Thursday, December 31, 2015

lost passion

What is that one passion which you would love to restart in your life again? #lostpassion

The passion to challenge limits.
The passion to define my own rules.
The passion to kick away at the gates of pain.
To not give up in the face of overwhelming odds, and to not take No for an answer.
To just live life, loving all, hating none, holding no grudges.

I wish to bring myself back on the paths which almost always passed through the beautiful jungle streams, and vast green meadows. The paths which also went through steep rocky inclines which kill every muscle on your limbs and squeeze your lungs. The very same paths also stung you with the harshest sun, and made you shiver at the coldest night and often stung with insects, thorns and what not.

I wish to bring back the passion for action on the spur with the wind on my face, blood pumping, and vision clear.

To take off, get lost, get stamped out, defeated and to rise again and touch the sky. Just to get back home, and enjoy life all over again

However content one might want to be with all the good graces in life, one who has tasted the life on the edge, finds it particularly hard to find the green meadows juicy. Weaknesses allow for temporary shift in everything, but fire within just refuses to die. Just like a tiger in the wild which doesn't waste its time on someone else's kills, and takes pride in its own ability to hunt, such people still stoke the fires of this dangerous passion which unfortunately the current society isn't ready to accommodate so well. And of course, to point at others alone is pure hypocrisy.

Ultimately, like the infinite circle of the yin-yang, the conflict between the creators and the preservers will go on forever, and we all perform minute roles to complete the much much larger circle of life, as it goes on revealing its true nature as and when ordained.

And of course - Freedom. In my opinion, one of most hyped, least understood and most misquoted concept of modern humanity.

May you be free enough to free yourself from the misconceptions of freedom which has kept the very concept of freedom lacking in its pure essence, if there might be one such.

Jungle Diaries - A prologue

Memories of those days start from the initial impressions received about the entire activity from a friend. After hearing about the stories and the possibilities of volunteering for the wildlife cause, my imagination was triggered. Though I was somewhat skeptical and unsure about the whole thing at first, I decided to send in my application. At the time of submission, I was unsure if I would be selected, owing to my lack of prior experience, and I also had my tight schedules at work to deal with.

Within a few days, I was fully focused on matters at work and had forgotten all about this. Only when I received a mail notifying me to report to the Bannerghatta range, did I realize that I have been selected. But I was disappointed at having been allocated a semi urban reserve and tried hard to get in touch with the officials to get to know more about the reserve. The range officer in charge was rather welcoming and wished me to come over and have a 'nice' time. On my question as to whether any serious wildlife spotting could be done, his response was negative. I also realized that re-allocation wasn't possible without connections. So I let that idea rest.

Now, I was in a real fix. Being the first time I was attempting such an activity, I didn't want to spoil it over my higher expectations. On the other side was my manager whom I had to convince to get a week's leave from my responsibilities. After a bit of reflection, I decided to go ahead, as I knew I would enjoy it to whatever extent possible. Fortunately, my manager was supportive of the cause and asked me to prepare well and get back alive :)

Upbeat with this, and with support from friends, I started preparing for the one week stay in the earnest. It was during this time, that I noticed an NGO calling for volunteers for the same census to Bandipur National Park. I decided to try my luck and dropped my name into this list too, and to my fortune got selected through this list. Excited to be able to enter the famed tiger reserve on foot with official backing, my preparations went on with renewed vigour.

The clock ticked and finally the day was near. I had just finished 2 years at work, and after a memorable team lunch, I waved goodbye for the longest leave I had taken till then in my career.
With my bag packed with essential camouflage and equipment, I set off to Mysore, my old base for last minute acquisitions. With the help of some good friends, I got the much needed sleeping bag and binoculars as well.

Counting my lucky stars, and motivated by all the support, I set out alone early next morning, towards the jungle with high spirits, not fully knowing how my life would never be the same again.

To be continued..

Story of a wooden log

Once upon a time there was this fine log of wood. It belonged to a mammoth tree, deep in the western jungles. After being cut down by the woodcutter, it had travelled through dense jungles, various wood mills, on several bullock carts and ships to reach its current place with this carpenter.

