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Sunday, August 13, 2017

nazis - go fuck yourselves.

nazis o nazis
you are a bunch of pricks
nazis o nazis,
eat a bowl of dicks.

instead of doing silly little salutes
go and read about melanin
humanity came out of africa,
your natural extinction can't be a sin

disabled by your ableism
you 2-book reading bollock scum,
read another book instead of burning one
your useless kingdom will never come.

the world ass-whooped your kind
you still hang onto a narrow history
your lessons aren't kind or good
your failure ain't a fuckin mystery.

sane people see you for what you are
your kampf is untrue and mighty dodgy
your stupid leader died in a ditch
and so will your ideology

nazis o nazis
you are a bunch of pricks
nazis o nazis,
eat a bowl of dicks.


P.S: I have hit the limit of what little creative ability I have, just writing this little nugget. If someone could set this to a lovely guitar tune and set it to a sing-along number, that would be lovely. 


Thursday, July 20, 2017

Somewhere I belong.

The consequence of the human condition is that you prop yourself up on the crutches of words and thoughts from others, when you are incapable of finding your own.

Facing a door to a basement, starkly lit and walking down without your hand being held was scary. So you catch a ray of light. And hold on to it. Tight. In the darkness, it reveals to you, your smile.

The fear of the unknown does not disappear. Its tyranny is diminished though. For even in a storm, you know where to find your own patch of sun.

I carry the ray of light they gave birth to. And so do a multitude of others. Maybe we carry a piece of them. For now they no longer need theirs.

Thank you.





Tuesday, July 18, 2017

The Mouth Licking What You've Bled

A list of books banned in India.

Hindu Heaven, Max Wylie (1934);
The Face of Mother India, Katherine Mayo (1936);
 Old Soldier Sahib, Frank Richards (1936);
The Land of the Lingam, Arthur Miles, (1937);
 Mysterious India, Moki Singh (1940);
The Scented Garden (Anthropology of the Sex Life in the Levant), Bernhard Stern, translated by David Berger (1945)
What has Religion done for Mankind, Watchtower Bible and Tract Society (1955);
 Rama Retold, Aubrey Menen (1955);
 Dark Urge, Robert W. Taylor (1955);
 The Ramayana, Aubrey Menen (1956);
 Captive Kashmir, Aziz Beg (1958);
 The Heart of India, Alexander Campbell (1959);
 The Lotus and the Robot, Arthur Koestler (1960);
 Nine Hours to Rama, Stanley Wolpert (1962);
 Unarmed Victory, Bertrand Russell (1963);
 Nepal, Toni Hagen (1963);
 Ayesha, Kurt Frishchler, translated by Norman Denny (1963);
 Lady Chatterley’s Lover, D.H. Lawrence (1964);
The Jewel in the Lotus (A Historical Survey of the Sexual Culture of the East), Allen Edwards (1968);
 The Evolution of the British Empire and Commonwealth from the American Revolution, Alfred Le Ray Burt (1969);
 A Struggle between Two Lines over the Question of How to Deal with U.S. Imperialism, Fan Asid-Chu (1969);
 Man from Moscow, Greville Wynne (1970);
 Early Islam, Desmond Steward (1975);
 Nehru: A Political Biography, Michael Edwards (1975);
 India Independent, Charles Bettelheim (1976);
 China’s Foreign Relations Since 1949, Alan Lawrence (1978);
 Who killed Gandhi, Lourenco De Sadvandor (1979);
 Understanding Islam through Hadis, Ram Swarup (1982);
 Smash and Grab: Annexation of Sikkim, Sunanda Datta-Ray (1984);
 The Satanic Verses, Salman Rushdie (1988);
 Soft Target: How the Indian Intelligence Service Penetrated Canada, Zuhair Kashmeri and Brian McAndrew (1989);
 The Polyester Prince, Hamish McDonald (1998);
 The True Furqan, “Al Saffee” and “Al Mahdee” (1999);
 Islam: A Concept of Political World Invasion, R.V. Bhasin (2007 – Maharashtra);
 Great Soul: Mahatma Gandhi and His Struggle With India, Joseph Lelyveld (2011 – Gujarat).

List courtesy of The Hindu. Link to full article.

The Adivasi Will Not Dance, Hansda Sowvendra Shekhar (2015 - Jharkhand)

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Caress.

How do you define a sense of belonging, of home? Most times I have tried to ruminate on the question, I come up with  - where I find love and all that entails. Where I am accepted for who I am. Its true. But then on trying to probe it any further, I kept drawing blanks.

I can maybe try to answer that today. Its where I am allowed to be my strongest and yet be at my most vulnerable.

