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Aaditya and Me by Aditya Joshi is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 2.5 India License

Thursday, July 31, 2008

New Lap

His athletic abs expanded and contracted as he ran. His mouth was open, slightly inflated for the want of air. The shoulder-long hair bounced like the mane of a line. His fists were tightly clenched as he rhythmically treaded over the elliptical track.

As he stepped on the finish line, the crowd went into an uproar. He bent. Resting his hands against his thighs, he was panting. He could see himself on the huge screen in front of the audience.

He is an athlete, a runner. For the name he has garnered for himself, for the people who looked up to him, for how he wanted to prove himself, he ran.

Every new lap, every new race was necessary to reaffirm him of himself. Every time he stretched out his then frail arms as he crossed the finish line, he knew it was the end of a victory. And time for a new lap.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

At The bridge

The wooden bridge that she was standing on was creaky and old. She stood at the bridge glancing over the river that was flowing at its own speed. Life had paused for her - but nothing seemed to stop the river. The gurgling water was the only sound she could hear. Her shirt fluttered in the breeze that seemed to be blowing harder than ever. She nearly hugged herself. She was crying. Because she knew her marriage had ended. Because she was worried where things were going to take her.

Between the past we liked and the future we wanted, lies this bridge. The bridge is to be crossed - the transition expected is the one to be realized.

After broken relationships, friendships or unsuccessful ventures, we often stand on this bridge - staring at the river of emotions moving at their own speed without realizing that this bridge needs to be crossed. To reach the other side.

The bridge of getting over a relationship of any sort does not separate two relationships. It connects them. One relationship crumbling leads to another being made.

Don't stand on the bridge. Don't stare at the river. Cross the bridge. There's a new stretch of land.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

My Lovely Neighbours

Disclaimer: Slightly 'humorized'.

Here at the IITB hostel, I have two lovely neighbours. Mr. Crab and his lovely wife who is known in the neighbourhood for her gorgeous fangs. I am told when she was young, she would have many crab-followers.

The 'In - Out' label outside the main door is for the sub-ordinate humans. The Crabs are an intelligent lot. One needs to analyze the mud around their hole to know whether they are 'in' or 'out'. I need to find out how one does it soon.

Luckily, I am yet to meet them but I do feel their presence.

Neighbourhood watch takes an altogether different meaning here. :P. Keeping a watch on the creatures around.

The Clothes Line

The clothes-line in the window or the hallway of a house sways slightly in the wind.

The raincoat tells one about a rainy evening spent wading through the murky waters hand in hand with someone special.

The work clothes tell one about the day-long work one has seen.

The less-formal ones reflect the lighter times one has had during the day.

More importantly, the clothes-line tells me about coming out clean. Leaving behind the day's good and bad in the interest of a better, cleaner tommorrow.

Picture Source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/d1/Clothes_line.JPG/800px-Clothes_line.JPG

Friday, July 25, 2008


I am breathing heavily yet more comfortably than ever before. I can feel gushes of air filling my lungs and then swooshing out as I breathe out.

It feels as if I am a feather floating away with the breeze.

Then there is a surge - a wave that seems to lift me up like I were on a rollercoaster. With the speed I move upwards, I move down the crescendo - only to rise again.

I am bouncing in the air - I am full of ecstasy, of air, of life.

I am full. Yet I am weightless.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

I miss my little boy

I Miss my little boy. With the spark in his eyes. Who giggled all evening the first time he rode a tricycle.

I miss my little boy. The feet that ran, fell and rose again. The smile that would enliven my spirits any day.

I miss my little boy. Who would hide behind me each time he saw a fire brigade because he was scared of them. And I miss my little boy who tried hard not to tell me he was scared.

I miss my little boy who soon thought I was being dominating when I asked him about his girlfriend. Who has transformed into this smart young man with dreams. With success.

The spark in his eyes is missing. It has diffused into mist that often condenses into tears and rolls down my eyes.

He does not hug me any more when he is scared. But I know, on several occasions he cries out of loneliness.

My little boy who carries my blood in his veins has grown up now.

What does one call it?

Maturity that adulthood brings?

The cycle of time that is ever-changing?

Or people who forget the value of relationships that matter?

