a crystal bottle, a thousand worlds, a million shards

Monday, February 25, 2013
i wish i had a crystal bottle with sharp cuts and smooth curves. silhouettes of angles and bends, brilliance of glass, as fragile as astounding. stories untold, unseen held within, stories heard and seen treasured inside the glass mansion built with crystals of mind, body and soul to hold memories, hopes, aspirations, desires, anguish, torments, tears, laughter and smiles.  i'd look at it, for hours, a lifetime cramped into those minutes, a lifetime spent in those hours. every now and then, a ray of light would fall on it. caught off guard. amplified. reflected. dazzled. broken into brilliance of millions of shimmers. blob of illumination for sometime. lost into nothingness the next moment.
i'd save it. keeping it away from world and everything else. i'd carry it with me everywhere. i'd keep it hidden in the deepest corner of my existence. it'd be mine. whenever i wished, i'd take it out. flaunt it to acknowledgement of existence then stow it back into bliss of secrecy. it'd have a cork. stopper on all the tides. it'd hold an ocean in it. the cork would be tight. the ocean would be immense.
i'd shake it. a thousand jingles would come to life. i'd put my ear to it and all will be silent. there'd be whispers, there'd be prayers. there'd be promises, unsaid, hushed, forgotten. there'd be jokes, there'd be laughter, stifled, old, dead. there'd be shouts, there'd be songs, there'd be silence. there'd be clatter of rain drops, millions of them, abandoned by the sky, falling on a dark night, cry of sky's broken heart, opening up, a grimace of clouds, illuminated with a wave of lightening rippling through sky.
i'd open it and wafts would spill out. lighter than dreams, more inconspicuous than fragrances, more vivid than realities. there'd be smell of a lover, the scent of his existence seeping in through every pore of me as i lay next to him, smell of love, passion, reluctance, desire and ecstasy  there'd be smell of that damp room, as i sat listening to silence of night, smell of sea as tides laugh with each other, mocking my insignificance. there'd be smell of my mother, as i snuggle into her back, clinging to her dress, feeling soundless rustle of her shirt between my fingers, filled with dread, overcome with calm.
i'd look into it and the ocean will be raging. there'd be horizon holding blue of ocean and abyss of sky. the world and everything beyond. endless possibilities. orange of sunrise, gleam of light travelling thousands of miles, falling at my feet, seven colors fused together into one, silver when peeking from behind the clouds, black of depth of sea, darker in its silence than in color, there'd be color of your eyes, as you look away, lost in your thought. there'd be the world i'd watch from corner of my eye.
and then, i'd put the cork back. the sounds would stop. scents would descend back into oblivion, scenes would dissolve. strand by strand. and then, there will be nothing. just the crystal bottle. unfazed, intact, beautiful. i'd cork the world and all its brilliance into that crystal bottle, stow away universes and their secrets with one sweep of hand, discard deepest sorrows and biggest joys with a flick. it'd be mine to hold, and mine to shatter, into million shards, send it back to the smoldering furnace that made it, reduce it to specks of soil, mix it back with dirt under my feet, to unleash million more stories or break a thousand worlds.

read this. you'll feel better.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

you can't know everything in the world. whatever happens, you'll die a fool
                                -Cancer Ward, Alexander Solzehnitsyn 

the title was for me. so before you feel there is a case of false advertising, you might as well skip this. well anyways, moving on...
yeah, life's a bitch. or maybe not. to be frank, its just easier to call it that. gives you a scapegoat. but then, its not all that easy. its just another thing, like every other thing on this planet. sometimes good, sometimes not. but the thing is, unlike other things, you cant run from life. so might as well live it well. or not, whatever.
in my life, there are things i want to tell people. and myself. and while it will be too scandalous to tell them upfront ( i am a scaredy cat and its too much drama, honestly), i am going to say it here. also, these are the things i feel i need to be told time to time. so this means i can come back here whenever i need a renewal of the lesson and feel better.

 1. death kills. everything else is life. and you have got to live it. and as much as most of us might have wanted at times, things like grief, guilt, disappointment or anger will not kill you. and you will have to live, unless you die ofcourse. and truth is, humans can live with anything. frankly, until death comes, they dont have much choice either. so its that living that every human wants to make easier. and its then when having someone to make things easier matters. ofcourse, you wont die without them. but having them might make just a slight difference.

2. life is hard. you have problems. turn around, someone's living through deeper shit than you are. this doesnt mean you have to seek respite in the fact that someone's slugging it worse than you. it means, stop whining and shut up.

3. talking is not a solution for many things, almost all. just talking wont get you anywhere. but sometimes, it makes enough difference to give you strength for that next step.

4. no matter how big problems others have, they are not yours. no matter how much you sympathize with them, you will still turn around and walk back into your world. no one dies over another person's problem. so even if your problem isnt as big as the next person, it is your problem at end of the day. and if you are worried, tensed, worked up or just plain pissed at it, its yours. just dont make it another person's. you are allowed to sulk though.

