Friday, October 9, 2009


I lost 10 rupees to a friend today. Had wagered in favour of Morgan Tsangurai to get the Nobel Peace 2009. Was at City Centre when the news broke. He called to celebrate his win. Not that he had seen this coming. None of us had. After the initial gloat was over, he admitted to have been as baffled as I was then. Not that I was completely sure he was being honest.

Barak Hussain Obama, the recipient of this year's award just accepted his award with the requisite amount of humility and just the right amount of humour. Beamed live across millions of homes, with his own countrymen in disbelief, most unable to mutter anything beyond an almost incomprehensible, "Awesome!", he said this award was a call to action and would spur him on to achieve what he had set out to achieve.

But that is it, isn't it? You aren't supposed to be spurred on by the award. It is supposed to be the crown of your actions, not the base of it. We all share the European community's broad based sense of relief and cautious infectious optimism with the change of regime across the Atlantic but surely this is going overboard?
The man at the helm of a country waging two active wars, with troop numbers surging in Afganistan by 28,000 and escalating drone attacks in Pakistan killing civilians as collateral damage in the "War against Terror", Mr.Obama is hardly the apostle of peace.

The "President with the best intentions" Award perhaps but the Nobel? Obtuse though I am, I absolutely fail to see his "his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy". He commissioned talks in the Middle East. To no immediate effect. He involved the U.N. Again, no effect. We are so terribly happy at the U.N. getting back to where it should have been all the time. It is ridiculous that the committee has cited Obama's stated position on bilateral negotiations as one of the factors for the decision.
Where, pray, is the peace? In the U.S. tacit coup attempts in Honduras? In his eight odd months of office, what key international work has been achieved? Climate change? Brilliant speech. Nuclear disarmament? Brilliant speech. Concrete work? Sorry, that is for the history books. We at the Nobel Committee do not care for such trivialities.

In the years to come, I will probably be proved wrong. And the seasoned greyheads in Oslo will probably be laughing triumphant, albeit tooth-less, smiles. They have probably correctly identified a trend. But to award a man for offering hope seems too much. His P.R. team maybe. I am sorry that the world has come to a state where we give away the greatest human prize for just being a decent being. Extraordinary conduct seems a dead ideal.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Of dreams and men

I met the man of my dreams a couple of days ago. On the penultimate day of the Durga Pujo festivities. The fabulous news is that the whole thing is so brilliantly unrealistic than I cannot pine away at the possibility of it never clicking.

My dream guy is a rickshawallah. A tad above twenty would be my guess, who seated me on his three wheeler chariot and pedalled me home for about ten minutes. The guy, who, after a month and a half, has finally managed to wake me from the stupor I had got myself into, will probably never cross paths with me again. It is, probably, just as well.

Most Rickshaw journeys are sullen affairs devoid of smalltalk. For most people. The people who sit are far too busy or important to talk to the "little" people. The "little" people are much too overworked or worried about surviving the night to indulge their temporary masters.

I hailed him at the Lake Gardens Crossing; comfortably seated myself; gave him my posh address and reclined, at ease. He turned back and flashed a smile. I was surprised. Rickshawallahs are seldom so upbeat. He was bursting with energy, almost maniacal. Wary of talkative people in general, I didn't really like the guy. He asked me the time. I informed him. He asked me how I like his rickshaw. I mumbled an incomprehensible reply. He compared his rickshaw to a rocket, then a train," The Tufaan Mail". Slightly disappointed by my lack of enthusiasm, he vowed to show me his might. "Dekhbe, koto jore jete paari?". And, as if to win my appreciation, suddenly the rickshaw was the fastest thing on the road. He even managed to race a couple of "dudes" on a couple of bikes. And when they zipped past, he let out a laugh. He took both hands off the handlebar and felt the wind whipping past. He was smiling the whole way through. Not only was his smile infectious, his energy was too. He zoomed past the other rickshaws; performed semi-dangerous manoeuvres; let out deep roars of satisfaction at how fast his "baby" was.

At the Rickshaw Stand, I alighted and he looked at me, slightly flushed and asked me, " Baaro taka debe?". He was asking me for twice the normal fare. Ashamed probably at his seeming avarice, he sought to explain," Na..maane dada, Pujo-r shomoy..." Stammered an apology about it being the Pujo-s and him needing the money. I paid him the double fare and a rupee over that. He flashed another brilliant smile and asked sheepishly,"Raag koroni toh?"..." You aren't angry, right?"

I would not like to be with someone like him. What amazed me was his vivacity. The spirit that he had managed to retain after a day of back-breaking work. The hope amidst a desperate festival. The desire to feel the wind in his hair on an empty stomach. In a world where many of us succumb to much, much less, he isn't an inspiration. He is a dream.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Of phones.

