October 18, 2016

In the case of an inherited territory, he should cover up the father's defects and display his virtues (V.13.5.23)

July 25, 2016

He died


I have been surviving in this world of men. Just about scraping through.

From the time we met and now, I got a son - who was actually a dog - Siddu.

He helped me get past life, made me scrape through it,, being the pessimist that I am - I survived.

But then he died and he died just a little while ago and with him died - all the remaining world views that I was left with.

So, now, I have no views left. Just wandering around, just doing nothing. The world has did me in.

So, I thought before I die, let see more things

July 10, 2016

This tragedy will not end or The Rape of the American Indians

Ended up watching Dances with Wolves - and what more can I say.

For a person like me, this movie is almost a death knell in matters of trust and deceit. The America Indians were a nation, if ever there is a concept of nature. They were a tribe, they were a nation, they were the ecosystem people. they were the Baigas, they were the Kurumbas and perhaps they were the Todas. They lived in India, perhaps they lived in the United States of America, perhaps in Canada, perhaps in Africa.

One strand runs through them. they were did in by the non-ecosystem people. They were did in by the White, by the coloniser, by the Hindu and by the christian. They were did in and they vanished and perhaps with them vanished the last vestiges of hope for nature and for the land as we know it.

What happened to the Lakotas or the Pawnee or so many, they are impossible to keep a count of was a genocide that Hitler or was it Hotler could not match. I wonder why people so like to despise him, perhaps they want to hide their crimes. These crimes and many more crimes like these are worse than what Hitler did.

Actually, all men commit crimes, surely the Indians versus the Indians were doing this too... Perhaps, the main difference is that when the Indians killed, they killed for safety or their immediate requirements. When the modern man killed, it has always been for perceived weightage, whether their victim will turn back on them, whether the victim could be of threat in future, whether the victim will threaten the killer's progeny in future, whether the victim will turn out to be an asshole.

Fuck the Modern Man.

July 8, 2016

Fuck the day

It was a dirty morning, soggy and dirty. And I was sitting alone in the hellhole which I called my home. With no food in hand, having a good breakfast was not in the picture and through the haze; I realized that today is just going to be one of those days. I will merely sit by the window, watch nothing go by, stare into the smoggy sky and wait for the evening to arrive. That was the plan and I intended to be the best sloth around, practicing the art of converting the day into a slow motion time lapse.

An hour passed and then another. I must have slept by the window for I saw bird droppings on my torn shorts. Must be the pigeons who have become comfortable with my presence and do not mind resting on my cave of a bed, for it does resemble a pigeon’s nest, sometimes. “Shit”, I murmured and got up to change into another worn out shorts. Having done that and since I realized that I was temporarily active, decided to go for a walk. I could perhaps buy some grocery and fill up my stomach, enough to last through today.

And then, the day came to an end

July 6, 2016

In the High Himalayas - with a prayer and a dog

Alone in the mist, a sight rustle in the woods making the moment awkward, fraught with expectations of the unknown, shadows leap silently and then, the mountains beckon. Straight ahead as far as the eye can see, a vast perpendicular massif of approximate age and snow filled valleys, we were in the upper Himalayas and the whole world down there somewhere has ceased to exist.

Here in the high Himalayas, nature still retains her control over us. Here, we have not yet pummelled her into accepting our diktat and fall into line. Here, the word raw nature exacts its true meaning. Here, in the high Himalayas, we are all pilgrims of nature and it was here that I came to walk.

It was meant to be a test of my frail body and whether I would be able to last for a few days in the extreme climate. With little preparation and prayers on my lips, I set out for Kasol on a late night bus from Chandigarh. Kasol is currently famous as a high altitude party zone and stories abound of how Indians are not treated well and preference is given to westerners. It turned out to be a falsity for people at Kasol are welcoming and ensured that backpackers like me had a great time. Of course, there is one version of Indians who take partying to a dizzy height, ogling and breaking glass shards of every shape and size. These people are then treated rather unceremoniously and often get a kick in their backsides and I would say that this is a healthy precedent for they pollute the cool climes of these high hills in ways and means that are disgusting to say the least.

But Kasol was not my destination and I passed the small but crowded town and moved towards the small bridle path that leads upto Grahan Village. Grahan is the last village below the snow line and has the unique reputation of a voluntary ban on spirits and a general implementation of rules meant to keep the fragile society and the ecology intact in the face of onslaughts of development.

