About me.

Hi, good morning… thank you, good night sir

It’s been a really long time since I last posted. I know it’s really uncharacteristic of me. But life has changed so much over the past few months that I’m wondering whether a stable concept like ‘characteristic’ even exists.

My last post was around three months back. The last comment on this blog came about two months back. I’ve written exactly one poem in the past three months. I now own a bike, live in a flat, earn some money, take a bath twice a day, wear formals everyday and shave once in two days. Over the past three months, I gained ten kgs, before shedding four of them.

I’ve been drinking roughly about twice a week, have made three bike trips longer than 150km over the past month, and look forward to many more.

I remained in isolation as a suspect swine flu case for three days.

I once blew up 1500 bucks on booze in a single evening, smoked bong, rode 450km bike in a single day, and twice lifted 30kg in Bench Press.

I’ve quit running.

I fell in love once, but have been forced to remain single. And I’ve figured out that that’s the way it’s gonna be unless something really, really unusual happens.

I’m sitting in office alone, the surrounding average age is in excess of 30 years, I have no idea when the day will start, much less when it will end. And I have decided that letting my blog die wouldn’t be a great idea. I wrote all that came to my mind, and would like a longer comeback post. So here I’m assuming Namrata’s tag and answering some random questions with all the honesty that I’m capable of…

1. When you looked at yourself in the mirror today, what was the first thing you thought?
“No dude, not the bed again!”

2. How much cash do you have in your wallet right now?
INR 71/-

3. What’s a word that rhymes with DOOR?

4. Who is the 4th person on your missed call list on your cell phone?
My didi

5. What is your favorite ring tone on your phone?
No favorites here, but the standard Nokia tune’s been there for a long time now.

6. What are you wearing right now?
A striped formal shirt over a pair of dark pleated trousers and formal shoes.

7. Do you label yourself?
I sometimes try to.

8. Name the brand of the shoes you’re currently owning?
Reebok, Adidas, Gliders

9. Bright or Dark Room?

10. What do you think about the person who took this survey before you?
Namrata. She works on the same floor as me.

11. What does your watch look like?
I don’t own any.

12. What were you doing at midnight last night?
I was asleep.

13. What did your last text message you received on your cell say?
Last night. Daddu asking me how it was like to work.

14. What’s a word that you say a lot?

15. Who told you he/she loved you last? (please exclude spouse , family, children)
I’m yet to open my account here.

16. Last furry thing you touched?
A random teddy bear in… I think Reliance Fresh a few days ago.

17. Favorite age you have been so far?
My Solahwan Saal – (Sixteenth year, class X)

18. What was the last thing you said to someone?
“Excuse me… hi, do you know when Padmini comes in? ”

19. The last song you listened to?
Alvida, last evening, in the office.

20. Where did you live in 1987?

21. Are you jealous of anyone?
Not jealous, but yeah, envious of a lot of people.

22. Is anyone jealous of you?
Would someone be?

23. Name three things that you have on you at all times?
My wallet, my cellphone, my handkerchief.

24. What’s your favorite town/city?
Kasol, followed by Hyderabad.

25. When was the last time you wrote a letter to someone on paper and mailed it?
I think it was a loveletter I wrote to my first crush, way back in class X.

26. Can you change the oil on a car?
Would like to learn how to.

27. Your first love/big crush: what is the last thing you heard about him/her?
That she’s now an Air hostess with Kingfisher Airlines.

28. Does anything hurt on your body right now?
Surprisingly, no.

29. What is your current desktop picture?
Bank of America logo.

30. Have you been burnt by love?
What’s that?

PS: Book I’m reading – ‘Audacity of Hope’ by Barack Obama. Wish we had politicians like that in our country, too. And wish I could read more books 🙂

Categories: Arbit, Myself | 19 Comments

Under the boundless sky – II

The last post describes my experiences with the people of Devabhoomi (God’s land) Himachal Pradesh. I’d never planned this post, but then Turbo asked me to write a post describing the trek itself, complete with photographs.

I do not own a camera, and whatever pics I have of the trip are courtesy a few good people I made friends with on the trek. Anyways, pics and cameras have their own limitations. Cameras can catch the snow covered mountains, but cannot describe the reverence I feel when I look at them. They can see the look of the rag-tag pahadi people, but do not have it in them to see the goodness they hold in their hearts. The blast of the mountain wind, the drowsiness of the early morning mist, the strength of the pahadi bidis and even the beauty of the Pahadi women are beyond cameras’ reach.

