It happened to me last night. As I lay on my cot listening to the constant whir of the ceiling fan, trying to keep whatever heat it could out, it suddenly hit me. Just out of the blue I had found the answer to one of the most profound questions dogging mankind from time immemorial.

I say time immemorial because to most of us anything that happened before our existence is meaningless. That does not really apply to me because I have been existing ever since the big bang. How and why I cannot reveal. It could throw the entire cosmos into chaos.

Anyway, the question. On hindsight, and hindsight is a wonderful thing because everything appears so much simpler then, it does not appear as profound. But, then that is always the case. When you were a year old, your first step was an achievement. Now you just take it for granted.

So, what is that question? Really, if you have not been able to fathom it yet I am sorry to say that your future does not hold a lot of promise. I see dark clouds hovering over you. Beware of that silver lining. It might just be that bolt of lightning.

Putting all speculation to rest (Hah, like any of you was speculating! I don't hold that against you. It is not your fault that you were born dumb.) we return to the matter at hand. Be warned. This is no ordinary matter.

Why is it that people blog? No, that is not the question. The answer to this is simple enough. They need an outlet for their creativity and since Penguin Books won't give them that is the next best thing. What is mysterious, that is up until I solved it, is what makes people read them.

One word. Free. People would take anything that is free. Don't believe me? You read this post, didn't you? And it was an utter piece of crap!

Current Mood: Gloomy
Current Music: Material Girl
Unlike a fellow blogger, I do not stoop so low that I start parodying a fellow-blogger's blog. Instead, I stoop lower. I parody Fritjof Capra's 'The Tao of Physics'.

'The Tao of the Hyderabadi Lifestyle'

Thus spake the Hyderabadi:

When you have learned to differentiate a 'Hau' from a 'How', it will be time for you to leave."

Something mysterious is formed, born in the silent void. Waiting alone and unmoving, it is at once still and yet in constant motion. It is the soul of the Hyderabadi Lifestyle. I do not know its name, so I will call it the Tao of the Hyderabadi Lifestyle. The Tao of Hyderabadi Lifestyle flows far away and returns on the wind of morning.

The Tao gave birth to Hyderabadi Hindi. This Hindi gave birth to a way of life. This way of life gave birth to the laid-back (no pun intended) attitude. Now there are lakhs of Hyderabadis. All Hyderabadis have their purpose, however humble. Each Hyderabadi has his/her place within the Tao. But do not go to Chennai if you can avoid it. In the beginning was the Tao. The Tao gave birth to Space and Time. Therefore Space and Time are the Old City and Cyberabad of Hyderabad. Hyderabadis that do not comprehend the Tao are always running out of time and space. Hyderabadis that comprehend the Tao always have enough time and space.

How could it be otherwise?

The wise Hyderabadi is told about Tao and follows it. The average Hyderabadi is told about Tao and searches for it. The naive Hyderabadi (not unlike a fellow blogger) is told about Tao and laughs at it. If it were not for laughter, there would be no Tao. The highest sounds are hardest to hear. Going forward is a way to retreat. Great talent shows itself late in life. Even a perfect Hyderabadi still has his/her flaws.

Thus Spake the Hyderabadi:

"After three days without Hyderabad, life becomes meaningless."

The Hyderabadis of yore were mysterious and profound. We cannot fathom their thoughts, so
all we do is describe their appearance. Slothful, like the python after a meal. Kind, like a hostess greeting her guests. Simple, like uncarved blocks of wood. Opaque, like black pools in darkened caves. Who can tell the secrets of their hearts and minds? The answer exists only in Tao.

Grand Hyderabadi A.B.C.D.

Current Mood: Gloomy
Current Music: Leaving on a Jet Plane
A group of women, none much different from a fellow blogger, visited Sicily - the place made famous by Mario Puzo.

What they saw was unheard of in the western world. The local women woke up before the crack of dawn. Carrying their water-pitchers on their heads, they walked to the village lake a few kilometres from their homes. On their return, they cleaned their homes and cooked breakfast. They made tea for the men folk and very lovingly woke them up (no, I have no idea how the visitors could witness something as intimate as this, but considering they were women I give them the benefit of the doubt).

They bathed and fed their children, made the beds and left to tend to their fields. They worked the whole day in the scorching sun. The men simply went to the village bar and had a good time over a few drinks while the women toiled.

To say that the visitors were appalled at the sight would be an understatement. They decided it was high time someone did something about it. They called a meeting of all the village women.

One of them, not much different from a fellow blogger, spoke, "Why do you women put up with this?"

Came a voice from the crowd, "Put up with what?"

"Well," the woman replied, "You do all the chores while the men have fun. You know, where we come from our men help us with all the work. They take care of the kids, cook dinner every once in a while, and even do the dishes at night."

