You’ve Changed…

The guilt and the burden. And The Change

โ€‹It has been a year since then. All my memories have become smoggy. Even though the texts are archived on FB, I haven’t browsed through those for the last 365 days. She’s online, she always is, but we don’t talk anymore. I check her profile, the latest updates, and after I fail to find any recent developments I go to settings to log out. 

Dingggg! goes my messenger. 

It’s a text from her. 

We talk. Reminisce and tell. It’s different now, though. The persons that we were and the persons we have become. Kind of Strangers. The air between us isn’t pink anymore. Two days later, she drops the hammer with the words –

You’ve changed…

Being a history student who has studied constant linear changes for the last two semesters, there’s no one like me who can lay an iota more of emphasis on the fact that PEOPLE CHANGE. Yes, people! You change. You bloody change. And so does everything else in the universe. Hell, according to Neil degrasse Tyson, even the universe is changing, constantly. 

The problem is when the other person doesn’t accept that she has changed. 

“I’m still the same Naina/Pinky/Salma/whatever, but you’ve changed. “They claim and make you feel the guilt you could have happily lived without. 

The reason why they claim such might vary, but the most remarkable and obvious one is because they themselves want to escape the guilt. Now people, guilt isn’t some single bed mosquito net with a hole that you can escape. It’s a liability that has to be shifted. So unless you’re forgiven or proved innocent, there’s no escaping guilt. One spectacular way of proving yourself innocent is to pass the guilt to someone else. Make the victim the criminal. Genius! ๐Ÿ˜‘

So what happens is that the other person texts you out of nowhere, pretends she wants to rekindle the friendship/half-girlfriendship/whatever, either consciously or subconsciously, and instead what she does is find the changes, spot those minute differences in your manners that actually are developments over periods and says – You aren’t the same person anymore. And this lame line justifies it all. At once, the roles are reversed, and she becomes the victim. The victim of your change. 

This is like the height of ridiculousness. ๐Ÿ˜‚

Yes I am not the same person anymore. But nor are you. We both have grown. Differently and apart. You think you are the same innocent self but you are not. At least I do not live in a delusion. And at least, I don’t feel the guilt that you subconsciously feel. 
The change is bound to happen. Life is like a river, as old poets have sung. It never stops, just goes on and on, always moving ahead, changing itself and the world around it. The problem isn’t that I changed and you changed but that we didn’t change together. We forked away and now our courses don’t run parallel. That’s a naked truth you can’t see. But you must understand this. 

And don’t be guilty of the past, well, unless you’ve killed like one million jews or something. Move on. Change. That is why you are a human. The change that happens with you and within you isn’t merely a change, it’s growth. Grow.

And of course I don’t owe an apology to somebody if I have changed even an atom. It’s upto you to stay or leave. I’ll keep changing, with time and tides. That’s why I am free…

Awkward Awkward

Well, guess what! I bumped into Doctor. ๐Ÿ˜

For the last few days, this new glitzy fast food joint called Charlie has been our binge corner. We start the evening with PC or Bhola knocking at my door after I fail to register their 23 missed calls. I fumble around for clothes and wear whatever my hands pull out of the Kilimanjaro piled up in our armchair. Then I comb my hair, slogging to create art above my scalp, but alas, it’s always awful. I rush out, and there they are, fat and miserable, but happy anyway. And then we keep walking, till the earth turns green and the sky turns red…

It was one of those normal days. We had returned back from the stadium after a long exasperating talk session dominated by dialogues concerning counselling and admission and cutoff and ranks and courses and whatnot, but which was supposed to be a long entertaining gossip session dominated by dialogues concerning pussies and breasts and cricket and AIB and politics and anything but career and studies. 

The two swines, PC and Bhola, were sitting like crabs on the red swing of my house, which I am pretty sure moves on its own after midnight. 

“I am starved. I need food. “PC said it for the thirteenth time. He is always hungry. People are always hungry. 

“What do you want from me? “I asked. 

“Feed me anything. Or I’ll die. “He pretended to have a cardiac arrest as he grabbed his manboob and dropped his tongue out. I wanted to tell him that 1. That’s not how you die of hunger and 2. That’s not how you die at all. 

“There’s nothing much in the house. Just some cheap Bengali mixture. “I lied. Actually there was Bikaji mix in the house, but there was no way I was going to sacrifice that. So instead I grabbed a bill of 100 and asked them to come follow me. 

“Oh Ravish…You’re our protector, you’re our lord!!” They sang as they followed me. 

On the way, we discussed our orders.

“Chicken momo for us. Veg burger for you. “They agreed.

“Fuck. I’m the one who’s paying, guys! “I protested. See, the world is pretty cruel towards veggies (shhhh….). These non vegetarians get to lay their canines upon chicken and lamb and beef and beacon and pork and mutton and crabs and squids and octopuses and what not, and here we are, lone warriors of Paneer, consoling ourselves with the belief that ultimately non veggies are going to be burned in the devil’s kitchen. The ratio of benefit in this case was 2:2:1 against me. So obviously, I was unhappy. 

“Alright. I have extra twenty bucks. “Bhola said. 

And so we moved ahead, fantasizing our beautiful plates. 

“Doctor. “PC said as we stepped into Charlie. I kind of froze. 

Yes. There she was and here I was. And on our faces was nothing but one singular expression of surprise. All I could see was her face and her hair falling all around. Just for a tiny moment. And then I turned around. It was weird as hell. I handed them the money and moved to the other side of the road. Found the darkest place and plonked my ass on one of the benches and watched giant bright wheels for a long time, thinking about what just happened there. 

I wasn’t annoyed or scared, nor was I nervous or angry. Nor was I happy. She would have waved and said hello, I would have waved and said hello. Then some generic talks and more awkwardness. I mean what would the talks be about? I couldn’t imagine anything but pauses. Awkward awkward. Like we could have talked about our orders or something, or we could have maintained a silence after the casual greetings. Both would have been awkward. And how do you talk to somebody you don’t generally talk to? I mean it’s been some time since we had a proper conversation. A good conversation. She’s online and I’m online and yet we don’t talk to each other. So I just ran out of topics there. I didn’t know how to converse and nor did I had any intent desire to. I mean Facebook is enough I believe. Plus, I was wearing really short pants. 

Anyway, after she left the place I went back. My friends told me that I was a wuss and I should have talked to her and all and I asked them if my veg burgers were ready yet. They were not. 

Back on Facebook she didn’t text me. So I knew she was pissed off. Then she texted me the other day, obviously pissed off, and gave me an earful. I apologised, tried to explain, and also asked if I could do something to make her feel better, but she didn’t want to hear anything. So I didn’t say much, cracked some lame jokes and hoped she’ll get better on her own. 

Now see, I’m the kind of person who lives dual lives. If you’ve never met me in person, you’ll never know me in person. I’m someone else on social medias – active and funny and intelligent and interesting and caring and good and romantic. However, in reality, I’m exactly the opposite – lazy, unfunny, dumb, ruthless, evil and filled with lust. I keep these two worlds apart. And unfortunately, Doctor is a part of the fb world, where she sees me through her own lens, which is what I choose to show her. 

Anyway, that’s my identity crisis. For more information please watch Tamasha. 

๐Ÿ’€India Vs Pakistan๐Ÿ’€

The clash of the titans..

The atmosphere is a tensed one. 

Everybody’s on tenterhooks. 

There’s something costlier than life at stake – it’s the Pride of billions.

And there’s a tarot-reading bitch on this side and a shitty Shayar on the other and it’s already a WAR….

Yesterday was the day of conquests and defeats. The day of epic battles, on and off the ground, between two fierce arch-enemies of the world. The war, which wasn’t merely a clash of 11 athletes, but billions of people, who fought their counterparts with the bravery of Hussain, on twitter and facebook, and who prayed to a million and one Gods, and updated their status every two minutes, and replaced their profile pictures with the logo of the national teams. Jokes were being flung, profanity flew at its peak, accusations, trolls and memes crossing borders like missiles. It was the night of chaos and conflict, and whoever won would emerge as the ultimate champion. 

Doesn’t that sound epic? 

Fuck that. People, it was just a game, to be logical. I’m not saying this because India lost to Pakistan by 180 runs (that hurts, why don’t they exchange Kulbhushan Jadhav with Ravindra Jadeja) but because I was expecting (not hoping) such a turn. 

Let me begin this by saying India has a billion cricket fanatics. Cricket is not just a game here, it’s a religion. And when the match is against this rival called Pakistan, temperatures are bound to go soaring like rockets. People are anxious and hopeful, and the evil media cashes in on their insecurity and aggravates the tension by multitudes. 

So days before the big match, the stage was set up on every news channel. There were audiences holding flags, Shayars and poets, musicians and commentators, a chauvinist host who was as sure about his team’s win as MC Sharma about peacock’s asexuality, and the whole show focused merely on degrading each other to prove they were better. It was as pointless as Ekta Kapoor serials. The TRP whores would go on to any lengths to exploit the ignorant viewers. There was Yograj Singh, confident as fuck, and others, already celebrating India’s victory even though the game was two days away. 

Social media was abuzz with Father-Son trolls, with prominent celebrities like Sehwag and Rishi Kapoor trolling Pakistanis brutally, some even ridiculing the poor English of the Pakistani captain. In a world where English is the parameter of competency, the Pakistanis were bullied way too much than they deserved. And as a famous theory in history goes, when exploitation reaches its zenith, a retaliation follows and ensures there’s a change. It was the day of change. The underdogs had to take the crown again. 

All this only put insurmountable pressure on team India and it showed right from the second over of the game. Their performance was affected and the game slowly slid away from their hands. The tarot reading bitch had claimed that Rohit will emerge as the star performer and Virat will see a rise in performance. Rohit went on a 0 and Virat made 5. The batting order fell like ninepins and a majority of Indians turned to hockey. Rahul Kanwal started posting hockey stats and that only revealed the nature of Indian Media, as corrupt in character as the politicians. 

It was so hyped up that it appeared to be a game of life and death. It didn’t have to be. 

And lastly, there were fuckers letting crackers just after the match ended, celebrating Pakistan’s victory with a roar. Doesn’t matter if Pakistan was a deserving side, you as an Indian don’t have to CELEBRATE the defeat of India. We shouldn’t appreciate the brave at the cost of mocking our fallen ones. 

Anyway, it was a sad day. I hope Indians stop mocking Pakistanis for trivial reasons and instead concentrate their energies to supporting team India in its highs and lows. Let the competition stay on field and stop being a chauvinist for God’s sake, for humanity will always be greater than patriotism and nationalism. 

The Shop of the Madmen

The house of the devil…and inflation…and fuck.. ๐Ÿ˜‚

I visit there every 3 months. I sit in the big maroon armchair and stare at the scissors, the spraybottles, and other thousand tools plonked in the monochrome vases. The music is faint and soft, and the heads are bowed down; some eyes are glued at the morning daily, some at their messengers. Amidst this soothing symphony comes the brutal snipping of metal scissors, and bunches of wispy warriors fall like colonies of timber in the latter half of the 19th century….

I have been visiting this world famous barbershop of my hometown – B S Gents Parlour – since I was a little kid. Despite our relationship stretching longer than a decade, that cunning fox never misses a chance to rob me of all my money, and sometimes even makes me pay more for what looks like an awful haircut. Barbers are real fuckers, I tell you.

I won’t lie, I have always wanted good hair. In my childhood, I’d see that poster of Shahid Kapoor with light golden brown floppy hair, and the bangs, and crave having a similar hairstyle. But every morning my mother would pour gallons of coconut oil down my scalp, grab that stupid little comb and flatten my hair like you level roads under Prime Minister Gram Sadak Yojna. And I’d go to school, wondering if my mother got her certificate of beautician through bribes. 

Then, as modernised societies germinated, youngsters started keeping gelled spikey hair, all stiff and cold. My friends looked stupid because they overdid it. But it was trending and so I felt like giving it a try too. 

“People with spikey hair are potential menaces to the society. You know how a spikey hair boy pulled Munmun’s necklace and ran away. “My mother argued. I wanted to convince her that not all spikey-haired guys were sublime assholes but she won’t listen to me anyway. 

So every 3 months I’d go to B S Parlour and sit in one of the chairs, checking out the equipments and prepare myself for another ridiculous  payment he asks me to make. He’d smile and I’d watch his red sunken eyes and guess how many quarters he had last night. This is a funny conversation we have without actually speaking. He considers me a prey and I consider him a monster. Nice story.

“So, which haircut are you going to have today? ” 

“Make it short. “I’d say and shut my eyes, and concentrate on the music that played in a distance. 

In the end, I always got cropped hedges on my head that were awful even by Podrick’s standards. 

“60 rupees. “He said, one day. I thought he was kidding. 

“What? 60? ”

“Yes. “He said, and added, “Inflation. ”

Fuck economics

Recently, I went to a salon in Delhi. It was owned by a middle aged Muslim guy who possessed cold, no nonsense looks. I had not watched TV for the last 6 months so when he played that awful song called Ramta Jogi on a loop, I didn’t ask him to stop. Anyway, he kept talking about politics and Yogi Adityanath and appeared to be an extremist in nature. When I sat there, prisoned inside the cutting cape, his cold sharp steely scissors grazing at the back of my skull, he asked me if I supported Yogi Adityanath. There was a danger in his voice, a threat which he tried to conceal, but which permeated through anyway.

I did a few calculations. I thought about imparting in him a bureaucratic approach, however, when you’re immobile with a shrap object hovering over your head, you don’t act like the nuns of the high Septon. So I told him what he wanted to hear. I told him everybody was evil out there, and how Owaisi was actually a messiah, and it should have been a mosque there, and all that bullshit and then he smiled and asked me what kind of hair I would like to keep. 

“Trim it. Use trimmer number 4. Roll along the sides till midway. Cut the rest till 3.4 inches with scissors. Go easy on bangs. And of course, take care of the sideburns. “I elaborated. “And please change the song. ”

He nodded, switched the channel to Zakir Naik’s preaching, and then went on with the job. When he was finished my hair looked exactly like the one done by the dope at B S Parlour. I think barbers have a code. 

“60 rupees. “He said. 

“Inflation? “I asked. 

“Yes. “He said. 

My Mother Goes on a Holiday. ๐Ÿ˜ก๐Ÿ˜ ๐Ÿ˜ญ

When life wreaks havoc…

I woke up with a wince, drenched in my own sweat. My body ached like I’d been used as a doormat. My stomach burned like the insides of Nyiragongo. Had the fan went off, I’d have melted in a second. I crawled out, famished and exhausted, and trudged around like an old elephant. I searched for food. There was none. I searched for my mother. There was none. I was starving, and so I yelled out for her. No response. I whatsapped her – Where Are You? 

On a holiday ๐Ÿ˜Ž – came her reply, and I felt like crying….

It was 8:18 pm. We were glued to our seats, watching India cruise towards victory in the last league match against South Africa. My mother was frying Okras in the kitchen.

“Hey, could you knead the dough? “She asked my father. He pretended as if he had been deaf for the last fifty ears, and then my mother turned to me.

“I’m on a holiday. “I shrugged my shoulders. My mother stared at me as if it was a lame excuse.