Here are some things that cameras could never have captured.


We were on a 6km road hike from Kasol to Manikaran Sahib, when it started raining heavily. We had no raincoats and the rain lashed against our unprotected skins. The rain was so heavy that it was difficult to see even ten feet beyond on the road. The soft ground under our feet threatened to give away every now and then, and we shivered in the below 10 temperature as chilly wind blasted against us, threatening to fling lightweights like myself lock stock and barrel into the gushing Parvati river. The hills to our right, and the stalwart Deodar trees covering them all stood surrendered against this fury of nature.

It is under such difficulties that one gets to see a hitherto prohibited side of mother nature. A stark, real picture, different from the benign, modified one one has been made accustomed to. For city dwellers like us, the sheer nakedness of contact, the brutally honest directness of the surroundings might be more difficult to handle than the actual physical sensations. With me, the connection was instant. I was in that all powerful grip of nature, in some different world all by myself; drunk on the surroundings and thrilled beyond words.

We trudged on, and came across a narrow ‘bridge’ that had been drawn across the Parvati river at the side of the road. The river was narrow at this juncture, and as a result its fury seemed to be greater than ever. The old, narrow, weather beaten bridge was charming in a very rustic way, and I simply had to explore it in spite of everything. It was swaying left and right in the storm when we stepped on its wooden boards. Tightly gripping the ropes holding it in place, we tottered, shivering and almost tumbling from excitement, to the center of the bridge. We were directly above the middle of the river now. Clenching the rope tighter in both my fists, I peered down to the river.

And then I lost control.

The excitement, the nervousness, the overpowering feeling to break free and the immense reverence that had been building up inside me for so long, suddenly could not be contained any longer. I gripped the ropes, and looking down the length of the roaring river, facing the lashing rain square on the face, I screamed and continued to scream, for some reason I cannot explain, ‘JAAAAAI BHAAARAAAT MAATAAAA’, ‘JAAAAAI BHAAARAAAT MAATAAAA’, ‘JAAAAAI BHAAARAAAT MAATAAAA’ …

And in that one moment, with the rain slapping my face left and right with all its fury, the wind threatening to take me away with itself, the bridge swaying and the floorboards creaking, and the mighty river flowing white with a deafening roar some fifty feet below me, I pictured in my mind’s eye the passage of the river waters right from the mountains of Himachal, through the plains of Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Bengal right till the Bay of Bengal and I imagined that the river waters were carrying my voice along with them. And in that one moment, I felt the whole country reverberating with the sounds of my Jai Bharat Mata…


This incidence took place at Tilalottni, our highest camp. It was at a height of 13,000 feet, where dusk sets in at 6:00 in the evening. It was drizzling but I didn’t want to waste a single moment of the mountain view sitting inside the tent.

Vinay and I sat on a rock some distance from the camp, to avoid the artificial camp lights. At 15,000 feet, this hill was the highest among all the nearby peaks. We were sitting at 13,000 feet and there was nothing except snow above us. Below us rolled soggy, green pastures till the the edge of the hill. The thick green forests and small villages dotting the countryside were in the valley below, out of our sight. From what we could see, there was just the two of us, equally high mountains in front and snow above and grass below us under the boundless sky.

Dragging on the head spinning pahadi bidis to keep ourselves warm, we talked while we looked at the view before us. In the dark background of the formidable, forbidding mountains, white, frisky clouds hovered in front of us, forming and unforming into different shapes. We were deep in conversation, when I noticed small white flakes streaming soundlessly down from behind us. Both of us looked behind, up the hill, and realized that clouds were forming around us. We shut our mouths and looked in awe as the world quickly started getting misty.

Vinay resumed the conversation, but this time I shushed him. I had noticed something else.

I strained my ears to listen. To something. To anything. Anything at all. I whispered to Vinay to listen. Both of us strained our ears as the calm wind wordlessly carried on with its task of creating clouds around us in that virgin territory.

We could not hear a single sound.

The Cloud started to envelope us. Dusk had fallen and the visibility was negligible. I closed my eyes and strained and strained, but except for Vinay’s heavy breathing, I could not hear anything. No sight, no sound. Just the profoundness of silence overflowing everywhere.

I never felt more distant from the world. And I never felt freer.


