Monday, December 17, 2007

Christmas, Kerala, Fate et al

This is supposed to be the most literate state in the country. This is also the state where every kid is expected to become an engineer. Then why, pray, why, does one have to travel by bus/rick or car (if one's dad is willing to be generous and give one a lift) for fifteen minutes to find a cyber cafe, that charges an atrocious 40 bucks an hour for painfully slow internet access?? One has already established that it is a cruel world that one lives in. But one wonders what one must have done in one's previous birth to warrant such a fate--that after having persuaded one's father to be generous, one travels for that aforsaid fifteen minutes, and waits in the cyber cafe for another ten minutes and then tries to open the word doc that one had saved in a cd (because one's pen drive has been busted thanks to the virus colonies that inhabit one's university computers, one finds that the painfully slow computer is refusing to read the cd for some unfathomable reason. Sigh! Now one is thoroughly depressed. When one is on a holiday, happily gainly pounds that one will later regret eating all the yummy food that one's mother is grudgingly making, that is indeed a sad state to be.

But one takes heart, and resolves not to lose faith. Instead, one is painfully re-typing the entire post, hoping one'e readers(all 3 of them) will appreciate the toil one took. So here is the thrid installment of the much popular and critically acclaimed(one does have a sense of humour) U-Know-U-Are-In-Kerala-When-series

Even after all these years, this place still doesn’t stop amusing me. Well, this time around since I am here for one long month, (which is the longest I’ve been here since I left Kerala nearly eight years back) and since I’ve done some heavy travelling, here are a few more things to add to my now pretty strong list of what makes this place a piece of work.

The previous post in the newly born trilogy here and here.

U know U are in Kerala Yet Again When...

Most new houses will be painted in varying shades of peach on the outside. I’m not sure if there is a scientific or religious basis for this curious affinity for this particular colour. Or is it just that they think it matches with the fake tiles painted on the roof? Older houses still experimented with double colours-yellow and green, yellow and blue, yellow and brown. Equally funny is the way they use those one sided mirrors for the windows that face the front of the house. The point being??

While we are on the subject of paint and houses, people do not believe in re-painting the house since its construction and the moving in, no matter how many rains fall since. The only reason someone will give their weather-beaten walls a new coat of paint is when they are planning to sell, or when there’s a marriage scheduled in the house. To be sure, when we visited some relatives recently, my uncle saw the newly painted walls and exclaimed, “Wonder why they got the house painted, I thought all his children were married!”

Largest and the most frequent billboards on the road are of two categories: silk saree showrooms (Kalyan Silks, Asia’s largest silk saree showroom!) or gold jewellery (Allapad, house of gold, or Bhima gold, Pure Gold!).

You don’t see a single woman who’s attire will have even a hint of nonchalance or carelessness. Mallu women do not, just do not know what it is to dress casually. Their sarees will be all draped with sever neatness, the pallu pleated and pinned up. No casually throwing their duppattas for them, even that will be neatly folded and pinned up. (I cannot for the life of me manage a duppatta with half the primness and ease that these girls manage, and I hate pinning it all up, ‘cause I end up tearing it, so I’m all awe!)

There are no roads. Mostly they are potholes strung together with some tar. Even the most used, and big ones are at best a jigsaw of patch work strung together. Considering it’s a state that prefers road over rail any day, wonder why the roads are not any better. Not that good roads do not exist. They do, till the next monsoon.

You realise that the traffic authorities and the PWD are not only extremely concerned about your safety on the road, but also have a sense of humour. And thus are born the extremely entertaining words of friendly warning on the road-side signboards. The good old, “Speed thrills but kills” and “Don’t drink and drive” are passé, they are now making way for new age entertainment, for instance, “Overtakers beware of undertakers” “Better to be late than be the late”. My favourite? “Speed has five letters. So has death.” I kid you not, this was an actual signboard by the road. I’m sure most of these accidents happen because the drivers were banging their head on the steering wheel with laughter and hence didn’t see the bus coming right at them! Seriously!!

For some unfathomable reason there are HUGE furniture “Showrooms” (I think after coconut and umbrella, “showroom” is the most favourite word of Malayalees) on the highway. On our way back from Thrichur to Kottayam, we drove for over an hour looking for a decent place to eat (meaning a place that actually serves food, and not beer, and some chow to go with it). We had tough luck finding a restaurant, but saw nearly 4 furniture shops. How they expect to break even, let alone make profit in the middle of nowhere be way beyond my meagre understanding of the Malayalee psyche.

You ask for directions on the road and you get not only the accurate directions, but also how many kilometers away the place is, and how long it will take you to get there given your driving skills! Honestly, you don't need road signs, people are quit enough.

With that, I think I'm going to give this series a rest. I've never really been good with list anyways. The good folks at Merc think that lists are a desperate effort by humans to make order out of chaos. Since I've always made desperate efforts to keep any sembelence of order OUT of my life, I think its good. So, hope you enjoy this last edition of this trilogy.

Toodles, and Merry Christmas folks!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

For the Sheer Non-Dual Joy of Non-Sense

I feel compelled to write. I dunno if this the call from the higher order random crappiness or sheer lack of sleep, I feel this annoying itch to write.

Readers kindly note, that the itch is to write. NOT to make sense. So if you are expecting profoundness here, thou art to be grossly dissappointed and annoyingly bored.

I feel I need to make a case for being zonked. It's a good state of being. I mean, you can walk around bumping into radom stuff that pops up on the road, like trees for instance, and not feel stupid. When you've been running on coffee and denial for two weeks, that's a darn good state of being.

Now I feel accomplished that I managed to write five lines of absolute non-sense. You may now move to find worthier stuff to waste your time with.

The itch, my friend, now stands scratched.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Love in the Time of Assignment

I never thought this could happen to me! I mean, I was the kind of person who always said that I don’t have time for love, I was busy, always busy, with college, with work, with life. But now…I don’t know anymore. Things seemed to have changed. I seem to have changed.

I’m more busy that I ever have been. Assignments are piling up, tests are menacingly flexing their jaws around the corner. Eliot has come back from the dead to haunt me. But do I care? All I can think of is…no I cannot even bring myself to say the name. I sit down in front of the computer to work on my assignment. Five minutes into it, my mind wanders off. My palms become all sweaty just at the thought of it. I become nervous, jittery just thinking about it. When I cannot be with my love, I’m desperate, everything seems so…so…inconsequential. It doesn’t matter that there are assignments to be done, papers to be written…

My roommate is not too happy about it. She cannot believe that such a career oriented, serious girl like me can be so frivolously in love. She says she won’t let me ruin my life on such few moments of meaningless passion. It’s just a temporary phase she says. I’ll get over it soon, and then I will regret all the time I wasted in this illusion called love.

