Monday, June 30, 2008

Relationship Replant

You want to be in a relationship? You think its time to commit to that special someone? Forsake your life and wear the commitment band? That’s a bold statement to make my friend. Can I offer a piece of advice? There's a last train leaving at midnight, take that.

"Understanding relationships" can't be done. Others, maybe, but the one you are in or considering? Absolutely no, drill it down your system. Einstein's theory of relativity does not apply here. History greats with brains, beauty, sub-human strength and caliber couldn't pull it off, how can you? Okay, it's not you… it's me. I'll admit I am just a little bitter. But in a good, mature way. And probably that’s what counts here.

The only thing I honestly do understand about relationships is this: that cute little thing that your Sweetie does? Given some time it won't be nearly as cute. It will make you nauseous. You will wonder for hours what ever possessed you to find that one particular trait so endearing in the first place. You'll also marvel at the thought if you put just a teeny tiny touch of poison in the coffee every day would it over time take fuse her out, or will she build up a tolerance like you are trying to build against her. Would it ever show up in the autopsy? Would they ever understand why you poisoned her if they pin it down to you? How dearly you will wish that she starts cheating behind your back or betray you in some sense or the other so that you can get the monkey off your back. What if I drive the car at a high speed and hit that tree at the corner left, will it only kill her and leave you to live your life again.

So I say remember that whatever your Queen bee’s quirk is, magnified and repeated over months or years will drive you insane. They will always demand same kind of applause and admiration for their silly insane trait what you stupidly showed during the first time, irrespective of the fact that they have repeated it countless times after that.

You bloody can't understand it… it's beyond explanation. Bottom-line what attracts you today will surely repel you forever for the days to come. I repeat again remember the train at midnight... be there…

Secret Six feet deep

When I was younger I use to say I don't want to know how or when I’m going to die I just want to know if it's going to be a painful one or not... I always prayed for a long life without realizing life itself can be more painful than death for some.

Just trying to figure out the facts of life while your alive is hard enough but as life goes on you realize you also have to deal with the facts of death and bit of those made me realize I don’t even want to know if my death will be painful or not.

Fact one: NO BODY...gets out of here alive
Fact two: You can't take any baggage with you when you go
Fact three: Denial will do you no good
Fact four: The day will come when it's my turn
Don't get scared now... fear of the unknown can do funny things to the human imagination.

My Grandmother use to say the reason why earth has so many ghost or spirits around was because they were lied to before they died. Now that I'm older and believe a bit wiser I have to say I agree with her. Who knows what is waiting for us behind the screen. You have to go there first to find out and by then you can't come back to warn any of the unsuspecting souls what's in store for them when it's their turn.

Perhaps that's for the best some would say. I think not... I want to a human being I believe that should be my earth's right. But like everyone else I am more than happy to wait at the back of the line for my no return ticket. While standing in line its not a bad idea to check out some great places and things to do on earth and make it more interesting standing their in line.

The way I see it is better to do your groundwork on the subject while your here. Don't just soul everywhere and everything. I’m digging for any and all information I can find on the subject and you can best believe I will go deeper than six feet to find the answer…one way or the other.

I guess the best way to sum it up is the saying “When your good and you die you go to heaven, if you are ignorant, then… you just die”

Friday, June 27, 2008

Garden of Eden

Adam looked at all the animals that he was to rule over and saw that each one had a partner. There were a male and female of each kind; yet, he did not have a mate. This made him sad; therefore, God caused Adam to fall into a deep sleep so that he could take a rib from Adam's side to create mother of all disaster.

Eve was created to be Adam's companion and things went downhill from there.

Maybe having everything at her fingertips was not enough or having the perfect specimen of a husband was getting old. Eve wanted more and the serpent knew it. Tempting her with the hope of wisdom came easily and Eve only needed to bat her eyes at Adam to get him to also eat the forbidden fruit.

The relationship between Adam and Eve was the first relationship between a man and woman and every relationship has suffered the same hardships since the fall of man from the Garden of Eden. On the surface of Earth Eve was the first to feel human labor pain. Pushing out watermelon size Kane & Abel.

After being banished from the Garden, Adam was hit by reality and harsh conditions what human life has to endure. He had to work in the field to have food, construct house to protect his family and many such task causing less time for two of them to focus on each other. Adam and Eve were never known as romantic couple on earth and to this day, once the initial romance fades, couples have to return to the real world where work, family, and other responsibilities take precedence.

The secret to a successful relationship lies in the Garden of Eden, a place that we are forbidden to enter. So I say until the gates of paradise are opened and the angels move aside, all we can do is eat as many apples as we desire.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

On War-footing

To slow a beast, you break its limbs. To slow a man, you break his beliefs…

You demonstrate your absolute command over his life… his destiny. You make it clear that ultimately it falls to you to decide who lives, who dies, who prospers who doesn't. To exhibit your capability you show off all that you can do, and how easily you can do it.

How easily you could press a button and annihilate the earth. How you can start a war, or sue for peace. How easily you can brand him a terrorist or decorate him as a freedom fighter. How you can demolish dreams or change the course of river.

You use caprice to fracture ones faith. Once that's done, what is he left with? Only you.

