Review of Cobalt Blue by Sachin Kundalkar translated by Jerry Pinto

This is the first gay love story I have read. This translation of the Marathi book by Sachin Kundalkar by Jerry Pinto was highly recommended by one of the book clubs I had been too.

I was curious how a Marathi author would be talking about a taboo subject like gay love. I tried to write about gay love, but I just froze. I couldn’t write, it was block.

Sorry about the digression. Cobalt Blue is one of the most beautiful love stories one can read. If your child asks too many question about LGBT and stuff and you freeze, this is the book to give the child.

LGBT iS such a buzz word nowadays. But we really don’t know what is gay love. This book is the most sensitive portrayal of gay love. If you are a person who easily cries, than this book will make you cry a lot. I didn’t cry, but it can take you there.

The sex scenes are not there if you think it would be crude, a couple of intimate scenes are beautifully described. I am in complete awe of Sachin Kundalkar for writing such a brilliant story. What is more commendable is that the author was 22 when he wrote this book.

The book is a short read. So go ahead pick this up. If you are disappointed I will refund you.

Amazon link

Newsletter 3

I have not been able to write much. I want to be consistent with this weekly newsletter. So I have marked creating this newsletter as a daily habit. I plan to write at least something everyday so I can be ready at the end of the week with the newsletter. 

I feel there is a complete communication breakdown between me and the world at large. I need to write and put things about myself out there. Its a kind of communication when you are no longer able to communicate all that there is in phone calls , social media or WhatsApp exchanges. 

So lets begin

Last few days I have come across a new revelation about myself. To my utter disbelief, I have discovered, I am very much interested in the life of the under dog. The one who are poor, the one who have no influence. I call this poverty tourism. To explore poverty with an eye of an outside is tourism isn’t it? 

Which better place than India to discover poverty? Many foreigners come to India, looking for poor people. They go to Kolkatta since and their idea about poverty is linked with Mother Teresa. 

I am not travelling anywhere to discover poverty. Instead I bought 2 books which talk about the poor in villages and cities. These books are ‘Maid In India” by Trupti Lahiri and “The feast of Vultures – The hidden Business of Democracy in India” by Jose Joseph. 



“The feast of Vultures – The hidden Business of Democracy in India” by Jose Joseph. Usually I lose interest in a book after reading 20 percent, but I haven’t been able to put this book down. 

For anyone who wants to know what is the real India, this book is where you could start with. How Indian democracy works or rather doesn’t work. The issues of corruption and middle men is deftly handles with some super examples. 

Maid In India by Tripti Lahiri 

This is a story about how your Maids end up in your house. Tripti Lahiri has documented the journey of the maids from rural areas of Assam, West bengal, Bihar into the upper middle class house of Delhi. 


Last Mughal

This is one book I managed to finish. Dalrymple is a fascinating story teller and he has told this story well. It is a fascinating story of last Mughal emperor Zafar in the backdrop on the 1857 sepoy mutiny. 



I wrote a blogpost on Poverty Tourism. It is ironical that Laxmi doesn’t want to go with me on Poverty Tourism. Read my blogpost on poverty tourism here 

If you think you are the new age guy, you have probably fallen for the healthy eating trap. You will be caught saying stuff like “What goes in, comes out” or GIGO (garbage in, garbage out). In Bandra where I live. Salad bars and health food do amazing business. I think if you are into health food fads, you need to read this article on “Clean Foods” 

I have always wondered how restaurants business work. There are so many food places, which start and close. What are the though processes that goes in to making a decision behind a food place. This article featuring Riyaz Amlani is a good way to start your research. 

The secret of trust we build in our college and school days is because of a fundamental reason. The more you interact with a large number of people, the more chances of you having a broader set of friends. As we grow older, our friend circle shrinks, the reason is plain that we just don’t get to interact with lot of people. Read this excellent article on “TRUST” 


Recently I was invited to NM college to give a couple of guest lectures. I spoke about SEO and My Entrepreneurship journey and a bit on what do expect for future. I even created a website for the talk, check it here . 

