Monday, 26 August 2013

Three Bats

without a notice
time runs away like a bat
out of hell


two evil curtains
flap in the courtyard
Happy Halloween


accustomed to lies
humans manipulate words
right off the bat

More at Haiku Heights

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Because The Way You Treat Animals, Shows A Lot About Your Character

Ever since I was chased by a street dog, I have been scared to pass even the smallest of Chihuahuas in my colony.

Ever since my friend was hit by a bull above her left eye, I have been scared of all the members of the subfamily Bovinae. The cows, the buffaloes, the yaks, and, of course, the bulls.

Ever since my aunt was threatened by a notorious monkey over a bag of mangoes, I have been scared to make my presence felt in any of the langoor-and-monkey territories.

Ever since I saw a cat perform her ninja techniques on a cushion in my cousin’s home, I have been scared of these little devils. Who cares if someone’s cute when they can harm your smooth face within four wonderful seconds?

Ever since four huge pigs threatened people in a neighboring locality, my visits to the said locality have become zero. No one had to convince me, my instinct to be safe drew me into finding other safe places on the planet.

My solemn wish every time I venture out of my home is to not meet a single dog, bull, pig, or cow on my way. Some wish, that is. On good days, I cross my path with six or seven. On better days, I get to see a serious-looking herd of cows and a pack of barking dogs waiting to test my bravado. Also, this is one of the few times I connect with God.

Ever since I had to cross a pothole filled with a powerful mixture of rainwater, plastics and animal dung, I have been reluctant to set my foot on roads during monsoons.

Ever since there has been a mix of elephant rides, horse carriages, cars, bikes, and buses etc on the Indian roads, I have become skeptical of such diversity. It’s difficult for the animals to work according to the human wishes. And, of course, who doesn’t know how inconsiderate human drivers can be.

Ever since I have read the statistics of accidents due to animals ‘partying’ on the roads, I have read more such unbelievable statistics. Not really. I did nothing but let out a deep sigh.

I know those who say stray animals create nuisance – whether in the form of diseases, dirt, or accidents. It’s true how many times I have seen dead dogs and pigs in the middle of the road and how many times I have witnessed a close call due to random animals in random places. It’s carnage without being the fault of either of the parties involved, mostly. I see more than nuisance here; I see unwarranted deaths; I see lives that can be saved.

Ever since I saw a dog looking at me with pleading eyes and almost-visible ribs, I have tried to carry an extra packet of biscuits to feed the hungry animals on my way. It’s still scary to cross them but with the knowledge that they mean no harm to me just like I don’t mean any harm to them, I try.

Ever since I came to know about the cruelty of a group of kids towards a helpless dog in the locality, I have tried to study the laws regarding the protection of street dogs, and street animals in general.

People need to be explained that they need to respect life. Just because animals cannot speak for themselves does not mean they be tortured or teased. They desire respect just like we do. Animals do not look for potential victims everywhere; they can be as friendly as your childhood buddy. An animal that, if ever, harms you does it to defend itself; the prime reasons being fear, pain, or just plain surprise.

The government needs to take this issue into consideration and make appropriate arrangement for the street animals where these creatures can live a life without being terrified of the two-legged fellow beings. Street is not a suitable home for anyone, unless you consider street-deaths as normal. They should get their homes. It’s been a long time we Indians have been going ahead with the Chalta-Hai attitude. It’s not okay. Especially not okay when it can be changed. They lead miserable lives on the streets suffering extreme climatic conditions and diseases, even more often being chased around (mostly without even a tiny morsel of bread in their stomachs) by violent civilians and authorities.

I’ll never advocate slaughter houses to curb their population. But does the safety of a home seem too much to ask for? Animal shelters, zoos, adoption – there are ways to ensure they get a life just like we have. 

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Of Getting Lost In The Growing Web Of ‘Whys’: 15 Reasons Why I Don’t Understand What’s Wrong With India

I don’t understand why an Indian man was killed because he was an Indian in a Pakistan jail after 22 years of misery, and all the authorities did was talks. Hollow talks.

I don’t understand why a celebrity accused of homicide runs a campaign called Being Human. Talk about irony.

I don’t understand why a certain man is called The Silent Sikh when he can still ask questions like ‘Theek Hai?’ on his own behalf!

I don’t understand why the political parties don’t pause for a minute from their agendas and show us their humane side. The recent floods in a sacred place could really do without their power showcase. Someone tell them – accusations don’t help.

