Saturday, December 30, 2006

Resolutions – Nothing this year

Generally around end of October or beginning of November I begin to do the mental exercise of analysing how I faired during the year, did I achieve the targets that I had set for myself and resetting targets for the coming year. This year is different as I didn’t realize it coming to an end until mid-December, which makes me wonder if I have become mentally numb or is it the awareness in the back of my mind that long term planning is anyway futile. I would like to believe the latter, but the former is also equally true.

This year has been largely uneventful, except for winning a couple of good friends and restoring relationship with couple of old ones thanks to this amazing thing called internet.

And the best part is that I don’t need to make any conventional resolutions like reduce the intake of carbon monoxide, tobacco, alcohol etc. or abstain from other worldly vices (I don’t wish to increase the traffic here by naming them as people googling them will eventually land up here) or even a simple thing like ‘stop being gluttonous and bring yourself back into shape’ (my mother always chides me saying that my appetite is less than my six year old nephew’s). I lead such a life that would take years of penance and meditation for ordinary folks to achieve (the pun is unintended, look around you, where else you will find a 34 years old man who doesn’t smoke, who doesn’t drink and above all who is celibate). I give the credit for this line of thinking to Arun Shourie, who said somewhat same things to describe his spastic son in a TV interview few years back.

So I always ended up making lofty resolutions like ‘write stories’ ‘finish the script you have in mind’ ‘read more’ etc. etc. and at the end heading nowhere.

No resolutions this time around, just a wish that we all have a happy year ahead.

Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Sreesanth's Dance and the Amul Topical

Sreesanth's dance in the first test against SA. I was watching the Match live with an USB keyboard on my lap connected to the laptop that was kept on stool nearby (I've this arrangement as my legs have the habit of going up in the air at their own will & it is risky to keep the expensive laptop on them). I was wishing India to cross 400 runs lead, but wasn't focusing on the match. I saw Sree hit the ball & camera following it to the boundary, but was intrigued to hear Ravi Shastri laugh uncontrollably in the commentary box. It was only after a few moments that tv viewers got to see what really happened that made Ravi Shastri laugh so much.

This Amul topical was like garnish on that happy moment. My relationship with Amul topicals deserve a full length post, so more on them later.

You can find the Amul topicals here.

(This is the first time I've posted an image here on my own. I always ask Alexis to do it for me & this is also the first time I've typed a post online, generally I type what want to post & paste it here, so I fear lot of spelling mistakes & missing words).

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Towards A Perfect World?

My first acquaintance with Down’s syndrome happened in my early teens when I used to go to Cottolengo Special School in Fort Kochi for physiotherapy sessions twice a week. A boy with chubby cheeks and small eyes used give my mother company while Sr. Annie and Sr. Margaret tried hard to flex my extra-stiff limbs.

I wasn’t aware of what that boy was suffering from or what his condition was called. I began to understand the condition much later during my days in Raksha, a special school in Kochi. I understood that this condition happened due to chromosomal abnormality, which could be detected even during the early stages of the pregnancy so it was possible to terminate the pregnancy if one wished to.

During the same time I happened to see a debate between the moral brigade and the science brigade on BBC about the pre-natal detection of disability. The next day I took up the subject with someone, who had experience of working in disability field, she said that striving for a perfect world and our reluctance to accept something different may be good arguments, but I won’t advise anyone to knowingly bring a disabled child into the world, when we ourselves are not sure about our lives how can we bring a child who will need our support all his life.

Some days back my friend Nilesh posted a news item on his blog titled Down Syndrome births drop: Decline suggests abortions up in wake of better tests

I again took up the subject with another able-bodied friend who is ten years younger to me , married and with a child, with no connection in disability field except me. He reflected similar thoughts as the previous person I had discussed the subject with.

I myself am unclear on the subject, I have sometimes wondered (and sometimes wished also) what would have happened if similar tests were available for Cerebral Palsy before I was born. The world in which I live in would have been a slightly different in my absence, better or worse is anybody’s guess.

P.S. but during a meeting held recently to discuss the proposed amendments in the People with Disabilities Act, which has provisions for prevention of disability I realised that this pre-natal detection is similar to sex-determination test, which is illegal.

P.P.S. imagine sometime in near future a test is developed that could screen defective foetuses that have the potential of turning out to be wife-beaters, hate-mongers or child-abusers then this world will surely be perfect.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Women Power

Surprise! I’m not going to write about the contribution of fairer sex in fighting the Blog Block here. But I am feeling like a protagonist from Rang De Basanti just being mentioned here, which was due to the timely help from a witty lady. Oops, I wrote the thing that I had said I won’t write about.

Actually, I found an interesting study titled More Disabled Kids Live With Single Women . This study is US-centric. It got me thinking that if such a study is conducted in India it will derive somewhat same results. We may be proud of our stable family/social structure that supposedly is good for the children.

But, when it comes to raising a disabled child, I have found that initially it is the courage of the mother that makes the difference. This trend is prevalent among all sections of society. The extended family may or may not come along depending on the success she achieves in her task. But she keeps on fighting her battle till the end as did the Rani of Jhansi.

