Sunday, July 03, 2022

3961 : Memory of no memory

I remember walking with you the other evening. In the middle of a no man's zone. You looked radiant and happy. (Not necessarily beautiful...."beauty" I think is an over-rated subjective nonsense).

I did want to click a photo of us. To capture this day for posterity. Something in me held back. Instead I soaked the day and the moment in.

I contain you and that day in me. The photo has not been captured. Neither has your radiance.

The story is not a stilllife. What did we miss?

3960 : Silence and a drink

There are many times on many nights, all I crave for is total silence (music is fine....especially if it is of my choice) and a nice stiff drink. (a peated whiskey or a cutty sark would be perfect).

And then I look at the world around me, and know that's going to be so hard. Almost impossible. Never.

I want to write, I want to dwell and I want to hum. In my silence.


3959 : Murakami

I find Murakami strangely soothing. The bizarreness of his stories, the total relatability of characters, who we know might not be real.

I must admit, I find the characters real. Every single time I am burdened by life, I veer towards Murakami.

As I have grown older, if there is someone I aspire to be, or write like - it has to be Murakami.



Wednesday, June 29, 2022

3958 : Strip tease

In any Indian hospital, the idea is to never treat you as an individual. You are a part of a lumpen, who are all considered inconsequential by association.

What should we expect from a world and a society that is rent seeking and bereft of mutual respect?

Every patient is dehumanized, treated like a factory object on a conveyor belt.

Everytime I am in a hospital, I am reminded of factory farming.

3957 : Loneliness

It just occurred to me how lonely it might be to be alone and locked into an ICU for a few days. Especially in an Indian scenario, where we are very dehumanized to a point of being shamed.

As I look at her, I wonder - if you are old, shriveled and fighting a war in your body, is solitary confinement the best we can do as a society?

Sunday, June 26, 2022

3956 : Encounter with him

I met him at the lobby. His name was Amitabh too. 

We both smiled, almost as if we had met our doppelgangers.

He spoke in a tongue that seemed to ask questions, without a question mark.

For apparent reasons it immediately reminded me of Murakami's 1Q84.

Today, I have already forgotten how he looked.

3955 : Sleepless in the city

Am I struggling with my sleep?

Or am I dreaming of sleeping well?

Or am I aching for a sleep that does not have a dream?

Or am I not able to not dream?

3954 : The art of saying nothing

I am sometimes accused of saying nothing, because I do go silent at times. 

And yet... I feel better than speaking a lot without meaning anything. Truly, thats not a judgement.

So many of our conversations are just meaningless trite, an almost automatic way to fill up time.


3953 : Yaar

Yaar nu milegi aaj laash yaar di.....

....and then poems were written.

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

3952 : The song that wheezes

The poetry from my song dances on my tongue. My heart twirls with the note. 

The singer continues to lull you with progressive notes, till at one point - he smiles (he actually smiles while singing) and then slips in a low note....when least expecting it.

The low cadence hits - as if he is sharing an intimate secret - in a most disarming way.

At one point he says, "This blessing is also from the same seer"....and I know what he is singing about.

You.

Monday, June 20, 2022

3951 : Gitanjali

I was in 8th grade. Terrible at studies. I was always terrible at school - its only in college that I possibly shone through. Call me a late bloomer, if you will, though, that is being immensely kind.

This post is not about that.

So my brother and mom convince me to somehow start to attend a large "tuition" class. So picture this. I am least interested in this nonsense.

So in the first few days, I am switched off and distracted too. And then, Gitanjali arrives to teach me physics. And I was always a physics champ. Even today, I know some chops there.

She is a first year B Sc Student, but she also teaches on the side. And by the Lord, she teaches fab. One of the finest teachers I have known in my life.

So I answer some questions, and very soon I am answering all questions. I soon figure our families know each other. (that's an aside). One day in the class - she asks me how I know so much physics....and I tell her I read Soviet published books. Yes, that's true :-)

She asks me some advanced questions around thermodynamics and so on....and I happy chomp away at it. I can see she is floored.

Over months, she encourages me to be better and better. I love her class. Eventually she stops coming to teach (unsure of the reason), and I lose interest in tuitions and drop off.

Something reminded me of her yday. After almost 3 decades. I have almost never thought of her in all these times. 

She might be the closest I got, to having my first crush. On a serious note, I have immense heartfelt gratitude for her contribution in my life.

That's the post.

3950 : Us vs I

As I grow older, I realize that I am not able to discern the boundaries of what's others and what's me. That causes immense heartburn....I mean, eventually. 

I have to remind myself 10 times a day - put "my" head down and focus on look inwards. At least that's a real way to understand my own inner boundaries.

The duality is real, Advaita be damned in that sense.

Thursday, June 09, 2022

3949 : Whats in me?

I feel I have Bombay in me. I sometimes see my mother in me. I hear the Beatles speak in my tongue. I feel I contain multitudes. I sing in three languages.

My dad says I contain the universe. My son says I contain stories. My heart contains hope.

And yet, I feel immensely lonely? Whats missing?

You, maybe.

3948 : Guru in wilderness

I see mid aged and young women (and yes, it seems to be women)....on flights, in my apartment complex, in transport systems....and they are all watching Sadhguru or some pravachan, or equivalent on youtube.....and something in me laments. 

We lose this beautiful world and life one inch at a time. One soul at a time we take 3 steps back...and then forget to take any steps forward.

There is very little a Guru can teach you, if you cannot open your eyes and see the world around me.


Wednesday, June 08, 2022

3947 : Leaving the door open

Sometimes if you leave a door open, then someone will open it. They might enter the dark space called you. Its hard to let people in, but the first step is to leave the door open.

Better still, if this is the outcome you want, break down the door. Let empty spaces replace the erstwhile door.

This process is hard. Its almost impossible. With or without the awareness, both ways its equally hard.

And yet it behooves I must do it. Today and not later.

3946 : Eric Clapton

I have been so tempted to cancel Clapton in recent years....and yet he is a genius. Listening to him playing "Layla" live with JJ Cale (available on Spotify) is such a raucous joy.



3945 : Diction

Listening to Lata Didi, Nandini Srikar....is a joy, but it also teaches you that diction is everything in songs. Diction paired with perfect notes is so rare, its almost an ear sore. As in, your head notices it, just because perfection is so rare.


Tuesday, June 07, 2022

3944 : 12 inch version

 I come from a generation where 12 inch version meant something groovy, and not necessarily tool size :-).

And Shep Pettibone meant someone to look fwd to.

Stevie Wonder singing "Part Time Lover" in a 12 inch version (in case you are too lazy to google, it means a 12inch LP...so the song is a longer single...than regular single)....is pure gold.

If I am ever wooing someone, this will be the song, I will sing in my gruff desi messy voice.

"We are undercover, passion on the run, chasing love, up against the sun....knowing its so wrong, and yet feeling so right."



3943 : Men will be boys

I am on a flight. Surrounding me is about 6 men, who are all in their 60s possibly. And they are boisterous. Seem like a bunch of childhood friends on a trip together.

They are eyeing the female staff, cracking teenage jokes. And just laughing their asses off.

And moral puking judgements aside, this is what life might actually mean. Be with friends, laugh and fart.....and for a few moments, forget the killjoys that you just left behind.

Monday, June 06, 2022

3942 : Mixtape

I find immense solace in my books and music. Give me spotify and kindle, and I might pull an entire quarter without needed to see another human.

