Saturday, December 24, 2011

Slender Fingers and a Shaving Blade

Holding a pen and jotting down the words
maybe the most divine thing
that slender fingers can do.

Or is it the strumming of a guitar?

But, sometimes they fail in doing
a mundane task as holding
a weightless ordinary shaving blade...
And, cut the bulging vien.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

One more attempt in fiction

Full of possibilities....

He was literate according to the official statistics because he could write his name in his mother tongue and even in English using Capital letters. This was a thing to be proud of when you know that there are millions around you who used thumb impression wherever their signature was required. And, he took small pride in it. Economically too he had brought his immediate family a few notches higher than the people of his group, sending his three children to school and college, earning and investing in enough so that the children would inherit his legacy in equal proportion without any major disputes. His calculations for life and thereafter would have made any Chartered Accountant unashamedly become his disciple.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Sense of an Ending

When you finish reading some books, they leave you depressed as if you went to drop a dear friend to the railway station still you feel that the train left before you'd say a proper goodbye. This is the same feeling you get when you finish reading The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes that has won the prestigious Booker Prize this year.

I'm not the person to discuss the literary merits or demerits of this deceptively thin book (about 150 pages only), as I'm not an avid reader (I feel lucky if I complete 5 books in a year), or comment on the controversy on whether it can be called a Novel or just a Novella. Seeing the size of the book I'd promised myself to finish reading it in a sitting taking 6 to 7 hours. But, it took me some 15 to 20 hours over a weekend with couple of meals and toilet breaks. And, I even had a couple of false starts when I stopped reading after the first 15 pages (I'd feared that the jinx of leaving the book incomplete with the bookmark intact had returned), before the lucky weekend.

This book mainly deals with memory. It shows how we mix it up with imagination to make our own history as years go by to make it comfortable for us to live with. And, how devastating it can be when the reality of the past confronts us breaking the spell of our imagined history.

The reason I told it is deceptively thin is because it isn't simple as its size may make you believe and if you are the kind of reader who likes to go over a passage a few times just to savour its feel or beauty may fail in the race against time. Here is one example appearing (about the passage of time) on the first page itself:

Is there anything more plausible than a second hand? And yet it takes only the smallest pleasure or pain to teach us time's malleability. Some emotions speed it up, others slow it down; occasionally, it seems to go missing – until the eventual point when it really does go missing, never to return.

There are such nuggets virtually on every page that would stop and make you ponder for a while.

When I finished reading it, it just left me wishing that it was written a few years earlier. So, I could have avoided making a few mistakes that have remained with me as hurtful memories.

A couple of interesting and varied reviews here and here.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

House of Cards

Life is always on I'll teach you a lesson son! gear, especially when you are feeling least vulnerable or feel a little high on confidence about tackling a situation (because you've been through similar things before and got out nearly undamaged in the past). It isn't about a warlike scenario or some extraordinary circumstances that I'm talking about, sometimes even going through your daily functions when you are at peace with yourself leave alone cheerful (oblivious of the fact that something may go wrong). This is the time it strikes; a bolt from the blue ( as the cliché goes), virtually pushing you to the brink.

You may have put a lifetime to train your mind to tackle such situations smoothly. But,at that moment everything seems to be falling apart like a House of Cards. Your faith, your belief just evaporate.

Eventually you survive, regroup, maybe a little bruised, maybe scarred. Because, you are programmed for self-preservation and to cheerfully continue the charade. 

Monday, October 31, 2011


I found this passage in a long discarded story of mine (obviously because I found too much of me in it). This is also a tribute to one of first friends I made through blogs. His blog was titled Kaleidoscope, he has deleted his blog (for reasons that I cannot fathom), but, still he remains being one of my best friends and guide (as far as writing goes).

Hey friend, hope you revive your writing soon by whichever name you like.

Kaleidoscope is the word that reverberated in her head whenever she was with Rajan. It was not that she was good with allegories. For her everything was divided into two: Right-Wrong, Good-Bad, Like-Don’t Like or Love-Hate. Only a hyphen could fit in between and nothing else. Rajan was someone who rose above the two clearly divided portions of her mind. As a kaleidoscope was filled with broken pieces of glass, but would show colourful and vibrant images with a smooth jingle whichever way it turned, same way Rajan even with his deformed limbs and contorted face gave a sense of perfection and serenity to the world around him. The vibrancy he exuded was infectious, so was his humour.

