Friday, November 28, 2008


The end of Khudiram Bose.

Hurl a couple of grenades,
Try me in your courts,
Would you find an answer?

Join me in my forces,
Toss me up on a steel coffin,
Would you like an answer?

Flog me out of my skin,
Pay my kin as they see me die,
Would you buy my answer?

Expose me with my defences,
Label me as your rotten apple,
Are you really looking for an answer?

Now graveyards are my safe haven,
You have ransacked my trees and my cave,
For this calamity, there were never answers.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Illustration courtesy: marriedtothesea

“I saw my reflection in the snow covered hills till the landslide brought me down” – from “Landslide” by Fleetwood Mac

All jokes apart, two of my best friends have been given pink slips by their employers. Initially, we were all very happy with this idea of getting pink slips. It meant that our living standards in certain ways were similar to Americans, therefore it would not be wrong to assert that India has progressed. By the evening, after they had downed a couple of drinks they bought from their savings, they were depressed. They were missing the female colleagues. The idea of a pink slip is so unbearable, so huge in proportion, so terribly capitalist, that a guy whose father was one of first businessman in Assam to have started working on the public sector power projects in Bhutan turned his father into a staunch leftist. Now my friend wants to join the naxals. Peace, be with him.

Therefore to cheer him up on a bright November morning, I decided to mail them these ideas, with which they can pick up a spray paint and makes these announcements to the public. The email:

Dear Amit and Dhrubo,

For three years you have assessed the quality of this establishment and its people. I feel sorry for the company. Let’s see what can be done. I have prepared a list of these announcements that might create more confusion in the market:

Seen as a Google chat status message: Availbabble

The Hunters Caterers sponsored Flintstones’ party.

Stoned Macintosh is an Ipothead.

Jim Morrison and William Shakespeare’s apparent heir would be the Bard of Prey.

Al-Qaeda member who hijacked this French jet told me that he name is Mirajjudin.

Board in front of National Labour Union Office: Beware of Cogs

And you won’t believe this: Murdoch owns Time Warnings.

See, you feel so connected with the global events now my friend. Now before you nurse the hate against the system and all that jazz, you must believe in guerilla tactics that would be deemed peaceful (even by Gandhi). I hope the hate doesn’t subside but takes new forms. Don’t blast the bombs, for your company might just earn a big profit from it. I am sorry that I not with you all in these hard times.

Love and loads of luck

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Lets take a peek into my world:

