Pornography: An invasion in our minds


Sunny Leone was on point in the way she replied to that scumbag of an interviewer. Yes, I do watch porn but in no way advocate for it as being an ‘art form’; it is what is! However, the approach towards Ms. Leone was far from acceptable and me, vehemently opposing it, was strengthened when I watched this Netflix documentary titled “Hot Girls Wanted” (Yes, I’m on my first free month and using it left, right and centre!).

The other day, I was having a conversation with my friend AD about how the term ‘art’ has been overused and to use it to describe porn is rather far fetched. Nudity in paintings or sculptures has been present for ages and rightly so- the human anatomy is a marvel, a testament to creation being orchestrated by a higher power and above all, it is beautiful and amazing, amazing in the way that leaves us awestruck, aghast and amazed. Celebrating the human body through art is marvellous; desecrating it by making intercourse a public spectacle is not. I know there is volumes of double standard and the statement prior to this reeks of hypocrisy, but allowing one’s body to be ‘free’ doesn’t mean having to f*ck on camera. Similarly, pornography does not amount to art. This belief of mine was reinforced having watched this documentary on the intricacies of amateur porn.

I do watch porn, as I already admitted. Having said that, I also believe that the promulgation of freely available porn has led to a lot of watering down when it comes to sexual interaction. Consider it as a sort of idea that gradually plants itself as mainstream thinking (e.g. diamonds are forever) and porn definitely made substantial impact on our sexual behaviours. Gagging, sadism, rough intercourse- terms that are conspicuous under categories of pornography that have slowly but surely altered our sexual habits and practices and turned it more into an act of power play. There is absolutely nothing with that or to have fantasies around such extreme behaviour, but don’t you think that the same has caused for us to look at women a lot differently in bed? What happened to feeling the love, emotion in motion, and a real connect with your partner instead of vapid, meaningless and rough intercourse? In no world does ‘facial abuse’ or ‘abused teen’ or anything of the sort justify porn as an art form. It is deplorable, dark (yet provocative) and has caused for sex to have become far more extreme, negatively speaking.

One of my ex partners was more aware of this aspect of sexual behaviour and always told me that I was a good lover when the term ‘f*cking’ was in play but I had a long way to go to learn how to ‘make love’. I brushed it off at first, covering up with a romantic gesture or something similar (in bed) but down the line I realised that she was right. In high school, when sex was this endangered unicorn we longed to attain, it seemed far softer and more connected; caressing and holding your partner while looking into her eyes meant more than making her give you a blowjob and feel in control. The effort of mood and lighting meant more than acquiring an empty room where the act could be carried out. Unfortunately, I realised that over the years that feeling and desire of making every intercourse an experience turned into becoming more of a numbers game for me wherein wild and crazy became primary.

The documentary made me ponder over the stigma that a person must have to go through to fulfil a private act on camera. A society that degrades a woman with multiple sexual partners in the past would naturally decimate a woman getting paid to have sex on camera. No, I do not support porn stars and stand by the fact that they have no right to justify that porn is art, but on a level, I sympathise. Somewhere along the line there’s a broken story or a traumatic experience, and more importantly, the need for sustainability or financial viability. Especially when it comes to amateur porn, as per the documentary, it is ridiculous to expect an 18 year old to make the right career choices. We all make stupid choices under duress and it is natural that another human does so too. We all deserve second chances; imagine if our parents did not allow us the dignity of a second chance?!…

Rewind to a few weeks back to when I saw this TED Talk by Ran Gavrieli. Porn indeed brought in a lot of anger into my private fantasies which weren’t originally present in my private fantasies. Porn indeed has become more about subordinance than being appropriate erotica. Feminism is a trending topic pretty much everyday now and it is something I abhor, however, I do feel that the idea of male dominance has greatly permeated into the bedroom through the medium of pornography. To have rough sex without a touch or a hug or a passionate kiss is as bad as humping a toy- again, it permeates as sex primarily being a way to satisfy men- an idea that has gone on for years, causing a chunk of women to go to any lengths to ensure that they are desirable by men.

For me, life before porn was all about the narrative (as he says in the TED Talk)- what will I say to her?What will she say to me? How will I hold her? Will there be glances exchanged? What will the setting be? The mere act of penetration is not all that there is.