He will turn to you, because you're all he has. He will love you even while he despise you. He will bow to you even though he knows you well. Hi will sing for you even if you squeeze the very breath from his body. He will gulp… what you give him to drink. He will inhale… what you give him to breathe. He will live where you dump his belongings. He has to. What else can he do? There's no higher court of redress. Heavenly father has died long back without much ceremony. You are the judge and the jury. You are the World. You are God… THE POWER

As per Zen “Power is fortified not just by what it destroys, but also by what it creates. Not just by what it takes, but also by what it gives.” Same way Powerlessness is reaffirmed not just by the helplessness of those who have lost, but also by the gratitude of those who have gained.

This cold, contemporary cast of power is couched between the lines of noble-sounding laws of our society. A democratic, independent, free, respected society. Yet no monarch, no despot, no dictator in any other century in the history of human civilization has had access to weapons like these, a weapon of mass destruction. A weapon used expertly by our society to deform us from within.

It’s an indication of human life turning upon itself. A force which scrambles the intelligence that connects food to forests, water to rivers, air to life and a mans ideal to his existence.

Can we unscramble it?
Maybe. Inch by inch. Fear by fear. Need by need. Maybe by fighting specific wars in specific ways.

Elephant Story - Contributed by Joy Angelo

In 1986, Peter Davies was on holiday in Kenya after graduating from Northwestern University.On a hike through the bush, he came across a young bull elephant standing with one leg raised in the air. The elephant seemed distressed, so Peter approached it very carefully.He got down on one knee and inspected the elephant's foot and found a large piece of wood deeply embedded in it. As carefully and as gently as he could, Peter worked the wood out with his hunting knife, after which the elephant gingerly put down its foot. The elephant turned to face the man, and with a rather curious look on its face, stared at him for several tense moments. Peter stood frozen, thinking of nothing else but being trampled. Eventually the elephant trumpeted loudly, turned, and walked away. Peter never forgot that elephant or the events of that day.
Twenty years later, Peter was walking through the Chicago Zoo with his teenaged son. As they approached the elephant enclosure, one of the creatures turned and walked over to near where Peter and his son Cameron were standing. The large bull elephant stared at Peter, lifted its front foot off the ground, then put it down. The elephant did that several times then trumpeted loudly, all the while staring at the man.Remembering the encounter in 1986, Peter couldn't help wondering if this was the same elephant. Peter summoned up his courage, climbed over the railing and made his way into the enclosure. He walked right up to the elephant and stared back in wonder. The elephant trumpeted again, wrapped its trunk around one of Peter legs and slammed his stupid ass against the railing, killing him instantly.

It wasn't the same elephant.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Random Root thought

I make no exaggeration when I claim that there are at least 33 million different streams of racial blood racing through my veins. I am a man of confused ancestry and can hardly point out a particular state to which I belong. To top it all skin color in my family ranges from European white to African black, my brother is 6’3; tallest of Ashrafs’ and my father is 5’5 not that tall Ashraf you can say. Five different words, which makes up my full name is like a fusion of five different continents and culture.

I have seen this work to my advantage being confused for a Mallu down south. The confused connection helps me win a few Mallu liaisons on occasion, that is till they start rattling Mull tongue twisters and I stare back at them like a fish out of water.

Up north, they tell me I’ve got a definite Bong connection. One mustn’t blame them because all my queen bees are purebred Bengalis from the heartland of Kolkata. My father is posted in Kolkata for last 8 years and I have developed an uncanny habit of speaking in Bengali with Non-Bengalis.

A psychic friend of mine tried to lend a helping hand.

“Do you hear voices in your head?” he asked with the narrow piercing gaze of a clairvoyant with crystal-ball-reading.

“I do… there is always a orchestra or a Broadway show going on in my head”

“I knew it” he remarked with delight raising a few million hopes in me, “Now what languages do you hear them in?”

“I don’t know”

“If you know the languages, you know where you’re from.”

I decided to give supernatural methods a skip, not that I was interested in them in the first place anyway.

During my last journey homeward, my fellow passenger decided that the best way of robbing my few minutes of high-altitude peace was to jabber away near my right ear lending a disconcerting sense of sonic asymmetry to my entire body.

“So where are you actually from?”

I know India is a not an acceptable answer here neither my ancestral goof up be explained to simple human beings.

“But your parents must live somewhere?”

I agree that there was logic to his statement considering the fact that my roots were definitely non-nomadic.

“Jharkhand!” I said, giving the syllables the rustic twist that in other words says I can eat you raw and find it delicious.

“You can’t be from Jharkhand! You don’t look like that!”

I was clueless about what I was supposed to infer from that statement. Do I need to throw in some tribal headgear and do a war dance around him to prove the Jharkhand connection?

Well, that’s the problem with having an ambiguous name in a country that is racially, a lot more diverse than most continents. The up-side of course is the multitude of alternate theories that come your way as all and sundry around you present you with a surprisingly huge number of authoritative explanations concerning your birth.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

You’ve Got Mail

I have immense future net worth. Mark my words! I have made all the right moves in a life well spent.

