Intellectual Defecation

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Idiot… ( incomplete)

” I miss you ” S gathers a lot of courage to finally type it.

” Why ?” . S ponders on the questions thrown at him for couple of seconds to figure out why he misses her. After a while he resolves that one can’t know everything…

” Why part is little gray… ” S accepts without knowing how will it be accepted.

” We hardly spoke… we texted… like we are doing now…” Replies seemed coming little faster than usual too. May be she is excited to reply… he thinks…but also remembers that doctor said he has been showing signs of day dreaming lately.

She has a point… S thinks… but there is no harm in clearing doubts as well. He types…

” Ohh… then i think majorly i miss texting you… and a minor percentage of missing is related to talking…but don’t you think that is too specific ? I am just asking you see ”

” You said you miss talking to me … that is also specific ” S is in a quandary now. Is it her this knack towards detail that attracts him towards her ? He must accept his clumsiness though…

” That contributed a minor part in the overall missing thing… i agree” he types… but he also realizes that the typed sentence, in reply, is inevitably inviting a “hmm…” which is a sign of grave threat in texting world. Therefore he adds ” but i was more implying towards missing you in general you see ”

” Now you are confusing me… what do you mean by missing in general ?” Before reading the reply he never realized that missing someone could be confusing too.

” You never missed anyone you liked ? it is like when Deepika Padukone missed Ranbir Kapoor in that movie where he ruins the dining table by dancing on it on his best friends wedding ?”

S was very confident that this reference will work, although expecting a little resistance on hypothetically accepting him as Ranbir Kapoor.

” And who is Ranbir Kapoor here ?” the reply proves his apprehension right.

” I was never around you… how can you miss my presence ?… and they liked Saddam Hussain ? Really ?”

” I don’t know what Iraqis miss, that is not the point… but we were texting each other all the time… it felt like you are always there … even though you were not ”

” Are you sure it is not hallucination ? ”

” Hallu”

” Then you are missing your own feeling… you are not missing me … why are you saying you are missing me ?”

“Because that feeling is about you ”

” So you are missing a particular feeling about me … not me ”

” Come on… ”

” Hmm…”

” Now what is “Hmm” ?”

” It is an expression”

” That means what ?”

” That means Hmm…”

” Yeas… i know… but what does that  mean ?”

” That means … i got it ”

” Okay… so what happened?”

” I made a soft humming sound while exhaling bit of air through my nose ”

” I GOT THAT… so what happens when you understand that i miss you ”

” Again… you are confusing me… ”

” Okay… you understand that i miss a particular feeling about you … now what happens ? ”

” I don’t know ”

” You don’t know what ?”

” If i knew i would know right ?”

” What the fuck was that ?”

” If i knew what to do i would know what to do right ? Then i would not say i don’t know ”

” Are you really not getting it ?”

” Nope… ”

” How the fuck not ?”

” I am a woman…I am biologically designed to ignore 99% of the attention that i get ”

” Well you are surely ignoring 100% of the attention i am giving you ”

” I am still talking to you… so that is 1%”

” Why are you doing this ? ”

” Because i am from Delhi ”

” What’s that supposed to mean ?”

” Other girls ignore only 90% of the attention… i am from Delhi… so we do 09% extra ?”

” What the fuck ? What is it ? Fucking  GST ?”

” Then we would go more than 100%… that is not possible ?”

” Are you insane ? What is this logic ?”

” This is mathematics… what are you ? Dumb ?”

” Now i am dumb ? did you read our entire conversation ?”

” So you are calling me dumb ? and then telling me you miss me ?”

” How did you get the second part so clearly now ?”




” Hmm…”

” Again ??? What is this “Hmm” ?”

” Hmm…”

” What the fuck … are you even getting what i am saying ? ”

” Yeah… you miss a particular feeling about me … now what is your next action plan ?”

” Well… can we meet ?”

” Why ?”

” So we can talk ?”

” We are already texting ”

” Yeah… but if we meet… we can talk in person… and get to know each other … i like being with you ”

” You were never with me… how do you know ?”

” I am pretty sure i will ”

” So… you are predicting… you don’t know yet ”

” COME ON… you know what i am saying … ”

” What ?”


” That is too much of capital letters there ”

” I KNOW… i am TYPING it ”

” Hmm… ”

” So … what is the answer ?”

” Okay smartass…so this is what happens next.. i am not going to tell you NO… instead… i am going to tell you that i never saw you that way and i somehow know it is not going to work( i know magic… yes)… and more you will press more i will get innovative with  my answers and finally i will block you… so i am saving both of us that time and blocking you right away …”

When he was done reading that entire whatsapp conversation Sashank passed the phone  to her girlfriend. You can’t say much in these situations specially when this happened to your best friend. While Sashank was rightfully playing the role of a best friend consoling still sell shocked Anand… Sashank’s girlfriend decided to follow her instinct… and from the corner of the room came floating a very much audible and specifically directed abuse… “Idiot… “.

It definitely reached the clouds too, because just after that it started raining.









When you reach a certain age ( i am not going to disclose that ) and you still have the luxury of occupying both the seats of your scooter…understand, it is not a luxury, it is a situation.

This particular situation may occur for several reasons ,

1…you were an idiot( in past),

2…you were an idiot( in recent past) and

3…you are an idiot ( at present).

Feeling sorry for me ? … so does my TV… that is the only thing getting turned on by me now a days.

Anyway…this is a very peculiar age. Your married friends will try to hook you up with someone, your would be married friends will try to hook you up with someone and then your single friends will also try to hook you up with someone. I understand the pain for first two types.For how many days one can continue dividing the bills by an odd number ? Finally one day you have to take things in own hand. So mathematics drives them, but what drives the single friends ? It is hope. And i hope you understand.

While your friends are trying to set an “arranged affair” for you, your family at the same time is trying something less subtle…”arranged marriage”. Why ? because ‘valuation’ and ‘risk appetite’. They somehow know how various ways their “heera jaisa beta” can fuck things up… hence make him sign on a paper.

Although the end results of the two are same,but … ‘Ego’.

