Category Archives: passion

Chapter 4: A star in the making

Tara Nambiar is your average urban girl except for the fact that she was a star. A rising star in the world of TV, Tara hosted a popular travel show for one of the hundred channels that are usual fare for the Indian diaspora. The camera loved her, the audience loved her. She was a darling of the masses, an angel in human form. Her career was taking off and bigger names in the industry watched her rise carefully. Protective but liberal parents had given her the freedom to make her choices. There only condition was that in becoming a well known face, she should also maintain the reputation of the family, like her brother had.

Her brother was the first kid on the block to establish his own business. He was famous in the locality as a bright one, the one child that grows in the hearts of all mothers of the neighborhood as their own. We have met him earlier, this boy wonder. Vijay Nambiar. Yes, the yin to the yan that is Hari, our lead. And it was Tara that Hari was helping across the street. Tara had always been a fixture in Hari’s life. Hari and Vijay were used to her being somewhere in the periphery of their existence. Both the men were fiercely protective of her and Tara enjoyed making them tear their hair out.

Tara had innumerable suitors, most of them ended up wishing they never asked her out in the first place. The two men in her life from when she was born set the bar so damn high that no one could match it. Tara worshiped Vijay and Hari, and couldnt (didnt want to) bring in another who couldnt compare to her knights. Also, Tara had had the biggest crush on Hari and still silently was infatuated by him. The few men she did take out were used as objects to draw his attention. Hari was oblivious to the fact that Tara had grown up. He still saw a tiny girl in ponytails dressed for school. For Tara, Hari was the man she saw her brother admire, her mother love and her father speak proudly of. For Tara, Hari was the only man for her.

She had watched silently the various bimbos and intellectuals that had passed through his life, first with hatred, then with jealously and now with pity. She knew they were just passing fancies. They had stopped worrying her. Plus they also opened up a side in Hari she didnt know. Tara was the confidante Hari needed whenever he had girl troubles. Tara had learned what this man liked, what he hated and what he plain didnt care about. Tara had Hari to credit for making her a woman that men fell head over heels for. Through the long coffees and conversations, Tara had transformed slowly into a woman that most men find irresistible. Most men that is excspt for Hari.

Today was no exception. Hari had invited her for coffee and had poured his heart out. Where Vijay was clueless, Tara had always had answers. Tara would know how to find this girl. Tara would know where to look for her.

Tara didnt want to. Tara had met Hari and had seen in him something she never expected. She saw that this time Hari was gone for good. Her Hari, the one true love of her life, was not hers anymore.

Tara’s problem was she didnt have to find her. Tara knew Maya.

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Chapter 3: Here

Chapter 2: Here

Religion, Atheism and Faith

This post is a result of multiple dialogues I have seen between my father and his friends/acquaintances over religion. My father is a staunch Atheist and hasn’t been inside a Church expect for the occasional marriages of cousins/relatives (in those instances for never more than 5 minutes). Most of his friends though are staunch believers (or claim to be so). I am an Atheist by choice, thanks to the attitude of “question-everything-even-if-you-believe-it” that my father and some very special teachers cultivated. I dont strut around saying it to everyone I meet but most of the poeple that know me, know I dont talk about religion or faith. This post is supposed to list the reasons why I dont.

As the Heading indicates, the three things above are very different from each other. I was born a christian, I will most probably die one. But I dont believe in Christ. I dont believe in any of the multiple names that have been created and are still being created for that invisible hand that people claim exists out there.

Religion first. Religion was set up as a method to create moral guidelines for the people. I mean when you move from hunting gathering to a more neighborly system you needed to lay some ground rules. The Gitas, the Bible, The Quran were all byproducts of years of refining the rules and regulations. It is pretty evident too that they have been altered as time moved forward. That is because as humanity and countries evolved, some of the rules had to change. New religions evolved too making moral guidelines that were easier to follow in the present time. So the question most people ask me is “Do you really not believe ?” most of the times with something bordering on shock rather than surprise. I tell the more intelligent ones that ” I believe, I just dont believe in God.” , an answer that leaves most people perplexed at best. Am hoping this post will shed some light, if any of them reach this far.

