Saturday, December 25, 2010

Dreams shatterd at NIFT

The second and final day at Bangalore was meant to be fun and dreams. Vattu had some wild ideas. His friend from college had managed to get into National Institute of Fashion Technology(NIFT), Bangalore.

In his words- The girls in the campus walked around the campus, in various forms of undress. They thirst for men as the few available in the campus are gay. Dey, if we can manage to get into the campus, rest will be history.

That night I wove quite a lot dreams- dreams full of wicked girls waiting to pounce on men. We got up early. We had to catch the evening train back home. So we checked out of the room. My bag had grown quite heavier, thanks to the purchases. But the excitement was quite good pain relief.

There was a long walk to the college from the main road. There were no trees on the road and sun was quite shiny too. We tried to forget the fatigue by cracking bad jokes. As time went on the jokes became stinky. ‘May be these girls come to this boutique to pose as models. May be the wine shop over there would be the place where the lonely girls get drunk and do their sexy belly dance. May be this fruit shop would be the place they came to get their health food’.

Atlast the brown building came into view. We half walked half ran to the oasis. Our heart sank as we saw the deserted campus. ‘Where are those semi-nude forms?’There was none except for the loin cloth clad guy dressed as Hanuman. To make things worse Kulli was ignoring our calls. I kept my bag and sat down there in front of the college. Vattu went on dialing. ‘Dude, let’s get out of here. I don’t think it’s worthwhile.’ The shattered dreams + the idea of carrying the heavy bag back through the deserted roads arouse all the negative feelings in me. We agreed to wait for 20 minutes.

To our great relief Kulli picked up our call. She had been bathing. The college had instilled some good values in her. She had started bathing and that too at hour/month rate. ‘Hey, where have all the girls gone to? ‘’Guys this is a Sunday. No one would be up from their bed yet. Besides there is a film shooting going on. Come on let’s hit some mall.’

The greatest time pass in Bangalore is to hit a mall. I can’t figure out still why people consider it as very lively. So we walked back through the road this time with Kulli to regale us with her take on ‘drugs’. According to her it’s highly recommended to take cocaine/hashish/marijuana. They help you to access the ‘higher realms of life’ (whatever it means). She had infact plotted a drug testing session with her close buddies (as it’s going to be the first time for her). And she promised to let us know how it went.

So till the evening we roamed around Forum. Most of the time was spent on the book corner, Hallmark. There were intellectuals/pseudo intellectuals pretending to be busy with books. ‘Reading’ has become a status symbol with the middle class. I came across a book, written by a Tamil, which had the picture of a buxom beauty clad in a very low cut blouse drinking out of a skull using a straw. Me and Vattu thought of gifting Kulli this one!

[The train journey back home was very long and tiring. But I managed to finish ‘Age of Kali’. As I sat in the train surrounded by Aiyappas, I could reminiscence with a thankful heart that all went well.]

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Exit from Commercial street

While roaming around in Commercial street, Vattu phoned me to say he will be reaching Majestic by 3:30. I glanced at my watch to find it was already well past afternoon. Except for a tea, my tummy was empty and was groaning for food. Vattu would be having his usual quota from Kentucky or McDonald. He has always been crazy about the hapless chicken and much more crazy about the Colonel Sander’s Chicken. Once he nearly fell in love with a girl who loved to eat her chicken raw.

I wanted to try some authentic Kannada lunch. Be a Kannadiga while in Karanataka. I walked around to find a Muslim restaurant. Muslim food outlets are famed for their non-vegetarian delicacies. I got in and then realized I don’t have much idea on any cuisine in particular. But there is always chicken biriyani, which has its own authenticity all over India. Wherever the Biriyani has travelled it has reincarnated in a different form.

The chicken Biriyani that arrived was very different from the one I have been acclaimed to. The Mallus put a lot of leaves, nuts and raisins to make their Biryani fragrant. We liberally take the Raitha (curd salad) to go with it. But the Kannada Biriyani seems to have a big bowl of rice with a huge piece of half boiled chicken and some chilly gravy to go with it. I have a sensitive stomach, and was very reluctant to make our stay in Bangalore unbearable to the sole companion Vattu. So I gulped down a few handful of rice, ate the whole chicken.

The witty part came during the payment time. It was so easy to gulp down a few handful of rice compared to getting the change from waiter. He seemed so reluctant in peeling off the notes from his pocket.

I was rushing back to the exit of street, to catch Vattu on time. That was when I stumbled on the church at the edge of Commercial street. It looked so beautiful and serene. There were many faithful around seeking blessings. Serenity in the middle of the mad rush, was a nice surprise. I went in when my shopping bag broke loose spilling all my newly acquired earthly possessions to the ground. I had a tough time arranging them back in.

I managed to get a few photos and said a prayer to the dear Lord that I would survive my time in Bangalore with out any major stomach bug.

I got a bus back to Majestic, with two fatsos on either side. I was fighting off a much needed nap. I tied my bag strings and camera strap tightly to my arms and surrendered myself to sleep.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Indian Scam saga

When I heard the name ‘Radia tapes’, thought it would be some scandal associated with radio towers or may be even import of Rado watches. For those who follow the excerpts of leaked tapes, the tapes are a self realization of how much ‘corruption’ has eaten into the very fabric that holds us together. And after Mrs. Tharoor, it’s the turn of another female power broker who roam in the political and corporate corridors to get caught.

I too have been left open mouthed when the scandal broke in. Still this wasn’t entirely unexpected. The scandal was some casuality waiting for us to acknowledge. But these tapes aren’t exactly bad news. They accuse us as hypocrites for our pseudo-socialism, pseudo-patriotism, quasi-democracy and corporate veneration.

Government is an unrealistic entity and what we see is an unequal struggle of classes. The common man has become too viable and voiceless. The media has sided with corporate and business houses to swing the decisions in their favor. The unholy nexus is never going to stop with a small leak. It has all the more evident that the machinery of governance is totally tilted to one side and imbalance can ultimately destroy it.

I am very well aware of the fact that ‘leaks’ or ‘hidden cameras’ no longer prick our consciousness. Moreover these tapes have vilified many venerated figures and popular beliefs. Brushing all these issues under the carpet and getting on with life is the next best thing for us to do.

A.Roy’s full text on the controversial talk she made in Delhi recently, was available in Outlook. I cannot fathom her thought process nor can I completely agree to her. But I appreciate her guts and resilience. Her words aren’t hollow. She has got substance in her.

The time has elapsed for us to differentiate between India and Indian state. For us patriotism is the soldier holding onto a gun. Development is the big air conditioned corporate houses, honesty is still Narayana Murthys or Tatas and enemy is still Pakistan or China. A few weeks back I read an MP writing out an article against Ms. Roy. For him the only way to develop the tribals is to throw them out of the forest into the slushy, dirty slums of our metros. Please note this is the viewpoint of a member of the ‘ruling class’.

What we need is not development but Evolution.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

The commercial street

So I alighted into the Majestic bus depot. I have been to Majestic during the college tours, but I couldn’t recollect much from the landscape except the huge passenger’s bridge. Tired and hungry, I set out looking for lodging. The climate was cloudy and very cool. I managed to avoid the vulturous rikshaw-wallahs, nearly bumped into a hijdah and stood perplexed on the busy roads.

So I reached a place with number of lodges standing shoulder to shoulder. There were some lobbyists there too. Led by their coaxing, I chose one. Vattu’s only demand was ESPN channel (There was going to be an Arsenal match in the evening).
I settled into the dingy room with bathroom tiles on the wall. I browsed through the TV. Overcome by loneliness and sadness, I set out with my camera and bag unsure of where I was headed.

The Commercial street: (pics)
Some cheap purchases were in the top of to-do list. My good friend Zara had told me that I would be getting branded items in the commercial street at bargain prices. And the C street became my random choice for destination.