For a change, I get up early in the morning. There’s a lot of chaos, as I often do not find the right clothes. Friends, office folks and even our photographer have artfully described my clothing as hoboistic. Apurva donated his washing machine, but my clothes are so dirty that a permanent layer of muck has settled in the drainage trough. It is lying unused for the last one month. I tried drycleaning my clothes. A friend described it as elitist. I tried the dhobi – he damaged an expensive shirt that I stole from my brother. So getting up early in the morning helps me to sort out the chaos. I saw in some Russian movie about this art of wearing dirty clothes using a ‘recycle method’. I usually employ it in the morning.
I need a woman in life. But then, it is so hard to be with them all the time man! I mean I won’t be me. So what is the point? People have also asked if I was gay. It seems sexuality in times of consumerism ends up like stock options. The idea behind this point was to illustrate that I can’t do it with a guy, man or male specimen. At the same time, I don’t enjoy the company of women anymore. They are utterly boring, bitchy, self-piteous and other such things. Also they are better organisers, have better memory and can drink more alcohol than you can. So go die looser!
I have been listening to a lot of good stuff since I have come to Baroda. The only reason is and I hope you can try this at home: Let others play their music. I discovered 80s reggae yet again. I thought there were just Inner Circle and couple of Bob Marley followers, who ruled the 80s Reggae. But then Ujjwal introduced me to Eek A Mouse and even, Boney M’s private jamming sessions. They have redefined da reggae. Then, this whole trip about New Subcontinental Alternative (I have just created a new music genre), comprising of Mekaal Hassan Band, Sushila Raman, Mohit Chauhan have just changed my outlook about fusion. All this while, I thought its just Mrugya and Indian Ocean (thanks to Harmony organisers in college, who decided if its fusion its gotta be Indian ocean). Then off course, Barodian rock and all that jazz about Banana Planters, Bunny and the Boundless Spirit and Dev, Siby and Priyanka. Also, it was Kaustubh who introduced me to the Bauls from Bengal. Then, at office, everyone’s suddenly started talking about Sidis from Bharuch. It doesn’t stop here. Yohan and Perakath’s blog is always there when I have nothing to do. Now to top it all, there’s Jethro Tull performing with Anoushka Shankar in five cities.
For food, I am yet to start cooking. But then I have been eating a lot of non-Gujju and Gujju food. I like the way I am asked which Dal would I prefer? Meethi or Teekhi? I like the masala-pappad here. But I don’t like Dhoklas, Theplas and all the Las, except when “La” is used in typical Barodian lingo among friends. I was amazed by the immense popularity of sizzlers in Gujarat (basically Surat, Ahmedabad and Baroda). All the good restaurants make sumptous sizzlers. Sushi is yet to reach Gujarat (my advice is cut down on those Pure ghee laced with Hindutva calories and try the new Gujju chefs). Jayesh Jani, who spent years in Goa, Chad, Nigeria, Switzerland and now Baroda, has a small café called JJ’s. His lamb shaslik makes mu crazy. An exhaustive menu coupled with mocktails is just what I need at the end of the day. I may even quit my job to learn making food soon. Then, there’s Upper Crust in Ahmedabad and San’s Sizzlers in Baroda. The caramel custard pie is jussst too yummy at Upper Crust. I love the fact that I am in the milk booth of the nation. I thought Delhi’s curds were the best. But here, the curd and the sour cream are made of heavenly milk. For chai, I prefer Maasi ki Laari in Vadodara because chai is anyway freely available in the office. I odied on it several times, but I prefer Maasi for the people I meet there.
Travel: When this reporter from DNA asked me, why are you in Baroda, with full ‘angle’ I told him: “You know! I am a tourist here. Kucch din kam karne ka phir kat lene ka.” He was impressed and he treated me to some booze, like you do when you meet a tired traveller. It is a completely different case, that he went off to Ahmedabad and I continued staying pretending to be a tourist. To make it all real, I act touristy too. Every time I see a tree or a crocodile in middle of nowhere in Gujarat, I saw “wow”.
Reporting: I am tired writing news. Because most of what I have been writing has been written several thousand times. The only progress I have made on this front is to report in more colourful ways. Believe me, I was being sent to write about a pup stuck inside an electric pole. Why? Because it was a spot story. When I reached the site, some bemused people standing at a distance in the slums were looking at the fire officials trying to severe the electric pole into three parts. I had to ask them, was the pup mewling or was it screaming? “No, mewling.” Do you know the pup? “No, it’s a stray”. And then I thought I would ask this question: “Are you happy that the pup is getting so much attention?” But I stopped myself.
Am I philosophically active? No I am dead. Philosophical activism is something that belongs to the radical groups. I am not a radical. Not even a non-conformist. Now I just trip on the language games that people play. Laugh at it and try my best to not to pay any attention to thousands of ideas that come into my head. It is not required to make money, to get laid, or to just exist. My transition is complete now. I don’t want to question texts or priests or intellectuals. More I question about ideology, I would provoke more people to react. The question that whether we should react doesn’t hold anything for me. Let’s say I don’t want to react to Raj Thackeray’s comments, or to Modi.

The picture above is from Sarnath Banerjee’s first draft of Corridor, which he had submitted to Sarai. Why have I included this picture on my post? I am not a big fan of his works but I can relate to his characters.

Sunday, November 16, 2008


Scene from cult Japanese anime movie, Akira (1988)

I had a choice,
Not an option but a stand,
To beg for mercy,
For food and toys.

I chose a path,
To dissent,
To dwell,
On the corpse called Change.

I brought down the heavens,
To free this earth.
Here comes my downfall,
My end.

But your silver feathers never melted,
Your wings eclipsed the sun,
They deemed you as evil,
Shot you with my gun.

They prayed me for my vengeance,
Them priests of the stone,
I was framed for being just,
By millions holding placards.

I want my downfall,
I want to resign,
Desecration, I seek thee,
To hell with all things divine.

