Wednesday, November 5, 2008


Lock me up and throw away the key
Brandishing my claim to insanity
Banging on door to door
Scars; dozens to the score
To have another dream shattered
Shining shards that once mattered
To be forsaken by one’s own identity
To build it again, only fragmentary
Lock me up and throw away the key
Set me free of my misery.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


My eyes ache

For the sight unseen

For that which is etched

In my lids

As gilded dreams.

Thoughts after 13th September

To say I am apolitical, is to say that I let others (in power) decide the politics of my life. The choice is not between being political and not, it is not between Bhartiya Janta Party and Congress or even Left and Right; it is between having the right choose and forfeiting it to others. I could either sit back and become a victim, or I could volunteer and make a difference. Whether it is inflation or terrorism, bad roads or red tapism, big or small; if it happens to us, we must have a say in it; we must have the right to question it, we must have the right to make it stop.
I don't know how to attain this. I have no grand plans of spearheading a revolution. I just know, as it is common sense to know, that we have a choice in everything that happens to us and if at some point we feel deprived of that choice, it is because someone has usurped it. We can either claim what is rightfully ours, or send our prayers to an unwitting God that the one in power be merciful.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Such is Life

I was reading some random blogs today and I happen to chance upon one in particular which I could relate to. The blogger laments that when he is not at his desktop he thinks of so many things that he would like to blog about but when he finally sits to do so, he goes blank. It couldn't be more true for me!
Once you get into the blogging grove, you think of so many things that you might have to say to the world, so many sketchy thoughts which you think you wil explore better as you write about them and share with others. But when it comes to the actual act, one seems to be at a loss of inspiration.
This is not to say that the world around me lacks any inspiration. I am constantly being bombarded by various stimuli which gets my head buzzing like the knob of a steaming pressure cooker. Perhaps if I had attempted to express them that instant, they would've held their prominance. However, as time passes and I keep defering the act of writing it out, the thoughts like the steam, fizzles off.
To state a few instances, the consecutive terror attacks in Bangalore and Ahmedabad left most people in the country beddazzled. Metro Now had a special four page coverage of the after effects of the grotesque incident. I remember I was teary eyed at my breakfast table while I read about a 9 year old boy and his 7 year old sister who, beside being physically wounded, will also carry deeply engroved mental scars from the incident. Both the children have been rendered mute by the shock and horror of what had happened. What could I possibly "say" about this? NO words are strong enough to express what I felt at that moment.
However, as time passed and people moved on, this piece of news which had shocked me out of sleep-ridden mental state, became a piece of information, a statistical data, only to be computed. Does anyone care? Momentarily, perhaps. First, sheer shock and then anger riddled with an element of fear- what if it is one of our own next? But as we get back into the daily grind, these feelings sediment within the depths of our mind and life's guiles help to filter out the residual effects with time; and ofcourse, I am no exception to the phenomena.
It seems we have been exposed to so much brutality, blood and murder that these sights fail to move us further than a certain point. We are a generation of desensitised, self-centered individuals. Infact, as Amartya Sen points out in his book Violence and Identity, in India, most people consider violence the means with which to etch out the parameters of their being. Afterall, the nation that we are talking of , was born in a post-modern world, of a very difficult labour. India had to calim for itself an existance that it had been denied. It had to battle for it's right to persist, thrash in violent attempts to breathe, hurt itself in the process and yet remarkably ascertain an identity for itself through bloodshed.
Our civilisation is like one of those timeless fortresses, which uphold their scars and battered structures as the essence of their being. The lives that reside within such monuments-plants, birds, rodents and reptiles, turn indifferent to the surroundings as long as they are able to sustain themselves. People who live in this country are no different.
The heights of insensitivity was probably manifested in a group of people, who either in order to settle personal scores with high officials, or simply to gather some sort of demented, sick amusement, made false proclaimations of more blasts. I fail to understand these people. Do they even understand what it is to have lives wiped off in a blink? For God sake, these are real lives that we are talking about, not some virtual strategy game!
As I read these news articles day after day, there were a myraid of questions battling in my mind. Why are they doing this? What do they want? Can't there be any other way of settling this? WHY? My mind was screaming for some sort of logic, some rationale so as to be able to make something of the world around me, to be able to salvage the sanctity of human sanity.

