Sunday, December 28, 2008


Generally, it's that time of the year when we look back at what went wrong or right in our lives in one year's time. I would rather recapitulate how some uncalled for events, which unfolded on the concluding month of this year, broke what has become a monotonous lifestyle. More often than not people often contemplate how some are luckier than others but I have always secretly wished that all my ill-fated affairs to come at the year's finale so that I could begin the next year with an invigorated soul. Of course, invariably, there is another way of looking at it. If I try to make a list of 'what shouldn't have happen' it is not appalling at all. I could thank my lucky stars or lady luck charm or whatever that is responsible.

On Dec 10, I re-injured my tailbone which was already contorted by a previous mishap. Unfortunately, I have not been able to recuperate.

I sprained my ankle again on Christmas in a distorted way out of excitement. I should tell you there is a special feeling knowing everyone enjoyed the chicken I prepared all the while I was limping on one leg. I had to delay my college registration for the 8th semester which eventually led to my flight and train cancellation and re-planning my travel leaving me with a loss of 1000 bucks.

Of course there are also certain other things that have preoccupied my mind. I miss a certain female's voice and my favorite activity of finding an excuse for procrastination-TV shows (damn those power-cuts!). Hopefully any ill fate or jinx won’t make its untimely presence felt in the coming year. Happy new year to all!

Friday, December 12, 2008


"We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time"

The place seems far from different and if it weren't for the timeless human tradition of inscribing down the numerals in the calendar with each passing day coupled with the fact that our consciousness is inundated with the knowledge of the incessant nature of time (although both rationalities tend to mean the same thing, and trying to append an adjective is sterile given our inept and presumptuous nature), I would have brazenly accepted it as just another imaginative flashback from my memory. Others haven't been able to change my mind to see the difference. It is as if my mind has been blanketed and what I see is filtered. Maybe it's a tried and tested approach towards protecting oneself or maybe I have so many blithe memories that I don't want to see a change. Is it just the place and time I sensed? I see myself the same way but is it because I have failed to discern the changes in my thoughts and actions and more importantly as a human being? How would I get rid of this camouflage? Is it because life unfolds in a capricious way comforted only by the fact that whatever that is happening in our lives is not a surprise to God? Maybe it's because life comes around in full circle. We lived through experiences and memories but we never change as an individual.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Delineation of a dream

It was December evening and I could see clearly see through the thick fog and smoke that my life was setting foot on a new spring season. The tranquility of the evening ,as if the sky had extended over the land, gave me the impression that 'the mighty Being' is asleep. I tried to compare the ecstasy of experiencing this moment with the portrait of the lady whose arrival I was ardently anticipating. As I reposed, the light from the wax candle on the table seemed to grow inside the darkened room and I could still hear her voice ringing in my head," I have saved this afternoon just for you". It became obvious to me that I was inept to make the comparison. She was the most well-groomed woman I ever saw and I wanted to protect her even though she doesn't need it and that was all I knew. The judgement of right and wrong went beyond me. These solemn thoughts were broken when I saw the five cups of coffee I finished in the last four hours. The restaurant was half-deserted. The ruminations had looked after me and my solitude as we utterly took possession of the 'the table reserved for two'.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

What's in a name?

"Are you a christian ?", this is the one question ,whose answer I have lost count on. In fact I have been on a crusade telling the world that my name does not decide my religion or my identity (Well, that maybe an exaggeration) and its not the case either that I have never tried to discover how I got my name and what it means. I haven't understood why people ask me this question, whether they asked it inadvertently or out of curiosity. I guess getting an  English name has its pros and cons.

When I  was christened a name, my parents decided on two- 'James' and 'Boboi'. Family and close childhood friends still call me by the latter and is quite a popular name in my place. It means more to me when I am called by this name because it underlines the truth of the bonding I share with the person. In fact some of them are not aware that 'James' is my legitimate name. 

Believe me when I say my parents still don't know what 'James' means. Mom tells me that Dad was a big fan of James Bond in those days and besides being a teacher of physics himself he noticed that this was a very common name amongst the physicists. His criteria was obviously fame and popularity. It was only when I came to the 10th standard that I knew its meaning when my history teacher told me that it is the English version of the Hebrew name Jacob. Later I got to know it means 'the supplanter', 'substitute', and I know its easy to misunderstand this word.

Friends have come up with their own versions viz- 'Jamie', 'Gems', 'Jamz' to name a few. A few have even messed the pronunciation by giving it two syllabi  'Ja' and 'mes'.(How can anyone make this mistake if they have studied english in primary school?). Nevertheless, I have no complaints.

