Indians will do anything for money

Just look at this guy.


And not to be left behind, look at this lady. #Feminism

I say Indians will do anything for money secure in the knowledge that I too am an Indian and will do anything for money (except work). For instance, I would be completely at ease making wild bets using other people’s pension money.

Jump to: A few years later/ chickens coming home to roost.

In my defence, they KNEW their investments were subject to market risk and even if the government tried to protect the retirement funds by imposing limitations on what I could invest in using pension money, the financial industry was canny and patriotic enough to protect MY freedom by mixing and matching a few things and flipping the risky into the not-so-risky (at least on paper). So don’t blame me. Blame the lawmakers.

To the pensioners hounding me: Leave me alone. What I did was completely within the bounds of the law.   

To the fraud investigators: Leave me alone. Go catch some bigger fish, those trading on material nonpublic information for instance.

To the tv media: Fuck you, you trp-hungry muppets.

To the print media: You can’t survive without ad revenue.


The Film Fest Stories (New and Neurotic)

The Dilemma

Being an extremely shy person, I tend to err on the side of the polite and try to lean as far away from the female as possible. This gentlemanly disposition of mine however was becoming increasingly untenable with each passing minute of Call Me Be Your Name. The more I leaned away from the female, the more I leaned towards the male- and what at first could simply have been construed as leaning away from was under the danger of being mistaken as leaning towards. I was lost and stuck in my own head and out of my goddamn depth- a recurring theme of this post and of my life. Am I too old to be self-deprecating? Is there an age beyond which only Jews are allowed to be so? Well, I didn’t get the memo.

The Girls (part 1)

I felt like a peasant boy around the girls of south Mumbai. They had flair and elegance and charm and style and diction. I only had my adjectives and starched linen shirts that crease up at the sneeze of a cat.

Speaking of things that I have, HIV I have a cousin who’s very critical of my sartorial choices and I’m on his side. You wouldn’t need a pair of pliers to make me admit my wardrobe looks more like that of a girl’s dad’s than of her suitor’s. Am I accidentally playing at Oedipus Rex, four shows a day, every day of the week? Or am I just a lousy dresser? Occam’s razor suggests it’s the latter. In the British movie Apostasy, a conservative Christian girl goes shopping with her mum, chooses something predictably overly conservative and asks her mother concernedly if it is too immodest. That’s how I do my shopping too.

The Narcissism

“Excuse me, is the line for the biopic of my life, aka Loveless?”

In the Norwegian movie Thelma, a Norwegian dad admonishes his Norwegian daughter for feeling superior to her Norwegian peers. He says just because you have a little more knowledge doesn’t mean shit. I too have been readily susceptible to feelings of superiority and the Norwegian dad might as well have been speaking to me.

In the movie On The Beach At Night Alone, when the protagonist talks about her experiences of dating handsome men and finding them all incredibly vain, I was sitting in the audience nodding my head knowingly thinking she’s not wrong, I’m incredibly vain. And when the writer protagonist of Scary Mother was outed as someone whose work amounted to nothing more than maintaining a diary, there I was once again sympathizing with her lack of creativity and her need to live it before writing about it.

The Confession

I hate writing. It’s terribly presumptuous.
I hate writing. The writer has all the power.
I hate writing. It’s worse than shooting fish in a barrel.

The Proposal

I propose to write a book devoted entirely to the conversations of people I overhear while traveling by UberPool. I have at last reached the stage where I’m willing to set my earphones and music aside for the sake of a story. They say a writer shouldn’t leave one’s house without a pen and a notebook and a nose for other peoples’ business. In the same vein, I propose to not travel by any means apart from UberPool. Adam Driver’s eavesdropping bus driver from Paterson shall be my patron saint of the arts.

You wouldn’t believe the first story I overheard once I decided to overhear. This couple in their late 20s got in. At first they spoke about the man’s distaste for coffee but then the man began to tell her about AB  hitting 176 off 115 balls. I meant to interrupt him at this point as it was actually off 105 balls, but the girl beat me to it. She reprimanded him for not knowing how to talk to a girl. It would have been funny had I pipped the girl to the buzzer and corrected the man and outed myself but it wouldn’t have been professional – which I’m on the way to become. Paterson willing.

