Saturday, 12 March 2016


"I come from a land of big dicks and small egos," I tried to impress her.

I was at Jay's housewarming in Vasant Kunj. The kind of a house party where, if you are the host, your initial instinct is to do a quality control- invite only filtered and absolute close people. Keep it all exclusive and fancy. But then you subtly screw it all up when you ask your nerdy friend to design a little invite for the party. "Make it classy," you tell him. The invite is chic and playful; it reflects your Alpha personality, and you end up circulating it around on WhatsApp groups. That, ladies and gentlemen, is the only phenomenon which gets a man like me ever invited to parties. 

I am frowned upon in whispers and murmurs, as people divide themselves into groups and dissect everybody who doesn't belong in their squad. I am not particularly an eyesore, but my drunken shenanigans haven't gone down too well in the previous get-togethers. I have a reputation for being lecherous. Or so I think. But I don't take offence to such stuff. Why apologise for who you are? One woman's creep might become another woman's Prince Charming! I have to play the odds. I am a headstrong man in a tricky society and I must swim against the current, if I have to. 

I like being in charge of my feelings, however unpopular they might be. I don't compromise on my masculinity behind the garb of chivalry. I am unmoved by the hundred-year-old-aunties and uncles, and ladies with infants, who come hunting for my seat in the Metro. But, the hard earned  seat is all yours if you are somebody pretty and young. Because hey! I am a decent man! You will find me gently asserting my masculinity through my words, actions and gym-sculpted body.

Anyway, coming back to the party. The EDM anthems had died out, and given way to your nerdy friend's carefully curated, alternative rock playlist comprising of back-to-back Foster the People tracks. Everybody was either too drunk or too stoned or didn't care enough to complain. I spotted her from across the smokey corridor. 

Taking a sip of liquid courage, and brushing the ash away from my crotch, I made my way towards her. She was on her phone and didn't realise my presence until I opened my mouth. 

"Sorry?" she asked, looking up.

"I come from a land of big dicks and small egos," I repeated with a smirk.

"Are you sure it is not the other way round?" and walked off. 

Thursday, 31 December 2015


Hello. My 2015 was ridiculously average and uneventful. I managed to graduate, and land myself a cool job, which I also spontaneously quit (much to the dismay of a lot of people.) There was hardly any travel, and therefore no exaggerated stories to brag about. My phone’s camera went into a coma. It’s been five months now. (#PrayForMyPhone) There’s like a dark cloud of a quarter-life crisis all set to rain over me. But this post is about a more pressing issue at hand. Something, that is gnawing at the peace of my mind. It is absolutely erratic. Don’t laugh at me. Okay? Okay.

For example. I was once hovering around in my college when I saw this blingy group of kids making small talk. I recognised one of them as a senior, S, from school. It was so refreshing to see S after all this while, especially after he had moved back to his home in Thailand. I gave him a loud slap on the back and almost went “Brooooo!”, when in that split second I realised that it wasn’t him! It was somebody else with the exact make and demeanour as his. Honest mistake. I apologised and made myself scarce immediately. This could be one isolated incident. The stuff that happens to everybody once in a while. But, similar incidents involving different people occurred with me again, and again; became routine. Except now, I only kept this discovery to myself. Obviously.

A teacher who bore an uncanny resemblance to a friend’s mother. A shorter version of a Pakistani actor at my workplace. A friend’s friend who looked like another friend’s friend. A lot of girls at a literature fest who convincingly passed off as a particular somebody I knew of. Two different sets of alike people at work. Random stranger in train with the mistaken appearance of a prick from a youth organisation where I had once worked. Random dude at gym who looked like a 10-years-later version of my brother. Wimpy junior at school who had the replicate eerie countenance as the 10-year-old me. It is a strange strange world brewing inside my brain.

Almost everyday, there is a new doppelgänger. And these are all strangers. Forcing me to walk through my memory-maze and connect their faces to people I know. Maybe, life is subtly implying that I have a subconscious yearning for the people in my past. Either that philosophical stuff, or my mind is totally bonkers (coupled with my refusal to wear my spectacles.)

