Monday, June 15, 2015

I am back. Maybe.

Wounds heal.
Scars don't.
The mind forgets.
Memories don't.
Money comes,  money goes.
People don't.
Second chances.
Firsts don't.
Peace is tough.
War isn't.
Life forgives.
Death doesn't.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Mr. Kipling, you are the coolest.

The betrothed.

"You must choose between me and your cigar."

Open the old cigar-box, get me a Cuba stout,
For things are running crossways, and Maggie and I are out.

We quarrelled about Havanas--we fought o'er a good cheroot,
And I knew she is exacting, and she says I am a brute.

Open the old cigar-box--let me consider a space;
In the soft blue veil of the vapour musing on Maggie's face.

Maggie is pretty to look at--Maggie's a loving lass,
But the prettiest cheeks must wrinkle, the truest of loves must pass.

There's peace in a Larranaga, there's calm in a Henry Clay;
But the best cigar in an hour is finished and thrown away--

Thrown away for another as perfect and ripe and brown--
But I could not throw away Maggie for fear o' the talk o' the town!

Maggie, my wife at fifty--grey and dour and old--
With never another Maggie to purchase for love or gold!

And the light of Days that have Been the dark of the Days that Are,
And Love's torch stinking and stale, like the butt of a dead cigar--

The butt of a dead cigar you are bound to keep in your pocket--
With never a new one to light tho' it's charred and black to the socket!

Open the old cigar-box--let me consider a while.
Here is a mild Manila--there is a wifely smile.

Which is the better portion--bondage bought with a ring,
Or a harem of dusky beauties, fifty tied in a string?

Counsellors cunning and silent--comforters true and tried,
And never a one of the fifty to sneer at a rival bride?

Thought in the early morning, solace in time of woes,
Peace in the hush of the twilight, balm ere my eyelids close,

This will the fifty give me, asking nought in return,
With only a Suttee's passion--to do their duty and burn.

This will the fifty give me. When they are spent and dead,
Five times other fifties shall be my servants instead.

The furrows of far-off Java, the isles of the Spanish Main,
When they hear my harem is empty will send me my brides again.

I will take no heed to their raiment, nor food for their mouths withal,
So long as the gulls are nesting, so long as the showers fall.

I will scent 'em with best vanilla, with tea will I temper their hides,
And the Moor and the Mormon shall envy who read of the tale of my brides.

For Maggie has written a letter to give me my choice between
The wee little whimpering Love and the great god Nick o' Teen.

And I have been servant of Love for barely a twelvemonth clear,
But I have been Priest of Cabanas a matter of seven year;

And the gloom of my bachelor days is flecked with the cheery light
Of stumps that I burned to Friendship and Pleasure and Work and Fight.

And I turn my eyes to the future that Maggie and I must prove,
But the only light on the marshes is the Will-o'-the-Wisp of Love.

Will it see me safe through my journey or leave me bogged in the mire?
Since a puff of tobacco can cloud it, shall I follow the fitful fire?

Open the old cigar-box--let me consider anew--
Old friends, and who is Maggie that I should abandon you?

A million surplus Maggies are willing to bear the yoke;
And a woman is only a woman, but a good Cigar is a Smoke.

Light me another Cuba--I hold to my first-sworn vows.
If Maggie will have no rival, I'll have no Maggie for Spouse!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Thursday, December 30, 2010

The last post of the decade.

