The First

She had made fun of me the first time we met.

The acerbic words, the colourful and often (more like always) hurtful diatribes I am now known for were missing in my repertoire back then. It was a time, when once I had found out that the female of the species Canis Familiaris is called a ‘bitch’, had found it exceedingly funny and decided to christen everything I met on my way back from school by the same name, my mom had put a little red chilly powder on my tongue and warned me that if I ever called a woman that she’d disown me.

She had made fun of me and I had remained silent.

I was four years old and she was about three years older and four fingers taller than me. She could have easily taken me.

She had made fun of me and I would have done the same if I were in her position.

You see, I still hadn’t mastered the subtle art of tying my shoelaces. I never really understood the whole ‘one little bunny goes over the bridge, hides below the hedge and is then pulled out by the evil witch’ bit. What the hell was a bunny doing on my shoes anyway?

She had made fun of me and then gone ahead and tied my shoelaces.

We had become friends instantly. And we were inseparable. We were together when I lost my first tooth, when she and I learnt to ride a bicycle, when her parents split, when she had her first period (the oddest day of my life so far), when Jurassic Park came to the theatres, when she was asked out on her first date …

And then my parents decided to move to a different city.

We were sitting on top of the water tank on my terrace (our favourite place). We had not spoken for over an hour. We just sat there looking at the houses around us, the play ground where we had learnt to climb trees together and our old school in the distance. We didn’t look at each other. We didn’t want to cry.

My mom called out from the driveway. They were ready to leave. I said I’ll be down in a few minutes.

I looked at her. And did something I had never expected to do. I kissed her, kissed her for the longest possible time. But something was amiss. She wasn’t responding. Her lips weren’t moving. I kissed her harder, pulled her closer to me. Nothing. I only withdrew when I felt her tears on my cheek. Her face was expressionless. She didn’t say anything.

My mom called again. I stood up in a daze. Said goodbye. She still didn’t say anything. I stood there for a moment and then climbed down the stairs.

On the way to the railway station I did not speak to anyone. All I could think about was her. Had I done something wrong? Had I destroyed the only friendship which meant anything to me? Had I …

I was fourteen years old. And that was my first kiss?

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Passions : A Pregnant Pause, every now and then.

This post is the result of a comment someone left on my blog a long time back. Miss your comments Unknown.

As we grow old we tend to lose interest in things which earlier meant a lot to us. Interests change, priorities change and some of us tend to become more focused (others like me continue existing in a chaotic mode, aiming for a gazillion goals at once). This post is a form of therapy for me, a kind of an internal review.

Passions Past

Programming, Gadgets, the Works – I started programming when I was 10 years old. And I wrote code regularly till the age of 21. One of my most enduring friendships is a result of my shared interest in computers with my friend Ankir. I loved the anticipation just before a program was getting compiled. The ‘error free’ status was almost orgasmic. Though I have written code in most of the popular languages, C and Javascript will always have a special place in my heart. I fondly remember the good old high school days, the long nights writing thousands of lines of code. I was a nerd and I am proud of it.

But somewhere down the line I got tired of it all. I haven’t done any coding in almost two years. Miss the smooth motion of my fingertips on the keyboard sometimes. 12 years is long enough. Computers were my first love, my first mistress. Maybe I still am a nerd.

Passions in Hibernation

Women! Women!! Women!!! Women!!!!
Need I say anything else?

Quizzing

Enduring Passions

Writing

Advertising

Films

Reading

On the Verge of being Passions:

Long conversations

Beers

Doodling

Will keep adding to this list and keep it as a reference.

Songs on which I am hooked on these days.

New Dream and Disastrous Food

Today after 4/5 months, I left the office early around 6pm as there was not much left to do. So I left with a hope that I will have something good for the dinner after my disastrous lunch at ESC, Manyata Tech Park.

I spotted a short scrawny 22-something girl was standing with a tall (very) stunning enchantress. Contempt, hatred and loathing for my very being were tightly packed together in an unwavering look from the short one. I have drawn some sharp reactions from people in the past but this was the oddest of them all. And from a stranger who I could have squashed under my foot? Never!

Now I should have been thinking about an appropriate expression for my face. But somewhere the Tall Girl Alert had been activated in my brain and all thought processes had ceased. Instead of looking at the little one I was staring at the tall one. After a few seconds I realised I wasn’t blinking and I ordered this (I about to order something else but I am incorrigible about Tall Girls, I guess).