How I wish that our social scientists would carry out studies about women that defy the conventional Tulsi/Parvati image of a typical housewife in India and give us the reasons behind their courageous defiance.

P.S. If there is difficulty in opening the above link, try this New York Times link (free registration required).

Friday, July 14, 2006

My Images Tag

Tagged by Alexis

1. Most desired celebrity

Manisha Koirala
Comment: She is the most desirable celebrity for me in the truest sense of the word. I had fallen head over heels for her (figuratively) since the day I saw her picture in the paper when Subhash Ghai launched her in Saudagar. My admiration only kept growing for her as an actress with films Bombay, Khamoshi and Dil Se. I have also forgiven her for films like Ek Chhotisi Love Story and Market. Heroines have come and gone after her whom I have liked, but no one can beat her.

See those eyes and that smile; I don’t think you can disagree with me.

2. Want to do this some day

Do a short term (Month long) Film Appreciation Course at FTII, Pune
Comment: I don’t think a comment is necessary here. Hope it will happen in the next couple of years.

3. Want to visit this place

Comments: No, I haven’t read Mukundan’s book yet. But I have heard stories about this place from a friend who died in a bike accident a couple of years back and also read Alexis’ post that intensified my urge. The place has some charming attraction.

4. Random Favourite

Khalid Mohamed
Comment: Sorry all the people on my Blogroll, you all deserve to be here. But it is because of this person that I know you all. It was the chance sighting of his review of Khalnayak in TOI while watching the film on the video (those days films released simultaneously in the theatres and video) that stirred something inside my head. Now, I get withdrawal symptoms if I don’t get to read his review of a film on the Sunday.

5. I was tagged by Alexis

I wish that Bishwanath Ghosh and Varna to carry this tag forward.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Creative Writing/Literature

No, No!! Don’t worry I am not going to elucidate on the subject, so please read on. In fact I was feeling frustrated/guilty about just reading other people’s blogs (and sometimes commenting on them) and not doing anything with mine. So, just thought of posting some Quotes on the subject, which I found while digging the Net for a suitable quote for a subject I have to write on.

I have always liked write-ups beginning with quotes; somehow they give an impression that the writer has certain command over the subject or that the written piece would have intellectual depth. It is also the proper way of writing as mentioned in numerous articles in the Competition Success Review, which I read ages back.

Personally, I’ve been successful in beginning a write-up with a quote only once or twice.

I have kept my fingers crossed that I can do it for third time also.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Kaavya Vishwanathan Is Not Guilty (Pun Intended)

(The title is modified to clarify that this post was intended to be funny).

The greatest part of a writer's time is spent in reading, in order to write; a man will turn over half a library to make one book. -Samuel Johnson, lexicographer (1709-1784)

I got this quote in a mail from A.Word.A.Day which prove that Kaavya Vishwanathan is not guilty of plagiarism.

I haven’t read her book, but would like to own it now as a Collector’s Item.

An afterthought: if I had the capacity of internalising books, Khalid Mohamed,
Sidney Sheldon and Harold Robins would have got a run for their money, as I always reread passages from their writings. Never had the patience for rereading any other authors.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006


‘Talk’, they say. ‘Otherwise how will people know that you are intelligent’.

I have heard this rant from the time when I could mumble only a couple of words to this day when my speech quite ok. But still my vocal cords betray me at some vital moments. Very shameful, it seems.

Experts say it is in my mind – it is purely psychological. ‘If you can talk to me with clarity, why not with others?’ is the question. The solutions: take a deep breath – don’t premeditate – be relaxed. I try all that but my voice still chokes. It is physical or psychological is open to debate.

One day a messiah appeared, I repeated my problem to him expecting the same ‘it is in your mind’ kind of reply. But what he said stunned me: ‘you don’t need to improve, you see communication is a two way street. If you are putting maximum effort to talk, the listener should at least put some effort in understanding what you are saying”.

Now I thank him every time my voice fails me.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Tagged Again…

Tagged by Alexis

5 people who top your shit list….. and why:

1. Couple of people who pretend to be very close, but I understand that their affection is hollow.

2. Mahesh Bhatt – for talking ill of Osho.

3. Sanjay Bhansali – for making Black

4. George Bush Jr. – for all his foolishness around the world. Alexis, Silverine & Anand the Thanda (Father) of this tag please bail me out if something like this happens to me.

No other serious contenders

Close brushes with death/danger:

No serious accidents – A couple of falls riding pillion on a scooter, a couple of stitches here & there. Falling off the toilet seat (Ha…Ha… Ha, a regular feature & getting bumps on the forehead, as mentioned here). Breaking a few specs, while friends try to physically carry me (sometime glass pierces the nose or eyebrows). That is all.

5 Preferable modes of suicide, in descending order:

This is a tricky question for a person with pronounced suicidal tendencies.

1. Cyanide pill.

2. Plastic rope noose.

3. Stilling wrists.

4. Stilling throat with finger nails (tried & failed).

5. Choking with bare hand (-do-).

5 Guilty pleasures:

1. Browsing corruptible websites (only once in a while, being a stingy person – I get worried about internet costs, having opted limited subscription).