The only events I seem to attending right now are book launches. I attended 2 last week. One was by a debut author Isha Inamdar and the second was by a seasoned marketing guy called Devasis. Devasis seems to know quite a lot about Bar dancers. Though the book is a fiction he has been researching on bar dancers for last 10 years. The panelists were very interesting too. The Book is called “without prejudice”. 



I have been using Apple Music intermittently. Though its pretty good, I don’t think its great. But then I thought I will give Spotify a spin, only problem was its not available in India. So I got myself a free 14 day VPN trial with Cloak

The interface is very cool, better than apple music. Go take a spin? 

Here are some of favourite music links 

1) Let me down

2) One more cup of Coffee 

3) Flying on the ground

Lets go on a Vacation – Poverty Tourism

She asked where should we go on vacation?

She says – Check how many countries I have marked RED. There is no place I can think off for a vacation. I have been globe trotting since I was a teenager.

I said, how about some poverty tourism then? Don’t you want to experience how the poor live?
I argued – Poverty Tourism is better than all other kinds of tourism. I mean how much good food can you eat? How much luxury a Sybarite like you can indulge in?

I further argued for poverty tourism – You have never seen the drama of death when you travel to these exotic place. The poor are dying everyday. The story about death’s make the ultimate story. When life is hanging on a thin thread. We can watch it and applaud, cry , laugh.

We can disguise our selves as poor and go hungry to see how it feels not to eat. We can throw our credit card and cash in the sea and then see how it feels to be poor. We can see how it feels to not have money, when we are too sick and need to go to a doctor?

My arguments fell on her deaf ears. She said, Go ahead, do that. I will wait for you to come back, if you ever come back.

Sleep when you are sleepy and not when you are tired.

We all sleep. Some sleep less and do more and some sleep a lot but still do less. Now, I am not an expert on sleep, but recently I had this epiphany.

Let me share with you the secret of how to get sleepy when you are nearing bed time. A few weeks ago, I decided to get up and walk around my neighbourhood in the morning. When I went on these walks, I observed that I was sleepy when it was near Bed time. There were many days, I couldn’t get time for that morning walk and since I work from home. My body clock gets confused. Yes, the technical term for this is circadian rhythm.

The circadian rhythm increases the melatonin in your body and reduces the cortisol. The melatonin boost acts as the body’s Janitor, its job is to cleanse and get rid of toxins.

When you go to sleep when tired rather than sleepy, your body hasn’t produced enough melatonin. The janitor hasn’t been able to do much work of cleansing.

Lonely City, Why Loiter, Can’t get you out of my mind.


I can’t get her out of my mind is a wonderful song. There are some people, you can’t get out of your mind. I wish there was a book which would help one remove people out of your mind. The thing according to Ayn Rand is that we fall in love with people is because of their virtue. This means we fall in love with the person who is perfect, until the bubble bursts. Meditate on this line – Your flaws make you flawless. Coming back to Music here is another track by Massive Attack.. This song by Micheal Kiwanuka is beautiful.


This could make you lonely. It is our pursuit of perfection which makes us shun others and we end up all by ourselves. Yes, I am very lonely. No other author has articulated loneliness as good as Olivia Liang on Lonely City.  She has explored the lives of some prominent artists like Edward Hopper and Andy Warhol. Another Book I am reading is Why Loiter which written by 3 women authors. They go on exploring city women and their relationship with Public space. 

My First Newsletter

So, This is my first newsletter and I have zero subscribers. Never mind. Much of what we do on social media is talk to our own damn self! 

This newsletter is about what music was my ear worm in the past week. What books I am currently devouring. What are some of the articles I would like to recommend. I am not a big GIF or Meme guy. But will work on that. 


