Sunday, October 21, 2007



Everyday we walk the same old road to the lecture hall. The road which we have traversed through a hundred times in the past three years, the same old road besides the field and the parade ground, then a short course in front of the haunted girls’ hostel, then making a short cut through the abandoned, barren piece of land stretching from Midway canteen to the Open Air Theatre saving 5 minutes of our long and arduous journey to the class, finally reaching the destination by another short cut through the mortuary. The road is the same, the destination too the same. Only the new faces have been added up. But their energies still the same. Everything looks apparently unchanged, identical. But things are not that similar as they apparently appear to be. A lot has changed. The only thing is that we don’t want to look at them. Rather we fear to look at them. Everybody wants to follow the Buddhist philosophy, “if there is a problem that cannot be solved, there is no use worrying about it”. They want to follow the middle path no matter where it leads them to. Talking about the changes, the vehicles have virtually disappeared from the way, ‘thanks’ to the ban on the motorized two wheelers.
The road has been flooded with a number of warning boards demanding the use of helmets and horns while driving besides speed limits below 20 km ph. Everyday we see the abandoned, barren piece of land getting converted into a beautiful garden sprawling with fountains and plantations, becoming more beautiful day by day. About 50 people working on it day and night. Their efforts have started giving dividends too. But beauty comes with a curse.The stretch has been banned from regular usage. Those who cross that land would be called trespassers and would be fined for the same. Now, we don’t use the regular way, instead travel the entire road around the once abandoned land to our destination.
Sometimes I feel guilty, guilty of becoming a part of the change, guilty of my helplessness to change the things which I want to. I feel getting consumed, slowly and slowly by the guilt from inside. The river is taking me to the place where it wants to and I am getting driven along with it. I curse myself of becoming the system, the very system which I hate the most, the very system which calls me a trespasser and the very system which restricts my thoughts and actions. I want to cross the land again but my hands are tied. I want to break the ties but the fears surround me. But whatever it is the joy of getting to the destination through the short cut remains etched in my mind, hurting me always whenever I see that road.

Walls walls everywhere
I want to see beyond
Let me go the other side
Let me break the wall…

Friday, October 5, 2007


“Power is when you have the power to kill someone and you don’t. That is what the emperors do”
- Oscar Schindler

“Now I think you are a little drunk…!”
(From the movie Schindler’s list)

I am educated. I am sitting on the chair. I have the power to consume what I want to. Thousand knocks on my door. They want water. They are starving. I will die if I share what I have. I can’t run. I will be caught. I will sit inside and not open the door. This is the only way. They know what is happening inside. But at the same time they are helpless. I have the power to exploit. I have the power to hide. They are meek. They can’t organize or revolt. They are handicapped. They need someone to initiate. A spark. Simply seems impossible to light up from anywhere. Someone needs to be insulted badly. Someone needs to be ripped. Darkness is their weakness, their darkness my power. Phone is ringing. A warning call. A call for help. They know that I will not pick up the phone. But still want to try their luck. Luck is their last resort, their luck my escape, my power. They chose me. They have to suffer now. They could stand up at that moment. Block my way if they wanted to. But they didn’t want to clutch anything. They were having nice dreams. Feared they would depart if eyes see the morning sun. Dreams were their leisure, their dreams my realism, my power. I didn’t want to drop what was coming my way, what was in my ‘luck’. They were dwarfs. Lonely dwarfs. I had friends for support, ‘TRUSTWORTHY ONES’. Now they are caught badly in a web. A web of dreams, a web of lucks, a web of helplessness. I have the power to destroy the web, to break the wall. But I will starve if I help them. I have to eat. Someone has died outside. They are crying. They are howling for help. Believe someone would come. Their belief is their legacy, their belief my treasure, my power. I am helpless to help them. We both have the key to the door. I have not changed the locks. I didn’t have time. I had to eat. They have lost it somewhere. They can search it if they want, open the door and kill me. But I don’t fear that they would find the key. You need to jostle for that. They can never ever. They want to cry and dream and try their luck. They are adamant. Ignorance is their steer, their ignorance my light, my power. Oh! I can’t listen to the music. They are screaming like beasts. But who cares for the music. I am starving. I have the power to eat.

“Bleeding and babbling we fell on his neck with a scream
Wave upon wave of demented avengers
March cheerfully out of obscurity into the dream.”

- From the song ‘sheep’ by Pink Floyd


Buddha and freedom

A Peculiar thing is happening with me nowadays whenever I see Buddha written somewhere, the first thing
That comes to my mind is freedom. I don’t now why, but it’s true. I haven’t read Buddha to the fullest but
Whatever I know and whatever I have imbibed about Buddha and Buddhism if that means freedom
Then I don’t want to learn more about Buddha. I have reached where I wanted to. I have gained what
I always wanted to. I have found my Buddha and I am a convert now.