As I walked away from Kasol, remnants of the foreigner crowd that make Kasol its home started thinning. There were a few random tents with smoke wafting across, a few quiet couples sitting around and then, as I walked up the first incline, silence took over. Nothing but the vast forests of deodar and chir pine covered everything in its midst and I walked on. Having climbed three steep inclines, I sat down to take a break and perhaps have a biscuit when I noticed a giant of a dog staring at me from a few feet away. Brown in colour, enormously muscled yet with the eyes of a pup, he must have been rather young, not more than eighteen months. He was staring at me but not in a threatening manner, rather as a curious bystander and I was tempted to offer him a share of my snacks. Shy but not scared, he gobbled the snack and stood ramrod stiff again. Those eyes could have melted hard iron and I ended up giving off the entire packet to him and found him following me though the woods as I took off for Grahan.

I thought nothing of it then and let him follow me and continued my trek. It was a silent though beautiful experience. Alone in the forest, softly walking amongst the leaves and with a giant baby dog alongside, the three quintessential aspects of a mountain walk was coming true in front of my eyes. The walk turned from a tough into a blissful stroll and we whistled on. The forests were denser and I met a few hikers who had stayed over at Grahan and spoke of the stunning views and gripping cold up there. Saying hello to many as they passed, I kept on walking after having some maggi at a small stall and giving off my packed lunch to the dog whom I called Siddu. We reached the camp site by late afternoon and promptly slept off under the giant beautiful sky. When we woke up, Grahan with its ancient temple and strict visage stood majestically across the hill and tourists were cautiously welcomed. However, the day had been long and after a quick walk, we were inside the tents. Siddu, my dog slept outside my tent.

The next morning, it was to be a tough climb to Padri through some dense forests and steep trudges. We had been sufficiently acclimatised reaching the Padri camp site by lunch and was witness to a sight that is forever a special offering from the Himalayas to mortals like us. The camp was laid out in one corner of a giant meadow or bugyal and all around us were giant trees and snow covered mountains. If picture perfect is a phrase, the phrase must have been coined here long back. Personally, it was an underwhelming feeling of humility to be with nature that night.

The walk continued and though some sheer inclines, we kept on climbing towards the Sar Pass. In between, the gods decided to let us on in the fun and sent some freezing rain across, rain which turned into snow or hailstones soon after. We were soon walking through an inch deep carpet of snow in the middle of May. Someone cautiously mentioned as we were trudging upwards that the real India of hot plains and paralyzing winds is somewhere down there, but who were we to care. And so we climbed, up and up, though the slush and the sights, through the forests on to the campsite. It was a visual treat for the clouds moved away and the entire Himalayan range as far the eyes could see cleared up and slowly but inexorably, trees began to give way to high altitude shrubs, scraggly yet majestic and exuding smells which are indescribable. Just the smells of these shrubs is reason enough for one to visit these high altitude heavens at least once. Siddu was loving the sights and smells as well and would often jump deep inside the roots of one of these giant shrubs to hunt unknown enemies. The walk was difficult but the air was light and we managed to cross the tree line after a halt at a temporary camp. It was a revelation for everyone for as far as the eyes could see, on all ridges and cliffs, the tree line visually came to an end almost at the exact same horizontal mark, as if they knew that nature will not allow them to grow any further. Grasslands crept up, herbs everywhere, rocks sprouting, loose mud, slippery paths and then the first hint of snow, deep in a valley and then another.

Suddenly snow was everywhere but not yet in the path we walked and as suddenly as that, Siddu transformed. From being my companion to a wild free soul, he went crazy over the snow. Jumping across huge boulders, he would dive straight into the snow and play with his imaginary friends, eat snow like we hog rice and roll around. Siddu was home and we all knew that he was happy here. He bounded up and reached the main base camp at Nagaru without missing a breath. When we reached the site, absolutely tired, there he was, chomping on some old bones that he must have found on the way and striking a visage of a zen master of the high Himalayas.

But when we managed to catch our breath, my eyes were in for a slight shock – for all around us were grand mountain peaks. We were at 12000 feet and the entire Kullu district laid out her mysteries to our minuscule eyes. If there is ever a 360 degree view, here it was and in a manner befitting the gods, clouds kept on peering, the sun gave a blink and I bowed my head to the gods and to Mother Nature.

That night was cold and our worry was Siddu but when we woke up to start our final trek to the pass, he was eagerly waiting for his treats and be on his way. We had been worried for him but he seemed to have been made for the snow and was enjoying every second as if it were his last. The walk began and the ascent took us higher through deep fields of snow, one step at a time, legs plunging into whiteness. Almost as if it were the effects of high altitude sickness, I found some of friends going crazy over the endless fields of snow, one group was particularly creative for they were photographing themselves in angles which made them seem to climb perpendicular walls of snow, surely their facebook accounts will be flooded with congratulatory messages in honour of their solo expeditions into the tough Himalayas.

