Always, Professor Snape

Here’s a simple experiment. Fill a glass bowl with water, dip a paintbrush in some paint, choose any colour you like, and slowly, carefully touch the tip of the brush to the water surface and watch….Watch how the colour gently seeps from the bristles into the water, watch how it forms a thin colourful ripple that eventually dissolves through and through until the water takes the colour. In less than a second, the water and the colour become one.


When the first Harry Potter book was plopped into my hands nearly 15 years ago, it was a significant moment in my childhood. The only literary character who had dictated my life until then was Sherlock Holmes and I thought there wasn’t any room enough of another series occupying a symbolic place in it.

Harry Potter, however, changed that. Harry Potter was for everyone. Harry Potter was an escape. An escape into the magical world of evil and good. It was a time when smartphones were yet to penetrate the daily folds of general day-to-day life and reading was a solace found in the smell of a fresh book. With Harry Potter, the summer holidays were like an endless dream.

Who was the first person you hated when you started reading Harry Potter? Voldemort was the obvious expectation. A ruthless villain, a murderer, a manipulator, a dark powerful wizard, who symbolized the evilest of all evils. But he was still an unknown entity in book one. The rage one felt towards Voldemort was still to be established. The acrimony felt towards him magnified due to the affection one felt towards Harry. There was Draco Malfoy. But he was like that annoying  guy in school, you loved to hate. It wasn’t until you were introduced to Professor Severus Snape, you realized, how effortless it was to feel an instant dislike towards someone. It was those little thing – the way he pegged down Harry and Hermione a few notches right at the beginning, to his habit of cutting down points from Gryffindor, his obvious affinity towards the ‘Defence against Dark Arts’ positio – it was so so easy to curse Snape, to exercise a hatred towards him reserved only for a few special people. So when Snape was soon established as Dumbledore’s trusted man, the secret that spanned seven books and several years in between only heightened our curiosity. There were subtle hints but never the complete truth and when it was finally broken during the end of last book, a realization hit with undiminished force – Severus Snape, was probably, the most powerful character in Harry Potter series.


I do not know what kind of TV culture other kids grew on but my brother and I grew up on a healthy diet of Cricket and Tennis, Tom and Jerry, Popeye, Disney classics, and a massive chunk of action movies. Bruce Lee, Jean Claude Van Damme, Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwarzenegger, you name it. Our TV culture was an eclectic mix of varied entities. And it wasn’t a surprise when Die Hard, when we saw it, rapidly climbed to the top position on our ‘Awesomest movies ever seen’ list. As preteens, it was easy to get carried away with the classic actions of the 1990s. Bruce Willis’ dimpled smile, his vest clad body shining with perspiration as he navigates his way through the commercial building all the while making his way towards German terrorist Hans Gruber and his entourage is something I remember more distinctly than any lessons from my school books. Willis, lovable as always, was dear but there was something deeply attractive about Rickman playing the cold, calculating, and sophisticated Hans Gruber. It was a role that defined him to the general population and in the thirteen years that followed, he went on to star and mesmerize audience with his multi-faceted personality and his powerful unhurried voice. Part of what made Rickman who he was was he way of delivering dialogues, his voice conveying veiled threats with an ease that skips a lot of genius actors. So, thirteen years and several more films – the second part of Die Hard, the Robin Hood movie in which he played the Sheriff of Nottingham, and surprisingly the more tender ones like Truly, Madly, Deeply and Sense and Sensibility – only highlighted Rickman’s multidimensional persona.



Very few movies do justice to the books they are based upon. Fewer actors justify the character they are based upon. The expectations from a Harry Potter movie were huge. Was the Wizarding world as exciting on screen as it was in the books? And more importantly were the people playing the important characters were worthy enough?

That guy from the movie Die Hard…..that villain….he is playing Severus Snape…Sounds perfect?

In 2001 when Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone hit theatres, only the first three of the Harry Potter books were out. J.K.Rowling had convinced Rickman that there was something more to the character of Severus Snape than what was public knowledge until then. In years to come, it was a character that became synonymous with him until he passed away. Nearly ever Rickman tribute after his death described him first as a character in Harry Potter movies, artists paid tribute with sketches that showed him dressed as Severus Snape, with a wand or a cauldron or with his patronus…..accompanied by one of the most famous dialogues ever written, a single word ….‘Always’


Greasy long hair parted in the middle, an aquiline large nose, a pale face, a lank body clad in black robes, a permanent sneer, thin pursed lips, beady penetrating eyes – oh the disdain that radiated from him! He was a narcissist, a subject of much chagrin among people. There was no doubt about one thing though – the casting was perfect. There couldn’t have been a better Severus Snape than Alan Rickman. It was impossible.

For his part, it was as if Snape took extra precaution to instill hatred in people who crossed his path. He was one of the most misunderstood characters in literature – a misunderstanding Albus Dumbledore never cleared for the greater good. By the time the memory that redeemed him was revealed to the readers, Snape had ingrained himself in our lives as a confusing individual. However, the realization that his entire existence was solely and solely based on the love he had for Lily Potter, was disturbing. It was an emotional moment that brought fresh tears to a saga that had spanned for years. In a blink of an eye, all made sense. The explanation was simple enough and if, perhaps, we would have been party to Snape’s secret at the beginning, the magnanimity of his sacrifice might have lost on us. Rickman made Snape believable. Rickman made Snape deplorable. Rickman made Snape human….well, as human as a wizard can be. From his attire to his speech, from his smirk to his piercing gaze, we finally embraced Snape. Love was always the premise of Rowling’s books and Snape taught us the deeper, darker, sadder side of love that we, perhaps, would have never understood.

