Wednesday, July 22, 2009

House of Cards

What happens to a House of Cards?

It falls. Inevitably.

Its made to break. If you get lucky, you'll get out while it's intact.

But If it crashes while you're there - You die.

Saturday, July 18, 2009


Like shadows, tip-top
'Boo'. incessant, unrelenting
Poison to his soul
Tumour to his heart
Static, stuck, daughter of earth
Revolves, but he stays
Rooted, the tumour feeds
'Boo' incessant unrelenting
Soaked with gasoline
He burns and seethes
Confession- don't douse the flames
They flare, they lick
The gates to his soul
And he can't see anymore

permanent high

a high is a high because it preceeds/succeeds a low. otherwise it would just be a plateau.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


The placement lists shrink, the names turn obscure, monthly allowance vanishes in a week, something is not right. In a nutshell, money is missing. This is the average young person’s view on the crisis.

The papers, the economists and the experts have analyzed the crisis to the point of exhaustion, and every contradictory point of view has been debated, supported and torn down. They discuss hundreds of theories that economics has spewed out, they talk about the definition and squabble about the semantics of it – is it a recession or is it a downturn? Speculations are unending about when the economy will rise again.
For the young world, definitions are irrelevant. We are not scholars or intellectuals, we are the masses. For us, the name of this situation is secondary to the solution. As far as we are concerned, what we see exemplifies the crisis perfectly – no work, no money. That is the extent of this issue. And our high school civics textbooks have more than sufficiently highlighted the many vices of unemployment.
Then we hear and read about the many hundreds of theories being pushed around. Yes, we understand how stimulating the economy might help, how increasing money supply is now the only option left. We do agree that these things will have a positive impact in the Long Run. But we don’t see these processed in action, the invisible hand is truly invisible and for the youth, inadequate.
What we want, need and strive for is practical solutions. In the practical world, we see our friends, our brothers and sisters, our families not being able to find jobs, unemployed, underemployed, settling for any job they can find. To ensure the same fate does not hit us, we are constantly reinventing ourselves, trying to do anything and everything to set ourselves apart from the mediocre – be it through extra classes, pursuing a higher degree, doing double degrees, more professional courses, dance lessons, internships. A perfect example would be the ricocheting level of competition in higher education. Everybody would rather pursue a Master’s degree than jump into work directly. And this means more demand for higher education and far more competition. And thus the need for flexibility.

We feel all organizations should be doing the same – being flexible, reinventing, offering more for less and being more efficient. Which is easy for the smaller companies, but for the rigid MNCs, it is a long and arduous process.
The way we see it, this crisis has its upsides. It makes the world and us re-evaluate the bubble we were living in, get realistic and become better equipped to handle the cut-throat competition that has emerged from the downturn. Natural Selection has spoken and no harm can come from that. Although socialism and the welfare state exist to buffer the impacts of this natural selection, they can do so only for a while. The world is going to catch up with us.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


Why does life become so hard sometimes?

It feels like you’re always running towards this great something that will bring you happiness and personal satisfaction until the end of time. So every future action of yours feels like it should be motivated towards this great something which will fulfill you. Unfortunately, there is some higher rule which has somehow decided that only a select few can be awarded with this great big something and the basic prerequisites for this great something are having an excellent education, playing you cards right, having a good job of course because without that the world would just crumble and fall away.
And, if ever in life, for even a minute, you get this feeling that what you’re doing isn’t leading you to this great big something then it feels like the whole world is closing in on you, its like you are going to be a big fat failure because you will not have a wonderful job and get a fat paycheck to service your selfish needs and make you a perfect person. Why is everything so hard all the time? Why can’t we just be happy and experience life? It doesn’t seem fair that we have to be running towards something eternally – yes, some things need to be done – studying, working etc. but how can they become the very foreground for your existence, why should they control who you are and how you feel. If you love to sing, just sing... why worry if that’s cutting into your time of making yourself a better asset for the corporate world so some MNC or big conglomerate will hire you and give you a large paycheck for doing a job you secretly hate and wouldn’t be in if it weren’t for the money.

