Monday, May 31, 2010

A Non Fiction Post on Love - Love, then!

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 Love, then!

It had been a tough day indeed. One of my friends had had the worst break up of his life. The walk home from college had got me thinking about this interested but complicated thing called love. What is love? Where do you find it? How do you keep it? It was buzzing in my brain all the time. Frankly speaking, I've never been in love. So I find it amusing when people do foolish things for foolish reasons in the same of this huge phenomenon called love. But has love changed over the ages? Was it so complicated in the past too? Was there so much competition as now?
I guess I'll have to experience it before I jump to further conclusions. Thinking of all the dumping  and drinking and crying (in that order!) I never realised when I reached home. After a quick wash I slumped into a garden chair opposite my grandfather.

"Hey Grandpa", I quipped. My grandpa, a very cool and hip dude, replied with a modest and loving "Hello Beta"

I'd just been back from college and and it was my chat time with my grandpa. Now now, no need to raise your eyebrows. As I said earlier, my grandfather is a very cool and hip dude. He is not like the usual grandfathers. In fact I take him as one of my best friends. He is very modern and open to any type of conversation.

"So how was your day?", he inquired.

"Oh Don't ask! Manish's girlfriend broke up with him. AGAIN! It was quite an effort trying to bring him back to normal", I retorted, irritated.

"Whats with you guys and breaking up all the time? I fail to understand your ability to break up with so much ease. If I was in your place, I'd be scared beyond death to fall in love ever again."

Then began a discussion on love during the time of Grandpa.

"I was about 22 when I first saw a girl in my college. Now thats about 50 years back. So its a long time back. If you think I may not remember the details, let me tell you I remember everything vividly. College has just started and I was quite enjoying the whole experience. I had made a good deal of friends. So the daily activities never seemed to cease and there was never a boring moment. Coming from a lower middle class family, I hadn't talked to girls other than my cousins. And then I met this girl. She was in my college. In my class. I had caught her staring at me a few times. Maybe I was just imagining because she rarely lifted her eyes off the ground."

I didn't ask for her number straightaway. I didn't stalk her to her home.I didn't beg her for coffee. I didn't offer her lifts. Neither did I ask her friends to set me up with her.

"I inquired about the girl among my friends and soon the teasing started. All my friends would go 'hhhmmmmmmmm' whenever she walked into the class but she never even flinched as such a little. I had never talked to her, nor did I plan to. I didn't mind staring at her beautiful face during lunch breaks or just knowing that she was near me during college trips. Sometimes we made eye contact but that too lasted for merely a fraction of a second. It was six months now since we had known each other 'indirectly'. She had begun smiling now when I was around. I would look at her only for a moment to see that smile and the rest of my day would be perfect. Maybe this was the beginning of something very beautiful."

I didn't gift her flowers and chocolates. I didn't take her to swanky hotels and pubs. I didn't give her balloons and huge soft toys. Neither did we smooch in parks and theaters.

"We already knew we were in love with each other. But what was love without marriage? In our times being in love was a sin, but being married was a blessing. Now this was a tough job for me. I being the man, I had to ask her first. Fortunately it was her birthday. College was almost over. I decided to pop the question. In the times of arranged marriages, just asking a girl about marriage was enough to set tongues wagging. But I had decided it was now or never. I went up to her and told her about my feelings. At first I couldn't hear her reply maybe because my heart was thumping too loudly. But she finally did confessed her feelings towards me, her eyes all the time boring deep into the ground. But I needed to talk to her parents first. All I wanted to hear was that. I completed the rest of my college and got busy searching a job. Once I got that I went to her parents and asked for her hand."

I didn't tattoo her name on parts of my body. Neither did she ask me to run her away and get married. There was no premarital sex. Hell there was no contact of any sort at all. There were no expensive gifts to impress. Neither were there mushy words to express. Sometimes we didn't talk for weeks. We did not have free phone call plans.

"What we had was patience.Maybe that is what your generation lacks these days. You want everything hard and fast. But you, My boy have to realize that it may always not be possible. You see love comes to those who wait."

