Saturday, April 19, 2014


. “Was I bitter? Absolutely. Hurt? You bet your sweet ass I was hurt. Who doesn’t feel a part of their heart break at rejection. You ask yourself every question you can think of, what, why, how come, and then your sadness turns to anger. That’s my favorite part. It drives me, feeds me, and makes one hell of a story.” – Jennifer Salaiz

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

bad ideas

Delhi has been an eyeopener in more ways than one. I had come to Delhi four monthes back nursing a deep prejudice to this city . And as I audit my life in these few days in the National Capital I have come across a awful lot of truths and realisations which I wouldnt have had if I hadnt come face to face with this city and people. Infact when I look back at my life ..lots of things have a 'delhi' perspective. The kind of idea that there exists an attitude that is at the same time highly practical and insanely stupid ..that there exists a kind of idea that is not only self destructive but highly plleasuble and at the same time self destructive. Its something that one realises that threre is a city where people not only believe such ideas but live and die by them..however innimical they are.
Now imagine the psychological paradox  of living in a city whose central idea conflicts with everything beautiful and constructive. That is not a feat that one should be proud of..thats a punishment that one should get rid of. One cannot be proud of surviving in should ask a question as to why is he living in dirt? Is it glorious to 'survive' an avoidable atmosphere? Is it constructive to wallow in dirt? Is it a great feat of philosophy to accept dirt? I dont think so. I think its a great feat to realise that the dirt is not doing anything great to you emotionally or physically. Its just making you dirtier.
Do you want to play these games where the winner also ends up as a loser? Do you want to keep playing these games?
Delhi is a place where the empirical proof of the idea derides my idea of what life it should be lived. Its a place where the pressure to play games comes down to survival. Survival is okay in man vs Wild but to fight for survival in a metro is to waste time in advancing oneself. If you are constantly fighting and playing games ..your mind is too occupied to invest itself in growing positively. I think in a civilised town there should be a 'fight' vs 'enrichment' curve. The fight should not be the sole purpose of ypur existence. Delhi has taught me that there are people for whom the 'fight' is enjoyable and enriching. Its not something i attest but I guess I dont stand a chance.
One should always bang his ideas against reality to check where does one stand. I must thank Delhi for fast forwarding this empirical process. Its a painful but important lesson. I dont want to become the fighter. I want to walk away because this is a bad game.
I thank Delhi for making me realise how lonely one can become. In my 33 years of existence I have never felt as isolated and left out as i felt in this place. Its not physical loneliness..its being mentally lonely in a mirage of ideas. Its like being the sole vegeteranian in a cannibalistic tribe. Its not difficult to be a cannibal..but I see the entire futility of being one. Its not sustainable and you end up killing each other. Even if you lose another human being.Maybe a freind ..maybe a freindship.
And I have lost a lot in these four monthes. I have lost respect for basic life. I have lost trust and I have lost the basic zest for life. I have lost the idea that people want to be fundamentally happy. I have lost the idea of loving.Its not that I havent tried to fight this loss ..god knows that I have fought with all I have. But at this point I have realised its 'flight' time rather than fight time.
Its a loss thats not permanent but if left to its own it can become gangrene. You can fight with others but you cant be in continual fight with yourself. You cant really question yourself and your morals and ethics everyday. Its a fight where even a winner loses himself.
Its time to draw up the tables and see where you stand. Do you want to stand where you are standing? Have your ideas been validated? What have you won and what have you lost? Does it make sense fighting with people who are not afraid of losing themselves? Do you have a chance of winning a game where you have your intellect and emotion to lose for gaining what? A Parking space?
I must thank Delhi for showing me that its futile to fight such a fight. Its possible that its just not worth it. I am thankful I came to this place and I realised the truth of my ideas.
I realised that even the best of ideas fail when linked to bad people. You cant build a temple ..however great the plan ..with weak bricks. So what do you do? You take your ideas and build at another place where the bricks satisfy your criterea. Its no good trying to change the plan to suit the brick. Especially when the pilot project has failed miserably due to bad bricks. Its a painful process to accept that while your ideas may be fundamentally true... the subject of test against which you implement them is as important. If you have an idea that there are stars and you cant see them..its not that your idea is wrong always..its just that the telescope's glass is bad quality. You should realise that good ideas require good material. Rather ,provabilty of idea depends as much on the men and material as the idea itself. To doggedly test your ideas against bad material...Its just not worth your time or sometimes you are disgusted enough even to keep up the charade.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