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There is this nice little shopping complex at Nagavara where I go quite often. Avishek needed to check out Samsung J7 as he finally decided to upgrade his old and tender Samsung Galaxy Duos after 4 long years. We went and enquired about it and before leaving we decided to have an Ice cream but I am not fond of the Ice cream shop there so I decided to have McDonald’s McFlurry.

Today as I was going about savoring every last piece of my order a big business family walked in. There was an old lady who was probably the head of the house hold and accompanying her were her three daughters-in-law with a whole bunch of toddlers. The old lady was a domineering woman with complete control over the workings of her family. Her sons kept calling her on the four mobiles that each of them were carrying and asking her permission to do this and that.She sat like an old powerful queen on the chair with her family members sitting all around her trying to please her and elevate themselves in her eyes. I was impressed by this matriarchal display of authority in what seemed to be an otherwise traditional Indian family. 

But then my eyes fell on the three daughters-in-law. All of them were wearing sarees and their heads were covered with the pallu as a mark of respect towards their mother-in-law (or maybe they had no other choice but to keep their heads covered). None of them looked a day over twenty-five and in fact one of them looked even younger than me. She had a baby in her arms and every now and then she would look at it and give a small, almost invisible and inaudible sigh. All of them had a smile on their face, a very synthetic smile, a very artificial smile which was not in keeping with the great food I was having. 

I stopped eating to take a better look at them, to peer through their eyes and see the truth behind those fake smiles. All I could see were broken dreams and crushed ambitions. All around them were young people talking excitedly about their future plans, their careers, the new film in the theatres; and sitting there with their heads covered and listening intently yet uninterestedly to an old queen were these three young women. Marriage and motherhood slapped on their faces. 

One could argue that they were happily married and what woman wouldn’t want to be a mother. May be the only ambition they ever nurtured was to become a house wife and raise sons who would grow up and marry more women like them or raise daughters who would be married off into other such families. May be they all enjoyed covering their heads with the pallu and listening to the words of wisdom of the old queen. But why did I hear the faint cry of a dream, a dream which knew its end was inevitable. She looked at the baby and took another sigh.

May be a new dream was born.

Now, videos time.

Enclosed by the walls

We don’t like to think. People will say they think about things all the time.

But do they do that?
No. They don’t. They are most probably lying to themselves and we all love to lie to ourselves because no one is going to see through the lie and as a liar you don’t want to see through it anyway.

The fault is not theirs completely. The main problem lies in our upbringing. Right from the moment we arrive on the earth, we are taught thinking is the way we feel about things and when we include feelings and thinking together we are on our way to be doomed and that’s the reality of the present world. The reason being we are not living in world of feelings rather we are living in a world of reasoning.

So what is thinking, by the way?
Many people have different definitions of it. I have mine.Thinking is basically looking at things in a logical way and understanding them with reasons. And that includes these:
1. What is this ?
2. Why is this ?
3. Where to put this ?
4. How to put this ?
5. When to put this?

Now let’s take an example to understand those 5 points. Let’s take the context of blogging.

1. What is this?
It is a blog to document my thoughts and understanding of the world.

2. Why is this?
For as long as I can remember I have been obsessed with creating a worthwhile and long-lasting legacy – something that will survive me, perhaps for generations to come. Legacy can be in the form of material wealth and riches. It can be in the form of ideas. An artist’s legacy is his work; a gangster’s his street-cred and the urban legends that surround his name. As an author I hope my books are read for years to come if I finally ever write it but it is definitely on the cards. And Siddhant know why I do this? I am doing it for the next generation so that they can see and understand how I perceived the world and they are going to be super opinionated like me if I ever walk down to the aisle (hi mom) and to have an opinion they are going to need to have lots of perspectives known to them.

3. Where to put this?
I had a range of options but I chose a WordPress premium account because I am lazy and quite famous for starting things and never take it to completion and with a premium account, I am binding myself to this duty as my employer doesn’t pay me much but it is still enough to keep up my blog and booze and food.

4. How to put this?
Everyone has a way of learning things and my way is blunt and straightforward Q and A session. So if I am not writing about my past experiences, then my blog posts are usually in Q and A.

