manan dedhia

Rough around the edges. Noisy end points forwards.

July '24

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A good day

2 days ago

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Boston, my Boston

2 days ago

June '24

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India's founding moment

This book is frustratingly enlightening. Frustrating because it was written by an academic, possibly for other academics - the language he employs does not make it easy.However, and this is crucial, if you persevere through the academese, the incidents, concepts and people discussed here, give us a perspective that is fundamentally crucial to understanding Indian democracy as it was created. So, a...

12 days ago

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Desolation

16 days ago

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Coffee

Caffeine is good. Humanity owes much to it. Coffee, tea, yerba mate, coca cola - whatever your poison. With coffee, we are spoilt for choice - filter coffee, all the espressos and lattes, instant coffee - some of which can be very good. But as everything, coffee is about timing. When to consumes as much as what to consume.  Much as it happened in history.Speaking of history, listen to this - Conqu...

23 days ago

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Revenge of the kadipatta

One of the first things to hit the hot oil and impart its flavor.One of the first things to be noticed as “this isn’t the sabji”.And definitely the first thing taken out of a plate of poha.Kadipatta has had enough. Bring on the mixer grinder and let the bastard grind you down with chilies, coconut and kaali mirch.Ab nikaal kadipatta, bhosadikey. I, the mighty leaf of Indian cooking, have let loose...

a month ago

Pants Bloody Pants

Jeans need to be body hugging. Ergo pockets are small. Pockets are tiny ergo they can't fit anything. Ergo the phone is either in your hands or in the backpack. Ergo all Google maps routing and searching is done by a male if one is accompanying. Ergo his battery dies. Ergo he cannot see his useless stuff that calms him down. Ergo he is sad. Please don't make people sad. Baggy jeans achche hain.

a month ago

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There is no spoon

Talking in a quiet zone. No photography in the Castle. Welcome to the Commonwealth. 

a month ago

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Legs of London

a month ago

May '24

What’s it worth?

“Thank you, kaka!”.My niece sent me that voice message from halfway across the world. Duration: 1 second.  What’s it worth? A significant something. 

a month ago

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Aham Brahmasmi

Schopenhauer defined the Will as a “blind incessant impulse” that dictated the existence of both organic and inorganic matter. In human beings, the Will manifested itself in the form of a desire. Put simply, the Will is the ultimate, singular, and undefinable object of our most primordial instincts.This irony, said Schopenhauer, was the root cause of all suffering. In Buddhist fashion, he argued ...

2 months ago

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Of Mice and Men

2 months ago

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Slough

Boston Massachusetts in the US of A has a rich and storied history. Of glories and of fuck ups. MBTA, our home-grown transit system, is one of those massive fuck ups. So, to this Hall of Fuck-up Fame, i want to welcome the station of Slough which is far enough away from London that the good habits and standards from London haven’t affected it. Who needs good signage, update maps and helpful staff ...

2 months ago

Carnival

Go on the Ferris wheel. It will be fun. I was dreading it from the moment his mom had told them they were going to the travelling carnival that had pitched up on the open grounds close to the house. Maybe she wanted to get out of the house. Have something different to do. You boys go on the giant wheel and then we can get some makkey ki roti and sarson ka saag. My dread had started seeping in hour...

2 months ago

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Pale blue dot

Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every ki...

2 months ago

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Thrive to Survive

So, if F1 is quite boring as a live sport - why are people interested? Where can you go get your fix?One the former, I don’t have any answers - maybe it is the drama. Given the rise of reality TV and accessibility it brings might explain some of it. I haven’t a clue. But I would hazard that most of these fans will eventually leave - you cannot manufacture drama in something that is not based on ge...

2 months ago

April '24

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Drive to Revive

Formula 1 has reached a whole new audience because of the Netflix treatment in Drive to Survive. And I am happy about that - no question. These new fans are now discovering the best kept secret about F1. It is boring. It will put you to sleep. The races are processions - and you already know the winner. We saw it with Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton and now with Max Vers...

2 months ago

More is more.

There are many kinds of songs in this world. Songs that tell stories. Songs that showcase the talents of the songwriters. Songs that are inspiring. Songs that are leaps of the imagination. Songs that suit certain moods and mind states.And then there are songs that have all of these. Like this one - Five Hundred and One (youtube.com)

2 months ago

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No Futz Zone

Photography has been a hobby as long as I can remember. With time, cameras got better and so did some of the photos. My time would be spent wrangling with the camera settings to get it to obey me. Sometimes I almost got it right. Being of limited talent and all that. Taming the Manual mode felt like being creative. Setting up the buttons and dials to be just so. Ooh those custom settings and dials...

