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Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Wordpress versus Blogger

This blog has been shifted to abhyused.wordpress.com

I feel that the shift to wordpress has to be made eventually. And the time has come for this blog too. 

Please find me on abhyused.wordpress.com

Monday, 24 October 2016

Book Review- Agniputr - Vadhan

ISBN- 978-93-86141-07-1
Title- Agniputr 'When Agni First Spoke'
Author- Bommadevara Sai Chandravadhan / Vadhan
Publisher- Bloomsbusy Publishing India Pvt Ltd
Price- Rs 299
Pages- 354
Cover Design- Graficus



This book comes with a lot of promise especially because it is a supernatural fiction book and is published by Bloomsbury. Harry Potter fulfilled those two criteria and we know the rest of the story. The cover design is perfect with a burning house in the background which raises questions instead of uncovering the plot.

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Chhatarpur

Chhatarpur is a sleepy town in Bundelkhand. When we think of Bundelkhand, we think of villagers defecating alongside dusty roads, cattle sitting in the middle of those roads, basically an India stuck in time. Chhatarpur is surrounded by such villages but it is better, cleaner, more developed than neighbouring towns like Bijawar, Tikamgarh, Gulganj which are sleepier and dustier yet.

The roundabouts in Chhatarpur have been recently installed with traffic lights. The main road which runs from the Post Office roundabout to the Panna Naka three-way, has dividers too. The vehicles in the town do not understand these foreign concepts though. They try to squeeze through whatever space they find. Everyone is in a hurry although everything they need is within a one-kilometer radius.

The shopkeepers in Chhatarpur try too hard to please you. Not because they are wily, clever businessmen but because they want to be your friends before they can sell you stuff. The local grocer would give you free stuff to taste, the clothes merchant would show you every shirt, the fruit seller would return your money if you come back with a mango rotten from within.

As a kid growing up in those streets, I realized that not much happens in the town. True, there are 'bad' locales where men fire country-made guns at each other but in the colonies, the schools, the colleges, the offices--Chhatarpur remains by and large quiet. People sit in their offices and sip tea to get through their days. Housewives divide their days in nap times and TV watching times. Growing up there as a kid was fun because we could play outdoors. We had a large grassy plot of land in our neighbourhood. Kids from other colonies would come and we would form teams and play cricket matches that resulted in lifelong bitter rivalries. Nowadays, the plots have been covered by buildings and the kids have disappeared from streets.

Chhatarpur also is the city of narrow lanes and densely packed markets. The bajariya is the main market area of Chhatarpur and one needs a lion's heart to navigate traffic there. The market begins from the main chauraha and continues to grow denser as one pierces unruly cycles, men walking in groups, cows, women sitting in rickshaws and all other traffic things to reach the main market center. There, one had to leave their four wheeler at the side and enter the paved lanes wide enough for one and a half person only. Certain daredevils take their cycles and motorbikes inside the bajariya area. Inside, one finds shops of jewelers one after another. It is difficult to understand why so many people selling the same thing open shops so close to one another. A motley crew of other shops punctuate the jewelry shops at places.

Then there is the bus stand. Buses from the neighbouring cities and sometimes Delhi and Agra ply regularly from here. Since Chhatarpur doesn't have a railway station yet, the bus stand is the only way to get out of the city for the daily wage labourers. A peanut seller stands at the entrance of the bus stand. People flock around him and try his peanuts before purchasing a packet of five rupees. He seems to lose peanuts worth at least two rupees to the shameless tasting per customer. How he continues to stay in business is anyone's guess.

Thursday, 6 October 2016

What I have for you

Go ahead, sweetheart,

Open the box. Unwrap it quickly, tear away the paper. I like your restless fingers as they run through the box. You may shake it vigorously and put your ear to it. You will hear some heartbeats. Inside it, there is some goodness that you had lost. A small gesture of kindness, a smile for no reason, a deep look into your eyes--it is all there.

