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A week ago I met these folks on the streets of Delhi, near Saket.
2 men, 2 women and a child.



They were wearing clean clothes and they walked upright. They were trying to talk to people passing by but were quite meek so didn't always succeed.
When I passed by, one of them asked if I understood Marathi. I said I did. It was quite dark, late in night & I felt that it might be one of those begging groups so I was cautiously moving ahead anyways. But their meekness, their clean clothes & them being Marathi made me pause and listen.

I don't recall their names now. But I noted down one name that I think is relevant here - the name of the person who put them in a desperate situation - Rajiv Karade.
According to the guy in white shirt, Rajiv is a labour contractor who brought them from a village in Maharashtra. They specialise in the work of digging earth for laying of telecom cables. The men & women had worked with the contractor earlier near Mumbai too. After the Mumbai…

The business of predictions

"The world will grow!"
The word will grow.
surfing on a speed boat in the sea of words,
corporate predictions of economy & industries
dash against reality ineffectually, withering away like soap suds.
Those smooth upward curves promised by the analysts
need to wear the wrinkles of human condition.
The modern day charlatans, safely tied to a tie and behind glass skyscrapers,
let the excel sheets do their legwork.
They exercise the columns and rows, stretching the formula here & there.
where's the variable of ineffective leadership?
where's the variable of the will of the young?
where's the variable of the villages burnt down by hatred?
where's the variable of the dreamer's dreams?
In the least, where's the rear view mirror?
If you must let a quack exist,
teach him to be entertaining at least.

Swimming Buddha

Metro gazing

Centipedes running through air in distance
the mystery of a hundred quick feet the arc of motion - swifter than comprehension.  ____
Hundreds of ghost lamps undimmed & unflickering circling the city, above our heads.  ____
Metal thundering on concrete Air shimmering on Metal Eye on the shimmer of the air.  ____
Behind the glass monsters
it glides without sound, without consequence
air sliced by the swift samurai sword.

____



Prayer for the cubicle class

Oh god.
Let the day be simple.
Like it was written for a cow
from the prairies.


Let no sludge of pointless meetings
block the flow of my life.

Let the fall leaves of ideas float down gently
on the fertile soil of my mind.
and actions flow in tandem through me
unhindered & forceful.

and if its not to be
please quicken the day
and let me go to sleep.
amen.

The aurora factory

(This is a ridiculous travelogue - real experience fantasized for no good reason.)
This is a magical factory. It comes into being only once in a blue-green sky. One can't reach it with a map. What you need is a recipe of luck. I don't know the exact recipe, but i have a fair idea of it's ingredients.  you need -  1. Good warm pajamas 2. A belt (to hold the pajamas in place) 3. A bicycle with 2 happy tyres (The factory goes invisible if one tries to see it through car windows.) 4. A equal partner in crime 5. A town in arctic with bridge over lakes 6. An alarm clock that is able to wake you up at 4 am 7. 3 hours of sauna the day before ( to have red enough eyes. it's a must. it acts as a sort-of filter that makes visibility of magical things easier. ) 8. Loads of luck. 
Armed with all these things, we woke up the third time (once at 12, then at 2, then at 4) and stepped out of our warm warm cabin in Kemijarvi. Let me show you a pic of it.  In: 24 degrees, Out: freezing (w…

wait for the moon

Cloud, the color of the sky
one into another, seamless
A slow movement, wind
escaped from a hurried eye
a frantic eye, inconsolable
terrified by what it didn't see
a moon that was supposed to there
but is not.
The eye does not know,
it only sees.

a moonless sky
on a moonlit night.
what's real?
what's a shadow?

