Saturday, December 27, 2008

Memories of you...


One rainy afternoon, sitting at the window and looking out at the cloudy heavens, I felt like writing a poem. Never knew I could write poetry back then, but still, a feeling's a feeling y'know...and when I started, it began to flow....I never really had to think up words for this poem, they just came...feels nice whenever I read it.

If the text isn't visible, here it is:


As I look into the future,
my thoughts my only guide,
the memories of you, my love,
in my heart they reside.

The days, they seem so lonely,
the nights seem so long,
I miss you all the while, I do,
for you I sing this song.

I wish I could hold you in my arms,
though I know it is too late.
But I promise we shall unite again,
at Heaven's Golden gate.


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Chapter - 2 - Changeling

Night.

I look at my wristwatch.

Eleven.

The moon beckons with its silver hand. The thing inside me, I still do not know what it is, but it fights. It fights my very soul to emerge, to wrench itself from the very body that it dwells, so that it can reach out to the moon, to the darkness of the night. I cannot fight it for long. It’s too strong. I can feel myself fading away, my consciousness giving way to the primal mind that is slowly enveloping my own.

Eleven-thirty.

Where am I? My hands are smeared with blood. I do not remember the past half an hour. I seem to be in a barn of sorts. Animals lay dead around me, their guts strewn and spattered all over the barnyard floor in a river of blood that seems to flow freely from them. Dread creeps up my spine and my eyes grow wide. It is happening again, and I can do nothing to stop it. That animal, that…that thing inside of me. It did all this. I did it. But I am no killer. No. It doesn’t make sense. How can I possibly do such a thing? My hands aren’t strong enough to rip animals apart. And yet, I feel no pain in my hands. I do not feel pain at all. All my senses have numbed. All my emotions gone. I feel no remorse, no pain, nor do I feel sick. I can feel something throbbing in my breast. It seems to be eating, feasting on my life-energy. I feel drained. Faint. Darkness throws it’s blanket over me. I wish I could wake from this dream once and for…….

Twelve.

The sheer intensity of the pain searing through my body wakes me from my short slumber. It is unbearable. I can feel it in every inch of my body. My hair stands on its end. I feel my spine crack and I throw my head back in a silent scream. The pain is unbearable. I can feel a thousand knives cutting into each part of my body, slowly, pressing into my skin, rupturing each vein, twisting around inside me, churning my guts. My heart pumps irregularly. My body convulses forcing me to vomit. I barely see a mixture of my dinner and blood spattering the floor before I fall face first into it. Writhing on the floor, I try to cover my face with my hands wishing the pain to go away. My hands. I cannot not see my hands. Rather I cannot see what I know as my hands. The soft tapering fingers have gone. I can only see grey hair, all over arm, my palm, my fingers. All over my body. My fingers are longer, thicker. I can feel my nails harden, breaking and gripping the skin and flesh around it. Blood pours out of my ruptured veins and down my body. Loud cracks overwhelm my eardrums and with each crack I feel my bones rearranging themselves. Growing. Dislocating. Joining back. Muscles grow around it, pushing away the scraps of flesh left from my human form. A sharp tug from between my legs followed by a strong push on my buttocks off the ground forces me to turn over and lie flat on my stomach, thrashing on the floor. I feel only a sharp prick running through my deformed body before darkness envelopes me.

I open my eyes. The pain has gone. My vision clearer, better than it has ever been. I sit up, clenching and unclenching my fists, my claws clicking against each other. I feel muscles rippling through my form, and swish my tail. I feel no surprise at my changed form. Only satisfaction. And power. Power that I can never know in that feeble human form that I possess. I can smell fresh meat and blood all around me. I know I did it, and it feels right. This is how it should be with the world at my feet and me, the supreme predator. I look around and skywards. I can see no color. The world around me is black and white with the moon; the glorious moon the whitest and brightest of all, shining upon me. I arch my head back and send out a long and powerful howl, a welcome to the moon and a challenge to all those who dare tread in my path tonight. I can hear deer in the forest running away and human babes crying for their mothers. Ha! No mother can save their precious babe from my claws if I so wish to hunt them. But I have no such wish. I feel hunger of a different sort. A hunger for fresh meat. The mountainside is always full of game and I smell a fresh kill. With long loping strides and speeds to match a galloping horse, I bound towards the mountain forest on all fours, ready for game, and whatever this glorious night may bring forth.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Chapter - 1 Run!

