The Manga Pachadi

…flavoured with sarcasam

Marriage, Morkuzhambu and Medha Patkar

calvin

As the mangapachadi is on the threshold of completing three hundred and sixty five days with her co-inhabitant, here are some valuable life truths that have been discovered on this long, unwinding journey.

1) It is better to make morkuzhambu than lecture about feminism:

Medha Patkar might have had her way, lecturing about abandoning the kitchen and fighting for women’s rights. That’s probably because she had an awesome cook at home who made hot, piping sambhar. For the rest of the world, mor kuzhambu it is, with freshly cooked pooshnika to soak it up.

2) In times of conflict of interest in the television viewing segment, Prannoy Roy wins:

Remember those cute couples in advertisements adorably fighting over the remote and finally reaching a consensus on what movie to watch? Yeah, those things don’t happen in real life. News channels rule the roost. And if not news, death by test cricket it is! The slightest of protests will be met by a glare and a stern facial expression and needless to say a mini session on the importance of current affairs.

3) A for aviyal, B for beans paruppu usili…

Rewind to a warm, sunny day in spinsterhood where mom serves chow chow kootu and rasam.  I swallow the above mentioned mundane items reluctantly, dreaming of a green future where kadai paneer and mouth watering spaghetti is the order of the day.

Reality check: The H is an avid south indian traditional brahmin food gorger. So here I am learning the alphabet all over again! A for aviyal, B for beans paruppu usili, C for chow chow kootu…

4) It is okay to murder a guest but…

You must be wondering what crime can be more heinous than murder. Though the Indian Penal Code doesn’t rate any act higher than this, there certainly seems to be one such crime from which there is no salvation. The act I am talking about is the gifting of a 2 X 2 piece of cloth that is commonly known in tambrahm households as a “blouse bit”, to any guest of the fairer sex who makes the mistake of visiting you. Though the probability of a blouse bit transforming into an actual blouse is actually zero, the blouse bit must be given. Abstaining from doing so will lead to catastrophic results.

5) Your neighbourhood darshini *is* a fine dining restaurant

It doesn’t matter if couples around you go on a European holiday, upload pictures of fondue and plum parfait on instagram and exchange exquisite diamond rings. All that you will get is one plate mini meals at Mayur Sagar and if you are lucky, one half coffee.

Interstellar – my two cents

Living up to a humungous expectation is a gnawing thought that good film directors are forced to contend with these days. It must be professionally satisfying for the director to see his movies being often revered as piece of art as opposed to three hours of popcorn chewing time. But this must be an awfully difficult piece of baggage to shed. And this is probably what Christopher Nolan, one of the most celebrated film makers of our generation, suffers from indeed. We have begun to associate his films with his customary pledge, turn and the prestige that we must partly take the blame for imposing towering expectations on him.

I found Interstellar to be an extremely good documentary on certain high school concepts that I was confused about – relativity for example. The twin paradox of one brother aging on earth whilst the other being fresh as an apple was quite convincingly demonstrated. But as a movie, Interstellar quite didn’t make the cut for me. Nolan probably spent so much time and effort trying to get the physics of the film right that he probably didn’t pay much attention to its core – the screenplay. The film moves at a laborious pace in the first half hour, so much so that you just want to shove the leading man into a rocket and thrust him into outer space. Things don’t move any faster later either, but of course, I don’t expect a half hearted space exploration to yield results soon. But what is disturbing is the lack of urgency in the proceedings. Consider this, our leading lady and man are literally to be stranded in space, with their spacecraft out of fuel and their only hope is of latching onto the spinning Endurance. What if they don’t make it? What if they have to be stranded in space for eternity? How thrilling is that prospect? Just thinking about this possibility raises goosebumps. Yet, the execution of this is as bland as ever. There is no sense of excitement. It’s almost as if we know that they will eventually latch on, only because if not, the movie ends there and that we know cannot happen. Remember that last scene in the dark knight, where we know the two ships are rigged? We know that they won’t die but isn’t the build up to that, nail biting? That’s what is missing here.

What is essentially a simple one line story of men in search of habitable land is needlessly complicated with over the top physics. But I guess that had to be the USP of the movie. We have seen far too many movies which deal with similar topics that a unique dimension (literally) had to be brought in. But after a little over two hours, that sudden burst of concepts towards the end which is meant to tie everything together, really didn’t work for me. Too little too late perhaps.

