17 December, 2010

55 Fiction


I stood there, with no scope of movement.

“Did you do it?” he asked.

“I guess” she said.

“Guesses? They barely work for me girl!”

“It was difficult, I tried but..”

A bullet passed through her chest. Blood splattered. She lay cold. He stared at the cold body and turned.



Death waited for me.



PS: My very first attempt @ 55 Fiction !

05 December, 2010

ATAJ Journalism Trophy (My entry)


CHANGING TIDES OF AN ARCHITECTURAL ERA
(In PROPOSITION to the topic: Do all things urban have to be ugly too?)



Suffice to say, it is set in the future that Earth will be overcrowded and there’ll be no room to move. May be, the cities on our planet Earth would grow so much they would merge to create one big planet- sized city! With the ever hiking population crisis that we (the world) are facing, growth as a city, in terms of infrastructure and services becomes very critical. The revolution has started already. Overcrowding of cities has forced the planners to look beneath the land, beyond the shores and deep into the sky for space. Technology has facilitated them to exhaust this space and in turn, on a broader perspective, they’ve provided us with a junkyard of skyscrapers and convoluted stretches of transport ways.



Zoom into the city and take a walk down the main street; you’d see a story repeat on most of the main streets. Loud hoardings trying to grab attention; extremely congested roadways with constant chaos; wall and column stubs coated with a sepia layer of spit and tobacco; air-conditioned shopping arcades, French restaurants and German coffee shops amid the odor of a market urinal surrounded by garbage and filth. Contrasting moments of sheer dereliction and overwhelming delight! It’s like a circle getting into a square, but human spirit can certainly reconcile the two extremes. After all, it is the taste of the city, the new taste of urban India.


What makes a city ugly?

A city in itself can’t be termed as ugly. It is the lack of organization that makes it visually unpleasant. It is like pitching in the wrong ingredients to make a dish. Even a minor element can ruin the look and taste of it. Therefore, since the complete change of ingredients can’t be carried out, to retain the original flavor of the dish minor amendments could renew it.

Infrastructure is no different. The Architects/planners are the sole culprits of creating disorderly havocs. They tend to overlook the context to create an extravagant structure in an attempt to build a landmark or give the city a future historic idol. It is quite surprising that we still dwell upon the already existing historic and heritage structures when we have to give our city a spot to mark on the map. Structures are replicated till it reaches to every city in a country. Anything from heritage bridges to tombs are imitated. (For Eg. The Taj Mahal, Dhaka is a sheer duplication of the one existing in India. They’ve coined it as The Taj for the poor who cannot afford to make it to India. Surprisingly, they could afford to shell out heaps of money and make one for themselves in this era! In an age where space is money and design is 3-dimensional, why mock something and lose regards.

It is not just infrastructure. In case of Chandigarh, where everything looks in place, the streets are wide and smooth with soft-scapes and hard-scapes along the pavement and the city is clean, it is still labeled as a dead-city. In this case the lack of planning makes it ugly. The architect planned the city overlooking the social and cultural backdrop of India and ended up making a city that nobody likes to live in.

The image if a city…

In Rishikesh, along the river bank two views were firmly etched into the skyline. On one side is the Hinduism’s benign skyline – a line of Ghats lapping the river edge and curvy temple silhouettes while on the other side along the main highway lay the slummy standard north-Indian town. Pink and yellow plastered buildings, incomplete pastel-shaded structures stained by monsoon, paan and urine at the base! The old historic monument can do nothing but watch this architecture tide pass.

The imageability of the city has changed, for every city would, in a couple of decade’s time, start looking the same. Culture overlooked, heritage disregarded, ethical value of the people responsible for this change, lost would make each city into a soulless pile of concrete and steel. And in this new age of development, skyscrapers are the fore-runners. If we go by definition a skyscraper is an inhabitant structure that protrudes above the built form and changes the skyline. That means, with every skyscraper, the skyline changes. Imagine what a city would look like if we have hundreds of them!

The question is, ‘What are the planners and architects of today turning the city into’? And ‘Why are things working out this way’?


