Month: October 2015

To ‘paan’ spitters,

Specially those who like chewing and collecting the residue in their mouths for a future projectile like spit directed at walls, staircases or an unsuspecting pedestrian. I am categorically stating that i would not like to visit your home. The thought is revolting. You must be living in a spittoon.

I would urge you to travel outside of india. Please exercise this right you have appropriated of releasing the red colour residue in any and every direction. Use this right outside of India. I’m confident you will discover how lenient your country is compared to the others. And i trust the experience will not be enjoyable at all.

yours disgustedly,

wary pedestrian

Dear Mumbai roads,

It is with deep empathy that i write to you. You carry the weight of the city and yet no one gives you respect. There is no one to tend to your multiple fractures and your ill health. What you really need is the ICU but we all know that several contractors will vie for an opportunity to fix you up and then do a shoddy job because commerce dictates most decisions these days. You keep undergoing surgeries. Repair after repair but to no avail.

You may not believe this but even the vehicles that drive on you pray for your good health, when they aren’t cursing you for ruining their suspension.

Maybe, you should start an online campaign. You can appeal to the government and demand better services. You can appeal to be made at least as well as your peers in other indian cities. Alternatively, you could go on strike. Just collapse under the weight of the crazy traffic and refuse to get up till they fix you up right and proper!

Please do something about the ‘state’ you are in. Even Gujarat fares better than you.

Fervently yours,

A weary commuter

Dear auntyji in the car ahead of me,

You must have heard of the swachch bharat campaign? Does it mean anything to you at all or is it just something you applaud and think ‘others’ should follow?

You threw the following things out of your car window when we were all forced to stop at a traffic signal.

Bits of paper that had been torn up and that fluttered across the road like leaves. One torn piece of paper on my windshield
An empty packet of Lays
Orange peels

I’m sure that had you been at home … you would have got off your fat ass (wild, but an accurate guess methinks) to chuck it all in a dustbin. You would NOT have littered your living room.

What makes it okay for you to throw your personal garbage on perfectly clean streets?

You know the best moment in all of this? The street kid, who picked up pieces of your litter and handed them back to you.


the car stuck directly behind you.

Dear Cow,

I wasn’t sure how exactly to address you but you’re the one we indians feel respectful towards even when you walk aimlessly along roads that are meant to be thoroughfares for traffic. We are understanding and forgiving and even good humoured about your blatant disregard for road safety. We indulgently accept your contemptuous stare when we honk to get you to move out of the way.

According to the dictionary, a cow also means an unkind or unpleasant woman. I admit i too use the term quite freely in that context but it wasn’t until recently that i questioned why a cow should be synonymous with an unpleasant and unkind woman. However, that’s not the point here. The point is you don’t seem too concerned about your reputation or image.

So dear cow,

An incident occurred recently. You were at the heart of the controversy.

You must have heard of a gentleman who was mobbed and killed by his long time neighbours because they took great exception to the notion that one of your ilk may have been killed and eaten by the family. So strong was this exception that they forgot they were a close knit community. They beat up an 80yr old grandmother. They beat up his son. Put him in hospital in critical condition. And KILLED a man. Ruthlessly. In cold blood. An eye for an eye or a human life for a rumoured cow life?

Maybe, dogs, monkeys, goats, fish, poultry will want their supporters to do the same? Maybe, the human race need not fear a nuclear warhead as much as an animal uprising? Maybe, all animals out there are building armies of humans who will fight and kill each other so that the animals can finally rule the world?

I would love to hear your thoughts on this.

With deep respect,

a curious onlooker

Dear Indian ‘Mass’ Television,

I have had the distinctive pleasure of being associated with you for two decades now. This tryst with entertainment began on an off chance and it continued as an uneasy dance where often we fell into misstep with each other and occasionally enjoyed the perfect waltz.

My fascination with you was all about your ability to effortlessly enter every home and make yourself the most cherished family member. Your ability to connect people with stories that touched their hearts. I don’t see that heart any more. I see mathematics and research and science and a lot of second guessing.
Why are you no longer the confident, sassy, strong individual with a mind of your own?
Why are there no icons that stand out and stand apart as beacons of light?
Why oh why are you such a sea of predictable consistency?

I think i know why. You want them to feel comfort in your presence. Not discomfort. You want them to feel lulled into the belief that nothing has changed. We are one big happy family in one big saccharine slug fest. You don’t want to take a chance on your popularity waning. You want the hero worship. You want to be everything to everyone and not just something to everyone. Its getting tougher though, isn’t it? Too many people to please … too many differing tastes … too tall an ask.

There’s an army of believers out there preparing to wage war for an original, breakthrough idea … in itself a cliche! You do need to wrest control and take charge, dear television, before the new age, brazen, mavericks get the better of you. I’m rooting for you.

affectionately yours,

family member

Letters to Everyone and Anyone

Dear everyone and anyone,

I use my power over words. Powerful, potent, sharp language that i know will slice and dice or create ripples of warmth and affection or easy intimidation or scathing wrath or a frisson of excitement … its all words. Its what i know. Its what i love.

This blog will attempt to be a series of letters to the world at large and individuals at random. The target will be unaware. The content will be unpredictable. The arrows may strike home or miss.

There is no agenda and no larger goal … well, maybe, it could become a compilation for a book … who knows. I’m invoking the SECRET here – the gospel that everyone swears by, few understand and many latch onto in the belief that they will earn redemption from their unfulfilling lives.

I don’t know who i will feel like addressing a letter to when the new day dawns. I look forward to surprising myself.

Have a good day.