This last piece of advice struck me like a gong. It indeed was true. While I got thinking about it, Grandma gave us a call for dinner. We looked at each other, smiling, thinking about the woman we had been talking about for so long and retired to the dining room.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

The Reward

The sun shone brightly on a sunny summer morning. It was a special day indeed for Nathuram. After all, his paintings were on display at the National museum. The great Raja of Tanjore was going to visit the place. There was a rumor that he was on a lookout for artifacts and paintings to adorn the new palace he had recently built for his Rani. Nathuram was excited and nervous at the same time. One look at him and you could conclude that he could be anything but a painter. You see Nathuram was not an average guy. He had no hands. He painted with his mouth and legs. People would be amazed by the talent he had and the great art he put out. It seemed highly impossible to differentiate between his paintings and the regular 'hand-made' ones.

He was lost in his thoughts when the sound of horns and drums rolls announced the arrival of the Raja. It was fantastic show put together. The Raja arrived on Elephant sitting on a gold adorned palanquin swaying delicately along with the swagger of the elephant. He threw a lavish look at the people gathered to see him and alighted from the elephant. After the Aarti ceremony he declared the exhibition open. There were various artists from all over the region, Sculptors, painters, dancer, singers and so on. The Raja took turns to enjoy the performances of each and everyone. Some were handsomely rewarded, while some were given a few mohurs. The Raja made sure no one went back empty handed.

Later was the art exhibition. The Raja wandered the area where all paintings were displayed and took deep interest in each and every one of them. He even allowed the artists to explain the use of certain colors and lines. He spent a lot of time to indulge in the details, rewarding the painters handsomely. Then came Nathu's turn. He was almost shivering when the Raja came to his plaque. He stood engrossed in the painting for a few minutes, then looked at Nathu, and then again observed the painting for a few minutes. Soon his face curved into a bright smile. He grabbed Nathu by the shoulders and almost hugged him.

"This was the painting I was looking for in my master bedroom. The queen is going to be pleased to have this. I am ready to pay any amount of money to own this one." Nathu's joy knew no bounds. He was almost teary-eyed. "Malik", he said. Who am I to value this? I'm glad enough that you like it. No honor is greater. The Raja, further pleased due to the appreciation, whispered to a servant and he came back with a huge bag of mohurs.

The Raja, just like any other royalty prided himself on being the most generous. He did not want to be outdone by other neighboring kings. “I wish to reward you the highest reward you can get. Tell me what did you get for the last piece of art you delivered? I will give you something much more than that.”

A little amused, Nathu said, “I pray do not do as you say Sire. I would rather not have anything at all.”

The Raja a bit curious now inquired, “Why? What did you work on before you did this painting?”

Nathu standing fixated, his eyes focused on the horizon replied, "The Taj Mahal"

Rumor has it that Shah Jahan had the hands of all the artisans cut off so that they could never replicate the Taj Mahal ever again. This was the reward the people got for helping create one of the wonders of the world.

Saturday, May 22, 2010


We worship idols.

We worship frames.

We worship places.

We worship names.

We worship trees.

We worship fruits.

We worship animals.

We worship roots.

We worship the ocean.

We worship rivers.

We worship our cars.

When they're delivered.

We worship people.

We worship saints.

We worship money.

We worship grains.

We worship the whole damn world

Before we die.

Then why is the worship of parents

That we deny?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Hadippa? Really?

We come from the land of bollywood, where goons are killed with a mere verbal "dhishkyaon" while heroes travel across continents will a bullet in their skulls. Where a heroine is saved at the end no matter what and the hero ki Maa has tears as standard accesories.

In bollywood music plays a major part in the movie. There have been instances when a movie has been woven around the songs. Sadly gone are the days of sensible melodies. We rarely even listen to the actual words of songs these days. All we like is the moojic. Every song has a remix made to prove it's popularity. I fear soon there will be a time when bollywood will be ruled by trance music having just a groovy beat and no words at all.

To prove my point further, I give the example of the following song.

Dil Bole Hadippa!

This happens to be a song from a film of the same name that bombed at the box office. That was bound to happen considering the fact that Rani Mukherjee was trying to pull a la Bhuvan in the Lagaan-sque movie. What puzzled me more was the title track. I played it once, and then again, and then again. I just couldn't find something sensible in it. So I went to Googlebaba and asked the meaning of the lyrics. (Googlebaba knows everything.)

Soon enough I found a link.

Here is the meaning of the song. (it touched me heart.)