I have decided to quit watching porn. I do not want to fail in the ability to imagine. The mind needs to be nurtured, not invaded by junk- we already have enough of that! If a heartfelt film can have an impact on our brain, imagine what unmoderated porn can be capable of. Leading us to believe that large penises and an eternal erection OR a ginormous pair of breasts and sexual desirability is the key to sensuality is cause enough to doom relationships.

There’s a great paucity of love and real bonding as it is, let us not degrade any further.


The Rose Bowl Article #3

Midterms: Travelling and Beyond


A Dosco does a fair bit of travelling while in school as compared to another boy of his age elsewhere. As part of the never ending Dosco banter in front of strangers, we mostly include the incidents of busting, the story behind a YC, a (in)famous love affair with a Welhamite, epic Inter House matches, Sunday outing shenanigans and the likes. However, we often forget to mention the most glorious aspect of growing up in school, the thing that is integral in bridging us from the boyhood of D Form to the manhood of SC Form – Midterms!

No, I’m not just talking about the genuine midterms, spent trekking across unknown terrain with kerosene cans and ruck sacks but also the ones spent smoking Sheesha in Chandigarh. These travels, initially restricted and exciting under supervision become a lot more exciting when they’re independent and the budget is made to stretch, using all sorts of pretences with the Housemaster as well as at home. Taken for granted during as well as after school, we tend to forget the big lessons it teaches us. And these aren’t just cliched lessons of exploring unknown horizons and all that jazz, but the lesson behind having the drive to actually go forth with a sudden trip, or one that you’ve been postponing for since you got your first pair of Wayfarers (or that DSLR which you’ve only used to click lame black and white pictures of random things for); of the desire to shift focus from the routine indulgences and spend on the one thing that is truly valuable – Travel.

Recently, my Facebook news feed was plastered with photos a Harley Davidson, parked by the road with the chrome glistening under the sun et al. The initial thought that occurred to me was that some Dosco probably bought that beast with the intention of riding it around the city, all its glory and power wasted in all entirety. But then I looked further into the album, only because I realised that the owner was Kowkab Naim, a Dosco I trust to have a much better judgement having spent ample hours with him in school talking about random things (under the tutelage of Nishant Ohri); and I was correct. This man was travelling to Goa for the India Bike Week from his home in Sainik Farms, New Delhi taking charge of the power of several horses residing in the engine of a Harley – a feat rater daunting, for I was dead tired doing the same from New Delhi to Mussoorie to attend a rave while I was in college. It is things like these these that makes life worth living, a thought I truly realised on my flight back from the Sunburn festival in Goa this time.

The realisation was back in early January, but the impetus to write about it came to me a few days back while reading the February issue of the Lonely Planet India Magazine, which had some real authentic descriptions and suggestions for venturing into the remote parts of India. The article on the North Eastern part of India spoke of the breathtaking scenic beauty and the grandeur of the Indian Rhinos at Kaziranga, which took me back to my SC Form midterm to Kedartal (quite a tough one that was), wherein we were in a tent freezing our masculine gift from the Gods (for the lack of the apt word considering The Rose Bowl a family read), wishing for a little warmth; scared to go out and answer the call of nature, lest some wild animal came and mashed us up like humus in a little bowl!

One part also mentioned the need for a dollop of luxury after a tough trip which reminded of my first midterm without the teachers. Having ‘almost’ finished Nagtibba, we came scurrying back to Dehradun to enjoy in style the remaining 2 days of our midterm. Discreet and yet full of pride, walking down Astley Hall and into Hotel President to order ourselves the hallowed bowl(s) of Butter Chicken, a generous number of Naans, Crispy Shredded Lamb, Fresh Lime Soda and the high point – a detour to the Polo Bar afterwards for some cold ones! Such was the extreme joy, the magnanimity in simplicity, that it us made us feel like champions at having pulled off such a task.

All this thought about the midterms brings back the C Form midterm to Dodital, which was a grand affair considering a big group was going together. I remember the morning of the second last day from Dodital, when everyone was busy preparing for the return journey to school, while myself, Jehangir Chinoy and Achshay Singh pondered over our decision of smoking our first cigarette. We decided against going ahead with our plans..(However, me and Chinoy compensated for not having had shared a cigarette then with countless trips all throughout schooldays to the H & J House bogs and some behind O House along with Atto Singh, under the graceful presence Mihir Misra!)

