Nixing the right addictions…by Pritish Nandy on his birthday

It was Pritish Nandy’s birthday on January 15th and this blog is the result of his musings on his grand 60th. I also came across this very interesting podcast recorded a year back and now sharing the link with you.

Birthdays usually begin with resolutions. The most common resolutions, I have noticed, are to give up some forms of addiction or the other. Over the years I have seen many of my friends resolve to give up smoking, drinking, chocolates, caffeine, speeding, hash, carbs, transfats, going late to work, sleeping with other people’s wives. The list is long but, luckily, most resolutions don’t last that long. They are not meant to.

My birthday was on Saturday. I did my usual. I switched off my everyday life, pondered over things that matter to me, none of them of any earth shaking importance to either me or the world at large. I went into what I call a retreat. It’s a space I occupy for a couple of days. Yes, there were things I was supposed to do which I didn’t, much to the disappointment of my friends and family. But then, this is one day I keep for myself. And no, I have no desire on that day to contemplate any kind of denial. Ergo, I don’t make any resolutions. On the contrary, I try on every birthday to acquire some new addictions, live my life richer, fuller, learn something new.

I recommend you do the same. Spend the year being nice to yourself, do stuff you want you. Make Yes your birthday resolution, not No. The world has changed, I admit. But not everything people once did is wrong. Whether it was Audrey Hepburn who made smoking the ultimate fashion statement by sporting that elegant, long, black cigarette holder in Breakfast at Tiffany’s or Dylan Thomas who drank all day and most nights writing the best poetry of his generation. If you don’t believe me, listen to Richard Burton, another brilliant Welshman and one of the great actors of all time, who also drank far too much, reading Dylan’s poems. Now, that’s life altering.

Nothing’s as bad as it’s made out to be if you enjoy it. You don’t have to judge it. Why must I judge Jim Morrison for the drugs he took. I would rather judge him by the songs he wrote, the music he made? Aldous Huxley claimed the windows of the mind, the doors of perception would never open without mescaline. He won the Nobel Prize. Ginsberg wrote his best lines smoking up in a samshan ghat beside the Ganga. Grudge him that? Would you grudge Kennedy his many indiscretions, including Marilyn Monroe, when he ran the affairs of the state so well that people still describe his times as Camelot?

It’s best to stop worrying about things like smoking, drinking, drugs or adultery. It’s time to focus instead on the stuff we can give up to make India the nation it ought to be. What about giving up paying bribes for a year? See the difference it makes to your life if you just follow the traffic lights instead. If it works for you, take the next step. Tell every bribe seeker to go stuff himself. Trust me. You will feel proud of yourself. It may hurt to begin with. Bribe seekers are bad people. They will harass you, intimidate you. But they can’t diminish you. And, the best thing is, if you don’t take bribes or pay them, you can look every politician or Government officer in the eye and say: I’m better than you.

Let’s also resolve not to make divisive comments during the year. Criticise terrorism, not Muslims. Abuse Mayavati, not the lower castes. Even though you may hate reservations. Don’t crack nasty jokes about other communities. Don’t look away from the poor as if they don’t exist. Reach out and help them if you can with small things. Old clothes, blankets, books, magazines. No, not everyone poor is illiterate: Change your stereotypical ideas. Pack up the extra food you ordered in the restaurant. Give it to street kids. Feed biscuits to stray dogs. I have done it for years; never been bitten. Put water out on your window for the birds. Fight for every tree in the neighbourhood. They protect you. Not that rascal builder who wants to cut it down, grab every open space in the city he can lay his filthy hands on.

Give up your addiction to vandalism. We may hate to admit it, but most of us are vandals by sheer habit. Some deface historical monuments. Others damage public property. A new train, within days of being introduced, has its seats ripped off, fans stolen, toilets filthy and stinking. There are a hundred better ways to grab headlines than stoning buses or removing fish plates, endangering hundreds of lives. Stop chewing paan and spitting in the lift or staircase. Stop peeing outside the pot in a public toilet. Enjoy the company of beautiful women. Don’t grope them in crowded trains or buses.

It’s all easy and much more fun than giving up smoking, drinking, drugs or sex with your neighbour’s wife. And it’s even more fun to stop blaming others and doing a few right things yourself.


140 Responses to “Nixing the right addictions…by Pritish Nandy on his birthday”

  1. 🙂 🙂 🙂 Omg…! Can’t believe he wrote that…lol…! Really ppl do that…in India…!!? “Sleeping with other ppl’s wives”…!!!!? Hmmm…surprised…!
    Why & what they blame Western countries & culture for…!?

  2. Sharmila,

    This post comes a wee bit late. I have already done the new year resolution routine last week. I am back to normal now.

    The audio interview on indicast was excellent. I knew Mr. Nandy was from the English flock but I didn’t know he had found his foster guardians first in the mission school and later through the Jains as publishing director of the TOI without due academic training. No wonder he writes poetry.

    Let me share a secret about my tryst with Mr. Nandy’s poetry. During my transit at the BLR last year, I saw the book at the stall in the lounge. As I had an hour to wait, I simply stood at the stall and finished the entire book and returned it to the rack.

    The learning point is: Airports require passengers to increase their fat in the lounge at least for an hour. Don’t sell keep a book in the store that can be read without buying. I saved a weeks’ expenses by finishing it there and leaving it behind for another miser like me!

    • Thats right, I loved the interview too. Did you read ” Again”? I can see you have not much to say about that book. It is Nandy back with the golden touch after a hiatus of 25 years. I wait to read another one he re – released this year with Kamala Das ” Tonight this savage rite”..

      • Yes, I read ‘Again’, the anthology. I didn’t read it again.

        I don’t know what you like about his poetry. Honestly, I didn’t find anything in it.

        Well… to each his/her own poison. I am very old fashioned about poetry. You know, I am sold on Tagore, Sahir etc.

      • Try this as to why I love his poetry. This chap has summarized it best.