I miss you my little boy. Despite the cheques you send me every month. Despite the three sentence emails that I receive every weekend. Despite the well-furnished house you bought for me.

And I know somewhere deep inside, you miss me too - this person that you call your mother.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Old Glass Window

I see a glass window.

I see specks of old paint on it - paint that dripped out of an unskilled brush.

I see a line of light - the tubelight.

I wonder where the tubelight is. I wonder whether the light I see is from a tubelight on the other side of the window - or a reflection of the one behind me.

The Old Glass Window that shines before me puts a question about its cause in my mind....

The mind is like the old glass window.

With lot of stray specks.

Still in its true transparent form.

What I perceive a situation as, I am unsure of what it is showing me.

A reflection of the past. Or the vision of the future?

Do I think in a certain way because I experienced something in the past?

Or is it because somewhere in the inner self I know what future awaits me?

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Comfort Zone

I can imagine a chick hatching out of its egg. The egg that provided all the nutrition it needed - the egg where it grew.

The egg will hatch - the chick will be exposed to the air for the first time in its life. Maybe its initial attempts will be thwarted by the sudden changes in the temperature. But if it gives up, it will rot in the sticky liquid that fills the egg.

The chick has to come out - has to face the world.

But all this is achieved only when the chick breaks the egg from inside with a briefly grown tooth.

The process of coming out of the comfort zone has to be initiated by the chick itself.

Things are somewhat same for a person who stays with his family all his life and begins to live all by himself. It is his determination and will-power that has to be pushing him out of his comfort zone.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Heir SERIES # 01

Disclaimer: Work of fiction.

The magnificient fort stood atop the hill like an elephant in all its glory. The flag over the Mandal empire fluttered as it witnessed the prosperity of the fort and the kingdom the king had built. The flag was over the king's palace, the epicenter of all the happiness in the Mandal empire. The flag had an elephant with its two feet in the air and the trunk raised as if it were ready to conquer.

The king's palace had beautiful arches with the motif of elephants. Elephants carrying garlands, elephant bathing, elephants holding swords in their trunks. The throne was shaped like an elephant studded with jewels and stones.

Raja Shishupala was named after the character in Mahabharata. The trident-shaped tilak on the forehead, the silver beard, the face glowed with positivity and valour. The king had successfully kept away all attacks on the kingdom and the empire had flourished like never before.

Raja Shishupala sat on the throne and glanced over his ministers seated along the long hall. The center of the hall had beautifully colour There were some citizens of the kingdom in the durbaar today - some potters who had come to ask for justice.

Rani Triveni stood in her gallery as she watched the proceedings of the durbaar. Two of her daasis stood besides her, their faces covered by their saris till the chin. Rani Triveni stood like a confident queen that she was with her fingers clutched. She wore an elegant crown and had draped an orange sari. The sari had mirrors and mango-shaped designs in small beads over it. She had a pleasant smile on her face as she saw the king taking apt decisions about the matters of the kingdom.

The durbaar was adjourned for the day. The king got up, a fleet of royal servants ushered in to help him.

The king and his fleet of guards rode on their horses to the Devi temple at the foot of the hill. They stopped. They entered the courtyard of the temple. Their eyes froze...

The royal priest lay in a pool of blood. His orange robes were drenched red now. His eyes had horror in them as he called out "Raja Sahab!".

"Who killed you, Panditji?" Yojendra, the king's closest bodyguard asked.

Panditji's hands trembled as he handed a piece of torn papyrus roll. It was a part of the larger sketch, it seemed.

And so it was.

The picture was of an elephant with its two feet in the air and the trunk raised. It was a part of the picture of the flag that was hoisted over the fort. And the picture was torn.

Someone was set to conquer the elephant...

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Stagnant water

Water that does not flow still shows you your reflection.

Water that does not flow continues to move up and down with ripples.

Water that does not flow still continues to be the thriving ground for some forms of life.

In adverse situations too, one has to stick to the nature one was born with.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Warli paintings

Warli tribals in Maharashtra have long painted their life in the form of paintings in white over a darker background - often brown or red.

Warli paintings use a simplified form of representations for human and animal figures - similar to stick figures. There are generic symbols for trees and houses as well. What makes these Warli paintings out of the world is the fact that they create a whole new world with these symbols.

