Archive for the ‘Live For or Die For’ Category

Dreaming of reality

We were talking on the phone. It was another one of the conversations where she thinks we should not be together, because the world does not believe it is right. I’m disappointed and end the conversation with a heavy heart. Venkat (friend) calls to ask me to come to his home, I catch a taxi or auto and I’m on the way. My mind is occupied with my thoughts on Anjali and heart is heavy. Meanwhile someone else gets into the backseat with me.

I’m still preoccupied with my thoughts and then I turn to my right and talk to Anjali sitting next to me, we start a simple conversation. Suddenly I realize she wasn’t sitting next to me before. She smiles when I ask her, her smile says that she was just looking for a lift and happened to catch my taxi too.

We realize what has happened, the universe has brought us together, another sign that shows we have to be with each other.

As this thought dawns onto both us at the same time, we realize that we love each other . With every breath in our lungs, with every beat in our hearts, with the life of our souls, we believe it, we finally know it, and we humbly accept it. We will be together forever!

In front of such a  great event, such a power of nature – love, I suddenly have no words. The world has disappeared for us. Time slows down as we gaze into each others eyes. I take my hand and gently put over hers, her eyes glaze and start filling with water, she smiles and looks away not wanting to cry right there. My eyes start welling up. I take my hand and rub her upper arm, reassuring her that it will be alright. She looks back at my eyes. My heart can’t keep up with the surge of love, now I know I can die without regrets,for, I have seen what god intended for human beings – I met my soul mate.

I wake up! It was a dream. A dream every human being wants to dream, some do but may not recognize the person sitting next to them in the car. I’m lucky. I know and recognize the person next to me – Anjali, my first ray of a new light and it has bathed my world with brilliance.
Image from here

Submitted for Tata DOCOMO OneTouch Net Phone contest.

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I wish to say

my best words now

Only I can’t think

anything to make you safe

so many of you

none unhappy

so small, yet the smiles are broadest

So same

You and I


what flows in me

ticks like a bomb in you


I cannot tell what

you are not old enough to understand

Children of the blood

you will be called

we are the same

but just a sign different

I’m -ve

You are +ve


Dedicated to the HIV+ children of Shanthi Ashram.

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Nothing to say

The world is coming to a standstill

My mind is coming to a standstill

I can’t think

I can only feel

Tears will not stop

Eventually they will run out

The sadness will continue though

I have no voice

I don’t trust my voice

I know that my heart is telling me something.

My mind, unfortunately, is not ready to understand

I know I made a mistake

I can just feel it. But I can’t understand it.

Maybe the mistake was God’s, he should have never let me be.

Maybe Maybe Maybe

There are only assumptions, questions, speculations

I’m trying so hard to understand my universe

I can’t even understand myself

The mind is at a standstill

My fingers move

My heart weeps

The mind knows, it is just a door.

Close it and another opens, the door of happiness

I can’t muster the will to close the door

I can’t or I won’t

Misery loves time, it would like to exist for eternity.

My heart is thirsting for it, it has been too long since it has tasted misery.

It wants it all, as much as can be filled, lest it may not come back.

Misery – Today you control my doors, but not for long.

When you fill up all the empty spaces, there would be no space,

soon you will be known,

soon my heart will have enough of your share.

It can’t  survive, not with you there in every pore.

Instinct takes over, fear will make me puke,

out you will flow, like the scum you always were.

Begone! I know you now. You have done your job.

Now let me be myself. It is time.

Let me search for my happiness.

Let me search and know that  “I don’t have to search”.

It was always there – a tiny candle burning through the legions of darkness.

Life is good. But death seems safer.

I, Human, am just afraid.

Give me an easy way out.

I’m not asking God. I’m telling him that I can ask myself.

Will I ever see Her?

Help me Keshav, you are my only hope!

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Last week, there was an urgent need for B -ve Blood group, the second rarest blood group in India.

My own group was B -ve and I immediately said yes to donate some of it. After a quick dash across the town I was at the hospital.

After taking my samples, it was found that there were enough platelets for a successful donation.

From then it was a mix of emotions – happiness, sense of achievement, despair, helplessness, ability to make a difference.

It all started with a phone call to Kedar….

It was just like any other day, we were off to lunch. Kedar got a call from his friend, Kiran

Kedar: Keshav do you know someone with B -ve blood group?
Me: Yeah. Me!
Kedar: Kiran knows someone who desperately requires B -ve
Me: Ok.

I never hesitate when there is a requirement for B -ve. It is the second more rarest blood group in India.

A sample survey on a biker community.

Any excuses that I can come up with to avoid blood donation will just blow away in the face of a medical emergency.