5. When to put this?
As soon as the idea pops up in my mind. Then I just need 4-5 hours to complete the entire writing and drafting process. But if the idea went out from attention even for a single day, then they are going to be in the drafts folder only. There are 5 posts and I think I am going to delete them because they didn’t make any sense to me as their time has passed.

So ask these 5 questions to understand anything and everything and the more deep your answer, the more clear you will be while performing that activity.

I always loved maths because there is no space for feelings there and whenever I tried to do anything which involved feelings, I messed up those things. That’s why I suck in all kinds of relationships as they wants me to be emotional all the times.

Right now, for a good span of time, I am meeting a lots of peoples and one thing is becoming clear to me is that we don’t like to think about things. We just want to assume about things and most importantly, we even don’t want to make our own assumptions, we just want to accept other’s assumptions and we absolutely love to brand those assumptions as our own.

We are now living in a world full of opportunities. The world of our parents are ending and with that all the options that world brought too. We can do almost anything. Our parents lived in a times when their options are limited and they had to make the best of it and our parents made the best of it because they liked to think about things. But now we have endless opportunities and we don’t think so we are just stuck in bad relationships, bad jobs, bad habits and many more.

How to see what is the difference between who thinks and who doesn’t think?

We all spend most of our leisure time on social media and we like to like, comment and share other’s brand new achievements, adventures and experiences. And we like to wonder how did they do it? They thought about it and tried to figure out the possibilities surrounding them and done that. So in that way, friends, thinking gives you an advantage to not have a boring life.

And while I am exploring new fields and learning new skills constantly – formal higher education is still not part of my life. I still have dreams of giving exams (I was a weird child – I was happiest sitting in an examination hall) and running through the corridors of a school or college. And while I have left higher education (a master’s and a PhD, perhaps) for my 30s, my quest to educate myself is at its peak. There has never been a better time to be a thinker than now.

Wait. From where does education comes into this?

Dude you can’t just start thinking just because you want to think. You need fodder to grow crops on a farm and that is where education comes into play. I am a supporter of learning (both formal and informal).

I believe that thinking is an acquired skill that can be developed over time. In the nature vs nurture debate – this skill definitely falls on the side of nurture. One also learns it by imitation – by observing others – parents, teachers, friends, mentors, colleagues, etc.

Its impact on personal and professional growth is huge if one acquires this skill at an early stage. Also, it is definitely something one can pick up later in life – albeit with a lot of hard work.

Are we doomed?
Most probably, Yes if we don’t start to think about things now.

Okay now is the time for some random music videos on which I am hooked on.

Aargh!!! Not again.

I am extremely mad at myself. I am so mad, that I feel crazier than usual. At times like these I wish there was someone who could whack me and straighten that convoluted head of mine.

This is a random post as I have nothing to write about. But there are lots of bits and pieces of thoughts in my mind from last couple of days and they are troubling me, so I decided to write them down. You may ask why can’t I write it in private? Writing in private takes the fun out of it and I have a pretty boring life so I like to have fun whenever I get chance. There is not a clear direction of what I am going to write about but a perfect example of how I like to think about things. Starting with puzzling Q and A and then deciding which one is better before settling down to form an opinion about it. I have opinions and you have to be ready with logic and explanations if you ever want to challenge my opinions.

Brace yourselves, Puzzled thoughts are coming!

1). I simply don’t know when to give up. I should learn to take a hint. Never been given a cold shoulder before (it’s happened once earlier, but that was just pathetic). The weird thing is, I don’t feel hurt – I just feel odd. Pride and arrogance tell me that there is no possible reason for anyone to ignore me. Or is there?
This is my punishment for being so easily amused and cheerful all the time – a good solid dose of depression. It’s definitely not helping the cause of writing. Neither is continuously thinking about the gorgeous girl who I always meet (accidentally) in the office elevator.

2). Every now and then I reach the conclusion that the Universe has nothing left to teach me. Or that whatever else is left, is either useless or redundant. I wallow in the splendid muck of my ignorance. And then the Universe drags me out, gives me a cold shower, cleans me from head to toe and proceeds to give me a whipping which would make any Los Angles dominatrix proud. I hear you loud and clear Universe.

You.
Are.
My.
Daddy.

3). Depression and excitement can go together – I am a stinking potpourri of emotions these days. I make myself sick.

