Saturday, August 7, 2010

The Suicide Tourist

One of the most powerful, and haunting films that I have seen this year. The film was powerful because it was real—Damn REAL! And, the sheer tenderness of death made it haunting—much more haunting than any other gory films that I have seen before. I am not a religious man, and I have no religious sentiments to be against Euthanasia. Perhaps in that situation, I would have done the same thing. Yet, I was somewhat uncomfortable watching the film. Nevertheless, the whole experience was quite uplifting.

You can watch the last ten minutes of this film here.

 DISCLAIMER: There's no brutality but still this video's about death. A real death!

Friday, July 9, 2010

A Job Seeker

Noticed those legs first from the stairs. Long, curvy, and slippery.


"Who”, I asked.

“A job seeker” replied the visitor in a low-esteemed voice.

"When can you join?" I asked.

Already enamoured with those legs, I jumped to see my new prospective employee.

‘Oh, Paul you’, I sighed.

‘Yes me’, said the octopus.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

We don’t need no sex-education...

Does sex education make humans unique? I think it does. And, I am quite positive that no other species other than humans need it. At least, nobody till now has come up with such a study yet. This in itself contradicts the theory that humans have the most developed brains. Come on, if it’s the most developed of all brains why on earth would it need education? Surely, there are many skill-sets that we need to acquire for which education is required. But for god sake sex is the most primitive knowledge that every species including humans are born with it.

There’s a debate worldwide whether sex education should be in the regular curriculum of all schools and colleges. I’m sure, most of the modern- thinking, forward-looking educated liberals are for it. Strangely, I find this silly. No, this isn’t some kind of gimmick to catch eyeballs or just to make myself sound funny. Mind you, there’s a thin line between being funny and being silly. Oftentimes, being funny ends up in being silly. But reverse is not true. Anyhow, since now I have explained this I can tread on both lines without any guilt. So, that’s that.
On a serious note, let me explain you why I have said what I have said. People say: sex is both an art and a science. I agree with that, and am sure you will too. But here’s the catch which I would like to explain one by one.

Sex as an art:

If sex is an art then it requires extensive practise just like any other art subjects require. Say for instance, if you’re a writer you require writing extensively. If you’re painter, you need to paint so on and so forth. Quite frankly, no school or colleges where sex education is imparted advocate practice of sex in order to master it. On the contrary, they advocate abstinence to the students. So, why the heck are they teaching something which they themselves don’t want their students to practice? Give me a brake...err...Break!

Now, the science part:

If sex is a science it requires practical, just like other science subjects like physics, chemistry, or biology. Similar to other science subjects this too requires a laboratory where student can cum err...come and perform their practical. All the theories they learn from the text books can actually be applied there. Say for instance, condom,—by the way I feel condoms are the single most important invention for humankind in the last 2000 years— students must know how to use it, when to use it, where to use it, etc. Strangely, no laboratory has ever been designed or even thought about. Leave alone India, not even in America—Oh, by the way I love America, God Bless America!

I’m sure some detractors will say it’s for the betterment of the masses, for the people who are in villages, poor, uneducated and thereabouts. For them, I would say: Get real man. Who’re we kidding? Youngsters in urban or even semi-urban areas know all about these stuff—what you teach in sex education— even before they reach their puberty. In rural, remote areas they don’t get education anyhow, forget about sex education. So better take a chill-pill.

Nah, we don’t need such half baked education. Humans just like other species have survived without it, and can continue surviving without it. AIDS or NO AIDS.

This Pink Floyd song ringing in the background seems perfect for the occasion:

We don’t need no education...
We don’t need no thought control...
Hey! Teacher! leave the kids alone...
All in all you’re just another brick in the wall.

Let me know what you think?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

What’s in the story?

I find writer’s job not only to be lonely, but also to be of a loser. Let’s face it storyteller’s romantic art serves no real purpose in life. They don’t save our lives like doctors do or build bridges like engineers. Yet, nothing gives me a greater pleasure than a well told story.  It’s only because of these great writers and their stories that I’m still alive. Those carefully laid words to form a beautiful story motivate me to carry on, and just give me a hope, a hope against hope that there’s a better tomorrow, not just for me but for everybody. Take stories out of my life, and what I am left with is empty and meaningless dates and events.

I have said this before, and I say this again: I’m a madman. People often ask me why you are what you are, and I always plea my temporary insanity to perpetuity to them. But that’s another story. Surely, what you have noticed is how often I fumble and lose track of what I intend to say, and which certainly isn’t the right way to tell stories. A lousy storyteller would go round and round in circles, often go off at a tangent, miss the important facts or take forever to say some facts. Either such stories abruptly, or take forever to end. A bad story will always stifle a yawn, and smells boring from miles away.

