Monday, November 19, 2007

footsteps beneath my window

something's wrong. i want to put my finger on it but i cannot. i cannot do this any longer. i dont want to remember any of this. i can feel people looking at me differently. their pettiness saddens me. i want to forget all of this. every single memory.
i want to go home. i shall count the days like the prisoner does. i shall keep the voices in my head at bay. i will then go home and hug my mom. and i will cry.
i will watch lazy morning unfolding silently among morning walkers beneath my balcony. and on warm winter afternoons, we shall sit with our back to the sun and my grandma will re tell stories that she has told me a thousands times over. i dont remember a single story.
and then the stormy days. my mom will call from office and tell me to shut all the windows tight. i will. but i will keep one door open for me to peep out.
i dont want this. i dont need this. why didnt i die when i was 10? i never chose to grow up.
they made me.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

hyderabad blues

on a four day diwali trip to hyd, i clicked 300 photos. well, yes it was one amazing trip. we walked on foot and took buses from the second day after we realized that the autos want to buy our souls if nothing else.
but what i discovered is my secret love for my chosen career: journalism. i have dedicated half my blog trying to figure if it is worth it and meant for me. on my four day diwali vacation i realized it is.
i dont travel with blinkers on any longer. i travel with eyes and ears open. i ask questions and seek answers. earlier if i were to visit say the golconda fort, i wuld probably simply complain about the garbage strewn about. but this time, i asked questions. about the pathetic way ASI is renovating it, about the lack of security. i had the power to walk into the ASI office and ask them why are they not doing their job properly.
i went to mecca masjid and realized how vulnerable it still remains. knowing about the history of the bomb blast, what is funny is the metal detectors have been hastily placed and forgotten about. because they havent even been switched on. and people still keep visiting in hundreds leaving the place as naked to death as ever.
lumbini park gave me the creeps. hudrends of people and the smell of death looming in the air. you could see the laser show arena: closed, dark, out of reach yet the footpath goes past it.
yes, they had hiked up the security. all kinds of checking.
funny, my frnd has metal plates in his hand which never beeped. anybody hrd of self detonation?
how unsafe anything and everything is.
how vulnerable we are to our circumstances.
and then, suddenly. no more sunshine, no more rain, wet earth and pink flowers.

Monday, October 29, 2007

dangerous liasions

i dont like this life. what is the point. its jus bloody hypocrisy. am a bloody hypocrite. thats all i am. let me tell you how it goes. well did u know about iodine deficiency diseases? am sure you do. but did u know that excessive iodine intake is hazardous to health? so only the right amount eh. well eating too much seafood can cause excessive iodine diseases. so next time u r about to dig into that lobster, THINK. same goes with vitamins, calcium, blah. too much meat is not good either.
r u environmentally conscious? am sure u r. however do u have an AC in your room/office? uh...remember that piece of writing that you crumpled and aimed for the dustbin but fell a feet away. i could go on.
we r all being hypocritical. we sit in AC rooms, and write pages long articles on global warming. and you know what here's a confession.
on a hot day, i want my AC. i want loud music (noise pollution) sometimes i think am so loud myself taht i cause noise pollution.
i like CONSUMING. i like computers and stereos and cell phones and when am rich (if ever) i wuld like to own palm tops and lap tops and well u got the point.
and the amount of clothes i own is not even funny. and am only 21.
i like all that is bad. and then i say i am environmentally conscious.
apparently everythin i eat is hazardous to health....too much of too less of any blah.
everythin i do is hazardous to the environment....
my life has lost its meaning.
unfortunately, there is a bigger problem on hand. i do not...and i mean it...I DO NOT want to die.
dying means i will have to stop thinking, stop consuming...there wont be any waking up to a warm sun or waking up to the sound of rain. there wont be any urban consumption spree. there will be nothing. jus a meaningless void.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


for the average journalist, its (journalism i mean!) synonymous to selling your soul to the devil. we r well prepared, planned beings (did ja notice the careful exclusion of the word 'human') (sub human would suit better). so there is a PLAN A and a PLAN B. PLAN A is gettin story ideas. PLAN B is roaming around aimlessly, going to a nice place to eat, overeat and well walk around some more and come back home. somehow the PLAN B always works and the PLAN A always fails. it doesnt seem to affect me. its just the way life is. dont blame me. blame it on the devil, fate, reality, blah blah.


eating pizza off the floor: if u have never done it, your life is not worth living. what is the point of wasting precious cheese, chicken, pineapple, sauce, pizza bread? wipe it with a tissue paper and hog.

