Monday, December 19, 2011

Answers Are Never Easy To Come By


“Why do people hate you?” he asked her.

“Why do people love you?” she asked him.

There was no answer either way. They decided to let this question rest till time offered them an answer that would leave them satiated. Time was a better master than most people were. A healer unlike any other.

They spent their time writing, searching for answers in what they wrote.

Answers were never easy to come by, but that never stopped them from asking.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Bad Poetry


And when we talk to each other after so long,
I feel inspired to write a few words about you,
about the time we shared with each other.
And all I can write is bad poetry.

I have no sense of rhyme or rhythm,
pass my judgment through a prism
of trust, of love, and yet they produce no words.

All I write is bad poetry.
All I hum is bad poetry.

I strum all day this guitar,
two chords played all along
and I’m not able to come up with anything better.

Then you read my poems,
and you like them all.
You consider it good poetry
and I know you do like it
but I can write better.

So I’ll sit down with the guitar once again,
till I write something worthy of you.
Till I write better poetry.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Christmas Carols - Death Metal covers (No, really!)


So since I have nothing else to do, presenting to you the gory, violent, death metal cover versions of (in)famous Christmas Carols. (For those who haven't heard the originals, the links are provided.) Enjoy. NOT!

Rudolph The Killer Reindeer (based on Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer)

Intro:

You know Loch Ness, and Yeti, and Jack and Zodiac,
You know all these killers, scary and their like.

But do you recall the most dangerous of all?

Chorus:

Rudolph the killer reindeer,
had a very bloody knife.
And if you ever saw it,
you would say he killed his wife.
All of the other reindeer
used to call him ‘You-Know-Who’.
They never let cruel Rudolph
crack his head up into two.


Verse 1:

Then one gloomy Halloween,
Santa came to say,
“Rudolph, with your knife so bright,
won’t you slit my throat tonight?”
Then all the reindeer feared him,
as he cut him open wide.
All of these other reindeer
then spent a sleepless night.


Verse 2:

Then one silent week later,
Dasher  went up to him.
“Rudolph, with my sword so light,
won’t you suffer a dreary fright?”
Then all the reindeer rejoiced,
as they shouted out in glee,
as Rudolph the red-mouthed reindeer,
was buried deep beneath the tree.



I Saw Mummy Killing Santa Claus (based on I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus)

I saw mummy killing Santa Claus,
underneath the chili-limbu last night.
She didn’t see me creep,
her murder was very neat.
I was so shocked up in my head,
it took me some time to sleep.


Then, I heard mummy coming up the stairs,
and by that time, I hid under my bed.
She screamed; she went away.
Oh what a corpse I would have been,
had mummy found me in my bed last night.




A Merry Gory Christmas to you. (No, I'm not so evil in real-life.)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Folly Of The Fool

Rusted, it lay in a corner,
wounding those who dared run their hands over it,
a runaway symbol from another era,
of their tale, now deprived of air to breathe,
all thanks to the Fool for flooding his house with water.

The sun's rays form a crack in the door.
Oxidised, it survives.
The Fool will not drown again.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Shakespeare, Or Not Shakespeare, That Is The Question

With the film Anonymous coming out in the near future, which questions us whether Shakespeare wrote his plays (or was it the Earl of Oxford, or even Christopher Marlowe?), I came across this New York Times (Books) article on Twitter through @MatthiasRascher.

The article talks about Italian Romantic composer Verdi who successfully composed three operas: Macbeth, Otello and Falstaff out of Shakespeare's plays. It goes on to talk about drama in Shakespeare's time; how plays were written, how they were commissioned, so on and so forth, dispelling the theories that Shakespeare didn't write his plays, along the way.



