Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Strength of a Woman

The stubborn doors bereft of emotions closed on a stifled Satyagrahi. An Indian constable, an insidious sycophant who was even more obstinate than the door in front of him, slammed the door of the lockup shut. A normal captivated person would have revolted and resisted in tumultuous fashion; a regular person would have resorted to violent acts of vandalism and destruction. However a Satyagrahi would do neither. Instead a Satyagrahi would abide by the rules of the Jail, even after knowing that the architects of the rules happen to be British. A Satyagrahi would take relentless torture with an enduring smile, which would be more ominous than a cry for the oppressor. As the tyranny increased, the resistance grew ever so gradually, in the intricate path of non violence. Trapped behind the bars of Tirupur Jail was a woman of immense strength named S N Sundarambal.

Born in a Brahmin Family, Sundarambal’s life was almost scripted before she was born. Had it not been for her audacity and valor, Sundarambal would have been a suppressed wife of a man, who was a bigger tyrant than the British lords. Sundarambal was fighting two wars; one against the British who didn’t comprehend freedom, and the other against an Indian Ghetto which refused to comprehend freedom. She was married at the age of 14, which had stirred some controversy in the ludicrous society. Some people had marked the marriage as late, and had also bludgeoned Sundarambal’s Character.

However, Sundarambal hardly twitched. She had a dream; a dream of seeing an independent Nation, a dream of seeing women walking abreast with men in all fields of work, a dream where child marriage and widow abuse would be eradicated without a smoking trace. Her two sisters had inspired her more so; especially after the rough times they faced, with her elder sister Kamalam having produced eight children in the span of twelve years and then going on to lose her husband. To add salt to her wound, her younger sister’s tragedy surpassed horizons; she lost her husband even before she was ready for him. Sundarambal couldn’t forget the naïve face of her sister on the day her husband’s last rites were performed. Her hair shaved off, her ornaments stripped, and with that her self respect; she had an explicable anger which was masked by sorrow. However Sundarambal fought on, she wasn’t afraid of the British. Nor was she afraid of her husband. He plunged into Individual Satyagraha, disobeying orders of the British, revolutionizing the thoughts of her fellow Countrymen. She wrote brilliant poems which penetrated into patriot’s hearts, energizing them for greater acts of non violent resistance. She wasn’t going to fear going to jail, and she knew once she was out of jail; she would rejuvenate more women to join her in the quest for freedom.

Sundarambal threw up inside the lockup. Few constables who still had some Indian blood in them gave a hint of concern. However the ‘White’ blood cells sabotaged them from extending a helping hand. Sundarambal was struggling; the claustrophobic state of the place was making her sick. She didn’t know how long it would last, but she had to brace herself for a long struggle. The Police were never too tender towards women. They would hardly bat an eyelid before beating Satyagrahi women to death. Women were often humiliated, beaten and even jailed with infants. Officers would pass bawdy remarks, ridicule them and in some cases, even molest them. Sundarambal was prepared for the worst, as she knew that the day would come where she could be harassed, and her knowledge of martial arts wouldn’t be futile no more.

Sundarambal’s torso seemed paralyzed. Her legs cramped, due to the lack of fluids was killing her from inside. Her fellow fighters broke down as always, but Sundarambal was vehemently confident. She had a daunting smile which would send shiver down the spines of even stringent Jailers in Britain. However physically, she was as weak as a languid leaf in a fiery storm, and it wouldn’t be long before she would go into an unconscious state. She hung on; with her grit which acted as limbs to her feeble body.

At the break of dawn, the loathly locks broke open and the doors opened for the women revolutionaries of our great nation; as they walked out with their heads held high, like a Samurai sans a sword. Sundarambal tried to trot along, however her body didn’t allow her to do so. English officers had the least of compassion, they laughed in a cocky fashion which gave me a sudden gush of anger. I saw Sundarambal approach me, her abdomen swollen, and her hopes too. She had succeeded in her mission. She strode with immense determination making sure that she wouldn’t faint in front of the devils. In all fairness, she needed some water. I couldn’t control myself; I picked up a glass which was unfortunately engulfed in dirt, filled it with water and rushed to her and gave it to her in utmost respect. She reciprocated with equal respect, being true to the integrity of an Indian woman. I gathered some courage and said “take care of the infant in your womb”.