For example, the mail which told me that I’d be helping end major civil unrest in the Northern half of a certain province in South of South Western Botswana and that a certain Mr. Nigel Nihalson Norbert the Third would be personally present on the occasion when he’d write off his fortune of a few million dollars to my name. And all I needed to do was to keep this confidential and reply him back on his yahoo account as soon as possible.

I’ve sent the mail. It’s all about patience now! I always reply to these kinds of fortune mails, it makes me feel like a rock star!!!

Fantasy is good. I love them it makes life so fascinating, I have even called up some Mr. Trump in UK who chose me as a lucky winner of random lottery of whooping 6.8 Mil GBP!!!

On one of those rainy mornings, I was sitting and staring at the screen listlessly. Life was monotonous without the usual fare of Tsunamis and terrorist attacks that seem to happen all the time. I desperately needed a voice from the world beyond telling me what to do with my life.

It was my lucky day! The world beyond did answer with a mail popping up on the screen with hordes of puppies in cute, yet compromising, positions sprawled all over and the sender signing off profoundly, advising me to send it across to ten other people in order that I might end up meeting the love of my life by the weekend. It was a whole four days away but that was the best bet I had. He also remembered to warn me that the mail staying back in my inbox would ensure that I would fall sick or lose someone dear to me.

I didn’t need any more prodding. I had sent it across to ten different people within a couple of minutes. In fact, I went on to send it to more than 30 people just for good measure, and also because I wasn’t totally indisposed to the idea of having a choice of three true loves for my life.

I don’t like talking about that weekend! It had everything the other weekends have seen earlier me overdosed acting dead for more than 16 hours at a stretch coming back to life and mobility only on Monday. Maybe she did come… maybe all three of them came…

There is only one thing that I find extremely disturbing in the world of spam.

A lot many mails get very personal they attack right on my libido and how can I increase it to match it with Alfa lions or talk about me distressed with my small size and how can I expand it to a gargantuan size enough to give a multiple orgasm to a she elephant. I find that a tad breach of privacy and refrain from replying them back ever.

Life is tough - they say....You always get a raw deal - they say that too. And in such a world, every dear spam mail stands as a metaphor for dreams unfulfilled but deleted without a second thought by us. I question why one must return to the harsh reality of a world where civil wars are fought without any awards to unsuspecting foreigners half-way around the globe, where no matter how many mails you forward, your life remains the same old programmed routine and where the sizes of…. you get it alrite.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Common Man

Fellow Nobodys, my brother with common face. I am also a Mr. Nobody with a super common face and here we are, In a world that moves almost as smoothly as the slick images it tries to emulate, or is it the other way round (I forgot which one imitates which)? Anyhow, look in any direction in this neo-world and what are you slapped with day in day out?

Beautiful people, the beautiful people, you know the ones I'm talking about. The shakers and movers, the hip, trend setting, A1, top man, alpha male, "most likely to succeed", fast track to success beautiful people, bloody it’s like they have all their doors open for them. Its not enough that they were born with the chiseled looks of Zeus’s first born…No sir, they have to go and take the best table at the restaurant, pick from the best cloth line, have a group of beauties as Girlfriend, they are not seen standing in a queue, outside the door of rejection or in a fish market of life.

If we're lucky, we might just get the foraging scraps left under the table. It feels like you are sinking at a sand pit you were never willingly invited to and there is nothing you can do about it. I say absolutely but look at the brighter side, we don’t jump to their orders, we don’t sit up and bark for them, waiting to chase the tossed stick, hoping for some kind of tag along at the back hoping for acknowledgement do we?

We don’t as a single entity we might each of us as a single entity might but as a group we DON’T

I am talking about that group, for long we noticed only that single one shinning star of a guy whom the limelight always followed but now I ask you to look harder and you will find countless non shining beings around him just like us.


All those childhood dreams of romance that were crushed, as she walked away with the Casanova, barely looking back at your crumbling composure, unable to remember your name "you seem really NICE"… and good riddance. None of that really mattered. You wouldn't have been happy with her. Not really, she would have driven you mad in under a week, her mere cribbing that she got you when she deserved better… much better is enough… your superior intellect would have screamed silently from the highest hill top.

All those times you hoped your Boss had a little plan for you, gonna help you up the ladder, only to be dumped with promise to wait another year before u get the big one garnished with mundane duties and served with a beaming smile, watching like a old rabid street dog as he called upon the company Rock Star into his office for a chat. None of that matters, let him have the promotion, let him have the ball till he is fed up with it, throw all the responsibility, added stress, the longer hours. Just keep your head down, do your work nothing more nothing less, smile and get your paycheck.

It’s time to turn it around. We are the majority…the homely…the average…the Nobody…THE COMMON MAN. It’s us and not them who will inherit this world and bring the machines and progress to a standstill if we stop. We make the differences felt we make the stars shine so bright we make the life of those look extraordinary. If we seize to exist everything will be mediocre and mundane. There would be no heights to achieve… no balance in the machinery God of earth will cease to exist. We fuel the temptation to achieve and over achieve everything will come to a standstill.

We are the dominant force in this great civilization… Lets raise a toast to that alone!!!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Another one on age and Memory

I'm tired of hearing people complain about how young they are in comparison to me. Most of the people I know they take me nothing more than a measuring scale, with me as the disaster threshold. It makes their life easier to live I guess and it makes me wonder if wisdom really does come with age. Off the context Mr. Picasso thought it did… In his later years he wasn't allowed to be alone in an art gallery because he'd been discovered trying to improve one of his masterpieces.

