The Journal on the Journey


Lame title. Yes, I know! If you’re looking for purpose in these words, sir/madam, you’ve treaded into the wrong marsh. The path beyond is for those who can take a pinch of lame with their everyday (in my part of the world, it’s called ‘mokka’). There is a train headed in one direction (not a metaphorical one mind you), the same as my thoughts. Thank Guttenberg, we don’t publish hand written manuscripts anymore! This would have been shelved before the reader even got to this part.

My thoughts, they’re focused on staying awake at the moment. No spiritual notions; just a plain keeping-my-eyes-open affair. Why, you ask? The details are a tad embarrassing so, I’ll steer clear of them. Insert generic graveyard shift lament here. Honestly, I envisioned these words in a different way and so far it’s fulfilled 1/10th of its potential; but that’s still good, considering the fact that this train is quickly making me lose motivation and I’ve reached the part where I’m starting to miss my laptop.

Some things to brood upon : note to self – do not drink the coffee on board. As of now, the plan to writing has served its purpose, but still a long way from becoming ground breaking or anything. Pity me for thinking that there’d be a J.K Rowling levels of inspiration! I’d be grateful if I could garner enough material for a blog post. Also, Jagadhodharana is an awe inspiring piece of music.

For the record, this is the first line of the second page (screams inside : “Laptop! Now!”). The world would be a happier place if we all referred to each other in the third person.

Sriram thinks that writing on the train is both good and bad. Good because he comes up with strange and random ideas; bad because now he has no way of improving his handwriting. On second thought, his handwriting was a lost cause long before he got on this train. Sriram is happy that at least a few people read his blog. Giving up the pen for technology would be morally wrong on a certain level but for someone like him, the tech actually helps in that regard. It should be noted in no less capacity that Sriram loves his laptop and the best of his writing has come out of it.

He really hopes to fill the second page with this ‘third person’ thing. He is now beaming because of the lame number pun that he just made up. He is happy because the endeavour of writing seems to be working as he’s close to filling two full pages with words on a moving train. He proclaims that his words will make a mark on the world in the future. In regard to that statement, he also believes that random thought will pave way to regular writing. Insert generic verses about train moving across fields, greenery, old man with plough and all that blah.

This is the end of the second page and the third person fiasco. I would like to thank it full measure the two shots of espresso that came together in making this blogpost possible.

Well then,

Until Next Time!

Damn! Them Memories!

Consider this, life as a kid was very very different. It is not possible to stress that enough because as an adult, nostalgia comes from the impact points in our childhood. Fair warning, this ramble might turn out to become emotional because we’re touching upon the area of nostalgia.

Right, so, I’d like to quote Calvin and Hobbes “Everyday seems the same but when you look back, everything is different” It’s not the verbatim but it’s the best I could do given the circumstances. The significance comes later in the post; also, a special mention to the video about “If you could change one thing about your body, what would it be?” The answers from the children struck a realization on the importance of being a kid. I’m more or less financially independent but, but, things were so much more simpler back then.

To add some background; my grandparents used to live in Pondicherry when I was maybe, 10. Really great neighbourhood, peaceful town and all that. There was a tradition where the grandkids where shipped off to the grandparents places for the vacations and we were no exceptions to the rule. That place was especially memorable because I was at an age where I could think for myself to a small amount and before the time when the idea of “teenager” was not around. When my grandparents moved cities, Pondi suddenly became this luxury town that people went to for weekends and then to a certain extent, it lost the charm of a grandparents place (this was because they had moved back to Madurai which was the original location).

A week back, I was travelling to Pondicherry for a weekend like the multitude of people from Chennai. I thought nothing of it at first. On the evening, when we walked down the beach, it hit me, full and totally unexpectedly. I was transported back to a time when reaching the Gandhi statue before the cousins was a feat; ice creams or nothing was a way of being stubborn, the elephant at the local temple that everybody was fond of and a lot more memories kept surging in. I was face to face with nostalgia and was unable to handle it; it was overwhelming. It was good.

Thus it remains true. Kids want to grow up; adults want to go back!