It’s not always easy to locate lessons from a story. However, a good story always gives you a reason to ponder, to think over it. And to create a good story, tone is of prime importance. Get the tone right, and you get the story right. Turn this around, and the whole story becomes false even if it’s factually correct. A true story is not a chronology, that’s work of History.  

When we’re child we all used to listen to the stories from our grandparents and parents. Remember, how our grandparents would cite great stories of their times and imply its relevance upon us. Every inch of knowledge we gain from them was nothing but some boring redundant facts carved into a story. As we grow up we found those stories to be naive. But the fact remains that we need stories as much as we need it in our childhood.

We live on hopes, on tomorrows. The reason why it’s said that the world is for young people is perhaps because young people have more tomorrows stacked up than old people. As we grow old, piles of yesterdays outnumber our tomorrows. And, suddenly somehow we are entitled to tell embarrassing stories of our yesterdays. In that sense, our whole experience is actually nothing but our capacity to tell stories.Good, bad or ugly, again, is another story.

The old cliché goes: life’s is stranger than fiction. My word it is. There’s no greater fiction than life itself. May be why the stories that interest me are the stories of life, dreams, loneliness, love, fear, and thereabouts. And these stories that I believe in are more real to me than my life itself. And, that’s what in the story.


What’s your story?


Sunday, April 18, 2010

Sunday in Haiku

9:00AM Beautiful Sunday morning
                       Sun’s out in the middle
                       Silence prevails

11:00 AM Children grow old
                             So do the parents
                            And that’s the problem

1:00 PM Chatting with a friend
                         Loneliness creeps in
                         For another long hour!

4:00 PM Ride on the IPL fever
                         Pefect  for procrastinator
                         TV remote remotely stalls

7:00 PM Another day gone by
                        Oh, you lucky man!
                        Now you’ll live life

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Top 10 Drunk American Writers

Someone posted this excellent list, and so it popped up in my Google Reader. This has made my day because:

  1.     I love the feel of alcohol;
  2.      I wish to be a writer (I mean, real) someday (ahem!)

 Thanks for the list.  Happy Wednesday! 

How to unleash creativity?

How often I would say this to myself – creative minds think out of the box. No doubt they do. But this thought itself brought doom to my creativity. I would pull all my hair just to get one idea that would bring this world into a standstill. And How I Failed!

Over the years, I grew cynical and restricted all my thoughts as just another gimmick. I blamed myself for not being creative, and I lampooned myself for not being good enough. And it meant even gloomier prospect. These thoughts made me from a wanna-be creative person to an utterly disgraced unproductive person.

Now, these thoughts were my own, and no one would ever bat an eyelid for it. I mean, by no chance I am a great thinker or have the ability to write even close to what is being considered good. And yet, these thought kept haunting me. The very thought of being called ‘a creative person’ excited me so much that it smothered all my creativity (if there’s any).
When people asked me to “just be creative”, I hated them because in the hearts of my heart, I knew I was fooling myself. The word creative meant I would rack my brains out, and agonizingly watch it die. It became synonymous to my never ending pain. My creativity became a substitute for my fear, and my frustration of not being creative became my fascination. My creativity became my apocalypse .And, in the process of achieving it I lost myself.

One day I realized, I looked at the wrong things. I was looking at something which is either never, or always with you. If truth be told, I wasn’t looking for creativity; I was looking for success and admiration. Creative minds are always in present, and I was far from it. I always thought in future as to what people would say when they read my story. Will they like it, or hate it, or consider it as another piece of crap? So, my focus was not in the process but in the result.

This realization brought new angles to my thinking. The thinking of let go. Because creativity is about freedom, and freedom is now or never.

This line by Rabindra Nath Tagore expresses it the best:

“Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high; ... My eyes strayed far and wide before I shut them and said `Here art thou!' ...

How about you? What drives your creativity? What all are your fears? And what situation unleashes your creativity the most?

Monday, February 8, 2010

Son-shine never comes...

Mama, I am just a grass that will never flower,
No matter how much water you shower,
A rose is an object of beauty,
But even grass performs its duty...
A rose is a rose is a rose is what I know
But even grass has its natural glow

Mama, please don’t fill me with poison,
It just kills my horizon.
I remember everything that you say,
But let me find my way.

Mama let my heart go,
Mama let your son grow....
At times, I'll surely fumble,
But that only makes me humble

Mama, I know the cries of your heart is for a sun
But I am just a son,
And son- shine never comes.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Half baked chapatti

It was dark and quiet. A lonely street in the nearby vicinity was deserted only to be acquired by the dogs which often barked to amplify the silence of that lonely dark street. Leaves on the trees were still, and the stars hid themselves behind the clouds. People have long back retired in their homes. It was as if all were waiting; waiting for the sun to interfere.