I often talk to him. He looks like me only. He behaves like me, talks like me, walks like me. Too many similarities. Sometimes, hard to decide, who is who? He gives me tics, makes me laugh, and sits with me when I am alone. He never abandons me. On a lonely evening, watching the sun setting, sitting in the gallery of my room, when I remember the sweet memories of childhood friends and long nights of laughter with my sisters, he plays Pink Floyd for me on my laptop. In return he never expects anything. A strange union but as cohesive as the molecules in a solid.

So many similarities but differences do occur. He contradicts me sometimes. I feel like slapping him on the face. He burdens me a lot when I am about to take a decision. A unanimous one rarely occurs. I walk west when he wants to take me east. Despite the differences we walk together. Not talking to each other on the road, struggling to remain quiet, cursing inside. He screams at me when we finally reach the wrong destination. I often think that he already knew it would be the wrong way. He is too egoistic. He accompanies me where I want to go even if it’s the wrong path but never stops me in between. His warnings are mysterious. They don’t really come as warnings. Feeling frustrated what to do, I try spy on him. But it doesn’t really help at all. I call him psycho. He smiles at me. A mysterious smile. Hard to comprehend. He takes it lightly when I give him pain as if it doesn’t pain him at all. I try to starve him, drench him, but it only makes him more rigid. Once I tried to hide from him what I was doing. But ultimately found him standing behind me, monitoring everything closely, stealthily. He knows everything about me, my weaknesses, my limitations, when I will stumble. But often remains quiet. The mystery of this mysterious man boggles me…

I have found something… But how can it possible? ... It’s absolutely rubbish… I just can’t believe… Oh! I think I heard him coming. It’s time to go now.


He … lives… in…ME… but… it’s… not… ME…!


The fall of criticism

A Waste of talent, Waste of time, Waste of money, Mockery of cricket, an Illustration of dexterity and muscles, 20- 20 bullshit, Gully cricket, cheap entertainment… What the hell is going on here? Are you listening to us?

They are trying to make their point. They want to be listened. Please attend to them.

We can’t see you happy. The smile on your faces rips us apart. We will prove our point until the last breath and wipe the jubilations from your faces.

This is the mindset of critics and that is the sort of criticism we are dealing with in the 21st century. Wikipedia describes Criticism as a democratic judgement over the suitability of a subject for the intended purposes. But criticism in Y2k is not only illogical and blind but also deaf, dumb and lame.Criticism just for the sake of criticizing something, an opprobrium for gaining attention, a denunciation for appraisal and gossiping at cocktail parties, admonition for retaliation, a barrage of literary words thrown to hurt someone and pack the editorials of prestigious newspapers and journals, an unimpressive articulation of right to speech and freedom of expression, a bread earner for those who have been thrown out of every possible publication house or have become bankrupts after years of swindling the readers with their plagiarized columns and writings and have nothing to do in their lives now, a portrayal of frustration and jealousy, an agitprop of worthless intellect and a cheap gratification of personal rivalries against an idea or a person.

The whole nation is enjoying. Good old days are back, good old cricket is back. The people are glued to their TV sets. Cricket has finally got its fans back. Indian team has regained its consistency. 20-20 has removed the blemish of India’s greatest defeat in 2007 world cup. The world cup is in our hands at the time when everything seemed hostile. Nobody seems to have any problem. But there are few people, who have a problem in everything worthy of praise and applause, who just don’t like changes and experiments, who only want to follow the path shown to them by their great grandfathers. Sometimes I think that we don’t always need to be critical in our outlook.

People call them critics. I call them pigs, fat old pigs.

Gone are those days when criticism used to be the sword to fight against the tyranny and oppression, when criticism was a fearless supreme force, when governments used to fall by the blow of words and policies changed and implemented in a matter of seconds, when films used to be big hits or flops even before their first screenings, when words used to do what revolutions often failed to achieve, when pen was really mightier than sword. Gone are those days.

The reservation policy for the backward classes raised a hue and cry. Students went on hunger strikes. Effigies of Arjun Singh were burnt. Colleges were closed for days. Tear gas, lathi charge everything was tried but it became impossible to control the mob. The government didn’t soften. People started losing all hopes. Shattered ones committed suicides. Everybody opposed, even the people who were going to be the main beneficiaries of the policy. But it finally got a clean chit without any resistance from the opposition parties. An opposition party considers it a right to criticize every possible move of the ruling party because it is meant to do so and that is what it does even if there is nothing to criticize. But such a big move got succeeded in getting implemented without even a single remark from the NDA and other opposition parties. What happened to the strength of criticism when it was needed the most?

Criticizing what needs to be criticized and applauding what needs to be applauded. This is what a healthy criticism should be. Anyways, that is all for now. Congratulations we have won the world cup and 20-20 is there to stay and flourish for years to come.