Word of the Week #95:



How long has it been since I started writing? Well, very close to four years, now.

A lot has changed in that span.

For one, I no longer have my weapon of choice, my magnificent MacBook Pro. Ah, the very thought rends my heart!

For another, my hair keep growing fewer and further apart, and are greying at an unprecedented rate… Which is obvious, yes, but upsetting none the less.

However, there are some things that have changed for the better, and I could not be more glad.

To begin with, I am now far better at what I do. Of course, this too is pretty obvious. You get better with experience and practice. Still, we do tend to forget how far we have come, and the way we cringe at a cursory glance towards our initial work is a reminder as clear as any.

More than anything else, I have now grown accustomed to my characters. I know exactly what they think and how they feel, regarding everything I throw at them. That makes it easy for me to enter their minds, and write about their adventures through their own eyes.

I am growing into a good writer, I suppose.

On the down side, that may be turning me into an exceptionally weird guy. But, I was a pretty weird guy to begin with.


Word of the Week #94:


The events of the past week have shone a stark light on the workings of one of the four pillars of our democracy: Judiciary.

For all its powers, the judiciary rarely receives the public scrutiny it deserves. Sure, the people to groan in unison when a high-profile guy is acquitted in a high-profile case after the court observes that the key witness who died years ago is not wholly reliable and had not been cross-examined; but we go about our own lives the very next day.

Quick Tip: If you want to cross-examine witnesses while they are alive, maybe don’t take 5 years to begin the trial…

Equality before law is such a cute thought, is it not?

Interestingly enough, while judges spend their entire lives judging actions of us lesser mortals, they themselves are uniquely isolated from all accountability.

Consider this:

  • Whom does the judiciary serve? The people.
  • Who pays the judges’ salaries? The people.
  • Who selects the judges? Other judges
  • Who can remove errant or incompetent judges? Other judges.

Now, you have to admit that something does not add up.

In November, during a debate over a plea seeking an SIT probe into alleged judicial corruption in a case, the bench of the Supreme Court stated the following:

“—this controversy has been set at rest that even when there is an allegation against Hon’ble CJI, it is he, who has to assign the case to a Bench, as considered appropriate by him.”

Well, it sounds fishy. The Chief Justice can choose which judges judge him. Do I get the same choice? Well, not really…

But as long as this enormous power is wielded responsibly, there is no reason to complain, right?

Well, apparently, at least four Supreme Court judges do believe there is reason to complain.


The problem does not lie in one individual, but in the system at large.

Of course, the judiciary needs to remain independent of the other branches of the government.

After all, we wouldn’t want our judges to be strong-armed into clearing political leaders of murder, rioting, criminal intimidation, witness tampering, destruction of evidence, corruption, and other colourful charges with a fair trial, would we? Well, never mind…

The point remains that an institution as powerful as our judiciary, running with little to no accountability, is symptomatic of an oligarchy, not democracy.

Now, are we living in an oligarchy? That is a question for another day.

Word of the Week #93:


As a kid, I used to get hurt a lot. Like, every alternate day, I’d come home battered and bleeding.

I was a rather clumsy boy. I still am, for the most part. Perhaps it is not something you can just outgrow. Nor was I ever the greatest of athletes. But neither of those ever stopped me from doing all the crazy things that seemed fun in moment, irrespective of the consequences.

That is the thing about childhood, though. You can do whatever the hell you want, break or tear anything, and soon enough, it will be as good as new. Perhaps even better.

Unfortunately, as with adult salamanders, our capacity to heal plummets with age.

After 18, you have to be especially wary about hurting your bones or your joints, else they may never recover completely.

In the mid twenties, you start keeping a closer track of your aches and niggles. This is a list I made just last night, of all the things that hurt…

  • Ankles
  • Shins
  • Calves
  • Knees
  • Hip
  • Left shoulder
  • Left wrist

And, since then, I have also bit my tongue, so…

I cannot stop getting hurt. It is just how life goes, right? If you jump, you must be prepared to accept the fall.

No, what I must learn is a simple, yet alien concept that would supposedly help me live to fight another day: REST.


Word of the Week #92:


Another year has passed us by.

So, how was 2017? As always, kind of a mixed bag, right?

For me, it was quite eventful, if nothing else. I am not exaggerating when I say that my life seemed to change once every month.

Of course, ‘seemed’ is the operative word, here. In the end, we always revert back to our stable equilibrium.

