Dec 31, 2012

2013 - Resolutions and Wishes

Although I am not a very resolutionary(yes thank you, I know that's not a word) person I wanted to do a resolutions as well as a wishlist post this time anyway. And since it's too much work making two posts and more work for you reading I decided to do them together. 

And even though most people find many things to be happy about the departing year, looking through the time-glass, I didn't find anything worth giving a toast. 2012, as I  realise, has been the most boring, vexing and basically  the most pathetically idle year of my life. I never ever had more sensation of precious.. precious time being wasted before. The year sucked. Actually I sucked the whole year, and bad.

Still, if I were to look for good things about this year, I do find some good moments scattered here and there. And most of them include my friends, and discovering how awesome friendship is. The other moments include meeting new people and reading some very good books. And writing of-course, it was one of the best things. :)

I hope this doesn't happen with me.

Dec 28, 2012

Tales Of Thursday

The incident happened with Mr Pankhawala, the accountant,  many years ago when he was in his early thirties. He was travelling from Patna to Calcutta in a modest carriage of a modest train. Mr Pankhawala, who always chose the side chair/berth on his journeys, being the quiet adventurer that he was, had acquired one that day too. He had slipped into sleep while he sat, elbow perched on the window-pane, palm supporting his slightly egg-shaped, clean shaven, long eared face that rocked with the hum-drum of the train, looking into the darkness outside, watching the endless stream of dark trees and dark fields and sometimes an occasional hut or canal pass by.

Somewhere later that night he had woken up, unconsciously aware that the train had stopped, as one often does during railway trips and looked out of the window. The platform was of a tiny halt named Chholapur. 'Curse you, modest trains!', he had said in his head, still half-asleep. Looking at the station name-plate, his thoughts had veered to the memories of his last rail trip when he had eaten Chholey heartily for dinner and when his late night bowel movements had alerted many a fellow passengers from deep sleep and set a 3 month old baby on a fierce howl of horror for the whole night.

He had been so busy engrossed in his not-so delightful memories that he almost didn't notice when a very young but a very pale man arrived at the seat opposite him. 
"52...53...54, ah! here...", he said sitting down. He had long hair, a square jaw, shiny eyes and a three day stubble. He was wearing a red and blue checkered coat whose check matched that of his luggage-case that he was carrying and which he made no attempt at shoving in below the chair or somewhere else out of the way. He looked quite bright and awake for that hour of night.

Dec 26, 2012

Book Review - The Casual Vacancy

The very first thing I'd say about The Casual Vacancy is, that most people will not find it to be what they expected earlier. They would be surprised and in many cases disappointed. And that any and everything about the book was kept like the secret of The Holy Grail along with a drab cover couldn't help it much either. Still, there are things to like in the book, like the strong characters and the trademark Rowling style narration. But first, the book's blurb,

--- When Barry Fairbrother dies in his early forties, the town of Pagford is left in shock.
Pagford is, seemingly, an English idyll, with a cobbled market square and an ancient abbey, but what lies behind the pretty façade is a town at war.
Rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils ... Pagford is not what it first seems.
And the empty seat left by Barry on the parish council soon becomes the catalyst for the biggest war the town has yet seen. Who will triumph in an election fraught with passion, duplicity and unexpected revelations? ---  

Dec 21, 2012

T'see The Others


An invitation has been sent
For the lords to descend
On moon, to witness the plight
Of men for ever so slight

T'see, the rain of their roof
T'see, their floor with a kloof*
T'see, the dark of their night
T'see, the lamp refuse to ignite

Dec 13, 2012

Theandric Thursday : Post-cards to Achen

It was sixteen months ago that the letters started coming in . They were old post cards with no proper address and postage stamp. Since post cards were long now a passe, even for a small town like ours, we didn't receive many such letters. So we used to hold them back, in case someone came looking for them and cleared them out only every three months.