My love lies at the corner too. It is the only thing that really matters. It is passionate, mad and whimsical. It repeatedly wants to be loved back but don't worry, it is selfless from inside. If you look at it long enough, it might make you cry. So look away.

Have you ever been kissed in public? Has it made the crowd disappear? Have you felt hugged? I am sure you have hugged but have you felt the hug? Well, here are some of those feelings in one corner. These feelings of mine, if you hold them correctly, will make everyone else disappear. They will be the only things that matter. So hold them only if you like them.

At the other side, I also have for you some sadness. When you dial my phone and the number is busy, when you sit alone and I am not in the room, when you eat alone my favourite food, at those moments, this little sadness will sit with you. Do not mind it though. It won't hurt until my love is with you. And as you know, my love is forever.

Now, close the box once you have seen the gifts, love. The gifts cost me nothing--just my heart and everything that I had. I had nothing before though. Now, I have you. 

Love,

Me.

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Book review- The Unexpected Inheritance of Inspector Chopra by Vaseem Khan


The Unexpected Inheritance of Inspector Chopra (Baby Ganesh Agency Investigation #1)The Unexpected Inheritance of Inspector Chopra by Vaseem Khan
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

One of the worst books I have read. The last quarter of the book is when the writer gets to all the action. It is not so much crime and detective fiction than it is a spy action thriller which manages to preach secularism, Hindu-Muslim unity, how all men named 'Narendra' are evil and are ruling India now. The book references Indira Gandhi, Bollywood, Ramayana for no darn reason. [spoiler] The main villain is named Narendra/ Arun Jaitly [/spoiler] which has a bit of an anti-BJP political undercurrent. If we ignore the unfortunate nomenclature and preachy dialogue as mere coincidences, the book in itself is a textbook of bad writing.

Monday, 3 October 2016

FIRE AND WATER: A POEM

A fistful of fire,
and some cold ash.
Reasons to live,
and an ugly crash.

Saturday, 1 October 2016

The Graduation

"Congratulations, big day eh?" The compliment hits you in the gut. You are still not ready to be called a doctor. You want the title but there will be responsibilities. The real world will wait for you because after today, you will have a degree that will enable you to treat people. Complete strangers will come straight to you with their problems and you will be medically qualified to touch them, listen to them and treat them.

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Point of View

First PersonI waited for my turn patiently as the dentist drilled holes in the teeth of his patients. I tried not to notice the squeals and the ouches but they got me. I have hated dental appointments all my life. I had one when I was a child and the memory is a faint one. I was pulled to the chair and the dentist, that bastard, distracted me with his questions and as I opened my mouth, he started his drill inside my mouth. I felt like the world was going to end. I now understand when the kid in the cabin squeals like a baby seal. I am pretty sure the dentist must not have told him anything about the surprise injections and drills and other forms of torture.

Sunday, 28 August 2016

A story yet unwritten- 'Before Death'

‘This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.’


        One day when Anil returned from the shop, he found his father lying on the bed. He shook him, shouted expletives at him but to no avail. It was just him and his father at their house. His mother had died long ago of general neglect. Nobody really expected her to live. She was spiteful in her last years and died a bitter neglected death. All the relatives came running after hearing about the death. Death was important to them. Nothing else could pull them to the town but death. Funerals were a great time to show that one cared deeply and they lasted shorter too, unlike the long bedridden phase where the dying needed to be cared for.

Sunday, 21 August 2016

Advice That Mattered

I am blogging about my dreams and the people who helped make them true for the #AdviceThatMattered activity at BlogAdda in association with Stoodnt.

I have had a steady career in the sense that I have followed the wise advice nuggets of my elders and have completed my graduation in a safe field ie dentistry. My dad's logic behind helping me take admission in one of the topmost dental colleges in India was that if I become a good dentist, at least I will never be jobless (Ironic because the job market for dentists in India is rapidly shrinking).