fighting for your feminist rights: the first thing i do when i board a bus is, look around to catch any 'MALE' resting his bottom on the 'ladies' seat. and then i take great pleasure fighting for my feminist rights. not because i want to sit. but because am a woman of priniciples. it aches when i see little boys sitting. you cant do anything because unfortunately they do not ejaculate and therefore despite having similar organs they fall under the category of 'children'.

appreciating those who can multitask: i once met a busdriver who was also the acting conductor and when i asked for directions, he actually gave them to me. so busdriver-conductor-touristguide. i cant coordinate peeing and shitting together. i have tremendous respect for people who can multitask.

eating sandwiches and ice tea : aaah.

having hookah ; going to purple haze, eating sheekh kabab from a roadside stall : sheekh kabab from a roadside stall and eating pizza off the pizza hut floor is almost the same thing.

blogging : even here i cant multi task. if i switch on my music, i wouldnt be able to write a single word.



so what i dont have a news-story.

so what i think there r so many; that doing one is doing injustice to the others and there r soo many tht u cant possibly do all.

so what i ate too much so i cant think straight.

so what i anyway crossed my deadline.

so what since i have come here i have never read the newspaper.

SO WHAT is the real question.

they call it the inverted pyramid in journalistic jargon; the details r too boring to be explained.

however almost like egyptian slaves even we r maimed after building the pyramid. how r we maimed?

well its supposedly such an addictive career that once u r in it, you would be living, eating, shitting, barfing, farting stories.

welll welll welll.

hmm i wonder where the money comes in.

i am paying 2.7 lakhs. for...

for waking up at 8:50, rushing through morning 'stuff' (which will eventually lead to rotten teeth if i dont spend more time brushing....thereby increasing my dentist bills) and rushing through my breakfast (which will cause indigestion and chronic stomach disease by the age of 36 and thereby increase in ...u guessed it doctor's bills) and rushing through the newspaper which i pay for (another bill) and then reaching the college where classes continue till tea break (tea : hot drink: adding to the indigestion...u know..MORE BILLS) stress makes me smoke (lung cancer ; am not bothering bout the will, i wont have any money to leave).

and then on beat days, in the heat i walk around the city (pollution and the sun : LUNG AND SKIN CANCER). bumpy bus rides (tht has its negative effect on my so sure my stomach is where my kidney used to be....FURTHER MEDICAL BILLS)

i wouldnt have mind if i wuld have got paid for it.

the irony of my life paying 2.7 lakhs to do this.

its a cosmic conspiracy. ;)

Sunday, September 16, 2007


what is a good day?
the day when you spend the perfect saturday evening drowning away your assignments in alcohol and blowing away your parent's money in a pub?
or a day you walk around in muck, catch a rickety bus to cover a 'story idea', and feel all happy that you could catch all the buses to and fro on time.
today was a good sunday. because i got to do just that. walk around in muck. rub shoulders with all and sundry. pray all along the way that i dont get lice from the person sitting next to me. cursing the conductor for not telling me where to get down.

i went all the way to kormangla for my story idea. unfortunately i decided to meet diella at Forum mall.
first, to find her and i had to walk to and fro from one entrance to another, getting my bag checked 3 times. a normal person would go around the mall. but i didnt.
and then i thought of going shopping. but i didnt. i went EATING. everything possible.
(story idea?!! what story idea?)
but it was a good day, coz we caught buses faster than we catch mosquitoes. and we not only got buses all along the way everytime we stopped at a bus stand but we caught a bus that stopped RIGHT INFRONT OF THE HOSTEL. that never happens.

last night, there was a medical emergency in the hostel. i went along in the ambulance with the patient. this was the first time i sat in an ambulance. the lights flashed on the trees and signboards as the vehicle sped along. the ambulance siren echoed. i wasnt even dying but life flashed by. i missed grandma. i still cant believe she is not there any more. i will never meet her again. i imagined the inevitable. my parents dying. i couldnt breathe. i couldnt imagine. one more day closer to death. either mine or a loved one's. its all the same. they are all just another part of me.

"There's a silence surrounding me
I can't seem to think straight
I'll sit in the corner
No one can bother me

Where do we go from here"

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

quiet desparation...