5. you might not ask much from life. you could ask very little. it could look like you are asking very little. but somedays, even that will seem like hard to come by. what are you going to do about it? live through the day and wait for the morning when it will again seem within reach. works. trust me.

6. you can be weak. there will be days when you will need help. you might seek it. you might expect to get it. mostly, its simpler to just ask for it. but some days, just one of those days, you'd fool yourself and wish someone would understand on their own. asking for it would be simpler, yes, but not the same. if you retract, dont be hard on yourself. you made that choice, live through it. you can. if you still go ahead and ask, dont feel guilty. you did what you had to. life moves on either way. so suck it up.

7. if you want to be happy, go ahead and do it. and i am not talking about silver-lining-and-sunshine-and-daisies-happy. i am talking about just-get-through-the-damn-day-without-biting-someone's-head-off happy, and frankly, thats all you need. and thats your personal fight, no one else's. do whatever it takes to make that happen. and if you choose not to do something that makes you happy, find peace in that. thats your only hope then cuz at end of the day, with all the fretting and sulking, you are the only one who will have to put up with the sulking bitch in mirror. might as well not piss her off even more. better for you ;)

8. perfection is a sham. there is nothing that fits everything. too good to be true doesnt happen. if its there, its true. and if its too good, smile. and look around. there's going to be a catch. there will be rusty corners, conditions applied, fine print- reality. it can still be good. but soon you will realize, everything good needs to be worked upon. you just have to see if you are willing enough.

9. invest in  yourself. sure, go ahead, make friends, help someone out, live with others. but not at your cost. amidst being the good person everyone wants as a friend, dont forget you are your best friend. take that one step for you, no matter what it is. go and work with mine kids and help homeless. but after you have done everything you wanted to do for everyone else, do that one little thing for yourself. i am not saying you are pathetically selfless. i am saying just dont expect someone else to do what you are doing for someone else. you have your reasons. others might not share them.

you are not a bad person, but then not many people are. you are just a little screwed up but then most people are. if you think about it, mostly, people are just too scared for themselves to actually worry about others. and these confused, scared, lost people form confused, scary, lost relationships with each others. once in a while, just once in a while, two people will be confused, scare and lost in a way to actually be confused, scared and lost together. but then that happens so rarely, relax, you are no worse than others. please don't whine :)





Integration 2012-ISI, Kolkata- Antaheen-Antaheen- an endless hope

Thursday, January 10, 2013
















(image googled. copyright lies with the original artist) 
Grey Kolkata sky goes as far as eye can see. Two cars pull in outside an under-construction building. Abhik Chowdhry steps out of the car, casually. Him and his team are following a lead on an arms’ haul case. This becomes the day’s biggest story. Face of Abhik Chowdhry adorns every TV screen as news channels rush to cover the story. In another part of the city, Ranjan, lost in his sensex fixation catches a glimpse of his cousin on the television, calling him to congratulate him on his big story. Lost in his own story, Ranjan is a guy who is one of the closest friends Abhik has. His next call is to a totally different part of the city, to a woman, Paromita or Paro, as he calls her, his ex-wife. Casual chit chat, a joke by Paro hints at his solitary way of life while her life looks happy with a career she is content with. In another part of the city, Brinda Roy Menon, an investigation journalist is intrigued by the story. With a desire to follow onto it, she calls cop Abhik asking for an interview. But conversation doesn’t go too well. Skeptical about sensationalization of a seemingly sensitive case, Abhik turns down Brinda’s request.
While all these people are happy about Abhik’s story, builder V K Mehra is bothered by the uncovering news as the site of case happens to be next to site for construction of his next project. Amidst frenzy of life that is running too fast, no one seems to have time to stop and think. But Abhik and Brinda, two young people zealous about their careers, have found a way to seek refuge from madness of the crowd. Every night, in a chat window, they meet a virtual identity that offers them comfort more real than anything real in their lives.  Unaware about the name or identity of the virtual personality, all Brinda knows is a guy- ‘ Boy in a box’ while all Abhik knows is a chat window named ‘ Raat Jaga Taara’.
Sharing nuances of life, Boy in a box’s and Raat jaga taara’s relation develops into a unique bond, incomparable with anything else. This comes as a respite from harsh realities of life that both these individuals face. Abhik, almost a cynic, comes across relations that run into inevitable doom of reality pretty often. His own cousin Ranjan da’s relation with his wide Paro stays on rocks. This is the reason that both these individuals prefer to keep their weird relation anonymous. What they share are little joys of life that are beyond realms of real name or true identity.
Paro, a marketing executive is an artist from heart. Her passion is photography but that’s part of what she does. Brinda, a colleague is one of Paro’s closest friends, ofcourse, besides Ranjan. Paro and Ranjan had a lovely relationship. But they live separately now. Marriage was probably over, but friendship wasn’t. They were each other’s confidants and most certainly, in need for each other. That is why when an offer for job in Mumbai comes along, Paro seeks Ranjan’s advice. Their relation is in a weird spot. Past complications make it difficult for them to open up to each other. That is why, as a rationalist, Ranjan suggests her to take the job and move to Mumbai to explore her career. But the truth is, neither of them wants to leave the other. Paro, especially, hopes one last call from Ranjan, a sign that he wants her back in his life as she fears her preference for her career in past had led to disappointment in their marriage and an ultimate fall out. V K Mehra hosts a launch party where he invites Abhik. Paro asks Brinda to come along. And this is how they meet each other for the first time. A rather cold meeting, they don’t seem to hit it off well. But after a rocky start, they warm up to each other Ranjan’s birthday party.
One night, in a casual conversation with his Pishi, Abhik realizes embodiment of endless wait when she tells him about her similar relation with an unknown identity. Life seems to get a little more complicated as Abhik realizes he might be developing feelings for Brinda along with suspecting his seemingly weird love for the ‘chat window’. Lost in his own world, Abhik is sure about comfort from his virtual friend, who too is developing feelings, although inexplicable, for the ‘boy in a box’. Both these worlds look ready to continue existing parallel when one night, in a casual conversation with Abhik, Brinda realizes extreme similarity between him and her virtual friend. Realization dawns. She understands he is the boy in a box. World seems better. She leaves an offline message for boy in box to meet her the next day, at a given place and time. But end is close. Brinda dies in a car crash. And with her, the realization dies too. Abhik wakes up to check his computer and find a message. Skeptical though, he is happy about the idea. But moments later, he receives news of Brinda’s death. Devastated, Abhik goes to comfort Paro who has decided to stay back in Kolkata and rekindle her relation with Ranjan. Next, he goes to the place of meeting but ‘Raat jaaga taara’ never shows up.  He waits but then walks away. Abhik, at end of the day, seeks comfort in his escape from reality but she is offline. He waits. The light doesn’t change color. He waves it away thinking she must have been busy. The night passes. And the next. And the next. And the next. Unaware of the fact that with one friend, he has lost two, Abhik continues to wait for her to show up. Every night, he gives himself a new reason. Every morning, he awaits the night, another night of wait with his endless hope. 

