Sunday, December 26, 2010

Mrs. Lili! Mrs. Lili! Mr. Lili! - Part I

Bohemian! Yes that's exactly how he described her to his friends the first time he saw her. Goes without saying that he was wrong, just as he almost always was with almost everything else, with an absolutely infallible consistency. She was an artist, which made it highly probable for his assumption to be correct, yet she was not a Bohemian. It was a 'Fancy Day for my Mom' competition at her daughter's school and she was dressed as a Central European gypsy.

He was the daughter's classmate and after that day always remembered Mrs. Lili as his first crush. His own mother was dressed as Cleopatra, and despite his persistent inquiries amongst his peers, he found none who had a crush on her. This left him highly disappointed with the state of things, and he felt shortchanged in life for having a mom no had had a crush on despite the Cleopatra attire. This, however, rapidly changed as soon as Mrs. Lili entered the humble school party hall dressed in her gypsy attire. He wasn't the only one found ogling at her, in fact he found her through the frozen glance of their Mathematics professor, Mr. Patel. The few men (and many boys) suddenly felt that visiting this party would certainly form the high point of this school term, while all women took affront to the stocking-less left leg on display. While the women internally debated the right length of left leg that could be displayed at a school party, men found their imaginations running wild gaping at the ample cleavage and other overflowing assets on display.

Mrs. Lili brought about a whole new revolution in their little town, the wave of change not noticed by anyone that particular evening, or even for weeks thereafter. The impact of her first public appearance was such that soon most men lost their sleep and became increasingly agitated with their dull, boring and meaningless lives. The next few weeks saw an alarming drop in males engaging in conjugally blissful activities with their partners. This, in turn, had the most unfavourable impact with a whole lot of dissatisfied and frustrated women, in desperate need of men who would show any interest in them.

Everything was absurdly odd. All the men wanted Mrs. Lili, and no one else. All the women wanted men, any men, but still found none interested in them anymore. What Mrs. Lili wanted remained unknown, but the odds against any possibility of her entertaining all the males who could participate in possibly mutually satisfying acts with her, remained dismally high. Of course no one realised this, they were all holed up in their own worlds, waiting for some reprieve.

No help came, and things got only worse in the coming few weeks.

So what do you think happens next? Do share your thoughts!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

We walk together, one last time...

I woke up with the smell of fresh coffee beans getting brewed that winter morning. She was already up and getting coffee ready for us. Quite unusual considering that it was a Sunday and making coffee was a task designated to me, I was good at it.

It was just the beginning of series of events that were highly unusual to my life. The night started as usual, but by the time we made love and fell asleep into each others arms, it had already started snowing outside. I had never lived in this town in the winters, and had never seen a snowfall here before. We both smiled, and snuggled into each other one last time, to commemorate our last night together.

There was coffee for me and orange juice for her, just the way it had always been. We knew how difficult this day would be, and had been preparing for it for a while already. She wasn't ready still, I could see her hands shaking as she passed on the cup to me; maybe it was the snow outside, I wasn't convinced still. We decided to take it slow and make it into a long and lazy day and she snuggled up right next to me under the white and blue gilaaaf.

We knew no one would disturb us today, no one knew where we were. We had our numerous hide-outs but this place was new, known to everyone, yet completely unknown to all. She had been insisting for years to visit this old house with me, somehow things had never worked out for us, till yesterday that is. The major portion of the day yesterday was spent getting things in order and for the house to start functioning again. I knew there wont be any more visits to this house, the memories would be too painful, yet we had to do something to not think about the coming day. Kitchen couldn't get functional and we had to survive on the bread that she always carried with her, apart from the orange juice.

Snow had made it impossible to venture out, even the shops were closed and paths blocked. I knew it would be tough to drive the car in this weather, and so dropped all plans of venturing out. Turning together in the bed, we looked out outside from the window behind the bed. Everything was beautiful, serene, yet cold and almost eerily dead. We kissed lightly and decided to sleep again, the morning was not going to get over any time soon for us.

It was the noise of the kids playing with ice which woke me a little before noon, apart from the intense pressure in my bladder. As I stood half asleep and trying to aim, she came from behind and held it for me, something I was expecting already. We spent the next hour sitting in the British era loo, I gave her company by drinking the hot coffee (of course, cold now), while she gulped down two glasses of orange juice to help her bowel movement. No help came, and finally we decided to let things be as they were.

She walked ahead, while I followed her into the kitchen. Breakfast on Sundays too was my preserve, today she took it over from me. She warmed up the already boiled eggs while I made another round of coffee, we were both were certified coffee addicts. In fact it was coffee which bought us together years ago, but that is another long story, there may be another time for that later.

She sat down at the old wooden dining table while I lit up the fire, and drew the huge curtains. As I sat down on the creaky chair, the dust from the curtains too settled down, making a thin sheath on everything in the room, including us and the food. I sipped my coffee while she walked around, this all was new for her. I had described most of the objects in the room already to her, and now she wanted to touch these, feel these, there won't be another day like this after this. She kept asking questions, never looking for any answers. She knew most answers and for the rest I had none; I didn't respond either, simply content looking at her naked body walking across the room.The eggs remained untouched, and were soon cold again. This was our second attempt at eating them already since yesterday,

There wasn't a word we exchanged since the time we got up, yet there was no discomfort. We knew all that was there to know, the rest was all immaterial. The day was passing slowly, but for us every minute spent today was a lifetime spent together. Everything was romantic, the only thing missing were the fights; despite her monologues with herself, everything was completely silent around. We let it all lapse in the background, while we whiled away our last few hours together, looking into each other, looking around at all the things we shared, though seen together only now. There was no music, unusual again for us, but silence was the music today.

