Sunday, June 9, 2019

ज़िंदगी हिसाब मांगती है

ज़िंदगी की इस भाग दौड़ में
मेरी कलम ठहर सी गयी है।
शब्दों की आंधी जो अंदर थी मेरे ,

धीरे धीरे ठंडी आहों में बदल गयी है।
कभी कभी Google Maps से ही ,इस जीवन की राह पूछता हूँ।
Directions तो मैं खुद ढूंढ लूंगा,

उस से सिर्फ जाना कहाँ है ये पूछता हूँ।
सुनता हूँ स्तब्ध दोस्तों के जलसो में अब,
तेरा EMI कितना ? तू कितनी Insurance भरता है ?
इन पलो को फिर से रंगीन करने लिए 
क्या कोई Instagram फ़िल्टर लगता है ?
दे नहीं पाया आज दिन के १० पल भी बीवी को
शायद कल iPhone X से कमी पूरी कर पाऊं।
१० साल का प्यार १० हज़ार के लिए गिरवी है
उसको बचाने के लिए कौनसा discount coupon लगाऊं?

माँ मेरी भेजे टूलिप्स की तस्वीरें ख़ुशी से
अपने दोस्तों को Facebook पे दिखाती है।
साल मै ५ दिन से ज़यादा मिल नहीं पाती,
ये दुखड़ा न जाने किसे, किस App पे बताती है ? 

आज फिर आगे बढ़ने के लिए झूट बोला,
कहीं करी चापलूसी तो किसी को टांग अड़ाई।
आत्मा शायद रोज़ थोड़ी मरती गयी लेकिन,
उसकी दुरुस्ती के लिए कौनसा Fitbit है भाई ? 

ऐसे मिली तरक्की की खबर
अपने बाप को न जाने कैसे सुनाऊंगा।
जिसने हमेशा बोला , बुरा काम न करना

उसको इसके बारे मे Whatsapp तो नहीं कर पाउँगा।
हम हाथों में लिए बैठे है चाबियां
अपने पिंजरों की, कोई तो हमको बताएं।
एक जिसके आदी है और दूसरा जो सपना है

उस यात्रा के लिए कोई तो एक Uber मंगवाए 

कुछ चीखें है दबी अंदर, जो पन्ने तक

आने के लिए आज फिर से शराब मांगती है
बोझ समझकर फैंक दिए थे कहीं 
ये आँखें वापस वो अपने ख्वाब मांगती है।  
कहने को नदी की तरह स्वछंद पर फिर भी 
दो किनारो के बीच फंसे, ज़िंदगी आज सैलाब मांगती है।
कितने महंगे पड़े ये चंद सिक्के 
मेरी आत्मा एक Excel में इसका हिसाब मांगती है 


Sunday, March 31, 2019

The NRI Oath

I never thought much about NRIs when I was kid, my only experience with them were the Bollywood caricatures like the helpless cousin who needs saving by the street-smartness of the hero or the cartoonish villains in Vishawatama who were plotting something nefarious against my motherland along with some vague ‘Videshi Taakatein’ and lately the spoiled, out of touch with his/her Indian-ness, cigarette smoking, hard drinking, partying brat like in Namaste London or Pardes who needed to be remedied by the hero. My first tryst with an actual NRI was when my uncle returned from Nigeria, which I know now isn’t the hottest of the destinations but still it was pretty exotic to us. He used to buy all us cousins video game cartridges and ice cream and used to have imported whiskey for my dad. He got a bath tub built, got an AC and joked about putting a music system with a speaker in each room when all as had in our homes were those BPL 2-in-1 cassette players. In short he was doing everything right by the…… <drumroll> …… NRI Oath. Something that I didn’t know existed but I had to take myself one after moving to Spain for work. A binding oath they make us swear if we are ever outside India or its territorial waters for more than 182 days in a financial year.