Rowling made Snape powerful. Rickman made Snape immortal.


If his life was the bowl, Alan Rickman was the water and Severus Snape was the colour. In the end, they became one. Indistinguishable. Bound together in eternity…Always…





She sits by the window sill

The book open on her lap

The pen poised in mid-air

Waiting to fill the gap

The thoughts all jumbled up

Run around in her head

The words that lay forgotten

Since the day they were read

She searches for inspiration

The power to freely write

The sentences barely forming

In the diminishing evening light

The fresh ink drips from the nib

And dries up on the blank page

Her ideas behind lock and key

Trapped in an invisible cage

Imagination eludes her

And so does rhyme and reason

Doubt reigns in her mind

With each passing season

The darkness slowly envelopes

With hope suddenly lost

The cold stealthily seeps in

And spreads over as frost

She stares blankly into the space

Her eyes moist with unshed tears

Her hand shivers involuntarily

The night magnifying her fears

The quiet unsettles her

Loneliness engulfs her soul

She searches for the chaos

She searches for the control

She wraps her arms around herself

And rocks herself to sleep

Before the tears trickle down

And she begins to weep

The seconds turn into minutes

The minutes into hours

The first ray now illuminates the clouds

And wakes up the flowers

She rubs her eyes in confusion

And opens her arms wide

As the sun rises over the horizon

And lets the bright inside

They stutter through her pen

And assemble themselves on the page

The words now find a way

And come of age

The path is still long

And destination not in sight

Wearily she treads with uncertainty

Before she embarks on the flight

The words transform into sentences

But not yet in the desired way

It is still a start to better things

With each passing day

She knows now its the beginning

That is always tough

Improvement awaits her

Once she braves the rough

After all what’s the point

If she doesn’t try

Only when you get your wings broken

Do you learn to fly

GONE GIRL – When movies make you fall in love with books

“There’s something disturbing about recalling a warm memory and feeling utterly cold.”

I will be frank. I rarely admire movies based on books. In my opinion, they never do justice to good writing. I find myself bitterly antagonistic towards them. If a movie is unable to match the image I have conjured up in my mind after reading a book, it disappoints me beyond measure. I am biased towards books and even more so towards good writers.

“There’s a difference between really loving someone and loving the idea of her.”

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn is a delightful book. Delightful. Ha! What a strange word choice. It is anything but that. It is dark, very much so, it is creepy and it will rock your faith time and again. Gone Girl by David Fincher is an even more delightful movie. You might not have heard about Gillian Flynn, but you do know David Fincher, don’t you? Seven, Fight Club, Panic Room, Lords of Dogtown, Zodiac, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The Social Network,…..phew, the list is endless. Imagine a dark and thoughtful author like Flynn teaming up with a brooding and twisted director like Fincher and KABOOM. Have I got your attention yet?

“Love makes you want to be a better man. But maybe love, real love, also gives you permission to just be the man you are.”

The premise of the story is simple – a seemingly normal guy arrives home to find the house in slight disarray, suspects a bit of trouble and immediately calls the cops to report his missing wife. Once the cops come into the picture and the more you hear Nick Dunne (the male protagonist) speak, the story spirals into confusion and mayhem.

“It’s a very difficult era in which to be a person, just a real, actual person, instead of a collection of personality traits selected from an endless Automat of characters.”

There is one thing that unfailingly draws me towards a book. For most people it would be the ‘unusual plot’ but I prefer ‘good writing’ 10 out of 10 times. A book may tell me a story that has been repeated over generations but good writing will bring in a perspective unexplored by anyone else. Does that make sense? Some people just have a way with words. They could tell you something that you already know but in a manner that completely outfoxes you. How I love writers!

“Sleep is like a cat: It only comes to you if you ignore it.”

Flynn combines good writing with an unusual plot. What makes it even more mesmerizing is that the plot is presented in guise of an uncomplicated beginning. The more you read the book, the more you keep on changing your mind about it. Your thoughts regarding each and every character will keep evolving. They will keep shuttling between two extremes. You will start with liking someone only to end up hating them moments later or start with despising someone, only to sympathize with their plight after a a couple of chapters. And then, you will finally come to terms with the fact that right-wrong, good-bad, happy-sad, perfect-imperfect; are such flawed concepts afterall.

“My mother had always told her kids: if you’re about to do something, and you want to know if it’s a bad idea, imagine seeing it printed in the paper for all the world to see.”

Nick. Dear old Nick Dunne is the most honestly dishonest character I have ever come across (honestly dishonest…yeah well, this will make sense to some). I hate compulsive liars yet I can’t help but like him. One would think a person whose wife has gone missing might show a bit of emotion but Nick remains completely impassive for most part. And he lies about a lot of things, some completely unnecessary lies and some so blatant, that you start disliking the man with each passing second. In the first half of the book, Nick is painted as a lying insensitive cheat, who probably murdered his wife to get out of a troubled and boring marriage. In Fincher’s Gone Girl, Nick is played by Ben Affleck. I have never considered Affleck as a great actor. He is a gorgeous hunk, no doubt and has acted in some truly wonderful movies but none of his roles have ever appealed to me. Yes, he was good in Pearl Harbor and Argo but take any decent actor and he would have done the same in these movies. Perhaps, someone like Christian Bale might have done the roles even more justice. But as Nick Dunne, Affleck gets as close to perfection as he can ever get. I can, never ever never ever imagine anyone else in the role except him. For most of my life, I have always thought Affleck to be an actor with an indifferent air to him. He has fewer facial expressions than the fingers on E.T’s hand (go figure that one). But this same indifference is his biggest strength while portraying Nick. A silent brooding face, a smug smile, puppy dog intense eyes – that’s a charmer over there! For the same reason, I now feel he will be a decent Batman when Zack Snyder/Christopher Nolan’s next releases.