In that lonely, dark street there lay a man with his fist clenched. He was either sleeping or waiting but one was not sure. Perhaps, he had died in that street but, apparently, nobody had noticed. There was hardly any ways that he looked alive.May be, he died sometime in the past.

Unexpectedly, the fingers moved, and slowly the immobile figure that lay crouched, started to take its form just as the little child inside an embryo. He stood up slowly, and the figure that looked frozen embryo a while ago suddenly became a full grown man that skipped the childhood, and the adolescence. As he stood straight a dim light from a far street lamp stuck on his face. Even in the faintest of light, one could read the rotten years of his life just by looking into the lines that were criss-crossing his forehead. He was weak and fragile, and looked handsomely hungry.
He looked around puzzled, slowly opened his fist, and things became obvious. It was still lying there in his fist, his prized-possession—the half baked chapatti.
A beautiful mansion proudly stood in the middle of that street. There lived a small family in it—a mother, a father, and their beautiful young daughter. Besides them there were servants, and cars that lived in servant quarters and garage respectively. Beauty of their mansion brought jealousy while the beauty of their daughter brought Romeos in the town.

“Why big houses have small families living in it”?

This house is big enough for twenty or may be even more, he thought.

“Why rich men have beautiful daughters?he asked to himself.

He did have the answer for this one.Moreover, he did have time to think. Every minute lost in these futile philosophies meant even lesser food for the night. Food in the day, of course, was a luxury.

He hurriedly walked past the house. Suddenly, he stopped. He saw a beautiful girl in blue tank top on the terrace of the mansion. Her beauty complimented the glow of the sun shine.
"She must be the daughter", he contemplated.

Even his wretched state could not persuade him not to follow the path of appreciation—the appreciation of beauty, that is. After all he was young, young enough for the worldly pleasures. So, he jumped the forbidden walls of the mansion. He descended to other side of the wall that lead to the garden area. In this euphoria, he lost all his fears. He quickly ran from the garden area hiding him to the back side of the mansion. And, there it was, the staircase that would lead him to heavens.

He ascended and reached the terrace within seconds. He quickly hid himself behind the trash box that was lying in the corner of the terrace. He sat there holding his breath for a minute. After a while when he could count his breaths, he looked at the girl from the corner of the trash-box. She was there—the girl in a blue tank top. However, he couldn’t see her face because her back faced his side. Her curly red hair was dangling on side of her attractive shoulder.

"Why rich girls have red hair while poor have black? he questioned himself.
But he did not have time for such stupid notions to develop. He was simply proud of his heroic escapade. He wanted to live this moment to its fullest.

Suddenly, the trash-box opened from the top. Someone poured garbage of the house, and then it stopped. He froze in silence and soon he realized his err. All his fears were now back in full swing. As quickly as possible he wanted to get out of it. As soon as the sound of garbage-filling subsided he started to crawl back to his safety. While returning to stairs he saw a stale half baked chapatti that somehow rolled from the trash-box to the floor of the terrace. Hunger overpowered his fear at that moment. He quickly moved forward and grabbed the half baked chapatti. It was now firm in his fist, and so he was walking back to his safety.The girl in the blue tank top saw this from her corner of her eyes. And,when he saw her seeing him, he knew that his next step could be fatal. So, he stopped. Still. Not moving an inch further.

She screamed.
It was easy, an absolute no brainer. After which, everything fell in place, every puzzle solved.

“Time to go”, he thought while his legs wandered aimlessly.

His body was already filled with wounds so he wasn’t feeling hungry. He looked again at the half baked chapatti. Suddenly, a dog came from the streets with its tail wagging and tongue hanging out, and looked at the chapatti, and then to him. The imbecile look of the dog was innocent as it reminded him of himself. At that very moment, dog became a man and the half baked chapatti became the girl in the blue top. Now, it seemed they were two men in love with the same woman. He threw the half baked chapatti at it. Dog picked it, grabbed it in its mouth, and started running. Suddenly it stopped and turned back, dropped the chapatti, and looked into his eyes. Picked the chapatti again, and ran away in the darkness of the street. He knew that the dog had thanked him. He could understand the dog’s language; he could listen to his voice.
"Only a man who is hungry and disgraced understands the language of animals, he thought.

He turned back, limped, and lost in the darkness of the other side of the street.


Madman’s note:

At some level, half baked chapatti is a depiction of failure of human dignity, failure of wandering soul, and above all, failure of human life. This is a story about a journey i.e. life where journey doesn’t end but is lost somewhere in the infinity.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Last Letter- Part 2

Dear S,

Today when I am writing this letter, I am not thinking about you but all the men you have been with, all of them who were behind you and after you, the flowers, the letters, the phone calls exchanged to choke you, to annihilate you. Yes, today I am thinking about all of it. But it is to you, S, that I am writing this letter, my last letter. I know you’re not the same though I admire you tremendously—or even still love you madly. But then love and madness are synonymous. Aren’t they?