The good thing about Bangalore is you can easily survive without Kannada- thanks to the multi-racial population. But I found out that the typical Kannadiga is very much (and unnecessarily) passionate about his language. I got into a bus with a friendly aunty as the conductor. I asked her to inform me when my destination is reached. As reply I got a lecture in Kannadiga. I listened attentively to capture any similarity to Hindi or Tamil. In the end she waved her hands furiously, which I rightly interpreted as the sign to alight.

The C-street turned out to have two faces to it. The older clogged version where the goods are dusty and arranged in a mess. In the street parallel to the old quarters, you get to see showrooms of branded western outlets. Here you get the out of sales stuff for a discounted price. In the older side you get branded items too at even cheaper price- but rumored to be stolen/smuggled.

I spotted a mosque and temple in close quarters- a strange site in a communally high voltage place like Karnataka.

Most of the traders I came across in the old quarters were Muslims- in their round cap and long beard. They were least interested in bargaining. The ‘Fixed price’ board was hung over most of the goods. I came across a BATA show room with obscenely low priced shoes. There was a virtual stampede as people rushed into get whatever they could.

I walked around carefully, clicking pics when I accidentally stumbled into the more posh part. The shops were bigger, cleaner and air-conditioned. The sales guys were very cultured, English speaking, young and handsome. Even the crowd was different- with old middle aged people looking for cheaper stuff on the other side. Here crowd had cash and were looking for some outlet to burn it.
The shopper in me got excited as I saw my Arsenal colours hanging. I lost complete control and ended up burning the wallet for my siblings

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The way to Bangalore

Apologies first: I have been inactive here for some time because the writing machine had to go to the cleaners.

The pre travel hiccups:
The biggest challenge of the day was to get out of the office in time, as my train was at afternoon. As expected a totally unexpected issue came up holding me to my seat. Thankfully my friend Antony bailed me out by giving me a lift home. There I did a quick pack up and left for the station.

‘KochuVeli’ station was situated bit towards the outskirts. I hadn’t been there before and to make matters worse, a passer-by made a gross miscalculation in terms of the distance and I had to make a long walk with the heavy back pack. Thankfully I was well ahead of time and managed to board the train.

Just before the train started off- the first jolt came in the form a phone call from Kuruvi. Nikhi was suspected to leave the town that evening. Nikhi was the focal point in our Bangalore visit. I tried to reach him and there was no response. The mood started dipping. Towards the evening Nikhi’s pull out was confirmed.

There was a flow of disgust and shock. I wanted to get out of the train at the next station and go back home. Since I take my travels a bit seriously, calling it off pains me a great deal. And it is not the first time this was happening to me.

The person who might have salvaged the trip would be Vattu. He was unperturbed at the new development. That might have egged me to go on.

Lesson1: When you start off on something, don’t expect many to back you up.
Well then, I often wondered why old mates show very little enthusiasm when a get together is planned. Some thing I have got to comprehend is the life at college is over and everyone have got their own lives to live.

The train travel.

The train was termed as ‘Poor man’s chariot’. It’s a super luxury mode of air conditioned travel at a cheap price.

I was at my depressive self until a family boarded my cabin. They too were bound for Bangalore. Although I was in no mood for a conversation, I quietly observed them. There was a brand new dad with brand new baby and its mother. He belonged to the affluent neo-rich young IT middle class of the day. He had made a great living at such a young age, which was unthinkable a few years ago. So there was a certain sense of self confidence in him and this reflected even in his dealing with his parents.

His mother was talking to another women on the hardships they had to undergo growing two kids. The times when money was a hard substance to find. The guy was taking his parents along to his workplace, as there was no one to look after his new baby. And it seems his parents were not much happy about it.

The train pulled into the Yeswantpur station in the morning. I had befriended a lonely guy and made up a virtual map of the city in my mind. The lonely guy was kind enough to accompany me to the bus station, so I will not fall prey to the rikshaw-wallahs.

Thank god for the lonely guy.

The green rural outskirts

The city landscapes appearing

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Hay Festival

Have you ever heard of stars descending from the heavens into earth. This is exactly what happened in Thiruvananthapuram when Hay Festival happened.
The international festival was announced only 2-3 days prior to the event. So we were caught up by surprise.It was a pretty busy week for me with an impending exam. But I was so enamored by the glitteratti that I packed my camera and went for the event hoping to infiltrate without a pass.
The festival was organised by the super-MP, Shashi Tharoor. Although I am very much against him and his principles, this time I would(grudgingly). give him the credit for doing a good job The event was sponsored by The Week(the best porn magazine you can lay your hands on)
The celebrity list was awesome with William Dalrymple, Vikram Seth, Bob Geldof, Simon Schama, Jaishree MIshra etc .

I guess the TVM-ites were vary of what's happening. So there was no huge rush or stampede and the people who eventually assembled got a chance to walk through in peace without any major mishap.

So I got a chance to see William Dalrymple. He turned out into one of my favorite writers list after I read 'The Last Mughal'.I was astounded and at the same time ashamed(of myself) on his knowledge of India and its nuances.
I grabbed a book to get his autograph. Although it cost me a cool 400 bucks, it will beone of my invaluable earthly possession.
Then there was Bob Geldoff in talk with Tharoor. He gave the audience a brief view on the Africa, its challenges and his efforts through BandAid.He frequent use of 'F' word amused the normally conservative TVM-ites.

I also got a chance to attend the animated discussions of Simon Schama.

The audience was very elegant, attentive and since our people are invariably left minded most of the questions were of Anti-imperialistic in nature.The organisers did a brisk business in the book stalls, as people were too happy to grab a book to get the autographs.

Bob Geldff concluded the 3-day fest with his concert. There was music, smoke and merry all around.
I got a chance too see Sting from close quarters. It would be unimaginable for a guy far away from the western civilization to catch a glimpse of multiple Grammy award winner.
It was very difficult to photograph, since I was catching hold of the camera after a long tome. But here are a few tolerable pics.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Book Writing

The one thing I like about Chetan Bhagath is despite being a best seller he hasn’t sold himself over to the international publishers. This spares the common man ignominy of running over to the pirate publishers.

Thanks to the international publishers, book writing became a well paid, respected if not elite profession. Our writers were spared from writing out of abject poverty. Every second day you see an IIT/IIM getting enlightened and giving up their career for writing.

But this art has become so myopic & over-marketed. We have clearly lost legends in this profession. If your books are able to make into headlines, then you are a great writer. To make matters worse we have got nothing other than temperamental relationships as subjects in our books.

There has been a shift of writers from the rural background to the cities. So the literary works is done keeping the metro-sexuals in mind. The cover binding would be good. The price sticker would be a horror. But the internal content would be rotten.

Have you heard of ‘Shobha De’? She is termed as one of the biggest writers ever. I have gone through a couple of book of hers. The quality could beat a sleaze story. Only added attraction is irrespective of sex ,age everyone will have sex with everyone else in her novels.

In medieval era only the elite could own books as it was costly. Judging from the price stickers of the new releases I believe, history is going to repeat itself. I happened to go for a book exhibition and got myself shocked on the prices. I happen to spot a ‘Penthouse’ section and ran towards it. The bastards wouldn’t even allow us to have cheap pleasure. I could get it at 1/4th price from a pirate.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Obama Da Gama

My eyes popped out when I read the headlines- Obama announces 44000 crore rupee deal. Finally the Santa Claus had arrived. I eagerly browsed through The BusinessLine. My surprise turned to amusement. It seems we are going to buy stuffs worth the above mentioned amount from US companies. I remembered a sailor who landed in India long ago Vasco Da Gama. This time it’s a different person with different colour. Just like the old times it’s the doyens of Indian industry, in the place of local rulers, who eagerly welcome the rich foreigner.

I can’t blame him though. He came into power proclaiming lots of change and I guess it’s his senate that has changed in the mid-term election. And Obama is desperate to get a claim of something of his own for the re-election. But he doesn’t have to worry even if he lose his re-election. He has already sold many books and t-shirts.