Atheism defined as a belief that God does not exist, is pretty close to what most people today understand atheism as but there is a big school of agnostics that get clubbed in. For all the so called agnostics that get here somehow, make up your mind. Grow a pair and pick a side. Unless you are a politician, in which case your party most probably will help you with it. Being an atheist does not necessarily mean you question everyone’s faith, make loud statements in public renouncing God, priests and other god men, or that you need to explain your stand to someone else. Atheism takes balls, the open admission that you have not external power to depend on, no magical being to blame, no hero to worship makes it a tough living. Which is one reason why most people prefer the cocoon of religion. Moral dilemma  are easily solved, right and wrong defined. Please note that it is this definition or the permutation thereof that is used by various activists – left , right, hindu, muslim, christian for their own particular agendas. Not subscribing to any of them makes it no easier to watch what happens. It is just as hard. So why am I an Atheist ? I like to be held responsible for my own actions. I dont need someone to blame for my failures (not God, not my family, nobody). However my success does get shared. It is my effort, but it is the recognition that gets me the success.

Faith. Now this is a totally different ball game altogether. Having faith in something or someone is easily the closest I come to any form of belief. Faith is necessary. Faith is sibling to my other favorite Hope. Together they make life a lot easier, a lot brighter and a lot more fun. Faith keeps me going day after grinding day. Faith that someone will read this, hope that someone will understand. Faith that somebody else feels the same way, hope that I will meet some of them someday. Faith that someday religion will transcend boundaries set by its creators, hope that it happens in my life time.

Chapter 2: Encounters with the Fairer Kind

Drinking too much has its after effects. The eyes betray what chewing gum and a long bath try to hide. Hari however didnt have the long bath or the chewing gum.  He was walking around in auto pilot mode. His lips were speaking, his hands and feet were doing their jobs in perfect synchronicity. In all appearance, he appeared normal.  The only thing missing in the whole picture was his incisive mind and the undertone of sarcasm that was his signature. Vijay was the first one to notice it.

“Who is Vijay ?”, you ask. No ? “Who is Hari ?”. Ah ! Forgive my manners. Lets roll the camera back to the beginning. Harikrishnan Nair, aka, Hari is your typical run of the mill Mallu who roams the vast concrete jungles named Bangalore. Oops, Bengalooru. He is 5′ 11″ (an inch short of the 6 feet that he believed was his birthright), fair (thanks to a bloodline that should be purple for all the royals that adorn the walls in his ancestral home in Kerala) and one of those few gifted designers in India (his websites are among some of the most shared on Facebook under varying adjectives like cool, awesome, etc..His brilliance made him pretty famous among the more talented of the designers around the city. He was also known as a stickler for quality and time. He wouldnt be rushed into anything and he would always deliver on time. Designing was a passion for him, which was fine except that when the client is a nincompoop who has no sense of color or aesthetics, he went ballistic. That is where Vijay comes in. Vijay was the guy who kept the company from going bust. The guy who kept he genius of Hari’s designs under constant control. He had learned enough through DIY books to make the minor changes which made their brilliant creations, more acceptable, more corporate, more boring (according to Hari).

Friends from a tender age, it is rarely that two minds gel so well. They were the perfect partners, Vijay the face for all the terrors Hari could dream up and boy could he dream them up. Both mothers were blamed equally and took all of it with a smile. A smile that knew they were destined for greatness. The growing up years saw them develop distinct personalities. Each a compliment to the other. Where Hari was impetous, Vijay was restrained. Where Hari was a perfectionist, Vijay liked to compromise. Teachers always wondered how long it would last, this friendship that was stuff of legend, not something real life could sustain.