Hence , you are against “Arranged Marriage” by principal but for ‘Arranged Affair’ to have a slow motion pre wedding video. ( this does not make any sense… so please don’t try to make any out of it) Result ? writing nonsense on a Saturday afternoon… alone.

But believe me, loneliness is not an issue on its own. It is an issue only because others are busy. But by now you are already used to being alone, surprisingly so do all the women you grow a liking for. The only difference is, yours is a compulsion, theirs is a choice.

Apparently, the moment you start a conversation with them, they start remembering all the learning from their past relationships,and it will all be applied on you. So you will die waiting for a reply of the message you sent last year and she may not even say Rest in Peace, because they want to stay alone for sometime. What is this ? Notice period ?

It is practically like that ship of which you are the captain, guest and all the other people a ship requires. Every time you tried on-boarding someone it sank like Titanic, upside down. You always wondered why, and this is the age when you realize… it is just a dinghy which you loved to call as ‘relation-ship’. Hence your life kept dangling between a potential ‘life of cutie pie’ and ‘life of pi’.

But what are the possible reasons a ‘ship’ like that sinks ? Let me help find out . After many attempts, this is my conclusion. Foresight.

There are times when you will feel like a magic wand. You come in touch with a lady and you wake up the lady Nostradamus in her , she somehow knows it will not work. Amazing… it is almost like a superpower…because immediately you will feel ‘Avenging’ something.

And in between all these, you have to make a career, stand in ATM queue, act cool on Facebook , understand politics, derivatives, Mamta Banerjees hindi, milking a cow what not.

This is a tough age man… now stop reading this and go get a life.






Birth of a novelist…

It is six o clock on a Sunday morning, and K has been awake since four. This is not new. He has almost become an insomniac in last six months.

It is his first book that has kept K awake for these many nights. Several iterations, corrections and reworks later, it is hardly complete, because he is stuck at probably the toughest and most critical part of the story. And If he can’t finish the book soon, he suspects that this insomnia will cause havoc . He has to finish it today.

Actually, K and his main character , they both are stuck almost at the same stage. K named him S. In the book, S has also been writing a book for a year now, on himself. Journey of an oblivious kid into the world of unknown where he realises the necessity of finding himself. But he also understands that realisation alone is not enough. It requires certain amount of mental strength, focus, perseverance and discipline to make the realisation a reality.But how to decide what actually to do, and how to do it. S is not able to figure that out, so is K.

All the years  in school and colleges, S spent within a reality which he mentally created for himself. A very convenient one, which had very bleak reflection of the reality of the outside world.

Books, Cinema , Cigarette ,  Alcohol and friends were things which helped him survive all these years. Idea of aspiration , ambition were just another ideas for a drawing room conversation, nothing more than that. Idea of success was overlooked and incorrectly defined with the false ideals that drove his life for a long long time . He was happy, for all wrong reasons that he did not know even existed .

But post college , life did not remain same. An hour long conversation on movie or books was not making him happy , as it used to do before… his house of cards seemed trembling. He needed to act fast , and there was the problem, he did not know what to do.

When things start falling down , gravity takes over and assures the fall. Everything started falling apart. Insecurity crept in… concentration, focus, purpose all became distant reality.


There is a unique quality in human nature. No matter how severe a fight you fight inside your head, with time,you learn to keep up an outer appearance which seems absolutely normal. S also learnt the same. He started imitating other normal people, to behave normal. Another reality was creating. He was just learning to co-exist with the conflict,and then she came in his life.

She was not aware of any of these, but she was helping him to forget the pain of the continuous conflict. He saw a ray of happiness somewhere. Started running towards it without realizing whether it was real or rather only a mirage. Soon the later one became true. But again , reality did not dawn upon him like a pleasant autumn morning. It came with thunder, it poured heavily and took his sand castle away with it.

It was like a slap on the face this time. One apparently innocent message showed him his position. He realized that he did not pass any single criteria which defined success. Why would anyone be with him?

Where is the grit, the focus , the stubbornness that he always thought good to have but not necessary ?

Where is that decision making capability , the perseverance to achieve which makes a man, where are all these ? What happened to him.

There was only one way of finding out , introspection. But how how how ?

Even  K does not know that. And that is where they both are stuck.

K tried every possibility but nothing seemed to be working. And while K was about to give up to the despair, life showed him the way. He was out of his job.

He has nothing else to lose now, and surprisingly he is not scared, rather K felt the need to prepare, for the future.

This opened his eyes. He is stuck against the wall, and his only way is to move forward. So far he has read about these things, but for the first time in his life he realises it. This is exactly what he needed.

What is the biggest thing anyone fears of losing ? His or her own life … What if they know that they are going to die in next one hour , what would they do in last one hour ? They would do exactly what they wanted to do with their lives. How ? Because at that time they will know, as they just won your biggest fear , nothing will hold them back anymore.

K has been thinking about this for some days now. What if for an hour he knows that he is about to die, will he know what he wants to do with life ? Will S know what he wants to do with his ?

K calls B and asks if he can come to his place after an hour, it is important. He does not disclose much and keeps the phone.

After getting kitchen knife , K spreads a sheet of plastic on the study table, puts his writing pad and pen on it and keeps looking at the left wrist while holds the knife on the other.

Time is passing . he is worried if Balgi does not come back in an hour. He does not want to die. He is doing this for only one purpose , to find the purpose.

Now It is necessary to slit the nerve… just to be sure… K sheds all the thoughts away and prays that B comes in an hour… and he presses the knife on the wrist.


It is little more than an hour now  and B has not come yet. But now K knows what S wants . S wants to be one of the finest writers on the earth, he wants to create his master piece, as does K. But K can’t pull his head up, his vision is blurred. A distant sound of doorbell reaches his ears but he sees that he forgot to keep the key outside the door and it is lying on the table.

How will he write what is in his head ? He can only put it on the paper if B remembers to get the spare key from the car , opens the door and takes him to hospital … without fail.

