Friday, December 13, 2013

To(377)B or not to be

This post was originally written by me for a group blog I co-own named The Jalebi Chronicles.Check it out, it has some really good stuff.


Over the past few months, we have witnessed uproar due to the shocking judgement passed by the Honourable Supreme Court of India a little more than a month ago. I am referring to the black day of 11th December, 2013 when in a move that shocked the nation and the world at large, a division bench headed by the now retired Justice Singhvi decided to overrule a Delhi High Court judgement that had struck down section 377B of the Indian Penal Code which reads:

“Whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal shall be punished with imprisonment for life, or with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years and shall also be liable to fine.”

In essence, it was a section inserted to soothe the attitude of an archaic society that has long since ceased to exist in 19th century itself, in an age and time when the concepts of right and wrong were a farfetched dream for the citizens of any colonised nation. Let’s return to modern day India. Courtesy some liberal judicial interpretations of the constitutionally sanctioned Fundamental Rights, we have numerous rights (rights which are not stated explicitly in the Constitution but are more inferred,) including the right to privacy. What section 377 B means is an absolute invasion of that right. Going by the logic of the section, if two people have consensual sex against the ‘order of nature’ in a private room and someone peers through the keyhole and lodges a complaint, they’ll be arrested. The state, in its moral stride has essentially decreed that all sexual acts except consensual peno-vaginal sex between two adults is illegal.


If we are to analyze the judgment, some factors stand out. One of the reasons offered by the Supreme Court to uphold section 377 B’s constitutional validity is that it targets acts rather than people, and thus is uniformly applicable to all citizens. What they fail to recognize here is that these “acts” which they seek to criminalize are inexorably linked to the sexuality of the LGBT community, whose rights are clearly being violated by the same logic. But again, a disgusting choice of words is seen in paragraph 52 of the judgment, which reads, “In its anxiety to protect the so-called rights of LGBT persons…” The degrading of the community and its rights just because of its existence as a minority is shocking. Furthermore, the court also maintains that the insertion of the section forming the basis of harassment and blackmail only warrants for an amendment to the law by the legislature and does not make the section ultra vires. To cap it off, the judgment laid forth a political challenge of sorts when it suggested that an alternative could be an act by the legislature to delete the section in contention.

I refuse to dwell on the ramifications that this decision will hold for the future of politics in our country. All I will say is that I am shocked; shocked and disappointed. The upholder of the nation’s fundamental rights has failed the nation. In an ironic maneuver, a judgment has turned citizens into criminals. Protest all you will, but the truth of the matter is this: at the bottom of all our hearts, we will be left with just one painful thought, and this will be the collective ideology of us all: “On 11th December 2013, the Indian Judiciary failed its duties and principles. It failed its philosophy… It failed you and me. But above all, it failed itself.
http://www.cpmtree.com/serv/tag.js Javascript Disabled http://www.flipkart.com/affiliate/displayWidget?affrid=WRID-140558305459941235

Sunday, November 3, 2013

I'll Be There For You, 'Coz You're There For Me Too

I'll Be There For You, 'Coz You're There For Me Too

Remember that one childhood friend who knows you inside out? Yes, the one whom you just thought of when you read that sentence. The one whom you will share this blog post with, the one whom you’ll call after reading this. So I guess by now you have a fairly decent idea about who I am talking about. All of us have that one person, that one friend, that one best friend who is simply your life line. Distance, time, space, place, location, nothing matters with them. You can rely on them whenever you want to, regardless of what it has been. You must be wondering why I am rambling and you are right in wondering so. Let me tell you why.

I'll Be There For You, 'Coz You're There For Me Too
We seek closeness.That's an universal fact.No one can deny that.It's simply who we are and what we need.Be whatever,or whoever you may attempt to be,that familiarity,that proximity,that bond,everyone wants that. This coupled with the fact that nothing is more pleasing than finding someone who functions exactly like you. Same thoughts, same outlook in life, same quirks, same likes, same dislikes, same everything. No, don't mistake it for a relationship between lovebirds. It is something much more intense, deep, lasting and permanent. You can call her at 3 in the night and rant about your troubles. She can wake you up and complain about how her parents are irritating her. Together you may sing songs at the top of your voice on a roof at midnight. The list is endless, and always shall be. But the best part is, there is never a shred of awkwardness between the two of you. You may be boiling Pepsi in a kettle(for the record, BAD IDEA) and simply laugh when it blows up. You maybe cracking sad jokes at the last bench of class. It can even be discussing certain anatomical dimensions for an hour over the phone at seven in the morning on a Sunday right after she wakes you up because she just got done with her memorial submission and was bored. It could be you calling her up after doing something crazy, right when she's about to sleep, and keep her up, because you can.

Ok so my rambling still doesn't make sense but the point I have to make is that the feelings you have for that person are simply beyond words. If asked to, I doubt anyone can put down those feelings in a sentence of finite words. The feeling is inexpressible. It's just there and something which you cherish forever. So cheers to everyone of us, and to all of our best friends, our chuddy buddies, our confidants, our lives, our everything. “Simple hai. Kisi ke saath waqt bitane se sab theek ho jaata hai”.

Go ahead. Share this with your best friend. Try expressing what you never have, it's worth a shot.
http://www.flipkart.com/affiliate/displayWidget?affrid=WRID-140558305459941235

Friday, August 30, 2013

Justice Denied:Ishrat Jahan

This post was originally written by me for a group blog I co-own named The Jalebi Chronicles.Check it out, it has some really good stuff.



Ishrat Jahan. The name is a common one in the media these days. Everyone is aware of the Ishrat Jahan encounter but not many truly know what it is about, except for the little knowledge gleaned from what the misogyny infested media reports.. For those who are unacquainted with the case, here are the facts of the story.

Ishrat Jahan was a 19 year old student from Mumbai who died on 15th June, 2004 along with three other men, namely Pranesh Pillai (alias Javed Gulam Sheikh,) Amjad Ali Rana and and Zeeshan Johar. The four of them were supposedly killed on an empty road stretch between Ahemdabad and Gandhinagar. The Gujarat police claimed that the foursome were terrorists belonging to LeT i.e. Lashkar-e-Taiba and were plotting to assassinate Narendra Modi due to his apathy towards Muslims and supposed involvement in the Godhra riots of 2002. They claim to have acted on intelligence tips from the Maharashtra police and more importantly, the Intelligence Bureau. However, many dispute the claim arguing that the encounter was staged in cold blood to propagate Modi’s communal propaganda. These claims have been strengthened by strong evidence backed by incriminating reports filed by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) instituted by the Gujarat High Court and the investigation by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

Here are the undisputed facts. Jehan worked as Pranesh Pillai’s secretary. Pillai on the other hand, had been previously booked for four assault cases and charged with involvement in a fake currency racket. He had converted to Islam in the ‘90s and allegedly, two passports were recovered along with his body; one for each alias. It is interesting to note that neither of these two had any traceable links to the LeT. The other two, Amjad Rana and Zeeshan Johar have been conspicuously ignored by the media. . These two had clear links with the LeT and worked for them as terrorists. The only dispute in regards to them was their nationality. Their bodies were not claimed by anyone.