Undoubtedly , its one of the more popular names. From Harry James Potter to James Hetfield to the kings of scotland that came in chronological order, it has found its face with every kind of personality. But each time i have this conversation, it has led me into an introspective state and there are more questions cropping up . Did I try to find conscientiously to what I seek? Have I found a face in the crowd? What does the person behind the name mean?  Would I be a different person if I had a different name?

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Two and a half kilo of chicken

'60 km/hr ' ,the speedometer on Jake's motorcycle was reading. He could feel the air gushing past his spectacles but he cared less. He lifted his eyes to the etiolated sky, so bleached out ,it seemed as pale and as unmoving as the water. The dullness of the weather was in stark contrast with the delirious mood he was in. He was about to join his schoolmates for a lunch at Raj's place. It took three years in the making for the friends to finally find a vacation where they would all come together and the moment had arrived.

When Jake and Raj met, they conversed as if they were carrying on some left over discussion from yesterday. There were no 'Hellos' or ' How have you been?'.

Jake: I see that you have already bought chicken. How much is it?
Raj: Two and half kilos. I think it's going to be just enough. Robert and Johnson haven't arrived yet. You are the first.Let's cook  in the top floor. It's still not complete yet and its almost like on top of the roof. 

Jake nodded and they both picked up the cooking pot at the same time.

Raj: I don't know how good your cooking skills are but two cooks inevitably means the food will be wasted.
Jake: You are the cook.
Raj: Are you still in touch with 'phylum'?

Phylum was the nick name they gave for Selina. Jake had a huge crush on her back during their school days and a few knew about it. Selina herself didn't know. Jake never told her. She was a medical aspirant back then and was pretty good in memorizing those outlandish zoological terms and that's how she got that name.

Jake: Absolutely not. Let me remind you that was six years back and I ,no longer want anything to do with her.
Raj: What about those true love mojo-jojo you used to preach? I still remember some of your lines. Let me quote," Every force in this universe is defined by four forces and all these follow the inverse square law. But the force that she creates with me cannot be formulated because it's directly proportional to distance. It grows as the separation increases." There was also "All I need is her appreciation for my love and that would be enough for me to conquer anything."
Jake: People change Raj. Instead of love,fame,money and power just give me the truth.(trying to recall some dialogues from a movie). About the forces thing, I am still confuse whether they follow the inverse square law or not. Maybe I was bluffing.  

Both of them were chuckling.

Jake: I am dating a new girl now. I have forgotten everything about phylum until you brought her name up.
Raj: Is that so?
Jake: Yes. Did someone tell you otherwise?
Raj: Well, I have to find out and if I found out you were bluffing than you have to wash all the dishes by yourself. That in case if I get to know about it before our meal finishes.
Jake: (laughing)You haven't changed a bit. What about your goddess of wealth?

Laxmi was nicknamed goddess. Raj had declared his love for her but she showed no interest back then but they were still friends.

Raj: Dude we are going to be relatives now. My uncle is going to marry her aunt. So there is no chance of working out for us.
Jake: (grinning)That's a lame excuse. If you want you could elope with her before your uncle's marriage and yours will be a happy ending story.

Robert stormed in much to the surprise of both.
Robert: Jake, weren't you serious when you started dating the new girl? Phylum's cousin just told me you guys were talking over the phone for a month now.
Raj: (shouting at the top of his voice) Mom,you don't need to wash yesterday's dish. We already got someone for the job.

P.S: The characters and the story are all fictitious. Any resemblance to real life is purely coincidental. 

Thursday, July 31, 2008

In celebration of being alive

I wouldn't mind dying in a plane crash. It'd be a good way to go. I don't want to die in my sleep, or of old age, or OD...I want to feel what it's like. I want to taste it, hear it, smell it. Death is only going to happen to you once; I don't want to miss it.
- Jim Morrison

It was one of those windy, rainy mornings in Imphal. I took out my two wheeler planning to get a hair cut. The rain was not going to stop me. As soon as I started driving,I could hear a faint voice of my mom. I didn't try hard to make out what she said but it seemed she was trying to warn me about the omen of cutting my hair during the exams. The maths paper ,for the 12th board exams, was just conducted yesterday. I had this habit of doing exactly the opposite of anything what people thought would bring ill- luck based on their blind belief and more specifically if the words came out from my mother.I don't how I got this habit, maybe I was trying to show my rebellious attitude. So, I went without any hesitation. 

All drenched up, I went to a local barber shop. Just as he was about to finish cutting my hair, he accidently made a deep cut in my ear and I was bleeding pretty bad. I was pretty much pissed off and my blood was boiling so I broke his glass mirrors and came back without giving his charge.