Run.

My heart pumps blood through my veins. I see the trees blur as I go faster and faster. The wind whistles in my ears. My ears prickle as I hear the sound of pumping hooves against the forest ground. The sheer urge, the insatiable thirst for blood drives me on through the thick undergrowth. A flitting shadow among the bushes ahead tells me my prey is near. I can hear its heartbeat thumping in my head. Fast and irregular. It is nervous. Afraid. It knows that it has not the slightest chance to survive this chase, let alone this night. I hear a whimper and drops of a mixture of blood and sweat splatter across my lips. I think it has grazed its hide against a thorny bush. The rich sweet-salty flavor of sweat and blood makes my head spin, the urge to feed pressing against my very being, pushing me to finish the chase. I resist.

Too many trees. My fleet-footed prey has a natural advantage here and it knows that. Its survival instincts are too strong. I know it will never leave the protection of the forest cover. I jump upwards, the sheer power my legs pushing against the ground kicking up a whirlwind of leaves and dust. My arms grab onto a thick branch and swing me to the next one.

My predatory instinct has taken over my body. It knows where it has to go and what it has to do. I need to think of nothing but the exhilaration of the chase. The chase it what makes it worth the kill. My heightened senses picking up the smallest of details in my surroundings, the smell of fear from my prey and its knowledge of sure death. Without a chase, the kill means nothing to me. My legs and arms work in tandem, swinging me from branch to branch, the flexible branches of the evergreen trees giving just enough spring to propel me to the next one. I look up midair as I pass an empty patch of forest cover. The moon, the glorious moon, the sun of my night, shining down on me from its bed of stars. Tonight she appears brighter than usual to me, sharing my sense of power. As I grab onto the next branch and swing myself upwards, I see my prey right below me. It has slowed down. Confused. It seems to think I have given up the chase. It can’t sense me, stalking it from above. It relaxes a bit, kicking the ground few times, as if in pride at having outrun me.

It’s the perfect opportunity. The silence of the night engulfing us, I move ahead, ready for the kill. Silently I drop down, right in front of my prey. She’s a young doe and a beautiful one too. The moonlight shines down through the trees giving her lean figure a soft white halo. I stop, just for a moment to admire the beauty of the very creature that shall satiate my hunger in a few minutes. She is startled. Her ears flit in my direction and her eyes grow wide. Fear keeps her rooted to her spot. She knows she cannot run, and she cannot hide. In this forest, I am the supreme predator and she is but a mere morsel that shall appease me for the briefest of periods. I leap forward and she utters a single low, a desperate cry for help, as my fingers clamp down on her throat, crushing her windpipe. With a dull thump her body falls down on the soft forest ground. It’s done.

I crouch beside her, running my fingers over her soft hide. I feel the warmth of the blood still running through her veins, as her heart slowly ceases to beat. It will be a short while before the blood runs cold and rigomotor mortis kicks in. Enough time to have my fill of course. I Bend down and clamp my jaws down on her neck for that is where the skin is the softest. I would have, of course, preferred the heart, if it weren’t for the ribs. Too difficult to get through and not quite worth the effort. As my canines puncture her neck, the warmth of her blood drenches my parched throat with sweet satiation. The sensation is orgasmic. I immerse myself in it completely as I have my fill. The odor of fresh meat wafts through the forest air, tempting, inviting other predators to investigate. I should finish off quickly, for even with all the strength I possess, it would take more than one of my kind to take on a mountain lion or a pack of wolves. I dig my hand into the doe’s breast, my fingernails tearing through the hide as if it were putty. As I pull her hide apart, exposing the ribs, fresh blood spills over my hands, and I stop for a moment to lick it off. I can see the heart and lungs, now completely deflated. I tear out chunks of meat, tender and fresh, and bite some off. Meat may not suit my palate, but it is a necessity, for even with an immortal soul, my body is still that of a mere mortal. I hear howls in the distance. The wolves are coming. It may not be advisable for me to stick around anymore. I tear out two more chunks of meat from the body, and leap up to a branch, leaving trails of blood dripping from the meat as the wolves come bounding through the trees, no doubt attracted by the scent of my kill.