Beauty wholly lies outside of a lens

I am surprised at myself - at my surprises and the lack of its reflections.
Its been 2 days since I came from Finland, my first visit to Europe. While going through my photographs and videos of the trip, I was surprised by the total absence of pictures of life in Europe.
Finland surprised me with the beauty of its people. It was in their upright walk, their immaculate dresses, their ever present smile, the amazingly helpful nature and sheer handsomeness. It was in the many lakes, the crisp air and the one might-be-aurora miracle of nature on the norther horizon. It was in the beautiful architecture of its old (new by Parisian standards thought) buildings, its nordic walking/ biking citizenry and so many more things.
And it is exactly these very things that I have not photographed at all. Well, yes, I am not very comfortable taking pictures of unknown people - I feel it is amoral to take pictures of others without their knowing, and even if they know, publishing it online without thei…

Anthem for the 21st Century: A life imagined

Levi's has come with another commercial from their 'Go forth' campaign.
Here's an embedded video of the same. It instigated me to write what I felt about such advertisements, in the form of a poem. It follows the video, please scroll down.





An empty shell
of decaf coffee and air conditioned adventures.
Running in the city streets
stamping out mindlessly
images of its own.

All the running
flattening the world
into a 2D image-nerium
from a living breathing 3D world of yesterday.


'You are a kid' & 'you are the next living leader of the world'
and all that lies in between is a piece of cloth
that drapes beautifully and consequentially.

The 21st century gods
in jeans and T-shirts and shades
smile their blessings on you -
you whose image is now as big as those very god's.
And smiling sideways, the gods bestow powers
on the soles of your designer shoes
and the threads of the Made-in-Bangladesh shirts.

The global dreams
are tied in the seams
and you are…

Holiness

Racing clouds quaking earth

The brahmin soul of Economic Times

Something peculiar in today's ET caught my attention.
Pg 4. 'It is patently absurd victory' - TK Arun.
The reporter has this to say about Samsung - 'The company is likely to gloat a bit - as a result of the lawsuit, this one-time maker of cheap synthetic garments is now squarely in the same bracket as the bluest of haloed Silicon Valley blue-chips.'

Hmm.. I smell a Brahminical bias here.. The author suggests that the cheap synthetic garment maker should feel good about the loss because its more than it could have ever hoped for. After all, it came from the low cast profession of  making 'cheap synthetic garments'. The fact that it stretched itself out of its impoverished roots is laudable, feels the Brahmin inside Mr. Arun. His spirit still lives in the 20th century India where there were 'low cast professions' and 'high cast professions'; where they myth of who deserved what was continuously spun by the few in the 'upper circles', …

Bande à part

[This is a ridiculous story. It is based on a scene in Godard's movie 'Bande a part']
A minute. The three of them were sharing that one minute together. A romantic girl in black sweater and two boys wearing old hats. The young souls were wearing their bodies loosely. It was as if they had not yet decided on the uniform they want to wear for their lives. Perhaps, they wished not to be bound by one uniform at all. Right now the boys were wearing the bodies of hollywood film stars and the girl was wearing a radiant body whose sole purpose is to extinguish in love. They were seating snugly in a cafe booth. The young sits close exuberantly, the old indifferently. The youth in its modern temper was sipping at Colas. It was a moment of awkward silence that triggered it. The minute of silence. There was nothing to do and hence they must sit in silence. एकदोतीन... Words stopped. Lips were persed. Everybody was keen on knowing who breaks first. The silent minute was to last foreve…

The connected man

Uncertain fists in the air
Raised for causes ill understood.

Uncertain fists as proofs of desperate existence,pumped in empty air.

The proof of a life lived
sustained on the noxious fanning of outrages.

The sadness and badness of the world
continuously pumped through the digital veins of the world.


The connected soul,
battered incessantly by the tidal waves of outrages.

Before comprehension can dawn,
submerged in another outrage.

skin thin outrage,
blood thick issues
wasp's lifespan worth interest
ageless reality

man.
disconnect.
DISCONNECT.

tatkal: episode 3

[another ridiculous story in development] This is the 3rd episode in my newest graphic story. You can read about it here..  http://thejinxedone.blogspot.in/2012/06/tatkal-my-new-graphic-story.html You can see the story developing here -> http://pinterest.com/thejinkatrip/tatkal/


Check point

[This is a ridiculous story]

Cheat codes!
Everything has cheat codes. Sure, even this situation would have a chit code. Only if I knew.

