Wednesday, October 12, 2011


I am a driver. A driver of thoughts, a driver for my car. I let the radio flood my ears with the sounds of today and yesteryear. Staring at the phone, dreading life threatening calls from unknown people who hate what I do to them. But I must focus on the road, I must keep the wheels turning. I can't help stare at the ones outside. Second soulmates on the backseat of bikes, the thin red belt circling their jeans. And CEOs staring at the paper with blank expressions in their tinted glasses of their plastic worlds. Balding managers in second hands with their hands dangling out clutching their cigarette by the tips of their two fingers. And then on the road, where lives pass them by quickly as theirs stands still on the asphalt of the tar they step on. Well tucked shirts and buttons up to their collar. Eyes staring at their shoes, they walk on, always the opposite direction. But I must focus on the road, focus on getting there first, meet the deadline, meet the client.

Night falls, stars call, cars stall, gears shift and horns blare. Windows roll up to summon the vacuum of silence. Headlights dip in the distance, a signal for help, a signal to move out of the way. Now the backseats of bikes are empty, now the ghosts arrive and dread us of the inevitability of tomorrow. There are scavengers out on the streets with their empty hands and sorry faces. Lights illuminate the path and I stare at the faces again. There are more cigarettes to their faces, there is a visible stubble on each one. But I cant focus on the road, I am blinded by the incoming lights, I curse him to knock into a tree and lose his head. I curse the Gods for letting woman touch cars. I do. My car burns in the moonlight as the engines roar in agony,but I race to the finish line. I stagger and stutter, I indulge and I fall. Waiting for tomorrow to call me to the roads and press the clutch. I wonder how well I would be as a professional driver. A driver of thoughts, a driver for cars.

Friday, September 23, 2011

The Intruder

The hour was late but his eyes were wide open.

Staring into the darkness he looked at his fluoroscet alarm clock. Time had been cruel to him this night. 10 minutes had passed since the moment he had switched off the lamp to head for slumber but it had seemed like had been waiting for hours for the sandman to come. He was always amazed by the fact that how in complete darkness, although his eyes were of no use, his other senses would hike up their efficiency levels tenfold. In the absence of light, there were only sounds that could be his link to the rest of the world, although a touch more sinister.

Dependant on what he could hear and touch,(he was not sure if tasting and smelling things at this hour would be very beneficial)he observed his surroundings and heard the ticking of the clock as each second passed him by with a morose continuum. He felt the soft feathers in his pillow as he turned his head from time to time, trying to lie in the best position to sleep comfortably in. Despite all kinds of efforts to let his conscious drift into the subconscious, he only made it harder.

Ten minutes had passed with his attempts and was just waiting for the night to pass him by when he heard something that made his thoughts of sleep vanish in an instant. From outside his window and into his ears reached the tune of a whistle that one would make while driving a car or while listening to a song. And it seemed to be getting louder and louder.

Frozen in shock and fear, he couldnt even move to switch on the light and see who it was outside. He imagined a man in a hat and coat whose silhouette would hide his scarred face as he would stick his face in the window and scare you to death. He chose to remain numb and silent in his fear with all his concentration on his heart thumping against his chest as he held his breath to ensure no sign of life reached outside.

In his panic and mortal fright, he didnt realise when the whistling had subsided and vanished into the night, the sound of the clock was back with its monotonous ticking. His anxiety did not vanish away though for now he felt that this silence would be broken with a loud knock on the window or even wore, the sound of breaking glass. He waited for his captor to strike first so that he may retort, by screaming like a little girl and running for his life. But the moment never came.

His whistling visitor had left him for another night but his thoughts still lingered in his head, haunting him for the many nights to come, dreading the worst when he heard a whistle in the distance or a knock on the door.

And on that very night, standing on the other side stood a visitor indeed, a tiny bird lost in the city who had found a window to sit on to but not for too long.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Curious Case of the Cute Cousin

As I slowly glide in my car into parking outside (always giving the bumper a slight bang against the tree), I am welcomed by my house that has been my home for the past 1 year since I started working in Delhi as a 'sales' man. Through the gates I march in, making sure I close the gate properly else the 'Grand Man' of the house will have a cow of the number of dogs sneaking in.

Its close to 9pm in the evening after one of those days when your boss doesnt ask you to stay back but you just do because you know he will feel better if you do. Dinner, has been laid on the table with the ol'Grandmother and Grandfather debating on which show to watch, (nothing new about that) but something is not right, my chair has been taken ! I had no information of having peopple over for dinner and nobody really comes to this house for the food, then what was the case ?

Narrowing my eyes with curiousity and some disgust, I approach closer and closer but before I can even apprehend my culprit, I am suddenly greeted by this unwanted customer with a tight hug ! Well, sure Im a lovable guy who likes hugs from the odd female but this was ridiculous really. Once the culprit is caught, its a usually a slap that takes them directly to the CID office this was not in the script !

