Thursday, July 31, 2008

Beautiful myth

How do you build a myth? To begin with, you can't have colour photographs of it. It helps if the myth is dead, like Madhubala is. It's kind of rude to call Madhubala a myth but it's ruder to call her ordinary. I was watching Howrah Bridge the other night, and I couldn't help but think that Madhubala's beauty is such a romantic notion. Sure, she was pretty but there have been better. Unfortunately, the better ones didn't live in the black and white era and didn't die tragically. It's those damn historians who have made us believe that all good things are either in museums or dead. My vote for Madhuri Dixit any day.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Dud bomb

Our newspapers find creative ways to sound idiotic. Today, I woke up to a report on how RGV's Contract inspired the recent bombings across the country. The genius who wrote that should be locked up in some cave in Afghanistan with Osama's rabid donkey for company.
Every bomb that RGV has tried to build since Urmila has been a dud, including Antara Mali and Nisha Kothari. Yes, he should be dispatched to the same cave for remaking Sholay but holding him responsible for inspiring terrorism is giving him too much credit.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Green eyes glowing in the dark

She used to seek shelter in the portals of the school down the road from where I lived. She had three mongrels, a cat and her insanity for company. I was five years old and believed in stories of witches with evil green eyes, who would eat up little boys who didn't do their homework.
I always wondered where she wandered off during the day, but come twilight and she would be back on the verandah of my school. The school was at the end of a desolate lane which I had to cross during my daily routine of running errands for my mum. I would try and cross the school as fast as I could run, taking great care not to look at the witch with the green eyes. Come to think of it, I never looked her in the eye, it was just what the other kids made me believe.
It was my first real experience with fear. I had to work on it. I had to will myself to walk slower when I crossed the witch's lair. I can't remember if I completely conquered the demons in my five-year-old head but I did stop looking under my bed. I don't believe in ghost stories anymore. But there was a time, when I used to see green eyes glowing in the dark.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Go play

No body wants to go to Pakistan. Not Botham's ma-in-law, not the Aussie cricketers, not even Sunny Deol. It's a scary place, straight out of The Mighty Heart, though that was Pune masquerading as Karachi.
I think our fear is making this world a scarier place. People do go about the business of living in Pakistan. Every white man who steps off a plan is not abducted and butchered and made a movie out of. Bombs do go off in other places of the world as well. By refusing to travel to Pakistan for the Champions Trophy, our big, brave heroes are endorsing a diabolic cause. Fear is the key weapon for terrorism, the more fear we show, the stronger they get.
More than anyone else, sportsmen have got to show the way. That they are above politics, that they are winners, that some cowards with bombs can't kill their spirit. Go play, for the love of life.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The moment hasn't passed

I stand still in the middle of the city. Blazing neons, blaring horns, the cackle of people in the business of living. I wait for the flash in my head. It crackles but doesn't combust. Some other day, perhaps. I know it will come. The moment.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Cast me in stone

If you had to inscribe your life on your own tombstone, what would it be? I reckon it would be the most evolved form of advertising, writing your own life's copy for posterity.
Would you be honest though?

Star gazing

When we were young, Sanjana and I liked watching the stars. It cost us five bucks apiece to buy tickets at the planetarium. It was absolutely magical, watching the stars in a rum-drenched haze.
Was her name Sangita I wonder.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Prayer for the living

God give me the courage
to sleep at work
God give me the wisdom
to change stapler pins
God give me the patience
to last commercial breaks (without killing myself)
God give me the strength
to finish that last drink
God give me foresight
to find empty parking spaces
God give me the generosity
to pay my credit card bills
God be kind
send me a black BMW with beige leather seats (and an oil well)

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Runaway purple bus

I am on the purple bus to heaven. We take a left on Mahatma Gandhi Road and hurtle through Nelson Mandela promenade. Good People's square is lined with orange trees and twinkling ferry lights.
We stop at the intersection. Which way to heaven now? Should we follow the great unwashed or do we just follow the pink cadillac.
I ask my neighbour. "Go to hell," he says.
I look around. The purple bus is moving but it has no driver. I am headed to hell in a headless bus.
Damn, it's the vodka.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Bloody old men

I want to go back to being fourteen, meet Paul McArtney in school, and form The Beatles. This time around, I would even spell it right and make sure it's Yoko who gets shot.
It's annoying me today, all those missed buses. I need some rum and some compassion. It's not my fault that all the good things were invented before I was born, yeah, even Old Monk.
They didn't leave anything for me to discover, invent or kill.
It's not that I am not bright or anything.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Six string muse

I wish I could play guitar like Gilmour. Watching him play is a spiritual experience, pure and primal. I would give an arm and a leg to play like that. On second thoughts, leg would do, little difficult to play without an arm no.