In our deliriously celebratory mood on the occasion of the end of another work week, we had set out about on town. In our dreamy eyes we saw ourselves burning the dance floors, riding the Janpath like a boss and dining at the choicest of tables in the Capital. Naive that we were, we ended up spending most of our time stuck in traffic on NH8. Which essentially meant quick dine & having to leave back for home un-drunk, un-danced, un-delirious.
It was 1 A.M. on a Friday night. As we approached Gurgaon, we saw barricades on the road at a distance. It was the usual police checks at night, nothing out of ordinary. The traffic goes slow, some turn back, some shake hands.
As we approached the barricade though, we saw a bright white light being flashed intermittently towards the car at the barricade. Apart from the usual police people, we saw some other o…

What to eat?

Without letting me know, the sunday sun slipped away,
the gathering darkness instigated hungers in my being.
the touch-phone remained untouched.
the unfinished projects remained unfinished.
the story remains, without a start and without an end.
must i eat? must i create? must i reach out? 
the expanding tired weight pulls down energies... the excess, the excess, the excess! 
the meditative escapes into menial chores provided stillness and peace, but no solutions. 
what to do? where to go? whom to meet? what to eat? 
The mind vacates through the gaps in between the internet browser's tabs.

Hammered friday, alive saturday.. sunday with a promise to end. 11 pm.
Maybe I can attend to the to-do list.
Maybe I can at least start that one idea.
Maybe I should just justify the sunday with some useless proofs of my existence.
kitchen is a better place for that proof to exist in rather than the internet. But old habits die hard.
Click publish, and on with the MTR Uttappam.

hearts on window sill

when the lights go out
and the city's TVs and chat windows are left lifeless
the lonely legs bring the living souls
to the windows and balconies of the lonely city.
and in that honest dark time,
the city sighs.
empty heavy gazes
converge in the heat of the city.
hearts on window sill
breath for life in the hot mist.


Tatkal: my new graphic story

My mind farts out ridiculous scenarios and stories all the time. Almost always, I brush them away and go on with the order of the day. Last Wednesday was different. Well, to begin with I had taken a day off in the middle of the week. But more importantly, I decreed to myself that nothing is silly or alternatively, everything is silly. There is no point in evaluating and judging on things that are yet to be created. One must go at least one step in the direction before deciding. So, here's a little silly story that i  am building now.  Here are the first 8 pages of the story. The story will keep on growing here http://pinterest.com/thejinkatrip/tatkal/ Many of you are confused about the name. 'tatkal'. well, guess i will give away the plot of the story here, to ensure that you would remain interested in the story.  its a story about this person who has a certain troubling feeling that he can't identify in the beginning, but soon realises that it was a feeling of him fo…

To dream

What's your dream?
Really?
Are you sure?
So are you going to do everything in your power to make that dream a reality?
How are  you so sure? What's so special about that one dream? When a thousand things are possible, how can you make yourself focus on a single goal? What gave you that clarity? Tell me. TELL ME.


Brand: bad pimping

If I show you picture of kids and the word 'growth' in large letters next to it.. what does that tell you? 'What do you think?' I am not saying anything. maybe they will grow to be giants jumping on those letters sponsored by Aquaguard.. maybe, while jumping on those letters, a centimetre will be added per limb per jump...  maybe it will lead to a sudden spurt in Indian's presence in World wrestling federation..  so how does it work? Do you have to apply the Aquaguard water at the sole of your feet? Does it work 'holistically' with your body? If we keep drinking Aquaguard water, how many centimetres will be added to my height/ biceps/ etc per month?  No? no such benefits? then why write growth -shoth kind of bakwaas? oh, so it is supposed to be your RTB (Reason to believe). Its really an acronym for something.. 
Global. Reverse osmosis. ultra violet. taste heightener. 
So its really a machine that heightens the taste of the globe through reverse osmosis and…