What’s worse is competition. You see somebody who’s made a little more money than you in a shorter period of time, somebody who’s done something a little more exciting and immediately the world comes crashing down, you feel that constriction in your chest, the panic sets in and al of a sudden you feel worthless, because the other person’s success just reminds you of your blinding failure. Ah, the woes of humanity. Pathetic as we are, we are perpetually held in this trap of the world, we don’t just live for ourselves and our loved ones. We live more for our boss, our teachers, the people we hate because they’re better than us, or so we think.
We’re all just caged in this cycle of impressing others and fulfilling this pre-existing mould of what’s right and what’s good. But what’s the point in life? Why waste our lives living it for somebody else. Every moment is gone when we blink it away worrying or just pointlessly working on something we hate.

If only there could be a way to exit this cage and this cycle and be completely free of it. Invictus – ‘I am the captain of my fate, I am the master of my soul.’

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


Human nature seldom ceases to amaze me. Day by day I learn new little secrets about people, things that cannot be taught but that can only be learnt by feeling them yourself.

The day I returned, I shocked myself. India was a little overwhelming for me. The dust and pollution made me cough, the dirty streets were par impossible to navigate, the oh-so-crowded malls were the antithesis of fun. Why? How? Bangalore, my home, my first love, was suddenly unfamiliar, hard to adjust to..

Had I been so spoilt by the clinical efficiency of my new residence that suddenly home is something else. I had gotten so fully assimilated, emotionally and physically into my other home that this one was foreign. It is so shocking that people can so quickly forget something and move towards another.. With the speed and completeness akin to an amoebic engulfing, we just are something else.

On the first day, it was pure shock, it was a shock of the sort i felt i could not handle. . But slowly I eased up, slowly the loud buzzing of the traffic started to sink beyond the conscious and just became a part of living. I slowly figured out how to avoid the potholes, slowly I relearnt all these small existential problems that afflicted me initially and I moulded back to my old self.

Its a hard life, alternating between one and another distinctly different societies. But I guess the more you stretch, the more you deform and reform yourself over and over again, the more flexible you become. Like a dancer who trains and with that training comes her alarming grace and agility, we too train ourselves to adapt, to asimilate, then detach , reassimilate.. It is like a game, we just keep playing and the more we play, the better we get.

we are the children of change.
We adapt, we reform, we float, we just mould into anything, into everything.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


its always the most random things. the strangest, most trivial things. They just take you away and make you hide or rejoice, but always confine. Its those little things that I want to live for. Those moments where life feels more, and better, and higher.

Its like living on a cloud, floating somewhere, hanging down in pleasant ecstasy. It makes you want to jump with joy, to create, to love, to just float a little bit more.

It always comes when you don't expect it, when you don't want it, when you have more important things to do. But pushing it away is like letting go of a rare gem. Life's short, hold the gems. The sparks just fly around, buzzing in pure happiness.
Don't you just love the perfection? YOu could live in it, and die in it and if you're in it. nothing else matters - the world doesn't, friends don't , politics, family, success - everything is just second to this. Sigh, its perfect.

But it never lasts.

It always evaporates and you curse your stupidity for ever having believed that it was here to stay.

The conflict arises then.. do you live for those moments, hoping and awaiting their arrival? Or do you just assume they're ephemeral aberrations and live with that non-expectation?
I wonder.

Friday, April 17, 2009

The City Of Blinding Lights

The city made for tourism, the city alive for the visitors, the transient town, where every structure was erected for exhibitionist purposes. The history behind every museum was to attract somebody in its general direction. An amusing phenomenon but highly successful.
Amsterdam kicked butt. It was fun, exciting, there was always something going on - street football, live football, cycles and camping at a youth hostel gave me ample opportunity to figure out this seemingly idyllic, radical, freezing, European City.

However, I wonder, what could a city constructed purely for tourism have to offer? It would be foolish to assume that history can be created but shockingly that is exactly what I saw. The Anne Frank House, a reconstruction of the house that Anne Frank, the little Jewish girl who wrote a book that shocked the world, hid from the Nazis in, was a stark and telling tale of the atrocities on humanity. Beyond just the historically informative benefits, some NGO had set up shop within the house and promoted awareness on a plethora of humanitarian topics. It was a pleasant surprise to see another tourist site being converted into a medium for raising awareness. And I think it is this House that is characteristic of the city of Amsterdam. Yes, it is merely a city- museum, built purely for revenue and Heineken, but behind every tourist spot there is a purpose, there is something they are trying to achieve out of it.