As we progress into adulthood, we make grand plans of travelling to the farthest corners of the world, but fall short of our expectation by leaps and bounds. That Che Guevara-eque visit to Macchu Picchu, that desire to spend a month living in Goa or to the villages of Himachal in search of sunshine, the pending decision of doing a Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara style holiday in search of a Layla before a friends wedding, the definite plan of going for Tomorrowland or Ozora, all fall short of happening for real as days go by.

In his book “The Island”, Aldous Huxley speaks of the bird who keeps emphasising about “Here And Now”. Most of the times, we voluntarily took for granted the chances to milk out the best from those midterms – the same treks which I’d willingly attempt now as part of my zealous efforts to cover every nook and corner of Incredible India before touching 30 (which, hopefully, is a long way to go). My SC Form midterm to Kedartal was a serious effort, and to this day I can clearly narrate minute by minute details leading up to four of us reaching the partly frozen Kedartal (lake), the sun casting it golden grandeur on top of a peak next to it, and the immense satisfaction that came with completing the trek. An achievement, the pride of which is known to most Doscos; one that comes with a fruitful result on putting a boat load of hard work. Booking a hotel room in Uttarkashi and drinking good scotch doesn’t exactly bring in the same sense of satisfaction when you’re 17!

To end this, I’d like to quote Jack Kerouac with a small part from his legendary book “On The Road”:

“The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow Roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars, and in the middle, you see the blue center-light pop, and everybody goes ahh…”

Go Dosco!

Goa/Sunburn 2012 Part 1


It was 0830 in the morning of the 31st of December. I was sitting at Anjuna trying to figure out my stupidity at leaving Goa on the 31st. My legs were tired from 10 hours of all that wild dancing at Curlies/Shiva Valley the previous night, but not tired enough- for I knew I could go again if the music started playing!

I was approached by a nice man for a lighter and I ended up sitting with him and his mates and talking/chilling for quite some time. They were nice people, and offered me quite a few funny things during the course of our sit-down! Time went by and they had to go because they had to rest for New Years Eve. I said I’d spend a little more time at Anjuna sitting around. They left. A local man named Gordon came up to me and asked me for a cigarette. I happily obliged. Gordon is apparently a known man at Anjuna and we ended up talking over quite a few cigarettes, exchanging contacts and the whole deal. He somehow noticed that I was attached to the place and didn’t wanna go and said something to me that I’ll remember for the rest of my life. He said “GOA- Go is go away in English. A is ‘come’ in Hindi. So you go now, but you MUST come back!” For some of you it might sound lame, but at that point, as the waves pounded against the shore softly with the sun up in her full glory and the influence of a variety of ingredients from the previous night wearing down slowly, Gordon’s words made me cry (thankfully, I had my wayfarers on!). I bade that man goodbye promising him I’d keep in touch and be back early in 2013 and stay for a month at least.


I landed in Goa on the 25th morning. What a lovely morning it was! I was staying in the South for the first three days, and 0400 in the morning seemed like a regular 2130 in the city! With the Christmas happiness evident in the air, the houses were decorated fittingly with the Christmas attire and people were dressed to their best with their lovely women alongside them- eating, laughing and living away! It was beautiful! I found a nice shack right at the end of Colva Beach and sat down there. The waiter was a nice man and seemed drunk and happy, dancing while he took my order for a beer along with fish and chips. There were a few who wished me well for Christmas from one corner and sent over a beer. There was music blasting from the speakers. The tide was high and moon was luminous. I could feel I was in Goa! The waiter and I got talking. He’d moved to Goa from Darjeeling around nine years back and visits his family often. Said he liked the guitar and all that. Along came another person, an artist by profession, and joined us. Over many more beers and a lot of drunk talk, he showed me his sketches (which were really good) and before I could realise, it was morning. After a few more beers, I decided it was time to go to my fancy hotel and rest for a bit. There was a week of complete madness lined up and I needed that basic, minimal sleep to keep going. So off I went, checked in, and slept..