The names/groups in the below table mentioned in Column A believe the encounter was fake, while those in Column B lists the groups who believe the encounter to be real.


COLUMN A
COLUMN B
Indian National Congress(INC)
Bhartiya Janta Party(BJP)
Central Bureau of Investigation(CBI)
Intelligence Bureau(IB)
Gujarat High Court’s SIT constituted in 2011
Headlines Today
National Investigation Agency(NIA)
Hindustan Times
Tehelka, PUCL
Zee group
It never ceases to amaze us how politicians can turn even the most brutal of incidents into brownie points for their political vendettas. In put it simply, if this encounter is proven to be fabricated Narendra Modi will be viewed as a communal leader and shall allow the Congress to play the secular card against him. If Modi survives this, it shall simply add to the defence he puts up whenever he the buck is passed to him for the Godhra incident and its related mishaps. Both ways, the investigation reports will spell a massive victory for one or either sides and the fight has resulted in two things; a stalemate and the vilifying an innocent girl who is unable to defend herself because she is, and pardon me for using the phrase, ‘conveniently’ dead.

Ishrat Jahan has been called everything, from a terrorist to a promiscuous female (by BJP’s Meenaxi Lekhi because she was travelling with three men and, in her eyes, that is enough to doubt her character. One cannot help but wonder what her views are about her daughter going on school trips to Lonavala with 125 other students.)However, she has been denied the most vital of all human rights; the right to life. The police had no right to snatch away her life regardless of her being a terror operative or not. Posthumous justice is one thing, but the very fact that it is posthumous is disheartening and very disturbing.Being an 18 year old college student myself, I am, scared. As a plain and ordinary citizen, what is the guarantee that you, me or anyone else shall not be the next Ishrat?

Moving on to the extent of political involvement, my disgust rises. It is simply impossible to trust either of the parties involved because the holy troika of corruption, power and politics has changed the entire game. Since the CBI is in the Congress’ pocket, their stance is anti-Modi while the BJP is supposedly deriving support from the highly secretive IB. The media groups’ ownership defines the stance they take, and the view they present depends on whether the slander they spread shall benefit their corporate overlords or not. In the middle of this however, the common man loses out on the truth. All one can say is that Ishrat might have merely been ‘collateral damage’ as two out of the four killed were terrorists. Ishrat just happened to be at the wrong place, in the wrong time with the wrong people. Of course that does not give anyone the right to brand the innocent girl a terrorist and it certainly does not justify her death. In fact, this assumption may be a far departure from the truth, but with a heavy heart, I suspect that with the web of orchestrated facts, hidden agendas and misogyny infested opinions, justice shall lie buried and the truth shall never be exposed.

DISCLAIMER: The views presented in this article represent the views of the writer alone and not the others in general.
http://www.cpmtree.com/serv/tag.js Javascript Disabled
http://www.flipkart.com/affiliate/displayWidget?affrid=WRID-140558305459941235

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Bye Bye Bombay

This is not an ode to the city I love, neither is this a farewell letter. Before you read further, let me tell you, I’m now into my last week in Mumbai. Well, at least for the next 5 years, I’ll be living in Delhi to study law. I don't know why I am writing this. Hell I don't know what this is. Take it as my rambling if thy shalt will.

It's a funny feeling. Moving. The verb, the word but mostly the feeling. It’s not just that you'll be leaving behind a life that you've carefully built. But you'll be leaving it behind for something new, something unfamiliar.18 years of my life, my friends, my love, my city, and my way of living, everything, gone. It's a huge thing because of many reasons. In life, we never realise it, but it is always what that is around us builds us. Bombay, the city I was born in, the city I lived my childhood in, the city I hit teenage in, the city in which I turned 18,the city that was always my solace, the city that taught me life, the city that punished me, the city that nurtured me. Bombay was always there for me. I’ll specially miss sitting by Marine Drive or Worli Seaface,enjoying my timeout from life, staring blankly at the sea. If you haven't already done that, do it. Just for a few minutes. Stare into the vastness and the far far away expanse. Think of nothing. Just stare. I proudly say that the city always was my first love. Today, with just a few days left before my flight to Delhi, I have no words to say to it. There is so much to do, so much to say, yet no time. I feel like I'm being torn away from it, piece by piece. A few days ago, I saw this picture which put my turbulence in words.

Mumbai is a city. Bombay is an emotion.


It is true folks. I’m leaving Mumbai but the Bombay shall always be in me, and right now, it is bubbling up via this post, and I am unabashed when I say I don’t want to bottle it up.

People always yearn for security. That’s the entire point of our life. To lead a secure life. For a just emancipated adult, my parents were my umbrella, my armour and my everything. I remember those tiny fleeting moments when they were there for me. Trust me; they are the ones you remember and not the major ones. In Delhi, I'll be alone. Yes, we live in the 21st century, so we have phones, SMSes, BBM, Whatsapp, e-mails, letters, Skype and all those other mediums which reduce the distance between people. But the problem is that they can never remove the distance, only reduce it. However close I may feel, the brutal cold truth would be that I am thousands of kilometres away in Delhi while they'll be in Mumbai, and not with me physically. That’s just something I'll have to deal with, accept and move on.

Friends. Dost. The word rings like a hollow bell. They complete you. Always do. Suddenly, they won't be a phone call away. I won't be running into them at Kandivali station. No sir .I admit I have never been the friend I could have been, but they have and that makes all the difference in the world. Honestly I'm scared. What happens from here? Where does life take us? We still stay the same way? Things change? Ugh, this is mind numbing. It has always been this way; we have always been a call away. Not anymore. I won't be able to give them a call and pop over to their place. They won't be able to give me a call and meet me at the McDonald's near Andheri and Kandivali stations(which they know are my second favourite place in the world to meet, after the stations themselves). We might drift apart, partly because of me, partly because of them. I'll make new friends and they'll make new ones as well. But all I hope for is a status quo. No change. Stability is nice

I don't think I'll ever be able to sum up all the emotions I'm feeling in one post and relax, I don't intend to write a second post on this. All I wanted to do was put my emotions and rather on a broader outlook, almost every Mumbaikar who is leaving Bombay 's feelings into a post, because I understand how hard it is to articulate them.