“And if all of us are play-acting, there can be no such thing as a soul mate, because we don’t have genuine souls.”

And then there is Amy Elliot-Dunne a.k.a Amazing Amy. If you despised Amy Elliot Dunne after finishing the book, you would probably want to slit her throat by the time you are done with the movie. That’s how good Rosamund Pike is. She is one beautiful woman. I first saw her in the Bond movie Die Another Day alongside Pierce Brosnan, later as the mellow and sweet Jane Bennet in Pride and Prejudice. She has done a few fine roles here and there but none as challenging as this one. Amy is a complex character. She is a complete bitch and a very worst one at that. She is pretentious and evil. She one of those people who spend their entire lives living a lie, pretending to be what they are not. But she is so good at it. Not many can boast about that. Amy wants to be perfect, that is how she is raised. That’s how her parents disciplined her. You feel sorry for her initially. She seems so fragile, so sweet, so pretty and so vulnerable. Until you realize it was just a mask. The things she does in the story are unbelievable. One would wonder about the limits of insanity a person may touch. And when you take someone as beautiful as Pike to play Amy, she becomes even more enchanting and tempting. She will shock you so many times in the book. She will make you hate her with so much passion that you will end up admiring her. Amy’s character is very devious, very unusual, very manipulative and very likable. Yes, likable just like Nick’s. They make an odd couple. Together they make Gone Girl work, both as a book and as a movie.

“It had gotten to the point where it seemed like nothing matters, because I’m not a real person and neither is anyone else.”

Marriage is a tricky business. Flynn exposes the dynamics of a failed marriage ruthlessly. She paints the imperfect picture with alarming conviction, exposing the stark reality of unstable relationships. Her characters are flawed and loathsome yet so openly endearing. Amy and Nick’s behavior might appear far-fetched at times, but their rocky relationship forms the base of a captivating morose tale.

“Friends see most of each other’s flaws. Spouses see every awful last bit.”

The book as well as the movie has a few good-natured light moments. The minor characters are elegantly etched and they provide some comic relief when you least expect it. The humor is subtle and candid, something which will bring a cute smile on your face or leave you chuckling knowingly. And it works. It works so very well for a serious book like this. The movie is near perfect. It has been adapted as it is with very minor changes. Even if you haven’t read the book, you will enjoy it just the same. But if you have indeed read the it, trust me, the movie will make you fall in love with the book once again. Gone Girl is an example of some exceptional writing skills that Flynn possesses. What amazing people writers can be and Flynn’s words weave a web of magic around you. The book is peppered with many short yet profound sentences and you can only savor them if you read it.

“I often don’t say things out loud, even when I should. I contain and compartmentalize to a disturbing degree: In my belly-basement are hundreds of bottles of rage, despair, fear, but you’d never guess from looking at me.”

Truth is so over-rated. Each person giving his own version of events ends up twisting the story so much that one cannot differentiate between facts and fiction. If each of us are right in our own way and each of us has an unique perspective, how can anything we say or do be entirely true or completely false, for that matter. Gone Girl settles comfortably in the in-between grey area, questioning our very basic definitions of good and bad. 

“My gosh, Nick, why are you so wonderful to me?’

He was supposed to say: You deserve it. I love you.

But he said,’Because I feel sorry for you.’


‘Because every morning you have to wake up and be you.”

The strongest emotion of all



I know someone who killed themselves
Not one, but quite a few
What terrible chances in their life
Did they so depressingly rue
That celebrity, who made you laugh
That friend, who joked, you thought
That unexpected person next door
Wonder what against he fought
What horrible demons did
Each of them everyday slew
I know someone who killed themselves
Not one, but quite a few

Loneliness sometimes hits hard. It often follows periods of frustration. Most likely when you are worried about things not happening your way. That’s when you get all philosophical. You ponder about the purpose of your life. You don’t see any. We all are going to die one day, why not now then? Endless failures look to cripple you. And more often than not you seem to be chasing the success that conveniently seems to elude you. You may have thought about it. Maybe not as dramatically as holding a kitchen knife to your wrist but you wonder just the same. What it is to slash open your wrist? To hang yourself from the ceiling fan? To jump from a tall building? To electrocute yourself in the bath? To lie down on the railway track? To gulp an uncharacteristic amount of sleeping pills? The methods are endless. The internet a handy source, the television a gateway into easy life-taking lessons. But most of us stop right there. Because we still, maybe deep down, but we still believe that better days are around the corner. And they are.

Just before the darkness swallows us whole, that tiny ray of light pulls us into the sunshine. We realize we are lucky. We are surrounded by our loved ones. That each failure was just a stepping stone to success. And we thank god for everything that is still ours. That time must have robbed us of countless possessions but it still spared us a few. We rue about all our dreams not getting fulfilled but aren’t we glad all our nightmares have not materialized either? Truth is for most of us, even when our life is staring down at the end of the barrel, we find in ourselves the strength to get back on our feet. Easier said than done, perhaps, but it comes to pass.