It was not a very nice shaped log of wood, and naturally its brethren were all made into exquisite pieces of furniture or sent up to the royal carpenter. At least that is what it heard from the other logs present around it. It, on the other hand was left with this poor carpenter without even being polished once. It held its breath and expected to be picked up, each time the carpenter came up to the storage to find logs for his next piece. Each time it had to be content with watching some other log being taken away.

Due to this nature of events, the log often faced a lot of ridicule from the other pieces. As days went by, the carpenter went on adding the pieces to various pieces of furniture he was making. But this log never got picked even once by mistake.

As the number of pieces started diminishing in the workshop, the peculiar piece often worried whether it will be left alone in the dinghy workshop. It often lamented its fate that when all the others went to large mansions and served their purpose well, it could do nothing but wait in the dark store room for an eternity.

Many months went by thus, and the piece had begun to wonder if it should try rotting itself out so that carpenter would be forced to put it out of its misery. It was on one such dull morning that the carpenter strode into the workshop and instead of picking up the usual square blocks, his hand reached for this one and picked it up. Quite taken off guard, the log started quivering with fear. It thought that the carpenter was planning to throw it away or even worse, turn it into saw dust!

It continued to shiver as the carpenter went to work on it with his tools. It was then that the carpenter picked up his sharp saw and gripped the wood hard, his eyes glowing like fire. Terrified, the wood piece knew its life was ending, and shut its eyes.

A faint knocking and vibration woke it up. It tried to figure out its own form, and was glad to find itself in one piece. But it hurt where the saw had left its marks and some parts of him were now shaped differently. It found itself staring at darkness, but could hear faint murmurs of wooden pieces and after listening intently, it caught conversations that it recognized. Those were its former companions from the same tree. "Where am I? What could these logs be doing here?" - though the log to itself.

It decided to find the answer and shouted out loudly to its kin. When they responded, it put forth its questions to them and to its greatest amazement it discovered that it was now present in the royal court of the Maharaja. It couldn't hold its tears of joy. But yet again kept on asking further, and could only get to know that it now adorned a royal piece of furniture and the other pieces didn't know anything as it had come late in the night covered with satin. So they advised to wait till daybreak to figure out things.

The piece of wood couldn't sleep that night and impatiently waited for daylight. It must have dozed off in the tiredness of all the excitement and woke up with the sound of conch and drums. It could make out hundreds of gold plated men holding weapons standing in two neat files on its two sides, and behind them stood several men and women dressed in beautifully colourful attires. It could make out lines of trumpeters and drummers playing their instruments with vigour as various colourful flags fluttered in the breeze.

Its eyes immediately rested on a cushion seating adorned with gold and satin, and recognized one its kin among the pieces of wood that held the cushion. Quite happy to find a familiar face, it wanted to ask it hundreds of questions about the strange place it was in. But then it saw all the other pieces set in similar pieces of furniture, now lying vacant behind the beautifully attired men. They all seemed to have their gaze fixed on him, and with respect. He was puzzled. Only until the fully decorated and marvelously glittering king came forth and walked towards him, did he realize what has become of him.

Such is the story of that peculiar piece of wood, who had a twist of fate and found its place in the society. And what position would have suited someone as peculiar and unique as it was, other than the supreme ruler's jade crested throne? This story underlines the learning that not everyone is made to serve the mundane everyday purposes of life. There are some who are destined for special roles that call for special skills as well as pains. That is what makes life beautiful.

Adios and have a nice end to the wonderful year :)

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Diwali musings

Lying on a dusty bench on the platform, with my eyes shut, I was trying to catch a few minutes of rest. Hardly a minute would have passed, when a loud rumbling noise woke me up, and I found a column of dust settling down on me. As I struggled to cup my eyes and mouth to prevent the dust from entering in, I caught a glance of the source of interruption.