The moment came fast, almost like a bolt of lightning, yet she was silent and strangely poised. There was no electricity today as well, and we had to manage ourselves with only one candle. I could see only a part of her in the mirror as I stood behind her with the candle, while she put her clothes on. She took her time, and the candle was finished by the time we sat again together to eat the eggs. I lit the match sticks one after the other, till all of them were finished. Every time there was a flicker, I found her looking intently into my eyes.

We walked together outside. The chill in the air was frightening and I had the most tremendous urge to just turn and go back inside. But walked ahead, there was no turning back now anymore. There were no goodbyes, no holding of hands, no tears, no uncomfortable moments, no comforting hugs. This was the end, as she walked away into the darkness, never looking back.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

When there is little to post, one ends up losing it!

Here are a set of images from office again. Tej has been working hard, and this is his way of releasing the frustration. Do have a look at the video, many of us appear to be enjoying this mad mad display of potential molestation and un-office-like behaviour!

Warning: PG Rating, it is recommended that kids and those with a weak heart do not go any further, unless accompanied by an adult/ well-wisher, and certainly never in presence of the esteemed Mr. Tej himself!

Ah...the kiss!

The fetish seen here is the surgical glove used while working on foam in the workshop.

p.s. Photo credits Vishakha and me!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A full night of kinky ecstasy...

She got up with and came towards him, curling up her upper lip and suggestively playing with the rope in her hands. This was new, she had never done this before and his pulse ran high with anticipation. There were sweat beads on his head, which she casually wiped off with the soft cotton rope, which in turn gave him numerous goose bumps...

This wasn't the first time they were trying something new together, it was only a week back when she had insisted on trying food on bed, a suggestion he jumped at. However, the evening ended with lots of food and wine on bed but nothing else followed. They were too drunk by the time they finished and slept off in the different corners of the bed; it was only in the morning that they realised that there was food all over the bed and on them. They decided to call it a failed experiment, and vowed never to repeat it!

Not that today was risk-free, there was a high probability that he might just end up dead after this new round of experimentation. He had never seen her with a rope before, and wasn't quite sure if the complicated knot she was trying to tie around his neck would work out exactly as she thought it would. There was something child-like about her, her innocence and of course, her laughter. For a second he forgot that it wasn't Sheila, but someone else with her.

She was successful in tying the knot around his neck, only to realise that it was his hands that she had originally intended to tie. Not the one give up, as all attempts to loosen the knot failed, she went around looking for scissors, failing which the search for the knife started. And there it was, the jet black and shining knife, clutched solidly in her left hand (her right had still had the leather hunter, to be used with better results later), looking vicious at me and ready to strike. Sheila was still hopeful of salvaging the night and refused to free her right hand, the hunter continued to dangle seductively. The knife went to work, and as expected, chipped off a piece of his neck along with the rope. There was a little blood but for them it just added to the kink. Almost on cue, the hunter came hard on him and more noises of ecstasy followed.

However, they failed to stop the flow of blood from the neck, a fact they initially found very funny. They laughed together, but by the time he choked laughing, there was blood all over the bed and smeared on their bodies. She laughed more, thinking about the food and red wine on them last week, while he stared at her with glazed eyes. They were blissfully happy for the hour, and he, dead thereafter.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

In Transit in Paris

Wrote this as a part of an online contest a while back, though might just share it here as well...

An early morning, after a night which went on for too long,
As we look at our cups of coffee,
Always looking down, eyes never meeting,
Despite the morning chill.
We wait together, fingers lost in motion,
We look around, but never at each other.

I ask if you are hungry,
You look at the plum blossoms and nod absently.
Our fingers brush briefly, and tingle our senses,
But we never acknowledge the touch, and continue in our voids.
The food gets cold, the Paris chill strong,
But we never eat, just wait, wait for the time to heal.

I hear voices around, but they mean nothing to me,
But I keep hearing, hearing the unknown.
My questions remain unanswered, my feelings lost,
I wait for you to talk, to help me understand,
But you remain silent, lost in your thoughts.

Its time to leave our transit point,
But our life remains still.
We leave the coffee table alone, leaving everything intact.
We move, but do not move,
Just two souls,
Lost in our own worlds.

p.s. the image is actually London Tube, but somehow conveys the emotions expressed...

Monday, December 13, 2010

cold. within, without

I feel the cold,
And I feel it alone,
The winter fog surrounds me, covers me almost,
Looking around into the sheet of whiteness, 
I try to escape, yet she stops me,
The blankness.

It wasn't this cold yesterday,
Or the day before.
But today, I feel the chill,
Like an overdue cold long night,
Unsurprisingly violent, yet so very still.

They say its the cold outside,
Something else, I hear within,
Unwilling to accept the truth,
Continue to struggle, I continue the fight,
Seeking the elusive warmth,
I find it all gone, just the cold inside.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


Alone on a deserted road, she cried that night,
As no cars drove past, and not even a bird took flight,
Already run over, over and over again,
Chances were little, of survival in sight.

