And then...

Posted by - Rohit

I still remember the day I met this friend online and she asked me to write something. 'Just start once' she said. I wrote a poetry for which I did get some pat on the back. It then continued and then I started writing about my friends, about their lives and about how they paint their apparent monotonous routines with a lot of colour and laughter. And that is the reason, I connected with all of you.

You smiled when I felt you should have laughed, you laughed when I thought I would only make you smile; you cried when I thought I would only make you think, you believed when I said I did. Laughing at myself was never so enjoyable. To face tougher times and come out laughing was only possible because I had the encouragement from you, my readers, my friends.

But then, we all have to move, we all have a dream, a dream to live, to see a life that we all wished to be a part of and try towards achieving greater heights. Similarly, won't be updated for sometime and I don't know how much time would it take. For some time, you won't read about our escapades with soft porn, stories about those unreal job hunts nor would you find praises for my brothers in the south and the middle east. All of this is for a reason and the reason is that I have a story to tell.

I don't know if you would be able relate to the story I have in mind. But then I believe it's worth giving a good shot. It's better that I fail than regret not trying later. There is a high probability that I may fail, but the fear of failure would not change anything.

I would want to thank all my friends and family who have been around laughing to really not so funny jokes. People who have helped me edit my writings and taught me rudimentary principles about the language...also known as Grammar.

I will always miss making you guys laugh and at the same time I will miss pissing you off. But then, you guys have changed my life and I will be highly indebted to you guys for that.

I hope I do justice.

Thank you for everything.

P.S: If you guys think I'm protesting against LBT, well...I'm not.

Open letter to Virat Kohli.

Posted by - Rohit

This is regarding the recent turn of events which has resulted in the Mumbai crowd pissing you off and vice-versa. No, I'm not talking about the Cinthol ad commercial, but about the cricket match wherein you were labelled, by the 40,000 people supporting their local team, as a "cheat". So why this letter? It's because, I was right there, cheering for my team, consequently waiting for the cheer leaders to do their thing. And I'll confess, I did shout along with the other 39,999 supporters. Other confession, I did the Gangnam, much better than Bhajji. Moreover, before you start feeling that I'm acting condescending, let me tell you, I'm not. I'm part of the crowd and I still am in that mould.

Your anger against the crowd is thoroughly justified because judging/calling someone a "cheat" who just follows the rules of the game and acts accordingly is absolutely not justified. The match at Wankhede had almost everything. Sachin, Gayle, Cheer leaders, loud music and a camera focusing on us every now and then. Do you know how it feels when you are watching a match devoid of that cliched Ravi Shastri commentary? It only adds up to the exhilaration  You and I know the game but you know it better, obviously. But then, the one thing that we know in common is fairness (I'm not talking about the cream you endorse) towards the game. And yes, we have our own versions of fairness.
But then, who are these people who called you a cheat? 40,000 cricket lovers who still have a lot of faith in the game. So, when I say a lot of faith, I say that because these are the people who are willing to pay more than a couple of thousands to just catch a glimpse of those emotions that they usually watch in slow-mo. There are a lot cynics and conspiracy theory experts who have called you and your team disloyal. These are those cricket fans who back you and your commitment to the game.

I still vividly remember how Dhoni called Bell back to the crease after rightly dislodging the bails. What all of us thought was unfair at that time was just the following of protocols according to you. Which is fair. But, for us, this would've been the ideal action. Which is again fair if you really didn't consider this option.

Let me try and give you some insight to the crowds mentality. Think of them as a kid who cheers for his school bus as it overtakes the other. Or else think of them as really passionate people who love their cricket. Else, just think of them as all of Australia's population who don't make it to the playing 11 (but waiting for their turn owing to the rotation policy) filling up the stadium. Just like you and Gautam Gambhir play hard cricket, similarly consider us to be hard and really touchy supporters. If you can fight with your countryman, so can we. Fair, no?

Moreover, we idolize a person who has shown us and the world that humility is the prime ingredient towards attaining greatness. For us, that is ideal. This man was heckled, booed and criticized by his own crowd too, but then it really didn't matter to him. He has a bigger purpose than to react to words from these 40,000 cricket fans and as a result doesn't really give a butterfly's fart towards people's approval. You are by far a very passionate cricketer and your commitment towards the game is totally respected. My point is, do you really have to give in to what they feel at that point of time?

In other words boss, don't take us seriously. Just like you had a minor spat with Gambhir, consider us to be that one voice who really don't mean what they say. And I'm not talking about Ravi Shastri.

P.S: If it happens again, you can blame it on the Cinthol Ad.

The Life of...Sigh.