The NRI Oath or just ‘The Oath’ is stricter that Nights watch vows, more sacred than any pinky promise and more lasting than the Wolfpack promise the four guys made on the top of the Caesars Palace hotel on that fateful night in Las Vegas. The Oath compels us (NRIs) to -

Be more Indian outside India then we were ever inside it. In India we always used 26th January as the day to sleep late and run over to Big Bazaar for discounted shopping. However outside India we need to have get together parties, go to flag hoisting and send each other messages congratulating each other on the Republic day even though we still do not understand its significance. Out here we have to force our children to learn Bharatnatyam and memorize Veds, go extra-ethnic-wear on Diwali and start blog on traditional Indian dishes. We also have to watch documentaries on ancient Indic civilizations and recommend reading ‘A Search in Secret India’ to each other. So in short, none of the things we bothered doing while we were in India, before the Oath compelled us to.

After spending two weeks living in a new country, we have to become an expert on it. We need to have them all figured out and be happy to disburse that advice that to any other NRI who has come to the country one day after us. Ask us (or don’t ask us) and we have the low down for each country – Americans are just stupid consumerists, Germans are cold hearted bastards, Spanish are lazy and Canadians need to develop more industry. All this gyan comes streaming down from people who cannot even speak the local language (except if it’s English) and will be hard pressed to tell you the name of the elected official of their city/state. There is no getting around the obligation of that solemn vow you took.

We need to blame all of our problems in a different country on racism. Got entry refused to a club because you were 7 badly dressed guys? The bouncer has to be racist. A restaurant didn’t let you use the restroom for free? The waitress needs to be proclaimed racist. The bus driver didn’t answer you properly because he did not speak English? Take down his badge number and put it on Facebook how you had a harrowing experience because of racism. But remember to hold on to your wallet tightly if there is Black guy behind you in the subway and never enter those Latino ghettos because that’s where all the drug dealers live. We act like that not because we are idiots, pseudo-racists or never learned to deal with foreigners because we don’t have any in India, it is because and only because of the coercion of the NRI Oath.

Whenever we are in a formal Indian gathering or in an Indian community group on social media, we try to outdo each other on praising India. We say things like India has the oldest civilization, the zero and plastic surgery was invented in India. We had buttons and space ships in the ancient India (serious theory, google Vimanas + Ancient Aliens). We are the biggest democracy and have the second largest army. In fact we all love India so much that none of us want to go back. People back in India are clamoring to get visas to developed countries (and when we use this phrase it automatically means that India is not), people who have visas are trying to get permanent residencies and people who are permanent residents are trying to get their country’s passport. But yet, our country is the greatest, we just don’t want to spoil such a great place by our humble presence. This is the first doctrine of the Oath, love your country, be jingoistic about it, send money to even terrorist organizations in it (Khalistan separation for example, read the Wikipedia Article) but try extra hard to get the citizenship of another country.

We are pro-immigration only till the point that we are through the door. The NRIs who got US citizenship are against people getting more Green Cards and the people who have Green Cards are worried about Indians getting too many H1-B visas because is ruining the job market. The people who have Australia PRs are against more people getting Visa 186. And no NRI in Europe wants to have the Syrian immigrants to be admitted. The real talk between the enlightened, globe-trotting, politically conscious desis in US is always about H1b, premium processing, RFE, Visa denials and nothing else. However, if you ever talk about how Trump coming in as President has reduced onsite opportunities in India and you can see the crowd go wild about how disgusting that it and how immigration is beneficial for every country. All because of the Oath, all because the Oath.

We like to bash Bollywood movies every chance we get. How the song-dance routine is so cheesy, how they don’t have a proper plot and how they are not trying to tackle bold subjects. We always laugh at Salman movies and always make absolutely clear to everyone we meet that we are not amongst those Indians who like his movies. We go on and on about how progressive French cinema is and or actually West End is where the true actors are but the moment the next SRK movie releases we are all ready to drive 100 KMs to see it. Because this what the Oath obliges us to do it.