Church of Prydz

Eric Prydz is, simply put, a legend! He has been in the game long enough and over time, proven to the whole world that he’s King Prydz.

It’s a very rare instance to find even haters of a certain sect appreciate an artist for his work. Personally, I’ve never heard anyone saying that Pryda’s music is anything but amazing. At the moment, even the best (at least the commercially acclaimed best) have come under widespread speculation, including some stalwart gentlemen from Pryda’s home turf, but Mr. Prydz is always in the clear for one reason- his music is the best in the genre.

He conquered 2012 with his album “Eric Prydz presents Pryda”, an album in which every track is innovative and carries a fresh sound along with it. He never fails to amaze. Starting off with the classic Shadows, the epic compilation ends with Mirage (a personal favourite), with euphoric tracks such as Juletider, Leja, With Me etc leading the way to the end. I think it’d be safe to say that the Pryda album was the best 2012 got to listen to. If you love EDM, then you MUST have a copy of this one.

Then there was the inception of his banging podcast- EPIC Radio. While downloading the latest episode of Avicii’s Le7els podcast, I got this as a suggestion for download. Upon reading that Mr. Prydz was the man behind the radio show, I obviously subscribed and now it’s the one podcast I wait for at the start of every month. EPIC Radio is a show where you get to hear all the latest stuff from the Pryda camp (I’m a big fan of Jeremy Olander and Fehrplay as well), some of them still in their preliminary stages. And there’s always the classic tune (the last track) that never dissapoints. Of course, Eric Prydz keeps the aura informal with stories from his everyday life.

And now, since I used the words “everyday life”, I have to say that the defining tune of 2012 was Every Day. This track is so amazing that you must hear it to feel its impact. Its deep and uplifting, a usual from Pryda, and takes you far far away into some sort of a aural euphoria or, “eargasm”, as some say. Even the Fehrplay remix does ample justice to the original.

As the year proceeds towards the end, Eric Prydz went forth with his sold out show at the Roseland Ballroom, NYC, finally overcoming his fear of flying. In the process, he released two new tunes a few days back- Recomondos and Bergen. They are as massive, reassuring fans all over the world that the mantle still rests safely on King Prydz.

Amazingly, I got an RT from @ericprydz this year for my views on Mirage, and it goes without saying that Eric Prydz will always be Numero Uno in my opinion. In today’s scenario where there is a substandard, commercial track being put up for sale everyday, Pryda still holds the torch of quality right up there. Thankfully, all in the Pryda camp seem to be staying true to that spirit.

Madeon on Pete tong’s Young Stars!

Remember this name-“Madeon”. Stage name of Hugo Pierre Leclercq, Madeon is the hottest rising star in the electro house genre. His tracks such as Icarus, In the City and Finale are a clear indication that this 18 year old is headed towards electronic stardom.

Getting featured on Pete Tong’s show is proof of the fact that the artist has definite quality. And the episode on the 23rd of November proved just that. The Frenchman played some really good music and gave us an insight into his influences and his biggest shows yet.

Madeon shot to popularity with his video of “Pop Culture” on YouTube, a clip (linked below) of him mixing thirty nine songs using a Novation launchpad- a clip that not only shot him to stardom, but also probably sold a good number of Novation equipment!

His set on the show day before was a really enjoyable one (it is still available for listening on the BBC Radio 1 website). Citing his main influences as Daft Punk and The Beatles, he proved that he absolutely deserves his rapid rise to international fame in 2012, wherein he played at big festivals such as UMF (Miami), EDC (New York), Coachella (California), Lollapalooza (Chicago). However, he, and the world, agrees that his biggest act was opening for Swedish House Mafia at the Milton Keynes Bowl in front of 60000+ people.

With more tracks in the bag and quite a few shows lined up, Madeon is one artist to watch out for.

Madeon- Pop Culture

One Last Tour, New Delhi

If you haven’t heard of the One Last Tour, you either do not appreciate Electronic Dance Music (EDM) AT ALL, or, you’ve probably been living under a rock for the past few months. Nevertheless, after reading this I’m sure you’ll understand the scale of the event that is, as circulated all around the world, #onelasttour.

