, I would discuss with Yash Chopra how he has lost his mind and how he epitomizes a case in point where excellence leads to utter mediocrity and finally to unfortunate oblivion.

Dinner would be a chicken barbeque on the grass beneath the open star-studded glittering night with sparkling special effects by the fireflies with Harry Belafonte and Pete Segger humming along.

Post dinner, we would lie down on the hammock and gaze away at the brilliance that the universe has to offer and be assured in the tranquil thought of our incredible insignificance in the scheme of things which we have no idea about, drenched in the satisfaction that possibly through love we might have transcended some of the barriers and compelled life to let us into some of its most treasured secrets.


Wednesday, June 13, 2007

The Price of Success

Its a beautiful world with beautiful people or so they say. Except that I find neither. I think one actually leads to another. Being an engineer I am trained to think methodically and find out patterns where none exists. So my funda is if the latter were to be true in one's life, the former is a foregone conclusion.

Of course, by beauty I do not definitely imply physical beauty. Which sometimes makes me wonder - exactly how many other kinds of beauty are there. And to compound this, there is the inevitability of subjectivity about beauty. And as always, even though I do not seek beauties, I have not been able to remotely come in contact with anyone who would fill my idea of the same. Neither figuratively nor metaphorically. Which begets the question "Am I normal?" or is it that I don't have my specs on or am I looking at the wrong direction altogether. For once, I hope God exists, so that at least I can say "God knows!"

Every evening when I am back from office and I turn the key to my temporary abode, I am greeted with a wonderful sight of a huge empty house, with some useless machines like a television, a laptop, a broadband modem staring at my face in jest saying out aloud "Hah ! Got you again. 27 years and you still have ONLY us to fall back upon."To which I reply with my usual casual nonchalance "Every damn f***ing dog has his day and am waiting for mine!"

The situation is the same every morning. I wake up to that same huge house and the first thing that strikes me is "Isn't it too early to wake up?" or "Why the hell cannot I sleep for 24 hours?".

I have to make breakfast AND have it with the tables and chairs and newspaper to give me company. THEY are such amazing company - I tell you. The very basis of my existence is to have breakfast,evening snacks and dinner with them. In case you are wondering about lunch - for that I grace the tables and chairs of my office along with some other colleagues of mine who do not have such a complete life as mine but are sinfully married! And you can prove it from their totally satisfied expressions post lunch having gulped down everything their dear wives had packed for them early morning. (Alas, they do not have the privilege of such an exciting breakfast as I have!)

The government, opposition, marginals, challengers, secularists, communalists - nearly everyone would have me believe that I being a Brahmin belong to the privileged lot. Ignorant idiots ! They can only guess at the privileges that I enjoy every day of my life. Oh, by the way, in this limited life that I have lived so far, they tell me that I am successful as well.

Yeah, sure. Of course. Great success - tables,
chairs, laptops, mobiles, television, music system.

Here is to success. And privileges. And lousy boring marriage.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

The Secular Muggers

Before the likes of right-wing extremists like GKA and the left-leaning liberals like Stambhit pounce upon the title of this post, here comes the disclaimer.

Disclaimer: Religion has nothing to do with this post. This is an a-political post.

I am bestowing the honour upon the quintessential Bangalore auto-rickshaw drivers for making their way into my blog because of their all-pervading, ever increasing exploits which would I am sure put them in the altar of greatness along with other Kannada greats in due course of time.

They are the principal characters of this post. It is a tribute to them.

Auto 1:
Expectant Passenger (EP): Richmond Circle jana hain (Around 10 Kms from the place)
Rick-Driver(RD): (No response. Just a shake of the head - like swatting an irritating fly away from your ears.)
EP: (Still waiting hopefully)
RD: Taking a more human approach, deciding that a response might not actually compromise his self-esteem - "Traffic bahut. Too far"

Ohh ! That's news. I did not know that traffic in Bangalore was too much !