She was clinging on, pushing herself on to the dark, rough gravel,
In the hope that someone will come, show mercy,
Unlike the day before, someone will help.
But that looked unlikely,
She was far from all life she had known,
Things were never so rough, she never so alone.

Lying naked, and completely forlorn,
She heard the faint noise of a grumpy motor,
Her eyes lit up, her hopes soared,
But the motor was in a hurry, for home was far.

'Ah! Another dog on the road!', thought he,
And wistfully drove away...

Sunday, December 5, 2010

i dream on...

Some moments forgotten, some remembered yet again,
Some words unsaid, a few desires unfulfilled,
Longing for that moment, the one frozen forever.
Thus, dreams are made...

They are not real, or so they say,
But sometimes they are as real as life itself,
Often even more,
For we chose them to be the life we want.

Oh! I behold the dead remnants of my past,
While they struggle to sway away.
I dream to keep the memories alive,
While my present insists that I give them away.
They are my dreams, the beautiful beautiful dreams of my imaginations,
But maybe its time to say goodbye,
For the beautiful new life to come my way...

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Martinho da Vila

(image source
Martinho da Vila is a well-known Brazilian Samba artist. Came across his music purely by chance and thought of sharing one of his songs here. It belongs to the Saudade genre.  

Saudade is a Portuguese and Galician word difficult to translate adequately, which describes a deep emotional state of nostalgic longing for something or someone that one was fond of and which is lost. It often carries a fatalist tone and a repressed knowledge that the object of longing might really never return. (ref. Wikipedia)

Explore his music as well as his genre of music, both have some phenomenal compositions.

Friday, December 3, 2010


Unconscious Incompetence.
Conscious Incompetence.
Conscious Competence.
Unconscious Competence.

Just words? They have much deeper meaning, much more than just words and thoughts.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Closure

Closure is not easy, and often not even desirable. We lament our loss and are unwilling to give up the feeling of loss for our loss. After all, after the loss what remains with us is the sense of loss, or the grief associated with the loss. Or so we think.

Is loss our own? We often end up hurting others because they do not sympathize as much as we would like them to, with our loss. The loss remains still, albeit, with quite a lot of hurt spread all around.

Ultimately none of it is in our hands. Neither the loss, nor the hurt that it causes. Only perhaps closure is with us.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Foggy Ahmedabad morning!

A very foggy day in Ahmedabad, very very unusual for the place as well as for this time of the year. There is rumour that soon there would be snowfall too, for now the rumour remains unconfirmed.

These are images from the terrace of my office where we spent about 20-25 minutes looking at the fog (basically not looking at anything at all) and feeling good about it. The fact that it was from our working hours was, of course, conveniently forgotten.

The images are from my mobile phone (Samsung Jet) and the quality is pathetic (rather than dramatic).

From the terrace
Vishakha and Deepa
SG Highway from the terrace
The terrace garden
More from the garden
Foggy parking

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Its me again!

Another post about my very dear niece, Mihika, and of course me.

When I reached home this time, I was asked to stand back and wait at the door for a while. Mihika had given strict instructions that my entry into the house had to be barred at all costs and everyone in the house basically just complied with her wishes.

However, within minutes I had this in my hands. A stunning card for me and showing me in full glory. She added a bit of facial hair (which she hates) to make me look more like her mamu, than the didi in the neighborhood! The card has two sides and both are shown below, with descriptions as well.


So its me with a wall paper full of golden stars and flooring made of green hearts. I have a paper in my hand which shows my office work. There are two laser projectors on both sides, balloons for celebration and the universal sign of danger on my tee-shirt!

This is my house with a mini-window which helps me look at the world (I wonder if she is being symbolic here). My house even has a chimney as she knows that I cook too!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Wedding woes in Gurgaon!

It’s nice to be home in Gurgaon. It also brings excitement to the lives of my nephew and niece, though anything alive visiting home brings them much excitement (my visit being no exception).

This time the focus has been on their missing mami. The last time I visited home, dad asked my niece to inquire about when I plan to get married, and ever since this has been on her mind. She wants a clear time-plan for this now, no more ‘soon’ will do. Her best friend has a mamu and a mami too, and that somehow makes her mamu a lot less accomplished. So this time Mihika (my niece) got this best friend and her elder brother also to ask me about the missing mami.

I was happy with all the attention I got, and was forced to give out a timeline too. Mihika even insisted on fixing her dance number for the wedding right away, I suggested she wait till the planned year and pick up a more contemporary hit then. Her friend wasn’t as understanding, this is how the conversation went with her:

Vrinda: Where is the mami, mamu (I am the universal mamu now)?
Me: Mami is still not there.
Vrinda: What do you mean? A mami has to be there.
Me: There is no mami.
Vrinda: Oh, is she dead then?
Me: No, no. She is not dead, she is still to come.
Vrinda: When will she come?
Me: Soon.

Now Vrinda was a little confused, for her if there is mama, there has to be a mami as well; there cannot be any mama without a mami. Reluctantly,however, she agreed to the present scenario accepting that Mihika’ mamu’s case is rather odd. 