She smiled. She nodded with an astounding assurance which made me proud to be standing next to her. We might not get independence soon. In all probabilities, it might take even fifty years; but Sundarambal showed a glimpse of valor and grit which could inspire even the most docile and give them a scent of freedom.
She would live to fight many more days, and in a few months; she wouldn’t be alone. She would have a companion who slept ever so passively and in a calm manner inside her womb; feeling the pain of its mother through the umbilical cord. I, an insidious sycophant of the British, could do only one thing. I made sure I kept the dirty glass for the rest of my life.

- Inspired by true characters & incidents from an Article published in the Hindu

Friday, November 5, 2010

The Dalton

There are times when you feel lost,
Like a Jew corpse in holocaust.
You would want your eyes to be drained in the crimson,
Or drenched in a blue lit fountain,
Oh the bloods in your veins run red,
But it looks black to this head,

People say it’s wicked to have shades of grey,
My God I can’t tell the difference any way.
The glorious colour of gold,
Anyone could tell blind fold.
But the fact shall never be told,
By this man who sees the world in bold.

The blue of the sky,
The collages in a butterfly,
The lips of a girl,
The brown of a chocolate swirl,
The orange which oozes luminance,
The lamp which drips fluorescence.
Nothing would be seen,

Oh life is so mean,
Will I ever see green?
Will I ever see red?
Before I hit the deathbed,
The truth is that I would never have anything to find,
Gosh! I am totally colour blind.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Football War - A Teaser

Tegucigalpa 1969

The earth around Central America shook with rigor. In a usual scenario, it would be an earth quake causing it; however the summer of 69 had something more intense and resonating. The 1970 world cup qualifiers had reached the final summit. Honduras had to play El Salvador in a 3 match show down to decide who would get a ticket to Mexico. But the game was hardly a game.
Countries have been torn apart, bodies have been scattered, but sport has been a nurse. It has been a soothing balm to heal the wounds caused due to war between two nations, but the world would witness unprecedented scenes. Sport wasn’t the balm, it wasn’t the salt added to the wound. It would be the wound.

The football war is a story about 2 nations whose relations were terribly strained, El Salvador and Honduras and the events surrounding the grudge matches between them which eventually led to War between the 2 countries.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Baby's Day Out

Welcome to “Pyorrhea tooth powder, Itch guard, Vaseline” Baby’s day out season no XXII.
We will meet you after a short break. Don’t go away. There is plenty of action on the other side of the break.
On the other side:
Last week, we saw baby Aakash being eliminated in a grueling round which decided the last four.
Let us have a look at the recap of last week’s recap.

Last week:
“Come on Abhinav! You can do it! “ The anchor was ecstatic. No one had ever done this task before.
Everyone waited with bated breath. The entire nation was rooting for Abhinav. Indian television was on the verge of witnessing history being made.” One step for Abhinav is a giant step for the television industry”, quipped some idiot sitting amongst bunch of jobless morons on the isles.
“He did it! He finished the task in record timing! “, Abhinav had stood on his legs at a record time of 30 seconds. The crowd would have been awestruck, but it would have been a tad more of there was anyone else other than Abhinav. Abhinav had been the toast of the nation right from the beginning season XXII of “Pyorrhea tooth powder, Itch guard, Vaseline” Baby’s day out started. He had won the round of drinking a milk bottle with a straw faster than anyone else, pooped in a record amount of diapers and also had a bowl full of cereals filled with spices that even adults would not have. He was the toadie (toddler roadie) that everyone looked up to.
“Great work Abhinav! Now let us see what our esteemed judges have to tell about your success”
The panel was indeed much esteemed. There was “Nanny Kamala” who had 20 years of experience in the field of baby sitting, she had taken care of the celeb babies of 1970’s; also there was “Mother India”, as she was fondly called by the nation. Not because she was Nargis, but she had given birth to a battalion of children who went on to become Toadies season after season.
“So what would you like to say Nanny Kamala Ji about this performance?”
“Well, to describe it in Hindi, actually it was a superb performance, actually basically clearly … “
“Thank you nanny! That was indeed an inspiring message to all pooping toddlers!
“Let us have a chat with Abhinav’s Mom and let her share her views on her son’s performance”
“Well! I always knew he would have a great future. From his childhood, he was very talented and I am sure he would bring more success and glory to our family! Said a proud Abhinav’s Mom.
Abhinav starts crying and this point of time, not for the TRP ratings but due to natural circumstances.
“Now let us have a look at who will get eliminated from this round. On the commode seat this time, we find Aakash and Aditi. One of them would be eliminated from this competition. Let us have a look at the votes!
After receiving no votes, the management came up with a decision.
“Aakash! I am sorry to tell you, that you have been eliminated. I am extremely sorry! Better luck next time!” said an understandably dejected anchor.