The article written by Pulitzer-Prize winning author, historian and journalist Garry Wills can be found at this link: http://bit.ly/sBp9EM

Presented below are two paragraphs from the Shakespeare part:
Those who doubt that Shakespeare wrote Shakespeare are working, usually, from a false and modern premise. They are thinking of the modern playwright, a full-time literary fellow who writes a drama and then tries to find people who will put it on—an agent to shop it around, a producer to put up the money, a theater as its venue, a director, actors, designers of sets and costumes, musicians and dancers if the play calls for them, and so on. Sometimes a successful playwright sets up an arrangement with a particular company (Eugene O’Neill and the Province- town Players) or director (Tennessee Williams and Elia Kazan), but the process still begins with the writer creating his script, before elements are fitted around it, depending on things like which directors or actors are available for and desirous of doing the play. Producers complain that it is almost impossible to assemble the ideal cast for all the roles as the author envisioned them in his isolated act of creation. The modern writer owns the play by copyright and can publish it on his or her own, whether produced or not. None of these things was true of dramatic production in Shakespeare’s time.
Then, the process began with the actors. They chose the playwright, not vice versa. They owned the play, and could publish it or withhold it from publication. Each troupe had limited resources—often, nine to twelve adult actors (all male), and far fewer boy actors (sometimes as few as two). A Swiss traveler in 1599 saw “about fifteen” players handle the forty-five speaking parts in Julius Caesar.9An aspiring playwright had to bring his idea to these actors (or their representatives) with a plot accommodated to the number and talents of the particular troupe. The parts he was describing had to be so arranged as to allow for multiple doublings. A man playing two roles could not meet himself on stage, or even come back in as someone else too soon to allow for costume and other changes (a beard, wig, spectacles, padding, and so on). “For some thirty-five years from 1547–8 plays advertise, usually on the title-page, the number of actors required and how the parts may be doubled, trebled, and even septupled.”10 In a 1576 morality play, The Tide Tarrieth No Man, the Vice character is told to prolong his duel “while Wantonness maketh her ready” in the tiring-house to come back out as Greediness.11 The plot had to be tailored for the company from the very outset.
Happy reading! 

Friday, November 4, 2011

The Drums And The Piano


I tried something new for the first time wherein I used famous song titles within a poem. The song titles belong to the following bands:

The Doors
Pink Floyd
Oasis

Radiohead
The Who
The Beatles
Led Zeppelin


The Drums And The Piano

They say Time and Money are all that people need to have,       
But My Generation would disagree.


They would never want to be Fake Plastic Trees,
As they travel  on the Crystal Ship to Kashmir,
they Twist And Shout
as they survive on Cigarettes And Alcohol.

But then the Wild Child said Whatever,
She brought out the Paperback Writer within her,
and decided to leave the Pinball Wizard, High And Dry.

Was it Communication Breakdown
or was she being Comfortably Numb?
No one knew. He just Let It Be.

He met her once again, at Moonlight Drive,
they were Riders On The Storm.
He said, “Hello, I Love You.”
She said, “People Are Strange.”
He said, “I’m A Boy.”
She said, “Break On Through (To The Other Side).”
He said, “Hey, Hey, What Can I Do?”
She said, “These Are My Twisted Words. I Wanna Hold Your Hand.”

He said, “Let There Be Love, D’yer Mak’er.
Songbird, Let There Be More Light.”

Lyla,” she said.
Baba O’Riley,” he said.

They set out to play Rock And Roll Music; the drums and piano;
Anyone Can Play Guitar.
Wishful Sinful he felt, Behind Blue Eyes, so lost.
He was now Coming Back To Life.
She was now a Jigsaw Falling Into Place.

On the Stairway To Heaven, they thought it was The End,
That is When The Tigers Broke Free;
Free As A Bird.
The Karma Police realised that Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere,
They were going to Live Forever

Sunday, October 16, 2011

I Just Had To Write...


There are times when you want to write. Write miserably, as if your life depended on it. Write or die. Write or perish. Writer’s Block, notwithstanding. It seems if you don’t write now, you are missing out on letting the world learn something for itself. It’s an urgent need that you can’t always address. What will I write on? Why do I have no ideas? What should I write? What if it just ends up like rubbish?

But then you calm yourself down. So what if it’s rubbish? Not the end of the world. Your job is to write, which you have. Now leave it. Go to your next piece. But don’t stop writing. For if the pen runs out of ink, aye, you’ll never be able to find yourself again.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Poems of Exaggerations, Writings of Solitude


The muse that she is,
she always inspires
to create an image, to write about her,
so that the world knows that beauty exists
not just in the eyes of the beholder.

