Till Death Do Us Apart


I put the umbrella behind the door; it hadn’t really helped me with the rain. How could it? The rain, like so many other things I had been experiencing, was unreal. I locked the door and double checked it, hoping she’d stay out tonight.

“I’m real” she whispered in my ear.

I turned around, not a sign of her. But she was there, I knew it. Talking to an overpaid lady as she pretends to hear me out hasn’t helped. All the medicines I was being forced to chug down, haven’t either. If anything, they were making her stay. All this scribbling over a notepad, and that feeling of being strangled and chocked by an inter-mixing of chemicals. All it does, is remind me of her even more.

As soon as I sat on the couch, the armchair opposite it sank under her weight. I tried to look away, and my eyes were greeted by our picture on the side desk. She sure was a looker. And then I looked across the table, how decayed and rotten she had become. 
I loved her, anyway.

I turned on the television; it might help me stay sane. The man in the idiot box smiled. It was a smile of misfortune, even he pitied me. 
“She won’t go away till you do it. You know that right?”
I changed the channel.

“He killed me, butchered me. All while you observed in silence”. Her voice was getting colder by the day.

“Look at me. Look at me”, she demanded my attention. 
“Were you always lying…” her voice broke “…when you used to say that I’m the one?”

I was reminded of all the promises I had made, and she was quick to read my mind.

“Don’t you remember? We were supposed to be together. And it, it took me away. It separated us”

I hated it when she would call him an ‘it’. There was a cry from the master bedroom.

“Even now it wouldn’t let us have a moment of peace.” She snarled.

I looked at her. The skin below her eyes had dried and stretched to her lips. But her eyes, well they had remained as truthful as ever. She was right, as always. We were always meant to be. I had made her believe that I’d protect her, even in the most severe of times. And yet here I was, as helpless as I was then. I had failed myself. I had failed our marriage. But I could take all that, it was all the hate that she projected towards me that made me miserable.
A man can’t live a miserable life, can he? Not if he can do something about it.

I moved to the kitchen and opened the central drawer. I took out a knife; her smile visible at its sharp end.

She came closer to me, pulled me by the neck, and said.

“Do it. Avenge me. Avenge our love.”

I casually walked in to the master bedroom, where I had kept him, tied and bound to his bed. I leaned over and looked at him, the murderer of my wife. He looked back at me with his childlike innocence.

“Don’t let it get to you this time. Do it. And soon, we will be together again”. She whispered.

He cried. He cried for his innocence, for that is all he could do.

“Slice it. Slice it into pieces. Do it”. She shouted over my shoulder.

He looked at me with no remorse. He had no feeling of guilt, no sense of wrongdoing. How could he, that little devil.

I positioned the knife. He did not retaliate. In the background, I could hear her laughing.

I waited for it to say something, to convince me to stop. But how could he speak, he had been born barely days go. And so, I raised the knife and stabbed him thrice.

Her laughter faded away, and all that was left was a deafening silence. She had left me, finally. I wiped the grin of my face and proceeded to clean the blood that had dripped down the cradle.

The Last Book


The night was hot, and so was my seat. I had been sitting in the same position for quite some time now, reading a book under the faint light the lamp over my head had to offer. The seat opposite to mine was empty, and had been so since I got on the train. I looked at the seat, and wished I had bothered to look at the reservation list and catch the name of the person who was to occupy this seat. It could be a woman. Who knows, we might strike a conversation or two, and then exchange meaningless stares throughout the night. She might pretend to be a lonely woman, waiting for the right man. And I, I might speak with the arrogance of someone who doesn’t care about love, but is secretly hiding a case of heart-break. Who knows, right? Anything can happen, until it has actually happened.  The woman might just have missed the train, and I might have been destined to marry her, but we will never actually meet. Every passing minute, every passing second could change a lot for me, without me even realizing it. I could suffocate, or get robbed, or I might even find a treasure, all in the next few moments. Anything’s possible. Then how do I have any control over the course of my life. I can fight the suffocation, or kill the robber, or discard the treasure, but what if that too was supposed to happen. Is it all just a set of pre placed dominos? I got back to my book, but it did not interest me anymore, I was still stuck on figuring out how I would introduce myself to the woman who might occupy this seat. Just then, a suitcase rolled from my rear and entered the space between the two seats. Closely following this suitcase was a man, an old man who smelled of whiskey and stale food. He was dressed in a black overcoat that looked too good for someone of his demeanour. His hair was jet black, and was cleanly combed back. A sharp triangle rightly fitted itself over his neck. It carried on it a pair of thin, dark lips and a sharp, plunging nose. It also fit in a pair of eyes that seemed to change colour. If I were a man who did not play by logic, I could have sworn they were completely black for a moment. The man took the seat opposite mine and slid the suitcase underneath it. He looked straight at me, as if he could see through me. I don’t know why but I felt naked. A prepossessing guilt rose within me. I avoided his stare and got back to my book. I tried to focus my eyes on the text, but they would constantly try and record if any movement took place behind the book. I gave up on it, and finally questioned the man.

“Excuse me, why are you staring at me?”

“I am not staring. I’m merely looking.”

“Can you please look somewhere else?”

“I can, but I’d rather continue to look at you.” He replied even before I could complete my sentence.

I sighed in irritation and pushed my face back into the book. Here I was, expecting a woman, and all I got was a creepy old guy instead. The book was tough to read, mostly because I had lost touch over my mother tongue. The translation did help, but I seldom used it. How can a writer convert text from one language to another, without affecting the meaning of the former? I had my doubts, and so I struggled to find my own interpretations of the text. I was trying my best to concentrate, but the idea of an old man staring at me would not let me. There was movement in the background, and I raised my head to see that the old man had now come closer to me. He was bending his body, in an attempt to look closely at me. I threw my book on the seat and faced him, this time with intent to fight.