Till the moment I write this post, India hasn’t got anything significant out of his visit. But the channels are eagerly lapping up every move, words and dance steps of the King of the World. His best friend Manmohanji & Co. is eagerly waiting for him in Delhi.

One thing I like about him is he hasn’t given us any false hopes. The people who did so were the fat beauracrats of Delhi. Even after all these years I wonder when will India get an independent foreign policy. I respect the leaders of smaller countries who live with a solid spine.

I just happened to watch bits and parts of his show down at St.Xaviers. The future entrepreneurs of India were given an opportunity to question him. The young guns came up with questions like his take on spirituality. God, you have a multitude of questions to ask the president of US and this is what you manage to come up with? If this is what we get out of the Youngistan, there is seriously a problem somewhere.

Monday, November 1, 2010


After the gym I cycled my way to the election booth. The excitement witnessed in the last elections were missing.

The last elections were over marketed with the help of a few film and sports personalities. They cajoled and coaxed the youth to take part in the election process. Voting was the hip phenomenon of the season. The young guns came into power. But we soon found out it was still the old wine in the new bottle. People became all the more disillusioned.

As this was the local elections the candidates had the freedom to concentrate on smaller areas. They were lined up on the way to the booth. Today they were destined to stand under the baking sun with a smile plastered to their faces.(They were bound to be silent as canvassing was strictly prohibited for the day)
Despite all these years of enlightment, ‘Caste’ is something that determined the candidate. Normally in our area it’s the war between ‘Nairs’. The caste name would be written and highlighted in bold across the walls and posters. In local elections the population is little more diversified and hence caste can’t assure victory.

I have been an eternal believer of the Indian mode of governance. But judging from what we have been seeing around for some time our system sides with the majority. And these majority are so corrupted that their opinions can be brought even without their knowledge. This system that sucks the life blood out of few cannot last long and we are doomed to anarchy.
The reason why I cast my vote is, to slow down our destruction. As I look around I don’t see many people I saw the last time. Today just the 10% of votes are going to be enough for victory. I heave a sigh as I press the red button.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Old is...

In the Nazi Germany orders were given to execute the differentially abled/mentally handicapped people. This was to prevent the bad blood contaminating the good.

Today the old and sick have become a burden to the fast paced society. We would also say good riddance to them than spend a lifetime regretting. Haven’t our funeral homes become place of relief?

I was travelling with my friend. He was talking about how ‘painful ’ it was for him to see his mother take care of his grandmother. They had to put up with the whims of bed-ridden grandmother. She developed back ache due to constant physical exertions. Once old people were taken care of with fancy hopes of inheritance. Today we will have to do it on sheer goodwill.

When my paternal grandparents were on their death-bed, they didn’t have any to take care of them regularly. It was my dad’s responsibility, but he had to take care of his three kids too. Job prospects weren’t that good in India. The social equation has changed a lot. We can never classify things into black and white.

‘The old Age Homes’ were considered evil years back. But today they have become an inevitability. The government has realized the upcoming challenge of growing number of old. Even the government had to pitch in with schemes for folks of affluent people.

Kerala, which has been a centre of migration, has a characteristic landmark today- palatial homes of NRIs with old parents roaming inside like ghosts. The irony is once they coveted for a huge home. Today it has become a prison.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Relationships and an essential ingredient

It was the maintenance workers who smelt something fishy in the rented house. They had been hearing the TV @ full volume all day. And no one responded from inside. They called up the police who broke down the door.

Wife’s face was plastered by marking tape. She had been strangulated to death. The husband had hung himself. They had married out of love and it wasn’t that bad for a murder and a suicide.

During the investigations his mother revealed that the wife had been receiving late night calls from someone unknown. It was indigestible to him and the suspicion might have aroused the devil.

My sister told me about a girl friend of hers. She is engaged to a guy working across the seas in the sands of Arabia. They started off by chatting through Gmail. He took up no time in spilling out all his sexual escapades. The problem started when he wanted her to reveal hers. She did not feel comfortable with sharing the past. Do you think knowledge of her past would make him feel more secure?

It’s easy to slip into an illicit relationship today. We have got social networking sites and free text messages for aid. You find someone in the internet, then enjoy yourself in the virtual /real world and slip out at the right time. In reality you can’t call quits before burning your fingers. And sometimes the ghosts of the past will be back to haunt you.

Having said all that I do not claim to be a saint. I have fallen in many unpleasant situations while trying my luck online. Yes, I’ve had my share of fun too. The reality is it’s very difficult to control myself, in spite of knowing the consequences.

Disclosing the little secrets to our better halves can be tricky. Rather than an ‘open book’, the secret of a decent family life can be ‘trust’. Trust is something built mutually and may take years to happen. So laying yourself bare in front of someone you hardly know could be dangerous.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Fatherhood

Fatherhood must be one of the most thankless job in the world. In any sop or comic strip a father is portrayed as bald, pot bellied, slightly dumb fun killer. He will disapprove your clothes, your sense of fun, your hang outs and your girl/boy friends.

I had a childhood like most of the kids around. We were three siblings and as money wasn’t a lavish commodity, everything had to be utilized to the maximum.

Until my pre-teens Dad was the super hero. But he had this problem of going over board when it came to disciplining or advising. It’s not that he beat us around but he had this strange ability to irritate.

As you enter your teens, a slight wisp of moustache appears. Everyday you check in the mirror for its progress. It’s not just the face, hair appears in all ungodly areas. You find out that the women you have been seeing in TV give you strange sensation and you find it difficult to control some your private parts.

Moreover the hormones start playing games with your mind. There develops a fancy notion of adulthood and hence a sense of equality and freedom. You question your dad and it gets more and more vocal. You write out a thesis on ‘How to be a better Dad’. Overnight, he gets thrown down from pedestal of invincibility. He is your no. 1 enemy now. This , like many other boys, is my story too.

As I enter adulthood, marriage and family looms in distant horizon (I am not much fond of the prospect). I ask myself ‘How can I do better than him?’ Strangely I find out that I won’t be much different. Just as someone said, I will grow up to be my Dad after all. If any rebel teen is reading this the only one thing I have to tell you is: Wisdom takes some time to arrive. So sit tight and wait.

We have a camp for the youth every year. The last session is ‘Sharing session’. There was P who was the ultimate joker in our group. He stood up ‘I don’t know if you guys will be surprised at what I am going to say. I used to boil with rage on my dad. He never allowed me to be myself or pursue my dreams. He even barred me from participating in the State level athletics. I abused him publicly and used to shower expletives on him. I want him to know I am sorry’. You may not feel anything much on reading this but that day there was no single pair of dry eyes in the room.

I am sure you guys would have interesting encounters with your dads.

This post is dedicated to a brother-sister duo who are my good friends. During the initial days she was the one who encouraged me in blogging, making me believe I have a huge fan following in her college. These two filled our lives with so much fun and laughter. The mother used to load us with all sorts of food. I remember the birthday celebration we had last year. A few days back their dad was diagnosed with a terminal illness. I pray that almighty will give them the courage to face it and moreover I am sure that some miracle is about to happen and the Dad is going to get well.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Taking a look back

Religion and region seems to be a hot topic for the blogging world. For a single problem 1000 people arrive with some 10,000 solutions.

For some years I have been getting a chance to read some history. Are the issues we see today exclusive for 21st century? No, the conflicts and strifes had an incarnation in every generation. Sadly we tend to close our eyes and minds to history and simply refuse to learn from it.

There was a time in India when Hindus went to Dargahs and Muslims to Sadhus. They celebrated each other’s festivals with an open heart. Why did we end up where we are today?

The solution for the present may lie in our history. Hence it’s important to go back and rethink. But sadly our history text books are grossly inadequate for it. The academicians have used the text books for vested manifestos. We are taught of blood sucking rulers, war lords, etc. For us the leaders just remain a picture on the wall or an antique.