I have lost my phone. Officially misplaced. People know it has been stolen. It was.
At least I think it was.

It was new. It had a dent on the top left corner. It looked nice. Much too nice.

This is the third phone I have lost in the past 18 months. There will be many more.

I would have loved to say that I have lost a part of myself. That I miss the phone. The characteristic ring. But I don't really. I hate the inconvenience. But I don't want the phone back. I want a phone back.

I guess it was with me for too less a time to forge a bond. I am trying to be sad. Repentant. Responsible.

There are things more about the phone that will make you scream. Things like how the first caller was him. The last too. How both time, I was left stung. The first time he spoke haughtily. The last time, not at all.
I didn't want to type out these things. But now that I have, I think it gives the whole post a pretty fashionable melancholy feel.

I don't miss my phone. I like the fact that I can blame all the ills of my life on it. And now that it is gone, hope again. Even if in vain.

I will start calling people again tomorrow. Today is transition. Not from phone to phone. From life to life.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Untitled 2

When I was little, my mum used to take me to the local market on Sunday evenings. I remember this one evening when we had gone to the fishmonger's and then to buy some stationery. At the shop, somehow, I lost hold of my mum's hand and didn't realize. She didn't either. She happily went off.

I remember standing there, amidst a crowd, trying to look for her hand or hair. I remember giving up. I was found, ten minutes later, my mum visibly distraught. I remember not understanding what the fuss was all about.
For, you see, not for one moment did I think I was in danger. I never doubted my safety. There was this strange strong faith that things had to work out in the end. This was a minor blip. I would be found. Nothing could go wrong. Mum is the superman.

I wish I had the faith now. I think I lost him today. He wears the shirts I picked out for him. He carries the bag I chose for him. He uses my phone. He lives off my love.Its sad to know that he doesn't need me any more.
The sad thing isn't that he doesn't talk to me anymore. The sad thing is that I think he has broken my trust.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


It has been an hour and twenty six minutes since I turned twenty. TWENTY. A friend told me to be gay cuz its my birthday and another told me to be sad cuz I'm a step closer to death.

Was out shopping with friends. The gloom has lifted somewhat. I am tired of that sinking feeling; I am still uneasy and sometimes despondent but at least I'm looking for a way.

People ask me if I want to be younger. Of course, I say. Not actually. I am pretty happy with my generation. It would be good if I were, say, thirteen. But then, I can always be thirteen. I love the fact that I grew up with Harry Potter; shared battered old mouldy copies of the book with clueless friends, aged as he did, lived as he did, cried as he did. No one else will know the exhilaration now.

One hour and thirty five minutes ago, I grew out of my teenage. I know I didn't party wild every night or get crazy in the middle of the street or managed a girlfriend at fourteen, but I did it my way. At twenty, I think I can say I used my teenage to grow up; to experience the flavours life has to offer, the love, the rain, the sorrow, the snow. I had friends, I have lost friends, I have gained new ones. There are those who love me, love me to death, those with whom I have never been "romantically" linked yet who know that the love between us is stronger than most couples.
Not for this birthday then, self pity and sorrow. I am grateful for everybody. My friends, my outer circle who pep my up, my inner circle who hold me and those who don't call me now but still care.
I have come a long way from the wide eyed boy peering over the balcony on a rain swept day. I'm big now. Old. Not as honest. Never the hip teenager, I don't expect a fashionable adulthood; I don't nurse hopes for universal adulation for my shades or shoes. I don't hope to dangle a girl on my arms. I don't expect to pierce things.
To continue the way I have would be nice enough. Its been fun. For the love. The care. For the countless friends. For school. For college. For food. For you. For him.
The hour and fifty minutes of my new year have been great. I am actually not bummed at turning twenty.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Sad and gay

There is an overwhelming feeling of sorrow. The gloom catches hold of me every time I am not engaged. Its not the ennui. There is an sense of impending misery. A dim view of life. Too much Morissette is bad for me.
The person I thought I has lost, then thought re-gained has been lost again. Distant, inexplicable boundaries separate us while we strive to make tedious, uneasy small-talk across the divide. He isn't my boyfriend. He is much more.