Categories: Myself, Travelogue | 13 Comments

Mastram ki Mastiyaan

After stories occupying many of my past blog posts, I finally have a chance to talk directly about something I love – Myself. Thanks to Sultan of Samarkand for tagging me. I, on my part have never tagged him and intend to return the favour sometime.

This blog post is gonna be long, for talking about myself is one thing I like to do for as long a time as possible (and that is Mastram ki zeroth masti). The post may also veer from its course at times, for, as the title suggests, I’m a Mastram and happen to be in one of my Mast moods right now. I’m terribly sorry if someone would rather a short-n-sweet post. I just can’t help being verbose right now.

These are my Mastram ki mastiyaan, in no particular order of preference.

1. Love the name!
Yeah, I’m in love with this name ‘Mastram’. I’ve had several nicknames over the years, but this one takes the cake. Was given to me during the ragging period, by Khare I think, for writing several pages of Mastram-type literature for the benefit of my seniors. Fit like a glove, this name, for not only did I give the real Mastram a run for his money by producing some very exciting literature totally worthy of the name, in normal life I’ve always liked to stay ‘Mast’ for as much time as possible and do not entertain many unnecessary pains in the neck. ‘Mast’ remained fine, but over time, the sound of ‘Ram’ in the end slowly lost its appeal and I had stopped believing that this name suited me, until Himachal happened.

I went to Himachal in the summers for a trek in the wilds. Ever so much the Aravalis’ own boy, I took to the Himalayas like a duckling takes to water. I was pretty good at everything we were supposed to do, and some of the local guides were even gracious enough to admit that I was right in their league!

Now, the guides (bless them, pure souls!) had names like Dola Ram, Doley Ram, Sohan Ram etc. My friends in the trek admired my climbing skills, and started calling me ‘Aniket Ram ji’, ala Dola Ram Ji, Doley Ram ji and Sohan Ram ji. And that’s when it hit me: The name ‘Mast Ram ji’ or Mast Ram WAS my name. It was as much meant for me as the green colour was meant to cover the lower Himalayas and as the white colour was meant to cover their peaks.

Yeah, unfashionable as it is, this name is my name. Pity though, that not many people are left in the college who call me by this name.

2. ‘Song listening Principle’ :

“‘Never change a good song before it is completed.'”

I love music and also the people who create it. I think that if you change a good song before it ends, you’re doing an insult to the artist who was gracious enough to perform it for you. So, I formulated this principle. Not that I always abide by it; but I always try to.
The artist has put in an effort and deserves a chance to present his thing. Listen to him, give him his chance, and then reject him if you wanna. But not before that, please, not before that.

3. Music: Another peculiarity about music: I cannot listen to a music for long unless I understand its lyrics. And also usually, the less instruments and sound effects, the better. Lyrics and vocals are of primary importance to me in my music. Also, I’m a minimalist: too many of the instruments and effects, and the real emotions get buried under them; hence the less of them, the better.

4. Schools: I get totally ecstatic, absolutely very, very happy sometimes at the sight of a school. Especially if it’s in a remote area and there are lots of kids running around. I think several subconscious factors may be at work behind this reaction. Maybe the school tells me that someday, everything will be alright with India, that it has a very good future, that every kid in India is studying and will have the chance that is due to her. Or maybe, it just subconsciously takes me back to those good ol’ absolutely carefree school times when we played during the days and the evenings never came…

5. Athletic girls: I somehow feel very attracted to girls who’re athletic (meaning girls who’re good at running or jumping). Not only attracted, I hold them in high esteem and have a special respect for them, a kind which I have only for them.

The attraction thing puzzled me and I read about the mechanisms of attraction, what makes some girls attractive to guys and what doesn’t. It basically has to do with our subconscious instincts. Won’t go into the details, but I think maybe the athleticism of a girl tells me that she’s gonna retain that marvelous figure for a long time, maybe it’s just appreciation of the qualities in another human being. Or maybe, just maybe, it’s because of myself being an athlete too. Only an athlete girl can appreciate the finer details of something that’s an integral part of me and which probably precious little number of girls can even understand.

6. Mania for climbing:
Our very own tharki dirty old man of India, Khushwant Singh once admitted that almost every woman he comes across, he, well, sizes her up. That he pictures her in bed, how’d she look and act during the act and so on and so forth.

I’ve grown up among the Aravalis, and things like running up and down steep hill slopes, climbing vertical ascents, jumping from heights and ‘skiing’ down slopes over loose pebbles are second nature to me. But in all these activities, climbing up vertical ascents without any ropes is what turns me on the most. I equally love climbing up trees.

