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.

Saturday, September 18, 2021

3811 : Crazy

Some people never go crazy.
What truly horrible lives they must live. 
- Charles Buwoski 

3810 : Randomless

I was talking to a few friends yday. And the convo veered towards when have we all had random encounters with complete strangers. All of them had stories of being hit upon or even better.

I could not think of one example in my life when I had even had just a proper chat with a complete stranger.

Not one.

That is the post.

3809 : Who are my friends?

 If you want to know who your friends are, Get yourself a jail sentence.

- Charles Buwoski

I got myself one, a few years ago. And I now know the answer. Possibly. It feels like despair.

3808 : Temple calls

I was talking to my mom and she was reminding me that I need to visit a particular temple. She knows that I am an avowed atheist (have been so for over 30 years) and she still never fails to remind me of the "divine".

Frankly, I am so left on this atheism spectrum that I might even make atheists uncomfortable.

I often wonder, how does a temple fit into an atheist framework.

Very unsure. Something to meditate upon.

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

3807 : Simple things

I am terrible at singing, abysmal at dancing and a total disaster at acting.

Wonder why some of us have so many filters? That is a rhetoric question.

3806 : On what matters

Remember the other day, we were speaking of a friend of yours who had just died. We felt the anguish of a loss. Of a day, when some of our friends remind us that we too shall be ephemeral. 

We hadn't felt low, but it did feel as if we had just grasped a simple truth around our lives.

Some of us die. Some of us are alive. Still.

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

3805 : That which lingers

Sometimes my skind does not smell like me. It smells like you. And you smelt of the ocean. "Like a fisherwoman", I would say and laugh. 

The ocean still grumbles every night.You are long gone. And my skin is losing its shine too.

One day when you are reborn, I will know you from your smell.

3804 : The quality of poets

Someone asked me this recently - why are poets so miserable?

The assumption was that I am a poet....and I am miserable.

I dont think that clubbing is right. I am a contemplative person by nature.

Does that make me miserable, yes sometimes, but thats not because I am a poet.

I will revisit this soon.

Sunday, September 12, 2021

3803 : Mistaken identity

I have often wondered, should I tattoo your name on my arm. And then it occurs to me, that if I die in an accident, and my arm is intact, they might mistake me for you.

Would not be the first time though, that has happened.

3802 : What divides us

Those who are close to us, when they die, divide our world.

From The Things I have Been Silent About by Azar Nafisi

Thursday, September 09, 2021

3801 : The magic of Dolby Recordings

Take Madonna's Vogue and listen to it on your best earphones and speakers. This song is from 1990. Is a Dolby Recording.

Now close your eyes and press play.

Listen to the sound travel all around you (literally - this is 360 degree sound). This is from 31 years ago.

We have newer songs who dont have this soundstage. And now you know - this is how Dolby was so far ahead of others in the way it recreated sound.

I am listening to Vogue on LoFi (Spotify), now imagine listening to this on Apple Hifi or Tidal streaming.

And that my friends why music can be such a fun rabbit hole. Explore and have fun.

Fun Fact : Always choose a movie hall that has Dolby Atmos. It is worth the price you pay.

3800 : Sar Kiye - Strings from Coke Studio

I must have posted on the original at least 10 times. It will always remain dear to me. Always.

I have been listening to the coke studio version often. 

Definitely watch the video. Worth the watch. And add this to your favs. Its beyond fab.

Bilal and Faisal.......

One question on this song....does he span two octaves. I thought he does.....

Wednesday, September 08, 2021

3799 : Will we be?

One day we shall be, one day we shall be, one day we shall be.

They chanted this in unison.

It sounded like an echo chamber.

3798 : The storm

This came in via twitter, but I was reminded of this passage again, and why I like Murakami so much.

Once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. 

You won’t even be sure, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain.

When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. 

—Haruki Murakami

Image from New Yorker

Tuesday, September 07, 2021

3797 : There is a flip side to letting go

What all do you let go?

Where do you let them go?

How do you let them go?

When do you let them go?

What if its like opening the dam? You think you are letting the river go. Actually you are letting it in.

3796 : Trippy

Today she said "you are so trippy",

    Though I wonder what does this lead to?

I recall the time we smoked, and you were hippy

    Today we are one - tomo we might be two.


Monday, September 06, 2021

3795 : Caterpillar

Caterpillar on a leaf, eating, being eaten.
By AK Ramanujam

3794 : Smirking Buddha with Double Chin :-)

Forgive me dear Buddha. My intentions were noble. Its the art that is crappy.

Hope you have a good laugh, dear Buddha.

3793 : Inspired (as in copied) calligraphy


3792 : Apples all the way down


Sunday, September 05, 2021

3791 : War

 A war is always personal. Always. I mean personal in the sense, that only "I" know of it.

Very hard to baseline it against anything or any other experience.

Thats the post.

3790 : Reading list 2021: #13 John Grisham's The Partner

Read this old book on a whim. Actually re-read it.

Its interesting, but not as much as I loved it the first time.

On a scale of 10 probably 7.

An easy fast read.

At 416 pages brings my 2021 total to 3108 pages.

3789 : Reading List 2021 : #12 : Salt houses by Hala Ayan

I just finished Salt Houses by Hala Hyan

Its a strange book. The first half is a slow build up, the second half sucks you in.

Its about 3 generations facing war and conflict. There is a human story here, though the characters could have been more developed. More well formed.

I liked this immensely. Made me very introspective on what identity and belonging mean in this ravaged world. 

I also liked it, that the book forces you to inspect your own understanding of the world around you. 

On a scale of 10, maybe a 9. Definitely a spell binding read. Especially the second half. 

Do grab it.

At 320 pages brings my 2021 total to 2692 pages.

Wednesday, September 01, 2021

3788 : The art of losing

Today as I did my silent walk, I was meditating on a bunch of my losses. I feel like a soldier who capitulated....and then is seeing the writing etched on my prison walls.

What I lost, means very little to anyone else, and the whole world to me. That is a strange contradiction to have, as you find your place in this universe.

3787 : Coffee tales

I have been brewing my own coffee for years. I usually would put the filter or the french press for cleaning - and use a brush or a scrub to clean it. 

And then....

I recently acquired a new Moka pot. I now clean this Moka pot with my hand, my fingers. And the amount of fat(oil) that coffee beans leave behind has been such a revelation.

It's almost akin to grease. 

I am intrigued. Why is coffee not used more in soaps or cosmetics or anything that requires fat....Like why not coffee ghee?

Seriously thinking.

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

3786 : Buddha in Suburbia


3785 : On a leaf and prayer


3784 : My daughter's father

Daughter is turning out to be quite an artist. (I mean only in the sense of drawing and painting). She is not that good yet, but she is self taught.

She has started teaching me. So I will post some of my completely novice sketches.

Monday, August 30, 2021

3783 : Reading List 2021 : #11 : Hisham Matar's The Return

Good memoirs seem to be this year (strangely constructed sentence). I meant this year is incarnate with some great memoirs.

This one is stunning.

18/10 as I always say for outstanding books. Very similar to the Semezdin Mehmoodinnovic's My Heart.

This one is about Libya and a person's intimate connection with his imprisoned father. Such poetry in motion. Such a moving slice of real life.

Totally loved this book. 

At 304 pages brings my 2021 reading to 2372 pages.

Images from the Guardian.

3782 : Struggling with health

Have been struggling in the past few days. With health. With mental fitness.

Nothing dangerous, but an ailment all the same.

One day this too shall pass. Hope this "one day" is tomorrow :-)

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

3781 : Pakistan is better

Ha ha...the title was a click bait :-)

But yes, Pakistan is infinitely better in its music, and its food. I wish we could travel and mix more freely. I dont no grouse with that people. They are me.

If you dont trust this, listen to Coke Studio Coke Studio India by a million miles.

3780 : Totally addicted to Ustad Rizwan and Ustad Muazzam

I have been listening to them almost the whole day today. Not for the faint hearted, but their Qawalli's are Gold. Stirring.

As addicitive as Sufi can be. 

Give it a listen, esp if you like Sufi Qawwals. I can listen to this for the rest of my life - on repeat :-)

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

3779 : Withdrawal vs losing

When you withdraw from a transaction or a situation (like the kind John Galt made fashionable), you often take away participation from the farce. From the personal tragedy that might be unfolding for you.