Monday, October 24, 2011

The Ghost Writer

We may never judge a book by its cover because it is nailed into our heads even before we begin to learn the nursery rhymes. But, what happens when you have seen the film based on a book and that too a gripping one? You go to the book expecting to be in line with the film, maybe little clearer and the characters etched with more depth and empathy; that is all. No, not at all! You be ready to be surprised and even shocked as the book takes a totally different trajectory or to another realm.

This was the feeling I'd while reading  The Ghost Writer (the American imprint of The Ghost as published in the UK) by Robert Harris, which is adapted into a film by Roman Polanski.

The story is political thriller where a nameless London based ghost writer (the book is narrated in first person by the writer himself without ever letting out his real name), who is called into to finish the work on the memoirs of the former Prime Minister Adam Lang (a character said be based on Tony Blair), when the man working on them is found dead just a month before the deadline for submitting the manuscript to the publishers. So, the Ghost heads to the USA to be with Adam Lang and his team holed up in Martha's Vineyard in Massachusetts, the summer holiday home of the rich publisher Martin S. Rhinehart to finish the book. Obviously, the sailing isn't smooth as the Ghost had expected. First, the manuscript he has been given to work with is bland and needs overhauling. Second, Lang is very reluctant to open up about is youth and his years in Cambridge, and, there is discrepancy in what Lang says about his entry into politics and the actual version as the Writer finds out through his research. There is more to come in terms of thriller and conspiracy theory.

The film starring Pierce Brosnan as Adam Lang and Ewan McGregor in the title role is loyal to the book as far as the thriller part of the story.

But, what I loved about the book is the fact that at least half of it is a writer's manual, a ghost writer's manual to be precise without the dreaded 'Do it yourself' exercise with the process of writing dealt with in detail; from drawing the Contract to how to present yourself in front of your subject. Everyone of the seventeen chapters begins with a quote from Andrew Crofts' seminal book titled Ghostwriting thereby giving direction about how the story will move in the said chapter.

Couple of interesting passages from the book:

All good books are different but all bad books are exactly the same.

Of all human activities, writing is the one for which it is easiest to find excuses not to begin – the desk's too big, the desk's too small, there is too much noise, there is too much quiet, it's too hot, too cold, too early, too late. I had learned over the years to ignore them all, and simply start.

A book unwritten is a delightful universe of infinite possibilities. Set down one word, however, and immediately it becomes earthbound. Set down one sentence and it's halfway to being just like every other bloody book that's ever been written. But the best must never be allowed to drive out the good. In the absence of genius there is always craftmanship. One can at least try to write something which will arrest the reader's attention – which will encourage them, after reading the first paragraph, to take a look at the second, and then the third.
This in no way means that this book is very high funda or technical; it can be enjoyed by anyone who is interested in listening to a good story.

PS. Searching for this book was an experience in itself. It was last year in Bengaluru; I went into an upmarket book-store and asked for this book. At least half a dozen of sale-people converged around me and virtually emptied the whole of the 'Horror' section on my lap. Ma and my sister-in-law had a hard time explaining to them that I wasn't interested in horror stories but just wanted a novel titled The Ghost written by Robert Harris. In the end, they themselves had to dig it out from somewhere for me.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A Day When Jagjit Singh Did Playback For Me

We often feel exasperated when a writer or a filmmaker overly depends on coincidences to move his story forward thinking how lazy of him to use a 'beaten to death' cliché rather than working out something natural or new. But, if we see minutely; the one who has written our lives is the laziest of them all, he uses coincidences that go on to become cliché when used by us in fiction. Here is one such incident:

Long back when I wasn't this bald and my beard was black pepper without even a crystal of salt in it. I was sitting here reading and waiting for my dinner to come. The cassette-player was soulfully playing Seher, the latest addition in my Jagjit Singh Collection.