I happen to read about a man, Mustafa Kemal. He was the founder of modern Turkey. He banned religious schools, religious dresses and even the Arabic script. He knew the future lies in education and spent heavily on it. Thanks to his measures, Turkey is one of the most progressive Islamic country today. Why haven’t I heard about him in my school?

This Thursday the whole of India waited for the ’Ayodhya’ verdict. It’s a controversial piece of land in India which the Hindus claim to be theirs and Muslims as theirs. It’s an 18 year old issue which resulted in much bad blood, rioting, shifting of ideologies and allegiances. As the minutes ticked by, I was chatting with my friend on what is to be made out of the site.

He said a free hospital has to be constructed, where there are no religious divisions and where the poor are treated for free. I said it’s quite impractical.

‘Why not a bar? There we find no religion or caste or creed. Just plain boozing and everyone stays happy!’

‘Even a strip club would do. We never ask a stripper or prostitute her religion!’

Let’s take a walk back. The history waits with open arms, to beg us not to repeat the mistakes of our fathers.

I will close with a few words on a WW-II memorial ’How many died? Who knows the number?’

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Back to land of dreams

In Malayalam ‘college’ stands for ‘Kalalayam’, House of Arts. This was the place where a new generation was set towards nation building and a better future. I doubt the relevance of the word today.

As we walked right back into the college after 3 years, the irony of life continued to haunt. We counted the days to the final day while we were in the college. We wanted to graduate, fly, earn money and live the ‘cool’ life. We would go out with a hot piece of boy/girl, wear the trendiest of costume. We accomplished most of these, but we would give up anything to get back our old life.
As we walked right back in, the sunny days seemed to return. It was a holiday and the campus was deserted. Once this campus was filled with our screams, laughter, fear, tension…

So many seasons had changed and so did the old friends. But still some of the old wounds and egos remained. The smallest things we do can cause a butterfly effect that could last generations.

Over all these years one invaluable lesson learnt was the greatest thing you could carry out of a college is your relationships- some good, some bad. Invariably you would have learnt a lesson out of it all.

There are people who lie dormant and inactive in college. Suddenly they bloom as soon as they step out.

There are blood friends who pledged their friendship till ‘death do us apart’. With in a few months they would never know if the other exists. There are people who don’t even try to get in touch when they are in town. On the other hand there are people who act as link between the batch mates however far they are.

There are girls who get ‘practical’ after they graduate. They would hang on with a guy in college, exchange gifts, kisses and promises. After 4 years they suddenly realize it’s no longer ‘practical’!
There are couples who convert their ‘deep’ friendship to marriage. In fact we are waiting for a ‘brother-sister’ pair to live happily ever after.

But in any case I have not found any rich-poor affairs. Everyone loves to play it safe- same caste and probably a bit more well off. The dowry counts at the end of the day
We spent almost an hour or two exchanging tid-bits. There were no tears. When we parted we promised to keep in touch. I doubt!

I clicked some pics too

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Onam again and again

I had to rush to office leaving the Onam celebration at the gym halfway. I had decided to wear Mundu (a traditional attire for Kerala men). The idea was sending butterflies in my stomach haywire. You need practice and guts to wear it and a wardrobe malfunction could be disastrous.
I reached the bus stop to find a damsel in distress. She was a beauty to look and stare (although she is the one we guys loved to bitch about). I presumed that a beauty at the bus stop is a good sign from the heavens and we set out to office together.

I reached office to find that even half weren’t in the Mundu. And no one was in a mood to celebrate too.

We have a peculiar term used by our leaders- ‘Fun @ Work’. If we indulge in any sort of fun that doesn’t mean any exemption or shortage in work. So the wise men avoid the late nights at office and keep away from any sort of Fun @ Work.

A good thing with the modernization and liberalization is that the traditional attire gave way to ‘civilized’ and comfortable dress. But no western wear can arouse a man as much as a traditional wear. So these days are a kind of liberation for us guys, who get quite bored seeing the regular salwar kameez and western formals. So men run around with cameras pretending to enjoy the intricate designs of pookkalam, when they are furiously clicking away all the femme fatale. These photo sessions are illegal by the law, but women too love to be appreciated, don’t they?

‘Attrition’ is some phenomenon the entire Indian IT industry suffered from. The industry is in dire shortage of skilled people. So they lure them with greater pay hike. This is a never ending vicious cycle as long as there is a human vice called greed. Ours was a company who suffered badly from it. There were few familiar faces around and fewer prettier faces too. The crooks had emptied out our good looking women.

After a day of roaming, I came back to my seat to get this message.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Onam again

Onam seems to be the national festival of all Keralites. Even at a time when the divisiveness in the name of religion becomes more and more apparent, all Mallus get together to celebrate Onam.

At this time of year every school, college and institution sets apart a day to celebrate. The men arrive adorned in Mundu and women in Kasavu saris. Then a floral decoration is made and called pookkalam.

I had the celebration at the gym and the office on the same day. Our instructor, Nixon, requested, cajoled and threatened everyone for their contributions. Many fished from the purses but the price of flowers had shot up. At the end we did a pookkalam awfully displaying our poverty.

I appointed myself as the photographer. I arrived at the gym early morning only to find preparations halfway begun. Some lovely kids had been called from an orphanage. They arrived dressed very neatly in their school uniforms. It was so serene to watch them looking around in bewilderment.

As usual some police bigwigs were the chief guests of the day along with two cine actors. The programme kick started with a few songs and dances from the fellow gym members. A gift kit was given to the little kids.

As I stood watching them a tide of emotions swept through. I wonder what they would be dreaming of. With no one to call their own, what their picture of tomorrow will be. I wanted to dive into their hearts and see for myself their fears and insecurities. But we take them as a show case material for our large heartedness.

I went home with what Madhupal said. ’Our Onam has become sweet memories for us. We dream of our childhood and villages- things that are not going to comeback.
Let’s try to create sweet Onams for our little ones to remember’

I have posted the pics too...

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A new season begins

How fast the time flies by. In the blink of an eye the WC is over and a new season of league matches have arrived.

At the end of the last season, we expected to see a spending spree. But to everyone’s surprise there is no much of a movement till now. Even the big spenders like Real Madrid, Chelsea are lying low.

Mancini has more than fulfilled everyone’s prediction when he romped through the market laying hands on everything and anything he could lay hands on. By the end of this season Mancini will be elevated to the joker of the year.

Chelsea, Abramovich’s toy, had to contend with its ageing stars. Fergie has stayed true to his word with no high profile signings (not sure if he tried to).

Michael Owen’s only contribution to football was a goal against Argentina in France ’98. Thereafter, this high profile player has been a useless piece of furniture wherever he stepped his foot on. The last day he discovered that similar to the past 6 years this is going to be a Chelsea-Man Utd. Contest.

I wonder how the poor Kops will react to their one-time-poster-boy’s reaction.

But Owen has conveniently forgotten their last season’s heroes- Howard Webb and host of other blundering referees (and also some small-fry managers who threw away the matches). I believe Owen was signed by Fergie to stay in the headlines of British newspapers. I find no use of him on the field.

Owen has also forgotten that Man Utd. was no where near to title and in the season before that it was the Kops who gave them a chase.

As for the good ol’ Arsenal things look shakier than the last season with no defenders and an ever erratic goalie.

I hope for the best.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The valuable

I tapped the pen furiously on my forehead. I hated thinking hard. It makes my hair fall. Luckily I got into a place where I don’t have to do much thinking. Moreover I get a cool 5 figure salary at the end of every month (for lazing around).

I can’t wait to get to the month-end. It seems that my account will run dry even before the 20th mark. As usual I will have to run to Sruthi for financial assistance.

‘Sruthi’ was just a temporary arrangement when it all began a year ago. The expiry date of the ‘temporary’ affair is well past over and we are still sticking on to each other.

