Been a while

It’s hard to imagine how time passes, priorities change, perspective starts differing and mistakes turn into those scattered little puzzle pieces waiting to be found and placed where it fits. It’s hard to imagine how one crosses each line and forgets to look back, for what lies ahead takes all his attention. It’s hard to imagine…that it’s been a while and I forgot to look back.

Things have changed. I have changed. So have you. It might feel overwhelming to think and realize the extent of change that has happened around you. But, do remember something. Remember, that the universe really doesn’t care about any of us. Or about any of the paths we take. It’s us who do; it’s us who make sure we are internally (and eternally) bleeding. And with with each drop, we are filling a pool full of our past. A past, that only we know. I know. You know. That person is lying when he or she says that he or she understands me. “knows” me. That person will never know every detail. Every little detail of my story. My story; my definition. It’s been a while, since I looked back at my story, at my definition. It’s been a while, since you did too.

I have (had) dreams. I had (have) them at least. From the last time I remember, yes I did (do). I somehow lost track. Track of time you may say. But I would say, track of myself. I didn’t (don’t) know where I was (am) headed. Where I was (am) going. It seemed (seems) normal, but somehow, I did not (do not) have control over my heading. I’m still learning how to drive. Mastering the technique. Rerouting my routes. Trying hard…to find that first road that I had promised to take. That feeble memory of a road full of hurdles? Challenges maybe. But I liked (like) challenges.I’m searching for that road. I will search for that road. I should…search…

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Introspect

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Okay….I was long gone…sorry…gone for quite a while…so what? I was having a dry spell. Deal with it. Anyhow, I, as you see, am back and with a different variety of chutney for your taste buds. Please deal with my metaphors. I know I suck at them. So, let us start with some introspection. How well do you know yourself? How well do you think you know what you do? Is your life following the same path as your mind, or are you twisting turning the events so as to please others, and in the process, are ending up with that little tinge of remorse which you are denying to accept.

Don’t worry. It’s in human nature that you would want to follow that path which has been treaded on most often. It’s just easier that way. There would be less fingers pointed towards you. So maybe you just wanted to go to your friend’s place, eat good food, have a nice sleepover where you discussed personal matters and have fun. But when your friend took out that smart phone…well…something changed. You began smiling for the camera while he took a selfie and hash tagged the hell out of it before posting it on istagram and letting the world know that…well…that you were having a sleepover. Was that really necessary? Believe it or not, but the world has definitely reduced in size. Again, that was a metaphor. Anyway, yes…the world has shrinked. People get  to know what other people are doing in a matter of seconds. There was a time when people used to spend time reading books or watching movies instead of stalking people on social networking sites and liking posts that may or may not have had something to do with the person’s dog’s “personal poop disposal system”.  We like being liked by others. By being socially active, we don’t mean attending conferences, meetings and parties but rather check whether we know that person on facebook. My childhood was sans the larger aspect of the internet and I can  safely say that it was much less complicated. Friendship meant much more than some tagged pictures and highest number of chats. Meeting new people was genuinely fun and getting to know them worth the wait. Searching for information was difficult and in the process, learning was faster. And most importantly we used to think, which has turned into an endangered ability. The human society is so at ease with the world at their feet today, that they have now closed their minds to everything. The aspect ratio of questions to the number of answers has fallen drastically. You want proof? Ask Google a question and see the number of answers that return. And unfortunately, without questions mankind will slowly get bored. Too bored for anything.

So, in this dumb world we live today and I’m definitely one of them. For actions speak louder than words, and I’m still resorting to words. You might be wondering, what this article was exactly about. Well, at least I got you thinking. Well, it was in general the change in our society and how we wish to accept that without proper introspection. Now think. What do you really want?

almighty…?

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Reading deceiving proclaiming hiding

Don’t you see that you do all thee.

Controlling the fear, when it places a hand

Near.

Claustrophobia descends upon earthlings.

An atom heart reduces,

The pulse of a few hundreds.

When another downpour prevails.

Reading would mean

Another mean thing.

Another reason to suffice.

Deceived by god

A race so forgot.

Proclaimed to be mankind’s feed.

Hidden

Are the truths

Of every surrogate form.

Never to reveal

The strange

Life form almighty.

Is it god?

Is it me?

Is it close to reality?

The sphere of enlightenment closes in.

Is it him?

Is it her?

Is it the one? the destroyer?

The force of the creation settles in.

Identify the unknown,

Believe the foretold.

For living in this land

Would mean

Another mean thing.