You got to follow Yooti music newsletter, she curates some awesome sounds and guess what they aren’t the commercial ones which we ordinary mortals hear all the time. I have even made a playlist on youtube of the songs she has included in her newsletter. 

My hot song for this week is Despacito, except the English part sung by Justin Beiber, the song is extremely catchy and groovy. What really got going for this song, is this viral video and this one where is really started I think. There are many more viral videos, including this soulful Indian viral video

Enough of Music, lets move to BOOKS

As per my Goodreads profile I am currently simultaneously reading 37 books. Trust me, I read all, But yes i do simultaneously read about 4 books at a time. Rest of the books are in various stages of completion. The 4 books I am devouring this week is Why Loiter , which is amazing book written by 3 Indian girls. Ofcourse there is Alvin Tofller’s Third Wave which is a difficult read so my pace is a couple of pages a week. My night time reading is Last Mughal by William Darylmple. Darylmple is an amazing story teller, one of the best. Then to learn about the noveu rich I am reading The Wealth Wallah’s 

Some Links worth checking out on the Web?

This one is my personal story and every father who got seperated from their children very well articulated by David Brook’s for NY Times. In recent times I have started hating Ted talks kind of video, again if you read this article, you might just get what I mean. I live in Hipster Bandra, so we have more poeple eating salad meals than any where else in India. The wellness epidemic in Bandra has reached epic proportions and I long for simple meals, maybe this article will drill some sense in to those health freaks. 

So long, guys!

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How to invite someone out

Does your social life suck?
Do you wish you had more friends?
Do you hate going out for a movie or a dinner alone?

Yesterday, someone complained that I had ignored her invitation to meet up last time she was in India. So I got thinking on why I avoid people.

So here is what happens?

The lady had asked me out on Twitter. The interaction was so casual, that I chose to ignore.

Another Case Study

A guy messaged me on Twitter, he is coming to India and how about catching up. I like to meet foreigners as one get’s to learn different perspective of life.

So he chooses a High end bar and I land up at the place. I fell in to a meeting trap here.

1) I wasn’t given a choice of the meeting place.
2) I didn’t know, who is going to foot the bill.
3) In case it is dutch I would have preferred to choose a less pricier place to meet.
4) I didn’t have any idea if the drinks would be followed by Dinner.

When one is in a budget mode and pinch every penny, this kind of vague invite can cause heart burn.

So I would preferred to be told

1) What is the plan?
2) What about food?
3) If it’s dutch, I need to see if our expectation and aesthetics align.
4) I love to eat cheap, but classy. (That’s a bit of a problem).

I generally don’t ask people to meet. I am too happy being a loner. I don’t really miss friends or company. But I certainly don’t like to sound rude and turn down invites all the time.

A Beautiful Monday

I slept an entire 7 hours and 45 minutes. I woke up around at 6.30 am saw the clock and decided to sleep till 8.30 am. I am usually sleeping around 3/4 hours every night on most days.

I didnt get much work done today. But it isnt bothering me, i managed to do some thinking. When i dont work, i think about work. Thinking about work is as important as working, right?

I was planning to work in the evening, after cooking. But then decided, i take the day off. I even got myself some chicken to cook.

I am not able to finish work till 12 am, but today by 10.30 pm i am all tucked up. This means i got an entire two hour to catch up on the book i am reading.

Thats the silver lining, if at the end of the day, you can spend a couple of hours with a book.

PublicDomainPictures / Pixabay

Childhood memoir of Summer Vacations in Mangalore

The school summer vacations, a good 2 months of nothing to do. Dad packed us, me, my mom, and occasionally my sister to Mangalore, where his two sisters lived. My mother’s uncle too lived close.

Dad’s extended family comprised his 2 elder sisters and their children. Each aunt had many children. In our wonderful language, we called our male cousins “Bhavji” and our female cousins as “Vahini”.