Vulnerable - that very word conjures up a connotation of weakness, a sense of inferiority and a distrust, where strength is needed. Maybe it is all those things. But perhaps what isn't quite grasped in this harangue is acceptance. Acceptance of what you are at the germ of your person. It does sound simple enough, but its more like laying yourself naked. Revealing an oozing wound. In other words, being vulnerable. 

So when time comes, where you live in a commune of people who are as vulnerable as you are. And through what can only be described as limbic resonance, is this vulnerability visible to us. Through the physical senses we reach these vulnerabilities and talk to them. Laugh and maybe cry about them. Maybe take some walking steps together. And in doing so, feel relieved and at ease that we are there. 

So, here is my love letter to them and with some measure of gratitude. We adopt a facade to lead life, navigate its various vicissitudes and hope for survival. To you, I am completely bare. And here therefore, I belong.  



Saturday, June 3, 2017

Dead Letters

The interstate is no place for locked  memories and feelings to surface.

Barreling down the tarmac at more than legal speeds, looking for the next asshole who is going to cut across you and another lane to get to an exit they should have known was coming up - this isn't emotional milieu. For memories to come rushing out and images to fly across your eyes, safer places and substances have been known to mankind.

But then what does prepare you for anything? Not happiness, not tragedy and not nostalgia - none have an appropriate time and place. These lemons are tossed in your apple cart and all you can do is handle the tumble as best you can.

All I wanted to do, was say goodbye. All I want to do is feel him, before the light went out of his being. Lay eyes on him before the flames reduce him to ashes. Time to grieve helps but leaves ascatter shards that lacerate the stoic envelope at the most inopportune moments.


Survival instincts fortunately do mean that you box up the tear and press down harder. Away from your eye, and force your hands and feet to coordinate.

The car that cut across just makes its exit. Maybe they are rushing to be by someone's side in their fleeting moments. Hopefully they get to say goodbye. Hopefully the entropy of memories only finds pleasant form when examined.

As the engine ticks cool, under the canopy of the starlit sky, I allow myself a sigh of anguish and sing a borrowed paean. I loved that man, his flaws and all. For that, I can only say thank you.


Sunday, March 5, 2017

Bliss

Today, now, I am happy.

Most days do not lead to this. Most days are made of check lists, tasks, regrets and memories.Missing family and friends. All drowned in the white noise of music.

In the cold isolation of this morning, the shadowy foreboding of the same still lurked. It is the baggage that I have accepted - that will not vanish. In the din of the game, in the middle of a hot cup of tea, the tedium that has visited on previous days, taps again on my shoulder. And as an old friends I hug it, falling into its familiar sentiment and trap.

This rapid descent was slowed by a few laughs and the brilliance of the sun coming through the full windows. Its cold outside, but I feel the warmth of the sun. Magnus Carlsen - I am introduced to this genius today. Familiarity with his name had helped me avoid the discovery of his person. To my own ignorance, to say the least. It is wondrous this revelation. The sun rises to mid day. I lie basking in its brilliance. And notice the shadows it casts. The rapid descent has been brought to a crawl.

I try to capture the shadows that are cast in my living room. The colors that are brought forth. And the objects that fall obscured by the wayside in the brilliance. Viewing through countless electrons, what I could see in plain sight, is for some profound reason extremely comforting. Maybe I have bent this device to my will. Meet Rene Redzepi of Noma. The crawl has diminished to barely understandable motion.

That this outsider with a potty mouth can create his own language, carve his own identity on a plate and serve it to whoever would dare. Listening to waves crash on the shore make sense in the very same way. It commands attention and focus. It asks for an open mind. It begs for innocence.

Yeast is well understood and still mysterious to me. Every time I see the risen dough, the facade of mystery falls away to push forth a smile. I don't want to know its nature - its function is all I need to know and harness. Kneading the dough, until smooth. And then proof.

I have come to a stop. There is nothing here. Nothing that I need to look for. I can just sit here and be. Its not unsettling anymore. I, just, am. My mind is at ease. My journey is at an end. I am happy. 

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Kitchen : Threads of Perspective

I would really implore anyone reading this blog to go watch this series, Chef's Table. Its a wonderful series highlighting the creativity and exploration of ingredients and cooking techniques brought forth by some of the worlds best chefs, leading to a sense of personal and professional accomplishment.

In episode #1, Massimo Bottura explains how his perspective about food was formed when he was trying to avoid getting beaten up by his elder brothers by hiding under the table on which his grandma was hand rolling fresh pasta. 