Posted by - Rohit

With all my conviction in one place and with my head hidden in my arms, I sat introspecting. When I was moments away from hearing a voice from within saying "It's ok to watch the Kardashians", the door bell rang. It was a wedding card - Shaju weds Sajini. With the card in his hands and the look that was akin to the one that Ang Lee gave Irrfan Khan when he heard him speak American, my father said...nothing. It was enough for him to convey "You need to get ready for, why was Khloe crying?"
I sat absorbed in my own blue funk, letting the consequences of being a 26 year old seep in. At that moment I wanted something that would help me lift the burden of those contemptuous looks entitled to people reaching 27. With the intent of finding a higher meaning to life...I logged into Facebook.

Before I could go on to acknowledge status updates like "Ma new byk...wy don u lyk?" and words like "Ma lyf ma rulezz" - which depicted wisdom in its most complex form, I sensed there were too many red and pinks shimmering. These were relationship updates. But as I scrolled past every update featured on my timeline; I could see some disgruntled 25+ year old; I could feel the gush of pink on my face, thanks to the mushy ones; could see the confused souls who even replied to Birthday wishes by muttering "Kya maalum yaar" and finally the disillusioned ones who believed that they were Miley Cyrus and Facebook was Disney.

You always wanted to prove that you were better off by not marrying your ex but just as you trudge ahead with absolute nonchalance towards their lives and happenings, you get notified about some random friend liking an album. "Euro trip with Hubby", "Finally...I'm Engaged.", "Thank God I met you Sona...", "Me and Ma Hubby in Hawaii and Dubai". As I scrolled down, I kept seeing some of this. Such instances make your lips go dry, you feel that void in yourself and your legs quiver not handling the weight of your sorrow. Imagine smooching Mayawati. Exactly that.

As I scrolled on, I felt bad for this particular group of people, the confused ones. People who finally realize that this not what they really wanted. They believe that their true calling is from somewhere else but don't realize what and how would one go about it. Imagine walking cluelessly towards finding life's purpose; towards finding a meaning to your existence; towards making your life more significant; you see a flickering light supposedly the end of the road, a road which characterizes all your hardships towards attaining Nirvana. You are all set to hear that sound of solace but instead hear a voice which goes..."Oh JEJUS"...Yes Rakhi. Yes. That is how it feels. I could see many of them trying to come out of this web of perplexity but a status update is how far they could reach.

Scrolling down I happened to see these love birds coochi-cooing in front of 1000 other unknown/known faces.
"I Luv You Chikku..."
"I Luv you too Sweety...but don't call me Chikku in front of others...ha ha"
"Ok Chikku...but I love you more."
This was disheartening since I had no one to call me Chikku but it was relieving as nobody does.

With the heartbroken, confused and the mush-dipped-deep-fried-in-raunch-and-strawberry people making their state of mind clear I thought it's better to move away to a much less gaudy place. Maybe twitter.
I scrolled down to witness every wannabe stand up comic's lame attempt to humour. But then, I never expected this gush of mush once again as it said - "Chikku, I'm here too...".
I thought this was ok. Since, I had to only face her show of affection towards this Chikku fellow...but then, she RETWEETED his reply -
"And I'm here with you Chikki..."

I had it enough now, I wanted to go back towards watching the Kardashians or something similar like...the UFC but it just wasn't happening. I needed peace and wanted less people around. So, I opened my GMAIL account. That was the only possible place where I wouldn't find people too happy or sulking so much that they fit into their own foreskin. But then, alongside, this guy had his status message "Lyfe is Da Bitch". His girlfriend married someone else. Hence.

That was it. I couldn't take it, not even for a second. I realized I had to take action, be patient and not get disheartened with the happenings around me. And finally...

I, now have an account on

The Broken Toy

Posted by - Rohit

You lay in the cold,

In a frozen, rigid mould,

I leaped to believe,

it reflected gold.

With the stench of poison,

Piercing my senses,

I tried to suck your trials,

though, blinded by consequences.

A crack in me cast,

A light of uncertainty,

Now that I lay in the cold,

You seek solace in your mould.

In Pursuit of Malluness

Posted by - Rohit

This story traces way back to those days when Channel V played music; to days when Umesh headbanged to Viva and Aasma; when love was a mistake; when Pepsi had a colour similar to that of Neytiri's skin; when Wasim Akram was still a force to reckon and Shahid Afridi was into his 10th year of being 18 years of age. 2004 it was. Umesh, Shobhan, Nishad and myself were completing our higher secondary studies.