I admit that I cannot believe it either. It’s not love, it’s become an obsession now. I wait till my roommate is out of sight to seek a look, just one look. Then my heart aches for more. I know it’s hopeless, it was not like the beginning. I’ve reached the advanced levels now, I will lose this game. But still…what if? Last time, just one last time I tell myself. I will get back to that paper…one minute won’t hurt. Then it leads to another…and another. Till my roommate comes back, catches me at it again.

“Are you playing that stupid Mine Sweeper again??? I can’t believe you are wasting your time on such a frivolous thing crumbs, don’t you have a ton of work to do?? I should just get that thing removed from the laptop all together. I catch you at it again, and I swear I will”

Sigh! The cruel, cruel world! It never understood love. Never will. Again. Sigh.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Blogs Won't Change the World...So They Said

I just realized that I've been blogging for more than two years now. Which reminds me, Happy Belated Birthday Blog! :)

I remember that extremely bored day in college, when I finally decided to give in, and get me a blog. I say give in, because I had adamantly refused to get one at the time, when it seemed like a fashionable thing to do. The page 3 and the intellectual junkies of our class, suddenly seem to have waken up to this new cool thing to do. Blogging was "in". But me, being the wannabe rebel, refused to get myself one, and the reason I gave myself was that it is something that only those people do, who either have loads of time in their hands, or loads of stuff in their head to clear up. I, don't have the time. Or so I tried to convince myself.

But come September, that pretty much changed. I was jobless, and bored out of my skull. All my friends seemed busy sorting out the messes in their life, and none of them particularly expressed a wish to solicit my help. (ah! now I feel like a wannabe broke writer) So well, the point is, I was had plenty of time, and nothing to do in it.

And thus was born this blog. And so far, its been a good experiment. I like the idea of having the freedom of writing what I want, when I want it. I like the fact that a few (just a few!!) people read what I write, and the fact, that even when they are nameless, faceless, I can still know something about them, they can talk to me, and I, to them. It's a nice feeling.

I made a few good friends; I met, in some sense of the word, a lot of interesting people. I love the serendipity of following a random link in a random blog, and then suddenly finding myself face to face, with what feels like a long lost friend. When I read something someone was posted, and think, "Shit! This looks like she/he is feeling what I felt, thinking what I thought!." When I see someone else's blog, I say, " Hey! This feels like me!"

It amazing, how people can share so much in space where anyone can read them. And, honestly most of them, no, most of us, are not really trying to channel what we can't tell people on the face. I remember this huge row a friend of mine had with this guy, about this. "You can't tell me so you out it on the blog" blah. But the truth is hardly that. Most, I realized have an audience who know their identity, who know where they come from. But still its easier to talk here, than talk to someone in person.

I've had endless debates with a very dear friend who firmly insists that blogs will not change the world. I'm not saying they will. Or that they will be the avant gard soldiers to bring in the revolution that makes this a better place, but then blogs have changed the way the world sees, and the way the world speaks. Millions of people who would never have ever said a thing now have a voice--maybe not a very loud one, but then it still is better than screaming to silence.

Blogs are democracy in its true form--a platform where everyone HAS a chance to speak. How loud you are, and how much you are heard depends on what you have to say, and how you say it. Yes, large part of it is just Pinto, Chinto and Bunty explaining why they prefer to their eggs scrambled and not boiled, but then fact is that if Pinto, Chinto and Bunty choose one day to speak about cruelty to animals, they can. And they will be heard. And that's why, blogs will change the world.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007


A journey back to what I thought I left behind. Almost dawn. Cold. Dark. Unfamiliar station. Yet, the comfort of being close. Trust, that you will be home. And then a familiar voice, concerned, caring. Familiar face. Then that familiar hug. And the warm feeling inside.

The same old jokes, the same old feeling...of knowing, of being a part of a whole. Squeals of delight at the sight of old friends, old past in the new present. My comfort zone.

There is something about can never forget them. You may not remember, not consciously at least. But they are always lurking in some dark corner of your memory. You take one unconscious turn, and they spring up in front you. You smile in recognition, and at the happy realisation that memories will soon follow.

Places. Sights. People. Smiles. Touch. Warmth. Joy. Exhilaration that nothing has changed. Nothing can possibly change in just two months, after all. Was is just two months?

It is nice to know that you belong. Someplace. To someone. Just as they belong to you.

A journey back. After a night spent shivering in the train, I step into the pleasantly warm morning to auto wallas who do not try fleece you. Still, trust is just not there. Relief, yes. But trust? Places, sights, roads, that are only distant acquaintances. Gates, that were not waiting, open for me.

Voices. Smiles. And a hug...not familiar, but still warm. I step into my room. On my messy bed, that sags so much that it's almost a hammock, is my brand new university tee-shirt. My roomie tells me that all of them have got it too. We are official tee-wearing part of this small cozy community.

As I listen to my roomie's happy chatter about the weekend's fun, of now familiar quirks of the now familiar friends, and the you-should-have-been-there-you-missed-so-muchs...I smile. Circles may not be too much fun, but they are a part of life.

This will be home too. Yet.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Return of the Original Chauvinist

Chupulu. Stares. When I first read this poem as a part of the prescribed texts for my paper on Indian Writing, it didn't sound spectacular or even forceful. Among the more illustrius names like Kamala Suriya (erstwhile Das) and A.K Ramanujam, this comparitively little known Telugu poet talking about the offensive stares she fights every day, seemed just ordinary.

Not now. It's been a month that I moved to Hyderabad (Secunderabad, if you are a sucker for details). I now understand, perfectly, what that poem was all about. Now that I've walked on the streets, and travelled on the buses of Hyderabad, I know what it is to be stared at, rather, stared down at. "Being stripped with your eyes" is not a hyperbole anymore.

