Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Maalgudi Days

Well, this is it. The one which millions of you have been waiting with bated breath for. The third and final incident of any import that happened to me in Delhi. The time the white cloth of my innocence was almost muddied in the dirty pool of beckoning lust. Not to worry. Almost, I said. With my legendary iron resolve and unquestioning disdain for anything soceity condemns, I managed to hold my own against the sin of lust! My innocence, therefore, remains untouched. O concerned reader, you can rest easy.

My friend and I, we're travelling in this sleek black Lancer that Lady Fortune (hailing from Nepal) had the grace to offer us. We're parked at CP, wondering, as we seem to do so much these days, what to do with our inconsequential little lives. And, as usual, ideas seem to have gone on holiday and don't look like they'll be returning any time soon. The tapping on the glass wakes us from our reverie on how boring a life we of this generation lead.

Shady looking stubbled guy in a monkey cap beckoning frantically to us to lower the window. He starts off with a tirade on how we're parked where we shouldn't be. Our dismissive excuses vaguely referring to and pointing at our ears and cell phones notwithstanding, he keeps saying, "No parking, no parking..". And then, without warning, and with this sudden jerky movement, he leans closer, his head almost into the car and asks in a very conspiratorial manner reminiscent of certain professors when they are taking attendance and momentarily lapse into hindi while addressing a particularly detested student (forgive the inside joke, but there was absolute similarity, i swear), "Saab, maal chaahiye?"

Stunned silence at the surreal experience which life has presented us with. My friend rises to the occassion and says, "Haan, bilkul". Encouraged by the show of interest, Shady Guy launches into an advertising campaign, "Saab, aat hazaar rupaiye ke liye first rate maal milega. First class. Dekhege kya?"

Confusion reigns. Communication gap, that much was apparent. He was offering a lot of ladies ( in a very liberal sense of the term), and I'm pretty sure none of them went by the second name of Jane.

Of course, determined youth of the generation that we are, undeterred by trivial obstacles like mistake as to the subject of the agreement and with the single minded objective of taking on anything life could throw at us, we ask gamely, "Ab?" "Aapko chahiye to ab bhi dekh sakte hai." The price, however, posed a problem. The Black Lancer must have caused him to start at 8000 bucks. With our combined net worth of 250 bucks and our unrivalled bargaining skills, finely honed through years of practice with the auto driving denizens of our very own Bengalooru, we manage to bring him down, at the cost of looking cheap, to 500 bucks.

Social propriety and self-respect take over at that instant, and we decide to withdraw before we get the guy's hopes too high. We tell him, "Aaj nahin, kal aayega. Aapko kaise milega?" From his description, we manage to gather that:

a) he is the watchman at Lady Harding Hostel,

b) his name is Dharamveer

c) to find him, we have go to Rodeo Pub and ask for Dharamveer.

To date, I haven't stopped wondering what kind of 'maal' we'd have got for 500 bucks. If you find out, please do tell me. So, those in Delhi, stroll over to Rodeo pub. The name's Veer, Dharam Veer. A whole world of pleasure awaits you inside Lady Harding Hostel. Enjoy. You can thank me back in college.


Knock Knock

"Who's there?"

"Luck. Let me in!"

"Fuck off. "

The story of my life.

Ok. I'm just kidding. Contrary to any opinions that you might have formed in your perceptive mind through reasoning of the highest order while looking through this collection of attempts at writing, I'm not that desperate. Give me some credit. Some.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008


Yesterday, I dreamt of the moon, the stars and a cloudy night.
And of you.

We were up all night, and we talked.
I looked into your eyes, and I saw in them all I ever wanted.
We gazed at the shooting star, and wondered how it could
Set ablaze, in the blink of an eye, a million hearts.

Do you remember?
How the wind caressed your lips, and
How it made your hair fly all around,
With the beauty of a fire gone wild.
How you closed your eyes
And how, for a moment, for just a moment,
You let yourself go.
To become an angel of the night.

I remember. And I remember much more.
For yesterday, I dreamt a dream of you.
Did you dream a dream of me, too?

Monday, February 25, 2008

A Swan Song

Genesis in: (a) A desire to write deep sounding poetry (b) Hangover of 'Big Fish'

I could tell you many things
I could sing of the battles that I've won
About the monsters I've slain
And the men they once were.
Or, I could enthrall you
With tales of beauty, for
The fairest of them have I bed.
Stories of peaks conquered and seas crossed
Lands discovered, and treasures found.

But, here, at the end of time
As I once again don my armour
And look out onto the field
Its the truth that I'll be telling you.

I've seen the day I die.
Again and again have I seen it.
A thousand times over.

I've seen the day I die,
And it looked a lot like today.

And I am afraid.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

A Near Miss

Joblessness can do, to you, many things. One among them being filling you with an irresistable urge to publish something on your blog which you know you are going to regret for the rest of your days in college. I feel uncannily like a goat who has put on his best suit and who's walking into the slaughter house singing "It's a beautiful day..".