Age used to be important to me. I could hardly wait to be six to go to school, thirteen to be a teenager, eighteen to be legal and twenty to be everything else. Now I'm at a point in my life when I think age is just a number - and like other numbers, I forget them… quiet effortlessly

Pages from my diary often reminds me referring to the girls I dated as “young chick”. Now I'm referring to women under thirty as young chickens too. I don't know when my perspective changed. Maybe it was the same time when girls in their early twenties started calling me sir or better still…uncle.

The longer I live, the shorter my memory gets. I go upstairs and forget why I went. Someone's name is on the tip of my tongue and bloody that's where it stays. There are more post-its in my to do list than there ever were co-operative notices. There was a song I was singing then humming and now I only remember the humming noise not the lyrics.

The older I get, the more I forget - which could be a symptom of SDS - Seventh Day Syndrome. If God hadn't rested on the seventh day, he could have changed a few things. He could have given me a memory without an expiry date. He could have spared me from ADS – Any Day Syndrome

Now I walk errands instead of run them. I don't try to keep up with the latest trends or try to climb the social ladder because I'm rung out. I don't mind standing in line because it gives me time to remember what else I was meant to buy. The only lines I worry about are worry lines and they are everywhere on my face although I don’t have much things to worry; and if I need to lift my spirits, I use bit of codeine.

If not for Poet like Ghalib I guess I would have been not this happy in life he says “Memories of past is like a punishment – Take away my memory”… well Mr. God took mine without much poetry

Mothers Letter - From Anna Linsky

Hi Ashraf,

What ever you say about your mother I am very sure deep down (not so down) you love your mother more than anything in this world. Your every humorous word is laden with pure love for your mother. Now I may be bit wrong somewhere but I am sure about the rest. I am also very much sure your mother loves you the same if not more. That’s what we mothers are for. You might be the naughtiest strainiest thing to ever happen in our life but then again you also are the most precious part of our life.

Coming back to first part of my sentence, the word "other" is contained in the word "mother" for a very good reason. A mother does so many other things - like nursing. Both my sons were healthy babies; but when they started school, they brought home more colds and flu’s than PTA notices. Although they wouldn't share toys, they had no problem sharing chicken pox and measles. Sometimes my sons had fevers when they were sick and sometimes they didn't. However, as they got older, I discovered that a sickness without a fever was often caused by being sick of school.

As my boys got older, I must have been just a few votes short of a Nobel Peace Prize. With two sons who reveled in sibling rivalry, I was an active peace negotiator. I called more timeouts than the referees at their basketball games. When my boys did something wrong, they had to write three paragraphs - what they did, why they did it and what they should have done - spelling and grammar counted. As a result, both of them are better writers than wrongers.

When I cooked for my family, I didn't believe in spending more time preparing a meal than they spent eating it. My favorite cookbook was "99 Gourmet Meals In Less Than 15 Minutes". That put "me" in gourmet. However, I preferred to put "rest" in restaurant.

Raising two boys qualified me as a one-woman cleaning crew. I learned how to get dirt out of carpets and clothes. I learned how to get it off floors, walls and windows. When it came to dirt, I thought teenage boys were the worst. Then I realized adults spread verbal dirt even farther.

Then there was driving. After-school activities, music lessons, sports practices, social engagements - as soon as my first son started school, I became a chauffeur. As soon as my second son started school, I became aware there's an unwritten law that no two children can go to the same place at the same time. Although this sounds grammatically incorrect, while my sons were learning to decline verbs, the driving was done by a driven woman.

And what do mother's get for all their nursing and cooking and cleaning and driving? We get Mother's Day. Fine; but if we're going to get just one day a year, I think Mother's Day should be celebrated on a different day - on November 1st. November 1st is All Saints' Day.

Yours to respond,
Anna ( Mother of two)

Monday, June 16, 2008

In Search of Sqaure One

Some look for their own personal redemption; others the missing link, Mr. or Ms. Right or their keys. Then there others who search for meanings of life/relation/world/god etc…etc...

I am looking for Square One.

It seems important if not I try to make it important by making it an answer for many unwanted general questions Mr. Nobodys’ ask me

“What are you doing nowadays?”
“ I am in pursuit of Square One my friend.” Eyes set at a distance nowhere… it packs a perfect punch.

People frequently talk about going back there or are being advised to go back there. I wonder did we know we were there when we were actually there? Does anyone know exactly where it is or what it looks like? Can we even be sure it really is a square!!!

It would really throw the cat among the pigeons if I found it and it turned out to be a circle or a non-entity. More likely, it changes shape and if you 'went back' there, it wouldn't be the same as your earlier visit.

I could have my own Wikipedia entry as the man who discovered that Square One was not a square and definitely not followed by a number!!! And even if it really is a square, I could surely make money selling the directions: Go to the best/virgin starting point you had in your life, then look for the reason why it was your best/ virgin starting point. Turn left towards what triggered that proceed 1.4 miles before you look back....

