Author: farooq Page 1 of 45


The news of death brings forth an abundance of thoughts and dilemmas that remain for days on end. People you’ve seen walk in front of you talked to and talked about them in the third person when they were alive when they die, it’s like, they vanished.

You do have memories flashing by. Faint recollection of them, unless you’ve met them recently. How long do we hold onto their memories? Once they die?

Family and friends, sure. What happens to others?

Hypothetically, put yourself in this permanent position of absence from the world, and think. What would others make of us? Long after we’re gone? Did we impact anyone’s life so that they’ll remember us?

We imagine ourselves to grow old and slither away. But, what’s the guarantee that we won’t live to see that day.

Sure, there’d be people who will be pained to not find us with them, but how much will we matter when we’re gone? Like, really gone?!

There’s a verse in Quran (Surah-Al-Imran) that you can find in every Muslim Graveyard, “Qullu Nafsin Zaikatul maut,” which translates to “har jaandaar ko maut ka maza chakhna hai” (Every living being will taste death). Every time I read this, I question, what am I even planning things for?

Is it for this life or the next?

I recall one of my first visits to the kabristan when one of my friends’ grandfather died. Throwing a handful of soil onto the grave while murmuring prayers in unison, we laid him to rest. The process happens quickly, but the feeling stays—the sense of putting an end. Stays, and you remember it every time you hear the news of a death.

Perhaps death is a lesson for all of us to stay grounded. We were made from the soil and would go back to it eventually.

When will YOU speak up?

Watching the video of Delhi police mercilessly beating students up makes my blood boil. How can they? And how is everybody being okay with something like this?

My timeline is just filled with the same video being shared by almost every Muslim I know of. The protests across Jamia and AMU are also being done by Muslims. And no, I won’t pander to the very select group of non-Muslims who’re standing along with us in THIS time. I f***** won’t. It is BASIC. You aren’t doing anyone a favor. And if getting a pat on your back is the reason, you’re doing this, then DON’T.

Of course, a large part of the ‘OTHERS’. Yes, I’ll call ALL OF YOU Morons as OTHERS. Because you effing are! Standing aside, looking at what is happening and doing NOTHING!

This is all on you. All you morons who voted for these assholes to power. And I’m ashamed of having known each of you who has voted for a party whose sole objective is to get rid of Muslims!

And EVERYONE of you who voted for them had an idea on what they stood for. And you still did.

And if the economy were any better, you would have happily accepted this price for the sake of your wallets. You are THAT selfish.

This all might even be appearing useless to you. The whole protests, people creating a ‘scene’ and every word that comes out of our mouths! Because at the end of the day, YOU DON’T CARE!

I know, some of you must be thinking, but hey, ‘I’m NOT like them. I’m with you all. Well, if you are, then show it. Just as we’ve been trying to show for the entirety of our lives that WE ARE INDIANS and we’ll have to do for another lifetime.

How do you morons sleep? How do you sleep knowing that you voted for people who will ONLY be satisfied if they see Muslims suffer?

I know I’m just venting this out and might even regret later for this language, but this is exactly what each of us is feeling right at this moment and just wanted to put it out there. Maybe ONE of you morons will realize his mistake and SPEAK UP.

‘Har Taaj Uchaale jaenge. Sab Takht giraye jaenge’

‘hum bhi dekhenge. Laazim hai, ham bhi dekhenge.’

Why find a finality to everything?

The ticking timeline of our lives forces us to find closures to everything. Fixing it. Find a natural end to the problem at hand. An itch waiting to be scratched occupies the headspace like a necessary addition to the course of it. We’ve started treating everything as a problem. Awaiting a solution.

I watched the 3-part series on Bill Gates, aptly titled, ‘Inside Bill’s Mind’ today, where the Microsoft founder is trying to find solutions to world problems. Drainage, Polio and Nuclear power. Occupying his mind, investing his energy and resources and a quest to get a handle on things that matter to him.

It’s interesting that even for a man, who is one of the richest and most influential persons on the planet, the problem expands multidimensionally. Not that there isn’t progress. Efforts do yield results if you work towards it. But there isn’t a finality to it. A definitive closure. One gives way to another. And, Bill isn’t alone in that.