        Pritish Nandy’s latest poetry book, Again is next to me and I need to write about it. It’s not because he started writing poetry again after 20 odd years having already authored 32 anthologies, nor that now he is no longer a poet but a film maker. I even tried searching for the poetry he left behind in Kolkata in his Bollywood films, I really couldn’t find them. Then, why should I be writing on his latest book?

        Because Pritish Nandy would always remain a poet and his poetry in ‘Again’ needs to redefined.

        I would rather start right from the very beginning, his books and the man himself.

        I have questioned myself as many others have done, Is Pritish Nandy a poet, a poet who started an era of rethinking ideas and ideologies about Indian contemporary poetry, a poet who was rejected in academic echelons, a poet who survived.

        Some may conclude that his works are just nothing but then out of nothingness came out his words pouring in a torrential rain, drenching many of us. I kept pace with his books and poetry from distant Gwalior. I met people who knew him, yet I have never met him.

        But then do I really think that I don’t know him.

        Kolkata – 1970

        At a time when Marshal McLuhan was talking about the global village, when Rolling Stone began publishing in America, Melody Maker started coming out in England and Time-Out happened in London, in Calcutta there was JS.

        Dubby Bhagat’s article on Junior Statesman and we being the world’s oldest teenager is till etched in my mind.

        Junior Statesman or better known as JS had become a cult movement during the seventies and so was the cult status given to its charismatic editor and later an Yeti hunter, Desmond Doig.

        JS brought out an article on Pritish Nandy and his poetry journal Dialogue in the blueprint section. His Dialogue Publications had even published translations of Underground Soviet Poets; some of them are still available on the Amazon.

        Poetry, politics and love went together. Kolkata was just the place to be during that time. Erica Jong and Ayan Rand went hand in hand. This poem written by Erica Jong reflects the thinking of a generation during that time. Kolkata was just over ripe for such a movement.

        Student Revolution
        (Heidelberg, 1969)

        After the teach-in
        we smeared the walls with
        our solidarity,
        looked left, & saw
        Marx among the angels,
        singing the blues.
        The students march,
        I (spectator)
        Here (as everywhere)
        the Polizei
        are clean, are clean.
        In Frankfurt,
        the whores lean out
        their windows, screaming:
        “Get a job — you dirty
        hippies!” Or words
        (auf Deutsch) to that effect.
        I’m also waiting
        for the Revolution,
        Surely, my poems
        will get better.
        Surely, I’ll no longer
        fear my dreams.
        Surely I won’t murder
        my capitalist father
        each night
        just to inherit
        his love.
        � Erica Mann Jong

        Ayn Rand talked about reason in her celebrated book, Atlas Shrugged but Pritish Nandy defied all reason in creating images from words. He came from Bhagalpur in Bihar to Kolkata. One day he just started hammering on words, sentences and grammar. They changed shapes in the most unlikely forms from which he created poems. The eye and the mind of university academicians used to the poetry of Milton, Toru Dutt, Sarojini Naidoo and Nissim Ezekiel just could not take it anymore. Nandy was barred and he became an instant hero.

        Shubhoranjan Dasgupta writes in his book on Pritish Nandy, ‘Let alone the medium, no critic asked the more crucial question: Can we label this poetry? And faced with no opposition our predecessors continued rolling out their imbecile lines which either celebrated the beauty of buttercups or the profundity of the idea of reincarnation. Indeed it was considered a social grace in those days of pre independence to refer to the fragile euphony of Toru Dutt, the monotonous onomatopoeia of Manmohan Ghosh and the resounding ludicrousness of Sri Aurobindo’s bugle blasts’

        Let me start with these few line written by Nandy during those Calcutta days,
        ‘I write for those who can never read the language. I use and write in a language that has no roots in my country but my voice is the voice of my people for I speak of their loves and ambitions and secret shames my eyes share, the hunger of the shameless woman who makes dispassionate love on the pavement whose large black nipples remind of my mother who is now old and lonely. I write for those who will craft a new country with their simple implements’

        In ‘Again’ the vagabound has finally come home.
        ‘now that we have come back to our broken
        homes in the wounded light of dusk
        this endless drama will continue
        our nights will burn
        we shall travel eastwards we shall suffer
        the agony of changes and yet remain unchanged
        ourselves for though our arms are maimed and our
        mouths cannot speak we remain lovers’

        ‘Again’ is a poetry book different from other books by Pritish Nandy. It is a glossy, hard cover book which is big, has colors, has fonts of different sizes and has small poems sometimes spread out in two pages. Shashi Tharoor in his Introduction says about ‘his dazzling experiments with style, font, typograpghy and layout’. Published by Rupa, India, the jacket cover has a photograph of Pritish Nandy with a greying French beard and black frame glasses. It’s important to mention this because his celebrated book, ‘Lonesong Street’ published in 1975 has a picture of the young Pritish wearing bellbottomed jeans and having long hair.

        Is Again an autobiography?
        Pritish Nandy gave us inkling about it ‘Lonesong Street’:
        a wardrobe of fatigued denims
        & an unfinished draft of my autobiographical novel

        From the last page of ‘Again’:
        Poetry always starts with words
        When words start to hurt, we pause

        regain our innocence and start again

        But this time it’s not poetry
        Its life writing itself out
        in a strange unfinished way

        What you may choose to call
        an autobiography of sorts.

        ‘Again’ is his story of Mumbai, a city of dreams
        the last train limps back
        to Borivili
        the last drunk stumbles
        on the platform:
        I rule
        this city at night
        Emperor of Darkness
        only I have the power
        to switch on the Dawn

        A murder of crows noisily
        wakes me up. Tell me fool
        shall I go home?

        But he still remembers Kolkata:
        Years ago, I left you
        Kolkata and came away:
        no, not to another city
        nor another home.

        He writes about his daughters:
        she strums a guitar and sings
        all by herself in a darklit room
        and I listen
        one more daughter has grown up
        reached out and touched the skies…

        about his father:
        Baba left
        to the beating of drums
        Strapped to a hospital bed
        frail gaunt eyes closed:the noisy cymbals
        drowning out my anger, my restlessness
        For a week I had waited
        for him to die, knowing all the while
        that every lie I had lived with
        will go with him and cleanse me
        once and for all.