She has already started talking about ‘cementing’ things. Getting committed at this point of life doesn’t seem to be a great idea. But a break-up, if it happens now, is going to get real ugly.

And if the ‘temporary’ thing are ‘cemented’, I will have to start thinking about climbing those corporate ladder a bit fast. Well, you need a lot of capital to settle down, don’t we?

Ever since my childhood it was my dream to show him how a home is built. Now I am getting my chance. There is enough time for that. At the present I am concentrating on living the moment- work, parties, booze, restaurants. I try to ignore the void I am experiencing these days. Would I end up a failure like him?

I suddenly jump out of the reverie. The curvaceous lady is waiting for my answer sheet. These surveys sucks. But all the thinking has done some good. I got the answer

QUESTION: What do you value most in the world?

ANSWER: My wallet!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

The young turk

The fragile façade built around him by his PR team has started to crumble. The Indian public is seeing through the layers of whitewash. They see a confused guy unsure of where he stands.

None of us would have forgotten the fanfare when he made his grand entry. He heralded the era of a transition and became the self styled leader of a youth brigade. His white kurta, jogging shoes and dimpled smile became a trademark symbol of the Youth Congress.

He didn’t have any hesistancy in admitting that the Congress party has to undergo a radical change. He got down into working with the Youth Congress. Soon the YC became the hangout of the hip crowd, the place where enlightened youth dreamt of a change. RG became their brand icon and YC was marketed well. RG became the hottest, intellectual, eligible bachelor in town and girls swooned when he arrived at their campus.

RG pulled off carefully orchestrated stunts too. He jumped into a crowded suburban train, ate with dalit family, came up with some controversial statements that had everything but sense. No one would have forgotten the picture of RG carrying loads as a head load worker.

The crown of his achievements was going to ne the YC election in our states. Kerala had no YC as such, but a bunch of jobless young ones who doubled as goons of the mighty Congress leaders. RG single handedly dismissed the president and invited resumes for leaders. Everyone was stunned. The Congress bigwigs were pissed off badly. Leaders being interviewed; soon we our party structure is going to function with the smoothness of a corporate company. Then elections were announced for the YC.

That is the last we heard of him. The elections haven’t taken place. The excuse being the Data entry company in Chennai hasn’t finished entering the names of YC members.

Even to this day RG smiles at us from posters cajoling us to join the Youth Congress.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Beaten in life

The rhythmic rocking of bullock cart lulled her to a tired sleep. She had been crying since the wedding. Govind could not guess a reason. He felt embarrassed about himself on his little knowledge on the matters of female kingdom.

Even he couldn’t believe that his life took a sudden turn. A few days ago his sole aim in life seemed to be getting a full meal every day. The abject poverty and hopelessness had frustrated him.

His bedridden mother had the vanity of wealth and social status. He couldn’t marry away his youngest sister. The produce of their land could never sustain the family of three. Even the basic necessities of life were rare to come by.

Still in the midst of the happiness, his mind was uneasy. He never considered his brother-in-law as an angel.

In the better times, his father had married of his eldest sister to Shekharan. Shekharan went away to Singapore and returned amassing huge wealth. Shekharan became equivalent to a zamindar in the village making himself the guardian of all Hindu interests.

Govind did not get much help from this Shekharan even during times of starvation. Then why was this sudden incarnation as fairy godmother? Life is quite strange and men stranger.

The best explanation could be he wanted to see Govind married and settled before he could proceed with his son’s marriage. Or else an ‘uncle staying unmarried’ could be a disadvantage to get Krishnan good proposals. As a zamindar, that could be a blotch. After all Shekharan’s main aim in life was to preserve his social status!

It was Shekharan himself who found a girl for Govindan. Saritha worked as a servant to the household. Govindan was happy with the choice. Saritha hailed from a good caste and experienced at housekeeping.

The cart was moving at a steady speed. They would reach the farm house by early morning. Shekharan had put Govindan in charge of his distant farmhouse. At first glance this would look like another benefit from the brother in law. Govindan very well knew Shekharan was too crooked to be too kind. Govindan was not too dumb to deduce that Shekharan would be getting an unpaid supervisor. In return he would be getting food to sustain himself. So two days after the marriage Govindan had set out to his new workplace with his newly acquired wife.

Govindan started planning about his future. He never did so till today. He never had the courage to do so. He felt the dreams budding in him.

He unloaded the trunks from the cart. A helper appeared out of nowhere. By the time he came back after a wash, Saritha had started arranging the kitchen utensils. He felt so happy for himself. He hadn’t had a chance to talk to her. She had been continuously crying. Tonight he must utilize the chance to know her better.

His job at the farm was never going to be easy. The harvest season was at hand. He had to fine the right number of labourers. All things have to be done at the right time. He would be busy all day.

He went out to the fields. The helper assured him all things would be taken care of. He felt relieved. He would not have to spend much time away from her.

He returned to his new shack. it was a palace compared to his earlier existence, even if he couldn’t call it his own.

He discreetly moved to the backyard when he saw Saritha bend over and retching. He grew alarmed. She was sobbing helplessly when he went to help her. He called over his servant and arranged for a doctor.

The doctor arrived, checked her and gave the glad tidings.

He is going to be a father in another six months.

This is work has been poorly based on a great work. I translated and tweaked with no copy rights

Monday, July 26, 2010


‘God’ is some term man has been trying to define since the Day1. Since ‘God’ seems to be too tough for man to grasp, he has put ‘God’ in some defined boundaries and refuses to take him out of it.

On the other hand there are people who totally refuse to believe that there is an entity called ‘God’.

A few days back I read a blog questioning the existence of ‘God’. He had put some valid points which I found it tough to answer. And one unquestionable question is ‘What is God to you?’

The question gets all more the relevant when we get into tough circumstances. It doesn’t help when we notice that the ‘harmless’, ‘innocent’ and ‘good’ people runs into more and more bad situations.

I always dream about travelling to far off places. I would go there and roam about listlessly. I would buy all the worthless items as souvenirs. Moreover I dream taking breathtaking snaps.

I have been planning a trip for sometime. It was being delayed repeatedly. Recently I persuaded four others to come along. At last the plans seemed to come to the point of realization. In the morning of the travel all four pulled out.

Friends ask me, ‘What is the big deal? You can plan again’. They would never realize it was my dream. Things that are trivial to one are dear to another.

At this point of time I ask, ‘Where are you God? Why does this happen to me?’

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Torn Apart

I grew up reading books on the common good of the almighty one. All Gods were one and the ultimate aim of any religion was the goodness of man.

After 9/11 an anti-Muslim feeling swept across the globe. I sympathized with the plight of Muslim brethren. I argued with my dad who is a vehement anti-Muslim. I protested loudly against his clichéd attitudes. I took sides with liberals against the hypocrisy and double standards of the western media.

But today I am having serious doubts on my stand.

A teacher from Kerala faced severe ire from the Muslim community because he put a question paper that offended Prophet Mohammad. Kerala never had to experience senseless communal violence. Not many expected the incidents to take an ugly turn.

Prof. T.J. Joseph was stopped on his way home from church last Sunday. The attackers used an axe to hack off his hand. Kerala woke up to the shocking news on Monday. The comparatively moderately religious people of Kerala are opening their eyes to the neo-Taliban.

I happened to get the offensive question paper. The extract was from the novel of a Muslim writer. The extract had a conversation between a mad man and God. The Professor gave the mad man the name Mohammad, a common name in Kerala.

The mad man asks God, ‘How much pieces do I get when I hack a fish?’

‘Three, stupid’. How does this Insult religion?

The sickening part is the crime was carried out by a religious party with good number of followers. NDF or Popular Front is not a sidelined party. I knew my class mates who worked for it.

If such a divisive act is carried out by a populist party, we have something to be concerned about. Anti national activities is no longer confined to ghettos. It has spread to all strata of society and poverty is no longer the reason.

Liberals are no longer needed to prove this as an isolated incident. The Muslim community of India has to do a serious introspection on the reason why Islam is fast deteriorating to a terror religion.