But, before the dinner, she came that too with a red rose in her hand; “don't get any ideas in your head, this may be the last birthday I'm here to wish you in person. So, felt odd coming empty handed”, she said, handing me the rose. I held it near my nose as Dilip Kumar of Mughal-E-Azam.

At that precise moment Jagjit Singh started singing Tere Aane Ki Jab Khabar Mahke/Teri Kushboo se Sara Ghar Mahke (When the news of your arrival wafts through the air/My whole house becomes fragrant with your scent).

I started to lip-synch him as if I was Naseeruddin Shah. After a few moments she just said trying to keep a straight face; “please save your singing and acting skills for the time when you have a real girlfriend”.

PS. Here are two old posts about Jagjit Singh.

Saturday, October 08, 2011

A Fruitful Day

Yesterday (05/10/2011) for me began on a low note (not the typical 'mood swing' kind of low, but the 'end of the road' kind of low). One good thing about such days is that you tend to love whatever that can keep your mind occupied. So, these kind of days do have a positive side to them, you begin to feel the importance of the things that you'd push away on a normal day.

For me, I reduced the heap of newspapers on my table by at least 250 grams (the pile of newspapers on my keeps increasing unless I mark them as 'Read'). Reread the first fifty of a best-seller that I am intending to finish for a long while now. And, at the end, watched Whose Life Is It Anyway?. It may not feel the right kind of film to see when you are low. But, let me assure you that it can be an uplifting experience if your perspective is right.

I had started this post on the morning of 06/10/11 to mark the Vidyāraṃbhaṃ, but couldn't complete it as other mundane things got priority over writing a blog post.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Diary – A Short Story

As I'd said here, I'm posting the short story The Diary below:

The Diary

Today is our thirteenth wedding anniversary. The thought left me numb the whole day, making me physically and mentally inert. I kept wondering whether she remembered or had forgotten, leading a blissful life with her new husband. Though it didn’t hurt as it did a couple of years ago; I had never imagined that we’d end up like this.

The unscheduled call from Priya was reassuring, as usual she just asked: “How are you Appa?” Her speech was so clear that I couldn’t imagine her face while listening to her. Maybe, I felt like that because her mother had remembered that it was an important day in our lives, which made me very happy. Even otherwise, I always look for improvements in Priya, however small they are.

The memory of Nirmala Auntie’s sullen face is still vivid in my mind. She had insisted that we both go to her clinic to discuss the ultra-sound scan report. She began with the history, saying that she was only a glorified midwife at the time of my birth some thirty years ago; just prescribing iron and calcium supplements for pregnant women. “The times have changed, now we depend on these things to decide the fate of a life even before it begins to exist as such,” she was saying looking into the report. I felt that she wished to change its content by the intensity of her gaze; “I think we should terminate this pregnancy -,” she was saying this while looking at the blank wall behind us. I couldn't gauge the seriousness of the statement at that moment but the shrillness in the response to her utterance from my wife surprised me. A simple “What is wrong...?” had a shattering effect. I always thought that she was the most pragmatic woman one could find on the face of earth. Nothing could move or shake her. For her everything had to have a logic and rationale. You'd learn to see the things happening around you with a clear perspective that is not effected by your emotions was her constant refrain.

Afterwards, whatever went on in Nirmala Auntie's cabin had a dreamlike quality for me. I couldn't register their conversation though I'd see their lips moving and their faces taking odd shapes as they spoke. Though, some words like chromosomal defect, Down's syndrome, mentally retarded and abnormal stuck in my head. “I wish to have this   baby.” “You see, it is not the nine months of pregnancy but the time after the baby is born; the struggle will begin then and it won't end soon. It will be lifelong. Anyway, both of you discuss this – we've got some time. It is up to both of you to decide.” Those were Nirmala Auntie's final words before we left her that day. We had not known that there was something called pre-natal detection of deformity in the foetus. Our impression was just that this fancy gadget was to know the gender of the baby before it is born (which is legally banned as leads to female foeticide). But, the modern day gynaecologists insisted on using this fancy gadget at least three or four times during the pregnancy saying that it was just to insure that everything was normal with the baby. And, above all it is an expensive affair.