While Hari excelled in Math , Vijay tagged along through the humanities stream in the same college. Brothers from different mothers, they were just too used to each other, that the absence of the other was a thought that never occurred. The move to Bangalore was also together, Hari got that first job as a newbie designer, while Vijay had joined an NGO. The social streak in him made him seem gullible but he had a knack for closing deals that was seldom predictable.

Now 5 Years later, they had quit their 9 to 5 jobs and joined together with seed money from the mothers and had set up shop. Vijays network got them loads of requests, Hari’s wizardry on the computer made them the duo that everyone wanted. They could deliver the perfect blend that you wanted. Add to the medley, random designers and coders that Hari found from everywhere, they finally were growing. Both in numbers and in revenue. This was going to be a good year. Last nights bash had been the celebration of  150 websites signed, sealed and delivered. Monumental yes, memorable yes. But Hari was distracted.

“Whats wrong ?” Vijay confronted Hari, “What scheme are you dreaming up now ?”

“Nothings wrong. All is well. We just hit 150, the team has come together,” said Hari as he closed the door to the apartment,” and… and I think I am in love.”

“Ah ! There it is. Again.” Vijay said. Lets go back into the black and white flash back mode here. Hari as you have seen by now was a man driven by passions. Matters of the heart were a constant ailment for him. He had had numerous encounters with the female kind, each time declaring that this one is different. Vijay had stood by his side through them all. Watched him float on clouds in the beginning, then slowly get see him fall into a spiral of complaints (mostly regarding his freedom, to go wherever he wanted, to drink, to smoke and  to not be dragged around town on trips that seemed to be absolutely pointless) ending finally in a couple of weeks of drunken nights, crying and laughing, shouting and silent, till the storm abated.

He never let his work fall during any of these many encounters and Vijay felt relief. This was another of those poor women who had been attracted to the magnetic energy of a man who was absolutely confident of himself. The guy who seemed lost without a care, the kind that every girl wanted to take into her arms and shelter. It will pass, Vijay thought and let it go.

Vijay had fallen in love once, still was in fact, with a girl who somehow decided to love him back. Tina was HR team lead for one of the companies Vijay had pitched for in his NGO days. He had stuttered through the entire meeting and was completely surprised to receive her call 3 days later.

“When are you going to ask me out ?”, she had asked,” Its not good to keep a girl waiting.”

That statement gave him courage. A courage that he had never felt before. ” When should I pick you up tonight ?” he countered.

“Tonight ? Isnt that a little too ambitious of you ?”

“I think we have both waited long enough for this moment. Lets make it Lunch. Right Now.”

“Nooooo.” She said, wondering how he seemed to know what she wanted and cut the phone. He walked into the office 45 minutes later with a bouquet of roses and a smile that was irresistible. Both off them didnt return to work that day.

I digress. Sorry. Back to Hari. He was going mad , he decided. This girl was different, he knew somehow. He was trying to figure out how to find her in this city of teeming millions. Creating plans and scratching them out almost immediately. There had to be a way. “Wonder if she even noticed me ?”, he thought.

She had. But Maya had a bigger problem right now.

 

Chapter 1 here

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PS: Bring out the Red ink, Usha and Sashu. Dont have any others I can call regulars who will be ready as soon as you two.

Blog me a Poem

Blogging is a funny thing to do

A way out of  routine and a nice break too

Total freedom to say the things you want

To rant, to speak out and to touch a million minds

 

The start is the easy part

You register, login and begin to talk real smart

Your thoughts pour out loud and clear

Matters of the heart, issues that are dear

 

The flow ebbs as time goes by

The million minds dont say hi

The posts waver and come to a halt

You start doubting if its your fault.

 

Getting attention isnt that easy

And the blogosphere isnt for the lazy

Churn out content night after day

And comment to others ,  have your say

 

The views will come, I promise you this

If your blog doesnt lose its fizz

So what are you waiting for, go write another post

Let out that thought, that poem, that crazy ghost.

 

Welcome to India

When did being born become a crime ?

When did an education become a privilege ?

Who said love is punishable by death ?