My best friend, who usually becomes my cheap shrink after 2 AM, is now indifferent to these new conditions of mind that I am continuously coming up with. I zone out a tad more than what is considered normal. But now you will know, that I am probably just processing a new doppelgänger.  So excuse me, will you?

Peace, ho!

Monday, 17 August 2015


I like to believe that all of us are creative in some way or another; we just need to gauge on that inspiration. Now inspiration, is a bitch. It strikes you at the most odd times. If you are an artistic adolescent boy who's just hit puberty, inspiration may come while you are struggling with a measly amount of poop on the seat of a dank commode. Don't believe me? Well, vivid imagery behind toilet doors is routine. It usually is a (dis)tasteful reproduction of the creator's innermost carnal fantasies. Of which you already know, though.

One may trace classic representation of human genitalia to the WC doors of various institutions of education. However, they are no competition to their single-gendered and limited-technology-access segment that is, all boys boarding schools. And do you know why they rule in this little-known-but-widely-seen art? Because imagination, mate, pure imagination. There is no muse from real life or from the screen of a device, to take inspiration from. (I know because I spent almost a decade in an all boys boarding school. Trivia!)

With the recent obituary of pornographic content over the internet, we could really thrive on imagination. The obscenity scene is at an all time low, and perhaps a more modern and progressive cultural revolution will provide for the needful. Maybe subconsciously it is already in the works. Maybe artists, writers, illustrators, intellectuals, pseudo-intellectuals, photographers, musicians and other eclectics have a seed of Ode to Erotica already planted. It is going to be aesthetic enough to grow on the masses, and safe enough to elude the conservativesso much prudishness for the land of Kama Sutra. Trust the creatives to make a big deal about anything that gets wiped off from the face of earth? (Country, so to speak.)

This cultural renaissance which will take off as a passive rebellion, might serve as flavour and expression and identity for our otherwise redundant themes. Having said that, I must also confess that I am no expert on culture or heritage or society for that matter. My greatest tryst with art was a smug Instagram selfie with the Mona Lisa, where I had concealed my disappointment on discovering 'how small the portrait is in real life!'

So, a shoutout to all you closet creeps and perverts and peeping Toms! Here's a chance to make good on your souls. Be dirty but also unleash that creativity. And be remembered as a pioneer of the great Indian cultural awakening. As a bonus, you will have enough abstract pictures to go along with your corny captions on Instagram! 

However, don't forget that ours is still a land of naysayers. Don't hurt a lot of people or get exiled, or both. Exile sucks.

Tuesday, 28 July 2015


Roads are lonely, but you've got company.

• • •

If you are having a bad day, and waiting for a cheery sign which asks you to be strong, this isn't. Come on. Clowns and dolls have been scaring the shit out of kids for sometime now.

• • •

Bowled and the Beautiful.

• • •

Saturday, 13 June 2015

The Man With Two Eyes, One Nose, Etc.

Twice upon a time died a man each. Then another two. And two more... Suicides. The same saga continued till the whole group of rustics succumbed to the most sadist commence to a story, but then the first story of this kind too!

There was a strange gentleman responsible for the self-apocalypse. 'Gentleman' because every man rightfully commands respect, and 'strange' because, as the rustics described, he had two eyes, one nose, etc. The onlooker Rustics burst out laughing each time they saw the Strange Gentleman. They made fun of his appearance. Two eyes, one nose, two ears, etc., were definitely strange features in that land, and perfectly and validly fit the bill for causing him public embarrassment.

The Rustics clearly showed no signs of any future friendship. The Strange Gentleman, unintentionally, gave the Rustics a dose of lifetime worth mirth. 

The work for which the Strange Man had come for was finished with ample accuracy and concentration. Thus he returned to The City, never to be seen again. But his memory continued to entertain the Rustics at pre-siesta bonfire conversations. Time passed, and eventually the mirror was invented. One of the Rustics found a mirror floating in the river which came from the City. Since it shone like crystal, he assumed it to be crystal, and gathered everyone around to announce that he had discovered nothing but crystal! 

The mirror, as it was, thrust their own reflection into their eyes, when the Rustics gazed into it! And lo! They found themselves so much like the Strange Gentleman, whom they had once made fun of. Regret and melancholy enveloped their hearts, and two at a time, they committed suicide.

