Category: Uncategorized (Page 1 of 9)

Ramzaan memories

Delicately chewing a couple of khajoors as I opened the door onto my balcony, the clearest Bangalore sky and cotton-like floating clouds greeted me with a salaam. 

As my bare feet touch the cold floor, and the chill hits me, there’s a sense of calm. While I wait for the Azaan to stop eating, I convince myself that it’s not that cold and rest my bums on the stairs.

My earliest memories of a sehri are contrastingly differing to the one I’m about to finish. The cold December and the difficulty of getting out from the razai were its trademark. Not to forget the variety of sheermaals from Bhaarat Bakery and the occasional firni from Calkatiya hotel. And of course, forcefully drinking glasses of water to be ready for the next day. 

Somewhere from sharing the same jaanemaaz with Ammi to needing our own, we all grew up. 

As kids fasting in the holy month, we all were our family rockstars. An elaborate Iftaar awaited at the dusk for us. With special farmaishes. Skull capped kids all around the colony heading towards the mosque like it’s a celebration. 

Before I fasted for the first time, the idea of fast meant, ‘Eating Iftaar’. I remember people laughing when this revelation was out in the open.

Ammi’s occasional ‘wont-wake-you-up-for-sehri’ if we didn’t listen to her, scared us. Afraid of missing out on a Roza was an effective scare tactic. After all, counting on who kept the most number of fasts was quite a thing as kids in our colony. 

Motivators aside, Ramzan meant something special. Sehris, Roza and Iftar. All part of memories and not possible to recreate.

As I reminisce more, the Azaan breaks through the breeze. It is still dark but there’s a charm in reliving those memories. And yes, the morning Azaan helps. 

The daily wage

A soft step walk as if he was entering someone else’s house, he placed the small packet of rice in the kitchen and walked straight into the bathroom. 

Panting hard. He opened the tap and waited for the bucket of water to fill, looking passively as the water took it’s own sweet time.

“Just Rice?” She shouted from the kitchen. “We’ve been waiting since morning for this?!” 

He leaned on the wall listening to her agitated voice. Sweat dripping down his temple over his muddy clothes. His tired eyes blinked in slo-mo.

As the overflowing water from the bucket brought him back to his senses, he stripped down to pour water. The soiled water went down the drain while he washed himself up along the background score coming from the kitchen. 

When they all sat down to eat. A bowl of rice, a watered down dal from yesterday and pickle sent over by the kid’s grandma, he tried to read the silences. Her irritation and the kid’s helplessness of having to eat the food.

He had no answer. 

As he gulped down a spoonful of rice and waited till it reached somewhere close to his destination, he uttered his thankfulness to the almighty along with a forced burp. Shukr Alhamdulilah.

His kids looked up from their plate and threw a smile at him. 

He had finally received his day’s pay. 

TV shows

While binge watching another season of “The Good Wife”, one particular episode intrigued my professional curiosity. If I may say so.

The TV series, The good wife, is a court-drama and the lead is arguing on a case related to Search Engine optimization or SEO! Of course, apart from feeling a little extra excited, I couldn’t help but be in awe of the writing. They made sure the technicalities of SEO were accurate to the T. Especially when this particular season of the show was aired in 2012!

You know those ‘hacking’ scenes they show in movies and how they are just not accurate. I usually considered, by default, most of those as a dumbed down version of what actually happens! 

Television writing for most of American Shows is crisp and intellectually engaging. Not all shows work for everyone, but the quality of Television writing is axiomatically brilliant.  Even the blink-and-miss characters are pretty well-defined. 

At least the writing on Indian Web-series has started picking up if not the Indian TV, which continues to be the same. But maybe we’ll skip the ‘Television’ altogether just like most of India jumped to Mobile phones before Landlines could spread their wires across. A very unusual comparison, but why not ? 

Thankfully, Internet isn’t censored as our Television or Films are; and with numerous investments from YRF to Balaji, along with the existing TVFs and AIBs, can breathe in a something exciting in terms of writing. 