My Cousins

The custom of spending summer vacations in Mangalore started around age five and abandoned after I grew ten years old. These five summers are the liveliest of my life. My cousins who were much older and in their youth were great fun and unique. They took me to restaurants for Gadbad ice-creams and other food, told me fascinating stories. These cousins were my childhood heroes, they could climb trees and get me fresh coconut water. They could jump from a floor or more, and they climbed into well’s if a cricket ball fell into it.

The Food

Though both aunt’s and my mothers uncle lived around Mangalore, the character of the food varied. At the aunt who lived in Mangalore city there used to lot of fish for lunches and mangoes and jackfruits to eat for deserts. With the aunt in “Puthige” (a village near Mangalore) there used be lot dosa and chutney and a wonderful homemade pickle which tasted divine with watered rice. When we reached at my mothers uncle place in Polali, we got treated to a huge watermelon fresh from the fields. My mother’s uncle then caught a chicken roaming around freely in his house front-yard and screwed it’s neck. The half dead chicken is then dispatched to the ladies for cooking. Thin Rice wafers (called as Roti) is usual accompaniment with the chicken curry.

Toilet Matters

But there were troubles too, the greatest issue for a city slicker, was the lack of toilets inside the house. Being a shy child and not keen on being led by an elder to the field for my daily defecation. Most of the times a girl cousin escorted me into the open, who I accused of sneaking in to see my behind. Open defecation in the field tormented me, even though now I consider it as an extravagance. Later the aunts got into a rat race to get the first toilet built. The city aunt won. The game plan for the aunts was whoever builds an indoor toilet’s will make us city slicker more comfortable and hence get more time at their place. More time, means more ability to influence. I don’t think it worked, my mom spent extra stay time with the family who provided her the intoxicant of choice.


Both my aunts (fathers sister) houses were as different as apples & oranges. The elder aunt’s house had 2 or 3 other houses in front of them with a center courtyard. There was a beautiful temple in the courtyard where every evening all the residents of that houses sang aarti’s (devotional songs). This typical village house surrounded by paddy fields and coconut tress looked idyllic.

The city aunt’s house was on a hill. It had a narrow un-motorable approach road. We left the rickshaw down the main road and walked to the house. The front yard of the house had fruit trees like jackfruit, mangoes. I recall the big Jackfruit tree right in front of the house where we would put up chairs and sit. The back gate of the house led to barren hill where a solitude cashew tree stood. We ate those cashew fruits sometime.

Work and Education

Most the girls in the neighbours houses of the village aunt, used to make “bidi’s” – (an Indian cigarette without filter) and sell it to the local manufacturer for cash. It helped them support the household. The marked difference between the village aunt and the city aunt was that some of the children of the city aunt studied to become graduates. The less educated cousins moved to Bombay to earn and support the family back home. A few of them worked with my father in the factory.


The older aunt was the like Queen bee, she made sure, they was money to feed all the mouths. She did a good job to push her relatives to work. The younger aunt aptly named “Sundari” (‘O’ beautiful) was more talkative and extrovert. She educated her kids and took pride in their success.

Relationships outgrowing in time

My father got divorced and re-married. The vacations to Mangalore stopped.

Disclaimer – My memory is rather bad, maybe I got stuff here wrong. 

The Story of my Gut – Part One

I am 20 and in my second year engineering. Exams were on the brink, and I endured first gut problems. Not being equipped for important occasions of life is my USP. I wanted to become an Engineer, without the hard work.

Inside the messy brain of a 20-year-old, there was no time to study. I couldn’t eat and when I needed the energy, my gut betrayed me!!

This is the start of my problems with the gut. I researched on gut issues. This is what I found out.

When the brain is stressed, it needs energy, and it borrows this energy from the gut. The gut sacrifices the energy which it needs to digest. The brain tricks the Gut into False Signals of stress, creating a cycle of sustained indigestion issues.


I flunked maths and other subjects. During non-exams period, the gut didn’t trouble so much.
The 2nd gut incident happened when I was to get married.

continued in Part 2….

Eaves dropping on my Uber pool co-riders.

It is a long ride to Powai considering the Friday evening. I carried my iPad and my 500 GB hard-drive to binge on videos.

As soon I got into the cab, I tried connecting to the wireless drive. Something has gone wrong. Meanwhile, the driver is fetching the other co-passengers.

Young Girls

So here come 2 young girls, they ask me if I could shift in the front seat? I cringed at being displaced from my comfort zone, but they looked thick friends and I didn’t get in the way.

The Conversation

I got interested in fun talks the girls were having and listened. One liked music and was playing English songs while the other girl wanted to listen to Hindi. They were best friends and had affiliation with Hyderabad. One was trying to talk about her ex’s and her current relationship but the younger girl kept changing the topic to music or crack a funny joke.

One had a nice husky and seductive voice while the younger one as the older one said was “besuri” (one who cannot sing in tune).

They read the WhatsApp a guy sent them ” Baby you are so HOT, I blame you for global warming.” I found the message funny and wondered if I should send it to a crush, but disposed off the idea.

The girls used the “F” word a few times, and addressed each other as bitches” now and then, but the usage of such words declined over the time of the ride. Maybe it was a sub-conscious defence, in response to being in a closed enclosure with total strangers.

Bye Bye

The younger one thanked me for adjusting and apologised for the trouble. I looked at her surprised but gathered my wit soon enough, to remark “You are welcome” before she got off.


Do you take Uber pool, do you eavesdrop?

Textile Bobbins

I was on my vacations, had given my 12th standard board exams. So with nothing to do, I went to dad’s factory.

I wanted to be an industrialist like him. Dad suggested I go and work on the factory floor. The lower section was the moulding section, and the first floor was the textile bobbin’s section.

I preferred the first floor. The moulding section was too hot (literally) for me to handle. I preferred the lathes and drills in the textile bobbin’s section.

Furthermore, the people in textile bobbin’s section were a little more refined. They could talk to me, and we used to chat in between work. The moulding section had crude workers who were not so good at holding a conversation.

I hated Ratnagiri then, where the factory was, now after 30 years, I am nostalgic. I yearn for that place. The silence in the small town of Ratnagiri used to frustrate me. Now I feel like I should retire there.

Things change as you grow older. I miss the people from that place. A big price to pay for hating the place that it comes back into your memories and haunts you like a long-lost love.


The place where I grew up, a place where I held my dad’s finger, and we would go about walking the busy markets. I would absorb the sights and the sound, while people would almost give him a salute.

I asked Dad, why do they salute you, he would say, some people think he is in the police. Dad was broad built and well over 6 feet tall, so I didn’t find that hard to believe then.

I loved the fact that he would get so much respect on the streets, and looking back at my life now when I walk the streets, people must be thinking what a loser this guy is? I mean these people don’t even know me. However, I don’t have that charismatic commanding presence which demands awe.

Goregaon, I was there today, had some work. After work, I reached the station on the west side, the memory of dad and me walking came back, I am holding his hand, I, being so much tired to climb those stairs to the bridge, and I would tell him, I am tired. Nevertheless, he kept walking, and I tried to pace up.

We did most of our shopping on the East side, like the fish and the vegetables. However, our lady doctor was on the west side. I wanted to find the doctor; I walked there, but seems there is now a tall building, couldn’t find her clinic.

Goregaon has changed and those sheltered days of holding my dads hand and walking will never come back. My heart was heavy at the loss of this larger than life person (Dad) , maybe if I had got mother’s love; I wouldn’t have made my Dad into so much of a hero. However, dad has to bear the brunt of hero worship, cause, there wasn’t any mother figure to hero worship or hold my hand and walk me around.

wondermar / Pixabay

The sweet street child and the lost mother.

The child was not more than 6. He was looking at me repeatedly with hope. I wanted to take out something from my bag and give him something. But then I realised; I don’t have anything in my bag, not even a pen to offer.

I looked at his mother; she looked a bit disturbed. Someone who chose her dream but kept returning empty handed. I realised, if I offered anything to the child, the mother might accuse me of something and try to extort money. She looked that kind of lost, like a drug addict. She didn’t seem to be an addict, but she had the lost look.

The street boy approached the older man sitting next to me on the park bench. The elderly man tells the that he has some goodies in his bag, incidentally the old man knew the boy and his mother. The sweet kid got his stuff and thanked and backed off looking at me. I wondered why is he trying to please me?

The old man started talking to me, saying the mother is spoiling the child’s life. He says he tried to fix a job for the mother, but she prefers to roam around and doesn’t like her freedom to be curtailed, by a job.

The old man said, once a life goes off track it’s next to impossible to get life on tracks, suddenly I felt an eerie similarity between myself and the woman. I also don’t like to be tied down. The mother had left her husband for another man, he said. However, this new man she chose also didn’t have any money. He blamed the woman for choosing the wrong man again.

I got up and said to the elderly man; I have to get moving. The elderly man didn’t understand my abrupt urge to go and not want to listen to his story about the street kid and his mom.

It’s a bit scary, getting to know completely strange people on a park bench. Maybe it’s a trap for extortion or maybe he was just sharing his story. But mumbai you cannot trust totally.

Vitalii Shmorgun / 500px

Dealing with Insomnia

So I write this post earlier proudly boasting about how I sleep late and do with less sleep to do more.

At the moment I am not so proud of the earlier blog post cause, I have learnt some more lessons currently.

This is is what I have learnt!

The reason why we can’t fall asleep I have gathered is because, after dancing on others tunes/demands during the day, the only time we get for ourselves is after everyone who has been demanding on us, are tired and retired to bed peacefully.

While people who demand the hell out of you during the day are peacefully sleeping, you find yourselves awake as an owl, thinking what the F… is wrong with you. Why can’t you sleep? You dream about a good life with eyes open. Your mind is conflicted between the choices or lack of choices you have. It becomes a viscous cycle, the more you try to sleep, the more you cannot. Sleep happens in a state of effortlessness.

Now, if you are insomniac, you need to take control over your life, and see why people are demanding of you, aren’t you capable of doing what you need to do. Are people exploiting you? it’s all about loving yourself and standing up to people for your health and wellbeing.

I block off people who demand from me and interrupt my thought process, when I want to give myself a lot of time to think I am able to to do of most days, but some days people take over you.

Furthermore, one needs to block friends who try to talk to you late at night, they might be facing the same issues, no time for themselves during the day, and they are besides habitual insomniacs. So you and your friend instead of helping each other to get a healthier sleep end up aggravating the situation.

Some other tips

if you are too hungry before sleep or have had an heavy meal, you won’t be able to sleep. One needs to set the circadian rhythm right, by making sure you go out for a walk before 9am.


p dir=”ltr”>I usually go out the house around 8.30 am to get my poha and cutting chai. This helps me.

One of the most important things to remember is reading is the best sleeping pill. The sense of comfort I feel, reading my kindle before going to sleep is nourishing my soul and mind.

Another common sense avoid the white (blue) light of your mobile phone once the lights are out. It can be mess stuff up.

AmberAvalona / Pixabay

Why I quit Tinder and how it made me hate standup comedians

Now how could tinder make a person hate standup comedian? Read below and see how these two tnings are connected in my life.

I have been single for like 25 years; I mean at least it feels that way. So after much deliberation I downloaded the Tinder app. I felt shy, as I felt I was much too old to be on tinder.

I put my ugly picture on it, and started swiping. It like a visual candy store, the app feels like some kind of game, where you swipe left and right.