My hunger satiated and thirst quenched, I walk through the forest towards my rocky abode at the foot of the hills. There I shall sleep, sleep through the day, awaiting nightfall, so that I can emerge again, the supreme predator. Unbiased. Soulless.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Section 49-O

I would like to apologize for the mistake I made in my previous post. There is no Section 49-O in the Constitution, but in the THE CONDUCT OF ELECTIONS RULES, 1961 which says:

49-O. Elector deciding not to vote.-If an elector, after his electoral roll number has been duly entered in the register of voters in Form-17A and has put his signature or thumb impression thereon as required under sub-rule (1) of rule 49L, decided not to record his vote, a remark to this effect shall be made against the said entry in Form 17A by the presiding officer and the signature or thumb impression of the elector shall be obtained against such remark.

A lot of emails have been floating around saying that this provision is in the Constitution when actually it's not.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Mumbai - Rise!



November 26, 2008. Armed terrorists held the city hostage, blew up parts of a heritage Mumbai has treasured for many years, and brought the entire city to a standstill for the better part of two days. Well, too much has been said about this already, in blogs, in the news, it's everywhere. Speculation, contemplation, tight security, political statements, we shall leave no stone unturned, who's responsible for all this?....it never ends.

The question that raises eyebrows all around, and the one the answer to which people want to know the most is, WHODUNNIT?

Well, the question's not whodunnit but WHO'S RESPONSIBLE?

In the wake of the blasts arose the voice of lakhs of Mumbaikars demanding answers. Yesterday, December 3, 2008 saw more than a lakh Mumbaikars gather at Gateway of India, near the Taj Hotel in a peace rally, as a sign of solidarity in times of distress, as a sign of support for the innocent who had lost their lives, as a sign of honour to those who willingly gave their today so that we may see a tomorrow, and finally, as a sign of protest against terrorism and corruption. For that is precisely what's responsible for a plight like ours. USA had 9/11, UK had blasts, but since then, they have left no scope for something like this to repeat again. We have had the '93 riots, Mumbai train blasts, now this? How long shall we take a beating lying down, then stand up agian and say we have the "Mumbai Spirit" and we shall always bounce back up? That's all nonsense. Sure, we're a spirited lot, but that doesn't mean you ignore us. Where each VIP and VVIP in Mumbai get a team of armed commandos guarding their front, back and everywhere in between, the brave constables and general police force, who are actually faced with a lot more violence than those guards, are armed with only lathis. It was apalling to read the numbers...two armed gunmen at CST station against close to Two Hundred jawaans of the Mumbai Police force bearing only LATHIS? Frikkin LATHIS?? Just a handful were armed with automatic weapons. No wonder the CST fiasco went on for hours at end whereas with appropriate firepower, they could have been subdued with far less casualties. Again, the bulletproof vests that our task force used is allegedly outdated for at least a couple of years. Why can the government not provide the necessary equipment to the very people who protect it? Who's responsible for this?(I won't say blame because it is easier to pass on the buck but responsibility is something that stays with you) Back to my question, Who's responsible? It's the government. With so much being said and done about raking up defences and utilizing so-and-so amount of GDP for defence research and equipment, where's the result? If the basic police force have lathis, how are we supposed to trust our lives or safekeeping with them, at no fault of theirs? Politics and corruption can never be separated, or so the saying goes.
"Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely."
So much money is sanctioned for good causes and development purposes, but a huge chunk of that amount gets lost on the way. How is it that our politicians are able to purchase imported luxury vehicles and own multiple bungalows when the people who are supposed to receive benefits get none?

