"Whatever has happened once, will not happen again..but what has happened twice is bound to happen for the third time..." - Paulo Coelho from "The Alchemist"

"Here is your knife ma'am..."

"... or would you prefer something shinier?? how about this one with the green handle?? brings out the colour in madame's eyes...No?? then how about this shotgun?? custom made to fit nicely in ones handbag and comes with a small mirror attached, so you can check out the makeup after you've shot someone...".

Being living in Delhi for more than a decade I'm eagerly awaiting for the time when I would be able to accompany my sweetheart to a shop and buy her a knife or a gun or better still a rocket launcher(hope they have it in pink colour). All my woes which crop up whenever I have to buy something for my sisters (cause it is rakshabandhan, cause it is their birthday, cause they had to walk in that particular cafe where I was having coffee with my baby at that exact moment when we were...never mind) will be gone forever because I can give them custom made bazookas, with Barbie stickers of course.

In the past two days, I read two blogs posted by two persons from the opposite sex dealing with the same problem and having the same core issue in both of them.'Pseudo Intellectual' and 'BoHeMiAn RhApSody'. Both of them wrote about the bad experiences they had with guys/uncles/bastards/slimeballs/fucked up assholes(take your pick) and didn't quite painted a very rosy picture of the world outside for the fairer sex. It was clear from peoples reaction that they were outraged and sympathised with them but none of them showed any signs of surprise,especially the girls, it was as if it was just another day in their lives(applaud to every Women in this world, you might not have bulging biceps but the strength in all of you is unmatched).

First of all I apologise to anyone who might think that I'm taking this as a joke, believe me after whatever I've seen in the roads,buses and markets of Delhi and have heard from my female friends, what they have to ordeal each day, I take this very seriously and feel pretty strongly about it too.

Although usually I'm a very peace loving, calm and nonviolent person, always using my wits instead of my strength but the way guys treat women brings out the worst( I think of it as my best though) in me.
I got many female friends and have heard the most disgusting of stories, seen girls breakdown because of what they have to go through and witnessed the most rowdiest of crowds misbehaving. And every time I've fumed and did everything in my abilities to be of any assistance.

Two years back I was travelling in a bus,totally jam packed, when I noticed two guys purposedly leaning on a girl. She must be right out of school, small and petite, looked like a fresher and was terrified of what was happening to her(I gather it was the first time she was stepping out from the security of her home and travelling alone). I don't know whether anyone else saw that terrified look in her eyes but I did and on that moment I did something I never thought myself of doing. I asked the girl to exchange places with me which she silently did and after that started the longest staredown in the history of mankind(or at least that history which concerns me). Both of the guys were pissed at what I had done and were staring at me right in the eyes with pure unadulterated hatred, as for me I was smirking, hoping, eagerly praying to God to just let them do anything just to pick up a fight, even a 'HI' would have been sufficient for giving me an opportunity to knock both of them out of the bus (this continued for the next 20 minutes or so). As usual Devil came to their rescue before God heard my prayer(that's the trouble with the world, the Almighty takes so much of time to do anything while Satan is so swift..no wonder there is more evil on Earth) or rather there good sense prevailed (don't intend to boast but I'm 6'1 and have quite a daunting personality) and they got off the bus, two stops later the girl also left the bus and gave me a faint little smile and the feeling of satisfaction finally swept over me(Atleast now I'll get a place in Heaven for 20 minutes).
This incident isn't the only one in my life, I never had many fights in my life but every time I picked a fight it was always when some guy was misbehaving with some woman. Had a fight in my college with my classmates who used to comment on the girls in the corridors (I never hang out with them), threw out two drunk guys from a dhaba on a road trip, blasted a guy off when he tried touching my mom in the market(mom never found out this...I caught his hand as he was trying to touch her),and tried protecting my sisters and girlfriend in a mob(I make a very good wall mind you).

I'm not a hero and I'm not trying to blow my own trumpet. I know I was lucky in most of the cases and I understand everything could have gone horribly wrong for me. I understand violence is not the answer(although it does take the attention away from the question) but I also know that reasoning also fails with perverts. I also fail to understand why sometimes sensible, educated man do such things and here I might add that I've seen people from the most lower class acting truly like a gentleman.
There is no sure shot way of dealing with people like these but the first and foremost step is ought to be taken by the ladies themselves. Gone are the days of submissiveness and turning down your gaze, it is the time of action and reaction, the time to teach every jerk in this world a lesson they will never forget. Banish them, humiliate them publicly, better still beat the hell out of them to tell them what you are made of. As for the guys I don't think standing coolly around the corner, smoking, being able to do 100 push ups or being able to jerk off every 15 minutes makes you a Man, hell you can't even consider yourself a Dude or Stud for that matter. When you see a lady in trouble offer her help, see a lady standing in a bus or metro give her your seat, see anyone misbehaving with a girl atleast stop them and call for the police.

