Saturday, April 29, 2006

For Excess of a Nail

There are moments that last and those that don’t. Of the latter all one can ever recall is the fact of the existence while the former seem to define existence. Were it an empire I were charged with, perhaps I’d dwell on it longer than the vastness that confronts me now…

Standing on the porch gazing ahead,
For all that you try the eyes won’t see a bit,
The answers are close but would you dare to try,
Take a step forward or embrace the safety behind?
My life is a veil, my words a cloak,
Is there a crowning glory or a closet to behold?
A mind torn in half will you ever be,
Or a nestling staring down from the tree?

I walk you to the edge of the demon’s lair,
Is he a frightful spectre or are your fears to be feared?
Could you take a ride without the net,
And live in abandon with disaster’s silhouette?
Again and again the eyes cast restfully around,
When the mooring cut is there no shore to be found?
A hand outstretched, a life to forsake,
A peaceful sleep or a life of unrest?

Precipices stare up to greying skies,
The rope holds him back as he screams out in joy,
A father’s wish forever a curse,
When my list is all ticked, will my voice still be heard?
Your silence speaks to me a million words,
But the days still pass in a single blur,
The wait seems long; not as long as the time,
That I took to blink and put out of my mind

Standing tall atop the fallen ruins,
Seeing death of dreams and dreams of the real,
Painting the skies and darkening the stars,
The shroud fell again and hid away the unseen,
What eyes can’t see and minds never read,
Banished to the lands of the heretic’s realm,
The empire’s gone and all that remains,
Is the seal of time and the memories of pain

Thursday, April 27, 2006

A Midnightmare Summer's Dream

At times days pass before sleepy eyes in a haze while at others you’re left to rue the procrastination that saw them do so. Some die trying to reach higher while others die just the same while searching beneath. What would life be if we were just to break free of the fetters? What thoughts and emotions would one feel when looking back at one who didn’t?

Standing afar in a sheltered place,
Staring at the beauty of visions revealed,
In places that I’d never seen before,
Though I’ve been closer one time and more,
Turn the eyes; vision’s what you make of it,
A songbird shrill in tuneless verse,
A symphony of melody,
Were the dead we, or the rest of humanity?

I smile at you when morning dawns,
Soaking in the hatred of your loving smile,
With those few words of cheer and hope,
I know you’d rather that I died,
Shrieking out in honeyed vein,
The voices speak of a discordant pain,
Was that sleepless dream a lifeless me,
Or reflections of what you had seen?

Chasing down the shadows of days,
That mesh and take the hurt away,
When darkness brought with it the rain,
It never cleansed though wounds didn’t remain,
Lost in the cesspool inside,
I seek though I know I’ll never find,
Would you know, were I to hide away and smile,
What I sought; coz you’re still outside

The signs remain ever deep and real,
We make of them what wills make believe,
A sliver of hope, a shred of remorse,
You’ll turn back when you wish for more,
Through the storm I emerge once more,
To the welcoming arms of the ocean’s floor,
Serene as the swaying bough may seem,
Twas a midnightmare thought turned to a dream

Morbidity attracting me,
Your misery in happiness so blinding and real,
Leave me to be and try to see,
When you became the one you hate,
What Gods there be shall cease to smile,
Witches will weep and angels die,
When the seas begin an upstream ride,
Perhaps some day you’ll catch my eye

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Appendix for In Mars We Trust - X

As promised in the Mars - X, here are the conversations I mentioned as proof. Trust me when I say that each one is a genuine extract from a real conversation. In some, I have actually toned down the idiocy out of deference for the fact that the persons or their friends may read the same and take offence. None is intended of course. These are posted purely for entertainment value and to mock the intelligence or lack thereof of the assorted women that have earned an honourable mention in this post :D.

By the way, as evidenced in the comments to Mars - X, a number of people did not really think those conversations could possibly be real. trust me, they are. I kidding!!!