We the assholes

While we cant build institutions or personas..we are adept at pulling down institutions and characters. No one is good enough for us it seems. We as a people are the most lawbreaking citizens of the world yet we want a saint as our leader..we cannot run a single household yet want a person who can manage fiscal deficiet,distribute free food and also play the tabla? More than the Aam Aadmi..I think its the political leaders who should be entitled to a good populace in a democratic setup. Seriously, if anything I am more ashamed of the Indian Population rather than its leaders. Loose talkers and shallow assholes can never produce a great leader. In case he is produced by chance..we will drag him down! Gandhi gave us a central motive and was instrumental in giving us freedom but no ..he was a sexual pervert! Nehru gave us democratic legacy..but oh no ! he was a flirt! JP wasnt good enough! Indira Gandhi led us through one of the worst wars,but hell no..she was a bitch...!! Patel united india's federal structure but hey he was an autocrat. Manmohan Singh may be ridiculed but he did save our economy in needs of crises. Vajpayee led the highway and river unification plan..but hey he was a drunkard! Modi might have made a state jump to advanced standard of living but he is communal. I guess we need a guy who can do no wrong..sadly that guy usually doesnt do anything hence nothing will go wrong! I hope we chose that 'no-wrong' guy... this kind of society needs that kind of guy to pander to everyone..please everyone..forgive everyone and usually let everyone pull in whatver direction. How can we ever forgive anyone who tells us that we may be wrong? Insult ..Insult!! Ghor apmaan for the mango people. Here go lick a lolipop and be happy!!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The Circle

I had met a few class mates and as we got to talking they started pulling my leg regarding me being my maths teachers pet. It was true and I was smiling away. Frankly I enjoyed her attention and she did encourage me a lot and was one of the biggest influences in my life in loving maths and science. I was pretty proud of the fact that my Physics miss(yeah we used to call our teachers 'miss' ..even if she was a lady with four kids ;)) and English sir found me one of those kids who had real interest in these subjects.
But personal ego aside I was troubled by one of the statements these schoolmates had made. 'Piyush I still remember the silly questions you used to ask..I mean who asks 'why a circle is called a circle' '
Well first of all I never asked THAT question. I had asked 'How do u know that a figure is a circle?'.Secondly I never got an answer.
Let me elaborate that question.
If you see a big figure like a circle how do u know that it has a circumference which is equidistance from the centre. The answer would be simple find its centre and then its done. But but do you find a centre? THAT was my question.
I finally found that answer.

Its simple . Use a ruler and draw lines cutting the figure. Find the biggest line that is possible and cut it into two. That will give you the centre and then if all points on the border are equidistant then it IS a circle.
But but but..there is a catch to this method.
How do you find the biggest line? Because there is a chance that you will miss out the biggest line however fine the lines you draw as the area can be covered by an infinite number of lines and there is a chance that you might miss out the biggest line..however large the number you draw !

There is always an element of doubt!Its not that Simple

Sunday, April 6, 2014


You are an escape. You're a break from our normal lives. You're a parenthesis.
A parenthesis it is.