Why does getting married to the person you love seem such a bad idea?

If divorces are allowed by law, why are people so afraid of the idea ?

Crazy and unbelievable as they may seem, this is reality. This is India. Welcome

Here, babies are killed, thrown into the gutter or a waste bin just because they were born female. Here, children, right from the moment they are able to walk start hard manual labour, making everything from match sticks to fire crackers, from washing dishes to watering plants, to feed themselves and their families. Education isnt an option for them. Oh yes, they have reservation, which often helps the already well off to save more money in sending their kids to the best colleges without any merit. Here, lovers are killed in the name of honour, often entire families coming together to massacre two poor souls who didnt nothing more than love each other. Here, marraiges are arranged, often like cricket matches are fixed, based on caste, status and bank balance of the families than on common interests or passions that might give the marraige a chance. Here divorcees are always at fault, blamed for bringing a bad mark to the family name, which somehow was untarnished by anything in ages. Here, women on the lowest strata of society are more likely to raise their voices against oppression than their richer sisters who were brought up to be submissive, bharatiya naris. Here engineering and MBBS are the only career options you have. Humanities and arts are for someone else. This is where our elected official watch porn in the assembly, while their cronies are throwing chairs at each other for legislation that never sees the light of day. The biggest bridges, the tallest towers are all made of second quality material, standing tall more on hope and prayers than any real, measurable quality. This is where such a rant can possibly ban my blog if Kapil Sibal has his way. But its still my country and I love it.

I love it because I am awesome friends with at least 4 women who left their husbands and are happy on their own. I love it because I have friends who chose alternate careers and are fledgling stars  in various fields, I love it because even now in spite of reservation merit shines through and gets what it deserves, I love it because love marriages do happen and both the bride and groom survive, I love it because I have  beautiful nieces by blood and by ties that are stronger who will grow up to see a better India, I love it because my friendly police man takes old photocopies from our hostel for his son to study, I love it because in spite of all of this there are voices that raise concern, there are blogs that still stand strong, there are people who care.

Not Really a Rebel

The rock and roll scene gets to all..
While some succeed, most do fall..
Across the globe, they pop out from nowhere..
Telling the world how they dont care..

The fans go crazy at these guys..
Yuppy kids with jeans hanging off thighs..
A tattoo and a guitar is all you need..
That and lyrics no one can read..

Its a wacky crazy life I hear..
There’s wine, women and wealth to spare..
Those kisses that they throw in the air..
Make hearts flutter of many a maiden fair..

But all good things come to an end..
Most of them end up lonely around the bend..
In the solitude of their golden years they lie..
Often in pain wishing to just die..

I got the tattoo but no guitar..
I dont have a voice or the funky car..
Guess the rebel in me must be content..
That I can afford the next months rent..

Everytime your eyes meet someone else across it denotes hope…
Every handshake is a promise that words cant convey..
Every hug is a revival of memories long lost or recently enjoyed..
Every Kiss is a glimpse of heaven u get with your eyes closed..

Happy Valentines Day in advance to one and all !!!

Passionate Lives

I have a very big friends circle, and i am very very proud of them.. I see them prosper , some slowly and some meteorically and i am happy.. But then I also see them switching jobs, one for another not very different because it gives them a higher package, more money to buy stuff that they think will make them happy or atleast keep them occupied.. Very rarely do i see passion, that incredible emotion that keeps one going no matter what.. I have seen very small glimpses of it, sometimes at work , sometimes when friends are talking about a topic they love, and most of the times its scared me.. For to have passion for something/someone is scary for me.. It gives a person an unbelievable drive, a reason to live and sometimes to die for.. It is amazing for a bystander, almost like a flame to a moth.. Attractive but dangerous.. To live life so completely is something i envy about them, for them there are no alternatives, no safety nets, nothing to fall back on.. Their friends although caring just dont understand it.. They might accept it, even encourage it.. Because it is amazing to watch..

I know i have and i always will..