The rumble of clanging wheels and screeching brakes turned into a cacophony of human voices as the passengers milled out of a multitude of exists - doors, windows and emergency exits as well. Rubbing my eyes, partly to clear the dust and partly to clear the sleepiness, I could see black forms of people carrying an odd assortment of bags and baskets, chattering loudly. Loud enough they were for this unearthly hour, and the language too I couldn't make out. But it sounded a bit like Odiya/Bengali and I tried to read the train's plate in the dim light. I could make out Howrah in the name and assumed these were migrants, and judging from their assorted luggage, mostly labourers.

They talked with high energy, and in my sleepy state I imagined them to be relatives coming to visit their kin working in Bangalore for the Diwali festival, but I realized I could be wrong by miles. Slowly this mass of people moved on to the railway station's exits and silence descended once again on the railway station. The cold wind had driven the passengers waiting for their trains and the vagabonds to seek refuge under their warm clothes/blankets. Many fully shrouded figures lay sprawled or hunched over the otherwise deserted railway station. Some were still moving about, mostly trying to find a good spot to keep them warm.

After a few more minutes of scanning the scene, I decided to get back to my pseudo nap. Hardly an hour had passed since the announcement was made about the train's delay and there were couple more to kill. I adjusted my backpack to get the softest parts right underneath my head and closed my eyes, telling myself to take a controlled nap. I must have dozed off for 10 minutes, before the buzz and bites of the blood suckers harrowed me out of my peaceful existence.

Unable to sleep, I lie there thinking of the exams I had and felt the tiredness grow within me. Having sent my wife ahead of me, I was supposed to write my exams and catch up with her at Chennai for out first Diwali. Suddenly, feeling the strong urge to jot down after a long time, I sat there keying with typos on my phone's notepad app. The last minute preparations, tiring journey to the exam centre, and the nerve racking exam itself. All these floated past my mind in those few minutes of reflection, slowly drawing away the tiredness.

Catching the shady figures moving around from the corner of my eye, I decided to stop the jottings and catch a final session of rest hoping not to fall into deep slumber before the train finally arrived. I was glad for this solo journey, having had taken a long break from it for over a year. Like the hundreds of life forms that take refuge in the crevice of a rock or a tree, such pockets of solitude offer much to the creative life forms within your head.


Thursday, September 10, 2015

2 minutes

2 lines I wish to write
taking 2 minutes of my time

2 minutes I get,
to pen this down

2 minutes of respite giving
few lines of glittering words

2 gleaming wings
flying through my mind

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

where the name comes from

I saw a mail in my spam folder from Alstom and after diligently deleting it, I googled it up and found its some French company in energy solutions, blah blah.. 

But what stuck me was there is Alstom and then there is Alcatel, both from France. What does 'al' mean so much to the French? Some rounds of wiki searches led me to the conclusion.

Alcatel (originally short for the Société Alsacienne de Constructions Atomiques, de Télécommunications et d'Électronique)

Alstom (originally as Alsthom) was formed from a merger between Compagnie Française Thomson Houston and the Société Alsacienne de Constructions Mécaniques

Now, Alsacienne points to the industrial region of Alsace in France bordering Germany that was very popular for being in the the treaty of Versailles and subsequent tensions that led to the second world war. 

The industrial conglomerates of those days have come a long way, playing significant part in the industrial transformations world over. Good to know! :)

Now that one chapter is over, I wonder what "Al" means in the middle east beyond the obvious ... 

Friday, July 31, 2015

a lil sad note from far about my countrymen

I saw three social media bombardments in last one week of having to come back to Facebook, because my real life became a bit boring, not being on my home soil.

first there was the ultra comedy bullshit "boycott kerala" bullshit, and its equally bullshit responses from keralites putting up statuses, sharing punch dialogues and what not.

then the undeniably sad demise of one person who did things right, but the internet was just too happy to forward,share and put up messages of truly motivation value, some bullshit and just as they thought they need to find another "topic", the controversial hanging.  I deeply regret even talking about the two topics in the same paragraph, but social media has found a way to think these are things on opposite scales. Someone to love, someone to hate.