The heart is a fickle thing and it hates change. But at the end of the day, the clock ticks on, the date changes, the world sleeps and awakes anew, and so shall I, with a hope, and only that hope to lead me on.
http://www.cpmtree.com/serv/tag.js Javascript Disabled http://www.flipkart.com/affiliate/displayWidget?affrid=WRID-140558305459941235

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Top 5 idiots on Mumbai's Roads

Hey people this is the sixth post of a new weekly series called "Saturday Top 5". I guess the title is self explanatory and anyway, it shall be on a pilot basis due to a great response,this will be a regular series . Here's the last post of the series(LINK).Please leave your feedback about the idea and suggestions as well for the next post in the series


Well I recently turned 18 and along with the fact that I have a choice to choose which person loots my constituency for the next 5 years, I started with driving lessons. Now as a kid,I always made fun of Learners, making the L sign on my forehead as they nervously drove by,shouting "Loser Loser"(before you let your imagination run,I did this when I was 6,not 16.Well except that once )

But the biggest shock that hits you when you get behind those wheels,is the quality of drivers on our roads.It's as if the traffic rules are like India's football team i.e. existent and working on paper only. Even among this wide set of douchebags, I bring to you 5 of the biggest idiots you're bound to find on India's roads:

1.The sabzi buying aunty

She's every driver's nightmare. The typical Indian aunty who can scare the wits out of anyone anywhere and the biggest enemy of vegetable vendors. She can be found strolling on the middle of SV road(near fruit and vegetable markets mostly) with 3 bags of purchases and 4 bags of the free dhania she siphoned off from a poor soul whom she ironically calls Bhaiyaji. Oh! How can I forget? She loves doing this when the signal is green because crossing the street when the signal is red, is too mainstream. *sigh*

2.The slant parking wala
This is one person who takes Juhi Chawla's "Taedha hai par mera hai" too seriously. They’re infamous for blocking narrow streets by parking their vehicle in weird positions. Diagonally with the road is their favourite. That’s not even the worst part. They take their own sweet time to do anything may it be sipping the last few drops of tea to reversing their car with the mandatory grouch as if they're doing a favour to the world by returning back to sanity.

3. The giggling girls

Now you have this gaggle of girls who always walk in groups (or as I call it, the vixens travel in a pack). They're lost in their own world of gossip and other useless nonsense. But I kinda get it. I mean who cares about the freaking huge car that is honking at you for the past 5 minutes when you're regaling in mock horror at how Geeta wore a revealing dress at Samita's party while you secretly want to ask where your co-gossiper got her nails done but won't because it is not courteous. It's a tough job being a gossipy girl,believe you me

4.The “always in a hurry” uncle


There’s always this guy who’s in a rush. Seriously. Mostly found having a laptop bag slung over one shoulder even when the bag is empty, because they want to show the world that they have a bag which can carry a laptop. These idiots don’t walk, but rather sprint. They keep bumping into cars even at snail-like speeds of 10 KM/hr. (I say this out of a pure observation and not my particular hatred towards a community in particular, but 99% of the time, he’ll be Gujju)

5. The douche with a kickass car


Everyone knows this one rich,overspoilt brat who owns that dream car you drool over.These idiots tend to assume that the law is in their pocket and the streets are what colloquially are known as, his/her's "baap ka maal". They drive without any regard for anyone else on the road at speeds which would make Usain Bolt blush.They are primarily responsible for 90% of the explicits you shout at the road and 100% of your Mom's "aaj kal ki generation..." lectures.

Well people that's all for now.Auf Weidersehen!
http://www.cpmtree.com/serv/tag.js Javascript Disabled

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Top 5 Weirdos Aboard A Mumbai Local

Hey people this is the sixth post of a new weekly series called "Saturday Top 5". I guess the title is self explanatory and anyway, it shall be on a pilot basis due to a great response,this will be a regular series . Here's the last post of the series(LINK).Please leave your feedback about the idea and suggestions as well for the next post in the series


If you are from Mumbai(No Thane is not in Mumbai but for this post, yeah whatever), you must have traveled on those ultra modern trains which zip from one end of the city to the other without the nonsense of being traffucked on the road. Well this is the description we give to our friends who are non-Mumbaikars. Here's a scoop on the inside tale, as I state the description of the top 5 weird idiots I found on a Mumbai Local


1. The kewl uncle

He's that middle aged guy with a lot of hair who owns a high end smart phone and a huge tablet which he whips out even on a jam-packed Virar fast to play Subway Surfers. Never mind the fact that he sucks at it. In all probability, he’ll definitely be Gujju, with flashy formals who "oohs" and "aahs" at every jump

2.The kewl kid

Now this is the chutiya who'll be wearing fake Beats Audio Headphones, the size of Khali's head. Mostly in either a Che Guevara t-shirt or some cheesy pathetic lines like "I'm a stud. Problem?” They'll play some downright disastrous music and/or talk to their friends over the phone, abusing in mostly Marathi


3.The newspaper uncle

Now this is that one guy who carries newspapers. Tons of newspapers. He’ll probably be a person who boards from Virar,Churchgate or Borivali. He'll carry even vernacular newspapers, just to hold his title of "Newspaper man" even though he can't read them. If you're lucky enough that the person is carrying a sensible newspaper with content in a language you understand (No, Mumbai Mirror doesn't count), you can try sneaking in a few peaks but be prepared for some dirty looks
4.The virgin

Every day, every hour, every train has a person who's losing his train virginity. He'll awkwardly paw about the compartment before he prematurely ejaculates from the compartment onto a station he never intended to get down at. These people can be recognised by their appalled expressions on climbing a Virar Fast at 6.13 PM and some extremely stupid questions like "Andheri ke baad kaunse station hai?" Or "Charni Road kis side aata hai?" Or "This seat is meant for 3 people.Char already baithen hain.WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY ADJUST?" .Oh I completely forgot the classic case where they fall asleep and wake up in exotic new lands which they haven't even heard of like "Daisar"

5.The survivors of Corporate War
Now these are those smartasses who give the term corporate-whores a new spin altogether. They board the train as if they own it, conclude deals worth lakhs over phone calls with funny sounding Gujju accents( Try this for some entertainment- “Aye bhai!Hoon snakes par boliyo ne trann lakh” which translates to Hey Dude! I said 3 lakhs over snacks!)

They complain about the weird smells on the train. They complain about the people aboard the trains. They complain about the frequent pauses the train takes. But those idiots will never sell off that Rolex they wear to buy a car for travelling. Sigh

That's all for now. If you liked it, so go mad with the sharing!
http://www.cpmtree.com/serv/tag.js Javascript Disabled http://www.flipkart.com/affiliate/displayWidget?affrid=WRID-140558305459941235

Monday, July 8, 2013

Inferno by Dan Brown- A Book Review



Overpopulation always was and still is an uneasy topic. To put it simply, the world is simply too fragile and frankly, small to accommodate so many people. 7 Billion People are way too much.  Now throw in a rebel with a brilliant mind and a narcissist personality. Add art, mysterious hidden messages and of course, the element X, conspiracy theories and we have Dan Brown’s latest thriller.

This 480 paged novel is Dan Brown's 6th novel and 4th in his infamous Robert Langdon series (the others being "Angels & Demons", "The Da Vinci Code" and "The Lost Symbol"). With Inferno, Dan brings back our favourite Harvard Symbolism professor to Europe; Florence, Italy to be precise.



 

This location is ideal for the book. Drawing from Brown's usual style of writing, Florence is the best location for a thriller based on hidden messages in art, as it was the birthplace of the Renaissance. Housing many of the world renowned masterpieces, choosing Florence was not a mistake.

Moving on to the fine points of the book, Inferno is a well written classic Dan Brown thriller though not as controversial or conspiracy oriented in nature as his previous writings. Futuristic yes, but not quite. I won't reveal much about the plot yet except for the fact that it is themed on a Dante obsessed eugenic expert who has bold revolutionary ideas. Apart from that, the plot is one which all Dan Brown fans are familiar with, and due to the nature of deep familiarity, comfortable with.


