The phone vibrates, and its screen lights up.
As usual, news headlines are pretty strong.
Hurricane hitting New York, flooding in Nagpur,
Wildfires near Hobart, a landslide in Hong Kong.
But I’m reminded of yet another tragedy,
Sitting with my black coffee today morn.
Don’t know why, but there is a sweet melody..
Palpably missing from this balcony’s birdsong.
Flickering, faltering, fading childhood memories,
Of an hour or two — spent on the front yard lawn.
Like jewels on a necklace, with elegant flight and a grace,
Gardens and many window sills, they once used to adorn.
It is now illegal to conduct any voluntary community activity. The government thinks this only results in widespread anarchy, creates sub-national identities, and subverts the political economy that they feed off of. Much street art does still exist, sure. But it is sponsored. You walk by a mural that depicts blonde, anorexic women sipping a Diet Pepsi which is touted as eco-friendly as it is made from harvested and treated acid rain.
The CCTVs are everywhere. Should you even attempt changing a speck of paint; sirens blare, lights flare, you get publicly shamed on the spot and the money inside…
I am visiting college before leaving for my hometown— just to breathe in the atmosphere for the last few times. Sticky notes and a pencil with me, churning out some terrible poetry, to be edited on a computer later.
Grownups looking worried, asking me if their ward shall be in good hands. Younglings dressed up formally, each carrying something heavy. Both of them trying to gauge something from my hairstyle and outfit, from the colorful environ, from the unusual architecture. …
‘User experience’ in the industry can tend to have this unfortunately narrow view of always catering to what the consumer subliminally wants or is vociferously asking for, with scant regard for the larger picture.
They seem to prefer human desires rather than humane values.
Shaadi.com may have removed its skin tone filter due to all the pressure generated in the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests, but I wonder when will Communitymatrimony.com remove caste and sub-caste filters from their apps and websites.
Things like these are easily dismissed by businessfolk and ordinary citizens alike as ‘exercising free choice’ and ‘having a personal preference’, without sparing a thought for how ancient systems of prejudice are not only capitalized on, but perpetuated through such portals.
You are at a relatively comfortable position in life. It could be this blanket, air-conditioning and these pillows, for all you know. You are bored, or just fed up with routine work and are taking a break. Might as well clean up some stuff in your vicinity, as mom has been demanding..
Time elapses. Your hands end up holding a torn piece of paper. On it are some indecipherable set of equations, it looks like your handwriting. You figure out it is merely a slightly-yellowed old page that has gathered dust since your schoolboy days, but curiosity is now piqued…
A finger in every pie, within me is a greedy boy;
He bites off more than one can chew.
Plenty on my plate, and this I truly hate;
Folks call me lucky, those with a problem of few.
There is this song I need to write, gotta rush to catch a flight;
Oh, and now this bloody college submission is due.
So many goddamn abilities, a gamut of possibilities;
Little idiot just wants to dabble with many a shade and hue.
My body does not feel so fresh, but I cannot get this itch outta my flesh;
If only youthful days…
These couplets are deliberately written in Hindi so that first-time internet users from India (most of whom are zealous Modi lovers) realize how they have been misled. I cannot help if the reader’s sensibilities are provoked due to my humorous (and serious) political satire, all I can say is that it has been my sincere effort to be truthful even in my exaggerations. Plus, it is not as if our politicians do not get away with things said to deliberately hurt others. …
Hey, you know what can be a good idea?
Aesthetically installing solar panels in long rows on the backside of beaches. Even if these do not exactly track the movement of that giant ball of nuclear fusion, they will always face the open horizon for half the day. Or tilt them toward south, if you are like me from the Northern Hemisphere.
These should be at a raised height (15 feet?) under which shacks can operate with free shade and charging points for customers. The supporting frame can be of wood or bamboo. …
It is crucial that the likes of Swiggy, Zomato and Uber Eats, with their ever-expanding delivery fleets, start doing this on Indian streets. However, even if they do not, the contents of this article will serve as a handy guide for anyone wanting to deploy community refrigerators in a cool (pun intended) manner. This can be a great public relations exercise for everyone concerned.