Firstly, it is Green Architecture or rather a major misunderstanding of the term green architecture by architects. Every sky kissing building would be backed by terms like energy- efficient or eco friendly or green roofing for that matter. I really doubt if these terms give them the license to create structures that are amazingly hideous! An individual structure might be very efficient as a design and in use. But to juxtaposition them next to each other makes the city look highly mislaid. Architecture is composition. Even the design competitions that are circulated around the countries these days demand things that make the budding architects and planners follow the same course! For e.g. A design competition brief demanded for an innovative design to change the skyline, indirectly asking them to create a piece of art and fix it in the existing skyline such that your structure has the capacity to bring about a considerable change to it! Quite an inspiration!




Secondly, competition. The need to be the most expensive, energy efficient, technically sound, politically right architectural symbols! A living example of such a city and an epitome of being the heights of skyscrapers is Dubai. An assortment of any kind of skyscrapers that rotates, revolves or may be even flips upside down! To reach to these beauties, there are elaborate highways, crossing each other in all the ways possible making the city complicatedly ugly. We have sky-walks, for people can barely walk on streets, flyovers coz the existing streets are overcrowded and highways connecting towns to cities and cities to states. The transport route in itself has become so complicated that in the act of decongesting traffic they are congesting the city with mammoth sized columns dug on the streets.


In Mumbai, there’s a vast expanse of railways, monorail is soon to start and metros are proposed. So, there is transport underground, on the ground and over the head. Ironically, the city has been crossed a million times by its own lifelines! In a couple of decade’s time, Mumbai would hit the full moon and eventually get on water. Bridges can break into lanes and maybe we could create a “very new Bombay” city around the Bandra-Worli sea link! A whole new city floating on water, a sister city to Amsterdam who’s creating a replica underground!


It is shock to see how ruthlessly planners and Architects are exploiting resources for the overly penury human population. The cities are losing their charm for they are sold to technology. If the people responsible for the change choose science over sentiments and pride over planning we are definitely entering into an era of analogous ugly cities.


Bibliography :

Books: Excerpts from Cities and their news media image.

Internet: Wikipedia , other random sites.

Personal Experiences and Interviews:

Visit to Agra, Fatehpur Sikhri, Chandigarh, Delhi, Mumbai

Interviews with commoners living in different cities (Dubai, Saudi, NewYork, Mumbai)

Image: Courtesy Google.

15 August, 2010

Independent I be !~



I am not a patriot. I am not proudly claiming this fact but I have a feeling that I am not. The feeling can change.

Given a choice, to die for the nation, I don’t think I would. I would love to see my nation as the world’s best. I don’t know how far I would contribute for it. Because I’ve never understood the whims and fancies of being number one, I’ve always believed in being unique and that, as a nation, we already are.

I am not corrupt. Not yet. I don’t think I would be. It takes too much of planning and plotting and lying for things that has to be done in a crooked way – I can’t. I am way too lazy. I prefer doing things for a cleaner and safer neighborhood than a richer glitzy me. From a professional point of view, I think I am an Earth person.


I love the rich colors in our flag and the deeper meaning of it. I love our national anthem. I love it even more when shubha mudgal sings it. Also, the medley, they play before the movies (though I’ve always wondered why they play it then.)




I love our culture – colorful, vibrant, loud and happy. I want to explore and experience various cultures and know more of what happens where in our country.

My heart aches to read the numbers that die due to natural calamities or disasters created by brainless religious fanatics. The only thought that has always come to my mind during flag hoisting is about the people who’ve made our nation their first priority, because of whom we feel safe and secure. The people who would chose to die for our country just because some fools still can’t stop playing with guns and ammo’s and can’t stop being a pain in others ass.


I pray for martyrs, their families and other s that’ve lost their lives saving ours. When I stare at the flag, I feel for them. I don't know how much of my existence would make a difference to my country. I don't know what to do for it either. I do the regular stuff, but nothing out of my way.



Not once do I think of myself as a hardcore Indian. I don’t know why. Probably I would, when ‘m out in some other country, will I realize how desi I am. For now, I’m a people-earth person. And I like it that way.


Nevertheless, the feeling can always change.

JAI HIND.


10 July, 2010

Brain Farts!!




When somebody quotes something and writes their name below it, how do they know that they are the only people to write that? Its words and thought for Pete’s sake!


