The Uninteresting

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The Well Nourished Bong leading a nomadic life.

June 16, 2014

Life Inside a Metro

Finally Mumbai gets its Metro, delayed beyond imagination but finally here. And as soon as the Metro came in, I have been trying to find a way to ensure that I make the full use of it. In 2013, amongst the top 10 ideas that were about to change the world (courtesy TIME) was an idea called the Handprint.

Handprint was one of the most exciting ideas I have come across in a long time. It was against the idea of carbon footprints as it was so negative. It made people feel guilty. On the other hand Handprint is a measure of the positive measures we take to save the planet. It makes you feel good. And in Mumbai, the one thing that can make you feel good about taking care of the planet is if and when you can take the public transport.

The Mumbai Metro follows a strange decorum unknown to the local train which is the lifeline of the city. And as you wait for the train, you realize how in society codes create themselves. Some forced; some by their own nature.

As you travel on the Metro, strangely cut off from the noise, you see various facets of human emotions yet unknown. You look down on a church facade which wears a new placard wishing the metro travellers all the very best. You meet an old lady asking a young guy beside her, a stranger, to take a video of her in the train. You see people giving updates to family outside the city that their commute time is now reduced.

I believe Mumbai has 3 smells. The first rises in the sea and blows over the city engulfing the entire city in a smell of fish, salt and filth. The second comes as a breath of fresh air in the monsoons after the first rains have washed away the dirt and the grime from the face of the city. The third is the smell of humanity packed together, immovable in a train compartment. Metro is not devoid of that smell. And it makes you feel human once again.

The Metro also reminds you of the forgotten and destroyed geography of Mumbai. As the train nears its final destination you can see the mountains that once made up much of the Central suburbs being slowly cut down to make way for humanity. The ecological impact of it? No one has the answer yet.


But for today you would have reached your destination and to your loved ones before you could see an episode of Friends on your phone. And for a city that’s always running a marathon at the speed of a sprint, nothing could be better.

June 09, 2014

The Creation Hymn

Before everything else, there was nothing, not even darkness and out of that nothingness rose a desire like a bubble in the stillness of a silent steady pool in a hot summer month.

The first time I read and tried to comprehend the depths of the Creation Hymn in the Rig Veda I was left yearning for more. But slowly as I read it again and again and again I started to understand the basic tenet of all human progress. Desire rules us all and it is not the desire for money, material, fame or even immortality. It’s the purest of all desires; that of creation.

Behind every creation there is desire. Behind every destruction there is doubt. And just like a slow poison that eats away at the soul of your existence, doubt wipes away hope, like a bug on drenched windshield.

We create, for a living, for a love. We create, because we believe that out of the many failures of that creation, a new existence will be born. We create, even when we ourselves are full of doubt.

It’s easy to laugh off every creation. It’s easy to say the world behaves in a fixed way and nothing will, can or should be different. But we know, that one day, when the life we lead brings us to a juncture that tips over to the right side with an idea, the world will be a different place than we know it.


We create, because if we don’t, the world cannot change.

January 03, 2014

The Decade of Desires!

As we grow up, we slowly start to understand what life means, sometimes it is an acceptance of what we want to hear, or what has been told to us and at times it is about really really understanding what life is.

As I had entered the fag end of my twenties, I despaired, not knowing the answers, not being close to any kind of realization that I sought. And I could see the decade pass by. Changes came and became part of life. And before I knew it, I was in my thirties.

All through human history, twenties is the age when great things have been achieved, when inventions have changed the course of history, when explorers have found new horizons. And we tend to waste it up, not taking risks or chasing the 5 minutes of fame. And there is evolutionary evidence to support why it is so.

But then I remembered something I had read long back. 2 of world’s greatest religions were started by 30 year olds. One left his house at twenty nine in order to search the truth while the other returned to the city which would persecute him three years later.

But the questions searched for by the former still stands – “Jwara, Byadhi, Mrityu” – “Old age, sickness, death” and so the quest still stands. The surprising answer that Yudhisthira gave to the Yakshya rings true. And that’s where the new decade holds its promise. And when you have your best friend by your side, through thick and thin and failed dietary expeditions, you have the courage to face everything.


Wiser, better, stronger! Thirties is where the game will unfold. A year’s gone, a new one’s just begun. What better time is there to remind yourself of it the decade and its desires!

November 11, 2013

Lord of Chaos

Lord of Chaos looked down in horror at what he had created. For years he held a secret. He was a closet perfectionist and no one knew why, not even him. He thrived in chaos. He plunged his world into an incessant array of activities and watched them unfold, jostle for space but ultimately what came out of it was perfection.

It is said night finds her life in day, the darkness seeks out light, evil loses its purpose when good fails temporarily. Perfection was beauty, something his whole life was dedicated to destroy and in its perfection he found his nemesis and some say, even his redemption.

But today, as he looked at the scattered pieces, he knew even he had gone too far. The bridge had been crossed for once and everything seemed to have a mind of its own. The puzzle no longer had an elegant solution at the end, it all seemed lost.