“What do you want?” I inquired.

“Just a look at the book you read, sir.”

“I’m reading it right now. And because I’m not carrying any other reading material with me now, I can not lend this book to you.”

“Oh no, sir. I do not need to loan it. I already know the story in it, rather too well I’d say. I only need a look. Just one.” He replied with a straight face.

I now noticed how coarse his voice was, as if something had been forced down his throat. It made me pity him, maybe he suffered of some illness. I contemplated his request, and decided to let him have a look.

“Okay, you can have a look. But you promise not to bother me anymore.”

“I do not see how I bother you, young sir. But if you allow me a look at your book, and agree to answer a question, I promise to leave this seat and find myself another one.”

“But all you said was a look at the book.” I replied annoyingly.

“I like to take actions in phases, sir. Do you accept my terms?”

I saw no harm, and hence I nodded in agreement. I passed him the book. He opened it to the last page, smiled at what he read, and returned the book.

“Now for the question.” He said. He paused, as if taking his time to think upon the question. After a moment of silence, he leaned towards me, and asked

“Do you regret killing your father?”

“What! How dare you. What gives you the right, you lonely old fuck.” I shouted at him.

“It is merely a question, my friend. I only need a simple yes or no.”

I ignored him. I did not need to answer a stranger, and especially not someone who accused me of killing my father.

The old man got up from his seat and pushed his face into mine. “Do you blame yourself, for not being at home the one night he wanted you to be?”

I pushed him aside, and threw him back at his seat. He got up, almost mechanically, and then ran his hand through his hair, trying to get them back to how they were. The colour in his eyes flickered. They were completely black for a moment there. I was sure of it this time.

He smiled at me and said. “Do you think he would have survived had you come home early that night?”

I did not pay any attention to his question and picked up my bag. I decided to change my seat with someone. If this man does not intend to leave me alone even then, I will call the authorities on him. As I turned to leave, he caught me by my hand.

“The time has come. The time to pay retribution. It shall happen tomorrow, as you complete your journey, both physically and spiritually.”

And now, I lay here on the floor, constantly replaying this incident in my mind. It is cooler than it was last night. This morning, as I got off the train, I slipped and cracked my skull open. I’m surrounded by people, but more than that I’m surrounded by blood. Somewhere in the crowd, I see a familiar place. It is an old man, with slick black hair, and dressed in an expensive black coat. He raised his hand to show me the book in his hand. It was the same book I was reading last night, but somehow I could not remember its name. As I once again remember the events of last night, I wonder, was I just following a pre-written story all along?

No Country For Men

  • A girl is raped every 20 minutes in India.
  • Only about 1% of the rape victims report their crimes in India.
  • Of the more than 600 rape cases reported in Delhi in 2012, only one led to a conviction.
  • Sexual violence within marriage is common, with 20% of men admitting to forcing their wives or partners to have sex.

Shocked, are you?
But you might already be aware of these facts. You would have seen them floating around on the internet, because that’s where I’ve picked them from. I don’t know if they are true, but most of the sources seemed reputable, and given the news I read/see everyday, I’d go ahead and say that these stats still seem modest to me. But why am I blabbering about some of the many problems Indian women have to face in India, while the article’s name clearly suggests it is about men. Because the newspaper is full of crimes and inequalities subjected on woman, and that is necessary. But who will write about us? Who will write about the men, the men of India.

I try to look for such shocking numbers as the ones I started the article with, but this time they are about men. But they are hard to find, almost not there.  Why? Is it because gender inequality only exists with women?

Do you know that 98% of the 498a cases filed against men are false?
Do you even know what the 498a is?
It’s a law to protect women against any forms of cruelty subjected on them by their husband or the husband’s family. Though the term cruelty is defined in the article, the definition can easily be twisted and turned to mean a lot of things. Read this. Anyway, what the law primarily protects them from, is dowry.

Do women need protection? Obviously.
Do women need a law which resides absolute power in them by allowing them to file a case of dowry based only on their word?

No. But that is what they have, because the way IP-498a has been devised, and the way it is implemented, makes sure that there is no room whatsoever for any doubt in judgment. And why are there laws? Or a court? Or lawyers? To make sure that a citizen is not branded guilty until there is even a tiniest bit of doubt. Even the Supreme Court has branded 498a as legal terrorism. Now why would the most powerful court in the country do that, unless obviously it is true? There has been improvement; recently the Supreme Court has decided that there will be no arrests under anti-dowry law without a magistrate’s nod.

Is that good news?
Partially. Because now atleast there is some theoretical protection being offered to men. But I’ll repeat, it’s ‘theoretical’, because before you reach the court, you have to face the harassment of society, police officers, lawyers and feminist groups. The society frowns upon you because that’s what it does. Lawyers and the police do it because they are looking to make quick money, and because they are under pressure to act quickly in cases of crimes against women. Because hey, who are we kidding, they don’t even register a rape case, much less get to the victims on time. So the pressure is justified. That brings me to the final group of people, who I personally believe is the most responsible for this negligent gender inequality. It is the so called feminist groups. Do not take me wrong, I’m a pro-feminist myself. But the feminist groups you see protesting in the news are not real feminists, atleast majority of them are not. They are pseudo-feminists, much like there are pseudo-intellectuals, pseudo-gamers, pseudo- ‘anything that’s in’. Feminism as an idea is growing, and it should, but what it is also doing is injecting ignorance and superiority in some women who fail to understand the true meaning of feminism. It is about equality, not giving preference to women.