Hyderabad is considered one of the safest cities in India. It really is. My seniors tell me that they can go out partying, can return drunk at insane hours in the night, and not fear a thing. I've not heard horror stories of molestation, of people trying to feel you up in a crowded bus. They just stare. A stare that is much more than just lecherous. Girls here, need to learn to be demure. Or be just the responsible working homemaker types-who wake up at crack of the dawn, prepare breakfast and lunch for the entire household, runs to office, finishes her respectable 9-6 job, comes back to cook and clean some more. And at the end of the month, dutifully give their salary to their husband/father.

A bunch of girls going for a movie, in a non-multiplex: not good. A bunch of girls going out for lunch, and actually ORDERING their food, even with guys sitting with them: bad. Two girls going alone to pick up another at Secunderabad railway station, and THEN refusing a coolie, and carrying the luggage between them instead: BLASPHEMY.

It's not criminal. To stare. It's annoying, to be stared at. And it makes your blood boil. Chauvinism at its best. "Women are better of two steps away from the stove" attitude. The worst is, there is little you can do to fight, except stare back. Afterall, you cannot put a person in jail for just looking.

And it is not just the men. Women are equally bad. No their stares are not lecherous, but more accusatory, "the don't-you-know-your-proper-place" kind of look. I have not made up my mind about which is worse.

Me and Vidi were on our way to Hi-tech city. I had no change with me for the bus, so at the Secunderabad bus station we walked into the magazine shop. There was a lady at the counter, and a man who I presumed was her husband, standing on the other side of the counter. I asked for Reader's Digest, she looked at the man, who shakes his head. "Reader's Digest nahi hai ma" she says. "The Week"? Look, head shakes, a negetive. "India Today?" Same drill. Exasperated, I looked at the man directly and asked, "Outlook hai kya?" He offers Outlook Money, which I didn't want. So our enterprising business woman offers, "Femina, Women's Era, Graha Shobha saab hai, woh kuch lejao!"
I just blinked. And shook my head in exasperation and walked away with Vidi giving me cheeky "why-are-you-surprised" look. And their stares followed us all the way.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Only A Surviour

I have been staring at the monitor for a while now, wondering what to write. No where to begin. There's so much that I'm itching to say. So much that's been happening. MT would have perhaps labelled this as Random Crap and be done with it. I can't somehow agree with that title, even though at the end of the it does seem an exercise in futility. Sign. It's one of those days.

More than 30 people died in the twin blasts in Hyderabad. One of the sites, Koti, is where we go to buy second hand books for cheap. We were there last week. And yes, we went to Gokul Chat too. A week ago.

I read this news report, about a victim. A man, who had taken a deture to get a snack for his wife, who had been fasting. He lost his life in that blast. I wonder how his wife will ever get over the incident. The last line of the story, quoted her saying that their son, just in the first year of his college, will now have to take up a job to support the family.

More than the man, more than the wife, I felt angry for that boy. He'd have had plans. He'd have had dreams for his life, which he now has to put on hold, probably forget about altogether. Why?

Whenever there is a blast, an act of terror, everyone harps about the victims. The pain of the survivours. And the compensation given by the government. But what are a few thousands going to do to help this boy? Unexpected death. That term makes no sense to me. When do we really ever expect to die? His father would not have planned to die that day. He'd have had obligations, liabilities. Promises made, and meant to be kept. All that now on that young boy's head. He'll learn to cope you'd say. Yes, we always do. Probably a few years from now, his proud tearful mother will say that her son grew up, and took the family's responsibility after his father unexpected death. And he'd probably smile. But will he ever forget the dreams that he buried along with his father's body? He could have been great, but now he'll only be a survivour.

Where terror wins is that it leaves a void where there was a person. It leaves a blank noice where there was laughter. Tears will dry. And people will move on. But lives will be altered. Forever. They don't take lives, they take dreams. And no Mr. Minister, you cannot compensate that with money.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007


I want to be a kid again
To pout my lips and wail
To be lifted up and consoled with reassuring promises of candy and a hug

I want to lie with my arms wide open on the grass
Feel the rain splattering on my face

I want to go jump and splash in a muddy poodle
And feel the water soak into my skin

I want to stare at the night time sky
And see the orion again

I want to stand by the shore
Waves crashing at my feet
And look for that seashell again

I want to talk the night away
And still have more to say

I want to bury my face
And feel safe again

I want to laugh at a sad joke
And cry for it again
Feel free and bound
And then free again

I want to sit by that sidewalk
And watch life passing by

I want my free fall
And I want my security blanket

I want to hold on to everything
And still not cling on to the past

I want to start each day
As though it is the first
And live each day
As though it is the last

I want to grab so much from life
That I feel I can't hold
I want to feel...

Lack of sleep and alcohol makes some people tired. In others, it induces illusions of untapped poetic potential.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

I'm alive. Just in case anyone wondered :)

Like Uncle Osama leaks videos of himself to prove USA has not nailed him yet, this is just to say that I'am not dead, terminally ill, or kidnapped by aliens.

Just on a wonderful break from online civilisation, and plain old lazy.

See ya soon.

Be Good.

Actually, be bad, it's more fun that way ;)


Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Confused Encounters of the Worst Kind

Why is my country in such a state of confused mess these days? No, honestly! I’ve often been called confused and lost by more enlightened amongst my friends, but I pale in comparison to the venerable men and women who are in charge of running the mammoth (and the metaphor is for size, not extinct value) that is Indian democracy.

Let’s take a look at the events that have been making headlines in the past month.

Kaun Banega Rashtrapathi
(oh I love lame lines)

All segments in the political streets must be collectively berating the day they came up with the brilliant idea of pushing Kalam for the President. The man who showed the promise of being the poster boy for the secular happy family of Indian politics, turned out to the Prodigal son who never returned. He made himself shamelessly popular as the People’s President, won everyone’s heart (except for the politicians, who dragged him to The Big Bhavan in the first place) with his ready smile and wannabe curly locks. He poked his nose in their decisions, brought the much forgotten, and “eminently avoidable” (that’s what some news paper called it) issue of the Office of Profit debacle to the forefront, generally cared to be a little more than the proverbial “rubberstamp”, while forcing them to pull their acts together.