one of those days...

Friday, October 12, 2012
one of those days,
when the truths hurt and smiles go sly, 
false comfort in lies unknown, 
a little sadness of times gone by, 
the world moves a little to the left, 
and then a little to the right, 
searching for its center
that just keeps slipping by 

one of those days, 
when hopelessness is the new high, 
the peace of giving up, 
the joy of a fizzling try, 
the gift of a failure, 
the bliss of oblivion, 
of the night sky 
the darkness that descends 
is just another friend
showing up uninvited, 
and promises to stand by 

one of those days, 
when little things count 
a kiss, a hug, an averted goodbye, 
sound of your breath, 
your silhouette against my sky, 
touch of your hand, 
your fingers running by, 
a smile in your eyes, 
little meanness in your try, 
one of those days, 
when this is all i need, 
when you are the drug to live by 



Friday, August 17, 2012
















the scene is dissolving in front of me. i am losing focus. oh wait, its coming back. people are zooming in and zooming out. someone's prodding the figure, checking his limp hand. that seems like a futile gesture, considering the pool of blood near it. but probably that is not a giveaway good enough for these people. the smile on his face should give them a clue then. when else can a person look so truly happy, when not dead? funny things these people are doing.
 the body is lying slumped against wall. there is nothing left. the buzz of people is louder than the buzz of flies settling over everything, and frankly more irritating. people are moving about, clueless. they certainly have no idea what to do. that explains all the pulse checking and police calling. i am watching it, from the dark corner of the street. no one can see me, i guess. thats why no one's come to ask me any questions so far. its not even a secluded street though, a perfectly busy part of the city. a bit too busy, actually. i had watched as people went past him, not realizing anything. i had seen the blood drip out of him, one drop at a time, his face becoming happier with each losing drop. i was watching him, just not moving past him. i was in no hurry, you see. does that make me worse than them? maybe it does. but i did notice him looking at me significantly, and smiling, acknowledging my unmoving posture, and if i am not wrong, appreciating it. this is what he wanted, i guess, someone to watch him and i was giving him just that. would others make a fuss out of it? shit.
the crowd is getting bigger. more curious clueless faces are joining the previous ones. people are peering over each other, asking in hushed tones. i am losing focus again. i think i should leave. i think i can hear a siren in distance. maybe police is finally here. huh, that will disperse the crowd at last. i need to get out of here.  but i cant. the scene is captivating. afterall, i have stuck out with him so far. besides,  its not everyday you discover a dead body around this place, he is dead, isnt he? may be on the brink of it. its not like its a place full of sad people. perfectly happy people inhabit this part of the world,  people who have nothing to complain about life, who have friends to turn to, who have money to turn to those friends with, who have a lover (or more) to lust after their body and a false sense of security that is called love. he was always the odd one out. i had often met him on strange corners of streets, in the most unexpected places- outside of a coffee shop, on a passing by bus, once or twice right outside his home too. some i remember, some i dont. i wonder how many did he remember. should i have asked? is it too late now?