And my spotify mixtape would include Norah Jones, Nandini Srikar and Amy Winehouse.....three women who I unabashedly love. 

And then I can find sentences like "New York City, such a beautiful disease", "My destructive side...has grown a mile wide", "baavan tarah se.....jee ko rhijaun...."

"and I question myself again...."

The creator created a mess, completely losing the plot. And yet she had distinct flourishes. And that friends, should be our mixtape.


3941 : Acid Run

I am starting to write after a long time. Sometimes our minds stop. Mine did.

Minds don't stop in isolation. Minds stop when our hearts stop. Our hearts stop, when our breath stops.

Hibernate. Closet off. One wall at a time, our worlds collapse.

A long hiatus is where I have been in. It feels winter.

And the thaw does not seem to be close at hand at all.

One day, I too shall pray for the Black Hole Sun.

Sunday, June 05, 2022

3940 : The book

I have over 300 pages of material written down, all spewed around. Some of it anachronistic, some of it feeble, some of it sublime....and yet, most importantly, an idea that is incomplete.

Like us, it's trying to go somewhere, but going nowhere. 

An ostrich. A bird trying to find its wings. Burdened by its own weight and proclivities. 

Saturday, June 04, 2022

3939 : Secrets

I wanted to meet her and tell her my truth. I drove home. She led me to the kitchen and said "Sit kanna, tea coming up soon."

Staring at the boiling water, she continued talking in her usual chirpy and yet reassuring voice.

"All good at work?"

"Yes, as always good."

She laughed and said, "How can there be nothing that worries you? Are you really that Zen?"

I mimicked her tone and smiled with a small sound too. She continued "So all good ha?"

I say with a deep pause, "Should I worry about cigarette stub smoke, or the fire in the barn?"

With wisdom, she smiled, still focussed on the tea and said - "Neither. Or both. Depends on what bothers you. Does anything bother you?"

"Hmmm....I notice them both, but with a dispassionate eye - as if I am in a movie hall."

She turned off the flame, turned around and looked at me and said with infinite compassion, "Kanna, this too shall pass."

I looked at her eyes, directly. Long pregnant pause from both of us. She is and always has been excellent at reading conflict in others.

A good minute later, this eye-match-eye going on, and then she finally says "And? Still want the tea?"

I smile sheepishly. She walks to the side the kitchen counter and picks up the "fire extinguisher" and hands it over. "Has never been user in years. Might never work. Maybe this is what you need from me."

Guffaws and turns on the tea making again. Her back to me.

After what seems like minutes - I blurt - "Both the cigarette and the barn fire - I am the one who lit them." 


3938 : One day

Do I have an alibi?

No. 

Guilty by induction?

Maybe.

Will we ever know the truth?

Never.

Did you buy my story?

Water runs dry.

3937 : Malang from Coke Studio 11 by Sahir Ali Bagga and Aima Baig

There is a new love in town. 

I have been listening to this so often.


The guitar riff is exactly the same as Hawa Hawa - Hassan Jehangir.

But, what a song. The singers and the studio is so much fun.

The energy is so infectious.


And note....

One of those rare songs, where the male goes just as high as the female (in terms of notes). Infact in the middle parts he is higher. So refreshing.

And while you are at it, listen to the master himself.....



3936 : Writing

Writing is a strange preoccupation. 

I dont write on paper, I write in electronic shards ("in" not "on").

There is this deep sense that none of the writing would ever matter. None of me would ever matter. One day I will be gone, and with me goes everything about me. That sword of ephermereality makes this world a very bizarre experience.

Its like walking into the male toilet of a hotel. Use the urinal, pee, wash your hands, and you are out. Neither do you remember the urinal, not the toilet has any memory of you. You crept in, and faded out.

There is no more - no afterlives, no meaning, no purpose, and absolutely no larger ecosystem.

How is this connected to writing? Well, I do wonder, then why do I write at all.

3935 : I knew you were waiting for me - George Michael + Aretha Franklin

I heard an old classic after some years and I am hooked just like my old days. This one is Aretha Franklin and George Michael singing "I knew you were waiting for me".

What a rocker of a number. 

Miss Franklin's vocal range - phew!!



Friday, June 03, 2022

3934 : Why do you drink?

As we continued sipping our wine, I noticed, that she was having very large gulps. I observed for a good few minutes. She was focussed and dunked on the maroon drink (I am bad with color).

Drinking with a purpose, which is not usual for someone who sips for the joy of it. Contrasting it with myself, I like my coffee and wine to be savored - thats probably the only food I consume mindfully.

After a silence that seemed both long and awkward, I built a laugh and asked "Like the Eagles song, drinking to remember or to forget? Before you correct me, I know that's about dancing."

"So to remember, or to forget?"

Eyes seething with anger, as if I had slapped her or equivalent, she gave me a glare. Had another large gulp, and then rudely muttered, "To drown."

3933 : Dead parrot

I remember reading in Arundhati's book, "Where do the birds goto die?" and being intrigued by it. Its a Zen Koan kind of question. I am in my 40s, and I had never wondered about this question earlier.

Years later, I saw dead, now gingerly laid on the floor. Shrouded in white with a green saree symbolically placed over her. It was her favorite saree. Somehow, comically, her slightly long nose (alongwith the green saree) reminded so much of a parrot. Yes, you are right, the human mind does conjure strange phantoms in the most unlikely of places.

I also remember thinking in that moment - "Now I know where one parrot went when she died."

Thursday, June 02, 2022

3932 : Tomorrow

We often tell ourselves that tomorrow we shall be a better version of ourselves. I so often do this. 

I will also tell someone I will call you tomorrow. Yet I know...Tomorrow, you might not be around. Neither might I.

The raging fires of today will be embers tomorrow. In that faint shimmer you might find the ashes of my desire. My remains.

Tomorrow. Is not today. Tomorrow. Is not yet here. Tomorrow. Might sometimes be away. Forever.

3931 : Do our stories matter?

For almost ever, I have debated if our stories matter after us. After our death I mean. I tend to be strongly in the camp - they never do, they never will.

And then today, this happens........For today, every single story matters. Always. For today at least...this is settled.






3930 : The hollow inside

This bird of a human. Always completely sure of every game in town. Ready to dispel advice on the malice of "our ego". Like the cheap bootleg of a Godman.

Eyes ever so slightly shifting from left to the right. A possible sign of the total vacuum inside.

Glazed eyes. Chumped lips as the mouth mutters the lousy nothings.

Did I stare at the abyss today? No, I met him.

Wednesday, June 01, 2022

3929 : Cartographer lost

She was walking. Towards what she felt was a destination. 
Here we are, and she realizes that this road has dead ended into a cul-de-sac, and she is here, but nowhere. 

There are some flowers growing near her. Feels like home, but without an address.

3928 : The straw

We rode the camel. Across the desert. To where? From this dry to the promised oasis, of course. 

Along the way, we loaded ourselves with bags. Not to mention the baggage we perenially carry. We accumulated sins, drowned in the river of the spirit, danced with the light. You carried the cross, "The Lord will watch over us."

Today, you added "her" into the mix. 

The camel's knee broke. The devil had found the straw.

3927 : Flight path

When we talk, I often look at us with distant wonder - our talks should be of the earth, but they often appear completely hollowed out.

