Monday, November 16, 2015

Because sometimes a shayari says it best

In badalo ke aansoo
aasmaan ki udaasi
Suraj ka undekha chehra
Khuda bhi gawah he
Is baat ki
Ki tumhare bina jeena
Mushkil hi nahi
Bematlab he

This gloomy weather makes it all the more relevant

Thursday, November 05, 2015


I am not a people person
I'm just a people person's spawn
And I'm done peopling persons
Because the person peopling's done

Sunday, October 11, 2015

The Disappearance

It all began to happen very subtly one morning as Anna was getting ready for work. She was going about her make up routine and just going to put on her nylon stocking when she realised there was something wrong with her toes. She wiggled them about and realised what it was. Her left pinky toe appeared to have vanished. She couldn’t see it anymore, but when she reached down to feel it, it was there, nail and all. She didn’t give it much thought and proceeded to pull on her stocking and shoes. Of what consequence were vanishing pinky toes when there were more pressing work matters to attend to?

At the office, Anna silently made her way to her desk. Unlike the others, she wouldn’t start her day with a visit to the coffee machine and guffaw about paltry events. She preferred to get a head start on her emails and get a bit of work done well ahead of her 11am daily huddle. One by one people shuffled in to the office. She was almost always the first one in. She prided herself on her work ethic. Not that she thought herself to be a workaholic but she certainly devoted a lot of her waking time — and much of her dream time too — to solving her work problems. She was halfway through her tenth email and tried to follow one of the lines her vague client had written in his usual rambling way, when she noticed her index finger, which she was trailing across the screen, appeared to be missing a nail. She touched the spot where her nail ought to be but instead of feeling soft flesh, she felt a hard nail. This made no sense at all, thought Anna, mildly disconcerted. First disappearing pinky toes and now vanishing finger nails! She made a mental note to research these symptoms as soon as she got home and fix an appointment with a dermatologist. She never used work time for anything personal. And frowned upon others who did.

It was lunch time soon enough and Anna made her way to the rooftop cafeteria. She always lunched alone. It was hard to make friends when you preferred to devote time to work instead and in any case, it was not as though she were much of a people person to begin with. She moved past tables of her chatting colleagues and went to wash her hands at the washbasin. She looked up at the mirror and was shocked to see she had no hair. She immediately placed her hands on her head and felt her usual coarse bushy hair tied in a tight ponytail as always. She turned her head this way and that and still couldn’t see a strand in the mirror. She plucked a hair out and held it close to her eye. Still nothing. But she could feel it. Curiouser and curiouser. She slowly walked to an empty table with her lunch, hoping noone would notice. She needn’t have bothered; people hardly paid any attention to her on most days and today wasn’t any exception. Still, she untied the scarf from around her neck and tied it around her head just in case.

Work soon made Anna forget all about her disappearing appendages. At one point, as she was mulling a report she was preparing, she absent mindedly noticed that her right arm wasn’t insight, and her mouse appeared to be moving of her own accord, but she ignored it as soon as she figured out the formula she had to use for the data.

Anna was used to staying back in the office until 6 or later, way past everyone else had left. It was 7pm when she finally raised her tired eyes from the screen and decided to head home. She passed the sleepy night security guard and said a quiet good night to him as she made her way to the lift. She had her back to him as she looked for the elevator and so she couldn’t see him jumping out of the chair in fright as he looked around to see who’d greeted him. Anna stepped into the lift and reminded herself to recheck that file her client had sent first thing tomorrow. It seemed to her of no consequence, as she walked past a glass fronted coffee shop, that she now had no reflection at all. Tomorrow was another long day, and she had emails to respond to. Disappearances be damned.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Maybe I was born all wrong

Maybe I was just born in the wrong place at the wrong time.

If today I were a gay man in America, I would have had the ability to go to the state that protected my right to marry my partner and have children with him. But I live in India where my aging parents keep looking out for a marriage proposal for me which I have kept turning down much to their disappointment...

If today I were the rich kid of a billionaire dad, I could have devoted my life to philanthropy or pursuing a passion like film making just for the heck of it regardless of its profitability. But here I am a middle class child earning my daily corporate wage and depending on that monthly salary to keep my family going while I watch youtube videos to stave off my appetite for the director's chair.

If today I belonged to the majority religion in my country I could be proud and happy that the new fascist government is paying special attention to our existence and sparing no effort to promote our interests over those of other communities. But here I am a religious minority, doomed to be subject to persecution and harassment on different levels everyday, forced to accept my fate and questioned daily as to my nationalism and my true country of origin.

If today I were a man, I would have to ability to travel anywhere I wanted and walk about at odd hours of night fearing only robbers or thieves. I would be able to speak and have my voice heard. I would be able to demand  and have my demands met. I would have been able to stay childless well into my 50s because I could father a child any time. But here I am a woman, who is susceptible to rape, who has to fight to have her voice heard, who is by default expected to heed to her ticking biological clock and fulfill the need for procreation at a suitable age.

Friday, September 04, 2015

More Masala without Maggi

We Indians love masala in everything. Our curries, our tea, our movies and even in our news stories. I used to think that Indian news media could ill compare with the level of frivolity exhibited by American news media, where the size of Kim Kardashian's butt is reported with greater fervour than say an actual political change that could potentially affect thousands of citizens. After the recent spotlight on the Sheena Bora case, however, I am forced to rethink my stand.