X: I’m really depressed *sniff*
Me: But why?
X: Well, I just spoke to my ex and he’s getting married…
Me: OK, but I thought you hate his guts, so why be depressed?
X: Look, we just broke up two years ago and if he’s getting married that means he moved on pretty fast…he’s known this girl now for almost a year and a half!
Me: OK, but then, you’re getting engaged too!
X: Yeah, but well, I was single for so long after we broke up!
Me: Hmm…well, what about those three guys you were seeing in between?
X: They weren’t serious…I mean, they didn’t get anywhere!!!
Me: *Sigh* OK…whatever…

Me: You know N, it’s weird but she seems jealous about K seeing other women!
N: Yeah, that’s so natural!
Me: Eh? But she’s got a boyfriend…what’s she got to be jealous of?
N: Look, he liked her and that made her feel good. Now, with us women, even if we don’t like a guy, it makes us feel good to know that he likes us. So, we’re pissed off if he moves on and starts liking another woman!
Me: That’s so damn b*tchy!!!
N: Hey! Mind you language ok? It’s perfectly normal behaviour!
Me: What crap! If I knew a woman I didn’t like, liked me, I’d be praying for her to move on!
N: That’s because men are stupid…

D: Hey you bas*ard!
Me: Hi b*tch!
D: What the f***? Stop calling me that! How dare you!!!
Me: Err…you called me a bas*ard!
D: Yeah! That’s because you’ve not called me for so long!
Me: Err…by that same token, you’ve not called me either! And you’ve not even replied to my messages!
D: Arre, what message and all? You should have called. You’re such a bas*ard!
Me: Umm…do you realize that I am the one that has called even now?
D: So? You’re still a bas*ard and don’t give me logic and all that crap now…

A: OK, so you come to my place and pick me up.
Me: Excuse me? I’m the visitor to Delhi…so how about you picking me up? You’ve got the car after all!
A: No! You’re too far off! Tell you what…come to some place close to my place!
Me: Err…do you realize that it will be tougher for me to travel in an alien city without my own car? How about meeting somewhere in between…like Connaught Place?
A: No! Connaught Place…umm…I don’t know the way to that place!
Me: What? You’ve been living here for 6 damn years!
A: So? I still don’t know the way…
Me: OK, so do one thing…see…in Delhi all roads lead to CP, so just keep going on the widest road at every turn and you’ll get there!
A: Nooooo! There are too many roads in Delhi that go to CP. I’ll get lost!
Me: Excuse me? If they all go to CP and you’re going to CP, how in f***’s name can you get lost?
A: No! I’ll tell you what to do…you come over to my place and then drive me to CP…
*Yes, I get the point…*

Me (after an hour’s explanation): So you see, the Congress is really the worst party of them all to vote for!
V: Hmm…well…hmm…
Me: What? You can’t fault my logic, can you? If you can, tell me!
V: No, you’re right! But still, I still can’t think of not voting for them!
Me: Eh? Doesn’t that prove that your logic is flawed or else non-existent?
V: Yeah! But still, so what? Voting is not about logic!!! It’s about…it’s about…emotion!

Me: Hey! How you doing?
C: Hey! You back in Bombay?
Me: Yeah! I’m here for a month or so…
C: Hey cool! Let’s meet up! How about tomorrow?
Me: Umm…not possible tomorrow…have some family function to attend.
C: Oh! OK, day after then? That should be fine huh?
Me: Cool, no problem…let me know where then.
C: Sure. I’m in Daman right now. I get back next week…we’ll fix up then, ok?
Me: Oh-ah…sure…yeah…for day after tomorrow…awesome…fine…buh-bye!