The human figures arrange themselves into chains and spirals - to represent the festive celebrations in the Warli settlements. There are women and children who play with the animals, climb the trees and play around with the domesticated animals. There are huts and complex huts. All these together give one a panoramic view of their lives.

Warli paintings are a script of its own - a rather limited script. It restricts itself to the world of these people.

Warli paintings are the most simplistic forms of paintings - no 'interpretations', no 'hidden messages'. They are a reflection of lives of these extremely common men.

Warli paintings, to me, are the living example of the maxim - 'Art is to express and not impress.'

The Lush Garden

Disclaimer: Work of fiction

Ten-year old Krishna loved his grandfather's mansion. More than that, he loved the lush gardens surrounding it.
The garden was lined with tall Ashoka trees that were typical to that area and had long pointed leaves. On one side was a row of flowers of exquisite varieties and a multitude of colours. On the other side was a well-maintained lawn where Krishna remembered playing around as a child.

In the centre of this garden was a fountain shaped like four beautiful ladies pouring water out of the jugs in their hands. Many birds would descend to this fountain to drink water. Krishna's grandfather, while he was alive, had also kept a basket of food for the birds.

Krishna had fond memories of this house and the garden - they were a part of his childhood, a part he could never forget.

"Krishna, we are selling the mansion. It is going to fetch us a huge sum", his father told a now-twenty Krishna.

From that day, Krishna remembered and saw the garden every single day.

The riches of the garden were no more in the physical world - they were transferred as aspirations for monetary benefits in the eyes of Krishna's father. The garden, Krishna thought, was a medium of getting rich. The garden was trapped in his father's eyes and he could see it there.

Mickey at the mall

Disclaimer: Work of fiction

A girl in her early twenties walked into the mall. She looked for the friend of her childhood - the Mickey mouse man who played around in the central foyer. He often distributed balloons and chocolates to the children while their parents shopped away.

The Mickey Mouse man was an entertainer at the mall - he wore a plastic head three times the size of his body with the Disney character's face painted on it. Nishi would always come to the mall since the time she was a kid. While her mother worked at one of the stores in the mall, Nishi would stay with the Mickey at the mall - he would play with her, he would give her chocolates and more importantly, Nishi would talk for hours with him. Mickey was not allowed to speak by the mall authority rules but he would be a good listener to this little girl who loved to talk.

As time passed and Nishi entered her teenage years, her affection towards Mickey only grew. She had told him about her first crush, her early career plans - he knew it all about her.

Today as Nishi was looking around for him, she could see images of all the wonderful times she had spent with this stranger yet a friend at the mall.

Nishi was not particularly well-off. Her parents worked to make a paltry income for the family. She used to fight with her parents these days, her dad especially. She thought he could never understand her career aspirations and never let her take the risks she wanted to. It's only risks that makes a person above ordinary, she thought. She sulked and fought and came to this mall nearly every day with the hope of meeting Mickey.

She always wondered how this stranger felt closer to her than her parents. The stranger who never spoke but only listened - and her parents who could never understand her.

She would often be surprised at the relationship she shared with the Mickey at the mall. And was worried why he wasn't coming to the mall these days.

That day again, she returned home. Her father, visibly upset at his daughter, was sitting on a chair with his head down. Her mom had told her that her dad couldn't go to work because he was so depressed due to Nishi's behaviour. Nishi only sulked and ignored it. "Know what dad, there's this entertainer at the mall. He's closer to me than you!", she said to him.

One day, she fought up with her father - it was the last straw. Her father disappeared in the middle of the night.

Nishi lodged a police complaint. The police officer asked her to search his room for parting letters of any sort - or anything that would leave a clue of where he could be.

She went to her father's room. He had a box which he had never allowed her to touch. She thought she would find something there. She opened it.

She saw a huge structure inside the box. It was a large-sized head - head of a Mickey mouse.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Shit happens

No, no, no, though I am an ardent lover of toilet humour, I wouldn't have it here on my blog for it may gross out many of the 'cultured, decent' readers. 'Shit' here stands for the adverse problematic situations. Situations that embarrass you, scare you, confuse you or get you into trouble. And sometimes, shit happens to most of us when we expect it least.

