The vicious circle

It was like a closely guarded secret
Never to be spoken of again to anyone
The door was locked, unconquerable
The key was at the bottom of the ocean
The smile was stern and eyes were dry
The body uptight, the attitude was fake
The encryption brought sweat to faces
As he looked wayward, afar and truant
It was just then she walked in breezily
Unexpected, she caught him off-guard
He stumbled to understand the storm
She had unlocked the door with a smile
Weeks that followed were a mad-rush
Mind wavered and the heart faltered
Eyes got back its depth, searching her
His smile was wide to accommodate her
Then she vanished, left him wondering
The smile is now hollow, eyes searching.

The WeChat group blast!


I would have Manmohan Singh, Navjot Singh Siddhu, Narendra Modi, Barack Obama, Aamir Khan and myself in the WeChat group.

I think this is the most explosive combination of randomness one can ever think of. Imagine, a sardar who doesn’t speak versus a sardar who won’t stop. Narendra Modi will troll Obama for not letting him  visit the US and Aamir Khan will be busy figuring out how can WeChat be more methodical than his acting preparations.

I will just be the moderator of this absolutely cracker of the WeChat group. As a guest member, I will also add Rahul Gandhi to the group. Manmohan Singh will pronounce him bigger than Obama and Gandhi will pay Rs 1000 to Modi. One just has to sit back, relax and see the fun that will unfurl.

There is no dearth of topics for them to talk about. Obama will help Manmohan Singh in write a speech but it will be a problem as our PM doesn’t open his mouth. Rahul Gandhi will also fail at it because he doesn’t believe in pre-written speeches and always makes a fool out of himself. Singh won’t have this luxury as he doesn’t need to speak to come out stupid.

At this point, Modi will start giving a fiery speech which will shut up everyone. Obama will troll Modi with the American visa rejection letter for the Gujarat CM.

Aamir Khan will be busy noting everything down to use as the basic premise in his next film. I will live tweet this WeChat group’s absolutely hilarious events.

We made history!

People say that the problem with me is that my writing is crude because it comes straight from the heart. I guess that explains why I am writing this email at 2.30 am and sending without editing or proofing. I can’t sleep. I am soaking in what we have just achieved. Project Hope. Rs 8 lakh. We are through.

I can’t be happier than to announce to you that we have done it. And we have two more months to go for the deadline.
You know, some said that I pulled it off because it was me. This is just half of the story. Maybe, even less than half. I pulled it off because it was you. Couldn’t have done this without you. You made this possible. Thank you.
I survived every single slander, smear, smug and schmuck behaviour all because of the faith you put in me. Incidentally, all these and I have a common beginning. The letter ‘S’.
I am not making any sense, am I? I am glad I am not. Because there is no better way to explain that I have no words to express my gratitude for what you did for me.
January 12. This is the date when I officially launched Project Hope. I still remember that moment crystal clear when I just told Manisha Lakhe that this is what I am going to do. She has been the backbone of this Project and with this letter I thank her. Without your support and her constant brainwashing I would have quit a long time ago.
I can’t even begin to thank every single one of you for contributing in whatever capacities you could, in spreading the word, in asking others to do the same and in not giving up on my Hope.
I received contributions ranging from Rs 400 to Rs 2,70,000. My hands shiver as I type this because I still can’t believe that we pulled this off. Once someone asked me if the amount of money an individual gave mattered or not. I replied, “Its the intent that matters more than what one gave.” I hope you will agree with me. We are a team. You and me.
You know, when we work to make something possible and that takes over our lives? That’s what Project Hope has been since January for me. I have breathed, eaten, slept and lived Project Hope. There hasn’t been a moment when I thought of anything else. I am glad I am unmarried else my wife would have divorced me for Hope.
And during this journey I realised this strange thing about a goal. When you set your eyes on one, you can’t see, think, imagine anything else. That goal encapsulates your existence. It enchants only one song. It drenches you in the rain where every drop is a reminder of your goal.
But when you achieve that goal life just zooms out and you realise how that goal, which till now was everything, is actually just the first step of a ladder.
We have made history, but in reality, this just turns out to be my first step towards a larger goal I set out to achieve.
I hope I am able to live up to the expectations you put in me. I hope I am able to live to the expectations I put in me. And I hope that with your continued support and love we continue to change lives day after day after day.
We were just 60. Imagining what more of us can do is exhilarating.
Oh and yes, Good morning!
PS: This is the email I sent out last night to all those chose to a part of Project Hope.

When you get an email like this one

It is not very difficult to define the feeling. But I won’t. I want to be selfish with this one. Below is a letter sent by a student. Life feels complete. 



Hello Sir,
Aaj aapka paper Hua. And accha Hua. I am satisfied with hopefully the examiner will be too and even you once the marks come.
Well apart from that, certain acknowledgements, apologies, well wishes and promises are in order.
Starting with the good things. Thank you. A zillion times for the good three semesters and abundance of non academic knowledge you have given. There are times when I have quoted you and have appeared smart and knowledgeable enough for people to appreciate my mass media education which earlier had been looked down upon. Thank you for certain life lessons and yes obviously the education that has been provided by you.

