August 24, 2016 § Leave a comment

We need to believe that anything is possible; that there are infinite possibilities. That we will never know what’s going to happen next, and not force our lives to become slaves to suppositions planted by society and it’s talismans. At times, the world seems to be crumbling under its own weight, and life a series of disappointments, all seemingly aimed at boxing you in, as if you were the problem with it. But that isn’t so. When the world around you starts hitting out, it recognizes you. And when it finds that you aren’t conforming to what it deems as your life, and bounded possibilities, it wants to rein you in. For long you fight the world by its terms, but there comes a point, when you realise that there is more to you than this fight against the world, and the way you see it changes. You realise you don’t need to fight the world on its terms. You can do it by yours. The question is always what does it take to do it your way. When you  know what you are willing to give, and what it means to you, the world will respond to it. It will allow you to carve yourself some space, because it thinks it has placed you. But it hasn’t. You know it, it does not. The possibilities are infinite, and you need to remember, however lonely the night is, there is someone there –  you.


March 23, 2016 § Leave a comment

We have become creatures who no more can find the beauty in life, no more look into the mirror and smile at ourselves as free beings. We enslave ourselves in crass expectations,  we bind ourselves in social limits and petty empty words which mean nothing to anyone. We aren’t truthful or honest, we lie, and lie more, and then lie to ourselves that our lies are the truth, and by that we expect ourselves to live and conquer.

I’m utopian. As utopian as I was when I was a teen, a child. There was a point where I almost mistook Rand’s Utopia to be what I dreamt of, but then realised that wasn’t it. Those who still hold by that, would call me a sore loser- after all, by a measure of absolutes, I have my share of blunders, but by a measure of personal time and belief, I believe I am not. I wouldn’t say I have succeeded in doing anything of significance, but I would certainly say I haven’t failed- I still believe in humanity and that we possess that something it takes to be nice to each other.

What remains certain though, is not to expect it from individuals. No, not holding people not responsible for their words and actions, but to not expect them to be what you see as desirable. We need compassion, and by that, to put yourself out there and be hurt, again and again, again and again- it is not masochism, it isn’t to make yourself feel good- it is to remember that what separates the merely alive, from those that yearn pleasure and meaning, is to give to another, as if to oneself.

The intellect in itself is of no use, if the mind lacks compassion. All the intelligence in the world, will foster nothing if it fails to emerge from a larger human consciousness, that which serves life and our living. To hate the intellect and the intellectual is to pollute the river that feeds us, to cut the forests that gave birth to us, and to claim the barren fat land as scared and unpolluted. We are all nothing than a sum of those atoms, those almost unimaginable quarks, in a seemingly infinite universe of those. Our significance is bound to our world and what we know, as much as it is for a myopic lizard. And when we fail to appreciate that there is much more than we know, and destroy the words from the  human mind that tell us so, we are but heading towards self-destruction.

Memories, of your memories

January 11, 2016 § Leave a comment

Memories, of your memories.

I stand beneath that gopuram, between these pillars and ask the silence to tell me, of those days when you hid and played, unseen.

The breeze that blows is filled with the smoke of vehicles, the pillars have been reinforced by concrete and those who seek redemption drop rupees and not annas. This is a world which won’t allow me in without you- the family home is now something else- claimed by wont and avarice of those who sought more than memories and peace. The streets are dirty and the cars line the way, I try to imagine your life, as it could have been, under an emperor and a queen, protected by your namesake, under the vestiges of ancient beliefs.

The time you survived small pox and the man who said you would live albeit your world all but giving up- I cannot think of such a man, or the fact that he was a tenant on our family lands. People have measured you in your life by everything you didn’t do, and you could have done, but you lived a man of beliefs- of a secular life, equality and most of all, excellence in mind and thought. You taught me history, you told me the ways of the world, and gave me stories. And you gave me a philosophy, you gave me a heirloom which none else could have done. For long I felt it was a burden, but in that I found emancipation. I wish I could talk to you about what I feel now, where I stand and what want- at the dining table, just you and I.

I don’t know whose pillars these are, but you were mine. This land, it holds history which stretches far, and the river which flows has reigned the veins of many a maverick.

Do I belong here? You did. I belonged to you, as only a grandson can. Who else would entertain every foible of mine?