The last day of submitting an assignment and the trains go down. (Trains in Mumbai run on sunlight - Jaadoo apropos koi mil gaya types. As soon as clouds gather, the sunlight is blocked. The trains stop!)

A confident Amit enters the interview room - he is the next GS (General Secretary... the person who officially gets to flirt with juniors) everyone says. There, he blabbers shit about how he does not want any other post but the GS' and pisses the Principal off. The dark horse Rajapriya becomes the GS.

Mayank is thinking about his breakup with his girlfriend. And the filmy hero that he is, he moves his fingers through his hair. Only to realize that the fingers are connected to the hand that held the rod of the local train. He falls off the train and gets a fractured leg for several months.

Himanshu remains carefree until he's given a warning about low attendance (in lectures). It's then that he goes around to the teachers' cabins with a smile that stretches across his cheeks.

Shit happens. When me, Priyanka and Himanshu wade through ankle-deep water to the theatre to buy tickets for the first show of a movie. Only to realize three hours fourty minutes later how creatively magnificient 'Kabhi alvida na kehna' is. (I remember the expressions on our faces. Priyanka gave me the Bandit Queen look and asked me for a refund - it was my idea to watch the movie.)

Some of us stand below the source of shit - and get into deep shit ourselves. Some of us get so accustomed to feeling shitty that it doesn't make a difference to us at all. (I had a friend Mihir who came late to the class almost every day. He would smile when a teacher scolded him). Most of us make faces and try to bear with it.

Whatever one says, one cannot avoid shit. (three times a day. sorry.) Situations like these ought to happen - what makes all the difference is the way you approach shitty situations.

I can't believe I wrote this post! Shit!!


As I look out of the window, I see the dark starless sky and thousands of spots on the terrain before me.

Far away to my right, there is a hillock covered with yellow dots - lights of lanterns that burn on kerosene. There are bulbs too over some o f the huts.

At its feet are tall buildings and I see bright neon signs and long tube-lights arranged in rows. More in number than required.

To my left, I see a line of bright yellow spots - moving slowly in a straight line - almost like a streak of diamonds being pulled in a direction.

And I see dots of lights of different colours.

There are huts with the lanterns, skyscrapers with tubelights, bulbs dotting the shops and markets and headlights of cars moving on the highway.

I see survival in poverty in the lights of the lanterns. I see flamboyance in the array of tubelights and the neon signs.

The way I see the cityscape is in the form of patterns of these dots - each dot an entity, a person, a set of dreams and ambitions.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

She was a fairy

She was a fairy. When she moved around, she flapped her huge kidney-shaped wings that had silver edges and atleast a million dots all of different colours. As she flew around, the edges left a sparkling silver trail that looked like thousand tiny stars breaking into pieces.

She wore a pink gown right upto her toes. Her hair was blonde and she had rosy cheeks. She carried the diamond shaped wand that glowed like a star. With one stroke of the wand, she could transform an ugly damsel into a gorgeous-looking princess. She could convert rains into droplets of sparkling gold.

She was a fairy. She could do it all.

But the point is that she 'could' and not that she 'did'. She only roamed around aimlessly in the forests looking for the man of her love. She never utilized the power of magic that she had.

Many of us possess abilities that we aren't aware of.

There are less prodigies in India - not because of lack of talent. But because of lack of awareness of this talent.

We have fairies all around us. Who've dropped their magic wands.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Words down and across

A crossword in a newspaper consists of empty spaces arranged in rows and columns and a set of clues that lead you to words that fill these empty spaces. These clues are often accompanied with indicators such as '1-Down, 2-Across' and so on.

You have to start at some point and follow the links between words and try to find answers to the clues.

Life is a crossword. It presents you with questions and problems - similar to the empty spaces of the crossword. You have clues in the form of past experiences and people around you. And we all try, throughout our lives, to solve it.

Life is mean though. It rubs out the indicators. You get the clues, you need to know which clue is for what empty space and try to put it all together.

That's exactly why this crossword puzzle takes a bit longer than usual.


What makes political honchos, school principals and influential people what they are? Where is the source of the leadership qualities someone is said to have? What is leadership anyways?

