Friday, August 31, 2007


my head thuds awake on the cardboard on the inside (left) of an auto. it's around two in the night. i am home. i clamber up the stairs, clanging and thumping to my two room set on the first floor. i flounder for the lights (i'm night blind). finding them, i strip and discover that i have again grown fat (mysteriously and magically, i do this every night). soon my jaipur pink (formerly saffron) towel is around me and i'm headed (drowsily) for my daily pre-snore shower (the rooms are warm and i have no air conditioning). the lights flicker on lazily to reveal a sudden energy in the hamam. two bumble bees (lets call them franny and zooey)are buzzing angrily about the tubelight. i discern a gecko (say, sylvester) behind the bathroom door. astounded by this abundance of zoology, i leap out.

Meanwhile, inside the bathroom;

Zooey: hey franny, i don't like the looks of this, let's get the fuck out of here

Franny: relax, love, there's one of him and two of us

Zooey: and look at that gecko, i don't like the look of him either

Franny: relax love, i've done this before

this had happened before. now i don't like killing insects. i really don't. but in lajpat, where i stay, you really can't help it. the place is infested with ants. swarming with them, literally. you go to the loo in the morning to find them all over the commode, swimming in the buckets and walking all over the walls. it's like a mini ant metropolis in there. but more of this later. it's the bees i hate. they're frightening, malevolent creatures. when they're in the loo, they act like they own the damned place. they come at you baring their little sting tails, ready to fuck you over for messing about in what's suddenly their territory. i switch off the lights in the loo (the switchboard is on the outside) and try sleeping.

i wake up in a sweat. my ancestors have come to me in my sleep and have told me i can't accept defeat to the bees. that, and it's too hot to sleep without a shower. i sit up and reason things out. i mean, there's a reason for things, right. we're in charge. and not the tigers or the fishes or the bees. and that's because we fought them and beat them fair and square (now and then, at least). we won the race for civilization. which explains why i'm living in a rented two room flat in lajpat nagar and not freeloading in some bee bathroom in a giant beehive. i decide i'm not taking this lying down (or sitting up for that matter). i do the math, they've got those stingtails, they're winged and small (giving them a guerrila sort of dexterity) and they've got speed. i've got my mind and an aresenal of books, newspapers, advanced and ineffective household appliances, footwear and cooking utensils. i reach out for the common human consciousness that knows no barriers of time and space and conference with adam, tutankhamen, genghis khan, winston churchill and mahatma gandhi. the mahatma is summarily explelled from the meeting. i draw out my plans. i wrap the towel around myself. i arm myself with two rubber slippers and head off to the bathroom. i feel the war paint inside my skin. it is to be a long night.

Meanwhile, inside the bathroom;

Franny: hey, lights on, he's a coming

Zooey: let's just leave

Franny: believe in me

Zooey: do we need to stay here

Franny, we do, trust me, i wouldn't put you through this if we didn't.

Zooey: he's coming

Franny: ok, on my lead, as soon as he gets in, we zoom in towards him, doesn't matter if we miss him. it'll frighten him off our tails for the night. and that's all we need.

Zooey: that's him. i love you franny

Franny: i love you too zooey, now on my mark. trust me baby

Zooey: what about the reptile

Franny: focus, love, we can't afford to lose, now

Sound Effects: bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz, followed by a human OW and the thump of bathroom slippers on the ground after a jump.

they attacked me, they fucking attacked me. i look inside. they're buzzing about the whole bathroom now. they were behind the damned door so i didn't see them. i look inside througha small crack in the door. the gecko is at a distance, looking at me. it's almost like we're having a conversation. at a distance. in a moment of miraculous clarity i know what to do. i head for the balcony and drop one of the chappals and arm myself with a floor scrubber with a long handle.

Meanwhile, inside the bathroom;

Zooey: i can't believe it, we shooed him off

Franny: done it a million times love

Zooey: you know, i was worried, that gecko over there was giving me bad vibes

Franny: don't worry about them, love, they always maintain a fixed distance.

Zooey: you know, you know a lot for a bumble bee

(a giant slipper appears from behind the door and splatters zooey out onto the back of the door)

Franny: Zooooeeey!!!

one of them falls dead onto the floor. i push it out with the floor scrubber. i push the scrubber's head in, scanning for the other bee. i hear it's agitated buzzing on the back of the door. i understood where the bees were because of the gecko. it always stands far from them and looks in their direction. like a well trained bloodhound. i stand on the outside of the bathroom door, waiting for movement. i look at the gecko again. i knowe exactly where he is. i put my hand with the rubber chappal in and splatter the fuck out of the other bee. i know i got him when the gecko moves closer. just to make sure, i probe with the scrubber. it's a dead silence. i go in to celebrate.

suddenly, a bee zooms in my direction and stings me in the fucking eye. i drop my weapons and get the fuck out. it's all red. it's what pain looks like to a blind guy. it hurts. it really fucking hurts. i feel the towel unravel. but it doesn't matter. the sting is burning my eye and my head from the inside. outside, i trip on the balcony and fall naked to the ground downstairs. i fall headfirst and i hear my neck go snap. i lie there, naked, before my door struggling to breathe. the memory of the buzzing is loud in my head. i die.

actually, i kill the other bee successfully with the last shot. the gecko wouldn't have moved closer otherwise. i sweep the fuckers out and smoke a smoke to their memory. the next day i unleash genocidal hell upon the ants.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

A disturbed past and a frightful ending

Writers aren’t born, they are made. Created are they from the hollow remains of a war, sodomized by the plight of a thousand hungry, baffled and mind-fucked by the very horrors of society, they once looked up to in blind faith and gratitude. Divorced parents, drunk dads, incest, unemployment, mediocrity, ignorance, rape and violence…the society of the inhumane.