However, I wasn’t getting lucky and for a long time, and then I got two matches. One woman was a globe trotter, and I had severe inferiority complex seeing her having the time of her life, that I stopped talking to her.

The other woman turned out to be a standup comedian. I felt standup comics were extremely smart and quick witted, as I felt humour is available only to the most clever.

We exchanged numbers right away, and started taking. I shared things about my life journey so far, and she shared her journey. I asked her about her life as a standup. She wryly said she had done an online course with an American Standup comedian for a fee and it was a good way to make money nowadays. I was a tad disappointed; I thought people were born funny to become a standup.

Even so, all I wanted from this tinder match was tender conversation, some empathy, some affection, I just wanted someone to call me up and ask how am I doing.I didn’t want to meet her, as I didn’t find her attractive, but I thought maybe I would like her eventually.

However, she turned to being extremely practical, she told me, my life was highly complicated, she said, she wouldn’t like to get involved in a person like this. How could she reject me when I didn’t even wish to date her or had any interest in her. I felt I was hit by speeding truck.

Nevertheless, this was enough for me to delete the Tinder app, and my disdain for standup comedians has just grown since this.

Betrayal dynamics

Yesterday I had an epiphany. I have a crazy paranoia of betrayal.

Betrayal is just about the person who tells you, that he/she loves you, actually loves someone more than you. It’s a subtle change and sometime sudden change of attention dynamics.

You were the apple of your mom’s eye, and then suddenly a baby is born in the family. You feel betrayed. Now is it your moms fault that the baby is adorable?

Adultery, is a kind of similar betrayal. Well, now he/she finds someone cuter and more loving than you. Simple as it may sound. I am just not able to handle this betrayal.

So I put up a condition, if you are going to betray me, tell me about it. In this way, I just don’t get taken up by a nasty unpleasant surprise.

There are some people who will leave the sinking boat, but I want them to sink with me. This is crazier than the titanic gets. So I am a difficult man…

I went to the Astrologer Rant.

The day and time we are born gives the astrologer the computer programme code of our life. The astrologer cannot alter it, but he can read it. The programmer is some super human being, simulating our life.

We humans are using the astrologer to decode this code. We don’t want to live by his programme, we have a free will, which again is programme by HIM to make us believe the same .

So believing we can alter the programme by conspiring with our astrologer. The problem is the astrologer is also a human programmed by the super human to deceive us.. The code is also known as the natural laws of this universe.

The ultimate frustration is that some super powerful person can control us and make us do things. How do I hack this code and turn the tables around, so I can reverse programme and control this super human?

miradeshazer / Pixabay

Rewiring of the Brain – End of Relationships

She was never on my mind, but she was all over my life. My day started with her and it would end with her. Right from the walks to all the talks, this was not love, but companionship.

But companionship without love, how would it last? Is it convenience – “like what will I do with all the free time? I will go crazy. “

But it has it merits, it boosts your confidence and the companionship is good for health. It increases your appetite. You could travel as lovers and friends, without connecting and knowing each other.

Then it snapped. Something went wrong, like the brain got rewired over-night. Was the relationship so immaterial that I could wake up and walk away, dusting my hand’s off? Yes, I did it. It was never about me, I was an character in a play. I knew this was not real, it was acting.

But what about those in-convenient messy relationships? Those relationships you cant dust your hand’s off? Those messy relationships, you wonder if its on or off ?

These inconvenient relationship are like some road worker, sledge hammering your brain to create new neural pathways. You scream and plead, there is enough mess in my life, I don’t need a new one. You tell yourself, you have done it in the past, you could wake up one day without any residual feelings and walk away.
But these messy relationships start defining you. It becomes part of your identity, a digital signature hardwired in your memory.


p dir=”auto”>This stranglehold of the brain is of the heart. The heart likes messy, it like to bleed and weep and despair. It likes to cheat and feel guilty. It wants to forgive and start again.