So far, so good. But it isn’t just that.

Climbing runs much more deeper into my head. So much so that whatever structure I come across, I ‘size it up’. Meaning figuring out whether I’ll be able to climb it or not. And that includes all kinds of structures. The IIIT Main Building front, the boulders we come across in Hyderabad, the trees in the campus, any wall, railway wagon, hill slope, cliff, basketball column… any goddam vertical structure. After sizing it up, I make a plan in my head and picture myself carrying it out. “I’ll proceed like this, then put my foot there, no, I won’t be able to put it so high up… from here, that’s better. Then I’ll grab that chink in the wall, no it won’t hold my weight… this angle will be difficult, that position impossible.” Like this I proceed in my head until I’ve climbed the ascent, which may be anything from a few feet high campus wall to a thousands of feet high Himalayan peak. And I do this with almost every structure I happen to pay any attention to. I don’t know of any other person who does that. Maybe there isn’t any.

Our Tharki Sardar enjoys his secret pastime with women. I remain quite happy with my heights.

I tag the following people to blog about their ‘quirks’:
Chand , Pagare, Himank, Sunanda, Aakanksha, ,Shubhangi .
The people I’m tagging, please visit anks for rules n stuff.

Categories: Myself, Tag Posts | 13 Comments

My First Tag Post

I’d wanted to post for some time now. Have a few saved drafts, as well as a few ideas. Also a request. Will work on them. Right now, it’s Thanks to anks, because of whom I’m writing my first tag post.

A- Age: 22 years.

B- Band listening to right now: Nothing at the moment, but I guess it’s Bruce Springsteen these days.

C- Career: As a manager.

D – Drink or smoke: Both.

E – Easiest friend to talk to: My Didi.

F – Funniest moment of your life: Have been in my school. In IIIT, it’s Samba’s room that takes the cake.

G-Gummy bears or gummy worms: Never experienced either.

H-Have a boyfriend/girlfriend: Nope.

I-In love: With life? YEAAAHHHHHH….

J-Junk food you like: Pao-Bhaji, Kadhi Kachoudi from the lanes of Ajmer, subs, cheese burst pizzas, Lays…

K-Kids: Love them. Totally. But the thought that some day I might have some of my own gives me the creeps. What if one of them turns out to be like me!!!

L-Longest ride ever: Fron Begumpet airport to Hotel City Park, in an auto, with the Indian Ocean following behind in a Qualis.

M-Man/woman you love the most: Have to be the people in my family.

N-Names for your kids: Brrrrr!!!

O-One wish you have now: To have a hearty dinner followed by a hearty smoke.

P-Phobias: None.

Q-Quote (favorite): “Darr sabko lagta hai, G**** sabki phat-ti hai. Darr se mat daro. Us se Aage badho” : Self-modified line from some commercial.

R-Reasons to smile: Giving complete effort to something, being with family, being with friends, helping someone out.

S-Sleeping hours: 4:00 AM to 12:30 PM.

T-Time you woke up: 12:30 PM.

U-Unknown fact about you: I once ran a library in the garage back home.

V-Vegetable you hate: Karela.

W-Worst habit: Procrastination.

X-X-rays you’ve had: Once. On my left thumb. Quite surprising for someone who’s been injured so many times.

Y-Yummy foods: Biryani, Haleem or Tandoori chicken follwed by a Paan and a ciggy… aaah.

Z-Zodiac sign: Capricorn.

PS: Stomach crying ‘UNCLE!’. Gotta rush now.

Categories: Arbit, Myself, Tag Posts | 4 Comments


I’m lazy. If there’s any quality that I possess that others don’t, it’s my to-the-bone, hardcore, inherent and impregnable laziness. I’ve always been lazy; and in IIIT, the land of die-hard, spirited hard workers, I can easily beat anyone at a duel of laziness. Here are some recent instances of my laziness…

1. I didn’t wash my socks. For a whole month. And I kept on going out to play football in them and they got caked in mud. I still continued to wear them, because I was too lazy to wash them. Because of getting muddy, their ‘size’ increased and my shoe became increasingly uncomfortable to wear, due to which I had to put more stress on my knee due to which it got stress injured. Right now, i’m nursing the stress injury, and I still haven’t washed that old pair of socks yet.