Swedish House Mafia (SHM), the Swedish electronic trio, are probably the most phenomenal story of this decade. A Swedish supergroup named brilliantly, it consists of Steve Angello (Owner of Size Records and a superstar in his own right), Axwell (Owner of Axtone and also a superstar) and Sebastian Ingrosso (Owner of Refune and again, a superstar). Their coming together was a given, for Steve and Seb were childhood friends. An interesting take on it would be watching the documentary on them named “Take One”, which is a staple collection for all SHM fans all across the globe, including myself!

Early in 2012, SHM decided that they were going to split, citing a variety of reasons, the primary one being that SHM had become too big and was clashing with their individual projects. Fans were genuinely heartbroken all around the world and SHM came out with the masterstroke- Don’t You Worry Child!

This track gripped the SHM community with emotion and the video almost made SHM loyals cry (Yes, me too!). Soon after, they announced a world tour before they’d split, covering all major cities of the world in the span of about a year.

I was fortunate enough to have witnessed their impeccable showmanship at the second stop of their world tour at New Delhi at the Unitech Golf Course. Definitely goes down as one of the best nights of my life!

I’ve pretty much seen every video of SHM’s live performances and went there expecting a lot. Obviously the tickets don’t come cheap, but going by the words of a friend who payed quite a premium for their epic show at Milton Keynes Bowl, every bit is worth it.

It was to start at 2000 HRS and a few well known artists were playing before them to set the vibe rolling. Now, SHM has a standard method of building up a huge energy bubble from behind the curtains as a start to their performance. The clock struck 2000 and there it was, the white curtain and a video on it. Loud chanting (“SHM!, SHM!, SHM!”) gave away to total silence as the curtain gave the crowd a black and white glimpse into some visual mafia.

I was hammered and ready, prepared for Greyhound, their usual starting track and my favourite. The curtains dropped, there were some wild fireworks, and there they were, hands up in their usual No.1 style! I went nuts and so did all my friends, akin to the feeling of seeing Michael Jackson in front, in the 90s. However, the track wasn’t Greyhound, but quite a banger nonetheless. The crown went insane, singing “We Come, We Rave, We Love” along with the track. I could a hear a low but sure indication of Greyhound in the mix. I prepared myself. And then BOOM, the beats to Greyhound started, and I started dancing like I was having a seizure!

Over time, they played all of their classics. I was right in front and was quite sure that the expressions on their face showed that this was an amazing crowd and that they were loving it! And I was right- Axwell confirmed that on the microphone. Then came another moment that I clearly recall- the moment they played Don’t You Worry Child (DYWC). Steve Angello told everyone to sit down (including themselves) and jump up together with them at the start of the beat. What a sight!

The night was massive and it got better as the tracks kept coming. But their set was supposed to be for 2 hours and it was 2200 HRS and it came to an end. Lights off, SHM left the stage. But the crowd hadn’t had their share. We all, and I mean everybody started chanting- some screaming “SHM!” while some “Save The World!”. Slowly, the entire golf course was shouting “Save The World!” together. It was beautiful!

I don’t think that in the history of SHM concerts, they’ve actually had to come back and play out of love for the crowd. Yes, they came back, cranked up the systems and then started the acoustic version of Save The World. Everyone sang along and it was an emotional moment. As I write I’m transported back in that period and it reminds me that life is made up of small moments like these.

SHM played out an amazing mix of Save The World and Reload to end the epic leg of One Last Tour at New Delhi.

I’m going to watch them again on the 20th of January, 2013 in Bangalore. I haven’t had my fill!

They Came, We Raved, They Loved!

Rose Bowl Article #2

“Four Men..One Mission”! Yes, that is how I started my little memoir in one of those diaries I used to maintain in school to record interesting events. I’m back home in Kolkata after very long, and was just sifting through my old stuff when I found my old diary. It is definitely an amazing feeling to sit back and read through all the intense events of school life, because as you read they are simultaneously recreated in your mind, making you visualise the entire experience. This piece of writing came about after my first full fledged successful attempt at busting bounds! Here is how it went down….

It was right before Special Assembly that I came up with the brilliant proposal of busting and put it across to one of my erstwhile partners in crime, Anish Dundoo (540 OA, ’07). Now Dundoo had done this job four times prior to my proposal and obviously didn’t get caught even once, making him the man of the moment. Thankfully, he agreed!

