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Showing posts from 2016

Unfair and unlovely

If time is money, the demonetization drive has ensured that many Indians are already very rich because they have suddenly been taught the virtue of patience.
A crossing near my house got to be very busy and a new signal was installed to help regulate the flow. Every single day, I see people break the signal from all sides without paying heed to their safety or anyone else’s. The people who break the signals glare at you for following the rules. You feel guilty for being patient.
The signal is red and people behind you are honking as if there was a reward for it. People shout the choicest of epithets at you for not moving and standing your ground. Either that or I need to go for an eye check up and see if I am colour blind. In another part of the world, orange maybe the new black but as far as I know, red is not the new green.
Stand in a queue at the railway station, in the petrol bunk, airport check-in counter ,or to pay a bill, and there will always be that one asshole who tries to…

Lies, damn lies and social media

The American Presidential Election has thrown up a truth many of us weren't willing to acknowledge - our real lives are vastly different from the one we live on social media. 
For a non-American following the American elections on social media, the result was as assured as a Salman Khan acquittal. The ever jovial John Oliver and the ever sarcastic Bill Maher spewed venom for what it was worth on Donald Trump, his false mane, his inexperience, his violations against women and his claims that he would make America great again but turning back time and pretending globalization and global warming were conditions that were easily curable. Expecting him to win was like expecting Raj Thackeray to sing a duet with Abida Parveen on Coke Studio Pakistan. 
Or that's what we were given to believe. Or that was what we wanted to believe. 
At some point in his campaign, Trump made a telling statement about how people who claimed they didn't like him would eventually vote for him. 
And that&#…

What came first, the festival or the God?

Do you have to believe in God and religion to celebrate festivals? 
When I was a kid, the sleepless nights would begin a week in advance. Mypaatiwould start preparingbhakshanamsand the entire home would be infused with the aroma of the savouries being prepared. On the day of Diwali, we would begin celebrations at the crack of dawn and never really stopped. The first day of school after Diwali was the worse. The only thing that comes close to that feeling now are Monday mornings.
Now, I know Diwali is close when I open the newspaper and see 3 consecutive full-page ads from e-commerce sites, all shouting out offers that I really cannot differentiate. There is a pre-Diwali sale, Diwali sale and post-Diwali depression sale. I still enjoy festivals, but a lot of my beliefs have gone up in smoke in the interim years.
We are all born believers. I never grew up in an overtly religious family. My parents, thankfully, didn't thrust any godman down our throats or make us wear our religion on ou…

The Great Indian Obstacle Course

It was Ganesh Chaturthi when I began writing this and a Karnataka bandh by the time I finished. Believers everywhere pray for Lord Ganesha to remove all obstacles and then proceed to create their own obstacles with their traffic jam inducing processions. There are numerous things that defy logic in our country – godmen, reservations, godwomen, Rahul Gandhi, the Newshour, Sakshi Maharaj among trillion others to name a few. But the one thing that defies all logic, transcends boundaries and binds our nation together is our traffic and our collective traffic sense.
We share the roads with cows, dharnas, potholes and VIP cavalcades. With so many craters on the road, most days we think we are attempting a moon landing. When walking on a 10 feet wide foot path, we hear someone honking in our ear and cursing you for not giving them space. None of this will be possible if our roads aren’t dotted by colourful personalities. Though I am not given much to prayer, I wish for our roads to be devoid …

How PV Sindhu set India free

On August 18th, the whole of India reached home, switched on their televisions and realised a semi-final was on. At the centre court was an athlete who probably most of the country hadn’t even heard of. She doesn’t appear on television commercials, doesn’t have a social life that tabloids can make money from.
At approximately 8.30 pm, August 18th, all of that changed.
First set, 21-19.
Second set, 10-10. She then took off like Usian Bolt does when he reaches the half way mark and suddenly proceeds to seemingly glide across the finish line.
21-10.
Whatsapp was orgasming, hashtags were being birthed by the second and channels combusted with the breaking news.
People will leave from work early today. Hopefully, crowds will stand around television shops and watch. Pizza delivery boys will work over time. Beers will be ordered. Cheers will be emanate from homes at regular intervals. Crackers, which were presumably stored for an Indian cricket team victory will be unearthed and kept r…

The temple of Rajnikanth

Disclaimer: I haven’t watched Kabali
India was a much divided nation on Friday, 22nd July. It was divided between people who had Kabali tickets and those who didn’t. By Monday, the nation was still divided between people who had watched Kabali and those who hadn’t. And between those who liked it and didn’t. People seemed to be more interested in telling everyone that they were going for the movie than they were in the movie itself. After the initial reviews started to trickle in, the nation was still unclear on what stance it had taken. Was Kabali a hit? A flop? After the smoke from the crackers has died down and the milk used to pour on the star’s massive cut outs had curdled, the nation still wants to know.
I’m not a very religious person but I would presume that many people reading this piece are. No one asks for proof of God. If you pray and your prayers aren’t answered, you don’t stop praying. You will visit more places of worship but not give up on your hopes and dreams.
Rajnikan…

Generation Loneliness

The scriptures say we are currently in the stage of Kalyuga (the age of downfall).

Some of us were told we belong to Gen X or Gen Y.

But we all currently belong to Generation L. 
Generation Loneliness. 
What each generation stands for can only be judged by history. Scientists have recently discovered water on Mars.Though I seriously doubt the existence of Martians or aliens or any form of extra terrestrial life, it may help to take a leap of faith for the sake of argument. If any form of extra terrestrial life took a good look at us, they would probably find a demographic that is seemingly busy but uninterested with what is happening around them. One fictional entity will think of us as zombies, another fictional entity. 
About a year back, I used to go to the bank to get my passbook updated, draw money from my savings account and put it into my PPF account. The person at the counter remembered everyone who was a customer of the bank and made polite inquiries into their lives. On som…

Lights, Camera, Kalyanam

Note: Glossary of terms you may not understand:

Alai Payuthey (Waves are flowing) - a romantic drama by Mani Ratnam 

Vinnathandi Varuvaaya (Will you cross the skies for me) - a romantic drama by Gautam Menon 

Minnale (Lightning) - a romantic drama by Gautam Menon 

A little over 3 months back, I grudgingly surrendered the boon of bachlerhood. Nearly 30 years of attempting to play hide and seek with the institution of marriage ended up in me being finally caught like a deer in the headlights. The game was up. There was no where left to hide. After you sign on the dotted line, life gets divided into phases: 

a) Pre-marriage - The Vinnaithandi Varuvaaya stage when you are waiting for your beloved.

b) Marriage day - The Alai Payuthey stage when there are smiles all around.

c) Post-marriage - The Minnale stage when reality sets in.

Each phase comes with its corresponding questions and pronouncements.

a) Pre-marriage - How are preparations? All set? 

b) Marriage day - How does it feel? Maacha, maatind…