3 months ago

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Daffodils

As the only poem that I remember from school, the association is instantaneous and overwhelming. …… For oft, when on my couch I lieIn vacant or in pensive mood,They flash upon that inward eyeWhich is the bliss of solitude;And then my heart with pleasure fills,And dances with the daffodils.- From “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud” by William Wordsworth Pic location: New England Botanical Gardens, Boyls...

3 months ago

Songs for our times

Time is better than money. Spend it on some good music. Toodaloo. 5 secondsYou Suffer (youtube.com)45 secondsDon Davis - The Matrix Has You (youtube.com)Don Davis - The Matrix Has You (youtube.com)1 minuteSpider-Man 1967 Cartoon Theme Song (youtube.com)1 minute 15 secondsThe Voice of Saruman (youtube.com)1 minute 30 secondsApollonia (youtube.com)1 minute 45 secondsAmogh Symphony - May We Never Tam...

3 months ago

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The Legs of Back Bay

3 months ago

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Boston Marathon @ Patriots Day 2024

It’s the day to ship off to Boston - we welcome spring and athletes from all corners of the world.For the authentic experience, you have to take the T. We love something because it has faults. It is fallible. That makes it human. And so is the case with the T. It’s like a crazy spouse - one that might try to kill you. Might even succeed. But will always love you. No - these are not extras or amate...

3 months ago

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Epilogue: SUV-Glam

Glam metal confused and splintered the metal music industry. But it did not deter true creatives and real diehards.In the relative silence of the underground, the people who loved the music went to work. And from those wonderfully weird depths of darkness sprang forth a beautiful fountain of art. When glam was ready to roll over and die under a mound of cocaine and hubris, the curtains revealed a ...

3 months ago

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Never go full glam.

If you are younger or more musically discriminating or just uninterested in anything 80’s, you wouldn’t have heard of this term called glam metal. And instead of burying you with a trash heap of words to describe this car crash of a musico-sartorial movement, please stare at the below image - overexposure might burn your retinas and kill some grey cells. Potted history: somewhere in the early eigh...

3 months ago

Basic Rhythms

We all find life lessons and values in things that we are attached to and like. I found some of mine from musicians, who, on the whole can be a tricky bunch - some with very questionable motivations. But there is always gold to be found - happy listening. Mike Mangini talking about why being open minded is the most important thing for any artist - Mike Mangini (Dream Theater) - drumtalk [episode 2...

3 months ago

Gaining Blood

Did you travel outside of the USA and Canada in the last year?Yes. Where to?India. Oh, that’s bad news. You cannot donate blood for 3 years because you lived in a malaria endemic area. But I asked the hospital about that, and they said you just need a 3-month deferral if you were traveling through and not lived there. Right, so when did you come back? 6-Jan-24. Ok, so Feb, Mar, April. Yes, that is...

3 months ago

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De Daan Chhootey Grahan

8-Apr-2024 - New England will be in the path of a solar eclipse. Completely normal, if exciting and even awe inspiring, natural phenomenon. Top tip for folks who like free food - contact your acquaintances, colleagues and peers from India. A good chunk of those families will discard all cooked food after a solar eclipse. Education is not enlightenment. Image courtesy: Petapixel.com

3 months ago

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Cultural Sportivity

The Mercedes Benz 500E (W124 E60 AMG)

3 months ago

The Warli Revolt

The words deserve to be heard. The art needs to be seen.  A landmark song in Indian hip hop. RIP MC TodFod. The Warli Revolt ft Prakash Bhoir | Swadesi | Azadi Records (AZR012) (youtube.com)

3 months ago

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Prototype

Once you were sentient beingsOnce you dared to live with laughs and tearsNow you are only human machinesOur humanoid toys that mimic living…..….Idols, archetypes, icons and scarecrows…..-by Septicflesh. From their song Prototype on the album Titan.

3 months ago

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Take it easy

Not the Eagles. Screw them. For 90s kids, this song was a dance anthem - for all those who could not dance and were unburdened by good looks or being athletic. Urvashi Urvashi | Hum Se Hai Muqabala | Prabhu Deva | A.R.Rahman (youtube.com)But for me, the lyrics of the song were so often overlooked as translational nonsense. Of course, if you watch the video, with 2024 glasses on, there is much wron...

3 months ago

Ginger aale ghari

Dude this chai is awesome…. how do you decide how much ginger to use?It’s simple re …. tikhat hoi paryant ghalaycha aale. What?!You don’t seem very well - do you want some tea?haan chalel - aale ghalun kar na please. Tevdha kalta mala. Was that tea any good? the ginger came through?Nusta aale came through! Kiti vaparlas?Chaha tikhat hoi paryant ghatla aale. Wah - bara formula sapadlay. Kuthun mhan...

