Wednesday, October 3, 2012


He smelled dried leaves, like always. The old man could smell them from his room, from the terrace of the rehabilitation center, and also from the kitchen. His sense of smell had a strong affinity for them. Sometimes he wanted dogs to learn from him. He loved trees for dying and being born again. But he didn't want to be born again, after dying. He just waited, without knowing why.

The old man put on his favorite slippers, that were too huge for him. He looked at them, with utmost concentration, and thought nothing in the whole wide world could be as comfortable. They reminded him of planet Earth, the warmth of the sun, the moon, and stars. They also reminded him of rabbits, and hamsters. Giving them an appreciative nod, he set out for his evening walk. Cool breeze forced in through his thick hair. Again he smelled the leaves. He made his disturbed, lonely self, take shorter and faster steps. Something made him want to walk that way.

He saw the young man sitting on the same bench again. This time he was sure he would talk to him. When the young man stood up to leave, the old man shouted "Oi! You should sit!". The young man, sat down and stared at his hands. Scratched his curly, messy hair, and kept glancing at the old man, worriedly, with an enduring frown on his face. The old man squinted, and sat down next to him.

"So, you come here often eh, young man?" probed the old man.
"Yes, yes I do. Yes, y-y-yes I d-do. Yes." He kept nodding continuously.
"What do you do, young man?"
"Yes, I d-do special things."
"Ah! Just like me. We have too much in common eh? We should become buds eh?"
The young man stared at him unbelievably, and then let out a childish laugh. "Yes, yes, we can. We can, we can." This time the old man stared at him. "You laugh just like a bat eh? Where did you learn that?"
The young man scratched his head, and spat on the ground. Rubbed his nose, and blinked a few times. He slapped himself. "Can you do this? Yes, th-this. Can you?"

The old man was amused. He wanted to be able to slap just like the young man did. He lifted his left hand, and slapped himself on the right cheek. "There! I did it eh?"
"No, no, no, no, no. I c-can do it b-better."
The old man grunted.
"We should dance now" said the young man.
"But where's the music, young man? We cannot dance without music or at least the drums?"

"We can, we can. Yes. Play music under your hairs. Yeah, h-hairs. It will play loudly. Now d-dance like this." He said, standing up, and shaking his legs, and jumping. The old man was shocked. He could not believe his eyes. The young man,took the old man's hand and pulled him up. "C-come, d-dance like this. Just jump, jump, you will hear music, under your hairs!" The old man, jumped a little. And just as the young man had said, music started playing in his mind, under his hairs. He was fascinated. He jumped higher, moved his hands, wobbled his head, and moved around the place. And then, he laughed.

He had never enjoyed something so much. He laughed loudly. So loudly that everyone in the garden looked at him, surprised. He laughed again. The laughter filled his eyes with tears. The other people, who were also in their own world, started laughing, for no reason. The young man also giggled at first, and later laughed. Everyone roared with laughter. The old man, laughed so much, that he fell to the ground. He had never laughed. But just then, he did. He laughed like, he was going to die. Water kept flowing from his eyes, his ribs ached. Maybe this was how it had to end. But he didn't care. He kept laughing.

Sunday, July 25, 2010


I heard laughter. Roars of laughter. Laughter so pure, so cruel, and so enchanting. It vibrated the world within me. Intimidated me. Amused me. And I fell.

I felt the wind hit my face. Felt my stomach getting attracted to the physical force of gravity. Felt my entire body wanting to part away from me. I felt fear.

The sudden blow, and fear made me realize how much I wanted this to happen. Then I felt blankness. A blankness so silent, that it hurt my senses. My head felt shallow. I felt a deep respect for myself. Now I was sad. I felt sorrow flood within me. I wanted to scream and cry.

Then the memories poured in. Too many of them. They brought to my mind an immense joy. Joy of having been there, once upon a time. Happiness. I almost laughed. I felt love. I felt bliss. I felt peace. Calmness.