Memories, of your memories. I live with them, unburdened now. In them I see who I could be. I am what I am today because of who you were.

3 January went by, but it was unlike any other day, for your birthday will always be special to me. Now, I write, with a tear in my eyes, for none can be you for me(or I for you.)

We humans tend to glorify life, and for its sake death. But, no grandeur can last longer than the last breath. Our histories are ours. To the rest they are but stories and tales, a once upon a time. And in my history there is you, and your stories. In your last breath, you reached for what you believed. I hope in mine, I do the same.

Memories, of your memories.

Omkar Chakraborti (11/7/1991 to 3/9/2013)

September 4, 2013 § 4 Comments

To a friend who was and now in our hearts will be.

There were days when we spoke for hours over the phone about everything either of us could think of. There were days when you made my day out of nothing and put up with all the endless nonsense, the endless barrage of wish-wash and mish-mash which I came up with. You were a friend, like none other.

That bright smile and that big booming  laugh of yours will stay with me forever. Through much you smiled and laughed and gave me belief like no one else. Your believed in what I did and we both held on to hope, someday, sometime. I always dreamed of a day when we both would catch over a coffee or a drink and laugh at our silliness and how we made it the way we dreamt. Yet that remains a dream, the time and the distance have now become permanent and there is a void, a void which I know none can fill.

I don’t know what happened, but whatever did, to me Omkar will always be that boy, that guy who laughed and told me, “Vichu, please da, you know how people are.”

And what we shared, I would like to believe was more than what even death, distances and years can undo. It has been over a year since I spoke to you and a headline is rather a punitive way for me to learn what happened. Maybe I am a bad friend and nothing will ever assuage the pain. I should have been there for you, but circumstances are their own masters, unless tamed by things beyond their petty threads, and words are just that.

Your smile and laughter were infectious, and to the future, I shall carry that, for not even our dreams were as big as that.

You were a person beyond your years, one conscious of your identity, patriotic and mad about making this world a better place. Your passion and energy were inspiring and will remind me of what still needs to be done.

If tomorrow is a morning, then we shall all smile for you, because you reminded us time and again, that within us there is something better and that we can.

I will miss you Omkar.

P.S:- I am going to yell and scream at you in my dreams tonight, like never before.



June 18, 2013 § 1 Comment

We live in a petty world. And before you know it gets pettier and pettier, till nothing but a flaming feeling which burns the best in you is all that is left. What happens when people you know pass away?

All you want is reconciliation. But the advice given, the comfort offered is all based on traditional beliefs, even if people know you think so otherwise. How can that help me? How do you expect me to look for understanding your efforts in my grief? Or is it the bane of thinking otherwise?

The word freedom is thrown around and left to scamper any corner, anyone’s fancies. And yet it is in your moment of desperation or grief  that it seems larger than ever. Are rites bigger than the person you have lost? Is tradition more important than the love, the respect?

Why are we still caught in a web of rituals which aren’t really suited today? Some of the things would have made perfect sense 200 or even 100 years ago, but today are out of context. Some others enforce beliefs of the family, even when the person as such might think otherwise. In other words we don’t get what we are doing. And we are apparently more educated than any of our ancestors, or are we?

At some point along the way, it becomes more about those who are here, and that moment doesn’t really take long. Quickly do versions of what happened develop and are interpreted to suit our beliefs. But I want to hold the memory untainted, the words as said and understood, because that is what matters. If only we could photograph every moment, every word and stick it up to remind ourselves.

The world seems lonely without someone who understood me, my line of thinking and most importantly someone who helped me find my feet and to seek meaning and understanding. It is lonely because everyone else judges me, thinks of how it affects them, what could come of it for them. Because he was never ever angry with me, ever. Not once has he raised his voice, not once has he told me to toe the line. He was happy with whatever I offered, whatever I achieved.

He gave me hope and inspiration, he awed me with his stories, often quoting from texts in Tamil, Sanskrit and English. He told me things which no one else would or could. Life threw so many things at him, and yet he held to his own and stood his ground and brought up the family to be what it is today. I haven’t met a more open minded person, and doubt I ever will. He has never forced a belief onto anyone. And even when others would chide him, he encouraged me to think, think again and he would guide me at it. His world has windows, which did not have glass or grills but were left open.

