An Adulterated Life

Call girls. Prostitutes. Nymphs. Even worse, sluts and whores. Even an elite bitch works like magic.

Doesn’t matter how derogatory and pervert these words are, whether you like it or not, these words have a life of their own. And precariously, they live amongst civilians like us, living a nomadic journey of sleuth and ignominy. We despise them, yet we want them. It’s a dynasty of ruthless victims and jeopardised lives.

If they are animals, we are of a worst kind.

Prostitution is an industry in itself. An industry that traces its roots back to 200 years (perhaps older taking in to account, the frivolous and lustful nature of the human clan). Despite all the taboo attached to it, it still manages to thrive big and remain pioneers in a money spinning game of lethal flesh and enduring politics.

Coming back to the lives of women who have embraced prostitution as a way of life.

Real time, on the ground.

To begin with, let’s clear the air about this profoundly disgusting profession. It has nothing to do with pleasure, love or the art of lovemaking. In fact, it is devoid of human emotions and chemistry. All it is, is a game of flesh and bones. The woman is just devoured and used, spit and discarded once the capacity to inflict pain diminishes. All in all and significantly put, it is rape with consent.

As I mentioned earlier, here the protagonists are equally hapless and displaced. One craves for the other, for obvious and inexplicable reasons.

It is also a glorious example of the position of women they hold in a society and culture that has been an epitome of mercurial savages with a penchant for vegetable terrain.

Prostitution is an industry manufactured and designed to integrate the turmoil of system. Men need respite, women are used to get crucified and system needs a bait to bask in return on investments. A system relegated to a wicked and inevitable ploy supplemented by an equally disdainful history.

The families of such women are equally guilty. We have families around this world who struggle to make ends meet and the money their women make from this distasteful profession is a welcome boon. But, they equally despise them for what they do and the women are subjected to unsurmountable pain and hatred, which is grossly unfair. They want the cash but they don’t the profession to taint their lives which in itself is the sole reason for their survival. Pretentious, to say the least.

Despite leading a bereaved life of pain and humiliation, this clan continues to grow unapologetically. Redundancy, for one, is not a forte in this world woven with ruthless anguish.

9/11. Change-versary.

Yes. We changed. World changed. Everything else around changed. In fact, I have bleak memories of how this world looked before the apocalypse.

Our outlook to America, our attitude towards terrorism (we now call it global post 9/11), our stand as global nations against one unified enemy. All this changed. And somewhere, it changed us and the way we live. I call it, the ways of our enigmatic life.

9/11 also opened up the floodgates for more violence, hatred and counter terrorism (perhaps, it ended up being counter hatred). Post 9/11 saw undisputed destruction of human lives. Some alive but still dead. It isn’t the number of years, it was those crucifying moments that nailed it. In real terms, that is.

We celebrated the fall of the Satan, but nothing stopped. In fact, it has multiplied. If the world has become a unified household, the anti has become 6-fold, perhaps 10-fold. Not that calamities and torture has stopped or minimalised since 9/11. We have grown monumentally, sadly.

We will continue to fight the demons, within and outside. For how long? May be the question isn’t – for how long. The question is, how far?

Death Smile

She is an Iron Lady. I have never seen her blink an eye or being moist in a situation. She took tuition classes, her husband has a decent job and her son was studying in a boarding school in a different town. A family of 3 with dreams of their own, I knew them as a courageous and friendly family.

But destiny had other plans. A plan that shattered their lives and bought them to knees. But I just had one question. Why?

One midnight, the phone rings aloud. The call is from her son’s Boarding school. They inform that her son collapsed in his room last night and they did not have a clue till one of his room mates tried to get in to the room. With a heavy and scary tone, they inform her that he is dead. 

Her world has just gone down. The couple rush to the boarding school and get his body back home. Doctors inform that he died due to a respiratory problem leading to cardiac arrest. 

I met her a few weeks after her son’s death. She was her usual self, didn’t talk much and I did not have the tenacity to stay longer. But I could see the pain she locked herself in.

Not willing to remain inside and refuses to come outside. I could see how her world has collapsed with a blink of an eye.

But disasters have this uncanny knack of knocking doors twice. Again, I was living with the same question. Why?

I visited her a few months later and during the normal conversation, ended up enquiring about her husband. Her response startled me. He has been diagnosed with cancer and is under treatment for the last 3 months. Her voice, not for a minute, had a touch of fear or apprehension about the situation she is dangling with. 

I was out of town for 4 months. When I was back, I learnt from her that he passed away last month.