I came to Delhi and started my practice here but, there has always been this artist within me. Dentistry allows for some amount of artistic expression but, my canvas was bigger. I wanted to draw cartoons, write stories and be known for it all. Marx had imagined a society where someone can be a scientist by the day and fisherman in the evening. Well, I wanted to be in that society; not fishing, but writing.

I did have a blog (this blog) but then, I began dreaming about writing a book some day or having a career as a novelist. Now, it is common knowledge that one should follow their true calling and there is no harm in chasing dreams. I did want to do so but, there was a practical side to the whole thing. No one succeeds overnight and the prospect of giving writing or cartooning my everything would have left me no where. I am not sure if writers ever pay their bills. Dying under debt just didn't sound that smart.

A friend of mine knew that I could write. I used to hang out with her and discuss career. She was one of the most reasonable and sorted people I had known. Safe choices like engineering and MBA were her cup of tea. I floated the idea of writing a book to her and she pushed me toward writing saying, "I am taking safe steps and planning ahead because I do not have what you have. Very few have what you have and it is the art of telling a story. You know your way with words and it is the reason you should, you must write a book."

With her push, I decided to balance time between writing and dentistry and the result is my first manuscript which is the semi-autobiographical account of a dentist's love life. Although it is yet to be published, just the joy of finishing a manuscript has been tremendous. I am so grateful for the push that made it happen. 

Thursday, 11 August 2016

The Moral Science Conspiracy- A Cartoon


Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Book Review- A Book Of Light- Jerry Pinto

ISBN- 978-93-86050-17-5
Title- A Book of Light - When a Loved One Has a Different Mind
Edited by- Jerry Pinto
Contributors- Shashi Baliga, Leela Chakravorty, Sukant Deepak, Nirupama Dutt, Anabelle Furtado, Lalita Iyer, Sharmila Joshi, Manoj Menon, Patricia Mukhim, Parvana Boga Noorani, Ina Puri, Amandeep Sandhu, Madhusudan Srinivas
Genre- Nonfiction
Publisher- Speaking Tiger www.speakingtigerbooks.com
Pages- 175
Price- Rs 399
Hardcover


The dude in the picture below is Jerry Pinto. The writer who wrote Em and the Big Hoom- a book that immediately made me his fan. He spoke in the book of his mother's condition. She was a bipolar patient with schizophrenia. The odd taboo associated with psychiatric illnesses in India can only be removed if we are willing to talk about it. 

This guy is talented too. He has done the cover illustration for the book in question- A Book of Light. This one is a compilation of personal accounts of people from mostly the journalist or writer fraternity who have suffered at the hands of fate. Fate that has taken away the minds of their loved ones and wrapped those minds with barbed wire.

The stories in this book are heart breaking and the accounts are real as it gets. The editing is nice and except a punctuation error (apostrophe related) in Anabelle's story, I could not spot any errors.

The publishers have done a great job with the presentation and the hardbound book demands to be treasured in your bookshelf. The pages are crisp and off white and have a very international feel to them. Although relatively young, Speaking Tiger is going to make a name for itself.

Coming to the content, the book has beautiful stories which are personal accounts of the writers. Sukant Deepak's story about his bipolar dad shakes you from within. It is written with such intimacy yet, such distancing that it allows for the reader to assimilate the helplessness the patient's family feels.

Leela Chakravorty's angst against his schizophrenic mother is again a very personal account. It shows how it is not always as easy as it seems to love your family.

Amandeep Sandhu's story made me cry. It was the sheer burden of his mother's psychiatric illness and adding to that, her breast cancer, that made me realize how difficult it is to understand someone's pain.

Nirupama Dutt's story read like a story. It was a story of adoption and inner turmoils more than anything else. It had more sunshine moments than other stories in the book.

Patricia Mukhim writes about a Khasi mother's account of her daughter's illness. This one is again a story with positives and strength but, the fight against fate is difficult to win.

