Sunday, April 17, 2011


I start to think of what could have been

You never blink, so the world flickers back at you

It looks at you, and then it shuts down


I start to think of what is

Have you ever dreamt of living or crossing it off your list?

You breathe but you are dying with every breath.

And you thought love was the only contradiction alive


I start to think of what was

This one time you called for red, I gave you your own blood to taste

Not like you could tell the difference, not like you ever will

For cynics preach sacrifice, you sought defiance too


I start to think of what will be

The constellations will go crazy, the rings will catch fire

You will call me by some other name and for that I will despise you forever

We will visit ancient ruins and try to find ourselves in the past

The bookmarks will fade into the words, and we will be lost forever


I start to think, but then I stop

And I have to start all over again

Bickering thoughts and tangerine tongues, I forgive you every time

When I see your velvet lips and those burning eyes

Don’t I forgive you every time?


I think about breaking in

If you sing eulogies to the night and hymns to the mornings

The tone deaf skies will stir from their silence

Don’t ask me how the notes are embroidered into those clouds

You wrote ballads and blues, and you turned me into music


I break in

I make you dry your tears on concrete, till you promise to buy me back

I make you walk on wet tiles, till you balance the beams of your words

I tell you to pose like a muse for his poet, like a prophet to the agnostic


I think about breaking through

Of writing about the food that’s in my fridge.

Of talking to strangers and fidgeting with the disposition of colours


You ask me about my business, what I have in mind

And I tell you that I sell mirrors

in the city of the blind

(Last stanza is by Urdu Poet Daagh

“Kya Poochho ho hall merey karobaar ka

Aaeeney bechta hoon andhon ke sheher mein.”)

7 Feb 2011

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

5 Ws and an H

It’s nice to sit in a classroom but not be a conventional student. We speak up, we discuss, we shout, we keep quiet, pass around disapproving knowing glances and sleep on the last bench.

So whats so unconventional about that?

Being a student of journalism. It’s odd. It’s very very strange. Pinnacles of frustration, regret, doubts, and those mini epiphanies where you imagine running your nails down the board where the white has replaced the comfort black. We have projectors, pen drive driven lectures, professors high on power point, acting classes in ‘piece to camera’, in house newspapers and narrowcasts where we test the patience of the public. Innovative. Very.

And when I study for my exams, what do I hear? A little voice in my head shouting. Where the hell is the stuff to study?

No way. There is no freaking way one can study for mass communication. Open your ears, eyes, and mind and tell them that communication to you is whatever you want it to be. Journalism is not supposed to be fettered, it sets you free. Then why be chained by the burden of books? Write what is right for you.

I want marks, I crave for them. But these shackles suffocate me. I will most probably end up in the average marks strata but if journalism meant being chained then it is going to catch me and all of us by the neck soon. And what kills us cant be good for us, now can it?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Julian Assange on WikiLeaks

In his defence

Ajith Paul Antony, son of Defence Minister AK Antony ready to join tinsel town!

With such starry looks, I can only say that I am hardly surprised.


I like Vuvuzelas. The shrillness of what everybody loved to hate actually transcended national boundaries!

So I had this crazy idea. Like a sudden Yeatsian epiphany. Why not in place of the common place, we have an African tadka! The outdated Indian tradition of a four piece band: the leading dhol, the insidious octapad, the magnanimous piano and the side-kick dhol no. 2 desperately needs a chowki make-over. If the Gods are to be impressed, style matters. He does not only demand devotion, He expects an authentic intent. Something tangible, whether it be in change or anything fresh off the ATM! Grand, over-decorated fruit baskets are welcome, with jazzy gold covers and gaudy-is-an-understatement wraps. Mithai and khoya drenched sweet somethings piled in pyramids and state of the art (gold plated) bartans.

But God is not that selfish. He likes to see his children happy too! And that is where the pundits come in, our only connect to the divine.

Ever had a hawan at your place? The peace prevails I tell you, once the house is cleansed of all the hidden pots of gold we usually hide in the corners of our rainbow shaded homes. He wants us to hire His true followers who spend nights outside our doorstep, under the expensive carbuncled tents, singing his praise. I guess He is a bit hard of hearing too, so He wants a multi speaker setup with ravenous voices shocking the sleeping neighbours into a mad religious fervour.

Then the puja begins. The little make shift sanctum sanctorum of the entire epic event. And God becomes greedy again. I guess He socialises too much with the Greeks. If the libations of wine and cattle carcass offerings were not enough! Sigh.

Coming back to the real stars of the show, the jagrata experts: if there is no drama, the audience shall turn to their remotes. Religion is not only about believing and having faith for these fundamental followers who croon like a crow, it’s also about adding masala. The bhagats must feel that this is what God really wants! To indulge in paying hefty donations that fill branched pockets and elaborate ceremonial gestures created solely by such innovations that can almost match the creativity of India TV like brilliance.

Even though I don’t like to criticise, I find the conclusive provision of food-to-all a bit strange, to say the least. Buckets of food fill the plates of all that ready themselves to have the Prasad. Economic boundaries blur and God unites us all in the name of charity. How very odd! Those who put their ears to the ground and listen to the cars go by when they sleep, served by those who stay warm and fuzzy in their foam coated beds.

An obtuse departure from praising the Lord?

I guess every industry has its ups and downs on the sales scale. But will the commercialisation of religion ever lose its devoted consumers in our country?