Assembly started. I was about ten minutes late but that got worked out with the Prefects. A two man show would be fun but not exhilarating so I started searching for another co-conspirator. I found one in Kushagra Kumar (581 T, ’07), who’d pulled the same job the previous night and hadn’t yet gotten over the joy of it. He was ready for another round!..

We all met in my room (the last room in O House) at around 1800 hrs. Things were starting to get unsure but we somehow pulled it all together. It was my first real attempt at busting (the earlier ones had been those to get Bun Tikkis from right outside) and I was desperate to make it happen.

As we were changing up and getting the clothes together, Vikas Gupta (590 OB) got a whiff and decided to join us. Now Mr. Gupta was a Prefect in the making and extremely diligent with his academics so it was a surprise addition but of course, the more the merrier!

I looked at my watch and it was 1830 hrs. We gathered a few juniors together and told them to keep guard, while we stealthily made our way towards PRC’s house dressed in whites. I don’t know about now but there used to be a convenient gap somewhere around PRC’s house that was the usual route at the time. Cautiously, we made our way out of there, assuring ourselves continuously that no one saw us. There was a designated changing place right outside where we changed our whites and put on our ‘Home Clothes’. Now Dundoo and Kushagra were already into the game and looked confident. I don’t know about Vikas but I was trying my best to keep calm and carry on. And I did, probably because some other crook was already out. You see, bags with the school clothes were left safe and sound in the designated changing place in order that we could change back into school clothes before entering. Back then, it seemed like an honourable code and a sign of united rebellion!

At Doon, wearing home clothes was always a thing of excitement and fun. Nevertheless, it is important to stay discreet while busting and Dundoo and Kushagra were both wearing sleeveless jerseys and shorts! As soon as we were out, me and Dundoo discussed and decided that we must finish what we came out for, which was to a) Smoke a cigarette, and b) Take something back for Bajo (Vinayak Bajoria, 543 OA, ’07) and Hirawat (Chirag Hirawat, 583 OA, ’07) since their birthdays were the day after or something like that. With this resolution in mind, we set out on our task..

Of course it was very conspicuous. All the people in the colony were staring at us, knowing very well that we were Doscos. I tried to soothe things down by talking in the cheapest form of Hindi that I knew but things don’t really work out that way..

We got hold of a ‘chooch’ and headed straight of the Mecca of Dehradun- Astley Hall! One thing that I realised while we were on our way is this- while you’re out illegally and seemingly wetting your pants, every car looks like JHH’s car!

We reached in about ten minutes and stopped in front of Art Home. Obviously, we were out in town on Sundays in our uniform and used to buy all kinds of things from there. Unfortunately, they recognised us from Sundays but fortunately, couldn’t place our schools. So the lady at Art Home asked me “Is it a holiday for Doscos today?”. I stalled there for a second but the Machiavelli in me suddenly kicked in. “I’m sorry but I’m from Welham Boys”, I said. I bought my cigarettes, Dundoo got the birthday stuff and the other two laughed their hearts out. It felt good, it still does!..

Now comes the most important part- The Food. We rushed straight into Nirula’s (there wasn’t enough time for Butter Chicken and Presi’s was suicidal at that time of the evening owing to the number of Masters having their drinks there). We had to be very careful as a lot of cars were parked outside and we really couldn’t make out which perhaps belonged to a Master. The only one we could instantly recognise was SJB’s Safari which was not there at the time. Relief!

We ordered two Chicken Pizzas and waited like famished kids. A family sitting close started looking at us suspiciously. We stared back at them and they eventually stopped. The pizza came and we devoured it, precisely the way Doscos are meant to devour food! You know the time when after a natural calamity, packets of food are grabbed at the affected place. Yes, we were behaving the same way, only difference being that the food was right in front and not in mid-air. The food was awesome!

“What next?”, Vikas asked. I suggested dessert and everyone liked that idea. Myself and Kushagra got ourselves the classic Nirula’s Hot Chocolate Fudge while Dundoo & Vikas went to Baskin Robbins. We were busy, deep into the mutually complimenting layers of chocolate and vanilla, when we saw Kukkad (Jaiveer Singh, 528 H, ’07) and Bawa (Raunak Bawa, 601 H, ’07) trudging alongside Bobo’s (Rishabh Jain, 542 H, ’07) car as he was trying to park it. After a hurried conversation with them, we were reminded by our expert, Dundoo, that the time was up and we needed to get back. So we got hold of a ‘chooch’ and embarked on an equally scary return journey.