A Sicilian woman, very different from a fellow blogger, with a gleam in her eye shot back. "Ah! So you live in a place where all the men go to bed tired!"

Giggling to themselves, the women dispersed while the visitors were left ruing their loss.

Current Mood: Gloomy
Current Music: Enter Sandman
There are days when I am infused with a zeal to work, to do something worthwhile with the time that I have been given on this earth, to take control of my life, to stand up and be counted. I take a deep breath, stand back, relax and let the crisis blow over.

I have simply gone beyond the need to prove my worth. I don't have any. What I do have plenty of are my endearing traits of chauvinism, a dying art I must say. I am sexist, and a proud one at that. But, mediocre? I am not.

I am not your average Indian male who believes that women should be confined to the four walls. Why the f*** should they have that luxury? I firmly believe in the doctrine of equality - we slogged our balls off the last two thousand years to provide for you and your children. And what did we want in return? Just that you discharge your conjugal duties every once in a while. Was that too much to ask for, considering that you also got 'something' out of it?

For a long time, you did not complain. You kept your mouth shut because you knew that you got the better deal. Then you committed a dastardly act that changed everything - you burnt your bras! Why? If you did not like them, couldn't you have quietly stopped wearing them? But, that has been your nature. You women could never keep anything to yourselves.

Look at what that one moment of indiscretion cost you. You no longer have the luxury of sitting at home. You have to work for menial things like money, something for which all you had to do was to cook your man a decent meal. And, somewhere along the line you picked up this misplaced notion that you were created a man's equal. You believed in this so firmly that you even had headaches, especially when your man had spent the entire day fervently praying that tonight would not be the night for them. But, seriously, what were you thinking? Equal to men? Why would you ever want to limit yourselves to that?

The damage cannot be undone. You have brought this upon you. You wanted to work? You got that. You wanted to be independent? You got that. Now, you want the men to work, too. Go fish! You are getting demanding and unjust. We did not ask you to work. Then what gives you the right to ask us to?

Face it, girl. You lost out big time. We men are big time suckers. We do anything for a woman when she so much as smiles at us. Why would you ever want to do anything more? It is a woman's world out there. Always has been. Why change something that has worked for you as well as this? Check out the top five blogs. Four of them are by women. Does that not tell you a story? Yes, I am the only MAN! And, I also concur with Bertrand Russel:

Before the talk of women's liberation, at least half the world was happy.

Current Mood: Gloomy
Current Music: Hallowed Be Thy Name

What's wrong with the world these days? No, I am not implying that the world was right at any point in time since the primordial atom decided to explode five billion, three hundred forty five million, four hundred thirty eight thousand, six hundred and fifty six years ago, in the process giving us individuals so superiorly inferior, as fellow inhabitants on a blue planet, that their heads would simply implode if you got them to share with you one original thought.

That is not my bone with people. This is something I have learnt to ignore over the past few years as I came to conclude that whether or not we find intelligent life in space we certainly are not going to find any on earth. But, is it really too much to expect legible language from your fellow men and women? The internet is swarming with people who believe it is their right to speak in some sort of code that is damn near impossible for children of a lesser God like me to decipher.

Since when did to and 2 become synonymous? Hello! One is a preposition while the other quantifies something. You say that you have 2 arms and 2 legs not to arms and to legs. If you did the latter you might well be a case for the nut factory where they would not really care what you said or not to anybody, leave alone to your arms and legs. Or may be it is too much to expect people to spell. Some cannot even spell their names right on their resumes (And, the word is pronounced 're-syoo-mays' not 're-syooms' - get it right! To resume means to continue something.). Fortunately for them, the guys who get to read it cannot read right either. Incompetent guy hires incompetent guy and he hires more incompetent guys.

Note that I have spoken entirely in the masculine gender. No, it does not mean that I accord women a higher status. I am just plain sexist. I refer to my boss as 'Sir'. So what if he happens to be a guy? You would not catch me dead addressing him as Madam. He cannot read much. That is not the only thing he does not do much of. He does not pay much either. In fact, there are times when he does not pay. Period. But, to be fair to him, is not having a job that does not pay better than not having a job at all?

'I hate the world, today', crooned Natalie Imbruglia (may her tribe increase!). God knows I have nothing against her (hell, no) but I guess if you looked like she does you can afford to not hate it every once in a while. But, I don't look like her (Phew!). And she does not find me good-looking either. So, there.