Although I've done my share of bad things, seen girls on the road and near colleges and thought "Hell she is HOT !!", have smiled at girls and tried to strike up a conversation but have never made any girl uncomfortable with my looking at least(hell I never see a girl below her face for that matter), never touched anyone inappropriately, never made any lewd gestures, have tried to behave in the most chivalrous manner and the gave the proper respect a lady deserves.
I just hope to God that soon there may be a dearth of topics such as these and no one has to go through such situations again.

-dedicated to all the Women of the World.

Antriksh the Skinner

In the late 18oo's, London was terrified by a serial killer christened Jack the Ripper by the press. The man used to kill prostitutes during the night. The victims were strangled and then their organs removed.

Cut to 2008, New Delhi. Tonight was a night of turmoil for me. At first I decided to curl up in bed and wish to the Almighty that he takes away this godforsaken life.

And that is when Satan approached me and suggested that why not instead of ending this life I put it to some better use and punish those who had made my life hell and are pushing others to the same path of madness??

That is when I decided that I'll don the role of 'The Skinner' who'll skin his victims alive.

I was a happy-go-lucky guy, sane in the head, quite satisfied with his life.

Until I decided to take a brake and watch some prime time television. And my ordeal started.

Mindless Reality shows, Reruns of family feuds on each channel, comedy shows which make me puke instead of laughing, a fuckingly mindless flick 'Blackmail' (I used to like Priyanka Chopra & Ajay Devgan before this) and on whatever is branded as the News channel,"Ek sadak jo khoon mangati hai....jise laal rang pasand hai...jahan maut ka nanga naach hota hai"(A road which asks for blood...which likes red colour....where death dances naked[END QUOTE]...I guess this was the part cause of which even Satan sat up in his warm little 'Hell-pad'...someone says your girlfriend dances naked on the street you sure won't sit away idly will you??), every fucking thing fizzled out my brain and left me in the state I'm.

I've decided that I'll roam the streets at night and when ever I'll find someone who is associated with with these mindless freak shows, I'll make sure that they pay for making me and my fellow human beings watch all of this crap.

Though there is something I can watch when the adrenaline has stopped pumping and am washing away the blood stains from my clothes, Cartoon Network and other Kid channels are worth a timepass...even falling anvils and talking animals make more sense than these family sagas and you can always switch to a sports channel (somewhere around the world someone must be playing something..even a kho-kho match between Bangladesh & Fiji is worth a dekko than the usual horseshit) or Discovery (or its subsidiary viz. History Channel or National Geographic) and learn something about this world and use it to show that dumb lass you've been trying to woo away from your best friend that you are smarter than him. And the music channels,only when singers in skimpy clothes sing or Katrina Kaif comes and shakes her booty(I don't give a damn about the Music..if I wish to hear a good song like a good criminal I'll download it from the net...Piracy Rocks !!!).

Time to go. Just saw an assistant of Ekta Kapoor. Need to sharpen my blade.

Where have the Jokers gone???

The most important of all the senses god bestow upon us is without doubt the Sense of Humour.
You can do away with smell when you are passing through the streets of Mumbai, eyes can always take a hike when flipping through channels(except in the cases when Katrina Kaif is on the screen...obvious exceptions), sense of touching is of no use when you have no one [:)] to touch, as for taste,if you've eaten south Indian once you've eaten it to last a lifetime ( if you've eaten a lot at 'Sagar Ratna' then maybe you'll understand what motions run through my mind and belly at the mere mention of it) and lastly as for the sense that provides us with hearing, well when horns are blaring at you in a Delhi traffic jam you'll wish you were born deaf.

All in all it is the Sense of Humour which don't have any ill effects (except maybe if you laugh at someone else's expense who looks like a cross between Batista and Khali and you are a poor copy of Rey Misterio then my friend you are in a lot of trouble and have all my sympathy with you).