I see our souls akin to a tin cage. "Us" is a trapped bird. One which has been tied down for years. Freedom, eventually, on a day like today, might mean nothing. The wings no longer have any muscle.

There is an emaciated poem in the air. The meter is off, the lyrical check is loaf. 

Why would we succumb to this drivel? 

In the book I am reading, I read a sublime passage. Like always, as I read it, it occurred to me, that each of us carries a falcon within our hearts. The falcon, we dry off one flight at a time.....to the point that eventually what remains, is the coarse arid sand. 

Sand. Not the earth I would have wanted.

This is our world. We make it by inches. We break it by light years.

Tuesday, May 31, 2022

3926 : Chilli Funk

The other day, I was sitting with you, both of us waiting for our dinner. The server got us a plate of salad, essentially just onions. You gave me your smirk, and sheepishly said "Can you request him to include some cucumber and tomatoes too?"

I politely looked at the server and mumbled something. In turn, he understood the request and in a few minutes got a large plate including chillies.

As we were chomping on the veggies, you said, "Do you mind eating one chilli for me?"

I could not contain my incredulity. "Why?"

"For me. Please. Pretty Please.", you said with mischief dancing on your forehead.

Always game for rando craziness, I picked the largest chilli on the plate (the largest is always the mildest)....and chewed it slowly. Only by the last bite, did my poor tongue scream back at me "Fuck you, imbecile idiot. What are you trying to do?"

To silence my tongue, and its french, I drank a large glass of water.

After a few minutes, as we still waited for the food, you said, "One more please?. Come on goldy."

Who the fuck is "goldy" now?

I looked around totally perplexed. And loudly said "Fuck off".

"One more, and my offering to this new place, would be complete." you smiled awkwardly and said. "Really, this is so near Kailash. I wanted to do this for Shivji."

"Jerk - shouldn't you eat, its your offering?"

You continued smiling and imploring "please" with your looks and a large pout, that almost embarassed the shit out of me.

With great trepidation, I chose another large one. In preparation, requested the server for a piece of jaggery. Then I proceeded to eat the green poison....this time chewing as little as possible.

As I finished, gulped the water and hungrily sucked on the jaggery....you purposefully stood up, majestically walked around the table. Am sure everyone noticed. In full view, you pecked me and loudly announced, "you are such an absolute dear".

And my ears heard "deer".

Boom boom. In that moment, I knew the real you. 

Sita.

3925 : Sound

There is no sound.
Absolutely nothing.

Hear your smirk.
Witness my loss.

Feel the length of noise.
Miss the bauble of the beat.

Anticipate that turn and whack.
Internalise that boom.

Without you.
There is a deafening silence.

Monday, May 30, 2022

3924 : The moon

The other day, you lovingly said, I am your moon. 
Poets adore the moon. But....

Does it occur to you, that the moon has craters that people mistake for a rabbit.
Does it occur to you, that the moon has an invisible side, that people mistake for the dark side.
Does it occur to you, that the moon can sometimes cause the total eclipse of the light in your life. 

The more you see of me, you might realise that the moon is nothing but a fancy piece of rock.

3923 : The story shifts

Ten years ago, I genuinely believed I had a future.
Today, I am convinced I have a past.

Saturday, May 28, 2022

3922 : One step

Remember at the temple 
You and I walked in step

Sometimes you ahead
Sometimes my feet locked up

You said, I should pray to the Lord for "us"
Did I tell you - I am an atheist

And yet, I did pray
To a Lord, who does not exist

A wind blew against us
Your hair splayed like fire

At one point
You instinctively held my hand

You probably wanted some support
Or you thought I was going to fly away

I laughed and said "One step away"
"From total desire" 

Today, the roads are same
I have somehow reached a cul de sac

I definitely missed a step somewhere
Can we backtrack?

The Lord smiles at me
"Still an atheist?"

You are long gone
Today as the wind blew, I feel your hair again.

3921 : Dugg Duggi Dugg from Jugni

 For me this song is the find of the year, of the past 2-3 years.

The poetry (by Shellee), singing by Vishal, music by Clinton Cerejo.....this has to be hands down the most meaningful composition I have heard it in recent years.

I could have bet a large sum, that this was Gulzar - and bloody hell, I could not have been more wrong.

I am sure, I will love this song, till my deathbed.

Do listen, its the best thing you would do yourself. On loop. Forever.



3920 : Lost

In recent months, I have often felt rudderless - with a huge wave of hopelessness in me. The last time I struggled like this was over 22 years ago, and it did not end well then.

A foreboding. A forebrooding.

These are times I should not drive. (No, not that I am unsafe), but its just that these drives amplify the zen conflicts in my head.

Loss. Losing. Lost.

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

3919 : Driving

Driving clears up the mind. I have been driving for the past 4 days, 2 more days to go. Intense driving.

Point is...Nothing. 

Have had too much time to think and mentally detox.

Everything I hold precious is disintegrating around me, and that hurts me immensely. Seeing the world around me slowly sliver away, and with it, my own possibilities.....truly and utterly deflates me.

Its like seeing death at close quarters and recognizing that life is all about one thing. Dying. That is indeed the only certainty.

Similarly - moving adrift seems so akin to our intrinsic relationships.

Sounds like a rant, isn't it? It is.

3918 : Old age

I have spent the past week with people older than me. 

Our elders teach us the world, one inch at a time. Not by expounding but by living. 

Watching your elders at close quarters is at most times a blessing.

 

Sunday, May 22, 2022

3917 : 52

A pack of cards.

A year of being moonless.

52 weeks.

52 players.

You were the Ace of Hearts.

I held onto my spade.

Today, I feel like the Joker.



Monday, May 09, 2022

3916 : Reading list 2022 : #12 Bluebeard by Kurt Vonnegut

Loved this little gem of a book. A strange fictional memoir. 

And yet, I loved this book so much. Read it for the strange melancholy that transcends this book and Vonnegut's writings. The strange loss of knowing that nothing might actually eventually matter. 

At 338 pages brings my 2022 total to 3431 pages.

Do read this book and be charmed in writing lessons. How to write so well, that it almost looks effortless.



Tuesday, May 03, 2022

3915 : Reading List 2022 : #11 Breakfast of champions by Kurt Vonnegut

Reading Kurt Vonnegut after almost a decade and loving it totally again.

Seeing it in a different light, esp the exaggerated tongue in cheek. The light hearted and yet apt digs at American (and our) suburban life. And the illustrations are lovely.

At 303 pages brings my 2022 total to 3093 pages.

A most definite read.



Saturday, April 30, 2022

3914 : Reading list 2022 : #10 The Silent Parade by Keigo Higashino

What not to like in a Japanese thriller. Builds up neatly and continues till the end. Highly recommende for someone who likes this genre.

Very good read. Still possibly 8/10 (I like my literary books more!!), but dont mind reading these books at all.

At 435 pages brings my 2022 total to 2790 pages.





Friday, April 29, 2022

3913 : Reading List 2022 : #9 Earthquake Bird by Susanna Jones

If you have not seen the movie, you must. Its a visual treat. To someone who loves Japan, its a love story.

If you have not read the book, you must, its delightful writing.

Loved the writing and the book. 

At 276 pages brings my 2022 total to 2355 pages.












Thursday, April 28, 2022

3912 : Reading List 2022 : #8 This is pleasure by Mary Gaitskill

And I might just be recommending the book of the year for me.