Sharmila Joshi writes about her neighbour who fought his demons. It was again a sensitively written story. Alcohol, depression and other demons are strong in this one too.

Madhusudan Srinivas's is a very small story of acceptance and sharing. Positive message awaits at the end.

Lalita Ayer's story is her love story with a schizophrenic Swedish guy. The sad part lasts for little less duration of time in the story and it is majorly a love story but the end has a thick blanket of guilt over it.

Anabelle Furtado fights her own demons in the story and it is a very brave thing to do.

Manoj Menon's story has some dark humour which ends up warming up your heart and makes one think about how different can mental illnesses be.

Shashi Baliga talks about his father but, the illness seems to be absorbed and assimilated in the family so much so that we are not really sure if it meant something more than 'mood swings'.

Parvana Boga Noorani talks about a mother and the unexplainable things that happened with her. It is written with poise and sensitivity.

Ina Puri's story raises some pertinent questions about depression.

All in all, the book contains heartfelt emotions and true to life feelings. It does have the light as promised on the cover and is an inspiring book for all those suffering.

Monday, 8 August 2016

Half Baked Story


As she trots with glee on the wall, I see her. She is carefree and smiling. She is smiling without a camera panning across the garden. There is no one looking and she still puts up a show. I am here, minding my own business, in my own garden. Well, not really because where's the fun in that? I am minding everyone else's business and adding it all to my recipe. I am brewing something and it is not a broth. I have this large pan and this large ladle. I lift up the liquid and pour it back down as it bubbles up and boils to perfection.


It isn't perfect though, it is more or less crude. I watch it sometimes, and sometimes I just let it simmer. I watch her as she tiptoes around my cooking. She is carefree and a little careless too. I am concocting stories and I need some spices. The catch (not the brand of masala) is that I have no spices and must get them myself. Well, she is around me and her heels are on my fence. I am not annoyed, I really like guests. She slips from the walls and falls in my garden. She dusts off herself and now the dust is a part of the recipe. I call it fairy dust because it is extremely rare. I do not know why but this garden is usually empty and so are my hands when I go out to get spices. I had knocked on every door and asked every neighbour, some called me a friend and some closed the door on my nose.

This girl though, she stayed and dusted her hands in my cooking. The story got spicier and she leaned in to smell.

"Careful, you will end up in my stories," I warned her with a smile.

She took my advice and that's why this story is half-cooked.








Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Book review- The Story of A Suicide - By Sriram Ayer

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Emotional Extortion

From the past few days, pictures of Kashmiri children and women injured by rubber bullets fired by the army have been doing the rounds on the social media. It is natural to ask what are small children doing in the line of fire? What do they care about Kashmir's azadi? They are children for God's sake. It doesn't require a genius to figure out the actual purpose of these photos- they are meant to evoke sympathy and bring in more and more supporters for the Kashmir's movement for independence (heavily funded and guided by Pakistan). It is so obvious that certain people have vested interests in this movement but, the divisive politics they play is disturbingly ugly.

Saturday, 2 July 2016

Earn my respect


Thursday, 30 June 2016

Brexit


Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Creatives for the blog



Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Dental fear factor


Monday, 27 June 2016

Udta Punjab


Thursday, 23 June 2016

Dentists don't smile (fictional)

It was a particularly busy day at the clinic. I had just performed a root canal in an upper first molar and I could see from the louvre in my cabin that there were three more patients in the waiting area. At the end of the queue, I saw those eyes. There was restlessness in others’ eyes but she sat as if she had been intimated by the grand planner of things. She was pretty, she was calm. She sat there with a book and I almost knew by instinct that she must be reading Arundhati Roy. Later I found out that she was reading Chetan Bhagat. Lesson: Never judge a reader by her eyes. Just look at the book cover and judge. I asked my receptionist to send in the next patient.

