Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Life as we know it...

...continued with customary tedium. I feel exhausted after my exams (piano, english, japanese). I feel bloated, anaemic and sullied. I swear, I am never going to let my deadlines dictate my lifestyle. Never. When you do, you find that you have no life. Your life is reduced to rushing from one adrenaline pumped test to another. An in-between: fatigue, numbness and ennui...with random fits of narcolepsy. Current rant being over, I am going to have something deep-fried and smothered in chocolate. And I'll feel better.

Friday, 21 November 2008

A godlike thing you are oh Death,

A squall who comes on stormy wings;
A blood red lotus grown on lethe,
You are the final resting bed.
And this my passionate plea to you,
My troubled passions tear away,
To taste thy nectar gift unafraid.

Give voice O Death, is your name God?
Your blackness reminds of our Shyama lord,
Although He never touched upon
My thoughts, mistress to you alone.

Springs shall pass, and renown be lost,
But Death shall always near me be,
My playmate, my shelter, my second self:
Come, Eternal, cleanse my pride.

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

A poem...

Tears uncounted have I cried,
Heavy sighs of hurt have sighed,
Teardrops sliding down my cheek,
When, loveless, have I loving seeked;
Although those tears have now run dry,
That oozed anew at every cry,
The scars remain where they ran down,
Like the wrinkles when I frown.
And still there's ringing in my ear,
Like from the time when I could hear
Shouts and scuffles, slaps and groans
Of others; and sometimes mine own.
Echoes resound of that past life,
Full of anger, full of strife;
The empty echoes in my heart
Jump to my throat with sudden start,
And choking tears run down my nose,
Down bent chin and to my toes.
Those teardrops sad, those echoing halls
Still reside in me and call
Me back to when I could not know
To tell apart which bruise, what blow.
Were they real? But truer more
Are those bitter tears that tore
Apart the child who is now dead,
His thoughts are as yet in my head.
To scars and bruises I am blind
For they are tricks of eye and mind;
But every drop of anguished tear
In my grown heart I do hold dear,
They are the truth of what I feel,
The evidence of my appeal
To free the past, and free to roam
Without that place I once called home.

Tuesday, 4 November 2008


Alright, so I finally got my JLPT admit card from my teacher. (That's Japanese Language Proficiency Test for the uninitiated.) Not very confident on my second innings, I have to say. Of course, I had thought that way about last year's exam as well.

Friday, 24 October 2008

Addicted to Curry

There was an article in the papers a few days ago about how much the Japanese enjoy Indian curries. Here's the article:

So, it was no wonder I chanced upon a manga which has curry as it's main plotline: Addicted to Curry is the story of Sonezaki Yui, a schoolgirl, whose father is the owner of Curry House Cooking Ganesha. The curry house is going out of business, but a saviour emerges in the form of dashing master-chef Koenji Makito, who turns things around for the shop. The manga also offers simple recipes curry fans can try themselves! Read in on

Friday, 17 October 2008

A garland of orange

A garland of orange-colour blossoms swings in the jerky motions of the bus. They look new, freshly bought from the local flower-wallah with the pot-belly and the betel-stained teeth. Marigolds: too bright for the diminutive, faded idol that drowned in their fragrance, unnoticed by the pious multitude. Only I saw her give a crooked smile.

Take me away from this narrow space. Let me not feel the raw bared rusted fangs that prick my translucent membrane, spilling pink blood. Let me not feel this cramped half-life, where to straighten up is to feel pain. The metal pushes against my delicate spine, frail and brittle, threatening to snap it in two. Would I die instantly? Or would I jerk about like a headless chicken, as my nervous system went into involuntary spasms, trying to go on living a life that had long been dead?

The bulbs are too bright, the head of oiled hair before me too dark; this life too empty. I had vomited out what was left of my soul on the pavement before I boarded this bus. It must have been the phuchka, so tangy I almost enjoyed it; followed by some oversweet milky tea from the footpath. I had wiped the last dribbling bits of blood-stained bile from my lips with my new white hanky (not white any longer) and stood up, pushing against the whirling crowd which, like a pack of sharks has singled out the weak one and trampled it into the ground, almost.

