Posts Tagged ‘Writing’

The 5 PM Girl

In Writing on August 6, 2015 at 6:07 am

So there was this girl I used to know who
would send sad-sad stuff to my email
at 5PM in the evening. I will
call her: My five PM Girl.

If I were to take out a quick inventory today
of all the things she emailed to me
over those last few months, I could mention
the following three items (the last
three) –

One sad story
One Sad poem
One sad song

For the life of me, I cannot say with
100% certitude, the exact event, or the
set of events, that triggered her on an
email sending spree.

Maybe, it was something to do with me:
something I wrote, something I said, or
maybe something I left unsaid.

I once sent her a short story: The 100%
Girl by Haruki Murakami. It was about a
short story — of two 30 year olds, who
were 100% match for each other, only for
both of them to fall sick and lose each
and every loving memory they had of each

Shortly, afterwards, I received an email:
a short story on knaves who pretended
to be knights and about a working girl
miserable because of the many unwanted suitors in her

Then, once, while I was travelling deep
South, trying to nurse my broken heart (I
still don’t know what broke it; or who
broke it; or the exact day it broke) the
5PM girl sent me a link to a sad song (it
was 5 PM).

The song was about unrequited love: guy
meets girl on the subway, falls in love,
comes to know she is already taken,
doesn’t let go (because, oh!, he has a
plan). The song ends with the guy
realizes the futility of his love. He
takes takes off his shoes, watch, and
dives off a bridge into a river. It was
kinda sad.

Sometimes, when we met, she would look at
me, and say: “Why so sad, Amit?”.

I would mumble something about the
weather, some vague illness, centuries old tiredness, but never the truth: that it was the meeting and the leaving her that left me sad…

Why top [pick your number] lists suck

In Writing on November 12, 2013 at 5:42 am

Top [pick your number] lists should come with a statutory warning – “Top [pick your number] lists are bad for reader’s well being and mental health. Tests carried out at the university of XYZ show that top [Pick your number please] lists impair brain function and lead to a lazy disposition of the reader. Reader’s discretion is advised”

Now, you may say, why this grudge, why this rant, why this all-out, till the end-of-the-world, declaration of war, against something as innocuously worded as “top seven sex tricks to jazz up your love life” or even “top seven apps that will make you a model employee”. Bear with me, let me first introduce you to a top [pick your number will] writer.

Basically a top [pick your number] writer is a megalomaniac who see themselves as some sort of a modern day seer. Now you tell me,  what kind of man or woman whittles down top sex positions to a mere six or seven – she/he has to be a megalomaniac, right? How can you whittle down something so important as sex to a top [pick your number] list.  Obviously, it has to be some kind of God complex at play. It is like – “Ooh! My words are final.   And there is no way you can ever enjoy or achieve anything in life if you’re not acquainted with one of my top [pick your number] list.”

Top [pick your number] writers are overbearingly arrogant, know- it- alls. You know the type. And you see them everywhere, spawning like the matrix – no wonder there are so many top [pick your number] lists on the big WWW.  They are the kind that believe that life’s important questions and everything in between can be distilled down to top [pick your number] lists. Let me ask you – what kind of moron does that? You’re right, only those with some kind of insufferable God complex, the know-it-alls, and the top [pick your number] list writer wallahs.

You can trust them to take the joy out of your Sunday book reading sessions. Trust me, you’ll do well to stay away from their weekly reading suggestions or top [pick your number] things you need to enjoy a book.   I chanced on one that recommended tea, coffee, chocolate cake to make your book reading more enjoyable. Isn’t that depressing? Tea, coffee, chocolate – really?

Here is my question – why limit yourself to only tea, coffee, chocolate cake? Why not add acid, coke, LSD, mescaline? Don’t they know that a good read is like a sustained release Dopamine capsule kicking in at regular intervals and keeping the reader on a perpetual high. Why the hell do you need stimulants?

Then there are top[pick your number] writers who see themselves at the forefront of women’s empowerment. So every article is a top [pick your number] [pick your favorite app/too/software] for the working women. It is sexist really. And it is a tad bit sad because they have taken a perfectly egalitarian thing – technology – and turned it into a male-female divide to serve their respective constituencies.

Here is the thing,  top [pick your number] lists won’t make you any smarter as they are written under the impression that you are too dumb to do your research.  So are you dumb? Your favorite top [pick your number] writers think so? Mad, huh? Time to shun them. 