A parenthesis shouldn't try to be anything but one. Neither a full stop ..neither a blank space ..and never an underscore. It destroys the balance of things. A parenthesis should act like one. Delusions can be costly and painful. Ambitions matter little and so does desires and expectations. To do so would be counter productive. And a demand for the same could be turned down at will. Worse still it may be turned into an article. It might be asked as to if not a parenthesis what it would want to be? 
But frankly isn't it stupid for the parenthesis to demand it. A parenthesis is expendable..the sent hence isn't. 
It must accept the pays and perks of being a parenthesis and move on. Different sentence same function. Only it should remember that the sentence owes it nothing. That's the agreement made at the start of the paragraph. And that's how it shall remain. A parenthesis!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

The tale of Panwali Kantha Trek

Six guys ,one long bus trip to Guttu and a late start to the trek is not really the most auspicious start to a trek thats expected to trod some heavy snow! But then with a homogenous group there is no issue with lack of motivation.

We were already late when we started from Guttu (almost 5 hrs from Rishikesh..thanks to mother nature screwing up en route roads. And thanks to the clear weather and a balmy breeze, we were up and bright. Our cook (hired from the village) who was moonlighting as a cook as the business of his shop could wait was full of evergy and frankly a little preppy. Our guide, Sajjan Singh, was a rather loud but honest to goodness all-in-one who had the choicest of words to motivate the porters (even in the early hours of the start) .
As we walked we were given a breif route detail by Sajjan and although all of us were eager to glimpse the peak..we realised it was way too off.
A small iron bridge along with some pretty ladies loitering around and smiling at us, city jokers ..well kind of cheered us up.Calling for a pit stop to fill fresh spring water, sajjan, attempted some small talk. Manish was an avid trekker, Ritvij was a pro, Ankit had done treks while Bittoo and Rajat were newbies. Self was not an old hand at trekking..just an old hand.
Small talk wasnt happening because frankly we knew each other in pairs, I knew Ankit, Ankit knew Bittoo, Manish knew rajat and Ritvij knew Ankit. And Sajjan Singh was attempting to know everybody.
The first days walk is always very optimistic even when there is a slight gradual climb into the unknown but the small diversions on the way kept us even more charmed. Eating the Burunsh flowers on the way and trying to test the load of the firewood/cut grass which the women folk were carrying back (trust me guys...those loads were above 50 kgs and these ladies were walking back without so much as a care). Frankly I almost saluted those hardworking ladies. (wait..I did salute them).
As we kept walking, I realised that our pace was pretty slow and with the evening coming in fast we will reach Ghaurmanda late. But then the team picked up speed with the last stretch and we just made it to the camp site as dusk closed in.
There were two shephard houses but while we made one of them a kitchen tent, we decided to camp a bit away ourselves. Tents unfolded and we saw some patches of snow and after the body had cooled down we did feel a chill.
A campfire warmed up the conversations while we actually got to know each other better ..all of us concluding that its nice to have a uniform group rather than too much of difference as that might have created problems in pacing.

Camping enroute

Next day we broke early and began the real trek. After almost two hours of walking we first came across some nice snow. And since all of us generally had the idea that we would be encountering was not a great surprise. What was the 'great surprise' was that the depth kept on increasing exponentially. It was an effort to move even one kilometre in that kind of snow.
Our very own Sajjan Singh was almost taken aback by the snow and was slightly apprehensive if the group could make it through. In fact in the second pit stop right in the middle of a snowscape he was invariably searching for an answer from atleast one of us to advance the base so as to make the climb early tomorrow. But kudos to the group that none of us ever gave an inkling that we were uncomfortable.
We marched on in almost 4-6 feet snow.

Chalte raho..beta

It was an experience which reminded me of my failed attempt at Stok. I was glad that atleast there was no altitude or sub zero temp here. It was actually not that uncomfortable if you get used to walking like you are jumping from one ditch to another. Infact crossing the ridges at around 1600 hrs we could feel safer as the snow provided the much needed anchor. As we neared the Panwali Kantha ridge , we could see the small temple on top.
Now ,its said that seeing your destination makes goal easier, Bull shit. One thing I have learnt that while trekking never ever look at the mountain top. Like a fresher in college , keep your eyes in front of your step and keep walking. So we kept walking.
The last ridge we had to cross had deep snow followed by a bald patch ..followed by a steep climb. We (which means I) were not really tired but kind of exhausted by all that snow. Seeing the peak so near we almost recharged ourselves and almost made a dash.
Uneventfull climb ..except for a slippery patch ..and then it was HEAVEN...

