The Woman From The Sky

I sit on the cold earth, allowing my gaze to go astray into the starry night sky. I see the galaxy we are in, the light from it meandering through the many stars like spilt milk.

The weather is calm. Serene. The wind is gentle. The only sound I can hear is the infinitely distant sound of the universe moving. Or maybe it’s the very sound of my own mind dancing in silent introspection.

Gazing into the cosmos, I think of my grandfather. I think of the countless nights we had spent together basking in the majesty of the heavens up above. He always told me the universe was a keyhole to our past that held answers to our future; that when you look up into the night sky, you’re actually looking billions of years into the past, and that the stars we see today are but the stars that once existed billions of years ago.

Thinking of all this, I feel small. But I feel big too, because grandfather also told that not only are we in the universe, but the universe is also within us.

Right then, in the midst of the whirlpool of my thoughts, I glance at something in the night sky. Or is it someone? I see a figure, which only disappears in a fraction, only to reappear as a face. Its elegance is so powerful that I see no more of the galaxy I was once looking at so passionately. I feel enraptured. Enthralled. And scared. Its magnificence is so intense that I slip into delirium.

I still sit on the cold earth, frozen with disbelief. Then I see the face descending. Slowly. And taking the shape of a woman. An angel incarnate, I must say. She lands on the ground, and leaves a trail of stars behind.

Transfixed and stupefied, I try to get onto my feet. But I fail. I realise I cannot move. And I see the woman standing still. She is nothing but a figure shrouded with blinding luminance.

She stands still for what seems like eternity. I stay scared, perplexed about what’s happening before me.

Then something happens. What was a gentle breeze turns into a violent gust. The woman before me explodes into tiny fragments which fly away with the gale, only to mix with the unending cosmos far above.

It all happens faster than I could think. Even before I could bat my eyelids, making me wonder if it had happened at all.

I stand up and feel the cold earth beneath my feet. I look around. Everything is as it had been before. I look up at the night sky. I think of the stars grandfather had told me about, and of the woman that had come from them.

I then turn around and walk away. The universe is mysterious. And so am I.

When (A Poem)


When loneliness becomes an accomplice,

And gloom turns a regular visitor;

When quitting appears to be the only way,

Making me wish life was simpler.


When the world heedlessly turns away,

And loved ones love no more;

When agony becomes a way of life,

Striking me hard at the core.


When existence seems meaningless,

And all hope seems lost;

When criticism and mockery and ridicule,

Are what life can offer at its best.


When society brands me a failure,

A fool, a loser and an imbecile;

When I break down over and over,

Struggling to strengthen my weakening will.


When my eyes have nothing to offer,

But melancholy and unceasing tears;

When my mind slips into inexorable darkness,

And gets lost in the vast abyss of fears.


That is when I will fight back,

Rising from the nadirs of despair;

For it’s not mere blood that travels my body,

But grit and valour and a desire to dare.

5 Things I Want To Tell To All Those ‘Men’ Who Expect Dowry

Dear reader, firstly forgive me for one thing. Forgive me for calling such men, men. My inability to come up with a proper derogatory word for such people makes me do this.

The act of taking dowry has become so commonplace that it doesn’t incite any reaction from either of the parties (the bride’s family and the groom’s family); at-least most of the times. We have been so blindly believing this mindless act of folly to be a part of our culture, that we have forgotten to question – to question those so called men who view women as items and see marriage as a way for quick money.

So if you are a male reading this who happens to expect dowry, then these are the five things I would like to tell you.

1. Please. Stop Dreaming. You Are Not A Man.

This is just a friendly attempt to bring you back to reality. Seriously. You are not a man. Your manhood was lost the moment you thought taking dowry was okay. I empathize with you. I know this is a tough time for you. I understand how it feels when you suddenly realize that you have been living in a fantasy land all along, where you have been thinking you were a man. But I am sorry, my friend. You are not a man. This is the truth.

2. Your School, College Certificates And All; Flush Them Down The Toilet 

Frankly speaking, education is not something that gives you certificates, but something that gives you brains. And since you seem to be in terrible lacking of the latter, the certificates you carry don’t really hold any meaning.

So what do you do with something that doesn’t hold any meaning? Flush it down the toilet. Or you can toss it in the garbage bin too. As per your convenience.