What am I going to say?
Sorry. I’m busy. I have a ton of work.
Sorry. The hospital is way across the town.
Umm. I’m not feeling well.
My body is weak, it can’t cope up with this procedure.
My wife wouldn’t allow it.
I’m a family man.

Total BullShit. Your fear, commitments, lack of energy or time will always be secondary to a need for blood.

I asked Kiran, if I could come down after work. Although he agreed, just after lunch, he called to say it was needed right away.

I started for Yashoda hospital all the way across the town in Secunderabad.

I’m good to Go

On reaching the hospital, I was immediately tested for platelets count.

The nurses were very happy that my vein was popping out for a hassle free needle piercing . Ok good.

They had to run a series of tests to certify that my platelets count was sufficient. Then finally after a while, the Good News, my blood had a good count.

There was no immediate requirement, but they knew it was needed at sometime in the next 24 hours. I was asked to be available on call for the next 24 hours.

I agreed to be at the hospital any time they called me.

Platelets Transfer procedure

The Nurse told me the procedure would be a tedious one. A platelets transfer is 90 minute procedure where blood will taken out and pumped in for 4-5 times. Once started, cannot be interrupted.

This is very different. The other times I donated blood, they were quick 10-15 minute procedures where 1 unit (200ml) of blood was drawn from my veins.

I later realized that this was the same procedure, but done 4-5 times more without breaks.

Morning Call

After waiting for the call, I finally got it at 9:30AM, the next morning. They wanted me there ASAP.

I gobbled down breakfast, rushed through traffic, only to get stuck in rush hour traffic 1 KM away.

Finally, after reaching the hospital we rushed to the blood bank department.

After a 30 minute wait, the procedure was started.

It starts…

They told me the details. A needle will go into my arm which will draw blood to a machine. The machine takes the blood, separates the platelets and then pumps back the rest through the same pipe.

Each cycle lasts 20 minutes, 10 for drawing and 10 more minutes to pump it back.

My job was to lie still, and squeeze a ball.

The only indication was an arm band, which tightened when blood was drawn and loosened when blood was pumped back.

The whole thing lasted for a little over an hour and by the time I was in the last cycle, my hand started hurting a little.

That was it!

Who was she?

During the procedure, Mahesh came to see me. It was his aunt, who required my blood.

That was the first time, I asked for details.

He told me that his Aunt was perfectly healthy until 6 days ago. She and her husband had a fever, and very shortly it turned serious for her.

She was brought to the hospital with many complications. The doctors still could not diagnose the actual problem.

I was disheartened listening about all her current problems. Things looked bad.

Wanted: B -ve

Two more male donors were needed with B -ve. A massive search was started by Kiran, nearly 3500 mails were forwarded, there was a scrolling Ad in the local TV channel.

Only two people were found. But sadly they were not suitable – one guy was underweight and for the other, the vein was not very visible.

Anyway, the doctors stopped all requests. Now she was under observation.

My part Done. Its Your Turn

The procedure was over. I said my goodbyes to Mahesh, wished him luck and walked away.

Kiran sent me a SMS

Thanks Mamu. you just saved a life. thanks a million.

I wanted to congratulate myself only when she got better. I did my best.

Now, it was now in God’s hands. I’m sure the family was fervently praying.

Back to Reality

I came back to work. Many of my colleagues knew (Kedar sent mails) and I was warmly welcomed back.

Back to work now.

It was Time.

I called Mahesh later in the night. His aunt was still in a coma.

Then came the message from Kiran, exactly 25 hours since I drew blood.

our efforts have gone in vain. aunty died an hour ago

She was just 51. Ten years younger than my own mom.

Human Reactions

I was staring at the message. I realized that I wasn’t really surprised.

I did not reply to Kiran, there was nothing to be said.

I showed the message to a few of my colleagues. There were different reactions

One said – Oh! and went back to work
Another said a small prayer for her soul
One guy was shocked about the reality.
One became sad that my efforts did not help.

I went back to my seat, tried to start work. But everything was blank.

Finally, I too went back to work.

But a promise was made – to tell the world…

Our efforts will never be in vain

What was done
was done
What is,
Will be

With every ending
There will be new beginnings

The start
The Finish

It never ends
It just turns
The circle of life

One day,
I too will,
come full-circle.

Images from suman, Jennifer.

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I am!

Once again I find myself up late. I’m ready to complain and crib about my lack of discipline or too many distractions. Then I open this video from a friend and realize – I’m such a loser. Stop whining.

Nick does not have arms or legs. But he does have a great sense of humor. Watch him to get a new perspective.

