Saturday, 26 January 2013

Some sums do count


Game-theorist        :       Life is a zero-sum game.

Lay man                      :       What's a zero-sum game?

Cpt. Obvious             :       It's a game.

Wikipedia                    :       It means someone's profit is someone else's loss. When one guy
                                                    wins, another has to lose. One's good is another's bad. One's
                                                    faith, another's blasphemy. You get the idea, right?

Isaac Newton            :       Ofcourse. Everything has an equal and opposite reaction. That is
                                                     but natural.

Charles Darwin        :     @Newton -    Correction. That is but natural selection. The
                                                    cheetah kills the gazelle to live. Or the gazelle lives to see the
                                                    cheetah die.

Albert Einstein        :      @Darwin -     Correction. That is but relativity. If someone wins,
                                                     he obviously wins against someone else. So someone has to lose.

Lance Armstrong  :      Winning is all that matters.

Vijay Mallya              :      @Lance -      Ya, you can say that again.

Indian                            :       My country created the zero thousands of years ago. The game-
                                                     theorist should have acknowledged that. No one ever gives us
                                                     credit for anything.

Pakistani                      :       So it is the Indian who is responsible for creating this zero-sum
                                                     rat-race. I'm gonna kill him.

John Nash                   :       Don't kill each other. There is a way we can all come out of the
                                                     rat-race. It's called cooperation.

Dalai Lama                 :       It's also called love and harmony.

European Union     :       @Nash -       F**k you, f**k cooperation.
                                                     @Dalai Lama -  Pardon that comment. _/\_

Accountant               :        Are you guys saying that in the balance sheet of the universe
                                                     everything adds up to zero? That would be a real godsend.

Dalai Lama                 :       Yes. That is how life ensures that it remains fair. For every
                                                     moment of suffering there is a moment of joy. For every thing
                                                     you lack, you make up elsewhere. For every good you do, you
                                                     will have something good done unto you.

Atheist                          :       So God takes away some people's eyesights and gives them a
                                                     keen sense of hearing in return. That's a pretty twisted notion of
                                                     fairness, won't you say?

Bible                                :       The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away.

Feminist                       :       All that the @Lama was saying is that the universe has to work
                                                     with duals, and equal quantities at that. These duals complete
                                                      the universe, and each other. Both halves should be treated as

Physicist                       :       Wish that were true, because I've been working my ass off for a
                                                      long time trying to explain this anomalous excess of matter over
                                                      anti-matter. Can't seem to figure that one out.

Lay man                        :       What is anti-matter?

Cpt.Obvious               :        It doesn't matter.

Physicist                       :        @Lay man 1 -  Dude, quit embarrassing yourself. Google it.

Theist                             :        @Lay man 1 -  Anti-matter. It is the work of the Devil.

Satan                                :         Hey, I din't do nothin'! Quit blaming me for everything.

Indian                             :         Please blame it on us. No one every gives us credit for anything.

Google                             :         @Lay man 1 -      I suggest you wiki it.
                                                        @Cpt. Obvious -  I see what you did there.

Physicist                        :        @Theist -             What's your take on all this?

Theist                              :         Umm...

Logician                         :        @Theist -             Dude, you are stuck. If you say you think this
                                                        universe is zero-sum, you accept that good and bad, and
                                                        therefore, God and Satan, are equally strong. If you deny the
                                                        zero-sum, then it means you believe life, and hence God, ain't

Theist                              :        Nothing of that sort. I reject the zero-sum, but only for a positive-
                                                       sum. Life isn't fair at all but that's because I believe we are
                                                       granted a lot more than we deserve. That there is more good
                                                       than evil.

Usain Bolt                     :        I too reject the zero-sum, but only for the negative-sum. Look at
                                                       races for instance. One winner, nine losers. Since when is that a

Solitaire                        :         I've seen worse. I've seen the win alone, on their own, with
                                                       themselves are even lose alone. Not against anyone. Where's
                                                       your zero sum then?

Probability                 :         For every solitaire game anyone's ever lost, there is one that
                                                       someone's won.