It is absolutely needed for us to buy a 2nd hand or 3rd hand Mercedes or Audi as soon as we arrive, because it is much cheaper to buy them there. From there onwards the regulations state that it is needed to get our money’s worth out it as quickly as possible with Facebook and WhatsApp DPs pictures having captions like ‘The man and the machine’, ‘The beauty’ etc. as soon as possible. Before the maintenance and fuel bills start hitting you and you realize that there is a reason the Americans and Europeans buy Toyota Camrys and VW Polos. A special by law also indicates that if you are renting the car between four people then, firstly it has to be a BMW X5 or Jaguar F type convertible and secondly and most importantly all four people need to have a picture taken with them sitting in the driver’s seat. There was an amendment after the Y2K that simply getting a photo taken standing near someone else’s Porsche or Hummer is no longer allowed.

Every time anybody acts in an even the slightest non inclusive manner, we are needed to criticize that. It is required that we hate the fact when the Spaniards switch to Spanish at lunch time in the office even we are sitting with them. We hate ever more when we see the Germans want to have some private conversation in German in a business meeting when we are there. We especially hate it when the English use Cockney slang even in a joke because it just is difficult to understand even though it is English. But the moment one Tamil guys meeting another Tamil guys in a Diwali mela, let’s just say that it not their problem if the rest of the India cannot speak Tamil. And it is absolutely needed to abuse other non-Indians in Hindi in front of them or pass lecherous comments about women, totally oblivious of the fact that 93% of all communication is non-verbal. We are not in the slightest bit having-double-standards-linguicist-twats, it is just the rudiment of the Oath.

We save all our holidays and money for our annual trip to India, but we do nothing but crib throughout it. “Oh my god this country has so much pollution. Oh my god look at the traffic. Oh my god this country is so dirty. I hate the fact that I have to meet so many relatives here.” We pound our fellow countrymen over the head so much that they know that the next sentence out of our mouth is going to start with “You know in the US/UK/Germany we …..”. Nobody of us talks about the longing for family and familiarity, the alienation, the anxiety, the constant feeling that we are doing something wrong, is everyone secretly and inwardly laughing at us, thinking of us less developed. And none of us especially talks about how much we look forward to this India trip. It is not because we like to be so irritatingly predictive and predictively irritating, it is because the nature of the Oath is so.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

3 years in Spain, or what I learned about Happiness, Time and India

Happiness is a strange thing, for some it is an abstract concept, for some it is a fleeting emotion and for some people like me it is a state of being.

The house in Bangalore
Before I go on, let’s have a small thought experiment. Take one person who has a 2 bedroom apartment in the center of the city, has a car, a maid to do his cleaning and washing, decent enough salary, goes to a fancy pub every weekend, cooks only 5 times a week and eats out the rest of the time and lives with his beautiful wife. Now juxtapose him with another guy, who lives alone in a studio in a suburb, doesn’t have a car but walks everywhere or takes public transport, cooks all 3 meals seven days a week, cleans his own apartment, irons his own clothes, lives in a country where he doesn’t know a single person and cannot speak the language of. Now tell me who amongst these two will be happier?

Since I have asked such a seemingly obvious question, you know it is a trick question. You know the answer is that the second guy is happier, and this is right.

5 days before I
moved to Spain
After moving to Spain
When I was about to move to Spain I was 77 kgs, I ate and drank too much and had difficulty sleeping at night. My job even though a menial one was stressful and I spent more than 13 hours at work if I include the commute. I ended up working on a lot of weekends then bunking a lot of Monday with fake sick leaves. In addition to all this was the stress of getting a visa for Spain. I was miserable with no real reason for it. No financial difficulties, no fledgling business, no cheating girlfriend, no tough boss; really none of usual reasons of unhappiness.

The studio in Madrid
Cut to when I moved to Madrid. I worked 9 hours a day, left early on Fridays, had a half an hour commute. I ran every day, lost the excess 7 kgs and slept like a baby in my tiny apartment. Every day was a new day full of new things, each street that I took was a new discovery. Once I rode public buses in the city aimlessly just to see the city. I took out time to see the sunrise, the sunset and the night sky. I took out time for reading, for writing, for doing all the things that I thought I would do when I will have time.