Sunday, 19 June 2016

How God Places Us

I am an agnostic for the simple reason that I have no proof that there exists a design in the way we live our lives. But small things happen and they make one wonder if there really is a large chess board and we are all planted at our spots for reasons known to no one but that one divine order. (That sounded dorky)

Modi Vs Kejriwal: Is this love?


Saturday, 18 June 2016

Sex and love: the two topics

(Fiction)

I have been in multiple conversations. Deep intimate conversations. Conversations that outlast the night sometimes. Conversations that are like rolling boulders in a landslide, conversations that just cannot be stopped with brute force even.

Thursday, 16 June 2016

Definition of dilemma


Thursday, 9 June 2016

Moolchand ke paranthe

As you get down from Moolchand metro station, two shops greet with almost equal fervour- Moolchand ke paranthe and Sanjay Chur chur naan. And because you have a better idea about what a paratha is, you prefer the paratha. And it is not just you, the crowd swarms over the parantha shop.

Sunday, 5 June 2016

The chase

Before there was anything revoltingly obnoxious about a guy who chased a girl, the idea had its appeal. The idea of a guy who would go at any lengths to make a girl smile. Before women raised their voices about how they didn't like the idea of guys taking care of them all the time, before the guys went a little crazy in the head, the idea had its appeal.

Friday, 3 June 2016

Broken People


Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Types of people I meet at meetup.com

Ever since I started my meetup groups on meetup.com - meetup.com/talking-books-in-delhi and meetup.com/delhicartoonists I have come across several breeds of people and have been secretly judging them and smiling to myself like a moron. It is about to time that I shared the data with you all so that we can all smile to ourselves like morons-

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Importance of irreverence: Decoding India's sense of humour

As the debate heats up on whether or not Tanmay Bhat's jokes were in bad taste, I have a different question. What is India's sense of humour? India as a country has to have a sense of humour, right? You can't be a vibrant democracy and not have a good sense of humour about things.

Monday, 30 May 2016

Talking Crap- Ritesh and Abhyudaya

Sunday, 29 May 2016

The Unequal Love Story

He used to walk down the street every day and wait in a queue for the bus. A pair of eyes followed him almost every day. From a window on the second floor of a building almost in the middle of that street, she would watch him. It wasn't attraction or obsession. He just seemed like a curious case to her. She didn't abandon her daily chores to just sit and wait for him, watch him make his way through the traffic. It just happened that every afternoon, she had nothing else to do. He would skillfully evade the unruly cycle rickshaws, touch every cow sitting on the road and bring his palm to his forehead as a mark of respect. She smiled when the cow would try to shoo him away with its tail. He had learned how to evade the tail too.

Friday, 27 May 2016

What fathers do

It is a hot summer afternoon, a family of three is traveling in a state transport run, rickety, dingy bus. The father sits on the alley seat and the mother on the window. The son sits in father's lap lazily. The paint on the bus is falling apart and its grumpy inner grey is showing through. The passengers keep pouring in and the bus keeps accommodating them. It is going to be an eight hour journey and some people are going to stand for those eight straight hours.

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Could have been

Every day is full of so many possibilities. Possibilities brewing, spilling over like boiling milk. You could begin a startup, you can begin a novel, you can get to meet someone who would change your life. Or you can just sit at home and watch the latest episode of Game of Thrones.

Friday, 20 May 2016

हलकी जलन

तू गुड़िया सुनेहरी, मैं काग़ज़ का पुतला,
तू झोंका हवा का, मैं बारिश का पत्ता.

तू नाव बड़ी सी, मैं नादिया का गोता,
मैं बच्चा अकेला, तू तूफान का झोंका.

मैं तेरी पनाहों का प्यासा मुसाफिर,
तू पलटे, यूँ देखे, औ हंस दे ज़रा फिर.

मैं पीछे हूँ तेरे, तू जाए है आगे,
है मन भी मेरा ये,  हवा जैसे भागे.