Cpt.Obvious              :        We are confused and the point is long lost.

Skeptic                          :        True, I don't see the point of doing all this.

Oracle                            :        We are all here to do what we are all here to do.

Neo                                   :        Which is what? To save Zion?

Oracle                             :        No. To balance the equation. The universe is not perfect, it
                                                       shouldn't be.

Ayn Rand                     :        Why not? Perfection is good.

Oracle                             :        Because if the universe had been perfect, i.e. if it had been zero-
                                                       sum, man would have no reason to exist. Man exists to maintain
                                                       that balance. His sense of morality, his sense of blasphemy, his
                                                       sense of winning and losing. A sentient being is the result of the
                                                       sum of the universe trying to balance itself out.

God                                   :        (With tears in His eyes) Wow. What an explanation, what
                                                       simplicity, what beauty. Now why didn't I think of that before?


Wednesday, 16 January 2013


It is a thing I can never get,
It is something I shouldn't want.
That it is not mine is sure,
That it is not supposed to be, obvious.

But today, I felt sad.
Felt bad to feel sad.
Sad because I did not get it.
Bad because it should't have mattered.

It was inconsequential,
or so I had thought.
But every time I see it,
it reminds me I am a failure.

A failure -
for hoping that in some world
I do not desire it,
as I do madly in this.

Or that in some world
it exists not, to be desired madly.
Or better still, that in some world,
I have it, to be owned, to get owned.


Tuesday, 27 November 2012


Doesn't matter what I do,
No matter what I say.
Whoever I say it to,
for at the end of the day-

I'm wrong,
I'm faulty.
A criminal,
I'm guilty.

Am broken, to be fixed.
I can be, but am not.
Most wanted for what I did,
yet wanted, am not.

What could I have done?
Often I ask aloud.
Off with his head,
Is all I hear them shout.

Forever in their eyes,
guilty I'll remain.
They want a price,
for their suffering, my pain.

My life, they may take,
my body, they may burn.
But no matter what they say,
my conscience,
they can never take away.

(We might declare someone guilty. But he is not guilty till he feels guilty. Hanging him changes nothing at all.)


Wednesday, 31 October 2012

हरि पाहुनी वरती

( One of my very first poems in Marathi.
 Editing courtesy: Ms. Neha Patil )

हरी  पाहुनी  वरती ,
विचारतो  रागाने -
अश्रू  थांबवूनी  डोळ्यातले ,
आकाशी  ओरडतो  जोराने .

                        कां  केले  असे ?
                        असे  करून  काय  मिळाले ?

स्वतःच्या  स्वार्था  साठी ,
कां  बनवलीस  ही  सृष्टी .
आणि  मन  भरल्यावर  तिच्याने ,
वाळीत  अशी  कां  टाकलीस .

                        तू  दुःख  कां  बनविले ,
                        कां  घडविला  विनाश .
                        जर  मृत्यू  द्यायचाच  होता  शेवटी ,
                        तर  कां  आनंद  पस्रविलास .

अपराध  निर्माता  रे  तू ,
किती  मोठा  अपराधी !
वेदना  देतांना  तुला ,
काहीच  वाटले  का  नाही .

                        जग  बनवणाऱ्याला ,
                        ह्या  जगात  शिक्षा  नाही .
                        आणि  ज्यांना  शिक्षा  होत  आहे ,
                        त्यांची  काही  चूकच  नाही .

बोल  हरी  बोल !
गप्प  कां  राहिलास ?
हे  कसं  जग  बनवलस ?
न्याय  कुठला  हा  पाळलास .

                        उत्तर  काही  न  येता ,
                        थांबले  नाही  अश्रू  आता .
                        हरी  बोलला  स्वतःशी -
                        झाली  चूक ,  घडला  गुनाह .

पण  दुःख  ह्याचे  जास्त  वाटते ,
कि  डोळे  उघडले  आता .
चूक  कळाली  मला ,
पण  उशीर  फार  झाला .