2. Drinking binges (once in a year or two years – due to physical limitations). Please don’t tell my parents, I’m a very good boy, you see. :D

3. Reading blogs while pretending to be doing something very important.

4. Freely using Malayalam swear words (cannot do the same in English, Gujarati or mother-tongue Kutchhi).

5. Wasting weekends virtually doing nothing.

5 things you never want to forget:

1. Good friends.

2. People who gave me confident/had faith in me when I was just dreaming about becoming a writer/journalist.

3. My first interview with Lal (of Siddique-Lal fame), because later it lead to this

4. Confessing my love to someone (though the result wasn’t positive, but got a patient hearing, that meant the world to me).

5. That ‘Happiness is just a State of Mind’.

5 things you wish to forget:

1. The Fiascos (there are many & some of them are really unmentionable in public).

2. Bad experiences with people/being misunderstood due to the lack of communication skills on my part.

3. My disability (at least once in a while).

4. Time spent in Bangalore & Sangli for treatment (around 3 years – the most depressing period of my life till date).

Cannot remember anything else worth forgetting.

5 really exotic dishes you have tried:

Never been experimental with food. Like to eat anything vegetarian that tastes good.

5 crushes/loves in your life… in chronological order

1. CH (I must’ve been 10 then).

2. One Not Five (a nickname – from kindergarten-).

3. SG (sort of an Oedipus complex, in my mid-teens).

4. Manisha Koirala (want to direct a film with her).

5. RS.

Strangest dream you ever had:

Thinking… Thinking… Nothing… People sometime tell my mother that they saw me walking/running in their dreams… How I wish to see that dream.

5 most valued personal possessions:

1. My Wheelchairs (for all practical reasons).

2. My table.

3. A Wrist Watch.

4. Some of my writings.

5. My laptop.

5 favorite superheroes….. and why:

Not very fond of superheroes.

Silverine I’m handing over your Poolival (Tiger tail) to my friend Varna


Sunday, February 19, 2006

My Hate-List

I was tagged to do this by Alexis, who is my real life hero.

But preparing this list mentally was hard work and required a lot of internal churning. Also, I am a little scared to put up this list after seeing the response Alexis got for his.

This is not a Hate-List in the strictest sense of the term, as it includes things, which can be in ‘Do Not Like’ to ‘Utterly Despise’ categories.

muhabbat me.n nahii.n hai farq jiine aur marane kaa
usii ko dekh kar jiite hai.n jis kaafir pe dam nikale


A loose translation of this Urdu couplet may mean “In Love there is not much difference between life and death; you live by the sight of the person who is worth dying for.”

I feel the same for Hate. You have to live with the things/qualities you hate, which makes life worthwhile. And, I am not sure if I may start to admire any of these things/qualities in future or in a specific person. This is a list in passing.

01. Strand of long hair any place other than the head (specifically in food).

02. Lethargy (in me. Being physically a very lazy person I feel that I could have gained a lot more from life if I could keep my body active as my brain is).

03. Pompousness/Showing off (would love it if it is integral to someone’s personality e.g. Shah Rukh Khan).

04. Cranky Children (it is the fault of adults. Children should always remain Happy).

05. Bickering.

06. Pep Talkers/Self proclaimed motivators (hate it when total strangers come up & say: “Try, you can do it”. Appreciate it from people who have passed through similar situations or from people I love/respect).

07. Anger (it makes me physically stiff, hampers my abilities to talk, so I always try to delay the thoughts that may bring anger).

08. Lack of Application.

09. Imposing Ideas.

10. Extremism of any kind.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Three Mediocre Poems

I wrote these poems between late-teens and mid-twenties. An age when everyone feels that what one is going through are the most original things that no one else before him has experienced or will experience in future. I wonder if I was bit late in going through such a phase in life, as everything else happened a bit late in my life then it is supposed to be. In the those days there was a heady cocktail of Ghazals of Pankaj Udhas, Jagjit Singh etc. and literature and discourses of Osho pushing me. Above all, I was buoyed by the fact that a couple of my ‘Letters to the Editor’ and a couple of amateur film reviews had been published in newspapers and magazines.

Your Eyes

Your deep brown eyes

The depiction of truth and honesty

Whenever they look into me

They reach the depth of my soul

And come out with treasures hidden in it

I feel like a fool

Searching for words

To describe Creator’s creativity

But I need steam of words

For the feelings boiling in the kettle of my heart.


There is corner in my heart

Which I keep as a locker

To store my past

Its memories sweet and sour and bitter

Present a kaleidoscopic picture of my past

And tell me how well I fared with my lot

The way memories dominate my mind

It helps me to run away from ambiguity of my future.


Dreams are lost with the sweet slumber.

Wishes are buried deep inside the heart.

The vulnerability to love,

The courage to hate,

Is lost.

Hopes for the future,

Memories of the past,

Are lost as I pass through the present.

Futility of existence pierces the soul.

Now I wish my life to be lost in the oblivion of eternity.