Monday, 16 November 2015


Perhaps it is because I am a simpleton at heart that I have failed to comprehend the heartlessness of human beings.
There is something so wretched about a handful of gun wielding 'humans' showering bullets, with no remorse at all, on innocent souls just going about their daily routine.

It seems to me that we have failed as a species to grasp the very essence of life. It has become an entity, cheaply bartered among various man-made compartmentalizations.

Saturday, 24 October 2015

Agartala diary

This Dussehra/ Durga Puja break found me, with my mother and two friends in the city of Agartala to visit my dad's friend's parents. The visit left quite an impression on me, inducing me to type furiously on this fine wintery Sunday morning.

This trip had been long due. They had made my mother promise to visit them atleast once. And while we youngsters were not keen on a place like Agartala for a break, finally the stars aligned for it all to happen, and how glad am I that it did.

The sight of them at the airport, tears in their eyes as they waved goodbye left a choke in my throat, tears threatening to well up. Their loneliness and readiness to accept us all as their own leaves me with a rather strong sense of frustration. It just seems so wrong, that in the pursuit of all there is in the world, their kin has left them in an isolated house near the airport to fend for themselves. At some point my mother remarked to them how amazing it was that their kids were so accomplished and had achieved so much in life, and the old lady said- what's the point, they are not here.

They invited us both for lunch the last day in Agartala- the two watching over us as we ate, scolding us for not finishing all the food that they had laid before us; the old man ambling up and down the stairs carrying photographs he wanted to show us and mishti doi he wanted to feed us; their 11 years old toothless dog called Ronaldo soaking up the affection he received from us with a sense of childlike glee, and to top it all, the old man embracing me before we left, and saying- don't forget me, I am your 'dadu'- it all left a lasting impression on me.

And I wish, I so wish, that children would never forget the parents and relatives that raised them- those hands that fed and fussed over them over the years wither with time- wrinkles form, and souls age. Agreed, there is the spirit in all to reach for the stars, and to revel in the glitter that the world has to offer- but all that time, there is also a need, a dire need, to hold on to that hands that raised us.

Saturday, 10 October 2015

Whether pigs can fly.

"I am convinced that the deepest desire within each of us is to be 

liberated from the controlling influences of our own psychic

madness or patterns of fear. 

All other things—the disdain of ordinary life, the need to control 

others rather than be controlled, the craving for material goods as a 

means of security and protection against the winds of chaos—are 

external props that serve as substitutes for the real battle, which is 

the one waged within the individual soul." Caroline Myss

Reading quotes posted by artsy pages on Facebook have a way of awakening the sleeping thinker within, and shaking up its befuddled state. As we go about our passing lives, dodging obstacles and often succumbing to our mortal weaknesses, we pause once a while, and look up- we question our very existence and the causes for the actions we take and the actions others take connected to us.
What I am writing at this moment may have nothing to do with the quote I have posted with it.

It is just that somehow I connected to this quote at the instant I read it. I do not know about the psychic madness and patterns of fear that Myss is talking about, but I know oodles about the disdain of ordinary life. Like any other soul fed by the fancy words one reads, I have begun to live in fear of having a mundane life and of never finding passion in the things I do. I fear settling for some things, because I was too lazy to leap and stretch myself for what I really want. I have never been an ambitious person, more of a happy-go-lucky yet forever-questioning-life kind. I fear that my lot is the worst kind, we think and think about things, And yet when it comes down to it, we resign too easily to our fate.

I have never been inclined towards controlling others, except perhaps my stubbornness clashes with that of others, but I guess that does not count? Or perhaps I do not want it to count, because I feel it is a very negative feeling- that of control. Thinking individuals should not want to control, there should only be the desire to liberate others. Then again, what one feels cannot be helped.

I have seen this craving for material goods- I have seen hoarding of things, shiny and warm by a loved one. Though I give her hell for it sometimes, deep down I know it is to try and rid herself of all the pain and humiliation she felt when she did not have it all several decades back. In this world of fast shopping bags-obsessed existence, who can blame the fallen souls who have swooped down to replacing feelings and emotions with material possessions.

Personally, I do not know about not wanting chaos, I feel if one wants a not so ordinary life, one must have lots of chaos- chaos is the only thing which can sweep away the ordinary aspects of life. Chaos is that phenomenal gust of wind that blows down everything that stands in its path, and changes the status quo. Then again, chaos is stressful.