Versus, when you lose - you kind of give up or just wave the white flag. 

I am not sure which is better - but I always seem to be prefer the John Galt model. Then you can watch with a dispassionate eye, as the enemy infiltrates you.

Withdrawing is possibly more stoic too.

3778 : I have been devoring war tales

I am obsessed with Auschwitz, Gaza, Libya, Turkey, Partition....and almost every war torn story. And its not war that I seem to be really fascinated with. Its the displacement that it seems to cause. I find a great kinship with the displaced. 

How do you explain this?

How do I explain this?

I am reminded of this funny incident a few days ago. My dad was telling me that you will find kinship what the things that are from your previous birth and karma.

As I think about this, I chuckle with amusement, but wonder - how do I explain my great sense of wonder with displacement, even to myself.

3777 : The spiral

This happened some time ago. I was sitting across of him.

Neither of us talking. Me pretending or even actually reading the kindle. He just sitting with his eyes closed. Intermittently, those eyes would open, glance around and shut down again.

Either he was visually challenged, or never figured that I was still stealing glances at him. In those moments, I saw a deep resignation. The sigh and sign of a man who has started packing up from the scene. 

What part of him or his body made me feel that way, its hard for me to nail down. Maybe his shoulders, or his neck, or his expression.

As I think of it today, again, it was his gaze. His eyes. They were looking inwards into his nothing self.

Sunday, August 22, 2021

3776 : Khaled's Aicha

Listening to Aicha live on a system that brings my house so satisfying.

Speaking Persian (or a variant of that) is the best thing you can do to your diction.

What a vocal range Khaled has. In a single sentence, he probably transcends an octave.

Listening to Didi after this song....and phew his range. Of course these are songs I have heard for a good 20 years. WATCH THE VIDEO BELOW...goose pimples.

What perfect harmony and such great improvisation while the song is playing. Just watching him sing on stage is such an experience.

3775 : What we all want to be ?

"We want to be the poets of our life."

Friedrich Nietzsche

3774 : Olivia Vedder My Father's Daughter


What a stunning song. Totally blown away.

I love Eddie Vedder and now his daughter.

3773 : Tori Chab by Rustom Fateh Ali Khan

Found this on Youtube. Simply stunning.

But cannot find it on Spotify. Found it on Amazon Music though. Addicted to this sound.

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

3772 : Salsa is hard

 One step 


two step 


three steps


four steps


five steps

    the song is fading away.

3371 : Learning to count

I was always bad with maths as a kid.

And then, as I grew into an adult - the list of open questions in my head - grew and grew. So much so, that I had to number them.

I have to learnt to count enough - that math is second nature to me.

3370 : Bring it all down

It takes years to build a home (use it as a metaphor for whatever else you want to replace it with). It then takes many years to embellish it. Another many years to engulf a soul into it.

And then it takes a day to bring the house down. Just a day. 

What does it mean? Nothing, much. Thermodynamics is correct - entropy is more natural than we shall ever realise?

And yet - we all contribute to that road rage. 

One day, someone will remember my home.

3369 : Caged in

The monkey looked out from his cage. Other monkeys were wildly swinging in the wild. Total wilderness and chaos, till at one point a predator swooped in one of the younger monkeys. And that set the cat among the pigeons. 

Every monkey worth their salt was now perched on a highest tree trunk.

While this monkey (our friend) sat calmly in his cage. Untouched and unbothered by this chaos.

He often dreams of freedom, but he also tells himself that where else will he be regularly fed, and where else in the world - can he sleep a good 8 hrs - without ever being disturbed?

The joys of being caged in are just another crack in the perspective.

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

3368 : Out of rhyme (modern Haiku)

It is so true

that "you" never

does rhyme with "me"

3667 : The search

I hear you. You are damn funny. You are so magnetic. I am green with envy.

I observe every aspect of you. Is it your tone, your language, your eyes, your hands, your gestures, your timing.....? I can't figure it out.

Finally, I zoom in on your little finger. Love is like that little finger.

3666 : This and that

I read folks write happy poems, and I feel envy.

I want to write happy poems too. I cannot seem to do that at all.

Same with writing comedy into my fiction. I just cannot. It does not come naturally to me at all.

Monday, August 16, 2021

3665 : The doctor and the patient

I met you after years. You were now a doctor. We got talking. We never touched upon what mattered, and what we lost. We meandered.

At some point, you said, "is there something ailing?"

I said "yes".

"Tell me, I might be able to help."

"Its my heart. I have a hole in my heart. You might have been able to help. That boat though sailed a long time ago."

And I chuckled and add, "And you don't need to be a doctor, to be able to resolve this."

3664 : Touchdown by Bob James

I have been listening to Jazz for least the recent 5-7 years.

And the more I listen, the more it draws me in.

And today, I heard Touchdown by Bob James for the first time.

Totally bowled over.


Sunday, August 15, 2021

3663 : Freedom

Freedom (both personal and societal) is lost in inches. A bit like the frog in the boiling water. You never know that you are about to be fried (and lose your freedom). 

To gain back the freedom, one has to go through a huge reversal. That journey is always ardous.

Today, I really meditate on what is lost, and why I never fought, and never fight.

3662 : Whats at the end of the world

We drove till what appeared to the end of the world. We expected to find a dead end, a cul de sac. What we instead found was a restaurant. Turns out after all, that Douglas Adams was on the money.

3661 : Lover's tiff

We drove upon a friendly road

    Before we had our lover's tiff

We thought the cul-de-sac was a node

    We turned into a free fall cliff

3660 : Born in the USA

Listening to a live version of the Bruce Springsteen "Born in the USA" and its raucous fun.

Its probably one of the best anti-war songs I have heard in my life.

Saturday, August 14, 2021

3559 : The intellectual rabbit hole

At what point does, my pursuit of understanding become a mechanism of my own ego reinforcement? 

It probably does. I recognize it. 

At what point does it border on the unhealthy?

Friday, August 13, 2021

3558 : Happiness

Why is "happiness" so hard for all us, including me?

For me personally, its not well defined too. I am not running to a goal, or a plan. I just have a vague idea of the destination, and hoping that just driving around - I might magically see the destiantion.

This has challenges. I don't think, I will not be able to recognize it when I see it.

So I don't know happiness. Dont know how it looks like. Dont know how to drive to it. Dont know how to stay put, if I reached there. 

This problem compounds exponentially if you are willing to go into your own rabbit hole.

3557 : Kabir says

I am listening to one of my favorite songs. Its by Kabir and sung by the brilliant Maestro Ashwini Bhide Deshpande.

Kehi Samjhaoon,

Sabh Jag Andha Re......

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

3556 : An act in 4 plays

Son. Brother. Partner. Father.

An act in 4 plays.

3555 : Rubber






The strange cycle of rubber in our lives.

3554 : Benetton Home Shopping Catalogue

 I dont know if its only me, but I distinctly remember seeing "Benetton Home Shopping Catalogues" in the early of the 90s at our homes.

Few, but a few, here and there scattered.

I can't seem to find any images on google images. Are there not remnants anyone has?

Is it just me, or a figment of my imagination?

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

3553 : Different boats

The boats were enough for just one of us. We sat in two different ones. 

It was supposed to be just a half an hour row to the other shore. The shore which housed our temple.

We clasped our hands, said "see you on the other side". At the shore. New beginnings. A better history.

One of our boats rowed faster than the others. We landed on different parts of the shore. That meant a uniquely different history.

Who's to blame - you, boat, the boatman, the rowing, me ?????

I know the answer. The river.

3552 : Clandestine

 We danced, and you said fine.

    We drank, and you said wine.

We bet, and you said mine.

    We thawed, I said clandestine.

3551 : The older me

My mom tells me, I was a very content baby. Even on the day I was born. I needed the food, and I needed my sleep. Singularly focussed.

The journey from then to today has been one of slowly devolving and slowly adding more discontent into my life. Possibly.

What it would take to slowly go back to that equilibrium?

Monday, August 09, 2021

3550 : What we dont mean (and mean)

I was talking to someone, someone much older than me, and he said "don't say what you don't mean". It was meant to cut off simple feel goodies like "take care, love you."

Now that person could have said, "don't say what you don't fully mean....", which would still have been easier.