Duniya Firangi Syappa Hai
The world is a crazy, crazy place

Fikar Hi Gum Ka Papa Hai

Where worry is the root of all troubles

Apna To Bas Yeh Jaapa Hai

That's why we believe

Fikar Karein Fukarey

Only the silly worry

Chewing Gum Hai Chabbi Ja

Life's a chewing gum, just keep chewing

Hand Pump Hai Dabbi Ja

Life's a hand pump, just keep pumping

Life Ka Joosa Kaddi Ja

Squeeze the last drop out of life

Fikar Karein Fukarey - 2

And leave the worrying to the silly

Khush Rehne Ka Nahin Lagda Koi Tax O Rabba

There's no tax on happiness

Oye Bhool Fikraa Hai Jigraa

So forget your worries, show some heart

Toh Sang Mere Bol Hadippa - 4

And shout out Hadippa!

Kothi Na Maal Hadippa

No mansion and no money

Na Gore Gaal Hadippa

Not even your beauty

Nahin Jaaney Tere Naal Chahe Kitna Sambhaal

is going to the grave with you

Chhadd Mitti Daal Hadippa - 2

So dump the thought

Khushiyaan Tu Weh Char Le

Gobble up all your joys

Hath Dono Weh Bhar Le

With both hands

Khabba Ho Ya Sajja

The right and the left

Oye Bhool Fikraa Hai Jigraa

Toh Sang Mere Bol Hadippa - 4

Nazron Se Bol Hadippa

Let your eyes give it all away

Koi Jo Kol Hadippa

When you're with somebody special

Kari Zyaada Gol Mol, Teri Khul Jaani Pol

Play games and you'll be exposed

Yeh Dil Ka Dhol Hadippa - 2

By the drumbeat of your heart

Derby Ho Ya Dhaka

In Derby or in Dhaka

Rab Tera Ho Raakha

God will watch out for you

Padne De Tu Tippa

If you go with your instinct

Oye Bhool Fikraa Hai Jigraa

Toh Sang Mere Bol Hadippa – 4

 If there really is a God, he should prove himself by sending us some real good songwriters!

Friday, May 7, 2010

55 Fiction #13

He once used to zip past in chartered planes and luxury yachts. Secretly owned properties in prime locations. Now he lives in a 2bhk flat and drives a Maruti 800 gifted by his father-in-law.

Its amazing the changes an RTI Application may bring.

Monday, May 3, 2010

55 Fiction #12

A cold shiver ran down his spine. He stared at the killer, fast asleep. The local government had announced a reward on the killer's head. His hands groped the darkness for his camping knife. A swift stab at the neck would do it. "But is it necessary? Afterall there are only 1141 of them left."

Saturday, May 1, 2010


This post has been published by me as a part of the Blog-a-Ton 10; the tenth edition of the online marathon of Bloggers; where we decide and we write. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton.

He sighed as he looked outside through the window of his cell. He could see the sun setting past the mountains spreading a hue impossible to create by mixing any kinds of paints on a canvas. He enjoyed this sight everyday before settling down in his dark, dinghy cell. 

He had become used to the fact that he was gonna be here for a long time. Bribing, unlawful possession of secret military documents, underworld links, extortion, murder etc etc... The list went on. It was not easy being on the run all the time. The cops were chasing him and so were the crooks. He had almost pulled off what could be the biggest scam of all time in history. If only the drunk cop hadn't squeaked...

There was a time when he was all invincible. He knew the people and places. No one would dare mess with him. He kept a detailed record of everyone in the business. But it seems time has betrayed him. He lost many of his loyal men one after the other. People who he kept "Happy" were getting their share of Happiness from other places. His enemies had become all the more powerful. Besides the Police were reluctant to protect him. His family had deserted him. Maybe he saw himself in the setting sun.

At times the inmates would talk about freedom and escape. They would let their imagination run wild about the things they'd do if they escaped. Some even tried to make plans to escape sometimes. Most of these were loose shots in the air. One day a young lad planned a way to escape. It seemed foolproof. He started hunting for partners to assist him. Soon the lad came to him and asked whether he wanted to escape.
He thought for a long time. About his family who din care any more. About his friends who had turned their backs on him. About his men who were either dead or in prison. About his enemies who were after his blood. About the cops who were waiting to squeeze secrets out of him.

He let a long sigh and said "No. This prison IS my escape"

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