4). I figured out something when I was twelve years old. I was a bright, precocious brat with a simple view of the world. I figured that elders (anyone who was older than me) had nothing to offer me as far as knowledge was concerned. Considering I was so young, this notion might look childish, but today I can add the weight of a decade of experience behind it. In my humble opinion elders have not been responsible for a single bit of knowledge in my head – either it was already there and I just needed to discover it or else I was smart enough to figure things out on my own. Elders may have played the role of a guide in some of the discoveries but given enough time I would have stumbled upon those hidden springs of knowledge on my own. A very egomaniacal thought but I stand by it.
I come to the next more crucial point. My mental growth is now almost stagnant; it has remained so for the last couple of years. 

5). Life is going on at a steady pace, which can be a good thing, but I prefer a sinusoidal curve. I some how feel that inertia has set in and I am waiting for something big and drastic to happen (ok I have a vague notion of the kind of thing I’ll call drastic, so it wouldn’t be a bolt from the blues). For now my fingers are crossed and double crossed.

It is ironic but even a steady and assured upward-looking future is sending me into a depression. Carpe diem, that’s what a friend said. How? 

Slaughtering the predator.

Winning a woman’s heart is like a conquest. Once she has fallen in love with you she is no better than a trophy hanging on a wall above the fireplace – a fond reminder of a successful kill. The thrill of romance is in the chase – approaching her, breaking the ice, getting her to agree for the first date, wining and dining her, slowly making her fall in love with you – that is the chase. Every time she looks into your eyes she sees the future, she sees what she can become because of you. Promises are made, which in the heat of the moment come from the bottom of your heart. You leave no stone unturned in winning her. You make her feel special. Each meeting is an improvement on the previous one. Finally the relationship becomes a series of dates – fantastic but meaningless. Were you just trying to tame a wild beast, trying to prove to yourself that you still got it? You wonder.

The realization slowly sinks in. You don’t love her, never did. You loved what she represented – a big fat kill – a challenge that you accepted and won. You call her. Tell her ‘We have to talk’. You make excuses.

It’s not you, it’s me.
I have fallen out of love.
You deserve someone better.

Your mind is concocting stories, coming up with lies faster than you can think. She just sits there dumbfounded, hardly able to believe what she’s listening. You walk away, leaving her behind in tears. You are oddly relieved, even a little happy. You justify your every action to yourself. It was for the best, you say. But guilt slowly creeps its way into your heart. You need a break. You cut yourself from the rest of the world, immerse yourself completely in work. A month goes by. Your conscience is now clear.

You are out partying with your friends. You spot someone dancing. You like what you see. Her every move is irresistible. Your eyes regain that lost spark. Your friends catch you eying her. They spur you on – go for it dude! They make jibes – she’s out of your league! ‘Want to make a small wager out of it’ you tell your friends.

You walk over to her table. Make a witty remark about the music. She and her friends laugh. You ask her for a dance then make fun of your own dancing abilities. You stumble. She laughs. She helps you out with a few moves. You are a fast learner. Now you show her a couple of your moves. She is amazed. She claps. ‘You tricked me, you are a great dancer.’ You laugh your easy laugh, the one which makes everyone around you comfortable. The two of you keep dancing – your bodies getting closer with every passing minute.

You bring her back to your table. Introduce her to your friends. They salute you – their way of accepting defeat. Her friends also join your group. Everyone seems happy, smiles all around. You are the master of your domain. You are the focus of everyone’s attention. She notices it. She has a twinkle in her eyes. She looks at her friends. Nods, smiles, pinches, winks all indicate –

We love him!
He’s a catch.

She takes your hand in hers. You look at the hands and then you look into her eyes. Both of you smile. When no one is looking you steal a kiss. She is shocked, but feels an exhilaration she has never felt before. She clasps your hand tighter.

You look up. A new group of girls is entering the pub. They look familiar. You knew them once, used to hang out with them. It dawns on you. It’s her. The fat one enters first, followed by the talkative one being badgered by the smartass and then her.

Did someone turn the music off? There is silence everywhere. You look around. Everyone’s lips are moving. You can see a flurry of activity around you – the pitcher of beer falling on the neighbouring table, the waiters running towards it, the girl next to you talking to her friend, her hand still wrapped in yours. But you can’t hear a word. The silence around you is deafening. ‘What is wrong with me?’