I would probably be more successful starting a new religion though. I show a bunch of rich dumbs who are looking for something but they don't know what, how to reach the first square/circle/triangle or whatever, and they give me all of their money if not their soul. Or perhaps I could bottle Square One Water with the slogan "It comes from where you came from". The possibilities are endless!

Kidding folks…Just a random thought when you have nothing to do a simple mental exercise to amuse myself and hopefully at least a few others.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Socially Normal Life

Bane of society You know who you are, if you still carry an intuition that you are a superman with super good concept of how to live community life, I suggest don’t read further… till the humpty dumpty you… have a fall again…

You've turned over your locus of self-control for the collective good. You've given up your mind and soul for others. You have adopted the standards and norms that are acceptable to many people.

You have in fact, punctured your independent soul.

Why do you feel like you've entered the twilight zone of arrested development and whatever potential you once had, is gone with that last blow?

I know you are expecting some words of comfort and sensitivity. Like an orphan puppy in this big bad dog eat dog world you look upto every dog for a bit of comfort. Forget it… all are puppies and it’s a dog eat dog world alrite. You made the huge mistake of puncturing your soul. Now at almost any depth your logic and reasoning falters. You have been called a great person by your co-workers, neighbors and immediate family, all of whom are your biggest fans… with hate filled sneer. Now that should tell you something about where you are heading.

You are the bane of human kind. Employers hire you because they need bodies. They know that at your best you're good for showing up and behaving somewhat responsibly until you leave. That 's it. You are known as a generic sheep with a herd instinct with no voice and at your best just a part of the frustrated crowd.

At some point in your life, probably just before or after puberty, you lost the locus of control on yourself. You ceased to be the one in control of your destiny and have instead decided to let others do it for you, a task which they have always eagerly accepted.

Over a relatively short period of time, your perceptions have become increasingly distorted. You come to conclusions like the sky is falling, everything is the fault of the higher management or government and everything in the universe is equal to everything else.

As your thinking further deteriorates, you begin to fantasize that money; oil, machines and computers drive every thing in this whole world. You believe and accept these nonliving entities control your living life.

At work, you presence is less felt and absence seldom known. You always show up and you always do what you are told but you produce little and contribute little. Your creativity and innovation is zipped. Several times you have been passed over for promotions assuming you would have the decency to quit, but you didn't. As your opinions, attitudes and beliefs become more hardened and negative, you find more and more folks getting irritated simply by your presence.

You accept concept such as 'all humans are equal and your society rules are just.' As you mentally repeat this idea over a period of time you start to believe it. You don’t see or believe in individuality… everything is done by team… members who are unmarked, unchecked for their capacity. Eventually you deny yourself any sense of excitement or accomplishment as you are convinced it is bad to ever do anything solely for yourself, except of course the bathroom visits. Because of your views; active, productive folks like the one you wanted to be, they start avoiding you altogether. You are a non-entity in your dream community.

As you finally descend into the category of 'loser' you find that anyone that is not a loser avoids you as if you are plague. The only ones that can stand to be around you are your fellow losers and there comes a point where even they stop seeming very friendly... you are surrounded by millions of losers with mechanized life like yours. That’s your community where no one likes no one and together you make a great team, which is ever expanding in numbers like parasites and going to shape the future of the world.

Like the critics that criticize because they can't create, you criticize those that stand out and haven't succumbed to the “kill your individuality be a team” credo.

Here you have another reality check… Your partner, doesn't necessarily leave you for another man or another woman, they just leave you. They don't need an excuse let alone a reason... and you come up with the worst one liner “ we broke up with mutual consent but we are still good friends” . Yes you have heard this statement many times before and have even used it in your life… Yes you are a cream of your society.

You lose interest in things around you, you become less interesting. Sadly, at some point you begin to realize that you are such un-fun that all your friends and family are trying to avoid you. They see you as mix of sad, stupid ever cribbing bore.

Your dream of having a secured luxurious life with decent job, marriage, home, family has caged your golden bird and finally killed it with mechanized precision. Now you are a part of society, which look forward to collective growth and welfare… in a nutshell human made over burdened hypocrite life. Its your fault you gave strength and added a number to this growing plague.

Understanding that it is all your fault might not make you feel any better but that insight just might be your only way out… if you know what I mean.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Conversational Life

Anyone who has grown up in India, around the north, or within a hundred miles of my birthplace knows that there's no such thing as a short conversation within the female kind here. My mother, aunts and cousin sisters where the leaders & mascots.

They will stop to say hi, and two hours later they're still going at it. They talk till their tongues are tuckered out and crows are flying back home. Then they say goodbye and talk another twenty minutes or so--just for good measure.

And they don't just talk to the people they know. They bloody talk to all the other females within their vision: new female vegetable vendor comes in our lane and give her time till she reaches our gate and Lo!!! You know her name, husbands name, how many kids, kids name, where is she from, where is her husband from, where do they stay now, how many in-laws she got, how they treat her everything absolutely every drop of information that sabziwaali has collected in her entire life till now is out.
Motto is to get to know your neighbors--intimately. My mom knows where they're going, when they leave in the morning, and what time they come home. And if a neighbor leaves in the middle of the night, well, you'd better believe she will find out why--as soon as it gets light enough outside to trot across the street and ask.