My sense is when I usually (used to) say - "take care, be safe and love you", that usually signals that that's what I mean for the other. It's impossible for me to ensure any of the above, including "love you", because semantically "love" can mean such different things to each of us.

I still tell some people sweet goodies.....but I am careful. I don't want the other person to trip.

I usually mean well for others. In fact, I always wish well for others. Including those who I dont get along with. My sense is, them hitting the ball out of the park takes nothing away from me. 

So coming back......How do I now convey this to others? Especially to those I care for. That I care for, they mean a lot to me, and I do "love them".

I don't have an appropriate answer. Nowadays, I just say "bye". Most times thats my refrain, even to  the daughter.

3549 : The last shards

In the past 5 years, f/b I hear has shocked me. 

And it shakes my inner core. We all carry an impression of what each of us are. 

And as I hear things about myself, I realise how broken I might be.

It's like a great punch in your stomach. I am telling myself; I have to reinvent myself, through these bleak times.

Shaken and stirred.

3548 : Pandit Rajan Sajan Mishra

Am listening to Pandit Rajan Sajan Mishra....and they will continue to be one of my all time favorites. They always bring me such immense peace. 

I am listening to Raga Kaushik Darbari.

Saturday, August 07, 2021

3547 : Discontinuity

Sometimes in the middle of a chat I completely float away. Out of no dis-respect to anyone else. Its more my own sense of incredulity - is this chat real? Is this what I have become? Is this what we have become?

That uttter sense of disbelief that this is "me". Total and complete sense of isolation. 

Feels like ADHD, but actually its the complete opposite - you are actually very deeply mindful of the chat in the moment, observing it as a neutral person.

3546 : Why?

I was speaking to someone way older than I am. We got around to speaking about my writing (and hence eventually a bit about this blog too).

So the chat went something like this....(recreating from memory)

She said, "Why do you write?"

"It helps me collect my thoughts and ideas."

"Is that it? Or is there a deeper reason?"

"...and for posteriety?"

"Posteriety for whom, the daughter?"

"Possibly, even for myself. If I am 60, I want to look back and see how I evolved."

"Ok. I am old, but I would be hard pressed to find my evolution from my writing, unless I was a writer. Which means unless I wrote full time, or enough in a day, its very hard to document a real journey."


"Are you sure this is not an attempt to leave legacy?"

"Possibly. Yes. That too."

"Why would people want to remember you or me? I am going to gone anytime soon. When we remember, we romanticize things. There is an inherent asymmetry in how we reminisce."

"Do you contemplate on not leaving behind any legacy? Or is that not even worthy of contemplation?"

"I just have one question, that I ask myself when I am faced with having to make a decision.", "and the question is", "Why bother?"

Friday, August 06, 2021

3545 : Children drowning in a pond by Peter Singer

I recent came across this conundrum. I am sure I am too old to encounter this for the first time, but then I am the King of Ostriches. Here goes....

Also hear Peter Singer speak here....

I have my views on charity. This helps me think a little more.

3544 : Seher by Farhan Rais Khan

 Listen to Seher by Farhan Rais Khan to know what possible fun classical music can be.

3543 : Together by Ustad Zakhir Hussian and Ustad Alla Rakha Khan

One of my fav albums growing up was Together, by the father son duo of Ustad Zakhir Hussain and Ustad Alla Rakha Khan.

Some of the most sublime pieces of tabla poetry. 

Listen to it. On repeat. Its mesmerizing.

Album was on Magnasound :-)

I paid Rs. 45 then, one the best Rs.45 I must have spent in my life.

3542 : Hopelessness

I experiment with my cup of coffee. I adore my coffee - as in the cup I brew. It's one thing in my day that I totally look forward to.

I savor the drink, tinker with the cup, watch the vapors as they emanate from the cup. All of this with a mindful tranquil - this is my most natural state of meditation and mindfulness. I am alert; I am enjoying this moment, and sometimes wish - life is just an endless coffee soiree.

And then - I realise I must rush back to the world. To the maze, I call my own. To a story that is so non-linear, that it's almost absurd.

To wit - this is how the end of the journey feels like. Always. Which journey you ask? Aw, sorry. I meant this one, the journey called "hope".

3541 : Randoland

Sometimes life is just about enduring. Or at most times it is.

Its not the stoic in me, who is speaking, but its the idiot who chooses, and then chooses again.

And yes, "Choice" in itself is not a choice at all.

What a merry-go-round we have constructed.

One day the FU moment will come.

Wednesday, August 04, 2021

3540 : Killer by Adamski

And finally.....Adamski singing Killer. (actually its Seal singing)

Be careful you can blow the windows away. I mean it.

The bass is so so funky. Such an eternally beautiful song. 

Can move anyone to tap his/her legs. Always.

3539 : Missing Todd Terry Mix (Everything but the girl)

On the same system, listen to Missing by EBTG - The Todd Terry Mix.

And feel the floor shake up.

What a lovely song. And fairly timeless.

3538 : Crazy by Seal

Listening to Seal's Crazy on a room shattering speaker is something of an experience.

The notes are pure - you can hear his octaves moving.......and the vocals dancing......

    We are never going to survive,

    Unless we are a little crazy

And then the total bass thump of the drums as the crescendo builds up.

3537 : Impaired

I work very hard at work. I also work very hard to be a positive pleasant person. My natural state is broadly optimistic. 

And yet, there is a fair bit of me, which people close to me see - they can easily think I am a cynical bughole. I can be a cynical person. 

I don't know what to make of this world. I dont have the learning or mechanism to make sense of this world. 

I am impaired.

3536 : Mortality

I was talking to someone much older than me. She is in her early 80s. I was very humbled that she chose to speak to me. What I learnt was even more of a leveller.

She told me its very hard to face up to a life - in which you know you probably dont have more than a few years left. 

I said what about - if she hits a 100? She said, even if she could, she did not want to, because her quality of life had substantially deteriorated.

That made the whole chat so poignant. Two souls sitting and contemplating mortality, without knowing what it means to even do so.

Tuesday, August 03, 2021

3535 : Times pass. River rolls

When we used to talk, it used to feel like a song,

    There were the right tones and hitting the high notes.

Many years since, today it feels so convoluted and long, 

    I have all my daggers in place; and you have your jagged coats.

3534 : Assing task

So daughter starts online school today. In the first class, she asks the teacher, "do we have homework?" and teaching says, "no async task, this year".

Our smart fairy, notes it down in her notebook as "no assing task, this year".

What can I say - she is beginning to sound more and more like me.

Monday, August 02, 2021

3533 : Age

So my daughter is in an online class. And I hear her tell someone her age. 

Thats the end for then.

Later, I am talking to her during dinner, and she says, "my teacher was asking me to manage the ages", and "I told her my age."

So, I tell her - "terrible English, what are you trying to tell me?"

She says, "No, this is what really happened. My teacher said, manage the ages."

This convo goes on. But to summarize. Her teacher is from Pune and was telling her to manage the "edges".

And she figured it, midway during her class (I mean the daughter figured it out.). She continues though proudly, "but I just wanted to frustrate my teacher".

Sometimes I am so proud of raising a racist bully :-)

3532 : Granddaughter and grand auto theft

So my daughter loves to listen to ghost (and I mean really terrifying) tales. She also loves listening to real crime stories.

So my dad goes and gives her gyaan. He says, "Beta, if you keep doing this. You will be soon corrupted, and like the stupid Americans kids, you will start killing people with a gun too."

So the daughters sucks this in.

Some time passes, and she catches me dad watching some news and other channels. In all of it, there is some violence. 

And she shoots at him, "So tatha, how come you don't get impacted by violence, you watch it far too often too."

And my dad sulks, tries to escape and finally shuts the TV.

What can I say - the daughter is a sharp shooter :-)

3531 : Whats at stake?

You and I had a thing

    Would you call it just a fling?

You and I had a bet

    What would you have staked, if we had just met?

3530 : Smoking Gun

Its easy to frown on smokers and smoking.

Would I give a piece of me - for 7 mins of introspective silence? Sometimes yes. A walk with a smoke in your hand can sometimes clear up your mind. I dont smoke, for me its coffee. A strong decadent dark roast. I sometimes drink coffee at 10pm at night. 

Sometimes we dope up on poison, to blunt the pain of our every day. And that insight, is my smoking gun.