        No. I have never believed since.

        and about his mother:
        How is it ma
        that I remember you only on your wheelchair
        fighting a failing body
        and memories that had long escaped?
        I know how strong you once ere
        as you gripped my hand
        and picked me up in the bus to school.
        Why am I still so angry
        to see you gone?

        Pritish talks about Rod Stewart:
        Rod Stewart sings on my iPod
        His nicotine stained voice
        takes me home.

        But in ‘Lonesong Street’:
        it has been raining since morning
        & Carol King’s blowing my mind in the dark

        Actually ‘Again’ is the title of a poem he wrote in the seventies
        you were not
        the first girl I loved
        nor was I
        your first man…..

        Well, then what do I miss most in ‘Again’
        Your prose poetry from ‘Riding the Midnight River’
        strange the fevered word that leads nowhere yet breaks into memory
        nowhere yet memory that breaks the fevered word into strange leads
        that word leads nowhere yet breaks into the strange fevered memory
        where memory leads no strange word yet breaks the fevered into that
        yet memory leads nowhere that breaks into the strange fevered word
        fevered the strange memory that leads nowhere yet breaks into word….

        and your one line poems:
        insane comrade asleep
        part oscillates: part waits

        Pritish Nandy defies easy labelling, says Shashi Tharoor

        I remember one poet who I can say came very near to Nandy and that was Dom Moraes.

        ‘Again’, I believe would usher newer poetry art, poetry films, poetry music or just plain good old poetry in a world which is far more different although every daybreak still remains the same. Pritish recited these lines at the launch of ‘Again’ in Mumbai from his poem Daybreak:

        sun in the earth
        bird in the air
        eye within eye
        whispers again….

      • Sharmila,


        I was only curous to know why you, Sharmila, liked his poetry. I cannot be interested in him as a person.

        The distinctive character of his musings is the absence of any ideational element. I cannot justify values on the basis of social conformity, which is what I often read in his words and style.

        Its labelled as ‘Popular Literature’, if Shubhoranjan Dasgupta really didn’t know, as he claims.

      • I like his style, his play with words, they stir up emotions without the flowers and the bees talk. Besides, most of his work conjures up very strong visuals. Something not many can do. There are many more reasons, i will do it when I review Again..

      • Sharmila,

        Yes, shall wait for your take on Mr. Nandy’s poems.

        Personally I am unable to eulogize even Tagore or Sahir. My approval involves absorbing their visions in my life which makes any more praise unnecessary.

    • lol…Reader,
      Did you mean that there is not much of a content between the cover pages of that book….or its not very the poems written by a school boy or a novice in that area…!?

      • MonaLisa,

        No… not in that sense…

        Its about me as a Reader. I am usually not interested in the personality of the writer. When I find the poet talking about himself or his own it turns me off.

        Its the same thing Mr. Nandy has said in the post above.

        I am not interested in whether an artist smokes or does drugs etc. I am interested in what he delivers as an artist.

        Same way, I am not interested in why a naked woman’s nipples on the pavements of Calcutta remind Mr. Nandy of his mother. It probably inspires voyeuristic feelings among deprived teenagers but it doesn’t give me anything to think about.

      • Reader,
        I agree with what you said in your comment…It sounds very distasteful..the way nakedness has been described…
        As readers we do not attach any value to his addictions or good/bsd habits whatsoever…though he himself tried to…
        So does apply the same to so called celebrities…
        What difference does it make to any readers life…other than Gossiping…

      • MonaLisa,

        Thats my point. Be it prose or poetry, we acquire its values only if they rise to our own.

  3. Hi! Sharmila,

    Thank you for putting up this sarcastic but thought provoking piece. Mr. Nandy sure is one multi-faceted and colorful personality who has his heart in the right place. He was one of my favorites in the good old Doordarshan days. Though I was taken aback a bit when he had accepted the Shiv Sena’s offer to nominate him to the Upper House of our Parliament, I knew that he was a good man. BTW did you know that he was the one who opened India’s first cyber café?

    • Yes, I read about that. He is a Master of all trades. What I like about him is that he well and truly pursues excellence. I think he was disappointed with only his political stint. He states that Shiv Sena was the only party who offered him a seat. No other party did.

  4. Mr. Nandy,

    May I draw your attention.. here!.. I am on Sharmila’s blog.. you won’t find me anywhere else on the networks…

    I hope you don’t mind being quoted or answerable to yourself for what you feel:

    Suggested Resolution 1. Spend the year being nice to yourself, do stuff you want: Believe me, Sir, I have not done anything else for the last 8 years. Its damn monotonous and boring. No one has any opinions about it except myself.

    Suggested Resolution 2. It’s best to stop worrying about things like smoking, drinking, drugs or adultery: I don’t do the last 3, but I smoke. And I don’t worry about it. Rather, I enjoy it like no ones business, till the doctor prescribes a CPD.

    Suggested Resolution 3. What about giving up paying bribes for a year?: What about it? They don’t accept checks, na? I need a driving license. Its cheaper to pay INR 2500 at the RTO than paying INR100 every day at the traffic square or have the vehicle impounded and going to police custody.

    But I resolve that I’ll not pay any bribes to private citizens. Government employees are God’s own angels. I can’t deny them anything. I never feel proud in front of government officers. I, either, worship them or curse democracy.

    Suggested Resolution 4. Let’s also resolve not to make divisive comments during the year: Good one. Agreed. Theres no point in commenting in thin air. Either do something or shut up.

    Suggested Resolution 5. Feed biscuits to stray dogs. Thank you. I hope you’ll read this comment.

    Suggested Resolution 6. Give up your addiction to vandalism I never vandalize government property. I buy stuff that is vandalized by someone else. They are sold with an Agmark nowadays in the Bori Bunder wholesale market. Its a flourishing billion dollar business, next only to the film industry in Mumbai.

    Suggested Resolution 7. Enjoy the company of beautiful women. Do you know any men who need to be told this?