This lead me to remain at a constant state of longing. A longing for this maze of emotions to end. The concoction confused me. I experienced a deep sinking feeling. Then it hit me. And then it ended. And then there was blankness, yet again.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Out of My Shoes


I stepped in. I had to droop and shrink myself a little, but I did, finally step into his mind. I felt a pinch of nausea. As I felt him relax his muscles, I started feeling light headed. Gradually I was adjusting to his fragile build. Now, I was him. Maybe not forever, but at that moment, I owned his mind. I was his soul. The soul of a ten year old boy, whose face had then acquired a troubled look, by default. I had possessed him. It was an attempt that I had made, to read his mind.


He felt dizzy. His head seemed like someone was inside it, drumming on his skull and brain. His ears throbbed. His left hand hurt again. 'No, I can't feel weak now. I have to catch the train', he thought. 'Why did I have to ride my cycle so fast? Why didn't I see the stone? Why did I have to break my hand? I don't like myself. My parents are annoyed with me. The whole village thinks I'm an irresponsible son. Father has to work double the time to earn money for my treatment', thought one side of his mind.
'It has been a year since I broke my hand. When will I get to study again? I love school. I love science. Father needs me. Grandma needs my help at home. Father has to send Mother, money. Someday I will become a doctor and make sure nobody breaks their bones. I don't want anyone to suffer like me', thought his other side.

He got into the train, after waiting thirty minutes for it, in the hot sun. He hadn't eaten anything the day before. He was serving his grandma. It took him more time, because he could use only his right hand. His father was always busy at work. Sometimes he felt proud, for being able to help his father. It made him feel less guilty.

Taking short and fast steps, he made his way to the clinic. A doctor had suggested he get treatment from a Physiotherapist. He hated them. They moved his broken hand, pulled it and stretched it in different angles. It hurt a lot. So much, that he thought chopping his hand off would be less painful.
He walked into the clinic. The Physiotherapist greeted him. He didn't return the greeting. He was scared. He wondered how much pain he would have to feel today. Silently, he went and lied down on the treatment bed.

A lady entered his cabin. She was going to pull his hand today. It was her turn now. She smiled at him. He feared any sort of eye contact. She then held his left hand, and started the treatment. He winced. It hurt too much, but it was lesser than the day before. Tears rolled down his cheeks. He told himself, 'It's going to be okay. Some more time, and the pain will be gone. I can go back to school then. Father will be proud of me.' After tolerating thirty minutes of extreme pain, he was free to go. Surprisingly, he was able to move his hand better.
He will come again tomorrow, traveling for an hour in the train, and let the Physiotherapist hurt him. He will take the pain. 'Someday, I will be able to move my left hand properly', he told himself.


I forced myself out of his mind. I couldn't stay there any longer. Not because I felt sad for him, but because I was ashamed of myself. I felt inferior. I wished I was as brave as that ten year old boy. I wished I had the sense of responsibility like he did. I wished I had his impregnable optimism. I wished I could have the strength to feel the pain that he experienced everyday, and the desire and hope, to live a life, that mattered.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

A Conversation

Venue: Sabari Express
Time: 11.00 pm
Among the snores of the smiling Malayalees and the lazy Telugus, three girls lay awake, drenched in lunacy and haphazard excitement. The two 12 year olds lay awake on the topmost berth. The 20 year old lay on the middle berth, listening to the 12 year olds' conversation, and enthusiastically trying to participate in it.

First 12 year old: I wish there was more light in this train. Why can't someone leave the tube lights on? I can't even see my hands properly!

Second 12 year old: Yeah I know! I wish we at least had happydent with us. We could have lit the train with our smiles. What do you say Didi?

20 year old (giggling with amusement): Oh yeah! Why didn't we buy any Happydent? It would have been so useful! I could have even read the book I got along with me.

First 12 year old: Oh yeah! I don't even want to sleep. I'm bored now. Didi, let's talk about how we look right now.

20 year old (surprised): How we look as in?

First 12 year old: I'll tell you how and what your face looks like right now, in the dark. And you tell me the same.

20 year old (hesitatingly): Okay..

First 12 year old: Okay, so, right now, your eyes look huge. Your eyebrows look thin, and your face looks pale. Didi, smile for me once, showing your teeth.

The 20 year old, does as she is told.

First 12 year old: Okay, thanks. So now, the whites in your eyes are whiter than your white teeth. Now your turn.