Sunday, August 01, 2021

3529 : In this strange world

In this strange world, I often do seriously contemplate - what would go wrong - if I did not "fight" for it. As in, I did not put in the effort. My philosopher side, assumes this has some sort of butterfly effect, but my practical anarchist side - screams what a load of bull.

Nothing would matter. Not even bit.

I need to redefine the rules of my gameplay.

3528 : One two three four

 One for the like

    Two for the love,

Three for the knife

    Four in the now

3527 : Touche

 Today as I was walking, one totally random aunty (she must have been around 70), gesticulated at me (with total disdain) that I should walk on the other side of the road.

Picture this, I am walking towards her. She is somewhere further along on the road. She is stationary; I am walking, and she gesticulates to me - to move to the other side.

I crossed over, but never understood - why, what, and the inner meaning of this sign from the universe.

Saturday, July 31, 2021

3526 : Becoming One (modern haiku)

 The sky is blue

    The vast ocean is blue

Today I am blue

3525 : Silence

 Silence is like a personal game. A poem that one likes. At some other times like a sorrow that one keeps even from oneself.

Friday, July 30, 2021

3524 : Phire Faqeera from Pagglait

If you have not heard Pagglait's Phire Faqeera, you are missing something magical. Its a masterclass in harmony. I never thought I would say - but I like Raja Kumari and Arjit both in this song.

What a composition. Lyrics. 

Listen and then repeat.

3523 : And nothing else matters

Listen to this God inspiring version by Metallica from the new movie...Jungle Cruise.

I need a (music) system to blow my apartment complex down.

3522 : Jugalbandi

There is nothing more rewarding that watching two artists (in music) duel with their instruments on stage. Like the violin duel that is part of "Within Attraction" (another Yanni song).

It does have to be watch, you can listen too.

There is sheer joy when artists match each other note for note.

Also listen to #41 by Dave Matthews Band for the samer reason.

3522 : What art is

Listening to the violinist on "The rain must fall", I am reminded of how fab she is (its a she) as compared to an everyday violinist.

Her skill is way beyond what us mortals can ever hope to achieve. And yet she is a mortal herself. She is a normal person who also pays rent and loves coffee.

And me realizing that she is capable of "greatness" is only because of a simple mental switch in her head. She knows that life is all about "greatness". The everyday plebeian is noise.

And that is my 2 pice definition of what art is.

3521 : The rain must fall

 Listening to Yanni since morning. And currently its playing "The Rain Must Fall" one of my all time favorite pieces. 

And I realise how much I miss having a earth shattering music soundstage at home. I want to listen this at the Acropolis.

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

3520 : Gods of war

You and me are constantly at war. It seems important, and at times silly - but we always have a new bugbear to beat to death.

In the recent months, years I have meditated immensely what is it that we are fighting for? What is at stake? Why do we summon our gods to war?

I have only one answer. We fight for territory. We annex the space between us. We capture the silences that surround us.. 

3519 : In no man's (happy) land

Imagine you and I are neighbours. I construct a 2 floor house on my land, that presumbly obstructs your light and air flow. My intention is not to shaft you, but thats how it unfortunately comes out. 

You are very happy with my choice. You complain to the town managers. I am served a notice. They ask me to raize a floor of my house. 

I grudgingly do it, but in a way, that makes the whole place look ugly. 

I also complain about trees on your land. They are an invitation to monkeys.


Goes on. 

We are both never happy. All we do is define our happiness in the context of another person's land. The world is now a much more unhappy place - for both me and you.

And the earth tumbles in its pool of entropy.

Monday, July 26, 2021

3518 : Winning (a modern Haiku)

 The question is not

    answered till we have

found a winner.

3517 : Fire and burn

My forever memory of her, is someone who was cool and composed as she endlessly made dosas. Silently eyeing the shape of the pancake, slightly adjusting the flame, and at times looking into the blackhole of the skillet.

Always perfect dosas, just the right edge of crisp and the right tinge of burn. She never seemed to mind the heat or the flame. Even as she sometimes made thirty odd dosas for the hungry wolves.

The heat never bothered her. She was the one who held her calm against the fire. 

Today the coals must be so missing their adversary.

3516 : The last dirge

You have always look at me with a question. I don't blame you for it. I am a difficult enigma (maybe the word should be knot, rather than enigma....enigma makes it sound nice). Its hard being with a person who does not talk much. It harder being in the same room as me. Its hardest being in the same conversation as me.

I know. I wilt. I brow my forehead.

Your questions have been my bane. Why? When? Who? Why not? How much? Will you? When will you? I dont mean for that sound as a complain or a refrain. You had every right to ask those questions.

And I have stillness and quiet in these times. 

Today morning I learnt something about myself. Today, I am ready to answer all your questions. 

Sunday, July 25, 2021

3513 : Into the rain and play

It melts into wonder

I came in praying for you

From Dave Matthews Band #41

3512 : Jaane Kya Baat hain (Betaab)

For those who think it's fashionable to diss Lata Didi, I would say listen to "Jaane Kya Baat Hain" from Betaab.


I hate high-pitched female voices, and yet, in this song, I think Lata Didi crushes it.

Of course RD Burman is a genius. The lyrics are more in harmony than sense, and yet you love this song so completely. 

Listen to the strange percussion working like a metronome in the background. It sets the tone. Expect the high and love the lows of the voice. Its essentially a percussion only song, with interludes of string whenever the singer is not singing.

This composition should be a case study in why some of RD's work is timeless and always will be.

3511 : I am obsessed with sound

So I invest a lot into earphones and speakers.  Those are just like books. One out of 5 or even 10 fires. The remaining 9 are an investment into your education.

But as the sound your ears, you can listen to more instruments. And feel the blush. (Yes blush is the word I used).

Reason for this post - thinking of indulging.

My test songs would be 

1. Malyali Da

2. Herb Alpert's Rotation (or Rise)

3. Dirty Diana

4. Some RD number like Jaane kya baat hain (from Betaab) or Hum Tumse Mile from Rocky

Confession - I already have something in mind. Vaccilating between shooting the "buy" button and shooting myself.

Ha ha :-). I wonder how my spouse or kid even tolerates me. Maybe they love "Malyali Da" thumping through the roof too :-)

Saturday, July 24, 2021

3510 : Last ( a modern Haiku)

 At last we

      found the red button

that broke us.

3509 : Knife (a modern Haiku)

This world is

    a rhyme on a pause

akin to my knife.

3508 : Dirty

 Dirty is sometimes a dirty word,

    Just as a swear sometimes looks boomerangs inside,

Fluttering like a hummingbird,

    Its been raining, watch out for the tide.

3507 : Inverted

Can the doctor herself be the malaise,

    Like this animal inside me eating me up,

I hear voices, I sometimes hear the cries,

    One day I shall escape from this cup.

Friday, July 23, 2021

3506 : Question of you

3 aspects of pain. 6 stages of grief. 9 parts of desire. 36 steps to courting. 116 moonlit nights. 

How many levels to cross over, before I deal better with my memories?

*116 moonlit comes from a Gulzar poem

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

3505 : Tree

He had let the ash mix with the gravel. That had been her fervent wish. She wanted to be always in the garden. Along with ash, some heavy metal and some small splinters of bones too had been part of the mix..

Today, a fairly large walnut tree stands in that spot. It does not bear much fruit - possibly none at all. No one expected the walnut tree to even flower in that location. He had planted that on a whim..

He had heard that Kashmiris usually plant a walnut tree - every time a daughter is born at their homes - and then harvest it when she is about to marry. (Actually chop it dead for its wood). A sort of levy for the expenses of her marriage.

Thats the original (but maybe apocryphal) tale that made him plant a walnut tree at that spot. Its years now, and he often wonders - will there be a time and occasion to ever chop this one. 

Maybe she will live forever. She did not ever want to be married. She did not want to ever be chained.

Irony, she is now a tree. In my garden.

3504 : The long tunnel

On that day - I remember I was talking into the phone. Explaining something about myself. Trying to keep the conversation going. It must have been a few minutes as I continued speaking, and then realized that there was complete silence from the other side. 

I tried calling back a few times across days. You, on the other side had gone completely quiet.

Silence is like concrete, with every passing day - both the sun and the rain - make it more insular.

Exile me, cut away the conversations. One question, for you,  just in case you die, should I come to your memorial, or should I silently say a prayer?