Her beauty can be felt too.
The hair, she can’t make up her mind,
sometimes long,
sometimes short,
but they feel the need to grace everyone with its blessed presence.
Her eyes, brown as the fresh bark of the banyan tree,
ageless, look at you.
Melancholy resides within.

A hint of cynicism, coupled with a trust so scant,
she doesn’t remember when the last time was that she wrote
with all her heart.
Poems of exaggerations, writings of solitude,
all have been abandoned in favour of a life,
full of awareness.

She trips, and falls and trips again,
hallucinates, is hypnotised,
but recovers.
The sordid scribbles and dreamy doodles will return
to her.

Her crazy heart sings
like the canary outside her window,
every spring morning.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

You Complete My Day


Intro:
I’m yours.
You’re mine.
You’re the best.
You make me better.

Verse 1:
Don’t you love it when everything is just fine!
Don’t you love it when the sun on you shine!
Skipping around in puddles of water,
Sipping with friends the rum and a quarter.
Care to see the flowers opening up to the day!
Care to see the people smiling on their way!
Flashing a big smile at everyone,
Kissing the rain as we just run.

Care to share your happiness with someone else!

Chorus:
Your joys to be shared,
laughter infectious.
no worries, no cares.
warmness contagious.
Happiness loves company
So do you and so do I.
At each other’s side we ourselves lay,
oh friend, you complete my day.

Verse 2:
Can’t you see the ladybug crawling away!
The crow that is satiated lets it stay.
Dancing around the water sprinkler,
singing a tease, a naughty winker.
Can’t you see the attention that you’re deriving!
Painting a picture beautiful no one can see.
Jumping on the green wet grass,
playing on the see saw’s mass.

Don’t you want to play into the night!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Appreciated!

It feels really good when you've worked hard and the end result is good.

It feels even better when this thing you were working on was your first time at it.

I think my joy knew no bounds when my work was appreciated.

I sat blushing at my desk like a five-year old kid who'd just received candy for getting ten on ten in his spelling test.


Praising me for being an "amazing team player" when I know I work better alone? I think I've improved vastly.

Oh well, four and a half months in, and work's good. Life's good.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

An Open Love Letter To My Beloved Goan Community


Since people are writing open letters to folks from other communities and then people actually write open letters back, I decided to go one step further and write an open letter to my own community.

Goans. Goa. Sigh!

Generally, one never hears any complaints about Goans. I mean, we’re a minority. Have you ever heard any complaint against minorities in our country? Also, considering that most Goans are Catlicks, we follow in the non-violent tradition of Christianity. We never fight. Just go on peaceful marches, maybe. Or write letters to the editor of a newspaper.

Or do nothing.

Laziness is the singlemost defining trait of a Goa. Obvious, no? If you had Indian’s best beaches, feni and sausages to accompany it, you automatically feel lazy. Susegaadh, as we like to put it. Goa earns most of its revenue from tourism (and mining, but that is a non-mentionable), we just need houses near beaches to rent, or a shack on a beach, or bike services, and we know we’ll earn enough to last our grandchildren. Ask the Russians. They pay good.

But this susegaadh can get onto people’s nerves. Like my dad’s. He constantly berates me for sleeping a lot and not helping in cleaning the home. And then he says the reason you don’t see any Goans in high places (careers, men! Not what you were thinking) is because they are too lazy to study extra or work hard. That’s not the truth.

The actual reason why you never see Goans at higher posts in society is because we aim for the simple things in life. All Goans just want to play football, go to church Sunday mornings, have beer, play guitar, jive at weddings to Walk Of Life, waltz at their own weddings to Love Will Keep Us Alive and From This Moment On, have kids, buy a bungalow in Goa and then retire. Oh, and also grow a French beard.

How can anyone blame us Goans for wanting a simple life?

And yet, you will find a few Goans who want to go beyond this. Julio Rebeiro, Leander Paes, Keith Vaz (my dad needs to take a look at this guy, he’s higher up not in India, but in the UK!), Dom Moraes, Sidd Coutto, Eunice DeSouza, Remo Fernandes, Anthony Gonsalves…  er…

But look at that! Leaving Keith Vaz who has had some controversies against his name (see dad? That’s what happens when you get to a higher post!), the rest have untarnished reputations. We are as spotless as the vestment that Goan Catholic priests wear.