Photographer or Camera“man”

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He’s the new hip guy in campus. The guy who makes the cool guitarists seem like dorky nerds. The guy who always has a “sundari” beside him, in his “selfie” display pictures. The guy with billion likes and a million fans. He is…THE….MOST….HAPPENING….he is….THE PHOTOGRAPHER…..or more like…the camera-man…? oops…that stung…! Didn’t it?

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Okay how about we try to list out all the…ummm…camera-men…we know of…wait! The person next door has a DSLR. So…is he….? Wait…let’s go through his facebook albums…nice…! There are pictures of people having fun…more people having fun…more people…and more…and…okay. He seems to have a lot of happy friends…some of who are ready to be…”THE NEXT TOP MODEL” from India! Immense use of Photoshop with just the right number of teeth shown….and voila! We have a million followers! Now that’s just one aspect of this huge…ummm…entrepreneurial step for mankind. Yes….one day….camera-men are going to change the world (I have a gut feeling they are going to get rid of Global Warming). Well…the next aspect then. Coverage. Certain camera-men feel the need to publicize their work covering events like a birthday party to a seminar or a function. These people have the best of the women by their sides and are the coolest dudes inside campus. And they do tag themselves in the “picture courtesies”. Because they just can’t get enough of the attention. Staying behind the lenses, they are the most known figures around. Yes, they are our photographer friends (or not, well he is certainly going to become one…duh! He’s got a DSLR for heaven’s sake). Yep, any guy with a DSLR and having enough strength in his fingers to click that small black button is going to be your next best friend and everyone’s going to know him! And why wouldn’t he be? He earned it after all! It was when he posted all those duck faces and selfies on facebook and gave the album a super uber-cool name, that’s when! I am telling you, he is not the friend that one needs…but the one that they deserve!

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There was a time when people used to go to programmes to actually attend the programme…rather than getting clicked with a DSLR to put up as the next display picture. However, times do change and in recent times, events turn into clicking sprees. There was a time, when cameras were used to make memories through albums and film reels used to cost a person a few bucks. Compared to that, we now live in a time, where storage is free and we delete a few memories to “save space” for new ones, even though memories are supposed to be old. Talking about real photography, if we consider it as an art, we must look at some real photographs. Go look at some pictures clicked by Raghu Rai or Subhankar Banerjee or Benu Sen…there are plenty to name. You’ll witness art which you have only heard of. Respect your camera like a shrine. Don’t misuse it like a toy.

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You are the reason why real memories are fading and why real art is getting suppressed. Grow up.

The Modern Society

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Prologue

I was aware.

I was dead, but I was aware. I could see the white kurta and pajama laden lifeless body of mine. Finally I knew, what it was like to be a soul. I wasn’t expecting anyone to turn up. Not after all that happened. But I saw four unknown people standing in a circle over my body.

“Paying respects?” I thought. “Certainly not. Let’s see what they are up to.”

The four people were all dressed distinctively. One of them even had a hook for a hand and a scar over his right eye. This guy was wearing a simple white under vest and blue shorts. He had a slight drop in his right jaw which gave him an unintended frown. Let’s call him “Frown Face”.

The guy standing to his right was wearing a neat and quite expensive suit and also had a briefcase in his hand. His face was clean, hair neatly parted and he was wearing rimless glasses. Let’s call him “Vyapar Boy”.

The guy standing to the right of the neat nerd, was wearing a white kurta with white pajamas, not dissimilar to the attire my body had on. However, he was wearing one of those white hats they show on tv so much these days. Strangely, his face was nicely hidden with the help of the hat and also his continuous savory towards the delicious mango he had in his hand. Let’s call him “Mango Man”.

The fourth and final guy was short, fat and was chewing tobacco. He was definitely wearing costly clothing and also had a sash over his shoulders. Let’s call him “Political Punk”.

Chapter-“the gossip”

“Looks like a simple guy.” Political Punk broke the tension.

“But with a heavy and dark past I hear” said Vyapar Boy.

“A pirate he was, yes.” said Mango Man.

“Well, is that so?” asked Political Punk.

“Yes. And he is on his way to hell.” Vyapar Boy said, adjusting his glasses.

“Excuse me?” Mango Man cut in.

“This man is going to hell.” Vyapar Boy said firmly, looking directly at Mango Man.

“I don’t think so my man. I will have my men look into his past first and get to know all about him. His family will get benefits and whoever is responsible for his death will be at trial.” Mango Man sounded adamant.