Shobhan Adhikari, born to a Bengali family, was still Mallu at heart, taste, dressing but most of all, he was Mallu in the head. I still remember the day he spelled Ajit as Ajith and Umesh had that Benny Hinn smirk on his face. Nishad meanwhile, was a blackbox. Feed him variables, he will process them and won't tell you what he felt about it, what he does about it, whether it's right or wrong. Nothing. With Shobhan being an aspiring Malayali, Umesh and me drooling daily over Bhavana Menon and arguing with the organisers of our college fashion show to use the song from the movie "Mishamadhavan" instead of a Moby classic as background music, we thought that Nishad always felt out of place. His Maharashtrian self, it seemed, restricted itself from opening to know South Indian liking, ideologies, ideals and beliefs. Maybe I was overthinking. Maybe not.

Our preliminary exams were about to begin. We always believed that our collaboration as a unit always epitomized true teamwork and selflessness. Umesh and I would always discuss our queries before the exam, after the exam but most of the times during the exam. So one fine day, we decided to collaboratively study for Mathematics at my place; Umesh, Shobhan and Nishad. We decided that Saturday would be the day when we work on achieving Shakuntala Devi like logic which was then lingering between the scale of Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan. But Saturday it was. Were we willing to give away that one day where we used to witness the act of liberation by Mallu women on Surya at 12:30 AM; where stories portrayed escapades of women (read Shakeela) and their tryst with contemporary romance? It is loosely termed as soft porn but we call it being fearless and bold. We were proud Malayali feminists (including Shobhan Adhikari) believing in liberation of (mallu) women.

Nishad backed out in the last moment stating reasons we couldn't understand but the rest of the gang was at my place at 10:30 PM sharp. The question was still lingering in our thoughts..."Were we willing to give up that one Saturday, which eventually contributed towards our upliftment?". Unanimously we decided that this Saturday would be our last. With books now in the balcony, Shobhan getting the blue coloured Pepsi, Umesh getting 'chakka' chips in order to achieve that mallu ambience  and me stuffing the gap between the door and floor with our bedsheets so that not even a trace of doubt hits my parents sleeping right across the hall...we eagerly waited for 12:30.

"Sindhu, Shakeela, Reshma or Maria...what's your pick?", asked Shobhan with proper Malayali diction and giving proper obeisance to BIG names like Shakeela.
12:15 - We spoke about scenes where Maria played the role of a hapless Nurse all set to follow love with reckless abandon, even though the world called it adultery.
12:20 - We spoke about Reshma and that one movie where she breaks all barriers of status, caste, religion as she prowls on a Sadhu.
12:25 - We were in a silent reverie. Upliftment was palpable.

12:30 - Our eyes now waiting for that credits to flash on the screen. None except Umesh could read Malayalam, but Shobhan and I could make out the exact curls that read "Superstar Shakeela".
12:35 - No mention of Super Star Shakeela.
12:37 - Umesh (banging his fists) "PREM NAZEER AND SHEELA??"
12:37 - Shobhan - "New kids on the block?"
12:38 - *Silence*
12:39 - Shobhan - "IT'S A FUCKING BLACK AND WHITE CLASSIC? Don't they show our movies anymore? Try MAA, Udaya, Sun or something"
12:40-12:57 - Prolonged Silence.
12:58 - Umesh - "Burp"

We ended up finishing the blue Pepsi, the plum cake and the chakka chips as we waited with hope to find something after this Prem Nazeer starrer. The movie was three hour long and as a consequence we spent three hours waiting for that flame of hope to die down along with any sense of upliftment.

With heavy eyes, which said 'I'm Shakeela and sleep deprived', we went for our morning (coaching) class. Nishad was there, waiting for us. Our silence continued to remind us about our loss, the society's loss, loss to every Malayali and wannabe Malayalis like Shobhan. Nishad was right there staring at us, wanting to tell us something. Maybe he wanted to mock the mallu in us, maybe he wanted to say he was better off; but just then this wave of silence was obstructed by two words that portrayed agony in its purest form.

"Prem Nazeer?", said Nishad.

The Maharashtrian had it hidden within him. Nishadh had arrived.

We had a thing for curves...all of us. (From Left to right: Nishad, Me, Shobhan and Umesh)

P.S: This event led to other series of events. Shobhan joined the Navy, Nishad went to Xaviers. But the worst hit us. Umesh and I became Engineers.

You can Make A Difference.

Posted by - Rohit

Childhood by far is one of the most defining phases of our lives. These are the times and days one can look back to so as to stand steady once again and live with hope in an attempt towards resilience. This is the only time of our lives when we fearlessly take our chances without considering the risks, and most of all the only time when we realise our unadulterated passion towards our likings and things that we want to do and things that later on go on to define our being. I'm a teacher/ volunteer with a Social Organisation name MAD (Make A Difference) and every weekend, I spend 3 hrs teaching English to a class of 10 kids. I've been part of this cause since September and its been a life changing experience for me. Here we strive to give underprivileged children what they deserve. They deserve moments that they could look back on and the one that brings a smile upon their faces, they deserve that gush of confidence they need when they are down in some point of their life...they deserve, just like every other child, a good childhood. One free from too many restrictions, one which allows them to choose their canvas, one which doesn't reprimand them for drawing a yellow umbrella.