I was reminded of a similar movie a few years ago which covered the same premise but far more convincingly. The movie in question is of course , Wall-E. This movie was surely a little different in that the people back then, in the future (oxymoronic! yes 🙂 ) were trying to get back to Earth whereas Interstellar talked about moving away from it. But the underlying concept of searching for a habitable land remains the same. What Wall-E could achieve is the emotional connect with the characters. In spite of knowing that Wall-E and Eva were mere robots incapable of finer human emotions (though they did demonstrate that), I was left rooting for them. There was this genuine tear-in-the-eye moment at the end, when the human population returned to the Earth and took that first step onto the soil. But here, I find that moment missing. When Cooper wakes up from his deep slumber, we are shown the present world through his eyes. Everything seems green and prosperous, yet it failed to evoke a similar emotion in me. I’m supposed to be excited by the prospect of Cooper continuing his mission to now find Amelia, but given the lack of chemistry between them, I really don’t care for them anymore.

As I write this review, I know that I will be pounced upon by a certain segment of fans for failing to look beyond the nitty-gritty of the film and appreciate the effort of the director for packaging complicated physics in a mainstream movie. But honestly, if I need to learn about them, why can’t I watch a documentary on relativity on the Discovery Channel? Why must I endure three hours of unappealing drama only because the director dared to be “different”? To an average viewer like me, the one thing I expect from my movie, is to not be boring. And I’m afraid, Interstellar is very much boring! There, I said it!!

Tambram wedding stereotypes

Tambram weddings are all about colors, Kanjeevarams and uncanny mozhams of malli poo. You may immediately register a protest claiming that the event is inherently about the two people on the stage, exchanging marital vows and it is they, who are the fulcrum of the event; the glue that binds everyone together. Of course, I cannot disagree with that. Any tambram event needs a hapless couple on the dais, one dedicated vaadhyar maama lazily chanting some slokas whilst fingering a mobile phone, a mandatory dabara tumbler filled with coffee by his side, and a couple of madisar maamis running from pillar to post. But what is the essence of a tambram wedding? What must an event possess in order to qualify as an agmark tambram event?

Don’t fret! I’ve made a list

1) The “what next” maami: The quintessential maami who likes to pop the “what next” question. She is a living nightmare to people of all age groups. The what-next maami would question the skinny, nerdy schoolboy about when his impending board exams are. She would question the 20-something  bachelor on his reluctance to shed his singular status. And for a society that is remarkably hush hush about …  err, certain delicate matters, this maami would demonstrate her progressive nature by popping the “when is the child coming?” question to couples.

2) The puritanical English speaking maama: This maama loves to indulge in Wodehousian English. He would begin any conversation with “In those days…” and go on to explain as to why the early 20’s were the best times to live on the planet. He would lament about the younger generation’s irreverence towards the Queens’ language and would also randomly quote George Bernard Shaw. If Shakespeare were alive, he would have attended tambram weddings with the sole motive of listening to such discourses and taking down notes.

3) The Hindu-maama: In the midst of the ruckus that is the tambram wedding, if you spot a spectacle clad Maama seemingly uninterested in the proceedings of the day, do not be alarmed. He is in all probability, “The- Hindu” maama. The Hindu-maama visits any wedding, clutching a copy of the day’s Hindu. All the yellow rice throwing, petals showering and loud nadaswaram playing can in no way disrupt his austere activity. He would start reading the paper when the groom sets out on his kasi yatrai, read more when the oonjal ceremony is in progress and read some more when the groom ties the mangalyam around the bride’s neck. What does the maama do when he is done reading, you may ask? The maama simple pulls out a pen from his breast pocket and immerses himself in the literary fantasy that is the Hindu crossword.

4) The NRI maami: The NRI maami has just landed after her first visit to the “states” and will leave no stone unturned in order to drive home the point to every stranger she meets. Armed with an iPhone 3GS and a suprabatam ring tone, this maami will recount her English Vinglish tales to any unassuming person who makes the mistake of lending a ear. Be prepared to listen to details of her west coast tour( bay area perumala sevichelo?), her shopping spree at Macy’s and how she made mor kuzhambu for a bunch of home sick Indians.

5) The ‘bakshanam’ maami: No, she is not the maami who hops from one house to another during Deepavali season to makes bakshanams for its inhabitants. This is the maami who will sneak into the kitchen during the pre-lunch time, bribe the cook and neatly tuck away some yummy bakshanam into a plastic cover for later consumption. She is also the same maami who will later complain about the absence of the complimentary baadusha + mixture packet in every tamboolam pai.