"Don't be afraid to care. Leave but don't leave me. Look around and choose your own ground. Long you live and high you fly And smiles you'll give and tears you'll cry And all you touch and all you see Is all your life will ever be "

i woke up on the wrong side of the bed today. i thought i would be a sunny day but i was wrong. i thought it would be a sleepy day but i was wrong. i was wide awake in class but i didnt want to listen to the lecture. i heard words floating about in the air and tiny voices in my ears telling to me run away. i did. but i couldnt run away completely. my roots have travelled deep within reality.

i dreamt of bombay last night. its sad. i dont remember the scenes any longer. people talk for hours on phone every night. i dont. i dont want to. what is the point of ranting away the day's activites when the day has already ended hours ago. wouldnt it be nice to star gaze instead. i walked in the rain yesterday, and there was no one around me. it was only me and time walking hand in hand, step by step. i think i caught myself smiling. i wish i didnt have to speak at all. i generally dont like to talk about myself. what is the point. the average attention span is not more than 3 secs. how can i tell my story in 3 secs. i dont want to. friendz. i wonder what is the true nature of friendship. is it someone who can walk wit and listen to the sounds of silence? or is it someone you keep talking to for ages.

i like being there for people. as much as i can. but sometimes, rather most of the times am not able to be there. i tell myself am not needed. they are better off with others.

is it crazy to want to be alone and yet search for company?

why am i studying journalism? is this what i wish to pursue in my life? i dont even know what i want to pursue. i know i want to travel. see people and their awkward lives. watch them compromising on everything they ever believed in. i had once believed in God. maybe now he could have given me some company.

"When I was a child I caught a fleeting glimpse,Out of the corner of my eye.I turned to look but it was gone.I cannot put my finger on it now.The child is grown, the dream is gone. I have become comfortably numb"

Monday, September 10, 2007

my mom

today is my mom's birthday. she turned 58. that is more than half a century on this wretched earth. thats more than half a century working in and for the rat race.
she wanted to be an artist but life made an architect out of her. she wanted to run wild and free but life chained her to dad and me. dont ask me how many books she has read till date, many. she loved me through my red marks. she loved me through my rebel-without-a-reason stage. she loved me with my insanity. shes nature's own child. she is the happiest on a bright sunny day when shreds of white clouds adorn the blue blue sky. she used to have a sparkle in the eye but the pollutants of life have diminished it. she follows Kant unknowingly. she does her duties for duties sake. sometimes deep down she loves because its her duty to love. she transcends human emotions, she transcends our petty beliefs.
she believes in god and destiny. she has taught me to respect privacy. she has tought me to be alone and take my own decisions. she has seen more in life than anyone else i know and she has learnt to appreciate the rat race for its pettiness. she has left the great 'career aspirations' to follow her roots back and grow a family. she works out blood to make sure i live a life of a princess. she has tought me to be critical especially of myself. its easy, because she is never critical of me.
she likes to dance and listen to abba. she believes in dressing good and looking good. she looks gorgeous and i dont say it coz she's my mom. i say it because i admire the woman she is and i want to be jus like her when i grow up. at least, i want to make her proud.
love ya ma.
happy birthday.

Hostel Iijnm

for shilpa krishnan on her birthday, from dielle and i.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Hotel IIJNM....(Happy Birthday, Shilpa!!)
On a dark desert highway, cool wind in my hair.Warm smell of colitas rising up through the air.Up ahead in the distance, I saw a shimmering light.My head grew heavy and my sight grew dimI had to stop for the night.
There she stood in the doorway, I heard the mission bell.I was thinking to myself this could be Heaven or this could be Hell.
Then she lit up a candle, and she showed me the way.There were voices down the corridor,I thought I heard them say,Welcome to the Hostel IIJNMSuch a lovely place (such a lovely place)Many a room at the Hostel IIJNM, Any time of year (any time of year)You can find us here.
Her mind is differently twisted, she got no Mercedes Benz.She got just one pretty boy, who's her special friend.How they dance in the courtyard, sweet Mallu sweat.Some dance to remember, some dance to forget.So I call Mr. Noel. I said, "please bring me my wine."He said, " We don't allow that spirit here since 1999."But still those voices are calling from far away.Wake you up in the middle of the night, just to hear us say.
Welcome to the Hostel IIJNMSuch a lovely place (such a lovely place)Many a room at the Hostel IIJNMAny time of year (any time of year)You can find us here.
Stars on the ceiling. Large khodez, no ice.And she said, "We are all just prisoners here,Of Kanchan's devise."And in Abraham's chambers, where they gathered for the feast.Stab it with their steely knives,But they just cant kill the beast.Last thing I remember, I was running for the door.Had to find the passage back to the place I was before."Relax," said the nightman, "We are programmed to receive.You can check out any time you like.But you can never leave."