Feels like some big movie dialogue in Dolby Surround, doesn't it? "The last post of the decade". Heh heh. Stupid thing. I'll cheat myself by posting again in another 2 hours. Anyway, moving on, moving on.
I hope this year brings you all the joy, happiness and prosperity.
If you have thought of ending it all, and obviously you haven't, because, you know, you are still alive and reading this, then here is the story:
1998, a cold, rainy winter evening on a sparsely used hilly road, somewhere in South India. Two Bullets, three guys, braving it all. Aiding them in this endeavor of driving through such horrible weather and terrain were their trusted allies, Khoday's XXX rum and loads of sheer stupidity. The rain was trying it's best to limit the visibility to below ten meters and the rum was trying it's best to break even. Heady mixture when you are twenty one. And then, one of the bullets could not take the thrashing anymore and gave up. In the middle of nowhere. A Royal Enfield Bullet is not designed to give up on you. Ever. So if and when it does, the best thing to do is lock it and leave it. Which is what the boys did. Two of them started to walk while the third rode away to find the nearest shelter. Returning in a very short span of time, he just said, "You guys are going to fucking freak". The reason for the fucking freak, was because the shelter was an old fort in ruins. As they entered the fort, so did the darkness that night brings with it. And then, a flicker of light, in what seemed to be an enclosed place. The source of the light was soon found to be a bonfire lit by two occupants of the shelter who, ironically, were stuck in the same situation as the boys. The most ironic thing, however, was that the strangers had two extra bottles of Khoday's XXX. You will agree, if you have been through a situation like this, that the bonhomie is on a different plane among people who are singled out to circumstance. And such was the case. All these memories are very hazy in the chronicler's mind, but what came out of that one night was this statement:
"Life, goes on".
Present day:
Musings and learnings from the past decade:
If you have loved, and been loved in return, you have achieved your greatest.
You are your biggest strength.
Everyone has a story about why they are alive, as much as why they should die.
Let go, sometimes. At other times, cry your heart out.
If you have it all and lose it in an instant, consider yourself blessed. For you've just been given a chance to live many lifetimes over in one life.
Be polite to people who've never seen pain.
The more dreams that shatter, the stronger the spirit, the more resolute the will.
Most importantly, only when you are totally, utterly helpless and truly broken in every way, do you truly become unbreakable.
If any of the above apply to you, then you, my friend, are the man.
Remembering Navin's poem here would be apt, because it's my bloody blog and I can do whatever I want, and because it was the most inspiring piece of prose I've ever read:
"Isliye apun ne socha aisa approach dalenga
Bachne ke liye saala poison bhi khalenga
Lekin marke aisa kya ukhad lega
Saala zinda rehke duniya ko dikha dega"
I've lived it up.
I've lived it down.
My name, is Aditya Jammi.
And I'm fucking unbelievable.
And oh, wish you a happy new year.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Something something something.

It's been a long time since I rocknrolla.
It's been a long time since coca cola.
Been a long time, been a long time,
yea lonely lonely lonely lonely taaaaaaaiiiiiiime.

Anyway, hey guys. What's up and all. I'm losing my mind. There have been a series of lemony snippets in the recent past that have left a deep ever lasting impression on my impressionable mind. I shall try and chronicle the events.

On the 25th of October, which also happens to be Pablo Picasso's birthday, apart from being mine, I woke up as usual. I brushed as usual. I drank my coffee as usual. And then it happened. Presuming that you are above the legal age and privy to the habits of grown men who smoke cigarettes in the bathroom during their rich, undisturbed and very private conversations with themselves, I shall let you in to the fact that I, was a member of this club. So when I lit the cigarette and read the headlines, as is my custom, I had a strange nauseating feeling, which was so strong in nature that I just spit the cigarette out. And that was it. I have been clean since then, and to top it, am now allergic to second hand cigarette smoke. You might think nothing of it, but I take it as a huge let down to a glorious association of fifteen years. No good- byes, no 'this is my last cigarette'. Just one moment of extreme revolt.

The next event happened recently, around the fifth of November. I was at a friend's place, duly invited to entertain a select gathering with my most awesome guitar skill, which has won me accolades and almost one female fan, but that is another story. Anyway, there I was, drinking beer, conversing, listening to conversations, eating chips, letting out a subsonic fart, behaving generally well, you know. And then it happened again. Never in my life, my friends, and I mean NEVER IN MY LIFE, have I got high on a bottle of beer. I did that night. I don't remember anything after a certain point where I had started a sentence with "Actually, the thing is basically......" and drifted away. Recollections by reliable sources who were not under the influence of alcohol or any other substance revealed a high strung, unending guitar lesson, a motorcycle ride at maximum speed, and some other nonsense, which are usually not the attributes of a respected gentleman with fine tastes such as myself.

This is not the end. The said friend's place is one that I frequent and have, many times in the past, slept over when the alcohol content was too much in the system. Suffice to say that I am very comfortable and at home with the place. To continue the story, the first thing that I woke up with was the thought that I had been kidnapped was now in Poland. This lead to a frantic search for my passport, which evidently, was not there. I was sweating. I was planning the best strategy to escape. A note here - I was still lying down on the bed. All the action was happening with my eyes half open, but I was fully conscious. And then, a girl I knew in Kindergarten, whose name I do not remember now, walked in through the front door wearing the red checkered uniform from that era calling out my name. I have never run faster in my life. I just picked up my two guitars, the car keys, and whatever I remembered as mine, got into the car, and drove off.

Presently, I had traveled for about a kilometer when I had this feeling, nay, belief, that one of the tires was running a puncture. I stopped, got out, checked the whole assembly, got back in, and repeated the same exercise around 5 times till I got home. Once I reached home, the feeling that my mind was trying to get out of my mind became even more intense. I had asked my mother for some tea, and when she served, I got very suspicious that it was laced with poison. My mother being my mother, gladly accepted the refusal and drank the tea herself. I walked into my room, washed my face again and promptly fell asleep, only to wake up at nine in the night. I was later told that (during my sleep) I had a very meaningful conversation with someone about investments, someone else about the latest blue ray players, and someone else about books. I have no recollection whatsoever of these events.