I wonder if it actually worries the kids that their visibly old mamu is still without a mami. Or if this is a strategy fueled by the worried elders in the household? It seems like getting old without a partner is something new, unusual and still undesirable.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

pain/ physical/ emotional/ fear/ something else

A hospital once again. I am at least a couple of hours before time and have little to do kill time, but observe people and their curios habits. And often intrude their private spaces in an environment where privacy is almost a no-word and public is the apparent private.

A middle aged South Indian couple, woman being the patient, fill in the space in front of me,. Conversations struggle between them as they attempt to eat dosa with sambhar/ chutney. Two women on my either side - one constantly peeling fruits while the other one deeply engrossed into an old issue of Readers' Digest (reading an article on '13 ways to lose weight').

The space
Conversations here are few and far in-between, but the place has a constant chatter intermixed with the traffic noise outside. I wonder if hospitals should at all be like this, even those meant for the poor. But the place is homely in its own way, an extremely silent place for treatment may be too condescending for some of the people here. Certainly, noise can't be comfortable for the patient.

With even more free time in hand, I wonder if hospitals have any color, I can see almost all colors but the tone is overwhelmingly neutral. Even the South Indian aunty eating dosa looks muted in her red-yellow-golden ensemble. 'Too fast to live, Too young to die', reads one of the black T-shirt running around. T-shirts are uncommon though, pant-shirt win over the jeans-tees outside.

Dosa finally over, the aunty lies down on uncle's lap and starts crying (pain/ physical/ emotional/ fear/ something else), while uncle plays with her cheeks, the way do with toddlers; curiously this puts her to sleep soon. I look at them and wonder if they are in love. How many of us actually grow old with the one we love? All relationships I see around are broken, most are simple compromises while a few lucky ones survive with mutual affection.

Its time now to stop taking notes, my young partner for today's investigations is walking towards me with a bright smile. Smiles will have to wait, hospital waits for us.

Friday, November 12, 2010

A new political low!

K S Sudarshan has espoused a bizarre theory that the Congress president and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi had plotted the assassinations of her husband Rajiv Gandhi and mother-in-law Indira.

In more bizarre charges – in Bhopal two days ago – he called her a CIA agent and said she had blocked an attempt to remove Satnam Singh as Indira Gandhi’s bodyguard (he would later assassinate her along with another bodyguard). Sudarshan also questioned why Sonia had “insisted” the dying prime minister be taken to AIIMS instead of the nearby Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital. Topping it all was Sudarshan’s charge that Sonia was an illicit child.

Read the complete article here.
Time of India, online edition.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Whither Kashmir? Freedom or Enslavement - Arundhati speaks controversy

Do you have to agree to a point of view to be able to appreciate the intent for that point of view? Maybe not, at least not always and certainly not necessarily.

The controversy started when Arundhati spoke at the seminar organised by the Jammu and Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society on 'Whither Kashmir? Freedom or Enslavement' in New Delhi on 21st October. Apart from a lot of other things that she said, the one sentence that created the controversy was “Kashmir has never been an integral part of India. It is a historical fact. Even the Indian government has accepted this”.

Sounds controversial when one reads it for the first the first time, but is it fit to be labeled anti-national? Expressing whats on your mind into words suddenly makes you eligible for being booked for sedition? Enough number of Kashmiris say this almost in every single rally that happens, not just in Srinagar, but in the rest of Kashmir as well. Is it not more logical to non-judgmental and just listen to what is being said and make an effort to understand the why behind it?  Enough number of Indians (living within the international borders, which often doesn't even include the valley) have over the years accused the Indian government of neglecting them and making them completely alienated with the Union - North-east is an obvious example, and even Maoists may fall into this category. So when our own so-called citizens feel so cut-off from the rest of us, whose fault is it, or rather whose responsibility is it to change that? And if they continue to feel this way, does it mean we will force our rule on them because we lay claim to the piece of land which originally belonged to them (the Indian Republic came into existence only in the last century)? How sensible is to keep occupying a piece of land where people do not want you, or where possibly a majority might even want to completely do away with you?

These are lots of questions, and the answers may even be contradictory. But we still need to seek answers to these. It makes me so uncomfortable that we fight over what Arundhati says, but do not even try to understand that at the heart of it there is so much empathy. She is an activist, and she is doing a fine job at keeping the government on its toes. Maybe all the controversy surrounding

I am a supporter of free speech, however, the definition of free speech means different things to different people. Let there be a debate, let there be an open and frank debate. India's position is indefensible in some areas and the first thing would be to accept these and move forward. I hope to see more sensible feedback from political parties, rather than the hurried criticisms of anyone who dares to speak differently. We risk not being a free society anymore.

Here is a speech by her, just sit back and think why people (presumably mostly Kashmiris) cheer so much for her. What is it that she says that makes a connect with the people?

Friday, October 22, 2010

The song of our love

The song long lost, the song never heard again,
The song which bound us together, and the song that tore us apart.
The song of agony, of pain, of death,
It is the song about love, the song of our love.

None weeps for it anymore, but the song itself,
As it flows out of the cup of our palms.
We let it all drain, as the tears in our eyes dry up,
And our love song drowns within itself, not yet dead, not even alive.