So when the talk can of re-election started, the political brotherhood forgot their differences and said a unanimous “Nought!”. That did in a common bee in their collective bonnets, but it posed the next problem—choosing the next candidate. Everybody who was somebody had his name being thrown in for the race—from The Big Bee Bachchan to Big Mentor Murthy. Bachchan mercifully saw the ridiculousness in the situation and refused even before they could offer. The county turned to Mr. Narayan Murthy to be Bharath’s First Bacha. But just as things were looking promising, he went and proclaimed in full media view that he found singing the national anthem embarrassing. (this of course is the classic example of media misquoting the innocent celebrity—what he actually said that they played the instrumental version of the anthem, instead of singing it in Infy in a ceremony that welcomed President Kalam because they “had a number of foreign delegates in the gathering, and it might have embarrassed them while we sing the anthem”. Of course this statement makes no sense whatsoever, so I guess the media’s twist at least made for juicy news watch).

Anyways, just about a week after the current Mr. President proclaimed that Mr. Murthy would make a wonderful Next Mr. President, the “corporate leader with a good heart and a golden vision” had his fall from grace, as the media gleefully pumped holes into his hitherto impeccable image. Suddenly he became the man who “shows his ignorance of India's caste struggle and its background” for his views on reservation, his views on Indian languages “lacked self-respect and pride” and “his corporate philosophy allowed no space for healthy cultural pride”. Having burnt their fingers once with a non-politician, the county’s elected rulers decided to play it safe—they could hardly go after a man who had such prideless views, when all we Indians collectively puff up our chest at the sound of the national anthem. So after some star struck followers of Murthy indignantly proclaimed that the whole “national anthem” issue was blown out of proportion, we just decided to put that chapter behind us, and move on.

It was then the mad race to choose the Next Indian Political Idol (to be sure, the President is really just expected to stay put and be worshipped as the democratic God). And all parties left no stoned unturned to look at all the ageing candidates who were in the trishakhu stage of pretty much not doing anything (okay, so if we agree to make you the President, will you please get off our face?) Karan Singh? AB Vajpayee? Bhairon Singh Shekhawat? Sushil Kumar Shinde? Or can we just quickly check if Pranab Mukherjee will like being the President better than being External Affaires Man? Or if Somnath Chatterjee got bored of being the Speaker? The Left considered name dropping to be beneath themselves so they came up with “job requirements” for the profile: the candidate should have “secular credentials, experience in public life and Parliament and one who could ensure balance between the judiciary, Parliament and the executive.” Just add water, and your President is now ready to be served!

The Presidential elections are less than a week away, and it seems it’s our very own Home Minister, who has agreed to be disposed off. It has been a tough battle folks. The super intelligent posh IT guy from Bangalore wanted His Mentor to be P, and Paaji from Patiyala and Munnu from Mumbai along with Amar Singh and Anil Ambani, wanted Bachchansaahab to be P, BJP wanted the VP to be P, Congress wanted EFM or HM to be P, Left wanted a miracle to be P, and my friendly neighbourhood doodhwala wanted his angreji speaking son-in-law to be P. If you have a candidate to be the first servant of India, don’t be disheartened, one week is seven days. As Udhay Chopra famously proclaimed in a very forgettable movie, “Saath din mein yeh duniya saath baar ghoom jati hai”, you never know.

The Indian Idol, Part 2, Meets The Great Indian Comedy Show

I’m referring, of course to the long drawn, nail biting, extra large bucket of butter popcorn demanding selection of the great Indian Scapegoat, a.k.a, The Indian Cricket Coach. The BCCI had decided that it had enough with the players getting so much attention for being Gods, and they feeling all left out like the 12th player. It also had enough with coaches who made presentation on their laptops on how BCCI sucked and decided that the next coach should be the epitome of cricketing brilliance, someone who can handle tantrums of players, and politics of selectors, and be the darling of the media, drop charmingly funny, and brilliantly lickass soundbites about how the boys tried real hard, and how it was just bad weather and lack of addidas shoes that lost the match, and how the BCCI was the best thing that happened to him. Of course he should be able to handle the occasional slap that came hurtling out of the bubbling blue billion.

After going around the world in little more than eighty days, the BCCI cracked the difficult task of finding Bharath ka Cricketing Dronacharya, who would make the Aussies cut their little finger and present him as Gurudakshina, so that his Indian Arjuns face no real competition. Ladies and Gentlemen, please make way fooooorrrrrr…Graham Ford. And in walks the suave and soft-spoken Ford to replace the nasty Chap.

But what do we hear now? Soft spoken Ford, turns sneaky little Ford, and delivers one tight slap right across the BCCI’s face, and says, he’s really happy with his cosy little job with the Kent, thank you very much. Ladies and Gentlemen, at this juncture, we pause for the shocked silence reaction…………………………………….

And the pandemonium breaks loose again! How will be the next? Ford said no. Embury said no. Ravi Shastri said no. Sunil Gavaskar said no. Er…can we just pretend to throw out Dada again, and then offer him a comeback as Coach? Or now that Sehwag is not playing, he can step in?

Our cricket team has been getting more than its due of flak after the dismal performance since the World Cup (the 1983 one I mean). Yeah so they didn’t do all that well in the World Cup (again), in fact they were quite bad, in fact they lost to Bangladesh (haawwwww!), but then they did beat Bangladesh in their own soil you know (serves them right too! I mean, that will teach them not to mess with the bestesht Westside clothed, Pepsi drinking, Sahara flying, Videocon watching, Nike sporting team in the whoooo-oo-ool world, ha!). Does not mean that they be treated like kids who were denied TV because they flunked in their high school exam! Good that bad bad BCCI got its due of tight slaps to. But question still remains, who will be the next slapgoat?

So there. The next person who calls me confused in life will get a sixer hit right on his/her face. Hrrrummmpph!

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Tag Thee Well

Gah! I have been tagged. That too by my well-meaning friend Tsu I no, I'm not going to pretend that I did not enjoy this, or try too hard to make it interesting. :P
Let's do this the old fashioned way of "ours is not to question why...."

Rules are (yeah there are rules and rulers and all that):

* Each player starts with eight random facts/habits about themselves.
* People who are tagged need to write posts in their own blog about their eight things and post these rules.
* At the end of your post, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names.

So here it is:

1. "Weird" is my most abused word. I use it at least 347 times a day, for everything from the way my boss acts to the colour of that-guy-on-street-with-a-disapproving-look's face when I stuck out my tongue at him for staring. "Weird" is the new "cute" for me...while other gals use "cute" to describe their puppy dog's wagging tail, and their boy friend's antics, I use "weird" with just same the passion. And yes, I have different shades and grades of "Weird". I know...that's weird :P

2. I firmly believe that UFOs are NOT cover-up for the air force's secret mission leaking out, somewhere in this world, there HAS to be a Hogwarts, and that someday machines WILL take over the world. And Oh, I HATE the idea of AI.