While no one clearly wants to degrade a man we all love, we all have our own rights to do so if we wish to. In the same manner, all have the right to takes sides about someone the public wants dead.
I had my own thoughts, but it ain't so straight to just bluntly to make a binary out of it. Emotions are high, arguments are valid in both sides about various things, but none of them make full sense, as all just want to put their bullshit opinions out there. I have my opinions and doubts and questions too on the procedure as per what I read in the media, but I also am aware that more than me who is just another fellow writing something on the internet, not even remotely affected by the acts of the person, there are people who want closure. Closure is important. All said and done, can we question the law that can be stepped up and down by political sidings and populist needs, rather than by law itself? I am not worried about one hung terrorist. I am worried about the millions of loopholes we have in our system and each public exposure of them should make lawmakers worry of the other hidden ones. That is, if they are even bothered about it!

Now, off late, I have realized that opinions are a very destructive thing when it comes to certain type of decisions. While it might sound oppressing( as it did to me initially), I find this article perfectly making sense. We in our hostel have this one dialogue - "C'mon you were asked to give an opinion, not some bullshit you wanted to say." when someone gives a random crazy opinion when asked about one. That can be excused as amusement in a gang of friends. With the crazy internet and even crazier news rooms, people have taken awesome liberties with use of opinions in place of facts and judgement based on merits that follow certain guidelines. In short, civilization! its like you giving me an "opinion" that 2+2=48 and frigging justify extreme measures to enforce the same and and make a tom foolery about it!

as a country so diverse, so emotional and so prone to being led into things, I find it not very surprising that we keep doing this. many guys write intelligent stuff, good points, mature people. there are also the usual shouters,sharers, booers, haters( thank god, haven't seen any of those in my timeline yet). but with the luxury of being able to read almost all news from the comfort of our lazy beds and chairs, we form so much opinions and are free to throw them anywhere, the shit is almost always hitting the fan!

I personally try to not respond to such things, take things head on and worsen things. I believe my good friends who frequent the social media also have the good sense to realize the damage they do to themselves. coz lives are lived on the ground, out in the open, often in market places and court rooms with their own rules and constraints. you pick up so much negativity and predefined mentality with a few hours of being on social media that can only give you more enemies and get you nowhere closer to solving even the tiniest of problems you tend to crib about.

and while I started typing a small note of protest on FB, i think this no longer qualifies, because I would be putting up the same bullshit that others are. Hence I am moving it here, my personal space for spitting out stuff. Please bear with me, and join my ramblings or give your enlightened advices or throw your stuff at me in the comments. You could even close the page without saying a word. I am grateful :)

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

curing the blind

an empty canvas it is,
the one I loved it indeed is

I stare at the white screen
that makes me wanna scream

finally I let loose my stream of words,
and that brings in a flock of birds

but in place of the usual dribble
I feel a sense of trouble

a new fear is here
and it seems to be not from near

as the words keep appearing
I find the trouble disappearing

I won this time
but will it stand the test of time

the doubt is here to stay I fear
but I love the end to be near

like a crown made of thick lead,
it sits on my head

drying up my trickling stream of words,
and driving off the flocking birds

the drought has been long
and I feel I do not belong

o mother of creativity
i beg thy for the clarity

for this son has sinned
and for it he has been pinned

unlock thy kindness
so he can cure his blindness

and open his wretched heart
so he can do his part

--- OR --

how we are part of the system that expects us to spend carelessly

Please read the following article first.

I must admit, I am blown away completely by this guy's revelations. They make a lot of sense. Its fun to think if we all had jobs that were of shorter period or different time, how would the world around reflect it? Think of it like residing in an area with everyone working in same industry. All the industries around would adjust their offerings accordingly. Similar is this person's realization that after his long break from routine profession, he finds many old habits which seemed normal to be quite abnormal.

But what caught my interest is the possibility that the "life" that we live outside our office, is also just a by-product of it. And probably we are constantly involved in buying things we don't really need. And it might just to keep in line with others, or rather basically keep the dissatisfaction at bay. The same dissatisfaction brought about by the huge span of our time taken away by our professions. Its all connected! But still why do we want to buy stuff we know we don't need?