I try and look for it, but it's all gone now,
But I remember it within, afraid to sing out loud.
I look at it in my hands, and see nothing anymore there,
Its all gone away, the song of our love.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

ਇੱਕ ਓਅੰਕਾਰ ||

A famous saying by Guru Nanak. Something which reminds one of what Prophet Mohammed also famously said. This is the beginning of the Mul Mantra and is something that forms the very base of Sikhism.

ੴ ਸਤਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਕਰਤਾ ਪੁਰਖੁ ਨਿਰਭਉ ਨਿਰਵੈਰੁ ਅਕਾਲ ਮੂਰਤਿ ਅਜੂਨੀ ਸੈਭੰ ਗੁਰ ਪ੍ਰਸਾਦਿ II

Ika ōaṅkāra sati nāmu karatā purakhu nirabha'u niravairu akāla mūrati ajūnī saibhaṃ gura prasādi

There is but one God. Truth by name, the creator, all-pervading spirit, without fear, without enmity. Whose existence is unaffected by time, who does not take birth, self-existent, who is to be realised through his grace.

There are various translations (all similar in meaning) and I have used one of those here for those of us who do not understand Gurumukhi. Listen to the Mul Mantar below, nothing touches you like the purity of this beautiful piece, especially early in the morning.

references: wikipedia, sikhiwiki

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

WnM - food

W and M are on a phone call. After discussing the very distinct possibility of an alien spaceship visiting their respective cities, they get on with the other topics. Surprisingly food comes up for discussion. 

W: Let's eat the same food together.
M: Superb idea. What do you want to make? I am game for anything.
W: Hmmm...
M: We can make daal and rice and eat it with salad.
W: eeeeeeeee... 
M: Oh am really sorry :(
W: I can't eat all this in life anymore :(
M: Sure sure. Lets make khichdi. 
W: eeeeeeeee... 
M: Oh am really sorry :(
W: I can't eat all this in life anymore :(
M: Ok lets make something continental. Pasta?
W: But I do not have pasta with me.
M: Hmmm...
W: I have a better idea.
M: Ah...
W: Lets not eat.
M: What??? Why???
W: I think you eat too much food.
M: What???
W: Yes, I want you to starve.
M: What???
W: Yes. And if you really hungry you can drink a cup of chai, preferably with no sugar.
M: What??? Please don't do this to me :|
W: Shut up. You will do exactly as I say.
M: Please dear. Have some heart.
W: Now I have to finish my very interesting book now, the cat is almost ready to devour the dog. Drink tea, if you really have to. Now goodbye.

M realises that the call is already over. He looks blankly at the phone and a smile crosses his face. He goes and makes Maggi and savors it with black, strong and sugar saturated coffee.

Moral of the story: There are advantages of a long-distance relationship. You DON'T have to starve every single night.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Be Stupid (sex sells)!

Be stupid has been DIESEL's promotional theme/ identity for the past few years. Here are a few images I took from my phone from their promotional kit and some other promotional material, some of it are also a part of the very exclusive Diesel parties in India.

Some of the more interesting and kinky things are not exactly from or for India, but much of it is. 

So why be stupid?

You'll have more SEX. (this one is very critical)
You'll meet more strangers.
You'll have one hell of a story.
You'll make better Friends.
You'll create more.
You'll discover talents you never knew you had.
You'll get that much more to Genius.
You'll spend more nights away from home.
You'll never wish you were someplace else.
You'll be equal parts feared and admired.
And yes, you could die. Just not of boredom.

You can see the entire campaign here.

See the official Be Stupid philosophy in this video here...

Thursday, September 23, 2010


This posts is more like an extension of the previous post, exploring the genre of music. It can have many names for the style of music - folk, fusion and so on, but in essence it belongs to the Jugni style of narrative. Jugni literally means a female firefly, the male being the more commonly known Jugnu. These songs generally cover the journey of a Jugni who visits different places and makes different observations, some of these are political, some funny, some satrical, sometimes even with sexual connotations.

The style developed in the region of Punjab, now partly in India and partly in Pakistan. The style continued its popularity in Pakistan with artists like Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Arif Lohar and his father Alam Lohar, often using the Jugni methaphor in their songs. The credit for the revival of the Jugni songs in the mainstream popular music scene in India goes to Rabbi, who sang a very hard-hitting Jugni song in his very first album.

The form is very expressive, but the often used Khadi Punjabi makes it sometimes difficult to understand. The form remains popular still, amongst the Punjabis as well as the non-Punjabis, Hindus as well as the Muslims.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

I almost died, but was saved by the phone call!

I am not convinced that I shall not die today, at least not so early. As per Muzayun, I will die earlier than her. But then she is likely to live for many many years. The oil from the Kashmiri walnuts apparently ensure a long life, plus the years of all the animals that you eat also get added to your life. But, of course, if you live in Kashmir things change. Bullets often negate any positive impact of the local walnuts, something seen repeatedly in the past three months.

Coming back to my original conviction of dying today, well, it was based on some solid foundation. I had body ache and I missed both the major meals today. Plus I slept like a log in the evening, completely unconvinced that I shall wake up ever again. Or maybe I was dreaming of that. My phone spoiled my fantastic imagination, which in itself was a very vivid visualization of my own death. It was heartbreaking and even I was moved by it.