You snap out of it. All your senses come back. You excuse yourself – make a joke about going to the little boys’ room. They all laugh. Why do they always laugh at that one? You wonder. You walk out. You see her and her friends being escorted to a table on the other side of the room. They haven’t noticed you.

She is smiling. But it looks forced. She hasn’t been out in a while. Her friends are trying to cheer her up. She is still not over you. She is still not over you? You walk out of the pub, head towards the men’s room and splash some water on your face.

You know what has to be done. You walk out, enter the elevator and push the button for the terrace. There are people all around you. They are dancing to some loud music. You walk over to the parapet wall and sit on it with your feet dangling outwards. You feel the wind in your face. You breathe in. You apologize – apologize for every heart you have ever broken. You close your eyes. You are calm. And then it happens.

Actually a number of things happen simultaneously – 37 to be precise. That particular spot on the parapet wall is actually a worm-hole, a gateway (more like a back door entry) to the rest of the universes. Oh yes! And there are 37 of them. You fall into all these 37 universes at the same time. But the outcome is different in all the cases. Here are some of them:

– You decide to jump. You are smashed to a pulp after falling twelve floors.

– You decide not to jump. As you are about to get off the wall some idiot bumps into you and you are smashed to a pulp after falling twelve floors.

– You walk back to the pub and apologize to the first girl. Then you go back to your table and live happily ever after with the second girl who loves holding your hand.

– You finally come out of the closet.

So what happens to you?

Note :
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Now I assume, Ms AM, you understood the reference(on instagram) why despite having a good start, things didn’t worked out as expected that day for us.

Time Capsule

Today while going through the discussion of how Buddha used to look between me and Siddhant, as we both had different opinions on it, I came to know about this interesting concept called Time Capsule and I decided to see what is my interpretation of it, so I decided to write a post about it.

Dear Abhi,

You know how I (you?) find it extremely difficult to take a first step in almost everything you decide to do. Whether it’s a post,a piece of software code, a short design doodle, a poem (remember you used to write those free-verse poems in under five minutes by ripping off popular songs for your crushes in college … I hope those instant urges of writing have become your famous and enduring creations), a text message or riding at high speed without thinking about gear change ; I always struggle with the first few steps. So much depends on the beginning; it defines everything which comes before and everything which will come after it. The first step is like a first kiss (and even though we know that things only start looking up after the third kiss – once you have figured your way around the shape, structure and style of the woman’s lips, tongue and the inner sanctum of her beautiful mouth – the first kiss usually seals the fate).

Damn! This is difficult.

Let’s be analytical about this thing and break it up into sections.

This is where your life stands on 10th March 2016.

My (Your) Belief System 

Just cause you’re hung like a moose doesn’t mean you gotta do porn.
— Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle

What’s Up with You?

1. You are working on another post with a hope that some day people will start taking your writing seriously (you have to take it seriously too buddy).
2. You are planning to move to UK / Mumbai (the only two place which you loved without any logical explanation).
3. You are single and ready to mingle but not actively mingling.
4. There are too many books lying around in your room and you are thinking about taking a long leave to finish them so that you can buy some more. Your reading list is still a long way from being finished.
5. You only hate one set of persons with all your being (will you ever forgive that evil frigid group of bitches ?)

Recent Happenings

1. You realised you are not always right about others (you can also get emotionally hurt in a bookshop – oh! And you have recently figured out that you can get emotionally hurt).
2. Your already weak faith in arranged marriages is completely shaken.
3. You are dealing too many cards at once.
4. Keshav got a new job. Siddhant is about to join his next company. Raju is about to get married. You brag about it to anyone who’d lend you their ears willingly (or unwillingly) and you are so proud of your boys that your heart might explode any minute now. Khiru is about to complete his long dream of joining PSU. Samar is working his arse off (ok he is just trying to complete the front end assignment, God, how much he hates that job).

Your Short/ Long Term Aims

Publish!
Game!
Advertising!

What Were You Thinking Before Writing This 

You were thinking about the word Anonymous. You were remembering how in kindergarten a teacher told you that Anon was a famous poet who wrote a lot of poems. Mom then told you the correct meaning of the word and you had blasted the living intellectual lights out of the teacher’s head. And you started doubting the teacher’s intelligence since then despite you come from a family of teachers (What a coincidence!) . Even today you are an egoistic bastard and you are proud of it (for your sake I hope you are; I warn you I’ll go medieval on your arse if you are not).