This little book, about #MeToo, made me think, made me think and made me think.

It was one of the books, I never wanted to end. Stunning writing. As I always say for books like this 18/10. Do read it. Dont miss it. Send me a note, and I shall gift you this.

At 97 pages brings my 2022 total to 2079 pages.

Buy, treasure and re-read this book.

Images from the Guardian




















Wednesday, April 27, 2022

3911 : Reading List 2022 : #7 Run and Hide by Pankaj Mishra

A strange melancholy of a book. Conjures images of a world that is never still, always moving. A world where we never fully know what we want, and never have what we need, and that little thing which means everything to us - is always just a few inches from our grasp.

Loved the writing, the imagery and the hidden philosophical gems interspersed in the book. A book that made me search my soul, and come up with its vacious emptiness.

Absolutely do read it.

At 338 pages brings my 2022 total to 1982 pages.






Tuesday, April 26, 2022

3910 : Reading List 2022 : #6 Tokyo Decadence by Ryu Murakami

Finished this little gem of a book, very unusual stories about love. Some of them stunningly graphic and makes you think. 

At least I did wonder what kind of person the author must be - to write with such grittiness.

On my scale, possibly 9/10. The folks who dont like too much raw, might dislike a book like this.

Do read.



At 280 pages brings my 2022 reading total to 1644 pages.

Monday, April 25, 2022

3909 : When we danced

I have been away. A long silence. A point where our mind is talking, but our voices are silent.

There is chatter, and then there is emptiness.

One day there shall be no more the need for the quiet.

Monday, February 21, 2022

3908 : Stories - 2

Read the previous post.

And that explains, why I seem to love conversations on a podcast. They represent what I miss quite a bit in my life. Stories, life experiences, the sharing of these tales.

Instead I am often surrounded by uni-dimensional folks (and I am guessing I am that too).

With stories, we can connect. With conversations, we can bridge. With a shared context, we can overcome.

3907 : Stories

In the past few years, I have noticed that the world around me is slightly amiss. My own ecosystem, I mean.

Let me explain - what "amiss" means. It means bereft of color and character. I have struggled with it, but never come to correctly point out what it was. What was it, that represented "color and character" and hence was amiss.

So kept hunting for the missing sauce. And then one day, a few months ago - I was reading some anecdote on twitter, and it occurred to me. The epiphany.

The world around me, my ecosystem is bereft of stories. Everyone is on a treadmill (so am I), everyone is going somewhere (so am I), everyone has no time to stare or pause (me too).....and yet no one has stories. No one has memories.

Our memories are a blur, our photos as a cess pool. Our digital apps are cringe. And the real stories are missing. 

A world without stories being shared or spoken is such a quaint place. Its without character and color. Its what is amiss.

Saturday, February 19, 2022

3906 : The silence of the days

As you see the world around closing in, its interesting to take a pause. And dream on.

Dream on, about what?

About the stories that we constantly tell each other, and also about the stories that we never tell each other.



Saturday, February 12, 2022

3904 : Reading List 2022 : #5 Rumors of a Spring by Farah Bashir

Loved this little gem of a book, written like a part memoir, part tale.

Shows how broken Kashmir is, and how traumatic is to those caught in the war.


At 216 pages brings my 2022 reading total to 1374.


3903 : Reading List 2022 : #4 A desolation called peace by Ather Zia and many other voices

A book about writers from Kashmir writing in their version of the land and its current state.

Despodent, desolate and yet about hope. For a future, where we all live together to share this planet.

Read. Think. Reflect.

At 277 pages brings my 2022 total to 1162 pages.



3902 : Modern isolation

In the modern world, the sense of isolation, the sense of being nowhere, and yet everywhere - is almost complete. 

One day, I will return to the real world. Reminds me Queensryche singing, "Real World"....one of my favorite songs....from the movie Last Action Hero.



3901 : Reading List 2022 #3 : I have not seen Mandu by Swadesh Deepak and Jerry Pinto

This book is a memoir written by a person who fought his personal demons. And he describes the demons as he sees them. Everyday in the closet, the shape shifts.

Need I say more?

I have not read a book like this. Deeply disturbing and yet so enriching. I came out more aware of myself, of the world around me.

I felt as if I have known Swadesh Deepak forever. What would I not give to know him?

A book that transforms your insides.

Go for it. At 360 pages brings my 2022 to 885 pages.

Image from Hindustantimes.com





3900 : The state of my nation

As we finish the first months of 2022, I realise, that my life has been a blur. I feel I am filling time. Its a sense of deep loneliness, a deep sense of knowing that this is not my race is.

We choose a world, we paint a canvas. And yet at times, we dont like what we have painted. Or what we are painting?

Should I discard the canvas, and start all over again?

Silence is my new best friend.

Wednesday, February 09, 2022

3899 : Zinda unplugged by Amit Trivedi

I can listen all day long to Amit Trivedi unplugged singing "Zinda" from Lootera.




Thursday, January 27, 2022

3898 : We will never know

 So daughter asks me, "When did Chris Cornell die?"

"2018 or 2017?"

"How did he die?"

"Of depression."

"What was he depressed with?"

"I dont know."

"Can we find out?"

"No, we will never be able to find out. His secrets are gone with him."


3897 : Jaag Musafir by Fareed Ayaz

If you have not heard this - I suggest you hear this on loop. As trippy and trancy as it can get.

Play this to the end of time, till the end of the world. 

And yes, please "wake up."

What a song!!




Wednesday, January 19, 2022

3896 : I usually love listening to music, except for some exceptions

And #1 on this list is "Where the Streets have no name" original video.

What a feel it has.

Especially at some point, when the first strumm hits the road. Always mesmerized.

Stays in my head rent free.


Watch it and feel goose pimples.

The guitar riff!! Phew!!


3896 : Thangamey by Anirudh Ravichander

This song has such a lovely alternative rock feel to it. If you just heard the start, this could be easily an alt rock number.


This musician is a genius. Totally overshadows ARR.

3895 : Listening to Chris Cornell singing Nothing Compares 2 U

Is the closest you can get to happiness in any given lifetime.

Such an experience always reminds me of what greatness each of us possibly holds in our hearts.

What a song.



Monday, January 10, 2022

3894 : Reading List 2022 : #2 : Wanting by Luke Burgis

This book is easily one of my best reads in recent times. 

Totally recommedned. It explains what are our foundational motivations are, and why most of them are totally wrong.

Changes the way you look at your own life.

I am already starting my second read of the book.

At 290 pages brings my 2022 reading total to 425 pages.

Image from Lavin Agency




3893 : Reading list 2022 : #1 : What we talk about when we talk about love by Raymond Carver

Just finished this highly recommended book (as in its an overall popular book) by Raymond Carver - What we talk about when we talk about love.

In my honest sense, I liked the writing - its crisp and edited. (Supposedly his editor was the magic !!)

What I struggled with is - at least some of the stories I did not fully grasp. They are abstract. More like poems, but also more like an inside joke from the author.

Maybe, it's just me - I am dense.

Unlike other books, where the best stories are early in the book - in this case, its towards the end of the book.

Overall I would rate this 8/10. I know Carver fans will hate me.

I loved the title story - that alone makes it worth the read.

At 135 pages, this is my first book for the year.



Saturday, January 08, 2022

3892 : Spotify can suggest gems

It just suggested to me the classic "Girl from Ipanema" as sung by Amy Winehouse. Was not aware of such a version.