I waited for a couple of days for her to initiate discussion on the topic. But, she’d become unduly silent after coming back from the clinic and even had extended her leave from work, which happened very rarely. Sometimes I felt like giving her a jolt just to bring her back into this world. At last I broached the topic asking her when we will go in for abortion. I just got a look in response that ordered me to stop. But I persisted; making a case out of whatever scratchy memory I had of Nirmala Auntie’s talk. I was prepared for a full blown argument and had the conviction that by the end she would see the practical side of it and turn around. But, I think I'd misjudged the maternal instinct in her as the only response I got was a grunt or a 'hmm'. “Everything will work out, we've to make it work”, was the lengthiest reply from her. My patience had started to wear off. I was feeling agitated in spite of myself and blurted out; “these kids look cute on TV and their stories make Reader's Digest worth reading”. But, what proved to be the final nail in the coffin of our relationship was my question; “How can we love an abnormal baby?” I never thought it was a harsh or inhuman question as it was made out to be. I had just voiced a practical concern. Still, it drew us apart.

It was utter disbelief and shock for me; I'd expected same kind of approach from her. Anyone knowing her well would have thought that she will go for abortion. She always claimed that she cannot be an irrational sentimental fool that guys like me expected her to be while I was chasing her while doing my MBA. She was my senior by a few semesters. As a single child bought up with lot of aspirations – parental as well as her own. She hardly had any friends out of the campus, knowing her life outside. Initially, I was interested only in casual flirting. But, her repulsive attitude intensified my desire to know her. Again, it took me lot of effort to take the relationship to the next level; there were always conditions; I shouldn't be childish, there was nothing called love whatever I was feeling was just a brief fascination and it shouldn't hamper our studies as our parents had invested their hard earned money for our future. And, unlike me she could stay aloof or distant she desired as if she had nothing for me. It used to make me insecure that she may not have anything for me. But, it didn't matter to her a bit; 'take it or leave it' was her only consolation. So, the onus was on me.

A few months before her final exams I gathered the courage to propose to her and made her read the last paragraph of Vikram Chandra's Commonwealth Award winning book Love and Longing in Bombay:    I might ask her to marry me. If we search together, I think, we may find in Andheri, in Colaba, in Bhuleshwar, perhaps not heaven, or its opposite, but only life itself. She just ruffled my hair in what I believed was a show of affection and told that we'd wait and see what life has got for us outside the campus.

    And, to put it simply as they say in the most abused cliché that 'the rest is history'.

People advise me to move on, to search for a new life-partner as if my heart is a moss infected water tank that can be cleaned with bleaching powder and filled with fresh water. Maybe, I'll be able to do it in future (as I've started writing this nearly after nine years. Had stopped it on the day we went to meet Nirmala Auntie to discuss the first scan report). But, as of now I don't feel fully detached from Priya and her. Though, I can smile without a reason when I wake up in the morning as I used to do before. The guilt has virtually subsided and I've got semblance of a balance and as of now that is the best I can do as far as moving on is concerned.


This story was attempted as an exercise for Kochi Writers' Club, an informal gathering of friends with aspirations to write in English, in this exercise we had to use a passage of literature and I opted for the last lines of Love and Longing in Bombay by Vikram Chandra.

PS. A few posts I'd written about pre-natal detection of disability and other such things here, here and here.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Walking in the rain (figuratively)

    The incessant rains in mid-September is a strange phenomenon, especially these days when a drizzle for a few minutes in June-July at the peak of monsoon season is considered lucky. I've no problem with rains as such (the romantic notions don't work for me though), but I tend to feel physically weak when it rains.

    A few days back I and pa went for a movie in the renovated Sui Theatre rechristened as EVM  Cinema that is hardly ten minutes walk from home. We reached there comfortably at 8.30 PM walking (me pushed on the wheelchair) for the Nine o’clock show. The fun started when the show got over. When we got down to the wheelchair, the crowd hadn't moved, everyone was standing in shelter. It didn't take us long to realise that it was raining. After a couple of minutes pa ventured out with a hanky on his head to find an auto-rickshaw with a carrier on the top to put the wheelchair and returned empty handed (our side of city goes to sleep around 10 PM) after ten minutes. He said; 'we better start walking Beta, hope you don't mind braving a little rain'. He was concerned about my deadline of next morning to submit the review.