Trust to what your heart will tell you,
For from heaven no sign comes.

S, perhaps you were too sensitive, too delicate to handle the insecurities of life and the shock of daily experience. But as you know I have always been a dreamer, a thinker, a typical non-go-getter. In my dreams, I always thought that against all odds a girl comes back to her true love, to the underdog just as you see in the movies. However, the contemporary brand of realism is something where extraordinary or something fantastic never happens. Realism is about reality and reality is about disappointments. Isn’t it? You might find me naive, or better still a loser. Yes, I feel that’s exactly what you think. No wonder, you ejected me from your life like a cartridge. But that’s alright. Even losers need as much of the sunshine as the go-getters do. Even losers know their art well, the art of losing, that is. And losers are as real a human being as any achievers are. I mean, I can’t change my true self just because it gives me disappointments. I wish to tell you what Miller said: “I have no money, no resource, no hopes. I am the happiest man alive.” And, that’s my reality.

S, your letter came in like a frozen meat in the chilling winters. It was already quite uncomfortable; the bed became an icebox, and the bathroom a graveyard. And this letter! The only warmth I could avail was the little space around my stove. For ten days, I did not touch my computer, or any book; nor have any idea except for writing to you this letter. And now that I am writing I do not have anything to write to you.

S, I love anything that flows. I love everything that grows. So, let me pray that you grow, and let me pray that you flow, just like a river. Carry on, shine on!

As usual, free smiles and cheers from me...

Faithfully yours,


Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Last Letter

On a lovely morning of the first day of January two letters arrived at his doorstep. Letters at this early hour of the day did surprise him a bit. More so because normally only letters he received were letters of rejections that he got from numerous publication houses.

We regret to inform you that your story has been rejected.

Rejections did not annoy him anymore, it simply bored him now. However, it’s highly unlikely that any editor would read his story and write him back during holiday times. He casually picked those letters along with the newspaper that usually come long before he woke. But little did he know that these letters would redefine his existence completely. For a long while he stared at the two letters. And, for a long time he remained lonely, surrounded by his own thoughts.

Can you wait for me?
No, I can’t, she said.
“Why not?” he asked peevishly.
“Is there a reason why I should wait for you?” she said biting her lips.
Sooner or later I will convince you, he said.
No, you can’t.
Alright then, don’t. Go wherever you want.
Yeah, right.
And off she went. Just like that.

His thoughts deprived him of the reality just as the black cloud deprives the sun shine. And more often than not, his thoughts became his reality which he interpreted in a way he usually perceived things. He hung his head and then raised it again. His hands quivered but it was time to read them because life after reading those letters would be simple, very simple indeed. And it will remain that way forever.
The urgency to open the pink envelope was more even more than the other one that said urgent. And that’s what he did.

Got married last week. Don’t come—never, ever.

The words in front of him were clean and clear but the pictures of his memories got even clearer. It seemed as if he was looking at a rose, and the rosebush tore his hands. This all happened too quickly, and before he could realise his hands were bleeding.

Hah, now that’s a good beginning of a new year, he thought. What’s next?

Take good care of papa because he’s not going to live for long, mama said.
Mama, please don’t pester me with your mindless sorrows. I am busy.
So you won’t?
I didn’t say I won’t. I am busy.
Busy, hah?
I need to explore the world, he said.
Sooner or later you will realise. Go wherever you want.
Yeah, right.
And off he went. Just like that.

The word “urgent” on the letter bore a conspicuous tribulation. Reluctantly he opened it, carefully, not even neglecting the corners which usually get torn in the process. And he read:

Father died yesterday. Don’t come—never, ever.

He stared at those words, picked both the letters, started to tear it up, then changed his mind and put it back on the table, instead. He quickly checked the corners of his eyes to see if there were any tears prickling—there were none.
“Why am I not suffering?” he thought, “Why am I not feeling any pain or agony?”
Things that mattered were no more of any significance to him now. Life becomes simple sans mind, and then even love makes perfect sense, he thought. Perhaps he overestimated the power of logic. And today his senses defied his logical emotions of the hour. Slowly he got up, walked, and sat back in the chair again.

Things happened that were bound to happen. I could have just painted it differently. The colours would have been different. But picture still would have been the same. And that’s that, he said it himself.

Nobody knew what happened. He did not tell anything to anybody. He didn’t ask for help. But he knew. He knew that in this darkest bottomless pit of consciousness there are no thoughts, no anger, no guilt, no repentance, but only nothingness. He did not cry. He just wrote them back. He wrote them his last letter.

Just like that.

All finished?

No, not yet.Next is what he wrote in those letters.

to be continued...