Been a year and a half since I’ve been to the land of sun, sand and susegaadh. Need to go and sort out my family’s ancestral property issue too. (Yes, me too. Which Goan doesn't!)

And thus ends my open love letter to my brethren (Isn’t that word very Mallu?). Come now, stop reading and call me over for beer. We shall dance over the Goan Masala too.

P.S.: Portuguese citizenship, anyone?

P.P.S.: No matter how much we complain about Goans being stereotyped in Hindi movies, haven't I described all the Goans you've ever seen in Hindi films?

Monday, August 8, 2011

The Traveller And The Moon

Rolling over the northern star,
Just push his scars right out of the way.

The night is up, the moon shows its face,
filled with scars, a trace of its heydays.
And the Northern Star twinkles and jingles,
while the mighty periwinkle just winks.
A sign of the jinx, by the fur of the great Sphinx.
she shows her prickly face, to mirror the sun,
to help the man on the moon to run.

“I’m busy,” the traveler said.
“I’ll meet you while you’re busy,” she replied.

He gasped, he wheezed, he puffed, he heaved
himself to walk further
to reach the end of the moon,
to jump over the Star.
The periwinkle twinkled and winked,
the traveler had had no time to think.

Her light flickered. Like a candle
he was extinguished.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Care For A Cuppa Coffee?


Abel continued staring at the blank sheet of paper as the Irish Coffee lay beside him, the waft of the air-conditioner cooling the whiskey-laden caffeine drink. He tried connecting the thoughts in his head to coherent words on paper but he couldn’t get his pen moving.

“Sir, would you like anything with your Irish Coffee?” the waitress asked him in a gentle tone. Abel looked up at her. She was wearing the CafĂ© Coffee Day attire, down to the white apron. She had hazel eyes, a rarity in the city where Abel was used to seeing just brown-eyed girls. Her hair was tied up in a neat bun, more to do so with the job she had. He knew she would look more beautiful if she let her hair open.

“I’d like some inspiration,” he said, in a tired voice.

“Excuse me, sir?” the waitress asked.

“Yes, inspiration,” he said. “That’s what I need, uhm, Faye.” Her name was printed in bold black letters on a white plate and pinned to her outfit.

“Er, but sir,” Faye hesitated, “Inspiration isn’t served here.”

“Why not?” Abel screamed. “I don’t think I’m the only person looking for it. I mean, many people who come here must be asking for it, right?”

“Well, no sir,” Faye said, quite enjoying the conversation. She looked up at the counter. Her two colleagues were busy flirting in one corner. The shop was empty, save for two businessmen discussing a future deal. And besides, Abel was handsome. Dressed in jeans and a checkered rolled-up sleeved-shirt, he had a chiselled face. A face that would suit an artist or a sculptor more than a writer, perhaps. “I’m sure many people are looking for inspiration. I think the problem is that they never ask.”

“Oh!” Abel said, looking outside the window for a second and then at Faye in a disapproving tone, “That’s a shame.”

Faye was surprised. She had never met anyone so candid before. She sure had met a unique specimen if anything else.

“Sir, would you like anything else then, if not inspiration?” she asked again. She, after all, had a job to do. “Your Irish Coffee has gone cold too.”

“Okay, you can do two things. Actually, three.”

“And what would that be, sir?” Faye said, quite curious now.

“Firstly, you can stop calling me ‘sir’. My name’s Abel. Spelt A-B-E-L and not the way it is spelt in table. Secondly, I’ll finish this coffee, but can you get me two more of the same? And lastly, if you are free, would you have a coffee with me?”

Faye stood in disbelief, wondering what had happened. She looked around her. Her colleagues were still in the corner while one of the businessmen seemed delighted. She turned back to look at Abel who was now looking at street urchins outside the window begging for money.

“Er, Abel?”

“Yes?” Abel turned around slowly, as if he knew what she would reply.

“I get free in an hour. After that?”