The 20 year old couldn't help laughing.

20 year old (trying to be very observant): Hmmm, your face looks like one of those dwarfs in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

The first 12 year old giggles and nods. The second 12 year old, who was silent all this while, laughs.

Second 12 year old (suddenly): I can melt icebergs with Happydent!

Both the 20 year old and the other 12 year old burst out laughing.

20 year old (trying to be smart): But then, the world will end that way! It will be sad then. Happydent should be banned.

The two 12 year olds scream in agreement, "YES! Happydent should be banned!"

20 year old: Yeah! Imagine, all the glaciers will melt, Antarctica will become water, all the plants and people will drown, and the earth will become plain blue.

Second year old: That actually sounds interesting. I have always wanted the world to end that way. Everyone dying at once, will be amazing. I will not let Happydent be banned. I will continue chewing it, and contribute to the end of the world.

First 12 year old: Oh my god! You will kill all of us, and yourself. And then, in the next world, when new human species will evolve, after millions of years, they will find out the reason behind the previous world's end. And they will discover that the culprits were you and your Happydent.

20 year old (pointing out to the second 12 year old): Oh yeah. And then, a troubled new human species will participate in the new world's 'Raaz..Pichle Janam Ka'.

The three start laughing in agreement.

First 12 year old: Okay, now let's imagine we are in the show. Didi, you are Ravi Kissen, and I'm the hypnotist. Let's question the troubled girl.

20 year old (excited): Okay!
Namashkar! Main hoon Ravi Kissen, aur aap dekh rahein hain, Raaz..Pichle Janam Ka. Aaj Humaare saath hain, ek ladki, jo apne kayeen kasht ke uttar dhoond rahi hain. Shuru karte hain. Hypnotist ji, shuru keejiye.

First 12 year old (after some introduction, and starting the hypnosis): Toh ab aap kahaan hain? Kya dikh raha hain aapke pairon ke neeche?

Second 12 year old: Mein Antarctica mein hun.

First 12 year old: Kaisa mehsoos ho raha hai?

Second 12 year old: Bahut accha.

First 12 year old: Kya aap Happydent chaba rahein hain?

Second 12 year old: Haan.

First 12 year old: Ab kya ho raha hai?

Second 12 year old: Sab kuch pighal raha hai. Sab log marne waale hain.

20 year old: Aur kya aap muskura rahi hai, Happydent ke saath?

Second 12 year old: Ji haan.

First 12 year old: Kaise mehsoos ho raha hai?

Second 12 year old (with an evil smile): Bahut accha.

And the conversation went on for another one hour fifteen minutes. God bless us all.

Saturday, January 30, 2010


There are movies that have made me cry, and there are movies that have made me laugh. There are movies I haven't watched though people asked me to, for obvious reasons. But one movie, left me expressionless. It was a mystery to me, and still is. AVATAWWRR.

It directly begins with a paraplegic man, Jake Sully, on a trip to a planet called Pandora (Yeah, for sometime I was wondering if IMAX chopped off the initial scenes.) So, this guy cannot walk, and is on a wheel chair all the while and replaces his dead brother on a mission to the unbelievably amazing planet. There, some Colonel, whose name I don't want to remember, tells our guy Jake, about some mineral or material (again, I don't care about it's name) which is all over the planet. (Yes, they HAD to go to another planet, just for a fuckingly and awesomely rare mineral!) Their mission is to collect as much mineral as possible, by transferring themselves to into very dirty blue color bodies, that are horrendously tall, to look like the local aliens. Btw, the local aliens are called Na'vis (I don't know why I found that name funny).

This guy Jake, uses an Avatawwrr identity of sorts, and tries becoming friendly with the Na'vis (I just laughed typing that word). He very suddenly and abruptly gets attacked my dinosaur lookalikes, and a female Na'vi (the HEROINE) saves him. (For some reason, I thought Gracy Singh's entry in Deshdrohi was better. I must be mad!) Her name is Neytiri, and she screams for no reason. She is also almost completely naked. And Jake the Avatawwrr falls in love with her! Can you believe that?! It's SO unpredictable!