The well wishes. Hope your health remains well. Good luck for Project Hope and your education in the United Kingdom. If all goes well then probably I might follow you to London next year. 

The apologises. Sincere apologises for any mistakes committed knowingly or unknowingly and if any trouble has been caused to you.

Finally the promises. I promise to work hard, become more sincere and grow. A promise to keep your teachings in mind always irrespective of what I do. A promise for a paragraph in my autobiography if ever published. And finally a promise to keep in touch wherever I am. Itna jaldi aapka peecha nahi chodenge sir.

P.s. Phew that is one long mail. Longer than probably my answered even. 




TOI has a front full page advertisement of IIPM today and naturally people on Twitter are frothing their mouths off.

The most common argument being how TOI has sold its soul off to Ponytail. Well, you are mistaken and completely in the wrong.

We all were surprised by the anti IIPM story in the Economic Times last week. Yes?

And now this ad.

If anything, I am proud of TOI. Because they have successfully delinked advertising from editorial (at least in this case).

How many times have you seen newspapers going against their biggest advertisers?

Isn’t that the argument against the media nowadays? That they have compromised on ethics and truth?

And then you have an epitome of the above which breaks that mould for once.

I don’t know if this is a one off case or TOI has grown a spine.

But whatever it is, I am proud of TOI at least for today.

It shows that the media doesn’t have to bow down to advertisers. Companies need media and they will come back to advertise even of you write negative stories which bring out the truth.

Another example in this case if Sahara India.

Wonder why no one notices their full page ads? Oh wait, because it’s business news and we don’t care about them at all

Move over Rumi, it is time for Roomie.

Travel brings power and backache into your life. – Roomie.
Everything in the universe is within you. Ask all from yourself and you shall crap loads in the morning. – Roomie.
Let the beauty we love be what we do. There are hundreds of ways to kneel and wash the clothes – Roomie.
Forget safety. Live where you fear to live. Destroy your reputation. Be notorious Be a Delhiite – Roomie.
Sell your cleverness and buy bewilderment. But do check interest rates. Else the banks will screw you over. – Roomie.
When I am with you, we stay up all night. When you’re not here, I can’t go to sleep. Oh electricity, I hate you – Roomie.
You were born with wings, but now prefer to crawl through life. Wish petrol was still cheaper. ― Roomie.
What you seek is seeking you. The tax-collector. ― Roomie.
If you are irritated by every rub, how will your mirror be polished? B-Tex. – Roomie.
Out beyond ideas of chaney and bajre ke khet there is a well. I’ll meet you there. – Roomie.
You might keep on waiting for the perfect moment to say those three words. But remember, your cellphone network will act up then. – Roomie.
It may take a lifetime to find true love. But to find the true roommate. Never. – Roomie.
Light enters the exact place your heart was wounded in. Relax, its Chintu with his laser from the next building. – Roomie.
Its a cruel world. The rent for apartments must be repaid in love. – Roomie.
Love should be shared. Just like a cigarette. – Roomie.

Project Hope in The Hindu

Project Hope in The Hindu.

Project Hope in The Hindu.

Mid-Day’s story on Project Hope

Mid-Day's story on Project Hope

When the news-writer becomes a news-maker.

A fantastic half century!

This very day a month ago Project Hope came into existence.I wasn’t sure how I am going to manage this mammoth task of finding money which could take me at least 4 years to earn, if I saved every penny I earned.30 days later and Project Hope has gone from zero to Rs 4,00,000.

I am using a crutch to walk. My legs are so wobbly that I can’t even stand on my own. Some may think I am drunk. But I am just high. High on love and high on hope.

As you know I set a target of Rs 8 lakh from Project Hope and have easily surpassed Rs 4 lakh mark! Mind you, the cheques I collected from people in Delhi are yet to be deposited!

*Goes to check the expiry date*

*Phew! Have time*

Its still an uphill task but reaching this milestone in such a short time is not an easy achievement. I would like to thank all 50 of you who made this possible.

Thank you.

Bajaj Capital just offered me a 0% interest loan!

Bajaj Capital just offered me a Rs 15 lakh loan on 0% interest rate. That’s right, you read it correct. 0%.

Is there a catch? Of course there is. Do I know what the catch is. Of course not, I don’t know.

I don’t know how these schemes work. And they way the agents sell the plans its just impossible for a naysayer like me to read between the lines.

Anyway, so here is the deal the agent tried to sell me on the phone:

For example if I go ahead with a Rs 5 lakh loan with 10 year repayment I will be paying Rs 50,000 every year.

Bajaj Capital will invest the loan repayment EMI in a life insurance policy which will have a maturity of Rs 9.60 lakh (This is where the locha is). This entire money will go to the company.

Since Bajaj will get Rs 9.60 lakh at the end of the maturity they don’t need to charge me any interest rate. Hence, I get the loan at 0% interest rate and Bajaj still makes its money on the life insurance policy.

Now I want someone to explain how this works and what is the catch.

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