    It wasn't pouring but it was surely more than a drizzle. Our clothes wet within no time. We had a bunch of boys walking ahead of us for company (normally it is a few mongrels who accompany us on such jaunts, today they had vanished maybe because they hated getting free bath).

    The showers had virtually stopped when we had covered almost eighty percent of the distance; 'God was just testing us', pa uttered. 'And, given me something to write about'. I replied.

    Even three years ago I'd have sneezed and shivered my way to bed if I got this wet in rains. Which means I have got physically stronger or is it that my mind has stopped caring about what happens to me externally?

PS. One advantage of being a wannabe writer is that whether you are depressed or ecstatic, the observer in you is calmly thinking 'how do I convert this experience into words?'

PPS. While preparing this post a quote fell into my lap courtesy A Word A Day:

A writer -- and, I believe, generally all persons -- must think that whatever happens to him or her is a resource. All things have been given to us for a purpose, and an artist must feel this more intensely. All that happens to us, including our humiliations, our misfortunes, our embarrassments, all is given to us as raw material, as clay, so that we may shape our art. -Jorge Luis Borges, writer (1899-1986)

Sunday, September 18, 2011


One of my short stories The Diary has appeared in the Jul-Sep 2011 issue of Success & Ability.

I had put up a Teaser of that story here.

Some of my friends and dear ones have been gracious enough to have read it in the raw form. The rest of you wishing to be tortured watch this space as I may put it here in the near future or better subscribe S & A because I contribute in it on and off. Hehehe...

A big thanks to the Ability Team for being the first to publish my work of fiction.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011


Do I live by man-made dogma;

And, seek heaven Afterlife?

Or, be happy here and now

With my belief

That you only know love

And no punishment.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Does this make you curious?

The beginning, middle, end or whatever…

The Noose

If she had imagined in her mind's eye how grotesque she looked hanging dead from the ceiling, she may have backed out of the idea of killing herself like that. But, obviously the pain or whatever it was must have been so overbearing in that moment to faze every other thought or vision out into some deeper recess of her brain. I wasn't feeling sad enough or even perplexed by her action. I was experiencing a sense of deja vu, as if I'd seen it coming. A strange kind of calmness had enveloped me, about which I'd have argued with her for hours if she had made a prophecy about it as my reaction to her death.

I’d written the above passage after reading how Ian McEwan starts to write something new:

Sometimes I experimentally write out a first paragraph – or middle paragraph, even – of a novel which I feel no obligation to write. Those kind of dabblings I always set down in a green, ring-bound A4 notebook. It’s full of paragraphs from novels I will never complete, or hardly start. But sooner or later, one of those paragraphs will snag my attention, and I’ll come back to it asking: why does that interest me so much, why does that seem to offer a peculiar kind of mental freedom? And so I might find myself adding a page or two. It was with a complete free hand, for example, that I once wrote what turned out to be the opening of Atonement – with no clear sense that I was committed to anything at all, I was just playing with narrative positions, with tone of voice, with a certain descriptive moment. Or I might decide that what I’ve written belongs to the middle of a novel, and then I’ll spend some idle time tracing out a beginning. Then abandoning it. It’s a way of tricking myself into writing novels.

Here is the full interview.

I’d this image of a female hanging dead from the ceiling in mind for a few days when I was thinking of writing something new. Without really having a clue how to convey it or even the story behind it. The first line came in two-three days. And, it took a few more days (with my legendary typing speed and lethargy) to add words to make into a paragraph.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Numb but not down

Sometimes you think you have given your best and sit expectantly with excitement rumbling in your tummy that good times are just round the corner. Then slowly it dawns on you that you have turned the corner and nothing much has changed so your best wasn't good enough to change things.

I'm going through a similar situation now, where my energy is sapped and nothing new is happening. I spend time watching films and games and even religiously read newspapers (which I’d stopped doing for a while now). But, surprisingly it hasn't effected me in negative way, I don't feel low, life is going on as normal (I can talk, smile and laugh effortlessly); this would have been unimaginable a few years ago. I'd have become silent, mulling over what would have gone wrong. Maybe, I have stopped caring or I’ve realised that there is something beyond my effort that guides the result of things.