But just the other day, I heard a little sparrow say, that writers are in fact born. The mind, to make my point clear, is a dangerous thing. You can never be sure, between the two of you, which one really is in control. Much to your plight you’ll find, it always gets the better of you.

Hemingway puts a pistol to his head and splatters it like a watermelon and this after surviving grueling world wars, bad marriages, diseases, depressions and everything else in between, this after becoming what had become of the old man and the sea. His is not the only story. Generation after generations of perfectly competent writers, whose brilliance is but without question depict this unusually perplexed trait. Some convert their agony into joy by escaping it for a bit on the back of Haroon and his likes while others choose to stay back in another hundred years of solitude.

So I ask myself this. Is it really worth all of it? Is writing the best piece of literature really worth dying for? And my answer, every breath of it, every breath.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Advertising is apprarently the least noble profession of them all, with teaching being the most noble. When I first heard this, i scoffed at it, as any loyal professional should. Very basic questions like What is nobility? Who decides this? arose in my head. Not so basic answers followed.

It is true that nobility has no real definition. An act of nobility in today's times would be giving alms to a beggar. Or participating in a Peace march. Or lighting a candle. Or...hang on while I think of the last noble act I did. About 2 months back, when I was on a bus, I befriended the guy who sang in this nasal, high-pitched voice and mostly bhajans with a dafli. He was very shy and looked noble to me. So I brought him to my workplace, he sang, and all the seniors gave him lots of cash.

Was that a noble act? I think it was sheer luck for him and a crazy thing to do for me. I did it cause I thought it'd be fun. So are noble acts ones that are done in complete ignorance? Does intent blemish the purity or extent of a noble act? No, that would be unfair. NGOs though mostly very fake, probably do many things that are good for society and hence, noble. And that's their job. They intend to do good, be noble. And yet when I see or think of the fat, rich, impudent bastards (aka Lala's or Seth's) doling out copious amounts of halwa puri to poor, unfed, ignorant idiots; it makes my blood boil. Isn't it silly to attack intent here and condone it in the case of the NGOs? Are both right? or wrong? or is nobility a warped concept altogether?

We get to claim money for food we eat or conveyance in our overtime service in the office. Till very recently I wouldn't claim money from office. Till very recently, I believed that the people who do claim money, are doing it to make money. I thought it cheap and degrading. Till I was told it was downright stupid of me not to claim money. And most certainly it was. What I thought of as a noble thing to do (not claim money), was demonstrated to me as silly, trivial. Now I do claim money, and I make money too. Here, my definitions have been modified to suit myself. I see my workplace as this big blood-sucking parasite that feeds off me, and it is only correct to fuck my workplace over. Noble, no. Correct, yes.

But if it is correct, it must be noble. I wrote some copy for the packaging of baby products. As has been passed down to us and of which we know nothing, babies are pure. Babies would never harm us, and so we must do everything to protect babies. As kids, we'd throw water balloons at everyone except women with babies. Why? When we had a justification for an act as barbaric and cruel as hurling water balloons at random folk, why then make exceptions? Anyway, babies are sacred.

So when I was told to simply tweak a few words here and there, and basically cut-copy-paste the material on some Chinese baby product, I thought this is why advertising isn't a noble profession. I even objected. I said when you're going to claim that this stupid baby rattle is made of bio-degradable and eco-friendly plastic (whatever that is), it should be. Coz these are baby products. People are going to purchase these feeding bottles, nipples, rattlers, teethers etc. on the presumption that what you write is the truth. That it is safe for their babies to use these. And if this is material off some Chinese baby products, what we're doing is the exact opposite of noble. And I won't do it.

You can find all the Baby products from Guardian at a Guardian pharmacy close-by.

Monday, August 6, 2007


somebody complained that this blog is getting too incomprehensible, inward looking and unrealistic. so i thought i'd write this post and explain things a bit.

to explain what this blog is all about, i believe it would be best to start with the people we talk/write about.

here goes.

for all the jat/bong/tam divisions we've drawn up for ourselves, we in delhi are basically three different species.

firstly, there are the elves, or the djinns as they are commonly known. A shadow species, they keep to the darkness and the wilderness, rarely venturing out to what we call daylight. they exist in a physics different than ours, their biology and society as different and shrouded in mystrey.

secondly, there are the goblins. short - and with sharp teeth, they have achieved an incredible degree of expertise in mastering and understanding how this world works. that makes them fantastic mechanics, plumbers and investment bankers. they live in the open in delhi, in the lajpat nagars, greater kailashes and south extensions of this city. they rule the day, seizing it with an incredible brutality and harshness that's come to characterise this conurbation. they don't understand emotion and are consequently insensitive towards the arts. they're also very messy and complain about this blog being incomprehensible, inward looking and unrealistic.

lastly, there are the dervishes - the poets, painters and actors. lost in the chasm of thought between the elven wilderness and goblinsville. they spend their lives trying to understand and explain the contradictions they exist in. some of them leave the twilight to cross the lines to goblinsville and, what is rarer, the wilderness. they generally spend their time thinking, singing and writing.