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

3503 : Garden of Eden

In the garden of Eden, there lies the ingredients for what might look like a sin. 

In the same garden lies the devil and his fruits.

What looks like a divine cauldron is actually nothing more than everyday life.

3502 : Child's play

When I watch children play a team sport, like football or basketball, it occurs to me that this game can unleash the inner beast onto the court/field. In a strange "beast" sort of way.

Notice how a 3 foot kid, gently and nimbly dribbles the ball - lays a decoy for his opponents - has a silent run into the goal (or post) and then just like an animal attack quietly.

There is something very spiritual about this. Almost superhuman.....just that these kids lose this in some sense as they grow up. Or most kids do.

These are games where our minds are our frontiers.

Monday, July 19, 2021

3501 : Retort


When we retort, we construct the world in our response. The world is what I created it to be.

Most times.

The world of my creation is just mine. It ceases to have a foundation. It floats on a column of air. Ready to be tumble dried amid this pandemic.

End of times.

The world will revert to mean. It will be what it is. One object at a time, it will reclaim itself. I will set it free from my story. And on that day, you shall notice that the wind has stopped blowing.

3500 : Step to the beat

I remember us trying to step to the beat,

One step too quick, one step always short.

Years later, as I think of the king who married his tweet,

That he never knew that the ship had escaped from the port.

Sunday, July 18, 2021

3499 : Smooth criminal by MJ

I had banished MJ from my playlist for a good part the last 10 years, post the allegations of his behavior. 

I have (had) a value system to cancel artists who were misusing their power.

Its only recently that haltingly I am going to back to artists who were cancelled by me.

And as I write this - I am listening to MJ's Smooth Criminal on a crooked ass thumper of a music system. And not to forgot the absolutely unbelievable dance moves on this song.

And the song is so crisp. The production values are so stunning. Quincy Jones being the genius he is. Listen to some of his Motown classics.

And now Spotify is auto playing - Dirty Diana, which is another complete work of a mad genius.

3498 : The lost conversations

He still remembers talking to her (many decades ago), a specific chat with her, as if it was yesterday. The conversation focussed on what he had possibly wanted from life. He did not have the courage then to tell her then, that while he wanted a lot of things from his life, he also wanted her to star in it. He distinctly remembers that he had been very tempted him to spill the beans, in a small town boyish sort of way. To blurt it out, and be ready to be slapped or laughed at (the fear is usually for the worse, for no one ever imagines a cheerful response to these life altering chats).

He never told her any of that. And every single day post that, it has been one additional day too late to have that conversation.

He is a physicist, and imagines that in a parallel world - a version of him, told a version of her....and today their individual stories are having some overlap, whether happier or sadder is just a question of perspective.

A world without her as a star was totally bereft of hope on moonless nights.

3497 : Eden's fallen hero

Lets say the snake at Eden was truly from the devil's cradle. The ornate villian whose only job was to lead to sin.

What intrigues me - there must a backstory to this snake, right? Or a postscript?

He (was it a he?) must have something. 

I need to lend him a voice. The devil's counter narrative.

3496 : Inside out

There is a coldness in the air. The sharp bite of silence.

I don't know how to slake my void.

3495 : Rotation by Herb Alpert

If you are in a lost mood, please do listen to Rotation by Herb Alpert.

Guaranteed to spike you up.

Saturday, July 17, 2021

3494 : My own personal black hole

I am convinced that all of us are like stars. If we are around for long enough, we eventually collapse under our own hubris, our own failings and our own misgivings - very much like a neutron star. A few years into this journey, at some point, we begin the even more ardous journey into becoming a black hole. 

One inch at a time, our world collapses inwards. Till a point where we have shrivelled and compressed out. Then we begin to trap the light, too. Eventually the light goes out of our eyes. 

It's a one-way street. We never return to the star we were. Ever.

3493 : The one who shut up

I have posted on this about 100 times. My immense need for silence and just being myself.

I don't think it's related to me being a writer, or a storyteller.

On a day like today, I don't want gyaan. I dont need to know what could be an ideal world. My world is far from ideal. And I have made my peace with it.

I need my silence to repair, recoup and prepare for another intense week ahead.

This is my urban meditation.

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

3492 : The ill formed dream

Somewhere in 2005, I was in Hyderabad. During one of my trips to Taj Banjara, I met a young, fashionably dressed, very smart-looking lady. "Met" makes it sound like we had a fling, which is patently absurd. 

I remember noticing her sitting on a backless chair near the elevator bay. She was with someone and he inadvertently threw something that hurled towards me. I was busy looking elsewhere, so it kind of hurt me, not really, but in a docile sort of way.

The lady walked up to me and apologized. I laughed it off and joked about flying projectiles, and how incongruous it was in this city (Hyd). "Almost as if aliens had come down to a wrong landing point". 

She laughed too, and asked me "Are you into physics?", and I said, "Hell no, I am from the IT gang", which in Hyd would be a joke in any time and era.

She said, "You sound like a physicist though."

That was the end of our interaction. A few moments later as I ambled into the lift, I bumped into her, on one of the higher floors. She was probably in her 20s, there for a wedding, way richer than me, and way cooler than me. She wore a chiffon, black saree with a red simple plain blouse. But all very rich looking (I do have a deep interest in fabrics, and some basic fashion sense - though never when applied to myself).

I still remember this interaction for many reasons. Prime among them is, I always wanted to be a physicist, and someone had seen through into my dream. That has never happened ever again.

3491 : World's worst dad

My daughter wants to be an artist. Today she gifted me an art, which reads "Worst dad ever".

That sums up my future. 

Thats the post.

3490 : The horse with no name

I once had a dear friend. She had a daughter. I helped her name her daughter (with a wrong spelling - wtf!!).

Today the friend and me are estranged. The daughter I have never met. 

To the mother I am long forgotten. To me, the daughter is  she is just a name. To the daughter, I am not even a figment. 

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

3489 : The cold one

I was reading recently about a war story (a real one; I mean). In this post a bombing, a young kid, gets trapped in the rubble and is eventually found dead a few days later. The cause of the death seems to have been hypothermia, since it had also rained, and he had possibly been drenched.

My memory is skethcy, but something akin to the effect above happened.

Something in me turned. I could not read enough (and remember enough), because of my own immense fear of being trapped in spaces. Also I was personally overcome by emotion. 

What good can come out of world that treats its young this way? In mythology they believe that chanting a name can start a fire. I can imagine, that as he lay dying of cold, he must have mumbled his father/mother's name a million times. 

We did start this war. Though, we would not let his fire start. 

3488 : The talking tree

On my everyday walk, I sometimes see a woman who speaks to one particular tree. Or she appears to be speaking. She is old, frail, and I am sure she does not seem to wear in ear bluetooth phones. She does not.

Instead, she seems to stare at the tree and speak intently. I have two plausible theories. Either she adores the tree and talks to them. I don't do it yet, but I too know each tree in my garden intimately. 

My other guess is probably more apt. She is speaking to someone she has lost via the tree. Like a daughter or a husband or a sister. She believes that the tree is helping her connect back to that person. Make the tree into the version of someone we have lost is an age old grief technique. 

I want to walk up to her, and tell her she can talk to me, but I don't know if I can ever fill the gap her loved one left her with. The tree, though, comfortably can fill that vacuum. That's what they have done for millions of years.

Sunday, July 11, 2021

3487 : AK 47

My daughter loves to sketch. Our entire house is full of disheveled sketches. And the main room of our house is like an artist's atelier. Papers, pencils, colors - all over. There is nothing to complain or worry about here.

And then, I found a sketch of an AK 47. It was drawn 2 days ago. 

How do I tell her that drawing a gun is also possibly weaponizing? To us it is a simple weapon. One that we mimic in TPS games. 

To someone in the world, somewhere though - this simple tool is stripping them of their life and their dignity. This tool acerbates the divide of haves and the have nots. Like all power does.

Should I tell her? Or should I let her be? Till the day she eventually finds the rounds in her pocket.

3486 : Dark Matter

When one is closed to the outside, one becomes like a black hole. Consume the light. Ingest it, make it your own, just like any other dark body would.

Eat the light. That's who I have become.

Saturday, July 10, 2021

3485 : My sage in the bottle

When I am alone, it's easy to assume I am lonely.

I have a ton of baggage, does that count? Strange memories. Where do I put them? Stories whirring in my head. How do I land them? My monkey mind, unable to rest on a plane.