Auto 2:
Still Expectant Passenger (SEP): HAL jana hain ( 2 km from the place)
RD: "Bahut paas hain. Walkable distance"

Thank you. I NEEDED that information. You see, he is doubling up as a driver and a portable information kiosk !

Auto 3:
EP (This time not 'expectant' but 'exasperated') : Bhaiyya, aap ko kahan jana hain?!
RD : Jannat (Thinking)
EP : Jahannum, you mean ! (Thinking back !)

This 3rd scenario is the most likely scenario that you are likely to face if you land up here in the "City of Gardens" with no gardens. But as one incurable optimist, in love with Bangalore and its gardens pointed out :

"True to Indian ethos, they are all completely secular. They do not distinguish whether you work in IT or HAL, whether you are a Kannadiga or Tamil, whether you are rich or poor, whether you are anything or nothing. They are humane in their approach - their only criteria for mugging you is that you should be human or look like one. They are professional muggers and they just happen to drive autos in the pastime."

It is of course mere coincidence that the same could be said of Indian communists as well. Funny, how communism always has a connotation with exploitation.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Things I Miss

1. My unquenched lust for life

Those were the days. Though nothing has changed except a few more years on my resume, very strangely enough I had never questioned my existence. Living was unadulterated fun. With the usual baggages of complicated, intense friendships, of jilted lovers, of heartbreaks at being ignored or less attended to by people who seemed to be the world then and the certainty of thought which never accepted that this would not last.

Never did the question pop up "Why should I wake up tomorrow morning, what for?" Living was part of life.

2. My illicit relationship with Kishore, Asha and Lata

Yes. Them. Those singers. There was not a day I spent without being drowned in the intoxicating voices of these people. It seemed almost all the songs that they have sung were a reflection of my life. As if they were written for me. I was the audience they had in mind, when they sung it.

a. Pal Pal Dil Ke Paas
b. Rula Ke Gaya Sapna
c. Tere Bina Jiya Jaye Na
d. Tujhse Naraaz Nahin Zindagi
e. Yeh Duniya Agar Mil Bhi Jaye
f. Bhanware Ki Gunjan
g. Baadi Sooni Sooni Hain
h. Tum Pukar Lo
i. Hain Apna Dil To Awara
j. Kahin Bekhayal Hokar

If I could have written any one of those songs or sung them, I think I could not have really asked for anything more in life. Every song, every emotion has a time and all through the years at some time or the other one of these were my life.

3. School

I don't need the money. (Actually, I do) Just give me a slice of that life I had, for all of thirteen years, and I am willing to give you all the collected movies, books, cassettes - any damn precious thing I have.

I have not been there for the past 6-7 years, yet, I can remember everything that has happened out there which had left indelible marks in my life. It is such a draining experience, so rich in content, so riveting in emotion that the mere thought of those moments fills me with a sense of nostalgia.

4. Jadavpur University

The only place which has given me much more than I have. When it comes to JU, there are only two kinds of memories I have - very good ones and excellent ones. I was fortunate enough to have practically all of my school friends with me out there. Yet, those of whom I picked up there, I suspect, could turn out to be some of the sweetest ones I can have over my lifetime.

5. SPJain

I frankly did not enjoy the first two months. In a B-school, time is at such a premium that it is very difficult to know people the way it is required to be known.

If in life, I never get to feel unsure about myself or lose my confidence or my ability to break out of my comfort zone and venture out into unexplored areas, I have to attribute it to this place.

Finally, all places are about people. I have never realized how it happens - that I have met so many brilliant people everywhere. And I am even more surprised that they would value in me to have remained friends since. But I guess, that is due. Things do get compensated one way or the other. You win some, and you lose some. I have lost my life, but picked up some priceless things on the way. Cheers to that !