Now imagine all the darkest times in your life? When you have felt lonely even when loved ones surround you? Remember the scary moments and imagine being stuck in them for what seems like an eon. What is it to stare right in the face of the tiny ray of hope but yet being blind to the light on the other side? What is it to be enveloped in the arms of a loved one but not feeling the emotion? What is it to listen to the soothing words of encouragement whispered into the ear yet not being able to hear them? What it is to be perpetually frightened of our own shadow?

We read in books, we watch in movies and for ages we have been hearing that Love is the strongest emotion of all. We have experienced it in form of gentle scolding from our father, from the warm embrace of our mother, from the naughty smile of our child, from the friendly banter with our siblings, from the mock laughter of our friends, from the affectionate glance of our spouse. We cannot imagine a world in which they don’t exist. But we dread a world in which they do exist yet are unable to reach out to us.

We brand them cowards. Suicide, did you say? Why did he/she do it? They had so much to live for? Did not even think about his/her parents? kids? friends? family? We opine that lack of courage drives them to such an extreme step. But in reality, damn if it isn’t the most courageous thing you have heard of! What kind of exceptional strength does it take to denigrate our own life? When we come out of our occasional mood swings, we realize how trivial our problems actually were. It is only when we observe our life from a third person point of view, the silliness of our (in)action sinks in. But what if we ever lose the ability to observe it?

We are literate enough to know how a mental illness can be severely debilitating than a physical one. How stress and tension corrodes the body and mind. How significantly our psychological state can affect even the ones around us. How fleeting life really is. Did you now the pretty young girl, who used to stay around the corner, she did it! Did you know the smiling grandpa, who lived two stories below, he did it! Did you know the mischievous kid, who used to wave at you from across the park, he did it! We all have to sink into the oblivion one day but what if some around us have already sunk so low while alive that there seems to be absolutely no difference between life and death for them? Is depression the strongest emotion of all?


(If you find yourselves in a hopeless situation or you know someone who might be suffering from depression, don’t hesitate to get help. Talk it out. Don’t keep it bottled inside. There a lot of NGOs and help centers. If you don’t prefer them, reach out to a trusted friend. Remember, while taking your own life, in the process, you are destroying those of your loved ones too)

Roommates from Hell

“Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe.”

                                                                                                                                                                                                -Albert Einstein 

I am sure you have read my blog post over a year ago – The roommate from Dumb-land, about the most stupidest girl I ever met. I was new then, just a couple of months away from home, still new to the concept of how idiotic people can be. But now, believe me…….after staying away from home for over 18 months, the number of colourful characters that I have met has just hit the roof. When Dumb roomie No. 1 left, I thought there would be no one who could match the amount of absurdity she displayed. I was so wrong. Since then, I have had to deal with people who have driven me to the edge of insanity.

Well let me begin with the ‘Super Geek’. I have literally never in my life seen someone studying so much. Never remember her being without a book ever. All she used to do is sit on her bed and study. When I used to open my eyes in the morning, she would be studying. Even while sleeping, the last image I used to see before closing my eyes was her lean frame bent over a book that probably weighed more than her. She used whip out a book from the bag, the moment she entered the room.I will be genuinely surprised if she doesn’t end up a CEO of some big-shot company!


Then came the ‘Slow One’. Everything she did was a zillion times slower. for example, she used to take nearly 20 mins just to get food on her plate. How much time went in consuming it, don’t ask. I used to feel sleepy even by looking at her. I could complete a leisurely power nap in the pause between the sentences she spoke. I swear I have seen turtles who are faster than her.


She was followed by one I call ‘The Skeleton‘. If you are thinking the name represents her physical appearance, you are not entirely wrong but it was much more than that. Picture this: You are lying on your bed. It is past midnight. Only a dim zero watt bulb is shining. You are not able to sleep so you decide to watch a movie on your phablet. Suddenly you hear a sound that makes you look up…..and…you see all horror in the world. I find her sitting on her bed, staring at me with big red eyes, laughing, moving her head sideways and singing a sentence over and over again in a language I did not understand. Her back is bent, her arms and legs twisted at an awkward angle (would have even put ‘Linda Blair of The Exorcist’ fame to shame). It did not take even a second for me to run out of the room and bang on my neighbour’s door. After accumulating all the courage I could gather I returned back to my room only to witness this scary spectacle twice more in the same night. Needless to say I spent the entire night sitting on my bed, too scared to even lie down and (believe it or not) chanting the Hanuman chalisa (A Hindu devotional hymn) over and over again! Whether she was actually possessed I know not. Although I am surprised I didn’t went running down the road to the local church and demanding the priest to perform an exorcism.


Thankfully my ordeal lasted only for 2 days. I had sufficiently spooked my landlady to show this girl the door. I was now hoping for some normal person to come to stay. But instead I got ‘The Question Mark'(Miss QM)! The name says it all. She painfully reminds of Dumb Roomie No. 1 from the original post….Only she is a 1000 times worse. The day she came to stay, she began unpacking her stuff at 10 pm in the night and then proceeded to show me every single item she took out of the bag followed by the question, ‘Where shall I keep this?’ EVERY SINGLE ITEM (you all are sane enough to know what that might include). Imagine being shown about 50-60 random things in quick succession accompanied by an annoyingly shrill voice. All this because, she has never stayed away from home and does not know where stuff goes. (Has she ever heard of something called Shelf or a Cupboard? I doubt).



She is also apparently obsessed with hair – What shampoo do you use? What conditioner do you use? What hair oil do you use? Why are your hair so silky? What hair-cut is this? How do you make your hair grow? (WTF). Luckily I am not the only one who suffers. She asks this question to every girl in the building. She even asks me how much each of my things costs and proceeds to make a not of them in her book. Like, how much does your phone cost? How much do your iPod cost? How much does your laptop cost? 