Just when I was starting to clean up my wounds, a train of thoughts ran through my mind.It suddenly struck my mind that he didn't clean the scissors properly and the place was one of the unhygienic shops in the locality. "Fuck! What did I end up doing this time? " I screamed. Manipur had the highest percentage of HIV positive people in India that time(the major contributor being transfer from blood to blood) and I even saw people suffering from AIDS till their death. The virus strain found there is strongest with HIV positive people advancing to the last stage on AIDS within three years. Nobody deserves this kind of death. It didn't take any more time for me to assume that there is a possibility of getting affected by the virus because of this incident. I immediately told my dad I wanted to go for a HIV test.He straight away denied my request saying that I was being foolish.

But it was too late to control my mind,the only way I would find solace is a result HIV test being negative.I was a man possessed, obsessed with finding out how much science has progressed in curing this curse. The images of people dying with AIDS would burn my mind everyday and I had several attacks of insomnia. A thousand emotions and speculations would run on my mind everyday.I wanted to find comfort in alcohol but I couldn't.I never had the urge to kill a man so much before. At the same time,I never felt so helpless before. I didn't care about academic achievements or whether I passed the 12th board exams or attitudes or girls anymore.I would say my belief in God was unparalleled during this period and even thought that if I did some good my ending wouldn't be that bad.It was time for me to shed some tears since my nursery days. Death ,I thought, would be my best friend.I didn't fear death anymore but the act of dying consumed me.In loneliness, I would often imagine about the Death God, if there is one.  I would torture myself with this thought for nearly one month.

A week after the exams ended I went for the test on my own and not surprisingly it came out to be negative. The doctor told me that exposure to air dries the fluid that contains the virus, and that will destroy or break up much of the virus very quickly. I was a relieved man and it seemed that I had been a new life.I had a new found respect for my life as well as for the others.I went to see the barber again ,not to harm him, but surprisingly to apologize.

When the board results came out, as expected I got 87 aggregate in the first three papers before this incident but the marks of the rest of my papers were hovering around 60's . Even though my fears seemed very childish I am not trying to find out an excuse rather its a confession. More than four years after people still bitch about how even though consistently being in the top three in my class ,I couldn't make it even the top 20 of the school in the board exams. That's alright with me ,I just give them a big smile ,without a hint of sarcasm, and say it every-time , "I got more than I asked for."

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Can we live without expectations?

Let me begin by narrating the story of my first cousin.I have always called him by the name of  'Da nao' with respect,so will refer him in this name only .

Long time back Da nao used to love a girl.I was of the opinion that the girl also loved him that much because they were so close to each other.Da nao is not from a well-off family. His dad worked in garage and his mom is a plain housewife. Infact, many people from his locality were surprised to see him doing good in his studies and even completing his masters degree in Physics. His girlfriend's economic condition was not very different either,being raised up by her widowed mother.

He loved his sweetheart so much that he used to earn wages side by side with his education by giving private tuitions  and engaging in social work, just for the sole purpose that she could pursue her education. After finishing school, she decided that she would choose nursing as her career path and so left her hometown with the same aspiration. Da nao managed all her education requirements and they even use to mail each other often. Everything looked so set for them.

After three long years when she finished her graduation she came back home and we went to meet her. During that time I was enjoying my summer vacation back home after my 2nd semester got over. They looked in love just as it was three years ago. The next day ,as if the armageddon had arrived ,news came that she eloped with someone else. For Da nao his world was falling apart in front of his own eyes. They were together for seven long years.A few silent moments went by and then he looked at me and said "Boi!!"    " Would you get your two wheeler ?"   " I need to attend to some previous commitment."

We went straight to Sekmai, i knew what was coming next. This is the place where the local wines are made,as pure as you can get. That night, he was so drunk ,i thought he will die of over dose and this was from a man who never tasted wine before. For the record,  I didn't drink that day. A few days later, we went to the girl's home and in rage, Da nao demanded the money he had spent on her education.It wasn't much some 70,000 bucks. Tears were rolling down from her mother's eye.I didn't know what to do except watch like a statue.

One year had passed.It was time for summer vacations for me again.I came to know that the bridegroom party had offered her a post in RIMS and she took it.Da nao never mentioned anything about her. But one fine afternoon ,we heard the news that her first child died in delivery. Da nao threw a chicken party the very same night but I didn't go . We had a difference of opinion and since we have not met eye to eye with each other but that episode was the beginning of his never ending unfortunate incidents.