For example, let’s consider the Delhi metro, something a lot of you can relate to. I understand the concept of having a woman’s coach in the Delhi metro, because apparently men can’t be trusted around women in India (no sarcasm intended). And personally, I’m not against the seats reserved for women in the other coaches. But what people, and more importantly women need to understand is that according to equality, why should I give my seat to a woman, who’s equally capable of standing as I am, unless I’m doing it because I should as a gentleman. But in today’s world, chivalry isn’t respected, or for that matter even expected. I, or any other man, do not mind giving his seat to a lady who deserves it. And by deserves it I mean- she is aged, pregnant, or visibly in need of a seat more than I am. But even then it is a case of humanity, plain manners. But anything other than that is not equality. Then it’s just basically women using the feminism tag to take what they want. I’m 21 and I in no perfect sense understand why I should give my seat to another 21 year old women. To this, one might argue, and infact a lot of people do argue, that women are physically less strong. Wow, way to go equality. Not any human, much less feminists should be able to say that. And feminist never will, it’s the pseudo- feminists who do this, because they are the ones who share random and fake Marilyn Monroe quotes on the internet. They are all about empowering women (Rahul Gandhi, anyone?), and mostly at the cost of putting men down. But even then, I and many other men get up from a ladies seat as soon as we see a woman around. And we should, because

1) It’s according to the law, and
2) it’s what we are taught, and rightly so.

And no, it’s not a favour. No one does it because you’re a women, and that’s what this is all about. You shouldn’t be treated differently because you’re a woman. It’s a random act of kindness, something that I’ve seen a lot of young women do for aged people (they’re the real feminist now). But when I see women shouting and poaching at men to get up and give them a seat, even while these women are infact in lesser need of a seat than the man sitting on the seat, it boils me up. And before you refuse it, it happens, and this comes from someone who has spent almost half his adult life travelling in the Delhi metro. So, where’s the equality now? But then again, there is no equality, it’s just pseudo-feminists, using real victims of gender (female) inequality to express their dominance in a country (world?) that’s already biased towards men.

But is the answer to a patriarchal society a matriarchal society?
No, you don’t fight fire with fire. It’s equality.
Feminism = Equality. Feminism != Women dominance.

Now to make my case a stronger one, I’d like to put forward a few more facts/statements:

  • As per Indian laws, while a man can be booked and jailed for adultery (IPC 497), a woman can NEVER be booked for adultery
  • Again, as per Indian laws, a man can never be a victim of domestic violence. All this, when in almost half the cases of actual domestic violence, it is men who are at the receiving end. Now that’s some equality.
  • When it comes to dowry, anything or everything the bride says she’s given the groom as dowry will be taken and returned to her. Even when she hasn’t actually given anything or some things (which is wrong).
  • Exploiting these laws has literally become a scam of their own , wherein women marry and divorce almost every other month. They harass the groom and his family by not registering a false FIR in return of huge amounts of money and obviously, a divorce.
  • When it comes to 498a, the word ‘cruelty’ is not properly defined, and even a case of a light argument can be considered harassment, and in turn cruelty, and in turn a visit to the police station at the minimum.
  • If a woman has consensual sex with a man, but the man later breaks up with her/refuses to marry her, she can easily say that she was raped. A man on the other hand, if dumped by a woman can do no such thing.

In conclusion, I’d like to say that yes women have it bad when it comes to gender inequality, and we should continue to protest and fight and better ourselves to make this country a better place for women to live in. The government might have been ineffective, but really if we have to bring in any change we need to accept that we are equally responsible for all the cases of molestation and inequality against woman. But what about the inequality against men. Who will protest and fight for us? Who will protect the men of this country? Frankly, ever since I’ve known about all these things, it has instilled in me a fear of marriage. I’m too young to worry about such things, but when you look at the absolute power given to women, it does something to you, something deep down.

What stops a woman from blaming and destroying my entire life? Almost nothing!

And men have been destroyed, and they will continue to be destroyed, until everyone is aware of the inequality men have to face.

P.S.- Some incidents I think I should mention-

  • I’ve personally seen women bargain auto rates over the pre-decided rate by threatening to file a complaint of eve-teasing against the auto driver.
  • I’ve had female acquaintances who would flirt with their teachers to get extra marks and to obtain other privileges and then come home and put Facebook status’ claiming all men to be “horny desperate pigs”
  • A friend has a friend (okay, this already looks questionable) whose girlfriend’s parents called the police on him after they caught her hurting herself when the friend asked her for a breakup. The girlfriend’s parents blamed him for manipulating and taking advantage of their daughter and he had to pay the police a lot of money to avoid going to the police station.

P.P.S. – Just like all men are not assholes, the above article also talks about some women. Some feminists have been doing some great work out there, and this article is in no way intends to hurt them or someone else.
If this article has been an eye opener for you then please share it with others. Let there be equality, in the truest sense of the word.


If you’re looking for some fun stuff to read about and would really like to know how paranoid some of the men are about 498a, read the suggested points here. Some of them are hilarious, and honestly I can not vouch for how effective or ineffective they are. This post was not to make men paranoid(okay,maybe a little) and i would please request all the men out there to not get too insecure, or they might have a tough time finding a suitable bride.

Extraordinary Men. Ordinary Wars.