When I first came around her postcard more than a year ago, I was intrigued by the big clumsy handwriting and couldn't help myself not reading. It was addressed to;


Achen 
Cloth Fac toree 
Big City

The post card had following lines written in dark, big letters,
Hello Acha*
When you come back. I miss you Amma also miss you. amma is sad Achen she also cry today. pleese come home. I wait for you. 
Madhu

Dec 1, 2012

50 Questions | Introspection

Yesterday, I came around a post by Aaekay, one of my fellow bloggers where she had answered a little questionnaire which she found on Me's (another fellow blogger) blog, who in turn had found it on a really nice blog about .... well, life. 


The original post on the blog reads '50 Questions That Will Free Your Mind'. Now since, I can totally use some clearing up tips for my mind right now, I couldn't wait at answering those questions myself. So, let's get on with them.


- - - - -  ***  - - - - -

1. How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are? 
21. I think it would be a great age to stay on forever for me.

2. Which is worse, failing or never trying? 
How can you know if you never try.

3. If life is so short, why do we do so many things we don’t like and like so many things we don’t do? 
Because life is a balanced scale of dreams and reality.

Nov 24, 2012

Book Review - The Bankster

The praise by The Wall Street Journal on the cover of the book reads 'Meet the John Grisham of banking'. It does what it's put there for. It impresses. The back cover has this blurb,

--- Bankers build their careers on trust, or so everyone thinks, till a series of murders threaten to threaten to destroy the reputation that the Greater Boston Global Bank(GB2) has built over the years. Who is behind these killings, and what is their motive? Is the banker at GB2 fast turning into a bankster? Or was he always was?

When Karan Panjabi, press reporter and ex-banker, digs deeper, he realizes that he has stumbled upon a global conspiracy with far-reaching ramifications - a secret that could not only destroy the bank, but also cast a shadow on the entire nation.
With only thirty-six hours left at his disposal, he must fight the clock and trust no one if he is to stay alive and uncover the truth. ---

Nov 15, 2012

A Cynic's Take on Education : Methodology

Suppose I tell you that if you cook an egg under direct sunlight, the yolk will turn violet, or suppose I tell you that when you type Turn Off in a text file and save it, the computer turns off. Or that some trees actually walk at night between 2 and 3. What would be your reaction? Somewhere between laughing and walking away with contempt, I guess.

Now tell me, what would be a reaction of a 5 year old to this, or 6, or even 7 let's say. Chances are that the kid would believe at least two out of these three, if I act serious enough and tell him/her that it's a fact. And chances are that (s)he will go and tell these amazing facts to his/her friends too.

There you have it, flesh and bone of Indian education system. I say Indian because the topic itself is so enormous even by assumption of talking about only the Indian education methodologies that it is almost impossible to cover the rest of them here and in so limited time.

In India, and I am sure in many other places, education is approached always through just one door, which reads mug-and-pass/top-the-exam. Learning by heart without any need to understand is the formula which has been followed for decades and which is still actively promoted in almost every part of the country. And it is not limited to social sciences and english, I've seen students mugging full physics numericals and math sums for the exam, not understanding even one bit of them. And if you ask me, having exams which rank students on it's results is perhaps the most lethal weapon to attack the real purpose of education with, knowledge. Moreover, promoting competition among children for something as inherently useless and unfair as the end-of-term exam rankings is putting the last nail in the coffin of interest.

A Cynic's Take : Why?

Before I begin with the 'A cynic's take' series of posts, which I start today, I think I should write an introductory post about it. A simple forward later in the first post might have also served the purpose, but I think a separate post is better. Let's see how it goes.

By this phrase 'A Cynic's Take', and after reading my last post, you might think that these are going to be some cynical posts where I'll be mocking things while I write on different topics in a tongue-in-cheek manner. I am sorry, but that's not how it might turn out.