And then, finally, I have you firmly trapped in a wine bottle from about 16 years ago. A bottle that we both shared. You were so drunk that you never noticed how I lulled you into that glass thing.

One day, I shall set you onto the sea. My sage in the bottle.

3484 : The person in your head

I often wonder, what it is that you see when you see me. I genuinely wonder, both in terms of science as well as poetry. Hard to make sense of that. 

Do you see me as a bundle of conflicts? The cynicism? The intellectual drought? 

I am just a very average person. Perfectly fit in the center of the Gaussian curve. And when I pull the sheets on me, I totally disappear.

3483 : To be invisible

 I don't wear it as a badge of honor, but I am quite "normal" in terms of most identity. Like I am heterosexual, I am able-bodied, of a fairly innocuous "race" in India.......point I am making is, I dont come up in any identity conversation.

And yet, I know I am distinctly off the beaten path. My health, my sub-altern choices all contribute to making me no fit in. I am an atheist, jazz lover, slightly creative person with a deep need for silence. I don't fit into family life or even social endeavors.

"Work" works just beautifully for me - because it allows me to be very good at what I do, without having to put an act on.

The rest of it. My failures, my traumas, my health, my pain....all of these make for some strange identity moments.

In recent years, identity and power have dominated some parts of my meditation.

Thursday, July 08, 2021

3482 : Spotify goes where......

I was listening to "Elevation Live by U2" one of the live versions of their classic from Lara Croft......and then Spotify's Radio kicked in. 

A few songs went by.....and then the fantastic riff of a familiar song kicked in....and the goose pimples. I mean really it happened.

One of my most favorite songs in the world - "where the streets have no name" live from Slane Castle, Ireland. 


Listen to it. Full blast on your favorite speaker system. Bring the house down, literally. 

I almost tore down my windows. This live version is totally insane. 

And if you have never seen the original video. Do have a look. Very Highly recommended. 

One of the finest street videos ever made. It takes many minutes to figure whats happening.....and then whoooooooooom!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

3481 : What's Love Gotta Do with it? By Tina Turner and Kygo

This version has some incredible bass as compared to the original version. 
A good song to test the music system - and if you can resist tapping your foot. 

This lady always hits it out of the park for me.

Wednesday, July 07, 2021

3480 : War of the tongues.

I was speaking to someone who lost a lot in a sort of urban war. A war with a power, that subverted the justice (at least from her perspective). This happened in an inner South Indian town of India. 

I was intrigued by how casually someone's everyday can be usurped by the dark shadows of power. I have always marveled at power, how it possibly corrupts and the entire journey of what might be personal decline (along the rabbit hole of power).

She spoke to me, of subjugation, of devastation. At one point, she shifted into a language which I recognized, but did not fully comprehend. I let her speak for a good few seconds, before she paused, and I jumped in, "I dont know that tongue", I said almost out of embarrassment. 

She looked deep into my eye for quite some seconds, before telling me, "If you want to know of my war, you have to hear it in my language." 

3479 : The losing game

On some days, I really want to grab a good sip of my peated drink and meditate on the world that I have become. Is this the world I wanted?

I am not sure of the answer?

It's not an existential dilemma. It's a game construct. What am I playing for? Why am I playing for? Am I still playing? Why am I still playing?

The losing game.

Tuesday, July 06, 2021

3478 : The way you make me feel

She said, "You make me feel like your poem".

He said, "Try not to feel like one. My poems are a labyrinth that I myself cannot navigate at most times. Also, most poems end with a twist, like a lost insight."...."I prefer you to be more of Chekov prose. Long, winded, but eventually the gun fires."

3477 : Jazz is what keeps me going on most days

Listening to Bud Powell playing "There will never be another you."

And feeling how alone this lonely can be. This is what music should do :-).

3476 : On the parting ways

On twitter I often read sons, daugthers, lovers, spouses - really post heartfelt tributes to their departed ones. Like today I read an extremely heartfelt tribute from a daughter to her father, who died yesterday. 

I don't have such a relationship with my dad, or with most people in my life. I want to have one too. But I am so far away from that zone. It's like I reached the wrong end of earth.

Am unsure if anyone is going to miss me beyond a week post when I am gone. Not that I want them to. But yes, missing a good proxy for your place on this earth.

I am at this point "<7 days".

All setup with a report card and ready to scream.

Monday, July 05, 2021

3475 : Dark matter

He was talking to her, and she said, "You are so unromantic, others call their sweethearts, the moon. And look at you and your devilled words."

"Will it make you better if I called you the moon too?"

"Will you describe me in the same lyrical intensity as Darwish?"

"Of course. I can most definitely try."

After a suitable pause, she said, "Go on, I am patiently listening, it has to be Darwish grade."

After an equal pause, he whispered, "Dear beautiful round faced moon, I have seen your dark side."

3474 : Hurt is a passage

When we examine our lives, so much of our lives is coercion. Some implicit, some dandy.

We are all participating in a dance, wherein we will inevitably step on the other's shoes. We look forward to it. Antagonism is a game. Its rules are pushing the other to the edge, not enough to make her fall, but enough to make her flip.

The constant deluge of this stream. You, me, her, him, they, us, we, she, him, I......all the same game, same rules. Different levels though, like participating in a league.

This might sound like a poem, it's actually a dirge. I know the answer, in this game, we play to play. Not to win, never to lose.

3473 : TV subscription

I have not had a TVsubcription for years.

And today I took it for my dad. It tempted me to take one for myself too - ESPN - the lure of Formula 1 and FIM is too tempting.

And I still forwent it. Unsure how to fit that in, into my schedule.

Not a good place, I find myself in.

3472 : Meditation on old age

I am talking to my dad after a long time. He has become a rabid right winger. He is completely bought into that narrative. So much so - he said "Please dont subscribe to NDTV, since they sometimes criticize a particular party".

He is 82, I respect him and care for him. 

But I do worry that if this is what life is - watching news for about 8 hrs and having rabid opinions.....then I worry for my own "older self".

I want to be chill with jazz, ready poetry, not have such strong conflicts with the world - and if I do - then I want it to be a balanced open minded conversation.

I often wonder who watches Times Now and Republic. The answer was always in my backyard.

3471 : The roots of insecurity

I was talking to the daughter about art and we were speaking about the economics of it. She is big into art.

I told her that art can be very remunerative for some, and very debilitating for others. And her response even before I could complete the sentence was - "I don't think you know much about art."

Which might be correct, that I don't know much, but it behooves a 10-year-old to tell me that.

I am not sure where she has picked up this level of insecurity, but it makes me realise that I am probably failing as a dad.

Sunday, July 04, 2021

3470 : Me

You spoke of the sunflower and I realized that I dont have the magic ratio.

You spoke of the river, and I dreamt that I am not in a flow.

You spoke of the song in Hamsadhwani, and it occurred to me that I am tone deaf.

You spoke of that brilliant night, all I can recall was that I felt dark.

You spoke of the Mona Lisa - and I knew that you liked her more. Than me.

You spoke of the war, and my only thought was - I lost.

Everything is about me. Always will be.

3469 : End of the tunnel

I am so drenched in work. 

I dont see the end of the tunnel.

I am telling myself, keep walking. As long as you are in the right direction, the tunnel will eventually end. Has to end.

Keep walking. The peated one will help.

3468 : The next pause for men in glass houses

You have been talking. So some moments now. It's a one-way street. You are reacting to something I have said. 

I know that eventually you will stop. As in the current words will run dry.

At that point, I want to you to ask yourself - why do you think I would attack your ideas?

Think, ponder - do you need defenses between us? What purpose these walls serve other than prisons?

And then - as you think - I need to ask these very questions to myself.

Saturday, July 03, 2021

3467 : Faff

How much of what we contribute to others, or strive to contribute - is faff?

I have thinking on this since yesterday.

3466 : Coffee and Writing

Keeps me going on a day and a week like today. 

Its tough on the mind, to keep willing to keep crunching tasks, when there is a certain fatigue in your gut.

These are interesting times.

Blue Tokai and Araku are my saviors.

3465 : John Coltrane & Miles Davis

Listening to John Coltrane and Miles Davis on The Final Tour: The Bootleg Series is so much undiluted fun.

This is what my life was meant to be.