Funny things happen at random our neighbors got window blinds and a day later my cousin marched over and told her that she got a problem with them. "Ever since you got those new blinds, I can't see a thing that's going in your house”. I am sure we will be registering same complaints from our neighbors if we do shade our windows.

Now it’s not that my town folks are nosy and pee on your rights to privacy… we are just curious. We still believe that neighbors ought to share one another's lives. We laugh together, cry together, and yes, sometimes we even fight together. But the point is that we care. So many people in the cities have isolated lives and absolutely no interaction with their neighbors. How sad is that? My sweet grand mother would roll over in her grave at the thought. She never needed a TV (it was not introduced to our town then is a different issue)…. The chair set on the front verandah was enough to provide her all her lifetime entertainment. Part of this entertainment is surely killed with TV and Ekta Kapoor’s serials but life is more or less still the same.

One great truth all these people taught me is that the destination isn't nearly as important as the journey.

Anyways if you ever meet womankind of my place take my advice… If you don't have time to talk, better just keep on walking...

Thursday, June 12, 2008

I can't to I will or I won't

There are a lot of people out there who for one reason or another really can't so something. This article is not about you so don't be offended. This article is about all the other people who for one reason or another say they can't do something, when what they really should be saying is that they won't do something. Now I don't want you to be offended either, I am merely pointing out that we should mean what we say and do what we say we can't but know in our hearts that we could if we tried.

Some famous guy once said like they always say time to time “ Lot of great things in this world were not done for a bit of courage”

Sound a little confusing? Well it is confusing to me why in our society there are a lot of reasons why we can't but very little results when we could. Again confusing Damn you one more try what I am trying to say is we can always come up with a lot of reasons why something did not work when we should be trying to get the results of what we are trying to do in the first place. By the time your mind comes up with an excuse you could have been making a break through or completing a task. In fact it takes more effort to think of a reason why can’t do something then to actually do it the first place or I suggest we should seal our heart with we won’t do that.

Now don't get me wrong we are a country of dreamers and dreamers alright who fail to carry out our dreams because we are to busy making excuses for why our dreams would never have worked in the first place.

When our mind sees a beautiful dream for us we force our brains to find excuses to make it an impossible task. And then we come out of our closet all grumpy and frustrated saying I wanted to this but I can’t… poor you. Now I don't know about you but most people can't because they do not even think trying to see if they can.

I can't or I can it is such a simple choice but one that ways heavily on our mind. Even now you might be thinking I can't write an article like this one when you never really tried to see if you could. When you are done here pick up a pencil or get on that computer and start writing.

Our mind is a powerful tool. The trick is to not use it for making excuses but to use it for carrying out our dreams. Teach yourself to say I can and I will instead of I can't and if there is a dead end you foresee say boldly “I Won’t”… life will be easier to live and remember.

Man's Memory

Memory is a very tricky thing, at least for me it is. Looking back, over a year's span of activity my memory seems to pick and choose what it remembers. It amazes me not so much what a person remembers but what a person forgets.

Often you come across some old-timer moaning about how much he misses the good old days. I'm not sure if he is thinking of pre-independence or the great famine. I'm positive that during the pre-independence age some wonderful memories were created, but I'm not sure anyone wants to return to those thrilling days of yesterday.

The bad was not as bad as we remember and the good was not as good as we boast and yes world is not going to dogs…

Some things are best forgotten and some things should never be forgotten; my trouble has always been remembering which is which. (Personally, I don't know the difference between "which" and "that.")

I remember forgetables as intricate as what that person was wearing when I first saw her 3 years back but I fail to remember what she was wearing yesterday. I remember what a stork I looked when I was a kid but I don’t remember what the mirror told me yesterday. I remember Gandhi’s birthday but I don’t remember when my dad was born, but that’s fine I don’t remember birthdays of most of the people alive on the face of earth.

Weird things are like I remember someone went to Germany on companies project for 2 month last Wednesday but I don’t remember who went from which company. I am all dressed and ready to attend a marriage and I don’t remember I know the bride or the groom. I remember to go shopping but I forget what I came to buy. I am eating but I don’t remember being hungry.

I am super bad with dates and numbers, I write down things lest I forget and then forget where I wrote.

I know this girl I am trying to remember what kind of relation I have with her…

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Invincible kid

One of the greatest things about being a kid was the overwhelming sense of invulnerability. I was charmed. I was lucky. I was invincible. Nothing could happen to me, because I was Imran Ashraf (Yes role name reversal to Ashraf Imran came much later) the discoverer... the bravest SUPER BRAT my small town can ever have. By the age of 12 I have already killed 15 cats many rats, fishes, birds, frogs, snakes, puppies all died in the name of bravery or army training.

But I was invincible... that was the bottom line

Even when I was riding my hero ranger to the bazaar and got hit by a car, I was still convinced of my invincibility. I figured that if I survived, my winning streak was still intact.

Of course, my parents had different feelings on the subject. To them, I was just another accident-prone unwanted 2nd gift of god… whose short-term memory blotted out the time I broke my arm, broke my collarbone, lacerated my wrist, or received countless scrapes and bruises. Can you believe I have once ran and jumped straight out of balcony into the guava tree!!! It’s a different thing I couldn’t catch a branch and got a 20-day medical leave from school. I never believed I could be seriously injured, even though these incidents -- and many others -- happened over many years.