From the peak the panorama of lower himalayas unfolded in the golden sun..and frankly I sat there for sometime and hapiness burst into me. I guess this is the 'kick' of a trek. To call it beautiful is stupid. Its an experience that stays with you and pulls you back..! A couple of Facebook updates later(kidding ;)).. we almost rolled down to the base village Panwali(as of now abandoned). 
We camped at these abandoned houses

As we reach the settlement , we find that Sajjan Singh ji has got keys to the houses. When its opened we find that we are blessed. The room has a wooden platform(no sleeping on snow/ground) and is fairly insulated.
We collect some wood(actually our porters turned out to be great in this regards) and start a fire in another under construction house. Almost walking entire day in thick snow had turned our lower body into icicles and we revelled in the smokey fire. Wet socks and shoes were jostling for action while we kind of drifted into the joyous mood of celebrating this small climb...
Pakoras did soup . And so did Bakar(for all the non-hindi speaking Indians,Bakar has no english equivalent. Its a mixture of small-talk and totally stupid blabberings) . Sajjan Singh was the hero of the talk..especially his calculation of the weight of ration we have eaten. Soon our stomach and Sajjan both growled for dinner.We went obediently into the kitchen house..
As we poured some warm dal , sabzi and fresh rotis into our canteens...

(This film is based on fictional characters ..any resemblence to any person living or dead is purely coincindental. No animals were harmed during its filming)
Well lets say something happened. We will leave it at that. The incident led to imaginary loss of two toes by Ankit, a temporary memory loss for Rajat, a stuntman casting for Bitoo and me wondering what the shit happened! Ritvij..??well where the fuck was he?
Suffice here to say that almost two weeks after that incindent we ,all six of us have fond memories and in another two months given the PR skills of will be the stuff of legends. People after us will scarcely believe that so many will owe so much to so few for an amusing tale on Panwali Kantha..(apologies to Churchill for screwing up his quote about RAF)

And so ended the night.

The next day started with a hunt to find a dump. (for those who are smiling..please try putting your bums into a refrigirator) . Which thankfully all of us did . Had the awesomest cofee ever and started off on the small climb over the peak and back to ghaurmanda.

Low rolling plains but the same old nemesis ..snow! Frankly , more than exhausted I was getting bugged and bored. But a man's got to do what he got to do. We kept trudging back and somehow as it always happens the return route seemed so much longer to Ghaurmanda.But we did reach in time..
It was like return to our hotel rooms. Tents got pitched by magic.The stones around the fire got arranged by magic and tea appeared again by..magic.
We saw the sunset from Ghaurmanda(poor Manish had been cribbing about that sunset since we had reached ghaurmanda late the first day). Animated discussions followed late and we retired..

Campfire..wet feet..cheery faces
Next day a crisp breakfast and we were out to reach Guttu.But not before a prefunctory HOLI puja by our porters that warmed our hearts. Ankit and Bitto decided en route that they were in no position to face the charming ladies of Guttu in such unhygenic conditions(no bath for three days) and hence decided on a holy dip. Me and Ritvij were separated while Manish was nursing a watering eye(snow reflection in eyes) led by Rajat reached Guttu in afternoon. Only to find a self declared holiday.
A long ride back to Rishikesh followed by a great dinner. And we were on a bus to Delhi....
So ended our tale of Panwali Kantha...

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

same scene in dry pastels

watercolor- tribute to Seargant

Charcoal Sketch

I am trying to understand something called Values in Sketching. I think its the holy grail of any media painting. Once you get values doesnt matter what media/color you use. So just concentrate on values..Fuck the media !!