    Suggested Resolution 8. And it’s even more fun to stop blaming others and doing a few right things yourself Moot point, Sir. If I do things right, what will I blame others for?

    Suggested Resolution 9. This is the best. I try on every birthday to acquire some new addictions, live my life richer, fuller, learn something new. This I always do, and shall continue to do for the rest of my tenure on earth.

    My sincere best wishes, a belated happy birthday and all the best for your own resolutions, apart from what you expect others to do.


  5. Aishwarya Says:

    Belated birthday wishes to Mr. Nandy. Wishing him wonderful years ahead.

  6. Who is now reading this?
    May-be one is now reading this who knows some wrong-doing of my past life,
    Or may-be a stranger is reading this who has secretly loved me,
    Or may-be one who meets all my grand assumptions and egotisms with derision,
    Or may-be one who is puzzled at me.

    As if I were not puzzled at myself!
    Or as if I never deride myself! (O conscience-struck! O self-convicted!)
    Or as if I do not secretly love strangers! (O tenderly, a long time, and never avow it;)
    Or as if I did not see, perfectly well, interior in myself, the stuff of wrong-doing,
    Or as if it could cease transpiring from me until it must cease.

    === by Guess Who?== Hint: He was the first poet to use prose for poetry.

  7. Another one from the same poet:

    Passage to India!

    Cooling airs from Caucasus far, soothing cradle of man,
    The river Euphrates flowing, the past lit up again.

    Lo, soul, the retrospect, brought forward;
    The old, most populous, wealthiest of Earth’s lands,
    The streams of the Indus and the Ganges, and their many affluents;

    Passage to more than India!
    Are thy wings plumed indeed for such far flights?
    O Soul, voyagest thou indeed on voyages like these?
    Disportest thou on waters such as these?
    Soundest below the Sanscrit and the Vedas?
    Then have thy bent unleash’d.

    Passage to you, your shores, ye aged fierce enigmas!
    Passage to you, to mastership of you, ye strangling problems!
    You, strew’d with the wrecks of skeletons, that, living, never reach’d you.

    Passage to more than India!
    O secret of the earth and sky!

    Of you, O waters of the sea! O winding creeks and rivers!
    Of you, O woods and fields! Of you, strong mountains of my land!
    Of you, O prairies! Of you, gray rocks!
    O morning red! O clouds! O rain and snows!
    O day and night, passage to you!

    O sun and moon, and all you stars! Sirius and Jupiter!
    Passage to you!

    Passage—immediate passage! the blood burns in my veins!
    Away, O soul! hoist instantly the anchor!
    Cut the hawsers—haul out—shake out every sail!

    Have we not stood here like trees in the ground long enough?
    Have we not grovell’d here long enough, eating and drinking like mere brutes?
    Have we not darken’d and dazed ourselves with books long enough?

    Sail forth! steer for the deep waters only!
    Reckless, O soul, exploring, I with thee, and thou with me;

    For we are bound where mariner has not yet dared to go,
    And we will risk the ship, ourselves and all.

    O my brave soul!
    O farther, farther sail!
    O daring joy, but safe! Are they not all the seas of God?

    O farther, farther, farther sail!

    === Guess who is this poet ===

  8. MonaLisa,

    He is America’s greatest poet ever: Walt Whitman

  9. 🙂 🙂 🙂 hahahahahahhhahahahhahhaahaha….!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Since when are we competing…!? omg…! 🙂
    Of course…! you are The Man….! I am not…! I have no traits of the gender you belong to… 🙂
    Are you talking about Stein…!?
    Yet…I am not out there to prove myself anything…best,better or worse…. so winning or losing is not imp for me… 🙂
    I never claim I know everything….or superior to anyone…I don’t entertain such complexes…
    And yes…! I never feel ashmed to admit that “I don’t know” anything or any matter…period..
    Why are you looking for a validation very off and on…!? That “you are the best”…!!! Me till hanging around is not enough of a proof….!!!??? 🙂
    Sometimes I feel that your feminine side is quite strong enough….like a female(girl friend or wife) who urges to hear “I Love You” from her partner very often or she doubts on his intentions and beats hell ou of him with tantrums….lol 🙂
    You win…. 🙂

    • Stein? who stein, how stein?

      Walt Whitman, an amazing poet! I have his anthology ‘Leaves of Grass’.

      And whats wrong about validation? I want re-assurance that I am making sense and good enough at that. Is that too bad?

      Are you saying, you wouldn’t hang around if I was dumber? Thats not true. You have been on this page long before me.

      Yourself, Aishwarya, Melwyn, MuraliRaja, Lakshmi, Shubha, Ninad, Saurabh, Anand have all been here before I.

      Hmm.. you think I have a feminine side? Is that a compliment or a handicap?

      Why does a wife expect a man to say “I love you”? Sounds like a confession in a court or a church.

      There is a law which says “You are allowed to keep silent. Anything you say will be held against you in the court of law and the bedroom”


      I win…. 🙂

  10. Walt Whitman’s “Leaves of Grass” created significant interest among the class of ppl …however the roots of “introduction of prose in poetry” lies in France…Hence he might not be the one “The Father of Prose in Poetry”…he was & is considered is a different story…
    I see nothing wrong in asking for validation …if you wish…I can tell you everyday…that…”You are The Best”… 🙂 (A female is a female who knows how to satisfy a male’s Ego…) 🙂
    It is The Man who is Too afraid….woman knows how to hold her ground….lol
    Yes…you may be right…That I was here before you entered this blog…yet you significantly rule…!
    Flaunting hundred other names don’t change a thing….! Darling…you….! 🙂
    You sure must be a Crab or A Prawn (Not Croc) in your last life…hehehe…once you are- the prey is captured in the claws….hard to get out of it… Caution :- This is strictly a Compliment…Do not take otherwise… 🙂
    Hahaha….about that confession….ask your woman…she can answer better for you…lol… 🙂

    • Here is another Whitman special:

      That which eludes this verse and any verse,

      Unheard by sharpest ear, unform’d in clearest eye or cunningest mind,
      Nor lore nor fame, nor happiness nor wealth,

      And yet the pulse of every heart and life throughout the world incessantly,
      Which you and I and all pursuing ever ever miss,

      Open but still a secret, the real of the real, an illusion,
      Costless, vouchsafed to each, yet never man the owner,

      Which poets vainly seek to put in rhyme, historians in prose,
      Which sculptor never chisel’d yet, nor painter painted,

      Which vocalist never sung, nor orator nor actor ever utter’d,
      Invoking here and now I challenge for my song.

