Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Shhh… Let me Babble and Yell!

I love to blog, blogging would be so much more easier though—if it didn’t entail writing.  Having to earn your bread and butter as a writer means that every day you get free you want to do anything but sit down and write.

Sadly no one will pay me to sit and write what I want. Till someone comes to their senses and decides to do,  till then you lovely beautiful, incredible followers of mine will have to do with these comet posts. I hope to turn from comet to solar eclipse soon, and hopefully sooner into a regular blogger. Why you may I ask? Because I have so much I want to say.

Firstly and I should address this before my anger subsides, women. As I type this I can’t help but for feel bad for you women. Dear feminist reader, don’t be angry, I’m sure you could do with a hug too. I’m not looking down on you, I just think that it sucks that my country is treating you like shit.  I like women, I find them more interesting than men, they’re also prettier to look at and if the last eight months have taught me anything it’s that women will teach more about you than you knew existed.

Happy Times calls for Happy photos! 
Secondly, I’m happy. I’d like to mention just exactly why, but I cant. But I can say that I’m happy. I like being happy too, it makes writing stories about animals and people all the more fun. I like having someone to turn to when I think something about the world is right, I like spirited discussions that don’t involve nodding of heads and a compromised opinion. What does the last line have to do with being happy? Well it’s the person that makes me happy that allows all of that. So thank you ‘happy’, Amen.

I finished a year at Tinkle. A year of writing for India’s most iconic comic book. A year of Suppandi gags, Shambu adventures and Tantri the Mantri devious plots.  I also became a sports columnist at Tinkle Digest. I also got onboard with the lovely people at ACK Animation and soon will be part of a story team that only knows how to think big, something I’ve been missing for a long time.

So to sum up, life’s good dear followers, but life still feels partly incomplete. I know why too, its four letters… BOOK. I gave myself till 23 to finish my first book, I now have only nine months left to accomplish that. Nine months is a symbolic time period, so here’s hoping by December 28th,  I’ll have brought something to life.


Sunday, December 16, 2012

Random Musings- Part 245

I remember the week after I graduated from college I opened a word document and stared at it for more than half n hour. I stared at all the buttons that dominated the top of this blank sheet and convinced myself I was learning the technicalities of Ms. Word—technicalities that would one day come to serve some higher purpose. The reason I took part in this epic stare down was because at that time I was certain that one had to spend half n hour, every day on Ms. Word to one day be a good writer.

One year later, I’ve now come to realize that Word hasn’t just become become my closest friend but also my most hated nemesis. Every day I find myself going through track changes, correcting silly errors and titling pages as I take another legendary Tinkle character to the land of adventure and mystery. Don’t get me wrong, I love my job, it has just sadly left me with very little energy to write ‘just for the heck of it’.  Now when I open a word document I always think, “I can use this time to write a script or finish transcribing that interview”—a thought that struck two minutes into writing this post. If you’re still reading this god bless you because all I’m really doing is rambling. Writing 1.01 has taught us all that by this time into a post you should have some idea of where you’re going with this post and know what your reader is going to take home from it. I sadly have nothing to offer you, this is me rambling, not looking down to see if I’m over my word limit or looking up to see if this paragraph should have been broken up and indented sometime after the fifth sentence.

Writing is tricky, when you don’t have a deadline you become lethargic and wait for that moment of inspiration to strike and when you do have a deadline you consider inspiration an urban myth and just dive straight into a story with no idea of where you’re going and how you’re going to get there. Time has taught me to embrace the second method—I like it, not because I have to but because I want to.

I’m certain one day soon, inspiration will veer its lazy head and when it does I’ll be ready with a blank document and the technical knowledge I still haven’t forgotten.

I’m sorry if you’ve reached the end of this post and I’ve given you nothing to take away from it. Since I do feel bad here is one piece of advice—

Drink Maaza don’t bother with that crap Mangola is selling you. 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

A Social Experiment

Inspiration. For a writer it could be anything, from the sight outside your window to the book in your hand, you don’t have to look far, most times. However last night I suffered a complete lack of any inspiration. Instead of just closing shop and giving up, I decided to try a small experiment. I logged onto Facebook and posted this,

I didn’t know what to expect and I wasn’t even sure it would work. Soon after posting this, I left the house and went to get a drink. I didn’t really think people would entertain my random request so I didn’t put a lot of hope into it. But no sooner than I stepped out that my phone seemed to go off. Now 15 hours later I have 24 words to work with. Sadly I had to restrict myself to just the first 12 words. While I was looking for inspiration I didn’t want to work within a rigid structure. So these were the first 12 words that were suggested,

The responses were, as I expected, quite interesting. So this morning I set out writing the story, I tried not to force the usage of the words but I’m certain on some occasions I failed in that regard. Nevertheless this exercise was fun and I will repeat it soon. Do tell me what you think of the story. Also to all those that contributed, thank you.

The Observer

The train was set to leave in 15 minutes. Some families were saying their last goodbyes while others were still yelling out instructions. A mother warned her son to say ‘no’ to any hawkers that passed his way, while a wife informed her husband that if he didn’t make it back she loved him and then sat down to pray with him till the train began to leave. Everyone that entered this dingle had someone by their side, everyone except him.