The sea view room
Slowly it dawned on me that happiness has nothing to do with material things, on whether you have a car or not, whether you have a small house or a big one, whether you have 46 piece cutlery set or you eat out of the pot. It is something intrinsic. It is something inside you. You and you alone can make yourself happy. It is not dependent on your salary, your spouse, your designation in your job or any of the usual things that people associate happiness with. My most memorable vacation is not when I stayed in a 4 star hotel on Costa del Sol (yes, the place they go in ‘Zindagi na milegi dobara’) with a sea view room and champagne for breakfast. Instead, it a vacation I took in Lisbon where I stayed in a hostel, slept in a bunk bed in a dorm, ate a one Euro ham & cheese sandwich for breakfast and rode the tram to buy a beer to have it on a street bench.

My moving to Spain also made me realize a two other things. One is about time. I travelled a lot, to villages nearby, to a forest close to my house and to every other city that is everyone’s European checklist. When my wife was here a for a month’s vacation we covered Amsterdam, Paris, Rome, Switzerland and Ibiza in a month! Because we knew that our time was limited. This sense of urgency, this understanding that this will not last is a great motivator. In my humble opinion that is how life should be lived, with the understanding that it is an ephemeral thing; that we will never be here again, we will never be in the same moment again. Our time here is limited and that is what makes our lives beautiful. When I was in Bangalore I always wanted to go to Bylakuppe, it is small Tibetan settlement around 80 kms from Mysore, I made the plan many time and then cancelled it by saying we can go any time, and of course I never did go there. That is because I always thought I had unlimited time. Don’t most of us do that? We think we can do this any time and we wait for some perfect time for it. When we will have the weekend totally free, when we’ll not be as tired, when we will have a little more money, when the weather is a little better, when all our friends would want to go etc. etc. You know the answer to all these whens is never. There is no better time than right now.

These however are not the only thing I realized. I also realized that I should respect us Indians a little more. I used to think we are exceptionally stingy, close-minded, conservative, littering, rapey, racist people. We are not. We Indians like to think we invented a lot of things like Nuclear weapons as Bhramaastra, Airplanes as Vimans, the number 0 and surgery. However racism, crime, poverty are certainly not our inventions. We are just poor, illiterate and a lot us cramped up in a comparatively little country. The Spanish from the 1970s tell stories of how they conserved plastic bags to carry stuff in them and had metal plates. South Koreans did not have any music that was not approved by conservatives until the 1990s. Women get catcalled on the streets even today in Morocco and the women in Brazil still feel unsafe going out in the night they have a female only taxi app called FemiTaxi. And yes, the Filipinos throw a lot of garbage on the streets and pee in the open. The cause of most of our problems boils down to poverty. Since we do not have money we do not have good public schools or dustbins on the street. People cannot afford to build toilets in the house and no restaurant or café will allow them to use the toilet while they are outside. The police is understaffed, underpaid and under equipped to handle the crime. Most people cannot afford to travel outside the country and have never seen how the world is. Vacations are scarce and most people are overworked. Women and men are kept segregated most of their lives because of the crime and our conservative values and this manifests in weird ways. I can go and on but the bottom-line is that we are not inferior in any way, we are just poor and a little behind in the development curve as a society. Once our living standard improves our country will become better.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Nine most useless things in the world


1.       Airline Announcements


Is there anything more useless than the announcement where the Pilot introduces himself and then rambles on “This is your pilot Arjun Chopra, ummmmmmm,  we are flying today to New Delhi, ehhhhhh, we are cruising at 30,000 feet, the temperature outside is 5 degrees below zero, anddddddd….. the skies outside are clear…”. All that goes in my mind that time is “I couldn’t care less about your name, I am not even going to see you. I know where the plane is going, you see I bought the ticket to it. I also do not care about the weather outside, inside I am going to open the fan vent even further because someone farted. And finally it is your problem how the sky is outside. I do not call and tell you how my network speed is when I am working, so I don’t appreciate about information on your working conditions.


Imagine if your Auto driver suddenly starts – “This is the Auto driver Ambarish Rangaiah, we are going to your house today, we are currently crawling in a traffic jam at 5 km/hour and for this I am going to charge you 20 Rs. Extra, It is hot, humid and polluted out here …..”. Nothing will drive you to murder faster.