Current Mood: Gloomy
Current Music: Torn

Your comments were deeply disturbing, dannyboi (BTW, has that alias been inspired by Avril Lavigne's Sk8erboi? Speaking of Alias, did you know that the svelte Jennifer Garner had her humble beginnings in the realms of porn films? Speaking of porn, did you know that the 'Hollywood Star' that was dished out to us by Vashu Bhagnani in the name of Brande Rodericks as Sally in 'Out of Control' is not just known for Baywatch - her list of achievements include 'starring' in 'Inside Club Wildside 2'? Speaking of acheivements, did you know that ever since the opening brace, my sentences have become progressively longer, perhaps this one being the exception, unless of course I can come up with something more which as of now seems highly unlikely given the fact that it is two in the morning and my neighbour who lives across the door is giving me amorous glances?).

I am not sure how reading my blog would help your girlfriend realise anything at all, leave alone realising that 'there is such a thing as wooing'. If anything, she might just come to her senses and realise that she has been wasting the best days of her life on you - a person who has no better work to do than read other people's random ramblings. That brings up another question. Isn't 'other' when used before 'people' redundant? Who else can people be except those that are not you? Even if you were suffering from MPD, you still would not classify all or any of you as people.

But, then taking up the issue of the vagaries of the English language would be akin to opening a can of worms, something which Amitabh Bachchan had done with elan in Namak Halal. And, taking up your issue would not serve much purpose either, the key word being much. So, we take up an issue that serves no purpose at all - the neighbour across the door who is sending me some really strong vibes.

Personally, and non-personally as well, I don't think much of neighbours who do that, especially if they are women - with such sparks flying there is no time to think. You are supposed to be her knight in shining armour, rise to the occasion and sweep her off her feet, literally and figuratively. And, if the person in question happens to be a man I am 'broad'-minded enough to not think much of that either. I just run. I run my ass off, to borrow a quote from Cypher in Matrix.

The situation is dramatically different when those amorous glances are not meant for me - especially if they are meant for my smashing neighbour next door. And, especially when the source happens to be an equally smashing neighbour who lives across the door. That is something I shall not delve into for reasons of protecting the sanctity of

Instead what I shall delve into are the signals my neighbour across the door is sending me, not that it is anything more sacrosanct but if you are sinning you might as well satisfy your vanity while at it. Vanity is a trait that is brushed off as being supremely negative because not many are fortunate enough to either possess or understand it. What people do not understand they fear - this psyche formed the very basis for the song 'Fear of the Dark', in the process making members of Iron Maiden millionares and more.

So, fear makes some millionares and some just plain scared. The question we have to ask ourselves is what we would rather be, afraid or rich?

Current Music: Another Day in Paradise

There was a boy, a small 5 year old boy. He was poor, very poor. His father was the jockstrap fixer in an undergarments factory. His mother was ailing. He had no siblings.

Call this a twisted irony of fate, but the boy had no undergarments of his own. He knew it was not right of him to ask his father to get him one. His relatively affluent friends - those whose fathers earned a whopping 10% more than the basic pay of his father, which was about 75% of

Current Mood: Gloomy
Current Music: Two Minutes to Midnight

In the beginning of this world, there were only two Dases - Adidas and Bindas. Adidas worked very hard and went on to become a famous name. Bindas also worked hard and reached a point of absolute blitheness.

Bindas acquired a state of being, in which a person contracts a dangerously carefree mentality, so much so that he had become the envy of the entire world (no, he was not an American so the 'world' actually also refers to that part outside the land of the free and the home of the brave). He was always happy, always cheerful, always the life of a party, and always the envy of everyone around. Wherever he went, people wished they could be like him. He had no care in the world, yet he seemed to care for everything. And, then came the culprits - the girls.

As has been the undoing of many a king and their kingdoms, he was enamoured by the charms of a woman. It was sudden. No one saw it coming. He was on one of his worldly sojourns, and dhup, bhup, galup! Her grace and charm hit his pure, unstained, untouched, untainted, chaste heart like a bolt of lightning hits the only bloke who does not see it. Well, they don't say, "He who sees, survives", for no reason. BTW, that last part was the gyan that one of my teachers had given me when Ashoka (no, not Asoka - no offence to SRK though I hope he takes it, and more, after the schtick he calls Main Hoon Naa) was the King of India.

But, I digress. Not by much, but I digress. Zzzooom, booooom, kaboooom! Now, we are back on track... Um... Where were we? Oh, yes. The girls. Not that there is anything inherently wrong with the female of the species (that does not necessarily mean that the converse is automatically true - there is insufficient data to corroborate the theory), but there are times when testosterone just plain gives up in the presence of estrogen and progesterone, a case in point being Katrina Kaif on DC billboards. Even Vishwamitra was not immune to the allure of Maneka. Bindas was, after all, mere mortal.

