Tuesday, August 18, 2009


The Conflict can only be matched by a conflict.
Tell me, does the world look at me,
and do I look at it, through the same lenses?
Is it the age that pulls me, or do I have a pull on it?
Oh you beautiful thing, Is it you whom I see,
Or is it the dress you wear?
Of what use are the drops of my soul that cloud my eyes?
If you suddenly go away, Do I go away from you?
Dreams of you, in the dreams of solitude, convince you to be mine.
Is it me who has stopped,
Or is it the world that has let me off?
Love, the word, is convoluted.
By Intelligence and Arrogance,
By Society and Piety,
By Selfishness and Selflessness.


Friday, May 1, 2009

A bus trip with 'colleagues' in the foreign land.

I wake up, my bags are packed. I remember when I did the same to go to Ganapatipule or some trek in bombay. I check again to see if my camera and lenses are there. I am at Max Planck Institute, on time, few people are already waiting for the bus , and it doesnt seem like everyone has arrived. Of course I dont know everyone here, unlike in Bombay where I almost knew everyone. I see some familiar faces who I think might not give a cold shoulder, and are reasonably friendly. If only I was in Bombay!!!

The bus arrives. A mercedes. Complete air conditioned, no openable windows. I felt the hot breeze on my face when I pop my head out of the open windows of the bombay buses. It used to be so comfotable to puke. in case. Filthy air conditioners. My trip is going to be hell. I think about what would I do if I get motion sick. I had no tablets, and getting tablets here means going to a german doctor, explain him simulating the vomitting body language and riding a bus around him, hoping that he understood what was my problem and give me the right tablets. No. Lets depend on a half cut lemon. When I was a kid and living in southern India, my mami used to give it to me on bus rides, and it seemed to work. So, there I was, with a half cut lemon in the pocket and a polythene bag, for I expected the windows to be not openable and if the lemon didnt do the trick.

By the time I was imagining this, all the safed and few clever brown people had already dumped the bags in luggage cabin and gone and captured their favourite spots in the bus. Great. and then comes the second bus. I have to be fast now. I establish my temporary dominion over a window seat in the middle of the bus, hoping that the window seat will atleast partially simulate similar condition to indian busses and keep me from puking. One indian friend comes and asks me if someone is sitting here. I answer. She has now a 'Do not do this to yourself' face expression on her face. Then she asks me if she can keep her bag there, and she sits infront with some stranger safed girl. I tell her that if she is not sitting, then dont keep the bag, atleast some nice german girl will come and sit. Not that I care about who was going to sit there, but, was I going to maltreat her if she sat there?? Anyway, thats her business, but why does she want to protect the other passengers from me with the bag barricade. Comfortably enough, the seat remained empty. I miss my assistant and many other friends. If only she had been there, I wouldn't need to think so much and not have my ear phones for songs.

The bus starts. utter silence. I pop my head up and have a look around. Everyone seated. no noises. most of them have earphones in their ear. half an hour, I do it again. no sound. I put back my earphones. Zindagi... kaisi ye paheli hai..

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

random, short, to the point post.

Phone rings ( tune of Dooba Dooba rehta hoon). Picked up.
Me : Hello.
On the phone: lot of German speaking.
Me (interupting): Einschuldigung, Keine Deustch, Sprachen sie Englisch Bitte. (Excuse me, No Deustch, Can you speak in English please?)
Otp: Nein , Nein.
Me: OK wait.
I hand over the phone to my German colleague. tens of seconds of German conversation. 
Martin, very seriously, something like: Eine Moment, Ich fragen er.... (Wait, I will ask him)
Martin: Senthil: Do you want to have fourteen days, free of cost German Newspaper delivered to your home?.

Whole day of work, atleast the Gel ran in the right direction. 

One of my school teachers, a sports teacher, on orkut scrap book, Senthil, Guess what I have for you? 
me: I have no idea. 
Then he posts this painting. 

I had gifted it to him when I was in my eighth standard. The frame is of a broken wall clock that was being thrown away. It has been some 10 years that I gave it to him. It had even slipped out of my conscious memory. I was surprised that he still had it.
 I was telling this to my cousin sis. She said I should start painting again. Yes. Certainly. 

A very good friend whom I was asking for a favour of buying a camera for me in the states (of course I would pay her).
me: blue color
 Mayuri: hahaha
  yes yes
4:00 PM me: aur bata
  lab kaisa chal raha hai
4:01 PM Mayuri: shush
  let me finish this cam thing
  stop being polite
  see this..
 me: shush
There is more I would like to write and boast about how good a friend I have but I guess I wont be appreciated much.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

to Aravind Adiga,

I currently live in Dresden, Germany. Its been five months for me. Few months ago, a german colleague asked me if I had read your book. He found it amazing. I thought it was just some book and didnt give it much thought. Then an american came to me and asked if I was from India. He asked me if it was true what you have written in your shot to fame book. I thought I should give it a read. It was when another German friend, went to US, got the book, read it, came back and discussed certain things you have written, that I borrowed the book from him and read it. Even before reading it, I had outrightly dismissed that everything in the book is not so amplified it seems. Whether its true or not Mr. Adiga, I dont like my country potrayed like this and people coming and asking me if it was true. Certainly, the foreigners enjoy reading your novel because the things you describe are strange to them and amazes them. Its entertainment for them.