Her life stood toppled and devastated. Yet, she stood firm and I did not see tears in her eyes. She continued with her tuition classes. She started visiting a nearby orphanage and offered her services. Few months down the line, she quit classes and became a regular in the orphanage.

I have since moved out of the city since 7 years. Last time I visited her place, door was locked and neighbours have not seen her around for sometime. As of today, I don’t know where she lives or has moved to.

I, at times, remain astounded by the ways of life. We are not perfect. We make mistakes. We have sinned. Yet, life bestows numerous opportunities to redeem ourselves. And, we survive. We live to see glory.

But in the adversity of time, life decided to show off it’s gruesome face to this lady and her family. 

I am still living with the same question. Why?

*Inspired by real life events.

The Diabetes Doctor – Classified and Un-scripted

Talking about diabetes is a tasteless debate. Yet, quintessentially, has remained the most talked about subject in the last 4 decades (apparently, forever). For the curious onlookers, I ain’t talking about champion doctors and their tumultuous prescriptions this time.

Humans thrive on beliefs, tranditions and roots. Despite the spectacular evolution of technology and its peers, we remain faithful to our age old trivias and their adjoining stories of redemption.

In one such corner of severance and isolation, a small place called Kovilvenni thrives due to a rich history and an amicable legacy. Located near the more illustrious town of Thanjavur in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, India, nothing looks or makes you feel spectacular. Yet, in this glorious temple that it resides on, will tell you some dramatic stories. One, amongst the many, is the cure for Diabetes.

Lord Shiva sits in this temple in the form of a ‘Lingam’ and is adorned with sugarcane stripes across the body of the ‘Lingam’. Sugarcane, for all we know, embodies sweetness and the lord here is acknowledged to cure the disease of sweetness, infamously known as ‘Diabetes’. Interesting, isn’t it? To all, he is revered as ‘Venni Karumbeswarar’ (The Lord with Sugarcane Stripes).

Yes, it is. Remember, belief is all about staggering faith and relentless patience. If this kind of breaks the restrain in you, I will urge you to visit this place, at least once, in your lifetime. No warranty slips here, but don’t forget to take your trust along with you. 

This is an invitation to the world of empowerment, sans logic and prescriptions. Yes, Science will look like a ‘David’ in front of a ‘Goliath’, not virtually that is.

I take immense courage to share this piece of history with all of you. I am an incorrigibly instinctive person but this element of me is a revelation. 

I am not worried if I may go without takers but am certain for one thing – this is a story that deserves to be told.

Unseen Sanity

We came, we saw and we got conquered. The vanquished won, and the rest, as they say, is the work of the mercurial almighty.

Blessed, and in awe.

Location: Brihadeeshwarar Temple, Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu.

Haraamkhor – Gutsy and Wretched

Yes. We have this society in us which possesses dark shades. Lives a simple life, appears to be noble, exploits women and their helplessness with élan. And yet, survive like worms and disappear to come back with evil. For a change, this protagonist doesn’t live enough. But it every story is fortunate enough, not every human being is planted with sanity.

‘Haraamkhor’ is a devilish tale of human beings who swear and die in a society very far from our urban excellence and glory. And, we have no clue till something like the the episodes in ‘Haraamkhor’ hit us. I don’t think it’s the question of culture or honor here, it’s about being a human and not being one. Sadly, we live with such creatures around who take advantage of innocence, insecurity and feminism to get there tails wagging. And, they do it shamelessly.

I think I will shower some unanimous praise on Nawazuddin Siddiqui, again. I don’t think anyone else will have the audacity and darkness to play such characters on screen. If you think ‘Raman Raghav’ was fetish enough, watch ‘Haraamkhor’. Nothing loud about it but equally menacing and scary. A thumping pat on the back for the director who chose to make a film on disdainful taste. I take a bow for the Kashyap stable who try to stand out with such films that shed light on such invisible yet mainstream holes in our revered clan.

Truly, wretched it is.

Udta Punjab – High & Fallen

At a time of floundering commercial cinema making the means out of creativity, films like ‘Udta Punjab’ come as a neat surprise. Overwhelming, I would say. Scary and blemish-less.

‘Udta Punjab’ comes from the stable of Phantom films, and no prizes for guessing the creative minds behind the making of this dark, raunchy, spine chilling saga of the drug menace that has consumed an entire state.

‘Udta Punjab’ is the Punjab you and I will never dare to visit. It is the Punjab of our nightmares, the insanity behind the tradition of a beautiful state that it upholds in the eyes of public media.
If you grossly remember history, Punjab has been the eye of the storm in the past. Be it during the emergency in 70s or the infamous ‘Operation Blue Star’, Punjab has been a tepid travesty. Substance abuse is just another blip in a sea of huge political quick sand.