It’s Okay…

Three beeps, two small, one long and then there is the sound of the door getting unlocked. Someone is leaving for the day or someone coming in. I lean back on my chair to look out of my cubicle. Someone left, I can’t see who but I can see the door still moving. As I look on, it comes back to its initial position and then with a thud gets locked automatically. It is at the end of the long alley where the door is and I am sitting at the exact opposite end of it. The distance between me and the door would be approximately 50 meters and there are empty chairs scattered in-between us with cubicles on both side of it. On a normal day i won’t hear a thing, but today the sound seemed to have reverberated across the hall. Being curious, I stand up from my chair and look around. No one is there. The only thing I can see are empty cubicles spread till the walls, empty chairs scattered exactly the way their owners left them in hurry, dead screens of the shutdown computers, tables crowded with empty water bottles, casually laid uncapped pens , wires lying carelessly on the floor and systematically placed tube lights fit into the false ceiling, lighting all of these pointlessly. But there is no sound, no noise. It is absolute silence and for some unexplainable reason I find it amazing. It seems like some kind of spell is capturing all my senses and I am not protesting. Without any resistance I dive deeper and deeper into the depth of the silence and before I know, I make myself one with the emptiness of the room.

Continuous vibration of my phone breaks my spell. I look at it to see someone is calling. For some reason I don’t pick up the call, and i don’t disconnect it either. Today I am not going to control anything- not even my mind; I am just going to be a part of everything. The sound of the vibration dies as the call disconnects. Silence reigns over the room again. I see my earphones lying beside my phone. An uncontrollable urge to listen to a song fills both my mind and heart. A few seconds back I hated the sound of the vibration, as it seemed to disturb the silence and now I love the idea of listening to a song. It seems contradictory but I don’t let logic to take over. I let my mind follow the unpredictability of it. I put the earphone into my ears, connect it to my mobile and play the song I want to hear.

It is Free bird by Lynyrd Skynyrd I start listening to. The song starts with a gentle strum on the guitar. I settle myself on my table, facing towards the empty room as if I prepare myself for a show of which I am the only audience. I am not very much sure what I am about to see. The music goes on, singer starts singing. “If I leave here tomorrow…” and I am not able to hear what he says next, because by then it has happened. I feel a sudden rush of energy through my entire body, I feel my eyes are burning, and my hyperactive mind is trying to break the prejudiced, orthodox, conservative short sightedness it has imposed on itself. Every part of my body has started revolting to break the divisive wall my mind has erected. They have realized to look beyond, and I have realized my very own existence… and it is amazing. A new window seems to have opened in front of me. It shows me the same thing yet quite differently…and it seems like a completely different world which I never knew existed. I see the prevailing calmness across the room and realize that this is the place while bustling with people, absorbs each one of their tension, apprehension, disappointment, happiness and becomes so intense that sometimes it becomes suffocating. But now in its emptiness as I see through all of it, while an amazing guitar plays through my ears… it doesn’t look so bad, rather I start missing regular hassles of everyday. I want to be one with the clamors, the laughter, the fights and everything that happen every day around this room… and I want to feel alive. Because suddenly everything I always hated or disliked to be a part of, seems… okay.

It is so simple and it is funny that I never realized it. I look back at my worries, disappointments, things I felt I was ashamed of… and they don’t seem to stir me the way they used to. A few minutes back I was worried about my future; I was worried that I did not take some decisions when it was supposed to be taken. But now I find …it is okay… as long as I am moving forward. May be I will enjoy the journey from now on. I was worried that I hurt someone unintentionally when my every intention was to make that person happy. But now I realize…it is okay… to make mistakes as long as I am ready to fix it. May be I will go back and say “Hello” with a bigger smile this time. I find it amazing to be with someone i love but now I realize it is okay to be alone too…as long as I know the importance of having that someone in life. I found it difficult when I fought with a friend, but I find it is okay as long as we remain friends. I hated many people and I find it okay as long as I don’t care. Suddenly I feel like someone has taken a big burden out of my chest. I feel light and my mind runs across the empty alley and I imagine myself head banging along with the bewildering guitar I am listening to. My hands and legs are not under my control. They are acting like as they are of a mad drummer who is lost in music while playing in front a crazy audience. I know I am not acting normal and i am not bothered.

“Saab…Saab”… I hear something like this faintly reaching my ear penetrating the deafening madness. I turn my head to follow the voice and find the caretaker of the building standing in front of me. I take out my earphones and he asks…” aap nighshift me ho kya saab? Nahito light off kar dena hai…” Music is still playing in my mind and I did not want to interrupt it with my own voice. I just nod my head to say “No”. He humbly and quite apologetically replies” sare nau baj gaya hai…” he pauses as he hesitates” mai soch raha tha…lights off karke ghar chale jaata”. I look at him. “He is not supposed to tell me this”, I think, “there must be something very important that pressed him to ask me this”. The music is still very much playing in my mind. I just smile and open my mouth to say” Its Okay”.

An amazing After(office) Life…

Somebody from a cubicle not so far, would declare with a relieved yet very careful and suppressed tone “it is 5:45”. I know the pattern now. What remains unsaid is “ fifteen more minutes”. Yes, fifteen more minutes and a sudden hush hush would spur from every corner. Skilled marksmen would start trying to locate the “most detested character of the moment”. Once the enemy is spotted it is time the devising of the strategies started. All the eyes would be fixed at the upper right corner of their respective screens. Once the red button with a cross inside is located, sounds would emerge from every cubicle…”click, click click…” mission successful, target down. Attention would now shift towards the left bottom corner and fingers would click mercilessly on the most “hated icon of the moment”, the windows button, in unison. Two consecutive clicks ‘start’ ‘sleep’…and level 1 complete. Now the destination is the other side of the glass door. All eyes would meet each other and heads would nod to affirm a common understanding…” the time has come…but one by one”. First one would pick the bag  reluctantly…extra enthusiasm might ruin the whole plan. Wearing that reluctance on his face he would leave the cubicle in some extra unwilling way and would start walking towards the rendezvous point with an extra relaxed way. But that “extra” would cost him a lot without him knowing about it. Because what the rest of the office would be seeing, is a disturbingly stiff figure struggling to remain unnoticed while walking towards the door. But these are not the time when you look back to find out what others are thinking. Once the door is crossed unnoticed it would be the confirming beep of the biometric which would give a sudden spur through the spine. It is the joy of crossing the enemy territory unnoticed and alive…”argo f#@k yourself”.