Letting go of this solid embrace, I give a quizzical stare at my grandparents who couldnt care less with their eyes on the idiot box and I have a good look at this fiend, this rogue, this impostor. I was even half afraid that my grandparents had mistaken this person for me and had fed him dinner ! With a height as much as mine, lean figure, skin tight clothes, gelled hair (a little thin though), clean shaven and a silly smile on his face, I had just met my cousin for the first time.

Its surprising how you get through a quarter of your life without even knowing that you have cousins existing in all corners of the world that you are yet to meet. This one was from the city of Joy, Kolkata and had come to Delhi to work for a Tour and Travel frim. Supposedly, this firm organises tours for rich and snobby French Tourists who with their thrill and gusto for experiencing the Orient. India is one of those destinations to visit for them as they bring over their enormous rucksacks and Guide Books and this firm helps them by organising their escapades into the land of Tigers, Tantriks and Tendulkar. So all my cousin has to do is, look up touristic locations, study them and propose them to the top management and he his daily bread is made.

Well, you must be wondering whats so 'cute' about him then ? Since 'he' is not a 'she' and 'I' am not a 'Bi', why the false adjective ? Well I say so because of a trait I found in him, a very deep connection with his hidden estrogen. They say behind every man is a woman, I think in this case, she just piggybacked on to him.
Now before the critics begin to boo,hate,spit,shout and tweet about my so-called outlook of things, might I add, it was something I really take joy with no selfish motive in knowing, observing and sometimes 'absorbing' and as every brother loves his brother, I love him too.

Now that you critics have shut up, might I add, he has this affinity to finding anything and everything as superstitious too. His love for fighting the evil spirits makes him a well deserving candidate for the Medal of Honor but for now he was happy just collecting all of his good luck charms. From travelling the entire length of the city to collect one rock that he could hang around his neck to avoiding paths that have been cut across by cats, (Be it any colour, he too had a dream...) he always had something up his skin tight sleeve.

But what amuses me the most are his long stares at my forehead as he scans it from left to right asking the same question over and over again, "Where do you get your eyebrows done ? Mine are so hard after I come from the boutique, you know when you shave your chest, yeah exactly like that". He never believes me when I tell him I do neither of those but he goes ahead and accuses me of being a liar and goes and complains to my Grandmother about it ! And she has one line prepared for it:

"Na puttar na, jhoot nahi bolte, bata de raje nu, phir saath mein jaana"
(Dont lie to him son, tell the sweetheart and then the both of you can go together.)

There was even once an incident when he made me sing out "To the Moon and back" during a Karaoke night at a pub. At the end of the song, even the crickets wanted the last 5 minutes of their life back. I was never allowed in that pub ever again. Being from Kolkata, he was able to converse well with my the home domestic servant or better known as my Grandmother's arch nemesis, Raju in Bengali and they would share a 'Didi' joke or two from time to time. Despite the friendly banter, at the end of the day, even Raju would have a word or two to say about him as he grinned and giggled.

My cousin dreams of tattooing his arm and sporting studs on his earlobes as he looks to defy his age (Its bad manners to speak it out) till his parents find him a suitable match. When sad, he sits by himself and sips his Breezer but when he is his jovial self, he shall talk of his famous Fashion Designer friends, his escapades in 'Cal' and ofcourse, my eyebrows.

There's more that I'll soon get to know about him and probably smile about. Im glad we finally met on that fateful night, sooner than later. Sometimes, you see people on the street, and sometimes they see you, with no words, no handshakes, no feelings, they walk past by you and you by them. Other times, its nice when they just come over and give you a hug.

Monday, May 16, 2011


Yes, Trees. The combination of green and brown that you have grown up to drawing on your A3 sheets since childhood. Always picking a separate colour for every different tree. scribbling along its borders, making sure it doesnt fall out of your perfect outline. Giving it a nice little curve around the bark and smaller curves for its head where birds may sit and small squirrels may poke out and hide again.

And then you play around them as kids, hiding behind them from enemies, climbing on top of them for safety, plucking mulberries in the summer and making it the crucial wicket which must be hit to ensure there is a change in the order of play.

And in adulthood you sit under them, for hours and wonder, you write or atleast think of writing. The lesser few bring their partners for a kiss or two and mark it as 'their tree' and the immature ones carve out their names to immortalize their presence in that span of time when they cared about nothing but each other.

As you grow older, they tend to resemble your stature for some reason. Bent, bowed and fruitless. Counting each tree as you walk across a park or jog along a track. Some of us carry ourselves to nostalgia under it and others just stare at the ants below.

They may laugh at us as we pass by standing tall and bare, witnessing our behavious and mocking us for our foolishness but they acknowledge us for the gratitude we may have given it, always giving us peace in the absence of humanity.