The obscurity of our mind and the ways we try to push it, knock it for answers and command it to find solutions, is insane. Pestering it to dive into uncertain waters to bring us a semblance of a fitting answer is so common that we don’t think twice. We don’t give that poor organ, a break. Even when it tries to give us signs of an abrupt slowdown, by tiring us-our bodies, making us frustrated and irritated at our cores. A break? Naah!

Definitive goals are good. Going after those goals, with all our might, is even better. Keeps us focused and occupied when existentialism winks us as we age.

Achieving it, fixing it, finding an answer or bringing an end is all a finality. Like a sentence awaiting a full stop. Like, the lives we live.

Should our lives be defined by the start and end of our existence? Like, the problems we keep trying to fix? Or the answer we want to find?

Or, let’s make an attempt to live it. To breathe. And pause. Not everything has to be fixed.

Staring outta this window

A window that looks out towards the moving world while the freshly brewed liquid gets sipped past my longing lips. It’s a relief. Relief from the heat from outside that this artificial air cools down.

In the abyss of unknown city dwellers in company and the ones that stare inside, this kid sits next to me writing on paper. I casually take a look. The thinking pen takes breaks to allow him to correct his sentences. A strike here and an addition there. He doesn’t take his eyes off the page. Not even at the cute girl standing outside the window looking at her phone, waiting for someone.

My eyes are lost in the traffic outside. The shaded lanes of Park streets and the moving traffic. The yellow taxis and the careless walks on the pavements. The rush to reach somewhere and the one where there’s no hurry. They all stare right through the glass here. With bags on their shoulders. Heavy, perhaps.

I notice them. They all want to look through. Curious eyes. Just passing across but wanting to know it all. Like they all do. The curiosity pulling them closer to peep through. The outsides they like.

And then they leave.

The boy has stopped writing. There’s another man in between us now. A seat apart. Talking on the phone. The boy and me, both look at the man. He doesn’t care. He’s looking out of the window too. There’s no one outside now.

The afternoon is fading away. Trying to welcome the evening clouds. The traffic has slowed down in anticipation. As they all come out on the one-direction of this road. Few, on the other side too. The ones who dislike rules and probably find the swear words coming out of the moving traffic blissful.

All three of us are silent. All three of us are writing. The boy, the man and this guy you’re reading.

I lower the noise of the brewing and foaming inside and the traffic outside, and listen to the music being played. The background of voices dipped in the conversation doesn’t let me guess the song. It’s nice though. The flow of it. I don’t want to know the song. This is a coffeehouse song. I’ll leave it when I walk out of this door.

I sit there in silence, staring outta this window.

2019: Hours away from another election

Modi will go away tomorrow, or maybe after 5 more years, but it’ll go away someday. But, it has definitely helped unmask the hatred lying beneath a lot of faces. Not saying all BJP supporters have that, some are just delusional and actually believe that he’s ‘doing something’, but a vast emboldened majority is bigoted. That has been the highlight of the Modi government’s rule. Emboldening the fringe. Tomorrow is only going to be about whether those vocal bigots will continue spreading their hate for a few more years or there’d be some semblance of ceasefire.

Over the years, since Modi started his campaign, I’ve seen people turn from sensible lads to ‘Dude! What happened to you?’. Not sure, if the bhakti for the RW style of politics was always there or it was the ‘cool and rebellious’ thing that they latched onto, and got stuck in the loop of ‘now, I’ve committed to it’ as if it’s a marriage. Ironically, their ‘supreme leader’ ran away from one. And perhaps that’s why cannot see people happy.

To those privileged folks who think, leaving all this behind and building a new life outside the shores of this madness is a solution (Sadly, that’s what I keep hearing from everyone), irrespective of wherever you go, you just can’t cut off your roots. The overdose of patriotism infused in all of us is never gonna take away the Indianness out of us. Suckers, that we are.
So, let’s not let your privilege dictate how the others who can’t afford to even think that way feel like their life is going to be useless.

It’s not like a BJP loss is gonna make things alright. Suddenly, our country will change overnight like a typical bow-tied fairytale ending of a Bollywood movie. The only respite would be the hateful frenzy that seems to have seeped across the board, from roads to houses to schools and colleges and offices. The brazen outspokenness of othering anyone who doesn’t like this government or more specifically Modi. The false binary of equating Congress and BJP, which is laughable to say the least.