Then you were thinking that you had recently come across a blog (by accident) which seemed to belong to the Anshumani Ruddra who is influencing your life since past 1.8 years. You really seem to admire that guy and his mind.

There is also your last Tinder date(Who is way above your reach, “AS” ). You are not entirely certain that “AS” changed you or not but you came to see life through new perspective since. The Angel Theory. She also brings out the one quality in you that you hate as well as crave the most. Your anger (an outcome of your tickled ego – it cannot really be hurt, your ego that is) results in such an amazing outpour of words (which are very caustic in nature, mind you) that they destroy everything in their way. There is however the stamp of ingenuity on her, the mark of superiority, which you want all your words to carry. It’s a shame that anger is your greatest creative catalyst.

You were also thinking about the name Bhavna. You are really stuck on that name and praying almost everyday that you get a girl of that name only. You and your obsessions are still intolerable to you also.

You were also extremely hungry and were about to have a midnight maggi round.

I hope your life is chaotic and you don’t dream too often. That’ll happen only if you fall asleep when you are dead tired or when her (the tall, slim, hot intellectual’s) embrace is irresistible.

Cheers
Abhi.

Dodging a fatal bullet…

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The first girl I ever loved (more like one-sided devotion in the beginning, cherry popping for both in the middle, ‘We’d live happily ever after’ near the end and ‘goodbye and thanks for all the amazing mind-boggling sex’ eventually is probably getting ready to marry to whom she finds good enough. I will not get the news straight from the horse’s mouth (oh and what a heavenly horse she was), but from the horse’s chuddy-buddy (who is a horrid peice of work ). Melancholy is hiding somewhere in the deep recesses of my heart waiting to ambush the I-don’t-care-I’ll-get-someone-better-than-her bravado(I believe in it whole heartedly ) which lurks in my mind.

The affair started at a time when the first sign of manhood was sprouting all over my face and slowly morphing into a thick dark stubble. Oh! what a stubble! I never wanted to shave, just wanted to grow really old and have a long flowing white beard in which bread-crumbs would get stuck. I wanted to be like Gandalf the Grey – chasing dragons and working with dwarfs to find a hidden treasure.

This was a time when I had never heard of the word humility. I was arrogant as hell and drunk on my intellectual prowess. I was ambitious and aggressive and a complete orifice in the posterior.

She changed all that – changed me for the better. And I changed her. It was like ‘Taming of the Shrew’. Three years it lasted and then fizzled away. I finally understood what Eliot meant in The Hollow Men –

This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper

The news of her getting hitched is going to make me a long hard look at all my affairs (of the heart and of the skin). And boy there are a lot of them! I realised that she was the only one ever who truly anchored me to reality. With a fertile mind like mine I had always preferred the world of my imagination over reality. But she proved to me that there were things even Chubby (her nickname for my mind – the size of a football field) couldn’t imagine. And she was right, as usual. But she left. And Chubby came back to haunt me.

Since then I have been trying to find other anchors. Maybe I found better anchors, but let them slip away as they didn’t live up to my expectations, which thanks to Chubby are very high. I realised that I was suffering from the Archie complex. The Betty Coopers of the world have been around me, but I have been desperately trying to find my Veronica Lodge.

I realised what true love is all about. It’s about mutual co-dependence. When each other’s presence in our lives is as crucial as the air we breathe, then we are in love. As usual the truth dawns, but a little too late.

Ah! Enough mush for a day. Need to go indulge in some bacchanalian revelry as I dodged a bullet which could have killed me.
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Comic Books : A Personal recollection

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Suppose you are a shy kid and don’t like human interaction much and in your house lots of people come and go, then you just sit inside your room and wait for them to leave the house so that you don’t have to give replies to their god-forsaken questions.

But what you do locked up in a room? If you have a sibling you talk to him / her but there is a limit to what people can talk to each other. In this situation, imagine if your parents are intellectuals then your houses are filled up with lots of books, magazines and papers. When you are young, you don’t care much about the world and nation affairs, you care about the comic book snippets, crosswords and puzzles in their supplement. That’s how I entered the world of comic books. But with snippets in the papers and magazines, to know the complete story you have to wait 2-3 months as they only have 4-5 scenes per day. And if you are blessed with impatience, then your next logical step is Comic Books.