I look at the flowers with a disdainful half-grin. I want to spit on them, like the oily-headed girl sitting before just did, through the window, into the blurred world outside. The floating world outside is streaked orange from the lamps, like marigold petals sprinkled over the filthy mud, one with plastic bags, old toffee wrappers and bits of broken old clay teacups. Only some feral child had rubbed his unvaccinated feet into them. Yes, the world outside was the pasty orange of nocturnia.

The garland swings cheerfully as the driver jams down on the brakes hard. My forehead smashes into the stainless steel bar on the seat in front, staining it temporarily with pink blood that sprays from my burst vein. “Last stoppage,” shrieks the conductor, as this ghastly orange world is smeared with my pink. At last.

Saturday, 4 October 2008

20 SE

The Twentieth Year of the Sharadian Era

I, the Grand High Master Sharados of JUDEaea, Emperor of the Galaxy, Devourer of Worlds, am pleased to announce the completion of the twentieth sun-cycle of my being. Praise my glorious perfidy and insiduous splendour!

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

The Mattress

The sunset is over. The violent flashes of purple haze, have subsided into an uneasy sleep. A trite melody hurtles in from the radio. The coir mattress seems beastly, hugging the sweat oozing from your once-white vest.

It has claws that sadistically scrape into your sunburnt skin, like crickets’ harsh gratings. After suffering confinement for so long, the brown pinpricks poke through their faded covers and near perforate the redness of your blood. In the distance you can hear a jeep approach.

The night air is like a solid block of ice, pressing into you chest, and you are too shocked too remember breathing. Breathe. That’s better. The drowsiness has almost engulfed you. Your eyes feel heavy. So heavy. They hurt. You don’t want them to. Don’t hurt.

You concentrate on the mass of beastly coir around you. You take your hand off your chest and slowly, almost sensuously, slide it to your side and just a little under your thigh, where the mattress cover gives way and rough clumps of coir break into pieces. You run a coarse finger through the mass, like the hair of a sweet, monstrous child. It tickles. You feel like smiling. You smile. You think you are happy. Your arm, so long inert, feel powerful, stretched out like this. You try it with your legs. A spasm of happiness runs down it.

The jeep has reached its destination. Have they come to take you?

Friday, 5 September 2008

Abusing the exclamation!

Today, I realized the exclamation mark, when misused, is like an insincere smile! You automatically assume something exciting is written! It must be so! There's an exclamation mark! Much like a smile tricks the brain into thinking someone's happy! Nothing of the sort! You may not be happy, although you are smiling! See! Same difference! It doesn't matter what you are writing about! Just add exclamations! Everything sounds happier when you use exclamations! And if you want to sound like you're delirious with joy, use two!! They are double the fun!! And they look so cute!! Like two eyes staring at you!! But what if we use three!!! That should logically be triple the fun, right!!! In principle, we could just keep adding them!!!! Until you feel ill!!!!! from the!!!!!! insincerity!!!!!!! of!!!!!!! it!!!!!!!!! all!!!!!!!!!! Thanks for reading this far!! Moron!!! You are L!T!O!!

Monday, 1 September 2008

Feeling down today

The Sinking Ship

There was a time when my caress
Swept softly on your shore,
When my desiring heart was loved
By you, my old amour.
But now I'm not the mate your pride
Once loved beyond delight;
Was once your need, but now is stale,
A habit you'll set aright.
So here's my kiss upon your lips,
I board upon a new-furled ship.

Sunday, 24 August 2008

Can't get it out of my head

I can't get this song out of my head: Kaze no Hana from the anime Someday's Dreamers. It's very soft, with Western classical influences and has beautiful orchestral interludes; not the mention the beautiful vocals. I'm listening to it 4-5 times a day! I recommend you watch it on Youtube:

Monday, 18 August 2008

The lowpoint

Yesterday, I happened to flip the TV channel to HBO, where I was horrified to watch "The Mummy" dubbed into Hindi. What's going on here? I feel a cold dread grip me when I think that very soon, all our TV content could become Hindi-dubbed. I had to give up watching Cartoon Network because of it! All that godawful dubbing, all those "fikr mat karo"s and "chalo dosto"s... I can't help feeling a little sad when I think that English is slowly becoming a foreign language here in India. I mean, I learnt my English mainly by watching cartoons like Dexter's Lab and The Flintstones, and of course good ol' Star Movies (as if I'd ever learn anything listening to my teachers with their ludicruous accents)... Ah well, time goes on. But I will seriously use the f-word if another ICICI Bank agent calls up and acts confused if I reply in English.