End of Recap!
“So hope everyone enjoyed this episode of “Pyorrhea tooth powder, Itch guard, Vaseline” Baby’s day out season no XXII.
Till “Titan” sponsored next time, “fake my trip” sponsored goodbye and have a great evening sponsored by Bun cinemas.
We will leave you with images of the life and times of Aakash in his successful life so far.

Credits roll, along with some eyeballs.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010



The heat is unbearable. The fact that I am inside an ABS (advanced bomb suit) is not helping me too much. People call it the demon suit. It is only now that I can understand the reason behind the nomenclature. The bastards have done it again. In the middle of the hustling streets of Iraq, they have planted one more IED shit. I need to get down to business. It is time to walk into the danger zone.

50 metres into the journey, I feel like I have walked a marathon. Being in a bomb suit does make u weak; imagine walking with a 20 kilo gizmo which blinds you from all the god damn things that are happening on both the sides of you. I wouldn’t be aware even if an asshole points a gun at me from few metres to the right of me. Situational awareness and agility are some stuff which you can only dream of when you are in that fat suit. Anyway, I got cover from Mac, so let me get up there and diffuse that shit.


“Yes bhai! The EOD unit is here. The fuckers think they can diffuse this. Ha- ha, “Hussein laughed. He was on the phone with the mystery man.
“Get up there and give me live inputs on this, “said the mystery man.
“Can’t do that bhai! There are snipers watching us. If they see me on the phone at the balcony, I am as dead as a goat in butchery.
“Yeah alright. At least keep looking, and if you sense something, just let me know. “He keeps the receiver down and tells “Ya baby! I will be there in a minute.”
He picks up the phone and says “Ok now listen, keep me updated. Bye,” the mystery man hung up.


I am in the kill zone. The shrapnel that is generated from the bomb can cut my veins off. I need to be careful. These fanatic bastards would have placed booby traps. One wrong step! And you would be history. Getting killed in a bomb blast might sound easy. After all, dying in a matter of few seconds ain’t that tough. However, most of the civilians don’t know jack about bomb deaths. Shrapnel can cause severe fragmentation, the impact of the bomb can cause damage to internal organs and the heat, well the heat generated from the bomb can roast you in a matter of minutes. The point is, you go through all this pain in your conscience. I don’t wanna experience that shit. I ain’t gonna die a dog’s death thousands of miles away from home. I wanna go back to Texas and play ball with my son. So for now, let me go kick some IED butt.


“Hasina darling! Go and ask dad to come over here and help me. There is hell a lotta work up here. And your dad is always busy with outside work,“ Hasina’s mom was shrieking. She was irritable for most parts of the day.
Hasina was raised in an affluent Iraqi family. She had been gifted with all the luxuries in her life. However, happiness and peace was something she never was gifted. In fact, entire Iraq had a never ending nightmare which started in the year 2003. Every other day, there were bomb explosions, Sexual assault by American soldiers, extortion and robbery. Hasina was a victim of the atrocities of the American soldiers too. She had been assaulted by American soldiers, and was nearly raped. Thanks to Syed who came at the right time, she was saved.
The soldiers were murdered brutally in the following days. Syed had denied hand in it. But that was so obvious. Even Bush would have known the perpetrator.
Hasina wanted one chance for redemption. She wanted the chance at any cost.
“Dad! Come over. Mom is calling you, “said Hasina.
“Ya baby! I will be there in a minute.”