I'm a political fence-sitter, never sure whether my thought process is right or wrong. Initially I wished to write about Anna Hazare's hunger strike. But as it enters the seventh day I’m confused and doubtful about where it is heading. Somehow, I feel that it is hijacked by TV channels that are pulling it to the extremes from both sides. One seeing it as the beginning of a corruption-less utopia and other as it is holding the democracy on ransom. I don't naively believe that every problem can be solved just by casting a vote once in five years. And, I even know that being corrupt has seeped into our bloodstream because being corrupt is convenient and bribing is equivalent to paying tips in a restaurant as we wish everything should be hassle-free, be it renewing our driving licences or getting a gas cylinder. I just hope something positive comes out of this churning.

Now a song from the film Aarakshan. I always thought Prasoon Joshi to be the true inheritor of Gulzar's legacy as a lyricist. This song seems to be the final stamp of that fact:

Finally, the new TV commercial of Airtel mobile Har Ek Friend Zaroori Hota Hai I got hooked to while channel surfing a couple of days back.

While searching for behind the scenes people for this ad I got back to Rashmi Bansal's blog Youth Curry. I don't exactly remember when and how it got pushed out of my browsing list.

PS. This post was just an exercise to flex my writerly muscles. So, please bear if you feel cohesiveness has flown out of the proverbial window.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Goodbye the Old, Welcome the New

Recently I crossed the 38th year on the earth and stepped into the 39th. At that point, there wasn’t much excitement as the saying goes it was just another day, except for the fact that I got the biggest gift of my life; a brand new laptop:

The old one had served me for nearly six hassle-free years, which were the most fruitful and adventurous as things I couldn’t have imagined in wildest dreams happened. So, I’d feared it would be difficult for me to part with it. But, thankfully sentimentalism hasn’t dealt with me badly and I’ve started using the new one with a vengeance.

Though I may have reached the threshold of the 40s I still feel there is still the short pant wearing child thinking: Someday I’ll grow up and be independent.

A teenager who thinks: Someday I’ll write beautifully and be less lonely and miserable.

And, there is even a person much mature beyond my age just observing things go by with equanimity.

Me happy, as of now juggling the three (or are there more? No idea) inside.

(The snap of the old laptop below was taken by friend Raju).

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Mundane captures

Riyaz waiting to take me to work

Ma keeping my lunch bag braving the rain

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Clicking the rains

Grass is always greener on the other side this saying can't be truer for anyone other than me. Much before I trained my mind to be a writer I had wished to be an artist or a cartoonist (beside a cricketer, tennis player etc.), I was amazed by people who effortlessly created images or drawings on paper and thought it was easy. And, my Ma being what she is, always provided enough crayons, sketch pens, water colours and books. She even drew outlines of flowers, animals, birds and human forms for me to paint in. but, slowly I realised that my crooked limbs weren't taking me anywhere, those hobbies got shelved.

I'd the same feeling for photography, it looked so easy (especially when I struggled with words and took strain to write), .just hold the camera and click. But, it was out of bounds for me as it was an expensive hobby, so, even if I got to see through the viewfinder sometimes, the privilege came with strict warning 'don't touch anywhere, the film will go waste'.

As the digital age began to democratise photography, my wish to be a chhota Raghu Rai took wings, seeing my friends easily using 'point & click' cameras. Still, I was very sceptical to try it as I thought the excitement would wear off once the physical effort became daunting, yet the slimy little 'should try it' worm kept crawling inside and here I am making an effort.

These are few snaps of rains taken in the last few days:

This collection happened with the encouragement of two proficient photographer friends Harish and MD.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Moments before the Twilight

Today (Tuesday, 7th June), the sun shone in its full glory in the Kochi skies after being hidden behind the monsoon clouds for nearly a fortnight. Though I like rains I associate it more with the havoc it wrecks in Pather Panchali than the romance depicted in other films, as it always adversely effects my health and makes me gloomy in a way.

