December 16, 2013

A Dream Lost


I recently lost a dream. It's strange to lose something that's psychical in origin,  evanescent in existence and meta-physical in interpretation. I was taught that having, preserving and relishing a dream is the way to success. So I dreamt, big. I was made to believe that dreams don't come true without working hard, so I did. They said patience is the key. So I persevered.

My dream to me was the liberation of the spirit from the natural pressures; A buoyant force that freed my soul from the shackles of the matter.

And then, I lost it.

I lost something that had occupied me for as long as I could remember. It had governed my actions and conduct. It was the string that tied all the otherwise inexplicable fragments of my life. My dream was my subconscious giving all that around me, a meaning.

With my dream, I lost my subconscious and it took along the people, the places and the relationships, it once defined and gave meaning to.

Karma, my religion taught me, is the greatest and the fairest justice of all.

My dream was my Karma.


"Living a dream" is misinterpreted. You can have a dream in your future and your past, but you don't ever have it in your present. As they say-"Dreams are but sea-foam" If it were to become your present, or you "realize" a dream, it simply becomes worldly, losing the enigmatic self that elevated it to the levels of being mythical.  It becomes your story; your Life.

In many ways, I lost my reality.


A dream is lost when you lose the Desire to sleep at night as that will mark the end of another day you wished didn't happen. And a dream is lost when after every such night you still want to wake up in the past. To live such an illusion, you wish that there was no morning, no sunlight and not another new date in this forced chapter of your life.

A dream is lost when it takes with it the very Faith that drove you to have that dream in the first place. It's more than losing confidence as confidence is merely the reaffirmation of one's own abilities while Faith is the spiritual stamp of approval to trust and back yourself . When the spiritual is lost, the physical has no meaning.

A dream is lost when you steer without Direction. A man can handle setbacks and adversities as long as there is a perceived path ahead. The road ahead might be rough or smooth, bright or dark, easy or difficult, but it's still a path nevertheless. And a dream is lost when you can't distinguish between facing a wall or a crossroad.

A dream is lost when the Realization sinks in that no matter what the future holds, better or worse, you can still never go back to the status quo you once cherished. And you know that this change is irreversible and what's lost can't be replaced or regained. For that matter, you also know that calling it a "change" is undermining the havoc of this apocalypse.


When the dust settled, the passersby came to help me gather the pieces. They simply asked me to look ahead and start afresh.

Till there is breath in me, there would always be a future, and people would point towards that telling me to aim for a new and better tomorrow. Life, they say, always finds a way. I find that flawed. What I have lost, and what I might gain, cannot be equated. 
Balance, is irrelevant to me.

Losses redefine the parameters. It's then the mind accepts dreams as a useless and morbid exercise keeping us afloat for no reason. We start aiming for the low hanging fruits, consoling ourselves consciously, by instancing the past failures. This new definition of success is impudent to your lost dream, but we ignore it, in the name of life.

A dream is lost when the only Motivation in life remains to connect every dot to get the same pattern that defined your dream once. Time will pass and people will move on but I would find myself living in the same matrix trying to relive the manifestation of the dream that once was.

July 29, 2013


उसके लिए दुनिया बेहद ख़ूबसूरत  थी, बिलकुल उसकी माँ की कहानिओं की तरह। सब कुछ विराट था, कहीं कोई कमी नहीं थी । वोह बस आसमान को ताकता रहता था; पंछी देखना बेहद पसंद  था उसे । उड़ने की ख्वाइश पालने कि अभी उम्र नहीं  थी और  कहीं जाना भी नहीं था। सिर्फ ताकना था; आसमान को, बादलों को, विचित्र लोगों को, लम्बी लम्बी इमारतों को।  ७-८ साल की उम्र ऐसी ही होती है। सबको एक ही नज़र से देखता था, उत्सुकता की नज़र से। आंखें इतनी ऊंची रहती थी कि अपने पैबंद वाली बुशर्ट पर या  मां के हाथ के छालों पर या कच्ची छत पर कभी ध्यान ही नहीं जाता था।