The downfalls of the book are in certain subtle quirks, which differ from reader to reader. Although the plot is a Dan Brown usual, it doesn’t hold up in this case. It’s really tough to buy into the fact that a single person, no matter how intelligent he is, can outrun government agencies, privately hired mercenaries and in this case, even the personnel of the United Nations.

 

Secondly, Brown’s style of writing has always been something that people have been critics of. The unnecessary exuberance and constant skipping of pronouns in favour of names seems irritating now and appears to be farce to make the book thicker. I agree that a conspiracy centred book should be surplus with details, but in this case, we have copious amounts of writing but yet very little detail is to be found, leaving a huge unanswered question- “Is this(over descriptive writing or as I call it, “A song of Adjectives and Adverbs”) really necessary?”

 

To sum it up, if you loved Dan Brown’s previous work, you’ll definitely love this one but it won’t be your favourite. Imagine a art chase like Angels and Demons, a conspiracy like The Da Vinci Code, a real time problem like The Digital Fortress and a dull end like The Lost Symbol. There you go ladies and gentlemen, I lay bare the formula of his latest thriller, Inferno.



 

Click here to buy from Amazon or Flipkart

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Smart Phones,Dumb People by Parthajeet Sharma -A Book Review








The odd chances are that you are reading this on your smart phone, scowling at a screen which advertisement passes off as huge but in reality is a miniscule piece of glass which can hardly compete with a computer screen. Throw in that tiny notification that pops up every 5 minutes to tell you that you HAVE TO read an email or the phone will give you the "red blink". This book is a sum up of exactly this scenario

This 164 paged book is Parthajeet Sharma's first foray into writing. Mind you this isn’t a fairytale with a plot. Rather it is what you can call, a personal experience and observations themed narrative. Divided into four parts (namely Innovation, Technology, Entrepreneurship, Priorities and Corruption), the book addresses something that has been addressed multiple times but somehow the perfect message has never been echoed.

The book's high points are in its directness and relevant examples which can easily be related to. Parthajeet Sharma cites different ironies of today's idiosyncratic world wherein we are slowly marching to a world where humans are replaced by machines wherever possible. We can clearly associate ourselves with the book and there definitely shall be at least one moment(if not more) where you'll exclaim with joy after reading a statement and shrieking "THIS HAPPENED TO ME TOO"





The pitfall of the book is uni-fold. With a ubiquitous use of the language, Parthajeet has written a brilliant book but has failed to take the idea across."Smart Phones, Dumb People" can easily be dismissed as the rant of yet another good hearted person who dishes out the problem, debunks it and offers no solutions.

All in all, the book is a light read and can be polished off in a day.Infact I myself read the book in approximately 2 hours on a return trip aboard a Mumbai Local (Kandivali-Churchgate-Kandivali). So,if you would like to read a frank discourse on the current, so called "tech revolution", buy this book as soon as possible.

Click here to buy from Amazon






Smiley Ke Peeche Kya Hai?



I felt my breath knocked out of me. I gasped for some form of sensation as my heart began pumping at a thousand beats a minute. A little voice inside me asked me “Dude, why the panic attack?”. “She just walked in, that’s why you fool!” I snapped back as I saw her walking towards my table. Medium heighted, lithe figured and absolutely gorgeous, she always caused this reaction in me. I tried looking away, but I couldn’t as my eyes met her soft blue ones. Damn, she was beautiful. I somehow gathered myself, smiled weakly and tapped at my watch, not that I minded waiting though.
“Yes Shivam, sorry na the traffic was a bit too much!” she said, in her sweet little voice, both soothing and for the first time ever, hurting as well. She sat down across the table and said “plus this heat is killing me man! It’s so annoying”. I couldn’t help but laugh precariously as she shot a smothering look at me, but I couldn’t help but inspire the reaction as her child like voice matched the predicament I was in. It had been two weeks since I asked her out and she had shot me down. The worst part was that it was not a simple no, but a rather confusing message which tore at my inner fibres one by one. My eyes simmered as I got drawn into that memory.

Two weeks earlier

I don’t know what it is that I feel about you.Call it love, call it infatuation but your face always makes my heart skip a beat  <3
Shivani, will you be my girlfriend?
I could feel my heart pounding as I pressed “Send”. I quickly threw my phone on his bed and recoiled. What the hell just happened? I knew I would have to admit it to her someday, but in my mind it always was when I was down on one knee with a rose in my hand while she blushed a rosy red. “Balls to that!” I thought as he dismissed my thoughts, focussing on the more pressing issue at hand. Why did I have to screw things up?
It still was a wonder to me, as the gradual slope of my feelings had never let me see the mess I was creating. It started a year ago, when I was fighting a battle against his parents, peers and society. Trapped in an education stream which just trained me to be an engineer and be a shadow of a man, I wanted to be free and follow my heart. Having no one to turn to, I turned to the first person I found, Shivani. For almost no reason, by each passing day, my heart yearned to talk to her, bit by bit, turning into the feeling I felt today. Ironically, the very heart for whom I fought, betrayed me and led me down the path up to this moment, where my insides felt like molten lead, awaiting the gentle sound of an incoming message.
My phone beeped softly and I panicked.  As my hand reflexively reached for my Blackberry, I paused. My chest thumped as my heart went into overdrive. What if she said no? What if she said yes? Curiosity overpowered my fear as I opened the message and read it
I don’t know .I’m sorry but I just don’t feel the same way. I love you Shivam, you should know that. I don't show it at all. You’re a good friend but... L
I placed my phone down. My hands trembled as I did this. I couldn’t think. Not even a reaction. I simply sat and stared.

Present day

“Shivam?” she waved her hands in front of me to bring me out of my thoughts as I blushed and mumbled an apology. In retrospective, whenever I think about that moment, oddly enough I am reminded of the idiosyncrasy between movies and real life. In a movie,a heartbreak generally makes a hero lose control of himself, or he just lies in bed the whole day or anything that may just seem him to be a dead man breathing oxygen. Au contraire, in my case, all I felt was chilly wind blowing that night. All I heard was the chirping of the crickets at night and all I saw, was the screen of my phone, lying on my bed. No song serenaded my sorrow nor did a bunch of violinists console me. All I could do, and all I actually did was sleep. Although sleep, being the nefarious bitch she is, evaded me as I wondered, like all rejects in life do, about my fallacies.
“Gupta, you zone out once more and I’ll really slap you!” Shivani shrieked. “Let’s cut the chase and talk about what we or rather I wanted to, shall we?” I snapped back, albeit for no reason. We had agreed to meet only for a sole purpose. To sort out our friendship. Yes, I hated being rejected by her. I hated not being her boyfriend. I hated being just another friend. But damn, I missed her as a friend as well. I had ruined a really special bond and we both had realised we had to fix it. You always hear the proverbial “Never be friends with your ex” or “It’s tough to be friends with your ex”. But no one had ever invented a rule for the ask-her-out-and-get-rejected friend. All we had was the good ol’ “Don’t fall for your best friend’s ex” and being the idiot I was, I had broken this rule as well