6) The match making maami: This maami is the walking encyclopedia of eligible tambram  bachelors/bacherlorettes. There isn’t a single (pun intended) man or woman, who can escape from her radar. She loves handing out horoscopes to anyone who wants one and also gives you a one minute gist of the boy’s profile in reverse chronological order including his board exam score in mathematics.

A few other stereotypes that have been pointed out by thoughtcheckin

1) The handycam mama, who is recording every single thing, to send to Anu in Sunnyvale

2) The ‘Khanna’ kids, who, although being Parthasarathis, will wear ghagra and lehenga for muhurtam and call the pradakshinam as pheras and will have mehendi and sangeet as though it is Priyanka Chopra’s wedding

That big block…

I greet the first rays of the sun with half open eyes. I can feel that familiar sense of dissent spreading through my body. With clockwise precision, I fill my cup with the hot, brown stew. As I take a measured sip from my cup, I can feel the caffeine traveling through my veins. I can feel it awakening my sleep deprived brain. My eyes lighten. I feel rejuvenated. Another sunny day. A day filled with possibilities.  With renewed vigor, I spring from my sofa only to hit my head against something solid. I nurse my injured forehead and take a second look at my obstructer. I find a giant, wooden cube taking up my living room.  I have no idea how this piece of wood found its way into my nest. Puzzled, I give it a gentle push. I feel a sharp pain as tiny droplets of blood start to appear on my fingers. I suck my injured finger; my other hand scratching my head. I know that I have to get rid of this ugly block, but I don’t know how. I bandage my injured fingers with my dupatta and inspect the wooden block to find any smooth edges. I quickly proceed to summon all the energy that I have to push the cube. To my dismay, I find it standing exactly where it was. Clueless, I narrate this weird happening to the newspaper reading, coffee sipping co-inhabitant of mine. I can see a pair of eyes look away from the newspaper, towards the cube and then back again to the paper. All I hear is a small grunt about the non existence of the object in question. Disgruntled, I try my hand once more at pushing this away. I am greeted by failure. The clock ticks away and the scheduled activities of the day need my immediate attention. I decide to procrastinate this activity until the evening.

I come back to my nest at twilight and turn my key in the lock. The door creaks open slowly. I look intently in the darkness, hoping to not see that block; hoping that whatever brought it here has now taken it back. I carefully turn on a single bulb, wishing to see my living room, the way it was before. Alas! I can see that block still in its occupied territory, reflecting the light from the lone, bright bulb.  Frustrated, I kick it, only to scream in agony. I decide to retire for the day and pray for it to disappear by the next morning.

My prayers are not answered as I have to contend with that ugly block the following morning too. And the following evening. And the next day. And the following day. And the following endless days in the calendar.  Often, I try to close my eyes and imagine that it didn’t exist at all. But once I open my eyes, I know that it is there. I try to work my way around the block. I try to ignore its presence in my nest. I try to not think of it. But the moment  I let my thoughts wander,  they hit that wooden block and go no further.

As I type, I can see the block sitting happily in its fortress. I can feel it smiling triumphantly at me. It knows that it hasn’t been conquered yet. It looks at all my unsuccessful attempts and adorns a smug look on its visage. Probably, it hopes that it can make my nest its permanent abode. But I cannot let that happen. I cannot lose. I cannot let a block of wood win. I need to reclaim what was rightfully mine. I can no longer let a stranger share my roof and destroy me. There can only be one winner and that has to be me.

Determined, I gather my thoughts and pull out my laptop. I scribble the random thoughts that come to me in an aimless fashion. I stop in the middle to take a look at my opponent. I can see tiny cracks appear on its once flawless body. I start typing harder and faster. Through the corner of my eye, I can see that block disintegrating. Smiling wickedly, I compete my keystrokes and hit the ‘publish’ button. Satisfied, I turn to face my blackmailer.  I see the once immovable wooden threatener now burst into flames. I unflinchingly stare at the block burning to ashes.  Calmly, I blow away the fine powder that now rests on my floor.

I shut my door and heave a sigh of relief.

The writer’s block has been demolished.