एक दिन सड़क किनारे बैठा, वोह हमेशा की तरह , जिज्ञासु नज़रों से दुनिया की रेलमपेल और अपने आसमान की शीतलता का आनंद ले रहा था कि उसे एक परी दिखाई दी। झक सफ़ेद रंग,सुनहरे बाल , मोहक सी मुस्कान लिए वोह उसकी ही तरफ चली आ रही थी। उस बाल मन के लिए यह पहला मौका था जब उसने इतनी सुन्दरता कहानियों के बाहर देखी थी। उसकी आंखें चमक उठी, मुहँ खुला रह गया और एक भोली निहीर सी मुस्कुराहट ने उसके चेहरे को और भी प्यारा बना दिया। वोह गोरी परी आई , उसको अंग्रेजी में कुछ बोली और फिर उसके बालों में हाथ फेरते हुए उसके गोद में एक १०० रूपये का नोट छोड़ गयी।

अब उसकी आंखें आसमान से नीचे उतर कर उस नोट पर टिक गयी। वोह उसे उलट पलट के देखने लगा। फिर उसे सूंघा भी सही । कड़क करेंसी नोटों की  खुशबू तो एक बच्चे को भी मदमस्त कर सकती है। उसपर एक छेद था , जैसा पिन लगाने से हो जाता है, छोटा सा। १०० के नोट पर तो एक छेद भी कपड़ों के पैबंद से भद्दा लगता है। जैसे चाँद पर दाग लग गया हो!

उसने उस छेद से अब अपनी दुनिया को देखना चालू किया। अचानक सब कुछ छोटा हो गया था। वही दुनिया जो कल तक असीमित थी, अब इतनी छोटी हो गयी जितनी उस छेद से दिख सकती थी। अब लोग भी विचित्र नहीं लग रहे थे क्योंकि अब वोह अपने को भी उनमें से एक देखने लगा था।

और आसमान, बादल , चाँद, तारे, पंच्छी, यह सब करेंसी नोटों से कहाँ दिखाई देते हैं। अब उतना ही दिखता है जितना वोह नोट दिखाता है। या जितना उस छेद में समा सकता है। अब सारी दौड़ धूप उस एक नोट को दो और फिर चार करने की है। उसे बस्ती के बाकी बच्चों से बचाना भी है, इसलिए उनसे भी बातचीत बंद है। खेले हुए तो अरसा बीत गया। माँ खुश है, कि बेटा ८ साल की उम्र में ही दुनियादारी सीख गया है।

एक और मासूम बचपन नोटों की भेंट चढ़ गया, एक और जिज्ञासा को रूपये ने ख़त्म कर दिया।

June 16, 2013

Thank You Papa

I could afford to be a careless toddler, because a pair of alert eyes were always on me. Even now,  across thousands of miles, I know, he still watches over me. I am lucky :)

Its so hard to be a Father; 
You cannot be wrong. You always have to be strong. You have to be a role-model, constantly resonating between the tough man who wants to discipline the kid and the soft-hearted man who is the first person to console the kid when he falters.
While moms get all the attention, fathers stay in the background and overlook the growth of the Family.
Mothers make Homes, Fathers build Families.
For all this and much more which I can't put in words....
Thank you Papa...!

April 13, 2013


She was the New Generation girl. She was taught to dream big and accomplish bigger. She didn't believe that she ever faced any prejudice. Everything that came her way was an opportunity; Equal and unbiased. Not to mean that she was unaware of the reality of being her, but she had become immune to the fixed gazes and the indecent advances. She could easily look through the chauvinism masquerading as chivalry. She had learnt to think beyond her gender. Neither did it make her feel bound nor did she feel unduly rewarded.

She was an asset. The one that parents invest into. The one that goes to far off shores to pursue her dreams. The one that could raise a family all by herself. The one that heads big corporations. The one that could run shiver down anyone's spine by a mere look. The one that could disarm everyone by just a smile.
And most importantly, she could do all this better than her natural counterpart.