13 days ago

I sat in the shower, the water running down my hair and into my eyes, blurring my already blurred vision but I was lost in my own thoughts. Last night, was my first heartbreak. These were moments I had heard of, but never experienced. I started thinking harder. A tiny voice inside him spoke “ You know she still has feelings for Aaryan. Even if she might have gotten close to you post their break up, the point remains that you are his best friend and well, you can’t expect to just have no emotions after a 4 year long relationship.” Simultaneously, another thought scratched my neurons. Aaryan was dating Divita. Both Divita and Aaryan knew about his feelings and surprisingly Aaryan had just smiled and said “Go ahead bro.” Divita, on the other hand wasn’t sure. Although she didn’t say it, Divita felt a bit uncomfortable with the whole group dynamic. Shivam loved her for the amazing person she was but ever since she started dating Aaryan, Shivani hated her. The dipping temperature of the water brought me back to my senses as I quickly walked out of the shower after wiping off the water, and dubiously, the weird situation I was in.
I dressed and checked my phone, surprised to find a BBM from Divita already awaiting my attention. I thought back to the time I had bonded with her. Divita was a fun girl and a really amazing friend. I don’t know why and how and where, but somehow, we clicked. There’s this beautiful thing that I read somewhere about deep friendships. “Friendships don’t have a reason, nor do they have a cause or a result. They just happen and exist. Immaterialist. Undemanding. Loving and most importantly, forever.”  Divita was special. She knew it and so did we. The problem was entanglement. To tell you simply, Divita was dating my best friend, to whom I had introduced her. Shivani was great friends with her until Divita started dating Aaryan. This always made me feel odd. I have no other word for it. What was I doing in the middle of this? The story always was and always shall be of a trio. Two girls, one guy. That’s how it has always been. That's how it always be.One on of my friends,half drunk on vodka once told me, "Bro!Have you ever heard of a love square?No na? It's always a love triangle or a couple,never four."Anyway,ignoring the dubious yet well thought over theory my mind invented, I decided I would not open Divita's message.I simply was not ready for venting my heart out.Plus I knew that if I talk to her or Aryaan or Sneha or Sameer or any other close friend,I would have a breakdown.I forced my thumb to scroll past Divita and opened the "Recent Updates" tab.It informed me that Preeti had a new dog whom she could eat up(ironically followed by a <3 smiley) and Rameez was screwed for his Chemistry exam which he announced on Twitter,complete with a #facepalm .But it was the third notification my eyes zeroed on. "Shivani Rai changed her display picture".It was nothing elaborate, a nice little picture from college.But she changed her display picture once,and my heart broke a thousand times over.

Present Day

I stared into her eyes as these memories rushed past me in a whirl. She was looking as pretty as always and yet oddly,the brain rush this moment inspired was not quite what it always was."Look Shivam, I'll cut straight to the chase.I,ummmm,I don't want to hurt you but the truth is that I don't know what I feel.I simply don't feel anything.I don't want to be in this state,but somehow I am. It's awful that I'm doing this to you and I'm sorry for it but I..." She stopped mid-sentence as she saw me stare into her deep eyes.She let me.I sighed and exhaled.I knew that this day would be tough.Knew it every moment since these 13 days.

13 days ago

The urge to not crave in lasted exactly 2 hours,42 minutes and 13 seconds as I warily gave up and opened Divita's message. "Morning Lawyer ji :D" it read,to my dual emotions of relief and tiny pangs of sadness.I ended up doing what I feared I' would do.Pouring my heart out. The end of the conversation though,was harrowing and made me thank my stars for having such amazing friends who could talk sense into me.Just before I was about to have lunch, Aaryan messaged me, "Theek hai yaar, you'll get better stuff man!" Now here’s the thing among guys. We generally tend to avoid a strong display of emotion even if you’re close as hell. It’s not as rigid as a taboo but not as much as a convention to be broken. The best way to put it is that we don’t engage in such talks ever, and that’s why, a guy ALWAYS needs a girl best friend. Shivani had played that role ever since what I now refer to as “The Plunge”. Namita, my friend from childhood, too was one. Ruchi too was always there to hear me out since I bonded with her in eighth grade. However, Divita too had slowly become one of my closest confidant and I had reached a stage where everything from the suit I would wear to the next day’s conference to the proof reading of my next article, everything had to go throw her filter as well. Anyway, I smiled as I read the message, albeit I’ll admit, not a happy one, but rather, the sad one. The one which makes you wonder why would God ever grant a human being the ability to express such great sorrow and sadness via an instrument to rejoice in happiness. Yes, that one.
Almost simultaneously, Divita sent me this message - “You asked me how to confirm if it’s love? It’s simple. Close your eyes. Take a deep breath and exhale, while opening your eyes. Now read this poem

She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that's best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes:
Thus mellow'd to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies.

One shade the more, one ray the less,
Had half impaired the nameless grace
Which waves in every raven tress,
Or softly lightens o'er her face;
Where thoughts serenely sweet express
How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.

And on that cheek, and o'er that brow,
So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
The smiles that win, the tints that glow,
But tell of days in goodness spent,
A mind at peace with all below,
A heart whose love is innocent!”
If she is the one you imagined when you read after each line, you’re truly in love my friend!”

Present day

With Divita's words in mind, I began speaking. The words, however, though flowing through my mouth, although in no way false, lacked a sincerity. Grudgingly I let myself go. “Shivani, you have no idea how tough or how embarrassing or how stupid or how pathetic my situation is. I’m an average guy who just while discovering his life falls in love with his best friend’s ex girlfriend of four years who still has feelings for him. You have absolutely no clue about my place and you never will be able to even estimate the pain that I felt. I really don’t know if I can pull off being just friends because I have some feelings for you which just don’t go away. You may not date me; you may not talk to me but at the end of the day the truth of the matter remains that my qutiuya dil makes me love you more, and more and more. Every second, every minute, every hour and every day of my life.” I do not remember what I said after this rant. However this I remember vividly. I mentally could see Shivani descending a staircase as a beam of moonlight lit across her face and reddened the red blush of her soft cheek. She truly Walked in Beauty in my thoughts. I remember thinking how there might have been a day when I would have been the one at the receiving end of her adoration and her eyes would search the room to find mine, only to be delightfully lit up on meeting mine. I imagined that us dancing together, to some slow smooth waltz, her hand on my shoulder and my hand around her waist. We would do nothing but look into each other’s eyes as we glide across the dance floor. The imaginary her smiled at imaginary me’s cheesy dream and her smile widened when she realised how it was a scenario the Bollywood addict in me loved. Slamming shut these thoughts with great difficulty, I got up from my chair and noticed her face filled with genuine confusion and perhaps the light was playing a trick on my eyes, a tiny sliver of sadness. I tried my level best to hide the tear that slid out of my eye and walked out. Out of the booth, the restaurant, our friendship and regretfully, her life.