Let’s assume God existed. They lived and preached looooooooooooong back. Jesus in Jerusalem, Allah in the middle east, Zeus, Athena and others in Greece and rome, Gurunanak in India and another hundred Hindu gods in the rest of the India and world. How come they never met or came across each other? Why doesn’t any of the religious scripts say Zeus met gurunanakji and decided a rendezvous with other gods and aftermath they came down to a conclusion that they all think alike and are the mighty mighty ones to spread the word to us humans!?






I have got a dog and a cat in college who doesn’t give each other the benefit of being enemies and worse, lick and scratch each other if its itching!! Also, there are days the dog starves. I always wonder why isn’t the dog tempted to eat the cat the second it casts it eyes on it! Wouldn’t that be normal?


Why are 18 and 21 given so much importance as numbers? What exactly happens on an 18thbirthday? Do you get screwed by wisdom? I wasn't, just curious if others were!



Can only an elephant work for peanuts?




Do birds get bored of doing the same thing? How does a bird feel when it sees an airplane flying next to it? Do woodpeckers get a headache?




Why do people say ‘falling in love’? Do they know that they are falling right in the beginning?




Why is it ALWAYS that its much more easier to concentrate on what you are doodling or thinking when a lecture is on? ALWAYS, when the lecture is on!






Mind feels light, feels good. Period.




09 June, 2010

That nameless feeling!




As far as possible, if am not in my “Mc World”, I’m alert and sentient of what’s happening around me and can very conveniently name everything I feel. Confusion is a state of being for me, but at the end of the day, I know I am decisive, even though slow, I do figure things for myself.

Off lately, my head is neurotically challenged. Impatient, apprehensive, cranky, lost, pensive, always. Almost anybody can be at the receiving end, no sympathies whatsoever. I’m emotionally confused, conscience overriding the sub conscience. I can’t explain it. It’s some kind of a strange pattern, where just for the sake of being, ‘m clinging on to a feeling I’m comfortable with. Putting the troublesome at the back of my head, but for how long...





I always wanted it. Didn’t know when, dint know who, but I always knew why. Somewhere deep down I knew it would change my life. For the better or worse, I don’t know. Nevertheless, I’m willing to take a risk. I dream and plan, and dream some more, only to be hit by reality flat on the face. Things never turn out to be the way it should. Destiny plays her own dirty games. It’s always a shock or a surprise. Weirdest sad-euphoric-stupid combination EVER - a surprise. They are dark, scary and it pops out with people and other things, and for one brilliant moment, it makes you look and feel like a complete idiot. Period.

*sigh*


I am drained, emotionally. Too drained to figure what that feeling is. I might also be avoiding it, considering my past moronic expeditions. I thought it’d be like skydiving. Adventurous, audacious, carefree, euphoric, breath taking, wherein things seem so picturesque initially and as we hit rock bottom, it gets clearer. I hope it does. I wish I wasn’t so aware of what’s happening. Its right there, I just have to grab it, if I want to. For once, I’m clueless, absolutely unsure - indecisive.




And - I - am - f--- a---l---l---i---n--- g .....




06 March, 2010

ACKNOWLEDGE[m-e-n]T ;-)





I observe people. I might be spotted shamelessly staring at both the sexes in a way that would make them uncomfortable and of course, make me deliver an absofreakinglutely awkward smile when I realize what I’ve been doing.
It is very difficult to generalize a topic so cosmic especially when every statement that follows has a contradicting specimen running in your head. Since I’m more of a personality over looks kinda person, I present to you qualities, actions, expressions and gestures in men, not necessarily ‘a’ type that fall into a certain age group but an assortment of things that give a faint smile or to say the least, please the mind, things i like to come across while observing men. Simple things they do, that knowingly or unknowingly showers them with all the attention they don't grasp!





MEN are cool. There is a certain level of chilled, laid back attitude in the way they talk, walk, respond to things even though they think and analyze pretty quick. They might be dirty freaks of first order but there’s always something very cool about them. I’ve listed down a few things I love about men; most of them observed in and around college premises.











Guys who shamelessly fool around with random strangers and intelligently play well with their personality and cute looks. The content on their faces when they get smiles, signs and signals in return – priceless!