My parents did though. Mothers are keenly aware of the dangers the world poses to their children. But they don't have the same fears kids do; my fear was some other kid would perform that daring act before me…

Instead, parents were, and still are, afraid of scarier things like accidents, injuries, and kidnappers. But we never thought about those things when we were kids. We had our minds on more serious matters, like how many stair steps can we cover in a single jump kind of.

Of course, when you're an awkward, gangly 10-year-old, getting out of bed is usually the first step in a whole chain of trouble. The rest of the day would just go downhill from there.

Whenever I would report my latest wacky escapade to them, sparing no detail of how I narrowly escaped a gruesome death (again) my mother would lecture me endlessly on how I needed to be more careful and I used to assure her that no harm would ever befall me -- I was a kid, so I was invincible -- and that she didn't need to worry. She didn't buy it.

Fast-forward 15 years. I am in my late 20’s living in Bangalore with kids or neo brats all round me. I am the trusted watchdog of their mothers for weekends. As long as they are under my supervision they are not supposed to hurt themselves… die in the line of duty or kill each other.
These kids under my supervision are the future psychopaths of the society. You meet these kids and you understand why some animals eat their young ones.

They run, jump, and climb with reckless abandon, not even thinking of the dangers that await them. They think nothing of racing up to a balcony railing, and they youngest girl in my charge wants to pet any dog she sees.

"Look, Uncle (yeah they call me uncle), a big dog. He has a lot of teeth. What's that foamy stuff coming out of his mouth? Can I pet him?"

Needless to say, I have serious nightmares involving injuries, dismemberment, or worst of all wraths of their parents.

And true to the Parents' Curse, these children don't believe me when I try to make them understand they're not as invincible as they think. So whenever I discuss personal safety, they just stare blankly at me, like I've grown a nose out of my forehead, and it's talking to them. My voice is just a low hum to them, and they only recognize certain words like “chocolate” or “lets play etc etc…” Whatever game I invent they change the rules. I am sure they can include mortal danger and bloodshed even in games like carom or chess.

For few weeks now they are planning to go to Nandi hills with me… I hope I leave Bangalore before this nightmare turns reality.


Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Attaining Nirvana

It was hard but if you are dedicated to achieving your goal its only a short life or distraction plentiful which can stop you. For me attaining Nirvana is being disqualified from all the competition a human life can offer. You don’t go downstream nor you go against the current you just refuse to flow. Its simple

For starters there are few factors you need to understand and master.
Chief among them is a total lack of interest in the outside world. Any self respecting Mr. Good For Nothing has virtually no interest whatsoever in venturing out doors in the materialistic world. There is no point since all your human needs can be satisfied in your desk or the room you occupy. Any need beyond that and my first objective it to kill it unless it threatens your very survival. I won’t venture out to execute a duty for other I will only leave my mental cave or shake my immobility if I have a craving.

Next there is a need to develop an ability to let go of all personal ambition. This is a character trait of the advanced Nirvana artist. Very few ever attain this - the ultimate goal. Still, hold it in mind as your vision of complete nirvana.

Before I forget… Fight club rules apply. Remember, nobody talks about “the dead man life”. It is a way of life to be enjoyed for its own sake. Do not glorify it or use it to satisfy the ego’s need for adulation. It will come… people will acknowledge your dead life one day.

Resist nothing. Let in your need to be. Be and do not do. That’s the art at its finest.

Drop your status needs until you no longer have any materialistic drive. This is the point where you will have distractions plentiful. Let it pass over you…hold yourself from getting caught up in the need to acquire. The same applies when lavish lifestyles or flourishing careers are presented in front of you. In most cases you are being encouraged to drop the higher path of pleasure and relaxation for a world of effort and striving. Be very careful at these moments to stay true to your ideals.

Happy Living!!!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Male stuff and First Night

A few things are learned the hard way. I have circumstantial evidence that one of my friends did just that. I was tempted to say “I told you so” to him, but it was so very obvious… I didn’t.

I will just write about it.

Around a year ago, this friend of mine (henceforth known as X), embarked on a voyage countless neo-Indians have embarked on before. A month long expedition in to find a bride and marital bliss. Before he set sail, he called me one day. Anybody who grew up in here, or watched B-grade Bollywood movies, knows about the much hyped “First Night.” (If you don’t know what it is, it is the night a married couple, even they are setting their eyes on each other first time, consummate their day old marriage) Like many a young super-virgin man, he too was nervous about it.

X: What do I do on that day?

Me: Brother, you hold the record for watching every porn movie ever made. Things should be clear to you by now?

X: No, my question is do people go all the way on the first night itself?

Me: I could check the census records but I don’t think they collect that data. But what does it matter to you what people do. Do what you feel is right.

X: Do you think she would be comfortable with it?

Me: That is an excellent question to ask her.

X: What if she is too shy to say?

Me: If she is too shy to talk about it, you should probably ask that question.

X: But what if she doesn’t want me to ask questions and look like I don’t know what I am doing? I think women like their men to be manly. Take charge. Decide things for them.