There was a time when Sufism preached about the great sacrifice of love. But thanks to the oil money from Saudi, Wahabbism has spread its tentacles all around the world. Any other version of Islam is ungodly today.

We Indians prided ourselves to the point of arrogance on ‘Unity’. How much longer will we use the word ‘India’?

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Wedding Bells

A conversation I had with a Muslim friend of mine:

‘Hey, why do you marry off your girls at such an early age? Wouldn’t they like to enjoy the life of a single?’

Down here Muslim boys marry off as soon as they graduate. They would be financially well placed with relatives in the Gulf countries. It wouldn’t be difficult for a graduate to secure a job. Soon they would be planning to get married and produce off-springs in the next 10 months. Girls would be married off as soon as they are 17-18.

‘Dude, woman’s uterus would be elastic at a tender age. So in order to get healthy kids marry a girl as young as possible ’. So that was the reason, wow!

The reason why I recollected the conversation now:

No one would have read the great love story of Zara and Bunny. I wrote it a lifetime ago. Although I painted a rosy picture in the blog it was not so in reality. She was jobless and moreover hopeless. I talked with her a few months back and the situations were a bit bleak.

But I was struck by her enthusiasm and positive attitude. She always remained cheerful and happy in tough times. In fact I used to take up my silly troubles with her when she was in a worse situation.

The last day I texted her the evils of marrying late.

‘It would be tough to get a healthy bunch of kids if your uterus turns plastic!’

Thankfully, the next day I was informed that wedding bells would be chiming early next year.

It’s tough to see a love affair fruiting into a happy married life. Nowadays the young lovers refuse to get bothered and break up on mutual understanding. The losers go commit suicide.

I feel proud of the couple who stood together for a long time through not so easy situations.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Counted as Worthless

The good book says human life is invaluable. Does it apply to an Indian? Let’s take a walk around and see how much we value an Indian life. If ‘we’ is out of context, let’s see how much we are worth to our system.

I got this information from a blog. Do you know sportspersons and artistes who already earn crores are exempted from their taxes. I am not aware of the intricate details. The ‘socialism’ in our constitution applies only for the poor.

I completely agree that artistes and sportsmen add to the pride and heritage of our nation. Does that make them more equal or more patriotic than others?

India is full of legendary love stories. Our big budget love stories are a rage. But you dare to love someone outside your caste and you can get ‘honour-killed’. Don’t worry the killers will be venerated for preserving the honour of their community.

If you are rich and drunk, you have all the freedom in the world to spill your wild oats around. You are also allowed to rape and kill a few in the process. Don’t worry about the law of land. It’s for the poor. Even if the NGO, papers and family create a problem, you will be tried only when you are old enough for chest pains. Then mercy on medical grounds will come to your rescue.

A multinational who can afford a film or cricket star are given the privilege to sell any cheap food item at high cost and false weights. The only condition is it should be wrapped attractively.

Have you eaten Kit Kat or drunk Pepsi, Cola or 7-UP from anywhere outside India? The MNCs are kind enough to come up with the ‘Swadesi’ versions. Recently 7-UP came up with its new release. It’s said to be the lime version but tastes like soda water.

Nuclear Liability Act is the favorite child of Clown Mohan and Co. According to him American companies will help us out to solve our energy issues. They will get a small profit in return.

If any accidents happen then the government itself would pay out the damage. In simple terms people will bear the damage while the firangis escape. We are very generous to our guests aren’t we?

Firstly, the court rubs salt on the victim’s wounds. Then Clown Mohan and associates step in. He asks the victims to stop making a fuss and move on. Come on, it has been 25 years. And we can’t wait for your justice. And they start lobbying in for the newer version of Union carbide- Dow Chemicals.

Recently my friend’s uncle died in a road accident. He was survived by a small child. The kid can thank a young drunk. We all have enough money to afford our kids a cool 4 wheeler but no guts to rein them in. The road laws provide provision to allow them to repeat their mistakes. We can only learn from repeating our mistakes, right?

Infosys is one of the largest IT vendors. They are blessed with a founder full of values. They firmly believe in equality but sadly non-Indians are more than equal. Infosys have a special training centre for non-Indians down here in India where we Desis are not even allowed to peek. Moreover they get more than equal salary too.

According to our tradition, education is divine and teachers are considered equivalent to God. Education has gone a step further in providing refuge to crooks, villains, politicians and businessmen to wash their black money. Thanks to these angels, we have in our hands doctors who barely passed schools. Soon enough, we will have our country filled with doctors who can take us to maker fast.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


There was a time when Malayalam cinema set the benchmark for rest of Indian cinema. Thanks to the species, ‘Superstars’, we have been plunging to abyss of doom.

Kerala has been a land blessed with fabulous scriptwriters, actors and directors. But in recent years there has been a clear dearth of talent. The reasons could be more than one. During the golden years, the actors had a good scope for their talents. The actors gained popularity and audience started to weed out the less talented ones. In the coming years they gained monopoly in the market and they were started to be deemed as ‘superstars’(SS).

The rot began as soon as the creative side of cinema started to come under the influence of SS. Scripts started to get out of hand from the directors as SS tried to get immortality through their films. Right from the scripts, technicians and supporting cast started to be decided by the SS. So no matter how talented you are, if you are not in the good book, your career is doomed. As far as actresses were considered they had to do a few sleepovers too.

This went as far as paid ‘fans’ to cheer the movies and boo the opposite camps.

The unscrupulously rich found the film industry to wash their black money. They wouldn’t have to invest huge money and returns were fabulous. So more mediocre movies came out, because results no longer mattered.

The period between 2000-02 is something everyone here loves to forget. The audience had enough of the garbage churned out. Theatres closed out in huge numbers. It was then the sleazy and adult movie makers came into the scene. The heroines like Shakeela, Maria and Reshma became huge stars and household names. The ‘Mallu Masala Movies’ became a synonym associated with Malayalam cinema.

Here are some superstars seen exclusively in Kerala:


He is the big brother in Malayalam cinema. He turned 50 ten years ago. But still stars opposite girls 1/3rd his age. The media claims he is the evergreen star who never turns old. The camera men do their part by avoiding many close up shots.

All his ‘hit’ movies have the same story line. He kills someone in his childhood and runs off to neighboring state. There he turns a gangster. He becomes the close friend to the Chief Ministers to Prime Ministers to Washington DC. He returns to his homeland in a BMW or Benz. On the way he borrows some odd slang too. He brings a bunch of cronies and reunites with his long lost brother/sister. After a few fiery dialogues he avenges his childhood enemy.

Plus Points: He is a fabulous dancer. He resembles someone paralyzed waist down.

He is good in cracking jokes too. We will not get a clue on when that would have happened, unless some stupid back ground music accompanies it.


He is the eternal naughty boy of Kerala. He has a slight resemblance to a wine barrel.

Plus points: Awful hairdo is his USP. He loves a pointed moustache. He is the one who started showing off his white boxers. He has an eternal weakness to item sluts and booby actresses. He manages to come up with sexual innuendos disguised as jokes in almost all the movies.


He is a late comer into the SS section. He became a favorite through his self depreciating comedies. He had a difficult climb to the top.

Plus points: He married the best actress ever in Malayalam industry and locked her away from movies. He tried his hand in action films and thankfully has almost stopped trying that. The story, jokes and even the support cast is same in all the movies. So he ensures that movies always stay at a substandard level. His heroine is the same in all the movies. She had recently married some NRI and bid adieu but to everybody’s relief divorced the guy and came back.


He is the policeman/detective forever.

The villains would be CM, DGP, IG and a businessman. He comes up with trademark dialogues like ‘Shut up your bloody rattletrap’ (Go, figure out the meaning)

Plus points: He has the body structure suited for a romantic hero and tries it out once in a while. When he appears topless it would be difficult to differentiate the hero and heroine. The bed scenes would resemble a bulldozer leveling a small puny girl.