At 2:30AM on a Sunday night, I was thinking of something to write when it struck me – I shake my legs while thinking. Oh man! I have legs to shake while thinking. WoW! Talk about getting a perspective.

But I’m afraid i’ll just get back to being me by tomorrow, forgetting all about Nick, preoccupied with my life. I wonder why we refuse to change.

What does it take to change? losing a limb? Then we realize the beauty of  movement and find pleasure in simple gestures. We go through critical illness. Then we realize the beauty of life and enjoy everyday as it comes.

What Crap!

The Gauls speak the truth – We humans are crazy!

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These men are hard to differentiate once they spend enough time with each other through battles. I just finished watching all the episodes of “Band Of Brothers” TV series, produced for HBO by Spielberg  and Tom Hanks. Trailer.

One of the greatest TV series ever made about true stories of World War II, the episodes portrays “Easy Company” paratroopers in various battles right from D-Day to the end of war.

You start this series looking at these men as warriors, towards the end they become a family of Heroes. Watch this to get a glimpse of their courage, compassion, love, hatred, fear and sacrifice.

I’m a war movie junkie. It amazes me when I look at human beings waging battle with other human beings, sometimes for noble causes. Where machines were designed to destroy the human body.

War – an unwanted human side effect.

War is the only place where humans display their true naked emotions. Every action magnifies these powerful feelings – Bravery, Fear, Determination, Mercy, Vehemence, Selfishness, Love…..

How can we be so great and so evil in the same theater of violence?

The more I think, the more I feel that there is no Good or Bad, there is just WAR!

Us “civilians” can never understand the soldiers mind – shielding the wounded while bullets fly around, killing mercilessly, losing limbs, saving lives. We can only witness their greatness, they never started these wars, they just did their jobs as true professionals.

Shut Up and live in peace

Sometimes, I see people talking about war as casually as a video game, “Lets finish this once for all” “One chance is all we need to finish them”

I wanted to scream at them

Can you imagine having your leg blown away?

Can you watch your brother killed in front of your eyes?

Can you watch your family dying in a blink of an eye?

Can you stand against a hail of bullets without running, tail between your legs?

YOU have no clue what it takes to be a soldier or a civilian in a warzone!

World War II

Imagine 6 million Jews killed, 70 million people killed, cities razed to the earth, entire cities annihilated with a single bomb. The deadliest conflict, with more than 100 million soldiers mobilized, involving most of the counties of the world.

A war which perfected a production line for efficiently massacring human beings using gas chambers.

Hopefully the world will always remember the “price” of ambition for territory.

Never wish for a war. Never shy away from it either.

Now the world has devised a new outlet to let out our blood thirsty instincts – PC War Games. Play out your wars here in all the wonderful multimedia detail. I just finished Call Of Duty 5 & 6 – Great Fun!

Call Of Duty 6

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Don't try this at your zoo

Finally! Someone is showing us that it is ok to Hug. Thank you Munnabhai.

What is the purpose?

Why Do we do What we do?

What do we want?

The answers are plenty. Everybody out there has their own philosophy.

For me.. it’s a HUG!

Sounds simple? Well it is. But we are programmed to make it complex.

A hug is what we need to look forward to. Hugging,  an exclusive trait of  human beings, is grossly undervalued, especially in the society around me.

Think about it. The work we put in, the money we earn, the time we spend, the family we have – the purpose is simple. To get a Hug.

Life is good when you hug. The more time you put in, the more hugs you give and get, the better is the quality of life. Hugs from/to your parents, your wife, your children all mean the world to us. But don’t stop there, share your hugs with your friends, other children, strangers and more.

My dictionary will say – A simple gesture of circling your hands around a fellow human being, one neck in the cradle of the other, fingers caressing the spine, bringing them closer and closer towards yourself, until there is no longer any distance – either physical or emotional.

A complex form of simple movements designed to bring peace to two souls.

We give and receive hugs for various emotions – In happiness, in sorrow, with concern, with love, with care, in support. The act itself does not last longer than a few seconds, but the memory, the feeling lasts for an entire day.

Maybe we all need to maintain a Hug-O-Meter. Add hugs into it, try to fill it to the brim. Making it the goal of the day. Adding this to the top of the goals like how productive you were, did you help someone today, did you do justice to your work. Well, did you hug enough today?

We eat to survive

We drink to survive

We breathe to survive

We HUG to Live.

Around me?

Unfortunately, the society around us overlooks this miracle of human movement. As a child, you are expected to do so, but as an adult you better be aware who you hug in public.

Someone decided that it is “embarrassing” to hug another adult in public and it is plain wrong to do so with a member of the opposite sex, especially if  they are young.I call this “under observation” freedom.  Someone decided and we all follow as “decent” citizens.