The posture wherein he’s sitting on the floor or at a low height, legs apart, hands clasped with elbows resting on the knees and torso bent forward. (refer picture may be with a kunal kapoor or hrithik roshan in it LOL)














A man with a heavy voice with lots of bass and clarity in it and let say to go with that a well maintained shabby stubble look - s.e.x.y ;-)



To see a guy silently observe a woman, and pass faint smiles very very s.e.x.y. :-)








They might speak all the trash in the world about the opposite sex, but to know that the trash talk was only confined to their brotherhood and in reality they do actually respect woman and treat women well - Thumbs Up.


A tall broad guy hugging anything smaller than him! – Double Thumbs UP! [ The best feeling EVER!]


Men turned up in formals – thumbs Up from the entire gang of girls! ;)









And very generally speaking
to watch a guy with a prominent jawline eat! (watch brad pitt : oceans’)
Veins bursting our of their forearm (atheletes/ sportsmen) or their gullet when they sing or even when they get angry,
Big rough hands (you could use them like a pillow.. That comfortable!) to list a few.



All of this might sound overly fairly tale-ish, 'only-in-your-dreams' or 'are-you-from-the-same-world-where-I-am-from' kinds, but I do know enough men with these qualities to get me back to reality! Glad to have friends n folks like them!
Also, there might be other zillion things that woman like about men, I'm not talking about the cologne they wear or their eyes or hair or anything, its more of what they do, way they talk, talk, listen, their body language...
and if you have any peculiar things to add, you can shower all of that in the comments section!











*Cheers!* ;-)






20 January, 2010

Go Die !




I stand at the edge now. Giving up all I have, or maybe the ‘nothing’ that I’ve achieved. People whom I know and otherwise have their fingers pointing towards me making weird gestures. What a chaos! My mind’s thinking too loud for me to even listen to their pleas. All I can hear is my heart beating in my head, loud and clear. Why are they even concerned about me? Do I owe them anything? I have done enough wrongs and I cannot take this shit anymore. I hate my life. There’s nothing right that’s happening and I know I’m a burden to my parents. Look at these people begging to me right now.. Should I give up my life? I guess ..



To witness a suicide is an experience in itself. I saw one today and I was cold for hours. A girl standing on the parapet of a 7-storey high building, facing towards the entrance of the terrace only to see people screaming, begging and pleading not to jump.


I was unquestionably disturbed by the sight. I had the feeling of my head going totally numb, mouth dry and way too startled to say a word, eyes stuck on the girl. If she would’ve jumped, I was sure to be psychologically disturbed coz of the pre-jump time spent on staring at the nerve wrecking scenario and thinking WHY!? When she turned her back towards the concerned crowd screaming at her, a man stealthily moved behind her, grabbed her and got her down. If she was my friend I would’ve definitely punched her hard enough to make her unconscious, nevertheless, she fell unconscious right after she was ‘saved’. Kudos, to the man who saved her though.

*****

I often read articles in the newspaper vis-√†-vis suicides and that, is one thing that I discontinue reading right after the headline. Its a big turn off and lately this suicide thing has become way too pass√©. There’s only one sentence that ALWAYS rings in my head: Fucking losers! Don’t have the balls to live. Teenage students giving up on life. Reasons - myriad. Academic stresses, relationship brawls, family traumas, peer pressure to name a few. If someone has the guts to come down to a decision and commit suicide it just needs one itsy bitsy teeeeny tiny of extra guts to live life as well! They say, failure is one thing that directly affects the ego and sense of identity in relation to the world around us. I honestly wonder how the girl is gonna live now! I don’t want/like to fill my blog with advice crap but if I have to sum it up:: God! I feel like confucius. :|


There’s always a solution to a problem, you just have to dig a little deeper every time it gets difficult. Mistakes are fun; just do them differently every single time! Life is one divine chaos. Try and make the best sound! :)



I wonder what would be the feeling of standing there and looking down. It’s something that I can only imagine coz I, have got, a basket full of things that I have to do in this lifetime and I aint going anywhere without doing them! ;)


The word suicide should be sued! :P




Ps: details about the situation are not mentioned on purpose. I don't wish to disclose them either. Thank You for not asking.