      Indifferently, ‘mid public, private haunts, in solitude,
      Behind the mountain and the wood,

      Companion of the city’s busiest streets, through the assemblage,
      It and its radiations constantly glide.

      In looks of fair unconscious babes,
      Or strangely in the coffin’d dead,
      Or show of breaking dawn or stars by night,

      As some dissolving delicate film of dreams,
      Hiding yet lingering.

      Two little breaths of words comprising it.
      Two words, yet all from first to last comprised in it.

      How ardently for it!
      How many ships have sail’d and sunk for it!

      How many travelers started from their homes and ne’er return’d!
      How much of genius boldly staked and lost for it!

      What countless stores of beauty, love, ventur’d for it!
      How all superbest deeds since Time began are traceable to it–and
      shall be to the end!

      How all heroic martyrdoms to it!
      How, justified by it, the horrors, evils, battles of the earth!
      How the bright fascinating lambent flames of it, in every age and
      land, have drawn men’s eyes,

      Rich as a sunset on the Norway coast, the sky, the islands, and the

      Or midnight’s silent glowing northern lights unreachable.

      Haply God’s riddle it, so vague and yet so certain,
      The soul for it, and all the visible universe for it,
      And heaven at last for it.

      Walt Whitman (1819 to 1892) The Riddles of Life

      • Hmmm….could you solve the riddle …Reader..?

      • Yes,

        God is the riddle!!!!

        Solve that and Life becomes the answer to all the other riddles!

      • Yep…America’s Greatest poet ever who stirred great sensation in his own time….so we Named A Bridge after him…Didn’t we…!?
        The Walt Whitman Bridge….
        And his house in Camden where he lived till his last breath….is declared as a monumental site…see…we remember him…!

      • God…!? God is a riddle…!? Like Whatever is unknown… is a riddle…!?
        If so…how did you solve it…!? Do you know God..!?

      • 😦

        I have not solved it.

        I am not an aethist and I am not a believer and I am not agnostic!


        I like the way Einstein believed in God – A creative force who has better things to do…

    • Good Morning,

      I was not a crab in the last life. I am a crab in this one – a lunar cancerian sign; a piscian-arian cusp in the sun.

      I would like to feel that I was a Golden Eagle in the last one. Garuda is Vishnu’s father in the purana.

      ‘Validation’ is not the right word in this context because we are not doing any experiments. I think it is more like a feedback or a quality check.

      • Good Morning….Reader,
        You can feel whatever you want to…at least in that area there are no restrictions as far as i know…lol
        However in my opinion…you seem to be an eagle in this life and a crab in last…yet….who knows…What is what…!?
        I wouldn’t agree on that quality chk…sounds like you take a step and then take two steps back…lol…no one is penalising anyone for anything here… 🙂

      • 🙂

        Have you ever seen an eagle with a long beard?

        I am going to grow one as soon as I retire from employed life.

        Imagine, a large Golden Eagle in the sky with a long, white beard pulled back by the aerial drag…

        Disney would make a film on me in no time…

      • 🙂 🙂 You are such a Darling…Reader…!
        You just said ‘Yes’ in the previous post and now you say ‘No’ …… I love you for that…! O ..Man…! 🙂

      • Reader… You call it (God) A creative force…
        I call it Governing force…!
        That’s the only difference…we have in our belief….

      • Agree. Lets continue with what we have in common. I am in a good mood today!

        (Whitman, Tagore, Sahir have that effect on me!)


  11. They say don’t pay bribes, but really how many opportunities does a working-class person get to do that. You don’t have to go and get a driving license every year. The only time I think i pay bribe in India is for a traffic cop incident. That happens probably once in 3 years if i am in India.

    However, if you run a business there are probably 100 instances in any year that you have to go and pay bribe. If you don’t it will affect your business one way or the other.

    I have an uncle in Pune, who is known to be very honest and has never paid a bribe in his life. He calmly tells the authorities that he has infinite patience to wait for the approvals etc. The authorities now know him and do not ask him for a bribe and do the paperwork on time it seems.

    • Ninad,

      Sorry for butting in.

      I object to Mr. Nandy because I believe that corruption can be eradicated only if the corrupt are reformed.

      A bribe is a value paid or compromised for buying a right.

      If a child has to please his parents or teachers to get something in other ways than performing his proper function then that is a bribe.

      If a small scale enterpreneur has to do a politicians grocery and other house work to get a permit from the Municipality, that is a bribe.

      But if you turn the tables around and look at it from the bribe takers view, it is blackmail.

      The media magnate or an industrialist who buys ‘hegemony’ or monopoly in the market ‘blackmails’ the lawmakers.

      The politician who uses the police force as his private army is indulging in ‘blackmail’

      The bureaucrat who forces the common man to bow and submit is ‘blackmailing’ them.

      Blackmail is a more serious crime against humanity.

      Let us resolve that we will not ‘blackmail’ anyone in kind or cash, not even our kith and kin.

      • Ya I agree with you, its definitely blackmail.

        These days Mumbaikars are fighting against taxiwallahs not agreeing to come short distances, something not seen in Mumbai anytime before. However if you pay them double they come..that’s blackmail as well.

        Delhi is worst in this case, they don’t even have meters. Now with the metro running, their blackmail should reduce.

  12. Lol..Reader,
    You are soooo….amused by some beard that you think of it all the time and talk about it often…
    Now retirement or no retirement…you must grow a beard….if that tangles with anything…call me…! I am good at untangling things…hehehe.. 🙂

    • One day… one day.. the world will witness the glorious spectacle of a long, white beard on Reader’s chin… Amen…

      But right now I need to shave this showroom for the office…

      Back in a jiffy…

  13. How long would be your Jiffy and when would come that your one day…!? Can’t wait for it too long… 😦

    • Honestly, I don’t know how much is a ‘Jiffy’.

      The rest of the world uses seconds, minutes and hours for time. Apparantly, in Hong Kong they use Jiffy. I learnt the word from Sharmila.


      • C’mon you must be kiddin’ me…! It has nothing to do with HK…

      • Your response is incomplete….you ignored the beard part of one day…
        That one day can be any day…
        Should be now…or never…lol..

      • I mean don’t blame Sharmila though I learnt it from her: “Back in a Jiffy.”

        (I think it means any time from now till the cows come home.)

        May be she picked it up during her visits to Europe or UK.

      • MonaLisa,

        About the one day:

        Never ask a dreamer what he means… if he knew what he means he wouldn’t be dreaming… 🙂

        Have you seen Whitman’s beard? I would like one just like that! Something that flows right from here to here…

      • Lol….that Here(from there) to here would be nice…may be I will pluck some hair and keep ’em as a souvenir.. 🙂

      • Lol….what Sharmila got to do with it..!?
        Jiffy means…in a split second….in/before a blink of an eye…
        So I asked….how long your “Jiffy ” would be…! lol…
        You are so pretentious…as if you know nothing about that… 🙂

      • MonaLisa,

        There are different words in different worlds…

        For example:

        Have you heard the word: Jipney? What is a Jipney?

      • A ‘Jipney’ is a sort-of shared taxi in the Phillipines. If you want to be-friend a good looking girl in Cebu, share a jipney…

      • Do share your Cebu experience. I hear its a good holiday destination but it has some threats …

      • I had a net friend from Cebu.

        She is now in Chicago. Those were early days of the Yahoo Messenger. We chatted for hours, days, months and all the year till she became a nun and has now dedicated her life to the service of human beings.

        Don’t blame me. She was already into that sort of thing. I only added fuel to the fire.

  14. My weekend starts in 3 hours, as soon as I finish my small power nap in the office.

    After that I am free to do my own work for today and tomorrow. Have you noticed, I am busiest when I am doing nothing!

  15. Aah..okk..! so…what are your plans for the day… the day off…??
    Something wrong with my email account…the page don’t load up …and it kicks me out…immediately..

    • Todays program:

      Tea now in the office, snacks at 1100, drive back home.

      Lunch at 1300… update RV synoptics upto Hymn 50+.. mail to Sharmila… Tea at 1500.. continue update… weekend shopping for general provisions…

      House-keeping!!!!! Washing and ironing the hair and clothes…

      Evening: Re-arrange books from side-table to shelf. If I find something I would like to read, then stop everything else and read…

  16. Oh…wow…! someone is affected by the full moon finally…!
    But why do you have to be affected by those ppl…!? seems like your buck stops right there…

    • The full moon gets to everyone and everything… thats why it is called Soma… the source of delight and bliss…

      • Yep…for lunetics to…lol
        It affects more to certain class of ppl more than others…
        Artists get more affected than others
        Ladies…more sensitives than others are more affected…
        Certain Sun signs like Pisces,Aquarious,Libra,Cancer are more affected than others…

      • Thats why Luna-tics, na?

      • Tics are very ugly and dangerous creatures…beware…Lol…Whatever Tic it is…!

  17. You are soooooo bad…! left me waiting here…! not fair..! What happened to your good mood now…!? Jeeesss…
    Men are so…difficult…! 😦

  18. Aah…! Don’t be jealous…! I can do the same…if you are so annoyed with my comfort zone..! lol…I can also drive to your office and take a nap right there on your table… 🙂

  19. Sharmila,

    Call from movie club. Invited to attend screening of “Dhobi Ghat”, late evening today from 1900 to 2100. (It is releasing in India tomorrow).

    Shall +vely mail the file before leaving! (Not jiffy.. 🙂 )

    • Do let us know what your thoughts are.. I heard it is good..

      • Sharmila,

        Just back from the ‘Dhobi Ghat’… the name is quite appropriate…

        I was surprised it has an Adult Certificate.

        It’s a movie made by a woman, about women, for women, and as the name ‘Dhobi Ghat’ indicates, washes a lot of dirty linen in public.

        I won’t let out the plot. Its bound to be a hit in the international circuit. Its the next level of SM.

        It’s a story of an American NRI girl who is on a sabbatical in Mumbai, sleeps with a painter, freaks out for a gigolo while maintaining a normal American NRI pose.

        The men are so feminine in their portrayal, if they were not shown smoking or drinking, the Indian audience would take them for gay.

        The usual Mumbai’s dark side is served – drugs, crowds, freaks, gangs, murder and plenty of sex.

        My rating: Documentary Standard – Very Poor.

        My reason: A woman is not just someone who fails to deal with the dark nightmares of puberty, fake sensuality and physical instincts. The director, Kiran Rao, has got a twisted idea of herself and women in general.

      • Reader, Sharmila,

        A superbly summarized review. The best part being the reason for the poor rating given.

        Its heartening to see that men give women more credit than women give themselves at times. Probably the women are to blame. A good number like to portray themselves as worthy of nothing but the physical. Repeatedly, ad nauseum. There is definitely more to a woman than the obvious.

        Good review.

      • Aishwarya,

        Thanks. You know what, after coming out of the plex we were puzzled.

        Do we, outside the country, really know whats happening to the kids in the metros?

        I couldn’t imagine that movies like this could be made as commercial main stream cinema.

        Earlier, such semi-porn, lemon popsicles were made by Silk Smitha and co.

        Now that is selling as art!

      • I think there is an enormous vacuum in the aesthetics industry.

    • Huh…! Wgat kind o’ movie club is that that run the shows for their members before release…!? surprising…!