For 2018, I want more of the same.

“Adventures are all very well in their place, but there’s a lot to be said for regular meals and freedom from pain.”
― Neil Gaiman, Stardust

After all, why fix something that isn’t broken, right?

So, this year, I look forward to working in my own room, sleeping in my own bed and, well, what else do I even do?

Life is simple, fruitful, and fun… This year too, let us keep it that way.


Word of the Week #91:


As I mentioned last week, I hate losing.

Well, as it would turn out, I lost… And by quite a margin, if I may add… It was not even a podium finish…

“Anyone can deal with victory. Only the mighty can bear defeat.”
― Adolf Hitler

Of course, we all know how Hitler dealt with losing the war, so… Words to live by, right?

Anyway, it has been a while since I received the news, and after having spent a few hours sulking, followed by few more hours of brooding, I now feel relatively calm.

I can now see the bright side of things. I know it is a cliched thing to say, but I do believe I have come out stronger.

When you thinking about it, marketing and publicity was never my strong suit. Having been able to put up a worthy fight, I am actually quite proud.

All things considered, being voted as the 4th Best Author of the Year for your debut effort is a victory in itself.

No, I am not celebrating, but I am glad nonetheless.

And, as I often say, Book One was just the beginning.

Beware, 2018. Arrkaya: Immortals, coming soon…



Word of the Week #90:


Now, let us be honest, there are some things that we just do not like to do, am I right?

Some people do not like to drive. Given the current state of the roads in my neighbourhood, I have to agree with them, more often than not.

Some people do not like to bathe, for some reason. Now I cannot understand that, but can I admonish people for it? Hardly.

I just try not to stand downwind of them… That is just being smart.

Some people don’t like to read. Now, this, I have to admit, does irk me.

My affliction, however, is weirder than most of these. I, to the very core of my being, despise asking for a favour.

Now, seeking help from someone more skilled than myself, that is a different thing. That is just how we work, after all, by helping each other whenever and however we can.

Asking someone for a favour, though, is not the same thing.I have seen others do it, without batting an eyelash; and not just for the small stuff, either.

Yes, I definitely do despise it.

However, there is something I despise even more: Losing.

With that in mind, allow me to segue to the main topic at hand.

Looks pretty, does it not?Anyway, this point being: I want to win.

And, quite frankly, I could use all the help I can get.

So, tell your friends, and their friends, and your neighbour’s kindergarten teacher, and that cute girl you met the other day.

Tell everyone you can find, and help us win.

It is not like I ask for too much, right?

Click here to vote.


Word of the Week #89:


Well, I am not sure what prompted our enlightened leaders to take this step, but here we go:

No child’s play: Condom ads banned from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. in India

NEW DELHI: The government on Monday strictly asked TV channels not to air advertisements selling and promoting condoms because these are “indecent especially for children” and can create “unhealthy practices” among them.

Yes. This is smart. After all, nothing screams “unhealthy practices” like using a condom, right?

Hurling abuses at one another, making galling jokes about women and the elderly under the garb of comedy, and spewing vitriol at those who disagree with us, both literally and figuratively, still find place on primetime television. After all, isn’t that the true cornerstone of our society?

But condoms are “indecent especially for children”…

And, yes, this is a country that already has a larger population than it can sustain, where sex-education, and really any rational discussion about sex, is taboo, and where medical facilities are sporadic at best.

FUN FACT: While five million abortions occur annually in India, only 10% of those are performed within the structures of a high-quality hospital.

Let us consider this graphic:

Screen Shot 2017-12-13 at 12.08.36 AM

And these are official stands taken by the teachers and administrators of the states, not some random guys sitting under the banyan tree… Of course, those may be the same people.

The thing about sex education is, if you don’t get it, you will never realise how much you need it. Therefore, the opposition to it does make some sense.

After all, we all fear what we do not understand, right?

Anyway, in case someone is wondering, let us take a quick rundown of all the places where discussion about safe sex does not occur:

  • Home
  • Primary School
  • High School
  • College
  • Public places
  • Urinals, or at least one would hope
  • Television

So, what do we have left? Newspapers? Radio? Yeah, if we were trying to reach middle-aged men, those mediums would be perfect.

For everyone else, we seem to have only one path forward: This, right here.

The internet remains, in most regards, the land of the free. Let us use it to talk about the right things.

PS: To the ones who would counter that some ads did take it too far, I would like to say this: Would you ban water if one man drowned to death?