एक आँधी की आहट मेरे सामने है,
ये तूफान, ये बादल, तुझे जानते हैं.

मैं नाज़ुक ज़रा हूँ, बिखर जाऊँगा,
तू हंसती रहेगी, दहल जाऊँगा।

तेरे सामने झुकते सारे यहाँ हैं,
मेरे प्यार की उतनी कीमत कहाँ है.

तू आगे बढ़ेगी, मैं खुश हूँ उसी में,
तेरे रास्ते पे मैं घुल के बह जाऊँगा.

तू चूमेगी जब अपने जैसे किसी को,
एक हल्का ज़रा सा मैं जल जाऊँगा.

जलूँगा ज़रा सा, सुलगे बिना पर,
मेरी रौशनी में तू दिखेगी चमकती.

बरस के गिरेंगे तेरे नूर पे सब,
बहूँगा अलग से मैं, बन काग़ज़ की कश्ती. 

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

So little reward

It gets me how there are so many things in life that aren't rewarding. Politeness has no direct benefits. No benefits are there if your are extremely sincere or honest. Willingness to accept differences, gentle conduct are all reward-less. I don't think virtues make life easier. Conscience is cleaner but, that is one technicality. Conscience can be a bitch sometimes. It just keeps setting the bar higher.

Saturday, 14 May 2016

Annoyingly Preachy Rant

Have you ever hit rock bottom? In the folklore, it is an unhappy place. A dungeon with chains and dragons spitting fire! We are all driven by goals and also the fear of failure. But, what if someone whispered in our ears that there is no such thing as a complete failure and it is okay to fail.

Friday, 29 April 2016

Better Love Stories

There is something about people who fall easy. People who cannot make a pros and cons list to save their life. They smile when a stranger cracks a joke and can be easily pranked. These people walk among us with their patched up, repaired, battered hearts. When they sit with people with shiny new hearts in mint condition, they do not feel envy though.

Monday, 25 April 2016

A railway platform

The tea is specially bad here. This is a place where you have an equal chance of stepping on something disgusting or an actual sleeping human being. When we move in crowds, our shoulders get rubbed here and no one says 'excuse me'. This place never sleeps. It is an Indian railway platform.

Saturday, 16 April 2016

Chatting Made Complicated- Whatsapp

So Whatsapp has this intersting new feature where you can select the skin colour of the emoji you are sending on chat. It is a hard choice because in that very moment, when you are set to choose the skin colour, your brain helps you realize if you have been a closet racist all this while.

Thursday, 14 April 2016

Respect the belly

I do not know if it is just an Indian thing but, we as a country tend to respect the paunch. It signifies prosperity and influence in our culture. Prosperity because only someone with a belly can afford diabetes and blood pressure medications. And influence because only someone with influence can flaunt a potbelly without people mocking him.

Small town patriarchs usually indulge in this belly display competition of sorts when they come out of their monarchies, with their sando banyans folded up, rubbing their bellies and yawning. By doing so, they display to the world that they have attained that stage in life where they are not afraid of the fashion police. Not that the fashion police would dare even to think about detaining them anyway.

A shopkeeper with a loose shirt and a fragile frame has to try really hard here to please customers. Customers are unimpressed with the shopkeeper's inability to overfeed himself. On the other hand, a shopkeeper with a potbelly can sit indifferently and yet, people would flock to his shop. They would offer him money as he looks the other way. He would notice eventually and turn his attention to them in slow motion while scratching his cheeks. People would patiently bear through the whole procedure just so that they have the privilege of him replying to their innocuous questions.

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

I hate pigeons

There is not much that can done about pigeons. Once they decide that they want to be a part of your life, you can fight it, you can put up a resistance but eventally, the pigeon wins. The pigeon always wins and it is not even like they woo you or something. They are those lovers who'd continue courting you until you get tired and say 'yes'. A pigeon is relentless and has an air of 'I don't know what I am doing wrong' about itself.