Two years later

I sat by the ledge of the promenade on Marine Drive, few of the only places on Earth where I truly feel solitude in happiness. I stared deep into the horizon as I saw the sunset. The orange-yellowish hue of the sun descended into the ocean, like a deep ball of fire being reunited with its maker, only to be swallowed up.  The sun would rise again tomorrow and I was sure, that the innocent little moon would be careless enough to fall in love with the ocean, only to be crushed with rejection when morning would arrive. Somehow, I felt that I had a soft corner for the moon. Always existed, yet I could never put a finger on it. I pulled out my iPod and plugged in my earphones as a track came on
“Tujhe Bhula Diya, oho
Tujhe Bhula Diya, oho
Phir kyun teri yaadon ne,
Mujhe rula diya,oho
Mujhe rula diyaa...”
I guess you never ever get over anyone you ever had strong feelings for.  You may forget almost virtually everything about your school life, but you do remember your first crush, the one whom you secretly glanced at and worked up your chemistry with when the chemistry teacher would look away. You may forget the endless conversations you have over BBM or Whatsapp, but you will always remember that moment when you meet and talk and declare your feelings for the other. The rains slowly started to pour, and despite all my attempts to be the hip-Bollywood guy, I simply could not bear to let myself get wet and soaked. I pulled up the hood of my sweatshirt as a tear rolled down my cheek, lost among the thousands of other droplets of the rain. It never was easy to forget someone you love and it gets harder when you’re served with those unwanted reminders. I look back now and think about those long chats I always had with her, ending each one of them with a hug smiley or a kiss smiley. But, Smiley ke peeche kya hai , that was neither known to me or her. I have accepted the fact that love is not always a battle you win, or a battle you lose. With a sad smile dancing on my face, I confidently say that I have moved past her. But I would be a liar to deny, if on a cold, winter night, when I sit by the window and stare into the sky, my heart sometimes lets out an involuntary plea of love, hoping and wishing that somehow, she would be there, just there, beside me. Forever and ever.
http://www.cpmtree.com/serv/tag.js Javascript Disabled http://www.flipkart.com/affiliate/displayWidget?affrid=WRID-140558305459941235

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Top 5 Myths About Writers Which Ain't True

Hey people this is the fifth post of a new weekly series called "Saturday Top 5". I guess the title is self explanatory and anyway, it shall be on a pilot basis. Here's the last post of the series(LINK).Please leave your feedback about the idea and suggestions as well for the next post in the series


As a writer (well sorta), I have often come across strange myths about the art of writing which make no sense whatsoever. For starters, no all of us don’t beg publishers to be kind. No, not all of us wear geek glasses. No, not all of us own typewriters.

So this week, we decided to take on the Top 5 myths about Writers which float the market but are as truthful as Lance Armstrong's drug tests. Here we go

Everyone is a writer

Now that's all bullshit. The market is flooded with tons of books by new authors or what I called "The Chetan Bhagat" effect. Screw 3 Mistakes, the biggest mistake of his life is that he started writing. Now everyone who can spell correctly fancies him/herself as a writer. Online, having a blog is the rage. At least we have the decency to call ourselves bloggers(but hey, we also call ourselves writers, but not exclusively).Anyway, the point remains that just like porn online and  50 Shades of Grey, the world is flooded with "writers". Quick bit of advice. Writing 3 notes on Facebook and tagging your bestfriend ki chachi ke chachu ke bacche ki bhen doesn't make one a writer

Writers are have exquisite grammar and a phenomenal vocabulary

Reality check. Just because we write, it doesn't mean our vocabulary is excellent or our Grammar is impeccable. Why the hell do you think every acknowledgement note carries thanks Microsoft Word? Spell check on MS Word is amazing, fantastic, easy to use, dead helpful(okay don't get me wrong, we’re just friends *blushes like the Hindi film hero who's about to fall in love*). Trust me; we struggle with words as much as an average Chetan Bhagat. I still don't remember if tomorrow is spelt with one r or two m(s). But I remember to scout for the red line under the word

All Bloggers are writers and all Writers are Bloggers


No and No. This is as absurd as calling Twillight a good book. One simply doesn't say that. A person who writes a blog about food recipes is NOT a writer. Similarly, a writer of a newspaper column is not ipso facto a blogger. Fun piece of trivia though-George R.R. Martin, writer of the brilliant fantasy series "A Song of Ice and Fire" IS A BLOGGER. Why you ask? Well because he runs a blog.DUH

We sit all day in front of a laptop, typing away

We do not spend our day hunched over a computer or a laptop, typing away furiously to complete the latest draft, no sir. This isn’t 2005 anymore, grow up people. We own smart phones (well I own a Blackberry which I am not sure of categorising. Is it a phone or a sadistic person who disrupts each important chat with a clock that doesn’t look like one) or tablets. But most importantly, we have the pen and the paper. Ink is simply fabulous. Not to mention, it makes for some really messy stuff

We have read all the great masterpieces of history and can quote them at will

Now this is an interesting one. All writers will seemingly seem to be elite literalists or connoisseurs of Classical works. Truth is that most of them haven’t even read half of the quotes themselves. They rely on good ‘ol Google to get their stuff. So next time you read a writer who quotes Christopher Marlowe, don’t imagine an old fart who twirls his goatee while writing the piece. Imagine some random dude surfing Google, and you’ll have it.

That’s it folks, this is this week’s Saturday top 5. Share and spread the love!


http://www.cpmtree.com/serv/tag.js Javascript Disabled http://www.flipkart.com/affiliate/displayWidget?affrid=WRID-140558305459941235

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Those Pricey Thakur Girls by Anuja Chauhan- A Book Review


This post was originally written by me for a group blog I co-own named The Jalebi Chronicles.Check it out, it has some really good stuff.





Title:-  Those Pricey Thakur Girls
Author:- Anuja Chauhan
Length:- 390 pages
Price:-  Rs.350 MRP( Rs.184 on Flipkart)
Genre:- Rom-com






There are some books which are excellent reads, and there are some books which are simply brilliant in their plot. Then, there are some, which you just love. Those Pricey Thakur Girls is somehow an amalgam of all three. Anuja Chauhan is back, and she is back in her unique desi style which has enchanted bookworms all across the country.

This 390 paged novel is Anuja Chauhan's third book (after two sizzling rom-coms namely The Zoya Factor and The Battle for Bittora).



I LIKEY

 

In a departure from her usual style of writing, the book is narrated from a third person POV rather than her usual first person narrative. But, she nails it. In this book, we step into the world of the Thakur family, residing at New Delhi’s posh area, Hailey road.  You’ll slowly fall in love with the characters as well as the book with little nuances such as Justice L.N Thakur’s penchant for alliteration and organisation or Chachiji’s tantrums and whacky jadootona nuskas. As usual Anuja Chauhan draws you into her own world which is extremely familiar and homely. You definitely shall find the characters similar to some people from your real life. I sure did!

 

I NO LIKEY

 

Pointing out the book’s low points (which are almost non-existent), we arrive at something really dicey. As I mentioned earlier, she uses a new style of narration which is a departure from the one her fans are accustomed to. Being one of them, I can safely say that it did not affect my reading experience much but it may be a deal breaker for others. Secondly, although Anuja wraps up the main plot brilliantly, she surprisingly left a sub-plot hanging this time. It would have been a huge shocker but to my great pleasure, the next page announced her next book, a sequel to this book itself. Yet, I would have preferred a finished story.