3. I can believe in absolutely contradictory things, and not be freaked out by it. Like I believe in love and I believe in arranged marriages, I hate wannabes, but I feel sorry for them. There are times when my mind neatly divides itself into teams and tangents, and then dashes of in different directions, leaving the rest of me to figure out which direction it (the rest of me, that is) should follow, or whether it should follow at all.

4. I often use words that I heard someplace, but I really don't understand the exact meaning of, and get away with it. For example, I do not really know what tangent is doing in that sentence in the previous point, but I bet the life of the ant-running-through-my-desk that it did not seem out of place for you...till you read this that is.

5. I can read Mills and Boon to wash off the aftermath of reading two Ayn Rands in a span of 6 months.

6. I can tell you the color of your dress when I was introduced to you first (that is if I care for you enough) but miserably fail to recall where I left my cell after I attending the call, just five minutes ago.

7. If someone sings a song that I don't like in front of me, or I hear it on the radio, then it gets stuck in my head, and can refuse to leave. I will keep playing in my head, I will unconsciously start humming that song, and then get pissed with myself when I realize what I am doing.(I could NOT get Paris Hilton's Stars are Blind out of my head for THREE days. And I did NOT enjoy it)

8. I feel connections with random story that I read, random movie/soap that I watch when I'm confused. Its like I'm looking for an answer, and then God just slaps it right in front of my nose, because it is that obvious, and I still refuse to see it.

9. I can lose COMPLETE sense of time when I'm doing something I love, I can get throughly lost in a place I don't know, because my sense of direction is PATHETIC. But, BUUT, I will always always find the way too. So don't ask me why you should take a left here and a right there...I can't tell you why, but I can tell you that you need to...just.

And oh they asked only for blogger page just refused to have anything more to do with weirdness. For those who still wanna know about my weirdo-meter, you just have to want for a couple of decades when my complete and unabridged version of my autobiography is out.

Oh, I'm supposed to spread the joy and pass this to 8 more souls. So here goes nothing:

1. Lash...because he would JUST refuse to take this up, or even consider the offer. He would scoff at the futility of this exercise, and how it is beneath his dignity to even consider this. AND now he might just take it up to prove me wrong. (sits back with an accomplished evil grin to see how he reacts ;))

2. Er...Mathew. Because I stole his tag. Or well I said I would. (If you have done this before, too bad, you'll just have to figure 8 more weird facts bout thyself :P)

3. Vodka, because she "found me" and "she needs to spend more time on blogosphere" :P

4. Goldenash...because I just got reminded of her RIGHT now for some inexplicable reason

5. The first person who reads this (every likely he/she is bored too)

6. Anyone born on the 26th of October ( just for the heck of it)

7. Anyone who likes listening to Stars are blind

8. Anyone who uses cute more than twice on a daily basis :P

Sunday, May 27, 2007

No This is Not The New Femina Ad

I refuse to walk with me head bowed down
I refuse to cringe when they throw filth at me
I refuse to be taken advantage of
I refuse to be considered weak
I refuse to stop walking just because I feel faint
I refuse to acknowledge the cretin in this world
I refuse to hate this city because of one creed
I refuse to stop enjoying the rain because of one night
I refuse to avert my eyes from that non-entity's pathetic face
I refuse to yell at those who don't care
I refuse to feel for friends who were not there
I refuse fear
I refuse guilt
I refuse to give up my freedom

I refuse to live my life on any terms other than mine

Friday, April 20, 2007

Of Serenity, Prayers and Acceptance :)

"God, Grant me the Serenity,
To accept the things I cannot change,
The Courage, to change the things I can,
And the Wisdom, to know the DIFFERENCE."

The Serenity prayer. The only one I believe in, completely,
unquestioningly. It's everything you need, you'll ever need. And it's
the hardest thing in the world.

I found these words somewhere long, long ago, and I have believed in
their power ever since. It has helped me hold on when everything else
was hazy, even dark. And it always comes back to me.

I've never been such a sucker for custom made prayers. I remember when
me and my bro were kids, in Calicut, it was our job to light the vellaku
(lamp or diya that you light before a deity) in the evening. I was not
allowed to handle fire so chettan (my bro) would light the vellakku, and
I would light the agarbatties from the wick in the vellakku. And then we
would recite our prayers (we had this prayer in Malayalam, which is
usually recieted by kids, "Daiyame Kaithoram,kelkkumaragannam , paavaam
aam enne nnee kathumaraganam..." I hope I got the words right, but I
have a sneaking suspicion that I didn't. Loosely translated it means
God, I'm folding my hands in front of you, please hear my prayers,
always watch over me...). Somehow this little daily ritual got lost in
the daily busy business of growing up. And then I developed a whole
different perception about praying and my relationship with God.

I have not believed in mouthing pre-ordained words to pray for a long
time now. It always seemed so distant. For me God was always a personal
friend- someone I raved and ranted to, someone I loved and fought with.
But this one little prayer stayed. And it the only one that I actually
believe in. I don't know its origin, neither have I ever made an attempt
to find out. Perhaps because I have found my meaning for these words,
and now I don't want that coloured by any history, or anyone else's opinion.

Why all this now? Well, I've been deliriously happy these days. Confused
at times, more sure of myself than ever at times. And worried and unsure
at times. The mother of a good friend of mine told me once, "Everyone
has an allocated quota of everything in life-of falling down, of
learning to walk, of happiness, tears, joy, stupidity, everything. If
you don't finish your quota when you are supposed to, then you'll have
to make up for it sometime later." I kinda believed in that. And then
someone I have come to love and trust so much insisted recently, that
there really is no need for sorrow in life. You can find happiness in
everything, everywhere, all the time. Honestly, I'm torn between the two
beliefs. But are the two really different? Aren't both just really ways
of acceptance? For me, it is just saying that life comes in many
flavours. Yeah sometimes you end up with a crappy taste in your mouth,
but even that can mean that you have taste (notice the pun??). Life does
not have to be perfect to be wonderful.

It is perfect because it is wonderful.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

I Me and My DNA

Why? Coz everyone seems to be getting one. And "go with the flow" is my flavour of the month.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Rang Kitne Rang ke Hote Hain?