My fav is the Stan Getz original version, but this version is sweet too.




3891 : What is it about men, from North Sea Festival by Amy Winehouse

If there is one song that never fails to move me, its "What's it about men?" By Amy Winehouse, from North Sea Festival. 

Only available on Youtube and Spotify.


Just looking at her sing is so hypnotic. Totally love her and her voice.

And the lyrics. Phew!!

My favorite line is "My destructive side has grown a mile wide"


Friday, January 07, 2022

3890 : Ali D'Oro by John Lee Hooker

 If there is only one song you must listen to today it has to be

Ali D'Oro by John Lee Hooker.



3889 : Kaushiki Chakraborty

There is a new love in town. Its unabashedly Kaushiki Chakraborty.

I have been playing her on repeat.


Wednesday, January 05, 2022

3888 : Contemplative vs reactive thinking

While it sounds like a simple concept. Its really not...

Hear this at 

https://mwrh.simplecast.com/episodes/mwrh-65-meditative-vs-calculative-thinking 

Ideally subscribe using your fav podcast player. Mine is Spotify.

And yes keep inputs coming.

3887 : Why philosophy

I was talking to a friend of mine and she was saying that philosophy possibly is a first world problem and we don't need it or should not pander much to it.

I have been thinking about this chat.

Like I would like to have a chat with someone for over 4 hrs on what "love" could possibly mean? Or what "penitence" means? 

I then wonder am I biased, because I like these rabbit holes? And then I believe, that even 1000 years ago, if I was born - I would be similar - thinking along these same lines.

In summary, I love philosophy and if anyone ever has the time and enthu, ping me. Always around for a chat.

Sunday, January 02, 2022

3886 : Unborn

My city is always full of dust. It feels like a city perpetually being built. The more I have meditated on this, my awareness of this has changed. More and more, I feel as if, this dust is about the houses that never got built.

Those specks of cement and sand, that never made it to the structure.

The ones who missed the mark, and yet, they are always around, witnesses to their own failures, and telling their stories for posteriety.

3885 : Freedom

There is something unique about you just letting your hair loose. It represents braids that are no longer confing, it represents structures that are not confirming and it also variously represents the knowing and the confusing.

Today, I saw you again, and I realised that it also possibly represents letting go. Of not being someone else, but being you. This is what freedom possibly looks like.

Saturday, January 01, 2022

3884 : Poisons

God made the poisons to slow down our lives. Coffee, tea, smokes, drink, grass.....all of it only designed to slow down our perception of time....make us see the intuitive truth. 

"Time is where it is, at a point. Its you who is moving." 

3883 : Smoke and mirrors

Its a new start. One that we solemnise with whiskey and smoke.

The room is still. The air is silent. The radiator on the conditioner is the only buzz.

The mirror is blank. In some sense there is no real future. 

As the smoke fills the room, you appear more and more blurred. The silhouette of someone I probably don't know at all.

Friday, December 31, 2021

3882 : Shining

Rabbits are supposed to be good with mazes. They will figure out an entire maze by trail and error.

"Our love is bunnies. It will find a way.", I tell with a false gusto.

Then as I am driving back - a thought occurs to me, what if we are in "The Shining" ?

3881 : The chats we never had

I often ponder on what about those chats that we never had. Stillborn words. You will not see me for what I am. I am blind to your beliefs.

You believe I dont understand you.

In another parallel universe, I am you, and you are me. That might be poetic justice (and a lullaby in prose).

Thursday, December 30, 2021

3880 : Reading in 2021(summary)

I have struggled to read in 2021. Actually, I have struggled to complete books. I have over 40 books at 5-50% complete.

That speaks to a state of mind.

2021 had 27 physical books spanning 6406 pages

vs 2020 with 22 books spanning 7166 pages 

Vs 2019 with 29 books and 5177 pages. 

Vs 2018 was 35 books with 10816 pages. 

Aiming for 20,000 pages in 2022. Yes you heard right. And I possibly wont make it at all. Also I aim to read a lot more poetry in 2022.


3879 : Reading List 2021 : #30 Legal fiction by Chandan Pandey

This is a delightful little book.

A story about the present day around us.

It just sucks you in - totally.

Hard to put down - but not in a thriller sort of way, but instead in a narrative sort of way.


At 146 pages brings my 2021 total to 6406 pages.

3878 : Reading List 2021 : #29 Preparing for death by Arun Shourie

Easily my best read for the year. A book that moved me by making me aware of myself.

A stunning read around death - its implications, how to operationally prepare for it, how did some starwarlts die (or deal with their upcoming death) - and towards the last chapters, the author's own moving meditation on how is age is creeping up on him.

A book to read. Then read again. And again.

Image from FirstPost


At 528 pages brings my 2021 total to 6260 pages.


3877 : Reading List 2021 : #28 After the quake by Haruki Murakami

A fantastic set of stories that in typical Murakami style will suck you in.


Absolutely definitely read.

At 192 pages brings my 2021 reading to 5732 pages.


Wednesday, December 29, 2021

3876 : She vs she

I often cook for my daughter. If I am in her city, then at least one meal. She seems to love my cooking, and there is great happiness for both sides in sharing the meal.

Sometimes, I delude myself, that I am also leaving her with tons of fun memories with her dad.

And then, I look back at my mom. She is/was one of the best cooks (not because she is my mom), that I know of.

And yet, I rarely, if at all, remember her cooking. I still pay a tribute to her cooking, because I really copy all her tricks and dishes.....but memories....nah.

The point is.....I delude myself.

Thats the post.

Monday, December 27, 2021

3875 : Ketaki Gulab Juhi from Basant Bahar by Pt Bhimsen Joshi and Manna Dey

I had never heard this song until today.

What a taut composition. Joshi sir and Manna Dey both hit the right notes.

Fantastic song.



3874 : The last tango

He's gone. He rarely spoke to me. I did not beseech him. 

Today, I held his hand, and gave a soft squeeze. Buddhism tells me that for another 8 hrs or so cognition can remain. Mild, maybe. Even so, yes.

Maybe that hand squeeze can tell him what he actually meant to me. 

3873: The curse

The poet sees the world differently
Usually for what it is
She seams the words that describe that sear

She can also see the world around her crash
Into a ball of tar
Because that's what we all end up usually into

The poet hears the jarring through the crevices
She is aware of my rattled insides
She listens to the hum of my heart

As I hugged her and complimented her writing
She said, "You don't understand me at all,
I am weighed down with this burden."

Being a poet is not a volition
Being a poet is a personal tragedy
This curse has just begun.

Sunday, December 26, 2021

3872 : This is it

I was talking to mom about Talat Mahmood, Madan Mohan and the music of the era. She spoke with the ferocity of a prayer.

I kept hearing her, and a thought crossed my mind. This is what life is, it is never going to get any more real. We are all in a continuum. 

3871 : Reading List 2021: #27 Charles Bukowski's On Drinking

This is a classic. Especially for those who love Bukowski, like I do.

Its random, at times rambling, but its seethingly honest. Scathes.

Definite Read.

At 263 pages brings my 2021 total to 5540.



3870 : Fragmented

I look at her, and think of all the times I reassured her, with my lips covering hers. Today is different though, Its me who is anxious.

Her fists are tight and utterly still.