“Alright! So this is what you guys have got huh? Doesn’t look huge. I think the ABS can save me from making a one way trip to heaven. There is a reason I say “heaven”. I have diffused 500 IED’s spanning 6 countries and saved innumerable lives. That is why I would be going to heaven.
However, the guy who made this shit is sure going to hell. The explosive device is pretty complex for a home made bomb; I just need to find the initiation system." Thank god that the wires are not wound together in a daisy chain. It would have taken me hours to disconnect it and we would be goners by then, “


“So my wife, what we have got today for lunch. “Said Syed.
“Give me a hand for help. I need you to wash these vegetables, and also the clothes that are piled up in our bedroom, “exclaimed Syed’s wife.
“Sure! Let me wash the vegetables first. Then, we would wash the clothes away, “


“Alright! I got this. The initiation system has to be remote controlled. Hey Mac! Make sure no one is watching. This is gotta be a remote controlled IED.
“Alright buddy! Cut the initiation system man, “
“I am searching buddy. Just give me two minutes. I am cracking this shit, “

“Hello Bhai! I just saw what the fucker is up to. We need to act fast.” Said Hussein.
“Is he nibbling at the initiation system?” asked the mystery man.
“Yes bhai! He is almost there. “
“Shit! Hang up. This will be over in few minutes, “the mystery man hung up.

“Shit. I found the initiation system. I guess this has to be initiated by a......

“Hasina! Can you switch on the washing machine honey? “
“Sure Dad! Any time “


Inspired from the “Hurt Locker”

--------------------------------------------THE END-------------------------------------------

Saturday, May 22, 2010

RMS Taconic

The year is 2010. A US ship named RMS Taconic departs from the Swedish port of Donso to its final destination of United States of America. 19 year old Rose boards the ship with her Mom “Ruth” and her fiancé Carl. Following the debacle of the recession and the ruination of the “Lehman Brothers”, Rose’s family has no other option but to give the hand of Rose to the American billionaire Carl for pulling themselves out of the quicksand. Rose’s family go through a terrible economic turmoil, making her mom obsessed about the marriage of Rose with Carl. Carl restricts Rose at every point of time; he restricts her from talking to other men in the ship, wearing skimpy clothes which Rose loves. The economic and emotional agony tempts Rose to commit suicide. She attempts to jump off the ship, when Jack intervenes. Jack, a software architect sways Rose to reconsider her “stupid decision” and is successful in it. However when Jack helps her getting back, Carl sees them and mistakes Rose to be in an intimate state with Jack.

Carl accuses Jack of Rape; however Rose comes to the rescue of Jack claiming that Jack saved her life. Carl’s Business Partners and good friends Dave and Brian are suspicious of Jack, and Carl asks them to keep an eye on Jack. Rose develops a good friendship with Jack, she escape from a formal dinner involving the business tycoons of USA, and joins Jack in a software company bash. Rose has a great time boozing, and for the first time in her life, she is independent. She also gets to wear the dresses she always loved. Eventually, her affinity for Jack increases with time. Rose’s mom Ruth learns about Rose’s deepening friendship with jack, and threatens Jack to sack him by making use of Carl’s immaculate influence. Ruth yells at Rose, ordering her not to meet Jack again. But Rose disobeys them and secretly meets Jack. She tells Jack that she has never been happier, and they kiss at the bow of the ship. Rose and Jack move to the ship’s cargo hold. They enter a BMW and make love in the backseat, unaware of the ghastly consequences and the events to occur.

Miles away, the Iceland volcano erupts spewing tons of volcanic ash, engulfing almost entire Europe with the Ash cloud. A flight gets caught in the dense cloud making it blindfold. The flight sucks in the ash leading to disaster. The pilots lose control resulting in the flight plummeting into the ocean. To the shock of the passengers in Taconic, the flight’s wings collide into the body of the ship causing collateral damage to the structure of the ship.

Meanwhile back in the Taconic, Brian snaps Jack, handcuffs him and locks him into the room packed with sophisticated alarms and sensor systems. On the other side, Rose receives a shock from Carl. Carl blackmails Rose that in the case of Rose leaving him, he would release the video of Rose and Jack’s lovemaking which he had captured by making his business partners plant a hidden camera into the BMW. Stunned, Rose has no other option but to seek Jack’s help. She escapes from the eyes of her mom and Carl, and finds jack in the room which is impossible to crack.

However, Jack’s software pedigree comes handy. He instructs Rose to crack the code of the systems and free him. With no time and increasing panic, rose bungles with the job on hand. But fortune favors the couple. With the water seeping into the room, the sensors fail and Jack reunites with rose.

