Saturday, February 14, 2009

Love Poetry on Valentine's Day

Today is Valentine's Day. Today is the day when love flows more freely than water out of a municipal tap. Today, couples around the globe express their unconditional love to each other.

As for me, the sworn singleton and the blissful Champion of Indifference, today was just to be another normal, no-fuss day. I had brought home some work from office and had been feverishly typing away on the laptop , getting a particularly stubborn piece of code to work. My style of coding is similar to a trainer trying to tame a dog. The trainer keeps yelling away "Sit doggie, stand doggie... Doggie, handshake" ... and the doggie casually looks away, wags
its tail, pees on the adjacent lamp-post and goes to sleep. Thats how code behaves with software engineers like me.

Knock-knock Knock-knock. The sudden knocking on the door rudely interrupted me from my coding pleasure. Knock-knock-knock. The knocking grew more incessant. Irritated, I put my laptop aside, went up to door, and opened it. At the door stood two strange men/creatures who looked something like this.

"Yes?" I asked quizzically. "Who do you want?"
No answer.
"I said what do you want, who are you?"

No answer again. I was beginning to get irritated.

"Are you a kabadiwala (guy who collects thrash) or something? Or are you here to sell credit-cards? " I asked, hoping to get some reply.

"My name is Valentine... Saint Valentine" said the old guy, slowly.

"Excuse me?" I blurted out. I thought I didn't hear properly. "Who did you say you were?"

"St. Valentine. " the old man repeated.

"St. Valentine, who?" I asked, unsure

"The man after whom Valentine's Day is named and celebrated. I am the man who made Feb 14 famous" said the old man. He had a confident air about himself that was impossible to miss.

" Ooooh... that Valentine" I exclaimed in surprise. " But err... would you still mind if I see some identification please?" I asked.

The old man whipped out his driver's license, a ration card and a voter's card. All bore his name & address - Mr. Saint Valentine, Rome, Italy.

"Wow, so nice to meet you Mr. err. St. Valentine" I said. " But I thought you were dead!?"

"Oh no, I am very much alive" the man said, shaking his head. "It's just that I was in hiding"

"Why?" I asked, unable to understand.

"Too much publicity" he remarked. "I dont like publicity one bit. If I show up too much, then Archies Gallery will start pestering me to be their brand ambassador"
"Oooohh... " I said, enlightened.

I then looked at the other creature next to him

"Who the heck is that, I mean what is that..... tooth fairy??" I asked, pointing at the creature

"That is Cupid" replied Valentine.

"Excuse me? What? Stupid...?"

"He is Cupid" said Valentine. " He is from Italy too... He is the Roman God of Love. A buddy of mine... we often hang out and have pizza together"

"God of Love, eh?... I see... That explains his wings. But what is he doing with a bow and arrow? Discarded from the national archery team or something? " I asked, unable to hide my sarcasm

"The bow and arrow... " explained St. Valentine "... is his symbol, his weapon. He uses the borrow and arrow to spread love"

"How?" I asked

" Nothing special. He just aims his bow and arrow at a person and shoots it to inspire and arouse erotic love in that person" said St. Valentine

"Erotic love? Ha ha ha ha ha ha. We have a fancy porn industry out here to arouse erotic love. Why does he want to keep shooting arrows at people?" I said, bursting into an uncontrollable laugh

"Not just erotic love, fool" said Valentine in a serious tone. " But even the simple, non-sex love too"

"Oh, I see... But pardon me, what's with his attire? I mean, why is he wearing a thong? Is he gay or something" I asked

"Shut up. Not another word against my friend. And no, he is not gay" replied St. Valentine

I kept silent. It had been a puzzling last ten minutes for me to speak more.

"Now aren't you going to let us in?" said Valentine, breaking the silence. "Or are we gonna do all the talking at the door" ?

I ushered them into my room, getting more puzzled by the minute. Being the ever-gracious Indian host, I even ordered some pizzas from Pizza-Hut to keep their Italian taste buds happy. In between all the munching and drinking , we shared interesting bits of conversations... some of which I am highlighting below.

St. Valentine: "Nice Pizza you guys have"
Me: " I am glad you liked it, Saint"
St. Valentine: "Yeah. The topping is fab. What's this thing, paneer, eh? Delicious"
Me: "Ummm... hmmm"
"So, Parikshith... do you know why the two of us are here at your apartment?"
"You never told me"
"We'll tell you. But first, do you realize what day is it today?"
"Yep. It's Feb 14th. Valentine's Day"
"Ahem! Do you realize what you should be doing on Valentine's Day?"
"Oh I am so sorry... Happy Birthday to you... Happy birthday to you.. Happy B'day dear Valent"
"Cut it, idiot. It's not my birthday today"
"Oh ok. What do you think I should be doing on this day, then?"
"Take a look around, young man. Look outside your window. You will find couples deeply in love and painting the town pink and red. There's love all around. There are roses, balloons and ribbons everywhere"
"Yeah. Even the garbage dump would smell of love today."
"And look at you. You are cooped up inside this room and working on that dumb computer project of yours. I mean, what is that stuff anyway.... Java? .Net? VC++ ?
"Neither. It is COBOL"
"Ha ha ha ha ha... COBOL? Ha ha ha ha... They still use COBOL? Ha ha ha ha. I mean, they've been using COBOL every since I was in my nappies... ha ha ha ha"
"Do not poke fun at my livelihood"
"Ha ha.. OK, I'm sorry. So the point is you are sitting locked inside your room on Feb 14th"
"What else do you want me to do? And why the hell are you guys here anyway?"
"Me and Cupid have come here to make you fall in love"
"Yes. We want you to fall in love. That is our mission of coming here"
"Are you serious?"
"What, you think we came half way across the globe to kid ourselves? Plus, we came by a British Airways flight. You realize how painful that is? They misplaced all our baggage. They had misplaced Cupid's bow-and-arrow too. But we were determined to come here and meet you"
"To make me fall in love?"
"Yes, to make you fall in love"

So it had come down to this. I had never believed or been in real love for the 25 years of my life and then one fine day, I find these two ambassadors of romance hell-bent on making me fall in love. Anyway, the conversation continued...

St. Valentine: "Do you feel no love, young man? Look into your heart and tell me what do you see?"
Me: "Arteries, veins, ventricles, auricles and lots of blood. If you want more details, then I need to have an endoscopy done."
St. Valentine: "Never mind. So tell me. Is there anyone you like? Anyone special you have in your sights?
Me: "Ummm... yeah... there is this girl. But no love-schmove. Heck, I have not even spoken to her. I see her everyday in the bus. She's pretty, she's got beautiful hair and this really big pair of err.... eyes. "
St. Valentine: "Perfect!"
Me: "Perfect, what?"
"She's gotta be the one for you, Parikshith."
"Heck no. There's nothing...I mean I dont love her or anything. "
"You leave that to us"
"Don't worry. Now lets see, how do you express your feeling. What special talent do you have?"
"I play excellent table-tennis. And I can eat noodles using 4 forks simultaneously"
"Shut up. Oh yes, I got it. You write decently. Why don't you write her a love poem?"
"Write her a love poem? Have you gone completely mad? "
"Not at all. Write her a beautiful, mushy, romantic love poem. Buy some tiny ,red heart-shaped cushions.... And a little teddy bear, lots of lovely chocolates. Gift wrap all of them together and give it to her"
"Err... wouldn't she gift-wrap her chappal to me in return? "
"No. She won't. Let us be optimistic. Now write the poem"
"Write a love poem.Yeah right. You think I am a mushy adolescent? I am frickin' 25 now"
"Why not? Why not think like an adolescent and let the love flow?"
"Adolescence was the time when I thought that the beauty of a girl was directly proportional to the size of her boobs and inversely proportional to the length of her skirt"
"Ha ha, you pervert. Don't you believe the same even now?"
"Oh no no... Not at all. I am all grown up now. I have learnt to respect women and all that..."
"Anyway, don't digress from the issue. Write the love poem"
"Damn you. Ok fine I'll write it. What next, you want me to do prior literature survey by reading Mills & Boons?
"Not needed. You have it in you to write."
"And who will convey my letter of love to her? Will you give it to her?"
"I am St. Valentine, for Christ's sake... not an American Express courier boy. But anyway, yours is a special case. So I will ask Cupid to hand over the letter to your girl"
"Ok. Wow. Thank you... I mean, I am honored that you've come all the way from North Pole to do this for me"
" I don't come from North Pole, you moron, Santa Claus does. Anyway you better start writing the poem now. If you waste one more minute, I will ask Cupid to shoot an arrow straight up your ass"

