So-called observations

Economically Efficient

The sun is still hiding behind the concrete structures. Its rays sneak past the straight corners and filter through the faded curtains. The gentle brightening of the room is enough to rouse him out of his stupor. He opens his eyes, and for some reason, he can’t see anything. The foul smell of unwashed clothes also fills his nostrils. He cannot feel the bump under his head, which is his pillow, either. A couple of moments of intense rumination brings home the revelation that his dirty, sweaty vest had somehow escaped from the bottom of his pillow, where he had placed it strategically to dry it from isothermal compression, so as to reduce his expenditure of detergent.

As soon as the word detergent comes into his mind, he sits up straight. The thought of using more than one spoon of detergent in one month always gave him cold sweats. It had been only twenty days since he last washed his undergarments, and for them to start smelling so foul so soon was infuriating. During these moments, life seemed unfair to him. Why did bad things happen to good people?

To distract himself, he goes up to the sink to brush. He opens the cap of the toothpaste tube and licks the bit sticking to the underside of the cap. That should be enough to keep him fresh and minty for the whole day. After brushing, he thinks about something to pick him up. One thought immediately brightens up his day: eating out.

He changes into his best clothes and rushes down the stairs. Unlocking his bicycle, he adjusts the rear brake pedal to a more accessible position. Bicycles actually do not have brake pedals. However, a couple of years ago his brake lever broke off from its position due to excessive rusting. Subsequently, he tied it up to the frame near the front wheel and used it as a pedal. He was proud of this little bit of innovation.

Pedalling hard, he reaches his destination within a few minutes. It’s a local eatery. He loves visiting this place. They always make him feel special. At Rs 25, he could order a meal which included rice, sambhar, dal, and a couple of sabzis. The portions were large. However, that was not the best thing. The best thing was that it was an as much as you can eat restaurant. He only had to pay once. After satiating his hunger with three more helpings, he slowly rides back to his apartment.

As the evening arrives, he breaks the loaf of bread he had bought a couple of days back. He pours himself a glass of water, and wonders why people drink tea or coffee. Water does everything that the other beverages do. It refreshes the body, hydrates it, and helps wash the food down the oesophagus. Reclining back in his chair, he considers why people laugh at him, ridicule him, and call him a miser. He never thought of himself as a miser. He was just ahead of the curve. He was economically efficient.

P.S. No misers were hurt while writing this.

So-called poetry


Two streets run in parallel
Criss-crossing streets
Almost touching 
Yet staying apart

Two creations extend forever
Heavens reaching down
Earth up
Yet remain distant

Two lives breathe in unison
Souls mingling deep
Hopeless love
Yet never unite

Do parallel streets ever cross?
Does the horizon ever materialise?
Do star-crossed lovers ever unite?

They do not and they cannot
For they are asymptotes
Curves that never meet
Till infinity and beyond

But has anyone seen infinity?


Three Quotes Challenge

So recently I was nominated for this challenge by two exceptionally good bloggers.

The first nomination came from Inky, who has a multitude of talents including writing in both English and Urdu, and photography.  Her observational skills always leave me in awe. Do check her blog.

The second nomination was from Beparvah, who has such variety in writing that he can write on social problems as effortlessly as he writes on emotional issues. Don’t forget to click on the link provided above.

As for the rules of the challenge, I am going to bend them quite a lot. For starters, I am not going to post consecutively for three days. This will be the single post with nine quotes. And no nominations from my end either. If you want, you may do it on your blog, or you can post your favourite quote(s) down at the comments section.

So without further ado, let’s crack on.

1.Aai aai Maharani Victoria! Eku Porha xuna nai. Khali lipstick, plastic, elastic!” — My high school mathematics teacher

This is one of the defining quotes of my life. It deals with the ills of vanity and materialistic lifestyles. To break it down for you, aai aai means aai aai, because those are just sounds you make when you are angry at someone. I suppose it’s not as cool as Oi or Oye or Hey or Youstupidmoron, but it does what it intends to do — which is to alert someone that a barrage of abuses are coming.

Maharani of course means Maharani (or Queen), and Victoria is that Queen Victoria of the Victorian Age who is so famous over here due to her historically significant actions.

Porha xuna nai is in Assamese which literally translates to “reading listening not” if we consider it word by word. I guess that doesn’t make sense. So a better translation is “no studying.”

Khali doesn’t allude to the wrestler Great Khali. Khali in Assamese means only. I suppose the other words are as clear as day. Although I don’t know why he used to add the words plastic and elastic.

All in all, the quote means: “Hey you, Queen Victoria! Will you stop with your vanity issues and at least focus on your studies for a while?”

Er…or something along those lines. Whatever.

To the boys he would say, “Aai aai Jambuvantha. Kya kar raha?” This also has a lot of depth, but I am too tired to delve into the Ramayana right now and explain the context behind its usage. And if you noticed the lack of hai after raha, it’s because it was intentional. His vocabulary lacked the Hindi word hai.

“Kya kar raha?”
“Kya khaata?”
“Class mein sota?”
I think you get the point.

2. You cannot always expect change. Sometimes you have to bring the change yourself.” — Local channawaala

Well you know, he does have a point. I have to accept his rationale, otherwise he will say, “Chhutten kya paed pe lagte hain?”

3. “Meowth, that’s right.” — Meowth (Team Rocket waala or if you still don’t get it, it’s a Pokemon reference. Go ahead, drown in chullu bhar paani)

He is right. I used to think he would say Meow, but it turned out he just repeated his name. I don’t know why I am explaining this quote.

4. “If you ssssmmeeelll what the Rock is cookin.” — Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson

Well I never understood what the Rock meant with those words. I mean I used to smell whatever was around me at that time, ranging from food and books to my uncle’s smelly socks. But it represents childhood (and if I might admit, adulthood too).

Okay enough of silliness. Let’s check some proper quotes. I won’t attempt to explain them because I want you all to interpret them according to your thoughts and beliefs.

5.There is nothing more unequal than the equal treatment of unequal people.” — Thomas Jefferson

6. The price good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men.” — Plato

7. Mediocrity knows nothing higher than itself, but talent instantly recognises genius.” — Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

8. Prejudice, a dirty word, and faith, a clean one, have something in common: they both begin where reason ends.” — Harper Lee

9. An error does not become truth by reason of multiplied propagation, nor does truth become error because nobody sees it. Truth stands, even if there be no public support. It is self sustained.” — Mahatma Gandhi
So-called poetry


Heartless, they called me
Soulless being my fame
Humour was my friend
When grief became shame

Masks adorned my face
Seemed like a machine
No life and no death
Buried in between

Prayed for an escape
From the hurt and guilt
Wished someone came, and
Had my heart rebuilt

Then you came along
Like that star up north
Guiding my lost faith
Pulling it henceforth

And just like that star
Drives darkness away
You gave me the light
To search the right way

Through the thickets of
The forest of fate
Through the mazes of
Prejudice and hate

And emerge at the
Precipice at which
Pain ends and bliss starts
And life appears rich

For when these eyes close
One image haunts most
Anklet, rose, and a
Smile brighter than those

Because you are my
Soulmate; my one love;
‘Tis you that I see
When stars fade above