Me and Siddu reached late and thanked what is left of Mother Nature for this amazing spectacle and then almost as if, we had reached the grand finale, I found myself standing next to a vertical slope of more than two kilometers and the guide saying ‘Go’. Just that, no formalities, no wishes, just a simple word ‘Go’ and there I was twisted in gravity, sliding through a deep snow field as fast as my body could cope and amazingly with Siddu sliding or running parallel to me all the way. It was 60 or 80 seconds of a crazy, mind-numbingly moment of thrill made priceless by having Siddu come the entire way with me when finally the slope reduced and my butt braked me into a single human on a mountain slope with a crazily barking dog and an almost involuntary prayer of thanks to nature. I fell back, looked up to the clear sky, held my Siddu in my arms and went blank.

The others joined me soon, each holding their own individual tale of magic to their sleeves and started our long walk back to the base camp. I looked back after an hour and saw the mountains standing still, golden light on the summit, the slide marks still visible and a gang of deliriously happy individuals who had all experienced something unique. Siddu, merrily oblivious of all these emotional fluctuations that we were going through was busy concentrating on some cows who in turn were warily looking at this crazy dog running up to them at a mind-numbing speed.

We walked down and the shrubs vanished, the trees returned, meadows turned green and we knew that the mountain shall wait for us to return again. We walked down-hill, resting at another beautiful camp site and finally reached a small village where a giant dam is being built to ensure that we must play god with god and do that right inside God’s sacrosanct territory. Huge trucks and giant concrete beams were strewn around and ambitious agendas to dig tunnels through these giant mountains were in place so that no river may ever run free and no fish may dare to thrive, but the needs of us humans continue to be met as only we can think of these outrageous ideas to fill our quota of greed.

The magic of the past week with Siddu along with the shattering of the beautiful world we knew in form of this hideous dam and the fact that Siddu may be parting ways with us made me all the more melancholic. The bus conductor sportingly allowed Siddu to be boarded and we paid for his ticket and in an hour, we reached Kasol. At Kasol, Siddu was spotted by his family and they tearfully held on to him. I stood there, alone, looking at SIddu who was now called Buster and who suddenly did not look towards me and stood there for a long time, when finally it dawned upon me that it was time to say bye to him. I said bye and walked off from Kasol, back home.

July 5, 2016

Lessons from a Magical Land – Kudremukh National Park

Somewhere in the lost lands of the Western Ghats, in the midst of never ending sholas and floating grasslands, there is a wonder land known only to a few. Many may have heard of this paradise, many would have read about the tragedies that befell this land in the form of rampaging mining, but not many know that this paradise has regained its lost glory as one of the crown jewels of the Western Ghats.
The land south of the holy shrine of Sringeri and towering over the tropics of Dakshin Kannada is known to most as Kudremukh. To me, it is simply known as devarkadu – heaven. And it was in this heaven that I was lucky to have arrived at the peak of monsoons, with pouring rains and dense mist all around. I was blessed to be at Kudremukh. It was in the middle of the day that I reached Bhagvathi Herbal Camp and it began raining immediately. The cicadas fell silent with the rains and I could see the clouds roll into the campsite. And just as I began enjoying the rains, the rains stopped and we could step out to take a walk.
I walked upto the Bhadra river and could see the river in spate, the river nowhere as inspiring as its downstream avatar but nevertheless jumping and skipping over the rocks as a butterfly would. The trees were sparkling under the fresh rains and everything looked fresh and green. I was just as happy as a wandering soul would and could think of nothing else, no worry plagued me, no desire throbbed. I walked around like a silly boy while pretending to be a grown up adult, all I wanted to do was to do nothing.
However, there was work to be completed and we were taken to see the nearby areas within this range. My wondrous gaze only grew bigger by the minute. The vehicle which took us had suddenly taken a turn into the adjoining grasslands and we had entered a different world. Wide expanses of grass laden hilltops, patches of shola forests providing a deep contrast to the bright green grasses, stupefied sambar deers who were startled by our sudden arrival and just nature, exuding in her purest form. We drove on and on and reached the highest point in that range where a 360 degree view of the gigantic manifest bloomed all around. Everywhere, as far as our eyes could dare to contrast, there were rolling hills and mighty peaks, there were huge barren rocks and there was wilderness all around. I could have become a poet then but then I remembered to take a few photographs. Even the camera refused to cooperate for it could not focus at the subject, the subject was bigger than the widest lens man could have made and I shivered in cold delight at the failure of another of mans mining ventures at the hands of nature. Kudremukh National Park strikes its claim as one of the gems of the country and at that moment, I could see why Ervaikulam in Kerala, Mukurthi in Tamil Nadu and Kudremukh in Karnataka needs to be preserved for eternity.
There was a stunned silence on the way down and everyone in the jeep was lost in their own personal perceptions of heaven as nothing could possibly compare with the sight we have had. The forest had made believers out of us when all of a sudden, there was an alarm call. We stopped and listened to the cacophony of the macaques and a solitary langur for some time. Surely, a tigress was walking past us, somewhere close by, surely she must have seen us and as her wont, preferred to give us the royal ignore. The excitement at being close to the most majestic of them all made us agree on one aspect, that those who had been mining here for close to 25 years have finally been defeated. Nature has reclaimed her territory and the tigress her own. Kudremukh is safe and sound and what scars remain of the mining are important reminders that it was mistake to ravage this beautiful land and run it to the ground.
The trip ended on a somber mood though there were many treks that followed. Trekking to the Kudremukh peak was an unique experience and so was the walk to Kurinjal Peak through some of the most densest sholas that the subcontinent has. It was ultimately two days of being soaked in nature’s finest, however two sights stand out. The view from the top and the view of the recovery being made after mining stopped. If nature was a person, I could have given nature a big strong hug and said thank you.