I lay there in the bushes, waiting for the sun to come up. They say the average man can survive 3 days without water. But average men are not chosen to infiltrate enemy camps. No, it takes extraordinary courage to sit in these bushes. It takes sheer strength and will power to wait here until the right moment. You might get lucky and the right opportunity might present itself within a few hours. But I’m not known to be a man of fate. No, I make my own luck. From the colour of socks I will wear on a particular day, to the woman I’m about to marry, I choose each and everything. If I’m here, it is because I choose to be. I am not the dumb soldier I’m made out to be. I’m not simply following orders thrust upon me. I’m not merely a pawn in this bigger game of chess. I have reasons to do what I am doing, and these reasons can only be understood if you choose to see things the way I do. Whilst you sit on your sofas, comfortable, cozy and warm, wrapped in a blanket, contemplating as to how the bureaucrats and politicians make us fight the war they started, I sit here inside a bush, fighting for survival, 72 hours plus on the clock, scrambling to breathe. But do you ever wonder as to whose survival I fight for? Is it just mine? How the atrocities and attacks I face every day are just a news flash for you? And what does it make you do, but flutter words in favour of peace. But peace does not really seem such a viable option when you might just wake up among dead bodies the next day. Wars are not a product of the modern century. They’ve existed ever since man has. For it has always been a fight for what is mine and what is yours. And what is yours I will eventually try and take, by force or by words. If I fail to do my job, people die. If I continue to do my job, people still die. It is merely a choice between choosing to kill the people on the other side of the line, or watching the people die on this side of the line. And what is so moral about watching a man kill another man, whilst you have the ability and means to stop this killing. Is it more immoral to kill a man who is eventually going to kill another man? But how do we justify morality? How do we measure it? The walls created by society and strengthened by superficial laws are not a significant measure. There is good and there is bad. My actions do not justify what is what, neither does the outcome. It is the intent with which I kill. My intent can be viewed as that of a person killing people, or as that of someone defending people. I see it as the latter, and that is all that matters. Your view could be different, but then every action has multiple eyes scrutinizing it from multiple angles, but the action remains same, and so does the outcome. So what changes, if not the intent? And the intent is always mine; you cannot change or affect it. So what makes you judge my actions, when only I have the power to choose them, and only I understand the intent behind them. Don’t look so powerless now, do I?  But come tomorrow, and you will continue to sit on a chair, a fan over your head, and an air conditioner on the wall, and will continue to talk about peace, love, humanity and oneness. But what about me? I’ll be alone, in a ditch, or swamp, maybe a bush, or if I’m pushing on my luck, a jungle. But I don’t happen to be a lucky man. So I’ll be somewhere on the line, protecting you, killing for you, dying for you. Spare a thought for me, for I’m not the average man you believe me to be.
The clock on my wrist beeped. Average men cannot survive 73 hours without water.

 – The author does not promote wars. It is merely a piece of fiction.

Leap of Faith

I unbuttoned my suit. But wouldn’t that look too casual, if I go with an unbuttoned suit. I might come across as a passive guy. Oh, but closing both the buttons makes me look very uptight. And I’m anything but uptight, I never worry about small things. I know what I should do; I should just unbutton one of the buttons. Yeah that puts me in middle ground. I need tonight to be perfect. I need myself and everything else around me to be flawless. Should I call the hotel before I go in? I’ve already called them thrice, if I call them again the manager might slip something in the food out of anger. I’d better not call. I took out the box from the dashboard and slipped it into my suit’s inner pocket. I patted it twice for luck and went up the stairs to her house. I took a long deep breath and rung the bell. I waited a couple more minutes before ringing the bell again. I knew I would have to ring it again; she’s never ready on time. Just as I was about to place my thumb on the bell, I heard the door unlock.

I’ve read about love, about pure eternal love. I’ve heard about it in songs and I’ve seen it in those chick-flicks. But I had never really felt it until today. And it’s nothing like what they describe. I didn’t feel as if my feet had just been swept of the ground. Neither did I feel as if gravity had seized to exist. And the only thing churning in my stomach was sulfuric acid, there were no butterflies. No, I felt strong. I felt as if this is what keeps me on the ground. She keeps me here, she is what makes me stay, and live each day with the desire to live another. She doesn’t take away the ground below my feet, she makes me believe that I can stand on it more firmly than I ever have.

“Hey! What are you thinking, snap out of it.”

I winked at her and lend her my hand to help her climb down the stairs. If only I could ever put words to what I felt. I knew I never could, and she knew it too. Words were the only thing she took away from me. I was a restless and talkative man at other times. But when I was with her, all I wanted to do was to listen to her, to see her, observe the minute things that make her what she is. And today as she walked down those stairs with me, in her white dress, she made me understand why Poets, Singers, Writers and Artists try to define love. I went ahead and opened the car’s door for her. She took tiny steps when coming down the final few stairs, and it made my heart melt, for every smaller step meant that I had to wait more before she could be beside me. I adored her, as she descended down the stairs. Every layer of wind that cut across her face set each strand of her hair on a course of its own. And she didn’t seem to mind. But it wasn’t as if she looked like someone who doesn’t take care of herself. It came naturally to her. Her beauty was effortless.

“I’m surprised.”

I looked at her in fake denial. I hoped she didn’t know what I had planned for the night.
“Why are you surprised?”

“This is possibly the first time you didn’t ask me what my excuse is for making you wait”

“Well let’s just say I’m happy enough to have ignored that.” I shyly replied.

Her glistening white teeth smiled back at me. She was happy, she was happy to be with me. That’s the least I could do, I could keep her happy. I looked ahead on the road and a green signboard reminded me of the left turn that was to follow. I slowed down the car and looked for it. And just as I was about to turn back for having thought that I had missed it, a small cut in the road appeared out of nowhere. I took a sharp turn, for I was too excited to go back and turn slowly.

“Whoa! Slow down. Where are we going anyway?”

“Trust me. It’s a special place.”

She went ahead and kissed me on the cheek. It was her way of reminding me that I didn’t need to ask her to trust me. She just did. She leaned against the window pane and looked out at the lonely road that was ahead of us. I had wanted such an isolated place, and such a desolate drive, because I wanted tonight to be about just us. The place was perfect, but the journey was equally amazing. The road was narrow and was surrounded by huge majestic trees. I looked at one such tree, and realized how much it resembled every other tree. What made it different was not what was visible on the surface, it was what happened underneath, where its roots and the soil embroiled into an existence that lasted forever. Every tree was like a human, and the one i looked at, was still looking to partner with the soil. Maybe it will today. Right behind the trees the moon lit up in its pure magnificence and the landscape looked even more prepossessing under its moonlight; and so did she. I looked at her, gazing out the window, and I wanted to know what kept running around her mind when she was with me. I wanted to know what that incredible brain of hers’ thinks about all the time. But then again, I had all the time in the world to know, because she is going to be with me for the rest of my life. For tonight, I ask her to be mine.