Well this is how my evenings start here in Bangalore, by observing an excellent execution of a master “escape plan”. I started as a spectator, when I joined. When I was three months old…I took the first leap. First time when he caught me I was excused because I was still wearing that “new guy” sticker . Second time I was warned…I still did not realize what I was warned about. Third time I was kept at office till 10:30.  So now when I hear “ it is 5:45” from some god-knows-which cubicle, I , like others look at the upper right corner  but click on the button just beside that oppressive red one and turn my chair…no not to leave but to spectate and appreciate each of the escape artists the world had never acknowledged…and an art I could not master.

The evening is still amazing. Why? Because of this…“Can you please give me the first draft of the document tomorrow?” Icing on the cake, I could not ask for anything more. I wonder why do they add please? Because in response if I just humbly turn them down and say “no” with utmost humility…I know humiliation would be taken to a level when it will be considered as a form of art.  But In these mesmerizing moments surprisingly I feel proud of myself. I suddenly seem to realize that I just survived another day without killing anyone.

“Sure, definitely”…I do not know where they come from but these are two words which come out every time almost without any effort. Most of the time I feel surprised…specially for two reasons…first upon realizing how effortlessly I agreed and second upon seeing those indifferent eyes staring at me. I thought some humanity was still left in him…silly me. “Does he really expect me to do that by tomorrow?”” Dose he take those words in its literal sense? Or was I not sarcastic enough?”…these are some scattered thoughts which generally scatter across my mind and I try to find out what time it is. It would be close to six or six thirty. The next time I would look for it …It would be eight thirty.

Wait wait wait…after reading so far did you think I was writing all these because I did not like my job? If it was so then it is time I corrected this misconception. I would like to bring an analogy here to explain the things…marriage…more precisely arranged marriage. Don’t you finally love your wife even though it was an arranged marriage? Okay…I know most of you who are reading this are not married or made necessary arrangements to successfully avert any chances of an arranged marriage hence trust me for the moment when I say …yes…at the end you will love your wife even if it was everyone(including your neighbors and some never seen relatives) but you who found her to be “fit” for you. Remember my word…”fit” for you. I don’t know what analogy to bring now to describe what does it mean by being “fit” for somebody…because I can’t think of any analogy related to humans. Anyway…no matter how fit or misfit that lady would be for you finally you will fall for the trap proving all your family right. You will feel you love her because “the greatest trick love has ever pulled was convincing the world it exists”…long live Kyzer Soze.

Anyway, by now you might have realized that with this piece I wished to share one of my many Bangalore evenings with you. And as I have no means to realize whether you are interested or not interested to know…I would not bother myself with that thought at all and will continue.

If you are in Bangalore , your office is at a godforsaken place and you are late, more than god whom you will need to be by your side is Autowalla. But there is stark similarity between the two. You don’t find god so easily…you don’t find them either. After a long wait when the first one will come…he will make you feel really bad. The expression he would give after you tell him where you wish to go will make you feel there must be something terribly wrong…either with the place or with you. I don’t find anything wrong with the place…”so is it?”… I don’t think any further and start waiting for the next one.

“Meter double sir” “ Meter one and half sir “ “ 120 sir”. Differnent people will definitely have different needs, thus different wants…golden rule of marketing. So that doesn’t surprise me. But what surprises me is the answer which I get after I ask “why?”. It is surprisingly same across the community. “Khali aana padhega sir”. I definitely have to revisit marketing fundas… as it is beyond my understanding and I leave the conversation there. But patience my friend…patience. I don’t know what else it helps you to get but definitely the auto you are looking for. Obviously it comes with a price…one hour of wait…at least. But wait…you are still not safe until you are safely out. The twist might come at the end as well. “ meter ke upar twenty rupees sir”…with a piercing smile.

Home sweet home. No matter if it is rented and you are supposed to vacate it in one month. Because attachment has nothing to do with petty things like rent, deposit etc. It is your pocket which actually deals with it and it is just few strings away from becoming a big holed one. But we don’t spoil our merriment with these “holy” affairs, because we generally have some bigger problems to deal with.

Do you think it is easy to bring one Bengali, one Rajput and one Tamilian to one table and have a consensus on what they would like to have for dinner? If you think this is easy then your presence at the right moment would have kept India undivided. After spending considerable time convincing ourselves we finally found our solution to this apparently perpetual dilemma. No matter in whichever direction you indianize it (north or south) there is one thing you can’t tamper much with…it is chicken. It saved three hungry souls and a friendship.

Love…how do you even think that an evening would be spent without discussing about it?  If you haven’t noticed…love has an interesting character. If it is there in your life you talk about it. But if it is not there, then you definitely talk about it. And we are no exceptions. I see three different categories of love being practiced everyday in this two bedroom flat of ours. I don’t-know-whether-it-is-love kind of love, I-love-her-but-I-don’t-know-how-to-reason-with-her-parents kind of love and lack of love. Victim of the first one spends considerable nocturnal moments on phone, and a considerable time at airports…don’t grin…you definitely do not have any idea how it feels to catch a flight at 6 in the morning…and he is still confused. Clouds seem very hard to pass. What he needs is moral support and we are full of it. Second victim solves almost every problem of his life lying on bed. Somebody said it right…”it is not the problem but your attitude towards problem which matters”. And if your friends girlfriend is your friend too…you have no other choice other than getting involved. Here we are … religiously fulfilling our duties. And the third victim?  He is the most pathetic one and he generally writes about the other two. He tried something close to impressing a girl and without fail failed. Being a true marketing student he tried different channels to reach his target audience( in case you are reading this…it is you). First is his not so smart phone. He called and she showed an amazing consistency of not picking up. He kept his spirit high and tried to mesmerize her with his words…with SMS. And seeing the number of one sided texts he sent he was almost mistakenly picked up as best SMS marketer of the year. He somehow survived that. As one door was closing itself almost with a dash on his face technology was opening another one. He holds the record of having the longest and funniest monologue in the history of chatting and in the history of facebook. And all these didn’t come for free, rather what it took was a bit of creativity, bit of shamelessness, a thick skin and lot of love. So you see now…handling lack of love is definitely not easy. Therefore for the other two he sometimes becomes the most critical case to handle.