the place is getting quieter. thats odd. more people have thronged the place now. but its getting less noisy. it feels nice though. but i have a weird feeling in me. my arm feels like someone just touched it but there is no one here.  my arm looks smooth, undamaged skin is shining with pale luminisence in the artificial illumination of street lamps, it looks ghostly but i have to say it looks nice. that soap is good. i cant be smiling. whats wrong with me?! there is a dead guy lying ten feet from me! he is dead, right?
people in white clothes and bored expressions are putting the guy on a stretcher. oh the siren was an ambulance. police didnt get on time here. okay now i am officially smirking. the guy is stirring a little, he is definitely on end of it. his eyes are  flickering a little.  he is opening his eyes a little. shit, he is looking at me and.... smiling. uh oh.

the chime of her eyes

Friday, July 20, 2012











amused stares, confused smiles and hurried rearrangement of expressions greeted their mute conversation, as always. he could almost read the thousand questions in people's minds- why? how? who? when? what reasons? good enough?

he smiled at those unasked questions, his unspoken answers lost a midst the shifting glances. only remnants of an inward smile hovered in the air.

he looked back at her, trying to locate the reason for everyone's curiosity. once again, he was lost. her eyes, effortlessly, captured his brief attention span. the question was quickly lost in his own mind. he'd probably never understand people's confusion but then, he wasnt supposed to either.

he was in love with the chime of her eyes, her silence... 

stories attached...

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

















she settled more comfortably in her seat. the scene outside her window was changing rapidly. the trees went past her window just as quickly as brown patches of barren ground took over her sight, only to be replaced by a yet new scene. as the train gathered speed, so did her nerves. she loved train rides. it helped her confine her perspective to the sides of the window, only concentrating on a scene, one at a time, staying only for long enough for her to see. some of them stayed in her memory for her to ponder later while others went by leaving no imprint behind but a moment that passed without effort.
the train took a turn and she could see sights of outskirts of a village materializing. secluded huts, young and old men leaving for work, with a tired yet determined look on their face, a steel lunch box in hand and who knows what thoughts in their minds. the haphazardly strewn huts and shops were becoming more and more scattered.
monotony of brown and green was taking over her vision, only broken by an occasional bright yellow or pink of a bill board painted with bad drawings. she had always found such bill boards amusing. they were the true caricatures of life. the bill boards flaunted everything from a good engine oil for a tractor to a happy family of three in an advertisement for a local "baba's" magical healing powers. they confined lives and all its worries within their frames all with just a few names, bad drawing and catchy color combinations. names varied, their claims varied. bill boards remained the same 50"X60" bright colored blobs.
amongst the speeding names, she only caught a few when one of them caught her eye. 'Dr. Rajiv's dental clinic' it said. the name had been painted in a deep green over a yellow sheet of metal, with two sets of happy teeth drawn besides it. the name had been painted with casual disregard. the 'R' wasnt as twisted as it was supposed to be.


" hi, i am Rajiv" he said, with a warm smile, extending his hand. "hi, i am asha", she replied, smiling, taking his hand.

" i dont think he is as weird as you people think he is. i mean, sure he is a little quirky and says weird things sometimes but that doesnt make him any worse than rest of the guys. if anything, Rajiv has the ability to stand up for what he thinks is right" said Asha, fiercely to her friends. "yeah? like his own language that he writes his name in? its barely legible by standards of english" chimed one of her friends, as rest of them giggled even more. "he just puts a curved R. its almost artistic" Asha protested. they almost ignored her but stopped discussing him all the same. they had come back to the hot topic of class- what is the deal with the new guy in class, something everyone wondered but no one bothered to find out.

" why do you bother with what those people say? they dont know you. besides, who are they to you anyways? so it hardly matters what they think. forget it, Rajiv. cheer up. you still owe me that golgappa treat, remember? lets go for that. ice cream's on me" she said, standing up, extending her hand. he took it, smiling,  just like she had, the first time they had met.

"i know. and i agree. i love you too. i didnt realize when or even why, but i liked your quirks. you are weird and weirdly, i like you for being so. did i say like? sorry. like doesnt begin to define what i feel. i love you. Rajiv. "

"why are you saying all this? whats wrong? you know i was kidding. how can you think i meant it?! its like you either dont know me at all or are refusing to see anything", she said, pleadingly. tears swam in her eyes and her hands shook. but she held it together. he stood there, with her back to her, refusing to see anything literally. " do you really have to go?" she asked, calmly. her voice indicated neither dread nor sorrow, just a plain question. "no. but i will go all the same" he said. "good bye, Rajiv" she said.


she blinked. the train was slowing down, it was a small stop, one of the thousands minor stations in India that are made out of nowhere really. Dr. Rajiv's smiling set of teeth had been left behind a long time ago. she shook her head ruefully. even after all this time...
some names would always have a story attached with them, forever, she thought. some names would always bring back images- good or bad, she realized. some names were meant to stay and not not just sift in and out of frames of memory. some names left a permanent imprint, she confessed... 