Friday, June 01, 2007

The First Day

1015 am - Office Car Park

Warman and I, after a long, tedious journey and exhibition of unwavering concentration, crafty manoeuvering skills and patience finally made it - to our office. (I have no doubt that Warman would beat Alonso any day, on Bangalore roads!)

The first day. We did not exactly expect a lavish reception with flowers, cards and long-winding smiles and encouraging pep-talk (that happens at the Ritz Hotel, New York - we had a case study on that!) but what happened out there beat our expectations hands down.

1020 am - Office

Voila ! The office gate. Two striped glass-doors. One huge rectangular glass sheet on the side which proudly proclaims that THIS is the haven of the "best analytical minds in Supply Chain Management" and we both staring at it with a sense of pride and achievement at having made the cut. Then, we see that in all its glory, the doors are LOCKED. Yeah, locked. And you saw the time right !

1030 am - Bench Outside Office

Now, since our Senior Manager is in by 1030 we had decided to wait outside our office where there are some wooden benches a-la the ones besides Thames, London.

Now, I must accept humbly that I have never been to London, but over here I do acknowledge the contribution of my dear friend, philosopher and guide Karan Johar for allowing me to have a taste of London from the cosy comforts of the front row of a theatre. So, we both, Warman and I, sat down (NOT a-la Kajol & ShahRukh!) and discussed India's economy, shares to invest in what company, what would be the implications of Mallya's 'friendly' investment in Air Deccan. (We are MBAs, our discussions are strictly business-oriented!)

1045 am - Still There

15 minutes, by which time we have by using our awesome analytical skills have narrowed down and nearly found a solution to India's economic problems as well as our current financial ones, we decided to call our Sr. Manager.

"I am working from home today. Yesterday, Gaurav had not come. Nilesh will come at 12. Am not sure whether Raj would make it today. And Milind's bro is in town. So, he might as well not be around. Call up Milind to enquire about Raj."

By this time, we both wanted to say "I'm loving it!".

1100 am - We will Join TODAY

Having called up Milind we were assured that Raj would definitely be there and we assumed by default, before Nilesh. Hope, you see, hope !

1125 am - Made It !! Nearly :(

25 minutes later Gaurav turns up.

During this time, we had concluded without any doubt that we are at the right place. THIS is where we were destined to work. No fixed time to enter office. No compulsion for new entrants to be skeptical, to be unnecessarily formal - THIS is what a workplace should be like. It reinforced our idea that there ARE people like us out there who are competitive yet not obsessed by it, who are professional with a sense of balance, who are confident and not insecure, who would not assume much importance to a new entrant but would treat them just as one of theirs. We were impressed.

And then, Gaurav says "I don't have the key" (To which my immediate thought was "AV has")

1205 pm - Finally !

So, all three of us went to the nearby Cafe Coffee Day outlet. And again discussed you-know-what. Half an hour later, we decided to check. And lo behold. There was light inside !

I can bet that of all the guys of our batch, no one would even come remotely close to the experience that we have had. A locked door, a wait of one-and-a-half hour, no induction or orientation - something of a novelty which only a start-up can assure. The indications are positive. Only time will tell, whether this is the 2nd good decision of my life. Till then, continue to do what we did from 1020 to 1205 !

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Traditional Conformance

Non-conformism is undesirable. A great man (I think it was Einstein or George Bernard Shaw) once said "The reasonable man tries to adapt himself to the environment, while the unreasonable man makes the environment to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man". Well, who cares about great men, nowadays, anyways?

I am far away from the altar of greatness, even prospective greatness. If I were born in a different era - an era of philosophers, of thinkers, of historians, of sociologists maybe, by now, I would have already staked my claim to greatness!! But, it seems unlikely in this world.

But, I am a non-conformist. Not a radical, though. But, I refuse to believe that things could be done in one way only. That the beaten path is the best path. I would like to do something - anything in a way which no one has tried before. And it is not easy.