Description of self in Delhi
State of mind: Bored. Really, really bored.
Outlook: Bleak.
Prospect of meeting attractive women in Delhi: None. Nothing new there!

As any reasonable male will agree, life, on the whole, did not look very promising. Until I got an offer to tag along to NIFT. Apparently, a fest was going on there. Hot chicks, I was assured. Have you heard the phrase, "Faster than a speeding bullet"? Imagine something a million times faster, and you still would be nowhere close to comprehending the speed at which I reached NIFT. The things a desperate man does.

And I was not disappointed. Hot chicks I was promised, and hot chicks there were. In all shapes, forms and sizes. Wearing the latest in fashion, and sometimes even aspiring to achieve the oldest of fashions, invented by Madam Eve. Slurp! Sicko you're calling me, I know. Guilty as charged.

So, I'm standing there. Taking it all in. Heart beat the rate of a rabbit. Blood pumping@ >>> normal to various parts.

A female form approaches. And she seems to be the perfect icing and cherry all rolled into one on the cake for the cutting of which I had presented myself. Well dressed. Exotic figure. Hair nicely done. Simply delicious! I lech at her without shame. For the sake of brevity, let's hereinafter refer to her as Ms.X. She comes close, and there's something about her. I can't put my finger on it, but there's something very very weird about her. And she talks. A lot. Keeps yapping in this hoarse voice. I put it out of my mind until later, when I see her at a booze shop carrying a bottle of Old Monk. Strange. Not a drink of preference for any girl worth her salt. And then she goes away,hand in hand, with a guy who's quite obviously gayer than Elton John in a wedding gown.

At this point, I ask my acquaintance at NIFT Ms.X's name. "Oh, that? That's Mayank. Very pretty he is, no?" Have you seen that scene in Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels where the guy loses the poker game and his world starts spinning around? The camera just goes around and around. It happens in real life too. And it takes a full ten minutes to recover from it.

Boy, was I glad I hadn't put my finger on whatever was weird with Ms. X!

N.B: All ye enraged by my objectification of women witnessed above, you'll be happy to know that feminism exists, like Mallus in chomland, even in the unlikeliest of places. At the risk of being accused of contrived humour, I'll try to summarize my encounter with feminism at NIFT: Most of the women there struck me as beautiful and well-proportioned. But one just struck me. On my face. Bitch.

In Defence of Romanticism

There are cynics and then there are cynics. And then there are some more cynics. Altogether too many of them.

And, sadly, like a pack of horny mal guys to a Shakeela movie, they are attracted to romanticism. But unlike the loving treatment meted out to a Shakeela movie by the abovementioned mal guys, romanticism is set upon by cynics. Take a rabbit, skin it, douse it liberally in grade A blood and throw it to wolves. Now imagine the tearing to shreds that will happen, and you'll have an idea of the kind of relationship that exists between cynics and romanticism. Apart from the purposelessness of life, its their favourite topic to malign. It's their fodder, without which they cease to exist.

Mind you, I'm not saying this because my romantic, soppy poetry has been categorised as shit by these cynics. Oh no. Yours truly is much too civilised to engage in petty squables such as those. I suppose cynics have to be put up with. Just like cockroaches.

So, ladies and gentlemen, not at all influenced by the influx of criticism I have received regarding my poetry, here I launch myself into a short but passionate defence of romanticism. The arguments are simple. To discard romanticism, to see life in black and white, as it truly is, would be to just exist. Without taking joy in the simple things of life. Do you want to be a machine? Do you want to see sex as nothing more than the fulfilling of a need to ensure the continuation of the species, ingrained into our cells by the Maker? Friendship as nothing more than a relationship of convenience? "You scratch my back, I scratch yours", as a Professor put it? {shudder}

Oh, you do, eh? Go ahead, then. While you're at it, also think about the fact that the girl you saw yesterday and thought was beautiful is ultimately made up of blood, mucus and muscle, that she pees and craps and that a kiss is ultimately just an exchange of saliva. Just imagine. You, who flinch at the sight of a spoon used by someone else. Into your mouth. Another person's saliva. Ah. Touched a raw nerve, have I? You no longer think she's beautiful? Welcome to a land devoid of romanticism, a desert in which even a Reliance signal cannot survive. Welcome to the Mecca of the cynics.

My point, you ask? Well, yes. Short post, I had promised. The ultimate aim of life being to feel good, it is our duty to do all that makes us feel good. Oh, yes. Life can be an ugly bitch. But the good news is we needn't be forced to look at it in all its ugly repulsiveness. We have imagination. By the power of Grayskull...I have the power!! Yes. We have, to repel reality, something similar to what He-Man weilds against the forces of evil.

So. Use your imagination. Coat your life with sugar, pour some chocolate on it. Digitally alter it, generously infusing it with Angelina Jolie's features and dress it in black lingerie. Then, look at it from afar. Admire it. Revel in the breathtaking beauty you've imparted to it. Come closer and embrace it. And feel good. Feel really, really good.

