Tuesday, 13 October 2009


The wagon came to a screeching halt right in front of the huge palace gates. Twelve stood guard. He remembered the days he used to guard these very gates. He got off and stood with his chin held high, gawking at the splendour and majesty of the spotless white palace outer walls. The palace was huge, and he knew none could ever match this one.

He once lived here. He had to know...

The guards frowned as he walked past them. They knew they weren't supposed to be mean, but they couldn't help it. But then again, they reckoned it was okay to be mean once in a while, more so with this uninvited visitor.

The Uninvited Visitor...

He walked past a million of them. He used to be one of their kind. He used to be one of them. He was an outcast now.

The Outcast...

Walking past the palace gardens and courtyard, he encountered a thousand glares and angry stares. He didn't mind it. He was used to it now. It didn't make him wince one bit. On the contrary, he felt a sense of power.

Power...the same power that gave him the courage to look at the master in his face...the same power that seduced him to the great fall from grace.

As he entered the visiting area and sat himself on the huge satin-cushioned chair meant for Guests of Honour, he looked around at the cordon that was awaiting the arrival of the master.

A few minutes later, one of them announced the entry of the "Master" and they all bowed down in unison.

Not him...he wouldn't bow anymore.

Unless of course the "Master" welcomed him back to the fold.

The Master came out to a loud welcome from his servants. He walked briskly to his huge chair, opposite the Guest chair. Without looking even once at the Outcast, he said with disdain.

"I have just 2 minutes. Tell what what it is that brings you here once again."

"Here's the list of all those who've been convicted this quarter. Its been quite a task. Lots of guilty ones these days."

"Well, with you around..."

"Sire, I'm just doing my job."

"Of course, of course. You do enjoy your job don't you?"

"If you could be a little less harsh on me, I'm only doing a surveillance job. I'm more like a law enforcer, ready to swoop on anyone who goes against your will. Am I not still serving you this way?"

The Master looked away, "Is that all?"

"What about the Amnesty I requested for? How long before I get it?"

"You really think you're going to get it? You don't deserve it"

"I don't? I've served you for ages...All I do is commit one so-called 'mistake', and I'm banished for life? You forgive those newbies inspite of their hundred misdoings before finally deciding to crack a whip on them, and I get no chance for redemption at all? Is that Justice?"

"You were never supposed to make a mistake. You knew that didn't you?"

"No redemption for me? No amnesty?"

The Master simply got up and walked away without saying a word. Three guards quickly walked towards the Outcast and with their eyes, showed him the way out.

The Outcast took a long walk out of the palace. He stepped into his waiting wagon, and like always, made a promise to himself to prove it one day to the Master, that he is not the most undeserving. More convictions the next time, he decided, and revised his targets.

Its not easy being the Devil. And its never easy to negotiate with God.

The Devil gets no Mercy.
Now Playing : Iron Maiden - Hallowed Be Thy Name

Im waiting in my cold cell when the bell begins to chime
Reflecting on my past life and it doesnt have much time
Coz at 5 o'clock they take me to the gallows pole
The sands of time for me are running low

When the priest comes to read me the last rites
I take a look through the bars at the last sights
Of a world that has gone very wrong for me
Can it be there's some sort of error
Hard to stop the surmounting terror
Is it really the end, not some crazy dream?

Somebody please tell me that I'm dreaming
It's not so easy to stop from screaming
But words escape me when I try to speak
Tears flow but why am I crying?
After all I'm not afraid of dying
Dont I believe that there is never an end?

As the guards march me out to the courtyard
Somebody calls from a cell, "God be with you"
If there's a God, why has he let me die?
As I walk all my life drifts before me
And though the end is near I'm not sorry
Catch my soul coz its willing to fly away

Mark my words, believe my soul lives on
Please don't worry now that I have gone
I've gone beyond to seek the truth
When you know that your time is close at hand
Maybe then you'll begin to understand
Life down there is just a strange illusion.

Hallowed Be Thy Name
Hallowed Be Thy Name...

This song is about a prisoner who's being sent to the gallows. He's probably been wrongfully convicted. He reflects about his past life, and regrets having placed faith in divinity. He goes through a myriad of emotions, experiencing both fear, and also claiming he's not scared of death. The song ends with him being executed, but not before he says "The Lord's Prayer" in earnest hope of an Afterlife.


Sunday, 11 October 2009


This is about "Kshan" - a Private Limited Co which my very good friend Tarun Makhija is associated with. It is a helpline service for those who require blodd during emergencies. Its much better than the usual blood donation drives, because this one actually helps connect those in need and donors through a helpline. Do have a look and support it if you identify with the cause.