Coming back to the film, the narrative and cast is exemplary. In fact, I don’t think anyone else could have filled the shoes of Tommy Singh and Mary Jane other than Shahid Kapoor and Alia Bhatt. Shahid is a brilliant artist and UP is another cap is his illustrious feather. Alia Bhatt has shown glimpses worthy enough of being spoken in the same breath as her father. The scene wherein she helplessly emotes and divulges her agony to an equally ravaged Tommy Singh is a paranoid stealer. One heck of a scene it is, I would say one of it’s kind in Indian cinema.

Kareena Kapoor has very little to do in this crime drama but holds her space in a well deserved cameo. The way she is killed by Balli while trying to stop him from fleeing her rehab is well shot. In fact, am equally fond of the scene where 2 youngsters claim to be Tommy’ fan and signify their inspiration by falling prey to drugs. It’s a pitiably powerful seen that even jolted the conscience of a stray celebrity like Tommy Singh.

Though it’s a Phantom production and inevitable names will have their classic intervention. But Abhishek Chaubey has been impressive. I did not see anything debonair from him since Ishqiya (not the sequel please) but Udta Punjab certainly brings him back in style.

‘Udta Punjab’ has an uncanny resemblance to one of my all time adorable favorites, ‘Goodfellas’. Don’t jump the gun yet, no pun intended but it isn’t a straight shot unless you know what I am talking about.

Pursuit of the Disputed

Our goals, ambitions, desires, aspirations, dreams – all are equally fragile and reluctant. That’s the steel behind the making of our mettle.

Uncertainty, for real, is a gruesome and agonizing yet perpetual way of establishing the impossible in our lives. We will never accomplish if all is in paper and written for our destinies to galore. The fear of failing gets us to the brink of success, the fear of a fling apart gets us closer to our tethering victory in an ambushed amphitheater. It’s all performance at the the right time, in the right place, with the right people. 

We have everything in us to take this world in our stride, get to place of persistence and courage. But we also have this horrendous knack of throwing it away for trivial reasons and see glory walk past us to the next corridor. We sulk in our inability to get past the difficult mile after sowing the seeds for months, perhaps years. That’s confidence. Our biggest ally in chaos. 

Remember, your confidence is the key to the minds of people. It furnishes, assimilates, manipulates and drives every one crazy. Confidence is an attribute but am a great believer in instincts. Do what is right, losing sleep over the consequences will get us closer to insanity.

The pursuit to happiness doesn’t exist, it lives in your ability to find and maneuver excellence. Yes, you are only a genius of situations. Don’t ponder much in to the concept as such but keep the search on.

Remember, we are one of our kind. The human kind.

the augmented change

Few years ago, some time ago, we lived in different world. Today, we have evolved and separated ourselves from the advent of community jargon and have become ‘Global’. But the statement still hovers around like a hawk in an air of turbulence. Did we really accomplish the need or merely created another need out of a cucumber?

The world believed we became stronger after 9/11, but we also became a tad poorer and weaker in terms of adaptability and susceptibility. We also entered in to a new era where started judging people and their acquaintances by their names.
What’s a name – it is our identity, not a reflection of our abilities to make or remake. Nor does a name indicate plagiarism. But it was deemed as ‘fatal’, a name convulsed in to a benchmark for a religion and we started to crucify the guilt within ourselves.

Yes, the world changed. But the attitude and our behavior towards the human kind turned ugly and degraded. Before, we had inhibitions but were conducive. After, our intolerance towards a specific community has taken an unsurmountable leap towards de-manifestation of the human clan.
Yet, we have evolved as human beings. Yes, derogatory but precariously acceptable.

Citizens became traitors, names were objects to decipher identity, our brothers and sisters became ‘Jihadis’, and suddenly, our world became a religious cocoon under the scanner for dastardly acts of few unscrupulous, spineless people who take shelter under violence and cowardice to prove a point that embellishes all logic and purpose.
Yet, we are evolving and surviving.

There is no end to this apocalypse though. Crucification has only led to more indispensable powers and evil vibes. 9/11 has given rise to a plethora of demons that have emerged, submerged and reemerged since last 15 years, and the disaster recovery continues to struggle against audacity and ruthlessness. Above all, some excruciating powers inflicting pain and misery upon the lives of innocents is our bane for sheer existence.

I am certain, we are evolving amidst chaos.

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