Well then,

Until Next time!

Imagination, a cruel mistress art thou!

A woman, a city and a little bit of luck. I’m good on the second and third; about the woman, it’s kinda hush hush. As soon as incriminating information goes out on the web stating this here and that there, I might try to come out and reveal her identity. Albeit, this might all just be a big giant hoax; but that’s really not the point is it? The point is simple. You’re drawn. You’re getting curious. You want to know what’s really in store. But, pray, just one more time, look upon the title of the post and you might want to rekindle your imagination back to base. We clear?

When thoughts are loud enough to be heard, they are strong enough to be made into actions. Sadly, this is just one of those quotes that will not make it to the books. This one is simple, like I said. It is a series of events where everything that I assumed turned out to be something else and hence the title.

#1 Instance.

Rainy Thursday evening. I’m lying on my mattress, too lazy to wake up but too awake to go back to sleep. Being snug inside my blanket is the only thing on my mind. That was when the evil thoughts started to creep in. As I get into the mood of going to the office, it starts raining; not the normal monsoon dose. Imagine bursting a near full water balloon except this one sets down as droplets. Sanity would dictate to wait for the cab to arrive and travel safe and sound in it. Imagination was ready to disagree.

This is how I imagine my mind voices going about their business,

Dude, it’s raining, we should totally take the cab.

Are you crazy? This is the best time to show off the Man Utd jacket.


And that voice drained out and I ended up getting to the office fully drenched waist down. I still have no idea as to what purpose it served, but, the heart wants what the heart wants right?


Cue next day and there’s this sudden urge to travel on the train wearing formals. Again, not looking to impress anybody (subject to argument). There, I am, sweaty but safe after walking 2 KM in largely dirty road space.

As I proceed to enter the building, it hits me. The access card and locker keys are not with me.

Guess where they are? At home, in the side pocket of the jacket that I was so keen on wearing.

P.S : I imagined that I’d be writing this as a two part post, but imagination, cruel mistress art thou!

Well then,

Until next time!

I Give Up!

I really do. At this point, there’s nothing left. I ransack my brain to find something to hold on to, something appropriate, something relevant; but all I’m left with is a perpetual sense of déjà vu. A feeling that no matter what the outcome is, it has already happened before and so I give up! I’m out of ideas on what to name posts that revolve around my weekend.

Totally inappropriate title away, there was something that did happen this weekend. It’s probably trending on twitter and Facebook and what not. Interstellar. So, I’ve noticed this particular split in the trend. Mind you when I say I’ve visited the parts of the internet that pop culture sees as a rebel. It’s this thing, there’s people saying “Interstellar, vera level (a whole different level), Nolan mass, #randomcrapaboutonterstellarornolan. Then there’s the hipster group that goes on like, “Meh” for all thing and saying stuff like, “Scientifically inaccurate”, boss, I know you have a PhD in particle physics but stop talking like you’re the only guy who has a PhD in particle physics.

Stuck between these two groups is me. I mean, the movie was bloody brilliant; kudos to Nolan for making such a space epic. I have parts of the movie that still haven’t sunk through; but that’s okay, I’ve come to expect that from Nolan. My ranting on Interstellar ends here.

That was the scoop of the weekend. Now for the mentionable headlines. Read your show time before you get to the cinema so that you don’t end up being there an hour early to stand in the mall, look like a lone duffer walking around with seeming schemes of shop lifting. I’ve lost hope over the malls and over the people, more so. It’s not worth writing about.

The coffee place that I love just upped their prices by 50%. I rediscovered a part of my childhood with “Nestopia” google it and you’ll maybe find a part of yours too. Next up should probably be PCX2 which would be a search of my pre-teen/teen years.

Honestly, I only wanted to rant about Interstellar but I realized it’d be unfair on my readers.

Well then,

Until Next Time!

Appanukku Pillai

I’ll just say something that’s been said countless times over and over in more than one way. As we keep living our mundane everyday, life slowly slips by.

This one is really short and simple. The realisation of it was sweet.