I originally intended to write on the most obvious inefficiencies and problems in the most common things that I see around me, and which affects me and you in one way or another. The things which we ignore or are completely oblivious to in our busy city lives, but which actually are a major part of it.

I chose the word cynic because most of the times, when you point out faults in a seemingly okay system, the regular state of things, or when you think too different or rather freely, not conforming to standard accepted ideas, then that's what you are called. So I thought why not add it already.

And it's called a cynic's take because I am not going to just point out faults in the things that I pick up, like most people do. I'll try to give some other ideas or possible alternatives for their remedy. And I sound all boastful and gyaani here but you'll know what I mean. And sometimes, the ideas might look too different or even radical, but I believe they could have far reaching effects. So I request you to keep your minds free and open and empty, as we all know that,



Thank You :)

Nov 1, 2012

Perfection, The Pursuit of

Sometimes, I get totally annoyed with myself and feel completely enraged with the things that happen to me I do to myself. Procrastination and not being able to complete things(goals which I set for myself) on time, turn out to be the main reasons for this rage most of the times. And it's not that I freak out at the drop of a hat each and every time, but I do feel angry and even helpless sometimes when certain tasks or things I intend to do keep on getting delayed.

The recent reason, and big enough to actually write about it here, is one article, actually not just one article but a whole series of articles that I intend to write as a sort of something special on this blog for a long time. And I have an idea to do something like this since forever. I know the theme, I've decided on the subjects I am going to write on, I've even thought about format a little, it's just the content which is keeping me from writing it down and posting.

I found this image after writing the post. 
The core problem which stands, and have always stood in my way with stuff I love or take seriously, is that I strive a little too much for perfection. I always want my work to be perfect, how it actually turns out is a different matter altogether. I specially like what I write to be nothing short of perfect, to be just rightly balanced, to be complete. And I am not trying to boast about my awesome qualities here. It's actually a very big problem, a curse even.

Oct 21, 2012

Custom Awards


Ladies and gentlemen, the time has come to finally give some awards to fellow bloggers. The wait has been quite long, and for me actually, because I've been wanting to give an award to some awesome bloggers for a long time, and who I feel definitely deserve an award a month. Okay, maybe not each month, but their talent and writings absolutely command some appreciation which should be shown in some better manner than 'OMG! You are so good. I am a fan' sort of exclamation. :P

So, here I am, trying to show my appreciation for the public service two of my fellow bloggers have been doing for months(years actually) now and happen to be amazing writers in their own different but equally wonderful styles. I'll elaborate on it later in the post. Let me talk about the awards first.

Oct 19, 2012

Rats to Ritches

The thing about rats, they say is ... they are just like rats. They live with you, they eat your food, they make tunnels all around you, they bring in their friends through those tunnels when you are unaware, to come in and eat your food some more, they dig the earth under your feet, they make your walls hollow, they keep doing this until you're broke and when the walls are about to collapse, they leave you and run. And all this while, mind this, they never reveal themselves.

Google

Oct 17, 2012

October

Google.

I love it,
when the chill of the dawn
makes me curl up 
like a baby new born

I love it,
when golden rays at the sunrise
makes me rub my
skin and close my eyes

Sep 30, 2012

300 Days

13 July 2011, Wednesday, Day 1
----------------------------------

Deep bumped into Kunal around the corner on his way to the classroom after lunch. It had been almost two weeks since he joined the Department of Social Work at DU for his masters. He was acquainted with most of his classmates but he hadn't made any friends yet.
"Hi!", said Kunal
"Hi, how are you?"
"Great."
"So, how do like here?", Deep asked
"Good. You?"
"Great!"
"What about girls, who do you like here?"
"Nah ... I don't like anybody", then added as they entered the classroom "though, that brown eyed chick in our batch, she looks cute. You know, the one with curls, what's her name?"
Kunal didn't reply. Instead, Deep found him looking sheepishly at a brown eyed chick who stood staring at Deep in pure disgust.
"Kaavya", she said after a moment. This was followed by a very uncomfortable silence, after which Deep let out a long 'Okaaay', more to himself than anyone else, and quietly went to his seat at the back.