2.       Inspirational Messages


What is the deal with them? Especially the ones that you receive in Whatsapp with a lame Good Morning tacked on at the end of them. Especially in India. Especially with photos of Sunrises or Flowers or Toddlers in the background. I mean we send more than 100 crore a day, we froze Whatsapp’s servers and Google had to put a special team to find out why so many Android phones in India were suddenly getting full and crashing.


What is the use of these messages? Does someone one day get up, see a message on Whatsapp and changes his whole perspective on life? Imagine waking up late, you are still sleepy and worried about the how painful the traffic is going to be now, your boss will crib that you are late, you are given impossible targets for your quarter and then suddenly your phone beeps. it is your Uncle who has sent you a message saying “All Birds find shelter during a rain. But Eagle avoids rain by flying above the Clouds. Good Morning”.  And you go - Eureka! So that is what I was doing wrong till now, instead of worrying about the traffic I should … I don’t know what… Maybe build a Quadricopter which runs on water to fly me to work and also helps me to create clones so I can do my work in time?  Moreover this text is not a text but words as an image with an Eagle or a mountaintop as the background and attributed to a famous person. Because sensible words matter more if they are an image and said by someone famous .


And don’t even get me started of the ultimate cowardly act of sending a message starting with “Forwarded as received…”


3.       Warning messages


I mean the diplomatic warning messages like on a plastic bag which says “This bag is not a toy”. The person who is going to use that as a toy is a two year old, he or she can’t read. It will not matter even it says “This bag is made from radioactive plastic which was previously used to store Anthrax spores” with a skull and crossbones sign on it. The two year old kid is still going to put it on his or her head and run around. It can’t possibly be for the parents either, if they do not understand the difference between a plastic bag that can choke kids and a toy without reading a warning level then they should take the Darwin award and remove themselves from the Gene Pool. And these parents are surely the same people who will disregard warnings of wearing a seatbelt while driving and wearing a helmet while riding, not to talk on the phone while driving, not smoking etc., but when they will see this warning and they will realize how serious it is and safely store away the plastic to recycle.


4.       Kitna bada ho gaya hai ye!


Isn’t the most useless bromide to lead with? You see a kid after 5 years and you are surprised that he or she has grown up? What were you expecting? For them to grow younger like Benjamin Button? You might as well start with any of the obvious truths like ‘The sun rises from the east’ or ‘Gravity exists’ or ‘I hate my boss’.

This useless sentence is followed by another equally useless sentence “The last time I saw you, you were so little” with a stretched palm measuring arbitrary distance from the ground. It is the exact same things. It like saying “oh you have a new black colored car, how nice” then following it with “the last time I saw you, you did not have a new car and it was red in color”.


5.       HR announcement and Town Hall meetings


They are like an election rally where people are forcibly sent to listen to stuff they don’t care about, but here you do not get even a biryani/saree/quarter to attend it, just an email from manager saying “Team, let us show high participation in the the Town Hall”. Then you drag yourself from your desk to wherever this is happening and listen to top management ramble on “We are showing very healthy growth in Middle East, we are up by 4%... blah blah blah …. Customer are giving very good feedback about .. blah blah blah… We need to invest more in Blockchain technology / Sustainable Buildings / Smart Cars / <Insert your Industry’s buzzword here> …. We are setting up new Champions / Intrapreneurs  / Agents of change / who will prepare our new go-to-market kill chain to amplify our return on relationship with our strategic customers (which basically means that some guy will do a lot of foreign travel on company’s money and come back with un-implementable plan)”


If you are not bored to tears till this point, then HR will take the stage and start “Guys, we have this initiative S.H.I.K.S.H.A or Strategic High Impact Knowledge Study on Human Aspirations. Mails have been shot out (because just sending emails is not good enough) to everyone, please finish the survey asap”. But you already zoned out and are checking Facebook on your phone and make a mental note of Shift+Deleting of this email when you see it.