He sat alone, well aware of all the condescending glances that were showered his way. He devoured all the sights around him and never once showed an ounce of emotion, just sat straight face through it all. You could easily lose him in all the marvels at that crowded station. However he had his eye on it all, the joy in the eye of the kid that would finally be on his own, starting the most important relationship of his lifethe one with himself, or the sadness in the eyes of the man who had bigger problems than his hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia for he now feared that he resembled a dead man.

He didn’t crowd surf for fun, he did it because his survival depended on it. And he wasn’t the first to depend on others for survival either.  From the artist who earned his next meal by painting crowds to the writer who’s inspiration for his next tale came from those that passed him by, voyeurism was a common idiosyncrasy among the so called creative kind. However he wasn’t the creative kind, in fact he couldn’t even read or write. No, he was an autodidact, and so far it did him good. You see, his lack of knowledge meant he knew little about the world outside the station, he didn’t dare to dream cause he didn’t know he could, he didn’t love because he never learnt what that was. It was a simple life he led, one that was governed solely by the comings and goings of those huge coach trains.

Now that he had completed his observations, he set out on the most important task of the day. If he did it right, he wouldn’t have to tire himself for a few days but if it didn’t work, he would have to start all over again. So he leapt forward, first to the man that dropped a packet of cookies out the window because he was certain they were only a soothing comfort against an inevitable end. Then he leapt at the water bottle left absentmindedly by the kid at his window as he devoured his first adult magazine. These two quick bites were enough to keep him alive for a while. He knew better than to get complacent and eat too much, it’s the pan of hunger that kept him moving and he needed that more than anything else. So he turned around and took one last look at the dingle, and with that he left, wagging his tail proudly in the air as he disappeared into the crowd. 

Monday, August 13, 2012

Monday Mornings

Ah Monday’s, I never quite got why people seem so perturbed by them. What is it about this one day that causes people to come together in a universal moan?  But then again I’ve never held a steady job so what do I know. Either way, my ramblings on have little to do with the bigger picture I’m about to tell you.  It all started one night when I was feeling a little more depressed than usual. It’s not that the depression had it purpose, it was just there staring me in the face, refusing to leave.

Either way it caused me to do one of the dullest things I could possibly do, go outside and meet people. So I called a few friends, people I knew could tolerate a silent comrade. A few hours and a few drinks later each one excused themselves until I was alone, with just a bottle of gin to keep me company. The moment I was alone, the number of eyes that perched upon me started to increase. It had little to do with the fact that I was alone, I think a man with a bottle of gin was the real clincher. Of all the eyes on me, one in particular stood out. A girl, who looked my way too many times for it to be a coincidence. Unless there was a mirror behind me in which case this all made sense.

She was at a table that was full with women who were louder than the clothes. The flashes from their table could turn a man blind, yet it was her stare that seemed to be doing that to me. She couldn’t stop looking and for a guy that was only making love to his gin, I wasn’t the happiest sight around. Ten minutes later she stepped out for a smoke, now you should know that it was probably five months since I last smelt of nicotine but I figured what the hell. So I picked up my glass and made for the door. She looked disturbed, she fidgeted with her nails to the extent where they lost all shape. She was struggling to light up and like a true gentleman I went over to help.  However I had just taken a single step before a huge truck pulled up along side her. In a second two men who looked like they benched as much as I weighed stepped out picked her up and left.

Was this really happening? The most clich├ęd movie scene? But it sure as hell seemed real, including her blood curling screams. I had to do something, her friends were too busy battling stupidity to bother. So before I knew it I was chasing after a big black van. The five months away from nicotine helped me accelerate ahead, but how in the world would I catch up with a van?
Now just as all of this was running through my mind the truck ahead of me came to a complete halt. Why would the van stop? Did they change their mind? Did they want a sip of my gin? Did they want to take care of me before I became a bigger issue? Their reasons I would question latter, right now I had to fight for my life and in all probability hers as well. So I dropped my glass and picked up a stone. I figured it helped David beat Goliath, so at least I had history on my side.

The good thing about big burly men is that they’re slow movers so you could take aim and give them little time to react. The bad thing is to assume that a stone would hurt them.  So after one of them knocked off the slight impact the stone made on them they continued walking towards me. I had two choices right now, stand and fight or run and hide. As far as I could tell my legs weren’t waiting for my indecisive brain and they decided to take off. I didn’t dare turn back and comforted myself with the fact that I didn’t know her well enough to care about her well being. A comfort I knew wouldn’t last long, but hey at least it worked, for now.

BANG, the second blood curling scream of the night, only this time it was me screaming.  Its funny because off all the ways I assumed I could have possibly died, I didn’t assume a gun shot wound would be the clincher.

BANG, surely the first one did the job. Wait! Why can I see the sun and smell coffee, could heaven be this perfect? Of course not, it’s Monday morning.  Suddenly that dream seems like a nice place, also where's my gin? 