  20. Sharmila,

    Please check mail

  21. Sharmila, Sharmila, Sharmila, Sharmila, Sharmila,

    Please receive the file in the last mail. (Rig Veda III)

    Please ignore the previous mail. Wrong draft attached. Stupid me…

  22. Dear Reader…
    Last night I was thrown out of this sight and couldn’t connect due to some serious or severe problems…
    Yep…I know what ‘Jipeny’ is…but I think it spells “Jeepney”
    Meaning A shared Cab… as Phillipinos say…
    No…Its not necessary that we know all the words and slang …unless they are quite common in use…and for us “Jiffy” is…so I thought you knew…
    My bad…!

    • MonaLisa,

      Good evening. I logged in late too. But I was too tired to stay awake. The movie ‘Dhobi Ghat’ was so disgusting.

      Our movie club went out for dinner after that, to a flashy restaurant called Bollywood Chat.

      Various opinions in the group.

      What is equivalent gender opposite for Male Chauvinism? Female Chauvinism? Yuck…

      I thought the movie was a hen’s night, where rich women’s clubs call in men for strip tease dancing (and some ‘fun’, mimicking the men’s pubs.)

      Some of us were in a appreciative mood.

      Their thoughts: Amir Khan has acted well; Cinematography and tech was good; Smita Patil’s son is promising; And the lead lady Monica Dogra looks clean – which means not acting on cocaine shots.

      I just wanted to hit the bed – alone!

      • Aah…! what makes you declare that you went to bed “alone”…lol….whats and where’s the proof…you ‘r not lying…! 🙂

      • The proof is: I am online before sunrise, had breakfast, enjoying songs on youtube, watching CNN on the TV in mute, writing these romantic comments on Sharmila’s blog.

        If I was lying I’d still be lying in bed. 🙂

    • What serious and severe problems?

  23. The winter (khareef) rains hit the town last night. The sky is grey. The hills behind my house are looking wet and heavier.

    The dogs are testing their tails to check if everything is still in place; the cats are purring for someone to warm them up.

    I am feeling artistic!

    Very dangerous moment – when I feel this way I mean. Rational girls stay away from me at such times – could hug and kiss the one closest at hand. Rather alarming if one is not prepared…

    • Lol…you are good at Risk Management…I am good at taking Risks…. How about that…!???? 🙂 🙂

    • 🙂 Reader….Thank God were feeling artistic …and not Autistic…! 🙂
      “Old is Gold”….btw old fashion(ed) is the in thing now…it always comes back in circle…lol..

      • Hmm.. how does one feel autistic? Thats technically impossible.

        Autistic would be like this:

        MonaLisa… Lisa… Mona… yes… thank… old.. is… circle.. what?… lol… think … fashion… back… art.. art… art… not… tist.. no… no… gold.. is… btw… in… thing…

  24. 🙂 🙂 🙂

  25. No one, in the recent times, has made a movie on Mumbai as good as or even close to “Gaman”: Honest, simple and straight from the heart!

    Incidently, the star in it was Smita Patil, mother of Prathiek, the male lead of ‘Dhobi Ghat’.

    Here is a jhalak of the classic ‘Gaman’, which means ‘Flight’:

  26. Yep…Quite realistic…Metros are always overcrowded

  27. Seems like I have to take a break for few days…my pc is infested….

  28. someone sent Black Trojen-back door…jeeeesss…its so creepy…why ppl have to do that..!?

    • Trojans are not very harmful. But kill the registry in parts.

      Download latest AV from the OS web. If you are using a Mactintosh that might be difficult. MS has the latest on its web. Avoid the Aussie Mc-something. Its no good.

      I am using a professional version of Kaspersky.

      • I have AVG..seems its not doing a great job..
        Lets see…gotta resolve the matter..

      • Wonder what PC you are using. Or is it a laptop?

        If its HP or Sony (Vaio) their own websites provide free AV software.

        Why not leave it on for the night? Let the disk defrag, scan etc. Switch on the auto-delete if you are not using it for office work, or quarantine and back-up if you have important docs.

  29. Can you believe this…!? such a bad day today…for me…too many bad news and incedents…hard to handle…I am completely overwhelmed…
    Can you believe I didn’t have Lunch or Dinner yet…!? Just nibbled some junk food…and lots of coffee with it…now I call it A Day…! A Fun Day…not now..but when you think about it later… 🙂
    You have a good one…me getting off..straight to bed.. c ya when i c ya…Till then….Good Morning,evening and nights…TC

  30. An example of Sharing & Caring Vs Dogmatists

    A moralist once visited Osho’s (Rajneesh) ashram in Pune. He was appalled at the amoral stuff that people were indulging in all over the place.

    “Osho!” he said, “Do you see what boys and girls are doing in your ashram?”

    “Whats that to do with me?” asked Osho

    “It’s your ashram, isn’t it?!”

    “Whats that to do with you?” asked Osho


  31. Good afternnoon/evening

    Time flies while sitting in the lawn under a clouded sky with a book. I have just re-visited Newton’s Scholium in The Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy (1729) or popularly known as The Principia

    Newton’s four rules of Reasoning in Philosophy:

    1. We are to admit no more causes of natural things than such as are both true and sufficient to explain their appearances. (In short, nothing is done in vain)

    2. Therefore to the same natural effects we must, as far as possible, assign the same causes.

    3. The qualities of bodies, which admit neither intensification nor remission of degrees, and which are found to belong to all bodies within the reach of our experiments, are to be esteemed the universal qualities of all bodies whatsoever.

    4. In experimantal philosophy we are to look upon propositions inferred by general induction from phenomena as accurately or very nearly true, notwithstanding any contrary hypothesis that may be imagined, till such time as other phenomena occur, by which they may either be made more accurate, or liable to exceptions. (In short, an argument by induction may not be evaded by hypothesis. This is a bit too much to digest. I doubt Niels Bohr or Einstein agreed to this.)

    Khair, let go.

    I am going on a long drive on the rain wet roads. There is no sign of any life for miles in and around the house and the surrounding hills. The silence is deafening.

    Here is a song till I am back:

  32. A phenomenon that is not assessed by science is an unapplied philosophy.

    Sometimes one gets fooled by randomness. Conceptual physics is all about finding the order in this brownian uncertainty.

    Position is so vital for a perfect match.

