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.




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 Pakistan......beats 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.

https://open.spotify.com/track/6nkjhWoTpFHsfolWK1fmBY 

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 down....is 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

Phew!!

What a stunning song. Totally blown away.

I love Eddie Vedder and now his daughter.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iQ18DXg7b7c



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.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zMBD4ONmBk0



Wednesday, August 18, 2021

3772 : Salsa is hard

 One step 

    forward

two step 

    sideways

three steps

    stumble

four steps

    imbalance

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 years....at 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.

Phew!!

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

Diaper.

Eraser.

Bands. 

Condoms.

Bullets.

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.