South India is not built for hugging, at least in public. There is a scarcity of hugs, you better use them wisely.

Almost a hug

I remember a colleague from Thoughworks who made fun of my forced hugs. I never hugged another guy before.

Every time I dropped him off at his place, he would come around and hug, while I tried something like a hug. Luckily there was no one around to witness that. Okay if you are thinking that? don’t. Neither of us is gay.

Over time, it helped, it became easier to do the act of hugging. Now I freely give out hugs to my mom. I still can’t pull myself to hug my friends though. Maybe a girlfriend, but definitely not a dude.

I found that saying sorry is much easier with a hug. If you are mileage conscious person, I guarantee that you can get a lot of it 🙂

Hugging Amma (Amma means mother) from Tamil Nadu has shown the world the spiritual healing nature of a simple warm hug. She hugged millions. People have traveled thousands of kilometers to get a hug from her.

I, on the other hand, can just open my door, and hug my Amma  .

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Are you straight?

Convergence by Aaron Knapp

or curved?

The title got your attention? and if you think like I do, you clicked to find out if  this post was a peek into the uncharted terrain of the human instinct for love. It’s not.

I did my usual visit to the 5X7 Daily Project, and today’s picture was very interesting. Aaron suggests his viewers to stare at the picture, and believes something happens. Being a skeptic, I did try staring at it and less than a minute later, I knew what to write about for tonight’s 30 minute scratch-up.

The drawing is simple enough, initially. But if you think about it – this is us. At first glance, life appears pretty straight forward, but pause to pay attention and you will realize the different patterns – Straight lines, Circles, Stars, Triangles and more.

Concept #1

We could be the shapes in this pattern, with major events (straight lines) crisscrossing through most of us.

Understand that significant events like money, family, health, work, moral, boredom, freedom effect all of us. A good friend of mine (Venkat Surapaneni) said that there was a time when he was going through a lot of problems and at one point realized that 98% in the world have similar problems. It makes sense.

Unfortunately we all think we are alone with our problems, it gnaws at our mental health. Knowing that everyone thinks and has similar issues will keep you in a balanced state.

Concept #2

There is always a single point that we focus on, in the drawing, it’s the intersection of the two big lines, the center of the circles and triangles. This point could be your current big project, your passion or a serious problem in life.

The center point grabs your attention, your energies, your ideas. But it also distracts you from noticing the surrounding beautiful patterns.

Philosophy :

Don’t think about your problems, always.

Don’t think about solutions, always.

Don’t think that you are alone, forever.

Don’t think just about the center, always.

Step Back. Look around. Imagine.

Life can be simple or complicated. Your choice!

Today was a busy day at work, came home for dinner at 1AM. Thoughts were about a quick post on stretching at work through night – One Night at Software Center 🙂 Then the 5X7 daily came into the picture. Aaron and I have made a similar promise to ourselves, and to the WWW, to explore a little bit of our passion (although he is much better at his work) everyday. He gets inspired from life and pictures it, I get inspired by his pictures and write about life. A circular pattern of human connections.

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For me, Poetry was always about rhyming words and emotional words, short and sweet. It was an art, only a few great people in the world can create. But its fun trying it out on your own. I wrote my first one (I still don’t want to call it a poem) when in college, then lost the touch or hope.

Just thought about about it and made one up now. Here goes..

Love me not for my looks

Love me not for my intelligence

Love me not for my personality

Just love me for my heart. It beats for you.

Love me not for what I was

Love me not for what I am

Just love me for who I become. You make me a better person.

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I recently started having this intense “want” to write something, anything, everything. So the plan is to get the thought into my head so many times, that the  head fills up to the brim and then words just start spilling out. It could be the only thing that will cleanse my soul.

I’m reading “Chicken soup for the writer’s soul” these days, I went out of my way to order it from flipkart.com. It has real stories from real people who became writers through sheer determination, faith in their work, passion. Some writers persisted for years before they were even remotely successful.

It’s not easy to create art, and writing is the only art that I can understand!

Can I write?

From what I know about myself, it’s not about being “not easy”, its impossible. But I will write anyway, because I like to, because my mom likes it, because 1-2 of my friends like it and because I owe it to all who read and enjoy my “art”.

Please don’t think of me as obnoxious because I call my pre-amateur scribblings as art. I find pleasure in thinking of it like that, keeps me motivated. But the best thing to keep us going is YOU, a comment – good, bad or ugly will mean the world to us. Even a simple dot is enough.

In fact the number of comments on the blog is the major criteria to measure the impact of your writing.

Thanks for your time

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