I don’t understand why the worst painting I’ve come across is not by my dog but by the politicians who paint on the canvas of my country.

I don’t understand why everything foreign dazzles us. The breaths of the newborns of our own nation might be suffocating since decades but the media is more interested in the newborn of a nation whose monarchy has lost its power.

I don’t understand why the population of lizards, roaches, and worms have increased so much that they take a dive in mid-day meals these days – so very often.

I don’t understand why the handful of honest people we have, get suspended for being right. But, really, when people can be put to jail for putting forth their views on the internet, the authorities must be of the mind that this is something we are already accustomed to by now. Honesty is certainly a risky parameter.

I don’t understand why terrorists don’t realize that they are not required to throw our dear lives into a catastrophe. Our politicians make special efforts everyday to achieve that feat.

I don’t understand why people admire the men on the cricket ground a hundred times more than the men on the battlefield.

I don’t understand why a celebrity convicted for being involved in a gruesome terrorist activity presents Gandhigiri in his movies.

I don’t understand why freedom of speech comes with a price.

I don’t understand why they like to make small pieces even smaller. I have a strong feeling that my age will never outdo the number of states in India.

I don’t understand why we get zero tolerance back into our faces when we ask for zero tolerance for crime and corruption. This is intolerable.

I don’t understand why my country is suddenly being associated with all things wrong. Maybe we’ve earned it.

This is not our culture. This is not our morality. This is not our Incredible India. If there are two sides of everything, then perhaps we have been enduring the wrong side for way too long.

Also published in Youth ki Awaaz

Wednesday, 7 August 2013


my camera winks –
a perfect capture for
the urban crowd


morning traffic –
looks like a rally of


urban landscape –
tall buildings side by side
a marathon of doodles.


how they think
they know music –
these urban kids


urban mystery –
how they manage their meals
in under Rs 12.

(This one is, well, for the imprudent comments boasted and bragged by some of the Indian ministers that one can get a meal with Rs 12(even Rs. 5 and Re. 1) in his pockets. Seems like a mystery, yes.)

More at: Haiku Heights
Prompt: Urban

Saturday, 3 August 2013


the young man
waits before the setting sun
for his mermaid


he proposes her
with land, water, and sky
as witnesses


not just a sand castle,
it was her future she built -
had to be perfect.

More at: Haiku Heights

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Musings on Vedic Mathematics

Looking back at my life, I can confidently say – there wasn’t even a moment when I was a fan of math. Not even one confused second where I thought I liked math or could like math. Algebra was the worst but numbers, anyway, were a nuisance. As it goes, I passed all my classes avoiding the red line in my report card but couldn’t get my hands off math because it is needed to judge your aptitude for a long, long time. This Math is a nasty thief; it owes me many a good-night-sleep. It said it shall not leave me till I was well-versed with the hows and whys of this blunder-full thing.

Very well.

It was during my MBA prep days that I learnt the ropes of calculation. Half my life I spent in the ignominy of math-o-phobia and now I got my hands on something cool. For the first time, honestly, I looked forward to exploring more and learning the interesting things I never knew there were.

The world seemed to be a better place now.

I mean, come on, whoever would have thought that you could solve a problem like 9996 * 9994 in almost five seconds. A few simple steps and, yo, it’s finished. If you ever want to see smugness, look at a customer calculating his whole purchase and giving the total before the shopkeeper can even press ‘=’  on his calculator. I have been there, done that. People look at you as if you are, I don’t know,… Einstein? 

Awesome feeling.

It was sad to hear, though, that Vedic Math, that originated in India, had to fight for its own copyright from the western world. Good that we won, but we can’t let it rot in papers, right? It’s a concept, I believe, that should be inculcated from the primary level of education. The next gen kids will love math, unlike the children I grew up with. Free from calculators and free from inhibitions.

But it isn’t being given much importance in the academic books. Who fears change when it’s for the good? Let’s not waste any more of our time in lauding, contemplating and procrastinating. Gaurav Tekriwal has taken an initiative to get everyone’s attention to the Vedic brilliance and get our mental machinery to work again. It would be nice to see people using their mental bucket rather than pen and paper to calculate any set of numbers that the mind can come up with.

What’s amazing about Vedic Math is its simplicity and power. Perfect for me and many others I know. There is so much you can learn and so much you can discover. Do not wait for me to give examples and, hey, your thanks can wait, really.  
Abhi ke abhi - Google karo about Vedic Math.

Written for:
Franklin Templeton Investments partnered the TEDxGateway Mumbai in December 2012.
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