Of battle within the individual soul, I know plenty. I face it every passing day. Being a confused soul in this harsh know-it-all world has a way of doing that to you. And I guess we resort to all possible manifestations of that is seen in the above mentioned quirks. We as an entire race, have never been entirely confident with questions aimed at our inner selves. At the earliest possible moment, we deflect it to other things- let's not talk about my inner self, let's instead talk about whether pigs can fly. 

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Don't make me wear your shoes.

There's something wrong with the society we live in today. We have been poisoned by ugly hatred and intolerance to such an extent that we act out in beastly ways. We spew out our anger at those who can do nothing to defend themselves. Surely this intolerance has stemmed from someplace. Are people born intolerant? Are they induced to become intolerant due to something which happened to them. Solzhenitsyn was rather blunt about the root cause of it. He said- "It's an universal law-- intolerance is the first sign of an inadequate education. An ill-educated person behaves with arrogant impatience, whereas truly profound education breeds humility.” True, perhaps.

We see its manifestations almost everywhere now.

In the mainland, the ban on beef has showed its ugly side, and the ugly truth that for some hypocrites of the world, the life of a cow is far more costly than that of human beings. The killing of an old man on the suspicion of beef consumption by beating him to death is a rather goose-bumps inducing news item. It evokes a sense of frustration and disgust towards these intolerant bigots who would do anything to ensure that their ideas are followed by everybody. Whatever happened to that now almost utopian notion of equality of all, and respect towards all religions alike.
We are so quick, as a community to point our fingers at certain communities and laugh at their rigidity, and yet we do not shy away from heinous actions to make sure that our diktats are listened to by all alike.

Forget the fact that the very idea of banning meat is ridiculous, the fact that you could actually beat someone to death over it is just despicable. Where is the humanity that all the religious books talk about and where is the tolerance that your 'Father of the nation' spent his whole life preaching about.

I have never understood this fuss over religion.
 I mean, if you really believe in the greatness of your own religion, should you not feel secure enough to not be bothered by what anyone is saying against it. Religion is such a personal thing. It is an inner belief.
 Faith, in religion, does not mean going on rooftops and advertising it to everyone, and then being insulted that people would dare to believe in some other God.

 At the end of the day, when we die, more likely than not, there is no such thing as heaven.Or even if there is, there certainly are no compartments for the different religions of the world. We can say with certainty that we will all end up in the same place, where it would be rather difficult to fight it out (since we would not have our flesh and bones, to punch, kick, and stab people with).

 So why this anger, and intolerance. Live peacefully. Do wrong to none. Respect others' religion. And if you question any aspect of their religion, do so internally. You do not need to jab your finger at others or tell them what is wrong or right.

I will end this rant with a rather apt quote that I read recently- “Religion is like a pair of shoes.....Find one that fits for you, but don't make me wear your shoes.” 

Sunday, 27 September 2015

World Tourism Day in Andro

I have always wanted to attend cultural events in Manipur. It saddens me so that I know almost nothing about my home-state and its very rich culture and heritage.

 It was therefore no surprise to anyone that I jumped at the opportunity to attend the World Tourism day event at Andro. My mother was rather finicky about sending me to a music festival considering the fondness some Manipuris have for booze, and their inability to act civil after downing gallons of it. But the desperation I displayed paid off its dividend and finally with my father's stamp of approval (with the condition that I am accompanied by a hockey-team sized squad), I found myself sardine tin-packed in our car heading to Andro. Of course, the sheer size of the squad brought with it its own problems. The day was rather filled with a lot of waiting- for food, for people to get ready, for people to come out, etc. But none of it could dampen our spirits.

The venue in itself was breathtaking; in the Santhei National park, caressed by hills on three sides, and the stage set in the middle of a water body. There was a considerable crowd already there, soaking in the atmosphere; a feeling of excitement, just like the kind we were feeling.

The event itself was well organized if you ignored the fact that it was literally running as per INDIAN standard time. I am not complaining about that because it meant, even though we finally turned up to the venue at 1.30pm, we still got to see the traditional segment (which was supposed to have been done and dusted with by 12).

And while I cannot remember the name of the singers or the comedians who performed that day, I can remember the pride I felt to belong here. And I guess that is why organizing such events is important- to provide a sort of connect and attachment across generations to the land.
For months, what had occupied the minds of those here in Manipur was agitation and anger, protests and dissatisfaction. To have such an event after the long drawn out negativity was refreshing. 