S: Hey! I need some help from you.
Me: Sure, fire away. What’s it about?
S: Well, it’s about that form I have to fill.
Me: Cool! Need help about what to write or something?
S: No, I know what I should write and all that, but needed to ask you one thing.
Me: OK. What is it?
S: Well, I know what to write and all that…but what exactly is a statement of purpose? As in, what should I write for why I want to do this?
Me: Eh? How in Hell am I expected to know your reasoning process?
S: Well, you can help me understand what I should write…

Similar conversation on a different instance with a different woman:

X: Hey Mike, I need your help for this thingy I did...
Me: Cool. Temme...
X: Well, I need to write what I did in the project.
Me: Excuse me? What's that supposed to mean?
X: Well, see, I need to write what I I thought I'd ask you what I shold write...
*Let's see now...'Whose Project is it Anyway?'*

*Sigh* Women…

Saturday, April 15, 2006

In Mars We Trust - X

It is perhaps a testament to the brain-washing capabilities of the female species that we men have believed for centuries that women look beyond the superficial when choosing their mate. Women, we believe, look for intelligence, maturity, sensitivity and at times even personality when deciding who the man of their dreams is.

Men of course, are far more reasonable and logical in their own choice-making process. Quite simply, we realize the futility of looking for intelligence, logic and accountability in women and are content to acknowledge the fact that women are essentially ornamental creatures that occasionally hold conversational value on topics such as what gifts to buy for people or of course, what footwear suits which outfit… I mean, if we were to start looking for intelligence, accountability, sensitivity, maturity and a love for sports, we’d either be lifelong virgins or gay…neither of which is a particularly appealing alternative in my opinion.

The folly of this reasoning of ours that we attribute to the woman’s reasoning process became apparent to me a while ago, but it is only recently that I was convinced that we men were quite far from the truth in assuming that women went beyond the superficial when judging men…the name of the flaw is, to put it succinctly, ‘intuition’. Yes, that very bane of a man’s existence that renders it well nigh impossible to have a logical discussion with a woman on any topic under the Sun.

Now, I dislike people who merely make claims or level accusations without laying the foundations for the same and therefore, I shall prove to you just what I mean to say, by means of a few conversations that I have been privileged enough to have been a part of with a series of my lady friends. These are the contents of course, of the Appendix to Mars – X which will follow this post…there’s too many of them to include in this one! But, just to give you a feeler of what they were like, here’s one:

Me: I really like Steffi Graf.
S: Yeah, me too. She was a virgin when she married Andre Agassi.
Me: Huh? You nuts? She had at least two publicized affairs before that and she was seeing him for ages before they married! I think she even conceived before they married!
S: NO!!! I tell you she was a virgin when she married him!
Me: Umm…and what makes you say that? Did she tell you?
S: No, but I know it…
Me: Oh, so I presume she said it on Oprah huh? Or did she say that in Time magazine or something?
S: No! I just look at her and I know it!
Me: *Sigh* OK, so it’s your ‘intuition’ thingy eh?
S: No! It’s not intuition but I just know it! And stop giving me logic!!!

Now, thinking about those conversations revealed to me after a couple of days of mulling and musing that it was highly unlikely that members of a species of this kind were capable of logical reasoning when it came to just about any decision. It seemed obvious to me that expecting logic from a woman was akin to expecting India to win this year’s football World Cup…

Further thought and logical reasoning made this an even more obvious conclusion as seen applied to real-life scenarios. Let me enlighten those of you who have not yet quite grasped the drift of what I am getting at. How many losers do you see around you who seem to have women partners? In my experience, nearly all the complete jerk-offs and twats I know seem to have an unending stream of women just dying to be with them. Prime examples include Gayonardo TheCraprio, Enrique Thegooeyass and Abhi-shake Bachchan.

So, what theory then could it possibly be that applies to women and explains their absolutely mystifyingly asinine choice in men that makes them feel that an abject loser like any of the three mentioned above would be a nice guy to be with? (I know at least fourteen women who think that AB Jr. would make a ‘nice husband’…don’t ask me what gives them that feeling…they just ‘feel’ it!)

Much musing and mulling and ho-ing and hum-ing later, I hit upon the idea that women, being the sub-25 IQ creatures that they are, could not possibly be anywhere close to as rational as men when it came to deciding which men to have in their lives (and when I say that I mean of course, as rational as men are when choosing which women to have in their lives) and trust me, my single status did not in any way influence my thinking in this regard ;-)…really, it didn’t…well, not much anyway ;-). It seemed apparent to me therefore, that women must have much more base and banal criteria for judging men and their suitability!