Monday, February 25, 2013

a crystal bottle, a thousand worlds, a million shards

i wish i had a crystal bottle with sharp cuts and smooth curves. silhouettes of angles and bends, brilliance of glass, as fragile as astounding. stories untold, unseen held within, stories heard and seen treasured inside the glass mansion built with crystals of mind, body and soul to hold memories, hopes, aspirations, desires, anguish, torments, tears, laughter and smiles.  i'd look at it, for hours, a lifetime cramped into those minutes, a lifetime spent in those hours. every now and then, a ray of light would fall on it. caught off guard. amplified. reflected. dazzled. broken into brilliance of millions of shimmers. blob of illumination for sometime. lost into nothingness the next moment.
i'd save it. keeping it away from world and everything else. i'd carry it with me everywhere. i'd keep it hidden in the deepest corner of my existence. it'd be mine. whenever i wished, i'd take it out. flaunt it to acknowledgement of existence then stow it back into bliss of secrecy. it'd have a cork. stopper on all the tides. it'd hold an ocean in it. the cork would be tight. the ocean would be immense.
i'd shake it. a thousand jingles would come to life. i'd put my ear to it and all will be silent. there'd be whispers, there'd be prayers. there'd be promises, unsaid, hushed, forgotten. there'd be jokes, there'd be laughter, stifled, old, dead. there'd be shouts, there'd be songs, there'd be silence. there'd be clatter of rain drops, millions of them, abandoned by the sky, falling on a dark night, cry of sky's broken heart, opening up, a grimace of clouds, illuminated with a wave of lightening rippling through sky.
i'd open it and wafts would spill out. lighter than dreams, more inconspicuous than fragrances, more vivid than realities. there'd be smell of a lover, the scent of his existence seeping in through every pore of me as i lay next to him, smell of love, passion, reluctance, desire and ecstasy  there'd be smell of that damp room, as i sat listening to silence of night, smell of sea as tides laugh with each other, mocking my insignificance. there'd be smell of my mother, as i snuggle into her back, clinging to her dress, feeling soundless rustle of her shirt between my fingers, filled with dread, overcome with calm.
i'd look into it and the ocean will be raging. there'd be horizon holding blue of ocean and abyss of sky. the world and everything beyond. endless possibilities. orange of sunrise, gleam of light travelling thousands of miles, falling at my feet, seven colors fused together into one, silver when peeking from behind the clouds, black of depth of sea, darker in its silence than in color, there'd be color of your eyes, as you look away, lost in your thought. there'd be the world i'd watch from corner of my eye.
and then, i'd put the cork back. the sounds would stop. scents would descend back into oblivion, scenes would dissolve. strand by strand. and then, there will be nothing. just the crystal bottle. unfazed, intact, beautiful. i'd cork the world and all its brilliance into that crystal bottle, stow away universes and their secrets with one sweep of hand, discard deepest sorrows and biggest joys with a flick. it'd be mine to hold, and mine to shatter, into million shards, send it back to the smoldering furnace that made it, reduce it to specks of soil, mix it back with dirt under my feet, to unleash million more stories or break a thousand worlds.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

read this. you'll feel better.


you can't know everything in the world. whatever happens, you'll die a fool
                                -Cancer Ward, Alexander Solzehnitsyn 

the title was for me. so before you feel there is a case of false advertising, you might as well skip this. well anyways, moving on...
yeah, life's a bitch. or maybe not. to be frank, its just easier to call it that. gives you a scapegoat. but then, its not all that easy. its just another thing, like every other thing on this planet. sometimes good, sometimes not. but the thing is, unlike other things, you cant run from life. so might as well live it well. or not, whatever.
in my life, there are things i want to tell people. and myself. and while it will be too scandalous to tell them upfront ( i am a scaredy cat and its too much drama, honestly), i am going to say it here. also, these are the things i feel i need to be told time to time. so this means i can come back here whenever i need a renewal of the lesson and feel better.

 1. death kills. everything else is life. and you have got to live it. and as much as most of us might have wanted at times, things like grief, guilt, disappointment or anger will not kill you. and you will have to live, unless you die ofcourse. and truth is, humans can live with anything. frankly, until death comes, they dont have much choice either. so its that living that every human wants to make easier. and its then when having someone to make things easier matters. ofcourse, you wont die without them. but having them might make just a slight difference.

2. life is hard. you have problems. turn around, someone's living through deeper shit than you are. this doesnt mean you have to seek respite in the fact that someone's slugging it worse than you. it means, stop whining and shut up.

3. talking is not a solution for many things, almost all. just talking wont get you anywhere. but sometimes, it makes enough difference to give you strength for that next step.

4. no matter how big problems others have, they are not yours. no matter how much you sympathize with them, you will still turn around and walk back into your world. no one dies over another person's problem. so even if your problem isnt as big as the next person, it is your problem at end of the day. and if you are worried, tensed, worked up or just plain pissed at it, its yours. just dont make it another person's. you are allowed to sulk though.