So, um, I have a memory. But before that, if you’re wondering what the title means, it’s “His Father’s Son”. So, to the memory; I’ve travelled to Chennai and back with my dad countless number of times and every time, the agenda or the purpose of the visit was different. There were some factors that remained unchanged though. We always came on the Yercaud express; took a train until Guindy and then an auto or a bus depending on external factors. There was one more thing on that list.

I found myself at Chennai Central one morning. The roles were kinda mixed up considering the fact that I work in Chennai now. I did what any other sane person would do when left without sleep for nearly 18 hours. I went to get myself a neat filter coffee.

The first sip and the scene became vivid and clear to me. All those time that we had come to Chennai, the one, absolutely constant scene in the backdrop was standing with my dad and sipping the coffee. It was bliss. It was multiple memories rolled into one and it was good coffee.

Well then,

Until Next Time!

Achievement Unlocked – Passport Granted

At the end, the net worth of my happiness and sorrows will hinge on this one moment.

                                               – Ram Prabakar

Now that the ambiguous quote is out of the way, the purpose of this post is to celebrate the fact that three day weekends can indeed be perfect. A disclaimer to those who may have missed it; my posts, effective a month back, will always contain an element of fiction in them. I keep telling myself that this is to improve my insights on various methods of writing, but it’s actually a hidden agenda. With that out of the way, discerning the fact from fiction is left to you.

The pinnacle of this perfect weekend was the fact that the Honourable Government of India has now decided to grant me a passport. That was on monday considering the fact that I had a three day weekend and also that passport offices do not work on weekends.

Now, how do we top a granted passport? I may make it sound like a big deal but considering that it’s my opinion, I’m allowed to do that. The way I travelled to the office and back, I realised that a lot has happened between the time I loved travelling as a kid and now.

The standard questions in the days of yore usually went like this,

“We’re going on a trip?”

“By bus or train?”

On the fine sunday afternoon when I sat planning for the trip, (the office is 300 KM away by the way), the first question on my mind was,

“Can we take the car?” and from that, it kept moving on to “Who gets to drive?” and yada yada yada. In retrospect, time has kept us grounded but taken us to different places at the same time. Something to think about eh?

Imagine being a guy who enjoys the little things and getting to drive a 300 KM trip. It’s pure bliss I tell you.

Moving on, without a doubt, I’ve probably joined a couple of geniuses who signed up for a test-ride after booking the vehicle. Yeah, I’ll let it sink in, Royal Enfield Electra 350.

The sunday was basically the eat-sleep cycle done with utmost devotion to the food and the bed in equal quantities.

Over to the mysterious claims of what it is that I do with my Saturdays. The most interesting response that I pulled of the goblet is the following accusation,

“I think you have arrears (backlogs) in college and you’re going back for them”. But, um, considering the fact that my degree sits proudly inside a steel chamber, arrears are out of the question.

There is another idea that’s been unofficially floated around but putting it in writing will give it a space to exist and it might become uncomfortable for everyone involved so, I’m stopping at that because I’m already getting the feeling that I’ve said too much.

Other than that, one small hint that I’d like to drop is that the quote at the beginning has an enormous amount of significance to what happened on Saturday. So, err, good luck with that.

Again, weekends like this are meant to be perfect and thank you for everything and everybody who came together in making this possible.

Well then,

Bis zum nächsten Mal!

Weekend Surprises!

There was this perception that we had that had me in binds that the notion of ‘city life’ would be busy, fun filled and wonderful. I’ve never been so wrong.

The weekend was, honestly, I don’t know where to begin.

There are two versions to this story. The one I envisioned to happen and the one that actually happened.

The vision was simple. Tanjore on Saturday, Salem on Sunday and back to work on Monday.

And, now for what actually happened.

I’m gonna be shady about why I went to Tanjore. Suspense breeds interest or so they say. For the sake of the story, I was accompanying my friend who was collecting certificates *wink*. There was a drama that was building some 500 Kilometers away from me. Our chief of State was waiting for a verdict. At 2 PM, the verdict was out and the college was suspended. Turn number one. Something that was not in my perfect little plan.

