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 cafĂ© 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.