Then, her knowledge about facts is even more bizarre. For example, she thinks Sherlock Holmes was created by Agatha Christie! (Sir Arthur Conan Doyle must be laughing his ass off in the writer’s heaven). Explaining cricket to an American or a person who has spent his entire life in Antarctica, would be more easier than explaining it to her. Or for that matter, any sport.

Every morning and night, she learns multiplication tables! Yep, you read that right! It begins with 2 times 1 is 2, 2 times 2 is 4, 2 times 3 is 6. So on and so forth. And by the way, she is 24 not 8! (Girl, what the heck where you doing in the first grade??)

I could go on and on but my depleted brain cells do not allow too much stress these days. In last 18 months, I have had 10 different roommates and apart from a couple of genuinely sensible ones, the others have all been bimbos. Like literally. I will end this blog with the explanation Miss. QM gives for her short height:-

(In her own words): “You know why height is short? When I was young, I was very very fat. Even my parents used to make fun of me. So, I began dieting from age 10. I began eating less and less food. So my body did not get any nutrients and my height never increased.”

Congratulations ECB, Transformation complete!



Dear ECB,


Kevin Pietersen axed – not exactly my choice of words to sleep on. No sooner did this sentence flashed on my phone (at midnight India time), the first words that came out of my mouth were ‘WTF’.

Frankly, at the risk of being called rude and uncouth, I so desperately want to shower you guys with some of the choicest cuss words I have learnt over the years. Although I think I am being too gracious, surely you are not blind to the gravity of this mistake situation. My twitter is already in a state of meltdown!

I am trying to word this letter delicately, of course. I remember writing about KP a couple of years back. I have always believed people to be cloaked in shades of grey. There are no extremes of black or white; people cannot be entirely good or entirely bad. We all are mortal, we all make mistakes, we all lie. Yet, I do not know, how people around us find within themselves the will to love us back.

The world is changing, no longer do we chase illusions of perfection. Our icons are flawed. We learn to love their faults as much as their genius, their fears as well as their courage. No longer do we measure a person’s worth with a moral compass. We see glimpses of ourselves in their being and take inspiration from the fact that these people are as ordinary as us. That they have risen from an equally mediocre background like us and then went on to achieve extra-ordinary heights.

I know KP is brash and he says exactly what is on his mind. No, he isn’t the sensitive bloke and he isn’t going to sugar-coat his words for you. Yeah, he isn’t a team player, he is audacious, a bit of cock, so what? I don’t see any of you guys resonating any feeling of good-will among the ‘small 7’, those who you ditched to be a part of the ‘elite big 3’.

It is a kind of contradiction, a hypocrisy when you yourself are one of BCCI’s chamchas‘, err….their paid lackeys. And now you so diligently want to ‘change’ English cricket. Do you know, ‘Change’ can be defined in many ways? Change does not necessarily mean letting your best player go. Change does not mean crippling your team and throwing them into chaos. And change definitely does not mean persisting with that stone-age attitude of yours.

I do not know what you will to achieve by letting KP go that was otherwise impossible with him remaining back. It is more appropriate to look at England’s loss in the recently concluded Ashes as a collective failure rather than a one-man weakness.

For most part of the winter, I pitied you guys; leaving aside the fact that you are arrogant and basically a bunch a fools. The world sympathized when Trott left mid-way. Even the ones not so fond of him were sorry to see his mental breakdown. The world then got divided over Swann’s retirement. Although, most that I know expressed a good deal of undisguised disgust over his abrupt departure. As if the on-field drama during your overseas stay was not enough, tempers flared in the dressing room. So, the first thing that you guys did when everyone was back home was to sack ask Andy Flower to step down.

The much-publicised disharmony between Flower and KP would have deluded one into believing that it was a ploy to make sure KP remains. But his disintegration has now given fodder for what could be made into an Oscar/BAFTA classic if only you are willing to give Martin Scorsese or Quentin Tarantino the low down on the ugliness that breeds within.

I can begin to tell you how much people hate you, your own a majority of them. But my complaints, like that of several others, are going to fall on deaf ears. As an Indian, I already belong to a country with the most hated cricket board and a genuinely respected captain. As much as my own board president disgusts me, you licking the BCCI’s boots along with your pal CA, almost makes me pray over your…err…gullibility? priggishness?

‘Team philosophy and work ethics’ are just big words to be thrown around if you do not understand what they actual mean. How can you blame your shambolic performance on one man, your most successful player in years actually. He is brash and dynamic, so much so, that such an extensive team as yours is unable to handle one player? Do you even know how childish that sounds?

We spend our entire lives trying to live upto the expectations of others. Directly or indirectly seeking approval for our actions from people, who in reality, are caught in the vortex of their own insecurities. We label those who make an attempt to rise above this solemn circle. We crush them, grind them, and over the years render them utterly helpless to fight back. We have the power, we misuse it – as simple as that. 

Is accepting mistakes that hard? Is pride a better asset than a player? KP’s story is that of a rockstar – of fame, of controversies, of mistrust. Rockstars who ultimately wither away in loneliness of utter depression due to their obnoxiousness. Of reaching so high, that a fall is eminent.

KP has fallen too. However, he has fallen to rise in our eyes. He has fallen to stand tall. As much as we have loved to hate him and regarded him with such fierce intensity that we were forced to love him back, we stand by him now. Yeah he is a egoistic prick but we (still) stand by him.