Monday, November 14, 2011


For as long as I can remember I’ve always loved travelling by bus. Sure it takes double the time, sure old passengers’ eye ball you if you don’t get up and offer them your seat and sure those sudden breaks aren’t doing your back any good. In spite of all this, I love taking the bus even if it takes 15 minutes to show up most of the time.
Judging by the first paragraph you’ve probably made either one of two conclusions about me. One I’m too cheap to travel any other way or two I’m an eccentric environmentalist and I look at buses as a means to save the planet. Well it’s actually neither in fact my love for buses started when I was about 7 years, you know the age when everything around you seems fascinating and weirdly enough edible. Well it was at that age that my mum started talking me on weekly bus rides from Bandra to Churchgate and I swear to you, you haven’t really lived until you’ve sat on the first seat of a double decker bus. That nostalgic moment aside there are tons of other reasons for why I love the bus.

One of the biggest reasons is the lighting, now this may sound weird but being someone who reads when travelling the lighting most buses provide is about perfect. When you’re in a rickshaw or cab well we all know what people do in rickshaws and cabs thanks largely to its dull lighting. Another major reason I love buses is because of the people, whether it’s the guy who stands with the change in his hand from the time he enters the bus or the lady that always blocks the seat at the side of her for a friend, it’s amazing to just watch people and their behavior (I’m well aware that this makes me sound like a pervert).
The arrival of ‘share a rickshaw’ and those ridiculously long bus lines may deter a lot of people from ever hoping on a bus but as far as I’m concerned I will always be a bus aficionado. So what are you waiting for? Climb aboard and for that little while feel what it’s like to be 6 feet above everyone else and 7 years all over again.
Good things come, and I'm not just referring to riding the buses.
Lionel Blue

Monday, September 19, 2011

To My Most Glamorous Friend

No one likes change. Most of the time we believe it’s exactly what we crave yet so many times when it does happen were left wondering where it all went wrong. I use the word ‘wrong’ because I do honestly believe that change could only amount to something wrong. Even if it were to have its plus points and these plus points were to outweigh the negatives it still wouldn’t matter because at the end of it all those negatives still exist.

One of the most heart wrenching changes for the most of us is when someone leaves or is forced to leave. I’m not talking about death; I’m talking about that horrible unexplainable feeling when friends leave. I’ve long come to accept that a lot in our life is out of our hands, were dealt a hand from a deck and there are no retakes. The reason I choose to mention this now is because one of my closest friends will soon be leaving and moving to another state. The state is inconsequential but the friend however no matter how much I try will never quite be. She’s someone I’ve known for over 5 years and still can’t seem to understand, I don’t think I ever will to be honest. But it doesn’t mean I won’t miss her, some people stick on you and you can’t seem shake them no matter how much you try. And in her case I’m glad I didn’t try. Now she’s nicknamed me ‘prawn’ a thought I find extremely disturbing considering I’m allergic to that particular sea food but what are friends for, if not to be cruel. Over the last week I’ve begged her not to go and short of actually tying her to a Carter road bench I seem to have run out of options. So hopefully to someone who I’ve not always be bold fully honest to, this may give her some idea how I feel.

I wish you didn’t have to leave Kim; you truly are unique now that may not always be a good thing but it’s the truth. I’m going to miss calling you names and watching your head flip every time a fast bike passes your way but most of all I really am going to miss you. Don’t leave kim, stay wont you? I’ll even try to be nicer to that mongrel you call a pet. I know Goa isn’t that far away and as much as I would like to come there every month I know that’s not realistically possible. So I hope you go to Goa become tan, put on tons of weight realizes how crappy it truly is and come back. However if you do leave I promise one day I shall dedicated a Carter road bench to you.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Random Musings

The thing with choosing to write for a living is that you get so frustrated by the whole process of it, you soon forget why you began to write in the first place. I always assumed I could tell the difference between writing because you want to and writing cause it’s the only thing you know how too. The more I walk down this path, the line that separates them because even more of a blur. The sad part of it was that I knew all of this would happen, I was warned more times than I cared to count. What was I suppose to do though, not write?

The last month has been like a rollercoaster you never wanted to ride to begin with It isn’t exhilarating, it doesn’t get your pulse racing and it sure as hell doesn’t make you want to go on again. For the last month I’ve been writing for a travel website, well at least that’s what they want to call it. It’s more of like a mismatch between Wikipedia and lonely planet with the only originality being the choice of font. What do you expect when you’re asked to write about the Swiss Alps in a room that doesn’t have an a/c, or about the remarkable variety of cuisine in North America when your choice is solely limited to the 7 types of dosa’s. So in order to break the monotony I did what any loose cannon, freethinking teenager with a guaranteed meal at the end of the day would do, I quit. Look for the longest time those so-called matured elders always boasted about just how wonderful your first job would be and how it would shape your destiny, the only thing this job thought me was train timings. I’m not saying it was all-bad, I’m saving every moment there was an adventure you’d gladly never visit again.

All this coupled with my personal life that only seems to be climbing down the rungs of a ladder with no stopping insight makes for a hell of a month. This month saw our country celebrate its independence, Independence that meanings lost all meaning to me. Here’s hoping the roller coaster ends soon or if nothing else the next time I ride it, I fall off.