I see that in the past, there were the rich or the poor. The rich had too much wealth and too little to do, ending up doing exotic stuff or throwing their power around buying stuff, taking over , fighting wars etc. The poor had hardly any time to think beyond basic amenities and surviving the hurdles put up by the wealthy. Dissatisfaction was an entirely different ball game back then.

But the modern middle class person who earns enough, still finds himself truly in the middle of new problems. He earns well enough to pay off debts and serve his future generations. Duh, sounds stupid. Doesn't it? Which middle class person can claim he can serve future generations. Well, actually that is kind of true. If you change the perception what is needed for future generation, that is. We always tend to compare our goals to that of super wealthy fellows who end up saving empires for their generations. If only we knew and were assured that we have now is just great, we could stop the craving. Well, knowing what one really wants is an elusive treasure, ain't it? So we just would have to live with not knowing that, and occasionally pursuing things that attract our heart and mind.

We know we like the money we earn(admit it), but we aren't quite always happy with it. Ah, buying that expensive gadget/dress/vacation made life so fulfilling, but again we need to keep buying the seemingly unnecessary goods we see at the market, because the money will grow back, and what good do we do by stacking it up anyway? Isn't it? Add credit cards on top of this to make an excellent argument for spending unnecessarily. :)

I find our lives going around approximately in this cycle, with only slight variations.

While its perfectly ok for human beings to wander and lose track of what they want, I feel petrified by the thought of a huge industry, backed by our governments and people including us, who feed and survive on our inability to find what we want and stick to it. That means not only is our hunt for our satisfaction incredibly tough, we are also fighting a system that involves almost the entire humanity, that can keep evolving to make you stick to your negatives. Make the ads more colorful, mix those sensitive content, talk about stuff that makes you keep turning your hear, every single time. So each time I am fighting my laziness or craving for junk food, I am actually fighting millions of intelligent salesmen, scientists, business tycoons, corporate executives, engineers, and so on who have engineered perfect products that human beings, owing partially to genetic makeup, and partially to effective cultural and economic constraints , can never stop paying for it.

While all that sounds scary, none of these mean that you have to get pissed at things and walk away. Its more about realizing how macro economies rely intensely on our bad habits of laziness, procrastination and unhealthy choices of spending and consumption. Knowing that you are being taken for a ride with flashy advertisements, one should be keen to avoid stepping into this vicious circle when a choice falls through. Taking informed decisions is always better than ignoring the risks and stepping in, and lamenting later.  And in return for not stepping into this vicious circle of dissatisfaction, what you gain is more confident and resilient perspective of you own needs.

If you feel your life sucks, stop yourself the next time you are tempted to buy something you don't really need. You are just feeding your dissatisfied soul with foul fuel to just keep it burning. If it helps, take a break. Don't buy stuff. Create new things. Write about something, talk to people, take time to create new ideas, help people with things you are good with. These are real concrete things that help you solve problems with lack of time, not knowing what you want, being under pressure etc etc. Buying is just buying more trouble if not done with the right intent :)

Friday, June 12, 2015

Sunny Nights

Today is 12th June 2015, and I am writing this from my apartment in Leppavaara, Espoo, part of Greater Helsinki at 10PM local time. The beautiful summer in Finland has a horrible face at night. This I realized now.

I haven't written in a while, and I have grown fatter and lazier. Downsides of 'settling down', one could easily point out, but nevertheless one of the many new challenges I have to find my way around.

While thinking makes life dull at times, and leading it by heart is easier, meditating upon one's conditions help make dramatic changes in life, this I firmly believe in. Writing is a way of doing the same.

Stuck is the word I prefer to use to describe my condition of being on this long business trip to a land which is by far in its most beautiful form. Beautiful is a word I can use only with a fair amount of sarcasm as the long and untimely separation from loved ones and the land, makes me cringe from within.