Sadly, you, on the other hand, have chosen to fall like a tantrum-throwing kid. Go on, grace us with some fancy words to justify your decision. Oh, you will get your team alright! There is no dearth of talent in your country. Heck, you even know how to import players from other nations. So you will get there…may be not immediately but eventually. What then?


How fickle are the ones who hold the reins of this game’s future…how fleeting are the moments of sanity in its’ management. From Arrogant –> Over-Confident –> Scared shitless —> Defiant —> Stupid….Congratulations ECB, your transformation has been complete.

~ A disgruntled fan

An open letter to cricket’s gentleman – Rahul Dravid


Dear Rahul,

I doubt, I know a person who hates you. Over the years, I have met some of your most ardent fans and also people who may not be completely in your awe but still respect you to a great extent. It is hard to believe in a world like this where people are so candid and fearless about their opinions, they have refrained from passing even a slightly negative comment about you. It puts you in a class of your own, something that even the greatest masters of the game have failed to achieve. 

You have gone through a tough time in recent months. While the sheer controversial nature of the incident that threw everything in a frenzy is enough to catch even the best of people off guard; I know, it must be completely debilitating for a man of your stature. You have lived your life by ideals that touch pinnacles of perfection, a feat that is impossible for ordinary people like us. To be embroiled in a controversy where you were not at fault must have been terribly shameful for you. I am sure you would like nothing more than to go back in time and stop things before they happened. I am sure you would like to erase every single bad memory of those disgraceful weeks. I am sure you would like to correct the thoughtless deeds of people who you once held near as your own. But you know you can’t. It is a kind of failure that you will have to live with for the rest of your life. No one will blame you, no one ever has. You have only got sympathy from people. But I know, sympathy is not what you want. You want to be at peace with yourself. Pity, peace is something that you have lost long ago in this chaotic world.

The success of your team in the recently concluded Champions League is indeed praiseworthy. Simply, getting back your team together on its feet and fighting back in the only way you know has been an achievement of mammoth proportions. But deep down in your heart, you know, you will continue to chide yourself about how you failed in your own eyes. It was for a brief moment but that one fraction of time was enough for you to finally accept that the world has changed drastically since the last time you took it at it’s face value. It is also a lesson for all of us, a painful one but nevertheless a more important one to assimilate. 

I can only imagine how difficult it must be to be a ‘Rahul Dravid’. Just as how difficult it is to be a ‘Sachin Tendulkar’. That man has been a topic of global debate for a long time now. I doubt whether I know any other person who brings out such extreme reactions of love and hate at the same time. If there are millions out there who love Sachin, there are a million more who hate him with the same undisguised intensity. There is no middle ground. Those are his demons, very contrasting from yours. People’s opinions about him are generally clear and distinct, not confusing and random. This makes your demons more powerful and fearsome. You hardly give rise to anything negative around yourself, you are a widely respected person. The lack of balance makes you more susceptible to all the bad that is out there. Living a life with high moral standards such as yours, has made you more vulnerable to the outside world.

I know, a win in the final would have meant a lot to you. It had a purpose – to wipe out all the hurt that was generated in the last few months. I am sure everybody agrees, it was possible only for a man of your character and integrity to push your team to this extent. And in that right, you deserved the win more than Sachin.

Right from the first IPL season, Rajasthan has always been a team that defined sheer dedication and hard-work. Shane Warne did a wonderful job of creating a group of young and inexperienced but talented and dedicated lads. You were his worthy successor. Under your leadership, the team flourished even more so. You gave chances to unknown names and nurtured minds with hidden potential. You believed in people, others long ago gave up on. It was a difficult legacy to uphold but you did a remarkable job with it. To continue this tradition is not going to be an easy task for your successor.

Today’s cricketers are different than you and your peers. Humility and Honesty are not the cornerstones of their existence like yours. Their approach is more practical and straightforward. It is filled with raw passion and aggression. They get what they want in their own ways. But that is okay, cricket has evolved so much since your time that today’s battles begin on a different note.

I am glad though that I have been a witness to your era and it deeply saddens me that my kids won’t. They will know you through books, pictures, and videos as a distant figure but they will never experience you first-hand they way my generation did. I now know, what my parents would have felt when they tried in vain to explain us cricketers of their times. It is a natural process this – everything fades away. New heroes are born. Mighty in their own way, having evolved significantly different than those of yesteryears’. Change is the only constant thing of our life; the only thing that will continue to bind us long after we perish.

I am sure you will find ways to pay your debt back to the game – as a coach or a mentor… But, it still would not be the same. It will be like making a compromise. We have already lost you as a ‘player’ – a form that mesmerized us for nearly two decades. We will now try to deal with it in every way we can. We will re-live all the happy memories over and over again. But, in reality…….in reality, we will mourn this loss much later, long after the wound has healed.

With love, respect & admiration,

A fan-turned devotee

The roommate from Dumb-land

Bad to worse

Bad to worse

I am all for stupid and dumb. I sincerely believe these people improve the quality of life and enrich the world with their presence. I, myself have been called a dumb blonde on several occasions on twitter by people who possess the sense of humour of a wet sponge and unable to gauge the difference between a sarcastic comment and an actual one.

I know people usually have a problem with their roommates on the factor of cleanliness and believe me, I was the one that believed that yes, it is indeed the worst possible difficulty to deal with….until I came across ‘dumbness’, which let me assure you drives me up against the wall at all times.

