Thursday, February 28, 2008


When he was born, he wanted the latest diapers and baby powder. His parents would get him everything he wanted, and he made a fuss by crying incessantly if it wasn’t the brand he wanted. Only Huggies diapers and Johnson&Johnson’s bath products!! Nothing else would do!!!
He had heard them in his cosy slumber in her womb. He knew his parents were expecting him, and were doing everything to give him all the comforts he needed. Watching recorded tapes, increasing the volume of the telly when there was anything baby-related, and the most effective – other mothers talking. It was as if he knew exactly what he was cut out for, and coming out of the womb would be no shock… Nah, piece of cake!

“When Ashmu was born I only used huggies! They absorb so well!!”

“I personally thought Pampers diapers were best!”

“I used just cloth diapers for my children. Cuts down on costs! I put them in diapers only when we were going out”


(Whispers everywhere – “How cheap! She wants to save money even when it comes to her baby! What a miser!”)

He had already decided in there (there was nothing else to do in there anyway except kick his mother once in a while – he didn’t do it too often not realising that it was the only chance he would get to do that and be considered a miracle, he might’ve done it more often otherwise!) how he was going to look when he grew up – what toys he’d have, what clothes he’d have… it had to be LEGO and HOT WHEELS CARS and Weekender Kids clothing. He wouldn’t mind Dolphin either.
There he sat now, plump little kid, not even able to talk yet, but getting exactly what he wanted.
When they went out in the car, he’d keep his eyes peeled, revetted to the billboards along the sides of the road, planning on what out of that he wanted to have, to wear or to be.

Darn, I wish I had watched/listened to/looked at a lot more advertisements as a child. I would definitely not have had a career-planning crisis like I did! (This was until I finally realised that hey - my career simply had to be in the advertising business, it was taking over everyone’s lives and thought processes… perhaps even before they were born!!!)


This is such a blank feeling. When you really want to write, but you can’t. There are so many different thoughts and emotions in my head right now, all whirling around, overlapping, mixing, colliding, contorting, screaming. Music is my soul.
Today, I thought of all the things I am passionate about. Music tops the list, then there’s writing and dancing and playing sports – I enjoy basketball in particular. As I read somewhere, dance is music made visible. A sport is dancing to the music of your heartbeat and to the throb of that adrenalin rush. It’s that numb feeling before kickoff, it’s the peak when the sweat is dripping and the blood is pumping. It is the muffled sound of the cheers that make their way to your ears across the niosy wind of your speed. It is the last lap of tired muscles, and it is the sweet pain of a groaning body. It is the breathlessness of the same sort as the drumbeat or the chord struck on the guitar and the final pose, held for ten seconds before the bow.
It is the flow of words, dripping of music, blinking of a step and jump and heartbeat of a shot. There are so many parts of me, but they are all one. I am many, but I am one. It is one heart that beats to the beat of the drum, at the same pace as breathless running, fluid expression and my ink stained fingers.
It is the love I have for my dog, my family and my friends. It is the tightness in my chest of the wounds of somebody else. It is the cynical me turning soft. The sadistic me turning pale with worry. It is the unbeaten me turning white with fear. It is spinning colours, muffled heartbeats, throbbing brain cells, aching fingers, burning muscles, hypnotic state. It is all me. I am one, but I am many.
How can I describe the thing I have become, changed into; and at the same time contain who I was, peeking now and then and getting fresh air today and the day after tomorrow? I live with not just me, but me as well. And with me. I am many, but I am one.
My eyes are seeing, my skin is feeling, my ears are hearing, my nose is smelling. I am breathing and I am holding my breath. I am dead but I am alive, I love life and I want to die, I am stone, but I cry, I am peaceful and I am violent, I am high and I am sober, I am open and reserved, I am walled up and talkitive, I am friendly and I don’t care, I eat, I starve, I am born and I am gone.
I am modern and I am traditional, I am in control and out of focus, I love me and I hate me, I am confident and fearful, I am the hunter and the prey, I capture and I lose, I fight and I am the peacemaker, I have values and I’m flexible, I am rigid but I’m graceful, I am man and I’m woman, I am star, I am dust, I am tech savvy, I hate technology at its levels of advancement, I admire the ship and the plane, I don’t want to build them, I can fly and I’m like an Ostrich, I am loving and my words sting, I am fair and I strike when I’m hurt, I am docile and dangerous, I am hot and I’m frozen, I admire and I envy, I like who I am and I want to be somebody else, I am multitalented and I’m useless, I am heavy and I’m silly, I am progressive and backward, I am insane and sane, I am thirsty and I share, I am energetic and lazy, I am loved and I’m alone, I’m awake and I’m asleep, I am thinking but I’m blank, I’m a seductress and I’m shy, I can stand alone, and I want those arms around me, I am passionate, and I’m plain.
I am angry and forgiving, I am loud, and silenced, I am assertive and I succumb, I am this and I am that. I am powerful and I am weak.
I am one, but I am many.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The Mystery

The threads of connection. How closely connected are you to everybody around you? You might think you understand somebody, but actually, you don't. Can you know somebody well without understanding them? Possibly not. And what happens when you think you know someone and understand them well, when something comes along that irreversibly shatters this belief? How long must you know somebody for, to really know them? Even then, do you really know them?

Everyone you meet is complicated. And usually, you see only one or maybe two out of their three dimensions. There's always going to be something you just don't know. But, by some chance, if you do know every aspect of a person, the element of mystery is lost, and your interest dies. When you know something so well, what else is left to explore?