Sep 7, 2012

For the Name's sake


Google
I have a small-big problem. I don't remember names.

Small, because nobody punishes me for forgetting a name and moreover, people forget names all the time . Big, because unlike normal people, I don't forget names occasionally, instead I recall them occasionally. 

Which means, it doesn't matter if you met me four years ago or just introduced yourself four seconds ago, there's is a high chance that I don't remember your name.

Aug 22, 2012

Awards at Randomized

Hello everybody (basically the four and five awesome generous people who come to read my posts here), I am feeling quite nice and carefree today so I am going to be pretty careless about those tight scripts which I usually stick to, which is just another way of saying that I am not going to be a prick and will write what comes to my mind(mostly), except for the questions that I am going to ask the person who gets the award here because I've already decided on them. So yeah...well mostly. ;) And yes, there will be smileys. Lots of them I suppose. :P      <- See...

So, coming to the point, that is, awards. Yes, as difficult as it is for my own self to believe, I actually got awards for this blog of mine, which is, to say the truth, a truly awesome amazing deal and I felt like flying in total excitement when I got my first award :D :)). I shall talk more about it below and without wasting more time and space I shall get down to list the awards that I got,

Aug 11, 2012

I saw her ...

© Kaz Watanabe

If I tell you Jim
what I saw today
would you be excited
and breath in & sway

If I say, I saw
a girl in the drizzle 
the time when stopped
and magnified in the mizzle

If I say, she looked
like, a droplet of dew
like an angel in this world
born anew


Aug 10, 2012

Theandric Thursday : Birthday Revelations

This post was part of the meme 'Theandric Thursday', a fortnightly feature hosted by Ashna Banga.
The dictionary definition of 'Theandric' is 'Relating to the joint agency of divine and human nature'.

If you're interested in participating, write your own Theandric Thursday post and drop a link on her blog(link above). You can write fiction, real events or a mixture of both. You may use the image on the right for the same. Happy writing. :)

***

"But why this sudden love for the library that you have to go today", my mom said.
"You know ammi, sometimes, you just have to do what you have to do, because errr ... you-have-to-do-it"

I said the last words more as a question than a statement. She stood staring at me, definitely calculating my chances of ever becoming normal(as she would say) one day.

"I mean, I just have a feeling, you know, of going there ... from inside."
"Why don't you get a feeling of opening your course books ever ... from inside."
"My college is long finished ammi, I don't have course books now. Okay, I gotta go, Feliz must be at the bus stop already. Bye"
"Yeah whatever, remember to close the door on your way out."

Jul 22, 2012

A Somewhat Open Letter to Mr. Aamir Khan


Dear Mr. Khan


          It is not very often that someone or something comes about and shakes a section of public alive, from the deep caverns of inherent slumber. Even rarer it is, if that someone or something succeeds in appealing to a relatively wide bracket of perception in its purpose and brings hence a general consensus. Your show does both, and with prowess and I am really happy for that.

          But you see, being a cynic that I am, what vexes me the most is the act part of all that your show is. I don't care about other criticisms.

Jul 15, 2012

Theandric Thursday: Girl At The Bus Stop


Note: This is very long story. I would suggest you to read it when you have enough spare time.

***
A scene forms in front of my eyes, slowly, as if I am rubbing them open after a long satisfying sleep.

I am sitting at a bus stop somewhere in the southern, quieter part of Delhi. The road crossing through, a narrow two-lane track, looks washed up and extremely clean. The cool air carries a strange enchanting mysticism. The golden rays coming from the newborn sun, filter through the moving clouds in a dancing fashion and make the wet road and steel railing glow up.