And there's magic after that. Yes, magic. Jake the Awatawwrr learns the Na'vi local language instantly. He learns to jump, to fly on vibrantly colorful looking creatures, and also to kiss while in the Awatawwrr body, standing next to a tree that can make you hear your ancestors' voices! There are trees that are purple and leaves that are blue and pink. They also glitter at night, and shine like lights when you walk. Isn't that amazing? He also sleeps along with those Na'vis on rope-beds hanging from trees. He very unpredictably sleeps next to Neytiri, who blushes and turns to the other side so as not to face him while sleeping. (Yeah, she totally didn't realise that she is completely and absolutely naked all the time).

And again, very suddenly, the Colonel whose name I don't want to remember, starts attacking the Na'vis to get his precious mineral. He gets into a robotic machine and starts shooting bombs, throws down sacred trees, and also kills many Na'vis. There are jet planes, and mini rockets, and exotic machines (that fly around aimlessly most of the times) designed just to destroy Pandora. After a long war, amidst Neytiri's screams and love betrayal fights, the Na'vis destroy the humans, with the help of Jake the Avatawwrr. The original Jake later goes naked for reasons known only to him and permanently remains an Avatawwrr.

People who haven't watched the movie yet, go watch it! It's just three hours long. If you watch it on a 3D screen, you won't even have an interval in most of the theaters. And yeah, people have loved it so much that it has 4 Golden Globe nominations already! James Cameron took 10 long and painful years to come up with THIS. God bless him, and Pandora.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


You can either fly kites or not fly kites on a festival like Sankranti. I, as usual, chose not to. Somehow, only watching people fly kites fascinated me. My clumsy self never wanted to learn to fly one. I was woken up early that day, thanks to my mother's unending complaints about my chronic laziness and abnormally long sleeping hours. "Today's a festival for God's sake!" yelled my mother. Not that I cared, but I woke up nevertheless, since my body was contaminated with extreme hunger, for food.

Sometimes everything in a day can go intriguingly and irresistibly annoying. My mother had cooked something I had detested since the time my taste buds had started recognizing all the different types of food. I couldn't blame her though. She had to cook too much for the festival lunch anyway. Miffed, I told her I was getting breakfast from outside, and banged the door of my house, shut, behind me.

All I could see were colorful kites lying on the ground, and sailing in the breeze. As I reached the tiffin center, a thick smell of delicious Sambhar filled the air. My stomach groaned. I went in, ordered a Masala Dosa, and waited with my token at the parcel counter.

The quickness in the kitchen seemed interesting. I couldn't help but notice the look in the eyes of the man at the counter. It was the look of terminal confusion, and sadness. It was a look of longing to be somewhere and not being able to. He was packing the food, calling out orders, talking to the customers, but he looked sad. At one point, he looked at us, like we were difficult tasks, testing his patience.

He shouted at one of the workers inside the kitchen, to work faster. He constantly avoided looking directly into anyone's face. I don't know why, but I began to pity him. Maybe he had a family somewhere, waiting for him to come back, and fly kites with them. Or maybe he could not celebrate with them, because of his job. One side of him wanted to take a day off, go home, relax and eat good food, than clean the kitchen and pack the food like he regularly did. The other side of him realized that he has to work, get his pay, and not annoy his superiors. His eyes drooped with the burden of responsibility and face flushed with restlessness.

He continued screaming out orders and packing food. I was handed out my parcel after what seemed like hours. I gave a weak smile and thanked the man. He didn't care. Not that I expected him to. He continued working, and I left.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

As I Write This Poem...

As I write this poem,
A woman somewhere is giving birth to her first child,
An old man is dying, with peace in his mind.

A little girl is excited about going to school,
A young girl is taking her life, jumping into a pool.

An employee is desperate for a break,
A homemaker is day dreaming about a job and work.

A husband is feeling guilty about his infidelity,
A prostitute is silently wishing back her virginity.

A student is loving a movie,
A director is regretting making the same movie.

A wife in a mall is spending thousand rupees on a dress,
A eunuch standing outside a mall, is dreaming of social acceptance.

A man driving a BMW is vexed,
A poor kid is touching the car and feeling blessed.

Finally, as I write this poem,
I realize how sleepy I am,
thinking about the unfortunate insomniac.