All these questions and more were posed to the country and to the media at the Gateway Rally. The blasts, it seems, has opened the eyes of most Mumbaikars, and they have come to face the reality of the situation, that if WE, the people do not actively participate in deciding the country's fate, no one can. The rally was a show of protest against the corrupt politicians and terrorists, with people bearing slogans with quotes saying, "Politicians and dogs not allowed in this rally", and "Mumbai has awoken!" My personal favourite being, "Bring back the Bar-girls. Maybe they can 'protect' us!" ^_^

The atmosphere was electric. People were walking slowly from Regal Cinema upto Gateway of India and back again, shouts of slogans like "Jai Hind" and "Bharat Mata Ki Jai!", "Vande Mataram" rang resplendent in the air. Praises to the NSG, Mumbai Police, Indian Army and Indian Navy could be heard loud and clear. Several groups had lit candles in the more spacious of the areas, and prayers were recited for the departed, and the National Anthem could be heard sung everywhere. What struck me as the highlight of the entire rally was that it comprised majorly of students from all over Mumbai. Of course, there were people of all ages, and the show of support was overwhelming, but the energy of the students and the young crowd was what pushed the rally on, and kept the patriotic atmosphere alive. We, of course joined in, hopping onto the dividers and shouting slogans, encouraging the crowd to join us. Every passing police van got a cheer from us and every passing person, a slogan. The sense of being neither a Hindu nor Muslim, but a Mumbaikar and an Indian was overwhelming.

There were so many foreign tourists as well, who had come to extend their support to this rally. Here's what one of them, to whom I spoke, said:
"I have come to this country for it's beauty and it's diversity. It has taken my breath away. The terrorists who have tried to destroy it's beauty should be condemned. I was here during the blasts and shooting. I heard gunfire. I sensed the fear in the people running away from that area. I was scared for my own life. So I thoroughly support what you, all of Mumbai is doing. If the administration's responsible for this, then it is only right to change it. Keep up the good work."
With that she actually joined in with us, shouting "Jai Hind!" and "Bharat Mata Ki Jai!"

Mumbai is really coming alive with this. People know now, that there's such a thing as Section 49-0. Read on:

1969 act section 49-0

Did you know that there is a system in our constitution, as per the
1969 act, in section "49-O" that a person can go to the polling booth,
confirm his identity, get his finger marked and convey the presiding
election officer that he doesn't want to vote anyone!


Yes such a feature is available, but obviously these seemingly
notorious leaders have never disclosed it. This is called "49-O".


Why should you go and say "I VOTE NOBODY"... because, in a ward, if a
candidate wins, say by 123 votes, and that particular ward has
received "49-O" votes more than 123, then that polling will be
cancelled and will have to be re-polled. Not only that, but the
candidature of the contestants will be removed and they cannot contest
the re-polling, since people had already expressed their decision on
them. This would bring fear into parties and hence look for genuine
candidates for their parties for election. This would change the way,
of our whole political system... it is seemingly surprising why the
election commission has not revealed such a feature to the public....

Please spread this news to as many as you know... Seems to be a
wonderful weapon against corrupt parties in India... show your
power,expressing your desire not to vote for anybody, is even more
powerful than voting... so don't miss your chance. So either vote, or
vote not to vote (vote 49-O).

To wrap up this bit, there's a lot of reactive as well as proactive action in the city today. But this may or may not last. For the sake of my...our country, let's hope it does and the movement and the awareness spreads. Today, Mumbai has arisen to fight for it's say in the working of the country; lets hope the rest of the country follows suit.

JAI HIND!