“Sure, no problems. I’ll complete my story till then,” he smiled.

Faye turned around and went back to the counter. Her colleagues stopped hobnobbing together when they saw her approaching. Faye couldn’t stop smiling and hoped that Abel wouldn’t notice. He wouldn’t as he was already immersed into his sheet of paper.

Abel had written just a few words on his paper. But he knew he could elaborate and make a fine story now.

Faye. Abel. Love. Four-letter words.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Help Me, I'm Alive

I tried, recently, writing six-line or seven-line stories. This is one of my attempts. Will post a couple more sometime later.

And for those who are musically inclined, the title of this story is also the title of a song by the band Metric.



I have perfected the art of committing suicide.

Not by hanging: you would want to loosen the noose.

Not by coming in front of a train: you’d step off the track once you hear the horn.

Not by cutting your wrist: your hand shivers just trying that.

The best way is to jump off a cliff blindfolded: you do not know what’s coming your way.

I know this works efficiently; I have, after all, been successful at it.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Let's Write A Story

They began writing in the same book,
they started at opposite ends.
She took the front;
he, the back.

Pens were passé, they said.
Quills were what they felt they should write their story with.
And so it began.

Dipping the grey quill in red ink, they scribbled,
scrawled,
squiggled,
doodled,
wrote.


Reams of paper were covered with words,
words that never meant anything to anyone, except them.
They wrote in code, in diagrams, stick figures.
A language only they could understand.

Red ink stains all over their hands, faces and clothes,
as red as the lipstick on her lips,
yet not as red as her nail polish.

They had to run out of ink, and she was first to do so.
She wrote fast, yet lesser.
He was slower, yet dirtier.
Her part of the book was left midway,
as the red ink ran off the white page into blankness.

And as he completed his story.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Death By The Railway Tracks


I feel some of you may not be able to digest what I've written here with regard the content and how I've described most of it. So don't read ahead if you feel you won't be able to complete it.

Don't cry / Don't raise your eye / It's only teenage wasteland

The Who’s Baba O’Riley blasted through my headset as my train gathered speed. I was hanging by the gate of the train and it had just left Dahisar towards Mira Road. I love hanging out the train between Dahisar and Mira Road. The open expanse allows for a lot of breeze, the train moves persistently fast, and nothing beats it when there’s good rock music playing. Just that today, the train screeched to a sudden halt as soon as it left Dahisar.

Usually when such a thing happens it is mostly because someone pulls the chain; mostly as a trick, rarely because of an urgent need. The train, most often, begins moving after halting for around fifteen seconds, but this time it remained stationery for over a couple of minutes. And then the Guard’s voice arrived over the train intercom. He announced that the train would stay in its current position for some time as it had run over a person and he requested the people aboard the train to not get down and walk on the tracks.

A few attendants and officials arrived with a stretcher after ten minutes from Dahisar station, which was roughly a five minute walk from where the train now was. The main official approached with torchlight as the train and its surroundings were engulfed by the darkness. He beamed the torch underneath the train to locate the ‘dead body’. And I don’t exactly remember what my reaction was when he came and stood right next to our coach; right next to the gate I was hanging by, pointing out that the ‘body’ was lying exactly under where I was standing.

He summoned his attendants to come quicker. They pulled out the ‘body’. Blood was oozing from the back of his head. One of the officials said that he was alive, and in all probability he would live. A miracle? Maybe. He was, after all, living. And in one piece. After coming in front of an 80 km/h train.

The train started moving. I put my headsets back on. The drumbeats of Blondie’s Maria filled my ears. Was I just indifferent or what?

It wasn’t the first time that I saw a dead body (though technically this one wasn’t, yet); one that had been through an accident. Train accidents and I are old friends; we’re not close, but we meet each other often. My earliest recollection of a train accident was when I was below the age of ten, perhaps. I remember seeing one at Dadar station. I remember the body being carried away to some distance while the person’s shoes and bag were still at the spot where she (Yes, I think I distinctly remember that person being a woman) was hit. I also remember another one when I was a kid, but this time around I was inside the train and looking out the window at one more life taken.