I never liked going my village (reason : water of that region doesn’t suit me and I use to get skin infections there) but going to villages is sort of annual pilgrimage in India (till now), so I didn’t had much choice. But traveling was a long affair as it used to take 3 days to go there and I always bought 7-8 comics during that entire trip. And those books were mainly Naagraaj, Super Commando Dhruv, Parmanu and Tiranga. Raj comics was the publisher. I used to think they were the coolest superheroes. But in one summer, we went to Patna to meet my relatives, my aunt’s son had came for holidays from his engineering college back then and he was teaching me how to play bike racing games on PC. That was my entry to the world of video games (but we are going to focus on comic books here, video games in later posts most probably ). One day he was watching a movie on HBO, the display screen was black, someone was jumping here and there in a cool car with cape, Jim Carrey was being Jim Carrey in a green tight fitting suit and Tommy Lee Jones was dating two beautiful ladies. Nicole Kidman became my first love of my life. I would still like to marry her if she wants to marry someone 20 years younger than her. So I went and sat with him and I saw Batman Forever. That incident introduced me to the wonderful world of DC comics. After that I asked my parents to subscribe to HBO and Star Movies at home. And began watching all the movies day in day out. I watched James Bond’s movies, Steel, Power Rangers, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Centurion, Spider-Man, Iron Man and the list goes on. So Marvel Comics also happened. And in the holidays, I began to found out sitting and reading comics.

I started to find out the basic idea differences between DC and Marvel. DC is more realistic and true to engage your dark thoughts about the realism and the world. Marvel is about the Happy-go-lucky guys who sometimes get into difficult situations. In the same time, while on a trip to Tirupati, I read Karna’s and Rabindranth Tagore’s biographical graphic novel by Amar Chitra Katha.

That was my introduction to the world of Graphic novels. Definitions abound (a quick search on the internet will show you that), and are often confusing and contradicting. The Americans started calling this medium Graphic Novels and the Japanese Gekiga to differentiate it from comics and manga. It covers fiction as well as non-fiction, but is clearly meant for a mature audience. It’s all encompassing when it comes to genres. And its impact on pop-culture cannot be ignored.

So day by day, my obsession to these characters and storyline grew by leaps and bounds. I used to go through all the wiki and whatever I could find to learn about them.

With age, my fascination with sequential art remained undeterred and I felt myself gravitating towards stories of a higher literary calibre, told with an economy of words and deftness of brush strokes. These were stories that painted a broad canvas of human emotions in a way that I found very different from the more conventional text-only prose.

I had come a long way since then. Read a lot of comics, graphic novels, Mangas. With these books, I think English has become my first and go-to language. Now even I dream in English also.

Now a days I am reading The Dark Knight III The Master Race . Frank Miller and his talented team is bringing out the real depth in the Batman story line.

Now I believe I had given you enough motivation to start reading Graphic Novels. Fans of Tarantino and Rodriguez would love to read Lone Wolf and Cub – a staggering epic created by writer Kazuo Koike and artist Goseki Kojima in the seventies. These 28 volumes of manga (a total of 8700+ pages) are set in Tokugawa era Japan and tell the tale of a master swordsman and his young son. This masterpiece has served as an inspiration for some of the most brilliant moments in world cinema over the last 30 years.

Based on Paul Auster’s story City of Glass (from his acclaimed The New York Trilogy), City of Glass: The Graphic Novel serves as a successful example of an adaptation carried out by independent artists of a previously published piece of prose. David Mazzucchelli and Paul Karasik’s artwork takes the story to a dimension the original author could have never imagined possible.

And then there is A Contract with God by Will Eisner, the book that cemented the term Graphic Novel into modern lexicon. It is a collection of short stories set in a Depression-era-affected Jewish community of the 1930s.

Other interesting titles for collectors – Blankets by Craig Thompson, Bone by Jeff Smith, The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller, Akira by Katsuhiro Otomo, Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi and Maus by Art Spiegelman.

But make sure you read Sandman by Neil Gaiman. I still hadn’t gone through it but it is on my list. After the college, it is becoming little tough as most graphic novels are printed and published abroad they can leave a sizeable hole in your pocket. And I have lots of bills to play.

