Saturday, August 1, 2009

Voices In My Head


Do you hear me?

Do you know who I am?

I am the You whom none will see.

I plot and plan and scheme and connive,

Of things that you lack the will to contrive.

I am the strenght, of your weakness born

I rise from the ashes of your malfunction.

For all your shortcomings, I take the blame.

But in return I plot the destruction,

Of those who seek to put you to shame.


Fie upon you, malevolent one!

Heed him not Master, he is unwise.

He exists but to poison your ears.

I seek to ensure no evil is done,

His path shall only lead you to tears.

You must stay true to what is right,

Stray not away from the Light.

Hurt none in pursuit of your quest.

Fill your heart with hope and faith,

And you shall surpass every test.


Ha! Timid fool! Remain in Silence!

You know not of what you speak!

So be it, if there must be violence,

Forgiveness is for the meek!

Master, disregard this docile worm!

Have hope and faith you say?

They are but delusions for the faint at heart.

What do we care if others are hurt?

Fools they are to stand in our way!

All who hinder us must depart.


Do not fall prey to his wily words,

His heart is black as the moonless night,

Filled with hate and nameless spite.

Of doubt and mistrust he plants the seeds,

The purveyor of dark deeds.

Falter not, let wisdom prevail,

While courage endures, you cannot fail.

Succumb not to ire and rage.

Of honesty and truth, we must follow the path,

With heart free of vengeance and wrath.


At a crossroads I’ve arrived, a fork in the way,

Which road to take, I cannot say.

Must I consign my soul to mortal sin,

And regardless of cost, proceed to win?

Or heed my conscience, do what is right,

Keeping morality in plain sight,

Decline to sell the devil my soul,

Or abandon it to reach my goal?

Thursday, July 30, 2009


Over the past several months, I've tried my hand at photography, mostly using an N 73 3.2 megapixel camera. Very very amateur stuff, but I think I still managed to get some decent shots. Here are some:

Corbett Falls

On a boat at the Sunderbans

Skies of Vellore

Megadeth concert, Bangalore, March 14th 2008

Early morning in the Sunderbans

Breakfast at Fleury's, Kolkata :)


Random shot of cousin's car


Sunset at Marina

Skies of Kodai

Cousins playing, Kodai

Tree at sunset, Kodai

Sun dappled flowers


Kodai Lake

Will continue to upload more as I snap. Please let me know how good/bad you think the pics are :)

Friday, April 17, 2009

The Camel Story

This post has been taken off my earlier blog(, which I can't access anymore because I forgot the password. Read and enjoy(and comment :p).

We had gone for a camping trip to this place called Ras-Al-Had which is a well known nesting spot for Olive Ridley turtles. The place is a huge beach, and the interior is a camping area. We had gone with these friends of ours who were seasoned campers, so they were showing us how to put up the tents. We had a slight problem. It was pretty windy, and the tents weren't staying in place while we tried to nail 'em down. So we came up with the brilliant idea of me and my sister sitting inside the tents while the adults nailed them down!

The result, of course, was predictable. The tent just started taking off, me, sis, et al, and we bumped along for a few yards before they managed to grab on to it. It was fun actually. Finally the tents were nailed down, and we decided to start on the chow. It was friggin' delicious! Potatoes wrapped in aluminium foil and roasted over coals. The thought of it still makes me salivate. One of the best meals I have ever had.

Come night time, and we needed to throw the garbage away. The campsite had a huge Dumpster about 200 metres or so from out camp. So dad gives the garbage bag to my mom and sis and tells them to throw it away. So they trudge a few metres from the camp, immediately turn around and come back, looking like they saw a ghost.

Dad: "What happened? I thought I told you people to throw the garbage away?"

Mom: "Yes, you did, but there's a camel stalking us. We're not going anywhere near the Dumpster"

Dad: "Don't be silly! What can a camel do to you?"

*NOTE: My dad, being a General Surgeon, has had people coming to him with an ear in their hand. When asked how it happened, they say "A camel bit it off, sir!" with a hint of surprise, as if its the most common occurence in the world.

Mom: "I don't want my husband having to stitch my ear back onto my head."

Dad: "Don't be stupid! Camels don't bite peoples ears off!"

Mom and Sis in unison: "We are not going back out there!"

And they dump the garbage bag in my dad's hands. So my dad takes it himself to the Dumpster. Halfway there, he gets the feeling that he's being followed. He turns and looks, and there is the camel, following him. He walks on confidently towards the Dumpster. When he reaches it, he turns around and sees that the camel is no longer behind him. Surprise, surprise, its in front of him on the other side of the Dumpster.