5. you might not ask much from life. you could ask very little. it could look like you are asking very little. but somedays, even that will seem like hard to come by. what are you going to do about it? live through the day and wait for the morning when it will again seem within reach. works. trust me.

6. you can be weak. there will be days when you will need help. you might seek it. you might expect to get it. mostly, its simpler to just ask for it. but some days, just one of those days, you'd fool yourself and wish someone would understand on their own. asking for it would be simpler, yes, but not the same. if you retract, dont be hard on yourself. you made that choice, live through it. you can. if you still go ahead and ask, dont feel guilty. you did what you had to. life moves on either way. so suck it up.

7. if you want to be happy, go ahead and do it. and i am not talking about silver-lining-and-sunshine-and-daisies-happy. i am talking about just-get-through-the-damn-day-without-biting-someone's-head-off happy, and frankly, thats all you need. and thats your personal fight, no one else's. do whatever it takes to make that happen. and if you choose not to do something that makes you happy, find peace in that. thats your only hope then cuz at end of the day, with all the fretting and sulking, you are the only one who will have to put up with the sulking bitch in mirror. might as well not piss her off even more. better for you ;)

8. perfection is a sham. there is nothing that fits everything. too good to be true doesnt happen. if its there, its true. and if its too good, smile. and look around. there's going to be a catch. there will be rusty corners, conditions applied, fine print- reality. it can still be good. but soon you will realize, everything good needs to be worked upon. you just have to see if you are willing enough.

9. invest in  yourself. sure, go ahead, make friends, help someone out, live with others. but not at your cost. amidst being the good person everyone wants as a friend, dont forget you are your best friend. take that one step for you, no matter what it is. go and work with mine kids and help homeless. but after you have done everything you wanted to do for everyone else, do that one little thing for yourself. i am not saying you are pathetically selfless. i am saying just dont expect someone else to do what you are doing for someone else. you have your reasons. others might not share them.

you are not a bad person, but then not many people are. you are just a little screwed up but then most people are. if you think about it, mostly, people are just too scared for themselves to actually worry about others. and these confused, scared, lost people form confused, scary, lost relationships with each others. once in a while, just once in a while, two people will be confused, scare and lost in a way to actually be confused, scared and lost together. but then that happens so rarely, relax, you are no worse than others. please don't whine :)





Thursday, January 10, 2013

Integration 2012-ISI, Kolkata- Antaheen-Antaheen- an endless hope

















(image googled. copyright lies with the original artist) 
Grey Kolkata sky goes as far as eye can see. Two cars pull in outside an under-construction building. Abhik Chowdhry steps out of the car, casually. Him and his team are following a lead on an arms’ haul case. This becomes the day’s biggest story. Face of Abhik Chowdhry adorns every TV screen as news channels rush to cover the story. In another part of the city, Ranjan, lost in his sensex fixation catches a glimpse of his cousin on the television, calling him to congratulate him on his big story. Lost in his own story, Ranjan is a guy who is one of the closest friends Abhik has. His next call is to a totally different part of the city, to a woman, Paromita or Paro, as he calls her, his ex-wife. Casual chit chat, a joke by Paro hints at his solitary way of life while her life looks happy with a career she is content with. In another part of the city, Brinda Roy Menon, an investigation journalist is intrigued by the story. With a desire to follow onto it, she calls cop Abhik asking for an interview. But conversation doesn’t go too well. Skeptical about sensationalization of a seemingly sensitive case, Abhik turns down Brinda’s request.
While all these people are happy about Abhik’s story, builder V K Mehra is bothered by the uncovering news as the site of case happens to be next to site for construction of his next project. Amidst frenzy of life that is running too fast, no one seems to have time to stop and think. But Abhik and Brinda, two young people zealous about their careers, have found a way to seek refuge from madness of the crowd. Every night, in a chat window, they meet a virtual identity that offers them comfort more real than anything real in their lives.  Unaware about the name or identity of the virtual personality, all Brinda knows is a guy- ‘ Boy in a box’ while all Abhik knows is a chat window named ‘ Raat Jaga Taara’.
Sharing nuances of life, Boy in a box’s and Raat jaga taara’s relation develops into a unique bond, incomparable with anything else. This comes as a respite from harsh realities of life that both these individuals face. Abhik, almost a cynic, comes across relations that run into inevitable doom of reality pretty often. His own cousin Ranjan da’s relation with his wide Paro stays on rocks. This is the reason that both these individuals prefer to keep their weird relation anonymous. What they share are little joys of life that are beyond realms of real name or true identity.
Paro, a marketing executive is an artist from heart. Her passion is photography but that’s part of what she does. Brinda, a colleague is one of Paro’s closest friends, ofcourse, besides Ranjan. Paro and Ranjan had a lovely relationship. But they live separately now. Marriage was probably over, but friendship wasn’t. They were each other’s confidants and most certainly, in need for each other. That is why when an offer for job in Mumbai comes along, Paro seeks Ranjan’s advice. Their relation is in a weird spot. Past complications make it difficult for them to open up to each other. That is why, as a rationalist, Ranjan suggests her to take the job and move to Mumbai to explore her career. But the truth is, neither of them wants to leave the other. Paro, especially, hopes one last call from Ranjan, a sign that he wants her back in his life as she fears her preference for her career in past had led to disappointment in their marriage and an ultimate fall out. V K Mehra hosts a launch party where he invites Abhik. Paro asks Brinda to come along. And this is how they meet each other for the first time. A rather cold meeting, they don’t seem to hit it off well. But after a rocky start, they warm up to each other Ranjan’s birthday party.
One night, in a casual conversation with his Pishi, Abhik realizes embodiment of endless wait when she tells him about her similar relation with an unknown identity. Life seems to get a little more complicated as Abhik realizes he might be developing feelings for Brinda along with suspecting his seemingly weird love for the ‘chat window’. Lost in his own world, Abhik is sure about comfort from his virtual friend, who too is developing feelings, although inexplicable, for the ‘boy in a box’. Both these worlds look ready to continue existing parallel when one night, in a casual conversation with Abhik, Brinda realizes extreme similarity between him and her virtual friend. Realization dawns. She understands he is the boy in a box. World seems better. She leaves an offline message for boy in box to meet her the next day, at a given place and time. But end is close. Brinda dies in a car crash. And with her, the realization dies too. Abhik wakes up to check his computer and find a message. Skeptical though, he is happy about the idea. But moments later, he receives news of Brinda’s death. Devastated, Abhik goes to comfort Paro who has decided to stay back in Kolkata and rekindle her relation with Ranjan. Next, he goes to the place of meeting but ‘Raat jaaga taara’ never shows up.  He waits but then walks away. Abhik, at end of the day, seeks comfort in his escape from reality but she is offline. He waits. The light doesn’t change color. He waves it away thinking she must have been busy. The night passes. And the next. And the next. And the next. Unaware of the fact that with one friend, he has lost two, Abhik continues to wait for her to show up. Every night, he gives himself a new reason. Every morning, he awaits the night, another night of wait with his endless hope. 