Since when have we decided that some random TV group's ex-CEO's wife's conviction in the case of her daughter's murder should take precedence over more pressing issues of today? Like the fact that onions are currently selling at the same overpriced price of petrol? Or the fact that we've given right wing fundamentalists in the country such a free hand that they are now killing writers who have merely expressed their distaste for religion and who attempt to rationalise our country's obsession with it instead? For the past week or more, prime airtime has been given to telling us what Indrani Mukerjea is wearing and what her kids are ordering for lunch rather than giving that air time to the ongoing crisis in Gujarat, exposing it as a police state where the State Government resorted to blocking mobile internet for a week in order to 'prevent' the protests from escalating.

Perhaps it's just as well that our government's current focus should be on upcoming Teacher's Day plans and ensuring they don't clash with the Hindu festival of Janmashtami, whereas they prevented no such conflicts when planning events that coincided with the holidays of religious minorities. It's simply in keeping with every other misguided focus given to issues since the time Modi occupied this country's prime ministerial seat. 

Thursday, July 30, 2015


"Just like a bloody man" Saritha said in disgust as she glanced over at her husband. "Lazy, good for nothing imbecile." she continued as he slowly made his way over to her, head bowed low.

"Dinner's ready, ji. Shall I serve you?" he whimpered softly. He never knew what mood she was in so being as quiet and invisible as possible usually served him well enough.

"Well is dinner going to serve itself then?! Get me some, I'm starving." shrieked Saritha. Her husband scampered off to get her her meal.

"All day I work to feed this family, what do you do all day at home, I don't understand.  Lousy cook, lousy at housekeeping. At least you could keep yourself in shape like Leela's husband does." she licked her lips at the thought of Leela's young husband. Completely brainless but what a hot piece of ass. Leela had done well to go in for the rugged villager types instead of the usual middle class variety.

Saritha's husband sat quietly near her as she ate her dinner, trying not to let his tears show. He tried so hard to be a good spouse. Women were always so hard on men. If only society were less unfair...

In Search of a Demi God

In India, we're always in search of a hero. And when we find one, we don't just stop at hailing them as such; we need to turn them into a god.

From Gandhi to Teresa to Tendulkar, to the recently deceased APJ Abdul Kalam, our heroes only make sense to us if they are flawless. We will readily make up / believe stories of their innocent childhoods, the hardships they faced to get to where they are today, their benevolence in all aspects of their lives, their perfection and we will even attribute all sorts of inspirational quotes to them that were heretoforth attributed to that best quotemaster of them all 'Anonymous'.

We don't like to think of these heroes of ours as mere human beings. They can do no wrong. If they do wrong, we are blind to it. If they are actual underachievers who made it big through sheer effort of being dicks, we will mask all that with stories of their great valour. We like to point out how foreign countries too think of our Greats as great. When APJ Abdul Kalam, the 'people's president' (ex president of India), the guy who used his presidential tenure to run to every school in the country and be the presiding chief guest at every college convocation and give long funny speeches that we'd listen to if only to make fun of his accent and funny hair, when this scientist (whom no one can quite remember a specific invention of) recently passed away, there were rumours on Whatsapp of how even the White House flew its flag at half mast to mourn his passing. Which was false of course; the half mast was in honour of the US soldiers shot at Tennessee.

Should a foreign dignitary or celebrity fail to acknowledge the greatness of our god, we will unleash the full fury of our troll armies at them. Like Maria Sharapova recently faced for professing not to know who Sachin Tendulkar, that great god of cricket in India, the man who does not take one for the team if there isn't a century in there for himself, who that Sachin Tendulkar was.

And once these greats pass away, we will pay homage by immediately renaming a street after them. And god forbid anyone try to stop us. 

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Android System WebView (Also known as 'WTF, Google?!')

(This is a write up about an app available on the Google Play Store. No this isn't a tech blog. No, I'm not practising to write for a tech blog. Yes, I am a bit of a geek. And Android fangirl. You're welcome.)

What do you do when your OS provider rolls out an update to an app you had no recollection of ever even downloading to your phone in the first place? You give it rave reviews on the app store, of course and give everyone a testimonial of how it changed your life.

So Google recently rolled out an update to an Android app called 'Android System WebView'. According to the Play store, the app is meant to allow for in-app web browsing. Not everyone likes the fact that an app that they don't understand the function of is allowed to auto update on their phone. Kind of like the ANT radio services app bloatware that existed a couple of years ago that everyone subsequently decided was so much easier to just disable on their phones. It would be nice if Google could've propagated an article or two about the service before forcing an update on us. But in lieu of that, just grab some popcorn and enjoy some of the reviews on the app store.

Here are some choice reviews from Android users on how Android System WebView (what a mouthful) changed their phones... and lives:

Thanks to this app, this guy doesn't need Viagra any more. 

This guy admits he has no idea what the app does, but it's a helluv an app anyway.

This guy got a unicorn. But he hates unicorns. Damn.

If you had to update just one app for the rest of your life, this should be it.

And where would we be without a political reference?

If you've got a couple of months to kill, you might as well just read all the reviews on the Play store: