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Sunday, October 07, 2018


Dreamt a vivid retrospective yesterday night, after a day spent with the giants of my world. Penned down what I remembered. Needs work.

I was an unteachable boy; the lesson was "Aa rahi Ravi ki savaari". I scored 0.75/30, Rekha ma'am didn't let me quit. Vandana ma'am started remedial lessons.

2006. Arun flew from IIM Calcutta to be beside me; I quit after the Maths paper, but he didn't let me. Aa gayi na Ravi ki savaari :-)

"Thirty!?" I refreshed the page and the portal was down. 387 was the target. Uh oh. I did not expect to make it to... I did not plan for 30.

12 years since in an absurd life.
"How would I fare graded against Olympiad winners?" -> You'll live together, learn together, teach each other, walk together.
"What after graduation?" -> You'll do great work and get rewarded for it.
"What will you lose in doing a PhD?" -> You'll gain a parent.
"What next?" -> You'll do what you love and get rewarded for it.

I did not expect to make it to... I did not plan for 30.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

KSM Convocation (in 10 words or less)

Wintry. Wet. Windy.
Ponchos. Graces.
Purple. Gold.
Proud Graduates.

Why make life a struggle when life is a song?

Wednesday, March 07, 2018


"Turn your thoughts away from cold, unfeeling light
and listen to the music of the night."
Andrew Lloyd Webber - Music of the Night.

The music stopped.
The shrill monotone resumed, unceasing.
The Phantom, hands trembling, stood unmasked.
The facade, fallen
(should've known, most man-made things don't endure).

Alas, he realized --
the mask was never to hide behind
but to practice apathy.
Recalling his boundless cruelty,
he wept.

"A lack of empathy is an acute failure of the imagination."

Friday, February 16, 2018

North by Northwest

(needs work)

Peering across the Michigan,
A momentous decision.
Pondering the unknown,
Art and Science tussle.
A surrender!

Friday, January 06, 2017

Of Nature and Man

Two peasants on a pilgrimage
Stepping across boulders and bridges,
Guided by God's wind.

As they summited and saw
A cathedral that scraped the stars,
the one peasant submitted
(equal parts awe and pity):
"Nature taught me God was beyond Man,
This structure reminds me
God is scripture and sculpture."

Mused the other,
Man-made Gods inspire awe
And Mountains and Valleys are wondrous still,
But the People I meet are the wonders of my world.

"Intelligence is an ability to appreciate beauty in many forms."

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

A memory

Everybody dies
And you'll be dead to me long before you die.
A stolen glance, a sideways nod, a catch of breath ---
Not nearly enough to remember you by.

Wednesday, January 01, 2014


"Some quarrels last a lifetime."
I disagree.
Even the most brutal war ends eventually.
The default human condition is peace.
Is it a smiling peace that walks hand in hand with prosperity,
or is it a quiet peace that sulks over a cemetery?

Friday, September 13, 2013

Cloudless nights

Cloudless night, unblinking stars on a shimmering sea,
Boats on the Bosphorus, ranged in constellations beneath me.

Cloudless night, Orion swaggers above me,
I smile and dream of things that cannot be.

Saturday, August 24, 2013


Poker is not a game for sentimental fools.

"Poker is fun", she said, "Shall I teach you?"
He nodded.

The first hand was a comedy of errors, and she corrected him gently.
"Let's call that a practice hand", she grinned.
"Okay, I'm ready now", he responded.

Something must have lost its way in translation.
When he was dealt his second hand
(which, defying beginner's luck, was quite bad)
he blurted it out and went all in.

She blinked, confused. "You're bluffing. I'll call that".
Out came the flop, turn and river.
A royal flush for the lady!
She clapped her hands in delight "I win!"
"I'm curious. Seriously, what cards do you have?"

He was perplexed.
Why didn't she believe him?
He clenched his cards to his chest.
"No. You took my money, I'm keeping these cards."
She smiled protesting, "That's not how poker works!"
He pocketed the cards and made to leave.

Poker is not a game for sentimental fools.

Sunday, January 20, 2013


Spanning an impossibly deep gorge
hangs a ribbon-bedecked bridge.
On snowy mornings,
It is a mirror beneath my feet.

When I step across without a care,
It swings merrily in the wind.
And when, with a sigh, I shuffle across,
It heaves and shudders and sinks.

A matter of time, if it keeps step with me,
The sinking bridge,
ribbons and all,
will surely fall.

"It's strange that one does not start to value things until one is about to lose them. There is a bridge from my heart to yours, spanning all the vastness of distance. Across that bridge I have been used to writing to you about our daily round and the world we live in out here. I wanted to tell you the truth when I came home, and then we would never have spoken of war again. Now you will learn the truth, the last truth, earlier than I intended. And now I can write no more.
There will always be bridges as long as there are shores; all we need is the courage to tread them. One of them now leads to you, the other into eternity -- which for me is ultimately the same thing.
Tomorrow morning I shall set foot on the last bridge. That's a literary way of describing death, but you know I always liked to write things differently because of the pleasure words and their sounds gave me. Lend me your hand, so that the way is not too hard."