Wednesday, 29 April 2015


Lemons are passé. Life may as well throw you bananas. What will you do then? 

It was the Christmas of 2012, just about three weeks after I had turned 19 (with much  fanfare and drumroll.) I was on an AIESEC internship to Malaysia for a community development project. Ours was a group of 15 interns from diverse lands. We had worked ourselves to pulp, and hence to celebrate Jesus’ birthday (hallelujah!), took a breather off to a town called Malacca. Now, Malacca was this non-mainstream, gem of a town, with a strong Portuguese influence from its colonial days. It was famous for its water inlets and pub streets.
We spent the whole of Christmas Eve in one of the pubs; discovering new drinking games. Soon, midnight came and the streets erupted with classic Xmas carols and we joined in the revelry. Slowly, almost everybody from the group retreated back to the guest house, and it was just the three of us left; Mark, Vay (Vaibhav; shortened to convenience foreign tongues,) and myself. We decided to roam around and explore. But it was 3 AM now, and people had already made themselves scarce. Disheartened, we passed empty streets through arrays of closed joints before we struck gold! Our pub from from the eve was still open! (Hallelujah!)
The three of us marched to the entrance door with relief and glory. (I remember wearing a t-shirt with "SWAG" printed loudly.)  The crowd was all chic and some great beats were playing in the background. Good vibes. One of us remarked on how this was going to be the best night in the entirety of our Malaysian trip.
Some free advice regarding the above statement. Never, I repeat NEVER make superlative claims on how great something is going to turn out. It will be jinxed. Trust me on this. Be optimistic, of course; but keep it to yourself. Saying it out aloud is music to the ears of your lifetime’s piled up bad Karma. 
Once inside, something seemed subtly odd. The lighting was dimmer than before. Shady. Fifty 'shadys' of grey. But, hey! A strange environment cannot stop three young men from having fun, right? Vay and Mark disappeared to scan the place, while I decided to be company to this lady who was sitting all by herself at the bar. 
With as much mojo as my inner baniya could summon at that short notice, I walked up to her and gave a casual, “Hi!” She turned towards me and smiled, and I looked into her eyes. HIS EYES! That was a man, elaborately dressed as a woman! (SURPRISE!) I looked around. Any and all signs of womanhood were actually men wearing drag! Vay came running and  informed that we-actually-might-be-in-a-gay-pub! But we were here just an hour ago! It was so normal then! We immediately made our way to the exit, (hallelujah!), but wait a minute. WHERE WAS MARK?
Now Mark, being all Dutch and exotic in an Asian country, had caught the fantasy of a man who apparently owned the place. The owner was flanked by two super-human bodyguards and multiple (drag) queens. Mark, signalled us to his table. We went; and along with Mark, were tried to be wooed through free drinks and inaccurate cheesy English. Yes, I was made passes upon by a 50-year-old-man and objectified by countless others around me. Not the kind of stuff you dream to check off your bucket-list, eh? I noticed the super-human bodyguards making their respective dibs on Vay and me. Scared for life would be an understatement here. As scared as we might be, we gulped the drinks that the owner kept getting us. Vay and I hinted at leaving, multiple times, but were defeated by angry stares of those two colossal bodyguards/creeps. 
Finally, Mark, on the pretext of changing into something more proper and smelling nicer got the three of us out, "We'll be right back.” We walked as fast as we could. Walk of shame. Then we ran. RAN FOR OUR LIVES.
Next day, over a breakfast of shrimp omelet and shandy, we wondered how a totally normal place turns all shady after midnight.

Do you remember yourself sulking on that particular Christmas? Atleast Santa got you better gifts than mine. Duh!

Saturday, 18 April 2015



"I will cross that bridge when I get there," he resolved to himself.
But he didn't.
And it doesn't matter. 
Because who is to know?

*    *    *

"She used to scrub the floors in one of those for years."
"Dull work."
"Not really."
"Her son later bought her all of it."

*    *    *

    "Come see me. I am where we first met."
"One last time?"
"One last time."

*    *    *