For it would be a sad, sad world we live in, were it not for love. And those other feelings and constructed notions like friendship, loyalty et al. These are the tools we use to convince ourselves that our pitiful lives are worth something. That they have meaning.

I can hear the cynic in the crowd. "But what about truth?", he's asking. Well, he can go fuck himself. I love my life. I love my lie. And I pity his.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Midnight logic

Lost. That's what we are. And contrary to certain books which claim to have unravelled male psychology, we have no qualms in admitting that, as of this moment, we are directionally challenged.

So, my friend and I trawl the roads hoping to catch hold of someone who might know the way to where we stay. And, lo and behold, at a traffic light, who should come to a stop next to us than a surd in his surdie car(yes, with a makeshift turban of its own)!!

Painstakingly, we try to grab his attention by tapping on his window. And he, of all the directions to look in, looks up first. For Superman, I imagine, who he thinks has landed on the roof of his car. Thankfully, it strikes him a minute later that, as unlikely as it may be, the sound might have been someone tapping on his window.

{Rolls down window} "Kya hua, bhaisaab?"
"Vasant Kunj jaane ka rasta maalum hai, bhaisaab?"
After 3 minutes of intense workout for his grey matter, "Haan" and goes back to looking at his dashboard.
We wait. For him to understand that we are not testing his knowledge of Delhi roads, and that we actually want to know the directions.

Eventually, he reaches there. Quite like a mail on the NLS server. It might take some time, but you can depend on it to reach eventually.

Then with a great lumbering movement, he lifts his huge hand and points towards the right. Excited at having got the directions at last, we ask, "Right?"

Still frantically pointing to the right, he says, "Nahin, nahin, bhaisaab. Bilkul straight. Seedha jaao." .

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Maladjusted to Delhi

Ok. It's been a long time. My creative juices are thawing, so the shop is open again!

Here, in the heart of chomland, surrounded by them and a flurry of their language in a dingy little internet cafe, I type this out. My short stay in Delhi does not have me, as I expected after all the eulogising I heard from my friends, singing praises about the place. Yes, there are a lot of nice things to say about it. No doubt. But it's not paradise. So, here, from as incisive and critically analytical a travel writer as was born after Dominic Lappiere, comes a true blue account of Delhi. First impressions:

1. Cold, but not that cold. One of my acquaintances once said that South Indians are more resilient to cold. After seeing what I've seen here, I'm inclined to believe him. Maybe it's all the hair.

2. The roads are good, yes, but they lead to nowhere. Bangalore scores over Delhi in this regard. I've been to just two good places. And the people just don't seem to know any more. What would choms do without south indians to introduce them to Bob Dylan, CCR etc etc? Listen to Himesh Reshamiyya all day long, I expect. :)

3. The food is just kickass. Especially the mutton at Karim's. It's brilliantly soft, succulent, the meat just melts in your mouth, the flavours tingling all over your taste buds, mixing and matching to create that exotic blend which will leave the taste lingering in your mouth ages after you've left the place. Being the metrosexual man I am, I can already feel the kilos piling on. Being the connoissuer of good food that I am, I am going to ignore them until I need to, absolutely and necessarily have to, buy new pants.

4. The fairer sex. After painstaking research and observation for which yours truly forsook many hours which could have been better spent reading the law, the following conclusions have been arrived at. I won't deny that the overall quality is much better, actually infinitely better than in South India. But I was misled back in college by my 'friends' who made it sound like beautiful women were springing out of the pavement every other second. And I was horribly, horribly disappointed. Ok. Take one horribly off. I'm just exagerrating. I wasn't that disappointed.

But intellectually(the intellect being gauged from the way they talk and their general demeanour) I would have to say that the women here are not mind-boggling. Then again, who cares?:)

5. Everything is so irritatingly far apart. The distances are insane. I know it doesn't speak volumes about Trivandrum when I say that my whole city could probably fit inside the apartment block I live in, but sometimes I miss my nice homely city where everything is reachable in 30 minutes. The size of this city can be pissing off. Especially when you are stuck in a traffic jam at 4 in the evening on your way to work. Yes. 4 in the evening. I love my work. In a very liberal sense of the term.

6. The money. You can actually smell the money. Financially, I feel like a sardine in a sea of sharks. Which is what I probably am. People just flaunt their wealth without shame. Yeah, for all those out there thinking what I think they're thinking, you're right. I'm just jealous, and rationalising it.

7. The radio just keeps belting out punju songs one after the other. Even the ones that are supposedly dedicated to English songs. I mean, do radio channels in Digga land only play Digga songs? There is a perceptible lack of English in these parts. Tsk, tsk.

8. The people. I have, owing to my extensive knowledge about the roads of Delhi which are ridiculously easy to navigate, had occassion to interact with them, in my finely honed Hindi. And they were really, really nice about it. Definitely scores over Bangalore.

The final score, you ask? There are ten more days to go. I'll sit down and make a scorecard detailing the various criteria. Yes. That's how jobless I am.

There are a couple of incidents I'd like to share with you all (all sounds better than two or three, which would be closer to the truth). So, I'll be back. Unfortunately.

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