If people realize that, then its only trouble. Either way. In one case, you will be brandished as 'different' and you will not be considered for anything which is supposedly 'mundane' by their own dictum, in which case you lose out on a lot of things. In another, they will try to explain to you, that you lack basic sense of reason and intelligence and that they are the last torch-bearers of the highest form of intellect - that of following tradition.

The explanations are fascinating. And of course, what is spectacular and fascinating, glitzy and sparkling, in today's world, is more likely to be ridiculous and devoid of either rationality or intellect. Some of the choicest ones to have been thrown at the non-conformists and their possible replies:

"Our ancestors were not fools. They did it this way so there must be some merit in that!"
I am sure every one of us have heard one version of this or the other. I have no reason to believe that my ancestors were fools and in the same breath no reason either to believe that they were not. Generations after us, would think exactly the way about us. What they did, could have been right in their era but can be wrong in ours. After all, every philosophy does have a time.

"What will the people say?"
I do care what people think, but only when it does not interefere in anyone else's life. Apart from that, they may go to hell, for all I care. I can only give them an assurance on my part that I will be joining them there!

"My head is hung in shame when people speak to me of your actions!"
If you believe that you have done a fair job of inculcating the idea of questioning every premise put forth, that I will not accept any moral code blindly, unflinchingly, and exhaustively but would rationalize and filter out what is best in all, then you would not be ashamed of me even if I were the ONLY one talking nonsense in a sea of so-called sensible people. Otherwise, you have failed and if you have failed, then the only option left for you is to shut up, sit back and enjoy the spectacle!

"Why cannot you be normal? It is great if my neighbour's children do something of that sort. But I want my children not to disturb the social equilibrium!!"
I do not know what is normal. I am NOT normal. If I am capable of disturbing the social equilibrium, then, well, I have satisfied the first premise by which I started this post - I do belong to the club of 'greats'. And since, I do not, by reverse logic my actions would not even cause the flicker of an eyelid.

So here is to ancestral superiority, set structures, laid-out procedures and societal norms. May you all rest in peace. And let me be.

Sunday, April 29, 2007


There is so much anger. So much hate. So much to cleanse. Will it ever go? Things that irritate to the extent of causing a revulsion within, so much so that cannot even be vomitted. Feel sick in the stomach exactly like being on a swaying ship fighting the wind and the waves.

Full of useless content, content which can never win you anything - neither plaudits nor appreciation, neither a heart but maybe a friend. Those innumerable lines of thoughts borne out of a sense of being educated and just not literate only go to compound the problem. Why did Ayn write? Tagore spent an entire seventy years cutting down trees and wasting space in every Bengali household.

The most dangerous and damned discovery of the human race has been the mirror.

The only truth that emerges out of all the labyrinth of shadows is the undisputable crap of racial superiority. Which manifests itself in various forms in various forums. There was a time when only excellence was appreciated and pursued. How I wish I was born then. At least, I could have said that I did not survive that age. There is honour even in being kicked out of excellence. There was a time when men fought on principles and ideas. How exhilarating those might have been. How very proud those men must have been. If only they knew that they were the last lot.

Could extreme cynicism pave the way for perversion?

A liberated mind is the toughest thing to survive with. It is funny how people try to suppress thoughts which are way beyond their capacity by terming them as elitist or intellectual. Will we ever rid ourselves of prejudice? Will we ever know in the first place that we are prejudiced? Knowing is the first step - rectification or assimilation or acceptance is the next. How would we know?

"Be good.Do Good." That is the worst piece of shitty advice that you can give to your children. Rather it should be "Be opportunistic. Be clever."

Monday, March 26, 2007


Spiderman is dead.
As per his wishes, he be left alone in a corner to let him leave in peace.

Thursday, March 08, 2007


Excuse for failure.

The day when you get mentally prepared to live some part of your life alone some time in the future.

A state of permanent intoxication.

Hangover of love !