Queen, Kangana and some random life lessons

The Queen

I stepped out of the cinema theater a couple of weeks back, smiling. Queen isn’t your usual coming-of-age movie where the heroine suddenly rediscovers herself. On deeper thought, it is. But what I liked about it was its refreshing portrayal of a young girl’s wedding dreams gone astray. Rani(Kangana) can’t understand what made her fiance to suddenly call off the engagement . Tears well up in her eyes. She is helpless. All that she can do is shut herself up in a room the whole day and cry. She cannot keep the tears flowing for a second day as hunger crushes any grief that might be left in her. The girl needs to eat. She rummages through a box of sweets, which was supposed to be distributed to the guests on her wedding, and gorges on a large ladoo. Hunger and grief subside. She needs a break. She needs to let things loose. So, she goes to Paris on her honeymoon – alone.

I took back home pleasant memories of the movie, of Kangana’s childish innocence, her initial struggles in an alien land and the haunting soundtrack of “Hungama”. On deeper introspection, I realized that there is a Rani living in every woman. The Rani who is submissive to her other half. The one, who has to be miss goody two shoes in the eyes of the society. The one, who has to give up her dreams to fulfill her marital duties. The one who must live the way people around her, want her to.
We are long past the era, where women were forced into a marriage or shut inside the walls of their own homes. The modern urban lady is bound by chains that are imaginary and mostly a product of her own doing. Rani gives up her ambitions for she wants to be the ideal wife. She wants to please her husband. She wouldn’t mind idling away time organizing kitty parties to please her mother-in-law. She dreams of the perfect marriage. Vijay is the world to her. She doesn’t know what life would look like without him. That is why her world crumbles when he breaks their engagement. She doesn’t know what to do. She is distraught.

As little Indian girls, were we not too raised like Rani? To be young, well behaved women who were molded into future wives and mothers? Were we not told that the most important day of our lives was the day we would become the wife of some guy? That the most important thing to a woman was her family? Even the course that we were to pursue had to be well within the rules framed by the society. A loving doctor, a 9 a.m. – 5 p.m engineer, a teacher, but never a pilot or a young army officer. Career choices had to be well aligned to suit the future needs of the “family” as family always came first. The boys, on the other hand never had to please anyone. It would suffice if they merely concentrated on their careers. They would be accessorized by a girl later in life. Some girl who, bounded by the bond of marriage would take care of all mundane activities and who would probably give up everything that she cared about in order to make her family happy. They were the rightful heirs; the men, the nucleus of the family. Everything else would revolve around them.

The bitter truth is that even though we claim to have broken the old world shackles that we were bound by, we still choose to hide behind the men in our life. That is what Rani too did, initially. Like her, we too are content at playing second fiddle. We look at marriage and motherhood as the reasons why we were put on this earth. We place these two aspects way up in our priority list. Anything else must necessarily come later. We chose to make these, the nucleus of our lives. We think that these must necessarily bring happiness. But in reality, they don’t.

The truth, as Rani realizes is that we don’t need a second person to keep us happy. More importantly, we don’t need a man to find true happiness. The moment she opens up to the world around her, she realizes that it has far more treasures to unearth as when compared to the little world that she had built around her . She could drink without having to feel guilty, burp loudly, dance at a strip club to her heart’s content and kiss a stranger just for the fun of it. She comes back from her honeymoon, much wiser and having discovered what true independence tastes like.

Rani teaches us that being educated or choosing the right career isn’t just enough for us. We need to place ourselves in the center of our lives. We must learn to enjoy life. We must love ourselves for who we are. Marriage and motherhood are mere milestones and not shiny medals that must always adorn our chest. We need to learn to live life to the fullest. Like her, we too need to loosen the imaginary handcuffs that are clutching our wrists, step out of the shadows that surround us and discover the hidden woman in us.

The Enlightenment

He counted every single penny he possessed with acute mathematical precision. They weren’t many, to begin with. Hardly enough to buy a man, one square meal for the day. Yet, he secretly wished that the coins doubled every time he counted them. He returned the dull, metal pieces of currency to his pocket and continued his solitary journey. The picture back home wasn’t exactly pleasant either. The question of hunger had to be answered first. He had had to bring back something to eat for the folks back home.

He trudged along the forsaken footpath carelessly. The sun was overhead and the fire in his stomach was beginning to flare up. He couldn’t recall the last time that he had had a satisfying meal. Tired and worn out, he needed to satiate his hunger. He needed to rest. He needed to recharge himself. For all this, he needed food. He discovered in his path, a tall tree laden with the evil fruit. He stopped short and looked longingly at it. He was hungry. Yet, he knew that he had no right over the fruits of some other soul’s hard work. He didn’t want to steal. He would not steal. One part of him forbade him to commit the deadly sin and the other part was giving him a lesson on practicality.