On the exterior, if I say my roommate is calm and sweet…..I would, definitely be lying because she is not. And every day I have to listen to the gyaan that can pretty much confound even the best of scientists and give scholars of the world a heart-attack. For example, Did you know that ‘Calcium is the deficiency of protein‘? Yes, this is only the beginning of what I am subjected to. And my years of scientific education suffers a massive blow.

Then she proceeds to tell me that Testicular cancer affects women! I seriously doubt her anatomy at this point and begin researching articles on google of whether any science teacher from her home-town has committed suicide in the recent past.

If that was not enough, I am told that looking your face in the mirror at night and in the morning can lead to it’s disfigurement, which has made me write ‘mask’ as the number one commodity I am supposed to buy in the list of items I have compiled for weekend shopping. I mean seriously, if people consider me cute now….I must be extra-ordinarily stunning 25 years back but ruined my face over the years as I continued looking in the mirror.

If you thought the statements she makes are tolerable, wait till you hear the questions she asks. And every time when she does indeed opens her loud mouth to ask, I silently curse God for giving me the self-restraint that makes me impossible to strangle her and shut her up. So with a brave smile on my face & my evil heart planning her downfall, I listen in mock attention as she asks my advice on matters which even 6 year olds will consider stupid.

Should I drink milk first or have breakfast first? – A question on which she ponders for a minimum of 50 minutes and asks me 5 times, after which she proceeds to call her mom, dad, uncles, aunts and grandparents as the family together tries to solve this perplexing mystery that has chided humanity for ages. At this point, I am certain – stupidity indeed does run in the family.

If the entire family finally reaches the consensus of having milk first, I get asked another question – How many tablespoons of Bournvita should I add to the milk? I tell ‘One’ and then proceed to tell her of how more than one tablespoon of Bournvita can cause mental retardation in the long run. This answer is greeted by genuine horror on her face. (I cackle with laughter inside over a small victory, which in reality is very short-lived).

She claims she follows cricket but has absolutely no idea who Shikhar Dhawan or Sir Jadeja is. She has never heard of Dilshan and Jayawardene, thinks Vettori still leads the Kiwis and when I talk about Cook, she actually believes he is some real cook that travels with the English team to cook their meals (Haven’t told her about Buttler or Broad yet).

I swear my brain-cells commit mass-suicide every day and my grey matter is depleting at an alarming rate. By the end of this year, I will only need to color my hair yellow to suit the part of a dumb blonde. Each time I enter the house, I dread the statement/question that will rob my brain cells of their innocence and take me one step closer to becoming an imbecile. I cover my ears with ear-phones to listen to songs as I cower in fear of getting attacked by this barrage of nonsense. But morons have been granted the super-power as her obnoxiously loud voice filters in asking me whether she can put glue on her laptop to make it stick to the laptop stand as she doesn’t like to remove it everyday. My eyes un-focused and quite resembling to that of a murderer continue to stare ahead pretending not to hear. My teeth grind in frustration and my hands curl up in fists waiting to deliver the sucker punch.

Pray for me fellow internet addicts, as I fight for my sanity…..every day, every hour, every minute…..until I am asked just like now even when I am writing this down – What happens to people born on February 29th? Do get they get stuck on being one-year olds until four years past? (FacePalm).

Note: This post is neither made-up nor make-believe. By the end of this year when I finally start tweeting/blogging/facebooking such equally idiotic rubbish, it will be proved. I have very little time left….until then, all I can say is – Did you know that the fruit orange was actually named after the color orange and they refused to name apples red because they come in green too and…..hmmmmm…shucks…I forgot, what she said about the watermelons……


He sits by the table, his back to the window staring at the solitary candle flickering with the gentle cool breeze. The wall in front of him is bare, illuminated with the dim light of the candle and a canvas for strange shadows dancing on it. He gets up and walks to the window and peers into the darkness outside. The storm has subsided, he can hear only the the gentle pitter-patter of the rain now. The wind has died down and all is quiet except for the distant howling of the dogs. But it doesn’t looks like the electricity is going to be restored soon. I don’t think anyone bothers about it. It is a small suburb on the outskirts of a major city, quaint and dull. The townsfolk themselves are used to be being ignored at all times. It is OK for him though. He likes the anonymity this town offers. Here he doesn’t have to pull any masks over his face. He is content, living in this one-storey small bungalow surrounded by hills and trees. And anyways, he is here for a specific purpose which he intends to fulfill tonight.


He looks back and glances at the room. There is a a huge bed on one side, a dresser with a full length mirror and a writing table with a chair at the opposite end. The walls are bare. It is a strictly impersonal room with no sign of an individual attached to it. He presses his back against the window and gets lost in watching the flickering flame of the candle again. Beside it, there is a piece of paper and a pen, a small clock reading 22:30 in green color, a glass of water and a bottle of sleeping pills. 

He is snapped back into reality with a flash of lightening. The rain is gaining momentum again. It is going to be a long night. Long and wet. The drizzle has changed to a full-fledged downpour within seconds. He hastily closes the window and walks back to the chair. Sitting on it, he rests his elbow on the arm of the chair and supports his head. The cell phone in his right-hand pocket starts buzzing incessantly. He watches the name splashed across the screen and ignores it. Finally when the phone stops ringing, he checks the notifications – 6 missed calls, 11 messages! He doesn’t want to talk to anybody right now – no friends, no family. He has come here to get away from all. He wants to be alone. He needs to be alone. 