We let our hearts take over our brain, the brain wants change, the heart wants permanency. We want relationships which would last and wouldn’t be easy to get out of.

Growing up with Booze – Drunk Diaries

Junior College –

I must be 18; its New Years Eve may 1990.

My friend Prem has invited me to his house party with his fellow friends. Prem lives in Jogeshwari just behind Ismail Yusuf College; he has rowdy friends. Rowdy is an understatement, one of the guys in the party is a tadi-paar gangster, he has several murder cases on him.
This kind of party is unique to me, before this, I must have spent most of my NYE party at home with family.
There is endless booze, every kind of alcoholic drinks are available. We are all sitting in Prem’s small living room with about 25 young guys who want to boast about their drinking prowess and their Bhai Giri status and which girl they are pursuing or harassing. I feel like not part of the crowd, but the crowd is happy to indulge me, I feel I am being forgiven and accepted for not being like them, they appreciate my courage of being there as Prem’s college friend.
The tadi paar gangster a thin guy (most popular guy in the party), sweet talks non-challantly about his nefarious activities. The bunch were too rowdy for me, my ego is hurt, because I am overwhelmed, and there is nothing I could do to impress these guys. So I shut my mouth and keep drinking the rum or vodka so that I could gather maybe a fraction of their badassery. I miserably fail, I cannot even say “madar.. behen..” I am so fuck*ing pious.
I keep drinking, and just resolve to be a good listener. I am dead drunk and don’t know what happened next and how I reached home.

Engineering College –

New Years Eve – 1993 –

I am invited to a New Years Eve with my engineering college friends, they are badass but in a studios way, they drink, they are smokers, but they don’t do drugs. I again don’t feel part of them; I am just not good at my studies like them. They all think I am a zombie, but they put up with me, I don’t have any emotional connect with them, other than Vaibhav, who I lend money for his bus tickets on and off.

Again, I have nothing to say here, that makes me frustrated, they are all competing on finishing that dreaded whisky called “green label”. I too join the game, I know, my body doesn’t puke till five pegs.
It is about 3 am, everyone has started vomiting except me, the entire apartment is full of vomit, the basins are choked up, I know, I can’t go home, everyone has puked up, and gone to sleep by 4 am, I trying to sleep in whatever dry area is there.

A trip to Ratnagiri with a friend.

Maybe 1993/94 –

Nikhil has an immense passion for life, he has so many dreams, on the contrary for me, I didnt know what the fuck I am doing in this world. Nikhil was a complete antithesis of my personality. Nikhil was aggressive, passionate and immensely curious about all the right things in life including booze.
He enthusiastically joins me on one of my trips to my parent’s house in Ratnagiri. I am quite happy, as I just don’t relate to any of the people of my age in Ratnagiri. Nikhil is somehow able to communicate with me, and we sync. He is not judgemental and doesn’t think of me as a Zombie (like others do), I feel accepted, and I am ready to accept him as a friend.

On our last day before leaving back to mumbai, we make up a last minute plan to drink ourselves to our brain. I am driving, we pick up booze, and head out to the most scenic place in Ratnagiri which is a cliff, we park our car and watch the ocean. It must be around 4 pm. By the time it is 6, we realise we are out of booze. I mean about six strong beers and a couple of small bottles of whisky were not enough for us youngsters.
We drive down back to the wine shop, and buy more booze, we drive up to the hill and drink the rest of the stuff. I am wondering if I can drive back home, about three km away, without an accident. But I don’t have much of choice, I cannot leave the car, and we won’t get a bus to get back home, I manage the drive back home without killing anyone.


p dir=”ltr”>We reach home and are both taking turns vomiting our gut out; we are in no mood to have dinner. But Dad insists saying mum, would feel hurt if we don’t have dinner. We force the dinner down our throats; dad drives us to the bus stand, and we set out to Mumbai.

We puke more in the bus, and reach Mumbai, still dazed and not sober.