I found it cruel to be told on the phone that I won't be dying today, what about all the tears that I shed for my death? It was also suggested that I should postpone it to a later date when it's more convenient for my near and dear ones to come and talk about my apparent greatness, perhaps a weekend towards the end of this month. Isn't is preposterous to insist that a dying man die at a later date? I was highly offended and sulked for a while.

But eventually I did agree to the weird demand, and so I am not dying tonight. The dying symptoms continue, but death has been sent to the gallows, at least for now.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Coke Studio. Chambe di Buti. Exceptional Music.

Cannot resist putting this on my blog! Something exceptional and not to be missed!

This is presented by Coke Studio, a Pakistan based television series. The program focuses on a fusion of the diverse musical influences in Pakistan, including eastern classical, folk, and contemporary popular music.

Within this dynamic musical environment, Coke Studio has emerged as a musical fusion platform of exciting elements and influences, ranging from traditional eastern, modern western and regionally inspired music coming together to form a distinctive Pakistani sound.

Another sensational discovery here is Meesha Shafi (Meera Rahman). She holds a degree in art from the prestigious National College of Arts and also models. Indeed, her multifaceted personality and versatility add to her image. Shafi is currently the lead vocalist for the percussion-based fusion band Overload, where she is equally at ease setting her powerhouse vocals to Urdu, English and Punjabi poetry and prose.

Not to mention, the song has become a rage in my office as well, especially with Manoj, Vikram and me. We enjoy not just listening to the beautiful music, but also the video. Superb production work by Coke Studio.

Here is another song by here which should not be missed - Chori Chori, Meesha Shafi.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Jhulelal/ Zinda-pir/ Damadam Mast Kalandar

This is in continuation of my previous post on the oneness of God. This isn't exactly my forte so am using religious texts, references from all over to compose these posts.

This is about Jhulelal, the reverend Sindhi God from the Sindhu (Indus). His single most important contribution to the Hindus of Sindh was to let them be Hindus under a tyrant Muslim ruler bent upon converting them to Islam. Also known as Uderolal, he was born out of a prophecy by the Water god. Interestingly, in the pre-partition days of Sindh (and often even now), it was not uncommon for Muslims to pay homage to Hindu Gods and vice-versa. Jhulelal was foremost amongst these Gods, he is claimed by both the sects - as God himself by the Hindus and a Pir by the Muslims. The more common name for the Muslims is Zinda Pir.

An exceptionally beautiful example of this is the song 'dama dam mast kalandar'. You never really know if its a tribute to a Hindu God or a Muslim. God becomes one here for everyone. Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan sang it beautifully, and so did Runa Laila from the then East Pakistan. Here is a version by Abeeda Parveen.

Researching for just these few lines here, made me feel so low about the Sindhi Hindus who were forced to vacate their land in the modern day Pakistan. The exodus was more peaceful than Punjab, but involved a huge displacement of population. I wonder if its the right time to ponder over this, but the man-made boundaries divided people who had learnt to live together in harmony and even believe in the same God. Half the Sindhis are away from what made them Sindhis, Sindh and Sindhu. But life goes on. We survive.

p.s. this post is derived from a various sources, there might be some errors, would love to know about them, if any.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

لا اله الا الله محمد رسول الله

lâ ilâha illallâh, Muḥammadur rasûlullâh
(There is no god but God, and Muhammad is the messenger of God)

I am a Hindu and currently in the state of exploring the various facets of this mighty religion, often unsuccessfully. Somehow exploring religion was never a part of my growing-up years. There was never any talk of the Vedas or the Upnishads, or an excessive display of our religiosity. My maternal grandmother would read the Ramayana, but the kids were never a part of it, except for a few interesting stories most of which I do not even remember.

However, generally Muslim households are slightly different. There is a lot of emphasis on reading and memorising of the Koran. The fact that there is only one holy book, of course, helps.

Coming back to the title of the post, its something inspired from a fantastic book I am currently reading, Empires of the Indus by Alice Albinia, where there are references to these opening lines of the Holy Koran in reference to a Sindhi pir. The book is a gift from Bhavana Singh and I can not thank her enough for this. The book got me reading on the subject and I couldn't resist writing a bit about it here.

These lines are known as Shahada, and a single honest recitation of the Shahadah in Arabic is all that is required for a person to become a Muslim. This declaration, or statement of faith, is called the Kalima, which literally means "word".

Its fundamental first phrase "Lā 'ilaha 'illā llāh" is the foundation stone of Islam, the belief that “there is no god but Allah”. This is the confession of "Tawhïd" = "oneness".

The second phrase "Muħammadun rasūlu llāh" fulfils the requirement that there should be someone to guide in the name of Allah, which tells "Muhammad is Allah’s Rasūl, Nabi, the Messenger, Apostle". This is acceptance of the "Nabuwat" (prophethood) of Muhammad.

Over the past centuries, these holy words have been represented in various forms. I have included a couple of the more conservative ones here.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Modi Brigade

Modi here refers to Mr. Narendra Modi, our esteemed Chief Minister!

This is a suggestion from someone I met a few days back and someone who is visibly worried and agitated with the state of corruption and apathy in Gujarat, especially amongst government officials. The idea calls for the creation of a brigade of upright officials drawn from different spheres of life, and would aptly be called Modi Brigade.

