Packing In


This is strange. Nothing of note, or at least story worthy, has happened in a while. I go to work later than usual, get more work done, come back, cook (sometimes) and sleep. Some of the inactivity could be attributed to my abysmal financial state. Thousands in debt, medical emergency in the middle of month, double digits in account, and a demanding lifestyle is a spectacular disaster in progress. But that should be taken care once salary arrives. Soon soon. COME ALREADY YOU GODDAMNED SALARY!

It is all the more strange because I am less that 60 days away from making one-those-life-altering-shifts, and nothing is happening. Others are going too, and they have all the symptoms of paradigm-shiftal homo sapiens: last desire to do all of the the fun things everywhere, self doubt, worries about whether 5 years is too much of a commitment, missing the old life. Meanwhile, I am buying veggies (vitamins) for dinner, oblivious to all of the above. I think being dense about these things helps at times. And busy. Too busy to think about all that you have built in two years, all that you learnt, the old friends you missed, the new friends you made, the friends you made and lost (blame solely rests on my questionable actions), the moments you created by sheer force of  your mindless fuckery,  the kilometers you cycled, the kilometers that you couldn’t, the fish you cooked, the house you occupied, the home you made out of it. It will probably hit me like a truck when I am mid-flight, surrounded by rotund uncles which  only Air India can magically locate from a country of a billion and place in your immediate vicinity. Will just sleep that one off as well.

Enough of that for now,  for there will be at least 20 more (potentially) posts about leaving Delhi, 10 days in Bombay, back to Delhi, final goodbye to Delhi, last days in Bombay, and goodbye Bombay. HELLO FAT UNCLES.


P.S. I really wanted to start reading the last book in the ‘Gentlemen Bastard’ trilogy tonight. But am too tired now and the knee pain is back. This would be bad for my street cred on tinder.

26m Philadelphia. Likes food, books, and staring at the ceiling. Also has chronic knee pain. Ping if you want to talk. Cheers.

Ok, that is terrible.


PPS: What the fuck is this? This song is so sad! Cant stop listening though.




I wanted to write about this conversation I had with a friend a few days back. It was about ideal homes, the sanctuary it provides, what they say about you, and how one could possibly ascertain fuck loads about your personality just by observing the space you inhabit. 
I also to somehow connect it with the fact there may be a disconnect between how much I fine-dine, how much I want to, and how much I can afford.

But none of that is happening today. I spent two days rolling in bed, cooked fabulous lunches, watched a lot of Dota, watched this city’s shitty air clear up for the first time in a year, smelt rain, and almost got run over. Needless to say, all of the above was supremely unproductive and very exhausting, and sleep now I shall.



Ps.  I haven’t cycled in two weeks now. But that is because I have an acute vitamin deficiency, and have a knee injury.  Some cyclist I am.

On me Knees II



Eventually party deux did show up; comprising of P and D. Now, some introduction is in order. P is a guy with a heart of gold and a rather fuel efficient car. D is an army child with an independent streak, with  a pressing need to take momentous decisions in seconds without wanting inconveniencing anyone. That ends up being an event in itself. This evening however, we had only one thing in mind; fine dining without having the money to pay for it.

We went to a malayalee restaurant, to which I have multiple connections, and had been meaning to visit for a while. Its owned by a friend of a friend of a friend. The same person happens to be the boyfriend of a junior a mine from college. I have also met this said person and he seemed like a nice guy. Plus, if you dont know, malayalee food blows minds, and your sweat glands. We were the first people to enter the place, and became a permanent fixture till closing time. In the three hours that elapsed, we ate many meats and made life changing claims about the food, ordered more till G (girl with money) came, and convinced a vegetarian colleague to meet us post dinner and buy us ice cream.  Finally, at 2330 hrs  we were done, and drove westwards to drop G, D, and Me (in that order).

Evening 0 minus n: The Jawaharlal Nehru University is a truly spectacular place. A bastion of the left, a shining beacon of political vibrancy, infamous amongst the Indian middle class, and with a bus filled with placard carrying students; it has it all. It also has a thriving wildlife. To me, JNU is good cheap food, a safe place for women in Delhi, and people with terrible time keeping abilities. Full Disclosure: I really wanted to go there for my  Masters, and will always regret not being able to make it.

Evening 0 : We drove in and reached G’s hostel. 15 minutes of random conversation later, the ‘old person’ in me declared that it was time to get back home and sleep. We were about to leave, when an old song came on the radio and we stopped the car. Almost on cue, G appeared back in the car, and then began an hour of nostalgia music.