There would be no more chance of redemption, no more chance to have a perfect ending. He stepped back waiting for the inevitable to happen. His world was no longer going to be the same. He waited.

Yet nothing happened. He slowly turned to go back, to exit the stage. And suddenly it caught his eye - a faint glimmer of a pattern. He turned around, unsure, expectant.

And then it dawned on him. The pattern was hidden in plain view by pieces which were not part of the plan. It was up to him to choose. This was chaos at its perfectionist best. This was what will make his life worth the pains.

This was his greatest dance ever for now he danced for himself and himself alone, for his own survival.



November 07, 2013

The Invasion of Man

(Continued from The Jungle)

“Enter man, who burnt a clearing in the jungle and himself a hut.

Those that use claw and fang, have nothing better to fight with. Those that don't; shouldn't try to fight.

They should burn the jungle down.”

Man looked down upon the gathering in front of him, his eyes glowing with rage. The jungle was closing in on them, mocking their efforts to find a space in its entwined limbs. His tribe was helpless, cutting each other down in a last frantic effort to find an opening for their clan. They hated their clan too but they needed each other for survival, for passing their genes on. Other clans were a different matter, they were expendable.

Across the world the battle was fought, the first of many to come, man vs. Nature, each trying to dominate the other, each trying to mark its supremacy but none prevailed. Generations of Man vowed to win, to survive and yet nature seemed invincible.

At night, Man lay on a rock, shading him from the torrents of rain that nature was throwing at him, ready to give up, ready to accept defeat, ready to be another species hiding from nature’s fury. In a last pang of frustration, he picked up a pebble and with all his hatred threw it at the rains outside. The winds howled in laughter.

Man kept throwing rocks and nature continued to mock him. In one last fit of rage, he picked up the last rock with his bloodied hands and threw it at the floor in front of him with all his remaining strength. They say, he wanted to break open the heart of Gaia, the Spirit of the Earth.


All he saw was a spark.

October 21, 2013

The Jungle

It gets darker at night. But when the sun is gone, the predators are around and the jungle is scarier than ever. The jungle demands sacrifice; the jungle has no empathy; the jungle plays you like a puppet.

It gets bloodier as the years pass by. And the food chain churns and spits out all who fell behind. And just when you were sure you wanted to leave, the jungle would conjure up an oasis; short lived but enough to let you prod on for a few more hours.

It gets lonely as you grow old. The pack you grew up with falls apart, the new wolves no longer are your brothers, the world belongs to the alpha male who wins; only for a short while though before his heart gets torn out in a battle. The battle scars are marks of a fake glory to a fake deity.

It gets godless every passing moment. There is a restlessness, not for the presence of evil but because in the jungle, the old gods have left leaving behind a void like no other. And in the godless darkness there are no rules.

It gets restless as time passes by. The world needs to be violent to sustain, a mind numbing posturing is what seems to do the trick for the day and there no longer remains any space for the wide eyed doe. She has to run, run like the wind all day just to survive, till the day evolution gives her fangs.

The jungle waits, quiet and calculating, waiting for the next games to begin.


July 08, 2013

Clouds

The clouds pass by, looking at the worlds beneath them. The sounds of the evening Azan drifts over the wind to call the faithful to prayer. The bells of the Arati at the nearby temple sing a tune beyond what men could dream of. The symphony begins as the first drops start falling and then the lightning strikes. It tears through the sky, brilliant, alone, majestic. The cloud rumbles as the drum rolls begin and then suddenly the drops become bigger, mightier.

Men run for cover, unable to embrace the drops and they fall, uninhibited. Some cry, tears can’t be seen in the rain. Some smile, the dazzle lost in the white streak across the sky, some call out to their friends, their voices drowned in the thunder. Kids brave the torrent till the stern hand of the mother snatches them away from the feeling of freedom.

The world takes a bath, Gaia cleanses herself of the filth of her children and suddenly a gust of wind blows away the stench of the asphalt and the moist smell of the earth fills your nostril. The childhood memories come flooding by, the streets, the rainy days, the towel in your mother’s hands vigorously rubbing your head.

The wind howls, pained at the separation, pained at the loss and yet the ages have dimmed its memory, it no longer knows who it cries for. What’s left is only a hollow filled by the gusts. The wind knows the pleasure, pain, the scent of first rain.

The stars hide, no longer able to show their faces, the light of the universe gets blotted out till what remains is the cover of darkness, engulfing everything. Till everything is made visible by the brilliant flash of light. And then there is darkness again.

The water stings your skin, eager to breach the barrier of the clothes, eager to feel your earthiness. It swirls around your feet, cleaning the scum off, taking it far far away. The water fills the lake, quenching the thirst of billions.

The rains recede, their energy spent, their madness calmed, the drizzle is all that’s left. The umbrellas in the park move tentatively out, checking out if it’s a false hope; if they can spend a few moments more hidden beneath them.

The world returns to normalcy. The symphony ends, the cars honk, impatient to get back, the screech of the tires, the smell of burning asphalt fills your lungs. The show is over.

The clouds pass by, looking at the worlds beneath them.