So, go to a bookstore and give them a try. They aren’t bad and they are miles better than the cartoons of today like Chota Bheem. Rahul Gandhi likes Chota Bheem and you don’t want that your kid also ends up like Rahul Gandhi.
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Now the regular sections.
Music videos which is on my Playlist now a days.
Tu Mera Nahin

Ghost Town : Madonna feat Taylor Swift

In other news,
My faith in humanity is shaken. Aargh!

Hitched ? to be : not to be

I have had this conversation with my parents, grandparents and some friends on a number of occasions and I think it is about time that I put my thoughts down in proper words with regard to this topic:
what are the qualities I would like the woman of my dreams to have?
Before continuing please read the following note of caution/disclaimer or whatever you will like to call it:

* I might be the most undeserving man in the entire universe and there is a huge chance that I would probably never get the woman I desire (after all the mistakes I have made ,I might not get any one at all). But then again, I might be a very deserving man and should get an even better woman.
* For the love of God ,let it be clear that I don’t intend to demean women. I have nothing but the utmost respect for the other gender.
* I am a very level headed guy. But if any comment of mine goes against your system of thoughts and beliefs then please think of me as a goof ball and forget the whole thing but take sometime to reflect on that. I am a pacifist by choice ,an extremist by intellect and don’t usually say any extreme views. The only extreme view I have is that some are blessed with enormous stupidity.
* This article is written with extreme seriousness.
* If I am an egoist/egotist then this earth is flat. But I am an elitist(to some extent) and don’t tolerate idiocracy at any cost.

I promised my parents and grandparents that I will marry any girl who fulfils even half of the following criteria:

Physical Characteristics:

1) The girl has to be tall and by tall I mean she should have a height of at least 5 feet 6 inches (or 168 cm). I am 5 feet 10 inches tall. There is something about tall girls which totally turns me on. Any way after spending time with short girls I start getting these paternal elder brotherly feelings for them. That cannot be good.
2) The girl should either have large black eyes or colored eyes.
3) Dimples look great on a girl.
4) Curly Hair – any length as long as they are black and the girl isn’t bald.
5) She should be either very fair or should have a dusk complexion. No in-betweens.
6) Should have clean and beautiful feet (I have a thing for feet).

Other Characteristics:

1) The girl has to be a bibliophile or a film addict (I suffer from both these diseases; we will have tons to talk about).
2) Should have a distinct sense of style and grace about her. You may call it charisma.
3) Should not be to stressed out and overly ambitious about her career. I would like a woman whose first priority is family. Believe me when I say that all the decisions I take, is for my family’s better future.
4) Should be a dreamer and should believe in fantasy and romance (I am not much of a romantic so she has to make up for the two of us). It would be great if she is a pathological liar like I am (likes to make up stories) and is mischievous and likes to play pranks. (Very few people can appreciate quality number 4)
5) Should have a good heart-head sync while making decisions (I have a heart of stone and my analytical engineering mind is a useless bag of shit).
6) The girl should love walking because I go everywhere on my two legs(till now I have no affinity towards bikes and cars. Uber to the rescue.).
7) Should be adventurous and ready to try out new things (don’t stretch your imaginations too far).
8) Should like food (eating obviously, cooking would be an added bonus).
9) Should like shopping (which girl doesn’t)
10) Should be a good singer or an excellent dancer. I can’t do either of those.
11) Should be creative (arts/literature/catching butterflies/sneezing non stop/ serial killing/blah/blah/blah).

Now there are perhaps another thousand things which I’ll notice in a girl but the above are more or less the first set of qualities I look for. I might never find a girl with the exact 17 qualities. I might find a girl with the exact opposite qualities and still fall in love with her. Only time will tell. For now my mom and grandma are happy that the list has been formally compiled. She has already started looking. I have five more years to find myself a girl or I’ll have to marry the girl she finds for me (that wouldn’t be all that bad … it’s just that I don’t like arranged marriages).

So I take leave with these thoughts:

When two people are under the influence of the most violent, most insane, most delusive, and most transient of passions, they are required to swear that they will remain in that excited, abnormal, and exhausting condition continuously until death do them part.
George Bernard Shaw

Nearly all marriages, even happy ones, are mistakes: in the sense that almost certainly (in a more perfect world or even with a little more care in this imperfect one) both partners might have found more suitable mates. But the real soul-mate is the one you are married to.
J.R.R. Tolkien

Now the random music video on which I am indulging now a days. Two of them exactly.