                        आता  माझ्या  खांद्यांवरच्या ,
                        माझ्या  ह्या  दोषांचे  भार,
                        अनंत  काळा  साठी ,
                        मी  एकटाच  उचलणार 
                        एकटाच  उचलणार ...


Thursday, 18 October 2012

Part 3: Love is Immortal

(Dedicated to myself, as a reminder of the immortality of Love.)

He had been betrayed,
His life needed to end.
For how could he live much longer,
With the pain he had suffered,
At the hands of a heart so cold.

All he wanted now,
Was to see her one last time.
Tell her that he would not spread the pollen.
That he would rather die,
Than help her kind multiply.

And so he went to meet her.
But once there, he was shocked and despaired.
She had withered black,
Her colors lost, her petals fallen.
She lay before him, dead.

She had withered that morning,
He'd been too late in coming.
He sat there weeping for their souls.
Hers for having tricked him into love,
And his for having let her die alone.

But now that she was dead,
Nothing mattered anymore.
His hatred melted away,
Withered away like her petals.
His complaints eloped with her laughter.

And all that remained,
Was a lonely beetle,
With precious memories of love.
Love that she had given him,
But could give him no more.

Now only two stood there weeping,
Atop her shriveled remains.
Love and He.
And Love said to him,
Seeing how he had lost all hope.

Do you truly believe,
That love can be faked?
That someone's heart could be that cruel?
You have listened to fear and that was your biggest mistake.
For he will tell you bitter truths that'll get you nowhere.

Listen to my tales instead,
Though the world may insist,
That they be lies,
That they be twisted,
Atleast they won't kill you with their bitterness.

She used you, it's true.
But that she loved you,
Is a greater truth.
She did what she did,
Only because she had to.

She had no choice.
But you are different.
You have a one.
You may forget her,
curse her, or end your life.

Or you may instead,
Forgive her crimes,
And listen to your heart,
To do what may be difficult,
But more importantly, what may be right.

He wept a lot, but in the end, took Her advice.
He had known what true love was,
How it had changed his life.
And now he wished for the world to know,
To know that love divine.

He went around the jungle,
Out to its far reaches,
And spread her pollen,
Wherever he could.
Till he had exhausted all that he had.

Months passed,
And he lived on.
He lived only for her,
Tending the buds that had appeared,
On plants he had pollenized.

He gave them his love and care.
And he laughed at Love.
She had thought he had a choice.
But did he really?
Could he, when he was in love?

He had decided to wait only till next spring,
Once the flowers bloomed,
He would have done his duty.
He would not have let beauty die.
And then, he would be free.

Spring came and the flowers bloomed.
And he was reminded of her scent.
For the entire jungle,
Carried her fragrance now.
The jungle, filled with her joy and radiance.

And then he heard it,
The sound of her laughter.
The sound he had craved, for so long, unknowing.
Could it be possible.
After he'd lost all hope?

He rushed to the sound, and true enough,
There stood his sweet maiden.
More beautiful than ever,
Gracefully waiting,
Awaiting his return.

He realized then the power of Love.
Her power to change lives.
He knew not if She was a thief.
He knew not if She had planned this all along.
Or if his story was but a twist of of fate.

He knew not how his maiden,
Had come back to life.
He knew not what would happen now,
For how long she was alive.
He knew not if Love had cheated him.
He knew not if She had lied.
All he knew for sure,
Was that Love had never died.


Part 2: Love is a Cheat

(Dedicated to my dear friend, Vivek Pareek as a reminder that people do things that they have to, but they are not the evil to have done so.)

He approached her,
Unsure, even scared,
His feelings,
Suppressed no more.
His self, for her laid bare.

However shy she was,
She did not resist.
She let him come near,
She let him love her.
She submitted to him.

And they became one.
Consumed in their love for each other.
He shared his soul with her.
His dreams, his joys, his passions,
Became one with her laughter.

And soon she knew
All there was to know,
About a simple black beetle.
And his small world,
Which now revolved around her.

Yet try as he may,
She never told him of herself.
Never spoke of her dreams,
Her plans.
She just liked to listen.