He is good in doing comedy role and facial expression accompanying is fabulous. He always wears loose shirts in order not to provoke the censor board.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

The Cup of Life

There is no other event in the world that has the capability to capture the global attention, Truly the scale and magnanimity is astonishing. Right from the start of the tournament there were many permutations and combinations. The coach, players and strategies were analyzed fibre to fibre. But as the group stage progresses there has been many disappointments (and appointments)

1. Brazil:

Even their worst detractors will agree, Brazil has the most fool proof team in the world. They have got the world’s best players in every position. Brazil might have bid adieu to the flair game and embraced the European style. Nevertheless the European style has more capability for score line victories.

But still they have a slight problem in their out of form playmaker Kaka. He hasn’t risen to his sublime levels. In that scenario responsibility might fall on the shoulders of Robinho.

Apart from frontline, they have the best defense. It will be difficult to get past them and they rarely concede a foul. Not many teams can claim equally strong offense and defense.

Brazil has a great fan following in India. If my assumption is right, it could be because they are marketed very well. Besides, their players have great off-the-field characters.

2. Spain:

I came to be a Spanish football fan the day I watched the Euro-2008 finals. They are a talent powerhouse. They play the football in their own way and never bother to change it for the sake of cups. Their short passes and possession football is an eye candy.

But for Spanish football their biggest weakness is the over dominance of Real and Barcelona. As a result most of the teams have become ineffective and non-competent in La Liga. And for the WC most of the players have been picked out of Barcelona team.

The player selection and strategies have been baffling against the minnow Switzerland. As a result Spain has paid a heavy prize. Hopefully, they will bounce back.

Another reason for my liking is the presence of, El Capitan.

3. Argentina:

Argentina’s sole claim to legacy and fame is their famous prodigal son, Maradona. Neither before him nor after him has Argentina made an impact on the world stage. Argentina has not foregone their traditional flair play.

The reason why I support Argentina is the presence of classic no.10 player, Messi. He can carry with him two or three player like fly sticking to spider web. This frees the other frontline players like Higuain. Argentina has the world’s best frontline with many sitting in the bench too.

Unfortunately Argentina’s biggest weakness is their biggest strength- over emphasis on Messi. Their defense seems to be vulnerable too. They donot have a creative midfielder in the deep.

4. Holland:

Holland has the famed quartet. On a good day they can be more threatening than any. They have the world’s best midfielder in Sneijder and world’s best striker, Van Persie. But unfortunately, Holland hasn’t risen to their best in the tournament. Still they had faced no trouble in winning.

For the illiterates- Holland has the best talent factory club in the world, Ajax Amsterdam. They have the claim to world’s first team to play the total football under, Johan Cryuff.

5. Ivory Coast:

I haven’t watched an African team play before and this Ivory Coast surprised me. Can Ericson achieve this much in this short time! They have a well organized defense and attack and they stick to their plans. I would love to see them advance to the later stages of World Cup. It would be a morale booster for African continent.

6. England:

Indians can easily identify with the England football team. The reason why England fails to perform on international stages is the same reason as why India fails in T20. Putting it simply, the overflow of superstars.

Fabio Capello has come up with all the ingredients for a failed team:

a. Pick up a team of 11 superstars whose ego has been over boosted in Media and EPL. They never need any inspiration

b. Picking up a player who fucked his captain’s wife.

c. Picking a semi-fit, about-to-retire player and making him the captain.

Alex Ferguson too did his part in over playing Rooney. So he too gets a share in the credits

7. Portugal:

They were supposed to be a genuine contender. But I didn’t find a trace in their first game. To make matters worse Deco hit out at the coach. Cristiano is a well marketed player. But he is nowhere near the best media claim him to be. Building the team based on him failed for Portugal. As soon as he was marked with two defenders, the destiny of Portugal was doomed

8. France:

The strategy of Domenech is simple make some formation that adds to 10 and then put the worst players in it. Domenech should have retired after the last WC. He would have gone out in glory. Now French will realize their king is naked.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Lesson 2

Before I enter the main subject, there is a small announcement to make. This space is turning a year old. For me it’s quite unbelievable to survive for a year doing posts fairly regularly. I still remember the first days of confusion, learning and excitement.

Getting in to the serious stuffs-

I was in college and the exam seasons were back again. I have this special luck with the exams. No matter how hard I tried I ended up with average marks. This time the teachers screwed up too. They ended up skipping the important chapters. So there was no other option but to go for a private tuition.

I was returning home that evening after the day’s classes. I had been out all day and there was growling of an empty stomach to be heard. I entered my lane and on the way I saw a man asking our neighbors the directions. The neighbor called me over, ‘Aren’t you Jose’s nephew?’


‘This man is asking direction to your uncle’s house’

I didn’t understand the bewilderment in his expression. My mother’s brother stayed near us. I asked the stranger to follow me.

‘Isn’t Jose the one whose dad passed away this afternoon?’, the stranger asked en-route.

I was bewildered. I had seen my granddad this morning. He was strong and healthy and no namely illness to speak of. He was sure to last another 30 years and 60 was too young for him. He must have mistaken it for the ailing old lady living next door. The tension provided spring to my strides as I ran towards home.

I can only recollect the rest in images- the crowd, the body dressed in white, the tears.

That was the day when reality called ‘death’ sprouted in me. There comes a point of time in life when you value the lives of your loved ones dearly. I spent the bulk part of my childhood with my maternal grandparents. He had acquired the place of a father in my life. He was stubborn in his beliefs and today I have realized I inherited most of my values and traits from him.

To this day I pray for long life and health for my parents and everyone I love.

But sadly, I still have to endure the pain of ‘good bye’. The very day when this space turned a year old, someone announced I will have to bid adieu in a few weeks.

I am an eternal believer of goodness of fate and the good bye might be for the good for everyone.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

A new leaf

In my younger days I was desperate for a trophy. I would be waiting eagerly for the annual cultural competitions. May be I was jealous of the famous stars in school or may be I wanted to get the acceptance from my folks, I always yearned for a prize. But I would always be disappointed when the results were announced.

Singing competition was one of my favorites. Back then my voice wasn’t as horrible as it’s today. So I enrolled for any opportunity I could find. But rarely was I lucky.

My friends would testify my singing skills. A dumb friend of mine was planning to start a band and he did a private voice test for me. The only reply I got was a smile. The band didn’t materialize.

So I gave a rest to my singing and started going for keyboard lessons. I enjoyed the lessons a lot. It went on for a year. That was a time when the household finance was tight and there came a point when the lessons no longer was a source of enjoyment. I dropped it.

Late last year I decided to learn something useful (not any academic course). Guitar was a good option and it was put in my new-year resolution. But the plan remained in back burner. Then due to reasons more than one I decided to pursue the decision rather vigorously. It was tough to find a tutor. Everyone liked to teach a school kid. Older guys would be irregular and a pain in the arse.

Somehow I managed a teacher and started lessons 2 weeks back. The challenges are many and I don’t know how long I am going to carry this on. The tutor initially tried to discourage me and relented when he saw I was determined. The unforgettable moment is when he handed over my first pick. Make no mistake, I don’t aim to be a rock star. But would love to strum a few notes to admiring female fans down the years.

The inspiration behind the new venture is- Jabri and Achu. I don’t know how good Jabri is as a guitarist. But he seems to carry forward his profession, music, blogs and photography all at a time, comfortably. Achu is very young to me but one of the top notch guitarist. I admire him.

Since I am already good at singing in a few months I will be strumming out ‘Here I am on the road again’. So guys wish me luck in this new chapter.

Here is my guitar

Thursday, June 3, 2010

A journey back

‘Do you really have to go?’, this is what friends and family asked me when I told them my plan. It’s just a brother of a friend’s marriage. You could just pay them a visit during the reception at home. Why to make a trip to other end of Kerala for that? But I had to go. This trip was not for my friend. It was for me. I was determined to get away from the grind.
I had to convince my folks that there were other guys coming along. I am sorry for lying. Travelling alone is not a great idea. You must be either a freak or desperate to do that. I don’t know to which category I fall.