I decided therefore to test this hypothesis of mine and indulged in conversations with a few of the women I happen to know. Suffice to say that each of these conversations bore out the irrefutable truth and proved correct my hypothesis that women were as illogical, irrational and asinine in their choice of men as they are in all other fields of life! Let’s face it, any creature that believes a ‘first-date anniversary’ is more important than a live football game is utterly hopeless and completely incapable of logical thinking and rational reasoning in any field of life!

Anyway, to return to those conversations I had, all of them ran along essentially similar lines and can be summed up as under…

Me: So, then you must like A, right?
D: No! I don’t! Please!
Me: But you just said that he had every quality that you like in men!
D: Yeah, but no, I can’t like him…as in he’s a nice guy and decent and has everything I said…but I can’t go out with him…no!
Me: OK, so what exactly stops you? I mean, there must be something!
D: OK, look, with us women, we decide when we see a guy whether we want to sleep with him or not…and if we don’t, well, that’s that…

I have not, in my whole life felt as vindicated and as devastated simultaneously as I did when I heard those words. Vindicated, for at last I know that women are even more superficial than men and are more senseless than even I had given them credit for (lower that IQ thingy to 15, will you?) and devastated coz…well…frankly, how many women would look at a 4’1” tall cripple and want to sleep with him?

So, brothers, men of this world, change the approach, renew those gym memberships and try the new angles that I am sure will be revealed to your minds now…and hey, if you still can’t come up with anything besides the cheesy “I think I have seen you somewhere”, worry not! Darth Midnightmare will soon return to enlighten you still further. Research continues and the shrouds of mystery shall soon be removed to reveal the naked truth…

Till then though, bear in mind the immortal words of Lynn Lavner:

“There are a number of mechanical devices that increase sexual arousal in women. Chief among these is the Mercedes-Benz 500SL.”

PS: Darth Midnightmare wishes to inform his well-wishers, few though they may be, that he will now be forced to lie low for a few days to avoid the retribution of the militant arm of the Bachao! Mahila! Andolan’s Jedi Templar. The Sith however will return soon, having overcome this unavoidable disturbance in the Force. As they say, violence is the last refuge of those ill-equipped for intellectual warfare and Hell hath no fury like a woman mocked! So, be patient my faithful apprentices. Lord Midnightmare will return…I’ll be back ;-)

Oh, and here’s a not-so-reassuring thought to leave you with…

“Do you know that look women get when they want sex? Me neither” – Steve Martin

Friday, April 07, 2006


I have always held that religion is a bad thing to have in the world today and the sooner that all religions are abolished the better it will be for the world at large. The truth of this argument seems so glaringly obvious to me, that it defies logic as to why most people can’t get it! Religion served a purpose at one point in time. That point in time has passed and so too has the utility of religion. Today, all that religion accomplishes is creating hatred, destroying peace and creating ready-to-exploit vote-banks.

The controversy over the Danish cartoons brought up a very interesting thought process in a discussion I had in my group of friends here. The school of thought that holds that the cartoons were “wrong” says that they violate the principle of Islam that says that the Prophet must never be depicted. Well, sure, that’s true, but there’s another way of looking at that, which a friend brought up.

“It’s prohibited in Islam, but then so is eating pork! Does that mean that no one must ever eat pork?” I must admit that this argument, its simplicity and its absolute irrefutability stunned all of us when we first heard it. It’s simple. Every religion prohibits a number of things. The followers of that religion may or may not choose to accept those decrees and may or may not therefore be accused of blasphemy or whatever, but the rest are completely free to break them with impunity and should not have to fear retribution from the followers of the religion!