And so begins a game of hide and seek. The camel comes around the Dumpster to the right, my dad goes left. Camel comes left, dad goes right. So they continue the ringa-ringa roses act for a few minutes more, till my dad decides its time to do something about it. He throws the garbage into the Dumpster, turns, and sprints to the nearest camp, which turns out to be a bunch of Arabs. The camel in all its stupidity, thinks he still has the garbage, follows. With his halting Arabic, my dad tells them of his dilemma.

Arab: "Don't worry Thabib(arabic for doctor), I will make sure he will not follow you. You wait here."

And the man walks upto the camel, says something to it in Arabic, comes back and tells my dad "The camel will not follow you now, Doctor. I have told him I will beat him if he does so. Please proceed to your camp with a peaceful mind. Salaam Aleikhum"

So here is my dad, with a camel following him around, and a crazy Arab telling him that he's told the camel off. Dad doesn't know how he did it, but he somehow got back to the camp with both ears on and no camel in tow.

Then he narrates his chilling tale to us. And at the end of it all, all he has to say is "Wow...that camel had such beautiful eyelashes"!!!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Of Faith and Fate

The following arguments contain some rather contradictory and confused views of two intensely philosophical and spiritual issues. I, being something between an atheist and an agnostic, find it rather hard to hold steady to my beliefs when I ponder these issues. For I believe in Fate, or Destiny, not to the tune that every person in the world has one purpose, one reason for existence, but to the effect that the course of history as a whole is determined by Who was Where, and When. For example, in Iraq in the 1960’s, if a young firebrand named Saddam Hussein hadn’t risen to power after the Ba’ath Party coup, the Iraqi invasions into Kuwait, and the slaughter of the Iranian Kurds may never have happened, and consequently the Gulf Wars of 1990-91 and 2003 might never had taken place. History is replete with such situations, and the world as we know it today, was shaped by the hand of this particular brand of Fate.

So now I hope we are agreed on the point that Destiny is shaped by a number of variables coming together at an appointed time to give a particular result. Obviously, the outcome of an event is decided by which of these variables actually play a major role, and what exactly that role may be. This argument can be likened to the immensely popular and romanticised Chaos Theory, made famous by the hypothesis of The Butterfly Effect: “A butterfly flapping its wings in one corner of the world may cause hurricanes in another corner of the world...”. To wit, one seemingly insignificant action can set of a chain of consequences which can affect the future in unforeseeable ways. Cause and Effect, a stack of dominos in line, waiting for the gentle nudge which sends the entire elaborate set up come toppling down.

I’ll explain this with an example, the same example in fact, which got me thinking along this line. I do not know how many of you might have read a book called Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts. To those who haven’t, I highly recommend it. The book is the first person account of an Australian man who escaped from prison and in his bid to escape the authorities, lands in Mumbai on a false passport. Here, the visa on his fake passport expires, and to evade the Immigration authorities, he ends up living in a slum in Colaba. Earlier in the course of the story, he mentions that his friends in Australia had gifted him a large and elaborate first-aid kit. From his young days, he had always been good at first-aid, and took a series of CPR classes which made him a rather competent paramedic (not in the professional sense, of course). On his first day in the slum, a fire breaks out, injuring many people and Roberts, having a first aid kit, volunteers to treat some of the burn victims, and this snowballs into him becoming a sort of doctor in the slums, treating small wounds, trivial ailments etc. Now let’s consider each of the following facts as one domino.

  1. Roberts is a wanted man who is driven to living in the slums of Mumbai.
  2. He happens to be in possession of a sophisticated first aid kit, and also happens to be well versed in emergency procedures.
  3. No doctor would live in a slum, and the slum dwellers cannot afford their treatment anyhow.
  4. Just a few minutes after Roberts moves into the slum, a fire breaks out, necessitating first aid for the burn victims, et voila, Roberts is at hand to provide it!

If indeed it was to be another man, with his training in first aid, what are the chances that he would’ve been forced by crime and a prison break to live in the slum? And if there was another criminal, ready to live there with the poor, what are the chances that he would have had Roberts training in first aid? Quite simply, WHAT ARE THE ODDS???

And thus does each piece fall into the puzzle, each domino fall against the other, in such a way that no other domino could have fit this cascade of chance. Fate. It rules our lives in a way we cannot possibly comprehend. Every event in our lives has probably changed our lives beyond recognition, and possibly changed the course of History itself.