Celebrating Colors in a Black World...
a trifle belated, but Happy Holi everyone!

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Glass is Half Full. So Who Drank the Other Half??

Today I read a comment on a friend's blog that honestly baffled me. "It is just sad.that in this 21st century stuff like this is still happening. people are suffering and willing to give their lives for others."
again, HUH????

I really couldn't understand what this person was trying to say really. As far as I know noone had ever predicted that in 21st century all things nasty will miraculously evaporate, to be replaced by all things sweetness and light. Or did she mean that it's surprising that even in this mean 21st century, people still suffer and give their lives for others? What, has the world become such a depressingly apathetic place, that you can't care, you are just supposed to be bothered with only yourself and your immediate world?

Perhaps I am over reacting to what might have just a carelessly nonchalant statement. Maybe she just said something for the heck of putting up a comment, but such attitude somehow irks me. I fan never been such a big fan of doomsday theories, and the life-is-so-futile-world-is-so-bad philosophies. I mean yeah okay, I ponder over the greater meaning of life, the purpose of existence, the certainity of death and all that- when I'm depressed and extremely jobless(or is it that I get extremely depressed because I think about all this??Man!!This could be the next big thing after the hen-or-chicken story).
Somehow the thing is, for all the mood swings I have and all the tantrums I throw, I reckon, I intrinsically am a die hard optimist. Deep down, that is. I like to dream. Even if the dreams are impossible ones. I think even that has a high- thinking impossible thoughts.

And resultantly(gosh, now I feel like a Economics text book), I feel there is always hope for this world. I mean, bad and all that is fine, but I still think that human beings, as a race, still stand a chance. Maybe its a very naive take to be taking (is that right language?can u take a take??). But it keeps me sane.

Denial. It was created for a reason. Might as well accept that.

Crap. I began with something and ended with something. In Tsu's famous words, (I'm quoting you a bit too much don't you think??) "I lost my thought"


Tuesday, February 20, 2007

One Thing...Just For ONE THING

Restless tonight
Cause I wasted the light
Between both these times
I drew a really thin line
It’s nothing I planned
And not that I can
But you should be mine
Across that line

If I traded it all
If I gave it all away for one thing
Just for one thing
If I sorted it out
If I knew all about this one thing
Wouldn’t that be something

I promise I might
Not walk on by
Maybe next time
But not this time

Even though I know
I don’t want to know
Yeah I guess I know
I just hate how it sounds

This song has obsessively stayed in my head ever since I heard it the first time, which was i think just a few months ago in bus
Sometimes someone else's words can so completely express just what you are feeling.
So...If I gave it all....?
But the question is, what would be that one thing? The problem is, I know!

Monday, February 19, 2007

"Some people are so full of themselves that there is no place for anyone else in their hearts"

No great woman said this. I did. Something that occurred to me when I read a comment that a fellow kid put up on a friend's blog. Stuff such people man, they make me feel suffocated when I'm around them. What a way to begin your week!

Monday, February 12, 2007

I'm Done With the Sidewalk

"Hi there. Are you fully awake yet? I'm just opening my eyes, and my head is still slightly hazy. Ah well. Utterly confused would be more correct I suppose. I'm surprised that I'm not too sure where I am, or who this girl sleeping next to me is. And now, why am I completely at ease to pull her close to me and scribble on her body "I love you"...

I'm not sure I am fully awake as I write this. Or completely sane. I saw this in my dream. Words. These words. No people. Just a voice. A guy's voice. A voice that is vaguely familiar, but irritatingly not placeable- a voice that you'd expect from some movie's invisible narrator.
No visuals in this...only a pen writing this, and a voice.

Who was that voice? And why did it (he?) want to tell me all these? Dreams. They have always disturbed me more than they really should. Not nightmares, just dreams, weird ones. It's almost like someone is trying to tell me something, that I only half want to hear. Most of the time, I still remember them...all everything as I wake up, and then as the day moves on, finer details slipping away like sand through your fingers.

I'm no story writer, but there are certain things that make me wonder if I really am living in a movie. And if that is what these dreams are trying to tell me.
Usually I move on...but this one somehow compelled me to put it down in black and white. To actually jump off the bed, even after just 3 and a half hours of broken sleep, pull out my laptop and write it all down. Even now, I feel as though, someone else, and not me is really writing. I mean, I'm...but someone else is telling me to. Some voice. Vaguely familiar, irritatingly not placeable. The kind of voice that you'd expect to hear from a movie's invisible narrator.

Maybe its lack of sleep. Or maybe its the lack of sanity. It's happening. And surprisingly, I'm not freaking out. I'm surprised, amused. Not scared. Ah well.

After 21 (nearly 22? 21 years and 6 months anyway) of lazy existence, I'm learning a few things about myself. There are times, when I see with amazing clarity. Then it goes away to be replaced by the dirty fog again. But those few moments, those few glorious moments, when I see me, like I should be, like I want to be, are exhilarating. Maybe I'll get there...yet.

The Unholy Crusades

Scene one: A party. Huge, open air, bar, drinks, music and dance. Soft yellow glow of lights. People, loads of people. Drunk, dancing, high- on everything from the music to the liquor, to dope. People having a good time in a paradise, born out of utopia.

A few minutes later. The bartender is lying inert, with blood oozing out of a hole in his head. A building, blazing like a gigantic bon fire. Lights, but this time the blaze of fire. Music, dancing, liquor. People, high- on music, to liquor, to dope, to blood. People having a good time- this time swinging half head people by their toes like a pendulum. Dragging them on the ground, like rag dolls. All in the name of fighting to free a country from slavery. A paradise, born out of utopia.

The human race has this one amazing ability. To get used to almost anything. Pain, misery, death, bullets, torture. We can distance ourselves from anything. There are people who can drink, dance, and have a good time in a country that is raging with civil war. You go out to buy vegetables and you cannot be sure if you will come back safe, or a stray bullet is gonna head your way. There are no citizens there- only soldiers, rebels, the refugees. If you are not any of these, you are dead.