When I entered college, my affair with train accidents increased. I started jumping into running trains while it entered platforms so that I could catch a window seat. I have dragged myself along the platform at least five times till date. I have had my sandals dropped underneath the train too. And yet, I still do the same everyday.

I remember that I was at Borivali station once and I was just getting down the staircase when a train was leaving the platform. A man hurried to get in. He almost got a foothold and the other passengers tried to hold on to him but he went under. Right in front of my eyes. It did not help that I was listening to Rihanna’s Russian Roulette while this happened. I avoid that song whenever I board a train now.

I’ve been witness to not just train accidents though. Last year, at a usually not-so-busy signal at the junction where a road connects Azad Maidan to Cross Maidan while passing through Fashion Street, a taxi ran over a man and did not wait to help him. Fortunately, some shopkeepers and others from the public came forward to help him but it didn’t seem like he would live. I ignored it, spoke about it to my friend who saw it too; she later admitted that she wanted to slap me and tell me to shut up. That accident had shaken her up. I, evidently, was not harrowed (though I did write a poem about the incident).

So is it that I’ve seen death by accidents so many times that I’ve become numb by it? Is it that I don’t care anymore? Or perhaps as they say, sooner or later, everyone has to die. I’ve had a friend die in a train accident. I’ve had my uncle die in a train accident (much before my birth though) and yet nothing changes. Tomorrow morning I will still jump into the train. To be as comfortable inside, and not realising that I’m putting into danger the ‘comfort’ of my life. Am I not affected anymore? I don’t know. Maybe I am.

And yet,

Death be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadfull, for, thou
 art not soe,
For, those, whom thou think'st, thou dost overthrow,
Die not, poore death, nor yet canst thou kill mee.
From rest and sleepe, which but thy pictures bee,
Much pleasure, then from thee, much more must flow,
And soonest our best men with thee doe goe,
Rest of their bones, and soules deliverie.
Thou art slave to Fate, Chance, kings, and desperate men,
And dost with poyson, warre, and sicknesse dwell,
And poppie, or charmes can make us sleepe as well,
And better then thy stroake; why swell'st thou then?
One short sleepe past, wee wake eternally,
And death shall be no more; death, thou shalt die.

                                                 - John Donne

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Twinkle Twinkle

“When I have my own house, I’ll have stars on the ceiling above my bed.”

The clouds covered the diamonds of the night but that didn’t stop Nysa from voicing her wish aloud. Lying on the sand at night on an empty sea shore had pleasures of its own.

“You’ll miss out on these, won’t you?”

“Well, yeah,” she said hesitatingly. “So what? I’ll buy a house next to the shore. I can then have the best of both worlds.”

Nysa was like that. She could alter her dreams to suit her anytime.

“Arhaan, why don’t you get the solar system on your ceiling too?”

“Well, I’d rather have my blank wall staring back at me,” I said hurriedly. “Thank you Nysa.”

“Blank?” she almost shrieked, piercing into the darkness of the night. “You’re a bore. Tell you what. I’ll design your ceiling. Yes, just your ceiling. I’ll have some graffiti engraved on your whitewashed wall.”

“Oh! Hell, I’m never calling you home.”

“Please yourself then, moron,” she said derisively and got up and started walking away.

“Hey! Nysa! Where are you going?” I screamed. This shouting was not helping much with the mood of the place.

“Nowhere,” she said. “No. Somewhere. Somewhere I can see the stars clearer.”

I got up too. I couldn’t leave her alone at this hour of the night. No one was around. But the feeling that you’re alone is always scary. Nysa did put up a nice front though.

“So, why are you running behind me now?” Nysa asked as I reached up to her.

I stayed behind her, not walking with her.

“I’m checking out your footprints. The way your feet caress the sand, slowly embossing themselves onto this wet…”

“Enough poetry-shoetry now,” she interrupted me. “Just admit that you couldn’t lie there alone.”

“I could have,” I replied, not realising that I actually never felt like I was lying. I felt I was telling her the truth. “But your footprints. That’s what I want on my ceiling.”

“Arhaan, what’s wrong with you? Okay no?”

“Perfectly Nysa,” I smiled. “Footprints. That’s what I want on my ceiling, leading to my bedside window.”