Evening 0 minus 20 years:  The 90s was a special time in Indian history. The economic liberalization was in motion, and it transformed all aspects of life in the country for millions. The Indian baby boomers having done their deed in the preceding decade, were bringing up a family with a hope for a better future.  However, for the kids, it will be best remembered as the decade of

  1. Cassettes
  2. Television
  3. Cable TV
  4. Very very strange confectioneries
  5. That one friend with a video game console and a computer
  6. That one relative visiting from the Americas
  7. Innuendos in everything Bollywood did. EVERYTHING.


Evening 0: Needless to say, blasting music from the 90s in the middle of JNU at 12 in the morning is anything but normal. But blast music we did, burning through our data packs and phone batteries, pouring out collective nostalgia which kids from that decade can never divorce themselves from. Well, middle and upper middle class kids at any rate. It went on, becoming competitive, with everyone playing the ‘most nostalgic song ever!’. Concomitantly, there were comments about how subtly seductive these songs were. Well not Govinda songs. Never Govinda songs. But some definitely were.

The last song was a particularly appealing one. You take Raveena Tandon from the 90s with a seductive dance, in a gangster movie, and you cant go wrong. I shall share the video at the end of the post. Even though I have seen the video innumerable times, I consider it to be quite a masterpiece. It was P’s first time though. That was truly special. We watched it with the same joy we experienced upon discovering FTV, or the Internet.

Now imagine  this; you see a car parked outside a girl’s hostel, and you get suspicious. You approach the car to see a bunch of guys and girls, looking rather pleased and rocking to cheesy old songs. You shake your head and move on. Two hours later, you see three of them pushing the car while yelling at each other. Sooooo, apparently, we had left the battery in the car running during our party, draining it completely. After pushing the car with no success, we burst out laughing.  We laughed at the state we found ourselves in, the embarrassment of having to do it , the weird turns the entire evening had taken, how it was a work day in 6 hours!

It was google which saved the day with timely search results for ‘how to push start a car, please help google, we will die here and I cant die because I have appraisal tomorrow’.  No time was wasted once the car started, goodbyes were swift, and driving tempered with caution. I reached home at  0230 hrs, and passed out while thinking of a title for this post.

All I wanted to do was get lunch from the food court.



No cycling was done today. I watched ‘CitizenFour’ instead. It has sufficiently mindfucked me in ways I cant describe. All I can say is watch the movie.


The song:

How to push start a car:

On me knees


Evenings are nice. Everyone goes home, back to someone. Could be a child, a parent, a lover, or even a pet . You get to relax, unwind, and sometimes even violently fight another human being inside the comfort of your home, or in a bar. It makes philosophers of people as well. Evenings for me seem so well placed  that it almost makes a case for intelligent design. Well done creator. Good one!  Not for me though.
I have what can be best described as ‘fucking surreal’  evenings. While they seem to be in consonance with how a lot of my life is splattered with bizzare incidences, post sunset scenes just win it all.

Morning of Day 0: Say you begin your day in the most boring way possible :with a toothbrush. And say the lunch you are going to buy from a terribly overpriced food court is going to be the highlight of your day.

Evening 0: Cut to evening scene of me standing half naked in front of two doctors, holding my pants and looking uncertain about whether I should pay attention to the prognosis, or remedy my nudile state. Eventually the doctor suggested I wear my pants, since it was very awkward (and as an afterthought, added ’embarrassing also’). This and 1250 bucks later, I was told that it wasn’t possible to tell me what was wrong with my knees, and that I should watch a Salman Khan movie instead. We spent a very brief second lamenting the absence of any forthcoming bhai movies, and then proceeded to burn another 4 grand on blood tests and xrays.

Day 0 minus 1: An old friend is going to get married. As much as I love him and wish him well, I have always wondered how anyone  would ever be able to  deal with his constant state of motion, and exponentially large social commitments. Although, I have met his wife to be, and I think she may just manage fine. Besides, hostel is a different time, boys are boys, and he may just have less dissonance now.

Evening 0: Hospitals make me thirsty. Well, first they depress me and then they scare me. In the presence of a drinking place close by, it’s mostly thirst inducing. So I proceeded to the nearest bar for a quiet drink with another friend , waiting for my to-be-married-soon friend to show up for dinner.  All of  the maths in the world was employed to ensure quality time with both friends and perfect transition from one social situation to another. With zero overlaps. It was perfect.

To-be-married-soon friend  canned dinner. Two more friends from office announced that they would be coming to meet, and a whole new plan was born. The friend I was with displayed surprising alacrity in gulping down the drink and left. And then, I waited for party deux to arrive. As I stared at a guitar signed by Dave mustaine, I asked myself why I never picked up guitar in college? Fat fingers and no talent. Wondering stopped there. Sigh. (1/2)


Cycled distance :22.2kms
Time taken : 1 hr 21 mins
No excuses, it was a joy ride.