As silent it may be, it chose to silence us even further.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The 80s Mumbai Indian

He stared at the mirror and greeted himself to a lazy Sunday. Unshaven in his Rupa vest, he scratched his chest yawning away and moving his jaw, chewing the pan that wasn't there. The heat outside was growing by the minute, it was an afternoon in the month of June, 1983. But today he had to deal with the summer terror for today was his day at the races. Recollecting his previous memories of his days at the Mahalaxmi Race Course was a very passionate hobby of his. How the wives would always commend him on his well kept moustache and his dimpled cheeks and the husbands would make plans for lunch and dinner to come see India's cricket match at the World Cup or open a new bottle of Jack they brought from the states. It was a merry time to meet the big and the small of Bombay and increase your network.

He hadn't realised how long he had been staring at the mirror and scratching himself thinking of the races till he noticed a rash being formed. Snapping out of his daydream, he got himself ready for the day to come.

Stepping out of his seaside apartment, he looked a different person altogether. Doning his Ray Bans that had been gifted to him by his uncle on his birthday, his sidelocks perfectly trimmed to the centimetre, his bellbottoms hanging with the perfect cut and topping it all with his HMT Quartz watch. He was not a man of great wealth but his panache said otherwise. With an edition of the Times of India (After hearing G.D. Birla's untimely demise) to read through his train ride to Mahalaxmi, he stepped out into the sun ready to run wild through this concrete jungle of Bombay.

Monday, March 28, 2011

The broken leaves of my ashes

Surrounded in this concrte jungle of plastic trees and plastic smiles, I tend to forget the times when there was a thing called beauty. Its a pity one never realises i till it has long gone and turned into dust. Standing among these tall structures that looked so tantalizing once now cast a shadow of despair and uncertainty our our shallow lives. I sit back and remember the deep voids of space where I would sit on a star and count the ants on the ground, scurrying past the flames of the late night hours. Listening to the rustling of the leaves while he ever glowing sun beamed on our souls.

But today the sun burns with its wrath and anger as it makes us sweat in the heat and curse it for its presence, burning us till we lose faith in the forces of nature.

I may never leave the depths of this complex yet plain sea of turmoils and will probably be laid to rest in a field where the crows may swerve over my burning self. But one thing is for sure, that while I burn in this desert of miseries, my ashes will be blown away by the winds to the place where I once belonged, under the feet of the hills and wrapped in the blanket of the stars.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

The death of the blogger

Why should one write a long paragraph when one can get noticed by one single tweet ? From scraps to statuses to tweets, the blogger has been watching them come and go and watch himself sitting in a corner in a heap of long forgotten muses and incomplete articles. Its a shame, its a shame. Words are getting shorter and lives are getting longer. But who shall have the time to read ? I for one was never in the habit of reading but typing the odd word or two would be never that much of a pain.

Today the secret is out, the secret to a successful life is not to waste time thinking about it. Just do it. So why write ? You could type once, you could text once and now you just touch and the impossible happens. The human mind's lack of thought has come down to 5 seconds, his mind diverts from one point to the other, there is too much information and too little time. Updates, deadlines, PINGs and all those superfast things.

Little did one know that while we were caught up in this rat race.

All the cheese had been left behind.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Happy 100 posts

Not so suddenly, I am not the man I used to be, theres a shadow hanging over me. But despite the difference in the light, I can still remember the joy of reading and writing. And I might find it apt to put this as my 100th post for this blog that may have been ignored so many times by my oh so lazy self, yet Its been with me since the days Justin Bieber was still not potty trained. Facing a mid-mid-life crisis is something that shouldnt really happen to men my age but do end up happening purely because of the fact that youre surrounded by those who seem to have given up on life already.

I choose to solemnly swear with my conscience as my witness, that I shall not be a man whose decisions are based on his peers or predecessors, I shall not fear the future or rue the past and nor shall I ignore the Gym anymore ! Its high time I got in shape :) And let the Ruskin Bond in me not be forgotten because despite facing the dreariest of deserts and the murkiest of swamps, there is always a leopard waiting, on the other side of that hill.

The drive

To work

Switching on the radio to hear the jockey predict the weather and give his philosophies on life, I bring myself to the zone, preparing myself for what lies ahead and who I must face while watching the clock tick to its doom. I stare at the nothingness of my future and pray for my phone to stop taking calls. Dreading the moment when I would be in a fix, I tear from the roads and curse the slow movers. Probably I too will become one of them, tired of themselves, old and rotten in a basket that is getting too filthy. And as I speak of filth, I park in the realms of dirt as my feet look for a solid space to land as I open the door to a narrow gap I must squeeze through.

To home

I shut off the radio and leave the top 8 @ 8 for the other billions to listen, I switch to trance and let my mind run in this river of traffic that staggers, stumbles, stops and then starts. I stare at those around me and pan out their miserable lives in my head. I run in their alleys and sit in their light bulbs among the mosquitoes and flies, I count their money and lie on their sorry reason for a bed and wait for the fear of tomorrow. The curses are louder for some wish to let their cars break down and talk on their phones. It is funny but I choose to clock myself back as well, probably a hobby to keep me ticking. The drug, its kicking, and the one in the car next to me seems to notice, I am super, I am the best, I am rich and famous and I am loved by all but alas, the light is green and I am no more eighteen.