Right to speak useless nothings at ill-opportune times without any basis without feeling burdened or uncomfortable and yet feel a time well-spent.

A forum for Sachin V Rahul (Dev Burmans!), Sachin v Sourav, SRK v AB and 'discussions' on any other topic by semi-knowledgeable people lacking perspectives in life.

Rhythm of life!

The strongest bond cutting across geographies, political inclinations, economic disparity, religious faith, employer and employed and any conceivable barrier created by man.

The greatest networking instrument. There are 'booze-friends' and other friends !

The most thrilling game that could ever be played starting from child welfare programmes to educational institutions to sports to cinema to legislature.

Potent double-edged sword. Reason for all advancement and progression as well as all conflict.

Heroes at first, mortals then, outdated and archaic later who turn out to be 'us' later in life.

Entertainment. Abused, misused but NEVER used.

Omnipresent but intangible, comprehendible but indescribable.

The ultimate test of any algorithm ever written and would be written - with 100% assurance of failure.

Wastage of time, money, resources. All smoke and no fire.

Means to an end. The end being earning tons of money without any plausible effect on enlightenment on any other aspect of life.

Invariably stupid, unnecessarily possessive, no bends, no curves, straight and uncomplicated.

Unbridled, unadulterated joy.

Something which tells us what we will be much more accurately than a tarrot-reader. Something which we have to shed to break new ground. Something which if used appropriately can work wonders. Something which when obfuscated can have severe ramifications. Something which when lost destroys our roots.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007


If tomorrow does not arrive, a lot would be left unsaid. About people who cared, and who did not, about people who loved and hated and about people who did nothing yet were there when it mattered the most. This is for you. There are three names that I have withheld. I have no problems in revealing them, but giving due consideration to their marital status thought that disrection would be appreciated.


If there is hope at the end of the road, it would be you. Ours is the only relationship where I have always got much more than I have given. And this is the only time where I have felt elated on being defeated.


Those days of unhindered yet apprehensive freedom, learning our first lessons in life, knowing what being 'hurt' meant, devising ingenious methods to satisfy our sadistic mischievious instincts, to live and die every moment of it - if there is something that I would want in my next life, if there is one, those would be it.


Possibly,if at all, my only regret in life. If at some point of life I had not taken the steps that I did, I would have been deprived of the most beautiful, affectionate relationship I have ever had and will ever have. I am not sure, but I think, THIS is what friendship is all about.


You taught me what my parents could not in 23 years - how to look into the mirror and to accept what you see, to know how I am as a person, what I am capable of, who I am. It is ironical that you never aspired to do that. If there is something called gratitude, and I were to have it for anyone out there for bringing me down to the ashes, for letting me hit the dust, I cannot think of anyone else.


What a revenge ! Hats off to you for giving it back with aplomb, with nonchalance and the same degree of indifference that I once meted out. Remarkable !


Thank you.


Its been worth every penny. Every damn penny, man ! You are testimony to the fact, that there might be something called faith, that justice might just squeak into this world, that it is possible to be sane in insanity and that even if we lose, we somehow win.


How I wish I were as magnanimous as you are. How I wish, I had that bubbling enthusiasm. How I wish, I were as spirited. How I wish, I could love so much. How I wish, I could be such a sweetheart. How I wish, I could create an impact as you do. How I wish, I could be so loved.


You gave me my smile back when I had lost it. I just hope that I was able to give you back some of those when you needed it the most. But, I believe, I failed.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Play It Safe

The phenomenon is typically an Indian one,more so a Bengali one. And it sucks ! Big time. The concept is called "play it safe". The manifestation of this concept finds expression in various spheres of life - some mundane, some exciting, some insipid while some bordering on the horizon of incredulity and utter stupidity.

These are the following scenes that are typically enacted in practically 999 out of 1000 households. Till the time I was cocooned in the comfort of my dear city Kolkata, I had presumed that this was a purely Bengali concept only to be fooled later on in life.