3. Question God

Questioning is the basis of human existence. But sometimes, we turn out to be so idiotic that we will have to question our own existence. So question God. Ask him why he had sent a person like you onto this earth. Ask him why he hadn’t thought for a second before giving a life to you. And also ask him why he had marred the beauty of mankind by putting you in it.

There is nothing wrong in questioning. When something undesirable to humanity happens, we question God. Probably that’s the reason you should question God.

4.  Join A Mental Institution 

Logically speaking, only people whose brains don’t function properly live in mental institutions. And for a person’s brain to not function properly, he needs to have one in the first place. But it’s fine, you can be an exception here.

5. Spread Awareness 

Once you have fully realised and understood what you actually are, get into the noble pursuit of spreading awareness. Just like you, there will be other ‘men’ (most of them would be your peers) who would be living a life without realisation. Go to them. Sit with them. And explain to them. Make them understand that they have been thinking they are men, but are not so in actuality.


Please Note : The above lines mean no hatred towards the men who expect dowry. They rather show sympathy. Of course, we can’t hate or disdain mentally ill people, can we? We only have to show them a way through sympathy and understanding. 








Why your luck is in your hands

DISCLAIMER : Saying your luck is in your hands in no way means that the stuff below is about Astrology. Astrology is bullshit and the author of this post always stays away from it.

I am a great believer in luck, and I find that the harder I work, the more I have of it. – Thomas Jefferson, 3rd President of the USA

How great would it be if every day were a lucky day for us? How amazing life would become if every moment we live is constantly under the spell of fortune? If only we had ‘lucky’ written all over our faces, would it have been possible to do things we had always wanted, when we wanted.

But the sad part is, stuff like that is not possible. Right?


Then why is it that some people get what they want without much of effort while others, despite relentless toiling and twisting for years, still end up having something which they don’t like? Is it luck that governs their lives? Is it that serendipities play a vital role in our lives? And do they alone dictate our destinies?

Let me explain this with something I had come across recently.

A study conducted by University College London revealed why and how we are the creators of our own luck. The project asked several people to submit their stories of fortune and success and then scrutinized the stories which had boiled down to two findings.

None of the people had engineered the fortunes that had come their way. And all of them had two things in common. One was that they could interpret and identify the opportunities that crossed their paths, and two, they had made use of their minds to bag those opportunities at the right time. These opportunities, which seemed to present themselves out of thin air without any apparent rhyme or reason, had resulted in more good events which made the people think they had become ‘lucky’.

Of course, those people had become lucky. Only that they chose to become so. They made choices and took decisions to grab the opportunities, as a result of which much more good things had materialized.

 ‘Making’ choices and ‘taking’ decisions are actions. And by taking action, these people had turned out to become the creators of their luck, and the masters of their destiny.

The same applies to you, me and any other individual under the sun with flesh and bone. Our luck, mostly, lies in our own hands.

Numerous opportunities, I repeat, numerous opportunities present themselves daily. Some are trifling that we take no notice of them. And some are big, but a mind bogged down with negativity and despondence cannot recognize them. An open and positive mind, on the other hand, has the ability to identify opportunities that are concealed even in the thickens of monotony.

The reason why some people around call you lucky for your success is because they cannot digest the fact that you are successful, and are more inclined towards bringing you down by belittling your efforts using the term ‘lucky’. Praising you for your efforts is an alien habit to them. They are just too unbelievably amazed with the enormity of your achievements, that they tend to see you through the envious eye.

And such people constantly mouthing about luck is nothing but a deliberate attempt to cover up their laziness and justify their failures. Phrases like ‘You just got lucky’ or ‘Bad luck is just hovering above my head’ or ‘My time is bad’ seldom fail to eject from their lips. Pointless criticism and futile justification of their setbacks seem to be the cornerstones of their life and living.

So to say, the concept of luck has only negligible value in any format of success. And if one can muster his grit and discipline, he can change, or rather create his own version of luck.

Yes. Your luck is in your own hands.


The uncharted waters

Life is like a 10-speed bike. Most of us have gears we never use. – Charles Schulz, Cartoonist

Image Credits :

Image Credits :

Each one of us is a gigantic storehouse of flair and talent. We have that vast sea within us, a mammoth body of possibilities, which is waiting to be harnessed by our ignited minds. We have within us the power to do and get whatever we want.