3 months ago

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The Decision

3 months ago

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View of Cambridge

3 months ago

March '24

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Explosia

3 months ago

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How are you? I am fine, thank you.

There is no aspect of music that i claim mastery over.  Not even close. A musical bumpkin then. My path to discovering Indian classical music is serpentine at best and made difficult by my own inability to do math or comprehend music theory. The music I fell in love with and still am smitten by is metal. The beauty of the sheer breadth and variety of genres that it can accommodate and encompass is...

3 months ago

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A plea

Here is an idea for smartphone makers to add value - like actual value. Don’t give us gimmicky camera modes that become outdated in 2 days. Or worry about how big a notch is on the screen. Screw AI enabled whatever. Give us a concert mode. Yes - a concert mode, which lets the owner of the phone not be an absolute dripping douchebag to fellow concert goers. Allow me to explain. Your screens are too...

4 months ago

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The Eye

4 months ago

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Cafe Fiesta

4 months ago

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Fierce

Model is Carolyn McCarthy. Instagram - @carolynmaccPhotographing dancers to me is not just capturing their craft in action. The focus at the beginning of a sequence. The grace and strength while executing the series of steps. The glistening relief at a move well executed. If i can capture these, with any level of excellence, I am happy. I have learnt something and applied it. 

4 months ago

Starbucks talk

Tall Hot Chai Latte. This sounds so abhorrent to an Indian that it becomes ludicrous. In India, chai is a hot beverage and consists of steeped tea leaves, sugar, milk and possibly some spices. So that covers the hot chai latte part. The tall is ok I guess. If chai is to ever meet the caffeine requirements of coffee drinkers, tall might be the only option. 

4 months ago

Meeting vocabulary

Separating fact and fact-based conclusion is very different from gut-based pronouncements. Yes, easier said than done. But there are some markers that you can depend on. The caveat is, be mindful of folks for who English is not their first language. These are just my observations - may not apply to all. I feel - this should be challenged for data. Honestly…. - this undermines the sincerity of the ...

4 months ago

Patronus

I owe a debt to fiction and indeed to all good art. I haven’t read a single Harry Potter book but have watched all the movies. And I do love them deeply. The thread that wove itself deep within my psyche concerns itself with Dementors and the Patronus charm. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - Lupin Teaches Expecto Patronum (youtube.com)We are all keepers of our own darkness, even at the be...

4 months ago

A Religious experience

Mental turmoilSelf-doubtAn enlightening book. Manifestation of disorder and chaos. Strong rhythmic incitement. Psychoactive substances. Some combination of all these equals a need to move vigorously and a narrowed focus. A mental haze obscuring everything. What rises is an unshackled expression of ritual - a self-absorbed form of worship of the inexplicable ego. It isn’t a visitation you bow down ...

4 months ago

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Comfit Garlic

4 months ago

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Big City Lights

4 months ago

February '24

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Strangers

4 months ago

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Learning

I was asked the below question in a survey run by the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, to which I make at least 1 visit a year. It took me a long time to come up with an answer and another tunnel down the memories. I have a fuckin brick thick binder of experiences that drove me away from learning - but it’s maybe more telling that I have chosen to keep the negative experiences logged and pushed the ...

5 months ago

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Moaning Lisa

Credits due to: Angry Metal Guy - https://www.angrymetalguy.com/angry-metal-guys-top-10ish-of-2022/

5 months ago

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Raj against the Machine

The great thing about the world of metal music today is that there truly are no boundaries. Babymetal is one example. Sleep Token is another. Bloodywood is yet another one. I implore you to check them out. https://youtu.be/HIvzfULOJ70?si=gaSq-EMNBl0vUvLr

5 months ago

Homeopathy

Akhand Bullshitay Namah. Homeopathy, quackery and fraud | James Randi | TED (youtube.com)

5 months ago

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How to find new artists

A friend posed a question yesterday - how do you discover new venues or new artists?There is a starting point - let’s say, in this case the beautiful Sanders Theater in Cambridge MA (image below). Going backwards from that -Sanders Theater —> Zakir Hussain —> Taj Mahal Tea ad —> Doordarshan. Short tree. But it got longer and more fun when it came to some other artists. Red Baraat —> Somerville The...