6.       Photos of Housing Projects


You have seen them, haven’t you? And they always are the same - A tall, good looking man with his arm around his wife and sipping his tea with another hand, standing on his balcony from the top floor of the building, looking at the sunrise. This man is content, proud and impossibly young to afford a house of 1.3 crores + registration + tax + parking + higher floor surcharge + common space deposit + Preferential Locality Charge + brokerage + Interiors. And if this is not bad enough they slap on the most useless tagline on it – YOUR DREAM HOME.


Fuck this. My dream home is not a 2 bedroom, 950 square feet house which is 2 hour out of the city. My dream home is 60 room mansion has a view of the sea from one side, Times Square on one side, Alps on one side and one side has a view of my pool where porn stars are sunbathing topless.


If it was honest advertising they would write that this is the only house you can afford, that too barely by giving up all your savings, taking money from your parents and being neck deep in EMI for the next 20 years of your life. This balcony that you see in the ad will only be used twice in the day, once when you hang your wet towel and once when you come to put your clothes for drying. The only view you will see is other’s laundry drying or under construction buildings. You will never have time to sip tea with your wife because both of you will be working your ass off to pay the EMIs. Your kid will be in school till 4, then do homework, then have tuitions, the 1 hour of play time on his tablet; the play area and jungle gym will all go to waste, the club area will be hoarded by someone or the other having some religious functions and if office politics wasn’t enough you’ll have housing society politics.


7.       12 month gym membership


For once people should be realistic. These are the same people who want to try 5 different flavors of before buying ice-cream, want a free sample of shampoo before trying it, spray every deo bottle in the store before buying their usual brand. But for an activity which requires 2 hours of time per day, which is punishing, physically and mentally challenging, which requires a commitment of entire year and they have never ever done it successfully for their entire life; people are ready to dole out 20,000 Rs. Upfront.


Of course the gyms know it, one third of the 12 month members who take it as a new year resolutionists drop within the 1st month, only 15% of all members in the gym come regularly. However this does not stop the gyms from putting the entire newspaper full of ads in January. Because they know the people who have difficultly controlling themselves in front of Gulab Jamun, pastries and onion bhajji will lap up their bullshit as well.


8.       Goa Plans


I don’t think this one requires any explanation. Just recollect your last conversation on a whatsapp group of your school or college friends when one of them was too drunk –


Drunk Bro - Bro, let’s all meet up once bro. It’s been so long since we’ve all met

The admin of the group - Yeah bro, we should definitely meet

Enthu Pataka of the group – Bol bhaai. Kab milna hai?

Drunk Bro – Bhaai jab tu bole. Bata kahan aana hai, bhaai haazir ho jayega

Bro 4 – Yeah man we should all meet at least once.

Admin – Let’s meet in Goa for new years, half way for everyone (Changes name of the group to Goa Plan 2018 with a bikini emoji)

Drunk Bro – Go Goa! (fifteen emojis with thumbs up, beer, beach , bikini, and various smileys in a jumbled manner)

Bro 4 – Oh Sorry Bro, December is little difficult for me, in laws would be here.

Enthu Bro – Oh Shit! December is year-end closing time in office, won’t be able to get leaves.


And then the entire plan goes down the drain


9.       Listicles like this


I think the only use they are is to prove that the author has no understanding of prose and structure and definitely no imagination at all


Sunday, January 7, 2018

The idiot's guide to be a feminist

Feminism is THE Fad right now, just like patriotism was in the 1999. Whatever you want to sell; be it cooking oil, deodorant or yourself, this is THE bandwagon you want to jump on.
So do you generally like females and want to put this liking into a moneymaker? Or you like boys instead but since the women have never harmed you, you want to help them out? Or since your friends are already against animal cruelty, gun violence, genetically modified crops and Hitler, you want to have your own topic where you can passionately berate the whole world for? Or you just an attention commercial sex worker (we do not use the word ‘whore’ now)? Then read right on because even if you thought till now that the glass ceiling is just the roof of a Greenhouse this blog will make you the uber feminist who can run circles around Angelina Jolie.