The Mumbai ATS files, Icarus, Japanese anime, critical comments from a dear friend who usually confuses me a lot by either calling me an escapist or blaming me that that I am intrusive, then some folk lore may be behind this piece (I miss Han though). Really pleased now after writing it, unlike the doomed experiment with “Love Prone”, which I thought would invoke the Ghrina Rasa – one of the poetic moods that is supposed to invoke hate. But my friend explains that the verses were so disconnected that it is impossible to comment on them, therefore the “hate” :)

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Revisiting Zabrieski Point

A scene from Michealangelo Antonio's Zabrieski Point (1970)

If there’s a dream, there’s a way.
If there’s shame, then I must be joking.
Naked under the sun, we bask in its glory,
Wishing for someone to tie us to the ground,
To feel overwhelmingly small.

If words and lives were the same,
Shining placards would still make sense.
Like when you confess, I understand.
You kill, I detest.

Safe in my bubble,
I sacrifice a tear,
For those who left for the distant shore.
Now I am stranded in my universe,
Feeling infinitesimally small.
I could just do away with this one movie. There was no need for me to think of it. But I was helpless and hellbent at the same time. It was not the "trippy" Pink Floyd soundtrack, or the student protests in an American college, not even the imaginary orgy of selves in the lazy succession of Antonioni's frames, nor the protagonist's last ride on the airplane that was painted to vilify the institution or her wish to destroy, nullify objectivity (see the pic), Zabrieski Point is a dream sequence that keeps playing in my head. Waking me up every night.I hope I see no more of it, now that I have finished this ritual of penning down my thoughts.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Love prone

My bones my bones,
Will make your little throne,
Rome’s full of stones
But she never felt ‘lone.

I would be your dial tone,
If you kiss me on the phone,
But if you throw me out,
I’d be gone.

Smoke blown,
Seeds sown,
But you never moaned

Monday, October 20, 2008

Silence of the Gods

I welcome the wrath of gods,
No more celebration of their silence,
I welcome the death and destruction,
For once, let Him speak.

You falsified Armageddon,
We never fought for truth,
A stolen glimpse and a chunk of brick,
Is all I need to save my God?

My silent God never spoke,
But I kept waking my neighbours.
My fire, my wind, my stone, my tears,
Are now my fears?

Between demons and angels,
Lies the insecure man.
Unsure of the silent God,
He burns his own hands.

Friday, September 26, 2008

I need a head check

Here's what i think of bomb blasts and how it will shape our future. the idea of a bomb blast has been imposed on me since i was a kid. I wouldn't let the reporter's objectivity come into this perspective. pure, biased subjective views on bomb blasts:

1. stay home. dont step out. forget about escape routes. there are none. you be home, stay home-delivered food. a private security guard from a giant supermarket would come where you have invested tonnes of money will deliver your lunch. the private security guard also has a camera his eyes, not just to make sure that the 'right' transaction is taking but also to make sure if you are not assembling any explosive. (if you are a pyromaniac, get a license to burn yourself when you feel like)

2. for that bonus feeling of security, dont keep a gun. tell the state that you have been a tax payer, so you need security, you want all the unwanted, wretched people to be removed from your vicinity. there should be a garden of eden right before your eyes (even if it is virtual)

3. religion should be banished. all the temples, mosques, churches, gurdwaras, references of god. of spirituality, of devotion, of adoration, of simplemindedness should be bombed. or better still let religious leaders openly declare that they have invested in the shares, and then dont buy their shares. economics decides religiousity.

4. call your neighbours and find that strange looking man/woman hovering near your house. he has no rights to be there. call the bomb detection squad. make sure you remove the word "detection" from this squad. they are meant to legitimise your rumour. not detect any goddamn bomb.

5. when the bomb squad comes with the sniffer dog, check the pedigree. blame the cops for not maintaining the dog. feed the dog and dont forget to collect the dog's sperm for your future pet. your ideas about cloning needs to be checked. (plus it will be your own homegrown weekend experiment)

6. if the bomb squad is not friendly. you have media. call the local channel reporter. dont believe what he/she says, check their cameras (oh! how come you are not using a tape :))

7. shout when the prime minister or any favourite leader comes and addresses your nation on TV. your shrieking would wake up the other neighbours. please assume that they will also do the same thing.

8. stay away from young people. they doubt and you doubt too. when two different sets of people doubt, there is more ignorance. ignorance leads to bombings.

9. hurl abuses at local website asking your views on terror. tell them how you love to hate. sing a couple of Rammstein songs.