In Uncategorized on June 5, 2012 at 6:49 am

Book 2 Chapter 1


Surjo, 31 and a struggling copy writer, could not take his eyes off the bombshell with the red toenails, sitting to his right, as the Shatabdi Express,  sped on its way to Luckow Junction via Muzzarabad Junction. To his left, thankfully, the seat was empty. He hated being spoken to on these long six hour journeys and pretended to sleep in an attempt to ward off potential questions about his marriage status, education level and job status as he fared rather poorly in all of them. It was not his fault because he had tried everything: science, commerce, arts – he had enrolled in every course possible without any degree of success .

With great difficulty, he willed himself to look the other way; thanks to his foot fetish he had a hard-on that made him fell uncomfortable in his size 36 Levis. The bombshell was also giving him the dirty looks which made looking out the window more appropriate. The scenery on the other side of the light green screen window was as monotonous as his life with the gentle humdrum broken only by sporadic interesting tidbits thrown here and there. One of the interesting bits was related to sex or the lack of healthy sex: “Gupt rog, Stri Rog key liye Vaid Hashmi se sampark karey (Contact Hashmi to get cured of sexually transmitted diseases)”.

“I wonder who does the writing for him” said Surjo muttering under his breath.

The lady on the right crisscrossed her legs for the millionth  time, drawing his attention to her deliciously painted toe nails once again. Surjo consoled himself that it was natural for all artistic people to have some kind of fetish. Darn! Even his hero, Quentin Tarantino liked a well painted set of toe nails.The gentle lolling of the train and the light breakfast made him sleepy and he fell into gentle reminiscing. Marriage was out of question as he had been recently fired from his job after yet another acrimonious showdown with his boss an elegant lady name KB.




Of a philosophical disposition

In Uncategorized on May 6, 2012 at 7:58 am

If life gives you a lemon you make lemonade. But what if you don’t like lemonade, what do you do then? For all you know, all that lemonade could bring you down with a bad case of cold. That would be like a double whammy if ever there was one. You get a lemon (what is wrong with a lemon anyway), and then you get a bad cold. Better, wouldn’t you say if you left the lemon alone and turned to philosophy?

But why am I discussing about a yellow, citrus fruit, early in the morning? It is a Sunday too. The kind of Sunday that you dream about on Tuesdays and Wednesdays: Mellow Sundays with newspapers in a roll, egg sunny side up and lemon juice, the T.V on full volume, and the smell of just washed clothes in the air. Coming back to the reason, it is because, lately, I have been blighted by a curious set of circumstances that has led me to question life and my role in it.

Some people would call “the curious set of circumstances” fate, but not me. I will be damned, if I am going to let a highly strung, seriously disturbed and paranoid women, called fate ,decide, over my life. No I am not being a sexist. I would rather call it a game of chances. See, you will eventually lose some. You will lose your health, your youth, your job and everything there is to lose. The trick is in gaining something all the time. This way there will be a balance. If you sit on your losses for too long the losing streak will get an extended run. If you keep on trying the laws of probability will turn in your favour eventually. And you will have less to moan about.

That is why I root for philosophers. Everything for them is eventual ( I read that in a Stephen King novel, he is also a good philosopher it seems).They look at the stars, birds, flowers and come up with some deep shit which does not make any sense to you and me. Let’s take up this fellow called Borges. Argentine writer, philosopher and solver of mysteries, he writes with fecundity and insight.

Sample this: Borges wrote that the mysteries of the universes would unravel if we truly understood the rose. I didn’t understand it one bit. And the beauty of the thought is that Borges never explained why only a rose. The reader is left with his own devices. This is the beauty of philosophy. You learn it the hard way, through experience.

So I thought. I thought hard and I finally understood. The rose starts as a bud, flowers, sets into full bloom and then withers away: hope, beauty and finally a thought – the quintessence of human existence.

Shit. This is life.

Blah, Blah, Blah





Written in a beer induced daze

In Writing on May 3, 2012 at 9:52 am

On writing

A guy like me, with limited number of grey cells swimming in the medulla oblongata, has no business reading Schopenhauer. He was a wiz, if ever there was one. He wrote treatise on philosophy, science, and, the way we think and act. Precursor to Freud, Jung he waged a war against rival philosophers like Kant. I don’t think, he put in one honest day’s work (lucky him), but, he thought a lot, some of it focused on  writers and their writing- my kind. Hence my trepidation, I am a writer you see.  It was only with a lot of alcohol swimming in my system and some trepidation( I love this word) that I finally found the courage to read him. He was tough on writers, so I was told. I needed an armor stronger than steel, because I am a writer( I love calling myself one).