Yes, weed is legal, it is ubiquitous, the stench of hash was evident from 100 yards of any of the “coffee shops”, but from a reliable source it was known that the whole process of legal smoking is aboveboard. They ask for IDs, alcohol is banned inside the shops, the officer who is in-charge is a burly threatening-looking guy who seems capable of single-handedly taking down dozen people,and they rehydrate you if you seem off. Maybe somehow this is a better solution than what Bangalore/India has now. Underground Rave parties, weed patches in Law Schools, are that really the way to do this? Granted, more people will be wary of breaking the law and doing drugs but is the cost of those few turnovers worth all the 16- 25 year olds who risk a police record by possessing, dealing and smoking /snorting/ swallowing drugs?

Shady red lights with negligibly clad women displayed on the windows like dresses, people bargain and choose which they like the most. Sources inform me that if a lone man lingers in front of a window long enough, the women start doing things ! Now, this may seem the basest form of perversion, legalized prostitution, but it is safe, the police patrol the streets ON HORSES and intervene in case of some problem.
Anything goes, everything goes in Amsterdam, but somehow with a grace that is lacking in most of the developed world .

Monday, January 5, 2009

The Accidents of Circumstance

Where are we headed? The ubiquitous 'youth' of today - the urban youth in particular,
have acquired a new class of thought - this new-age awareness. They feel the urge of the hour, that something is
truly wrong, they feel the need for change, they hear the earth and their country screaming for help. But they are torn,
like Robert Frost waxed in his work 'The Road Less Traveled' - the conflict rears its head day in and day out.
Should we take the beaten path - become the engineer or the doctor or the new age lawyer breed, with great promise of
salary but job satisfaction being a distant dream. Or should we answer our heart's call and pave a new path - help
the world, save the environment, fight against poverty, corruption and ease our country of it's malaise.

Most choose the in-between road, or at least tell themselves its the in-between road, that all hope is not lost, there
is still time and it can all be done. There's no limit to dreams, we can have it all! They hope to start with a
conventional path - make the money, built a family, pursue an MBA in an IIM or abroad, and once they've saved up enough
to send their grandkids to the moon, they'll feel that urge to help society and pay-back. Their morals will being
to pull on their heart's strings and Voila! overnight they work for/own an NGO, each one resolved to its own cause,
hoping to make that change and be featured in the 'Offbeat' section of the daily supplement.

In a way it's a good thing, unlike our predecessors, we can claim to care, claim to be aware and claim to know
where the world might be headed. Most of all we can claim that we want to make a change, and save the world.
A noble enough thought to begin with. And though most of these noble thoughts are largely for show, to out-do
your friends and pretend to care and pretend to want to change, there's this little part of all of us which truly unselfishly
wants the change. But what's the harm with a little selfishness. Objectivists would nod furiously at this statement
for after all doesn't everybody just want to be happy with themselves, and make others around them happy, albeit for
selfish reasons yet again? The Bhagavat Geeta did after all say that strong neighbours ensures happiness for the man,
the country and the world. Which is all too correct especially in today's global scenario. With all our neighbours crumbling,
don't we Indians feel the backlash? Sri Lankan and Bangladeshi refugees, Pakistani terrorists, even the Tibet crisis is
felt by us in no small way.

So, lets pin down the final motive of our breed to objectivist selfishness. If it helps the world in some infinitesimally
small way why complain, just let the world take it's course.

But, if all we want in the end is our own precious happiness, why do we all insist on running behind some idealistic
vision of 'HAPPYNESS'? The money, the power and the fame. The conventional success of the newspaper and the television.
We all watch in awe as some underdog from a village in Karnataka struggles to come first in the IIT entrance exam and,
Lo and Behold! clears it much to the delight of the TOI human interest reporters. Why not create a massive story out of this?

There is no doubt that the 17-year-old certainly outdid himself, and deserves a big clap on his back, but all those
1lakh odd who didn't make it into IIT even though the odds were in their favour and they had the most charmed
background they could've asked for end up feeling like massive failures, like their purpose in life has been
defeated and they have eternally disgraced their family and their institution of education. Alas, that is how they have been brought up.
They can't shirk this system. But why must it be this way?

Why is success so narrowly defined? Why can't an academically average person who enjoys reading books and drawing on walls but is
phenomenally happy just doing that also be successful. After all, life can't possibly be about this urge to be something,
its got to be about something most fundamental. Because, whether we like it or not we all were born into this world,
by the accidents of circumstance, and if we leave it as happy as we can, it should be enough.

But it never is. And I guess we'll never know why. T