Friday, April 01, 2011


I am at the crossroads,
But I won’t look back.
Back at the road I’ve travelled,
I’ve covered all my tracks.
No, there’s no going back.

You don’t have to feel guilty,
I don’t hold a grudge.
The pain I felt all alone,
I found a way to merge.
No, there’s no going back.

My shoulders don’t hurt anymore,
The pain is off my back.
Shed thirty years of baggage,
Sealed all open cracks.
No, there’s no going back.

Burned all my diaries,
threw away my phone.
Photos dumped in the river,
now I’m truly alone.
No, there’s no going back.

So you won’t be reminded,
Of me when I call.
Searching for things to say,
Conversations crawl.
No, there’s no going back.

I felt like a stranger, in the place I knew.
A singer in a land of the deaf, who'd vanish like the dew.
Hollowness I fought to banish, but it only grew.
Friends I thought I had so many, turned out to be few.
No, there’s no going back.

Wonder what lies yonder,
But it can’t be worse.
Worse than talking to walls,
Life that is a curse.
Oh no, there’s no going back.

No attachments, no expectation,
No hopes, no conversation.
No regrets, no betrayal,
No disappointments, no farewells.
No, there’s no going back.

Friday, January 21, 2011

A Quill Runs Dry

I have said and written all i had to,
And now my treasure chest has run dry.
And yet I feel there's so much left
Unsaid and untried.

Words that never matched the depth
Of what i truly felt.
Emotions that failed to appear in my voice,
As silences went unrent.

I can think of so many better ways,
So much I could have done.
But my hands lie weak and stilled,
While my heart refuses to run.

Time, how quickly you have gone by,
Empty notches on a vacant post.
How much I had and frittered away,
And now I am a whispering ghost.

Haunting crumbling places,
That the world will never know.
As it moves on, ignorant of
The last embers of my fainting glow.

A cruel fate, a punishment just,
Bear my scars as I must.
Faces and names, voices and sights,
Hatred and love, envy and trust.

All I am is an ancient relic,
My only function- to gather dust.
The spiders bid adieu long ago,
Their silky threads flecked with rust.

I speak a tongue that has long since died,
No one to mourn in sorrow.
No one to know if I smile or grimace,
Whether I live In the past or tomorrow.

Regret and guilt, long, deep sighs,
Abundant wealth like fame gone by.
Coins of memories, spent each day,
To ease the pain, as you lie.

My thoughts, my sole companions,
I seek solace in my cry.
It’s futile to put them down in words,
My pen has long run dry.

A whispering ghost,
Is all am I.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Two years of tuxing

Two years ago to the day, my sister got herself a blue Acer Aspire one. It was my first brush with a netbook and the awesomeness that is SSD. More meaningful however, was my first interaction with a modern Linux distro.

I had dabbled a bit with Mandriva and Red Hat way back in 2004 and had wrung my hands in frustrationat having to visit the terminal each time i wanted to install a program. Also, the repositories were as big as they are now, plus internet speeds were still only a notch up on the ancient dialups i grew up on. Suffice to say, I couldn't figure out what the great fuss was and i decided to give linux a pass then.

Circa 2008 and i switched on the system and lo behold, in 6 seconds, the SSD launched me into the desktop. i was taken aback and i searched around to see if this was a reworked BIOS screen that would lead to a booting sequence, but no, it was the desktop of the Linpus Lite distro.

While limited largely by hardware, the OS was snappy, and once i activated the XFCE desktop, way more productive. And thank the stars, application installation was relatively hassle free once i figured out how to use the YUM installer. But i kept thinking - There has to be a better linux experience out there!

So i took a plunge and downloaded the 9.04 version of Ubuntu (Jaunty to us) and installed it. Although it gobbled up 4 GB out of the measly 8 GB HDD, it ran lightning quick on the netbook, and the apps base was noticeably larger than Linpus. Despite the horror stories, most of the hardware ran well with all drivers installed in the background.

In the next six months, i got myself a netbook, went through Karmic, Lucid and Maverick on it and the experience got progressively better. I ran Open Suse, Fedora, Mint in Virtual Boxes but kept coming back to Ubuntu. It was simple, similar to Windows, almost ascetic in hardware requirements and NEVER crashed on me. I also noticed that I booted into windows less frequently, maybe down to three times a week, just to keep my patches and AV definitions up to date. Windows was also required to run those oddball devices that refused to run on non windows systems, or to hook up to external monitors/ projections.