It feels like she is gone, but no one ever goes - right? We all live hidden amongst a million broken pieces.

Saturday, December 25, 2021

3869 : From Ruth Ozeki's The book of form and emptiness

'Pencils have stories inside them, and they’re safe as long as you don’t stick the point in your ear. Just hold it next to your head and listen. Can you hear the wood whisper? The ghost of the pine? The mutter of lead?’

3868 : Reading List 2021 : #26 : Earthquake Bird by Susanna Jones

An exquisite book, thats weird and also unsettling. There is a grim background to the whole story. Its also a movie on Netflix. 

The book depicts Tokyo and makes you fall in love with it.

A simple and haunting book.

At 276 pages brings my 2021 total to 5277 pages.

A highly recommended read.






3867 : Reading List 2021 : #25 : I chose Elena by Lucia Osborne Crowley

This tiny book is one of the most fascinating meditations on trauma and the impact it has on your psyche and the body.

At 161 pages, its a very small book, but its a very heavy and graphic read.

It should come with a trigger warning.

I would read this again at least a few times in my life.

Brings my 2021 reading total to 5001 pages. 



Friday, December 24, 2021

3866 : Red Pill

On most days, I walk. I walk to clear my head, and my lead - both.

As I pass through a particular stretch through my trail - I pass a point where almost everyday I see two fresh red pills stewn along the path. 

How do I know this is fresh? Because on certain evenings I see these crushed by walkers. And on other days, I see these two red pills in their full shape.

So my sherlock brain goes, someone from the wing adjoining is throwing these pills every single day. From probably the higher floors, since these pills seem a little away from the wing.

Someone is rejecting their red pill.....also possibly rejecting the blue pill. Someone is rejecting suporting this journey. Two pills at one time - this one is a slow rejection of their life.

What would I give to have a leisurely chat with this person. There is so much she can teach me. (I am sure its a she :-)


3865 : Reading List 2021: #24 : Haruki Murakami's Men without women

I finished this gem from Murakami - a fantastic collection of short stories. Totally loopy, as with all of Murakami.

A fantastic collection of stories about men, women and their strange equilibrium.

At 288 pages, brings my 2021 reading total to 4840 pages.

Completely worth a read.



3864 : Reading List 2021 : #23 : Godse by Abhijeet Mukesh

Another very interesting listen on a topic cost me around 60 minutes.

Worth a listen. I come from the American school of thought, that every side deserves a listen.

It did make me pause and ponder.

Again on StoryTel. This one is in hindi



3863 : Reading List 2021 : #22 : Rangehaath by Bhushan Korgaonkar

At 1hr 37 minutes on StoryTel, this is an interesting listen. In Marathi.

The first half is rivetting, but the second half slows down and is more dramatic than needed.

Worth a listen to brush up your Marathi.



Thursday, December 23, 2021

3862 : The rain must fall

Listening to this classic from Yanni.

It has some unbelievable harmony, and then the interludes.

The rain must fall. What a song for this December day. 

Dont miss the violin centerpiece towards the last 2 minutes.



3861 : What does the next moment hold?

I am driving
With my daughter
To her school

Where she will find her future
Or might not
Sometimes, the future is the now

We both laugh, chat and gossip
We see the world around, but observe nothing

As we reach the school, we are in a log jam
We are part of a collective going somewhere
Reaching where?

In some other cars, kids are sitting silently
Staring ahead at whats oncoming

Mothers and fathers gazing here and there
Anxiety ridden in their eyes
Until their parking spot will appear

The future holds only what we can percieve it to be
And today
Its uncertainity, and fear

Our children will have to rewrite this
Reclaiming their present
From the depths of their past, which we scrambled up.

Saturday, December 11, 2021

3860 : Aicha by Khaled

I have posted on this before.

But listening to Khaled singing Aicha (the live version) on the same Marshall room crushing speaker is the most sublime feeling.

What a absfking vocal range. 



3859 : Walk like an Egyptian by Bangles

Walk like an Egyptian was one of my first English songs. Loved it then. Love it today.

What a composition. And the walk itself :-), when did we stop being goofy?

And girls singing their heart out.

* When I first heard this song, I could not make most words out. For a long time. Today, I can make out almost every single word - how we evolve.




3858 : One by Metallica

I was listening to an old classic 1988, if I remember right - One by Metallica on a Marshall room crushing system - and what fun.

Music is such a leveller.



3857 : Insular

I remember sitting with you on that railway station, waiting for the train. There was a small eating place behind us. I don't remember the name on its board; I don't remember noticing it (name) either.

I can still recall how the platform and its metal tracks resonated with measure - announcing the oncoming train, at least a few seconds before it happened.

We sat in silence. We were together, and yet alone. We were silent, and yet there was talk in the air. There was wind blowing, but the air was still. The train came rolled in, we both got in. Each of us thought we were going somewhere, and yet today we know, we reached nowhere.

Tuesday, December 07, 2021

3856 : Fading is like half life

The conversations have dwindled down
The tea seems less sweeter now
The air always seems like the second wind

On some days, there is no chirp
On most days there is no chatter
On all days there is no chummery

What remains is the voices in the silence
Like the walnut kernel without the walnut
Empty, but with a neat heart shaped hollow

This is what getting "used to" seems like
This is what getting used seems like
This is what being useless seems like

One day the shadows will again play
In the dark, there will be shapes
Of a dream that once we had built. 

Saturday, December 04, 2021

3855 : I am going to end this year

I am going to end this year with over 40 incomplete books. Some part of me is clear, that this is not a matter of pride. It reflects on a state of mind. 

A perpetual restlessness. The equanimity is gone. Floating on a sheet of oil.

I did read some of my finest books (from my life) this year though. And that gives me solace. Especially a few books that changed the way I think completely.

This restlessness extends to podcasts. I have over 20 pods that I am listening to at any given point.

Thankfully I dont watch content, else I am sure - that would be a watershed as well.

My big improvement for next year is to slow down my mind. To be ok with the present. To take it a day at a time.

We shall see.

Friday, December 03, 2021

3854 : Kaushiki Chakravorthy Raga Bhimpalasi

This one just took my breath away. What a rendition

She is thoroughly enjoying the song. She is into it, which is sometimes rare in a classical performance. What spirit, this is divine.

My first time hearing this. My earlier fav of the same raga and composition is by the majestic Ashwini Bhide Deshpande. This one is so different from that.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uEqYzdz3Zvg



Thursday, November 25, 2021

3853 : Simple loves

I was reading poetry
Waiting for a flight 
That would take me to another nowhere

Into the here came in a young couple
Tamil and in love
With a lingo that only Chennai can have

Peppered with the super
And the macha
But if only that, it would dilute the drink

Their spirit was more basal
Fun, light, opening each other 
Laughing at jokes, that I would never

Love does that
Makes the inane seem profound
And the profane seem round

Neither very stylish
Nor very classy
And yet so much in love

For a brief moment, the old me,
Paused, smiled and inhaled
This could indeed be heaven for everyone

The poetry I was reading 
Was about dislocation and distance
That too - shall one day come with the kingdom.

3852 : Genius lyrics by Varun Grover and Dushyant Kumar on Kisi Rail Si Gujarti Hain from Masaan

I have been listening to the song on repeat "Kisi Rail Si Guzarti hain".....I have posted on this before.

It has some totally inspired lines.

My one favorite line remains, "Kisi Lambe Safar Ke Raaton mein, Tujhe Alaav sa jalatha hoon".