Saturday, 26 September 2015


I hate confrontation of any kind. I dread that feeling of anger and resentment towards someone, and the ensuing yell-contests. I hate cold wars, and the awkwardness they bring. If I had my way, everybody would co-exist peacefully and amicably.

After decades (two and a half to be precise) of being in the crossfire of wars, and sometimes being a warring party (an oxymoron!), I have come to the realization that the root cause of all these battles is ego. Damn Ego, causes rifts in the deepest of friendships. Ego is that little voice in your head that goes- Don't let her/him get her/his way, Make him/her feel the wrath of your anger, Let her/him realize him/her folly in bringing you down. That's the thing about ego- it convinces you in that moment, that this battle is essential for your whole existence; that you need to win this argument to live a happily ever after sort of a life.

What is so hard about apologizing, of calling a truce? Why does Ego have to be such a stiff bastard that it won't let you rise above the pettiness and resume your amicable relationship with the person.

I am no die-hard fan of Buddha, but I see a point in his 'Let things go' preachings. Or even Gandhi's Turn the other cheek principle. I might not be able to be that big of a person (or a fool?) to turn the other cheek, but I can, with a lot of self-restraint (oodles of it) hide my rather reddened-from-the-slap cheek and shake hands. I might be cursing you deep down for the slap, but on the surface, all smiles. The anger will dissolve itself in the depths of my good-feelings vibes someday, and one day it will not matter any more.
That's why they say- Fake it till you make it.. Right?

Friday, 25 September 2015


My mother is an impatient lady, never idle. Sunrise to sunset (when she is not in office), she keeps herself busy stitching, putting sequins on shawls and what not.

And when she isn't drowning out the silence with the noise from her ancient sewing machine, she is found in the garden, tending the plants.

Wednesday, 23 September 2015


let's hide away,
far from the hungry and the dead,
who masquerade as innocuous humans,
and suck dry the innocents, like you and me.
pretension is my peeve,
why must they, must they be chameleons,
blending so in the background.
why not reveal their ugly stripped selves,
for the world to shudder and hurl them away,
for the godforsaken parasites they are.

Monday, 17 August 2015

Wretched. Some thoughts on the ILP issue.

I find myself in a sort of house arrest due to all the protests demanding for the ILP, a never ending tirade of drama and suspense.
My heart is torn between feeling sympathy for the protestors who perceive ILP as the one solution of all our problems, and disgust at how blind these people can get.

Peaceful protests are alright and necessary if one believes in the cause. But to bash up the mayangs, snatch their money and tear down their shops etc is just not tolerable.
We must not forget ourselves and lock up our humane side while being swayed by this seemingly great cause.

I feel such a great deal of sadness in how narrow sighted we have become. Something has caused us to become so violent, so angry at everything; those who don the khaki from amongst us have also not hesitated to show their animalistic side.

This ILP will drive the mayangs away and bring us all the prosperity in the world. We will be the 'victors', forcing the State to succumb to our demands. Or we will not. And life will continue again. But how will we look ourselves in the mirror everyday, having robbed some of their means of livelihood; of having driven them away from a place they have perceived as their home for decades.

Will this hostility we exhibit with so much pride know to rest its ugly face when all is done and dusted.. Or wil it always manifest itself, having slayed whatever conscience we have left in our wretched selves?

Saturday, 15 August 2015

69 years

There is great jubilation on Independence day, amplified by the advent of social media, especially Facebook which now even lets you update the world on how you are celebrating Independence day.

Being an Indian brings with it its own roller coaster of ups and downs.
I feel pride in the laurels of my country and in the great personalities it has managed to produce from the most unexpected of settings. Singing the national anthem and listening to patriotic songs gives me goosebumps and a sense of great patriotism.

But then I am more often than not shaken out of this patriotic stupor by the ground reality of it all.
Being from a state like Manipur has meant that my sense of belonging to India is rather offset by a flicker of alienation. No matter how many years I spend on the 'mainland', somehow I feel like I am seen as an outsider. No matter how many years I spend wandering the streets of Delhi, the vendors and autorickshaw drivers and the hostel wardens will still hike up their rates when it is an outsider like me.

Skipping to today, while the country celebrates its 69 years of independence, my people have taken to the streets to demand the introduction of the Inner Line Permit in Manipur. While I may not agree with their point of view, it still pains me to hear their chants of protests and their tussle with the state police who retaliate with tear gas and rubber bullets.
Somewhere along these 69 years of 'independence', something has gone terribly wrong. Somehow minorities have been made to feel threatened enough for them to start demanding for some sort of protection.