Should I let him live in this happy bubble for some more time or burst it now?

Me: I believe most women like to be treated with respect. They would like their opinion to matter. They may want you to take charge and lead the way in matters such as standing in queue to buy tickets, but in just about everything else, they want to be a part of the decision making process.

X: You are crazy. Women are not like that. They respect their husband. They want the man to be in control. They don’t like weaklings who can’t make up their minds. Take my word for it, I am going all the way that night.

He is convinced that husband should rule with an iron fist. In his mind the picture is probably somewhat like:

Wife: Why should we always go to you’re your friends place always? Why can’t we go somewhere else just you and me?

Husband: He is like my brother bitch, don’t ever come between us, jump in the car or you are not going anywhere.

It’s difficult to argue if two people are going by their opinions, not facts or statistics. I didn’t let the argument continue. X went ahead. Got married. I met him after few months of his marraige. I didn’t ask him what happened on the first night.

Recently, another friend of mine, Y, was getting married. X and I called Y together to congratulate him. I gave my usual marriage advice to Y, such as “Don’t get married.” “ your are going to be tamed for life” etc… X was silent until Y asked him if X had any advice for him. X said flatly, “Don’t expect much action on the first night”.

Prehistoric Man

Way back in time, when men used to roam the earth with club in hand andwomen prayed that the man who knocked her out cold was "the one" - the caveman of her dreams.

Sadly though, many a headache and broken dream was the only result, as the majority of men in the day were not at all that a good catch by today's standards. It seemed they only concerned themselves with fending off saber-toothed tigers and really never had much time to hone their romantic skills. They were just the okay kind of a man according to modern ways, and in fact, all of them were like this.

The good men - the romantic cavemen - were usually eaten by predators, and to this day, when a fossil is found of such a man, usually a prehistoric flower can also be found right next to him.

In all the commotion of daily life three thousand years ago, protecting the home front from mammoths and maintaining the sharpness of spears and climbing trees or jumping from it without any reason took up a lot of time, but supposedly good cavemen somehow managed to muster up enough romantic inclination and ten minutes of time to produce cave babies with their newly captured brides.

Once these cave babies were done crawling around in the dirt of the lair, it was the assumed duty of their cave mamas to grow these missing links into strong law-abiding citizens. However, due to the shortages in manpower, and the ever-increasing size of predators grown fat from sensitive brethren lost; the young male cave teenagers had to go out and help the cave papas fight to protect the cave kingdom. Once again, missing out on another poetry lesson carved on the wall by mama dear.

It seems that in prehistoric days, romantic and sensitive natures were actually "not" what qualified a "good man", but rather the qualities of strength to provide family safety and goods for survival were the prerequisites. If this were true, then in fact good men were all over the place, because we men still live to this day chasing those carnivores or protecting our future from them except the Mammoths and Saber tooth’s of today’s world are our self made. Career goals, Money Loads or them, Luxury limitless security never ending the list of predators goes on and on…

Today the needs are different; choices of women have also shaken up. Survival is now a vote away, and instead of keeping an eye out for predators, women keep an eye for a straight guy. The Man as we have learnt is pre-historic now or almost on the verge of extinction if you want to debate. What we see is a slimy, super sensitive creature with no backbone. He doesn’t have a shoulder but a long neck begging for a shoulder. As a matter of fact, few scientists believe that the day could soon come when it is men who are ruthlessly bashed over the head and taken home.

However, and luckily for women, the question of whether to drag him by the hair, or by the feet, was solved by the invention of the wheel.

Thought at Morning 2:00 AM

A key fault I have, and I can only talk about one fault at a time, is the tendency to get busy. I often find myself chasing my own tail. What I will do with it when I catch it is beyond my understanding. However, this notwithstanding, I fall into the trap time after time of getting too busy for my own good.

The faster I try to go; the less I seem to accomplish.

I am trying to live too fast… a bit too fast… and by living so fast all my future is in my past and I am buried before I am born…

Aah that’s the thoughts I am talking about… there are few thought I just go burying before it even takes a definite shape. At times I am too scared of its outcome and at times I have a gut feeling I wont be able to give that thought a definite end. It’s not what you call a writers block… No Sir not at all… thoughts are always there pleading to be put in words its just the commotion of too many of them which I am not able to sort.My mother used to advise me to wake up early to get fresh pleasant thoughts, that can be pondered and wrote. After all, "The early bird catches the worm."

Alas! Being the turkey I am, I have no idea what I'm going to do with the worm when I catch it, particularly if it's early in the morning when all I want is to sleep and finish the nightmare I was watching. Yet, I can often be found imitating that "early bird" scurrying around with my thought. Just for the heck of it. I don’t believe my mother or anyone when it comes to it. They talk about the betterment of society or human being rather than what’s good for my writing urges or me. You take an advice from someone how to live your damn life and it’s a Catastrophe. I cant think of more adequate word for describing the implementation of someone’s advice in your own life but catastrophe... Sure, I've had catastrophes before in many colors and form. But this one is the wicked stepmother of all catastrophes. Implementing someone’s advice in living your life or walking your path.

I guess I will go back to playing with red ants near my bed.