Lockdown is a great time for some inner work

Men usually don’t get time to ponder over inner feelings. We are busy trying to figure out the power structures of the world. But with covid19 taking everyone by surprise, we are all suddenly one, because covid19 doesn’t discriminate. 

All social signalling has come to grinding halt like our beleaguered economy. People are now greedy for essentials only. No more iPhones and other luxury goods. Of course, there are going to be exceptions. 

Disasters are also opportunities to get a foot in the door of the new economic system. But Humanity I presume as learnt a hard lesson. What use will all that accumulated wealth be, if our children cannot play in open spaces? What good, will any power be, if the young cannot meet at a social place? 

Yes, sometimes, I feel I have lived my life. Old as I feel, there are some things which are deeply rooted in our childhood. The excess energy saved due to not wanting anything other than the basic essentials gives room to explore this past. 

How long and deep will this lockdown be we do not know? Some experts say that it could be 4 years until vaccination happens. We will various stages of lockdown, like in China, they are putting a colour code on people. If you live near or have visited a zone which was having or later developed a covid19 case, your status is made RED. Yes, they track you by your cellular GPS. 

One of the most tragic after-effects of this coronavirus disaster is that we will be losing our privacy. But that is another story. Right now we need to find our true selves, our authentic self, who has probably been suppressed by our god-like parents. 

Photo by Martin Adams on Unsplash

Removing the Heart Chakra Block

I grew up in what is called a broken family. A broken family is where communication is blocked or if they (parents) tried to communicate, they did it by shouting and screaming and sometimes physically abusing each other.

As a young child looking at my parents in a physical scuffle was most terrifying. I was worried more for 6 feet, 100 kg (almost) young 40-year-old dad than for my 5’2” inch tall 30-year-old mother. The reason is that it was my drunk mother who would start the brawl. In a 5-year-old mind, I was in no position to understand the context of the fight. For a 5-year-old mind, it is WYSWYG ( What you see what you get). My mother was the villain of the family. She was a drunkard and a trouble maker. I couldn’t have been more wrong. She was the powerless and helpless woman, as a young woman uneducated woman, the only way she could fight was by screaming and shouting her pain and it took a lot of alcohol to get her there.

Without the alcohol, she was quiet, loving and generous. With a lot of support from the alcohol, she tried to fight back my dad, who was a VJTI Engineer and a prosperous businessman with cars and disposable income. He was the personification of success for all his 10/15 nephews and nieces, many of them whom he employed in his factory.

I think am like my mother except that I don’t drink.

There is a lot of pain inside me, which should come out, but I don’t want to do it like my mother by hitting the bottle. I am looking for other ways.

I think all that fight between my parents has damaged me badly. Still at this age, if I hear people screaming at each other, I get very irritated, I think it is not normal.

I cannot cry easily.

Because of the constant fight between my parents, I became a zombie. I never felt hurt. A counsellor/friend – Reetu Walia (She is amazing) told me that I live inside a beautiful palace where “hurt” is normal. I hated to admit, but that sounded a bit true.

As a teenager, I slept a lot, sometimes 13/14 hours a day. No, I never did any substance. I just was numb. Many strangers who met me as a teenager or a young adult told me I look like a Zombie. I felt insulted, as I always thought I was an intelligent person, I mean I read Sigmund Freud when I was in 7th Standard and enjoyed it thoroughly. Little did I realise they were pointing at my heart which didn’t feel anything. My heart had stopped feeling when I was very young.

It took me 7 days after my dad’s death to cry. I just felt numb for 7 days and went about doing regular stuff.

My heart opened a bit when I got separated from my kids

I guess God, wanted to do his bit. My biggest pain in life was when I got separated from my kids. Thanks to them, I am a bit more human. But still, my heart is half paralysed. I know if a tragedy happens, I will feel in weeks or months later.

It is a life/heart living in denial.

I am doing my bit to un-block my heart chakra. It causes me a lot of harm. All my decisions go wrong because my heart doesn’t talk to me. In love, the heart plays a vital role. I even missed a boat, when I realised I love a woman when she announced her engagement to me. Shucks, I said better luck next time. The heart laughs but cannot cry, because crying hurts. The 5-year-old doesn’t want to cry. He wants to block the images of his parents fighting but he cannot.

I hope, I succeed in unblocking the heart chakra soon. Wish me luck. In case you have succeeded in unblocking the heart, let me know. They say talking about it a good way to start.

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

What it is like growing without a mother?

Yesterday, I attended a talk at the Tata literature festival on “ Writing as a Catharsis”. The panelist were Avni Doshi who has just released her debut novel “The girl in white cotton” which is about a complex relationship between mother and daughter. Then there was Istavan Voros and David Vann whose father committed suicide when he was just 13. David went on to write a novel about his father’s suicide but ended up committing suicide himself (in the novel of-course).

I guess that event yesterday and some feminist on twitter calling me sexist, triggered me and I had some revelation about myself and my relationship with my mother which I thought I would write in this blogpost. Yes, it is mostly about me, and a bit about my mother.

The Memorable Childhood Incident

I was seven or eight years old. I went to my mother and asked her I wanted her to make something sweet (sheera) for me, as I was hungry. She was having an emotional moment perhaps at the same time and she shooed me away. Not harshly but her expression was deadpan. That was perhaps the most painful of my memories of my mother. That day she had given up on me, or rather that day she had given up on herself perhaps. I would never ever again ask her to make anything for me. That was the last time, I asked something from her.

I felt betrayed. My own mother had given up on me, but I was also deadpan about it, like mother like son. I never showed my pain. I ignored her completely. My dad was the hero, he earned a lot of money and I didn’t need an alcoholic mother. But I was wrong.