We did what anybody would do in those circumstances. Went back to my friend’s place, locked ourselves in and surveyed the situation.

By, surveyed, I mean, we drove around town, picking up supplies for the one day halt. One mob gathering and a road blockage later, things were clear.

There was no way we were getting out of town that day. We were pretty excited considering that this was the first time a political turnover was happening in real time.

Imagine cast away, but we were four people in a house with noodles and bread and soda. You can pretty much imagine what the rest of the day was like. Yes, the speakers were too loud. Yes, it was night time and yes, we might have caused a bit of nuisance; but it was fun and in that moment, it was all that mattered.

Free will, a peaceful neighbourhood and a weekend without agendas is a slice of life that is better than perfect.

I’m not really sure what I’m trying to convey but, I’ve been humbled. The city is big, yes, but a trip like this will change things for the better. I’ve maybe narrated this story ten times but I’m not able to find the perfect words to make it sound as much as I’d like it to sound.

Well then,

Until Next Time!

Kenya Flag – Whacked Weekend, Part I

A while ago (let me put that in the ballpark of five weeks) someone told me that I have no life. Lone blogger posting at not-so-favourable times of the day does rack up the points on the side of the ahem, ‘accuser’ (too tired for thesaurus). But, I’d like to thank that person because from that day, I decided to make minor tweaks to what goes on around me and I’ve been the better for it.

The graveyard shift takes care that my night life is practically non-existent; but thank god for weekends. Funny thing though and I’m just going with the whole ‘tuning’ thing that’s been trending to say that switching tuning between weekends and weekdays is kinda impossible. I’ve tried and failed at it, multiple times. Imagine my surprise when I get a rather friendly message on on phone with the following message,

Atho, tonight?

I’m guessing you already know the answer to the question but then, out of want of keeping things a little interesting, I’m gonna let you, my dear readers, figure out what Atho is. The beach station was a whirl and thank god for coffee. One long walk through Burma Bazaar and back and we were ready to hit the tracks to get back. Interestingly, a phone call interrupts proceedings now,

Aranmanai, 10PM, how many tickets?

My friend replied two and we were on our way to the next railway station that would take us in the proximity of the theatre. A drunkard and a couple of good auto drivers later, we found ourselves at the theater, half an hour earlier that we anticipated.

Our curiosity got the better of us and we ended up learning the meaning for ‘Beware of Dogs’. That’s all I’m gonna say on that matter.

Three hours and a horror comedy later, the car sped along empty roads until, yes, the third of the trifecta that follows dinner and second show cinema; we got held up by cops. Owing to the fact that we were not drunk, the cop wished us a safe journey on the dangerous streets.

So, if that wasn’t a good enough day. Tell me something that would make it better.

Well then,

სანამ მომავალი დრო!

There Were Selfies

I only made it plural to make it a teeny bit more attention seeking. In reality there was only one selfie ever taken at that place. They call it the beach, we call it Bessy.

Reddit has taken its toll on me and I’m going to make this post a little reddit-themed. All the anonymity and stuff.

It begins with me making a plan to meet a bunch of my college buddies out at Bessy (Besant Nagar Beach). We co-ordinate on whatsapp and only four of us can make it.

Cue $AsWeirdAsMe. The two of us plan on making a break for the Theosophical society before the plan goes through. And BAM, Sundays are holidays. It was raining and we accidentally stumbled upon a section of Chennai that made us talk in  Sivaji(Rajini) like tones, “Is this Chennai?”. Tree lined avenue, half sunlight, rain pouring through and finally, not really appropriate for two straight guys. A trip to donut house and three chocolate fillings later, we are up at the beach talking about the great game of life. It was mostly this that and some other stuff.

Next up to bat is $Everybody’sMutualFriend. He comes down, goes a few rounds on $AsWeirdAsMe and the philosophy of life continues. Also, I’d like to note it that we were kinda getting uncomfortable with all the couples around us. The scene is a blast. Kids in the sea, a skimming rainbow, the kids selling us sundal, the students asking us to pin badges on ourselves for some awareness. It was fun, really. I get the feeling that a day out should more or less be like this; if we could just go ahead and add variety to some of our weekends that were more like this, life would seem fantastic.