My purpose is not to discuss whatever morals  the story might have told.I want to bring into light how weak our mind gets when bonded by the shackles of aspirations. Aspiration maybe of materialistic ,emotional or metaphysical in nature.I am not saying that one should not aspire or should give up the fruits earned by a man's worth. Its not possible to lead a practical way of life in today's world without any desire or dreams. But when we falter its possible we are not in control of our lives anymore.If you have an eye on the fruits of your actions, you are liable to be affected by worry, anxiety and restlessness.I don't know what the greater truth is , if there is one but I do know we are ignorant enough to be influenced by the darker reflections of ourselves.In my opinion , the mind is the birthplace of every one of our worries, anxieties or restlessness. People have faced this and survived but is life all about surviving or does the true knowledge about life hidden somewhere else?

Saturday, July 19, 2008


The frequent power cuts got me in the poetic mood.
I thought of writing a poem but ended up being a tragedy, which is not a surprise to me. Although ,titled "irrevocable",it has dark shades in it, it was more of a result of loneliness felt during the few moments and nothing more than that.It might dismay  a lot of people who never got to see me in a serious mood.

She entered like an angel,just the way in every love story, 
with a smile that can bring the death alive, 
with a voice that made my ears experience thirst.  

She summons a mystical energy that surrounds her,
like a mythological creature, 
like a bible,I had to believe in.  

I dont know whether I am the master of myself anymore,
but I would do anything to have her for myself, 
just for myself.  

Only if it could have been possible. 
Only if my past did not betray my words. 
Only if she could have understood my faith.  

Now I dont know what to do,
because all I am left behind is a soul container, 
because I am left shattered, stretched across my shame and jealousy.  

Wish I could say its dying down inside of me.
Now I realise she is my unattainable.
I realise she is a dream that cannot be fulfilled.
I realise she is song that I can never sing.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

"True love tends to forget"

"True love tends to forget".These are the words of the great Bob Dylan.Frankly speaking I have seen many interpretations of these words especially in movies. Love not fulfilled is to be forgotten or atleast lovers should try to forget whatever memories they had shared.Even amongst my friends ,its common to find using the words like,"I tried  to forget you, but everytime I do so I end up loving you more" (or somewhat on the similar lines) to convey their love.Its funny how each time when love is portrayed as synonymous with pure, steady, effulgent, attributeless, formless, ancient, eternal, immortal and nectarous, it has been accused being just the opposite and how often it has been labeled as an imprint on our memory.

I am not trying to be a critic of Bob Dylan because I know there won't be another Bob Dylan coming.I just seem to develop a different opinion.My thoughts and feelings are more pulled towards the words like,"I am trying to do whatever I can ,not to forget you in every passing moment, trying to remember everyone of your simplest things".Am I being illogical or just plain confused?Whatever the case maybe I am just being myself.

Friday, July 11, 2008

My experiences of travelling in the train solo

Its been a long time I have written something on my blog.I just came to Howrah after a 52 hours long journey from bangalore and felt like i should write something.I got another train to catch ,a few hours from now.So, I will just post whatever memoirs i can recollect.
Most of the time, I travel alone in a train.I don't wait for any companion because thats suits me best.I have come across many people ,strangers in the beginning but ended up having a quite a good rapport with them.The list includes a korean guy, a muslim girl going for her sister's wedding,a XLRI prof, a BSF jawan, a well known author, two girls who came for summer school and it continues.
I had different experiences with all of them.The muslim girl just wouldn't stop talking.She would pick any random topic and will keep blabbering about it.Of course I was the one who started the conversation when i saw mehendi on her hands.She looked good by the way.The korean guy wasn't much of a talker and his accent was weird.I had a tough time understanding what he said.
I was more interested to know about korean girls from him or more specifically 'Son Ye Jin',the actress in the Korean movie 'The Classic'.
The XLRI prof and the author ,I was talking about, are a couple and our conversation was more or less on serious topics.They were very much interested in knowing about Manipur's heritage and history.I got to know a lot of things from him like keralites marry their first cousins,its a tradition for girls in tamil to marry their uncles etc,which i found very uncanny.
On the other hand ,I had to very good time with the summer school girls. We were only engaged in gossiping.Hell, they even talked about their boyfriends.
Once, I was travelling from varanasi to guwahati on a train on a waiting ticket no.4 .But such was my bad luck that the entire "man-in -uniform" had to be on the train.I had couldn't find any place to sit for an entire day and so did the BSF jawan from dehradun.He turned out to be quite a nice guy.
Oh!But I forgot to mention my first ever experience.I was supposed to be travelling alone from varanasi to delhi, when I was in first year ,but as it turned out my IT-BHU seniors were the majority amongst the passnegers travelling that day.So I was ragged along with some first yearites, in a sweet way though, so I had no complaints.I was told to propose to a girl and me along with some other guys were told to shout "This train is not going to delhi but is going to chennai instead".We did that.
I am actually looking forward to meeting more new people on the train.Hopefully ,this wouldn't be the last you would see me writing with the same title.