I need to start making a list.
A list of all the things I will have to take with me. Where am I going?  To the abroads, for purposes of education of the higher variety. I sometimes wonder how I ended up becoming a part of the aspiring academic community. To me it mostly seems like a natural yet bizarre progression of how things turned out. I did my bachelors in economics, wanted to in psychology.  Masters in Bombay, wanted to in Delhi. Then I decided to take a break, lead the ‘traveling and writing’  life for a year, and  figure my shit out thereon. My parents were surprisingly supportive and I guess more gratitude ought to be displayed than I do. But one day I ended up going to my department, became part of a team, started visiting it often, and didn’t quite stop going for two whole years. And now I am in Delhi.  It’s been a long four year period since my masters and now, and far too many things have happened. I laugh a lot less now, I have put on more weight than I would like, I have met some fantastic people and a lot of perfectly normal ones,  i have discovered that some people have the ‘dark’, I  love cycling more than ever,I cook, I am still working on my poker face, I miss people when they go, I have dreams, actual what-i-may-want to-become-if-i-dont-die-prematurely dreams. Perhaps I will tell you about all of these in detail someday.
And now I may (Allah willing) , go to another country and do my shit there.  I don’t particularly think I will have a problem fitting in, but my ability to cope with the course work is in question. I may just fail, or will probably just manage. I don’t know. But I will let you know how that goes.

I do wonder how I ended up here, whether this is what I ought to be doing, whether I like this or not in the first place?  I guess I could never answer that question simply because I don’t know what I truly like, or am passionate about,  except perhaps cycling. And in the absence of a true calling, I may just float along, figuring shit out, one day at a time.  Just like  the hymm. Strangely enough I don’t have a list of things I want to do,  and maybe it is a good thing. Almost everything then becomes an adventure, every trip a story, and every interaction an experience worth narrating a hundred times over. My grandfather was a story teller,  a skill lost on the rest of my family. So if I ever bore you excessively, blame my genes.
Eventually I will grow old and die. And in death the only solace I may want to seek is that I leave behind a fuck loads of stories, and some supremely dear human beings I had the privilege of knowing. Just like that ‘fish which is big’ movie:)

2)External batteries
3)Pressure cooker


The new deal


So I cycled again today. This is good. No matter how abysmal the distance, the more I cycle, the higher chance I have of wanting to cycle the next day. So make a deal with me now : everytime I cycle I will write a post. Failure to cycle would mean a long post.*
I think this sort of lock-in should be a win win for everyone and every activity involved. Except perhaps my social life. But well, meh.

There is so much I can tell you, so many tales to narrate.  I can tell you about the crazy people I meet on trips, the comical situations life throws at me, the people I befriend on Tinder (read:fail), the maps I draw, the econometrics I fail at, the cooking I am average at, the friends I adore, and the assholes I avoid.

I better start cycling a lot.


*the deal is not applicable on days of medical emergencies, acts of God, and Sabbath.
Because Catholic.

Economics of nothing


Much has happened today.

My article is being chopped down to very small pieces and I am learning to write for the audience, rather than for myself. It’s very similar to how I find my jokes funny, or am very pleased with my own ideas. I hope one day I develop my own style of writing, the sort someone years later shall describe as ‘succinct’. Till then, ramble on!

Rambling is how economic textbooks feel like though. But then, economics has a way of finding undiscovered parts of your brain to fuck with, and leave you with a sense of dissatisfaction and a rather baffled look on your face. All of this would have been avoided if I had paid attention to class 11 economics. But I didn’t, and here I am, figuring out why a production function looks the way it does, and why no one ever gives it an aesthetic makeover.


Ps. The Chinese Internet is an eerie idea. The more I read about it, the more the innocuously malicious it seems.

Pps: cycled very very very late today. I am going to miss Leia. A lot. She has been the most stable thing in my life for 5 years now. And soon I shall be giving her up. Hopefully her next caretaker keeps her well. Till then, I shall ensure that I spend as much time as possible with her.

Wheels keep turning and knees creaking.


So I went cycling after a two week break. Bad idea. Lungs protested violently. This two week break also may have included fair amounts of alcohol consumption and unhealthy eating practices. Another bad idea. Perhaps one day all these bad ideas will pile up and make me regret a major chunk of what I currently perceive as the good life.
But speaking of the good life, a woman in a huge-ass car (a duster or something) slowed down to check me out cycling. So yay!! That is much cause for celebration!! Why you ask? Well I am the sort of person whose collective traveling experience of over 20 years includes dying people, or children who some people on the travel may have considered killing. Young,
good looking, and intelligent traveling companion of the opposite sex is known to exist, known to travel, hell! has even been spotted, but never by me.
Also, 26m Delhi. Well soon to leave Delhi at any rate. I like cycling, reading, and am a national-state-level thumb fighting champion.
Enough of this. My flat mate has now retired, and so shall I. Lest this heat take me, and roasteth me tender.