30

30 its just a matter of a few years. and there I will be. under the glorious arches of 30-hood.  30 The number shines brightly in my head. Its a milestone that constantly barges into my vision, wherever i may be looking. i imagine it to be a small leprechaun like creature that's running around in 2 concentric circles. One around my head - the constant running threatens to add creases on my forehead. and the other around my waist, where the constant running is adding to the roundness of my person.  30  it constantly asks me to look back. 'Look back!' it screams. and then it tries to hold steady my gaze back into my past. Its a direction I have not frequently lingered on. The opposite direction was much more alluring in the past, and now I live content being in the present. But 30 makes me want to take stock of what i was set out for, and what grounds I have covered. I have never been good with appraisal, and this one will be the toughest. (I am happy with my life. but its no …

the heat

heat. heat  is everywhere.


the skin burns and eyes cower...

With every breath of the sun, the curtains beg to be taken further inside the room. They flare and spread themselves in appeal. But then swiftly the relatively cooler winds of the home, throw them back to their guarding positions - the in between world of negotiations. the world between the hospitable world of inside and the savage world of outside. and yet, the heat is everywhere.

The little home is not crowded. and yet, it seems as if books are shaking and pushing away the neighboring books. The used clothes lying carelessly on the spare bed are un-crumpling themselves and spreading themselves to cool off. Heap over heap of clothes to be washed. Books upon books, that are yet to be read. The heat is evaporating the will to engage with challenging thoughts and acts.
These days, the sour, dour magazines are going straight to a corner of the room that has no future. The corner is a mini black hole of significance. things that…

the moment that never existed

[This is a ridiculous story]

Imagine. It was your usual Sunday afternoon. 1:49 to be precise. (why should you be precise? its a sunday! sacrilege.) It was my usual Sunday morning. The tea was on boil and i was browsing habitually through the multiple tabs open on my firefox browser. and as is the case with multiple tabs, none was interesting enough to hold me, but they formed a continuum, a circle of curiosity swimming in circles around my mind, and i couldn't break that circle. so i kept on surfing. switching the tabs. scrolling down and then up. then switching to the next tab. clicking on one link or another. then with impatience switching to next pane... furious and numb, simultaneously.  psssss.... the tea was boiling over, overflowing onto the hot plate. I threw my keyboard sideways and jumped into my kitchen. I was about to take the tea pot off the plate, when a bird exploded merely 3 metres from me outside of kitchen window. Poof. no sound. no smoke. just a lot of feathers …

say cheese :)

[This is a ridiculous story]


Imagine. 
There's this huge evil alien. He is as big as Africa - a single living entity as large as a continent. (!imagine! with a double exclamation marks)   He has a gazillion tentacles snapping around in circles. (!!I!! fulfilling a long held desire to abuse exclamation marks, before the end of the world. don't mind.) He rises slowly over the saffron horizon. and he laughs menacingly while rising up. (ridiculous, if you ask me.)
and he is shaking a Polaroid picture. (to the tune of Outkast's 'hey ya', no less) Now, all that shaking of a Polaroid picture is creating tornadoes and storms and what not, not that he minds. That Polaroid is as large as Uttar Pradesh. a flat rectangle of a Uttar Pradesh. 
and while we are running for our lives (screaming, wide eyed with palms pasted to our cheeks), I realize that that Polaroid picture is not really a picture. well, not what we regard to as a picture. its more like the real deal flattened an…

accumulating questions

Sundays are sacred days. Not in a religious sense. But in its ability to shift the gear of time, in its ability to lend lightness and calm energy to the air. Lunch happens late, dinner comes early. Tea and kahwaa materialise by their own whim on the sole strength of habit. Movies and novels can and do get consumed. But its the new lazy toys, Picassa and Photoshop, that witness the deceleration of time. Without aim, the tinkering starts. and ends. Today was no different. Saw yeh saali zindagi, a film that could have done without some of its twists and turns. Then collated footage of lightnings for a future project. Uploaded a few pics to my pinterest page and compulsively checked if someone had liked/ repinned any of my pics. Then gave up after a while. Slept. washed clothes. Then saw another episode of Monty Python. Read a short story by Haruki Murakami about a couple who get hungry in the night and rob a Mcdonald's store for 30 of their burgers. and then it struck me. 
On this sa…