I learnt cooking from my mom. The flavors of Gujarat and Maharashtra coming together in that room, taking shape via my moms hands. The many colors, spices, ingredients that made the final dish. The commotion of guests and relatives. The dress and ritual of the occasion. Every morsel that I take today, of the food that I learnt from my mom, is a window into that room, a thread to those memories from a time by gone and much cherished. 

Technique of cooking and ingredients are of paramount importance. In the world of genetically modified everything and perfect looking produce, what you put in your dish and eventually in your body, becomes so much more important. And that connects you to the area you currently inhabit - your ecology. Fresh local produce (emphasis on Episode #2 New York's very own Chef Dan Barber) bursting full of earthy goodness can be felt instantly - spontaneously differentiated from food made from mass farmed, pesticide/fertilizer laden food. It is almost an emotional connection, for in that moment, that freshness, transforms your state of mind and soul. It puts you onto a completely different emotional pedestal.

Again, coming to the episode that talks about Massimo - he talks about his wife Lara and how her support and vision was important for his mercurial talents to be harnessed in a way that would create much upheaval in the macrocosm that is Modenese cooking and bring it to modernity. While, I am nowhere close to the heights of culinary excellence that Mr. Bottura boasts of, I can identify this way of connecting and letting another person guide what and how you cook. 

Which brings me to when I cook food, what am I achieving in terms of a personal connection. I like cooking for friends, colleagues at work and especially my wife. And seeing their eyes light up and a smile on their face when they taste that food - in that experience, I have created another thread that will carry into the future. And that experience also pushes me to experiment and move onto recipes and ingredients that aren't native to my posterity. And that is the urge that nourishes life - maybe there is something better that I can do, newer ingredients, better methods. Traversing the landscape of this culinary  pasture will lead to climbing the ladder in physical and spiritual fulfilment - at least that is the hope. 




Saturday, May 30, 2015

Ride Along.

With fair tidings,
I sailed alongside the rainbow.
With beacons from ashore, saying farewell.
Into the horizon where sand, sky and sea merge.

Headlong into the breeze,
I ride alongside the rainbow.
With maples and poplars waving bemused
The carpet of grey carrying us through lands green and lush.

Under canopy, mosaic of hues
I fly alongside the rainbow.
Held aloft by the gentle breeze,
Through the ether we soar.

As the shadows grow long,
The strands of color dissipate in a trice.
I know this time the rays will return
to stitch together the colored strands,
Companions to me, forever woven together in my thoughts.





Sunday, December 28, 2014

I am a product of the females around me....

Through my life unto this point in time, I have been extremely fortunate , for I have had some of the most loving, strong and graceful women around me.
Every human being goes through adverse circumstances during their time on this pale blue dot and faces them as they see fit. In my time of need, I have drawn immense strength and wise counsel from their experience. For that and so much love and care over the years, I cannot thank them enough and will continue to live in a way which honors them.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Emirates Airlines Faceplam!

Me and my wife were travelling back from JFK via DXB to BOM, India. We checked in the 2 regular bags per person ( 4 bags, 23 kgs each). But while we were about to board the plane, we were asked to check in our carry on suitcases ( suitcases that are considered carry on in domestic US flights and other international carriers) since they did not fit the size regulations, as we were told.
1. Why was this not told to us at the boarding counter at the Gate? The entrance of a plane is hardly an ideal place to be told that the bag has to be checked in. The gate counter is a much better place to announce and enforce such regulations.
2. Why was every passenger not checked for this? The rule has to be the same for everyone. Some people had the same size luggage in the plane, for which we were stopped.
3. Why were the tags handwritten? Details were filled in by hand and that led to misplacement . Computer generated tags would have solved the problems
4 There is no indication of customer service or lost and found baggage at airport and no representatives from Emirates at the carousel to check for issues.
Because of the missing bags, we have had to spend additional time and/or money to recover or replace items that we would have needed urgently after landing.
One of the bags has since been recovered and returned to us. But even that was not a pleasant experience as the person who returned the bag to us was quite rude and kept accusing us of giving him the wrong address and misleading him - which makes no sense as that would just be us shooting ourselves in the foot.
So, we are missing one bag and still have no idea where it is located and hence no ETA on when we would get it back.
The tracking system at Emirates airlines still shows both bags as being traced - it just makes a mockery of itself and us customers.
Please do not check in your bags after going through boarding. In case there is no alternative, please ask for a computer generated luggage tag and verify all details. Because in the end the real loser is the customer , in all of this.

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Addendum - 5/29/2015

This comes a tad late and I do apologise for this.

Emirates did compensate us for the lost items. We had to send them the receipts (if any ) of the articles in the missing bag and it took them about 2 months to finally tally up the loss and remit the amount back to us. Thanks to them for helping us out.