No man can exist as an island, said some wise fellow. I realized I had been resisting the same, and probably now feel the need to lay bridges and invite generous boats to ply regularly.

This strange condition though currently places me like a Pacific island, albeit like one with titanic waves crashing on all beaches scattering and scaring all patrons to the farthest distance.

Watching the sun that never sets up here North shine brightly off the window panes till midnight can do terrible things to the mind.  The recurring dull drum beats can be a formidable foe to fight against. The mid-day heat at midnight keeps the mind twirling in memories, ideas and strange thoughts.

Having had enough with the Finnish TV programmes, and nothing else to do, I must force myself to sleep by meditation to escape the cruel games of the sun god.

Monday, March 16, 2015

together on the mountains

The cold winds blew against my face as I tried to keep the flaps of the tent intact. It was just 8pm,
but upon the Himalayas its bedtime, especially in the autumn.

After the first day of trek, we had just set up the tent besides a stream upon a hillock. I don't remember much about the landscape as we were too tired after all the excitement and exertion. Everyone was just getting warmed up and the mountains were just starting to become taller and more imposing.

After a messy dinner under the lamps( which attracted a hell lot of insects ), we decided to call it a day and get some sleep. This was the first time upon the mountains for many of us and first time in a tent for all of us. Many were getting accustomed to the weather, altitude, exertion and food and hence our group resembled more of a medical camp than anything else.

But being upon the magnificent Himalayas made me utterly happy and let me overlook the minor pains and difficulties.Even though we were tired, we all enjoyed the day's trek and looked forward to covering more distance from the second day.

I quickly wiggled into my sleeping bag, which was one off the 6 bags that now fully occupied that filled the tent. We grumbled about the uneven ground beneath which we could feel, and cracked jokes at each other for a while before those noises turned into slow snores.

I must have just drifted into slumber when I was woken up by the distinct noise of ringing bells. I sat
up startled and tried to imagine the source of the sound. The sound kept moving around the tent, and was accompanied by a strange crunching sound too. Now, I was really scared and tried to wiggle my head out of the sleeping bag in a hope to hear more clearly. It took a moment to realize that the pack horses were grazing on the meadows where the tents were put up. The wave of relief was replaced with one of panic when the horses started running amok and we feared getting trampled, as the stakes that held the tents were being pulled out by the stampede.

Then some of us started shouting and shooing the horses away, while some even got out and drove them away. The others lay inside, shivering, fearful of the horses, listening the noises outside. After maybe half an hour of the mayhem, everything went quite and the snores rose again.

The next day morning, we woke up one of the most wonderful sights in our life, and everyone had the story of the horses on their excited faces. There we were, together, the gang made of all kinds of people, clubbed into one cozy crazy gang, stepping out of our warm tents onto the icy grass and looking forward to taking on more and more adventures and lots of crazy fun.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

suspended reality

while its not so easy to comprehend or reflect well on a life that's hardly taken its baby steps, one does feel the increasing gap between one's perspective of life, and its priorities from what one has learnt in life.

Some moments feel suffocating, a few liberating and most take the middle path.  While the agility seem to be sacrificed, niceties seem to be new guests. But niceties have a bad character of not being as stable as adversities and tend to draw more of the latter, leading to one's alarms going off now and then.

The trick is to decide whether to snooze or to wake up.

Its a challenge, its a trick, its a mystery, its a trap, its redemption, its punishment, its a blessing, its destiny, its a mistake, its a dream, its an adventure, its a poem, its a reality, its a myth - its life :)

crajjjyyy people

crazy people attract more crazy people, thats the way it is.

Craze is a vicious circle, or rather a spiral of sweet intoxicating ride through the maddening the drums of one's passion. Some get high for a moment while it might last for an entire life time for others.

Enjoy your craze, take chances, make mistakes, but be ready to pay for them and walk away when the time is ripe and seek new adventures and keep your craze and your soul alive along with it.

Better to burn away taking chances than fade away waiting for everything to fall into place by itself..