my sassy girl

there is a girl i know. she comes from the land of the sea and the sun and she is a sassy lil chick. she perenially has bad hair days and she ties her hair into knots. she wakes me up everyday, fills my water bottle and drags me to class. she gets paranoid if we are not 20 mins early to class everyday. she lets me copy from her new quiz but she hardly ever knowz any of the answers. she looks like a squirrel and she loves to eat nuts. she steals all the cashew nuts which is why she is so nutty. she sings very well but she never sings aloud.
she drinks neat vodka and rum but never gets high. sometimes she gets completely drunk on one beer and falls face down on the dance floor. she likes pink floyd and mettalica and she can play only one song on her guitar. she gets bugged when people indulge in mediocre passtimes like gossip. she suffers from chronic disorders like ALWAYS having a filled water bottle. she thinks the dumb people are smart and the smart people are dumb. by the way, she thinks am very smart. ;)

she touches herself in the loo (or so i think coz she spends an awfully long time in the loo) she hates to see people crying coz she gets tongue tied when it comes to consoling people. she looks the cutest when she's upset.

she does all her assignments in time and she spends approximately 10 hours everyday e-mailing. she spends the rest of the day secretly thinking of a special friend. only thinking and missing him. and fidgeting with her cell phone.

she loves food and god. she believes in both.

she has very long eye lashes...which make her squirrel face rather pretty.

she lets you bully her.

she carries a tattered old school bag everywhere she goes. if she had her way she would even carry it to the loo.

she uses toilet paper.

she is the only one who ever bothers to read my blog.

her name is diella and i love her.


after a long time...

i havent blogged for long. am not really sure why. maybe because i was too busy accepting the 'IIJNM PHENOMENON' or maybe just the people. from an intolerant cynical bitch, i have learnt to accept the lesser mortals that roam the campus. am not sure what made me see things in a positive manner. i would like to say that i have attained nirvana but i know its not tht. something more. somewhere i am happy to watch the whole milky way every night. i like when my voice echoes through the empty corridors of the institute in the night. i can feel the walls listening to my secrets. i like the ancient printer which prints our assignments. its a remnant of an ancient time. it makes me walk down a half lit corridor always wondering who is watching me from the other end where the light is too dark to shine. here the wind has a mind of its own. it carries your thoughts and whispers them to someone else. it has tought me to be more secretive; more reclusive. here you can dance in the basketball court with your insane friend and step onto her toes and not care. i dreaded spending an entire weekend in this godforsaken campus. but yesterday i realized tht it is not as forsaken as i thought it would be. the sun likes lazing around with you and beatles and your crazy friend, and it lets you wash the week's laundry without fear. i keep telling myself that i should be bothered about the amount of assignments they give us. but strangely, am not. the stars everynight remind me of the tiny space i occupy in this vast universe. my troubles are trivial.

Monday, August 6, 2007

bangalooroo blues...


When you look at a city, it's like reading the hopes, aspirations and pride of everyone who built it.
It rains in Bangalore. Only when you forget to carry your umbrella. And the bus conductor asks for your ticket, just after you tossed it out of the window. Murphy was right all along.

So I had to get off the bus and take a little walk. There it was, the lush green Cubbon Park so famous for everything else but the foliage. According to the tourist brochure, Cubbon Park serves as the lungs of Bangalore as well as a popular tourist destination. Spread over 250 acres, the green park has various attractions such as the rose garden, children's play ground with toy train and several play equipments, the recently opened doll museum and an aquarium. The roads that cut across the lush green land offers an ideal place for joggers and walkers. And the trees and the bushes serve a haven for the Romoes and Juliets of this garden city.
However I have been long poisoned by urbanisation and gardens tend to give me goosebumps. So I headed for something overflowing with power, grandeur and filth: THE VIDHAN SOUDHA.
For a press student to enter the Vidhan Soudha is as difficult as morality entering into a politician’s blood. So I called a friend for somebody said once that today the world runs on contacts. Lo and behold, there I was, having fruit salad with white dhotied MLA’s. To further my excitement, I even got to enter into the assembly which was in session. They asked me to remove everything except my clothes. Sitting hundred metres away from the speaker, I wasn’t allowed to cross my legs out of respect. Nor could I make any noises whether voluntary or involuntary. I had to sneeze so I left after five minutes. The new annexe to the Vidhan Soudha called Vikas Soudha, is traditionally modern. Architecturally traditional and modern from the inside. It houses various public offices like Medical Education, Kannada and Culture, Food and Civil Supplies, Infrastructure, Ministry of Labor,etc It also has a very cheap canteen that serves the yummiest pakoras ever.

