Life’s Lotto


“Parents are like God because you wanna know they’re out there, and you want them to think well of you, but you really only call when you need something.”

― Chuck Palahniuk, Invisible Monsters

Parents, like god, possess sin radars. At least mothers do. They call exactly when you’re in the middle of something you know they won’t approve of.

“Shhh, guys! It’s mom calling. Would you shut the fuck up, An? Turn the bloody music down, Holly. I told Mom I’m at an EdCamp. Shhh.”

Maybe the invisible umbilical cord is to be blamed, or maybe mothers really have eyes at the back of their heads. More realistically, your mother may have planted a GPS chip on you. Who knows?

Parents also have this twisted belief that anyone under the age of twenty-five cannot know what love is. They’re quick to correlate your housekeeping skills with emotional awareness.

“You’re just 20, what do you about commitment? You cannot even cook your own food.”

I don’t know why, but this dirty little trick often works. It appears that the two are positively related after all. #ParentsAlwaysKnow

Parents possess this amazing tendency to go from being the most wonderful people in the world to most embarrassing in the room. At this point I would like to recall the horrible face I make when my mother recounts how I had once fell into my own pee. What’s your parents’ favourite story of you?

Parents are people. They’re imperfect. They’re bad with computers. They often misunderstand us or give awful advice. Their thoughts belong to the fifteenth century and they have a weird sense of humour. Yes, it takes 3 business days to convince them to allow us to go to that party. And girls forget about that short dress, they would never allow that.

But there’s no denying the fact that they’re only looking out for our best interests. They’re blinded by unconditional love.

It’s truly a funny thing about mothers and fathers. Even when their own child is the most disgusting blister of the lot they think she’s simply wonderful. We are the shiny wax coated apple of their eyes. They simply refuse to see through our rottenness.

Parents hold us high, high above the stormy waters. They often love us more than we love ourselves. They believe in us more than we believe in ourselves.

We children are savage, cruel beings.

We don’t realise what our parents have endured and what odds they’ve prevailed against, just so that we may live the life of our dreams and flash our too-large-to-carry iPhones everywhere we go.

Parents, they go from being stars in the movie of their own lives to playing a supporting role in the movie of our lives. I can’t think of a bigger sacrifice.

If you’ve got parents like this, parents who love you and always have your back, you’ve won life’s lotto.

I know I have.

Mommy & Daddy, I Love you to the moon and back. You’re truly an inspiration.

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Aria: A Short Story

Aria: A Short Story

We travel, initially, to lose ourselves; and we travel, next to find ourselves. We travel to open our hearts and eyes and learn more about the world than our newspapers will accommodate. We travel to bring what little we can, in our ignorance and knowledge, to those parts of the globe whose riches are differently dispersed. And we travel, in essence, to become young fools again- to slow time down and get taken in, and fall in love once more.

―Pico Iyer

The Vagabond

As Aria trotted off to the deserted beach, the evening breeze whistled in her ear as if breaking to her its darkest secrets. Sweaty and exhausted from the day’s activity, Aria settled on the cooling sand and felt a surge of emotions in her. She recalled her mother’s words.

“Aria”, she’d said in her motherly voice, “that tiny island is a beauty spot on the face of Earth.”

Since her arrival here three days ago, she had felt that her mother was absolutely right. Far away from the din of the city, here she felt calm and completely secure. She smiled contentedly as the cold water washed over her feet. Eyes closed, she felt for shells in the sand, caught a big one and kept it in her duffel.

“For you, mother.”

Mother. The thought of her mother always made her long for home.

Eyes still closed, Aria tried thinking about the ruins she’d visited earlier in the day.

The size and grandeur of the Dunan ruins had overwhelmed her. It was a hot day and she could tell that very few people were around. The high pitched voices of a few guides here and there and the click of her own sandals and stick on the old gravel floor were the only sounds she heard.

As Aria swept across what was once a grand palace, she absorbed history worth a thousand years. She felt the moist bricks thick with moss and imagined the colours that must have lit up the palace once upon a time.

In her mind’s eye, she saw the giant halls warmed by sunlight flooding through the archaic windows. She imagined the corridors draped in the most exquisite lace and bustling with gallant men and pretty women. She saw the chambers as luxurious, filled with the most exotic items brought in from distant lands.

“What was life like a thousand years ago?” She asked out aloud.

“Tough” came the instant reply.

“Must be one of the guides”, thought Aria. She felt him coming towards her.

“There was constant threat of war. The belligerent tribes of the surrounding areas frequently plundered the scattered towns. The peasants had no protection. Disease was rampant, children seldom survived infancy. There was never enough food.”

