Category Archives: Absurd

What really happens when I get stoned

As a struggling writer and successful stoner, I have been fascinated by the technicalities of getting high.

I don’t mean the effects of THC or ethyl acetamine or some chemical shit that happens in my brain; I couldn’t give lesser of a fuck about that. I am fascinated by the artistic, aesthetic side of it. How do my thoughts change when I get high? What really changes in perception of sounds and visuals?

This thought has lingered at the back of my head for a long time, floating out of my mouth occasionally when I blow out smoke. But then it would go back to the dark corridors of my brain, waiting to get out again, a skinny little Casper of a thought.

*

When I woke up this morning, I decided to pursue research on this topic. To shed light on this dark corner of my brain and find out the secrets once and for all. The day has begun on a good note, and there seems to be a lighter at the end of the tunnel.

I woke up at 7.45, wasted time on the phone till 8.45 and proceeded to brush, bathe, and step out for food. Thanks to Modiji, the ATMs are in incognito mode again, and I walked till I found a Kannada tiffin stalls. I have a soft corner for Kannada tiffin stalls – I am no foodie, and couldn’t care less about cuisines, tastes, nuances and Tarla Dalal. I will eat anything as long as it has enough salt and masala in it. There are quite a few of us, the Brethren of Dontgivafuk, who assemble at Kannada tiffin stalls to partake of the food. It’s quick, clean, and cheap – our own McDosalds. I packed three plates of idli for the brethren that live with me and took a quick bath.

And then, as I sat down to roll my joint for research purposes, I felt a bit like Jeff Corwin. The herbs of Dhoolpet were laid out, along with the other paraphernalia. I proceeded to roll a joint quickly, and succeeded in rolling an efficient one. Not a Kookaburra Kahuna Pro, but more of a BAS Vampire 500. I quickly made mental notes.

MENTAL NOTES:

Objective: To study the paradigmatic shift in thought process after the consumption of Lord Shiva’s prasadam. To analyse the change in sensory perceptions.

Required material: Immaterial

Conditions under which study was conducted: Wednesday morning. Summer season. 10.30 AM.

*

Most stoners prefer smoking in large groups – sitting in a circle and discussing music, cinema and the space. Fuck those guys.

I prefer two, or a maximum of three guys. So you don’t have to look longingly at the joint, mentally calculating how long before it came to you, applying absurd cocktail of mathematics, psychology and astrology. A joint is best smoked between two people.

My friend has woken up and sent his manager a message that he would be chilling from home today – another message from the heavens. Finally, I wore my lungi and brown aviator shades and lit the joint.

*

The change is not drastic.

After all these years, it takes me about ten minutes for Mahaprasad to kick in. It begins slowly, but if you’re watching out for the signs, they are quite noticeable.

It begins with a slight numbing at the back of the head. But contrary to evil cousins Migraine and S.Headache, this is a gentle pain. The body’s posture is the next to get affected, it gets slouchy and relaxed. I am no Vivekananda, and I subconsciously shift a few inches to the back to lean on my cajon.

What follows is a craving for stimulation. I look around furtively to find all my devices low on battery. The phone is playing a Test innings, building up on a strong foundation of 16% battery, and my tablet was going down like a warrior, bleeding battery at 14% – I choose the tablet because I don’t like it too much.

My fingers float magically and click on the YouTube icon, firing up a range of videos I could watch. I see an interview of a music director I’ve been following – Vivek Sagar. I had seen the thumbnail of the video earlier, but never felt like clicking it.

The interview begins, and the interviewer asks him a few questions. He looks at her for a few seconds and then looks vaguely at the wall as he answers, his eyes shifty, his body language uncomfortable. A stoner!

I smile at the connection. But I’m researching! I cannot let me brain get swayed by emotions. Why did I smile? Would I have smiled normally, if I wasn’t stoned? Scientific questions shoot out of my brain, turn around and go right back into my own brain.

I give it some thought. I smiled because stoners deep inside believe that other stoners are good people. That in spite of their flaws and personality tics, there’s something about them that’s in the right place. It’s hard to tell if this is due to the nature of Sattiva Indica, or due to the Brethren of Bholenath that propagates the idea.