‘Why do you guys hate Modi so much?!’ is the general retort flying out of a well-educated, watsapp-university trained person.

The majority that dislikes modi is the one who dislikes him right from 2002. And yet, they ask as of the other side has to list down reasons for the same. Like, seriously?!

Sure, if you hate Congress for ’84, I’d still believe it. But, that’s just used as a counter to 2002. Of course, had ’84 culprits were punished, 2002 might not have happened.

Anyway, I’ll be very surprised if BJP does not win tomorrow. If all this propaganda and money power, cannot make them win, then what will. Also, let’s not blame EVMs for the loss. If it were that critical, Congress should’ve protested every day before elections than doing it now.

Would be pleased to be proven wrong.

Hours away from a very important day for our country.

The fight will still continue!

Unchalli Falls: Exploring the magnificent

Waterfalls are magnificent! Right?

But when you’re in India, there are times (a lot) when you’re left disappointed when you visit these. The timing has to be perfecto. If you visit during monsoon, the water is plenty and the authorities close off the entrance to the falls. Tell me about it! If you happen to visit before monsoon, or even during winters, all you get to see is water that at best is like a public shower. And few tourists even use it like one!

However, this time around, when we headed towards Unchalli Falls, we got lucky. My excitement knew no bound as I heard the sound of water while trekking down towards the first view point. The misty air was filled with water like fragrance.

Lo and behold!

The sight was beautiful. Wowsome. Add to it the rainbow formed accompanying the already beautiful view.

We had not planned on visiting this waterfall at all. Our plan was to head to Karwar after a day at Sirsi to experience the village-life. To the uninitiated, these are places in the northern part of Karnataka towards the coastal region. However, while on our way to Karwar, we saw a board, and well, we were on our way to Unchalli Falls.

A walk of more than a kilometer from the parking area over stairs which led us down to the area. But before we could even see the view, we could already hear it. The loud noise of the water splashing and a light drizzle that spread through the air as if it was about to rain. The fragrance of the fall could be sensed before we even could take a look at it.

But, none of this mattered as soon as we caught glimpse of the falls. The magnanimous water flowing down from up there and creating a rainbow. Our Eyes! I’ve never cried out in excitement before this and that shouting still echoes in my own head like a craving to view that once again.

We spent some time getting drenched in the aura of the waterfall from the viewpoint and then multiple other viewpoints as we headed upstairs.

In case you’re planning for a trip to Karwar, Gokarna or even Goa, you can go via the sirsi route and make a stop at this place just to experience this.


There’s no end to lies we tell ourselves. And we keep telling it, like a self-created propaganda, inflicted every moment for adjusting our head to reality. The scary reality of people and the world. Mostly, people.

As soon as the ground beneath starts trembling, we start finding solace in our ability to find new pastures of comfort, and tell ourselves that this is better. Better in our heads, of course. That’s the one to be convinced after all.

Our fear of staying of sinking along with the trembles just doesn’t let us stay there. And that is smart. Why risk it? Why fall? 

Building a wall around and not letting ourselves be affected. Playing it safe. The cautious ones, are we?

And then there are few. The ones who enjoy the gloom. Immersing themselves to be engulfed by the mourning of failures. Letting themselves fall like it’s a ride leading them somewhere. It leads, of course. Leading them to the depths of the hollow surfaces. Like a free fall with consent signed on it.

Awaiting a rescue to pull them out while they peep out of those tiny holes. Lying there. Waiting. Optimism in the eyes pushing ourselves along with the pulley. Maybe, this time it’ll be better? Lying there, lying to ourselves.

Which one are we?

The ones who run away, or the ones want to get stuck?

Or, our shuffle keeps getting exchanged?

But maybe, these are all what we tell ourselves. Finding closures when there aren’t any; reliving what wasn’t worth it or wasn’t ours from the start itself.

But, what do I know?

Maybe, even this all is a lie, I’m telling myself?


Of all the tiresome things, the one where we get tired of our own pattern of decision-making is the most heart-wrenching. Figuring out the cause of your problems is your own self and your stupid decisions and behavior, is you, just a sad version of a face-palm moment. In slo-mo.


