64 years today

She runs in my blood stream.

She’s my first love and my biggest inspiration.
She’s my one true motivation and there’s not a day that goes by when I don’t strive to give her something back – in the smallest or biggest way possible.

She kicked out the Brits 64 years ago.
As I sit in the land of the goras after having left her over 4 years ago, there’s still just one chant that echoes through me:

Saare jahaan se accha…now, and forever.

Happy Independence Day, India.

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Rest in peace

Somebody I once knew used to say that no one has a choice in picking relatives. We are born into our respective families and there is little, if not nothing, that one can do to change that.

And there is no doubt that we all have our fair share of relatives we wish would suddenly disappear into thin air. *poof* Just like that.

I personally would go to the extent of saying that a large majority of my relatives fall into this category. Do these people ever oblige? *shakes head* Never.

Then there are those relatives one looks up to. Idolizes, even. Could be a smile that appeals to us, or their warmth, or the love they share, or even their laugh. It’s that uncharacteristic smile that appears on our lips and a peculiar kind of joy one feels in their presence. Now, such relatives are rare. Mighty rare.

Unfortunately, I lost one such relative of mine late last night.

My mom’s uncle, the youngest amongst his brothers, my ‘cousin’ (for lack of a better word) nanaji left us last night: Avtar Nanaji.

I remember the times when we were kids and used to visit India over summer break. And summer breaks in India meant one thing and one thing only: relative-hopping. It was the norm.

My brother and I used to always look forward to meeting Avtar Nanaji and Naniji. I remember his laugh – from the pit of his stomach, from the bottom of his soul. It would resound through the room and invariable make everyone around him smile in response. I remember the long drives he used to take us on and I remember the Campa Cola and Gold Spot stash in a cooler in the trunk of his car. I remember a gorgeous, magnanimous house and even bigger hearts that used to welcome us.

And I remember my Dadaji (grandfather). I remember how fond he was of Avtar Nanaji. I remember their friendship and their smiles together. I remember my Dadaji saying to my mom, “Avtaar neeche tak chorrne aaya tha aur tumne oopar nahin bulaya? You know how much I like that man!”. And my mom would just smile and say that she had tried. But he had to rush, he had to be on his way. He had to meet other people. He had to share his life, his joy with them too.

We were packing, getting ready to head to Jaipur for a friend’s wedding when we got Avtar Nanaji’s news. As my mom disconnected the call, she looked at me.

“What do we-,” she started.

“Cancel all plans. We need to cancel all plans,” I said to her. And that was that. Our bags were left as they were – half packed.

As the four of us sat together sipping tea, we couldn’t help but smile. Even thinking about him made us smile. Such fondness…such joy…such a fantastic life.

But the smiles tend to fade just a little when you see what a void he has left behind. Listening to his elder brother, now over 90 years old, well up and make an unsuccessful attempt at stifling a sniffle and hiding his tears does bring a lump in my throat too. Overhearing him say, “Baari toh meri thi, phir yeh kyun chala gaya?”, and trying to figure out how to console a man who has lost his younger brother is…yeah. Add to that his inconsolable younger sister. Not to mention his daughter, grandchildren and relatives from across the world.

And despite the tears and agony and pain, one thing seems to be repeated over and over again by people in that gathering: What a man! What a life!

You, Avtar Nanaji, will truly be missed.

Of tears and pain. Of agony and fond memories.

Rest in peace.

Nice try, but no.

There’s no forgiveness in my heart for you. There never was and there never will be.

Unless you’ve found your way here and you’re reading this post, I won’t even let you have the satisfaction of knowing that I don’t forgive you.

You don’t exist. You haven’t for a very long time.

I can see that you really need my forgiveness for moving on in life. I can see that from the late night calls you’ve made to me, from the multiple text messages, emails and pings you’ve sent me recently.

Unfortunate for you that I just don’t care.

I don’t forget. And I never forgive. You’d once ridiculed me when I’d said this to you. Why care now?

When I’d said that you would never hear from me again, I’d meant it. I stand by my words. You wouldn’t understand what that means.

Don’t for a second think that your desperate pleas for forgiveness will make me go back on my word.

This isn’t some big-banner, lame-ass romantic Bollywood flick where I forgive you after ridiculing you on the streets of some fancy European city by making you dance to my tunes for a week, a month or even a year.

Real life, I’m afraid, is a tad different.

And karma is a bitch.

Who is she?

She lives the life I wanted to lead.
She has my thoughts and ideas.
When did she steal them from me…?

How does she know what I want to say?
Why is she writing my words?
How…how can this be?

image source

She’s penning my fears,
She’s fighting my battles.
She’s even walking my walk – look! See!

I smile. She’s…it’s found me.
She’s showing me the mirror I’d thought I’d never see.
It’s time to get out – it’s time to set me free.