He is now talking about how it is always about struggle. That he never wanted to create music for ten films or anything like that, that he just wanted to make music. Ah! Yes. What a thought! Something strikes again! What is this? – my brain asks me.

I psychoanalyse my own thoughts, and find that when stoned, my emotions are run wild. I laugh like Bishan Singh Bedi, and cry like Kapil Dev. I am inspired by people, sights, sounds, words, sentences, songs, tunes, lines, writers, musicians, and Mimoh Chakravarty.

That’s the other thing! You notice that? I sometimes insert unnecessary jokes that kill the flow. I sacrifice the flow of a beautiful thought for a cheap laugh at the end. Did I always do that? Or it a recent addition to my armoury of sure-shot social arrows?

A song by the music director begins to play and the tunes sound clear to my head. When the drums crash, I can hear it like it’s in front of me. The sound of the bass guitar rings loud and clear. The perception of sound is astoundingly beautiful, thank you dear Lord!

I do a sub-conscious check of my surroundings. The joint is now at 25% levels, the song wafting out from the back of my tablet sounds the right amount of melodious. There are 3 packets of idli (parcel) in the other room, a bottle of water at arm’s distance, and my friend’s ‘chill from home’ request has been approved.

Satisfied that basic security criteria have been met, my brain gets up to close the shutters, to  take a nap in the summer morning. There’s a bit of light seeping in from under the shutters, but the rest of it is dark and comfortable, with table fans and Symphony Air Coolers (with ice inside) keeping the surroundings clean. And slowly, the brain slumps into a fiesta of a siesta.

But hello brother! Research ka kya hua?

My brain gets up, shakes his head and slowly pulls the shutter up. It was a short nap, a powerless nap. What is happening? What observations and conclusions have you arrived at? – urgent questions that my brain throws at me.

I sit up and take stock of the surroundings. It is submission time! I bring out a mental pen, to fill out the mental notes. I might have to use a lot of filler words to hit the word limit.

*

MENTAL NOTES:

Observations: Overall, the effects of the consumption of Mahaprasad could be said to be primarily of the sensual and aesthetic level. Basic alterations to the perceptions of the senses of the conductor of the experiment were noticed, and it was found that sounds seemed to undergo an enhancement. Conversations revolved around jovial and amiable topics.

The observant made an observation that the conductor of the experiment does not look people in the eye while talking to them, choosing instead to look at the space between their eyes and their lips – the vacant nose area because, naakon ke aankh nahi hote.

Effects: While the physical and mental effects were seen to wear off after a while, it was noticed that there were significant changes in the time-table of the observant. Before the experiment began, we found that there were clearly marked to-do lists for the day, arranged neatly in terms of priority and urgency.

However, after Mahaprasad was administered, it was found that the ideas that sprung up in the head were usually lofty, and sometimes far-fetched. It was found that the decisions taken had no grounding with immediacy, targets, or other worldly factors. For eg, the observant chose to write a blog on this topic, instead of choosing to attack the to-do list.

It was found that the observant chooses shots of dopamine over dollops of satisfaction from fulfilling targets.

***

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The Tyranny of Facebook Shares, and a Thank You note.

If you’ve been following my blog for a while (which you have, obviously, hence you chose to open the mail; Thank You!), you’d have noticed the posts have thinned out over the last few months.

There are a few reasons, which I’ll try to quickly surmise without boring you.

One, when I began writing, politics wasn’t a part of regular, everyday discourse. I was initially hopeful, as the emergence of politics in everyday debates could only be a good thing. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Today, political debate has been reduced to mud slinging and whataboutery. Left vs Right, Modi vs Kejriwal, Modi vs Ultron, Modi vs Anti Nationals. You have to be Left or Right, Black or White. Every morning, waking up is a pain because the first thing I see is the political outpouring of a guy I met six years ago over a chai and mirchi bajji.

I am slowly working on leaving Facebook, but till then, I’ll refrain from posting my blogs on Facebook. I don’t have it in me to argue with people over my views anymore. I’d be glad to discuss if you post a comment here, but I do not wish to be a part of the shallow, mud-slinging match that is going on.