He decided to act fast. He threw himself up in the air, his right hand stretched upwards, aiming to catch hold of a stray branch. His fingers lightly brushed a few green leaves. No luck! His legs were brought back to the earth along with a few twigs. He hauled himself upwards a second time hoping for some luck. This time, he just managed to touch a fruit but lost his balance and found himself on the firm ground. The only things he managed to get were a few bruises and a minor cut. Exhausted, he dusted himself and decided to rest for a while under the tree. If nothing else, the tree could at least give him some shade.

He closed his eyes and reflected on his current predicament. If only he could pluck a few fruits from this tree! If only holy Manna could fall into his hands!If only the tree took pity on him and let him have his share of fruits! Sigh! He closed his eyes for a moment. No sooner he had closed his eyes than had a bright red fruit dropped on his head. Startled, he picked up the shining red fruit and stared hard at it.

He could have gobbled down the fruit in one shot. He could have climbed up the tree and plucked a few more. He could have prayed harder to the Holy Angel asking her to persuade the tree to magically drop a few more.

But the young Isaac Newton decided to do something else with the red apple.

The manga pachadi has been busy…

…yes, very busy. The manga pachadi had to go through the giant, gruelling two day ordeal of face painting, dressing up in fancy costumes, turning into a mini Bappi Lahiri by allowing one to be adorned in the yellow metal, saashtanga namaskara exercises, mopping the sweaty eyebrow, shielding the eyes from the jet black fumes from the burning coal, facing a sudden onslaught of yellowed rice from all directions, staring hard into the floodlights and forcing a big, broad smile until the cheekbones hurt and slouching into the nearby chair at the end of it all.

The irony? The manga pachadi is hitched to someone who doesnt like manga pachadi!

Confessions of a Murderer

It is a pale evening. The sky is overcast with dark, grumpy clouds. Little drops of water make their descent from heaven to unholy earth. I gaze out of the clear window. Tiny droplets charge at the stained glass with full force, unsuccessfully. Disappointed, they hesitantly slide downwards, falling into the unknown. I sip my warm coffee and continue to look in awe at their incessant attempt to break the fortress. Within a few minutes, an entire army of droplets descend on the dormant glass window and rob it of its transparency. Astounded at their success, my lips curl into a smile. My happiness is however short lived as I feel a sharp pang on my left hand. Appalled, I look away from the window and towards the source of my anguish. Happily relishing a dollop of my blood is a tiny mosquito! He is comfortably perched on my left wrist, having successfully made an incision and now harvesting the fruit of his success. My eyes swell with anger at the sight of the intruder. How dare he drink my blood! I look at him with a murderous rage. Such felony cannot be tolerated. Almost instinctively, I lift my right hand and hover it above his insignificant head. Ha! I am the executioner! I have control over his puny life. One swat and he would be wiped off the face of the planet. No one would even know.

Murder is nothing new to me.

My mind rewinds back to a simpler time in my life – the day when I committed my first murder. I was a little girl of six. My hair was neatly oiled and plaited. My only source of entertainment was playing hopscotch with the other little girls in the neighborhood. One day, our play was interrupted by a sudden downpour of rain. We rushed to the nearby shop, whose shutters were down, to save ourselves from the fury of the rain. Though we didn’t get wet, we were unhappy. We pleaded with rain to go away so that we could play. But the rain paid no heed. We needed a new game to play. And I created one. I saw a happy bunch of houseflies swirling around a rotten piece of food. I couldn’t understand how they could derive so much happiness out of something so unwanted. I stretched my arms into the open to check if it had stopped raining. To my disappointment, it was still pouring. The chalked boundaries that we had drawn so diligently on the muddy ground were fast dissolving. I was getting bored. I looked around to find an alternate playmate. All I found were the three houseflies, happily buzzing away. I decided to give them a surprise. I picked my right foot slipper and slowly crept up to them. Steadily, I raised my right hand up and brought it crushing down on the happy swarm. The slipper hit the floor with a thud. Under it lay the three houseflies; motionless.

I was overcome with a temporary feeling of triumph which was soon outweighed by inexplicable guilt. What had I done? I had mercilessly taken the lives of three living creatures for no reason. I was a cold blooded murderer. All that the three harmless houseflies did was to gently peck at a piece of food. Somehow, I had let that bother me. I had turned into a executioner. At least, a murderer would murder for some gain. I had murdered for my pleasure; for fighting my boredom. I was a sadist. I loathed myself for my murderous rage. I had sinned. I had taken away life. There was no way I could give it back. I realized that I wasn’t God. I was just a tiny, stupid human who could only take a life and not restore it.