July 3, 2016

Listening to Nadine Gordimer

Real writers go on writing the truth as they see it. Creativity survives so long as the artist himself cannot be persuaded, cajoled or frightened into betraying it

What do you say Siddu - Enlarge the reader's apprehension

In the given case, life happened to be like that

A writer must not become too conscious of literary fashion.

June 5, 2016

June 2, 2016

I stood watching...

I watched her pass by as I stood on the door,
She barely cared, she merely smiled.

I knew she smiled at my pain, I knew she had a chuckle,
Yet, I could do nothing more, just stand by the door.

It was cloudy, the weather I love and she hates,
And then the sun peeped though, the weather I hate and she loves.
Her smile seemed to grow bigger, the sun made her glow.

The streets were empty, most people on a motion slow,
I sat down by the door and watched the procession grow.
She was at the head, as always, smiling but sadly now,
I think she wished that I would stand up, would follow her through.

I knew it was too late, yet I knew where she had gone.
I decided to follow them, or maybe later then.
I again stood by the door and saw the empty streets.
As if no one knew that she ever walked past,
I will visit her grave later and cry alone and without fear.....

May 30, 2016

There I was walking still, and it all went blank
I stood stunned and never felt like hit me so hard

May 23, 2016

For there is nothing left, on the screen on the left
there is but a river crossed and I look back and cry
the waters pull away at you and all I missed is there for you
I could not stand still why, I am suffering from the incurable now

May 21, 2016

3 Months and a few hours

In between, I found Buster - the dog who walked me through in Kasol.

But otherwise, it has been 3 months and 24 hours since Siddu died. That is what he did - died.

And the blurring of his memory causes too much pain, more than the immediate aftermath of him dying. He is refusing to come out of his shadows but if I look at his photos, he still looks the same, as if nothing happened, as if he is still with me.

In these three months, I went back to Chitradurga where he had had a good time, went to Dubare, took him to foreign lands, to Jog and even to the Sar Pass. He travelled more in these three months than he would usually travel with me and surely, he must have had a good time. He always had a good time being around with me and his ashes make a comparatively poor substitute.

I will meet him soon.

April 24, 2016

The days, they remain the same

The one person who I loved the most is dead, dead and gone

The one person who loved me the most is far far away

The parents who brought you to this world are now scared about your time here on earth

The one friend who I had for so many years just does not trust me anymore

The other friends who I had are somewhere far beyond my world

Th person whom I trusted gave me the royal fuck somewhere down the line

The place I built and cared for like a baby has forgotten me already

Those grasslands where my son and me used to walk have grown thick with fresh grass

Though the days never seemed any different, a lot has passed over time and these years have just flashed past in a blink

Do Not Cry

There was fire in his eyes, burning blue and burning bright.

There was love drooping by, whenever I would just pass by

I sat next to him that day and all was lost and all was frayed

I spoke to him, asked him, even tried all tricks

But he refused to come by

He went away, leaving me alive, he went away, killing all inside

He, my boy, play well, eat hard and sleep tight, all that is yours and you do not have to cry

The Lost Boy

There are no more tales to be told. There is no one point in the sky that I can look upto to and wonder what has happened. The earth has just moved on as it usually does and left with nothing behind. The earth just moves on.

Men in their selfish moves make the move of their lifetimes and look back expecting applause or fearing contempt and then that man also moves on. What was here a hundred years ago is no longer present now. What was he a hundred years ago might just be a bag of bones or maybe not even that.