Well my friends and me used to have this in abundance, the ability to laugh at others, make others laugh with us and when it really mattered make everyone laugh at someone we actually didn't liked. My best friend and me were quite a lethal duo in the last department, in fact the only time I was beaten was the one when I had pissed the guy really off and he was almost in tears, twisting and turning my dearest arm while I was laughing out so loud that I couldn't defend myself and my useless Partner-in-Crime was busy rolling on the floor laughing (with the whole class mind ya). Although with hindsight I can preach that laughing at someone else's expense can be quite hilarious provided it is safe (read the Batista-Khali scenario again) and clean but at that time we were the laughing duo, who disrupted the peace of the class and with whom even the class monitor used to laugh when we were suppose to play lambs (which mind ya is quite bewildering, I mean c'mon have you ever been with a bunch of lambs?? They make more racket then a mob of Manchester United fans).

Me and my mates have gone through a lot but always had each other to pass on the worries and laugh at our miseries. We still make fun of others and each other, sometimes even raising doubts over another persons sexual orientation and manliness (cheap jokes...hitting below the belt but we are usually drunk or high,in our defense, so it doesn't matter), even once in a while prove that the other person is pregnant and the fact that the other person is a guy never bothered us (am the only one with biology written as a subject in his HSC certificate but still I keep mum and enjoy the festivities never telling them that it is impossible... or is it??? haven't a guy given birth recently?? I tell you in this world of 'man-playing-god' anything is possible, even me getting a decent percentile in CAT or Kulu getting a job or Gaurav finally figuring out his love life).

Inspite of all the laughter and joy we share something has added up in our life which have changed all of us a lot. From simple carefree guys who used to idle away there time to glory without a thing to worry about in the world suddenly all of us have started trodding on the path of becoming Man. Real men like our fathers with responsibilities, commitment, troubles and problems on our minds (my parents were thinking of marrying me off to thrust some responsibity in me & the only thing that stopped them was my threat that then I'll leave my pesky kids on their door step while me and dearest will be out there earning our chikkan tikka and rumali roti, and trust me after raising me, ma & pa aren't be interested in rearing even 50% of my DNA for half a day). Studying like never before to get into a good college, worrying about the job at hand, going to the office at 7 and returning at 9, calling other pals to ask them whether they can post a resume to a company, screaming 'fucking hell' when the dean has banned their placement, worrying about finances and actually learning what really happens in the share market just to make a lil extra cash we all do it while planning for the life ahead.

The realisation that the era of our 'I-don't-give-a-damn' attitude is over is quite sad but that is reality for you. Reality continues to ruin my life.

And by the way there is a saving grace for me after all.

Bill Watterson said “Life's disappointments are harder to take when you don't know any swear words.” Thankfully I learnt a lot of them during my course of life.

I'm a simple man in the end.

Although yesterday I wished for a nuclear powered car that could turn into a jet with laser-guided heat-seeking missiles yet I'm a simple man.
I just got complex tastes.


Past, Present and Future. The main three tenses of the English language. And the three states which prevail in everyones life, all interconnected and each and every one of us struggling to make peace with at least one of them.
Some of us are worried about our future, struggling with the unknown, scared of the uncertainties, and living each day to figure out what next life might throw back at us.
And then there are the ones coping with the past, the unnerving fight to make amends with everything that has happened, trying to tidy up the mess that was created by them and struggling to put the pain behind them.
The 'present strugglers' are fighting to live happily or to them just being alive will suffice. They are the ones who have accepted that they can't change the past and have no hope for the future so the only priority they have got to live the present moment and add it to there kitty of 'things-that-worked-out-in-the-past'.
There are one another type of strugglers too in this world and actually these are the ones who hold the majority. The 'All of the above' group and I know about this one with all the details because I'm a part of this godforsaken community.
The most misunderstood of them all, me for starters trust people, the ultimate sin of them all by what I've heard, some think the most major mistake I make is that I believe in the goodness of others and where there is no chance of any good coming out, I just hope.
I never signed up to be hurt but I did and from some of the most unexpected quarters, People who used to say I was very important to them forsook me and worst of it all I forgave each and every one of them, took in the pain and tried to put it in the basement and threw away the key. I tried my level best to be understanding and follow the codes of civility but to no avail. I still remained the bad guy in there books and I'll always remain that,I have accepted this.
But alas these are the moments, when everything just starts to settle down, it is when the most strongest and opportunistic of them all, strikes back as if it has been waiting for all this time just to catch you off guard. The past comes rushing by with his sword of memories and arrows of deja vu and this is the time when the actual struggle begins.
The smallest of words, the simplest of gestures, the most melodious songs, and sometimes people, places all conspire against you (unwittingly) and bring back all the moments you were trying to forget. The most delightful of conversations with friends causes you to reach for the phone and pour out your sadness to someone who you believe (and hope) cares. The most unintentional reactions of someone brings all the anger within you to the surface.
And then there are his siblings Present & Future both of them just as unforgiving. The strikes of the future are compounded by the aid lent by the Present.
But what is the reason of all these struggles? To make our future more brighter or to improve all the decisions we have already taken?
Of what I've learnt is that this is not a fight and definitely not a struggle. this is simply a pursuit. A Pursuit of Happiness and Peace. This is life. To learn from everything that has happened to us, to make sure we do not do it again in our present and hence totally rule out the chance of finding us in the same situation in the future. The three tenses Past, Present & Future are not the devils of our lives, they are just what you think of them to be. They can be your nemesis and at the same time they can be your best friends. Its you who have to decide what they are going to end up like.
As for me, if you are wondering that maybe from all the bad experiences I have stopped hoping, stop believing and thrown trust out of the window you can't be more wrong. I was always an optimistic and guess will always remain one. I'm capable of nothing less than eternal hope.
Its just that I've learnt to make walls around my basement.Works fine for me against the dirty little tricks the Past plays.
Let me know what works for you.