Kshan - a 24x7 service which connect patients in need of blood to volunteering blood donors using smart SMS technology Few of us have been working on Kshan a concept that was initiated about 3 years back by a bunch of motivated students and young professionals in Mumbai. Kshan is now envisioned to be a 24x7 service which will help connect patients in need of blood during emergencies to a large group of volunteering blood donors using smart SMS technology.
smsGupShup, India fastest growing mobile community platform is supporting us in our SMS technology needs.

There are 3 beliefs driving this initiative:
Cutting edge SMS technology can be used effectively to help connect volunteering blood donors directly with patients in need of blood There is a pressing need to support patients who need blood transfusion throughout their entire lives e.g., thalassemics, haemophiliacs, anaemicsIn an ideal world, patients should not be required to pay for blood that has been donated.
We are addressing all these points in our effort and are currently operational in Mumbai with reasonable success so far. (http://www.kshan.org/images/times_of_india.jpg)
But the mission is to get this model to work across India - in major cities. We need your help to spread the word on this. Following are the 3 ways you can get involved and make a difference.

1. If you are based in India, would be much appreciated if you could register as a donor HERE. You will receive a SMS request every time someone close to your location is in need of blood. We will provide the patients contact information to you and you will touch base with them directly, only if you have the time to volunteer. We are only "connecting" a potential donor to the patient in need of blood. Nothing more! Visit http://www.kshan.org/ to read more.

2. Click on this LINK to share Kshan's donor registration page in your Facebook account and encourage your India network to register as donors there.

3. We are looking to engage student bodies/societies. We need a lot of active blood donors to make this a success and we will find such volunteers only in colleges. So let me know if you have any ideas/introductions you can help me with please!

Follow Kshan on Twitter
Follow Kshan on Facebook Causes

Saturday, 3 October 2009


This is something I and a fellow-blogger, Shruti aka Shane, who's also a dear friend, co-wrote sometime in July. Just thought I'd post it here since the traffic at the blog I posted it on was'nt very encouraging. I reckoned it'd get a little more readership here, as it deserves. Here goes..

The pain was still there. Her whole body ached. So did her heart. Every time she would see the marks on her body, she would feel filthy. The pain was taking a toll on her.

She went back to the dressing table and pulled out the drawer. The three pills were still there. All three in different colours and shapes. Painkillers. She'd bought three different types just to find out which one worked best for her. Got them without a prescription. Money buys everything.

Except happiness.

He came home late at night, 1 a.m. to be precise. Drunk as usual. He yelled out for dinner. He wasted half of it. She silently cleaned the mess. He switched on the television and played it all full volume while she went to bed. He came back an hour later, and tried waking her up. He slapped her when she didn't wake up the first time. She was aware that it was time for him to feed on her. He tore off her night gown and made LUST to her. He stunk of cheap liquor. And then he fell asleep, while she wept bitterly. She wept pain…dismay…

He was a pain.

She opened her eyes only to see him lying in bed like a monster. His arms dirtied with the lust, his mind sickened of rape and his breath choked with stink. It was all suffocating for her. Tormenting, to be precise. She put his body aside, covered hers with the sheet and walked to the dressing table. She popped one of the pills. The pain barely subsided.

The next night he came home a little early. But he was drunk again. He had a CD in his hand. He pushed away the dinner she had set out and spread out a cheap bar on the dinner table. He played the CD. Hardcore Porn. He drooled. She went to bed in disgust. He followed her in an hour later. She pretended to be asleep when she noticed the wild look in his eyes. He sat himself on the bed and barked her an order to wake up. She pulled up the sheets. He slapped her and pulled her up. He tried on her what he saw on the CD. He was rough. He was violent. He hurt her. She writhed in pain.

He was a pain.

As always, when he was in his wild dreams of the tutorial he saw on the CD, she covered her bleeding body with the sheet again and walked to the dressing table. She popped another pill. This one worked slightly better than the one she had last night. But the pain still remained.

Tonight he came home pretty early. This time he wasn't drunk. He told her he needed 2lakhs in cash, and that she should fetch it from her parents. She refused. He pulled out the thick leather belt that held his trousers and began whipping her. She screamed in pain. He didn't stop. She begged him to stop. He didn't.

She grabbed a half-empty whiskey bottle lying on the dinner table and smashed it on his temple. He dropped down. He wasn't moving. She grabbed another bottle and smashed it in his face. She loved the way his blood slowly travelled along his skin. That skin which had been anything but pure. She was in love with him…. But in love with the dead him!

She went to her dressing table, pulled out the drawer and picked up the last pill. She walked back to the still body, picked up a bottle of rum, popped the pill, and took a swig from the bottle. She swept the hair off her face.

The pain was gone...probably forever.

She'd finally found a Painkiller that worked.

Shruti aka Shane & CRD