Our evenings don’t end there, rather it just starts there. And how long it is going to stretch is completely dependent on the number of cigarettes we are left with. What a correlation right? Only the smokers will understand so others please don’t try.

One might be thinking what we generally talk in the evening. Apart from whatever I said we definitely talk about… let me surprise you…we hardly talk…because we understand each other. It is three different persons carrying three different worlds with them…and coexisting. We don’t breach each other’s world. We enter, we enjoy and leave to stay forever. Yes there are glitches. But we knew this would happen so we don’t mind.  And eventually with our favorite “last smoke of the day” we finish our evenings…to start a new one.

And you…yes you two sitting in Kolkata, you…in Guwahati, you in Raipur, you at somewhere in Madhyapradesh or Gujrat…and rest of you…there is not a single evening when you are not missed. And you…no not you guys above…it is a she I am talking to now…no not you also…because you are already there with them…your consistent indifference towards me did not help much…because you are being missed too.

We don’t suck yet…


A report on placement scenario of different Bschools throughout the country was open in the computer screen when we were sitting with Harish, graduate from the first batch and now the brand manager of our college, Praxis Business School. The report talked about how the placement situations have changed since 2008, charges of fake claims about placements made by premier B Schools, and continuously deteriorating quality of the management institutes etc. Sankha , Vignesh and I, all three waiting for their convocation day to come, were reading the report carefully while Harish was as usual busy with his white blackberry, waiting for us to finish.

It was Vignesh ,who spoke first in his unmistakable Tamil accent, which becomes more prominent when he is angry, ”We don’t suck yet”

Harish took his eyes off his blackberry and looked at Vignesh.

Vignesh continued “ 37 out of 44 of our batch is placed with an average package of 5.69 lacs, companies are still there in the pipeline , we are expecting a hundred percent placement by the convocation , so compared to other bschools which are featured in this report we don’t suck at all. May be our average package is less but we are consistent and more importantly we don’t lie”

In his four years of experience as a brand manager of the college he was quite familiar with all these emotions of students, so he was listening to him patiently, “so what do you want to do about it?”

“We shall tell it to others, we shall publicize it”…Vignesh’s voice was trembling with excitement

“Don’t tell me what to do, tell me how to do it?”  Harish was still looking at Vignesh and Vignesh’s  excitement still hadn’t affected him. His voice clearly told that it was the Holy Grail he was trying to find out everyday and finding the answer was much tougher than said.

“What to do and how to do it” was a big question for all of us. It had always been. Destination of every MBA aspirants Paagal Guy, MBA Universe, social networking sites like Facebook , Twitter, no matter wherever we tried to look we found a madness going around everywhere. Every BSchool is ready to cut each other’s throat to attract the eyeballs with only one weapon they have in their hand, their placement reports. Whenever one tries to look at them and starts believing on them there are good Samaritans coming up with reports which talk about colleges faking their placement records in order to keep their brand equity intact. Then the obvious question comes what should we talk about? Should we resort to the conventional strategy of talking about placements only? It seemed pretty much boring and given the current scenario there would be an unavoidable question on the integrity of the report as well.

But what I intend to discuss here today is my observation of an unconventional and extraordinary strategy and mechanism of running a B School, which eventually turns out to be effective in terms of placements as well. As the definition of “success” might vary from reader to reader, therefore I would not raise controversies by claiming the college to be successful, but what I can assert is that it is successfully surviving each and every consequences of economic downturn since 2007( it’s inception year).

But why am I saying surviving through economic downturns to be an achievement. Every other college in the country has gone through the same. There I raise the question, how many of those colleges had started their operation on 2007? And why 2007 is so important? Because 2008 seemed to be the worst year of the 21st century as far as economy of world is concerned. It will surely be called an achievement for a one year old college to have a hundred percent placement during that economic depression. And how I know 2008 was a tough year to get a job? Because I am one of the victims of 2008’s bad economy, my campus placement was turned down by my recruiting company and other companies also did not show much generosity of accepting my resume, that’s why.

But how did they do it then and how are they doing it now also? Let’s try to find out the reasons.

Comparatively small batch strength:

It is not their incapability of attracting students that had kept the batch size small since inception. It was a conscious decision to have a strength of 60 students. And in last 5 years the average strength has been more than 45. Advantages of keeping the number small?

  • Every student gets equal attention from faculty members, dean or associate dean
  • Facilitators and faculty members are well aware of each student’s strengths and weaknesses, this turns out be very effective while guiding the students to choose suitable career paths more specifically companies for placement
  • And more importantly it is much easier to provide placement to 50 students compared to 200

Constantly evolving curriculum:

Well this was a shocker for me for the first time. During many conversations with our juniors we found out that they are being taught many new things. Even we were exposed to various new things which our seniors did not get the chance to opt for. Two considerable examples could be Business Analytics and Web 2.0. Big Data, Business Analytics, e retail, social media are the places where all the eye balls are right now. So why should we take our eyes off? And from the placement point of view, that is where the jobs are. So why not these should be the part of the curriculum?

Concentrate on the Niche:

What can be the answer for the question “where to look for the jobs”? It is easy “You should look where the jobs are” . But it is not that easy also. The answer they found in Praxis is bit prolonged, along with finding where the jobs are, they found jobs that require special skill, that keep the general crowd away from it. Example Marketing Research.  It is the niche where they are concentrating now, be it for final placement or summers placement.

They talk business:

They tell you how things are done in the industry. Not only theoretical knowledge, but a hands on experience of it. So when students sit in front of the interviewer they are on the same page and speak the same language.