Men move on though they have a choice not to. They move on because they say that they must. But some men don't. They stay there, soul imprinted on that minute and that second where life had for once lasted longer than a second. They decide to stay there and remain there till the earth has moved too far ahead for them to catch on. Their bodies do the universal twist but the soul stays on. Who said it cannot be done. Who says one life in a 100 billion is irrelevant, who says anything about anyone is right or wrong. The men who stay put but their bodies move on lose the sense of attachment, they are now detached. They are nobody and nothing touches them. Everything must be shallow but the water floods them. Who says that you cannot stay on. You can move on or you can stay on. Or maybe, you can do both. The soul stays and the body moves.

One life can touch a hundred maybe a thousand maybe a million. But that one life still touches someone deeply, does it now. There is no need to feel pained by the lost moves you never made, by the lost promotions you never got, by the lost raises that never came your way, by the lost words you could not utter, by the lost wind that got sucked out from your lungs, by that lost boy who is no longer with you. The lost boy will see to it that for every moment in your waking world, where you talk and run and walk and eat, he will be over you, above you, alongside and not care a hoot with what others think. You be best happy when with him, not really a need to sucker upto to humans, is there, your boy was all you had and he is all you got, the last remaining bits of him. The twain shall meet and the strings will tie and then in this world of humans, you will be just a statistic passed.

April 16, 2016

Where are you boy...what are you doing...what are you eating...where are you.......

I miss you so much, yesterday in the dream - you kept on coming back. I had locked you in a room and somehow you came out, through a drain, through something.

Why did you do this, why were you selfish.... How did you die.. what happened to you.... was it painless... was it poison... why in that position, the position that you love so much, what did yoou think before dying.... why did you make those two sounds... why now when you were still young.... why did you have to go.

Siddu, why does god not send me to you fast.. I never loved anyone more than you... I never really loved anyone, even with you it came in phases.... where are you kid

March 25, 2016

How memories fade

First, comes the pain and the grief. Shock at him dying. The comes then empathy, the messages, the sharing of your grief. Then time passes.

And then a month or so, first people who know you as an acquaintance clean slates him, then your friends saying, 'he was a good dog but what is gone is gone, you cannot bring it back'. Then your family, ' he is gone but he is always there for you, he is looking down at you'.

Then nobody talks about him, not even you. you may be scared that people think you are a physco, your closest freinds change the topic when you again start talking about him.

People ask whether your mourning is over. You mother says it is time to move one, staff says get a new dog, some other friend says, ' chill, he was just a dog'.

The you start forgetting him, his face is not as clear as it was for the past 6 years, his paws look faded, forgetting his eyes and how they looked up at you, the tears form but find it increasingly difficult to come out. Everybody around you has moved on, even you are taking involuntary steps to move on.

You are forgetting your son, your life and your love. You think about him, pass over his photos casually and forget memories.

You are just an asshole like the rest of us. You are but, just a human. Fuck You KS. Siddu will not forget you. Will you???

March 22, 2016

My Mourning will Go on Forever

What they say does not matter. What they don't say does not matter an ounce.

But while nothing matters and nothing else matters even more, it appears that there is one thing that matters, flying in the face of my fundamental theory system. And while this blog is mine and I tend to or rather have started using it as a diary, there is this that I am announcing to myself.

My mourning will go on forever. And I will cry and cry and think and think and despair. I will be sullen and sad, have red eyes and parched lips. I will gaze out like a monk and when I don't feel like it, I will sleep. I will get up when I want and do what I want and I when I feel like it, I will cry more.
For doubters, mourning can go on forever. Everybody loses somebody. I lost my everybody, my best buddy, Siddu and I am not at all happy about it. The moment I got to know, I realised that things will never be the same again but this is one slash and burn by god/dog that was completely unwarranted. And the problem is I cannot even complain to anybody. My sister says that noone will understand my pain and will not be able to empathise as well. She is right.

But I have the right to mourn and mourn I shall and mourn I will. I will mourn for him till I mourn myself to death.

March 18, 2016

I miss my dog and I miss him so much

Boy, a month now already. Siddu boy, hate to say this but time seriously waits for none and neither does it give reason on what it decides to do with a anybody. Maybe, they were jealous that you were a god and not a dog and were hogging all the limelight. These gods can be jealous and vindictive if given a chance. They are after all our imaginations and we do noting except be vindictive or jealous or cussed most of our time. But in this grand scheme of things, why would they screw your happiness.

You never did really learn to read or write, infact you learnt to do nothing. The master of doing nothing, who wagged his tail if needed and make the most useless face to get a little more food. Remember, I used to say that you were never given any training and that was but the truth. You never had any technical training and all you ever did was whatever you wanted to do, which again was nothing. Ambitious humans would commit suicide seeing your lack of professional ideologies.