11. believe in death. this is how it operates: five deaths on a road will get you a speedbreaker. 20 - a divider, the road becomes wider too. 30 -- a manned traffic signal. 40 -- automatic traffic signal. 50 -- CCTV cameras in the traffic signal. 60 -- a flyover. 100 -- amusement or a traffic park or a memorial for the dead which turns into a swank dating spot for lovebirds ( the road did not follow the contour map of the city. this place doesnt need a road, it needs peace may be in form of an amusement..thank you)

10. dont call yourself a fascist. you are not a fascist. you dont want any more bombs. because you know bombs are these interesting devices to make a propaganda come true. they can be planted anywhere..anyone can make a bomb and do it for you. you just need that post-modern courage. (laughter ...painful shrieks)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

I flunked idealism

I just flunked idealism,
I did not finish reading,
I refused to go by book,
Could not cook up an excuse.

I failed to theorise my thoughts,
Lost in jargon,
And misplaced metaphors.

My tastes are crass,
Though I could not acquire too much.
Always tangled between
Love and living.

My compadres deserted me,
Called me insolent and numb.
Oh! My trivial existence, Clichéd and real.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008



Threads, they were, from a distance. When I got close to the gates, they turned out to be ropes connecting two poles.

He was right there standing on the threshold of his imagination. What does one do when you on threshold. He felt like a bureaucrat/politician/celebrity/social activist dying to cut the ribbons. But hell no! They are merely ropes … red ropes.

I crossed the threshold, untangled the ropes bound to the poles that resembled a noose, now tightened to form a knot. When I first saw the gate, from a far, I was convinced that they were a bunch of red threads, which probably formed the red rope.

You told me that ropes are made of threads, and threads are made of smaller strands – and strands are made of fibres. I do remember we simply spoke about our lives. Disintegrating every aspect, dismantling our thoughts to reach a simple truth – unbiased, uncoloured like plain white tees.

But you said you need colours. You needed those threads to weave my dreams. Didn’t you?

So I returned with those ropes, red ropes. Red ropes to weave our dreams. Red ropes for his red robes, or for someone’s shirt or my old shorts. But these were mere threads that bind them all.

When I went to get the ropes, they were shouting at me, so I entered the big edifice. I confronted with its corporeal self. The descending hubris cascading from the heavenly lit chambers of the guardians of justice, truth and all other such big things.

I went to ask: Should I bow down before you – the assembly of wise men or on second thoughts, the parliament of owls. I have no intention of bombing this edifice. Please do not see me as a threat. I just wanted the red ropes to make red thread so that my wife could weave her dreams and mine.

Upon asking, you may make a stone talk to you – or assume that it would communicate its silence by not responding. But O Denizens of this great edifice, in this confrontation you almost revealed your real self, in an instant. You told me to go and that I do not have any place in this garden of truths. But rules, that you make and clothes, she weaves still are true to me.

You broke the first rule: you blinked at me recognising my presence. The stone would not have broken the first rule, it would remain inexpressible, silent and not recognising anyone’s presence.

The stone is an ancient reminder of silence that surrounds you. The quiet, heavy and unresponsive stone, but performing the functions of a witness. Nobody venerates it, unless someone decides to adorn it with metaphors. Metaphors for the stone’s material cause. Perhaps, that’s why I never thought of going to any stone for solace – adorned or unadorned. I was just looking for threads, so that she can weave.

She told me last night that with the red threads made from the rope that I brought for her, she would adorn the stones. To my surprise, she also told me that she was weaving a red ribbon, so that the keepers of the truth-garden could inaugurate their latest chambers of secrets. Then she said, Oh! I forgot to keep a secret. I told you the truth. The red ribbon is mine.

She weaved the ribbon. She had her set skills. Her eyes were so fierce that could tear apart that ribbon to shreds – but she was working so that could weave my dreams. Her ribbon had an extra-embossed lining running across the sheer length of it. Let them know that it is not so easy to cut the ribbon, she said. She was happy.

Isn’t it strange that with rest of the red rope, she would weave our dreams and a little hand towel for my mother and me?

Friday, August 08, 2008


Keep drifting,
Severe all bonds,
For Permanence is a myth.

Keep drifting,
You’ll be safe,
It’s not a race.

Keep drifting,
You’ll never lose sight,
And They won’t see you.

Keep drifting,
For there’s redemption,
After these pangs of separation.