Company Caps:

During placement season students get confused and tend to apply for any company that comes for recruitment. And finally they often appear for companies and profiles they have no interest in, and finally end up ruining the interview. Praxis took care of it by introducing cap system. Given the array of companies and profiles a student could choose a definite number only. Therefore it required a better understanding of students on their own capabilities. Dean personally counsels each student and finally students get to choose companies fit for them. And our placement record shows it helps and commendable performances by the alumnus reinforce the fact that it also helps to choose the right career path.

Start before everybody starts:

When you know the market is going to become bad, why wait for it? They never did. Take 2013 as an example. They started their placement season in mid-October  and by the end of more than 20 students are placed. This is the time when placement hadn’t even started in many colleges. Final outcome? By the time job market became really bad, and colleges were fighting to place their students, fifty percent of the batch was already placed.

Are they myopic ? Not at all…

An alluring starting package and then a sleuth career growth or a modest starting package and then shooting career growth, which one seems better? Second option is always a rational answer. And Praxis also had always chosen the second option . Following is the chart which shows where our alumnus has started their career and what they are doing now. A comparative study among the students will clearly remove all skepticism.

And Finally Party even harder:

Yes that keeps Praxis alive and us alive. Whatever we did we could do because we knew that after everything we would party even harder. That’s how we live here.

“Pagol Ekta”

He pressed a switch, and every corner of the ominously silent auditorium reinforced the feeling of void prevailing inside by echoing a simple sound of click with all their might. With that, a huge metal light hanging just on the top of the stage came to life, illuminating the center of the empty stage and mocking the darkness hanging around the rest of the auditorium. He was standing at one side of the stage with his right hand on the switchboard to turn on the other lights as well. But he stopped. He could not understand what stopped him, the radiant circle at the center of the stage or the magnified darkness around it. Probably both. Having silence as the backdrop, like any good actor they both were complementing each other by masterful execution of each of their parts and mesmerizing the sole spectator of probably the greatest play on earth. “No, not sole spectator” he thought. He was expecting someone there today.

The echo of the click was fading now. As it subsided, he was now able to hear the throbbing of his heart, giving sound to the overwhelming silence which again reined the empty auditorium. He felt the increase in the rhythmic beating as he took his first step towards the stage. The walls came alive again by the sound of his shoes hitting the floor. He started approaching towards the center stage by waking up the whole auditorium by his spellbound footsteps while a cloud of unbridled feelings blurred his vision. Those few steps seemed like last few at the end of a dark tunnel, where you could see the light at the end of it and you would not like to wait any more to reach there. A childlike excitement was shooting around every part of his body. Blinded by the excitement, he wanted to reach under the light running. But also he did not want to let these moments pass in haste. He was grateful to the virtues of the darkness for which he could appreciate the importance of that light in front of him. He decided to take every step carefully, which reflected the firmness with which it was ready to sustain any storm of uncertainty it might face to achieve what drove him through every ordeal in that hellish dark path he was about to leave behind and would drive him in future.

He was standing under the light, his eyes closed, his heart panting in excitement and his face although maintaining serenity all over it but radiant with an overwhelming joy. It was time. She would come now.

A door creaked open at the end of the aisle directly opposite to the place he was standing. It threw light on the entire stretch of the long deserted aisle which was dividing the entire seats of the auditorium in two major parts, and then appeared a slender silhouette through the door. The sight dissolved the serenity on his face and brought a smile on it. He knew she was there and he did not have to open his eyes to realize that.

As he heard her footsteps getting nearer to the stage he took out his cellphone from his pocket. The sound of the footstep stopped. She was now just in front of the stage. As the hall became quiet again he pressed the play button on his phone, and a sound of someone strumming guitar started coming out of it.

“What is this?” A natural bewilderment coupled with a bit of anger reflected in her voice.

He knew this tone. He knew he did not have much time. “Acoustic cover of John Denver’s Annie’s Song. Found it on youtube. I..I thought you would like it” he replied. “Shit…I fumbled again” He thought.

No reply. And the cellphone was still strumming the guitar; it had not started singing yet. It was time he took the leap.

“I will find the best music for you from anywhere possible; guitar, sitar whatever you want, I swear.” He started, by surprising himself and her. “ I will find the best films from every best director…Satyajit, Hitchcock,Kurosawa and anyone you name ” “You fill up my sense like a night in a forest “ the device also started singing and he continued“ I will play those whenever you want. Film Festival will end whenever you want it to end. Koelho, Marquez, Pamuk, all of them are alive. I can bring them here and ask to write best of theirs again. I will stop Himesh Reshmiya from singing. No Hookah Bar I promise. I will paint facebook red. Kolkata autowalas will go wherever they will be asked to go at any time. I will make fuchkawallas make bigger fuchkas. Oly Pub will sell Chicken Ala Moscow, Beljium, Baruipur whatever you want. Finally Someplace Else will have a proper name” he kept on after catching some breath” I will find out not only Bela Bose, Nilanjana also. Bhuter Raja will again give three boons.  This time I will ask for converse shoes trust me . Answers will not be blowing in the wind any more. I will find it. I will do everything…everything for you because I…”

“ Good Morning…this is your captain… we will be landing in Bangalore International Airport in five minutes. Passengers are requested to fasten their seat belts…” The speaker above his head screamed breaking his spell. “ Oh…again…” He thought. This was the same dream he had been seeing every day and the best part of it was about to come. “ Mr. Pilot you just ruined it” He thought “But does not matter”. He could clearly see her bewildered eyes, surprised to see whatever just happened with utter disbelief. Perplexed, she put both her hands on her mouth. But it could not hide the smile behind it, and finally came out those two words for which he could re-act everything shamelessly again and again throughout his whole life…”Pagol Ekta”.

He looked outside the window as Bangalore gradually started becoming visible few thousand feet below.