“Okay. Would you at least peel and chop onions? “She tried again. 

“I’m on a holiday. “I said. “I’m supposed to enjoy. Watch green people lose in cricket matches, eat delicious food, and get pampered. ”

My mother gave me a dirty look, as if to convey men are assholes. Twenty minutes later, she yelled,

“Here’s your food. ”

“I’m on a holiday, Maa!! Oh wait! Yeah, comin. ”

And the very next day, she’s off to Rajgir, watching lush green hills and Tumtums and Bengali signboards and whatnot. And here I am, gnawing this four day old bread after peeling the fungus, and googling Top 10 Bear Grylls survival tips. I have no idea where my father is but if he’s out eating in a posh restaurant I’d charge him with Child Neglect. 

I couldn’t believe my mother was gone. I mean you got to be kidding, right!? Who takes holidays! Okay, my case is different, okay. ๐Ÿ˜‘


I chewed 4 breads in total and then I felt like a celibate monk who’s shed all desires and tastes and is naked and dying and happy about it. I fiddled with my phone for a while, thinking about the perks of my-mother-on-a-holiday. Yeah, I could draw naked ladies, but that apart, I could see no remarkable advantages of her absence. I texted her if she’s planning to come back or what. She sent me an audio clip and texted,

“Why would I ever think of coming back when it’s so much fun here? Listen to the clip, baby. ”

I downloaded the clip. It was some Bengali poetry, and people clamouring and laughing in the background. Perhaps she was in some poet show. I never knew my mother had a taste for Bengali poetry. I don’t know anything about my mother. ๐Ÿ˜ท

What the fuck is that? – I typed, and then erased ‘fuck’ and replaced it with ‘hell’ and then erased ‘the hell’ and sent the rest. 

“Poetry. The wonder of the worlds. “She wrote. She was getting poetic herself. 

My father arrived home at mid noon and asked if I had eaten something. 

“There’s nothing to eat. “I grumbled, and then he showed me the things I could eat and I could cook and what the hell, who keeps snacks inside a barrel and why the hell is the pack of biscuits buried beneath Bay Leaves and Cinnamon and Patanjali scrubs. 

“When you were a kid you used to sneak everything edible. So we started hiding them, because there were other mouths to feed. “My father said. Yes, I remember waking up at midnight, climbing shelf after shelf and pulling cookies from the jar without a drop. I’d eat most of them, hand the rest to my brother and when my mother found out the next day, we would pretend they disappeared on their own. My brother was a scrawny thing, so no one believed he ate anything at all, so I was labelled the Scooby Doo of the house. 

“Okkkkay. “I said. 

My father prepared the dinner. It was Rice, dal and potato. For flavour he asked me to grab some pickles from the jar. And some curd. For supper, we had chutney and fat pita Rotis and when my father asked me to grab pickles for flavour, it was awful. 

This has been in the menu for the last four days now. Not even a hint of change. My father throws everything in the pan in the precise, calculated, measured amount and prepares the exact same food everyday. I wonder why he is not helping scientists in preparing clones. 

That apart, this is awful. Men are awful. They suck at talking. They suck at displaying emotions. They suck at being stupid. My mother would be dancing around, bitching about the neighbours, talking about her latest craze, going nuts over tiniest mistakes, reading stupid jokes from whatsapp, making weird faces when doing nothing, complaining about her old age and wishing she had more money. Then she would say she is dying soon and so employ each of us in the task of massaging her head and palms. She is a whole entertainment package, I tell you. Without her, here we are, my father asking if the water was delivered on time and me asking if the dinner is cooked yet. The most interesting conversation we had so far was related to sharpening of scissors. 

I called her a few times, and she was always in some concert or show, living her holidays in bliss.

“Child, I am on a holiday. “She said, “you eat delicious food and get pampered when you are on a holiday. You don’t think about ending it. “She said. 

I frowned for a while and then went on to peel onions so that my father could prepare the chutney for supper.