Believe it or not, the first hint to an answer came to me through some movies that I've recently seen-

Alfred to Batman: I don't think you understand this man. He needs no motive, it is not money or power that he is after. " Some people just like to stand back and watch the world burn." -The Dark Knight

"The first rule of mission havoc is you do not ask any questions." -Fight Club.

Do I need to spell out the answer or does the chill running down your spine tell you all that you need to know?

There was another, more recent report in Metro Now that caught my attention one morning. It read- "Auto driver kills man for 2 rupees." The auto driver who had demanded Rs.12 from his passenger had been so ticked off when he was haggled with, that he brought out an iron rod and struck the man on his head and then drove his vehicle over the body rpeatedly, until he was assured that he was dead.
Along with this incident, there were a few more similar instances- one of a man killing his friend when he refused to buy him alcohol, another of a man stabbing his milkman when he refused to give him some extra milk for the day and so on. This article was followed by a by-line which stated that Intermittent Explosive Disorder is different from merely being short tempered. When a person is suspected of suffering from exceptional temper issues, he must be treated immediately or else he may prove to be dangerous, both for those around him as well as himself.
I was left wondering how I would recognise an extraordinary temper outburst from an ordinary one. Afterall, there are so many people around me, friends and family, who sometimes overreact to the point that they break things around them or try to hurt either themselves or the person infront despite the fact that they do not have enough reason to unleash so much violence. Some of the most logical people I know sometimes blow their top to the extent that they end up doing or saying things that they later regret. I can remember instances, only too well, when I had to struggle hard to keep myself from physically lashing out. How much is too much???

It would perhaps be an exaggeration to say that most of us our susceptible to some sort of explosive disorder, but I don't consider myself off the mark when I say that we are an insecure lot of people, who traverse the brink of insanity by living in this world each day.

In the words of the Joker, from The Dark Knight, " Madness is like gravity, all it needs is a slight push."

Terrorism is undoubtedly born of socio-political factors, but it contains a certain madness which I suspect lurks even in the best of us. After a point, the motives, whatever they maybe, recede to make way for an illogical thirst for blood. The only way to not give into it is to keep a tight reign over one's sense of logic. But what use is logic, when everything around you is disintegrating into inexplicable, but perceptibly real debris?

Even though such thoughts take their hold over me at times, it's not too long before I wipe off my clammy hands and put them to some use. As one of my close friends said, "what is the use of thinking about it when you aren't being able to do anything?"
So, I put my mind to 'better' use and think about those inane things that need my attention and thrust these ruminations back into some security vault of my mind.
I read the news, fold the paper and go on with my day. I try not to look too closely at the group of people with their banners proclaiming hunger strike around Jantar Mantar, as I make my way towards Janpath to meet a friend for lunch.
We meet up and congratulate each other on having made it to premier educational institues of the country. We are confident. We know shall inherit this world. We the harbingers of logic and sanity shall stand over the ruins of the world and place our seal of ownership over it. Why then, am I not satisfied?

Monday, May 12, 2008

A Midsummer Night Dream

Birds that seed prisms on their tails..
And roost on the lofty chambers of divide;
Scared to a flutter
By a girl's pitter patter
Flies off in an arc...

For a moment there is a rainbow..
A blinding stream of light
Lucid when the eyes are closed
But opened only to Darkness.

Friday, April 25, 2008


"Behind mock-ceremony of your grief
Lurked the burlesque instinct of the ham;
You never altered your amused belief
That life was a mere monumental sham. "

What is the brink of insanity?
To not know yourself,
Or to overstep humanity?
To be bitten,
To lock it within.
Writhing in pain,
In humiliation.
Time and honor?
Illusions of civilization.
Creating, disrupting,
Deluding vision.
Aching in happiness,
Booming in sorrow;
Fading hint,
Of a labeling morrow.
Stillness leading to motion,
No need of any volition.
The lines all blurry,
Images all scurry,
Fallen in an eddy,
That takes you within;
Then all is even.
The world looks into your face
Instead of you facing it,
They call you insane;
But they’re the ones losing it.