I thought I wouldn’t write about Blood Diamond. When I first read about it in Id’s blog, I was vaguely interested- maybe I should catch this movie. Then Prick decided he needs to take a stance on, again, I was hardly surprised, but didn’t feel the need to take a stance still. Then I saw the movie. By I knew what to expect, but yeah it still makes you sit up and take notice. But there is a whole lot of difference between sitting up and taking notice as opposed to standing up and taking action. There is only so much that a movie can do after all. Maybe it will make a few half virtuous people to stop fancying that stupid piece of rock(ah well, old rant really, I always felt that diamonds, after male superiority, are singularly the most over rated thing in this world).

But as I sat in the theatre watching that movie…none of Id’s or Prick’s words came to my head. The only thing that kept playing is, why are they killing all these people? Most, almost all, were killed just for the fun of watching them die- women, children, old people, young me. Entire villages wiped out, torched in a mad frenzy. A bunch of blindfolded kids, who are made to shoot down a gagged man. Then to ease the pain of the horrific realisation of what they did, they shoot some more. Till they reach a point where they don’t need that blindfold anymore. Till they can look into the eyes of their own fathers and point a gun at him without flinching. These people, rebels, soldiers, they were not fighting a war, they were not making a point, unless the point was “We stop at nothing, we are dead inside”

But in the middle of this madness, there still are people, who run around fighting to get their story out. There are people who dream of making their son a doctor. There are people, who have known it all, seen it all, and who dream of getting out of it all one day. And who’d give anything for that. And try and desperately rationalise that with, “It’s not war, it’s just business”. Then some, who don’t feel the need to rationalise. They sell the guns to the rebels, along with cds of Baywatch. Diamonds for guns. The “service providers”. “The world wants what we have to offer, we just get it to them”. The big guys in big cities, who walk around in crisp suites and fancy cars. The ones who buy these diamonds and store them away in deep coffers, knowing it stinks of blood. Then the puppet masters, who convince little kids that this is a crusade, and that in this world that does not give them the respect they deserve, but you need to take that. And how do you do that? With guns.

As long as guns and money are a part of somebody’s business, as long as terrorism is an industry, it will survive. As long as there are takers, there will be service providers. This is no holy war. There never has been such a thing. Its just simple rules of the market. Demand and supply. The “A” of TIA can be easily replaced with Is and Ps and Vs. Its all the same.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

God of Small Things

Happiness! Such a weird feeling naah? All the time we keep running after it thinking it is this elusive thing, and then one fine day it just jumps at you out of nowhere, and you are left thinking, “Wow! That was simple!”

One hell of a bad day I was having. Nothing disastrous, just one of those days in college when everything goes wrong and nothing goes right, your friends don’t understand you, your lecturers are mean, and the human race in general is not just mind bogglingly stupid, but is also on an out and out war with you. You know the kinds when the world and everything beyond just pulls you down.

At the end of a naggingly irritating day at college, I went in the evening to meet another friend. Ranted my heart out to him. Didn’t really help though. When I left, my mood was really really unhappy. I was walking back home, and I had to cross through Forum. Now malls are one place that I always was a fascinating place for people watching (NOT the same as bird watching). You meet all kinds- the rich, the not-so-rich, and the most interesting, wanna-look-rich. But that day I really couldn’t care less. I was too bothered my own set of borrowed problems to be worried about all that just then.

Then I saw this dude. Cute li’l chap, must be all of three years old perhaps. Dude had this tetrapack of Frooti in his hand, and was struggling with all this two feet nothing might, to push a stubborn straw into the packet, and finding that it ain’t the as easy as he thought it should be. His mom offered to help, but our man, staunchly refused. After all what’s a puny li’l straw to question his super baby might?

Then he looked up to see me looking at him with extremely amused eyes. I couldn’t help smiling at that tiny bundle of cute resolve. In return, the dude gave me the most spontaneous, and genuinely happy smile that I ever saw. That moment, that smile, made me feel so innocently happy, something that no amount of talking, counselling, philosophising, and ranting could manage. Looking at that kid, his happy smile, made my heart feel so light, all those things that were nagging me seemed so not worth it. Sure if he were some another two decades older, he’d have probably thought I was linemaorfying him. But right now, for him life was really simple. He saw someone smile at him, and he smiled back. He had his worries to handle (he was in the middle of the battle with the straw, remember?), but he had his fundas clear. Smile for a smile. As simple as that.

Sometimes I think, as we are born with the knowledge of pretty much everything that we need- to live to be happy. Then our whole life we spend in unlearning that, and then feeling all lost in the search of answers. Tsu recently said, if you can’t find the answers, its probably because you are not asking the right questions. Makes sense huh?

Happiness. It’s such a weird thing. All our life, we keep running after it, while it is all the while waiting in a mall, fighting a stubborn straw. :)

Someone Please Tell Her She's In Love!

Statutory Warning: Lots of giggleing and Girl Talk ahead. Thou are warned. Proceed at your own Peril

Conversation had over gtalk. Undisclosed time, undisclosed location, and definitely undisclosed her. This is a work of fiction. But then what fiction is afterall a mere shadow of reality. Any resemblence to any person dead is absolutely unintentional. The living, of course is a different matter. All the author wishes to say is conveyed in one Cranberries' song- In Your Head!:P

Her: i have been meanin to talk to u for eons man

Me: eons and all huh


jus read ur mail

certified!u re in love

no two ways about it gurl

Her: i cant be

thats it

i have to get outta it

Me: lady, y working so hard to get outta it before u even fell into it completely

Her: cuz i dont wanna fall in to it

he is not that type

Me: hmmmm

cant believe we re having this conversation

i mean i can believe we are having this conversation, but somehow we BOTH seem to be on the wrong side

Her: ?


Me: u re saying things that i said for 3 freakkin years n i'm saying what u said for three freakkin years!!!!

Her: true

i mean we should stop takin each other very seriously

what do u say

Me: when did the world do this flip thingy??no one told me!!!!

Her: he he he

he he he it jus happened

Me: seriously man

now i'm freakking out

Her: y

what's up

Me: do u reckon i changed way too much after u left?

last time u told me that, n i ve been thinking of that ever since


Her: not much

i like u this way

Me: yeah?shit man

this way is whc way???

Her: the lighter side of moontalk

lil optimistic about love


Me: tee hee

ah well

Her: :)

ha har har

why are u blushing man


Me: hey!

who said anything bout blushing???

Her: he he he

i figured

...(means there's stuff that you dont need to know)

*Now begins the real Story*

Her: shit man

he gives so many signs

this guy

Me: hmmm

Her: stufid boys

Me: tee hee

so y dont u ask him

Her: no

Me: that i'll knock the stuffing outta him


Her: that will kinda complicate things

he he he

Me: then u can say u were bluffing

Her: i am not doing it anymore

he he he

he is a very

Me: :D add a li'l insult to injury


Her: so mean!!!