Unlimited coffee (and/or whiskey) + Coltrane and Davis in the background. I can do with one basic meal a day. Thats all I need if I have the above.

3464 : Tone deaf

I realise that I might be being tone deaf about certain things, especially when I am supposed to show empathy to close ones.

I need to improve. 

My usual manner of talking to someone - at work/or at home/or with the I am usually I am the mode of first joining hands, and then moving inches. (Of course in a serious context based chat). I dont do this at a speak easy..

Like when I am speaking to my kid, it's usually about how I might help, and what we can do together. The tone deaf bit here is - its possible that all my kid wants to do, is talk, or rant or even bounce ideas. I have to do nothing - other than listen.

That's a mode I don't operate well in. Just listening. Hence tone deaf :-)

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

3463 : Listening to Shafqat vs Shafqat on repeat

This is what bliss definitely looks like.

If time permits, watch it with the video. If it does not give you goose pimples, you are truly different from me.

The orchestral maneuver will completely overwhelm you.

Easily debuts into my Top 100 all time list :-). What a song. 

This is what art should look like. This is what should be what we are inspired to become.

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

3462 : Haruki Murakami

Am finishing my next Murakami book. He is slowly but steadily become one of my favorite authors. I like a lot of unusual authors. 

Milan Kundera because he gives me immense insights into my every day.

Samantha Harvey for being poetically true on the journey of life.

Borges for being Borges.

Salman Rushdie for being one of the finest storytellers in the world.

Arundhati Roy for being the perfect 10 on writing always. The way to present an idea comes naturally to her.



And the list goes on.

I like Murakami, because he just draws into a strange place where I feel very mellow and peaceful. Always happens when I read his books. It makes me think of the good points of my life. That is such an unusual outcome. When I was a kid, Richard Bach's book did something similar to me. 

I am a Murakami reading spree. It calms me down, and shares some great wisdom.

Do read Murakami if you have not yet. There is so much to learn from him.

Image from JPVisitor

3461 : Capacity

Human beings have an infinite capacity for choosing unhappiness, even in the happiest of circumstances. 

That is not just oddball, but it rather seems to be wired into us. We inject the "unhappy" into our everyday.

Sunday, June 27, 2021

3460 : Why we write

Came in via twitter, its about movie making. I believe we can apply it to writing to.

I fail on every single count. Hmmmmm :-(

3459 : Choices

We all choose our places of resting. I have made my choice. It's a cold grimy place. 

3458 : Dmb #41

Listening to the 23 minute version of Dave Matthews Band playing #41.
The main motif riff which plays through this jazzy composition is so soothing.
Almost meditative. 

3457 : Shafqat with Shafqat

 Listen to two maestros sing.....Lakh Jatan/Khamaj. Human beings are truly capable of bliss.

And if this does not convince you out for the Symphonic Orchestra.

And finally notice, how the notes dance on their tongues.


3456 : Needle in a haystack

As I have examined myself deeply, I have realized that a lot of my demons are one off. Just that.

And yet, I can pick up that single blemish in a canvas of greatness (or happiness). And that single dot can serve as an anchor (rule of 3 from the photography world), and soon get stuck into our insides, the core (zehan as they say in Urdu)......and till one day all we see is the dot.

That error (or perceived asymmetry) can keep cropping up in our lives, so much so that we define a lot of our lives by it.

I am the culprit. I am the victim. I have banished happiness for 14 years. Sounds familiar?

I am epic.

3455 : Answers

 As the tsunami hit us, the world was being blown away. We figured that if we could keep ourselves anchored, then we could somehow avoid the storm.

So we set about tying things down. Making sure the heavy things became anchors and the lighter stuff was weighed down by the so called immovables.

It broadly worked. We lost little, both of ourselves and our stuff. Through the day we told ourselves, that if something worse did happen, we still had ourselves and our memories.

Evening was upon us. The rain cleared us, but a strong wind remained. We never got to know how, but a tinder sparked somewhere in the home. And soon a full raging fire caught us completely unaware.

The wind, which we had fought so hard in the morning, found a new ally. As we tried to save ourselves and "our things", the "anchors" turned to be our undoing. They formed the resistance, that we had no answer to.

The pyre had been light, all we could do, was watch as it consumed and consigned. In a few hours, all was gone.

As Dylan said, it was all blowing in the wind. Years later, I often still wonder - what exactly were the answers, that I missed?

Saturday, June 26, 2021

3454 : Afreen Afreen by Rahat Fateh Ali Khan and Momima Mushteshan

I am a Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan fan. Always have beem and always will be.  I like Afreen Afreen due to NFAK, Javed Akthar and Lisa Ray.

And then Rahat Fateh Ali Khan covers it in Coke Studio and the version is 10X better than the original. I never thought I would admit to it.

It's a fascinating video watch. Mesmerizing to watch Rahat. Also, Momina is so outstanding. What a contrast she offers to the main scale and time.

The harmony of the original was great, this one is just genius.

Listen and be spellbound.

3453 : The creative process

Listening to Vidya Vox's Fly Away - at 3:22, the other signer (Mattibani), does something totally unexpected - she sings in Gujrati "I am sometimes spicy (not hot....but the chilli hot)"....and then she does the sound- which each of us does when we encounter a chilli in our food. And the music pauses - to let us all savor the absolute genius gesture.

Great music is that which breaks the structure (I am a Jazz fan and a Hindustani fan), not the one that sticks to structure (Carnatic as an example).

I am not expert, but am more and more convinced that breaking a rule is so much more delightful....especially when you least expect it.

Also - how fun must have been the creative process been between Vidya and the other singer - would have loved to be in the room, as they came up with that almost mic drop gesture :-)

3452 : Battleground

The fatigue is on me. The weapons are ready. I am preparing for war. The countdown of attrition.

I stand my ground. Deep breath. Adrenaline mixing its shores within the blood. 

We now transformed this earth into an arena. I am ready for your jugular.

3451 : The futility of my art

I don't think of myself as a great poet. But poet I am. I read copious amounts of poetry.

And yet, I know acutely that poetry is nothing like a personal puzzle - a small game we play within our own head. A highly abstracted game involving word play and language. 

It is also a mechanism to convey insights (like a koan), but rarely used like that anymore.

My art is just a trivial little game. That's it.

Friday, June 25, 2021

3450 : In all shapes

This story might highlight a classic failing of us, or me. Our desire - to constantly fit in, make other fit in, and to classify.

So on my walk in the complex, I sometimes encounter this couple, both in their 30s. They are very "richly dressed". The casualness that comes with money. They are both carrying some sort of laptop sleeve, so you know they are on some sort of work or assignment.

Almost every time I see them walking from some place (have to figure where), towards a particular spot where they park their car. They walk slowly, measuredly. They are talking all along. Once they reach the car (and its their car, more on that later!!), they put their stuff out on the bonnet or the top of the car. 

On most days they stand near the car and talk. Now sometimes they also smoke. On some other days, only he man spokes, and the girl does not. 

My walk takes me through the point every 10 minutes. On days, I have passed them 4 times, so about 30-40 minutes.

Once, I have also seen them open the car, take the front seats and then gingerly drive off. So its their car, sure of that.

About them - they have the comfort of two deep intellectual friends. If they were just work colleagues, that would shallow (I mean the intellectual comfort). Maybe they are in a startup together, but still their comfort is way too endearing. They could be lovers, but I don't think they are. Are they fab friends? Could be, but they don't laugh enough together. Also, sometimes the girl naturally extends her hand (they stand facing each other) on the other's shoulder, as if to take support. She is shorter than him, so looks at an acute angle into him. They look deep into each other's eyes as they talk. Could they be siblings? Unlikely. Married already? Almost impossible :-).

See - what I mean - this desire to classify - to force fit them into a structure. I have obviously made a lot of mental notes on this topic, which I should ideally needn't have, though I enjoy these sojourns.

Finally, one other thing which also intrigues me is - if it is their car, and it indeed is, then why don't they just dump their stuff inside, as soon as they reach it. They can still smoke, talk - whatever. I would not keep my iPad on the boot or the bonnet. That's very odd. 

I look forward to seeing them. There is so much everyday life teaches us. Especially about lack of shapes.

3449 : When rubber hits the road

I find my morning coffee or tea immensely meditative. I usually hate sitting with others and having it. That's me :-), yes.