She suddenly gasped and let out a shout. “Look out!”

As I had lost myself in her, I had forgotten about the road. I turned to face it and saw a man standing right in the middle of the road. I hit hard on the breaks; as hard as I could. The car shrieked under the constraint that was suddenly applied to it. It stopped, and had I been a moment late in stepping on the breaks, I would have killed that man today. The man moved away from the car and tried to protect his eyes from the bright headlights. I looked at him; he was an old man in ragged clothes. I needed to check if he was okay. I took out the key and unlocked the car. As I turned to open the door, a sudden thud on the car alerted me. A man had thrown himself on the back window. And then another thud, and then another. Three men were now pushing against the mirrors of the car. One of them unlocked the rear right door and got in. I froze in shock. But I knew what this was; I knew I had to protect her. I jumped on the guy who had slid into the back seat. I caught him by the collar and was about to punch him when I was pulled out the car by someone holding my legs. I twisted my neck to see who it was. It was the old man, and he did not look so helpless now. In-fact, he looked ugly, and evil. A crooked smile on his face reminded me of the most darkest and lifeless moments I have ever endured. I tried to fight back, to get my legs out of his grip. I bit at his hands and just when i had got myself free of his hold, I heard another thud. This one seemed close, very close. It felt as if someone had injected a stream of pain into my head. I touched it, and my fingers ran through blood; blood rushing out from the back of my head. And just then, I was hit again. This time the pain reciprocated. The pain was beyond what I could bear. But I had to get back to her; I had to protect her. I tried to get up, but my legs failed to respond. I tried and tried more, but they didn’t budge. I tried to punch them into life, but my hands felt powerless. The old man picked me up and hurled me into a nearby tree. I heard the box in my suit’s pocket fall somewhere on the ground. It contained the ring I was going to put on her finger as I asked her to marry me tonight. I wanted to spend the rest of my life keeping her happy, but here lay my body, with no potential to fulfill my promise. I turned to see, my vision now blinded by the weakness of the human body. Poets, Singers, Writers and Artists also write about heartbreak, and about feeling helpless in the face of love. And now I could understand what they meant, for in the last moments of my consciousness, I saw four men rip her clothes into pieces.

Psychological Pluralism- Why Everyone Is A Hypocrite.

“The road to power is paved with hypocrisy”
 – Frank Underwood

The one human trait I used to hate most profoundly was hypocrisy. Notice how I mention ‘used to’? It is because one random day, out of nowhere, I had an epiphany. How can I justify the term hypocrisy, when I myself do not possess a singular string of thought? Do you? When we sit and gather all our ideas to decide on something, are we not faced by contradictions, fallacies and comparisons? This in turn makes me think, do all the quotes about being ‘you’ even matter. Because I can’t possibly believe that I am contained of a singular self. No. Both you and I possess an internal pluralism. For every particular thought in your mind is not derived from a single source or even based on a single ideology. Within you, there are, for the lack of a better word, multiple ‘yous’. There is no singular identity we possess. Instead it is a congregation of multiple identities that regularly clash with each other. This is what gives rise to the term ‘Hypocrisy’- the practice of claiming to have higher standards or more noble beliefs than is the case. In layman terms, when you criticize your friend for checking in at Facebook, and then go ahead and do the same the very next day, you theoretically become a hypocrite. But what I believe is that in each of the two cases, a different identity from your multiple identities rose above the others. Most of us fail to realize this because of the basic human attribute of only acknowledging the winner or of only accepting the results. At a particular time, we only confirm the identity that won, every other voice fades into the background. And it is not just two voices- the good and the bad, the pros and the cons, the positive and the negative. Blacks and Whites do not exist; it’s multiple non-uniform shades of grey. One overpowers the others, and becomes you. At different times, you are different versions of yourself. If all of your psychological identities start to agree with each other, you become too much of an idealist, and as the term itself suggests, no man can really be a perfect idealist. We can try, and in fact I persist that we should. For as we strive for singularity in thought, we tend to detach ourselves from all our psychological identities and observe them from a distance. This allows us to acknowledge not just the winner, but hand out a participation certificate to every identity. As we move further and further away from this boardroom-meeting between our identities, our view becomes more and more eternal. And with this eagle vision, we can explore each and every nook and cranny, and extract any hidden/suppressed identities of ourselves. Who knows how this might change our principles and beliefs. With every step that we take into this direction, our thinking becomes more logical and more consistent, and we eliminate or at least reduce everyday hypocrisy.

As I read what I have written, I realize one might question how simple I’m making it look. With so many thoughts/media/content being thrown at you every second, how can you comprehend each and every one of them and align them across a single straight line? This is a question for learned men and women, and unfortunately I don’t happen to be one. However, I need you to know that a voice within me fights the other on the toughness of this path of ‘singularity in thought’. But the very fact that I can at least acknowledge two aspects of this argument, somehow gives me comfort. There are still multiple aspects to be found, analysed and channelled into a singular self. In every thought, I struggle with the multiple psychological identities that exist within me, and maybe so do you. Each day I strive towards singularity, and so should you. I might overcome this pluralism one day, but as of today I am a hypocrite. But then again, I am pretty sure, so are you!