Which show are you hooked on to ?

Freedom to Be

How do you feel when you hear the news of someone being killed in a terrorist attack ? Or an attack by Cow-Vigilates ? Or restrictions imposed by one religion on others ? 

If your reaction is not a uniform outrage, then you need to reason yourself why it isn’t so. Reason hard, my friend. 

And if you do get outraged over the​ acts of these lunatics, then hey! Welcome to the club!

The common connection that binds these attacks is the mindset. The mindset which thinks that they are ‘doing the right thing’. 

Be it the terrorists who kill innocent people or the lynch mob that kills people for eating beef, transporting cows and in future maybe even looking at cows, are the same. If you still cannot see the distinction then, I’ll again advice you to reason with yourself as to why they are different. 

There is no sense of guilt when people commit these crimes. In their head, they are doing ‘what is right or that they’re carrying out God’s work.

And this thought process is not about ‘religion’. The people who actually carry out these activities don’t know much about their own religion. All they do is follow someone. It wouldn’t be wrong to add ‘blindly’ as the appropriate adjective for that. 

Even when their conscience pulls them away from doing something inhumane, it is by following their supposed ‘leaders’ that they embark on the ‘right’ path. 

I had talked about the ‘credibility’ of people whom we follow and how that can harm us in an earlier post. It is quite critical to allow ourselves to be exposed to new information. To make ourselves open to experiences beyond what we’ve always known to be right. 

I’ve shared numerous restaurant tables with people where someone’s having a beer, or bacon, while I’m eating beef. Sure, I don’t like the idea of alcohol and I won’t drink it myself. But should I beat someone up for drinking ? Or should someone do the same because I eat beef ? 

It all comes down to just one thing. Freedom to choose. Choosing to eat, wear, speak whatever one wants. 

Sure, if there’s something that offends anyone, there has to be respect provided for it too. Forcing others to accept your choice is wrong and there’s no two-ways about it. 

We all have to learn to accommodate others in our lives. It can mean certain compromises too but that’s how a civil society functions and thrives. 

Concept of one-rule-applies-to-all doesn’t work in a multi-cultural democracy like ours. 

The country does not belong to one community. The country does not speak any one language. The country does not eat just one type of food. 

You don’t have to agree with others’ choices but learn to accept it. 

Eavesdropping

There’s a certain weirdness in having knowledge of everything that goes on around you. 

The good. The bad and the ugly. Especially, the ugly. 

One particular friend of mine starts off the ‘once-in-a-quarter phone call with Aur kuch gossip bata? 

I don’t usually have any. But she sure does.

We all crave for the, ‘So, what’s going on with that person?’ 

However, on the rare days when I forget my earphones at home, there’s a lot that goes in my ear, other than Ed Sheeran’s Shape of you. And what’s with the song ?! 

Of the many things, I realise people talk a LOT at workplace! I mean, way too much! Of late, I’m even fed with the knowledge of their breakfast menu, their spouses, in-laws, and sooooo many variations of ‘laughter’. 

Every ringtone in a far off cubicle is like an RFID tags that is way too loud for making their presence felt. Even in the washroom. I mean who attends this call along with the nature’s?

In the midst of it all, I miss a few of my colleagues. The discussions. The breaks. The fun. 

Now, forgetting my earphones is akin to attending class without getting an attendance!

People talking-out-loud is just too much information. The one I don’t need. 

The absence of Goal Clarity

Seasons

A light drizzle, fluttering winds and my resolve of finding silence in the midst of all the honking from traffic jams few meters away. 

All this, when the lights are off. You see, electricity and rains don’t like to meet. 

While talking to Ammi, she mentions the same. Although it’s a relief to have rains when Summer is almost on the door. 

Did someone whispered, “Spring” ? A little loud, please ?

English Medium!!!

Intrestingly, if you ask people, they’ll have their ‘favorite’ season. Rains, Winter or even Summer. The answer is ready!

But frankly, no one likes any one of them. They all like bits of it. 