The second reason is the ‘Performance’ aspect of posting something on Facebook. Before its advent, writing for me was just an extension of a journal, writing for writing’s sake. Gradually, Facebook helped my blog really boom, and it felt nice. People sharing your stuff, ‘tagging’ you, saying good things. But all’s well as long as you’re talking about Aamir Khan and Uday Chopra. As soon as you enter the marshy territory of politics, religion or social issues, my docile, fun-loving readers transform into sword-wielding online rioters. Slowly, lines are drawn, territories are demarcated, and shots are fired.

It has made me rethink my stances, question my beliefs. I have always held that beliefs are transient, they change and evolve. But these days, when I want to post something, I begin to wonder how X will take it, or Y, whom I met six years ago over chai and fucking mirchi bajji.

In the end, I decided to adopt a stance that a lot of sane minds across the world have adopted – Fuck Facebook.

I will not be posting stuff on FB anymore. And will try to post more regularly to the site. This is more liberating, since I don’t have to imagine X or Y while writing. It is more like writing into a journal in the old days. When it was just ink on paper, and the journal didn’t interact with you and give you a vague societal acceptance rating of the post. There was no Liking or Sharing, just Writing (and hiding from family and friends, because…well, India).

And finally, thank you, dear reader, for subscribing to my blog. I have never said this, but you are awesome. You, the reader who opens  mail in office, the one who casually visits the site every few days to see if there is a new post. I will be writing for you more often. Fuck Facebook.

Thank you.

A Dressing Down in the Dressing Room

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The white plastic chairs are set around the table. They trickle in one by one, each taking a chair and easing himself on it.

He waits for them to settle down, cursing under his breath, but holding the cool exterior that he was known for. When the last one of them had settled down, Ravi Shastri began speaking.

‘Right, so here we are in the dressing room today…and it looks like this one is going down to the wire’. ‘Cliché’ mutters someone under his breath as the bowlers begin to giggle. Shastri glares at them and they stop.

‘We have been asked by the higher-ups to have a meeting and discuss what’s happening. One just gets a feeling-‘

Suddenly, Varun Aaron stands up, yells, and charges at the wall. He crashes into it, then turns around, and charges towards the opposite wall. Dhoni shares a glance with Shastri. They understood.

Ishant Sharma sat on his chair, his lanky frame hunched. ‘Idontwanttobowlwiththenewballbutbehnchodtheseguyskeepaskingmeto…’
‘Is there something you want to say, Ishant?’
‘Mmmmmgrumblegrumblemumblemumble’
‘You are the leader of the attack, you need to pull up your socks now.’ Ishant stops, bends down near his bag, pulls out his socks, and runs out of the hall. Dhoni shrugs his shoulder and looks at Shastri.

Ever so slowly, the chairs begin to shift a little, gravitating towards comfort zones of their own. Dhoni is gradually surrounded by the calmer ones – Pujara, Rahane, Ashwin, Vijay and Shami. Towards the other side, Virat, Rohit, Dhawan and Yadav are forming a circle of their own.

Shastri looks at the team, wondering if he should have brought Sunny along. But Sunny was growing older, and one couldn’t control what he’d do to the players when he lost his cool. Shastri’s mind went back to the last time Sunny bhai had addressed the team. Sreesanth had picked his nose, and Sunny bhai abruptly poked a burning agarbathi in his cheek. May be he was better off doing this by himself. We have to fight our demons alone. He had jumped at the opportunity to guide the team. Little did he know he’d have to deal with such nutcases.

He cleared his throat. ‘Alright, bright sunny day out here in Brisbane today, packed crowd, you can feel the excitement out here…’ Suddenly, a loud crash was heard from the other room.

Yadav ran across, and dragged Varun Aaron back to the room. He had charged at the television and smashed it into bits. ‘Leave me, I’m a fast bowler,’ he kept grumbling, but Yadav made him sit on the chair.

‘Right. So let’s begin with the meeting. I’d like each of you to state out the reason, according to you, for our loss. Let’s begin with Pujara’.
Pujara:
Shastri: Are you sure? But what about the wickets?
Pujara:
Shastri: Alright. Now let’s move on to Rohit. Why did we lose the match?

