Today was the first day when I realised what an awesome song Tung Tung Baje from Singh is Bling is. It was the first thing which I heard on radio while getting ready for the office today, and it did stick with me for the entire day; in a good way way, of course. I researched a bit, and got to know that it did feature in Coke Studio 2012 edition. The song didn’t seem like an Akshay Kumar’s movie song anyway.

After work, when I thought about it in my apartment, I realised that Singh is King came in 2008. Exactly 7 years and a month ago.

The reason why I remember Sing is King so distinctly is because of the first lecture of a particular course in IIT Delhi. The professor was a surd. Now I won’t name our respected professor because he was the one who got all my CV points approved in my management school. I’d be eternally grateful to him for that. But for the sake of reference, let us call him Mayyar Singh (If any IITD batchmate is reading this, they’ll know why chose this particular reference name).

As is evident so far, Prof. Mayyar was a surd. Lest you shun this, let me tell you that no stereotypical joke is coming your way. I am just not like that, not anymore. Anyway, so it was his first class of advanced machine design course (No, it isn’t a cliched engineering school joke too). Out of courtesy, and trying to be highly pertinent to the course, the professor asked the class that what were their expectations from this course – as is the norm in any college. The first thing which the class uttered was – “Sir, ‘Singh is King’ ke tickets ka jugaad kara do, mil nhin rahe hai”. The professor immediately regretted asking this question, and conveniently ignored, moving on to other mundane things.

It might not sound very funny now, but it is one of the most funny stories which I can recall from my engineering days.

Just to put things in perspective, it was the time when Virendar Sehwag scored 201 not out, in this test. It’s his third best innings (not in terms of runs scored, obviously) after this and this. The one at Mumbai is best batting I’ve seen so far. If you don’t believe me, read this. Having followed cricket since 1996 and wishing the best things for Kumble and Tendulkar, I never thought I’d miss Sehwag the most. But I do miss him in Indian cricket the most. More than Dravid and Kumble. Dravid saved the tests, Kumble won it for us, but it was always who sat up the platform for the win. When Sehwag failed, Dravid’s task was infinitely harder. And Kumble had no role to play.

It was also the time when The Dark Knight was released. On 18th of July, 2008. But I chose to see Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na with a friend who is married now and is working with Asian Paints. (I’ll not name anyone.) But when I did see The Dark Knight on 31st of July (I remember the date precisely because it was right before my birthday) with my would-be girlfriend (who is now a bitter ex), her then boyfriend (I never did care for him anyway) and another male friend with whom I haven’t spoken in last six years (I stopped caring for him a long time ago). It was a wonderful day at PVR Saket. I saw The Dark Knight twice after that. Each time with three different people at three different locations. It was also the time when DevD’s shooting was going on Delhi, and I happened to have a crush on choreogrpaher of the movie, who happened to be a friend of mine, and with whom I saw The Dark Knight for the final time in theater and afterwards I confessed having crush on her in United Coffee House at CP. I was wearing a very stupid kurta and she wore red sleeveless chicken kurta. She looked cute, and I was a little embarrased after telling her this. Her reply was nonchalant and stereotypical. “Girls always know such stuff.” She was living with her boyfriend in Mumbai then, and working on DevD.

I also distinctly remember one of my hostel mates playing ‘Uccha lamba kad’ from Welcome around the same time on endless loops in blaring volumes. I guess he had just bought new 2.1s.

And now there is Singh is Bling.

How time flies.

Write Drunk, Edit Sober – Peter De Vries

बारूद की महक को कब हाथोँ से जाने में वक़्त लगा है,
वक़्त तो उनके दिये ज़ख्मों को भरने में लगा है।

तुम मानते नहीं हो, शायद मानोगे भी नहीं
समझते तो हो ,लेकिन समझना चाहते नहीं हो

अब और कैसे कहें,
कि दर्द -ऐ -हिज्र क्या है।

A Car Accident

Imagine yourself walking on the footpath, like a good responsible law abiding citizen, and suddenly a car comes and hits you out of nowhere. For next couple of months, you’re in the hospital, recuperating; and in the mean time also loosing that precious thing called time. MBAs will call it your lost opportunity cost; a more seasoned MBA will call it the cost of disease or accident. Anyhow, while you’re recuperating there in the hospital (or in your home), what do you think of the people who were driving that fateful car?

Let’s start with the simplest of scenarios and add on to complications as we progress.

In the most basic of cases, the car hits you and runs away. You never got to know the drivers, all you knew was that it “might” have been an honest mistake on their part, and you were just utterly hapless to be there – at the wrong place at the wrong time. Well, what if it wasn’t an “honest” mistake, rather, it was just a mistake, and the people who were driving were drunk and were having fun? Although, the accident which happened was unintentional, yet it could have been avoided had they been a little more responsible. Would you not curse them and feel that this should not go unpunished and that their karma should catch up to them?

Please note, that in any of these cases, the people sitting in the car were absolutely unharmed. Even their car had no superficial scratches whatsoever.

Now let’s say that the people sitting in the car did what they did intentionally. Being drunk or sober doesn’t really matter in this case. Although, as in the previous case, here too, the people sitting in the car are complete strangers to you. How would you feel about them now?