The bus stop is peculiarly, of a small and high frame. Unlike any I have ever seen. A flowering, old, low bent tree stands on the side of the bus shelter. Fresh yellow & red jasmine like flowers hang from it. Some lie on the shelter foot and road too, shining in the warm sunlight. It smells like a mixture of wet earth, flowers and a sweet fruit. I feel there is a rainbow somewhere behind the the row of trees that line the road.

Jun 24, 2012

The Cave - part 2

This is the second part of the story. You can find the first part here.

The day must have been the worst that season. The heat was plummeting and whichever direction you see, there was nothing but hot-ruthless sand. Perhaps this was the reason why a pigeon, a hen would be so lucky to have found a small oasis in the middle of a desert. It lay motionless in the shade of a date tree on the cool wet sand. It was unconscious but breathing. Occasionally, the wind would send some sprinkles of water from the pond on its face, but it was to take hours before the bird could wake up.

On a different part of the desert, a spider was not so lucky. It sat motionless beneath a layer of sand hidden, hearing thuds from a stick being banged around it hastily. When it saw that this style of defence would soon be rendered futile, it sprang out of the sand and started hissing at the boy who was now wielding the stick in a threatening pose.

Taken from Google.

Jun 23, 2012

The Cave - part 1

The desert was dry and unforgiving during this time of the year. The temperature would reach up to 50 degrees  at the cusp of sun's movement, changing straight out into freezing stillness at nightfall. Very few dared to stray in these extreme conditions outside. So, seldom were humans or animals seen outside and crawlers like snakes & spiders were only drawn out by their need of food. Nomads lived in small scattered tribes or clans around the desert. They made their living by trading, and transporting goods in the trade route that passed from there. Mostly, they kept goats and camels, for dairy purposes.

Taken from Google

Jun 22, 2012

Theandric Thursday : Hysteria

This post is part of a meme 'Theandric Thursday' by Ashna Banga (Pages from a Young Diary). Below is how she describes the meme,

Once every week, on Thursday, I'll be posting something that's a cross between Fiction and reality, something that's not really on an average person's mind on any average day (including the supernatural!) That's where 'Theandric' comes into the picture. The dictionary definition of the word says, 'Relating 
to the joint agency of the divine and human nature'.


© Ashna Banga


Jun 15, 2012

Knights Of Micro Fiction : Her eyes shot open..

KOMF is a prompt hosted by Kathy and Jessica to meet new people and help build a blogosphere. The bloghop is hosted on 15th of every month. This post is in response to one of their prompts, which is:


"Write a 200 word or less flash fiction beginning with this phrase: Her eyes shot open..

You are free to change the gender and POV if you'd like."

Jun 12, 2012

Theandric Thursday : Déjà Vu

©Ashna Banga

.....I am standing, shifting my attention between the two people sitting in front of me. The first one's asking for water, for the third time maybe. I nod my head at him just as the other one says something about a shop. I answer him referencing the odd time of day, afternoon.

I hear a dialog from TV in the background. Something about blood. Then suddenly, something happens and I run to my room, only to be left severely disappointed by the mess I am landed into. After a while, while going I don't know where, I hit my head on the door. Hard. And I just sit down holding my head. 

Looks like a bad day.... 

May 31, 2012

Theandric Thursday : It's Scary

                'a cross between fiction and reality, related to personal life and its happenings'

In response to this prompt, rather a meme by Ashna Banga, this post gives an account of a horrific event of my life. Trust me, its really horrifying.



© Ashna Banga


May 30, 2012

Do you remember

Taken from Google.

do you remember how,
stars looked in the night sky

do you remember how,
moon was so close once, and still shy

do you remember how,
trees swished in the breeze


May 19, 2012

A blessing


© Arseniy Semyonov



the grey in clouds
the smell of earth
the fly of birds
the life in still
the fresh of colors
the bend of trees
the flutter of clothes
the smile on faces
the pure in hearts
the dance of joy

the shower of happiness

* Written on a rainy day.