It’s not like we have no idea when we’re making those decisions, but that tiny clasped nudge of optimism pushing us forward, like teenage boys telling their friends to jump off the first floor. Nothing will happen. They’ll say. And, Lol!

It’s like a song ringing in your head. When you don’t even like Pink Floyd that much but you can’t get this out of your head.

‘..Out there in the cold.. … can you hear me?!

..hey you!’

And all of this have reminders. Popping like mushrooms on the thrown away wood after rains. Not needed, but there. Purposeless existence. And yet, visible.

In the exercise of trying to make well-thought out decisions, our life still follows a pattern. The troughs and crests of our lifetime fall back to their OCDish nature of creating a symmetry. Even when we are trying to enjoy the highs, the creepy feeling of falling down doesn’t let us be free. Sure, and vice versa, we know we’ll move up as well. But in between, one just gets tired of it. Why can’t we walk on a plain road. Just walk, we don’t even want to run to reach anywhere. The plain and boring are fine. Let’s stay here and chill.

But, no!

We need excitement in life. Heck, the life needs excitement and it wants us to try it all. Hit-and-trial.

‘Did that work?’


‘Okay, let’s try it this way!’

But, let’s wait

‘Come on, this’ll be fun. You’ll be fine this time’

Umm.. ohkay. If you insist.

And damn, we’re back to the same. Pattern.

The Itch

There’s an itch that I can’t seem to put my finger on and scratch. And yet, I know of the presence it has over a part of me. I keep looking for where exactly it is and just cannot seem to locate. No, it’s there. Somewhere accessible, definitely. All I’m saying is, I can’t put a pin on it.

It’s a problem. The problem of not being able to define the problem itself.

Even with an occupied mind, the creeping moments of dissonance disturb the flow of returning to normalcy.

Like a sloth not being able to get out of bed to a tired body which cannot fall asleep, even when it really needs the rest. If not for anything, at least from the headache that’ll ensue the next morning until a few gallons of coffee is nuzzled inside. No, drinking isn’t the problem here. My sad tempt-ridden vices.

Few scratches here. And probably there as well. I just seem to have unpacked boxes that didn’t need any meddling. Objects should’ve remained intact. The status quo as someone said to me once. Maintain that. But, my damn itch. Let’s scratch it to win. Win prizes everyday.

Hit-and-trials of a series of root-cause analysis doesn’t bring out any conclusion. Unacceptable, indeed.

On hindsight, everything seems avoidable, every decision examined and all what-ifs answered when nothing could be changed. The silence of the presence engulfing the chaos past like a it meant nothing. But it did. It all did. It all made sense back then. O’ you! The monster of the present, stop treating the kid of the past with disdain, and have the empathy. The future’s karma won’t spare you!

I’m still left wondering, where’s the damn itch! To scratch and feel better. Temporary relief, but the cravings of the soul are real.


Losing your true self is easier than we think. Being lost in the milieu of storms, big and small, over the course of this finite existence is tragically real. Our life is a constant commute with every stop just a reason to change lanes. Criss-crossing parallelly without any intention in place. We just exist.

In the midst of this chaotic marathon, we sprint and walk, or just stand to take a breath. But this marathon never ends. One check-post to another. We don’t realize but we change over the course. Outwearing our shoes and our souls, getting older with every mile. We call it growth, we call it becoming an adult and we can keep calling it what can make us happy. Perceivably happy, to our own self. Pep-talking our way with our brain. Making it believe what will make us happy. The desires and the wants. Feeding the code onto its script. Compile.

Like every good run. You get tired when you go a little ahead of yourself. Reaching where you’re unprepared for, falling short of breath, every time.

And then, like an epiphany, a menial thought pops up to show you the pattern. Listing out reasons, a long list, telling you to stop and take a deep breath. Take it. Untie your brows from the shackles of your goals. Just take a deep breath. For now.

Look back. Look at the journey you’ve made. Look at your damn worn-out shoes. Not the one you’re wearing but what you’ve never removed. No, don’t glorify the past. And no, don’t look at it like a failed attempt. Acknowledge the journey and the survival. Let the wind blow over your face and be grateful. Forget, forgive and feel it all like a black and white flashback. Yes, b/w, it looks better that way. Search for your true self. Deep Breath.

Sure, put on your shoes again, and make a run for something new. It’s a marathon, remember?

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