The #MeToo

In the midst of a bruising therapy session straight out of Goodwill Hunting and with me on the verge of a breakdown, the therapist comes up with one last desperate ploy to help keep me afloat and my hopelessness at bay. “Surely, you have interests. Tell me about one of them and we can build on that.” I am practically Brad Pitt’s crying face at the end of Se7en by then but even in that state frivolity is all I have to offer. So I reply “Ryan Gosling,” and the therapist in a move smacking of unprofessional behavior brings the session to an end right there.

The idea was to catch a screening of Blade Runner 2049 in IMAX, something which was denied to me in Hyderabad. But once in Mumbai, I couldn’t make time before Diwali (being too busy watching other movies) and the movie was out of IMAX by the day of the festival. This meant a fatal blow to my hopes of breaking the monotony of the #MeToo status updates on Facebook with my Ryan Gosling-themed check-in. I even had a pithy one-liner all lined up to play the escort. “Hey Supreme Court, try banning the fireworks in my heart.” In my mind, that would’ve killed.

The Girls (Part 2)

The elocution that escaped from the lips of the lass was revealing of an education that must’ve cost her family a bomb and a half.

Over the many years of going to the fest, I have gathered enough courage to initiate conversation with an attractive stranger on just two occasions. And I remember them both very well. Aren’t I a serial killer. The first time, we were seated for a Noah Baumbach movie waiting for it to begin and the second time, we were in line for a Joachim Trier movie waiting to be let in. The girl with the pristine elocution was the one at the Baumbach, and when I asked her if she were a fan of Frances Ha, she replied her favorite Baumbach was The Squid and the Whale. “Ah, the one with Eisenberg,” I contributed.

The chat with the one in the Joachim Trier line, I’m ashamed to say, took on a mansplaining vibe straight off the bat. I asked her if she was familiar with the earlier work of the director and when she replied ‘no’, I insisted she make it a priority to go seek out Oslo, 31st August. I stopped short of saying it’s one of my favorite movies of all time and when she asked me if I had seen a Hungarian movie that had screened earlier in the day, I was dismissive of it and didn’t even deign to ask how she had felt about it.

I have this vision of being a Jehovah’s witness, except I’m going door to door exhorting people to seek out the work of Joachim Trier.

The Hijras of Hitech City

Apart from Thailand and GTA and movies, where could a child like me have come across prostitutes? You’d be surprised. Come midnight and you can see a group of hijras openly courting customers in the environs of the Hitech city train station. So while watching the excellent Chilean drama A Fantastic Woman, I had this Eureka vision of social service – distributing bootlegged CDs of the movie (my own version of the early morning paper route) to this group.  There are very few movies with a transperson as the protagonist after all.

The Rage

I am going to break my right hand one of these days. I keep smashing it against walls and wooden partitions. All this hidden rage, so much rage. In the movies, how a character is allowed to deal with their inner torment is a nice creative question. Some simply scribble furiously onto their notepads while others meticulously demolish their entire house, like Jake Gyllenhaal in the aptly-titled Demolition. Vince Vaughn gives rage a good name when he destroys a car with his bare hands under its influence in the B-movie Brawl in Cell Block 99, but I digress- I didn’t see that movie at the fest. I should’ve kept a running list of all the ways the characters dealt with rage through the fest but the idea didn’t occur to me back then. Next time, definitely. “If not later, then when?”

And Finally A Word To Our Sponsor

The pathways of the world are treacherous and without the right kind of shoes, you’re liable to end up on your backside. Take it from me.

Flailing like a newborn fawn on an ice rink, I slipped in slow motion and ended up right on my back. The path doesn’t matter when the final destination is the same. My first thought was thankfulness that no one was around and my second thought was fuck you Puma.


Back in the day

Jan 1

Really like it when 31st December falls on a Tuesday. I’d like to die on a ’31st December, Tuesday’. Has a nice ring to it.

Jan 11

Read a chapter in Undercover Economist and went to see a Mahesh Babu movie.

Jan 19

The day was going to waste. Too much poker, I guess. I sought to rescue it by watching a movie, and White Reindeer was a perfect fit.