 

In Few Lines

 

On a whole, the book is something that I really enjoyed reading. Anuja Chauhan has clearly emerged as one of the leading authors from India in recent times and has done the impossible by creating an unique content style which resembles a mix of Salman Rushdie, Arvind Adiga and Chetan Bhagat. It’s simply the best of all worlds. As a parting note, to every person (read male) who thinks Anuja Chauhan’s work is something that people classify as “chick-flick”, man up, buy the book and give it a read. You’ll realise it on your own that stories like this aren’t just femme-friendly but are excellent novels which reach out and touch your heart.




Click here to buy on Amazon or Flipkart

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Top 5 Ways To Piss Off Grammar Nazis

Hey people this is the fourth post of a new weekly series called "Saturday Top 5". I guess the title is self explanatory and anyway, it shall be on a pilot basis. Here's the last post of the series(LINK).Please leave your feedback about the idea and suggestions as well for the next post in the series


Each one of us has that friend who supposedly has impeccable grammatical skills and is colloquially known as the “Grammar Nazi” of your group. Now these ticks have always acted like savants and bugged you endlessly. I’m sure each one of you, on at least more than one occasion, has been interrupted mid-sentence because of a stupid grammar rule. OR you definitely have been thrown off topic when a serious chat message is responded to with a chiding for a missing comma.

Remember those Value Education lessons where we were taught to give back to society in the same terms it has given it to us. Well I say we take it one step forward and stick it back to these fanatics. We bring to you the top 5 ways to make a Grammar Nazi cringe and basically make their life living hell.



1. The “Their, There and They're” rule

Okay so this one is an instant killer. Simply interchange these three similar sounding words and Grammar Nazis become as angry as a guy whose Xbox was just wrecked or as pissed as a girl when you ask her if Blair from Gossip Girl is a dude. For a better effect, use all 3 of them in a sentence, but just in the wrong places
Example- “There from Uttar Pradesh and they’re hometown is also their”

2. Later and Latter

I personally have used this one unwittingly and it works like a charm. Skip a “t” and it will hit a Grammar Nazi like scalding tea(I AM NOT GOING TO APOLOGISE FOR THIS SAD JOKE).  My draft reader probably has a template saved on her phone which reads “GUPTA! It’s latter and NOT later”. But this works only in isolation and overdoing this may not cause as much damage as intended. Although coupling this with the other methods can prove to be a game changer.

3.It's its but its not it's

Now this is a tricky one. It’s denotes it is or it has and maybe something else as well while its denotes possession. This sentence passed the grammar check of Microsoft Word so if any fanatic is reading this and losing their brains, good for me but please sue Bill Gates. To everyone else, imagine the trouble an average person would experience while reading the first sentence. Now make it grammatically null and you’ll have the remote control to a Grammar Nazi’s mental anguish. Use them in place of each other and you’ve struck gold!

4.Comma laga ke rakhna

Now this is a bit odd for the simple fact that it often backfires because a missing comma often results in a foot-in-mouth like situation or as I like to call it, an “Ass-Aram” moment. And yes I found this funny. Anyway, the absence of a comma can simply wreck havoc on a Grammar Nazi as he or she grabs their hair in frustration and search for some rat poison. Do the world a favour and send them a bottle beforehand.

5.tYpIn lyk dis

Unfortunately, a wide majority of today’s teenage society finds it kewl 2 tYp lyk dis cozzz itz kINdA hiP *Insert wink smiley, tongue out smiley, laugh smiley, smile smiley, big smile smiley and of course a LOL and a ROTFL*

This pisses off almost everyone, ranging from sane people to even people like Rahul Gandhi, whom I cannot refer to as insane as I fear a defamation case by the Agra mental asylum. Anyway, it does tick off Grammar savants as well because of the simple fact that this is not even proper language rather than a sentence which follows a proper grammatical structure.

So folks, this is all I have this week. To all Grammar Nazis, I love you guys and no offense meant*


*Hey all non-grammar Nazis, notice how I used offense in place of offence.That’s the secret sixth tip **DO EVIL LAUGH


http://www.cpmtree.com/serv/tag.js Javascript Disabled http://www.flipkart.com/affiliate/displayWidget?affrid=WRID-140558305459941235

Friday, June 14, 2013

The Gross Injustice In The Aarushi Talwar Case

The Gross Injustice In The Aarushi Talwar Case

As I sit typing this article, I am, to be frank, disturbed. I just finished reading an article by one of Aarushi's relatives about the entire ordeal. I was, to articulate the least passive emotion I felt, stunned. I often put situations in perspective and by the timeline of the murder; I would have been 13 at the time of her death, just a year younger to her. The way our nation(and by this I mean everyone and anyone ranging from our media to our police to our courts) have vilified her innocence, I shudder and in a disgusted manner, am grateful that she is dead because these baseless allegations would sure have reduced her to a lifeless cocoon.

A 14 year old girl's life was splattered on to the television screen as everything about her was questioned. Her character, her friends, everything. The thought itself is horrifying. May such travesties never befall your close ones, but for moments just imagine it to be one of your sisters or your mother or any female friend in Aarushi's place. Now experience the pain. Chauvinistic males discussing how a ruptured hymen described sexual activity before the murder( a highly pertinent point to be noted is that the original forensic report filed a few days after the murder read that the vaginal area was "NAD"(sic) yet a report filled latter suddenly manifested anomalies), high-headed conservatives deeming pyjama bottoms and cell phones to be sexually provocative, disgusting cheap reporters who are not fit to report even a stupid traffic jam abashedly claiming her murder to be caused by a sexual affair. There have been purists claiming she sent messages to her boyfriend which possibly prove her supposed promiscuous behaviour and justify her murder as an "honour killing". To all of you cringing in disgust, this is what the Talwar's are going through.

The nauseating lack of prudence by the media at reporting this case, coupled with their sensationalised depiction of each and every step in the judicial and investigative process has led to a common phenomenon which is known as "trial by medial". Virtually, the nation has sentenced the Talwar's already for murdering their only daughter and their servant Hemraj because of two reasons: the knowledge the two possessed about Dr.Rajesh Talwar's affair and the sexual activities of the two.

Here's the shocking truth. The previous sentence, in no part has been proven. There has been no evidence, not even circumstantial evidence or a hint or a clue which supports the hypothesis that Dr.Rajesh Talwar was having an extra-marital affair. The entire theory was based on a sole statement by Krishna, his assistant at his clinic and Hemraj's friend. Ironically, Krishna was originally one of the named accused and was also arrested but later let off on bail. The police recovered from his room, a bloodied kukri (Nepali weapon) and a bloodied pillow. Yet, no action was taken after his release. As of now, he is untraceable and reportedly in Nepal. Moving on, the clashing evidence with regard to Aarushi's private parts and the long decay and decomposition of Hemraj's body before being found points at one thing- the theory maybe correct, but as of now, nothing proves it. Lastly, the Talwar's are merely named suspects, but no evidence, no court of law; no investigation has backed this suggestion by proof. Wild expeditions by the media has distorted reality and painted a world which has already sentenced certain people based on nothing but theories which drive TRPs to their channel.