And yesterday, for the first time in my life, I accepted an alleged attempt to modernize me. My barber, who thinks he is the Bruce Lee of hair cutting, suggested that I get blackheads removed. Blockheads, according to him. He then went on to give a sermon on how removal of these 'blockheads' ensures long life, high return on investments, reduction in the global carbon emissions, and the general good of mankind. He went on to do a procedure known as the 'facial'. I must say that though I enjoyed the massage while it lasted, I felt thoroughly guilty like I had committed a heinous crime. Also, a contemporary haiku to commemorate the event -

When I am forty,
with the right amount of multani mitti,
I shall look thirty,
Like a certain Silpa settty.

Thank you, thank you. Anyway, I have been metro sexualised. Also, women with impish boy brats who refuse to let their hair cut unless in the presence of their mothers, choose a better time to visit. In other words, it's very embarrassing for a man who is convinced that he was tricked into the facial thingy to have a mom in the background. The facial includes applying a 'Multani Mitti' pack, a stupid paste which solidifies and pulls your face. When this was happening, the brat in the next seat was going, "What has uncle put on his face?", "Why does he need it? My mom puts the same thing. It's only for ladies, no?". Bah.

Anyway, coming back to the narrative, I couldn't sleep last night. Just when I was about to drift off into la la land, I heard a voice, calling out my name in a whisper. It was not a man's voice nor a woman's. There it was, every time I was technically falling asleep, a soft call, right next to my ears.

I think I am officially going mad. Anyway, the good side to all this, is that my servant maid, after long negotiations about her pay, has returned.

Thank you.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

India - The state at play.

Serious thinkers. Forgive me, but I think you are bollocks. Forgive me, for I never see any thought transform into action. Forgive me, for I belong to a land of high treason. Yes, this is blasphemy. Which is why my comments section is moderated, but I would love to be convinced otherwise of what I am going to write about.

My country is the largest democracy in the world. I was talking yesterday to a Major in the Army who is in Srinagar. And these, are his exact words:

"There is a very thin line between democracy and holding the country to ransom".

How true.

Another friend of mine, who was concerned about the state of affairs in the region where I stay, with regards to the state being bifurcated, the political unrest, etc etc., forced me to think. And here is what I thank:

I am a citizen of this country by birth and descent. I am a citizen of Oslo by naturalization. I have been given a good education and made to read books with complex English, like Wren and Martin. In short, I consider myself to be one of the self - aware, city bred yuppies who think they have seen other cultures because they have also read Asterix and Obelix. If you are reading this, you probably belong to the same class of social existence. Now, here is my question:

Has any political leader from any political party, ever approached you for a vote?

How many bills have been passed in our parliament in the last month, and what do they concern?

How many of those bills will directly work for your benefit?

How is it that we have a deficit of XXX Billion $, but still come up with 'hosting' the Common Wealth Games?

Do the Common Wealth Games stand for let's all get together and share the wealth of the people equally like, say a poker game?

Did you know that the cost of one vote is one chicken Biryani and 500 rupees? So, if the ruling party has won by a majority of so many votes, you know how many chickens were there.

Why does my country run on preventive maintenance mode? I mean, why does it take a 26/11 to actually review our competency?

Maybe it's the blocked nose, or maybe it's the confidence that not many people would read this, but I think what the country needs most is a dictator. Please vote for me. Thanks.

The views expressed in this are not the author's. The author was drugged, bound, gagged, and made to type with his little toe. The article does not attempt to change / correct any administrative red tape in any country on this globe. The name 'India' is used figuratively and does not necessarily mean the country.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The Future of Jeans - FADEAD


The Management,
Levi's Strauss Jeans India

Dear Sir / Madam,

I have been you loyal customer for the past 27 years. I am also the proud owner of two pairs of Levi's 501's from the '80's. I recently went to the Levi's store to buy jeans and was taken aback at the quality of denims that are being passed off in the name of fashion. I understand that in today's world where nobody has time, you bring in pre-faded jeans, pre-torn jeans, etc., but it is my kind request that you also retain certain old school originals for old boys like me. My knowledge in wearing jeans is very limited and the only way I know for a jeans to fade is described below:
  1. Buy Jeans.
  2. Wear them.
  3. Remove only in case of suspected fungal infection or excessive itching in the wrong places.
  4. Wash both Jeans and self thoroughly.
  5. Hang Jeans upright, like you wear them.
  6. Go back to step 2.
Eventually, the Jeans also develops little tears due to aging. So please, for the sake of a dying breed of die hard romantics who do not understand pre-doing anything but would like to age with the Jeans, please, please market the old school Levi's blues. Each crease, each tear, each thread in these aged Jeans has a memory attached, and those, to me, are priceless.

Thank you very much.