A star fell across the azure sky.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

XIC-JR - 2010 2011: A Tribute



I completed my junior college from St. Xavier's College. Yes, the one where Kabhi Kabhi Aditi was shot. But I had to shift to Wilson's to complete my graduation due to unavoidable circumstances. Yet, I knew my association with Xavier's had not ended. This end was abrupt. I knew I would be back. And I did come back to complete the story.


Last year, I got admission into Xavier Institute of Communications, which is the *duh* communications wing of Xavier's. It has two campuses: one within Xavier's and one next to the St. Xavier's school which is a stone's throw from here. (Not really, actually. Ask us who had to run from the college to school campus for lectures within ten minutes.) But the crowd is still the same, just that we're expected to be more mature, as we're "post-graduate students" in the words of our Dean.

The convocation ended yesterday and with that our year at XIC and hence, I present here a photo blog (with a few lines too) showing how my year at XIC went by. It was not always fun. It was not always work. There were times we could kill people. But, in the end, I'm going to miss this place, the people, the college, the fun, the anger, the everything.

Chronicling the year became easier because the Elective One folks had to get hold of DSLR cameras. Although it did cost too much (Rs. 22000 over the Rs. 175000 we paid) the photographs I clicked helped soothe the mind. Also the free Reebok watch. Anyway, the photograph beside this paragraph is one of the first ones clicked with this camera. This was during the still-life photography class. There were many other genres we tried too, like food, people and fashion but we shall skip those photos for now.

Our first significant event in XIC was the photography trip to Hide Out in Vikramgarh which is on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad highway. We clicked a lot of rural India, nature, including birds, trees and insects, as well as still-life. It was rejuvenating being away from the city for three days in the peace and serenity of rural Maharashtra. Although it was a bit annoying that we had to listen to "This is not a picnic. This is a photography trip." a lot.
The Campfire
Emu: Miniature Godzilla
Ladies By The Well
I forgot what this was called. But enchanting it was.
Ulka and Sylvia sitting by the waterside.
This trip was a wonder for all of us. Going to a place so beautiful and graceful. I, personally, got to be in the arms of nature in a manner I never was before. And the best part was, this was just going to be the first instance of it at XIC. There was one more trip coming. The one with the entire class. The one at Shakti Yogashrama.


Then towards the end of October, when everyone was well into the course, and stressed by the continuous assignments and projects, the college decided that we could refresh ourselves at Shakti Yogashrama which is on a remote hill somewhere near Lonavala. How the bus found the place is beyond me.

We were not allowed to take our cellphones and laptops and stuff around because electricity was anyway at a perpetual shortage there. That didn't stop people from taking their cellphones and searching for network at far-flung places at the Yogashrama like in the toilet, under the banyan tree or even when we went hiking to the waterfall.

Mind you, I didn't take my cell-phone. And hence stayed without it AND Facebook for four days. And survived. (Now say that I'm a Facebook addict!)

Anyway, two of our classmates had to be packaged off back home on the first evening itself because they took ill the moment they stepped onto the holy soil of the yogashrama.
Fixed Eyes
For the rest of us, it was a fun-filled four days away from assignments (By the way, we were asked to write a review of the place and what all we did once we got back.) We did yoga and meditation, slept during it; attended lectures on Indian classical dance and music as well as Indian Mythology, which were very interesting.
Creepy Crawly
The Hopper!
We hiked to waterfalls and clicked photographs of people with a lighted background. (Yes, my stupid ideas which turn out amazing at times.)
Let There Be Light!
We also saved people from dying. But that's another story, altogether.


Almost Down The Waterfall!
We played football.
Had to play!
We sang loudly in a place where we were supposed to remain silent. We broke rules. (Yawn!)

We played dandiya and garba.



And then we returned to the city to sit on Facebook and upload the photos so that we could all like and comment on them.

Oh! A few people even celebrated their birthdays at the Yogashrama. Here is a photograph of how mentally retarded Shefali was at the end of the trip. Imagine not receiving any wishes due to unavailability of network. And eating veg food when you would have otherwise been eating non-veg. (Okay, vegans, no hurt intended.)