2. I didn’t clean up/ tidy my room for two whole months. All my things are on the bed, and I’m too lazy to move them to their proper places. Further, if I move them to their proper places, I’ll have to go look for them in the morning, and again, I’m too lazy for that. So I just let my stuff accumulate on my bed. This has been going on for two months now, and now half my bed is covered with arbitrary articles. I can’t sleep properly on my bed, and I’m too lazy to clean up the clutter. So currently, I’m on the lookout for a decent, clean bed which I could sleep in in the night(or day). Anybody wanna volunteer …???

3. I haven’t accessed my mess calendar, ‘coz again, I’m too lazy to do that. I’ve been eating in any arbit mess for more than two months now, while the Yuktahar mess is benefitting from my lazy generosity, at the cost of the other messes.

4. Leave alone doing assignments, I don’t even copy and submit assignments these days, because…

5. My clothes are lying dirty on my bed, ‘coz I’m too lazy to give them to the dhobi.

6. I’ve been planning to write this post for more than two weeks, but only wrote it now, and then, too

7. This list is incomplete. I could go on and on, but you know….

PS1 : ‘Doorie’ by Atif Aslam is a good song, but doesn’t anybody thing that it could’ve been a lot better had Atif used some more guitar sounds in it?

PS2: The ‘Dot Theory’ won its first cash prize by coming 3rd in the group singing @ felicity’07. May there be a lot more. Amen.

PS3: Can somebody top my acts of honour? Put in your comments and we’ll have a vote.

Categories: Arbit, Myself | 2 Comments

My sisterz!!!

Well ppl, most of the regulars at blogging and blog reading must’ve read a lot of blogs dedicated to somebody’s girlfriends. And why only blogs! A lot of the beautiful work in poetry of every language is about girlfriends. So,it is usually very unusual to write about one’s sisters. Well, I have no girlfriend (never gave it a serious thought actually ;)), but i have been very lucky, entirly very very fortunate as far as sisters and my relationships with them are concerned. I have a lot of them,and they mean the world to me.

My childhood, my teenage, infact my entire lfe would’ve been nothing without my sisters. Mom tells me when i was very young, about 2 yrs old, my elder sis, who used to be 5 at that time, used to read me any comic book that she could, and i would look at her, my mouth agape, and would later memorize everything. My younger sister unknowingly gave me a lot of self esteem, as with her pleasant arrival came the realisation to me, that suddenly I was ‘elder’ to somebody. I still remember how I would recall each and every person I knew from memory, and on comparison, I would always find that everybody was older than me. It was then that the thought of Sunanda comforted me. Somebody at last,was younger and smaller!

My first flings which later became full blown affairs for the lifetime, with music and books were started by my elder sis, Munmun didi, whom i call Mundidi for short. She introduced me to the world of cassettes, magazines and novels as easily and lovingly as she had introduced me to cricket and comic books a few years ago. She would do all the buying, and issuing and I used to reap the full rewards of her efforts. I, who was comsidered too small and careless to be entrusted with such things, and I know that if those things hadn’t been given to me on a platter by her, I wouldn’t have bothered anyways, and thus would’ve remained a barbaric savage, to see nothing beyond my trekking and wandering and wondering and cricket and probably some textbooks…almost every new thing in my life used to be initiated by her, and the process continues, the latest addition to the list being the guitar. Yeah, it was didi again, who arranged for me to learn the guitar, which is now my latest crush, and a big source of inspiration, satisfaction, popularity and of course, enjoyment.

My didi told me which friends to keep (although i never listened to her), but her advices taught me quite a few things in life. I’ve faced two serious breaches of trust in my life so far, and both of them had been predicted by her. As for sunandi, I was always her elder brother, very protective, and have fought quite a few bloody battles for her. I knew there was always a code of conduct for me, as I was sunanda’s brother. And as everybody can see,there still is!

Time has flown on its wings and thankfully, we all are now well settled in our respective fields. The differences in our ages have diluted, and now nobody’s elder or younger. Our relationships have evolved, and physical distances have grown, but we still share each and every small detail in life. I almost constantly need help and guidance from my sisters on every account. And why just help and guidance? I simply need to share, just tell them about each and every small detail of what all’s been happening to me. Both my sisters are such an integral part of my life!

I don’t want to end this blog by saying any such thing that goes without saying (love you or miss u), but i honestly wonder what made god give such a jerk like me, two of the best sisters in the world???

Categories: Myself, Relationships | 7 Comments

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