Wednesday, 6 August 2008

Manga update

Alright. So I recently read two (more) Kindaichi Case Files manga: The Opera-House Murders and Smoke and Mirrors. They're written by Yosaburo Kanari and beautifully illustrated by Fumiya Sato. They are seriously good detective fiction and not your usual fantasy/fairy stuff. Each book, while part of the series, is a stand-alone episode in their own right. Apart from these two I also have Kindaichi the Killer and Death TV. Tokyopop Publications does a pretty competent translation.

Thursday, 24 July 2008

The Case of the Missing Professor 2

Well, it turns out to be a simple case of misplaced luggage...SB went one way, while his trunk went the other way. They are both safe and sound in Calcutta. Had a fantastic first class with him yesterday. The man is a genius. I am so glad I took this course.

Monday, 21 July 2008

The Case of the Missing Professor

What on earth happened to Prof. Biswas (he is supposed to be conducting my optional paper, Drama of Ideas...duh)?? It's been a week since he was supposed to return. There were wild rumours doing the rounds today. Something to the tune of him having lost all his documents and being in police custody. But where is he?? Paris? Delhi? Kolkata?? Adding to the confusion is HOD Alal, who clings to any information like India's military secrets. Oh woe is us (cue hand-wringing)!!! Will this crisis ever be resolved? Where are SB's documents? Where is SB himself? What books should we read before-hand? What flavour ice-cream does SB prefer?! Is SB L.T.O.??!! Find out, in the next installment of ... THE CASE OF THE MISSING PROFESSOR!

[But honestly, I'm sure Shruti and Shayeari (hi guys!) will agree that this dilemna needs solving...NOW!]

Tuesday, 15 July 2008

My manga

Right now, I'm reading the manga Anatolia Story. Check it out at

Friday, 4 July 2008

A quick joke

What most people don't know is that Adolf Hitler descended from small yellow rodents. Which explains why he was LTO (Like That Only).

In a completely unrelated incident, nazi-Pope Ratzinger has declared Pikachu his personal saviour, thus causing the Nikkei to drop 800 points.

Heil Pikachu!

Tuesday, 24 June 2008

Meanwhile, across town...

I was at University yesterday, checking out books in our departmental library. That's a distinctly dangerous hobby, with khenchi there. But seriously, it's time to ditch the Japan blues and get down to business. Looks like I'll have to go old-school this term. That's right, I'm going to have to ... <gasp>... STUDY!!

For my fellow JUDEans, welcome to the new semester. Before we meet on 7th July, I hope we are all on the same page here. We'll be studying Old English [shudder], Middle English and Renaissance English literature. I personally think it's going to be a lot of fun, studying Chaucer and Langland and Marlowe and Shakespeare and Kyd. In other words, Dead White Europeans. Dontcha jes love 'em? Also, my optional is Drama of Ideas chosen mainly because it sounded easy. *keeping fingers tightly crossed*

Also, an Important Announcement:
When we sally forth to our dust-drenched first floor next month, we shall be greeted by a sight that shall make us instinctively fall to our knees and grovel in praise of all the gods of the multiverse: new toilets! Of course, the floor is a complete mess right now, and I literally had to leap over piles of rubble to get to the library, but the aroma of stale pee shall hopefully be gone by the 7th, replaced by the nice-new-urinal smell. Thank you, Professor Lal/faceless University Funds Manager!

Saturday, 21 June 2008

Japan Trip! III Finale

1. Garden outside Roppongi Hills :
2. Forest overlooking the Kiyomizu temple :
3. Forests of the Nintoku burial tomb :
4. Stream in the Expo '70 Park :
What impressed me about the Japanese is their careful respect for nature. Did you know that around 70% of Japan is covered in forests? Compared to that, India has around 30% forest coverage. And yet Japan is an industrial powerhouse. Wow, I say.