“I don’t think you are quite eligible to do that my friend.” Political Punk now addressed Mango Man.

“But isn’t India supposed to be a democracy?” Mango Man retorted back.

“I am sorry sir, but this man must go to hell. He has committed quite a lot of crimes in his life.” Vyapar Boy tried to sound convincing.

“No sir. I cannot allow you to do that. If you proceed, I would willingly put up a fast with a mob of my men.Mango Man was still very adamant.

During this conversation, Political Punk was listening very intently. Frown Face was standing there but no one really noticed or wanted to notice him. He was just standing there, staring at my body.

“Very well. You leave me no choice. Political Punk, I see you need to expand your power, don’t you?”  asked Vyapar Boy.

“What do you want to say?” Political Punk sounded rude.

“I have a very nice proposition for you my good sir. I was just on the phone with Satan himself and he is quite impressed with my work. Keep it to yourselves but I smell a raise.” Vyapar Boy suddenly sounded a bit childish and there was a twinkle in his eye which lasted for a millisecond. “Sir, how would you like to extend your contacts and which might later turn to territory to a lovely place called hell?”

“Oh really? And you can get through to Satan huh? Would he be willing to talk to me?” Political Punk asked greedily.

“Most certainly sir. Just help me get this man to hell.” Vyapar Boy was as professional as he could be.

“I cannot allow you both to do that I’m afraid” Mango Man cut in.

“But you must. You do not have power. You know what you must do don’t you?” Political Punk tried to scare Mango Man.

Mango Man glanced at him once, stopped nibbling at his mango and looked at my body.

“I guess you are right. Do as you wish” he said.

Vyapar Boy looked pleased and Political Punk felt victorious.

“Would you mind a mango?” Mango Man took one out of his pocket and offered it to Political Punk.

“Why not?” Political Punk smiled back and took the mango.

He took one bite, looked at Mango Man with horror and fell to the ground.

“Oh no!” Vyapar Boy looked shocked.

He took out his cell phone dialed a number and put the phone to his ears.

“Satan sir, there’s been a minor hiccup. I’ll have to come back tomorrow. No sir don’t worry, it will be done.” He left the scene while talking.

Mango Man smiled at my body and left the scene with a sinister laugh.

Only Frown Face remained. Suddenly he spoke.

“I know it has been tough on you, my friend. You might not remember me but I was your best friend in school. I know you couldn’t have done all those things they say you did. Something must have changed you, like some things changed me. Don’t worry about those fools. It is what our society comprises of now. Rest in peace brother. Here I leave you. Goodbye.”

Epilogue

And now I am dead, but I realize, it’s a confusing world I lived in. The leader is corrupt, the guy you believe to be your savior turns out to be a sociopath, the businessman is well…a businessman. And the one you find most frightening, the one you feel does not belong, is the only friend you have in this very confusing society of ours. Choose wisely.

The Devil’s Advocate

He panicked. That was his mistake. Now he was falling. He couldn’t see the water. But his hands were tied behind him as he tried to wriggle free. The vastness of cliff rocks on one side and of a never ending horizon on the other. He looked up. An eagle, he thought would survive. No. Any bird would survive. When you know you are going to die, things that go through your mind may be just as dumb as a doorknob. But then when you finally see the water, accelerating towards you and you are about plunge into ice cold water with your handicapped hands. That is when you panic and see your whole life flashing in front of you. And that’s when he saw the only face that meant his life had changed, forever.

“No!” he woke up.

He was sweating like a pig. He grabbed the bottle of water sitting on the table beside his bed and drank half. He sat on the edge of his bed holding his head and trying to calm himself down. Once his heartbeat normalized, he picked up his watch from the table and pushed the neon button. It was 3 in the morning. He rolled his eyes and fell on his bed again. But he knew he wouldn’t be able to sleep for the rest of the night. You see, this was not the first time this happened. Rishav was 12 since when, every year on the 6th of June at 3 am, he would wake up to this dream. And then he would again have the busiest (well it was the most terrifying when it began 10 years ago) night of all.

Rishav now had a pretty good idea what was going to happen next. He waited patiently on his bed, staring at the ceiling, which he could see was changing colour and the darkness was slowly getting engulfed by a eerie shade of red. As like every other year since the first one, a single drop of blood slowly procured from nowhere and fell on his right cheek and started rolling down like a tear of blood. He still remembered the first night this happened. He was so scared that he started crying and to his terror, blood started rolling down his face instead of tears. Slowly the drop rolled off his cheek and he looked up, as if already expecting something. His ceiling had vanished and there was now a portal which looked like a wormhole, just red in colour.