Many of our political hoardings (SOME of them illegally put up) have pictures of the leaders pointing in a direction. Leadership is not that. A good leader does not just show you the direction, he/she takes you there. In other words, a good leader more importantly comes with you where he wants you to go.

A good manager will never force a subordinate to "just do it". A good manager will encourage him and have the "let's do it attitude".

Leadership or managerial skills of any sort, in my opinion, aren't 'push-push' techniques. A good leader doesn't push. He pulls.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

If '3 Mistakes..' were a film

The Review of 'The 3 Mistakes of my life' by Chetan Bhagat, my way!!

With both of his novels being made into films, the chances are high that proceedings of buying the reproduction rights of this third book are in pace.

If this movie would be made into a film, the film would have enough masala - but it would end up being a confused film.

Emraan Hashmi would want to play the title role for like all other Chetan Bhagat novels, this one has depictions of secret physical intimacy and ya, adultery.

Of late, every movie has to be screened to a delegation that needs to approve that the film does not hurt the sentiments of their community. With all these smaller meaner censor boards in place, the film (the film based on this book) would really have to go through a lot of checks - the film does touch a lot of sensitive issues.

The climax of this film, however, will indeed be liked by all. Because it is as unbelievable, exaggerated and weird as many of our Hindi films! I mean, when I finished the book, I had a 'What?' on my face.

So anyways, if '3 mistakes...' is made into a film, that would be the producer's first mistake.

Chetan's third book fails to live up to the expectations. He follows the same path again - and maybe sprinkles some current events (The earthquake, the riots) that have taken place in Gujarat in the last couple of years. The book and its characters fail to strike a chord.

Friday, July 04, 2008



The apprehension in the eyes of a teenager buying a rose for his first crush.

The mother sitting at the dinner table till late in the night waiting for her son to come home from office - only to be told he has dined out with his colleagues.

The anxiety of a student as he goes through the exam results on the college notice board.

The trembling hands of a person praying before God.


The source of success.

The reason behind sorrow.

( Success and sorrow - both come from expectations. The positivity and negativity in the world comes from the same source too. )

If 'Jaane tu...' were a book

A Review of 'Jaane tu yaa jaane naa...', my way!

'Jaane tu ya jaane naa' could easily be a book. The kind of literature that the likes of Chetan Bhagat and Neelesh Mishra have been coming up with - modern Indian English literature.

The books that these guys have come up with over the years have certain common traits. Breakups and relationships at college are as common and periodic as semester-end exams. If a father offers a drink to the daughter's boyfriend, it's just a nice polite way of getting to know him.

And the climax of such books is often cinematic and humorously gripping. 'Jaane tu..' has a similar climax.

Overall, 'Jaane tu..' like these books is 'formula-based'. Romance, friendships, sibling relationships, parental pressure - the movie puts it all together.

Abbas Tyrewalla takes a pinch of 'Kuch kuch hota hai' (the scenes where Aditi gets jealous of Meghna and Jai), adds two spoons of 'Chalte chalte' (the presentation, the flashback to-and-fro is very Chalte Chalte-esque.) and garnishes it with 'Dil chahta hai' and 'Ishq Vishq'ish situations...

The film is most certainly entertaining - but you always keep thinking you've seen this somewhere.

The best part of the film is the natural performances by all the actors. (Except Sohail-Arbaaz Khan - whose loud acting will not help but remind you of 'Hello brother'. And the climax. Which many of us will find funny - I frankly didn't.) Genelia is good - she looks pretty throughout the film. Ratna Pathak-Shah, Naseruddin Shah, Rajat Kapoor, Paresh Rawal and Sohail-Arbaaz Khan are good. Prateik Babbar is very impressive - his resemblance to Smita Patil is just one reason.

Imran Khan - THE boy (who people think looks like me *grins* ) is VERY good. He did NOT remind me of Aamir Khan by the way!By the way, just a shallow comment but he needs needs needs to get his eyebrows shaped.

But hey! If 'Jaane tu...' were a book, the eyebrows wouldn't be much of a problem.

The Creative Lull

Disclaimer: A story. Stories are fictitious.

The crystal night-lamp shone in the white moonlight that entered the room through the slits between the curtains. Just then, someone turned it on. It was 2 am in the morning and he still was not able to sleep.