Feb 4

There was a lady in orange doing roundhouse kicks on the terrace of her villa against the backdrop of a setting sun. As the British say, she was fit.

Feb 13

Never did see the fit lady on her terrace again.

Feb 19

Been watching House of Cards for the past 4 days. Completed it today.

Feb 22

Soderbergh makes a daily list of things he’s seen/read in that day. Lovely, we have something in common.

Feb 24

Reading Bret Easton Ellis’ Rules of Attraction. God I was so hopeless in college and school.

Mar 10

I am like Schopenhauer. I believe pain is real and pleasure is illusory. That pleasure is ephemeral and pain sticks around.

Mar 21

This week has been one of feeling old. It has also been a week of Schopenhauer making me feel apathetic and listless. Aren’t those antonyms?

Apr 3

Ind play RSA in a WC semifinal tomorrow. My brain’s gonna get fried.

Apr 14

Great episode of Game of Thrones. Joffrey died, but a great way to send him off.

May 1

Picked up a nasty throat infection. Don’t feel so good. Watched The Double.

May 5

Prettiest sight on a cricket field. Shane Watson letting out a roar of triumph.

May 8

Saw the pilot of Fargo today. Very impressive.

May 9

Louie S04E02. Being funny is a great asset.

May 15

Went to see Million Dollar Arm. Jon Hamm is adept at pitching alright.

May 20

Louie falls for a 17 million dollar house, looks at it as a solution to all of his problems, his accountant says he only has 7000 dollars in his savings account. He ends up repainting his old house.

Jun 12

World Cup starts tonight.

Jun 15

Watched England v Italy at 0330 in the night (or is it morning?) Saw 3 matches on the whole and the team I was supporting lost on each occasion.

Got my hands on the OST of Enemy through a facebook page called Mr. Soundtracks. God bless.

Jun 19

Rewatched Promised Land yesterday and Frances Ha today. Undateable. Matt Damon and Greta Gerwig, totally relatable.

Jun 20

Matt Damon!

Jun 22

Watched Neighbors. Dope. Downloaded the soundtrack of the movie. Also dope.

Finished Less than Zero. I can definitely write like Bret Easton Ellis, when he’s not writing American Psycho.

Jun 25

Saw Under the Skin. Couldn’t grasp what it was trying to say. Saw Calvary later in the day.

Jun 27

I am pretty sure I was pretty disillusioned even as a kid.

Jul 2

USMNT went out on a high, giving it their all after going 2 goals behind in extra time. No horses left in the WC now, they’ve all bolted.

Jul 7

A dog gave me a scare today.

Jul 17

If I rode a bike, would I have been a different person?

Jul 18

Emma Stone is great but she’s in New York.

Sep 6

We won a final. Woohoo!

Sep 8

Finished Chuck Palahniuk’s Survivor. He gets it.

Sep 9

Finished This is where I leave you. Very funny book.

Sep 10

Rewatched Enemy. How did a lowly professor snag a babe like Melanie Laurent?

Sep 11

Watched Boyhood, all 165 mins of it. Changing families regularly keeps things fresh, I must say.

Sep 20

Saw Boardwalk Empire over lunch.

Sep 29

Finished The Martian. Fell in love with a character who’s probably going to be played by a Canadian.

Oct 8

Saw trailer 2 of Camp X-Ray.

Oct 9

Went to Hyderabad Biryani. Thought I’d have some mutton biryani but was oddly relieved to hear it wasn’t available. Chose to have chicken curry rice and salivated at the prospect. The owner said it turned out a bit too spicy today, why not have fish instead? I said I’m used to spicy, bring it on.

Woke up at 4 in the am with an upset tummy. Stayed up till 6 and finished the Chomsky book.

Oct 12

Had dinner at that Chinese place.

Oct 27

Boardwalk Empire came to an end. Seems Nolan’s going to be in Mumbai on Dec 28th. I’m going to act the fool and ask his fans if he’s made Fight Club.

Oct 31

Why is it that I can write while listening to The Black Keys? Any other music with lyrics, and I can’t even comprehend what I’m reading.

Reading the Guardian book on fiction writing. It says move the plot through dialogue.