“It was just the beginning”…


He overtook the ricksaw in front, outpaced the milkman, braved the empty auto running sluggishly in an idle Sunday afternoon and now he was about to enter his favorite part of the road, a four way crossing. Just before that he stopped for a bit and cherished his achievements so far by looking back and gave a smile looking at the auto ricksaw, his trophy of the day. He slipped his hand in the left pocket of his shorts with batmans face on it , the one his aunty gave him after his results for fourth standard. He took the chewing gum he saved for the moment and put it in his mouth just like the way he saw some hero doing it in Star Movies. He bent a little forward taking a stint like a bike racer and concentrated on how he would bypass all the incoming vehicles of his imaginary enemy. And just before starting, he saw left to see his reflection on the big glass window of the store at the end of the road. He was riding his pride possession, a black and white Avon Mini cycle, his Batmobile, something he just could not take his eyes off.

He stopped till one old Kolkata Bus passed from left to right. It was clear on the left, but there was a ricksaw approaching with a snail speed from the right hand side of the deserted road, he could also see a bike not very far behind it. “This is the time” he thought and put pressure on the pedal with all his might. He defeated his enemies today much more easily than he thought and now he was on the other side of the road. But he could not spend much time thinking about that, someone was waiting for him. 

She in her favorite pink frock was standing in the balcony of their flat on the first floor. It was five minutes past four and she was becoming restless now as he had already wasted five minutes, she would not be allowed to play after 5:30. Suddenly she saw his familiar figure in a T Shirt and shorts on his mini cycle emerging from the end of the road and she could not wait any more. “Mom , I am leaving”…she screamed as loud as possible to make sure her mother heard that and ran towards the door even faster to avoid her mother’s last minute instructions.

“That’s me, in class five”…she was pointing towards the girl in pink who just came running out to the road.

“Amazing” I said, “not much of a difference between then and now”, I took my eyes off the one in the ground to the one sitting on my right. “ Except, you scream even louder now”, I smiled.

We both were sitting on the highest point of the same five story apartment, on the top of the water tank. We were sitting on the edge, which was facing the road and the main entrance. I was accompanying her today on her journey to her past.

I expected a friendly blow on the back of my shoulder for the comment I just made, but surprisingly It was not there as I found her completely absorbed in watching the game she was playing in the ground with her friends. Her eyes told she was reliving every moment of it and I thought I saw something glittered at the corner of her eyes.

She was going through every page of her life, scrutinizing every detail of it. Sometimes she was smiling, sometimes she was explaining to me how it felt when she bunked her class for the first time to go for a movie with a childlike excitement in her eyes, how much she liked her friends even though they used to fight most of the times, her craziness about Tintin, Paolo Koelho,Ravi Shankar, fuchkas ,kulfis and what not.  And sometimes she was not speaking a word, neither was I. But I followed her eyes as she was following her own life and as she was growing up I found her finding something in every intricate detail of every page.  And suddenly she stopped at one point ,when for the first time life hit hard on the veil protecting her innocence, when for the first time he said he loved her .Happiness followed and in that festivity of happiness everyone had failed to notice that the harder one was yet to come.  

And It came one day. He went and took her soul with him. We saw her body walked into the apartment that day but where was that soul with undying liveliness? Something watery dropped on my hand and I did not have to turn to understand that it fell from her eyes.” Forgetting is not as easy as forgiving” I realized it in the most unpredictable way I could never imagine.

She had been fighting since then; she had been fighting with herself, every day, every moment so that her old self could not take away the lessons life taught her. I saw the determination in her eyes when I saw her giving herself up to the loneliness. I saw the determination when I saw her trying to find the meaning of love in everything possible; family, friends. I saw the same determination when she detached herself from everything only to embrace life with arms wide open. She was on her quest to know herself. But in this process of resurrecting herself she had failed to realize that more she had tried to denounce love with all her indifferences more she had attracted it towards her. And unknowingly, if anything she was fighting now it was love, not herself anymore. And she was bleeding.

My heart stopped beating for a while when I suddenly saw her straight looking up at me. Her gaze was fixed on me and with a smile on her face she was trying to tell me something…

“ Isn’t it perfect?”  a distant voice asked me…

“Isn’t it perfect?” It was louder this time and loud enough to break my spell. I was taken aback by the suddenness of the question and I saw her smiling at me. I found us still sitting in the restaurant where we came for a cup of coffee and reading book.

“ What is perfect? What I saw or what you saw?” I replied

“What do you mean what you saw? Didn’t you see that finally I got to know myself, keeping aside all the absurdities of life. Now I know what do I want , and what I don’t want. Finally I know who I am, nothing could be controlled by anyone else’s presence or absence any more” Her voice trembled. “Could there be anything else to see?”

I looked at her for some time. She was throbbing heavily out of sudden excitement, her eyes were waiting for my answer, her face was receiving a special glow from the last ray of sunlight of the day, her hair was being ruffled by the wind and I was laughing at the stupidity of both of us. Hers, because of her blindness to the illusive complacence about fullness of life and mine, because of the thing I was about to do.

“I saw blood “ I replied “And..”

“And what?” She did not hide her impatience and irritation. Her grip fastened on the book she was glued to for last few days, ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’

I smiled and to my surprise I said…”Leave it…it’ll be a “sin to kill a mockingbird””. I knew her forced indifference would kill the innocence of those three words if I had told her. And I could not let her do that sin because she was not just any other girl to me anymore.

I finally took my book in one hand and coffee in another to take my plunge into the “Love in the time of Cholera” but somewhere in me I knew, I took the plunge in something much deeper and it was just the beginning.















My Solitary Afternoons and Monologues…

As the air is passing through the gaps between the two panels, it is continuously generating a sharp whistling sound. There is a paper stuck in one of the panels. Because of the force of the air it can’t move. But one edge of it is still free as it is hanging between the two panels. Every time the air passes, that open edge of the paper flutters like a wing of a butterfly and creates an unceasing sound of flapping. These two are the sounds that are making me aware of the silence prevailing around me whenever I am becoming oblivious to that in a solitary afternoon.