And the awards suck

Rolling Stones is out with its list of 100 greatest guitar songs. Reinforces my theory that lists suck, no matter who does it, even RS.
100 greatest guitar songs does not feature Black Dog by Led Zeppelin, nothing from Deep Purple, no Hey You or Wish you Were Here from Floyd, no Aqua Lung from Tull and most shockingly no All Along the Watch Tower.
I agree you can't have more than 100 songs in a list of 100, so some gems will be left out but you can't miss the obvious. Not you revered RS.
In an earlier list, Rolling Stone had voted for Like a Rolling Stone as the greatest song ever. Even Dylan would agree he has written better songs than that.
In case you still want to trawl that list, knock yourself out at:
PS: Like a Rolling Stone is the Rolling Stone mag's greatest song:) Providence?

Monday, July 14, 2008

So long, Asif

People who consume banned substances, shouldn't pee into bottles. Eh, Asif? His ability to get nailed every time he is up to mischief almost matches his ability to nail perfectly good batsmen.
So long, Asif. What a talent. What a monumental idiot.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Here and now

Right now, the earth is revolving around its axis. I sure hope so. Right now, someone is looking for Elvis Presely. I hope he is dead, he must be dreadfully old and fat by now. There are others looking for Subhash Chandra Bose; they have a lot of time in Kolkotta.
Right now, those two are tossing names in the air for their new-born. All the good baby names have been reserved for Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. Right now Shah Rukh is wondering if he should buy a dog. It's more sensible than buying a team. It's easier to name for sure.
Right now, people are asleep in Los Angeles. Others are dreaming a pure vegetarian American dream in Bangalore. Brinjal burgers and Linux. Yummy.
Right now, the truth about Aarushi is being buried under layers of Noida dust. Right now, the devil is scouting for disciples while God is away in China for the Olympics.

Friday, July 11, 2008

A few clever men

Look ma, they are seeding clouds over the lakes to create rain. They are making babies in test tubes. Out there in Dubai, they are creating snow indoors when it's 50 degrees out on the tarmac.
My question then ma is why can't we let these clever men run nations. Surely, clever men can find peace on earth without bombing babies and shooting monks. Come to think of it, they could teach our batsmen to read Ajantha Mendis too.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

It's about time

Time seems to be stuck in peak hour traffic today. I want to go out there and do something. Find an oil well in my backyard, find a cure for congenital stupidity or mirrors that make fat people look fatter.
I could set up a call center for God but he is just a thought I think, like Kaiser Soze. The smartest thing he did was to make you believe he exists.
But that's not the point. The point is I need to do something useful today. Do aliens like Coca Cola I wonder. I must find out.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Boys will be ... different

He is nine. Lugs a 4-kilogram haversack to school, then lugs it to tuition classes. He loves football but drags a cricket kit to the ground, perfecting the art of keeping the head still, toes pointing in the direction of the ball. His father knows Banerjees don't get paid as much as Dhonis.
He is a good boy, he doesn't eat on the road because mummy says cholera is bad, he plays with his bowl of healthy veggies instead. He eats his calcium and protein supplements on time. He drinks filtered water and doesn't mess about in muddy puddles. He doesn't own a slingshot because there are no trees and the mangoes come in cases.
He has never stepped into a library, they let him watch TV. He doesn't fight with other boys, he has a PlayStation 3. He will never pick a six-string, he has a computer, he will be a DJ.
Aaah, the joy of growing up in malls.

PS: He doesn't have dirty finger nails. Mummy and him have pedicures regularly.

A Rickshaw named Bulbul

It's our chariot with purple grapes and twinkling lights. On its nose hangs a resigned disk of songs forgotten. It has weary creases on its seat and dark secrets in its heart.
Let us, you and I, ride through these memory lanes, in a rickshaw named Bulbul.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Evil dead

The evil that men do lives after them
the good is oft interred with their bones ...

-- Marc Anthony at Caesar's funeral.

It does. Mr.Muralitharan you have left a morbid fear of math in me. I still wake up at night in icy sweat having flunked another math exam. I remember the evil in your eyes as you mocked my desperate attempts at cracking rudimentary equations. I hope you married an ugly hag who likes Shah Rukh Khan movies.

Man eats dog eats

It's an angry morning. The rage has spilt out on the roads like red rain, hissing and spitting. Honk clashes with honk, temper with temper, fender with fender. The world's in a angry hurry; no one has time to pipe down and smell the monoxide.
Except him and his mongrel, eating of their dusty pan. He pauses between scratching and eating to throw a morsel at a circling intruder cat. Mutt, man, ticks and rags in perfect symphony.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Play it again, Fed

How many roads must a man walk down
before you call him a man ...
-- Bob Dylan, Blowin' in the wind.
For some men the road seems endless. I am shell-shocked at the way every two-bit sports writer on good earth has jumped up and declared Roger Federer dead-on-arrival at Wimbeldon.
On television the other night, the five-times champion, amazingly polite in the face of boorish questions from the media, said, "Don't write me off yet."
Federer may lose Wimbeldon. But that will not change the fact that he remains one of the greatest sportsmen of all time. For the sake of all things beautiful in life, I hope he wins. Because on song, there is no better sight in sport than FedEx in motion.