We got off at the HDFC Bank branch near school from where we started walking. The stomach was making it tough to walk owing to the superhuman meal we’d just had, but we had to keep moving forward. The pressure seemed like a trivial matter in comparison to the task at hand (of getting back in).

We got to our changing up place, changed up and let Dundoo lead us inside school once again.

The best part was that Golden Night was waiting for us! We put all the things we were carrying in my room and made our way to the Golden Night dinner with a lot of pride and happiness, full of food and an undying love for Chandbagh and Dehradun..


Shilavadra Bhattacharjee

95 OA ‘07

Literature & Cricket

At times, contemporary Indian literature can be compared to contemporary Indian cricket. I see books everyday- colorful, thin, quirkily subtitled books that are condescendingly priced and remind me of Chetan Bhagat’s first book (and the only sensible one!)- Five Point Someone. Such was its impact that it gave rise to a horde of senseless, tasteless books that twist the very essence of the English language, all in the name of modernity (“art for art’s sake”, like George Bernard Shaw said). And it’s parallel in the world of cricket? 20-20! A format that stands against everything that cricket symbolises, glorifies and embodies.

Always hailed as a Gentleman’s sport, there seems to be a void in the spirit of the game. Cheerleaders (whom I personally adore!) that keep us glued to the TV but not on the cricket, Bollywood stars in their constant endeavor to turn the sport into an ‘event’, and senseless slogging by the players churns out what may be called ‘entertainment’ by some but ‘disregard’ by many more. Similarly, you have these stupid books. Thankfully, they’ve spared the omnipresent NY Times Bestseller tag, but nevertheless, end up having a recommendation of some sort from some legitimate source patronizing the book to be “sharp & hilarious”, or the author being “the next big writer”.

Whether it is a management professional smoking his way into the IIMs (or something of the sort!), or a chapter dedicated to horrific ‘sexting’ language, these so called books are a trickery into spending a humble sum to support hungry “artists”. And hungry they should be, for in a poverty stricken country such as ours, there is a perpetual compromise in quality for quantity.

On one hand you have quality writers that are Indian or of Indian origin taking the world by storm with their books, putting across some seriously intense ideas. Whereas the flipside has a group of uber modern authors who ‘think’ that their books represent the dynamic youth of India. Like the phrase in Trainspotting (when Renton and his entourage walk to the hills after a night of disaster)- “It’s a shyte state of affairs to be in Tommy….”. Gone are the days when a book took its grip on the reader while permanently embedding its ideas into the brain- evoking cries, laughter, awe while in the reading process. These new-age books are a one day affair, one to be tasted and discarded swiftly. Call me a hapless romantic if you will, but I seriously believe that this new inflow of ‘literature for the middle class’ is a sham.

The 20-20 cricket is also a classic example, one that doesn’t even have to last one day! Yes, you can do it twice in a day with two different partners as hard as you can! What a shame! I’m no 70s kid but I remember the sport in its glory days when the likes or D’Silva and Allan Donald were still playing(And yes, all this was definitely before all the scandals that ensued). Agreed, Hanse Cronje was an accused but he too upheld the spirit of the sport on and off the field(I remember him not trying to get an Indian player run out because he slipped as well as his demeanor in front of the press). Coming back to Indian cricket, I remember Anil Kumble’s 10 wicket haul in that memorable test against Pakistan and Ganguly’s constant battering of the Sri Lankan bowlers. As a kid, I actually enjoyed watching these players rip the opponents apart and eagerly waited for the coveted Ind-Pak at Sharjah. Now I’m no cricket junkie to be factually correct about matters of the sport, but like I said I’m a hapless romantic that seriously believes in the spirit of the game. Viral that this sport is, one must take into regard the empty stands at Test matches and do something to safeguard the very original form of the game. Sometimes I wonder if “Revolution 20-20” stands for something deeper than a mere title to another such book!..