But you did one thing better than anyone. You fucking knew how to love me, more than anyone could have had ever. Every love came with a set of conditions even mother's love. You bloody fellow loved with no agenda and how. Licking, waiting for me, jumping on me, looking back as you would walk, sitting in front of whichever closed door I was behind. Ohh Siddu, why did you break my heart, why did you go away.

March 15, 2016

Know what boy, I am developing a phobia against them. They are everywhere, these scums. They laugh aloud, appear so confident, talk loud and dress proper. I cannot stand them. They are wise and smart, they know what to do. They have been trying to find the answer to our creation from billions of years back, they think they can find that out. They want to go far from earth and say that they have done it.

If I ask any of them, why would you want to this or that, that answer is the perennial "Why Not?". Smart alecs. They are ambitious, they protect their turf, more territorial than any tiger or leopard.

They talk smart, analyse and over analyse, hoard things and when they give away things, make it seem that they are doing a favour to the world.

Siddu boy, I cannot stay longer with them.

March 12, 2016

Wonder what is happening to Siddu after his death

I was a privileged one.

And had not seen any deaths in the family. Some deaths on the road, one in the track but none except for my grandfather when I was pretty young.

Now, with he who I loved the most gone and theoretically, gone forever, I have been unable to digest his dying. So many answers remain, Will he ever wait for me at the gates of heaven. Will he even remember me.

What about the smoke that he became. In front of my own eyes, I saw him change to smoke, through that tall chimney with a bird flying round and round. I have his ashes with me, some of which I dropped off at various places recently. Now, that he is smoke - how will he change back into the form that he was when he was here. Very difficult to answer this.

I feel that he has settled on some cloud or maybe just floating around and will one day float back to earth or the ocean and be a part of the soil or sink into the sea. Which means, he will not come back as I knew him. Which means he is gone forever. Which also means, there is no afterlife for Siddu, atleast not in the form of what he was when was here. Which thus means, he is gone.

I have his ashes though and I can say with surety that in whatever form, it is but him. The only remaining physical form that he left behind.

And if his soul, if there is a soul. And if is soul does indeed extract itself from all the smoke and the ashes that I have, why would his soul wish to go anywhere, any heaven but be with me. I was his heaven and he was mine. Why would he go to some random place, heaven it may be, and wait there for me. If he is the Siddu I know, he will just stay with me. This leaves me with an advantage. I do not have too carry him around, no airlines fees, no problems of visa, of the railways. Wherever I go, he goes. That is nice.

However suppose, someone did come and tell him that he cannot stay by me and has to go to heaven, I am sure he must be lousy and howl his way into everyone's nerves up there. He will refuse to eat and just stare at the distance, perhaps look down at me. And wait for me to meet him fast. And the longer I take to reach him, the more sad he will become. Which means, this is a Catch-22. They will not let him stay by me and take him somewhere, where he will be sad. And if he stays with me, he will not be able to lick me and he will be sad. What can be the way out.

One, I need to keep him by my side all the time and talk to him occasionally so that he does not feel sad about licking me. Two if he is up somewhere, I need to make arrangements to see him soon. Once, I kept in Kabini for a month and he was as miserable as a miserable dog.

Siddu Raja..... Chill man, your ashes are warm and your hair is all around. Don't you dare forget me.

March 11, 2016

My baby is gone

6 years 6 months and 5 days.

My baby is gone. Gone somewhere, where. I do not know.

My baby is gone. 6 years 6 months and 5 days....

February 17, 2016

The Sad Tale of JNU Bashing

Everyone is jealous of the Ganga Hostel. All those wannabes who ever made it to JNU are enjoying it now, the uneasy squeamishness of the hill atop Vasant Kunj.

This is a sad tale developing and for all those who are sitting in the fence, it shames you more.

Do you remember your school and college days, especially college. I remember. I was wild and cared a heck for anything. I could almost conquer the world and and I could do no wrong. And if I did do wrong, I was well within my so called bubble of life that I could wringle out of any trouble because I had youth behind me. I could curse my principal and get away with it, I could curse the sitting member of parliament and still not get arrested and the fun is once some 2000 of us got arrested and we created a beautiful spectacle of normal dharnabhajji and the police ultimately refused to talk, forget arrest us. And I was not even a ringleader, just a bystander whom the police rounded up.