There is something magical about having a good cup of coffee and tea, and realizing how many people have conspired to make it happen. Especially excellent coffee. (My general sense is coffee is far too much complex as compared to tea, but that could be my bias.....also possibly because coffee for me is usually black, while tea is milk, spices and I never get to taste tea for what it is....or rarely do).

Coming back, about 20 hands have blessed a good cup of coffee at least - including your employer who pays you a salary to afford this.

Coffee also makes me look inward. It's my choice of poison - like whiskey or wine.

And poison tips our arrows. Those of time.

Thursday, June 24, 2021

3448 : Sinkhole

You seem to carry so much of a burden. I want to reach out and tell you that whoever carries so much weight inevitably sinks. Some slowly, some in a spate of bubbles. 

As I approach you, (to talk), I realise I carry so many sacks myself. That thought makes me recoil and introspect. Also, how many rocks from me get apportioned to you - and are contributing to your drowning?

I am on the lifeboat. Still seeing you slowly sinking. Don't even put out my hand (to help). You will find a resting place at the bottom, my dear.

3447 : Truth vs Lies

I was reminded of this quote from Chernobyl the series that I loved.

What is the cost of lies? It's not that we'll mistake them for the truth. The real danger is that if we hear enough lies, then we no longer recognize the truth at all. What can we do then? What else is left but to abandon even the hope of truth and content ourselves instead with stories? In these stories, it doesn't matter who the heroes are. All we want to know is: "Who is to blame?"

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

3446 : Vidya Vox Fly Away

I know I have just posted on this last week, but I am so totally addicted to this song. 

It's a complete ear worm. It has some of the most unexpected aspects of composition......and love the surprise they spring on you.

On a related note, what makes the creative folks do they strange hoops (unexpected turns). If you are listening on an audio streaming - watch out for 2:30 where Vidya gets humming and repetitive......and then at 3:22 the sudden flip on the music.


3445 : Joy

 BMW used to have tag line called Joy, and I must say its one the sassiest branding heists in my head. I love BMW and if you have driven the 3 or 5 series, you will know why.

Its pure unadulterated Joy to drive. It's a pain to own in India - so I WILL NEVER own one. That should settle that debate..

But I get to drive something that gives me just as much Joy. I drive a Suzuki VStorm 650. Just went out for a quick spin. Its phew!! Just pure delight.

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

3444 : Two sides of a story

She thinks he needs to pay alimony. A few million rupees per year. She also thinks, he should be an active father to their son.

He believes he had already paid an enormous price for over 5 years in the divorce's process. The additional alimony seems unfair. "Does she not have a job? Why does she need me to pay her an upkeep?". Is being away from the son, not a punishment itself?

She knows he got away easily. She could have asked for the house too. All she has asked for some monies for the kid and his education.

He feels he is paying blood money, to buy his rightful freedom. He hates the bindings. He detests her. 

She is looking forward to a life of slowly building and repairing her wings. She does not want him around, but will tolerate him for the son.

He is already building a Tinder profile. He does not like her; she brings the worst out in him, he will stay away from the son, to be away from her.

She hopes to fly again. He wishes for freedom.

Is it a wonder they split?

3443 : Do as I say, not as I do

She brought us up single-handedly. Sister and I always looked up to her. We saw her cook, teach, clean, repair, monitor contractors, build a house, fight off men, and even light the pyre of our dead. She could pray in the tone of suprabhatam, or she would some days be dancing in the dark. 

My sister studied in an excellent school, was way brighter than me. She also had a deep desire to make this world a better place. Eventually, after a gruelling study set, and an equally depleting masters degree, she choose to work in the petroleum sector - she wanted to help rigs turn green. 

When my sister announced to both of us, that she was going to be on rigs for a good quarter at a time, She, who brought us up, asked my sister, in chaste Tamil, "Did you have to choose these jobs meant for a man? Could you have not chosen to bank or an equivalent desk job?"

3442 : The passer by

I was speaking to a friend, who brought up this story - what if the world is a simulation. To an atheist like me, it is not just a possibility, its dancing in the clues.

So my friend is influenced by Elon. I am influenced by my view of the world. Even if it is nota simulation, it's becoming akin to a skin on the snake.

What we see of the world is just a fraction of what we can comprehend. That's a function of society. What we dont see in the world, is a fraction of what we cannot comprehend. That's a function of physics. 

Let's stick to society. Our world is to get dimmer and dimmer with the technology we have built around it. Social networks amplify our biases. The governments create biases. Godmen sell nuisance. God itself is fleeting into oblivion. The games we play have no concrete meaning, yet we play them, because we do believe that it is the only game in town.

If the Buddha extolled us to lay bare the layers, our minds on the other hands are miles deep into rabbit holes. 

Does this feel like a simulation? Does this feel like a glitch in our time-space? Does it feel like we don't belong? Am I the only one who looks up at the sky and wonders - what are the other trillion trillion stars up to today?

Monday, June 21, 2021

3441 : Rocket with blast velocity

Every day, I see you grow up a bit more. I am happy that you have a future. And hope. And a belief.

I know acutely that I might be on a reverse countdown. Like a rocket. Steady, simple and counting down. 

All roads to the future. So says the maps app. I have been typing in the search box "1999 January" far too often. Of course my search history is confusing it. Someone back in the team is wondering which part of the earth did they miss out?

As they ponder, time continues its march. Every day, I see you grow up a bit more.

3440 : Tired

I feel very tired today. Too much on my plate, too much on my mind. I should disconnect for some days. Possibly.

The fear I carry is - my fate will still await me. On the other side of my break, I mean.

So much human effort goes into doing nothing. Spinning your wheels on a treadmill. 

3 disconnected sentences. Thats the state of my mind.

Sunday, June 20, 2021

3439 : Controversial

On certain days, the controversies of my life deeply bother me.

I am not good at letting go of topics - till I find the answers. That's the dangerous combination with "controversies".

3438 : Rowdy Baby from Maari 2

There is nothing to dislike in this song. A complete foot stomper of a number.

The more you listen though - you realise it has some really fine elements of harmony built into it. And like jazz, it moves through scales effortlessly.

Listen and be enthralled. I dont know of anyone who does not love this number.

3437 : Khudkhushi

My discovery (song) for this week is Khudkhushi from Yaara. What a composition. Focus on the lyrics.

3436 : What happens at the movies.....

They stole our memories at the movies - Orhan Pamuk

3434 : What a number.....

 Thats the post number :-)

3435 : Listening to Rajan Sajan Mishra singing Hamsadhwani

A song I have heard so many times before. Bliss.

3433 : Crazy

In a sky full of people, where only some want to fly......

From Seal's Crazy.

3432 : What is immortality ?

 What is poetry to me? Poetry is a delightful play of words. We could call it prose, if that suits us.

Is it nothing more than a play of words? It also conveys an idea, in a neat insightful manner. A la koan.

Is it just an insight and the games it plays in your mind? No, its also about the beauty that is built into the narrative. The beauty from an intense experience - be it love, pain, anger or even disgust.

So its about strong emotions? Not just that. A poetry by its very nature is reacting to the world, either the world around us, or our very own internal world. So this magic is also also about how we interact and absorb the world around.

As we immerse the world in, we truly - each in our own way, try and live better. With more empathy. From our own contexts.

Everyday, it makes me realize that there is so much beauty and experience in the world around us. Poetry makes me want to be immortal. 

Friday, June 18, 2021

3431 : Vidya Vox

My recent find in music has been Vidya Vox.

If my daughter ever sings like this - I shall be such a gloat.

What talent.

I am listening to her compositions. I loved Fly Away the most.

3430 : Astell and Kern PE51

I indulged.

Bought the Astell and Kern PEE51. Its essentially a digital amplifier packed into a USB. But its not simply an amplifier, does a little more to process all elements of digital music.

I have not heard hifi music yet, but even spotify is performing like Tendulkar :-)

Easily one of the best monies I have wasted :-). The soundstage transformation is beyond impressive. Just blows the music out into the room.

Get one if you can afford it. Will make your phone sound like a stage.

My sample song was 

My earphone was/is Marshal 4090940 - I like the slightly tinny sound it produces. is where I bought it from.

The song which is playing now.....(don't judge me)....also rocks the device out.

Finally closing with Dave Brubeck quartet's Take Five. The jazzy notes as groovy as they can.