Why That Relationship Shouldn’t, and Wouldn’t Last

Some recent circumstances led me to this mirror shattering revelation that friendships can suddenly break into nothing but shreds and pieces of memories that once relished your mind. I know, you must wonder what is so new in this. Aren’t human relationships, in general, platonic? They’re bound to crash regularly. I’m not here to tell you that life runs its course, people change and all the other bullshit that your neighbourhood optimists preach. No! I’m here to share, how with this experience I understood an important rational aspect of the human nature.

I understood that the only thing that keeps us together is not our profound love for the other person; it’s not even the likes/hatreds we share. That is a ubiquitously altered perception created in your mind, the perception of the constant need to maintain and encourage healthy emotional relationships. The idea of a society, sanctuary and safety for all, has somehow introduced within us, a particular affinity for relationships. With civilization came a series of realizations- our responsibility towards our family, our community, our state, our country, the human race and eventually the whole world. These subtly affected the process of the nurturing of our brain, our young innocent fragile minds. So when on your 3rd birthday, you looked at all the happy faces, you began to understand, that happiness multiplies when shared with close ones. Plus all the famous movies said it too. When you became a teenager, the people with most friends were considered the happiest, the outgoing-popular-extroverts who everyone liked. Come the pre-adult years, and everyone around you had a special someone they would go out on movies with. And couples all around you looked happy, strolling the streets, hand in hand, laughing and blushing over their conversations. And with this, the idea of creating strong threads of contact with other humans became more and more deeply embedded in your mind. By the time you become an adult, the hardships of responsibilities and the absence of honest and real people makes you cherish the deep bond you share with your childhood friends even more. And eventually, you settle into a cocoon of emotions that time and opinions have created around you. Effectively, what I believe is that we were raised into a community of socially adept monkeys who, after suddenly progressing under the reign of language, believe that integration of humans is the way to go.

“United we stand, divided we fall”
“All for one, and one for all”

But unity or coming together is not always the solution. What we are taught is not necessarily the right way. And now you might question, so why, day in day out, I go against my discernment and endure the everyday toils of friendship? Maybe the answer you expect isn’t the one I’m going to give, for like I told you, I’m not here to sell rainbows. The reason behind friendship is nothing, but the basic requirements to fulfill social and psychological constraints. You don’t worry about how much you will miss the person. The real fear, the true trepidation, is the idea of trying to somehow fit this ending into the already existing notions of society in your mind. How will people react to the fact that you suddenly stopped talking to him/her? What about all the common friends/relatives we share? Shouldn’t I accept their flaws? Isn’t human relationship about compromise? These questions, somehow lead to the introduction of a characteristic guilt, which in turn makes you accept things as they are. Things continue ahead as they previously did, until you are forced into the same questions again, and until you choose the same answers. You request people for advice, but all they ask you to do is forgive and move on, which mind you, is something you should do. But are all friendships/relationships worth the effort? No. A simple study of the human nature shows you how susceptible we are to making mistakes under certain circumstances. Sometimes these mistakes, they tend to stick with us. And these mistakes can be 5 or 10 years old, but they still remain mistakes. This deeply rooted belief, of the importance to maintain human relationships, has to go. Don’t misunderstand me, everyone needs a certain amount of human contact, to motivate their spirit, to double their happiness; but that time, in quantity and quality is not what has been defined for us, hard-wired into our brains. We need to be choosing this for ourselves, like we need to choose our endings. (Endings should not be hurtful, specifically if you want these endings) But what you don’t choose is the society you live in, which only seems right because it compares anything and everything with its own perception. But when the greatest men/women have failed to introspect and establish an unbiased cognitive opinion, what makes you think 7 billion average humans can do that collectively. So if you have somehow managed to read through this “so called pessimistic” view of relationships, consider this the next time before you make a decision about friendships- People might have changed, life might have changed and you might have changed, but in the end these things should not matter, because in all true sense, if you think it has to end, it has to end. Don’t conform to the regulations of society; it was created by drunken fools who were too busy maintaining friendships.

P.S.- This was written a long time ago, and I was reluctant to post it here, given how people might call it a pessimistic view on human relationships. I’ve tried to weigh relationships via the logic that initiated the idea of togetherness in humans, and if this comes out as a negative view of the same, then I humbly point out that this is a subjective opinion and that you shouldn’t judge the rest of the blog via this particular post. Thank you for your time.