Shame on those who are screwing up these students and I must confess, I was a big Vajpayee lover in turn leading to preferring BJP over Congress with their 176000 crore scam and all. But this is so too much. Look at Kanhaiya, at Rohit (we killed a poet). This is all going wrong, what is the establishment trying to prove. Why is caste jumping so much, why is religion mattering now. What is happening with the idealists. How can goons dictate. I am no nationalist, no lover of the nation types, but why are those who are indeed lovers of bharat mata abusing her to score a point. If someone curses the nation, they have a point.. There are grouses. Kashmiris have a right to question. My mother was not killed, possibly someone in Kashmir had their mother killed. If someone is pained, he has a right to feel sad. If you stifle him, he is going to go further berserk. Grow up, people who love bharat mata, lets give everybody some space and not do a favour by doing this. And let us not hit students or teachers.

Please don't make Vajpayee and Bhagat Singh roll in their graves. And also your ancestors. Stop hitting or defaming or just being a goon. Let everyone live their own life and not be dictated by your don-giri.

February 15, 2016

FREE AGAIN - leopard captured from bengaluru school escapes bannerghatta zoo cage


February 13, 2016

I miss You

And I am sorry that I have hurt you. But I have hurt myself too. And when I finish, I will be but a dead man

January 1, 2016

I wished to do nothing today and I wished it would all go away,
I hoped to stay still and I hoped to melt away today.
Yet the world is happy and gay,
The world needs you to pay attention else it may shoo you away.

The world controls what you do, it controls your smile and your cry,
If you dare to walk away, the world nods and the people nod along

September 18, 2015

Do what you love
Love what you do

The twain never meets, that is all so true.
They need robots, that's what we do.

They need workaholics, to bring in all the moolah,
I am wasting so much time, living in this world of desire.
I need to go out now, take a walk down memory lane

September 11, 2015

Heaven on Earth, if anywhere - only here, only here, only here

My heaven if anywhere, is only here, only here and nowhere but here. Here and a few more mind boggling places that nature created with love.

September 5, 2015

My Secret Hideout - Book Writing Tales

A long time back, when the winds were howling and the rain was relentless and I was young and I was impressionable, I took a long drive. I reached one evening through a road strewn with blown out pieces of timber. Entire trees had been brought down by the winds and I could see men dressed in dark overalls trying to clear the road. The road which by itself was not recognizable at all as it was just potholes and not much of a road.

I managed to reach an old old guesthouse, me alone, an open grassland in front and forests all around. It was pouring then and I managed to drive my car right into the porch and then, the doors opened. Inside was an old hand, one of those who have stayed here for years and a little beyond him was a fireplace. Two rooms on either side with fireplaces burning, an old kitchen, me and the attender.

I stayed on at that magic place for 4 or 5 days, taking time out to write. I would also eat once in a while, walk a lot and yes, I would read aloud, read to myself and read to the cows and some gaurs as well. I remember the date now and it was around the 4th of June of that year.

More than anything, it rained and rained and the winds howled aloud. Scary is not even a word as the silence of the soul coupled with the fury of nature made sure that the fear of the night vanished without imposing anything on me. I just lived there for these so many beautiful days, making occasional forays to make calls to the world and as I mentioned, read a lot.

No one should have any super favourite place, that's my rule. This slice of heaven, still preserved 10 years after I first saw it comes close to being labelled the king of super-duper places. Please don't visit!!!

August 28, 2015

The World as per the Todas

Todas came into this world a long time before us. They also have more PhDs on them than most of us have on us. Enough doctorates to fill a small bookshelf. But what I like and love about Todas are that they are ardent conservationists. They have truly imbibed the understanding that they are just a small part of nature and it is nature which is everything. Some time back they protested to be given rights to go to Mukurthi National park to collect the required raw materials for their temples. Many people said they should not be allowed to enter the pristine park. But the park was not there when Todas used to live there.

The Todas know more about nature than most of us and do not go shouting in the streets that they do. They are just one of the exotic communities of the Nilgiris whose vote don't count. I can only wish that they manage to survive this kalyug. I can only wish that my best friend Aradu Kuttan keeps on planting trees and share his knowledge of the Shola system with the world, for when he is gone, these trees will be botanical wonders and not cultural glues.

August 27, 2015

Ahhh, the well

There was a well ahead, glistening with sweat,
Promised a better future, it promised some light as well.
There was a rope and a bucket, some flies buzzed around,
It had everything to make my heart go giddy with strange sounds.
I saw the well from far away, I could see it glisten with sweat,
The well had an issue though, it could walk as well.
As I walked below the flaming sky, the well seemed at hand,
The sun created mirages, yet the roots of the well held strong.
I was almost upon it, when the roots began to shake,
I rushed for the bucket, desperate for water for parched souls.

Just then, the well walked away, leaving me stranded with the bucket in my hand,
It kept walking and I cried in shock,
'Oh my hard work has been lost, there walks away my redemption'.
The well stopped some distance away and beckoned me over..
I stood in disbelief and stared around,
I knew the trick. The well is going to play all along.