We got a break for the Diwali holidays. Just a week. My birthday fell in that week. Now that's what I call sad timing. Anyway.

We were back in no time and already laden with more assignments. But then, fear not. Because Christmas was just around the corner. More like eight weeks away. So when Christmas did come, we all put our Santa caps on and attended the research lecture, which was fun indeed.


Some people managed to keep their caps on straight while some were left open-mouthed at the fact that they looked awesome in a Santa cap. (Some credits go to the photographer, of course.)

In the New Year, we returned to work harder. Not for our assignments much but because the first elective folks had a Photography Exhibition to arrange at Piramal Gallery, National Centre for Performing Arts (NCPA). In case, you’ve never heard of the place before, suffice to say that it was a matter of huge pride for us. Here is a photograph of the First Elective in all its glory.

Oh! And here’s an awesome photo (I think, at least) that I clicked that day.



Towards the end of January, the Public Relations (good folks, them) batch organised Xuberance In Colours, an annual event organised by them which involves the entire college. It was a fun night for all of us. Especially those who got to wear sleeveless to college for once without being halted at the gates by the watchmen.
Picture Courtesy: Shefali Menezes
Pic Courtesy: Shefali Menezes
Pic Courtesy: Manav Juneja
The good folks at PR also organised a Sports Day for the first time at XIC. Football for the boys and Basketball for both. Our esteemed Journalism batch was among the winners. In both the sports. We’re just awesome.
Pic Courtesy: Shubhra Rishi
Pic Courtesy: Shubhra Rishi
February came and we *insert appropriate assignment and projects line here again*. The same with March. But no worries, we had a traditional day lined up which all began with the idea of having a cross-dressing day. Anyway.

So most of us adhered to the dress code and did come in traditional wear. We even clicked photos dividing the class into groups like the ones seen here.
The Christian Minority
The Twitterati
XIC was almost coming to an end and we were really sad about it. April entered and one last event was still left for XIC JR: The launch of our digest Raconteur. (That’s the name I had suggested. So any qualms on how to pronounce it should be addressed to me.)

Our launch took place at IKXIA Lounge, Chowpatty, on April 4, two days after India had won the Cricket World Cup. Ayaz Memon and Rajeev Masand, a cricket observer and film critic respectively, and both former XIC students were the guests of honour. Our function went smooth and the digest was smoother.
Masand and Memon try very hard to cut the ribbon.


I’ll let Raconteur speak for itself. My baby!

Oh! There's my story on the cover: TwiFi Awards!
We had two convocation ceremonies. One fake ceremony where they put robes on us and photographed us with a fake certificate.
Pic Courtesy: Anwar Khan
And the second ceremony which really marked the true end of the course.



At the end of this course, I am going to miss XIC. No doubt about that. More so because of the time we spent doing (sometimes) absolutely nothing.
Bhajan Time!
Sleeping Time!
Coffee Time!
Guitar and Sari Time!
Newspaper Time (which never happened much!)
Playing with Kitty Time!
This time, I know I have completed my story nicely enough. But my college life would have been incomplete without a few photos of the places we frequented during the year.
Candies: No. I didn't eat all that!
McDonald's
Marine Drive
Also, photos and portraits of a few teachers banta toh hain!
Jane Swamy
Saroj Merani
Shefali's sketch of Jehangir Patel
Shefali's sketch of Yogesh Kamdar
The JR Heads: Asha Sandilya and Jane Swamy
A group of students posing with Joe Campana
And how could I forget the friends I have made here. Without them, life at XIC would be incomplete. They say in Journalism, it is important to make contacts. I’m glad that the friends I made here will always be friends and not contacts.
The Class
With Disha S, Manasi, Anwar, Ishani, Shefali, Sanjeevani and Shilpa S.
With Nupur
And these people are the ones without whom my entire year would have been a wasted one. Thanks to all you guys: Sylvia, Shefali, Nishtha and Shubhra. Love you.
With Shefali, Sylvia and Nishtha
With Shubhra
P.S.: How could I forget our sacred and holy Google Group!

Click on the photo for a larger view.
Finally, fellow journos XIC 2010-2011.