Nov 1

Watched Fury and Gone Girl. The theatre wasn’t very good, the screen was too dim. In Gone Girl, Ben and Pike made their living as writers. Hmm.

Nov 25

Jake Gyllenhaal ftw!

Nov 26

College roommate came by to invite me to his wedding.

Dec 4

Only days I wake up early are to watch Hollywood pat itself on the back, and when I have an upset stomach.

Dec 17

AB scored his 20th test century today.

Dec 18

The Interview was pulled by Sony. I changed my profile pic to express support for the film.

Dec 21

I’m a vampire, I can’t enter if you don’t invite me in.

Dec 23

Went to see PK.

Dec 24

Other things vampires don’t do: check themselves out in mirrors, eat human food.

Finished watching What we do in the shadows.

Dec 25

Downed 3 movies today, 2 in IMAX and one at home. And I am not done yet.

(The credit for this post goes to David Sedaris, whether he likes it or not.)

Fantastic Mr. Stokes


Hear that on repeat at least three times before you proceed any further. It’s of utmost importance. The importance of you doing that can’t be overstated. The mission if you choose to accept is to follow everything I say.

Last Saturday evening, lord lord lord
Last Saturday evening, lord lord lord

I went to the stadium, lord lord lord
I went to the stadium, lord lord lord

And I took along my placard, lord lord lord
I took along my placard, lord lord lord

Along came Jesus, lord lord lord
Along came Jesus, lord lord lord

So I picked up my placard, lord lord lord
And he hit one over, lord lord lord

He was bowled soon after, lord lord lord
But he had done enough, lord lord lord

He came on to bowl, lord lord lord
And he took a wicket first up, lord lord lord

He took another wicket, lord lord lord
And he took another wicket, lord lord lord

The main batsmen were all gone, lord lord lord
And he took some more catches, lord lord lord

I went home happy, lord lord lord
I went home happy, lord lord lord

That’s the story of big Ben Stokes, lord lord lord
That’s the story of big Ben Stokes, lord loooord looooorrrrd.

Vivo IPL 2017 M44 - SRH v RPS

Now stare at the photo while listening to this song.




Dodge This

Nat King Cole:

Unforgettable in every way
And forever more, that’s how you’ll stay
That’s why, darling, it’s incredible
That someone so unforgettable
Thinks that I am unforgettable too


I was made for loving you baby
You were made for loving me
And I can’t get enough of you baby
Can you get enough of me

arctic monkey *in an extremely timid voice*:



Michelle Williams in Manchester by the Sea:

My heart was broken…

arctic monkey *doing an uncanny impression of Michelle Williams*:

My heart was broken.


Can I have some morphine?


But doc! you don’t understand. The pain, it’s off the charts.

I haven’t even started.

That’s beside the point. Empathy doc, you can’t be a good doc without it.

How many days did it take for you to get this appointment again?

I know it’s terribly impractical but can I at least listen to the soundtrack of La La Land while you drill around inside my mouth? Will you be able to work around the earphones?

If I let you, will you able to stay still and not do things like tap your feet to the music?

Have a heart, doc. That’s just not possible.

Then I’m sorry, son. You’re going to have to take it like a man.

Please tell Ryan Gosling I loved him.


The day after:

What’s that black thing around your teeth?

Oh that, a cowboy lassoed my molars. He asked if there were any parts of me that needed to be tamed and I replied my molars. He said he wasn’t a dentist and I said let’s just pretend it’s the wild west and call it frontier treatment, if you will.


Describing internet to people who have no idea what it is.

Imagine you are carrying a bowl of piping hot soup. You intend to carry it your sick* mother’s bed-side. At that moment, there’s a knock on the door. You drop the bowl of piping hot soup you’re holding, forget all about the sick mother, and go to the door. At the door is a salesman, he’s selling religion. You lock the door behind you and head out to church. On the way over, you see a jet streak by in the sky. You unfurl your wings and fly after the jet. The jet is too fast for you, you give up and land in an empty field. You’re now lost. Back home, your mother doesn’t know what’s taking you so long.

*Sick as in nothing serious, mind you. Just a bout of the seasonal flu.