As an attempt towards making a difference in these children's lives, we have organised a camp for the kids, known as 'The Dream Camp'. It's a 3 day camp wherein we organise a lot of activities for the kids. We make them interact with people from different walks of life, one who can discuss their success stories with the kids and inspire them to dream. We let them choose their colours, let them choose their tools and we let them create. Such activities we believe would help them understand their likings and passions at an early age and give them a sense of direction in life.

I intend to write to all my readers right now, because we need to make this happen and I need your help. We need you all to understand the importance of such camps for the kids and the kind of moments it might create for them. They deserve a good childhood, the kind of childhood that most of us lived or even better from what we've seen. I believe in this cause and as a result I have made a donation and also am working towards raising funds for this camp. I request every reader here to help me raise some amount for the camp. Even if 200 of you donate a minimum sum of Rs 200, it will potentially raise Rs 40,000.
Here is a glimpse of what our colleagues at Hyderabad conducted.

I'm really excited about the dream camp and I really want to make this a reality for the 10 kids I teach. If you share my excitement and love for these kids then help me make a difference towards their lives. Donate by clicking Here

This, my friends, is a personal request.

P.S: If you have donated, please leave a comment and mention your email id and your city. For eg:

P.P.S: About Make A Difference
MAD is one of India's largest youth volunteer networks. They empower children living in orphanages for employment by teaching them English and organising career awareness field trips. Today, they teach around 3500 children and have deployed more than a 1000 trained, young teachers to orphanages and street shelters across 19 cities in India!

Apna Baap Sabka Baap.

Posted by - Rohit

As I sit here, I hear these reverberations created by women, I'm looking at a fish tank containing species from Jupiter, looking at those dim lights in the pharmacy and I'm trying to avoid every kind of interaction with the Malayali nurses out here as it always turns out to be an intimidating encounter with them displaying more facial hair than I could ever think of having. At the same time I cannot stop thinking of my Dad's tryst with these infirmaries.

This first generation System Adminstrator who once found me hitting an 'ls' command on my laptop terminal and asked right away, 'Tu bhi yehi karta hain kya?' (Are you doing the same job that I did for 25 years?), has been through all of those trials and tribulations of life that one has to go through to eventually buy property in Mumbai and get two daughters married (they cost the same). I still remember when his routine visits to Datacenters had resulted into Bell's Palsy which froze the left side of his face. I was young and didn't know what his silence meant, but it did mean that he was in utter discomfort.

15 years later, one fine evening, during his routine Mallu Samajam meetings, he felt a twitching pain in his chest. He knew what it was but remained silent about the same and without uttering a word, had a drink, came home, saw a Movie, followed the norm of having a 13 minute argument with my Mom and then went to sleep. Before I carry on any further, let me digress into one of these episodes which goes to show why my father doesn't delve into convolutions. During one of those 13 minute routine arguments -
Mom - "Upar waala Sab dekh raha hain..." (The Almighty knows everything, so don't you dare...)
And before she could go on...
Dad - "Well, the Singhs have absolutely no business snooping into our issues."

The argument ended in 11 minutes and 43 seconds.

When he woke up the next morning, he was moving restlessly, swithching sides, changing his sleep positions continuously. On asking him what the issue was...he said, without a hint of doubt..."It's acidity.". "Why don't you try a Pundin Hara now?" said mom without wasting too much time.
The very next hour, without depending much on his judgement we got his ECG done. That day we learnt a huge lesson, Pudin Hara never cures a Massive Heart Attack. My father, totally unaware as to why his incessant belching made him believe that he had three daughters (after watching me cry that is), got him into the ICU, got him a luxurious room in Asian Heart Institute and a week later...a new artery.

This was 4 years ago.

A couple of days back, after I came home from work, he was at it again. Belching. Holding his potbelly with a frown on his face. I asked him what he feels and what does he think it is. With a long pause, he burped and said ... 'Acidity'. Without wasting much time, I called my friend who arrived in his Innova, we got dad into his car and in no time got him admitted. The dreaded 'A' word again played it's part. This acidity was nothing but an inflammed Gall Bladder in disguise.

So, here I'm keeping my distance from Mallu nurses, watching women complain about Alastair Cook's batting and hoping that the food in the cafeteria lives up to that of Asian Heart Institute. And when it comes to my Dad...he is going to come out strong.

Moral of the Story: If your parents have crossed sixty and are complaining about Acidity...just find a Hospital with a good Cafeteria.

P.S: Pray that he comes out stronger.