Monday, June 30, 2008

And the heroes don't come easy

"Hey! I made it to Manekshaw house," I screamed as if it was as important as being in Gryfinddor at Hogwarts. Though, I did not feel like Harry Potter. Instead, we, at Manekshaw house in Army School, Guwahati, situated in, perhaps, the greenest cantonment in India -- Narangi, swelled with pride, as the new academic session began. I repeated in my head: "Sam Manekshaw – the last man standing".

In the northeastern corner of Arunachal Pradesh, the only hero we knew was Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw and how he stood for Bangladesh – how he defended Assam and other north-eastern states. Then in the evening, wielding our Leo guns – sometimes even broken twigs from the trees to enact imagined war sequences from the Bangladesh. So that everyone gets to be Manekshaw, we would take turns.

If that were not enough, in our childish adaptation of a war, we would often mix up Manekshaw and Colonel Boogey from Bridge on the River Kwai. In a manner, perhaps more innocent than crafty, we would also imagine Manekshaw coming all the way to the mountains of Arunachal Pradesh and take the sweet revenge of 1962.

With the pantheon of gods, goddesses, actors, rockstars, leaders, laureates marching across the sands of time, Sam Manekshaw remained like a constant – inspiring and waking me up. When my parents moved to Guwahati, a bigger urban whole, I would often think of Manekshaw. But in Guwahati, other kids wouldn't know about it, so it was just me and my cousin reading Commando graphic novels during our summer holidays and our plans doing something similar with Manekshaw in the centre. This project never materialized.

Amid the mundane enquiries of Geography and complicated calculus of school education, we would just relive the moment of Manekshaw's glory. Somehow, joining the army seemed to me like the best profession in the world. Somehow this idea of being a soldier who never quits till he is dead, appealed to me. It was not an overrated jingoistic assertion that I want to fight for a particular construct called India, but a way to connect with the larger whole called India with my own beliefs.

I changed schools, and joined an institution run by Indian Army. There was Manekshaw House to start with. There were students who knew about Manekshaw. For most of them, he was the star attraction of the Indian Army but for me he was an unsung hero. I took this opportunity to rediscover him amid the school competitions. It was not conscious decision but there was always something in my mind: that I belonged to Manekshaw house.

It has been eight years now. Someone whispered to me that pen is mightier than the sword and then, another one, the meek shall rule. I am in Vadodara, 400-odd kilometers from Manekshaw's hometown. "Sam Manekshaw? Army General right?" said a friend looking at the news headline. It did not surprise me.

Monday, April 14, 2008

In transit?

My house is a reminder,
Of broken wings,
Of God and Evil,
Of promises and feats.

My house is a reminder,
Of my dreams,
Of magnitudes and rules,
Of that irresistible universe.

Now I wait, in transit,
My young friends hide in shame.
My leaky roof bears these fruits of doom.

(At least 5000 people remain internally displaced in the state of Gujarat, India after Godhra Riots 2002. The state government is yet to recognise these colonies. The administrative hubris usually descend to hunt for terrorists. In Picture: Nazneen Bano, a resident of K.G. Park riot resettlement colony shows her ‘ticket’ – the residence proof. Your friendly neighbourhood bank give her any loan, because of this ‘ticket’. In India, people with tickets may not get a seat in the bus. Photo By: Bhupendra Rana)

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Seeking Sati

("Suttee", James Atkinson, 1831)

MY anime and your grime
No! I want to date Time
Divine, as it may sound,
but I’m left with
Shards of my wind chime.

My brine and your Ganges,
But, putrid notions never rhyme,
Silhouettes are just shadows,
Most of me is blind.

Monday, March 17, 2008

In Fine Print

Ink from Ankleshwar,
Newsprint from Nepanagar,
Editors from 'Subversia',
Freedom cries the media,

Wardrobe malfunction,
disoriented demolitions,
Sops for all,
Nano for nothing at all?

Holy underbelly,
Jello bellydancing in telly,
escaping Australian quagmires,
"Mother Superior, pump up the jam"
Goa's Troubled hippy,
drowned in ecstasy,
Are you into People's Democracy?

But there's Saffron in red tape,
with encounters of the fourth kind,
"Drink, my baby, drink,
drink the blood from the Canal,"

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Crop Circles

I lay awoke in the heart of my sowing
Counting the nights, saving the dots and dashes,
I lay awoke, like the owl
Witnessing the murmurs in the undergrowth.

Nocturnal, they call me, they,
Who sold their fields for gold,
Refused I, for no crop circles,
No math, no ink for this little pledge,
Would make me sleep, as He opens the door.