But then, why is it that only a few amongst us manage to make it big? Why is it that the major chunk of the society mostly lingers in mediocrity and is afraid to face Change?

It is because, most of us are too scared to explore the uncharted waters of our own oceans of talent. We are so thoughtlessly immersed into the habit of following the herd, that we seldom realize we possess abilities we never knew; and that our bodily vehicles have gears we never used.

One of the biggest tragedies of life is to leave this world with our reservoir of talents left unknown and unused. Of course, what good it is to think of travelling places in the world outside when we haven’t travelled enough within?

Image Credits :

Image Credits :

Types of people in Chennai city buses

Travelling in Chennai buses is as hard as getting a cat to tell about its day while flossing its teeth*. No, I don’t mean the ticket rates here (although they keep fluctuating at crazy levels).

I am talking about something else altogether.

If you had ever travelled in a white board (or green board, or blue board, or any board for that matter) bus somewhere between 8 and 9 AM in the morning of a weekday, you probably should have understood what I am talking about. And you probably should be yearning to scroll down the page now.

And if you haven’t yet travelled, then let this be an instruction manual to you.

India is a diverse country with a variety of cultures and people. And so are Chennai buses. The kind of people you encounter in a normal bus inspires you NOT to board a bus again in your life. There are different kinds of people travelling. And I thought I could do some social service by arranging them in a few categories and enlightening you with the effects and side effects you will have to go through if, by chance, you rub your shoulders with them.

The Ambitious guys 

‘Ambitious’ is definitely not a proper word to define this kind of people. As of now, my miniature vocabulary doesn’t leave me with a better option. (If you have a better word, do suggest)

These people form the topmost strata of the most irritating human beings on earth. Their actions are great motivators to right-on-the-face smacks and five-fingered slaps. Their main aim is to bag a seat, and they don’t mind barging into a bus (whether it’s moving or stationary) even through it’s windows. Their weaponry consists of handkerchiefs, handbags etc., and sometimes even their own chappals, (Yes, you read that right), which are violently placed on the seat. And once that is done, they radiate a grin of accomplishment. (If bagging seats in local buses is  considered an accomplishment, then we should be a highly developed nation by now)

I had this experience once.

I boarded a crammed bus on the way to college. Bought the ticket and stood in the crowd. A couple of stops later, an old man from a nearby seat vacated. As I sliced in to sit, another guy stopped me.

‘I have been standing here from even before you came.’ He said.

Seriously, a two year old kid with his lollipop taken away would put up a much matured fight. Sigh.

The Techies 

Not all from this category wear the ‘Mr. Annoying’ badge. Some are really pleasant and dignified. But there are some individuals whose levels of annoyance make your adrenaline shoot over your head. And the reason? Yes, I am getting there.

These people just cannot live without their smartphones. Even they might somehow manage without a heart or a liver, but gadgets? They are a must. Neck coiled around with wires, hands carrying phones and tablets bigger than them, and ninety percent of their brains engrossed in touching and tapping (The rest ten percent doesn’t really exist, I suppose). They are so terribly victimized by technological slavery, that the conductor should be from Arnab Goswami’s lineage in order to make them hear him asking the money for tickets.

Techies are of two types : Type A and Type B

Type A

These are the decent and tolerable ones. Well dressed, neatly groomed and modest. And bearable enough to mind their own businesses.

Type B

I presume you are rolling up your shirt sleeves or busting your fists now, as these guys sometimes surpass the ‘ambitious’ guys in terms of irritability. These are the ones with a shabby hair standing out in a thousand different directions, and insanely coloured (their hairs have more colours than the official business colour palette of Asian Paints). Sometimes you feel it is not hair that they have got, but the murky end of a floor mop that has been inverted over their heads.

Wait, the worst is yet to come.

Their under garments are placed way below their hips, and their pants are stuck even below. (Well, I am not interested in telling where). The most disgusting part is their interest in showing off their innerwears to each and every passenger in the bus. How they think that everyone would quit what they are doing and gaze at their underwears with microscopic eyes, I fail to understand.

Okay, now let’s move on to the next category.

The mmm mouthed guys 

These people feel they are carrying seventy percent (sometimes hundred) of the world’s problems on their heads. Their is this perpetual frown on their face and their lips are impeccably horizontal; as if someone has driven a nail through their jaws.