1. Post Board Exams - Choice of Stream

Only in India, does this ridiculous idea of choosing one's career exist. And once done, it is irrevocable. Considering this context, for someone, who knows not what his calling in life is, the safe choice is to go for science. "Beta engineer banega..."

The alacrity by which this decision is reached and the analysis that precedes it will put any McK consultant to shame. It is entirely inconsequential that the person under consideration might not be suitable for science, might have literary skills which if nurtured could be capable of creating something more worthwhile than computer programs later in life. So, "play it safe", do your engineering, get a job, get a life.

2. Post 12th - Computer Science

Of course, if you are an engineer, you HAVE to be a computer engineer. Again, it is irrelevant whether the engineering college does not have a building or a space to sit, or even a computer!

And going by the reaction of India's educated elite, who have their own prism to look at life, condascending in their attitude, patronizing any or everyone who do not conform to their opinions, all other streams of engineering are, well, unmentionable. In all their glee and superfluous concern they would enquire about your son and what is he doing and how well their son is placed and if you happen to exude their same level of nonchalance in mentioning that your son is a Mechanical or a Chemical engineer, you had it. You would be diagnosed with a severe disease of non-conformance to societal benefit and wastage of intellectual prowess depriving mother India of a worthy contributor to the GDP of the nation !

So, "play it safe". Be a Computer Science engineer in a college without a computer, and if you do happen to get your hands on a machine, start churning out Tower Of Hanoi programs, brace yourself, convince yourself that in a few years time you would be part of the most educated labour force in the world. And do tell yourself and all others around you - "I am an IT Consultant, I work for a company driven by values and which looks beyond the obvious and powered by intellect!". As if all others are not.

3. Do an MBA

In about ten year's time, when there would be as many B-schools as there are engineering colleges now, those three letters would invoke the same kind of adulation from the society and equally intense smirk from some exceptions.

Ask any TDH why they want to do an MBA and after you have worked through the maze of "holistic perspective, cross-functional expertise, understanding business, synergies of past,present and future competencies and leverage" kind of answers you will realize that those words are just instruments to camoflage their inherent confused state. When will we ever hear someone say in an interview "Am doin it for money, you know. All work is shit work and if I have to do shit work, I would rather get paid more and do shit work".

Ohh, by the way, these kind of responses would ensure that you are not considered for further selection in case you are applying to institutes which try to blend eastern ethos and western efficiency - whatever that means ! (Shit !I AM an MBA!)

4. Placements @ MBA

Focussed Candidate: "Yaar, mujhe BFSI(Banking, Insurance, Financial Services - for the uninitiated) mein jana hain"
Placement Committee Member: "Tera experience kis domain mein hain?"
Focussed Candidate:"Pharmaceuticals!"

I guess this sums it up. Now, you know why placement committee members become slightly eccentric, little cagey and more so fiercely risk-averse. Such archaic mindset on part of candidates is one of the reasons why in spite of a booming economy and obscene salaries placement committees refuse to do anything different. "Boss, agar sab place nahin hua to?"

If you are a wannabe MBA, and by a magical illusion want to do something outlandish (like not go to BFSI!!) then try to talk to your senior placement guys. If you even get a hint of that statement then, think again. Insecurity is self-mutative, self-procreative. Be assured that there would not be any change in that mindset. Like Vedas, this theory will be propagted through ages by the sages from one batch to another. But you cannot blame them. After all, there would always be that critical mass who would want to go to BFSI.

4. Marriage - What?!! Marry a non-Brahmin ??!

Yep, non-brahmins, non-bengalis, non-tamilians, basically non-you - they are untouchables. Come on, you know they might bite - who knows ? And maybe at the wrong times, at the wrong places ?!!

So you are a racist ?
What crap ! Me ? A racist ?! I am a firm believer in equality of all races except that I dont want my son to marry a non-me. I have voiced my strongest criticism for Jade Goody (I hope I got the name correct. If not Shilpa, please help) when they called Shilpa a fu**ing dog.