Monday, 16 June 2008

Japan Trip! Part II

Ain't he just a darling? Japanese babies are just so kawaii [cute]!!

Sunday, 15 June 2008

Japan Trip! Part I

Here are some beautiful photos I took in Tokyo:
1. Street at night
2. Roppongi Hills garden
3. Outside my hotel, with that oh-so-cute receptionist
4. An interesting carving in a restaurant
Check again later for more Japan Trip! pictures

Saturday, 14 June 2008

I'm back

Hey everyone! Just came back from Japan. I'll upload some pics in the next few days. I'm very tired, what with the jet lag, and everything. Since I'm back, let me introduce my friend Shounak's blog,
It's a cool blog with reviews, original work, and some harmless fun, all with a dash of pop lite.

Friday, 30 May 2008

My Japan Trip

Hey everyone,
Will be out of town from 1st June to 13th June, on my trip in Japan. I am so going to practise my spoken Japanese when I get there! ... Plus, I intend to make some new friends (Japanese ones, surprise, surprise).

Am looking forward to those exquisite temples and gardens. Blowfish sushi, not so much.

Saturday, 17 May 2008

A poem

Here's a poem I wrote some weeks ago. It's confused and confusing. Sorry.

Song of Planet

On salty shore of Circling Sea,
When windy waves sang loud and long,
The lustrous sun shone on the foam
And ceaseless breath blew down a song.

The rising bud discharged its seed
And threw itself onto the world;
But bleeding scar—it oozed disease—
And soaring mountain cracking, tumbled.

Gasping through the fetid weeds,
Sorrow’s song played in the caves;
Serenity broke and mists arose,
Draping War who wandering, raved.

The moon was sweeping heaven’s gate;
Lithium bloomed in acid rain, and
Half-life beams of frozen jade
Drew from loam the glowing grain.

Fading gray the frightened trees,
An eerie glow shone on the waves,
That lapped the shores of ruined realms,
And the song fled to the caves.

Monday, 12 May 2008

In Japanese

今日は、 みんなさん! これは シャラドの 一ばん 日本語で コンピュータ書きです。
それでは うれしい 気持ちです!

For those of you who have East Asian scripts loaded (shame on you if you don't), the sentences read, "Hello, everyone! This is Sharad's first Japanese language post of the computer. And it's a great feeling!" I've finally figured out how to type in Japanese. All I need now are some Japanese friends to write to! *eyes darting from side to side, looking for an unsuspecting Japanese to parasitically latch onto*

If any Japanese people are reading my blog (how likely is that?) I'm sorry if there are any mistakes. (-__-;)

Sunday, 11 May 2008

Sunday afternoon

I feel so lazy.

There's a very slight breeze blowing in, and there's not a sound in the middle of the afternoon. The loudest thing is the clicking of my keyboard. I feel completely at peace. There's nothing in the world that I'd rather do today than lie on my bed and dream the day away. The curtains keep fluttering in the breeze...
Don't you love Sundays?

Friday, 9 May 2008

2nd Semester ends

So the 2nd semester is over. Personally I found it to be quite challenging, albeit very interesting. We tackled quite a few interesting topics over the last 4 months, like postcolonialism, music, theatre and films, didn’t we? Kudos to our teachers for organizing the film screenings, the play tickets, and the music sessions, although I must admit I didn’t enjoy Quadrophenia.

And talk about exams! I doubt I’ll get a first-class in Lit.+Other Arts. PoCo was okay-ish, not very confident. And why was everyone so freaked out about CCB?

And if that wasn’t tension enough, just imagine my situation now! I’ll be wondering whether I’ve chosen the right optional course or not for the next two months. I chose “Drama of Ideas”, but who knows, with Shantanu-sir in charge… Of course a lot of my friends are taking this course. *waves frantically at them …yes Shruti, this includes you*

And now, we have our summer holidays!
<(^__^<) (>^__^)> <(^__^)> ^(^__^)^
*doing a cute dance to the tune of Cliff Richards’ Summer Holiday*