The Brigade would always be on the move, in plain clothes but with a NYPD kind of badge which can be smartly displayed whenever needed. The badge would also make the Brigade very cool and create a sense of fear amongst the fearlessly corrupt. The brigade would carry out a host of activities, not excluding Sting Operations on suspected corrupt officials and non-deadly encounters as and when needed. People would have access to points where they can discreetly pass on information to these officials and then they would take prompt action on them.

The most important factor that will make this Brigade tick would the un-corruptible army of officers and of course its name, drawn from someone who is respectfully feared not just in Gujarat but outside. Their success would also be due to the element of surprise in their attacks/ or encounters. And no one would be above them, except Mr. Modi himself.

Welcome the Brigade. You may not even know, but they may already be there, watching us and looking for just the right moment to attack.

Thursday, September 9, 2010


Fly. I believe I can fly. Well, this sounds cliché.

Fly is the phone brand I previously owned. And I enjoyed using it thoroughly, for whatever time we spent together. It's still with me, and every time I look at it, it asks me a BIG why? I believe it asks me the reason for my sudden shift of loyalties to Samsung. I do not have the heart to tell my fly that it had stopped satisfying my needs a while back and hence the replacement. And so I just look at it mournfully, while its questions remain unanswered.

I saw a Fly phone for the first time a long long time back with Muzayun in Bangalore. It was the apple of her eye, while I always thought it was odd. I remember once I tried using to take pictures at the Leela Palace, and the results were less than satisfactory. In fact I couldn't use it at all without a stylus, it wasn't meant for my fat fingers I guess. But there was nothing I liked about the phone, even the color black was not a savior. But somehow Muzayun was absolutely convinced that hers was the best phone (despite the INR 14,000 price tag)! And despite the fact that she was working for Nokia then and her brand loyalties were completely wedged with a sword. It was an absolutely hilarious Nokia Vs Fly tie, we all enjoyed it back then.

I surprised myself when I bought a Fly last year, this was necessary as my happening Motorola couldn't survive the Italy trip. And I flew with the Fly, it was absolutely cheap and worked amazingly well. However, after our short fling, it met with a mini accident and stopped performing well enough. I kept using it for a while still, refusing to give it up though I knew we were not meant for each other anymore. Weirdly the moment I had another opportunity to shift back to a touch phone, I dumped my dear old Fly (I already had a long association with the brand) and shifted loyalties!

Muzayun still lives with her Fly (2008 onwards, if I am not wrong). But the Fly is dying and needs help. My initial thought was to set up a fund in its name, The Dying Mobile Fund for Muzayun's Fly (TDMFMF), but dropped the idea considering the complicated name and un-kararjohar like acronym appeal. The time is now running out fast. My sincere request to all is to contribute directly to this dying phone to keep it alive on life support. Science and Technology are yet to advance to a level where this dear old fly can be given a new lease of life. We can hope for a miracle. Or a replacement.


Sunday, August 22, 2010

The End

He got up and pulled on the sneakers, it was time to start his daily nocturnal ritual. Today also the surroundings were no different, everyone was asleep, except a teenage kid who was still busy reading 'Murder on the Oriental Express'; it was unlikely he would sleep before the dawn breaks.

Neil started walking, rocking with every step. This is what he liked the most, this child-like fun while he walked and everyone else slept. He was careful not to touch anything around, leaving no marks or traces of his presence. But he soaked it all in. Everyone breathing, and sleeping, and alive.

He walked along, stopping once in a while to look around, but never long enough to be noticeable. There was enough thrill in what he was about to do and there was little sense in spoiling it for a face half revealed, an eye only half shut or an arm hanging out as if calling out to him. But he did risk it everyday, knowing when the sleeping senses would be perceptive enough to notice this presence, and he always moved ahead before that.

Today was a special day for him because there were many nines in the date, just one less than last year. And he liked this number still. A lot.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

WnM - movies

W and M are talking on the phone. M, as usual, is going for a movie and getting late. W, as usual, isn't impressed with what M does to entertain himself.

W: What are you doing?
M: I am going for a movie?
W: What? Movie? Again? Didn't you see one last week also? I just don't believe this!!!
M: Huh!
W: I hate this!
M: Huh!
W: And I hate you!
M: Huh!
W: What movie is this?
M: Its a Hindi movie.
W: AND I am sure it has a name!!!
M: Its called...err... 'Teri Jawani, Meri Mohabbat'.
W: WHAT? Why are you doing this to yourself? Please M...I can't live like this. I need someone who sees no movies, certainly not Hindi movies!!!
M: Huh!
W: I need a break-up!
M: Huh!
M: Honey its already movie time, and did I tell you that it has my favorite actress Jamuna playing the lead.
After a pause.
M: And we can have a break-up the next time we meet. This will also give you enough time to purchase me a nice break-up present.

W starts sobbing, and then the dam breaks and she starts crying, followed by some serious howling. Suddenly M remembers that he must have made a blunder somewhere in the conversation and tries to rewind it all back in his mind. He finds nothing wrong in his replies. But his past experience tells him that its time for sorry and missing the first half of the movie.

Reluctantly he walks away from his friends who all give him sympathetic glances and nods. M misses Jamuna on big screen. AGAIN.

Moral of the story: Never reveal the name of the one who fires your dreams and imaginations to your girl friend. And if possible DO NOT watch any Hindi movies either.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Too Much Love Will Kill You!