Finally, consider the case where the people sitting in the car did it knowing fully aware of what they were doing and why they were doing along with the fact that they were not complete strangers to you. These people knew you. Not just “knew you” knew you but they have known you for last 5-7 years, hanging out with you on a daily basis, getting involved in marathon carousing sessions with you, asking for your help as and when they required it; and you, being such a morally upright ass that you have been throughout your life, did whatever you could for them. In fact, when such an accident happened a couple of years ago to one of the people sitting in the car, you distinctly remember him saying that he wouldn’t hit anyone like this. And even earlier than that, you have been there for another such person who was also in that same car in a similar kind of situation. They were certainly more than friends with you. Or, you thought so.

The person who was driving the car was your girlfriend of four years and seven months. The person sitting next to her was your closest friend.

Oh, and instead of breaking your bones (which would have been far simpler to deal with), they broke your heart. Just like that, right there. Never visiting you in the hospital, because apparently…

The Wall

He was lost. This was the first time he was travelling alone. He had had friends, but this time he didn’t want them to be around him. And anyway, he had been to these mountains before.

He was lost, though not technically. He had been trying to locate the place where the magic happened the last time he was here with people whom he doesn’t want to be here now. However, he was pretty sure that he was standing at the right place. Yet, something kept on insisting him to not to trust himself, anymore. He wasn’t really sure what it was, and there was no one to check with.

He was lost, again. After all these years, he now knew that he wouldn’t repeat the same mistakes, of trusting people the way he did. But sometimes, you don’t want to be logical. And clearly, there was no such thing as learning from past, for him, apparently. He took the wrong turn, and there it was, the dark green, overwhelmingly vertical mountain wall, with no pinnacle in sight, which seemed so near that if he extended his hands just a little bit, he could touch it. Only that, he can’t. Yes! This was the place the magic happened the last time he was here with people whom he doesn’t want to be there anymore.

He was lost, in hindsight. Sometimes he wished he shouldn’t have done the things he did. But then, who doesn’t? And he was also only human, may be more human than all the humans he had known. Or so, he’d like to think himself to be. Nevertheless, should that even matter?

Why then, was he lost?

White Cotton Tee

It was an after rain morning in August, the sort which gets misty as the day progresses. And by late afternoon, you’re in a fix if it’s a late august in northern plains of India or early winters.

She was wearing a plain cotton tee.

When she stepped out from her home, it was pretty humid. An old worn out cotton tee is your best bet in Delhi on such a day. Little did she know that she’d be protesting at India gate later in the morning. And by the time she was there, it was already drizzling. Delhi had witnesses another rape in a moving vehicle, and it was barely eight months after what happened on the night of December 16th, 2012.

She was a strong, independent woman. The sort usually found at northern campus of Delhi University. Probably, because she believed in Neitzsche and Camus. And a little bit in Beckett, which made her quite callous, socially.

But she had her friends. And cats. She didn’t need much.

But on that late rainy misty morning, she was wearing a worn out cotton tee, with a white brasserie. Little did she know that that would be a curse.

It rained heavily that day, and the media was more interested in her worn out cotton tee instead of what she was saying. She noticed it, noticed it more than obviously, and yet she was helpless. This wasn’t Gurgaon. It was India gate. The national media was there. It wasn’t supposed to be like this.

Fucking shit!

It was only her first monsoon in Delhi, but she knew very well why she wouldn’t want to be there in the next.

Cheatings & Teachings

It wasn’t long before she started taking her clothes off. What started as an innocuous study session had turned into a steamy tale of infidelity.

Intermittently, the words such as “cheating”, “disloyalty” did pop up in her mind, but the pain between her legs was too sweet and strong to let her think of such things more holistically.

The fact that she realized it very early that she couldn’t stop what was happening to her –more aptly, she didn’t want to – wasn’t helping either.

So she gave in.

But she couldn’t give in absolutely. Committing to the moment completely wasn’t achievable for her. So she thought of analyzing it. Why, after all, was she doing it?

He was not handsome. Nor was he mentally, or physically, well endowed. And although, she has been toying with the idea of sapiosexuality, she wasn’t entirely convinced of it either.

Then why, oh why was she doing it to her macho husband?

May be, that was why!

He was too macho for her. And she had always wanted someone docile and malleable. Someone ‘soft, someone who will be dependent on her. How she loathed the idea of patriarchy and machoism.

She was the sort of strong, independent women by whom the media swore. But her husband had always challenged her character – emotionally and mentally. Shameless, typical patriarch!

Oh Yes!

Silence. Only hard breathings.

Click of the lighter and exhausted ring of smoke.

“Shall we start all over again?”

The Problem is Sex

The problem is/was/will be that women can get sex any time they want to, and with whoever they want to. Well, mostly. This is simply unacceptable to a society where the man is seen as the lord of everything. Which is why they need to have so many rules for women. Which is why you have to tie her modesty irredeemably with her sexuality. Which is why a family’s “honour” is so unscrupulously intermingled with only women. Which is why Rape is not as heinous a crime as murder. Which is why her character is termed “loose” if she is sexually proactive. Which is why the legal definition of rape is only vaginal penetration by phallus. Which is why Sodomy is not even a thoroughly recognized sexual offence.

And which is why the authorities believe that fellatio can’t forced. Groping and pinching in crowd can’t be avoided. Because, when you’re in a mob, your hands develop a carnal instinct of their own.

Manu knew it all along. He sure was a visionary.

And so was Nietzsche when he believed that morality is just a fiction used by the herd of inferior human beings to hold back the few superior human beings.

A task excellently done!