Good Night Mr. Crichton

Today is the 6th of November 2008.

A Thursday. The 4th day of the week. And the day I found out Michael Crichton died of cancer at the age of 66.

Mr. Crichton was not considered as a literacy giant by many in spite of his best selling works and in these times of fast pace not everyone thinks about the person who conceptualized dinosaurs walking in our present times or how an alien virus wipes out an entire community. From taking up air industry in 'Airframe' to dealing with global warming in 'State of Fear' all of his novels dealt with technology going awry and resulting in worst case scenarios.
But I feel the lost of this man not because now I will be deprived of his great techno thrillers or the world has lost the maker of 'ER', my loss runs deeper than that.

A strong believer of 'Indirect Reasons', Whatever I can flaunt in Intelligentsia is all due to my reading habits. All the useless piece of information cluttered in my brain or whatever knowledge I can present to this world to make my Mom and Dad proud of me is all due to this one good habit I picked up along the way in this course of life,I read.

And I'm indebted to this man for it.

I was 9 years old when out of sheer boredom I picked up 'Sphere' and discovered the world where imagination runs wilder then wild and ideas are presented in the most thought provoking manner. I finished it and fell in love with books (an affair which is still getting stronger and stronger with time) although with hindsight I can safely say it was not his best of work yet I still remember the excitement when I read the turning point of the novel,Jerry is Harry (incidentally a film was made on this starring Michael Douglas, Samuel L Jackson and Sharon Stone). I immediately started on the widely known 'The Lost World' and with that to the delight of my mother and my Nani(maternal grandmother) I got enlisted in there gang of Novel Readers.
With time I rose up in the ranks, I moved on to Jeffery Archer, discovered Clive Cussler, read and became a die hard fan of Alistair MacLean, laughed my worries away in the world of P.G Wodehouse, like all readers of my generations got excited about Harry Potter saga courtesy Mrs. J.K Rowling and found out the Indian wine of Munshi Premchand & Khushwant Singh. Arthur Hailey, Albert Camus, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Paulo Coelho, John Grisham,H Hawksey, David Baldacci, H.G Wells, Fredreick Forsyth, Robert Ludlum the list of my affairs in matters of books goes on and on because of these masters who presented yours truly with things filled with such excitement, whom I can love again and again and every time with a new zeal. But every time when I have to tell someone my favourite author,the name of Michael Crichton springs to my mind. He is like the first love whom everyone says you can't ever forget.

It is not the fast paced action or the adrenaline pumping scenarios nor is the intricate details of Industries, Machines, Processes which made him different from others but it was his theories,his ideas, his views which he presented in his works like on Chaos Theory,making it the backbone of all 'Ian Malcom conversations' in 'Jurassic Park' or the way he presented the idea of global warming and climate change in 'State of Fear' or ethics of genetics in 'Next'. His views and ideas were considered as controversial but to me they gave the much needed food for my mind, presented me with a new way to think about the world and make up my own viewpoint.

I never wrote a fan mail to the guy and never knew about his life or read his biography for that matter, but to me he was more than just a name on the cover of a book, for me he was the guy who showed me the path and actually made me what I'm today.

To you Mr. Crichton from one of the many fans you have around the world.

Goodbye and Thank you.

Yours Truly.

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Like a true gemini i've got a multifaceted personality. can't write about each of them so one will have to discover through the layers