Came across this recently...meaningful in many ways for so many of us...

I'm just the pieces of the man I used to be
Too many bitter tears are raining down on me
I'm far away from home
And I've been facing this alone
For much too long
I feel like no-one ever told the truth to me
About growing up and what a struggle it would be
In my tangled state of mind
I've been looking back to find
Where I went wrong
Too much love will kill you
If you can't make up your mind
Torn between the lover
And the love you leave behind
You're headed for disaster
'cos you never read the signs
Too much love will kill you
Every time
I'm just the shadow of the man I used to be
And it seems like there's no way out of this for me
I used to bring you sunshine
Now all I ever do is bring you down
How would it be if you were standing in my shoes
Can't you see that it's impossible to choose
No there's no making sense of it
Every way I go I'm bound to lose
Too much love will kill you
Just as sure as none at all
It'll drain the power that's in you
Make you plead and scream and crawl
And the pain will make you crazy
You're the victim of your crime
Too much love will kill you
Every time
Too much love will kill you
It'll make your life a lie
Yes, too much love will kill you
And you won't understand why
You'd give your life, you'd sell your soul
But here it comes again
Too much love will kill you
In the end...
In the end.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The new LSD - Saree, Nashta aur Cockroach

Well these are some of the projects my friends in office are working on, and somehow this sounds good together. The LSD connection suggested by Vikram, though there is little connection as such!

Wish I could write more on this, but that would be impossible. So this is it!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


Its so weird, every day I read news online and there is always some natural disaster (maybe at times assisted by humans) causing unimaginable deaths across the globe.

A few examples here.

Moscow Smog

Pakistan Floods

Leh Flash Floods

China Landslide new

I wonder if it was always the case, and we see it more now due to better coverage and more reporting.

Friday, August 6, 2010

What's your status?

Arguing with your Boss is like wrestling with a pig in mud. After a while you realize that while you are getting dirty, the pig is actually enjoying it.
numa numa...
its all a dream...
“Happiness is a byproduct of an effort to make someone else happy” - Gretta Brooker Palmer
On mobile by
not at the desk .. leave a msg..
we're not ducks on a pond, but ships at sea..
I am off finally :)
Type 57sc
Most Relationships fail not because of the absence of love....Love is always present.... Its just that, One loves too much, and The other loves too many.....
Change doesn't happen when circumtances improve... Changes happens when you decide to improve the circumtances....
Awesome Mausam!!
I got video camera+DVD Burner....hahahha now i m thinking of film direction...
Never fear shadows, they simply mean there is some light nearby!
invention is better than cure..
"I don't mind going to work every day. But the 8 hour wait to go home again is a real bitch !" -
2mrow is holiday ....yes.....

is sooooooooo sleepy at work :(
The tongue is a funny thing to have - it makes you overeat and then makes you say you never will!!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Valley Burns

It's not working at all. I am not sure how serious the government is (State, Centre) on resolving this ever escalating state of violence and lawlessness, but then how can anyone be anything but serious about this. Omar Abdullah seems sincere enough, but is he capable enough to handle one of the worst phase of violence the valley has seen for the past many years.

Indian news dailies are covering the news, and so are the valley-only newspapers. You can read about what one of the valley-only daily Greater Kashmir writes. What's surprising is the absence of any talk on Kashmir in the baggies outside India - BBC and CNN. Usually one sees a lot of reporting about India in BBC at least.

There is little we can do sitting so far off, but pray that sanity prevails and this vicious and mindless cycle of violence ends.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Pressure Post - hairless Aparna, Arpit's hairy legs and Upma

I am under tremendous pressure to write an interesting and entertaining post. Plus I need to write a brain dead post to ward off the accusation of writing intellectual posts on my blog. I was accused today morning of writing a boring blog with no latest gupshup.

So let me just start off with how Aparna maintains herself so hairless and smooth. Its an age old and time-tested ancestral recipe, and I am about to reveal it here. Basically what you need to do is mix some special type of haldi (kastoori haldi, i think) with chandan (or some other two similar sounding ingredients) and use it on yourself. A few months of patience will pay off by removing all possible unwanted hair on your body; special care, however, has to be taken to not apply it on your eyebrows (rather obvious). But how exactly it is to be used remains a mystery. I only saw the mixture being prepared, but I suspect that you might have to add water/ oil/ wine before doing whatever you are supposed to with it.

I have a scoop on Arpit as well, but I shall not reveal it on a public platform. But here is quick update on his body hair. He has hairy legs (very hairy indeed) and smooth makkhan-like arms. His facial hair is unusual and makes him look a bit like a mongrel Chinese stuck in India. The hair on the head is shabby at best.

Aparna also makes awesome Upma (her first Upma attempt today with ma's recipe) while Arpit's tea is a perfect balance of Milk, Sugar and Assam Tea. I thoroughly enjoyed them both (the tea and the Upma).

As promised some images from my phone today. Absolutely unrelated to the post, but I had this irresistible urge to post them somewhere!

Office in the night

View from office

View from office

View from office

View from office

Office lift with Sachin's reflection

Headless Saibaba

Outside office

Outside office

Outside office

Sachin enjoying his chai

Vinishree, Kavya and Kavan

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