(Look at me with my ‘they’. As if!!)

No one enjoys the excess of any of the three seasons. Like Summer is fine as long as we’re under the fan. Or preferably an AC! Ice creams. Vacations. And yes, Mangoes. 

And when it rains ? The obsessing over the smell of the soil, bhutta, bhajji, chai. 

Winters make sure that we like the Sun. Becoming lazier than we are. And a mission to help us save the previous water. 

I have to think a little harder to compile a list of what I don’t like. And you know why is that ?

(Rhetorical. Do you think I wait for your Yes?!)

We forget the things we don’t like about these seasons quite easily. Like we crave for rains as soon as the heat goes up and then complain, Why does it rain so much?!

Holistic. We are not. When we think. 

But then, where’s the fun, when we don’t have anything to whine about ?

Shattered Pride

Growing up, we’ve always felt proud of something. A possession. An inheritance. A talent. 

We’ve all been the Kareena Kapoor from Kabhi Khusi Kabhi Gum in our own subtle way. Or in an outrageously similar way.

The pride, fuelled by the society’s idea of what constitutes good-to-have, has grown with us. 

More than the happiness that buying or possessing something, it is the pride associated with having it before someone else. 

It’s normal. Part of human nature. Even the animals. Perhaps.

Our cravings are a result of immitating the same pride on display in others. It is the feeling of replicating that feat that pushes our cravings. In a way, we are after the ‘defined acheivements’ that can introduce us to that feeling. 

Over time, we end up managing to acheive a few of these. Even naturally we are blessed with a few of them. We don’t differentiate in feeling proud either way. It doesn’t matter how they come, as long as they are coming our way. Right?

But the problem is- Nothing’s permanent. It all changes. It all fades away. They all get shattered. To pieces-big and small. 

What’s worse is, being proud of those very things becomes the reason for this. At least in our head. And in others, too.

You look back on what you had then. And what you don’t have now and a dozen ‘Why’s’ fly around your head. 

Without answers, of course. 

reading on the beach

Writing-it-out

Today is the 92nd day of the year and as per my resolve of writing-every-day of the year, ideally this current post should be the 92nd post.

But then, Ideally, right?

This happens to be the 86th post as I’ve eaten up 6 posts already!

The last two days have been especially difficult to take time out to write. Not that I did not have any content to write on, but there were just too many things to write on, and in the struggle to decide which way to go and battle with my lazy weekend self, I just cold not write.

I planned to write the whole day and even woke myself up in the morning, but just couldn’t get the keyboard moving to type down words for me.

But finally I got myself to come out of my room, cycled my way to this nice place called Starbucks, ordered their fairly expensive coffee and while sitting near the window overlooking the Kormangala road, finally completed the Gokarna Travelogue in one sitting.

YES!

I’m yet to add the lovely pictures to the post and hence will upload the same on the other side of the Prime Meridian.

In the hurry to get out of the room and get started on the writing part, I’ve forgotten to bring my charger along, and the battery signals me that it needs food. Like me. But hey, at least I got some work done. Right?

But hey, at least I got some work done. Right?

The new Normal

I wrote 2 years back on ‘Why I’m not sorry that I eat beef’: http://reveringthoughts.com/2015/10/06/im-not-sorry-that-i-eat-beef/. Looking back at it now, it seems to be a post filled with anger and something that I used as a medium to vent out the frustration. 

And yet, we are again back in the beef-talk! 

Of course, it just doesn’t stop there. Meerut’s mayor says, singing ‘Vande Mataram’ is compulsory to stay in India.  

There’s an actual ’Anti- Romeo-squad’ working in Uttar Pradesh, ensuring ‘safety’ of women. 

If you thought 2014 was ‘shocking’ then perhaps there was more to come. Someone who is okay with ‘Muslim women should be taken out from graves and raped’, believes inter-religious marriages are ‘love jihad’ and has a series of hate speeches to his credit, is now the Chief Minister of the most populated state of our country. But then were the standards any high? 