“You know what to do don’t you Rishav?” a smooth and sinister voice came from the other side.

Rishav stood up on his bed and extended a hand into the portal. In that instant there was a loud noise and a flash and then the room went silent. There was no trace of what had happened in the last 3 minutes. Everything was back in its proper place. No blood stains, no crease marks on the bed. It was as if no one had been there at all. It was just another empty room.

Rishav didn’t like this next part of travelling through the wormhole. He was being sucked into another dimension. Claustrophobia was slowly descending upon him, when suddenly he felt hot ground underneath his feet. He looked up. It was a room. A gigantic room with infinite space. You could stare on and on but never see the end. People have a different idea about hell. But realizing the fact that it is just a hot, empty room, with never ending space would be quite a shocker. Rishav knew what he was supposed to do. He started walking towards a specific direction and started taking turns in ways like he already knew the way by heart. While he was walking, shouts of people screaming for mercy and shouts of women and little children could be heard. But Rishav payed little heed to the sounds. He walked on till he reached a spot. A spot which looked like any other spot in the whole room. But this spot was hotter than the rest of theroom. Somewhere from above, the same smooth and sinister voice from before, started speaking.

“Hello Rishav! It’s been a year. Hehehe. And you have grown again.”

“Get it over with Satan.” Rishav sounded bored.

“Alrighty then. Here’s the list.” A scroll fell in front of him.

Rishav picked up the scroll and started reading out the names of living people, their age and addresses.

“It’s a bumpy year ahead Rishav. Have fun. Hehehehe.” Satan’s voice boomed out.

Rishav’s eye twinkled with excitement and he gave a crooked smile.

“Oh yes I will.”

Well, for starters or rather the end I must tell you. The room had no source of light yet it was illuminated. And a shadow which followed Rishav all around was visible. The tail was long. And it also had a sharp pointed end. The horns on his head were clearly as twisted as a corkscrew. And his whole body was lined with thorns.

He slowly walked away and vanished into thin air.

“Get up Rishav. You are going to be late for work.” His mother woke him up.

Rishav got up. He went to the washroom and watched his reflection on the mirror. He always had those freakishly red pupils. And 10 years ago, he got to know why.

The Degenerate Revolutionist

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Aloha folks. Today I wish to introduce you to a very dynamic and immensely rebellious bunch of people. The Modern Revolutionists!

They speak out of turn, they wear Che Guevara tees, they worship atheism and most of all, they just love to break rules! And a true rebel we discover. So what makes you this modern soldier against society.

Firstly, you must know that wearing the Che Guevara t shirt is a must. Here I share a conversation which I once had and probably want to forget.

“Hey, nice t shirt!” referring to the highly common “Che” t shirt which he was wearing.

“Thanks man! This is my favorite band.”

Really? I mean break rules. That’s fine. What you just said broke a lot many other things.

I smiled back at him, nodded. Left the scene, and I swear I ran after a few small steps.

Secondly, have an absurd take on religion. They are the most confused when it comes to belief. Some take it really bad, and blabber the first thing that comes to their stupid minds. “Oh my God! I just told you I’m an atheist!”…Right, you definitely just did. Religion can be a touchy topic. And the modern revolutionist might just add it to the trend. I won’t give examples to this one but would rather like to present an opinion through this article. Religion might be flawed. But imagination is not. Believe what you must. Believe what you see. Believe what keeps you sane. For, without faith, mankind would simply perish. They will go insane. They will lead to their own extinction. Without each one’s belief of hope, despair will fall. So imagine what you might. Research what you are taught. And give both of them a little stir. For all you know, you might find your God somewhere in that large cauldron of ideas. Ideas which rule this planet. Ideas which keeps man from pure extinction. Sarcasm un-pauses in the next paragraph.

Thirdly, have the immense confidence to break rules. Be it anything, you see? From attending classes in boxers to riding horses to petrol pumps (whoa….that came out right!). I have known people, who would go so far to prove that they can break rules, that they would do anything. Literally. ANYTHING. “Hey I want to be a rebel! Why don’t I stop taking showers! Yeah, that would be breaking rules!” Oh yes you dimwit! Stink like a skunk for the rest of your life. That will surely prove to be rebellious!

So, in conclusion, to all those rebels out there who have turned the very essence of revolution and the need for change into a trend, I wish that you all have the slightest sense of respect and stop the wannabe game. We would be eternally grateful.