Objects In The Rear View Mirror Are Closer Than They Appear


I am a low-impact traveling freak and usually, I love to travel in train. This article is based on one of my travel experiences in north India.

Bihar is beautiful region in our country. It’s full of contrast—a blend of loving and notorious people. As per the legend, if you’re traveling across that region in train, the people, who board from any station in this region, will snatch away your seat. If you object, they’ll not think twice before becoming barbaric.

So, with this deadly perspective, I once had to travel to a destination that would cross this lovely as well as notorious region. I was with a friend and we had reserved two berth in class II sleeper coach of our great Indian Railways. We boarded the train from a railway station before that region and wanted to interact with local people, so we didn’t sit on our berth. The train was stuffed with people and we let our berth be empty to see what happens. What happened next will blow your mind away and will shape this article.

There were people who already had an eye on us and our berths. One by one people started coming to us asking for a permission to sit on the empty berths. Asking? Sounds unbelievable, right? Read more.

I noticed an old man, struck by poverty, dressed shabbily with stress in eyes and sweat on body due to scorching heat. I asked him whether he would like to sleep for a while on one of our berth. On hearing me, he became a zombie and just kept watching me with amusement, wonder or surprise. I don’t know but he didn’t say a word. On insisting he occupied the empty berth. He didn’t say anything but his whole body was sharing gratitude probably because this was the first time in life he must have seen someone gift his reserved berth so some stranger. But, such are my ways to connect.

The journey was a long one and we all had many such unprecedented experiences with each other. On one side was this false belief of snatching, barbarism and one side was this polite asking etiquette of these people from Bihar.

All my life we have been fed with wrong information about certain people and, sometime, they turn out to be completely different. I don’t know if I got lucky that day, or the people are never like that but that day I realized that from far it looks like that people are disconnected but when you come close and interact with them, they’re just as loving as us. In the end, with a closer look, you find out that we all are connected.

Regressive Topic Of Fairness In A Progressive Time


Every year, I see hundreds of advertisements that sell the idea of fairness. I don’t know how fair it is in the 21st century but I surely know that it’s a symbol of a regressive society that we’re still holding onto.

I think it’s a dirty communication to the women.  I mean, these advertisements clearly are creating a divide in mindset of people about women based on the color of their skin. What can be dirtier? And the best part is that most of men and women are promoting these dirty advertisements. These are the same people who also vote-up for gender equality and in-discrimination.

Neither the man, nor the women are trying to stop this completely. In fact, they make huge money out of this fairness business. 

In my limited knowledge, everyone is a partner of crime—the company who makes such product, the media company who make such advertisements and the people who buy such products.

I feel such a shame whenever I see a fairness advertisement. We’re demeaning and discriminating humans on basis of color of skin. And, then we say that we’re a cultured and civilized society.

In fact, I think, we’re full of hypocrisy and then we blame and criticize others for everything. With such discrimination based on petty issues, are we seriously looking to stop rape, abuse and other crimes related, especially, to women? Does color of skin really matter? Does a fair skin really provide prosperity in life?

The Will Of A Dying Tree


This photograph by an alert citizen—Abhay Azad—is haunting me. As soon as I saw this photograph, I rushed to the venue to meet this tree. My parents left us without any will and I know how difficult the life ahead is without a will.

The photograph of this half-cut tree has many meanings for me—vulgar display of power, road to somewhere or nowhere, journey is process, tale of valor and sacrifice, helplessness, transformation, and of course the simplest of all of it; deforestation. But, I am sure something is about to happen; something is on the way.

With this in mind, I met the tree who narrated me its last wishes. We, together, made a will and recorded its last wishes:

  1. I want my visible assets to be given to the poor employees of the contractor of municipal authority. They’re are poor and each and every part of me might bring in prosperous for their family. I want all my visible assets to be of use to someone or the other.
  2. I want people to address me as a martyr. I have lived all my life for service and I want to die in service. I am a green-warrior.
  3. It will be great if some of my torso can be used to build little homes for the birds that I hosted. They’re my family and I don’t want them to be homeless again.
  4. I understand, that I had to leave. Everyone has to leave one day but I am proud to be sacrificed in service of my country, in service to my people, in service of development.
  5. I want the current and next generation to cultivate more green-warriors like me that can lay down their life in the service of nation.
  6. I want my invisible assets i.e. goodwill, kindness, gratitude and love to set an example for coming generations.  I won’t be there, and maybe many more like me won’t be there but life goes on. Goodwill, kindness, gratitude, compassion, love and all of that has to continue. Let’s fill the world with colors of love. Nothing is permanent—cultivate more of me and I shall never die.
  7. I am being sacrificed for progress and I wish my people, whom I served all my life, to progress not only materialistically but also morally, holistically and spiritually. I don’t have any regret from the people who have given me an opportunity to be a martyr. I share my gratitude and forgive them.

A tree is known by its fruit; a human by deeds. A good deed is never lost; one who sows courtesy reaps friendship, and one who plants kindness gathers love. Saint Basil.

This tree has been a giver all its life and will continue to give, forever. In the last moment also, it was sharing its gratitude and thinking of contribution.

The tree was positive about the future, positive about the sensibilities of human intellect. It had faith in the divine system, design thinking, technology and more trees that shall be cultivated.

It shall never die. You and me will die, it shall never die—givers never die.

The Man With A Lost Origin


In India, there is a typical tradition to ask people their place of origin when we meet.

Where is your native place?

Everyone has a origin within the country but I am a odd one out. I don’t have an origin in India; all the past glory is lost. Sometimes, I feel like no man’s land.

My ancestors were born in in Chiniot which is now in Pakistan after the great f***ing partition of India in 1947. After the partition, my father migrated from Lahore to Delhi and eventually Mumbai.

I was born and brought up in Mumbai but don’t have a native place, at least here in India.

Childhood Memories—Fleet Of Passion


I loved Hot Wheels as a child. I guess, all the kids of 1990s had the same feeling. I remember that I used to get one—from mother—each time I passed a school examination.

I used to play with them for hours together and still have most of them with me. I was such a passionate car-monger as child but a completely opposite person as I grew up or let’s say as I grew old.

Nevertheless, the past glory always makes me feel nostalgic and also reminds of my deceased parents. BTW, how fun it would me if mother suddenly rose from the ashes to gift me for the recent examination—of life—I just passed!?




Paan is the pride of India—the favorite food after food. It’s beautiful in colors and delicious in taste.

It’s a culture and is available in many sizes, tastes and the cost also vary. One vendor sells it for Rupees 1,000. It contains thin leaves of silver and gold. That’s really insane but people are crazy about this stuff.

In the Indian subcontinent, chewing of betel leaf dates back to circa 2600 BC. Formerly it was a custom of the royalty, and lovers because of its breath-freshening and relaxant properties, hence the attached sexual symbolism. While a it has a symbolic value at ceremonies and cultural events in south and southeast Asia, day-to-day use is as a palate cleanser and breath freshener after a meal, and also often offered to guests and visitors as a sign of hospitality.

Other than its curative properties, the leaf is a natural anti-depressant and stress-reliever. Classical singers often chew on betel leaf to relax after strenuous performances.

Although, this is one the main reason for red walls/roads in the country, most of us can’t live without it.