That of course leaves just the point of whether the cartoons were offensive in themselves. Personally, I have seen all of them and did not think they were offensive. They mocked the people who use Islam as a shield and justification for terrorism and I don’t think that is at all offensive for the people who do not fall into that category. If I were a peace-loving Muslim who therefore would obviously not like those people, I would agree with the sentiments expressed by the cartoonist! It is astounding that these shold be considered offensive, particularly by those that defended MF Hussain!

The arguments raised by the defenders of the cartoons have generally centered on the issue of freedom of speech and this is where I find that religion is the obstacle! It seems fashionable in the West these days to deride Islam as the religion that seems to place barriers on freedom speech and expression, yet it is my contention, that all religions do so! However much the proponents of any religion may claim that their religion promotes peace and love, the irrefutable and indeed immutable truth of the matter is that no religion actually does so outide itself and the existence of any religion will ultimately lead to the total opposite.

There have been prolonged and painful-to-the-observer debates on the messages of peace in Islam and there have been points and counter-points about certain verses of the Koran and Hadith that certain scholars claim have violent/non-violent connotations. I find all these quite ludicrous and an unimaginable waste of time!

A fleeting glimpse of the Old Testament will serve to prove that Christianity is not devoid of violence either. Indeed, till just before the Industrial Revolution, the history of Europe is extremely bloody, brutal and war-laden…all in the name of religion. I have mentioned before in these musings of mine that all wars and battles documented in the last two millennia have essentially been based on religion! The Crusades, the burning of the witches, the colonisations etc. All these acts were promoted and encouraged and indeed sanctioned by the Church! Yet, few people contend today that Christianity is violent and there is a reason for that. Development! With the advent of the Industrial Age and prosperity, the focus of society shifted from religious to scientific education and education by its very nature is secular.

The relevance of religion in Western society has diminished to the point that there are articles about how the Church is worried about attendances and a few churches have opened malls and entertainment plazas on their premises! True that of late there is a religious Right that has sprung up in some places, but that is a very, very small minority!

By contrast, the less-developed regions of the world continued to wallow in religious fervour and worship. The Gulf, for all its money has nothing barring the oil reserves that have been relentlessly and ruthlessly been exploited by all the oil giants of the world. There is no real knowledge economy there as shown by the amazing dearth of any good institutions for higher education.

In India of course, the religious leaders of the minorities hold the strings and try to curb all attempts at the spread of education in the community. They are abetted by the ever-willing politicians for whom a community that is dependent on its religious leader for advice, represents the easiest of vote-banks to capture. Simple example. Why are the politicians as well as religious leaders so against a Uniform Civil Code? Because it’d drastically reduce, if not nullify, the hold that the religious leaders have over their community!

Religion has outlived its purpose. The purpose of every religion when it began was to create a societal order and bonding between the people. But that was in an age where there was hardly any inter-mingling! Today, with the diversity in all places, all that religions achieve is to create distinctions between people. They’re divisive by nature! Who says religions promote equality? The equality pertains only to people of the same Faith!

Every religious doctrine proclaims that the people of the ‘true faith’ will go to Heaven. A nun at my door once promised to teach me about ‘the true God’. What is all this if not divisive in nature? I believe that no person is a true atheist in the sense that every person has to believe in something. I say I am an atheist in the sense that I do not buy the concept of ‘God’ as it is taught. Yet, I too believe in something. I believe in a Universal Self as taught in the Upanishads and then as taken forward by a number of philosophers, both ancnt and modern.

No religion has answers to any of the truly philosophical questions. The reason is simple. Religion was not meant to answer these questions or teach the Truth. It was meant only to bind together people of a particular region, lay down laws and provide employment and money to the Godmen. Today, the wealth of the religious organizations and the power they wield bears testimony to the success that these instruments of domination have enjoyed. But their time has passed. It’s time to break down these edifices and look beyond at the naked truth, unmasked by the lies and deception propagated by religion.

I think the asininity of religion is best illustrated by an exchange I had with a priest. It’s a long one, so I’ll refrain from posting it here. In short, he blew up at me and refused to answer my questions after a point. It proved to me all I needed to know: Religion is a pile of crap!