I am jolted into reality as the parasite stings harder this time. My right hand is still an inch away from his head. My past deeds flash across my eyes. I reflect for a moment. I have to make a choice. I have to decide between turning into an executioner, and showing mercy. I bite my lower lip thoughtfully. I think about execution; I think about the guilt that accompanies it. I look at the mosquito sucking away my blood. I think about revenge. I make a decision.

I raise my left hand, bringing it closer to my face. I take one last look at the tiny mosquito. Gently, I blow him away. I see him, falter, and fall and then finally flap his wings and fly into the unknown, maybe in search of tastier blood. I just spared his life. I cannot live with the ignominy of being a killer. I let him wander and meet his fate, whatever that may be. I am happy. My heart feels light. I can peacefully rest now.

I have conquered guilt.

The Last Battle

The Kaiser stood all alone in the vast battlefield. Well, not literally alone. He was surrounded by a handful of his soldiers. His trusted confidantes were dead and long gone. His serene wife lay there, wounded and unconscious, probably even dead; her milky white gown strewn with bright red stains of blood. The once barren desert now housed little creeks of red blood. A battle was in progression and the Kaiser had to win.

His strategy had been simple. He had to defend his fortress, his army from the butcherous attack of the enemy. He had expected to keep his enemy’s advances in check. He wanted to break his confidence. The enemy and his troops would then die of exhaustion trying to cut through the Kaiser’s impregnable fortress but he had clearly miscalculated.

The enemy was young, quick and agile. He was of sharp mind. He was ruthless. He knew the Kaiser’s strengths. He knew his weaknesses. He grabbed every single opportunity to annihilate the Kaiser’s men. He launched a massive attack on the Kaiser’s army and slaughtered his men, his confidantes and finally, his lady love. He had clearly hit him where it hurt the most.

The smug look on the enemy’s face infuriated the Kaiser. The Kaiser had to win. He had been the undisputed emperor for so long. His rule had now been challenged by this black hooded foreigner. He reflected on his current predicament and cursed himself for his errors in judgement.He gawked at his own stupidity and his carelessness.He chided himself for over confidence, his inability to judge the gravity of the situation.

The battle was nearing its blood end. Victory was fast slipping away from his hands. The Kaiser was helpless. There was nothing he could do to salvage himself. The sun was overhead in the sky. The wind blew raising a mild dust storm.The Kaiser was suddenly overcome by a strange calm. Taking a deep breath, he stepped forward. He had to do what he had to do. He removed the golden crown from his forehead, walked towards the enemy and placed it firmly on his forehead, with a smile.

A new king of chess was born

Mediocrity is the new Extraordinary!

There are a few modern day truths that all of us have to be aware of.
1) It is important to be mediocre than to be exceptional
2)It is imperative that you measure success in terms of your materialistic possessions
3) and most importantly, you do not have to be unique

Whoever asked you to follow your passion is surely a dork. He doesn’t know what he is talking about. Passion-Scmashion! Climbing that long, unwinding staircase to reach the pinnacle of “success” is life’s purpose. Breaking open that bottle of champagne to thundering applause by people you hardly care about, is life’s defining moment.

Study hard to enroll yourself in a nerd factory. Study harder to graduate. Bargain your way into a fancy, white collar job. Spend the rest of your life haggling your way through the unbounded corporate ladder. Strive hard to please your supervisor. Strive harder to get that that lofty check. Burn the midnight oil to meet your deadlines. Burn some more to meet your new deadlines. Feel proud of the tiny little crystal globe that was given to you for your achievements. Wear it like a badge. Look at your neighbors with condescension. Feel happy.Feel bright. Feel special.

Dig a nice big trench in your backyard. Throw away your pretty paint brushes. Throw away the books that you bought with so much love. Throw away your pens and pencils. Throw away the sewing needle. Throw away your cricket bat. Throw away your lovely dancing shoes. Throw away anything that you are remotely interested in. These are but impediments to a “successful career”. Hence, empty them into the grave. Bury them. Let them die. This world has no use for your passion, your creativity.

Strive to be mediocre. Strive to be an insignificant speck among a thousand others. Embrace banality. Worship routine. Love your unoriginality. Discard your creativity.

And one fine day…die.