Wednesday, February 27, 2013


I’m on the train making my weekly sojourn home. After 5 ½ days of intense boredom& loneliness, the 1 ½ day with friends and family is a sort of redemption. Usually the train would have been crowded. But strangely that day was an exception and I sat peacefully reading & dozing off. The guy sitting opposite to me fishes out the evening paper. I glance at the front page & am stunned-

‘Afzal Guru Hanged’

 GoI is on a come back mode. After hanging on to the ropes for past few years, they are coming out with all guns. The offensive is so much so that even the opposition are forced to applaud the ‘achievements’. One such achievement was hanging the ‘deadly terrorist’ Kasab in secret. The whole of India rose up to celebrate the vengeance. And we pretended not to have seen that mo one wanted the deadly terrorist- neither the evil government on the other side nor any evil organizations not even his family members. The poor guy was celebrated only in India.
Now the GoI realized that hanging in secret and sending a speed post is not a bad idea & they hang the second guy- Afzal Guru. This news should’ve gladdened the collective conscience of the nation. At this rate it wouldn’t be difficult for Rahul to beat his archrival in the next elections.

Despite wavering network connectivity, I managed to login to Twitter. The collective conscience of the nation was on another celebratory mood. Apparently the law, order, peace & justice have triumphed over the evil guy with a long beard. Tactfully the spokepersons of political parties were Muslims, giving the impression that secularism is of the country is still intact.

By evening the liberals shook themselves out of inertia and came into offensive. Predictably it was A.Roy who led the gang with her half concealed rhetoric. The arguments & counter arguments flew back and forth. Soon it became apparent that it was not entirely a black & white picture. The Indian demography hasn’t taken kindly to the hanging.

The next day I was planning to pay a visit to Bheemappalli. Although it housed a shrine of some saint, the place was more known for the trading of pirated DVDs and similar black marketed goods with the blessings of the Masjid council. Sadly the morning newspapers were splashed with a strange news. The police tried to raid the place. The traders tore the search warrant off as the raid didn’t have the ‘permissions’ of Masjid council. I was amused. Going there would be a risk. But still i decided to make the call and see how it would go. To my surprise everything was quite normal. People went about doing their ‘illegal’ business with calm and poise. I went to the tea shop. As usual the guy served me with callous indifference. Soon two hefty guys in long beards came in. The attitude of the tea vendor changed. Love and respects flew back and forth.

I stood back and wondered- globalization, liberalism, religious extremism & exclusivity – we are heading for a dangerous mix.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Growing up

I was slipping slowly into sleep, when my mobile announces an sms and pulls me back fromt he world of peace & tranquillity. I jump up from the bed to grab it not because I was expecting anything important. I’m a vain man who waits for some unknown girl to text a raunchy sms at night. I was half disappointed to see the sms was from my good friend Vattolli? But why at this time of night? If it’s some stupid forward I might as well kill him. May be he’s announcing some big Arsenal victory. Still it was neither of the above.  I was pleasantly surprised to know that he was getting married. Although a whiff of marriage was in air, it was supposed to happen further down the year. He was a happy go lucky guy who went soft on responsibilities. Seeing him as a married man down the years would be very strange.

The second invitation didn’t take much long to come. This time it was the freak guy of the batch- manga loving , unkempt , crazy behind wheels. But he was very sweet spoken & loved by all. Now he announces his marriage & I’m all the more surprised. We wouldn’t have imagined Kalaam spending a lifetime with a girl. I still remember those days when he fought some online game late into night and caught a nap every two hours. His antics were a source of evergreen jokes among us. When most of us wound up our Engineering course, he was left with quite a few papers to scrape through. He fooled around with some computer courses got into an IT firm. From then it didn’t take much for him to rise through & earn a good wife.

I started to make plans. Kalaam is going to be the first one among the two. It was Jan25th- The day prior to the republic day. Excuses for a leave is expertly tailored up & here I’m with my friends again. Kalaam is in the traditional attire spotting a pencil thin moustache. I wonder where he got that idea from. As he’s busy getting married we guys hang around making phaltu jokes and gaping at the sleeveless beauties. We wonder on how to spend the evening & Antony comes up with a great idea- Celebrate Vattoli’s bachelors’ party (ala get drunk).

The problem with hitting a pub in hometown is you’ll have to return home sober, early & in one piece. Besides you may have to steadily avoid running into any guy known to your father. But the of caution slowly dissipates along with your first peg. There are lots of laughter and phaltu jokes. But slowly the the decibel levels of laughter goes down and you start bitching about your life, your boss, your girlfriends and your friends. I probably slip into some far off no-man’s land. The three of us decided to shoulder the heavy burden of advising Vattolli about life. The talks got humorously serious. I decided to spend the night out with these guys knowing very well that Dad would go hysterical. I have to somehow hold the fort at home tomorrow. But the head is too bored to think about holding forts now.

Downing our fourth peg we get up, satisfied that we saw to it that our friend started his journey on the right path. All the advices got rewinded and repeated in the car and we didn’t happen to see the policeman waving at us. With amazing athleticism for a mid aged cop he snatch the car keys and roars at us. Soon we find ourselves in police station for drunked driving. Within those few minutes, I found out to my amazement that all what we drank simply dissipated off. I stood there silent for the most of the time as my friends eased us out off the mess and took us home.

But that night I made peace with myself. I no longer wanted my bachelorhood to be a liability. I realized I’m growing old and soon the mid life would loom. I’m hating getting drunk & bitching the whole world off. It’s time you find some girl for yourself..... even knowing very well that you may not like the choice down the road.

(the story hasn’t ended yet.....)

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.