(In one of those long journeys, I light you as the bonfire that helps through the night.)

And then Swanand Kirkire (who is usually a lyricist) has sung this beyond redeemption (redeemption can be positive too).

Give it a listen. Be enthralled.


Sunday, November 21, 2021

3851 : Reading list 2021 : #21 : 61 Minutes in Marathi by Tushar Gunjal

Another StoryTel find.

Its a regular thriller, but the way the drama unfolds just fgruips you.

I am falling in love with this art form.

I really want to learn this.

Its 90 min listen. Go for it.

The artists are just fab.



3850 : Reading List 2021 : #20 : Mee Nathuram Godse Boltoy by Pradeep Dalvi

I can read Marathi, but not fast enough. So I have started listening to books (thanks to StoryTel).

I finished this book, and quite liked the production of this book. Its stellar. It just pulls you in.

I am broadly a liberal (or so I think), but this book made me hear the other side of the argument. And actually clarified some doubts that I have myself had around the whole Godse-Gandhi saga.

While you are on the app - also listen to Amit Schandilla's episode on Godse within their India Unchartered history series.

I cant (and wont count pages here), but this is a 1.40 hr book and I loved it. We may or may not agree with it, but its worth a listen.




3489 : The world this week

 This week I had a meltdown (which is very unusual for me!!), realized that I am way too fat (and unfit), and I dont write enough.

All three should change - starting now, starting today.

While my external conditions are sound, I have never felt so low as I have felt this week in many years now.

The slow steep climb starts.


Tuesday, November 16, 2021

3848 : Metallica Blacklist

I am listening to the covers of Metallica's Black album....and what a list of covers.

Totally floored.

Go for a listen.

https://open.spotify.com/album/7N32mF0BlA3BOhlSyCiHgf 



Wednesday, November 10, 2021

3847 : Our stories are false

 Picked up from Twitter, but could not ring more true.

Czeslaw Milosz: “Obviously, all biographies are false, not excluding my own. […] They are false because their individual chapters are linked according to a predetermined scheme, whereas in fact they were connected differently, only no one knows how.”

Tuesday, November 09, 2021

3846 : Rahul Ram singing "Tu Kisi Rail Si"

How do you take a great song, you have composed, and make it epic?

Sing it yourself. Here Rahul Ram is singing "Tu Kisi Rail Si Gujarti hain"

What a stunning version....



Monday, November 08, 2021

3845 : You

Koi itna pyara kaise ho sakta hain,
Phir saare ka saara kaise ho sakta hain
Tujse jab milke bhi udaasi kam nahin hoti,
Tere bagair gujara kaise ho sakta hain

From https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HS7kvqtqzZ0 

Friday, November 05, 2021

3844 : Seasons

I remember we met on that particular October day. Hot, sultry as tropics can be. It felt like the heights of summer.

As we were driving between homes, the rains let loose. It poured. We both tried to laugh about it, we thought it was a sign that things should cool off a bit.

We reached the restaurant and ordered food. Something cracked, like it always does, and you seemed to lose all appetite. It felt like the fall. 

We tried to make it light hearted - our chat, but never really starting off. Always knowing the chill was around the corner. A bit like autumn.

As we decided to part away, you said we should rebuild, we should recoup, like how nature does. In your words "We should make spring happen."

Its been years, and what started on that day as a cold harsh winter, remains to this day. The seasons also froze. There is no thaw in this cold.

3843 : Struggle

 I have never struggled to write in recent years, as much as I am doing right now.

3842 : As I grow older

My need for physical silence dramatically increases.

The noise drones into me, the noise drains into me, the noise dreads into me.

3841 : Diwali Night

Amongst a burst of crackers
The rains decided to join the party

You smell the lead
And the petrichor

Sparklers and drizzles
How do you eat them both

The wind blows
Through the window it howls

For some the rain today is a lament
For some its a savior

I am inclined to say
Rain, rain, wash away

And then I remember
I am old and crusted





3840 : Reading List 2021 #19 : The elephant vanishes by Haruki Murakami

My second read of this Murakami book. 

All I say is read it, own it, so that you can re-read it.

Keep reading.

Fantastic book.

Definitely 10/10.

Brings my 2021 reading total to 4552 pages.



3839 : Reading List 2021 : #18: The Murderer, The Monarch & The Fakir by Appu Esthose Suresh & Priyanka Kotmaraju

 Growing up I was never a history buff. But my deep education (or interest) into politics,  has led me to read a lot of history in the past few years. Especially contemporary history, the past 100 years. I have finished books on WWII, Indian politics and the state of the nation.

So was very keen to read "The Murderer, The Monarch & The Fakir" by Appu Esthose Suresh and Priyana Kotmaraju.....

Its a new exploration of the assassination of Bapu, or "aims to be a new exploration".

I actually did not enjoy it much at all. Except for some bits here and there, nothing really got my goat. It does not conclusively say anything, it does not draw you into another possible world (which history should do).

So overall 6/10. I would not recommend this read to anyone.

Brings my 2021 reading total to 4214 pages.




Thursday, November 04, 2021

3838 : Freedom means..

To each
Their "freedom" means something different

To some
It just means the ability to be free
Absolved from the worries
Or burdens that can chain us to our present

To some 
It means self expression
Or identity
Or just plain simple acceptance

Then to some
Freedom is self governance
As a nation 
As a land
As a community
An autonomy

On days that I really am aware
To me all freedom means is
Choosing my silence
Working as late as I want to
Indulging my smoke
And sipping whiskey on the side

One day I shall achieve my freedom. 


3837 : Tokenism

In episode 48 of MWRH, we ruminate - on why tokenism might not matter in the larger business landscape at all. the only place tokenism seems to work is around large societal issues - and in those examples all tokenism can do is possibly educate and increase awareness (than alleviate the problem).

Do listen. 

3836 : Why I write?

I write because it shows me how I think. Thats really it. This blog is my own ode to my own being in posterity, my own failings, and the drunken walk through life.

3835 : Skyfull of people

I was out with a few friends yesterday, catching up.

And yet, I felt lonely, silent and aloof. Which is often the case with me and my tendency to zone out, but yesterday it occurred to me - that when we "try" and be happy, its a counterintuitive approach, does not work.....but if we "try" and have fun, you are left holding a grenade.




3834 : On the struggles of being

I am struggling to write.

In the past month, that is. Its a combination of being distracted and being mapless. Words dont come out, the poetry is stifled, the songs dont matter - and yet I continue to trudge along.

Would you continue to trudge along if the heart did not beat well, or if you gasped for breathe, or had severe constipation?

Point is - I know something is broken. I am not even taking a pause to fix it.



Saturday, October 30, 2021

3833 : Medhi Hassan

I must have heard about 1000 singers or even more in my lifetime. Spanning both Indian, Classical, Western, Pop....and the ilk.

And if I had to rate a voice - and the perfect notes, and the almost perfect pitch.

If there is a voice, which is divine personified....its Mehdi Hassan.

Ranjish hi sahi.....

Saturday, October 23, 2021

3832 : The falling man

I saw this visual 
Of a man falling from the sky
A free fall

Onto the earth
And then to ashes and dust
In all of about 3 seconds

What does a man falling
To his death
Think in his last 3 seconds?

Does he contemplate on death?
Or see his life pass by?
Or realize it was a half life

Maybe he knows
The game is over
And there are no lives left.