See the first thing you need is a Tumblr account for a blog, not Wordpress or Blogpost but Tumblr. It is the holy ground where all Feminists congregate, the last bastion of the pure world which is not polluted by misogynistic pigs with their catcalls, rape threats and acid attacks. Then you need a name for it, a name has to be something powerful which screams out that you will not take the oppression of the patriarchy anymore, in fact you will take the very thing they shamed you with and wear it proudly like a gilded armor. That is where the names like Menstruating Minstrel or Voluble Vulva come in. Or you can go with something panglossian like ‘Girl Boss’ or ‘Women on top of the whole wide world while everyone else is like way down’ as well. Of course something masculinist of this type would be totally absurd, for example Penis Soliloquy can only be an adult cartoon strip and a name like Speaking Scrotum would be just plain offensive.
Now that you have decided upon the name you need something to talk about. It has to be something everyone can relate to, so keep it an everyday topic and explain how it is actually a conspiracy of evil men. Something like: How using the word Friendzone propagates rape culture or how older relatives wanting hugs is equal to rape. Ok maybe not those two, since they are already taken. But there are plenty of topics out there, like how the name ball point pens is sexist and how feminists will call them ovary point pens henceforth. Or how the iOS development is funded by men because it only has Silent mode but no PMS mode. Or how the umbrella is made phallus like by men and a gender neutral umbrella would be perfectly horizontal when open. Perhaps you can quote specific instances of your life, for example the last time you saw a shitfaced girl in a bar and all her male friends asked her not to drive and take a taxi, which is incredibly patriarchal of them, to assume she will not be able to drive at night.

However just these opinions and point of views will not last a long time. So you have to support causes, causes can be anything related to women. One favorite cause of a group of feminists was to support Hillary Clinton, and she was to be supported because she was a woman. Anybody who objected to the point that supporting her just because she is a woman is actually sexism was straightway termed misogynist, anti-feminist and a woman enslaver. That was a fun group, more power to them! Then there causes like giving higher stars to Sushmita Sen movies on IMDB because she is a strong independent woman and needs encouragement. Or asking for equal representations in colleges and workforce and protesting every institution which does not have 50% women. However care has to be taken so as not be grouped with people asking for OBC reservation in colleges or SC/ST reservations in private jobs, because those people are stupid, casteist and do not understand that these positions should be filled with merit as they currently are. You can also twist innocent statements into anti-women messages: Movie star thanked his father in the award speech? Why? He doesn’t love his mother more who gave him birth? Must be anti-woman. On asking for opinion a guy says that his girlfriend’s hair is too short? Round up the posse and get that girl to break up from that guy at once, because he is a control freak who is body shaming his girlfriend and taking away her control over her own body. You can go on and on like that
And then you have your basic outrage, the meat and potatoes of every true feminist. Feminists are supposed to vociferous about any crime committed against women. All rapists, child molesters, abusive husbands and boyfriends, dowry harassers should be skinned alive, their genitals cut and fried in a pan, then torn limb to limb and their insides left to rot in the open. Because these people do not belong to a civilized society like ours and have no humanity in them. Lesser crimes than these against women should at least carry the death penalty to act as a deterrent to men and push them to commit more benign crimes like murder. Spend some time on smaller outrages as well, like sharing photo of guys on social media accused of catcalling or molesting without any fact checking. Applauding women who beat the men who were harassing them because violence from women on men is totally ok and not double standards at all. Another good example is sharing photos with the message “This man/woman was seen carrying this baby but the baby does not look like his/hers”, don’t worry about the moral implication, judging someone based on their looks or clothes is totally ok till it the look is without makeup and the clothes are not fashionable. Brand anyone asking questions about a woman’s allegation as performing moral policing or victim blaming. The list is long but you’ll soon get the hang of it.

Finally it is the positivity messages and a show of how proud you are to be a woman, which is nothing like being proud of something else you are just born with. So you gotta post all your photos on with captions like ‘Girl power’, ‘Woman on top’, ‘Girl boss’ or ‘Proud to be a mother/sister/daughter’. And keep a lookout for those groups of guys having ‘Cool Boys’ stickers on their cars or stuff like that, because those men were not raised right by their parents.
Keep going like that and soon you’ll be a feminist with a capital F, a celebrity and a well respected member of the society, life of every party and envy of all your friends. Your Tumblr hits and reblogs will be in millions, people will queue outside your door to know your opinion about what to do with armpit hair, what movies to see, which words to use and how to raise their kids right. All by just following the above easy five points! You are welcome!