At least, Yogi Ji has a degree that he can actually show to people. 

Believe me, with the kind of PR already being done, from breakfast menu to hair-cut, a hashtag campaign with #AdityanathFor2024 isn’t far away. I mean the mere thought of Muslims taking over the population of 65% population of Hindus while the Christian Missionaries support them in converting, is enough for people to Vote!

Of course, this isn’t Vote Bank Politics. Nor is it Majority-appeasement.

Some of you must be thinking, all of this to be minor incidents blown out of proportion and all of this is just my paranoia. You know what, I’d be really happy if this is so. I would actually be happy to be proven wrong.

But the fact is, even if things go wrong, it’ll become ‘normal’. Just as Vajpayee became ‘less communal’ because of ‘Advani’ and then ‘Advani’ became secular because of ‘Modi’, over time, Adityanath with his ‘development’ and ‘progress’ in UP will become the new Normal. 

For good reasons, I hope that all my fears are proven wrong. But then! 

Goa Travelogue

The Goa Plan

We’ve all been part of those comversations which have “Chal Goa chalte hain” innumerable times. School, college or any group of friends always have this plan for Goa. 

We all know what happens to those plans. 

My first visit to Goa, two years ago, happened to be a solo trip. Apart from my crazy impromptu planning, this ‘Goa plan’ was the reason behind it. Ki ab chal hi jaata hoon, akele hi sahi. 

There’s something about the place that people from every corner of the country plans to go there. Maybe even Goa wale folks also end up saying, Chal Goa chalte hain.

The latest planning session is with my school friends. This ‘Goa plan’ seems to have finally found some direction after weeks of being postponed. But hey, unless we reach Goa, there’s no surety of it either. 

The frequency with which people get excited when planning for the trip comes to a standstill as soon as one of them goes, ‘Yaar.. nai hopaega’

Its not like I’ve not done this ever. I’ve also done the same with my version of the classic Indian head nod. 

But then what are plans for, when they cannot be changed ?

Or was it promises ? Ummm.. Aah, this works too!

Forgetting

Every time. Every time when I’m traveling out of the city, I end up forgetting a thing or two. 

Of course, when you don’t have your Ammi shouting in your ears to pack, forgetting a few things is quite normal. 

Who packs an hour before leaving to catch their bus ? 

*raises hands*

This time it’s my earphones!

At least, that’s the only thing I remember not bringing along. Till now. 

There was that feeling of ‘I’ve forgot something’ as soon as I walked out of the door. Halfway towards the bus stop and then it struck. 

Shit!

It’s easier to manage without a lot of things. But earphones ? Especially when you have a load of people talking as if it’s their living room. The shady lights of the bus, ain’t helping either. 

I’ve forcefully got myself accustomed to buses but once in a while, the irritation comes back. This is one of those times. My fat backpack didn’t fit upar and is infringing on my legspace.

Yes, I am pretty excited about the trip. Anxious too. 

I do hate not bringing in my earphones but maybe, I’ll be able to read the book I kept as a travel token. Maybe. 

Maybe I’ll also forget a few other things here before I return. And it won’t be a bad thing. Maybe.

Anyways, Beaches, here I come.

From the balcony

If there’s one place which makes me feel like home, then it’s the balcony.

It is not even a balcony, per se.

Just the passage between my terrace and door, which happens to be on the 4th floor. It gives me a sort of 360 degree view of the tiny lanes disecting each other giving rise to buildings out of nowhere.

Sitting here, I can see the cross over the church and the temple under the peepal tree. If this were a weekend and i’d be up for a few more hours, I would hear the azaan from the far-away mosque as well.

Nights are usually calm. On weekdays of course.

Barring the sound of leaves being whisked away by the wind and engine sounds from a distance, there’s hardly anyone to give the barking dogs company in their night expeditions.

It’s Friday already! A day of work still pending.

My bums, on these cemented stairs, feel sleepy. While the mosquitoes try to strike a conversation.

The bed calls me to sleep. Resisting that cup of coffee helps in not saying no.

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