I was feeling all sad and lonely standing outside a movie theater with tickets in hand waiting for a friend to arrive. “What is it that takes them so long? Why can’t they be on time? If I can be on time, why can’t they?” Then I remembered Ryan Gosling being in the exact same scenario at a Rebel Without a Cause screening, and I didn’t feel so bad anymore.


I noticed a Camille Rowe poster at the front of a shop and I hung out with the poster until the friend arrived. I said things to the poster I wouldn’t be comfortable writing about in my diary. “Forgive me Camille Rowe, for I have sinned.” “Same time, next week?”


When I went back the next week, and the friend was customarily late again, I walked towards the shop but the poster was nowhere to be seen. I ran into the shop and demanded the store manager be brought to me. I said I needed him alive. The store manager, oddly completely at ease with my frenzied being, let me know the poster had opened up its own therapy practice. I said how could that be? You need certification for that! The manager shrugged his shoulders and showed me towards the exit. I caught up with the friend who had by now arrived and we went to watch a movie called Boss Baby. I was so heartbroken over Camille I could barely concentrate on the movie. *Imitating Michelle Williams* “My heart was broken.” I made a mental note to watch the movie again when I’m in a more stable state of mind.


“It’s alright to be nice to people, to deceive them into thinking you’re a pleasant person.” Me to myself. “Stop being so harsh on yourself, stop being honest.”

1730 A tall woman fetchingly dressed in black is making her evening rounds. I am up here looking down at her and she’s down there walking her evening walk completely oblivious to my prying eyes. Know what would be the biggest joke? If I said I thought about going down and introducing myself to her.

2330 A girl whom I barely know called me “dear” and I got excited enough to take a screenshot.

0915 I’m sitting on the loo cleaning up my photo gallery. I can justify pics of models saying I’m a fan but these screenshots have got to go. There’s simply no explaining them. Gotta delete them all!


If a woman can’t pull off short hair, she isn’t pretty. Discuss. (10 marks)



A Day in the Life of

Last night I took a break from watching La La Land and headed to Hacksaw Ridge instead. The turnout was spectacular. It was a full house on a weekday. That got us thinking. Friend wondered if it could have anything to do with faith. I liked that thought. I liked it so much I pursued it further. Could it be that they were running commercials for the movie exclusively and extensively on the Christian channels? I hadn’t come across much of a publicity push anywhere else that would explain the turnout. Could it be that a local celebrity preacher name-dropped the movie in one of his sermons? Or could it be that he handed out the tickets himself? Teach a man to fish and he won’t starve for the rest of his life. Direct your congregation to a Mel Gibson film and you don’t need to worry about your sheep going astray.

The movie itself was a mixed bag. The war scenes had me turning towards my friend at least twice with a “did you see that?” expression on my face. A Star Wars or a Marvel movie couldn’t make me do that. Shame on those for disneyfying violence. When you disneyfy violence, you sanitize and degrade it. There’s a way and a need to degrade violence, but that’s by exposing its brutality- not by making the victims faceless and the fights bloodless. Just because you make a lot of money doesn’t mean you’re right, Disney.

From one empire to another. We need to talk about the similarities between the assassination of the Russian ambassador in Turkey and Pizzagate. Democrats like to make fun of Trump’s supporters for their gullibility and existence in a post-truth society. The way Democrats look at the Republicans must be the way Chomsky looks at them all. Chomsky views the stories published by NY times the way Hillary supporters look at the fake news stories planted by the alt-right on facebook. The more enlightened you are, the more is your ability to spot fake news apparently. Unfortunately, not many people have the free time or the inclination to reach a level of enlightenment where they begin to question the stories put out by outlets like NY Times. One such person with no time or inclination was the assassin of the Russian ambassador. Poor guy believed all the blame for the devastation in Aleppo could be laid squarely at the door of Russia. Did he know that Assad had offered a way to end the conflict even before it had become all encompassing? Did he know that US and its middle east allies wouldn’t come to the table unless Assad stepped down? Does he know how the American, or for that matter any other country’s, scales tip when the time comes to choose between geopolitical equations and saving human lives? Got to appreciate the cold hearted ruthlessness of the empires, even if they go around in cloaks boasting the values of freedom and democracy and human rights. If you only knew the number of autocratic regimes the US has propped up over the years. We need to support this murderous dictator because we need him in our fight against communism, we need him in our fight against terrorism, we need to depose this leader because he poses a threat to his own people… The problem with badmouthing and calling out the hypocrisy of the empire is people react to it in only one of two ways, and both of them amount to dismissal. Either they go:  We know all of this, tell us something we don’t know; or Okay (I don’t see how any of this concerns me).