Issues that I used to be passionate about don't excite me as much anymore. I guess I've seen too much. After 4 years, decriminalization of "gay sex" didn't excite me as much as it did a lot of other people who called me to register their joy.
Its never gonna be the same. People will still be ghettoized as part of the "community", denoted as "gays" and "fag" will be still a stinging insult on someone's manliness. Dignified lives are what we were fighting for but then we gave over to the hoopla.
For a moment, step back and realize there are people who aren't dancing at pride parades, who won't say they're proud to be gay and shouldn't be forced to. Give them a choice.
To hope for a day when a child would grow up without worrying if he is gay or how he'll come out seems an outrage. Its all heading the wrong way.
Most don't understand."India has a long tradition of gays; tolerance."..."Its a very sensitive issue"...only break my heart. The problem is that we get carried away cuz there are a fat lot of bigots out there who scream to take the majority's views into account and knock over the "handful of gays". In the end, are we losing sight of the bigger picture?
I recognize the historic occasion.I appreciate it. Let all debates rest and sexuality buried. Can we do that?

I turn 20 next week. End of my teenage. Not that I did much with it. I did, actually. My way. I'll probably be sad on my birthday as well. I'm getting old.
Last year of college. I enjoyed the past two. My way, again. I'll miss it. My way. My teenage too.

Monday, June 29, 2009


Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He is Dead.
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last forever: I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now; put out every one,
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun,
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood;
For nothing now can ever come to any good.

The post below is why I put this up.


Does anyone know what to write about before the writing's done? For the past two weeks, I have over magnificent hills and gazed at depth less gorges, at gurgling streams of frothy white water and stood transfixed at rivers plunging to great depths over green mossy mountains. I have feigned sorrow at great rusted barely standing gates, once lovingly engraved, now mossy, solitary watchers in the midst of a lush field...roads, half paved, that branch off the highway, only to lead nowhere. Signs that proclaim the existence of non-existent stadia and schools round the bend.
I have tried to get moved by the passing of a legend or the sad proclamation of a student protester as he left home perhaps never to return.

I guess I can't escape being selfish; as most of us. If there is a forced, self important tone ingrained in here, pay it no heed. Do not rebuke the writer on account of that. Rise above me.
Let his name be Henry. He was my friend. And so much more. My laughter. My joy. I was his refuge. His brother. Everything that had seemed important enough to argue about seems insipid now. Insignificant little bits fly about in the face of that torment which announces daily of the rift, the loss of the person.
Henry had a friend. Henry loved that friend. I liked the friend and frequently argued with Henry...over little things about her and him. I thought we were stronger.
Now Henry's bond grows stronger with the friend and I look at them from the edge of the road. Henry cuddled up to me. Henry is cold over the phone.
Henry is not sure if he'll want to spend time with me henceforth. I miss him. Not him. I miss us. I never had a friend as he. Will I again?
I am not sure how I'll react if he stops all interaction. One thing is for certain. I will not blame him. And I hope I'll reach a day when I won't blame me.
I am lonely now. Loneliness has lost its appeal because of Henry. Henry told me today that they had grown closer. Henry told me today us getting close as before wasn't possible.

At the risk of sounding pathetic,I say this, "I loved you Henry."

Sunday, June 7, 2009


It has been a day of realizations. And an unexpectedly irritating Sunday.

Was watching cartoons at 8 this morning.The mystery that Scooby and the gang were trying to unravel seemed childish and insipid. I crave childish and insipid. And then, in the midst of Scooby's atrocious Hindi gibber-jabber, I recalled why I loved him. The song, rather, a song, that used to be a part of every episode...I would sit and bear the torture for that one song...How I loved that one song; How I miss it now.

People who don't receive their calls time and again are irritating. Even if they are your best friend. Also very irritating are the "Missed Call" people. Aaargh.

And as I am typing this out, one of the irritating "I never receive my calls" person did receive my call and it turned out he was sleeping...Being drowsy adds this sweetness to his voice and I can't be angry with him.

Had the most awesome day ever yesterday. A Sri-Lankan friend is in town and we went out for lunch, walked and walked and walked and rounded off sipping amazing tea while watching the throng milling in Park Street...He has come down from Bombay( I insist) and has been travelling across India alone for the past month. Atop a bridge off Patna, the sun setting over the Ganges, he said he had wished there were someone by his side; he had wished he were not alone. Melancholy, yes; but also strangely surreal.

As much as I feign empathy for the cyclone victims, deep down I detest donating money. Biting realization.
Friends can be selfish. Rather, people you call your friends can be selfish. My Lankan friends' friends can't spare an afternoon to see him. And to think the only reason for his being in Calcutta is to meet them...

I find blogging difficult nowadays; signs of advanced age, they tell me.

Sunday, May 31, 2009


He is fine now...he is much much more than alive. Thank you everybody. For being there.

I am back to my blissful state of petty insecurities, fights and quarrels. We are fighting at this very moment.

He still might collapse any day and neither one of us nurses dreams of "Happily Ever After"...but I got what I wished for. Another day of glorious sunshine.