5 months ago

Books

Non-FictionThinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman.The Selfish Gene by Richard DawkinsWhy we Sleep by Matthew Walker. Sapiens by Yuval Noah HarariThe Last Mughal by William DalrympleEarly Indians by Tony JosephMaximum City by Suketu MehtaFictionThe god of small things by Arundhati RoyA Personal Matter by Kenzaburo Oe1984 and Animal Farm by George OrwellThe Plague by Albert CampusThe Vegetarian b...

5 months ago

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Marked for Death

I don't like bourbon. The one time I was offered it and consumed it, was immediately followed by involuntary discharge of my stomach contents.But I've heard people talk about it. And I think the best bourbon would taste the way Emma Ruth Rundle sounds. Smoky, heavy, smooth. Embers of smoldering relationships, releasing their smoke. The effort of coping with life trying to wrench itself. The warmth...

5 months ago

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Motherjane

A rather excellent piece of art. 

5 months ago

Ijjat

Whoever in discussion adduces authority uses not intellect but memory. -Leonardo Da Vinci

5 months ago

Technology

It's complicated. I liken it to making bread. It's a useful metaphor for me. The basics are simple - flour, water, salt. Air. Time. Fire. Our curiosity uses each one of these as a fulcrum to explore this food.Steam engines. Electricity. Printing press. We mix the dough and let the gluten bind. Get stronger. Fold it over and over. Newspapers. Automobiles. Airplanes. You stretch the gluten and check...

5 months ago

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Reflection

Airports should reflect the city they are in. Mumbai and Bengaluru are perfect examples. KIA in Bengaluru is smart, helpful, organized and only slightly expensive. With excellent filter coffee. And the wifi works.CSIA in Mumbai is chaotic, labyrinthine and ruinously expensive. With terrible chai and coffee. And the wifi sucks. May the flights always be on time.

5 months ago

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Farewell

5 months ago

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Remembrance.

Uday Singh.Udham Singh. Frank Brazil. Bawaa.Saadh.Ram Mohammed Singh Azad. Shaheed-e-Azam. 

5 months ago

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Pornography

5 months ago

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Grand Trunk Air Raid

5 months ago

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Retro-grade

Film photography has been making a comeback. Like a lot of retro stuff, like vinyl records, film photography seems to be seeing a resurgence. Well, to each their own. Except, fuck right off. Film rolls were a pain in the backside - buy them, get them processed and developed, have a dark room, breathe harmful chemicals, perform satanic rituals etc. etc. etc. You are limited to 32 per roll or some s...

5 months ago

January '24

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Burn the Priest

Five seconds. That is all Napalm Death needed.To convey what their music is all aboutThey napalm’d the rule book.This is why metal is the greatest genre in music. So look at your rule books and ask yourself - You suffer, but why?https://youtu.be/_-ywSPWu3K8?si=81zVEgpZjX6dUWwB

5 months ago

Eye on the prize.

What happens when people focus on one and only one goal - unto the exclusion of all else that life has to offer?Unto the exclusion any potential pleasures that could conceivably be attained?You can raise two children with no resources, no help and very little love. That, is focus. That, is commitment. That, is the selfish gene.

5 months ago

Candlemass

She always slept the same - face with a smile just about to break the darkness with rays. And arms outstretched to hug whoever wanted to break her slumber. Wherever her head lay, she made feel like a paradise. She sleeps peacefully now, just the same. Whatever dark abyss she wanted to escape with the needle, she did. She succeeded in her momentary escape. Maybe she will hug whatever the abyss has ...

5 months ago

Bon Appetit

Presenting the bill to patrons who are still enjoying their meal and chatting, is asking them to vacate without saying so. That puts a stop to enjoyment. That is the exact opposite of hospitality. Said establishment might be in the wrong business. 

5 months ago

Flow State

Right at the eye of the chaos, there is a moment of clarity. Where you are rooted, connected to the maelstrom around you. Causality of every little cog is apparent. Heightened even. And when the moment, as protracted as it may seem, passes, you are exhausted, gasping for breath. Maybe this is why we choose to be addicted. Run Forrest, Run. 

6 months ago

Essence

Appropriation fuels culture. Authentic is only in documentation. Moving sands cannot be bottled. 

6 months ago

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Moon rock

6 months ago

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Colors

6 months ago

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Cafe Dreamlight

6 months ago

Untitled

Because I Could Not Stop For DeathBy Emily DickinsonBecause I could not stop for Death –He kindly stopped for me –The Carriage held but just Ourselves –And Immortality.We slowly drove – He knew no hasteAnd I had put awayMy labor and my leisure too,For His Civility –We passed the School, where Children stroveAt Recess – in the Ring –We passed the Fields of Gazing Grain –We passed the Setting Sun –O...