She was the face of the 21st century Indian woman.
Educated. Empowered. Emancipated. Elegant

He was humiliated like many of his clan. His birthright of being the more important cog in Nature's balance, had been painfully snatched away. His beliefs were shattered, and with all the machismo on display, he was terrified underneath. He felt orphaned. His perceptions had the backing of seeing his mother being insulted, chastised and dishonored and her accepting it all as fate. He was sure that the her black eye and swollen cheeks were a result of something consensual. He saw his father deriving pleasure in showcasing him as the trophy while his sisters were raised in oblivion. He was brought up in a way that him being born was obliging enough. But now, he was stunned. He was no longer the obvious winner. He had to compete, and more often than naught, he lost, to her. He was baffled at her eloquence, etiquette, and dignity.

She couldn't be equal. She represented everything that needed to be reformed in the society. She couldn't be in the same league. She couldn't surpass him. She was the aberration to the Culture, the Tradition, and most of all, the Equilibrium. He had to stop this shift. Somehow.

He thought he was the face of all the suffering for Indian men .
Disgruntled. Disturbed. Disgraced. Defeated.

And when he attacked her, he taught her a lesson. And when he punched her in the gut, his masculinity triumphed. And when he attempted to outrage her modesty, he settled scores for his sustained endurance. And when he laughed menacingly at her cries for help, his manhood exulted.

A force suddenly hit him between his eyes. All he could fathom was that it was probably a punch. Before he could even see his assailant, a kick to his abdomen, knocked the winds out of him. This was followed by a frantic barrage of blows to which he could neither respond, nor recover from.

His bravado laid there unconscious, probably dead, but definitely infertile.

He lived a routine life. Irrespective of his socioeconomic standing, it was his ordinary methodical life, that defined him. He usually went unnoticed which did frustrate him a little. Here, you have to be either famous or infamous or rich or extraordinary, just to be seen. Or being a woman in a voyeuristic country would do. He was none.
But even his mundane life style had educated him enough about the significance of his Natural mate. He discarded the notion of singularity; Instead he celebrated their differences. He was not from Mars. He firmly believed that both were created to be indispensable. The society did push him to the brink of objectifying her, but he successfully resisted the temptation, at least, most of the time. And when he couldn't, he had the sense of not letting it go overboard. He did what he deemed was rightful, made periodic errors in judgment and befittingly repented. However, this tussle of his, did not, for once, belittle her value. He didn't materialize her sexuality, rather, appreciated her sensuality. 

For him, they were complementary and frequently exchanged roles.
Passion and Calm. Adventure and Inertia. Emotion and Pragmatism. Audacity and Caution.

And when he defended her, he acknowledged her worth. And when he fought for her, he reiterated his beliefs.  And when he went berserk, he restored the balance. And when he left quietly, he reinstated the faith.

He was a common Indian man.
Faceless. Reluctant. Survivor. Soldier   

January 21, 2013

"Love, Loss and Beyond"- My entry for the Get Published contest

Please vote (click on the heart button) at -

The Idea

People have different ways to cope up with loss. Most enter a seemingly impermeable shell making themselves immune and indifferent from the surroundings. A few, however, become extrovert and try to connect with the world in a more lively way realizing the importance of the fleeting moments. This is also a phase where people connect with others going through similar situations. Connecting with strangers becomes easy and its them, not the immediate family, who finally bail you out of the deep and dark pit of depression and loneliness. 

This is a story of 2 such strangers who met by accident and unknowingly ended up changing each other's lives. 

Siddarth, who after losing his beloved Kacey Smith in a tragic car crash, discovers a secret about their relationship. He believes that he could have recovered from the loss of Kacey had he not known that secret. This has pushed him to the wall and he is about to get lost in the darkness, not knowing a way to cope up with his tragedy and the secret.

At this juncture Zubi enters his life. She is jubilant and carefree yet profound and deeply philosophical. She has a secret too but Siddarth could never get her to open up. However his interactions with her start to affect both of them and they realize it too. They connect instantly. But with their pasts, heavily influencing their present, they can't look too much ahead. 

Siddarth has become shelled after the tragedy, Zubi tries to bring him back to life. She is not ready to share her life but still tries to heal him.

What Makes This Story Real?