Rohit stands up, pulls out a handkerchief from his pocket, spreads it out on the table, and begins rolling it into a ball. Shastri is now losing his cool. ‘Let’s move on to Virat, then.’

Virat stares at him for a while, anger writ large on his face. And then, he speaks – ‘Motherchod teri maa ki choot saale bhonsdi ke haraami kaat daalunga saale behenchod harami’.
Rohit Sharma quickly turns around, takes out a notepad, and jots down some points.

‘If only he did that for his cover drives too,’ Shastri thinks, but knows better than to tell the players anything. He had been like them once – young, hot-blooded, brash, arrogant. The team managers had tried to stop him too, but it was a lost cause. His mind went back to that mad drunken night when he had 17 beers and humped Laxman Sivaramakrishnan. The world was shocked when he announced his retirement later that month.

‘Alright, then. May be we should move on with the-
Suddenly, Varun Aaron was up again. He took off his shirt, bellowed like a drunk bull, and charged at Shastri. Dhoni shook his head, looked at Kohli, and cursed under his breath.

Kohli, Rohit and Yadav ran to hold Aaron down, when Ashwin flung a chair at them. Enraged, they ran towards him, when Dhawan twirled his moustache and slapped his thigh, egging them forward. Rahane now stood up to block the marauding gang, but they got to him and slammed him down on the table.

Chairs were flying around, the screams inside the room had reached a crescendo. The voices grew louder and louder, as furniture, plastic, cloth, and bottles were flung across the room.

Dhoni sat in a corner and was quietly doodling on a piece of paper.

Two mountains, with a half-sun peeping out between them. There were a few clouds, r shaped crows, and a river that began at the point where the two mountains met. He proceeded to draw a house in the plains below, with three steps leading to the house. Should I add a window- BOOM!

There was a monstrous noise, as they all froze, and turned to look at the door.

Dressed in a black leather jacket, brown corduroy trousers, and dark brown boots. The jacket was open, revealing chest hair, and his hair was carelessly thrown across his forehead. There was no mistaking that look, no mistaking the magnetic power it had all over all – man, woman, object. It could only be –

Jackie Shroff. He walked towards the group, the click-clack of his boots echoing in the new silence. He said nothing, walking till he reached Dhawan.

‘Maushichigand!’ he slapped him hard across the face, as Dhawan flew across and landed on his knees. Dhoni made a mental note to put him in the slips.

Jackie walked on to the rest of the group. ‘Mach mach mach mach, all you fuckers do is talk all the time. But when it comes to playing-

He pulled Rahane up by his collar, till his toes were hanging in the air, shook him violently and threw him back on the chair. Rahane, facing yet another unplayable delivery, fainted.

‘And you,’ Jackie spat, his eyes on Varun Aaron. ‘You make even that monster (pointing at Yadav) seem like Gandhi in comparison’. He lifted Yadav and threw him on Aaron. Aaron yelled and began to charge at Jackie. Jackie raises his hand, and Aaron stops, whimpering and simpering.

‘And you’, He turned to Kohli and raised his hand. Only to smile and high five him. ‘Your girlfriend is hot. Kal dekha main. Kadak item hai’. He then turned to Pujara. ‘Do you have anything to say?’ Pujara stared – his lips moved, but you couldn’t hear what he was saying. Jackie lifted him up and slammed him on the table.

Ashwin was punched in the stomach once. And then kicked in the balls. ‘That’s the doosra, asshole. Use it’. He walks across to Rohit Sharma. ‘You. Talented cricketer. When the fuck is your talent going to win us matches? Or are you happy hammering West Indian bowlers in Vadodara? Behnchod go play in Ranji, then.’ He raised a beer bottle and smashed it down on his head.

‘And you’, he said, turning to Vijay. ‘Your name is Vijay, but you never get your team to a winning position. Look at me, my name is Jackie, and I’m Jackie Shroff’. He slaps him hard across the face.

Finally, as the rest of the team lies on the floor, twisting and writhing in pain, He approaches Dhoni, who seems unfazed by it all.

‘Abey oh, cool customer! Maushichigand!’ He lifts Dhoni up and choke-slams him down on the floor. ‘Don’t give me that calm and composed drama, understood? I played Shirdi Sai Baba for fuck’s sake. No one can be calmer than me’. With this, he lifted Dhoni and slammed him down on the rest of his teammates.