May 18, 2012

Indifference


... then she said, 

'tum hote kaun ho'

and I couldn't say anything afterwards

A random thought.

Apr 21, 2012

I wish you Life

Hi 
        
          This is not a sorry note. I know that's not how you a start a letter but I had a feeling that I should say it. Since I promised that I won't say sorry ever again, I won't. I shouldn't. I needn't. Neither will I do any other useless inconsequential talk. This is a different day and I had some things to say to you.

           You are a wonderful person, everybody who has met you, knows this. And there are a lot of incredible things that you are going to do in life. Make your dreams come true.

Apr 11, 2012

Oh my rain, it's just you

Image taken from Google.

I get free, I get wired
and think of things, I desired
Oh my rain, is it you
and oh my rain, it is you

Apr 2, 2012

The Cost of Safety

On December 31, 2011 American president Obama signed and passed the NDAA 2012 bill. The bill attracted a series of statements in opposition and demonstration within America due to a clause which grants objectionable and sweeping powers to the American president over its citizens.

Below is a small fictional excerpt depicting a conversation between a Senator and an Assisting Adviser over an evening some time before the bill was passed.

    - Albert Shades
    - Senator Brendan Mc Gill 

Mar 29, 2012

Reflection

He's a hypocrite, yes that man
lie and pretend, that he can
but to self sir, not to clan


Lives he in dreams, flies he on boats
contradictions always, fill on his notes

Mar 18, 2012

The Monster

The following is not a poem or a story in its strictest sense. It does not need to rhyme, nor does it need to describe the occurrence in detail.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

I cried, I pleaded, tried to free back my hand
he wrung and jerked it, ignoring my stand

He kept leering like a wolf at me, then
pounded at my flesh, with a sick rapture

I wriggled, protested and I pleaded again
to let go of me, for once, just for once

Mar 9, 2012

A page of my life.

I don't have anything to write, still I sat down to do it just because I felt like writing.  I know this is not something I normally do, but this time, I'll just let the careful editing take some rest.

The following incidents are taken out of the short 'life-story' I once wrote for somebody. Incidentally, it never served its purpose.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


Feb 29, 2012

Tea for Two and a Piece of Me

A first (and thankfully so), this post is in response to a creative prompt by blogger and writer Preeti Shenoy, who's third book 'Tea for Two and a Piece of Cake' released a few days ago. And let me tell you, the book sure looks delicious.
In this last prompt of her, the author asks some random questions to get to know us, the readers, a little better. So here it is,



Feb 22, 2012

Horn NOT OK Please

I guess the title is pretty straightforward and you know what this post is all about. What you don't know, is that I can see the future. You also don't know that I absolutely love those piping hot, straight out of the sugar syrup, crunchy jalebis. Now, before you say anything like, 'what the heck is this', I must tell you that the Mount Everest is 8848 meters at its highest peak.

Feb 10, 2012

An evening dialogue...with me.

Spoiler Alert: If you are one of those people who intentionally skip the trailer, so that their movie going experience isn't  ruined, and If you're planning to read 'I too had a love Story' by Ravinder Singh, I'd advice you to not read further. 


The sun was about to set. I sat there for a little while, quietly. A few minutes later, calls for the evening prayer started coming from the nearby mosques. I stood up from my bed, washed my hands and face and walked out of the house. I strode in silence, purposefully towards the mosque, passing through the hustle bustle of the market en route. After the prayers I walked back in the same fashion, blocking everything else around me.

Feb 5, 2012

Of Hope and Despair.


I was standing | at the horizon,
                        I saw a spark | in the sea,
                                               a shimmer broke | on my face,
                                                                           gleaming rays touched and stayed |
it was daybreak.

Jan 19, 2012

Why...

Why did you came in my life.
Why did you made it so wonderful.

Why we started to talk.
Why did we became friends.

Why did my phone suddenly became so dear to me.
Why did my each day became so unique.