In comes $NotReallyIT. More talk and the sun sets down on us. Given the fact that we’re in the east coast, it makes sense now that I think of it. The selfie was somewhere in the middle before sundown.

Before we know it, we want to eat. I ping two people, $THEFoodie and $GirlWhoTwinesHerHair for locations on Chat places around. We pick the winner and get there and the pani puri was out of the world. We did break a bit of traffic rules trying to get there but it was all in good faith.

Then it was back to the beach and blah blah blah when I realized that it’s the people that matter, more that the places. Switzerland would still be awesome though. Just saying.

Disclaimer : I’m willing to bet that of the five people I’ve mentioned, not all of them are going to read this.

Well then,

Ata a próxima!

Doug Martin,#HTTR,Vikings,#OurPerfectWedding,Manchester United 4-0 QPR,Titans,#Patriots,Old Trafford,#MUNQPR,Viva Ronaldo, bessy,sunshine, selfie, twitter, dare, modern family, ping me if you read this


Tomfoolery (n) – Foolish or silly behaviour.

You know how movies cycle the same things over and over again just because they have a dearth of unique content? Well this is not the exact case but instead of brooding over the wonderful things that happen to me every day, I’m gonna dig a little into my own past and come out with a story/post of sorts.

Now, before we begin, a wise man once told me that the mark of a good fiction creator was to always mix a bit of the truth with the tale. That way, nobody finds out and everybody stays happy. Sound like a plan? No?

So, this little incident takes place some ten years prior to 2014. It was sixth grade, if I remember correctly. One thing about being kids is that we all want to grow up as soon as possible; but it hits us in the face that the grass is not always greener on the other side.

There was this transition from primary school to secondary school and there was a mixed feeling of the loss of power with the thought of getting to the next level. Loss of power owing to the fact that we had gone from the biggest in the small bullpen to the smallest in the big bullpen. It can be unsettling at times.

Art has never been my cup of coffee (not a big fan of tea). Basically, I struggled with any drawing that was not done with the help of a ruler. Biology gave me nightmares. I was swiftly enrolled into an arts class in the neighbourhood. It was all fun because for the first time, I was trusted to be responsible for my own bicycle and ride it to the class. Small man moving up in the world. All was at peace until she showed up.

It was a Wednesday afternoon and school gets extended but two hours on a Wednesday. I rushed back from school, picked up my drawing stuff and whirled away to class. Let it be duly noted that for the sake of punctuality, I showed up with matted hair, messy tie, half tucked shirt and untied shoe lace. Now that I think about it, the art guy looked at me like some sort of urchin.

I sit down and try figuring out the evil behind free hand curves while the art guy clears his throat to make an announcement. It’s the third day of the month and I naturally assume it’s about the fee due for the month. He’s a nice guy. He starts talking, I phase out the entire thing until he says the words ‘new girl’. Now, he has my attention.

Eager to grow up as I was, I casually look up to see her and for the first time, there’s butterflies in my stomach. She’s this dainty little thing, hair coming down in two plaits, school uniform seems unperturbed, almost as if she picked a new uniform to wear. Suddenly, the hibiscus in my paper seemed worth the attention and I put in my best to make it look like a guy with some actual skill had done it. The wanna be grow up in me was beginning to act up and I had this sudden urge to impress her. If you haven’t been through this, then mate, I’ve got bad news for you.

The hibiscus is coming along wonderfully and I do a double take before taking it over to art guy for review. She’s entitled to sit next to him, being the newbie and all and my ploy was to make her hear him praise me. So, solid plan in hand, I walk up to him and show the sketch.

What came next was a two edged knife.

“I never knew you would actually make a good drawing”

She looked up, a smile on her face. The hibiscus had served its purpose and to this day, it is the one drawing that I can get by with relative ease.

Jusqu’à la prochaine fois!