P.S. – As the above text suggest I am not a feminist. However I am also not a sexist. I believe in equal opportunities for everyone and in everything. Feminism must be about equal opportunities and not woman first, keep it sensible. And watch out for fakers.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Leave tonight or die this way

It is another boring afternoon to kill,
To watch TV or sneak away for a smoke.
Only two options, melodrama or cheap thrill,
In this small town of a joke.

Take me away from this place.
I know I am the cleverest here.
But wasting away in this dawdling pace,
Waiting for the night to smuggle a warm beer.

I would prefer Grey Goose martinis in a suit,
In my high rise apartment instead of this
Cotts wool shirt and a Bata boot.
And a swanky car wouldn’t be amiss.

I hate that I can’t move around the town
 without ten people knowing. Or to come in
late to the house without one or two frown.
Their English and accents is another of my chagrin.

Everybody listens but none can appreciate me
Fed up with their small thinking, I can’t stay.
I have bigger dreams that I clearly see.
Have to leave tonight or die this way.


I can’t remember the last afternoon I had
Now it’s just nights after morning
In this big city; big, hard and bad
Wrapped in a grey smog, forever in mourning

And I am one of the many, wrapped in my gray coat
Lost in grey crowd, between these grey buildings. Sipping
my Grey Goose martinis, scream frozen in my throat.
Playing catch up with its fast pace and always slipping.

Stuck in traffic in my swanky car I search for
a familiar face and fail, or perhaps some trees and pond.
They says it’s the festive rush. But I don’t feel festive anymore
That’d be Diwali at home and old friends to bond.

As I enter my house there’s none to open the door.
Just a key to prove I live here. Neighbors don’t care.
They can’t speak my language and my accent they abhor.
It’ll be just TV and a smoke with none to share.

Everybody appreciates but none listens to me.
Fed up with their alienation, I can’t stay.
I have better dreams that I clearly see..
Have to leave tonight or die this way.


Saturday, May 20, 2017

Why is all the weakness in me?

Ten thousand texts I’ve sent, but you never reply,
Or to the calls that I make when I’m drunk and I cry;
Nor look up when I pretend to be just passing by.
Are you so strong or is all the weakness in me?

I did not see you for a week after we broke up.
It was a nightmare from which I never woke up.
Here I cry rivers and only stop to sick up,
And they say you’ve never even shed a tear

I sleep in my room whole day and only come out
To drink myself to sleep again. While you hangout
With you friends and go on with life all stout.
Are you so strong or is all the weakness in me?

I send hateful messages so you will get angry
And talk to me, ‘cause even for your abuse I’m hungry.
I’m trying to date even though it feels like adultery,
Because in some girls I see your hair in some your eyes

I want to get back, this time I’ll be a better person
To correct my mistake, to put out my own arson.
But you said you don’t and let things even worsen
How are you so strong and why is all the weakness in me?

Ten thousand times you’ve tried me, ten thousand times I turned myself to stone.
But I’ll die if I think you cry let alone hear you on the phone.
Can’t dare look up to you, lest you see in my eyes love still shone.
Are you so strong or is all the weakness in me?

Overdosed on sleeping pills, was in hospital for week after we broke up.
Nightmares are better than the life to which I woke up.
If I start crying I know I will never let up,
Maybe I'm too sad to cry, too tired to bring a tear in my eye.

I cannot sleep at all, not since they took away the pills
Can’t even stay in the house your memories give me chills
My friends are all that keeps me sane, but nothing fulfills
Are you so strong or is all the weakness in me?

I see you that you hate me but I cannot say anything,
because it is my fault that caused this thing.
I am happy for you that you are now dating.
Me, I know cannot get another you, this I always knew.

My heart sored when you asked to get back together,
Then I realized you were drunk, not sure you remember whether.
I will never be good enough for you, too false a hope to tether.
But how are you so strong and all the weakness is in me?

P.S. - Inspired by the Joan Armatrading song of the same name