6 months ago

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Boston, My Boston

6 months ago

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A Bronx Tale

Criminally underrated movie. A beautiful story simply and powerfully told. 

6 months ago

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Wisdom

Excerpt from “The varieties of scientific experience” by Carl Sagan. 

6 months ago

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Droplets

6 months ago

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John F Kennedy Presidential Library

6 months ago

Hippopotamus Ice Cream

Kids say the darndest things. 

6 months ago

Knowledge and Enlightenment

In this day and week, when podcasts are numerous as the grains of sand on a beach, this still is the best out there. Dan Carlin has been showing how to do it masterfully, for a long time. Step over the bottom barrel useless conversations that do not serve to do anything other than to while away your time in meaningless pursuits.https://youtu.be/R1_IGVzaPUo?si=4H4NWvZ3IsfdOEVf

6 months ago

Missing

Report of a missing smile. Last seen, around 1993 in the neighborhood of its birth. Owner is a young boy, approximately 10 years old, from a small town. People familiar with the missing smile report it to have been rare, difficult to coax, chaotic to handle.Its attempts at communicating with others is reported to be taciturn and could be misinterpreted.  Please beware, the missing smile has a phob...

6 months ago

Stimulants

We know information overload is real. Is that why we seek places like Times Square?Come, bombard your brain into inactive oblivion. For free!!

6 months ago

Creativity

The thing about exhaustion is the altered states of consciousness can be achieved with no effort. Just put the evolutionary miracle called the human body through sleep deprivation. That should do it. Unicorns and babycorns in coitus riding a twerking rainbow. 

6 months ago

Future

The kids are alright. We will be ok. They won't let us off the hook. 

6 months ago

Rush

The stretch of road looked perfect. No speed humps. Thin traffic. Cool January air. No helmet.Past University junction, the throttle opened as if by telepathy. The Royal Enfield Thunderbird outran its own bark and sped across the dimly lit blurry continuum.The bike was eager, its enthusiasm intoxicating. Why wouldn’t I speed? Why wouldn’t I shirk and run from my problems?I could leave today and no...

6 months ago

Liberalization

If the 1991 Economic Reforms in India are of any interest to you, this is the website to check out. https://the1991project.com/

6 months ago

Turbulence

Swimming smoothly through the sun rays, the bird flew effortlessly. Amun decided to shake this toy, as if a rag doll. Be-jewelled knuckles turned white to brace. Jawbones strained against skin in a grimace. And just before countenances gave way to panic, the highway was smooth. 

6 months ago

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Symmetry

6 months ago

December '23

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Home

Every noon the sun comes in unobstructed through this window. Harsh. The trees spectate. Bemused. Through this window, I have seen every season.And each one was filled with generosity. 

7 months ago

Sisyphus

When the laptops always charged at a 100%, and no troubles are a coming, there is ennui.This stale existence masquerades as la dolce vita.Discharge your batteries when you can. The recharge gives its existence meaning. 

7 months ago

Shades

She was from Mumbai. Thats what Mumbai people do; they wear shades. Probably because it’s so sunny and hot. She would always smile with her kind eyes, as she handed us kids some candy. She wants us to be friends with her. Yes. Let’s be friends. We got sweets for her the next time we went. We would ask to wear her shades and be friends and hang out. She had gone back to Mumbai. 

7 months ago

Love?

We all looked on as she screamed bloody murder. 3 adults looking on as a 9-month toddler got her ears pierced. The old-fashioned way - gold wire, no anesthesia, no mercy. We looked on as she screamed through the ordeal. Our love was either driving the wire or was transfixed. Deaf to the unnecessary suffering. She cried herself to sleep that noon.What else would we have stood by, in the name of lov...

7 months ago

A History

The newness of everything had faded. Even momentary renewal would have helped. So I left. Went as far as I dared. When the scenery was just about unidentifiable, I stopped. Near a cinema. Went in and bought a ticket. Didn't know what was playing or when. Screen flickers on a mostly empty house. And moments later I have company. Another educational vagabond. Law student. We exchange pleasantries. W...

7 months ago

Sensibility

Vengeance has its place. Violence has its place. We’ve just created a kinder gentler machine gun hand. A biological pancake with a smothering fables and syrup.Bon Appetite. 

7 months ago

Frenzy

One simple mistake leads to a severe penalty. Or so I think. In the moments that follow, my inner star is starved of all its fuel and implodes into a black hole. Sucking up all the joy around me. There is no mirth, no hope. I straddle a weird line - something between going through the motions and thinking of next steps. Plan B, C and so on. And then Plan C is live. Then Plan B. So, everything is b...

7 months ago

Your writing hub.