Friday, October 12, 2012

one of those days...

one of those days,
when the truths hurt and smiles go sly, 
false comfort in lies unknown, 
a little sadness of times gone by, 
the world moves a little to the left, 
and then a little to the right, 
searching for its center
that just keeps slipping by 

one of those days, 
when hopelessness is the new high, 
the peace of giving up, 
the joy of a fizzling try, 
the gift of a failure, 
the bliss of oblivion, 
of the night sky 
the darkness that descends 
is just another friend
showing up uninvited, 
and promises to stand by 

one of those days, 
when little things count 
a kiss, a hug, an averted goodbye, 
sound of your breath, 
your silhouette against my sky, 
touch of your hand, 
your fingers running by, 
a smile in your eyes, 
little meanness in your try, 
one of those days, 
when this is all i need, 
when you are the drug to live by 



Friday, August 17, 2012

















the scene is dissolving in front of me. i am losing focus. oh wait, its coming back. people are zooming in and zooming out. someone's prodding the figure, checking his limp hand. that seems like a futile gesture, considering the pool of blood near it. but probably that is not a giveaway good enough for these people. the smile on his face should give them a clue then. when else can a person look so truly happy, when not dead? funny things these people are doing.
 the body is lying slumped against wall. there is nothing left. the buzz of people is louder than the buzz of flies settling over everything, and frankly more irritating. people are moving about, clueless. they certainly have no idea what to do. that explains all the pulse checking and police calling. i am watching it, from the dark corner of the street. no one can see me, i guess. thats why no one's come to ask me any questions so far. its not even a secluded street though, a perfectly busy part of the city. a bit too busy, actually. i had watched as people went past him, not realizing anything. i had seen the blood drip out of him, one drop at a time, his face becoming happier with each losing drop. i was watching him, just not moving past him. i was in no hurry, you see. does that make me worse than them? maybe it does. but i did notice him looking at me significantly, and smiling, acknowledging my unmoving posture, and if i am not wrong, appreciating it. this is what he wanted, i guess, someone to watch him and i was giving him just that. would others make a fuss out of it? shit.
the crowd is getting bigger. more curious clueless faces are joining the previous ones. people are peering over each other, asking in hushed tones. i am losing focus again. i think i should leave. i think i can hear a siren in distance. maybe police is finally here. huh, that will disperse the crowd at last. i need to get out of here.  but i cant. the scene is captivating. afterall, i have stuck out with him so far. besides,  its not everyday you discover a dead body around this place, he is dead, isnt he? may be on the brink of it. its not like its a place full of sad people. perfectly happy people inhabit this part of the world,  people who have nothing to complain about life, who have friends to turn to, who have money to turn to those friends with, who have a lover (or more) to lust after their body and a false sense of security that is called love. he was always the odd one out. i had often met him on strange corners of streets, in the most unexpected places- outside of a coffee shop, on a passing by bus, once or twice right outside his home too. some i remember, some i dont. i wonder how many did he remember. should i have asked? is it too late now?