So the next question is this. Who determines the course of events, actions and consequences? Is there a Superior Power who has calculated and arranged the dominos with infinite planning and care? Or is it all just a random play of chance, a roll of the celestial dice? As with many arguments, this particular one boils down to the same question which humankind has been asking of each other for Time Immemorial, with some people replying vehemently in the positive, backing up their answers with deeds of extreme faith, some others in the negative with a sceptical snort, and some choosing to remain neutral. Does God exist?

I’m sure this question has been discussed many times over and would probably be considered as beating as dead horse many times over. Yet, after all the debate, I still find a lack of a convincing answer. The fact that most views on this particular topic are extreme and highly biased ones does not help to reach any conclusion. I am sure even if one camp (i.e. the theists or the atheists) somehow manage to prove beyond any reasonable doubt that God does or does not exist, the other camp would still vehemently oppose them out of pure obstinacy. Such is the nature of prejudice. But I digress. Now, as far as my views are concerned, God is not an Omnipotent, Omniscient, Omnipresent, or for that matter, a conscious or sentient Super Being. God is the Force that binds the Universe, that drives the winds, that causes thunder and lightning and torrential rainfall, that spark within each of us which we call Life. In other words, God is the synonymous with miraculous Nature. The names and embodiments we give to our gods are merely physical manifestations, points of reference if you must, that allow mankind to revere and worship the awesome power of nature. The pagans and so called heathens of old had it right. The names and representations they gave to these forces of Nature was merely a form of sanctifying them, to instil in people respect for them. Religious rites and customs were functional tasks which were ways of life which were generally region-specific. Then came the politicization of religions, which further led to religious discrimination and intolerance and all that ballyhoo which has landed the world at what it is today, a crucible of a hundred religions, each claiming to be superior to the other, and fostering more hatred and drawing deeper lines of division in an already fragmented and divided world. But that discussion is for another day. Now, assuming that God and Nature are one and the same, we return to the earlier part of the discussion on Fate.

If God is not a conscious, sentient being, sitting up there in heaven, pulling the strings that are attached to everyone’s daily lives, Who or What, then, controls the complex vagaries of Fate? Is our world today a result of chance happenings here and there, a grand culmination of a million probabilities? Did billions of unrelated events cohere to dictate the course of history and guide the world to where it is today? It is an implication of stupendous proportions, one that I, for one, cannot readily digest.

The Rhyme of Victory

You walk toward the distant light
Through the eerie,cold,dark night.
Face demons unseen,unknown,
Brave the storms until they've blown.

When the hordes of doubt attack,
Fight them hard and drive them back.
With Hope and Faith as sword and shield,
Stand your ground and do not yield.

Mountains high and rivers wide,
May conspire to check your stride.
Falter not, you shall prevail.
With courage in heart, you cannot fail!

Look within and you will see
One bound by mediocrity.
Free the one that resides within,
Break the chains that bind you to sin.

And as the hidden one takes flight,
Darkness melts into growing light.
The gates of doubt now stand breached,
Victory shines bright, the goal is reached.

As I'm Waiting for Dawn

The night creeps up upon my door,
Throwing darkness on my floor.
The shadows swirl and twist and dance,
Throwing me into a trance.

I see strange shapes move in the gloom,
As I contemplate my doom.
Thinking of my life that’s gone,
As I’m waiting for Dawn.

The blackness suffocates my mind,
Bringing fear of every kind.
Down my spine it sends a chill,
My fear begins to break my will.

I feel panic flow in my veins,
Binding me with unseen chains.
I keep on struggling on and on,
As I’m waiting for Dawn.

So intent upon this fight,
I barely notice growing light.
The darkness starts to fade away,
Making way for a new day.

As the sun begins to rise,
Shrouds of blackness leave my eyes.
Fear takes flight, I am reborn,
No more waiting for Dawn.


As the sun dipped in the west
I walked towards the sea.
Turbulent emotions filled my chest
Oh! How they consumed me!

As I walked on through the sand,
A shroud of darkness fell.
My mind groped about for a helping hand,
My conscience plunged into hell!

My heart was drowning in despair,
My senses craved relief!
My soul damaged beyond repair,
Beyond faith,beyond hope,beyond belief!

And then there was a brilliant light,
Which set the sea ablaze.
The moon arose, white and bright,
Shimmering in the sea-spray's haze.

A shaft of moonbeam pierced the gloom,
A gentle,soft breeze caressed me.
The pale,full moon continued to loom,
Setting white fire to the sea.

The soft, cool sand beneath my toes
Swirled about in the breeze.
The roaring tides did ebb my woes,
My gloom began to ease.

The tide rose high, its bosom bare,
Absorbing all my sorrow.
The moon raised up its head so fair,
Giving me courage for the morrow.