I leave you with a conversation I had with three of our seniors regarding optional courses:
Sharad (aggressively): Ei, tell me about the optionals. What should I take?
Senior A: Well what do you have?
Sharad: Well I’m thinking of taking Middle English…
Senior B: Are you nuts?!?
A: Ei, tui nak golashna to! (To Sharad) I took that course last and he gave pretty okay marks.
Sharad (nodding head): Yeah, plus we have Middle English in our core courses…
B: Ami boli ki, take someone easy. Dekhi list ta dekhi…
Senior A:Well, you could take Comedy, that seems fun.
Sharad (whining): What about Middle English?
B: No no no, take it your own risk!
A (urgently): About twenty people failed in his course last year, you know that?!?
B: Drama korishna. (looking at list) Hey, Drama of Ideas looks good, plus it’s a new course.
Sharad: Really?
B: Yeah, and Shantanu Biswas gives pretty good marks…
Sharad (eyes glittering dangerously): Really?!!?
A: Yeah, I get pretty good marks in his classes.
Sharad (drooling): Let me think… yup, Drama of Ideas sounds good
Goes into AL’s office and signs up
Senior C: So what did you sign up for?
Sharad: Drama of Ideas. Can you believe I actually thought of taking Middle English?
C: You missed out. I took that course last year, and I got more that 70%.
Sharad glares at him in silence.

Thursday, 8 May 2008

2008 Cyclone Nargis

As you may have heard, Cyclone Nargis was a very powerful cyclone that ripped through Burma (Myanmar) on 2nd May. Please, let us pray for the people who lost their lives, for the people who lost their living, and for those who lost their livelihood. The world shall not soon forget the ~50,000 men, women and children who died because of this storm. And this is only the beginning: famine, disease and crime are the vultures of disaster, and will be so on this occasion as well. Nargis was certainly no timid lily, but a nettle.


It was stormy weather in Calcutta tonight,
And the seething water-claws
Scraped against the dribbling cement
Of the concrete caves,
And every flash of lightning
Looked to me a petal of a white lily,
A blooming Nargis.

Was there a boy like me, ploughing the Irrawaddy?
Did he too love the musty, dusty smell,
The love-mist of the dry earth and wet air?
I shall not know, I shall never know,
For he was drowned.
He cried and he drowned.
He cried aloud to the Lord that he knew,
He cried aloud and he drowned,
Tossed aside by the waves,
Thrust aloft by the crushing waves
Of Nargis.

And was there a little girl I shall never know?
Did she hear the sighs of her goats
When they heard the far thunder?
She did not,
She could not,
She cried and she drowned.
She cried aloud, “Oh Lord, save us!”
She cried and she gagged
When the swirl swept her little face
Into the mud of her father’s field,
And her nostrils filled with muddy darkness,
She cried and her lungs filled with the salty tears
Of Nargis.

Near the village field,
Was there an old woman?
Breasts fallen, face wrinkled,
Hips loosened by the fruit of her husband’s loins?
She felt the grip of the swell on her waist
And it lovingly embraced her, wetting her clothes
As it smashed her brain into
Her household shrine.
She cried aloud,
She wept and she cried,
To the Lord that she knew,
To her lord as it blew
Her skull into the brick wall,
Smashed among the tall
Limbs of Nargis.

What poison lily? What treacherous friend?
What vicious mercy! What catastrophic end!
What wind did blow! What storm was seen!
What hatred! What beauty!
What delusion was wend!
For it was no calm wheel of dharma,
Wheeling across the Burmese sky,
But the terribly gorgeous
Chakra of chaos!

Let us whisper in the garden…

CCB exams

I'm sorry Amlan-da, but c'mon, there is just a limit to the endless genealogies of Genesis! Furthermore, why are the English students the only ones who have to take their own E.D. exam? I protest! Thankfully, I have created this (ahem) wonderful blog to take my mind off the exam. At moments like these, you need to calm yourself down, so I'll be leaving you now with this soothing picture of Mt Fuji:

My first blog

Welcome to my first blog. I'll be doing the usual blog things, like:

1. Talking about things you probably don't care about

2. Treating you like a bosom friend even if you are (gasp!) a stranger

3. Treating your comments like manna from heaven

4. Thanking you for having read so far into my post.

So thank you. I wonder what I shall be writing about; anyway, watch this space for more snippets from the life and times of Sharad M!