At this point, I could go on and end up like that Charlie Day meme or rehabilitate my image by talking about Blade Runner and Ryan Gosling. The prospect of Roger Deakins and Dennis Villeneuve getting back together to frame Ryan Gosling should be enough to make you forget the crushing despair of having to spend your whole life being manipulated and misinformed- and thank Jesus Christ, it is. What is real and what is reel, when the real is a construct of lies and the reel at least tries its utmost to stay true to itself?

Ego kills; A cautionary tale

That’s “kills”, not Kallis. An understandable mistake when you come to read my blog. Oh, just the greatest all-rounder of all time. For a die-hard South African tragic, I didn’t exactly take to him until he was at the end of his career. It’s like what they say, you don’t really know what you have until you no longer have it. I keep complaining about my “lifeless” hair but we all know I’ll be on my knees begging for its forgiveness within the next decade or two. I’m pushing my luck when I say two decades but hope for the best, eh?


People acting all concerned about me, let me tell you something. I don’t need your concern, I didn’t ask for it. It doesn’t even fit me. You should have asked me for my size before you bought it. Now what are you going to do with it? I know for a fact that store has a strict 24 hr return policy and the clock says it’s well beyond that. We’re going to have Superman turn the Earth back on its axis like he does in that movie to save his girlfriend, for you to be able to return this item of purchase. We’re going to need a bigger boat. We’re going to need a miracle. Mamma Mia!

First you doubted me, then you inspired me. You said you were concerned about me not knowing how to swim and that you were worried it was going to be too late pretty soon for me to be able to do something about it. You said there’s no shame in starting small. You suggested I get a couple of those floaters that kids use and learn to swim in the shallow end of a community swimming pool. Well, let me tell you something. I’ve seen a lot of people swim, I mean a LOT and I know everything about it. I’ve read every book ever written about swimming. When you see me swim, you’re not going to believe people can swim like that. I’m telling you, I’m built for it. I’m a natural. You don’t need to teach a baby turtle how to swim, or act all concerned if it’s going to make it. It’s a fucking turtle, of course it’s going to make it. I am likewise, I’m a born swimmer. I am going to swim much better than David Schwimmer. Teachers have long been praising my attributes. I have limbs as big as flippers, they kept remarking through out my childhood. That’s a trait I share with Michael Phelps no less. You’d know that if you took a break from worrying about others and read a book every once in a while. Do you even read, bro?

I’m a big league player, a king size bed, a trenta sized cup, they don’t come bigger than me. You might be thinking if I’m all that, then why haven’t I ever stepped into a pool? Well, let me tell you. It was only because I couldn’t decide which stroke to use. You know how it is. Once you choose a stroke, you gotta stick to it. You just can’t jump from one stroke to another. It’s a lot of pressure. What if I choose the wrong one? I’ll never be able to play that down .

Be that as it may, it’s time to go boom. I’m going to listen to my homie Marcus Aurelius. “Life is about action, not contemplation.” This is the moment of truth brought to you by Mountain Dew, kyunki darr ke aage jeet hain. This is when Mr. Anderson turns into Neo. This is when Carrie Ann Moss’ beautiful jaw hits the floor. This is when I’m going to jump from a motherfucking helicopter into the motherfucking ocean. Screw your pools and lakes, your ponds and streams, your rivers and reservoirs. If I’m going to get my beak wet, it’s gotta be the motherfucking ocean. Valhalla!


Some of his friends truly did believe he was going to survive the jump, and wriggle back to life to the tune of Moby’s Extreme Ways. Yeah, that didn’t happen. In his mind’s eye, he was going to swoop like an eagle and glide like a shark- but this is life, there are no shortcuts here. We ran out of them way back when. Nowadays, it’s like Jake Gyllenhaal says, “If you want to win the lottery, you got to make the money to buy the ticket.” Peace.