So how is it that you stick to your best friend even though you know everything about him/her? At least, you think you do. What I want to figure out, is how someone's interest keeps ticking in someone else, no matter how long. And why is it that some people lose interest in you much faster? Can you judge how interesting you are by the number of people you know and have stuck? Whether in an intimate relationship or a good friendship, what keeps you ticking? Can you put your finger on it? Is it that the other person has something new every time you meet them? Is it because they make you laugh? Is it because they are multi-talented, or intelligent, or good looking? Is it the activities that they do? How true is it in such cases that opposites attract or birds of a feather flock together?

I've grown up to realise that after a certain point in everyone's life, age stops to matter... the lines of division dissolve with the knowledge of the birds and the bees, and a better understanding of people and the world. You might get along well with a person who is five years younger than you and a person six years older than you. So is it interests then? Or opposing ideas or different points of view? Or experiences? Or a combination of them all? With the number of people who have come and gone from my life... and those who've stayed... it will always be a mystery to me as to WHY. Did they admire me for something I could do? Or want to help me out with something I couldn't do? Did they like what I said, how I said, how I dressed, how I looked, what I knew, how smart I was, how funny I was, how many things I could do, how well I could do those things, how many things I knew about, how broad minded I was? Is it the situations that people are in at that point in life and time that draws them together? Why does time many times change your relationship with someone or your understanding or inability to understand them?

I keep changing so much... so I wonder about those who have been friends with me for years... do they change with me to like me? Or do they accept the change and still like me? And what about me, myself? What gets me about people? Is it about how they can help me with something later on in life? Or just being connected to them in some way makes me feel good? Or because they look good or do the same things I do, or do something completely different? Really, I don't think I'll ever really know. It will be a mystery to me always - why we really like some people, and why we don't like some, and how not liking can change into liking, and liking can change into not liking.
According to me, the mystery of why men and women are so different, or 'how to understand the mind of a woman' is less great than the mystery of what makes people click.


I saw reflections in the mirror
Of people around me - strangers almost
I've known them too less
And I'm not of much importance
To any of them - no capturing
A permanent image, solid
Non existent, but for wisps of memory
I reflected, into the past
Of the good times, how perfect
And I want those moments back
Now, today. Missing birthdays, faces
And the love. I was loved.
It made me remember how I felt
When I was loved.

She's gone

She was a beautiful dancer. And ever energetic, graceful in everything. What we had in common was love for animals. How many dogs she had! I'm never going to forget going to her house on those many occasions, nor traveling in the bus together, nor dancing at Boogie Woogie, competing with each other. I won't forget how she greeted me with open arms and a big smile when I met her after school. Such a good listener. She was so gentle, her voice, her long hair and her eyes.

The news came as such a shock. I would never have thought that I would never see that pretty face, those smiling eyes again. I would never have thought... Not her.

And the tears just came.


Memories flood my fragile mind
Holding me back, making me stop
And stand still to let it soak in
The smile nostalgia brings
Forming and dancing on my face
"Those were the days" I think
"Them beautiful days of love
And laughter and joy"
Then suddenly I stop and wonder
Are memories good for me?
They make my heart flutter
With forgotten happiness
But they make me stop,
Long for time to run backwards
I slow down where I now am
I kill some future memories maybe
Because I am too lost in old
'Strike a balance' I think to myself
''Cause life is very incomplete
Without these precious memories'
Memories make me smile
And give me hope when I'm low
They're worth a fortune, memories
Nostalgia comes with a pinch
Of sadness at the knowledge
That those days are gone by
And there will never be
Another time, day, place, person
Just like what you remember
But the joy is in the fact
That you knew moments like that
That you have memories
For company, no matter where, what
And that makes you gifted
You have the most precious

Friday, February 15, 2008


People are strange

When you're a stranger

Faces look ugly

When you're alone

- Jim Morrison

These four lines capture perfectly, the result of breaking a stereotype.

The dictionary definition of 'stereotype' is - "A fixed idea that people have about what a particular type of person is like, especially an idea that is wrong."

Especially in India, we live with so many stereotypes, that sometimes you lose count of how many. There are stereotypes related to career, to domestic life, to choices we make in our everyday lives, and ultimately, to who we are.

Women in India are only beginning to break out of the roles that had been defined for them centuries ago. Its only in the past two generations that women have been stepping out of their womb-like homes, from the lifestyles they have been leading, and into the "man's" bread-earning world.

Breaking out of a stereotype is one of the most difficult things to do. Whether its being a man who'd rather be a home-maker than work and earn money for the house, or being a woman who makes a decision not to marry to follow her career path. This is exactly what is captured in Jim Morrison's poetry (and also lyrics). When someone thinks out of the box, challenges a belief of the society, they are essentially breaking a stereotype. From the very first man who said that the world is not flat, but is round, to the woman who proved to be a better political leader in India; who were perhaps not recognised as people who had made breakthroughs in their lifetime, but only later appreciated, stereotypes have ruled the world.

A stereotype is not only usually wrong and followed by a large mass of people, but also, many times, a stereotype offers one a comfort zone. For e.g. in today's world, we all live by the stereotype routine of life - we are born, we study, we work, we marry, we reproduce, we watch our offspring grow, and we die. It may seem like the perfect way of life for all of us, perhaps because another way has not been ever explored. Not because there is no other way, but because people are afraid to break away and experiment. And those who have done it, are usually not recognised for their efforts, rather, they are looked down upon as being 'stupid enough' to break from the 'normal' path. Little do we realise what a commendable effort it is to break a habit that's not just a habit you have, but a habit that is common to all people.

So, for everybody who lives with and among these standard means of existence, there are still a lot of things that are questionable - and a lot of things that we don't even consider as stereotypes. This article, therefore, is just some food for thought.
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