Man & Animal


I felt a thirst, an everlasting thirst within me. I checked my lips; they did not have the dryness of a thirsty man. The thirst within me could not be quenched with water, for it was stirred, not by the instinct of survival but by the desire of losing control and of letting go. This need overtook me because I slowed down the car and parked it into an empty space to my right. I closed my eyes, for facing the reality with open eyes was not something I could do. I took out a circular chip from my pocket, it was supposed to help me garner the strength to stop. I desperately scratched it, trying to erase one of the words embedded on it. But the very fact of embedding something is so that it cannot be removed. So how can I fight something that has been deeply rooted within me? I unlocked the door and got out of the car in a hurry. One drink wouldn’t really hurt. I opened the door of the bar across the street and went inside. The man across the bar nodded to my presence and immediately started filling a glass. I sat down on a table; I quite enjoyed my own company. The glass arrived and as I picked it up with my left hand, the watch on my wrist caught my attention. It read 01:03:37 PM. I had to be at the hospital by 1:30, so I had to leave in 10 minutes. I remembered that – 10 minutes, one drink and then I leave. I raised the glass to my lips, but as the crystal touched my teeth, I stopped. I still hadn’t done it; I still had the option to choose. Today I was either going back to the same 10 years of my life or I was finally going to embrace the last 5 months that I’ve lived with a sober view. As I rocked the glass between my fingers, my mind oscillated between the choices every man has to make. To accept who you are or to acknowledge who you are supposed to be. I did not know what the universal right to this question is, but I knew the socially acceptable choice is the latter. People around us want us to conform to a set of ethics and morals, because the majority fits in within this structure. But the few outcasts like me do not get a chance to embrace the spirit within them. We are left to be functioned as robots, following algorithms and pre-written instructions. I raised the glass and the first few drops of alcohol flowed through my tongue. I could feel it, as each and every drop slowly sizzled through me, and just as my insides began to go numb, my brain started to feel and express more than it ever has. My glass was replaced with another, and then another, and then another. The spirit inside me, which had been weighed down by responsibilities forced upon it, welcomed the spirit that I gulped down my throat. It was the meeting of two spirits, animal and liquid, and it had been long time coming. But as the alcohol burned the chains that bound me, the animal within me started to take shape. For with every drop of alcohol I drank, it demanded two more. And so I drank, and then I drank more. The horse and the rider, the passenger and the driver, the man and the animal had finally been re-united. Together, they drowned in moments of nostalgia. The man across the table stared at me, and his eyes carried a gleam of appreciation towards me. I am where I should be, where I am accepted, respected, maybe even valued. I was home, I was among fellow alcoholics. The man continued to stare at me and then used his fingers to shape out a cell phone. I was sure he was not asking for my number, so I realized what he was pointing to- My cell phone was ringing, it had been ringing for quite some time now. I looked at the number flashing on the screen, it was the hospital. I looked at the time: 2:31:41 PM. I had missed my wife’s first pregnancy, I had missed the birth of my first child, and I had basically missed another chance of being the man people wanted me to be. But I did not care; I felt no guilt within me. Yes when she told me she was pregnant I was emotionally motivated to quit the one thing that kept me going. But she never accepted me for the man I was; however damaged, broken or drunk I was, I had always loved her. But like others who wanted to barricade me within these walls of rules and regulations, she was no different. I took out the chip from my pocket and started rubbing it in between my fingers. It was supposed to show me the right way in times of distress. The chip had embedded within it, in bold letters, the words ‘Alcoholic Anonymous’. I had to choose which letter I scraped of it, because only one of the two men survives today. I tapped on the desk and the bartender bought me another drink. My cell phone rang again; I cut the call and switched it off. Today, I choose to be the man I want to be, by accepting the animal I am. Today I break free of all emotional and moral expectations, for an animal is best left in the wild. Yes, I’m not going back to my wife. Yes, I don’t want to see the face of my own child. Yes, I don’t care what you think of me. Yes I’m an alcoholic.

The Ability To Trace Back Our Existence


I recently read an article about the stem cell research going on at the University of Edinburgh. In a nutshell, and yes I am trivializing this, stem cells are repair related biological cells that have the capacity to become any specialized distinguished cell. So basically, the same cell can become a part of your muscle, or your brain. Obviously, this is a much more complicated procedure than I am making it look, but I’m not here to teach you as to how you can artificially grow your clone (On a side note, it would actually be fun to have your clone as your wingman. He/she will point towards you and say, “Have you met me?”). Stem cells will basically change the medical-economical environment as follows. First, they have the potency to fasten testing and reduce costs of drug research, because now drugs can directly be tested on artificially grown stem cells, instead of wasting considerably more time/money testing them on animals. That’s a win for medical science, economists and animal rights activists (and animals in general). Way to go, stem cells. Another way, in which they will help, is by their ability to help replace damaged or diseased cells in diseases like Alzheimer, Cancer, and the likes of many other untreatable deadly ones. So essentially, as we develop medicine further and further, we eradicate more and more incurable diseases. At the current rate of things, one day every disease, except the adamant common cold, might become curable. As I finished reading the article, the idea of slowly becoming the masters of our death made me wonder about the significance of life and its beginning. Was all of this meant to happen? Was it always going to be this way that one particular species evolves and becomes so intelligent, that it basically understands everything. Can we really ever interpret ourselves, or the nature that created us? Philosopher Immanuel Kant believed quite the opposite, and following his ideologies this famous quote crept into our everyday lives:

If the human brain was simple enough for us to understand, we would still be so stupid that we couldn’t understand it.

Even while we are still considered pioneers in invention, to dismiss what we have discovered till day as insignificant, will be a fool’s arrogance. We are getting there, slow and steady. This spiritual war, of finding how we came into being, and more importantly why, has waged many brains tired. When you take a universal view of life, nothing is really that complex. It seems so, because beneath every layer of complexity is a less complex set of processes. The solution to any problem lies in the most fundamental or basic building blocks of a system. So if we can really reduce everything to the most simplified version of itself, the complexity slowly fades away. And we have been doing that for years, by dividing substances into molecules, molecules into atoms, and then finally, atoms into neutrons, protons and electrons. You don’t have to believe in God or even an eternal power to realize that we human beings are on a one way road to knowledge, there is no coming back. Only by destroying life can we completely understand it. Even according to Science (which is something I stick by), the earth, or for that matter our universe, came into existence after The Big Bang. So something happened, something triggered the universe into being. But when this something- which could be Nature, God or even pure coincidence- created a system, (our Earth, which is so simple yet so efficient that it can essentially strive on its own) did it really want one species to be substantially more intelligent than the others? Your pet dog does not wonder about stem cells, because if it did, it would be busy curing rabies and not napping on the floor. But, you do. You care about living a healthy, happy and comfortable life. So, were we humans, created to think for the universe? Are we supposed to work our way into the most intricate mysteries of nature? Does nature really contain within itself, agents of development and destruction, which is us humans?