I reached Kozhikkode the Sunday morning. I haven’t counted but I might have walked around the place atleast thrice. The weight of the shoulder bag no longer bothered me. It was ecstatic to walk around a place where no one knows you and where you know no one.

I stayed there only for a single day and was back in office the very next day. In between my wanderings I managed to attend the wedding and had a sumptuous banquet. In this single day I met four different set of people or rather four emotions.

Any parent convinces themselves that their child is a superior being- brilliant, handsome and smart. They will reach out for the stars with a bit of hard work. The success stories of rags to IIT that comes in the newspaper is a propellant. And of course, there are banks to help us out with educational loans.
There was this middle aged couple in my train. They seemed to be an average family with an average education. The child was supposed to write an entrance exam for her medical studies the next day. Unfortunately, they hadn’t booked the train and so had to spend entire night awake. But still they didn’t show any tension. I wonder how the kid fared in the exams after a sleepless night in a train.
Their hope for a bright future for the kid struck me. Even if the girl passed the exams she would have to pay an astronomical sum as fees in the college. I doubt if the thought worried them

Kappad beach was my primary destination. But since I wasted lot of time roaming around, I was in a real hurry.
The person sitting next to me in the bus was dressed in black and white. He was old, bald and sat quietly. Being a lone traveler makes you vulnerable. You fear to expose your vulnerability or lack of knowledge. In the end I asked him,out of impatience, ‘How long does it takes to reach Kappad?’
I couldn’t make out most of what he said. But he went on and on about the beach, it’s historical importance etc.
He then opened his bag and fetched out a bundle of papers. I doubted if this was some kind of request for donation.
He opened it up and showed me Photostats of a young man who got into Guinness book for playing multiple instruments at a time. As I said before, his voice was too soft and I couldn’t make out much due to the rumbling bus. I had to decipher the young man was him. There were photos of him posing with famous personalities and even a half naked photo from the hippi era
He worked in a resort now as a musician. As we alighted the bus he expressed his inability to invite me over to the resort. It was a shady area.
In his twilight years, he must be helpless but to reminiscence the glorious years. He must feel very satisfied when he gets someone to show the old clippings to someone.

After the wedding function I hit the famous Kappad beach. You get good pictures out of these beaches. The people are relaxed and the sunset gives an awesome lighting effect. But in a Muslim dominated area you can easily be mistaken too.
While I was busy clicking, a chubby girl approached me. She asked me for the reason I was photographing the rocks. I was apprehensive about her first but later learnt that she had only the best of intentions. She went on talking and talking. My eyes were on her attractive cousin standing quietly nearby
In the end she said ‘You have a very smart personality’. I do not know if she is crazy. But getting appreciated by the fairer sex is rare. So I count this invaluable. I wonder why none of the girls of my age finds me attractive.

The railway platform was crowded even at night. Many had to get back to their workplaces the next day and were impatiently awaited for the train. A drunken man was entertaining the crowd with his speech on the corrupt government.
I managed to get a seat in the platform. A beautiful woman sat next to me with a child. She was a muslim and presumably younger than me (These muslims are in a hurry for parenthood as soon as they are married).
I sat there tired and wanting to get some sleep. She asked me which train I was getting in. Her voice was very soft and she wore no cosmetics. Still she looked extremely beautiful.
She was visiting a famous cancer centre in the capital. I asked if it was for studies or job. She nodded negatively. I assume someone dear must be sick or she might be going for a check-up.
But the serenity she oozed – I was spell bound. Hope everything goes well for her.

Guys, there are wide variety of people in this world. Open your eyes and watch in wonder.

(Go to my PhotoBlog for the snaps)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Made in Heaven

Media and sleazy magazines particularly have a party time when someone gets caught in a mess- double party if there is a remote connection to sex. I was on a vacation to my friends in Bangalore. I saw the daily newspaper lying on the sofa.
‘We use it as a substitute for porn’.
On the fear of a sting operation I refrain from naming the paper. But Bangloreans can take a guess on the paper that does a daily research on the actresses’ boob size.

A few weeks back the papers were on a rock and roll.
The Boy and The Girl had been married for just six days. The Couple was back from Kerala. The Boy’s friends managed to get an apartment for them. Six days and back to work!! Well, for an Indian professional it’s a nightmare to get married or to produce a baby. I know a few people who had to beg their managers to allow them to get married (read as permission for leave). And you better not have a baby if there are no retired parents to look after it.

Getting back to the story, The Girl’s parents dropped The Couple at their home to get the breakfast. They returned back to see two bodies bathed in blood. They vainly hoped that it was a break-in. To their horror the boy admitted to murder and attempted suicide.

Everyone got into speculative mood. From what I get from the sleazy magazines, The Girl was churning out triple of what The Boy was churning. So apparently she assumed the manager post in the family and started pissing off The Boy. Anyways in a fine moment The Boy lost his cool.
The marriage was one supposed to be made in heaven. He was quite active in the religious activities. She was a relative of the Bishop. The small Christian community was shocked. Studies were done and sermon delivered on the reason of failure of the Y-Generation marriages.

So where have we gone wrong?

Parents have to reconcile with the fact that their kids have their own set of values and principles. Why? Just do a mental calculation on the amount of time your kid spends with you. The bulk amount of time is spent in school, colleges, office, private rooms, computers, televisions or friends. You have no means to influence them. The funny thing is the lives of parents’ wouldn’t be a worthwhile piece to emulate.

The television and media has done enough to create a bunch of kids ‘liberal’ in their outlook. Adultery and infidelity are glorified. Corrupt politicians and businessmen are eulogized and so are our bollywood stars turning up with their skimpily clad girl friends.

So never make a choice for your child’s life partner. They may agree to your choice not bothering to pick up a fight. Leave them to their own mechanisms and in time they will come up with their mates.

Come to terms with the fact that your kid has more knowledge and exposure to sex (than you). Check out the number of girl kids who hit the beauty salon for waxing. Don’t tell me there is no sexual element involved. Or even check out the pre- teen girls with padded bra, the lewd SMSes exchanged daily, the number of boys who hit the gyms, spike their hair or get a tattoo. Even more the idiot box in your living room has enough ammo for a sexual high.

I had to wait till 15 to grasp the method of sex. There was no CDs available and no one was familiar with internet. The only option was video parlour. Since the entire neighborhood uses the same parlor, chances of getting caught were high.

Get a grip, human civilization is moving back into Jungle era where people explore various options of pleasure. The danger of sexual dissatisfaction is high. So open up your minds and allow your kid to have certain levels of freedom. Rather than being taught let him experience that sex/sexuality is not the most important thing to happen.

Have you come across Indian movies where the newly wedded soldier husband has to report for duty immediately after marriage because some war broke up. Well it’s not unrealistic any more. The Indian youths hit the office right after their marriage. Jokes apart, I have seen couples, wedded out of love, going for their (first) honeymoon years after the marriage. We are so insecure that we decide to settle down as soon as we wed. So we cannot go around with our wives in the public transport and here comes a car on credit. We will never know when the owner throws us out of his house and here comes an apartment. So let’s spend rest of our lives repaying the loan. Come on, life is too short for loan repayment.

And lastly, do not get married as soon as you are engaged. It’s really healthy to have a long courtship. Discuss all you have to at this time. Get to know each other as the palm of your hand. So that your first night will have no space for words but just for some hot action.

Hey, I am looking for an alternative career as a marriage counselor. Howzzat!!

About Me

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Shakespeare,Da Vinci, Benjamin Franklin and Lincoln never saw a movie,heard a radio or looked at TV. They had loneliness and knew what to do with it. Thay were not afraid of being lonely because they knew that was when the creative mood in them would work.