It will make me walk to my end, it will kill all desires along.
The well was just a mirage, I ended up saying 'Ahhh, the Well'.

August 25, 2015

What happens when the lights go out...

What happens when the lights go out,
Whether the sun shines or the light dims.
Where is the path that stood at the end of the tunnel,
Was the tunnel just an illusion to lure the gullible.
When I entered the tunnel, there was darkness all around,
There was water, there was food but where was the goodness around.
I felt trapped, felt weak and sat down with a sigh,
Ohh I knew that the tunnel was just an elaborate hullabaloo.
It was never meant to open up,
It was meant to pin you down.

August 24, 2015

The Debate on Zoos

There are zoos and there are more zoos and the debate on zoos will possibly never end. Here is my take.

I feel zoos, if properly maintained like the Mysore or the Sepaijhala Zoo in Tripura, if properly maintained are a great boon to the society. While we have become a bunch of ....... basically uprooting nature till she dies a forced death, zoos actually help in reducing the impact. And this impact has primarily to do with the positive educational effect, it has on children. Where does a child who lives in Hyderabad or Chennai or Delhi, lets say... where will this child see a tiger. I would say not in Nagarhole National Park but in the nearest zoo. This is his way to move away from the National Geographic syndrome and actually see an animal. Only when he sees an animal, will he gather empathy.

My love for wildlife started late and it was around when I used to regularly visit Van Vihar in Bhopal. Seeing, the crocodiles, tigers, turtles and other beings did I gather the strength to do something about them.

There are purists who maintain that zoos are an inhuman form of keeping animals. They have their views and I have mine. I agree with most of their views but the fact is, if not a zoo, then what.

I was witness to one of the best zoo programs under Vijay Ranjan Singh at Mysore where he took cleanliness to a high level. The animals surely thank him and his predecessors but the purists may not. And all, he was keen to do was to make sure that the animals lived healthily and the kids learnt.

I vote for GOOD ZOOS, not for badly maintained ones.

Anu, the tigress is there to tell the tale.

August 21, 2015

People at Work

People - Waiting, standing, laughing, staring - A long forgotten staff tour that we had.... To Pondhichery then...

August 18, 2015

Narmade Hare

What do I remember the most... What do I remember about the Narmada river. Is it the clean living stream that passes you by when crossing Hoshangabad, is it the view of the ghats when you are about the reach Dindori, is it the waterfall at Kapildhara when the river is barely there yet bubbly with new life or is the small spring that bursts into action at Amarkantak. Perhaps, all these and more. The forests that clothe her at Dindori, all the tributaries which joins her, the forests of Panchmari which sustains her... The forests form an integral part of the river system.

Just as the steep slopes of Uttarakhand defines the Ganga, the forests of Eastern Madhya Pradesh defines the Narmada. For me the memories are clear...... the adivasis everywhere, pot in the village, roaming around with locals, seeing the local banias siphoning off money from the adivasis, the festivals, the sadhus of Kapildhara, standing under the falls, walking by the river-shore, the peace that life cannot impart but the river can.

The peace that Ma Reva can extend is psychedelic to say the least...

August 16, 2015

Forget the Nature of the Beast

Forget the nature of the beast,
for his is yet a concocted thirst.

Be careful of the silent ones,
for they gobble up the fears within.

I happened to pass one of them today,
and he asked' Hey, where to?'
I said, 'beast, why do you care where I go'.
He chuckled, he smiled,' I can smell fresh meat'

August 15, 2015

There she was,

walking like a flower twirling....
Her hands held a giggle and her smile was all radiant.
I could feel her standing, close, like a doll...
But when I opened my eyes, there she was... She was not.

August 13, 2015

The Aspen Consensus says, “Do more good” — not “Do less harm.”

We talk a lot here about giving more. We don’t talk about taking less.

August 12, 2015

Gopalswami Betta

A long long time back, Himavad Gopalswami Betta was the end of the social and cultural world of the people of the Nilgiris. It had become the same for me as well and crossing Bandipur seemed like I had entered a different world. A world that was drier and closer to reality than the fairy tale of the Nilgiris. But the Betta itself had a strange magic to it.

One of the things I do when I climb to the top of the world is to check for wind speed. Recently, I walked above Mana to a place callled Vasudhara and unbelievably, the wind speeds there were phenomenal. The closest to such speeds were what I have always experienced at the Gopalswami Betta. The winds here have the capacity to blow you away and if not, atleast shake you of your foundations for as long as you stand there....

For me, visiting the betta with its clouds and the phenomenal views is the sheer fun of experiencing the winds.

Go on, check the winds there.