Look up to life

Naresh sir was popular among students of New Crescent High as the most notorious maths teacher ever.  Even the most daring students would scamper away when he walks by the corridor. No one dared to miss his assignments or tests. Such were the stories of those who had fallen before them that lent him the aura of a demi-god.

It was on a fine December morning that Tintu walked into the corridors of New Crescent High, freshly transferred a village school. Tintu's father was a government official and hence transfers were everyday matters for Tintu and his sister who had studied in 5 schools by the time Tintu was in the 9th grade.

It might have been due to this that Tintu held no interest in sitting for too long in classrooms, as he wouldn't be sticking around too long anyway to ruffle up anyone's feathers. He preferred to loiter in the corridors, and playing football with students of any grade who are available on the ground at the time of his liking. And maths was the subject he hated the most, since according to him it lacked a sense of purpose beyond just proving theorems which were proved centuries back, or somehow obtain the magical statement "LHS=RHS".

And it didn't take long for Tintu to lock horns with the demi-god of New Crescent High, Naresh sir. These two were often found in the corridors arguing about something or the other. Naresh seemed to hate the boy and didn't make private his intentions to debar Tintu from the final exams. This infuriated Tintu even further and he kept his antics going on, but he was thoroughly depressed and wanted to quit school.

One afternoon during lunch break, Tintu happened to pass by the staff room and heard his name being taken. Out of curiosity he eavesdropped on the conversation and realized that it was none other than Naresh speaking. But what he heard shocked him. Naresh kept on talking loads of niceties of Tintu to the fellow staff and kept on saying how he too was like Tintu in his childhood and how hopeful he is for Tintu's future. He even revealed that he had purposefully not failed Tintu and kept on adding insults at regular intervals to keep him motivated. He even reminded the staff  not to spill any of this to Tintu or to other students.

Hearing this, Tintu broke into tears and ran into the toilet and hide himself. He realized how badly he had been ruining his own life and that he has found his true teacher in Naresh, whom he had hated from day one at the new school. It took a while for him to clear his eyes, mind and throat. He  now had a reason to look up to life, and he walked out to meet Mr. Naresh at the corridor and met his staring eyes with an eye of appreciation. After a moment's shock, Naresh realized that his efforts hadn't gone in vain and hugged the boy.

Search for a new base

The way life takes one is sometimes a riddle for even the best minds and thinkers amongst us. Hence one fine morning I found myself distributing my wedding invitations and taking queries about preparations. Everything about getting married looks rosy(well, at least it did :P ) except the task of moving away from the bachelor house and settling in a house of one's own.

I must admit that it was quite challenging and I felt overwhelmed at times when faced with the various complexities of searching for the 'right' house to start our new life. Being a foolhardy and easy going traveller, finding a solid house was almost the opposite of what I knew about life, and that troubled me somewhere inside.

The usual way people do these are by talking to some real estate broker and get them to find the right place. I had done that myself a couple of times when looking for new places to live as bachelors. Well, now the game was being played at a different level altogether, and I had the innate sense of responsibility creeping up my guts slowly. Not only did I have very less time to take chances, I had to ensure that I counted various factors in selecting a home that I have never considered important in my life.

That made the whole 'operation', and yes that's what I like to call it, very interesting. I had tactically tried to evade the entire task by waiting for my fiancée to be transferred to same city and same office complex. I unwittingly kept on procrastinating until the day was upon me and my marriage was merely a fortnight away. At this point of time, I pushed myself off my bum and decided that I wouldn't go via the pesky real estate agents and rather put my own time and get the house myself, thereby saving some money too. *Pride*

(image credits

But this meant that I had to spend a lot of time researching on the real estate conditions, checking available options and comparing them aggressively. I had heard about many online real estate websites that help in finding rentals at ease. I swear I must have heard at least 3-4 names repeated by various sources, and often with conflicting comments. Unable to come to conclusion by hearsay, I decided to put my time on it, and started off with a couple of them, scouring the sites, customizing my options and slowly learning what's for sale on the internet.