    Take the case of my eldest brother, the first child. He is close to 60 now. He has still not realized that everyone in the family kept his confidence high because thats what the parents wanted. However, his self-esteem is so circumstantial, he is never able to see the difference.

    BTW, who am I talking to? Where are you?

    • Reader…
      How do you differentiate beyween Theory and Unapplied Philosophy..?
      Where and Whose Randomness One got fooled..?
      What position,vitality and perfect match are you talking abt..
      What are you suggesting by above… self-esteem example..?

      • You have said many times that I take one step forward and two back.

        That appears to be randomness, which it is not. I am only rely on what I know. Thats enough for survival, na?

  33. Good Morning Reader…
    Something is not right…yet..even after performing all those rituals…
    Another window opens up and all kind of creepy ads show up on that page as soon as I click on this site…either ‘Read more’ or ‘Reply’.
    Anyway…I am not down. was bit tired and hungry..Running around in snowey weather in sub zero temp with wind gusting at 30 – 40 miles/hr is not as much fun as it seems…though heating system is at our reach everywhere..
    And you are right…we in general are(not including you in this as I don’t know about you) not designed to absorb too many things and episodes in short span of time exactly opposite way than we expected or completely unexpected new things to pop up…in every area of one’s life.
    Confidence in self is a different story…one has to build one’s own and keep up…others can just give you a nudge…nothing more than that..
    We are the one who build ourselves or demolish…as Rajnish said above…what others gotta do with it…!? Sadly …No one teaches that…one has to learn his/her own way or face the Doom’s Day…Lol 🙂
    Lol..I don’t know what am I writting… 🙂
    But that might give you a good laugh… 🙂

    • MonaLisa,

      First of all, I hope you realize that its impossible for me to know if you are offline and keep off this page for too long. It would be nice if you could find some connection somewhere and leave a message.

      I don’t do that myself, but I like to tell others. 😛

      There is something you are not telling. But its alright so long as you are in control. Even otherwise, what can anyone on the net do?

      You said ‘serious and severe’; then typically like a woman you said ‘Nothing… its ok’ which to an experienced guy like me it means “All hells broken loose, and you ask stupid questions, Reader?!”

      And then you said you had no lunch, dinner.

      So, my extraordinary, highly fine-tuned intelligence tells me, MonaLisa is a bit slightly uneasy today… 😛

      Also, I’ll try to send a ‘get-well-soon’ virus, if I can find one on google… 🙂

      • 🙂 🙂 🙂
        Now you know…!!!!!!

      • What are you suggesting Reader…!? I don’t know how to contact you or connect with you and leave the message…other than this posting on this blog..
        You show me the way ..I’ll try to follow..

  34. Seems like you are on a very long “Drive”….! 🙂
    Hope you know your way back “Home”…! Don’t get Lost…! 🙂

  35. Good Morning Reader…
    Opposite attract…is not a riddle and its not a question…
    My point is…sis they mention it first in Veda and everybody else learned about it form Veda or where there some other means before or after that period …ppl found it out..?
    We have many great examples to prove that…Short ppl admire Tall ppl and vice versa…
    Dark skiners are attracted to lighter shades of skin…
    Fat vs skinny etc etc…
    Speaking for myself….Intellect always attract me…lol…so now you know…what i mean…! ( This disclosure doesn’t allow any reader to judge me)… 🙂

    • Not any reader… ? 🙂


      You may fall into the same trap that many others have before.

      It does not matter if something has been said in the Veda first or not. If it was not said then, it would have been eventually noticed by someone else.

      The beauty of that observation is that for energy to manifest in any form and to be useful, opposite qualities have to exist.

      If we look at the basics, energy is a primary existant. For it to manifest and becoming productive, space must exist too like a magnetic opposite pole.

      So, in my opinion, energy is not derived from space. It occupies space.

      A black-hole in space may release or absorb solar systems, but it is not a source of energy.

      • Also, energy and space are opposite poles of One universe, like the North pole and South pole of one earth or any planet.

        My question is: If Bhrigu says there seven such universes, what is he talking about? Seven such spaces? That is huge!

    • What a surprise!

      Just shows. One never knows when an opportunity to express something might come by. Thats why an elephants memory is a good thing to have.

      You know, when Abhishekh and Aishwarya Rai got married, I did not find a single paper, channel or anyone in AB’s family or friends consider that her being a Miss World had anything to do with the marriage. Her title was only mentioned in passing as one of her citations.

      For some reason I had connected the marriage and her title but left it alone as it didn’t concern me whatsoever apart from another glimpse into another typical human trait.

      A perons can be prevented from advocating his beliefs in public by creating a mass hysteria against his voice, but that does not affect the person’s belief in anyway.

      Amitabh Bachchan Corporation Ltd went bankrupt when their attempt to stage the Miss World paegent in Bangalore was scuttled by the moral police, entirely because of AB’s iconic stature in the country!

      AB got a Miss World in his house as a daughter-in-law!

      That proves a point… or does it?

      • I am blank..please elaborate further.. what is the connection?

      • Sponsoring the Miss World paegent was a project for ABCL that was designed to introduce an entire new industry to India. AB lead the whole project from the front. He believed in it. He gave interviews, he was seen in the stadium organising things, he was everywhere, determined to make it a success.

        Thats when the BLR moral police intervened: A cantankerous rhetoric invaded the media and the streets, even politicians joined the band-wagon – How could THE Amitabh Bachchan promote a bikini show? His influence cuts across all classes in the society. It would bring western nakedness to India. Indian women do not flaunt their bikinis in public etc etc etc. It went on and on ad nauseum.

        AB tried his best to counter the wave. It didn’t work. He finally called it off.

        When he got Aishwarya into his house as a daughter-in-law, I smiled at the thought.

        It was like a slap on the face of all that cultural hogwash.

        Like saying, “My daughter-in-law is a Miss World. She is an Indian. Go take a walk you dummies!”


  36. Itna sannaata kyon hai bhai?…

  37. Provider…

    Nixing the right addictions…by Pritish Nandy on his birthday « Sharmila says……

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