Today and tomorrow, affected by so many other socio-economic-political problems, our speed has slowed down considerably. We have so many other problems to worry about, that the enthusiasm of discovering the essence of nature has taken a back-seat. Or so we think. Is stem cell research another solution to one such problem (incurable diseases, which is one hell of a problem), or is there a much bigger play at work. Are stem cells not taking us one step closer to perfection? Just like with space missions, artificial intelligence and door knobs, every alteration in nature is made by understanding it, by dividing it into the smallest known unit. So aren’t we, knowingly or unknowingly, doing what we think we don’t have the time to? Like all the other amazing mysteries that scrape our brains, this does not have a universal answer. But you cannot deny that our personal growth and our spiritual advancement are somehow inter-related. I do not know if we are destined to meet the mystery we call life, our creator-God, Devil or Nature- but we are eventually a part of this creation. For sake of this argument let’s call her Mother Nature. So Mother Nature, a self thriving and complete system, created within itself, a species that could and does like to question everything. So does this creator want us, a part of its creation, to strip her, bit by bit, so that we extirpate her creation, and in turn understand her? But then I take a double check, I think again. Aren’t we still considered pioneers? So could we humans be just another stepping stone in this stairway of enlightenment?  Are we another threshold in this story, another barrier in the process of evolution?  And a more intelligent, more adept and more capable creation of the creator will follow us and will use our knowledge to set out on the path of tracing back the common existence of the universe. We can never know this in time, because we will either trace back our existence or perish and give way to this more powerful specie.

I do not know if we, the human species, are destined to interpret and solve each and every thing in the universe, I can only poise this question to you. What I understand is that as we move forward in this journey, with years of mist blinding our vision, we do see a hazy vision of the beginning. We seem to be completing this circle of existence and enlightenment. We are going back in time, by moving forward. We are moving away from ourselves, but also coming closer. We do not know what lies ahead, we do not know if we will ever reach the end. But what we do need to realize is that it is not just about wanting to know how and why we came into being; It is also about questioning, are we even supposed to?

Of Mirrors, Beds & Curtains


I twisted my head to the right as I observed the 9 year old boy in front of me do the same. But he seemed to do it towards his left. I remembered what we had learned in science class yesterday- our images in the mirror display left and right in reverse to our relative movements. The mirror was rectangular in shape, the long length ensuring the mirror’s longevity with my growing age. This made we wonder, why doesn’t the mirror perceive top and bottom in the reverse directions? Why doesn’t my reflection get smaller as my body gets bigger? I noted that down as a possible question I can ask the teacher tomorrow. In the mirror, I could see two other people behind me. They were discussing whether to buy furniture made of teak wood or medium density fiber board. ‘Teak wood’ I could speak in a flutter, but it was difficult to learn the other word; I always end up messing its letters. I know their correct positioning in my mind, but whenever I intend to speak it, they somehow jumble with each other. Father says it will get better with time, but mother is always worried about me. But then again, I’ve begun to realize that she is a worried soul in general. The other day I overheard her crying on the phone. I didn’t want to overhear the conversation, but some of the words just fell on my ear as I passed by. She was telling the other person that a particular ‘he’ has not responded well to the treatment, and that she sometimes worries whether things will ever improve. I wonder who she was talking about. I wonder about a lot of things, it’s like my brain has a life of its own. Things go around it in circles and circles, sometimes only breaking to form bigger circles. But within these circles, lies an effortless clarity of thoughts. It is as if the complexities form a network of the most simplified shapes and sizes. I’ve tried explaining it to the teacher and sometimes also to my father. But like with other things, I can’t really describe my thoughts as I perceive them. I looked at my notepad, mother made sure I wrote a lot of things in it. I had written on it a reminder to ask the teacher the mirror question. I looked back into the mirror; my parents seemed to have made a decision. I couldn’t help but admire the ease with which they could argue over such an insignificant matter. Didn’t they care that their image in the mirror performs differently on the vertical and horizontal axis? I think it was because they had already figured out these onerous questions, and hence were now worrying about the more trivial aspects of life. I hope one day I become as knowledgeable as they are, and then use this intelligence to contemplate the colour of my new sofa. I looked at father and wondered if I should just ask him the question right now. After careful thinking, I decided against it. He always encouraged me to think for myself, and I knew he would ask me to do the same now. He doesn’t understand that I can’t figure out everything as he can, and the curiosity of waiting just kills me. But if I mention my impatience to him, he will stress even so more on asking the teacher. No wonder the teacher pays extra attention to me in the class, I’m sure mother and father put her upto it.  My eyes shifted their view to the wooden bed that lay beside the mirror. It was a simple box of wood with nothing but black straight lines to beautify it. It wasn’t flashy, but I like it when things are ordinary. Also it cost less, way lesser than the beds mother had chosen for me. They didn’t appreciate my choice, but like always, they let me buy it anyway. It wasn’t the simple design that troubled them; they were instead against my choice of the bed size. I wanted the queen size, the one that’s meant for one person to sleep alone. They wanted me to get the king size, so that I can eventually share my bed if I have to. But I don’t need someone to share my bed with me. For every sleepless night I’ve spent in my old bed, I’ve also had one where I had a wonderful dream. And I couldn’t explain it to them, but I don’t intend on sharing these dreams. Like father always says, I have to be able to do things on my own. It is how we face our fears and shape our challenges that define the person we see in the mirror. I don’t want mine to have a looming shadow over it. I want my mirror-image to be the reflection of who I am. The worries of my mother, the ideologies of my father and the supervision of my teacher need not be reflected alongside me. Father and mother had now moved to the curtains section, and I knew this was my window of opportunity. I took out the pen from my pocket and starting writing, on the bottom-left corner of the bed, my right to its possession. The new wood was tough to scratch through, but I managed a neat job. The bottom-left corner of the bed now read- “MY DEB”. I smiled at the perfection of my work. I put the pen back into my pocket and proceeded towards the curtains section. I had to make sure I get curtains that have straight lines on them.

– Tushant Juneja

When we help people, we do not necessarily make it easy for them. Because while we are simply helping them cross a road, they are lowering their ego and hurting their self respect by accepting their need for help. So remember, sometimes their acceptance is their thank you.