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Other names: Kaai

#6
Kaai and I had been driving for ten hours straight from Udupi, threading our way through the NH66 which ran all along the western coast. It was a last minute plan put together in all of twenty minutes by Kaai during the tea break. We would drive 700km to the Osho Ashram in Pune to get our hands on the hip new Osho sandals before anyone else in class. It was a bit much but this was 2006 and Osho was all the rage. ‘A little adventure won’t hurt’, he said. Little did we imagine that for one of us, this trip would last a lifetime.

I learned that Kaai was a very spiritual person. He hid that side of himself under rock band t-shirts, ripped jeans and the old bubblegum beret that he refused to part with even while he slept. It took me by surprise when he brought up ‘god’ literally in the middle of nowhere.

We passed a little kid who was throwing stones at the cars on the road.
“Think of it”, Kaai said.
“One day he’s going to throw a stone that will carry out his naïve but horrible in…
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Other Names: Ahana and Asha

Other Names #4 Ahana belonged to an aristocratic family. But as a rule, Bengalis think more of influential friends, than birth. Ahana was lucky to be esteemed and even loved by people of consequence in society, whose example was followed by others of lesser means.

It seem hardly necessary to remark that her family worries and anxiety had little or no foundation, or that her imagination increased them to an absurd degree. But if you had a wart on your nose or forehead, you imagine the whole world is looking at it, sniggering behind your back. Because you can’t see past the puss-filled elephant sitting on your face.

Doubtless, Ahana was considered ‘eccentric’ in society, but she was nonetheless esteemed; the pity was that she was ceasing to believe in that esteem.


Other Names #5 “I’m going through a phase. And I’m awfully glad it’ll all be over in a couple of days”, Asha whispered to herself. For a fleeting moment the weight slid off her shoulders and she felt a breath of fresh hope fi…

Other Names #3

The best way to describe Brojesh is to think of him as an old, inhospitable house at a part of town that had seen its peak more than half a century ago. It has no claim to architectural beauty yet remarkable in its thickness of walls and the fewness of windows, most of which has been grated over time. It was built to last. Without talents. Without arrogance.

Read about Project Other Names here.

Project Other Names: A Collection of Fictional Characters

An exercise to explore the different vibes of names used in a story and their relationship with the plot. Captured in a fleeting undefined moment.


Here's also a random picture in case you reached here by accident and find the contents of the page a tad too silly for your time.
The task of assigning names to characters in stories has always been a bit confusing for me. Either they are too eccentric or misplaced, misdirected or just feel like a mouthful. With this exercise I hope I get more comfortable with naming. Okay. Amuse yourself.

#1

“Mutuality isn’t the least bit important in marriage, Ajay. It counts only in romance.”

Ajay gave his pretty paramour a long look. Did she believe this stuff? Or was she playing some deep female game? He knew he would not marry her. He was proud of her, and he enjoyed her company, but she wasn’t what he had in mind for a lifetime partner.


#2

Ankita was all As, in the eleventh grade, an active member of a number of academic clubs and excused …

Footnotes from college and my holiday in Istanbul that has nothing to do with the former

The following is best enjoyed with food or beverage that's a tad bit sour, bitter or whatever seasoning that leaves a bad taste in your mouth.

Besides teaching me calculus and semi-conductors that have been of no future consequence, the four years at an engineering college furnished me with an elementary knowledge of scientific thinking.

I was glad to learn that the minds of people (themselves a product of natural causes) was a function of the brain subject to the laws of cause and effect, like any other part of their body. And that these laws were the same as those that governed the movements of star and atom.

I exulted at the thought that the universe was no more than a vast machine in which every event was determined by a preceding event so that nothing could be other than what it was. These conceptions not only appealed to my dramatic instinct; they filled me with a sense of liberation.

It gave me such satisfaction to learn that the Earth was a speck of mud whirling around…

Practice at your own peril

I am anxious, insecure, and always afraid of being wrong. What is worse, I am always afraid that the person who says I’m wrong is better than I am.