I found at least a couple of websites to be really good with the interfaces, but when it came to the quality of data, I found to be the best option. Not  only was every single ad and owner contact number accurate and up-to-date, they even had a mechanism to interface between owners and buyers, helping in making calls and sending reminders. This helped me especially since I would get return calls from owners I had contacted while I was riding my bike searching for the houses. kept on providing me info on missed calls I received from owners and let them be tracked properly.

I must have visited at least 25 properties in a span of two days but when I was standing inside my current home, with the best deal one could get, just on the second day, I even suspected that I made a mistake somewhere. While this might sound like an ad, I must admit that I realized afterwards that if it wasn't for, I wouldn't have found the home that we call our wonderful adobe right now. The story of its discovery is another topic in itself, but nothing short of serendipity, a word that I fell so deeply in love with :)

Anyway, here we are, one month after our marriage and with a good jump start for our exciting life ahead, feeling thankful for the presence of friends, relatives and some good neighbours that were found thanks to the time I decided to spend on the internet efficiently.

Friday, March 06, 2015

an outrage and then an afterthought

sometimes,  its just too hard to bottle up emotions and accept things.

That's one of the many extreme emotions I experienced after watching the BBC Documentary titled "India's Daughter" covering the incidents of the 2012 Nirbhaya rape case. And that ain't even the most extreme ones, because the nature of the contents of the documentary is such.

This video is banned in India, but BBC has decided to air it in UK, and it has been doing multiple rounds in the social media, generating many a fiery discussion, outbursts and many many more silent and guilty hearts.

The video interviews the main accused and he narrates in detail the incidents of the night, alongwith his justifications and motives. Narratives are also recorded from all the perpetrators' kin and also of the victim and others involved, giving it an overall picture of everyone's story.

To add to the gruesome nature of the crime itself , the lack of remorse displayed by the victims and the nature in which they accept it as a natural course of action makes one wonder if we are living in the same nation about which we talk so high and mighty on 15th August every year, or share the same values we like so much to boast about everywhere.

While its natural for a defence lawyer to argue on the side on his client, the deeply set mindset against women empowerment even among the highly educated, rich and respected men in the professional of legal practice lets ones belief down heavily on the society. I found it harder to sit still hearing their continuous banter against how women must conduct themselves. Statements like "We have the best culture in. In our culture, there is no place for a woman", uttered by the defence lawyer and the claims by another lawyer to set his own daughter on fire if she disgraces the family, just shows how deeply rotten things are down under the glossy image of "culture".

While its really a blessing that BBC has made this documentary and as Javed Akhtar stated in the parliament, if men watch this and feel its content is bad, they should also be ashamed about how they treat the women around them.

But after watching the heart wrenching 1 hr documentary, my heart keeps asking me "how many such videos would have to be made for this to become just a bad memory", and the answers I can come up with aren't anywhere near being rosy.

Somewhat in-line with what the documentary tries to expose by taking statements from the accused and their kin, and several other experts, the root of all this traces itself back and forth across various issues that we hear about daily, like poverty, unemployment,dowry, nepotism,caste etc. Strong divides between the rich and poor, powerful and downtrodden, leads to criminals taking birth in larger numbers with such notions of unequal share of power with the fairer sex. Clubbed with our society and political system's inability to cater to any one set of values consistently without media attention or direct benefits, all these stick for long times and keep coming back "after" someone has to go through the agonizing pains.

Afterall, how long did the tremendous and immensely passionate youth protests last? Did the rape crimes come down? Did the percentage of reported cases go up? Did we, collectively as the society and administration address any of the root causes with the required passion? I say the answer is no. I say this problem lives on with us, and every living moment has to be spent on correcting what we can, learning from our mistakes of complacency and keeping vigil to not let our society breed monsters within our people. And all are our people, both victims and accused.

This doesn't end here...

Wednesday, March 04, 2015


hella folks.. just wanna say hi.

I haven't gone anywhere, but I am yet to find the much required feathers for the missiles in my quiver.

Feel short of volleys, but the blades swish past and generate the needed spark once in a while.

Right now, sleepless head wants to rest :)

gnite folks