After returning from the office in the evening I found the sunlight still filtering through the foliage and I tried to capture it for posterity. The frames are tilted and some seem to be out of focus that is because my limbs and fingers (and most of my other body parts, hehehe) have a mind of their own and most of the times refuse to take orders from my brain.

This thing (photography) leaves a taste of dissatisfaction on the one hand (as I can't achieve the desired perfection) and thrills on the other as it was something on the long 'Paresh can't do' list till a few months back.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

At Sea

After a long while I went to the beach with my two siblings, sister-in-law and three nephews last week. As usual, my strong brother Manish carried me on his shoulder in the silvery sands and put me in the wheelchair at a safe distance. Then they all went to play in the greyish-blue seawater. And, I tried to click a few photographs with a red digital camera hanging from my neck. Here are a few examples:

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


Heart choked

Not letting any air pass through

Eyes stoned

Not letting out even a tear-drop

Sweat welling up around every pore of the body

Waiting for the soul to let out a cry

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Imperfect Frames

Last week coconut palm climber (in this part of the world there are professionals traditionally qualified persons to climb and pluck the coconut. They visit every home having the palm(s) and do the job for a price) had come to our place. Ma requested him to cut a part of jack-fruit tree threatening the tiled roof of the house. It was a holiday for me and as always she took me out to see him work. I got a bit adventurous and tried to click a few pictures sitting on my wheelchair.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Hidden Thoughts

No more stories to weave

No more lies to tell

Just an empty mind

Searching for hidden thoughts

Thursday, April 07, 2011


Miracles do occur

I sms the person

Sitting next to me

Whom I’m meeting for the first time

Fearing he may not follow my strained voice

With all the buzz around

He replies casually as if I’ve actually spoken to him

Putting me at ease to continue the conversation verbally.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Blow Hot, Blow Cold – The funny ways a breath analyser can behave

Sometimes we are provided moments to laugh as a safety valve to deal with the pressure cooker called life. One such instance came last week; we (me and dad) were returning from a movie around midnight in Robert chettan's cab (dad has a list of cabbies whom he knows from his working days and he calls them in random order whenever we need to go out, and most of them know me since my short-pants days).

Coming back to the story; the police waved us to stop as we were getting down the Thoppumpady BOT Bridge and told us to park on the side. Police checking is a routine thing in the night but, that day I'd an intuition that something was amiss; maybe he has seen us overtaking (prohibited) a twenty feet container trailer on the bridge. The constable came towards us and asked where we were coming from. Robert said cinema and even mentioned film's name. The policeman peeped inside the car, saw me, saw dad and the wheelchair in the back (in Indica the wheelchair has to be put in passenger seat behind as it doesn't fit in the boot). 'Ok, blow into this”, was his next command putting the Breath Analyser in front of his mouth. It made a funny sound somewhat like the siren of an ambulance and red and green light blinked on it. My first thought was that the machine was activated for the test, but realised that some was wrong when the cabbie laughed nervously.

“Are you drunk?”

“No Sir. I told you I'd gone to a movie with them. I'm with them since 7:30 PM”.

“This thing wouldn't buzz if you weren't drunk”.

“I swear on my kids, I don't drink”.

The policeman went to his senior and said what was happening. He came back and sniffed the driver then signalled us to leave as he stopped the next car. Even his senior smiled and waved us good bye.

One good thing about the whole episode was that the policeman never became rude and had the smile intact on his face all the while.

“This is ridiculous Bhai, I haven't touched the stuff since '92”, Robert Chettan told dad.

“Have you had anything strong flavoured for lunch or dinner?” dad asked.

“No! Just simple rice and curry. And, yes the candy you gave me in the interval”.

“Don't tell me that it has alcohol, it is Paresh's favourite”, dad joked. “Anyway, you have got a nice incident to tell your wife about”.

I'd have teased and joked with him even more. But, he looked distraught about the whole thing. So, I kept quiet and told him to pray a little harder before going to bed as God had put him through a little test tonight.

PS: Robert Chettan is a performer of Chavittu Nadakam, a traditional dance-drama performed in church yards during festivals. This art form is on the verge of extinction because the new generation is reluctant to take it up and the public in general isn't interested in it. Now, only capsule version is performed once or twice annually for the foreign tourists.