Amidst the noise, Shastri listened from the opposite room. He had sneaked out just in time, and sat huddled next to Duncan Fletcher on the floor. Jackie walked around the room. Varun Aaron stands up, looks at Jackie, but folds his hands in obeisance to The Lord.

‘Motherchod. I wake up every morning at five o clock, only to see your sad, idiotic drama. Maushichigand!’.

His work here done, Jackie gives the team a look of disdain, and leaves.

As he retires to bed that night, Jackie is a relieved man. Tomorrow he’ll wake up to watch the third test.

***

WHAT DO DOGS DO ON DIWALI ?

Riding a bike on Diwali night is like being in a video game. You’re riding on your bike on dark roads. There are psychedelic sounds and lights around you, changing with every turn on the road.

There are assholic children flinging crackers and you have to evade them. You have one life and limited health (with or without insurance).

Come Diwali, a certain type of moralistic messages creep up on your wall. Don’t pollute nature, think of the environment, etc etc. But what most people don’t realise is that it is really kids who do it. After a certain age, you outgrow it. You sit back and notice people, and write blogs about it.

I think it is a little hypocritical that after celebrating Diwali in the way we did, we suddenly turn all Baba Jogeshwar on kids and ask them to save the environment. I mean, how often have you seen 45 year old uncles jumping with joy after lighting a rocket?

Diwali brings out two broad categories of people. The DoIts (naughty children, annoying neighbours) and DontDoIts (generally elders, parents, and vegetarians other people). It’s like a Good Thought vs Monkey Mind thing going on inside your head. “Arey, let’s put the rocket sideways and send it inside the house so that it catches fire and the people inside roast to death”. And then there are the rest of the people who say “Are you stupid or what? You want to go to jail? Here, light these sparklers. Carefully go to the side.” The entire night of Diwali is spent swinging between the two sides.

It’s not like people don’t listen to their monkey minds. The news on the day after Diwali is replete with such adventure seekers. Someone who ties a bijli chain to the tail of a dog, creating a permanent rift between man and his best friend. I remember reading the news a few years ago of a few kids who bought crackers and were so enthusiastic about bursting them that they lit them then and there, causing a huge fire and the entire market blowing up in a grand Diwali that even Narakasura would approve of. So there will always be those guys. What does one do? Try stopping the guy and explaining about ozone layer hole, and he’ll tie it to your backside.

And every Diwali has these characters who blast bombs according to their character. The Hydrogen Bomb, Atom Bomb (Ten points to World Peace), Lakshmi Bomb.

Historically, I have been partial to some crackers. Some are just polluting and annoying. Like those Snake Bombs that would just light up and ash would come out like a snake. I want to meet the guy who invented that thing. Asshole is responsible for half the global warming we face today.

I had a few favourites. I wasn’t too much into rockets. I think they’re for kids who still are fascinated by the idea of sending something colorful into the sky. If I had to rank the top 3 crackers, the list would go like,

1. Atom Bomb : The Atom bomb is the gateway bomb. Tiny thing that’s rolled in green wool, the Atom bomb determines how the rest of your Diwalis are going to go. Master it, and you move on to greater things in life (like aforementioned burning neighbours). Screw it, and you’ll spend the rest of your life making circles with sparklers, discussing the Shah Rukh Khan film that released on the day.

2. Onion Bomb : The Onion Bomb actually looked like a garlic. White, tied together with rope, the bomb did not need any lighting. All you had to do was throw it forcefully, and it would explode. If you were into cricket, you could draw stumps on a wall, and run up and bowl with the bomb. If you had a Paul Adams action, well, good luck.

I used to carry the Onion Bombs with me. Everytime I noticed a hidden threat to the world, I took aim…

3. Gun : I know most of you will snigger, but that’s OK. Democracy. Peace, brother.

The effect that a gun has on a kid is difficult to put into words. Of course, it seems disturbing that a kid would run around killing imaginary people for three days in a year. But back then, that was the reason I waited for Diwali. Of course, everybody gets together and bursts crackers in the night, but that is too regulated. The real freedom was in the afternoon. When the elders are busy and you can speak around with your gun. I filled my pockets with the bullets – a spiral of red bindis filled with barud, rolled into the cardboard boxes.