So, who could do this to the cynosure of all eyes? No, I am not talking about me. She was what one of those cheerleader-type-A-groups in Hollywood teen flicks calls a geek. You see, of all his faults the one that you could absolutely not ignore was his complete lack of appreciation for outward appearances of other people. He thought that the person inside was all that mattered. Wwwuuuyyyaaa! What a lame thing to do. Could someone pass me the barf bag?

Anyway, the ship had sailed. Now, Bindas' primitive cerebral stem had taken over the functioning of his soul. He learnt dancing so that he could ask her out. He learnt to sing so that he could sweep her off her feet. He had commited the cardinal sin of wooing a woman, and for that he had to pay.

He paid a huge price alright. He got her to marry him. The last time I checked, he was still paying.

Current Music: Take My Breath Away

There lived a man, a long, long time ago in a country far, far away. He was a good man. Of course, he had also succumbed to the lure of youthful indiscretion but now he was, for all purposes, a good man. He helped people who could not help themselves (sometimes even those who could and that always led to a black eye or two, but, like I said, his intentions were good). He was always there when anyone needed a shoulder to cry on. So, what if he was the very reason they needed that shoulder in the first place? Atleast, he was there when needed most and that speaks volumes of his compassionate nature.

He never lied to or deceived anyone - he did not have to. His brute strength enabled him to fleece them openly. It is still, however, noteworthy, that he did not have to stoop to the level of a backstabber. Wherever he went, he roused the strongest of feelings in people towards him, not that all were those of love and respect but there was awe in them, nonetheless. He spread happiness around - his happiness, that is. But, all that was to change in the winter of the following year.

On that fateful day, he suffered an irreplaceable loss, a loss that though did not hamper his life deeply did cause certain moments of discomfort. Who could be so cruel to him? Why would anyone deceive him? What had he done so wrong that someone would be barbaric enough to steal his trusted paperweight?

That transformed the way he looked at life. He did not believe in integrity anymore. He began to think that the world was a good place for only those who could lie, cheat and decieve. There was no place in it for a man who never had to resort to uncouth means to get what he wanted. In short, he had thought that terrorising people was all that was required to have your way.

And, when a man goes through a phase in his life he realises that whatever ideals had guided his life so far were nothing but false, then everything that he has believed in thus far has no meaning to him anymore. He was not his self anymore - oh yes, he had his way but the sting had doubled.

Could you blame him? Ask anyone who needs a paperweight during a sandstorm. Those thin sheets can be quite a devil then. They go all over the place and it is a harrowing experience gathering them up, only to find out that you have to do it all over again. These flying objects can take the form of a dangerous projectile and cause numerous papercuts. An injured man is always bound to strike back hard.

Now, he could only wait. And, hope that someday he would find what he had lost. Or better still, the rat responsible for it.

Current Music: Fly Away

There were two very poor peasants in western Rajasthan. What, you ask? Peasants, and in Western Rajasthan! Why not? Calamity does not ask for permission before breaking down the door to give your misfortunes an easy entry into your life.

Their misery was compunded by their not being on friendly terms (and I am being euphemistic here for they were sworn enemies) with each other. They had adjacent pieces of land, and if they had been on amiable terms the whole exercise of Robert Frost in writing that famous poem would have been rendered useless.

So, like the two protagonists in the poem, they start building a wall between their lands. It was scorching hot, with the desert sun showing no mercy at the hapless souls. They started at sunrise. By noon, their bodies glistened with sweat. In fact, if you were to look around their knees you would see do many drops of water pouring down that you would be inclined to think that it was a case of localised precipitation. They worked hard, all day, and most of the night. Their skin colour darkened by a few shades. And with that also lessened their chances of finding for themselves a bride.

As they saw their family tree's growth stunting, they saw the wall growing. Could fate have been more cruel? But, as we have all come to know, just when you think nothing can go wrong it inadvertently does. One of them takes ill. It is now left to the other to make up for lost time, for sowing season was just around the corner. He toils hard, very hard. It what you though was precipitation earlier, this could only be termed a cloud burst. Alas! He, too, takes ill. On the bright side, though, if there could be one to this gloomy picture, his neighbour gains his health.

He works with all earnest but takes care not to exert himself too hard. The work was demanding, and he was glad when a few days later his comrade was well enough to work. They now work with a renewed vigour. It was as if a dying man had been given a new soul. Soon, they reached a stage where only one brick remained to put in place.

They decided to do it together. Very carefully, the sun-dried brick (of course, it was not baked in the oven - it never rained there to warrant that) was placed in its designated place. They rejoiced, and for the first time in their lives hugged each other.

But, if everything was hunky-dory this would not be an art film. The sky suddenly darkened and the heavens opened. The Gods wept, and with their tears came down the wall. And, these poor farmers were left to their misery again, only poorer by so many bricks.

Current Mood: Gloomy
Current Music: Keep the Faith
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