Death of terror’s head salesman

Osama Bin Laden is dead.

image source

What started off as any other morning has now turned into a chaotic frenzy of tweets and Facebook and BBM status updates, wherein people are trying to trump one another in informing others of the demise of terror’s head salesman.

As I grabbed my BlackBerry this morning and started to go over BBM status updates out of force of habit, I realized that Obama had delivered. To his people, and to the people of the world.

The man behind 9/11 is now dead. Killed under the leadership of Barack Obama. And thus earning Obama global praise. Another term as president? Why not! Look what the man’s done – he’s rid the world of Osama!

What about the millions (or mere hundreds, as per their ‘official’ count) of innocent lives that have been lost in the bargain?

Pfffft! Look at the greater good. It’s always about the greater good.

Brings to mind Robert Ludlum’s The Bancroft Strategy. If you haven’t read it, do find time to do so.

It’s merely 11:04am in Dubai as I type this out. The world is slowly waking up to this news.

Reactions, comments & comics will now follow.

And as they do, I can’t help but wonder if this is, in fact, the end of the reign of terror or does this merely mean another furious uprising? Another 9/11 and 26/11?

Also, with Osama Bin Laden out of the picture now, who’s taking his place as US’s super villain?

Twits and their #AwesomeHandles 6.0

Damn, this one took a while!

Not to say that it took me a while to compile it, but for some reason I just couldn’t get around to blogging this edition. For almost two months. Now that’s just wrong!

How, what, when, where and why are questions that’re prolly running through your mind. This is in case you’re not yet aware of my #AweseomHandles hashtag on twitter and my previous blog posts.

As I always say, instead of going into the narrative all over again, imma just let ya go over the previous editions of Twits and their #AwesomeHandles: first edition, second edition, third edition, fourth edition and fifth edition.

Moving on, then, here’s me giving a big up to a few tweeps who helped me put this edition together –  @prempiyush,  @probabilism,  @TheHumerus,  @parthans,  @kaalicharan,  @SparklinGuy & @panku_

Thanks for your recommendations, guys! Y’all rock! =)

Okie-dokie then. Here goes the next edition of the point-oh #AwesomeHandles:

  1. @_deadphoenix
  2. @2S8
  3. @ArchDouche
  4. @bioismypassion
  5. @ceetee
  6. @chotudochai
  7. @CrypticNode
  8. @Decloned_iTaz
  9. @deleteG – updated
  10. @EvilMegamind 
  11. @fernfly 
  12. @Foolosophical_
  13. @Fraud_Mallu 
  14. @freestyleoss
  15. @funkeyguhl 
  16. @god_and_dog 
  17. @handlechange – updated
  18. @HelloMeHippy
  19. @IareVaboon
  20. @IbneBattuta 
  21. @Jack_and_Spades
  22. @Korrectamundo 
  23. @kryptonitenicky
  24. @Kuch_Bhi 
  25. @kuch_bhi_nahi 
  26. @Kuch_Nahi
  27. @LazyByDefault
  28. @ManwhoreManohar
  29. @MasalaPapad 
  30. @menhandled 
  31. @meterdalakya
  32. @oldmonklives – updated
  33. @paaaaaam 
  34. @phulkadots 
  35. @riceplatesays 
  36. @RoaringCrab 
  37. @RockIshtaar
  38. @SaafSafai 
  39. @salty_chips 
  40. @ShrootyNair
  41. @skinnylatte 
  42. @Soul_Taxi 
  43. @StrykarX 
  44. @tanejamainhoon 
  45. @TheBarBlade – updated
  46. @thebongbabe 
  47. @TheManWhoSmiles
  48. @TwiterkiMa 
  49. @XeroxRahman 
  50. @youngpikasho 

And that, boyz and gurlz, was Twits and their #AwesomeHandles 6.0.

I’m almost halfway through my 7.0 list.

If you think you have an AwesomeHandle and want to be on here, then drop in a comment below or gimme a shout on twitter: I’m @silv3rglee.

Also – these lists are compiled purely on the basis of recommendations from tweeps, so don’t hesitate to let me know as soon as you spot a funky handle and think it should make this list! It needn’t necessarily be yours, but hey, you know there are some really #AwesomeHandles out there!

So yeah, comment away! =D

How will my pen do that?

I ran out of titles for my blogs when I created 3 new blogs today.

That’s right – I created 3 new blogs today.

I wanted to step outta the confinement of Blogger.com and asked Tweeps to suggest other platforms. Since there was no clear winner, I decided to give them all a shot.

Yep, i’m just that crazy.

In case you’re wondering, you can find a comprehensive list of my online presence here.

With a total of 6 blogs (I’ve got 3 blogs within Blogger – I need to delete two and I swear I’ll get to them soon), ladies and gentlemen, how, I ask you, will my pen not break your sword?