Of course, racism is only restricted to absence or presence of pigments and not to absence of threads ! So, "play it safe". Marry a girl from your own clan. At least, they don't bite.


Friday, February 02, 2007

An Agonizing Wait

I was 10 years old. And he looked just like me. He epitomized my dream. He was living it. I stayed awake all night when he with a veteran fought all day for India. And I was elated when he did it - saved the match. Little did I know, that it would be the first and last time he would do it. For the next 18 years.

I was fifteen. The time when I first started to understand the beauty of batting. The courage involved in playing an open-chested pull, in stepping out to a fast bowler and
playing it straight over, the skill in casually lazing into a cover drive, in knowing the significance of pacing an innings, in appreciating brutal murder - on the field. And he did all of this. Just started. And by the time I was 20, he was India's most prolific scorer.

Yet, I waited.

For him, to lead India into its first away win in tests since 1986. It never came. I still waited. For him, to score the greatest innings an Indian can ever play abroad. Or at home. It never came. I waited. For him to play a part by scoring runs in the fourth innings chasing achievable targets. It never came. I waited.

For that time, when all doubts would be put to rest - when I would be proud enough yet not blind enough to proclaim in all gloriousness that this man - my hero, is the greatest ever to take the field - knowing fully well that someone called Vivian or Sunil would pose some disconcerting questions. That I would never have to shield myself behind 25,000 runs and 75 centuries and 52 MOMs to justify that. It would be one name. That would be it. In MCG, Barbados, Rawalpindi, Kandy - I would be looked upon as a man from that nation.

I was twenty-five. The flashes are gone, the elbow hurts, so does the spine and also the toe. And did I mention the fingers? Yet, the runs came. I was indifferent. And I am tired. Of waiting. The drives, pulls, cuts have given way to nudges, flicks and pushes. The most talented Indian ever to grace the game still is a handful. Possibly more than that. It is hallmark of that genius that in spite of all this, he scores run-a-ball. A century in 76 balls. And is cocky enough to say that he knows best how to bat. Which he does !

So, why am I tired ?

Greatness comes with achieving something outlandish. Something, beyond ordinary mortals. Things, which you and I would not be able to think of. Let alone dream. Sunil and Dev did it. While one chased 406 the other bowled with a torn ligament and won. In Australia. Both won the world cup - an unlikely proposition at those times. Out of the blue. That is greatness. Barry and Vivian will never scored tons of runs. Yet, they in their cricketing span did things which shaped the cricketing destinies of their nations. They made their mark, they defined greatness. Has he ?

How many series have we won abroad in which he has played a significant part ?
How many test matches have we won chasing where he has made his mark ?
How many one-dayers have we won - which appeared to be impossible to win and which he had made possible ?

So, if he has not broken new ground, not given Indian cricket a new life, a new direction, would it be fair to put him in the same pedestal with those who did ?

I have grown up watching him and the few of the others - 'jokers', who had limited talent, very limited - those who did not get bowled through the gates but fended off short-balls, or did not get out to rookie left-armers but fished outside off-stump and even got maligned as "match-fixers", those who never scored in the bulk but stayed as a wall and pulled India through. These jokers, played out of their skin - much more than expected, much more than they are capable of.

They were my life. They still are. They always will be.

But whom should I give more credit to ? To these 'jokers' who have outperformed themselves or to that genius who has a crateful of runs and marvellous flamboyance which has not translated to anything more but pure visual delight ? The choice is for you to make. IF you want to, that is ! A better suggestion would however, be to rest in the cocoon of the preconceived notions and justify them with statistics or to say that people from different eras could not be compared ! (Let us then immediately stop comparing Nehru and Indira with Vajpayee and Manmohan)

And, I am still waiting. And I am sure you are not !