And yes, they are insanely hostile. You ask them time, they give you a look as if you had asked them a part of their fortune. You hand them your bag if you are standing, they stare at you as if you are a most-wanted terrorist who needs to be thrown in jail. Sometimes it feels as if they had left their brains at home in a  hurry. Seriously.

The Drunkards 

You sit beside them, you are doomed. You let them sit beside you, you are double-doomed. ‘Triple-doomed’ happens if they open their mouths to ask you something. Half of India’s garbage bins reside in their gums. Their teeth suggest you that they had had tar and charcoal for breakfast. Their hair would be a heavenly abode to the insect kingdom. So to say, it appears as if they had been boozing, and remained bath-less since ten years. (And if you continue to sit beside them, you will end up having required to take bath continuously for ten years)

The Hangmen 

This category consists of one of the ‘bravest’ souls of our motherland. If you ask me, they should be conferred with some ‘bravery’ award for the courageous display of their skills (hanging from the bus like lunatics, yelling like maniacs, jumping like retards, etc).  This kind of people have two brains. One is gone and the other is out searching for it. They believe they are the descendants of Superman or Krrish. They stand when the bus is standing, and jump into it when it starts moving. Feet sometimes on the foot-board, and sometimes in the air, and their hands tightly clutched around the window bars. A slight slip would reduce them into a crimson pulp in between the fat tyres of the bus.

(But then, forget not to ‘salute’ their ‘bravado’)

The Sacrificial Lambs 

Contrary to the types of people mentioned above, sacrificial lambs are the innocent ones. They generally are found stuck near the ladies’ side (where the conductor sits), and it seems that every passenger who is standing wants to get the ticket through him. Sometimes the frequency and intensity of ticket-transactions become so taxing that they feel terrible for having boarded the bus in the first place. (From my very own experience)

*Conditions Apply. Conditions include the bus being jam-packed, the weather being sunny and the traffic being at its peak. 

So yes, in my three years of bus-travelling experience on Chennai roads, these are the major types of people I had encountered. You think their exists any other type also? Comment right away!

The Wolf of Kamarajar Street

The street I live in, a.k.a Kamarajar street, opens up to a wide road. Every morning, as the sun rises in the east (logically speaking, the earth rotates to the west. But then, its okay), and as the early birds fly in pursuit of the worms, this wide road turns into a bustling pathway tread by vehicles of almost all categories. Some people are on the way to their workplaces, some are on the way to schools, and some to their colleges (yes, including me).

But there is one person who stays glued to one place, morning through night. He has a rickety wooden cart with rusted wheels, which is in turn glued to its place with the help of bricks and boulders. Inside the cart there are utensils of different sizes, each housing a different dish spilling its aroma into the morning air. The customers who arrive with a rumbling stomach go back wanting to come back once again. Their insatiable hunger is quenched with his unmatchable culinary expertise. Their morning dullness is diminished by his genuine smile, which is a distinct curve in his aged face where wrinkles run from everywhere to everywhere.

Yes, he is the wolf of Kamarajar street. And his name is Jambulingam.

The pocket size dictionary that lies on my writing table defines ‘Wolf’ as ‘predatory, rapacious and fierce’. But then, Mr. Jambulingam is a good human being. How come I can use these negative traits to define such an amiable personality? Well, Jambulingam is predatory in his endeavours; hunts his customers with his cooking panache. He is rapacious in bettering himself in serving better. And he is fierce in inspiring loyalty in his customers. (If you find the justification fine, continue reading. If you don’t, it is okay, you can still continue)

It was a fine morning. It had rained the previous night. I stepped onto the footpath, on which were scattered puddles of different shapes and sizes, and paced my way forward. The food cart was already engulfed by multiple barricades of hungry customers. I managed to pierce them to have a look at what the day’s specials were. There is variety everyday. The Wolf knows that it is this variety that keeps the customers happy.

Hot dosas coming to life on the sweltering pan, warm idlies neatly arranged in a large hotbox, and oily puris that shined in the glint of the morning sun; along with their respective side dishes arranged on the other side of the cart. The Wolf zealously took my order.

He skilfully manoeuvred  the ‘dosa-flour’ filled ladle over the pan, and the dosa hissed. He then picked up an egg from one of the trays, broke it into half and let the slimy yolk land on the centre of the dosa. Spread it all around with the ladle. (The Wolf doesn’t inject his fingers into others’ food. That would be against the laws of hygiene, and he doesn’t like that)

He then served me the dish with fresh dollops of steaming chutney and sambar. I experienced heaven.