He seemed to hesitate a little, but went on anyway.

“Of course, there were calm years. But for a peasant, it meant little or no change. The nobles owned him and they owned the courts. Peasant rights were unheard of. For the poor, it was a rough time to be alive. It was far better for the royals. Hon, are you all by yourself? Do you need any help”

“Um yes. That sure sounds gloomy. Thank you, I’m fine”, she replied and hurried away from the direction of the Guide’s voice. She wasn’t looking for company. Not then.

Now lying on the beach, she felt restless, alone and dejected.

“Even a thousand years ago, life was just as hard, if not harder. Oh Aria, you hopeless romantic…”

Somewhere in the distance, she heard the seagulls squawking, their playful hankering broken only by the sound of waves crashing at the shore. She sat up and breathed in the cold, salty air that smelt of dead fish.

The smell of happiness.

The smell of freedom.

This smell made Aria want to get up and sprint along the shore.

Which is exactly what she did.

As she ran, the wind whipped her body, chilling her to the bone. In her half-hearted attempt to dodge the ocean, she fell right into it. Arms flaying and helpless against the might of the ocean, she felt the salt water stick to the roof of her mouth. With her clothes full of prickly sand and seawater, she clumsily climbed out of the ocean and spit out a mouthful of dry sand.

“That’s awful”, she frowned, half mad at the ocean for having soaked her to the bone.

“O dear Lord, please don’t let me catch a cold.”

Shivering in the cold breeze she realised that the sun has almost gone below the horizon. A satisfied smile swept over her face. She felt her whole body convulse with joy. Or maybe it was the cold wind?

“Never mind the minor casualties. Here’s to another great day”, she sang out loud. Sitting down again, she scrounged the duffel for her slate, stylus and card-stock paper, all the while looking towards the limitless sky. Her journey had just begun.

She moved her bony finger over the hard paper.


What colour is the sky today?

Aria smiled her beautiful smile and began punching the stylus.

“Ah, it’s hard to say. Perhaps a blend of vermillion, blue, yellow and orange? There’s even a hint of fading turquoise, I believe. I like to think that the last of the sun’s blood red rays are shooting out from the crimson horizon. It’s a colour lover’s paradise. It is my paradise”

She threw her stuff into the duffel and shot a last glance in the direction of the drowning sun.

“Next stop, Paris. I can’t wait to feel Le Tour Eiffel.”

Chirping birds, howling wind, rumbling trees and a mind full of a million colours.

That is how this blind vagabond travelled the globe.

One sound, one touch, one memory at a time.

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Tuesday’s with Morrie

Tuesday’s with Morrie

But the world did not stop, it took no notice at all, and as Morrie pulled weakly on the car door, he felt as if he were dropping into a hole.

Now what? He thought.


Morrie did to Mitch what life could not—he got Mitch to cry.

Tuesday’s with Morrie is a potpourri of a dying man’s aphorisms; an archive of his days before the deadly ALS finally gets him. As Morrie awaits death with the finish line in sight, he reflects on what’s important in life.

Fresh out of college, Mitch is terrified of being left behind, of losing out to others. He indulges in a relentless pursuit of money and fame, not understanding what he wants from life…until he’s reunited with his dear professor Morrie, sixteen years after he left college. Mitch and his dying professor take up one final project before the curtain draws in on Morrie’s life—this book—which not only gives Morrie a mission to fulfil in his final days, but also pays his medical bills.


Version 2
Morrie, dear Morrie

It’s a naive, but delectable view of human experiences. Tuesday’s With Morrie is very, very touching and it made me cry. It’s now my go-to book when life gets hard.

The way Mitch intersperses the main line of story with snippets from his college life and random thoughts make the narrative dreamy. It also provides the reader with a more wholistic view of Mitch’s relationship with Morrie. In my view, one couldn’t have asked for a better layout.

The tone of the book is emotional and the writing extremely simplistic. While reading the book, I lived through Morrie’s gradual, inevitable decay. And when he died, I cried as I would’ve had for any other loved one. Like Mitch, I wasn’t ready to say goodbye. At times, I felt like a fly on the wall, tuning in to one of the usual Tuesday conversations between student and professor, astonished by the latter’s courage in face of a disease as debilitating as ALS.

Morrie’s courage and resilience and his love for life shine right through Mitch’s words. As my eyes soaked up the book one line at a time, I became aware of Mitch’s love and admiration for his dying professor.