Portrait of a criminal as a young thug

He is five feet and eleven inches tall, hundred and three kgs heavy, with sweaty arms and a glistening moustache, shoulder length black hair oiled and tied into a small ponytail. He has a wild demeanour and suspicious eyes.

Rude Awakening Series: You might find it offensive. But so is the world around us.

It has been one year and nine months since my last entry. A lot has happened since. The dude who used to say “You’re fired” on reality television is now the very real President of United States of A, Delhi beat Beijing to become the most polluted city in the world by a chest-thumping margin, the planet regardless of our skeptical opinions has continued to become warmer - putting the birds and bees out of business. On the other hand, some things haven’t changed. North Korea is still batshit ballistic, China ghost towns are at best dead, Japan is LOCO but still zen, fortunes (as usual) have waxed and waned to the changing tides of tax reforms, share prices and demonetisation.

If there is a hidden lesson over the months that I have learnt, it is this - nothing changes or gets better in this world unless we act (as opposed to react) upon it. And it is with this foolhardy notion that I once again set about to write; to abuse, to anger, with a direct intent to offend the blogosphere. Becau…

A road-tripper’s recipe to beach-hopping: Sri Lanka south coast

Nay-sayers said it couldn’t be done. Well-wishers said it probably shouldn’t be done.
The fact that the mercury would rise to its zenith high in the peak summer didn’t stop us from travelling to the southern coast of Sri Lanka last month. After a rickety eight hour bus-ride that saw us descending into the plains from the hill country, we reached the bustling sea-board town of Weligama. If you are travelling along the same route, keeping a day in hand for the Yala National Park would seem like the most obvious choice. However, short of money and time – my fiancé and I headed straight for the holy trinity of sun, sea and sand.



It would be safe to say that any road trip involves the road (duh!), a pair of trusty-ish wheels and at least one companion (who you will most likely fall out with at least once a day. But regardless the offense these silly skirmishes that start with ‘let’s stop for a cola’ have a knack to smooth itself out soon enough). Like life, which’s about the journey and not…

If you travel beyond this point, you will be responsible for your own brain damage

While I have tried to keep a non-personal perspective in all my blog posts so far, today I intend to indulge myself by way of divulging my proclivity to stay on the move. Especially now because I have started to see a number of articles floating around on the world wide internet claiming that travelling isn’t all that it’s made out to be. You’re damn right. It isn’t.
It’s no wonder that social pundits have taken to condemning our generation of pretentious Millennials to excessive self-indulgence that does nobody no-good. I salute you, whoever-wherever you are for calling a spade – a spade. But not necessarily for the right reasons.
Travelling is not some Utopian idea of heroism Unless you join Greenpeace (wait! Are they any good?) or some equally sensational non-profit that claims to be saving humanity from the next zombie apocalypse (if you ask me – it’s inevitable) or helping children rehabilitate from the repercussions of society’s inclination to strike out and shoot dead anybody…

In times of War and Peace: Sri Lanka

When it comes to the people of a country, and I’m speaking as someone who doesn’t understand much about the subject, we must remember that it is culture, not war that cements our identity. Whether it was the Mughals or English or Dutch or Portuguese invading the Indian sub-continent, we have spent centuries killing each other. Today, we’ve (India) been at peace for nearly seventy years and no one realizes how amazing that is any more. Indeed, the very idea of a war again with a far flung foreign power provokes hilarity. Instead the enemy has now moved closer home. And for Sri Lanka it took a civil war to unite the people properly. After being at each other’s throats for three decades in fratricidal war, today the Tamils and the Sinhalese are now all culturally Sri Lankan.



Despite spending a fair portion of my childhood in Tamil Nadu, I knew little about the Sri Lankan civil war. Where 130,000 people perished (source: Wikipedia) one would assume that we’d have some concrete knowledge …