Friday, April 4, 2008

my existantial crisis

this is an attempt to seize my whirling world of perceptions again, to be able to comment on the experience, if not control it. it has been a year since i last wrote, not just on this blog, but anywhere. as a result i have been suffering an anguish, the thought of expressing which leaves me exhausted. my writings used to contain a certain vigour and perhaps, a certain vanity, which was it's halmark. that 'energy' seems to be sucked out of me and the very thought of writing, which invariably entails invoking thoughts and emotions leave me weary. that vanity, that sense of being in control when i write seems to be lightyears away from me now and i am left with shivering fingers trying to compute wavering thoughts into words.

it is asthough i have exhausted my ability to feel and have rendered myself numb, except during the painful sporadic fits. it started with a tingling sensation, which was not too difficult to ignore intially, but eventually took over my body and mind and left me gaping at the pace of my life. i did and said things as if i were an automaton. there were brief spells of recognition which passed by me even before i could grasp the shock of where i was; or should i say- what i was.

it is with a lot of courage that i have used the past tense because i know that i still run the risk of meeting myself at the turning of some dark alley and being shocked at the prospect of what i am. i have been grovelling, for as long as i can remember, for a mirror that reflects the various dimentions that i exist within, so as to decrease the shock-value at various junctures. when i tried to turn my gaze upon myself, it was words that helped me do so. without their aid i feel lost! not to mention completely vulnerable to the feeble perceptions that world around holds up to me. however, it is now time that i muster up every iota of strength in myslef and take charge.

those who know me will be able to relate this trait of mine to the state of my room. it is usually in a catastrophic condition, resembling an area affected by a violent tornado (there is method in the madness, i always vehemently proclaim!) until it reaches a point where i can't take it anymore and then it magically transforms into an excusitely and accurately pruned and groomed garden. however, the precision soon begins to suffocate me and the order eventually disintegartes into the cherished 'salmagundi'.

even though the struggle seems to be an existantialist one, where the action, atleast at first, appears to be futile, i cannot disregard the momentary satisfaction that i derive from a job well done. i have proclaimed often enough (and quoted simone de bouvoire to back myself up) that i hate housework because there is simply no end to it! the furniture that you dust today shall gather frustrating amounts of dust the very next day, the clothes you so painstakingly wash will be soiled sooner or later, the dishes that you wash with a sense of achievement will be greased yet again! how is it any less than sisyphus pushing his boulder up the hill? despite my victorious argument, i find myself succumbing to these petty basics urged by own needs and habit and as reward, i have a fleeting moment's satisfaction.

as i try to clamber my way out of the pits that i have found myself over the last year, my epiphanic realisation has been that the greatest folly of human intelligence is the hope to perpetuate an experience. as the corny old proverb goes, " nothing is permanent except change". however, the theory of change itself, entails within it, the theory of regeneration and as certain optimists would say, the theory of evolution.

what comes to my mind now, is the words of an aquaintance who said we don't go round in circles but infact we follow a spiral trajectory, moving up another level each time we reach where we started. even as i quote her, i wonder if the differences in levels are not merely imaginary constructs, in order to give a sense of purpose to the otherwise inane human existance. perhaps there is a difference, perhaps sisyphus devices new methods and covers the length of the hill in a shorter span of time and therefore relishes a moment of exulatation in "achievement" before he is thrown back to the starting point. perhaps the starting point is not always the same point, perhaps it is moving upwards and the distance covered is impercptibly diminishing; yet there is no hope for sisyphus' salvation, is there?

even camus who made a case for sisyphus' happiness was not bold enough to grant him redemption. what i retain most from his enchanting worldview potrayed through the myth of sisyphus are the last few words of the tract - " one must imagine sisyphus happy."
there are two words that strike me significant in this statement- must and imagine. the cynic in me cannot help but point out the desperate need for positivity as implied in the word "must" and the incredulous nature of human emotions that need to be catalyzed by their strongest weapon against all that is unfair in the world- their imagination.

so, here i am, in response to the imperative of camus' "must"and am subsequently struggling to find relevance in shelley and keats so as to be able to reinstate my rusted motor of imagaination. if in the process i begin to grow tedious, i beg my readers to be patient; i must imagine my dear bought Ithaca round the corner... i must wait for the evanescent godot to appear before me any moment now...