So now it had come down to this. I was supposed ( or rather threatened) to write romantic poetry straight from my heart to woo the girl. With a sigh, I stared penning the poem. I've tried my best and I believe I have put in true, warm and genuine feelings of love. I am sharing the poem that I wrote, with all of you. Have a look at it:

I sit here, putting words to paper
To express my love to thee
I don't know why the heck I'm doing it
When I could've downloaded e-cards for free.

Maybe I love your smile
Maybe I love your eyes
Or maybe it's your posterior
Or the lovely, shapely thighs

You lend a helping hand
You lead a caring life
When Mary had a little lamb,
Weren't you the midwife?

My heart is beaten to pulp
My soul smashed to smithereens
I shed tears for you
Sometimes aided by glycerine.

With me you stay, night and day
Joys will be plus, sorrows will be minus
I promise I'll keep trouble away
Just like Norton anti-virus

My pockets are empty
I so wish I could buy you a rose
But my horse just lost the Derby
At the darned, stupid race-course

My love will grow on you
Slowly into your heart I will encroach
I will cuddle up to you, I will snuggle up to you
Just like a cute little baby cockroach

You'll have my undivided attention
For you I will long, care and wait
But not today honey, the match is on
Oh darn! India is 134 for 8

Do you love me too?
Do you find me handsome?
Please say yes, please say yes
This gay archer has held me to ransom

Into the sunset let us walk
Letting out a carefree hum
Sing a song, both together
Dum-titi..... dum-titi...... Titi-titi-dum!

That is it. I had written my first ode to love. I held up the piece of paper and triumphantly handed it over to St. Valentine to get his feedback. He took one look at it, stared up Heavenwards, let out a yelping scream and fell down to the ground unconscious. I dont know whether it was due to de-hydration or if it had something to do with my poem. Anyway let me try to revive the Saint and find out. Meanwhile, on his behalf, I would like to wish everybody a "HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY"

With Love, literally,


Thursday, February 5, 2009



This post is about cricket. No, not the the little green insect that goes chirpy -chirpy- cheep -cheep, but about the game. The Game...

1) Dosage: 1 paragraph at a time. Continuous reading of the post may cause violent behaviour (like wanting to kill the author)
2) Store the web page in a cool, dark, safe place, like err.. the junk mail folder.
3) If irritation and symptoms(like brain numbness) continue even a week after reading, please consult a physician or the local undertaker.
4) Keep out of the sight of children. I don't want little kids to be inspired by my writing and later ask me to author their school text-books.
5) If you like the game of cricket, then this post is recommended anyway. It will drive you so insane, that you may start finding even Duleep and Irani Trophy matches interesting.
6) If you don't like the game of cricket, even then the post is recommended for you. By the end of it, you'd wish that you had rather spent your time watching a game of cricket instead.
Even if a space alien were to visit the Indian atmosphere, he/she/it would be overwhelmed by the following which the game of cricket gets in India. Visiting India and not recognizing the game of cricket is akin to going to Siberia and wondering if the white thing strewn all over the place is snow or salt. In a country, which presents a myriad, kaleidoscopic offering of people,cultures, religions and languages - cricket happens to be a single, unifying craze.

I was born a few months after Kapil Dev had held aloft the World Cup in 1983 , so unfortunately couldn't get to watch that epic Final match live in the stadium. My cricket crazy Dad was apparently hell-bent on naming me Kapil Dev, but relented only after my Mom dissuaded him from doing so. "What if he grows up to be a smuggler?" Mom is learnt to have asked Dad. "Would that name suit him then?" (I wonder how Parikshith Kumar would be a suitable name for a smuggler either, but then that is a different story.)