I do not claim to be an expert at anything and pronounce judgements. The criminal could have been anyone, maybe the Talwar's themselves. But maybe not, and that's what makes all the difference. The entire case has exposed India. A archaic police with nearly dysfunctional logistics, a flawed Judiciary with improper communication, a detrimental and disgusting media which has clearly stepped beyond its mandate and taken advantage of a tragic moment for their own personal good. Equally are to be blamed are us. We, as a populace have matured but the monotony with which we are doing so, with a complete "today this tomorrow that" attitude, is astounding. Not one person has questioned the blatant violation of ethics and freedom by today's media. Vehemently the media has argued for its right to free speech. But does free speech include wild incitement? Does it include the right to pronounce people guilty? Does it give them the right to discuss a girl's private life, even though she's dead? We have been sucked in by the mantra today's media follows- "Flash something. Flash it big. Flash it many times. That’s the truth. Everything else is false." I confess I too am a late entrant with regard to certain facts about the situation and I have no excuses to offer. But today, we have failed. As people, as citizens, as humans and definitely as a country.

It has been 5 years since the horrific double murder. Scams, development, news, results, weddings, deaths, all have come and gone. But we await justice. Justice for Aarushi, whose life was snatched away. A life that may have been anything. She may have been the next Prime Minister, a dentist or a common thief, anything. But she won't. For most of us, life shall move on, and actually is moving on. But we carry on our shoulders, the burden of humanity, and as people, we owe it to truth and justice.

I leave you all with a small thought. God forbid such a happening, but in Aarushi’s place, it could have been you or your sister or daughter or anyone of your female relatives. Would your careless attitude still reign?

NOTES: Join this campaign for Justice for Aarushi Talwar (LINK)
Also read these articles for a greater understanding of the gross miscarriage of justice in this case
http://www.cpmtree.com/serv/tag.js Javascript Disabled http://www.flipkart.com/affiliate/displayWidget?affrid=WRID-140558305459941235

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Toke by Jugal Mody -A Book Review






Imagine the weirdest conversation you've had with your friends. Now imagine the funniest conversation you've had with them. Mix them up. Multiply it by 100.Divide it by zero. That’s how weirdly funny this book is!

Toke is Jugal Mody's first book and I have no clue what to make of it. The book is unlike any other book you'll have read and I would like to take this opportunity to give a small ovation to Harper Collins India for having the balls to publish this work. I do not say that it is bad. On the contrary, the outlined plot is pretty simple and has nothing absurd about it. It’s the details that derail it from reality. But the writing is fresh and brash; a refreshing change from the monotonous attempts by newbie’s to be Salman Rushdie or Shakespeare by diving into literary metaphors which make no sense.



To give you a sample, just read Toke’s blurb:


 


So Lord Vishnu showed up one morning when I was really stoned and asked me to save the world from turning undead. How did I save the world? I didn't. We did. And while saving the world, I got to forcefully kiss the girl of my dreams. Many times. My best friends got to smoke a lot of good stuff. A lot more than they would have otherwise smoked in that much time. They also got to crash an airplane into a slum outside Santacruz airport. But don't worry, there were only zombies around when that happened. We were joined in our quest by two Japanese girls who can kill people with their pinkies, one of whom forcefully kissed Danny. Yes, there was a lot of non-consensual kissing in this adventure. With tongue. Hi. I'm Nikhil. This is my story. And I swear I have a T-shirt to prove it.

The plot is pretty simple and is actually what I liked about the book, because it's unique. X along with two of his college friends is empowered by Vishnu to fight the evil taking over of the world. Along the way they get help from magical buttons, giant eagles, crows, crashing planes and Billy Joe. Also, they smoke pot throughout, so well... All I need to say is that “Toke” is aptly named.(To those who didn’t get the joke, two words: URBAN DICTIONARY)

The "thumbs-down" for the book goes to the absurdities. I felt that Jugal stretched the weird stuff a bit too far which simply wrecked the whole thing. I can't mention much because of spoilers but after a while, the ploys of marijuana high characters get boring.

In all, the book is a fine weekend read. Nothing enriching or invigorating. But definitely funny. Read and laugh fellas!

Click here to buy from Amazon





Saturday, June 8, 2013

Top 5 Ways To Annoy A Flight Attendant

Hey people this is the third post of a new weekly series called "Saturday Top 5". I guess the title is self explanatory and anyway, it shall be on a pilot basis. Here's the second post of the series(LINK).Please leave your feedback about the idea and suggestions as well for the next post in the series


Flight attendants are like little kids. They run around frantically smiling for no reason. You can force them to do what you want, and when you visit their family, they stand by the door to say “Thank you”. Anyway it is always easy for a flight attendant to piss you off(again a kid like trait). I mean how hard is it to bring me a cup of coffee with 2 spoons of sugar, low fat milk with just a dab of lemon enriched pistachio flavouring, heated for exactly 47 seconds. Till date those idiots mess up my in-flight coffee.

Moving on, as I sat on a two hour Mumbai Delhi flight, I came up with this list. A list of the top 5 things you can do to annoy that hot but bitchy air hostess!

1. Press the attendant button and say you were reaching for the light

Now this one is superb to use and easy to execute. All you’ve got to do is reach up for anyone of those weird looking buttons, but make sure you press the flight attendant button. You’ll know it’s correct when you hear a cross between a BEEP and a PING and the flight attendant runs towards you like Kajol ran towards SRK in DDLJ

2. Ask to see the cockpit

Nothing, absolutely nothing pisses off a flight attendant more than a grown ass person asking them to see the cockpit. Pester them with questions and requests and they are bound to crack. If you want, you can call them “Uncle” or “Aunty” (Remember the male is the uncle and the female is the aunty. Mixing them up can annoy them to a disastrous level) and ask with a puppy face!

3. Have a panic attack

This requires thodaacting skills to pull off. You can have a panic attack over anything. Start pointing randomly at things and scream “BOMB” or keep asking them if the left engine is working or if the right wing is functioning or not. Preferably do it in a loud voice with a shriek. Throw in some sobs and you’re golden!




4. Talk to them in your native language

Start blabbering in your native tounge at breakneck speed. A smart, efficient way to annoy anyone including flight attendants. Be loud, abrasive and brash. Nothing annoys people more than taro naam su che?  Or a Tujha Aai Cha!

5. Freebies

Whatever they bring to you, ask them if it is free. Water, chocolates, tissues, anything. And if it is free, keep asking them to get it more. Come on! You’re not a true Indian if you do not see freebies and grab them. I once drank 5 cups of coffee aboard a flight when they told me that it was free! The part that annoyed them was that I kept sending them back to get more. This works best if you have a seat in the middle rows!

So Amigos, with that we have come to the end of another “Saturday Top 5”.

On a very serious note, I would sincerely like your feedback on the entire series because the next post shall be the end of the pilot and I would not continue with this series unless people like it. With that said, Adios!
http://www.cpmtree.com/serv/tag.js Javascript Disabled http://www.flipkart.com/affiliate/displayWidget?affrid=WRID-140558305459941235