Whenever he asked her,
All she said was that she loved him,
And that that should be enough.
If asked more,
She would just become silent.

So he never troubled her,
With these unpleasant questions.
He was too lost in his happiness,
Too lost in their future.
To notice if anything was amiss.

And it broke his heart,
To leave her each night.
To bid adieu and watch her from afar,
As she curled up her petals and slept,
Bathed in magical starlight.

He would retire to sleep thereafter,
Dreaming of her,
Deep into the happy night.
Asking himself how he was worthy,
Of knowing such love divine.

He slept, only to be welcomed each morning,
By her charming smile.
And spending the day by her side,
Talking to her of all things
That came to his mind.

But that particular day was different,
She seemed so sad.
And he didn't like that.
So he decided to make her happy,
He decided to show her how much he loved.

He showed it by making it.
And he gave her all the joys,
That he could offer.
And it made her happy,
The happiest of all creatures.

That night the adieu,
was more painful than ever.
She bid him farewell,
With tears in her eyes,
tears both of joy and sorrow.

The next morning the beetle awoke,
Only to find his back covered,
By the sticky pollen that she'd secreted.
What was it he wondered?
And why wouldn't it come off his back?

And Fear came to him,
And told him how he had been taken,
By the charms of that innocent-looking lady.
He said that this is what she did,
She tricked unsuspecting beetles.

She had used him, his love,
Had trapped him into making love to her.
And smeared him with her pollen,
Contaminating his pure heart.
All this for her own wicked schemes and plots.

He said she had faked her love,
Only to draw him near.
She had used him for her own good.
And he would never love again,
As no one ever should.

He did not want to believe Him.
Yet he did.
Yet never thought it possible to hate her.
Still he did.
He never thought Love would cheat him.
But in the end, She did.


Part 1: Love is a Thief

(Dedicated to my dear friend, Mohit Pandey as a reminder that no one has ever been a loser for trying to get something out of his league.)

He had fallen in love.
He, a big black beetle,
She, the most beautiful of creatures.
Tall and lonely,
with colors bright as the morning sunshine,
And a sweet scent divine.

Her petals open -
Charming, but not seductive,
Her pollen-filled center -
A heart to be discovered and loved
Yet open to only him who could win her.

For she was a lady,
And would make no stray talk.
She would just stand,
A lonely beauty,
Waiting all by herself, just waiting.

The beetle had loved her,
From the day he'd set his eyes,
Upon that transcendental face.
Yet he had seen her only from afar.
Never daring an approach.

He was still an adolescent,
He had no experience.
At wooing a girl,
let alone one,
of such grand beauty.

But he was glad it was so.
For he wished to love,
Just one, just once.
And it had to be her.

He was too scared of rejection.
For he was big,
black and awkward.
While she was mystical maiden,
Her fresh colors mirroring her laughter.

What had he to offer?
Why would she love him?
She would never accept it.
What was the point in trying?
When he knew it was to be an imminent failure.

But Love came to him,
And She told him to tell her.
Tell her his heart's true yearnings.
His love, his desires,
And to not give in to fear.

She said she would understand,
She would be glad.
To be with someone like him.
She said beauty wasn't enough for happiness,
That she was lonely.

He was still not convinced.
He could not dare to be.
But how long could he resist?
How could he win?
How could he triumph against Love?

Especially when all he wanted was to lose,
To lose it all to Love,
His heart, his self, himself.
So he gave in,
and followed Her path.

He told her that he loved her,
And that he always would.
He said his life had no meaning without her.
And he could offer her more love,
Than anyone else in this world could.

She listened to this,
And to his unbelieving joy,
She accepted happily!
She swayed in the wind,
Overcome with emotions.

She said she had always been lonely,
But now all her dreams had come true.
That she couldn't ask for anything better.
And that she would love him equally,
in return, if not more.

His joy knew no bounds,
And he became one with her,
In the end, thus, Love triumphed.
And that's why Love is a thief.
For he might have stolen his love,
But She had, his heart.