One fine night, I asked the Wolf if he has a family. He smiled and shook a no.

‘Don’t you get bored then?’ I said.

‘My customers are my family.’ He said.

‘When did you start cooking?’ I asked.

‘At the age of 12.’ He said. ‘Back then, I cooked to fill my stomach. Now I cook to fill others’.’

Many days later, one morning, I found the Wolf missing. The rickety cart was there, the seducing aroma was there, and the hungry customers were there. But it was a young boy who stood in the Wolf’s place.

I asked him that night, ‘Where is the old man who used to be here?’

‘My dad.’ The young lad said. ‘He died.’

‘Your dad? He said he didn’t have a family?’ I said, already shell-shocked with the tragic news.

‘I was an orphan. None cared for me. He found me begging on the streets. He took me to his home. Took care of me and taught me to cook. He said glory lies not in begging from others, but in serving them.’

I patted the boy’s head and placed my usual order. Before me stood a replica of the Wolf. The same smile, the same style, and the same aura. He handed me the plate with the dish sizzling in it. I experienced heaven, yet again.

For men may come and men may go, but the Wolf goes on forever. 

When someone says you can’t do something

Image Credits :

Image Credits :

When someone says you can’t do something, chances are more that they themselves can’t do it, and chances are pretty negligible that you yourself can’t. 

When someone says you can’t do something, it means the power of your grit and will is put to test.

When someone says you can’t do something, it is time to rejoice; for only those who stand up to their passions face instant criticism and rebuke.

When someone says you can’t do something, it means you are rising above mediocre. Because the average don’t dare, and hence are never discouraged.

When someone says you can’t do something, it is nothing but a reminder to not to listen to someone who says you can’t do something.

When someone says you can’t do something, it is time to become firmer in what you believe.

When someone says you can’t do something, it is time to understand that you are on the same path tread by heroes.

When someone says you can’t do something, it is mostly because they have not seen anyone do the same and succeed.

When someone says you can’t do something, don’t believe them. Because if you do, you would be in the same category as them.

When someone says you can’t do something, do it. And do it so well that never ever would anyone even dare to say the same to you again. 


Why sometimes it is Good to be Deaf

A couple of days ago I was listening to a business tape. The speaker narrated this story. It touched me. 

Two brothers, one 12 years old and the other 7, were ice-skating on a frozen lake. The duo were having the time of their lives. Chasing, slipping and sliding, and hurling handful of snowballs at each other. Then all of a sudden, a small area of the ice cracked in, forming a wide gap. The elder brother slithered through the split in the frozen surface, and plunged into the ice-cold water beneath. He was drowning.

The younger brother was appalled. He had no idea of what to do. For a few seconds, his brains went numb with shock. He looked hither and thither in search of someone who could possibly pull out his brother to safety. But there was none around.

Time was pacing. The elder brother was battling against the spine-breaking cold of the icy waters. He had no option but to call out to his little brother for help.

The little kid realized the futility of waiting for help to come. He skated till the edge of the lake, ran over the ice and towards a tree. He struggled, climbed the tree, reached out to a branch and broke it. He picked up the broken branch and rushed back to his brother. And with its help, managed to tug his brother onto the surface.

The elder brother was all wet and gasped for breaths. His teeth chattered with the iciness. Within no time, the townsfolk arrived just to check what the commotion was all about. They saw the two brothers. Enquired what had happened. When the kids narrated the incident, the people themselves were amazed.

One of them asked the younger boy, ‘You are so small. How could you manage to pull out your elder brother?’

The boy didn’t know what to say. He just blinked. He himself had no idea about it.

The entire group chattered in wonder. Right then, a wise old man sliced through to the front. He placed both his heavy arms on the younger brother’s tender shoulders. Looked straight into his eyes. And smiled.

‘You know why you were able to rescue your brother?’ He asked.

The young kid stayed silent. Blinked his eyes once.

‘Because’, the old man paused, ‘when you were climbing the tree, there was nobody around to tell you that you can’t do it.’

Sometimes it is good to be deaf. Deaf to the negativity of the outside world. Deaf to the discouragement offered by losers. And deaf to the very idea that what you are doing is impossible to complete.