I too grew up with dreams of playing cricket for India. As a child, I too dreamt of adorning the Team India colors. Like any average teenaged boy in India, I too dreamt of playing cricket in front of packed-to-capacity crowds in large stadiums. I too dreamt of hitting big, huge sixes that would soar high into the skies, thud against Jupiter and fall back plonk down on the ground. I too dreamt of being a rich, sporting celebrity having endorsement deals worth millions of dollars and canoodling hot, smouldering babes, who were again worth a million dollars.
Unfortunately, many dreams go bust when you wake up and rub your eyes in the morning. My cricketing dream was also a similar one. I came to realize ( in my teens I think) that had it not been for my lack of skills in batting, bowling and fielding , I would have certainly made it to the Indian cricket team.

1) My batting: I had an elegant stance alright, and a stylish backlift to go with it. I used to execute my strokes with an almighty flourish of the bat. However, for all my panache and glory, whenever I hit a cover-drive or a square-cut, the ball never travelled a millimeter beyond silly-point fielder. So much for my ferocious hitting. Never the one to be coyed down, I switched over to bowling.

2) My bowling: I would've classified myself as an orthodox off-spinner. I had a classical high arm action, a decent wrist position, and a run-up to the crease that would have even had a Cheetah nodding its head in approval. Poetry in motion till now. However, there was a slight problem thereafter. Whenever I used to send down my off-spinners, the ball would always pitch two kilometers wide of the batsman. On either sides. And sometimes, my off-spinners would sail right over the batsman's head and land outside the opposite boundary rope. Just a tiddly little problem with my sense of direction, but the ball always spun as intended. I tried to reason with my coach, but he would hear none of it.

3) My fielding: My coach always made me field at the deep mid-wicket position. Not that I had a strong throwing arm or something, but he feared that my apathetic cricketing skills would spread to others like an infection. I still fielded in the deep with great fervor. However, there was one small problem. There was this all-girls school a few metres beyond the deep-midwicket boundary. Often in the middle of a match, when no one was watching, I used to quietly sneak out of the ground and visit the girls school. What do you expect? I was 16 years old, with freshly discovered hormones throbbing up and down inside me like curves of a sinusoidal wave. For all my effort, I did manage to befriend a pretty young girl from the school though. However, one day, my coach learnt about my escapade. When he came to know where the deep mid-wicket fielder had gone, he really blew a fuse. That was it... out of the team I went. I mean, do you believe that? I was debarred from cricket for bowling a maiden over!
I never had an opportunity to play competitive cricket after that. Unfortunately, studies took priority. But I should say that even though I was lacking in cricketing skills, I was never lacking in super- star quality and celebrity endorsements skills. What? You don't believe I have star endorsement power?! Let me dispel all your doubts, dear people. Make no mistake, I have the charm, sex appeal, stardom and celebrity endorsement power which would provide serious competition to the following Bollywood stars:

Tushar Kapoor and K.R.K (next to only S.R.K)..........

Johnny Lever................................... A.K Hangal

..... and these stars from the South Indian movie industry:
(T. Rajender, Jaggesh and Balakrishna )

.... and the following movie stars from the world of monkeys:

(James and Bond)

Well... what? You think there are no cinematic icons in the world of monkeys? Really? Then where do you think this one came from?
Sorry sorry.... I am digressing... This was a cricket post. So as I was saying, I couldn't make it to the Indian cricket team. But that hasn't stopped me from being one of the most fanatic followers of Indian and World cricket. I am not alone, there are millions of cricket fanatics spread across the length and breadth of the country.
I am sure many of you must have witnessed this craze first-hand. You may have also been a part of the craze. I am sure hundreds of marriages have broken down because the husband decided to stay at home and watch Bangladesh play Nicaragua rather than take wifey dear shopping. Also, millions of engineering students have flunked their University exams because they chose to watch a high-octane cricket series a week prior to their exams. You will meet people who wont remember what they had for breakfast, but would rattle off Sachin Tendulkar's statistics from an obscure series from the 1990's.
I am proud to be part of the cricket craze. The emotions it gives me and all other cricket fanatics can't be explained. I mean, I would have loved to explain, but India is playing SriLanka today. The match's about to commence and I gotta run to the television.
Will see you all later....
Until then,
With Love, Regards, Fours, and Sixes,