This is a story of simple and basic human need of interaction. It's not a fairy tale and the characters emerge from the deepest and the darkest points of their lives. Like all of us, they are nowhere near perfection. And it's their imperfections that help them connect. This is about sharing griefs and recovering.

Can these two ever fall in love? Is love just about ending up together? Is that the best you can do to someone.

There is a Life Beyond the conventional Love and that's my central theme.


He pulled out a crumpled piece of paper from his coat. It had some red stains on it. "Could it be blood?" she wondered.
He took her hand and gave it to her.

"What is this?"
"This was found with Kacey that night."
She opened the folds and stared at the paper.
"She wanted me to give me this on our anniversary".
"What does it say Sid? I can't read it."

Sid looked up trying unsuccessfully to hold back his tears. Zubi held his hand and reassured him of her presence.
"You have to read it Sid. At some point of your life, you have to talk to someone about this secret. You can't carry its burden. Speak up Sid."

His lips trembled and looked for words. Words, the ever elusive, words. 

Endnote: This is my entry for the HarperCollins–IndiBlogger Get Published contest, which is run with inputs from Yashodhara Lal andHarperCollins India.

Please vote (click on the heart button) at

Story of Failure

Accomplish, Celebration, Failure, Family, Lie, Life, Lifestyle, Opportunity, Solace, Success, Truth, #Amreading, #Blogchatter, #Dream, #writefullyyours, #Amwriting, #Motivation, #quotes, #Inspiration, #leadership

"Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently". - Henry Ford

I am Failure. Not a failure, but failure itself. Not the verb, but the noun.

I have seen people with mighty hearts and decorated chests, cringe by my very mention. Those widely respected and honored in their lives and fields, pray they never have to see me in the eye. Sometimes, in all my innocence, I wish at least such brave-hearts  would like to take me head on as a challenge. But they don't ever dare to. I have often wondered why.

Trust me, I don't look that hideous!

Like the black sheep, hidden from the glory of the living rooms of all the braggart families, I have a cousin to blame for this.

Bitch, thy name is Success

Success is pretty and a lot of people, despite of their age and experience (or the lack of it), have crush on her. It's blinding, it's flashy and it makes one utterly myopic. Many a great souls have lost their way after achieving success. But every courageous soul who has ever had an encounter with me has always set new goals and started afresh.

After every success lies an emptiness, after every failure lies a hidden opportunity!

Beyond every finish line, and before every start, in the solitude of thunderous applause, is me. I am the way to look into the future because I have the vision.

We have a strict framework, rules and definitions for success, but me, I am Universal. With no definitions, explanations or interpretations. Not Subjective. While your success may not convince or appease many, your failure is accepted by all. I am the gold standard against which all your successes would be measured.

Success invariably would always be incomplete. It would always make you worry about others' reactions. I am absolute. I would make you a clean slate. What else could possibly be a better place to dust off and start again?

I understand the fixation of  being successful.  But to forget my role once you have been successful is, well, just rude! If anything, I am the springboard that catapulted you to your goals.

Me and my lovely cousin have frequent contests of "tug of war". We call it Life. As lovable as she is, she never gives me credit for my role. And I don't ask for one.

I am that fifth grade Math teacher who helped you get over your fear of the subject by scaring you more. Now, you don't remember him while you accept your accolades as a great Mathematician.

I am that teenage lover of yours whom you deserted for college. And now when you shamelessly seek attention of the gorgeous ladies at your corporate job, I smile in the background.

I am that parent of yours who put in everything he/she had for your future and you comfortably forgot to mention that in your valedictory speech.

I am that sibling who prayed for your scores in his/her struggles. Now, when I struggle to meet my ends, you shun me.

Success is a result of the work put in by the best teacher- failure!

I am that patient homemaker who ignores all your flirtatious transgressions, knowing  at the end of the day, you will come back home for solace.

And sooner, than later, you will come back and embrace me. You will have to accept me as, in your fancy vocabulary, "part and parcel" of life.

Beyond all inflated egos, materialistic gains and short lived happiness, you will find me.

Accept me now, when you have the sweet taste of success.
Or I will hit back, hard.

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