Winter has long gone and summer hasn’t taken out its claws yet. It’s spring. Sun is bit slanted over my shoulder, still few hour are left before it finally sets for the day. A gentle breeze is coming from the west, sweeping the leaves lying on the road since last winter.  Sometimes there are small temporary innocent whirlwinds upsetting the leaves and making them dance with its tune, round and round. It did not leave the papers I kept beside me too. Some of them are lying on the dust of the road; some are busy dancing with the leaves. Only one travelled across the road. It is the lower part of the panel of a big gigantic door where that page has got stuck and making that fluttering sound.

I am sitting on a bench just opposite to the door on the other side of the road. I come here every day at this time. It was an accident when I came here for the first time. I was lost that evening. It was a night of celebration for other; it was the festival of light. But that meant nothing to me. I was exhausted; tired of fighting the obvious uncertainties of life and that night I surrendered myself to it. I surrendered myself to the destiny and took whatever path lay in front of me. I was just walking. It was completely dark in front with least visibility. The elevation of the road told me I was walking upwards and the cold wind blowing from my left told me that I left the valley few hundred feet down. I was using my hand to find out what was there on my right. From the symmetrical square stones I identified the wall I was walking by. It was probably the wall of some private estate. I followed the wall and after few hours of solitary walk in the dark there was a dull source of light. It was the front gate of the estate, dimly lit with an indistinct light and it was open. I came closer to find nobody but her, sitting on the same bench I am sitting now, looking at the valley spread till the horizon. She was observing the festivity going around down there. She was completely absorbed in it. My presence did not bother her. I sat beside her. I did not bother to ask, she did not mind too. I looked at her eyes. Those were motionless, those were amused but at the same time detached, excited but also indifferent, happy but also sad. I followed her gaze and stared at the flood of lights down in the valley. It was me who broke the silence as if I was expected to and she replied as if she was supposed to in a very natural course of action. I did not feel to get up and leave, neither did she. We sat there the whole night even after the lights down in the valley went off and darkness prevailed all over. We were sitting in front of the dimly lit door throughout the night, talking, laughing, and singing. In the morning she went inside the door and I realized that I just lived past the sweetest accident of my life. She asked me to knock on the door when I would come next time.

I was there the very next afternoon and all the afternoons that followed. I knocked and every time she opened with a smile. Most of the time I did not know why was I here. I have always ignored the question as I was just happy being here .I could not ask for anything more .But there were times when her eyes denied smiling, and I knew she was thinking about the traveler from the past. Every time it happened and I felt why it bothered me? Why my heart beat faster? I found the answer sooner than I thought I would.

I thought I was already pretty much over with the fear of losing people, but I was wrong. I tried to think of one day not knocking on that door, without seeing that smile, and that was the day I could not wait for the afternoon to come. I never wanted an answer, because I already knew it. He was still there capturing all of her life, even though he was not there. No one else was allowed to enter. Still I knocked; she opened with the familiar smile. And I said what I was not supposed to say.

She was sitting on the bench and I was standing near the door across the road. We both were silent, as we both had agreed to disagree. She realized she could never let me enter her life as she thought she would never be able to love anyone else and also she could not persuade me out of this .I realized that the only thing that mattered to me was to have that smile with me for the rest of my life and I would not listen to anything she would say. While in that silence I was deciding to take all the pains out of her eyes, she was probably taking a much bigger decision than mine. For the first time I saw her crying.

Since that afternoon I come here every day at this time of the day. The door had never opened since that day. But with my every unanswered knock I knew she was there, listening. So I come every day, I knock once and then sit on the same bench. I sit here for hours. I write down my part of the conversation on papers and pass it through the gaps between the panels. I never got a reply, I never expected one but I know she reads it. It’s been twenty years now and every time I pass a piece of paper I can clearly see that smile. It is the same smile that welcomed me on my first knock on that door; it is the same smile that bade me good bye every time she closed the door.  



It is a blue denim jacket. He can’t remember whose jacket is it. He doesn’t even remember who hung it there. But it has been there for the last 2 years. Now it is accompanied by a pair of blue jeans. It’s his jeans. Torn, unwashed, hanging from the hook. Waiting for somebody to take it down someday. Both are hanging there, motionless, untouched by any activity that happens inside the room or outside. But they are at the closest to the outside world… they are hanging on his door.

Every morning he wakes up looking at the yellow door in front of him. There are thirty such doors on his floor. Every night before he finally resigns, he crosses the corridor to fetch water. While returning, just before opening his door, he looks back to an amazing sight. A dark corridor, with twenty nine closed doors on both sides of it. Behind each door there is a different person with a different story, a different dream, and different reasons to be happy and different reasons to shed tears. Everyone plays a role in the others’ stories when these doors are open.

How many characters has he played in the last two years? He thinks. He smiles when he thinks of the answer.  There are many.  He opened his door to the dreams of a curly haired Tamilian, who wants to become a top class corporate, a writer, a responsible son, a good husband and a good person. He consoled another, who felt low just because he could not join IIT as his brother did. Respected him when he said he wants to make his family proud. He saw the joy and happiness in the eyes of a football lover, a hard core Manchester United fan, when his article on football got published in a popular blog. Every Manchester United win brought a wave of happiness through that door, as every defeat brought curses and abuses for the opponent team. He was there when someone’s blackberry vibrated to bring news of a break up with his girlfriend. He empathized when he cried silently because of her; he accompanied him when he drank to forget her. He witnessed a secret love story. He witnessed tense faces of the lovers and also the happy ending. When a Delhite shared the dream of starting his own business, he was happy to be a part of his story too. He suffered with her when he saw her crying for her love. Appreciated her courage for loving a person who she knows will never be hers.

The knob on his door suddenly turns, breaking the spell. Somebody is trying to open it. He looks at his watch. It is half-past midnight. He tries to guess who the person is. He can’t. Also, he doesn’t want to get up and open the door. He wants to go back to his thoughts again. He sits still until the movement stops. He looks at his laptop, which is lying reluctantly on one side of the bed. He gets hold of it. He knows what to do if he wants to keep this spell alive. He starts writing.

“It is a blue denim jacket. He can’t remember whose jacket is it. He doesn’t even remember who hung it there. But it has been there for the last 2 years…”