Meanwhile the Taconic is sinking. SOS is sent to the US government, however with the volcanic ash eclipsing any chances of a rescue mission from the USA army. Wireless communication comes to a standstill as volcanic ash disrupts radio communication. Back in the Taconic, Rose and jack are on the mission of escaping the disaster.

They also know that the video has to be retrieved, which is in the hands of Carl, safe in his Flash drive. Carl finds ways to escape in the lifeboat. He finds Rose and forces her to board the boat, however Rose refuses. Carl then claims to help Jack in escaping as well, a half convinced Rose boards the boat. However she jumps off the boat and runs back to Jack. A fuming Carl chases jack & Rose and attempts to shoot them. But he runs short of ammunition and he flees to the rescue boat. He finds the flash drive in his overcoat, and is hell bent on revenge. He takes an oath to release the video into the media and spoilt Rose’s life.

With the ship now vertical, and people dying gruesome deaths, Rose & Jack stay put on the stern of the ship. After a long struggle, the ship finally plummets into the ocean, flushing Jack and Rose into the chilly water.

Rose climbs onto a door, keeping her warm enough to survive. Jack persuades rose to be strong and nothing would happen to him. However, Jack suffers from hypothermia and nearly dies as the rescue workers arrive at the right time. The lifeguards grab jack from the jaws of death, by utilizing a heart lung machine. Rose and Jack are brought back to shore. However, they still are unaware if the whereabouts of Carl who has the flash drive.

They learn later that a lifeboat had sunk following a collision with an iceberg, and Carl was present in the boat. The story ends with Rose finding a note left by Jack for her. He tells her that it was a great experience with her, however a relationship built on two days would not sustain for long, and hence he is going far away. Rose holds the note close to her heart and cries as the screens come down.



The titanic sunk on April 15 1912. The Iceland volcano erupted on April 15 2010.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

The Letter

Respected PM Saab,

Hope you are fine. You are the one who has to act. You are the one who can save our kin. I have heard a lot about you; people say you have done some big studies in the field of numbers and money. People say you are very wise. I have full faith in you, hence I am writing this letter to you. I am sure you would pass on your condolences to my family after reading this letter, but that is not what we want. I have not done any studies Saab; I don’t know how to count. But I have started learning what numbers are. You know Saab, there have been more than 250 suicides in our state of Maharashtra in the last four months, and 2 die every day. I have learnt counting Saab, I should be happy for it, but it hurts me when I see my fellow farmers dying.

I heard some 150 people died in Mumbai last year because of some people who wage war in the name of freedom, I am sorry for those people who lost their dear ones. I also heard the man who caused all the trouble is enjoying in jail. I beg you Saab, please hang him! I heard lot of money is spent on him. Why Saab? Please give us some money instead of spending on animals. Or at least ask the banks to give us some respite. There has been no crop production for 2 years Saab, but these bank “Babus” come knocking at our doors for loans. There is no difference whether we have irrigated lands or not.There is no proper system for dealing with famine. How can I give 1.5 Lakh? Saab, I didn’t have money for buying this non-judicial stamp paper which your government sells for 100 rupees. Even after I die, my family has nothing left for my funeral. I am at least proud that vultures would get a great meal in my district, because we are not getting even one per day.

I have not had a proper meal for months now Saab, my kids cry of hunger. I heard some people play some game in big grounds, and are earning lots of money and are having great food and fun. Please help my children to have at least one meal a day.
Saab, please look into our matter as well. I am too small to be giving you advice, but the tears of the farmers are too precious. More than 200 have gone Saab, and today I would be joining them. Please ask the police not to disturb my family when I am gone. They are not responsible for this. All the big educated people in your side would talk a lot about this; you will also appoint some people for finding out the reason of the suicides. But I am making it easy for you Saab; I have given the reasons on behalf of my fellow farmers. I hope I am the last to be doing this.

I am happy in one way Saab; I am having something for lunch today after a long while. The only thing is they are sleeping pills.
Please take care of your health by eating good food,and also take care of the men who provide that good food.


This piece is inspired from an article in Hindu written by Sainath. The statistics in the article were more disturbing than anything. Let us appreciate each meal that we get from today, because somewhere a child is crying for a single morsel.

Saab - Sir
Babu - Way of Addressing educated people in some parts of India.
Kisan - Farmer