I thought about all the people I knew who spent many of their waking hours feeling sorry for themselves. How useful it would be to put a daily limit on self pity. Just a few tearful minutes, then on with the day. And if Morrie could do it, with such a horrible disease…

“It’s only horrible if you see it that way.” Morrie said. “It’s horrible to watch my body slowly wilt away to nothing. But it’s also wonderful because of all the time I get to say goodbye.

He smiled. “Not everyone is so lucky.”

I studied him in his chair, unable to stand, to wash, to pull on his pants. Lucky? Did he really say lucky?

Someday, I wish to find my Morrie.


Tuesday’s with Morrie perhaps lacks the WOW factor because it brings nothing new to the table. There’s nothing in here that you do not already realise or know.

To some readers, Morrie’s ideas may sound excessively utopian and his way of life may seem impractical and unattainable. That is okay, because Tuesday’s with Morrie is not a self-help book, but a tribute to Morrie Schwartz. You may not agree with all that Morrie preaches, but you will surely recognise that he’s a courageous man with a heart of gold.

I would say…

If you plan on reading this one, do so with an open mind. Do not expect Tuesday’s with Morrie to solve life’s greatest mysteries, because it won’t. It will, however, inspire you to create the life that you will truly love. And perhaps as a reward, you’ll be reminded of someone who helped change your own life.

Morrie, wherever you are, may you find happiness and peace.

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To Winning!

funny success button, push to success

There is nothing in this life that can destroy you but yourself. Bad things happen to everyone, but when they do, you can’t just fall apart and die. You have to fight back. If you don’t, you’re the one who loses in the end. But if you do keep going and fight back, you win.

― Alexandra Monir, Timeless

Anywhere, Anyhow

“Somebody who only reads newspapers and at best books of contemporary authors looks to me like an extremely near-sighted person who scorns eyeglasses. He is completely dependent on the prejudices and fashions of his times, since he never gets to see or hear anything else.”

― Albert Einstein




I knew I had fallen in love with Lolita forever; but I also knew she would not be forever Lolita.

– Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov


Perhaps in a strange, fateful way, Humbert’s inherent singularity and diabolical obsession with Lolita began with his child-love Annabel.

Humbert Humbert, a European scholar and college professor in America, is haunted by the memory of a lost adolescent love. A surprising turn of events upsets and ultimately wrecks his life when he disgracefully falls in love with Dolores Haze (nicknamed Lolita), the twelve year old daughter of his landlady. Obsessed and totally consumed by her thoughts, he’s ready to employ any grotesque scheme to posses his Lolita forever.


Nabokov weaves a delicate net of lyrical prose to enthral his readers; Lolita is deeply expressive and intensely poetic. The story is told in first person, by Humbert himself, when he was held captive in jail. Such is the power of Humbert’s soulful utterances, that more than once the reader will nod in a scandalised affirmation of  Humbert’s vile desires.

It is disturbing to note that Nabokov’s obsessed pedophile isn’t entirely revolting or disgusting, but is someone you want understand. Humbert cleverly fools himself and the reader into believing that he is a caring, passionate lover who wants to protect his Lolita.


His justifications, his reasons and his outrageous declaration that it was Lolita who seduced him are nauseating to the reader’s human mind. Humbert is a sinful planner. He systematically secludes his prey and fills her with self-doubt and fear and robs her of a normal childhood. Inspite of this, the reader is unable to truly hate the pedophile.

While the reader is tempted to sympathise with Humbert’s sad past, Lolita almost always comes across as crass, and unworthy of much compassion. As distasteful it seems, at one point I was almost tempted to believe that Humbert and Dolores were part of a tragic love affair that just couldn’t happen for a million reasons.

Clearly, Nabokov is a master of deception. He has the reader hooked, confused, shocked- gasping for more. Lolita is a brilliant, brilliant character study.


Nabokov’s Lolita asks disagreeable questions.

To justify his conduct, Humbert directs the reader’s attention to the fact that in many tribal cultures, it is acceptable for a grown man to marry a 12 year old girl. He pleads that before he ever laid his dirty man-hands on Dolores, the precocious nymphet had already had sex with another boy. He desperately wants the reader to believe that 12 year old girls are ready to mate and cites numerous examples where young girls are sold by families in exchange of land, cattle, gold and whatnot.

While this may make the reader uncomfortable, I wouldn’t go so far as to classify this as a drawback of reading Lolita. Being compelled to tackle these questions of morality in today’s modern society is a part of what makes this book a great read.

I would say…

Pick this one up! I’ll give Lolita a full five stars for its creative world play. I cannot recall any other book that simultaneously evoked such conflicting feelings of disgust and charm in me. I will gladly recommend Lolita to anybody who’s willing to challenge his or her sanity.

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