I walked up and down, always on alert. For that assassin who would sneak up on me, and try to kidnap my lover. But little did he know I was armed. I would pretend to be talking to her, and suddenly, I turn around and point the gun at him. Ha! Gotcha, you piece of shit. BANG! BANG!!

Among the bombs that you see today, there will be the people who are bursting crackers in a civil manner. The regular ShakeYourInsides Bomb goes off, and you learn to jump every now and then, when suddenly some guy will light up a FuckAll Bomb. Things are going smooth when suddenlyBAMBAMBOOMBOOMBADAAMBOOMDHADAAMBOOM!!!
But the guys who have the worst time are dogs.

It’s like the entire country going into war once the sun has set. Dogs scamper from here to there, running to avoid an Atom Bomb, when Ramu lights up a Chinese Bomb, he runs right, and Rakesh is waiting with Mega Bomb. It must like a bad acid trip.

You think the day after Diwali, the stray dogs sit together and bitch about us? One of them goes up to the other and says, “Man, did you see that shit? I was sitting and suddenly these guys start attacking me. And the whole town does it. The whole fucking town.” “Yeah, I know. It’s insane. The next time we see that guy, I’ll give you a shout…”

And that is why, dear friend, that dog barks when you cross the road at 11 in the night. India has the largest number of rabies cases in the world, most of them from stray dogs. We kind of ask for it.

Dog may have been man’s best friend, but even friends carry grudges with them!

Leaves

A recent report revealed that India is second in the list of employees taking sick leave from work. Hardly surprising, I tell you. What’s surprising though, is that China was number one (So that’s another thing that we have to beat them at. Damn!).

I don’t know about the Chinese. May be its because the medicines there are Made in China and so not very effective. But India, I can fully understand. I mean, we have issues, man.

Firstly, there is the traffic and pollution. Walking on road in Delhi in peak time can make someone sick. Then there are is television. IPL, CL, Rakhi ka Insaaf, and that Ramsay film on Zee Cinema that begins at 11:30. How can you expect someone to wake up in the mornings and report to work?

In such circumstances, what does one do? Who do the corporates turn to, in order to make Indian employees turn up at work? May I offer a solution:

Sunny Deol.

Yes, that man with the 2.5 kilo arms who hates the dogs of Balwant Rai. Him.

I know you’ll think it absurd. But I have my reasons, and I shall state them below:

Anyone in India, and also the Pakistan Water Supply Board will vouch for the fact Sunny Deol doesn’t take bullshit. He can take a train to Pakistan, fill coal by himself, kill badasses, uproot tubewells, say ‘Pakistan Murdabaad’ in front of their Army officers, and come back with his wife and kids. Are we still talking about credentials here?

Now, we’ll come to the motive. Any of you who have watched Border will know that Sunny Deol doesn’t like people who take leaves. Those who haven’t  watched the film may kindly watch this clip.

There is a slight lag between the audio and visuals, but that could probably be attributed to the fact that Sunny Paaji’s actions are faster than the speed of sound.

In the clip, there is this guy called Mathura Das, whose leave has been sanctioned and he wants to go home. Sunny Deol barges into the room, drags him out into the desert, and gives him such a dressing down, the poor guy begins to curse the day he got married.

Now, what corporates should do is contact Sunny Paaji and ask him to work for them. Sunny Paaji is relatively free these days, considering he is not churning out cinematic gems like Teesri Aankh – The Hidden Camera and Jaal – The Trap. There is of course, Ghayal Returns releasing in 2012, and conspiracy theorists have begun to study the link between that and the end of the world. But apart from that, Sunny Paaji is free.

So they should do one simple thing. Give him a line. Any employee who applies for leave, should first make a call to Sunny Deol and explain to him why he needs a leave.

Problem Solved.

"sir, I need to go home...

"Really?"

"Sir, there is a problem...."

"Ayeeeeeeeeeeeee.........

"You ask for a leave one more time...just one more time...."

"...and I'll fire your ass from here to Lahore"

"Fuck my life!! There goes my leave."