The moustache

Moustaches.
They are an endangered species. Not many nations and men wear them anymore. Ok, so Stalin and Hitler wore one, but that doesn't mean all moustaches are evil. They aren't the voodoos of gods of mayhem. They do not have a mind of their own. They are quite harmless really. well, most of the time. (tip1 - mind your kisses and curries for a healthy relationship with your moustache)

Don't listen to what your mom tells you. For them moustache is a sign of you growing out of their nests. That's perhaps unsettling for them, it should not be for you. Do not listen to your love interest as well. Unless she has some rare hair-phobia, hair should never really be important enough topics of interest between two people in love. (which in reverse, essentially means, you shouldn't really be bothering her about her decision to wax or not to wax  her feet.)

Imagine a couple on the arrange-a-marriage date.
q1. Do you smoke?
q2. Do you drink?
q3. Do you plan to keep that …

Gate-crashing into shangri-la

Well, thats what we (me, soumik, R-kay, Kashan) did recently. and ended up spending 4 blissful days in Sonapani. Its a small village in the hills near Nainital. The place was secluded with only a few hotels and houses a little distance further away. Sonapani film festival; that's what got us here. I had little idea about it apart from what R-kay and soumik had told me earlier when we had met at Kunzum cafe in Hauz Khas.
It was a splendid affair - amazing hosts Ashish and Gurpal, brilliant filmmakers Amlan, Saba and Sanjay and a very intimate group of festival attendees who knew each other well. I tried to put together the footage i shot in those 4 days here and the result is this video.
For me the biggest insight in the 4 days was in way these brave film makers lead their lives. They had to fight apathy, financial crunch and a host of other problems and yet they carried on and went on to make some of the most amazing documentaries I have ever seen. Saba felt strongly about gender…

Walking in midnight

Ah. I so wish to walk the midnight streets of Paris. Woody Allen keeps on making these lovely films filled with so much 'romance' of life, and no matter what you do, you can't escape. you will fall shamelessly in love with his movies.
I just saw his 'Midnight in Paris' and feel like booking a ticket to Paris and walk those streets. Well, it happened to me earlier with 'Before Sunrise' as well. anyways. If I were in Nasik or even Mumbai, I would have stepped out and went for a walk now. its 11 pm now. it won't have been a big deal. But unfortunately I am in Gurgaon now. and its foolish to be not inside home/ car  at this hour in the national capital region.Anyways.. (ya, its annoying i can imagine to keep on reading 'anyways' again and again, but ... anyways)
___
'Dali!' , 'Bunuel.'. Ah, how i would love to meet them. and Gil does. lucky bugger. :P
___
and hands of men so easily rest on women's back, it was magical. :)
___

On…

Day and night

Sex is a problem

Jet

The warmth of unprejudiced smiles

To travel is to escape.... My mind was completely empty and my body was cold. It was an early summer afternoon in Leh and i was sitting by the steps of a monastery. I was an empty shell with big eyes, simply intent on taking in all that was there; and there was so much beauty and peace there to take in: Colorful fluttering flags, old women chatting conspiratorially at the other end, monks gesticulating to each other furiously, an India soldier checking out his camera pics, two young women talking to someone else on their cell phone and laughing secret laughs... A monk passed by and suggested me to come see the monastery from inside. I had a bag with me and needed to keep it somewhere safe before i enter. That's when i noticed the person sitting just 2 steps below me, with the intention of keeping my stuff there under his watch. I thought it was a young white boy. I tapped his back. a little too forcefully perhaps, because it was actually a french girl. i did an 'excuse me'…