He got up, moved to the bathroom. He splashed handful of water on his face and looked into the mirror. His face looked lifeless - the eyes had become speechless now.

He went to his desk near the window and turned on the lamp, pulled out a pen from the swan-shaped pen-stand which she had given him. He moved his finger slightly over the beak of the swan - it was his source of inspiration. Or perhaps, she was his source of inspiration.

He placed the pen on the sheets of old paper that he often used to write his poems. The pen stayed still as he stared at the swan.

It had been more than two months that he had written a poem. He wondered why words had failed to flow onto the paper - the way they would otherwise. These days, he would sit at the table just like the way he was right now, staring at the swan or listening to the ticking of the clock. And then, he would fold back the blank paper as he would go to sleep.

There was silence in the room. And in the room inside him too. There was a voice that spoke to him each time he wrote - and this voice was missing.

He could not hear himself. He could not visualize her face, her smile and write a poem describing her beauty. He could not feel her breath against his cheek. He could not hear her bursting into laughter the way a shooting star breaks into a hundred streaks of light. The sound which was as lyrical and poetic as his poems.

Now, he could hear silence echoing in his ears. He moved his finger again over the swan. He called out to her. She must be sleeping, he thought as he looked at the bed.

The side of the bed he had occupied had his sheets ruffled. The other side was empty.

The curtains blew with breeze and covered his face. He pushed them away with his hand - he dropped the pen. He bent down to pick it up.

He heard the clouds rumbling. He picked the pen, kept it on the table, packed the papers and went back to his bed. He wanted to sleep.

With his arm resting against his forehead, he stared at the ceiling. Half of his face had cast a shadow on the other half. One half of him had overshadowed the other half too as he experienced this silence which was scary - he was not able to hear what he himself wanted to say.

As he continued to stare at the fan moving in circles, for reasons he will never be able to tell, he saw her going up to the sky in flames. He smelled the wood again. He smelled the first perfume she had given him. He heard the rustle of her ashes as raindrops fell on them... And he saw her smiling at him. The face, the hands, the breath, the words, the voice. He found her again.

He heard the clouds outside breaking into a million droplets. He hurried to the desk, picked up the pen and began to write.

The creative lull was over. The droplets splashed on the earth as they bounced and fell - the words were back. She was back to him in his words... The clouds of emotions were precipitating as words on his paper.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Murdering talent

Soon in the news, one would see:

  1. Shopkeepers need to sell 25% of their goods to people from certain communities.
  2. In a theater, 36% of the seats for every show will have to be sold to people from certain community. At half the regular price.
  3. People from community X will get 250 gm extra on all the milk products.
Reservation is murdering the talent of the deserving and is injustice to a section of the society.

Reservations in IITs and IIMs and now reservations in the posts of teachers at educational institutions. What more do we expect in the rat race of vote-bank politics?

Footprints on the sand

Disclaimer: Piece of fiction

She held her father by his hand as she dragged him along the beach. He was trying to keep up - but she was too excited to realize he was finding it difficult to run at her speed.

She was wearing a pink frock that covered her knees that she had just hurt. They were badly wounded when she slipped and fell on the rocks. She was pointing out to a lighthouse far away with her hands that were covered with wet sand. She could not get her eyes off the lighthouse and was limping on her way there. The father only stared at his daughter's face, amazed at the pure excitement and innocence in her eyes and the gush of enthusiasm that she was experiencing.

As they ran along the stretch of the beach, the warm water of the waves touched their feet and moved back. And their feet would sink in the sand slightly.

The sky saw, as the sun set, a eight year-old girl with excitement filled in her heart, taking her father to a lighthouse on the rocks beside a beach.

The sky dimmed slowly as the two left back footprints on the sand. That was because the sky knew that the very next day, some waves would wash them off...


The pillow that you rested your head against when you saw that beautiful dream last night. It was the pillow that saw your dream with you.

The pillow that moistened with the tears when you cried on the night of heartbreak. The pillow you dumped your face into when you did not want the world to know you were crying. The pillow you hugged when you were away from your parents.

The pillow lives our life with us. In all our consciousness. And in the passive state of sleep too.