Well, i discarded my netbook and got myself a nice HP DV6 and dual booted it. This was the first time i ran into problems with Ubuntu, and Open suse. The thing with Linux is that it's great for Hardware that came out a couple of months before the last kernel release. What it's not so good at, is being compatible with upcoming or brand new hardware that's come out. With a new computer, You are playing a game of roulette, hoping that your computer will work pretty well out of the box.

I had problems getting my Wifi and my Switchable graphics working under 10.10. Of course the ever friendly forums helped me figure out how to get the wifi working, with a bit of compiling and making, but with windows, you don't have to do all that. It's something that Linux must work on. Having to figure out how to get Wifi working was something acceptable in 2003, not 2010. Of course the switchable graphics don't work, but I've made peace by not installing the radeon drivers for linux (They crashed my ubuntu desktop anyway) and making do with the Intel HD graphics which run all the compiz options on max.

Win 7 unfortunately for Linux, is just as a good an OS and i think that most people would be happy enough to carry on with it. that's where i think the linux community missed it's chance to go mainstream.

But still, as a great example of how open source can really work, i recommend everyone to atleast try out a live CD, if for nothing else, the novelty of an idea that an entire OS can be run off the USB drive and still access your hard disk files and do some productive work.

Back to Bashing.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Fast of the Furious

Something unfortunate will happen in the next 48 hours, but i will be very surprised if it makes it to the frontpages of newspapers. Not when we have plethora of distractions in the forms of Diwali, Star celebrations and new releases. But if you will take some time, please ponder over what Irom Chanu Sharmila has undergone for the last ten years.

A decade in which she has been on a fast non stop. To put that into perspective, ten years ago, Shri Amitabh Bacchan hosted the KBC for the first time. Ten years ago, i buckled and stumbled my way into Senior secondary. I completed schooling, bid adieu to college, crossed the sea, watched friends get engaged, married and deliver babies. All this while, Irom Chanu Sharmila continued to fast. And she fasts still.

For those interested, she has been on a peaceful fast, protesting the carte blanche granted to our army, in their operations in the troubled paradise of the north east. I claim to be no expert in the happenings over there, but surely, ten years is a ridiculous amount of time for any government to not step in, if only to save what is by now, a shortened life.

In a world which grudgingly allows anyone their 15 seconds of fame, perhaps Irom's methods were doomed from the start. Our ignorance of her path, tread so effectively by Mahatma Gandhi before, is symptomatic of the general apathy of the mainland, towards her peripheral daughters. Hers is not a cause celebre, and when a state can be blockaded for months without central intervention, it's perhaps too much to expect anyone to step in and talk to her.

Fasting is the least of her privations. To avoid a scandal, the local authorities have regularly arrested her and force fed through the nostrils and released her when her health improved. And each time she's been released, she goes back to fasting and gradually weakens. When the point of alarm is reached, the authorities step in again, and the vicious cycle continues. over and over. for ten years. non stop.

A stark contrast from the heady and bustling scenes witnessed when any of our beloved politicians or actors decide fast for a day, under the careful glare of the camera and our commentators have a field day. Who can forget the money shot- The governor or a junior minister walking with a smile and a glass of lemon juice which is then magically held by both parties, for the benefit of flash photography, and then a great roar of triumph as the fast is broken. But then again, life is not fair and not equal for everyone, so why must legitimate, non violent protest be any different?

I have not found any interviews of her, so from the outside, i can only express my respect for her continued faith in democracy and justice, when the said institutions have only neglected her doggedly for the last ten years. I am humbled by her determination to continue but i can only hope that someone steps in and saves her. A democracy is strengthened not just by a show of numbers at the ballot box, but also by lending platforms for all sections of society to voice their opinions, without fear of being in the minority, and with a faith that the state will oblige and at least grant them a fair hearing.

It is not enough to pay lip service to assert that the assimilation of all sections of our society is complete. Not when we have such examples of our neglect and collective failure to engage with our fellow Indians. So, while the rest of us burst crackers, light our lamps, meet our friends and family, and pray for the gift of light in our lives, spare a thought for someone who starves for justice, and if nothing else, at least a sympathetic ear.