Most of his thought scares the hell out of me. For example, he firmly believed that if you write for money, you suck big time. Yeah! he said that. Money tarnishes your work with a brush of banality. It lacks content and a heart. The expectancy, he says, of being rewarded for the writing, destroys the soul of the writing, the wit, and much about. everything else. Much of the writing is done to please and that essential “naivety” is lost behind the façade of words and much convoluted thinking.

I agree

I do that a lot when I write.

It is called technical writing. .

You see most great works have a childish, naïve like quality. Let’s take Alice in the wonderland for example. Isn’t it a fabulous read? It has everything a fable needs: talking rabbits, walrus and the carpenter, the queen shouting “off with his head”. I can bet the bottom rupee in my money jar that, there is no way, anyone could have written such a tale, unless in a very inebriated state.

I tried it once upon a time and it worked fine.

I, once, wrote a short tale of talking cats after downing copious amounts of beer.



Many, years ago, a very young boy, the hermit, hearing scratching and mewing, opened a door and found his destiny and a yellow cat. The cat, one of those bushy little things, very businesslike, always running on an errand, sat on its haunches, raised its paws, and kneaded the dry winter air in little circles: Once, twice and then thrice. The hermit, sat down, and with child like naivety, proffered his hand: A handshake Mr. Yellow Cat; How do you do? Are the children all right; the missus, she okay, eh? The Yellow cat, looked at the hand, and said gravely-

“The twelve cats
So they prophesied
The hermit, he lived
Near the silver fox
With the button hole”

By reflex, and part by fright, the hand tightened, much to Yellow Cat’s discomfort; right before the hermit’s eyes it leapt nine feet high, spinning in a blur and landed at the very spot. Now, had there been a slow motion camera an astonishing feat would have been recorded, for in its ascendancy the cat had thrown in a backward somersault, one cater vault; all the while licking its paws with absolute nonchalance.

“Ouch, hurt me not
I am the messenger
Not the mole”

The Hermit sat and pondered and looked at the cat; the cat sat back on its haunches and looked at the hermit. Then thinking aloud he said, “But there is no silver fox with the buttonhole; it’s not me the cat addresses”. Clearing his throat, very businesslike, and then touching one whisker and then another, the cat stretched one furry hand towards Chandni the she dog lay, panting furiously, the bushy tail working overtime keeping the flies away. Jabbing furiously in that direction said the yellow cat, “There is your silver fox; isn’t it true that she belongs to the family which hunts in the night and bays at the moon.”

“What about the buttonhole”, I said: Damned if I was going believe that Chandini had anything to do with the making and the unmaking of history: Poor Chandini, wandering aimlessly trailed by a half a dozen pups angry yelping at anything that moved; look at her teats for god sake. “What about her”, the cat spoke, “ did you not notice the button shaped mark, when she rolled in the dust, made half crazy by the heat, all four legs in the air, ears flapping and nose sniffing, sniffing, sniffing.

The cat paused and reflected and I am sure he would have crossed and uncrossed his legs had this been a business meeting. One carefully manicured paw stretched towards the heavens, and he spoke with lots of gravitas,

“Its destined you know
The day of the judgment
When cats of all color rise
And fight mankind for the
Ultimate prized”

“Ah, no alien invasion then, just a mere cat-invasion then; what a funny way to die”, said I. The cat looked displeased, as if he was slightly disappointed in me, maybe he expected me to bring a saucer of milk or a piece of yesterdays fish at least. Looking at me with saucy eyes, it spoke, earnestness shining from its eyes, “laugh all you want, but not a world of this to anyone or another kind will rise” So there was another, huh? Slightly miffed that I was not the supreme one, I asked, “So, who else is there, your highness, and to what greater purpose are we decreed.

“That in time”, and saying that the cat swished its tail, once, twice and thrice and then went its way.


I just lost the thread after the alcohol induced daze had lifted.

Since drinking is a big NO, NO there is no chance of ever resuscitating what my alcohol induced brain conjured. And this is my point- anybody can write an Alice in the wonderland with enough alcohol sloshing around. Hell! it is not creativity. It is the freeing of the mind. Letting naivety fit into words. How else do you imagine something like lying on a rye field and catching kids as they topple off the clips. I tell you that writer was on something stronger than the usual H2O.  .