What you have described in the book, of course is true to certain extent, but its dark. I am not saying that I refuse to see the dark, I say that its too dark for the reality. People who read it, specially for people slightly on the darker side, its not encouraging. There are people, amidst this land of corruption, amidst a mindset of hopelessness you deliver in your novel, who have crossed from the dark to light, without stealing, murdering, without of course yes, i don't support it, but without complaining. Yes of course the problem exists, only in India, drivers can make sweets, can massage their masters, only in India, one guy, raised and educated in Australia, Oxford wheresoever, can come back, look at this things, be amazed, be a little creative and pen down and earn money by potraying his country as dark. I think your novel is an sperficial one, an outsider's view and just an angry burst. India still remains exotic, a place where economic miracles happened despite all we have. Most of the appreciations that you have on the first five pages of your novel talks about your sharp observation skills. You think an average middle class indian doesnt know what going on in his country? he doesnt observe as much as you do? he probably knows more than you Mr. Adiga, but he wouldn't write it down for the future generation to read it and celebrate it. I wouldn't like my brother to read it because it will show him where he is living and one more corrupt fellow, not because of whats there, but because hopelessness would drive him to it. I would like him to fight it the honest way, Like so many young and educated people are doing, like my father did. In a country where the old corrupt population is trying to be replaced with fresh, honest young ones, where younger politicians seem to be coming into business, where recent events have been triggering people to stand up against everything wrong, your novel delivers a dark pulse of hopelessness and discouragement which is not welcome. There are reasons why we are like that, reasons we can correct. when you talk about one of the world's largest population, who were never historically aggressive, who were always peace loving until the modern world came into existence, which was economically ripped down until 50 years ago, its difficult to change courses all of a sudden. it takes generation to steer a counry. You cannot compare India to the west, or Europe. Scientifically, the populations and economy has been different. You believe Indians are in Rooster coops, mr. Adiga, the whole world, save the Russians and Indians are in a Rooster coop. I am proud that despite everything we have here, and not the best, we certainly can do better and we have propelled ourselves to a strong position on our own capabilities. At the root level, yes much job needs to be done. Educating village based populations has been the greatest challenge in a country of vast population, diversity and spread. The government goes wrong in implementing these policies which is where we have to improve. Ten Balrams would have murdered and become a corrupt businessman, but one honest fellow would have thought his part of teaching the poor if he was educated. So the solution lies in educating and imprinting honesty, vision and knowledge in coming generations Mr. Adiga and not justifying and sympathising with murderers turned businessmen, just because a fraction is corrupt. I would have appreciated if you spinned out an Indianised Alchemistic novel, which I had expected when I heard the name ' The White Tiger'. Unfortunately 'The White Tiger' isn't white.

In a country where we have as many languages as in the whole european continent, as many religions as all of the world, we have stood considerably unite. We have withstood forces from outside trying to break us down, we have made ourselves capable protect our people. and yet you have been so insensitive to differentiate the Aryans and Dravidians with so much of subtlity. Mr Adiga, todays politicians and citizens dont need to dig into the past. You cannot afford it. Our cabinet consists of ministers from every region. They have done some amount of good work together, considering what they are. You cannot deny that. In a country where a riot can break out every 100 kms, it doesnt happen, On the whole, our politicians have been considerable enough, leave all the money they waste in the parliament and touring the world, all the money they earn in bribes, to take control of policies of the country as a whole. Not all politicians in our country are corrupt. I consider my country to be in a transition phase and its only becoming better.

If you want to blame, blame the politicians, yes, they are corrupt, thugs and rapists and murderers. We need to replace them. and why did they came into power, because almost all politicians come into power on the basis of their votebanks owing to their caste and local brainwash. Now caste system was always in indian mindset. Its dificult to wipe it out like dust and its taking its time. Our politicians reflect ourselves, in a way. Now, the reflection has been more and more false. Because the reflection we see is from the past., where your novel seems to have been set. Politicians we have are from the time periods they came up exactly as Vijay or Balram in your novel. I appreciate that the Indian governement could manage to keep down the number of such people., considering the situations how India developed since independence. People want to be true and honest. Politicians are not. perhaps it will take time untill we reflect our proper selves again. And people are not coming from dark to light like Balram or Vijay, but there exist a set of grey people, who are slowly coming up, honestly, struggling - yes, but that population is what true India is going to be. If everybody thought like Balram did, everybody can justify a murder, a robbery, do you think its going to be any better? Do you think, as a counry, its justified? India is where it is now because not everyone turned into a Vijay or Balram in you novel. You are the new one in the Indo-internationalist club of writers who can complain and rub your nose in dust, show it and make money , but not think forward about what can be done with the dust to progress.