Completely bored and utterly unsure of what to do next, he begins to skim through his phone’s photo gallery. A sad smile spreads on his face as he looks fondly at those memories. Lost amidst those scores of pictures, he suddenly finds the one he wanted to avoid. It’s her! He is confused. He had thought that he deleted every single one of her pics. But apparently, this escaped attention. It is a group photo with her at the corner, hand carelessly draped over his shoulder. He feels a sudden surge of pain in his heart and his body goes rigid. And then the tears come. He quietly buries his head in his hands and weeps silently. After what seems like hours, he looks up; wipes the un-dried tears with the back of his hand and leans backwards. He closes his eyes and gets lost in that beautiful memory that once…..was his life!

She giggles and shakes her head. Her long raven hair cascading down her shoulders shining in the pleasant winter sunlight. Her eyes, large and brown like a doe twinkling with mischief, always amused, always curious. Her laughter like a warm spring breeze. She is small and lovely, incredibly cute. Not beautiful, not gorgeous, not sexy but there is something undeniably attractive about her. It’s like- all the sweet and innocent things of the world are wrapped up in that tiny frame. 

He jerks back into reality, half-expecting her to run her hands through his hair, half-expecting to melt in her arms, half-expecting her to kiss him with her soft lips. But it is over! There is no hope left. It’s been over a year and he still cannot forget those times. The past comes haunting him. He can’t concentrate and just can’t bear to go on living in such a dismal way. Nothing has gone right since the day she……nothing…..agghhhh…he lets out a sigh of frustration….and tears at his hair. He is sure he is going to go crazy. The sleeping pills- they are his only option right now! He wants to welcome death, get rid of this everyday despair. 

One word – REGRET! We all face it; every moment of the day. Regret for so many things- for a lost love, a lost hope, a lost cause, a lost opportunity, a lost life….

It is a long journey this life, a long road of trials and tribulations with joys and happiness only sprinkled around. Achieving those smiles is not easy too, we have to work at it. Always faced with numerous choices, we find ourselves constantly debating about which path to take. And it seems like everything around us is against us. We hate more than we love and that we love, we don’t keep. We make mistakes, repeat them and end up completely disoriented and dis-illusioned about life. Some- continue to battle on with a broken spirit while Others succumb and finally give up!

He uncorks the bottle and empties it in his right palm. He picks up the glass of water in the other and screams at the top of his lungs. He is babbling incoherently now like a madman, a glazy look in his eyes. Thats it! Now is the time! He gobbles the pills in one swift motion and gulps the entire contents of the glass. The panic has passed now as he silently eases back. The candle is in the dying stages now. The light has gone even dimmer. He is feeling sleepy now but quite tranquil and at peace. There will be repercussions of this act but in some other reality; not here, not now. For now, there is just serenity around. The last thing he sees as he closes his eyes is the piece of paper fluttering on the desk. There is a single sentence written right in the middle of it – I don’t regret my life, I regret the way I lived it… 

And the candle suddenly burns bright and goes off to plunge its surrounding into an impenetrable darkness. What life didn’t do, death does- it embraces the body of that young man as he slowly sinks into oblivion….



(Dreams – Only being on the brink of fulfilling one, isn’t enough! They must be nurtured & allowed to grow, they must be fed & watered to give a meaning to life. It is a constant struggle to achieve them, and there will be so many to spoil the party. People who aren’t gracious enough to accept your genius, insecure ones who  will try everything to watch you fail miserably. Fight them. Fight for what you believe in. Dreams do come true, so make an effort to turn them into something so beautiful that the world takes notice & gives your talent the respect it deserves…)


She sits by the window sill, staring into the space

A turmoil raging inside her, shadowed by the calmness of her face

She gathers all her wits with might, to allow herself a smile

A true genuine happiness, that had been missing for a while.

A dream she thought was impossible, an unbelievable wish, you see

Of a door she locked long ago and threw away the key


In an desperate attempt to fit in, she had compromised her life

Resigned to a monotony of usual existence & an everyday stressful strife

But, struggle molded her to the strong person what she is now

The hard-work all paid off, she still doesn’t know how


She knows not now a care in the world

Her life has just begun

Expectations that will soon dwarf even the moon & the sun

Laughter & smiles & everything nice, no tears left to cry

With new hope & new life, she will soon give a confident try


Though still with melancholy does sorrow shades her face

When people shatter her dreams & forgo all the grace

True smiles are pretty few & indifference plenty to show

How she doesn’t deserve the honor that life did bestow


She longs for for words of encouragement & lots of love and hope

Instead, aloofness & uncertainty is with what she is left to cope

With low self-esteem & still carrying, a burden of frustration inside

The gap between her confidence & beliefs, keeps on growing wide

Discouraged & disturbed, the stress builds up on her mind

So much that she sometimes wishes, to put life on rewind


Whats scary is  that she longs for, the usual normal ways

Long, boring, dull & stupid, yesteryear days

An uncharacteristic existence, of rats running through a maze

To be one among millions & drown in the common daze.

Whats scary is that she almost wishes

to settle for much less than she deserves

Her talents long forgotten.

Her genius in reserves…


Just standing at an open door of opportunity, is not going to get her far

Now the real fight begins, when she battles with the hour

Endures all discouragement & still manages to hold her hope

Secure all her ambitions tightly, with a sturdy rope


True genius doesn’t hide, it rises against all will

Even when cynical predators, move in to make their kill

With self-doubt cast aside, she accepts her uncertain fate

To stick to what is right & bide time to patiently wait


She gathers strength in her tiny limbs

And prepares for the final flight

Even when they tie her legs

And set her wings alight

She just soars straight high

To burn the never-ending sky

To not give up & believe in her dreams