the place is getting quieter. thats odd. more people have thronged the place now. but its getting less noisy. it feels nice though. but i have a weird feeling in me. my arm feels like someone just touched it but there is no one here.  my arm looks smooth, undamaged skin is shining with pale luminisence in the artificial illumination of street lamps, it looks ghostly but i have to say it looks nice. that soap is good. i cant be smiling. whats wrong with me?! there is a dead guy lying ten feet from me! he is dead, right?
people in white clothes and bored expressions are putting the guy on a stretcher. oh the siren was an ambulance. police didnt get on time here. okay now i am officially smirking. the guy is stirring a little, he is definitely on end of it. his eyes are  flickering a little.  he is opening his eyes a little. shit, he is looking at me and.... smiling. uh oh.

Friday, July 20, 2012

the chime of her eyes












amused stares, confused smiles and hurried rearrangement of expressions greeted their mute conversation, as always. he could almost read the thousand questions in people's minds- why? how? who? when? what reasons? good enough?

he smiled at those unasked questions, his unspoken answers lost a midst the shifting glances. only remnants of an inward smile hovered in the air.

he looked back at her, trying to locate the reason for everyone's curiosity. once again, he was lost. her eyes, effortlessly, captured his brief attention span. the question was quickly lost in his own mind. he'd probably never understand people's confusion but then, he wasnt supposed to either.

he was in love with the chime of her eyes, her silence... 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

stories attached...


















she settled more comfortably in her seat. the scene outside her window was changing rapidly. the trees went past her window just as quickly as brown patches of barren ground took over her sight, only to be replaced by a yet new scene. as the train gathered speed, so did her nerves. she loved train rides. it helped her confine her perspective to the sides of the window, only concentrating on a scene, one at a time, staying only for long enough for her to see. some of them stayed in her memory for her to ponder later while others went by leaving no imprint behind but a moment that passed without effort.
the train took a turn and she could see sights of outskirts of a village materializing. secluded huts, young and old men leaving for work, with a tired yet determined look on their face, a steel lunch box in hand and who knows what thoughts in their minds. the haphazardly strewn huts and shops were becoming more and more scattered.
monotony of brown and green was taking over her vision, only broken by an occasional bright yellow or pink of a bill board painted with bad drawings. she had always found such bill boards amusing. they were the true caricatures of life. the bill boards flaunted everything from a good engine oil for a tractor to a happy family of three in an advertisement for a local "baba's" magical healing powers. they confined lives and all its worries within their frames all with just a few names, bad drawing and catchy color combinations. names varied, their claims varied. bill boards remained the same 50"X60" bright colored blobs.
amongst the speeding names, she only caught a few when one of them caught her eye. 'Dr. Rajiv's dental clinic' it said. the name had been painted in a deep green over a yellow sheet of metal, with two sets of happy teeth drawn besides it. the name had been painted with casual disregard. the 'R' wasnt as twisted as it was supposed to be.


" hi, i am Rajiv" he said, with a warm smile, extending his hand. "hi, i am asha", she replied, smiling, taking his hand.

" i dont think he is as weird as you people think he is. i mean, sure he is a little quirky and says weird things sometimes but that doesnt make him any worse than rest of the guys. if anything, Rajiv has the ability to stand up for what he thinks is right" said Asha, fiercely to her friends. "yeah? like his own language that he writes his name in? its barely legible by standards of english" chimed one of her friends, as rest of them giggled even more. "he just puts a curved R. its almost artistic" Asha protested. they almost ignored her but stopped discussing him all the same. they had come back to the hot topic of class- what is the deal with the new guy in class, something everyone wondered but no one bothered to find out.

" why do you bother with what those people say? they dont know you. besides, who are they to you anyways? so it hardly matters what they think. forget it, Rajiv. cheer up. you still owe me that golgappa treat, remember? lets go for that. ice cream's on me" she said, standing up, extending her hand. he took it, smiling,  just like she had, the first time they had met.

"i know. and i agree. i love you too. i didnt realize when or even why, but i liked your quirks. you are weird and weirdly, i like you for being so. did i say like? sorry. like doesnt begin to define what i feel. i love you. Rajiv. "

"why are you saying all this? whats wrong? you know i was kidding. how can you think i meant it?! its like you either dont know me at all or are refusing to see anything", she said, pleadingly. tears swam in her eyes and her hands shook. but she held it together. he stood there, with her back to her, refusing to see anything literally. " do you really have to go?" she asked, calmly. her voice indicated neither dread nor sorrow, just a plain question. "no. but i will go all the same" he said. "good bye, Rajiv" she said.


she blinked. the train was slowing down, it was a small stop, one of the thousands minor stations in India that are made out of nowhere really. Dr. Rajiv's smiling set of teeth had been left behind a long time ago. she shook her head ruefully. even after all this time...
some names would always have a story attached with them, forever, she thought. some names would always bring back images- good or bad, she realized. some names were meant to stay and not not just sift in and out of frames of memory. some names left a permanent imprint, she confessed...