Next stop had to be the BMP – Bangalore Mahanagar Palike that is minimum rupees twelve by auto. If he charges more, it means you were taken for a ride (pun intended). So yes I found out that the Garden City has had no Mayor since November 23, 2006, after Ms Mumtaz. Now, the Administrator has been the acting Mayor.
The Members of the Legislature and the Members of the Parliament elect the Mayor annually through a general BMP election procedure. The Mayor is the candidate of the majority party, and is selected, generally, unopposed. Wondering why nobody wants to the Mayor of such a beautiful city, I ambled on for it was time to go to the Slum Clearance Board Office, which is in Church Street. This time I decided to rely on my sense of geography and walk it down. And yes, it was quite a distance. An autorickshaw ride was inevitable.
Bangalore city has more than 200 slums. Between 2002 and 2006, the HUDCO has spent Rs 170 crore on the slums. 4600 to 5000 houses are to be completed by October. The slums house immigrants from North Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan. The largest slum in Bangalore is Lakshmananagar. Slum-free Bangalore: the target is to construct 34, 538 houses at a cost of 173 crores. Funding comes from the Jawaharlal Nehru Urban Renewal Mission, and would be 5,150 m long.

After all this, I had to go to the Electricity Office officially called BESCOM – Bangalore Electricity Supply Company Ltd, and had to meet the Electrician officially called something I don’t remember. He told me something about safety policies that my mother has been telling me from the time I was five. The Company suggested steps like not touching snapped wires, not climbing electric poles, not to operate electrical switches and equipment with wet hands, and not tying animals to electric poles. It also advised people to take extra care during monsoon. I took a coffee break after this and watched pigeons answering natures’ call.

I then went and met the Executive Engineer of BWSSB (BANGALORE WATER SUPPLY AND SEWAGE BOARD). He said that there is no problem regarding water supply. But the reality I leave to the water purifier manfucturers. Do their “Aquaguards” sell?
At the BDA I had TC Kathayani tell me to research the net on BDA since she was very busy. Looks like the BDA has gone online.

After all the ‘beauracrazy’ I made my way to the Assistant Commissioner of Police, Sheshadripuram, who was not available. Wonder what or whom he was fighting during office hours.
Mr. Ramachandran is the inspector of the all-women’s police station (pun intended) located in Sheshadripuram. In the month of June 2007, 30 women walked in with complaints relating to dowry, sexual harassment and matrimonial problems. Cases are generally solved.

Bangalore seems to have more vehicles than Homo sapiens and so I set about to enquire about the parking system in the city. The city cannot manage multi-level parking because the number of vehicles has increased drastically from 3 lakhs in 1984 to about 30 lakhs presently. There were 3390 accidents May 2007, of which 352 were fatal. Hosur and Old-Madras roads are the most-accident prone areas. I can’t afford a car but I decided to be more careful while crossing roads after this.
Then to see something I will never be able to afford, I went to do a story on the Golf Course. Like the people who play, the facts that confronted me were also rather boring. They use ‘treated recycled water’ (almost the same stuff cold drinks are made of) and refuse to divulge any more information. Around 8 lakh liters of water is used per day. Hadn’t the BWSSB said there is an acute shortage of water?

This entire assignment was food for thought. And it left my stomach hungry and dry. Avoided all national food chains and headed for bisibelabhaat and filter coffee; the kannada way.

Monday, July 30, 2007

madrasi blues

well am in south india. i have got infected by this chronic disease: madrasi blues. symptoms are a weird accent, laughing without reason, extra smooth bowels...too smooth for comfort, consumption of very high doses of mint (ranging from polo to tic tac), aversion from COCONUT, serious intellectual impairment. i was rather excited about going national (calcutta to mumbai to bangalore) but unfortunately i kanndazied myself. its like walking in the rain without an umbrella. you love the fact that you r getting wet, but then again u dont like the wet underwear sticking to your skin. yes, i admit it, for me south india is madras and coconuts....and i also confess, i love it here.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

graduate school - IIJNM

there was a perception i had about graduate schools. like internet connections and hot men. electronic education: laptop presentations and well everything flashy and rich. hmm....and ya a huge big green campus. i got the campus alrite...and the entire big green planet with it. ours is the only little speck of civilization this side of the earth. there is obviously only one road....because ALL ROAD(s) lead to iijnm. because the world is flat now, this road leads to...well...we dont walk that far we'll fall off the earth. hmm now about the promised internet connections and hot men. didnt get the latter. wat other things we didnt get was the cell network, public transport and neighbours. there is a fort (so called international school) but there r no humans there. first day of graduate school: 12 hours. dont even ask. 12 hours says it all. sunsets and exotic birds, throw in one or two scorpions and snakes and few rickety buses that can b seen one in every 100 days......thats nityanandnagar. here, the moon in always blue

Middle of Nowhere

its an new college. and its in the middle of nowhere.