Monday, 11 April 2016

Tea, Coffee, Toffee

I had never understood West's fascination with coffee. I was always more of a tea-person myself. Tea is anyway India's national beverage. There are no coffee stalls at roadside even though it is far easier to prepare coffee (I did not say good coffee) instantly. The coffee culture, as they call it, is more widespread in USA. The image of a working class American, walking the street, newspaper in hand and coffee in another is the stereotype we have all come to recognize.

Friday, 8 April 2016

Writers and Money.

Writing as a profession is an easy thing. All you need is a laptop, a charger, your fingers and a will to never earn money. Premchand died in poverty, many other authors followed suit but, then there are the rockstars of the lit world who release novels like blockbuster movies.

Saturday, 26 March 2016

For Dr Pankaj Narang

#DrPankajLynched

Saddening to see the story. The dentist was murdered for nothing. It isn't about Islam. It is a very local issue.

Thursday, 24 March 2016

Why she would never text back!

The initial contact with a female of the human species is a fairly uncomplicated event which is such a misleading phenomenon. You would think that Tinder is made to bring two like-minded people together, right? Or two people equally willing to bone together, right? Well, here is a giant NOPE!

Saturday, 12 March 2016

The Other Side


Saturday, 5 March 2016

Every time

Every time I walk in the rain, watching a couple walk past me- the boy holding the umbrella, the girl ranting away; I will hold it against you. Every time I see two friends walking side by side, half-smiling with the hint of a half-brewed misadventure,

Saturday, 27 February 2016

Wedding Gowns

This wedding season, low back wedding dresses and backless gowns are so much in vogue. All brides-to-be are opting for such sexy dresses which flaunt their glowing back and get them lot of compliments for their trendy wedding dress.

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Completely honest journalists

Advisory Warning
I do not know whether Afzal was a terrorist or someone who was a mere pawn. I have faith in my judiciary but, I am okay with breathing the same air as people who want to raise questions. Zee News and Times Now promote jingoism.

Sunday, 21 February 2016

Another Animal Farm

This farm had hens and ducks ruling it. Pigs did nothing but sit all day and gloat in the mud. There was this one hen who would constantly yap about ducks. Most ducks would let it pass but a few ducks would take exception to the fowl language. Those ducks would then cluck about this bad hen. Some ducks talked more passionately about this bad hen while calling out the whole hen community in general.

Saturday, 20 February 2016

The JNU Controversy

Well, it is hard to ignore the storm when it hits your newspapers and television sets on such high frequency and intensity. Arnab Goswami has retired Army people crying on his show while Ravish on NDTV is trying to dissect the politics out of it. So, some marches were held, weird slogans were shouted and Afzal Guru was glorified.

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Curtains!

'The curtains don't match,' He said.

'With what?' She wondered out loud.

'With anything!' He nearly shouted.

Monday, 1 February 2016

Book Review- Nirmala- Premchand



You cannot read this book with the feminist ideals of today. The writer Premchand was a pioneer of his times and social messages had a prominent role in his works. But even then, this novel doesn't really contain a revolutionary idea. The central plot is pretty tame and has conformist elements along with the idea of addressing the plight of women in the Indian society of those times.

Sunday, 31 January 2016

Pug-zone her!


Friday, 29 January 2016

Vote for Development! - A Cartoon

Sometimes people overuse the word 'development' and it gets deceptive. Just a quip on that.

Friday, 22 January 2016

How to fail at talking to women.

I am very bad at talking to strangers specially when I have no clear purpose. I cannot be one of those guys who have game. And by game I mean a topic. Because, I don't think there is no need to talk to a stranger unless you are lost and need directions or that stranger happens to own a shop or is serving tables at a restaurant.

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Look, the sparrow is back!

As a kid, I used to look out for all sorts of uninvited guests in my house. The list included lizards, mice, moles, sparrows and actual human guests. The reptiles and rodents were annoying but they never really did anything aside from looking disgusting, running through narrow creaks and crevices. 
Image source: Wikipedia (Because I couldn't take a decent enough picture of a sparrow)
The sparrow used to be on a whole other level of annoying though. It would litter, it would fly across the room making me switch off the fan. It always flew dangerously close to the fan perhaps daring death and courting tragedy. Sparrow always lived in a family and the family usually was hit by various tragedies. 

Every other day, its egg would fall off and rupture. I would curse the stupid architectural skills of the bird. Then there was the regular death of a newborn by falling from the nest. Having a sparrow nest at your home had nothing positive about it. I would shoo the bird away when it would start laying the foundation of its rickety, poorly-knit nest. 

The worst part was when one of the sparrows was locked out of the room. It would sit outside the window and panic like a distraught lover while the other one would squeal from inside. Even after opening the window for them, they would take some time to figure out the way. Not to mention the ruckus the inside sparrow would create when I would try to let the outside sparrow in. 

'Calm down you dumb bird. I am not going to murder your family.'

The bird was tenacious though. It kept playing the game of like from nest to flight every season. A foggy winter morning was never considered complete without a bunch of sparrows having their brunch with the grains lying in the lawn.

Then something weird happened. The sparrow stopped showing up. I thought they were just miffed with my home. I thought I had shooed them away for good. But then I realized they had just left the town. There were no sparrows, no dying babies and no chirps to welcome winter afternoons.

I left the town then and went to a big city. Pigeons lived there. Pigeons survived what killed sparrows. Pigeons never had tragedies,they were the assholes who made out all the time on windows and balconies. Sparrows were timid creatures. It was hard to get near them. Pigeons don't fear humans as such. In fact, the winners of most human-pigeon staring contests are pigeons!

Sparrows were gone.

But yesterday, as the sky got unclear in the fog and mist and last night's rains brought out the creepy-crawlies from the earth in the middle of January; something beautiful happened. A flock of sparrows descended on the wet soil. The birds hopped around and picked at the gravel with their tiny beaks. They were back to their chirpy ways, moving in flocks but sitting in pairs. A sparrow doesn't land smoothly on the ground. It is cautious. It makes last minute course corrections and lands at just the perfect spot. It doesn't overstay its welcome like pigeons. It is a guest with etiquette. It is a charming, shy bird with a timid, stupid heart. 

I step outside to click a few pictures. I take a step in their direction and the whole bunch just flies away. I am just content that they have repopulated themselves. They are quick as they used to be. Something has changed though. Now, they do not make nests inside my house.

Monday, 18 January 2016

The 5 most annoying advertisements in India right now!

Some ads on the internet and television right now seems to be the brainchildren of very tired copywriters and clients who are Jon Snow (knows nothing). Here we will list a few of them-


1. Vimal Pan Masala (feat. Ajay Devgn)



Saturday, 16 January 2016

A morning in the life of ban-ruled India


Year 2050 - Banistan has won!


Ravi woke up and yawned while stretching himself. A low, humming tone of religious chants coming from the street greeted him. He liked this noise. It drowned everything else and emptied his mind for a day of new experiences. It had become the usual routine since past few years. Ever since India had seceded to Banistan,

Friday, 15 January 2016

5 things which show that you are a logophile.

A logophile is someone who loves words. Words, which are nothing but just sounds filled with meaning. Is it possible to fall in love with them?
Image courtesy- ellyswartz.com

Monday, 4 January 2016

A little positivity

Well, 2015 headlines were laced with bad news- intolerance shmintolerance included. But, there was, as always, some positive in all that muck. There were people inventing things, doing things, going places and helping others. One such story is of my Facebook friend Bhawna Khattar. She has been working with an NGO called Project Potential.

Sunday, 3 January 2016

Christmas and me.

As a kid, I was fascinated with Christmas. A Christian family lived in the neighbourhood and we would get to see the Christmas tree decorations and eat donuts.