Me: he's a very?

Her: hmm he cannot express himself

what he feels

Me: hmmm

Her: in words

he hesistates

Me: want me to talk to him and giv him some tips


i can do that for u

Her:he he he

naa thanks

Her: but then he tries so hard and tells me certain things


Her: this is endearing


very very

Me: wat certain things will that be????


Her: we were



Me: wat happened to "protect urself" n "he's not my type" and "naaaahhh"

Her: he he he

Me: WOMAN!!!who u kidding??????

Her: he he he

no da

once i asked


what if u like someon

he said he wont tell her and if he keeps quiet it will go away after sometime

so if he is actually talkin to me thins much i am sure he doesnt have tht feeeling for me u know

Me: and u started believing wats guys say bout their feelings since when????

Her: he he he

good pooint

Me: c'mon da!if he likes u, he's hardly gonna answer that question honstly

Her: no we were having a real serious conv that day

Me: i mean, we re talking GUYS and FEELINGS here

Her: he he heh

Me: uh hmmm

Her: ure so cute yea moontalk

Me: oy!!

Her: full emotions coming out

Me: lets not deviate here okay!!!

Her: he he he

na i like the deviation


Me: yeah yeah

from him being "endearing" i ve become "cute"

Her: yeah yeah yea


Me: lowve!lowve!lowve!!!!

thats wat this is all bout

Her: na

Me: u dont use language like that otherwise!!!!

Her: :(

excuse me


i use cute and all

endearin new word learnt today

i used it in a sentence

Me: i'm sure if u learn flibertigibet today u'd use that in the next given opportunity too


he he he :)

Me: yeah yeah

Her: i could go on talkin about him



*yep, she's not in love. Absolutely NOT*

*Now, whats the point of having friends if you can't blackmail them bout their love lifes???*

Me: u kw wat, i'm gonna post this on the blog and send him the link


Her: pode

no no

these guys are stupid

i knw

Me: muahahahahahahahaha

Her:no da

thats it

i stop here

i have made a decision

and this is not like any stupid ones

Me: yep

u re afterall a strong independant woman *she is, she really is*

Her: i am gonna give life a chancebut this whole thin g is that


i am seriously saying

Me: okay okay

Her: :) ;-/

Me: seriously say

Her: podi


i don wanto get in to anymore messes where i have NO SAY

what shit yea

sometimes i need to be in the place wher i can take decisions na

i mean

Me: dude da, not gonna happen

all said n done u will feel just what u don wanna feel

Her: podai

tch tch


Me: see if tch tch worked, then i'd be falling in love with someone else na

y am i bother bout this sad chap who perhaps more fucked up in the head than i am???

Her: hehehe

cuz ure stupid

Me: yeah okay then!!!

n what ar u????

Her: he he he

Her: my point exactly


Her: grrr

i dunno

il tke it as it comes i guess

Me: go with the flow huh?

Her: hhhhhhhhhhhmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

i wanto make noises

that icant type

Me: okay....(ermmmm...wat was I supposed to say to that???!!!)

Her: ye!!!

Me: u kw that sentence came out all weird right


Her: nothing kinky

Her: yeah


Me: !!!



*and thus spake the wise one*


still kids we all are!

Me: tee hee


its all about relative maturity for the momment i guess

Her: yeah


i guess for every age we will be young

Me: oh my

there's a thought!


Her: he he he

Me: need to leave now

late already

(And then in typical gal fashion, we proceed to talk for another 20 mins, before I finally got my sorry ass outta the office!

Now, I'm gonna go underground for about 4 years so that the lady in question cannot hunt me down and chop me into tiny li'l pieces of vulture dinner. Ta People! Pray for my soul. And please, tell her she's in love!)

Thursday, January 04, 2007

I Massacred 21 Kids, I am SO Sorry!

The country has gone into shock over the Nithari killings. The mangled parts of the victims are still being sieved out of the drain behind industrialist Mohinder Singh Pandey’s house. Helpless parents from all nearby areas are coming to Sector 31, to see if some bit of all that flesh, bones, blood or cloths, belonged to their lost child. Half a dozen UP cops have been sacked, a couple of probes being ordered. And what does the sick psychopath have to say? “Please forgive me, I committed a mistake”

This was not done for money, though the latest update is that this sicko was involved with organ trading too, along with everything else. But the way he went about is appalling. He and his personal human slicer servant, Surendra Kohli, lure little kids with sweets, get them in the house, sexually abuse and then kill them. Then the victim’s head is cut of, his/her body chopped like bits of meat, packed in a gunny bag and then carelessly dumped in the drain. Police found a saw, yes a saw, in the house allegedly used for the whole slicing-the-kids-up ritual. And this routine happened, over 20 times, over a span of two years.

No Mister, you didn’t commit a mistake. You committed rape. You committed murder. You committed the gory act of killing 21, and God knows how many more, innocent people. Children. And in the most cruel possible manner imaginable. You don’t deserve forgiveness. You deserve the noose.

Forgiveness. A rather funny thing, don’t you thing? Noble, undoubtedly. It gives you a sense of power, a sense of having done something rather good, both asking for it, and giving it. In a way, you feel vindicated. You wrecked my life, but I forgive you. You hurt me like hell, but I forgive you. But how can you forgive a person who takes away something so precious from you life, that you can never be the same again. These people, these parents, what had they done to deserve such a fate? Those kids, what had they done? Why did they have to die, in a way that you only read in cheap thrillers and psychology case studies?

Human rights group waste no time going up in the arms when ever someone is sentenced to death. ‘Oh, I understand that he killed so many, but killing him is not human.’ ‘Life is sacred, and when you don’t have the power to give it, you don’t have the power to take it.’ Heck, there was a bloody strike in Kerela because Saddam Hussain was hanged. Yes human life is sacred, yes killing is inhuman. That is just why these worst forms of vermin deserve to die. When you kill someone, and kill them not out of rage, not out of revenge, but just for the heck of it, you forfeit your right to live. Your life can no longer be sacred property, when you have taken so many. And taken them without remorse, without conscience. As far as I am concerned, that makes a pretty strong case point in favour of the gallows.