It isn’t just all those happy childhood memories, it is also the days he helped me with school, the way he listened to me when I was very depressed, the way he was there for me through my teens. It isn’t the chocolates he would buy for me, it is the identity, the pride and self-respect he was able to show me. Through my rebellion, through my teens, through everything, he trusted me and encouraged me to make my own choices in life.

This is the most painful thing I have written, because he more is, but was. And as my tears hit the keyboard, I miss him.

Aravamuthan Srinivasaraghavan(3/1/1933-16/6/2013)

June 17, 2013 § 1 Comment



And no more can I click a photo of him, and no more can I talk to him about places, history or something that is bothering me. He was a friend, a guide and someone who has inspired me throughout my life. He made me think, jump and see what’s on the other side. He taught me history, poetry, geography, mythology and gave me things which on else but he could.

And now all he is, are  memories, but ones which I can never forget.

I miss you thatha.

I miss thatha.



“Things look bright and the future looks great. Happy end of the world.”

December 17, 2012 § 2 Comments

As December 21, 2012, the day the world is supposed to end approaches, hell is getting prepared to welcome humans. “We expect at least a million percent increase,” says a source who is in-charge of attendance. “At present we have 10 gates for issuing id. cards to the inmates when they enter, but come twenty-first we will be opening at least a couple of million more. The photo of the inmate is taken and using an infernal-red tech. which scans the inmate continuously throughout their stay, we track changes in physical appearance. This is much like a Job card only much more simpler.”

“Yes, people do change. And hell inspires changes. The big boss wanted this to reform people, before putting them on the belt.” says a whipper, who to keep his identity secret, wears a horse mask. “The humans relate to it. That makes our job so much easier. It started out as a prank really, but it works awesome. Once we whip them, we send them over to the pre-heat.”

The CTO  and executive Vice-President of hell, Angel McGreedy, says that the challenge was in expanding. “Heaven is expanding as well. And the land prices have gone through the roof. The government had to interfere and acquire the land and give it to us. Landowners have been issued bonds which they can redeem in cash or kind at six months from now. We expect to generate enough cash flow by then, given the number of inmates coming in. The government has also promised us extra subsidiary against sales, especially exports.”

Hell currently has a manufacturing cycle of three months. But a real issue would be the excess of humans coming in. “Look we have no control over the input. At times it is low, at times it is high- the main difference is in storage and maintenance which would increase drastically. But with the end of the world, the demand will also increase many folds. Also, we will be coming out with a new premium product, much more sophisticated, much more to the gods tastes. In fact, even customization is possible. This should increase the revenue as well. We have built special warehouses to house the extra input. ”

“The additional plant near Vykunt began operating a year ago. We acquired Softpoke and with their technology, it is now possible to reduce the time to produce these premium products.” During the previous end of the world, or pralaya, hell had major power shortage, leading to only two premium products being available  at the time of recreation. “That was hell. We had to face a lot of legal cases as well. In the end we settled it out of court, with special offers during the next recreation(now).”

“We were small, very small in fact. Our labourers went on strike asking for retirement benefits. Admittedly we didn’t handle it well either. But the power shortage didn’t help. Our kilns couldn’t function properly. It is necessary to keep the inferno at the right temperature. Humans are a delicate and expensive material. It takes skill and craft to make them properly.”

Another major worry that the input will be of a very low standard. Currently, Humans who don’t meet hell’s standards are discarded and sold as scrap. “Yes, that is a major worry. We hope a part of the increase will be met by higher demand for the scrap. In fact, we wouldn’t even call it scrap, we could call it a by-product. The Rats Hell Inc especially wants more humans. Another opportunity we are looking at is soul-merger technology. It is still in its infancy, but it could be worth a shot. It would increase the quality of our products.”

One major change this time around would be that there will be no Rebirth Humans Inc around. The company had to shutdown its factories as the demand for their product fell. But Humans Hell Inc is looking at the possibility of acquiring them. “Yes, that is something we are looking at. That technology would help us a lot. At present our reformation process takes over a month long. But with the rebirth technology it would help us bring down the time to about a couple of days.”

As Earth prepares for impending doom, Humans Hell Inc. looks to out perform all competitors. “We already have a few orders coming in- both from home and abroad. We expect orders to pick up after end of the world. Currently, buyers are cautious, keeping their options open. But we are confident. Things look bright and the future looks great. Happy end of the world.”


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