Time to shut the console down.

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

3831 : The tin box

She met me as I was dying
And said "don't go"
That's an odd thing to tell someone
Who is already belted for the ride

I smiled and told her, the countdown has begun
"I have nothing to remember you by", she said

I am leaving you the tin box,
One that contains all my poems,
Hold them, read them,
Air them like you would air your sarees

These poems contain more of me
Than my everyday self did

They explore the vision,
They explode my war,
They decode my words,
They encode my journey

One day, long after today,
These papers will melt into dust

"These poems shall become mine, ", she said,
"I will appropriate them,
I could not lock you down ever,
This tin box shall be forever sealed."

Sunday, October 17, 2021

3830 : The long drive

Nowadays I ride solo
The roads still suck 
And yet, there is peace in riding
Into nowhere, into just air

The wind ruffles you
The wheezing sound muffles you
And the inner silence rumbles a bit

Strange demons get out
Those that you avoid
Like you avoided a path
During childhood to escape a bully

This bully, though, is in your house
|Is it a he or a she?
Let's call her a she
She is already living in with you
It's always been, in sin

She talks to you
Just like a lover would
Sweet nothings about sweet nothings
Until she wields the saber

And invites you to a talk
You wont win this walk
"I wont win" with her,
I know that

I submit. I clench in my defeat
The demon still plays
She still says and says
I still drive

This long drive to another place
This long drive to another time
This long drive away from the here
This long drive to the familiar.

3829 : Comments

Something is odd. I checked my comments section and see 100s of comments waiting for moderation.

Some spam, but some from real folks.

I am sorry - I will clear the backlog in a day or two and publish.

Keep writing.

3828 : We (a modern haiku)

We move away
One step at a time
Dance of singular.

Saturday, October 16, 2021

3827 : Meaning in a landlocked world

I know of someone
Who is incarcerated
In prison for life
Without the possibility of parole,

That means he shall die 
In that prison cell,
Or an equivalent prison cell

He is about forty-five today,
Has been in prison for five
Stares down another 40 years of prison

I would one day want to talk to him
A long leisurely chat
Where we talk about his crime
Or lack of it
His penitence,
Or the lack of it
Purpose in life
Or the lack of it
And finally, meaning
Or the complete lack of it.


3826 : Colors of this life

She sat across
Dressed in what was pink 
And yellow,

She spoke of an era
And of the bread today,
We debated about actors
Who are no longer around,
And yet, still very much around
Almost always around

Our own lives might be ephemeral
And yet she said "make the most of this gift"

Shooting conversations 
Into an empty room,
Into an infinite universe
Accompanied by everyday noisy vehicle sounds,

We smiled, we paused
And contrasted our lives

The still moments reminded me
In 50 years, neither of us will be around
Most likely,
No one will remember us too
Not in their every day, at least

And yet one fine Friday,
We laughed, and we definitely lived
Pink, Yellow, Purple
Life exists in all these colors


Tuesday, October 12, 2021

3825 : Punch above

I am old. I am mid aged. 

At an age, where you know, that there is lesser ahead than behind.

In the past 2 years I have discovered so many things in terms of tiny (but powerful) feedback, about myself. All of us carry this mighty picture of oneself, where we believe and assume that we are the best versions of ourselves.

I have slowly come to realise that some of me (or actually a large part of me) is not really even close to the best version of what I can or should be.

I am just a regular joe, who lucked out....especially with friends and family.

If you wait long enough, you see your heroes fall....If you hear patiently, you will see yourself fall.

3824 : Famous Grouse

One of my famous blocks is back....Writing block.

I need to find my feet on this writing thingy again.


Tuesday, October 05, 2021

3823 : Cutting out content

I have been reading a lot this year. Not finishing books - and hence my reading list post here is such a weak list.

Over 40 incomplete books. Shows my state of mind.

I have been off visual content. No more Netflix for me, not this year yet.

I do miss watching OTT somedays. I do want to be normal too :-).


3822: Reading List 2021 : #17 : Bullets over Bombay by Uday Bhatia

For folks who liked Satya as a movie (I did growing up), this book is such a rivetting read.

I came back with a renewed appreciation of movies. I want to go back to watching movies (stopped since Jan of this year....no movies, no OTT). I cant seem to figure out time to accommodate this fun thing.

Do read it. Worth your time. 

Brings my 2021 read to 3970 pages.




Sunday, October 03, 2021

3821 : Reading List 2021 : #16 Little Bird by Claudio Donoso

If Claudio Donoso wrote a hundred books, I would buy all 100. 

She is so outstanding that I get goose pimples reading her.

She is 18/10 by a hammer and a hammer (:-)).

This brilliant book of short stories is like one of the best books that I have ever read.

Go for it.

At 112 pages bring my 2021 reading to 3764 pages.



Friday, October 01, 2021

3820 : Reading List 2021 : #15 First Person Singular by Haruki Murakami


I love Murakami and love this book even more. First Person Singular by Haruki Murakami is stellar. Recommended reading.

18 on 10.

At 240 pages brings my 2021 reading to 3652 pages.

3819 : Reading List 2021 : #14 The case for Keto by Gary Taubes

I finished this book and quite liked this. Its a great reminder of how screwed our diet is. I loved the book, but cannot implement much. And it sends me into this existential trap - why cant I do what is right?

At 304 pages brings my 2021 reading total to 3412 pages.




Thursday, September 30, 2021

3818 : Naam Gum Jayega from Kinara

This song by Gulzar - RD (one of my favorite pairs in the world), is so stunning. Lata Didi and Bhupinder make this poem so everday, that it becomes sublime.

Listen.

Notice Lata Didi's range.....



Wednesday, September 29, 2021

3817 : Sound

I have been experimenting with sound, vocal range and some kindergarten level drama.

I am loving the experience of sound and drama both. Checkout the podcast at www.mwrh.in

I wish I was in the entertainment industry. Really do sometimes wish that.


3816 : Chip on my shoulder.

With or without you....U2 hums in the background.

Time moves along. I watch the kids play downstairs. The flowers in the garden are in autumn bloom (is there something called autumn bloom?)

The everyday hums. The silence rattles (Rattle and Hum was the title of the U2 album...actually no...it was Joshua tree).

We are both aging. Winter is almost upon us. The summer is at least six months away.

Wonder what will we see when it thaws. If it thaws too quickly, we might get a chip. Thats on my shoulder.

Thursday, September 23, 2021

3815 : Our time shall come

 I dont want eventual, I want soon.

- Mary Oliver

3814 : Listening to Shuddh Bhairavi is my morning prayer

And of course it is Pandit Rajan Sajan Mishra :-).



Tuesday, September 21, 2021

3813 : Coffee Stains

I have so many memories associated with a stained coffee cup. Actually, the smudges of my own lips on the mouth of the cup.

I have this strange habit of observing the cup rims, especially as I am sipping coffee. In that moment, I get sucked into the pattern, become mindful and then also juxtapose myself against the situation playing in front of me at that point.

I developed this strange habit a few years ago, and it has now become a rabbit hole.



3812 : Quincy Jones is a genius

I was listening to some Michael Jackson classics again, and cannot but gush on how great the sound sounds.

Dirty Diana or The Way You Make Me Feel......

Classics made only for performance. Which means, these pieces shine out on a stage with a performer in tow.