After that day, things spiralled downhill for her. She was a raging alcoholic, I never again saw her sober from that day onwards. She used to drink when awake and go to sleep when drunk out of her senses. She was drinking to numb her pain. How could a woman in so much pain even think about the needs of a young child? I didn’t understand then, I never forgave her for not being responsible towards me. She was supposed to take care of my needs as Dad was working 8 am to 9 pm every day.

The Divorce

Soon things spiralled to rock bottom. She had become a threat to our safety, and every day we had one or another scene. One day I came home from school and saw my mother sitting on the window ledge and threatening to jump off the third floor. It was attention-seeking at its best. We all knew she wouldn’t jump, but I died thinking that my entire school now knows about (my mad) and alcoholic mother. Dad was summoned immediately and the crisis was taken care of.

Soon the divorce papers were done and mother was sent away.

Growing up without a mother

My dad took very good care of us as far as food and clothing were concerned, but he was old school and was never really could understand my emotional needs. It was hands-off parenting. As long as I was safely back home every day, no questions were asked as a child.

No one to talk about problems which a 10 year could understand.

A child needs to be talked to every day, a child needs to be questioned about all the things which happen daily in a non-intrusive way. This was missing in my childhood.

For eg –

I had a tuition teacher who taught me for 5 years and every day he would make me feel guilty how i was not doing my homework. He would talk down to me 30 minutes of the one hour of tuition time. I just blanked out and he went on lecturing. I didn’t hate him for it, I liked the guy, but he just didn’t inspire me. He just didn’t get me.

Dad never took one day of my homework. He was just too busy making money, I think if I had a functioning mom, she could have helped in my studies. But I wish my 5 years of school life was not wasted with an uninspiring tutor and I could at least tell someone about it.

But perhaps I am applying today’s “Helicopter parenting” standards to the completely care-free, hands-off parenting of the ’70s.

Eating food outside

I must be the youngest kid who started eating lunch everyday at a hotel, I must have been eight. Though my sister would manage some dal-chawal. I preferred to eat my lunch from the neighbourhood restaurant. Eating every day from the Udipi joint is not the greatest thing for a growing up.

Eating right is so important if you understand the gut-brain connection. Yup, eating right can make you bright. Forget about looking hot and sexy. A child needs sharp brains!!!

The Biggest Void

Our biggest voids define our life.

I think my biggest void is not having a woman to take care of me. I just cannot find a woman who genuinely cares. It is said that woman want grown-up men and at the same time, they also say that women make men grow up. What are the rites of passage for a boy to become a grown-up, I suspect the role is played either by the mother or by the wife or a woman who deeply cares?

This insecurity destroys my relationships and otherwise gets me glued on to some relationships where perhaps I shouldn’t be looking.

The sense of betrayal when a mother gives up on a child is biological and could perhaps take a lifetime to heal. Till then I will keep looking for a woman who will care enough or chase women who have the capability to care. I think it takes a certain madness to care for a grown-up child. 🙂

This Blogpost now raises another question? What it is to grow up without a father? Let’s explore that sometime. If you have been brought up by single parent. Do email me you thoughts on manoj@manojnayak.com.

Why I choose fun over connections.

I feel all doors are closing or more like the ceiling is going to collapse. Can one open doors without experimenting with Psychedelic substances? Health issues, financial problems and no relationships, yes this couldn’t look worse. But in spite of all this, I manage to have a lot of fun each and everyday.

Yes, fun all alone. I really don’t see myself in other peoples company. I feel the work I am doing though not paying, but it is one of the things which keeps me connected to other people. Also, inspite on my ADD (attention deficient disorder) , i have been doing the same thing for almost 10 years.

I haven’t changed profession or the line of business, though I have taken some freelance assignments to pay the rents. I have managed to stick it out. Also I am having a lot of fun doing my core work.

Is it OK to have fun working?

One potential business partner told me “Manoj, You seem to be having lot of fun, doing what you and that is a problem”. On prodding further, he indicated, that I was not focused on making money, but focused on having fun and this is the reason for my dire financial state of affairs”. But then you cannot really expect something radical from an MBA graduate.

Different school of thoughts on Fun@work

Some say, be professional, don’t have fun. Others would say, have fun, do what you love and do your best, money would follow. I chose to follow the other line of thought for my professional life.

Being serious means you gain your power from manipulating others, some day you will find your match and you will be ousted from your vantage point and left powerless. If the source of your power is outside of you, it is matter of time till your luck run outs.

But if you analyse the “fun” part without the context of space, it could be a valid point

I was talking to my young 18 year old friend, she said that she only has people in her life whom she feels strongly connected to. This hit me out of nowhere. In fact, i realised that the only reason she is talking to me or is connected is because she feels connected to me, while i was thinking I have a right to her life. (She has no obligation as such).

The other thing, which made me realise is I have never chased deeper connections. I have always preferred people who are fun to hang around with. I have never judged or evaluated if i feel a deep sense of connection, the idea of connection never crossed my mind.

If you are in it for fun, the problem is sooner or later you get bored and have to move on and meet other people. The problem is replacing people is darn difficult. You cannot replace your school best friend or college buddy, when the fun runs out.

So why the fuck do i chase fun

Fun is a way for me to not deal with life’s real problems, it is a coping mechanism, which has become a addiction. I don’t know how to make new relationships or mend the broken relationships from my past. I don’t know how to make more money, I don’t know how to make people believe in me and follow me.

I am very incompetent at the practical things of life. So the only thing i can do is have fun. Are you up for some fun? Lets have fun!!!

Are you responsible for your Bad Luck?

I hate self help books. But I think I am feeling down, I was feeling that I am not giving 100% to what I do. Then I saw this book “ The 10X Rule” at a shop. I thought this is what I want, I want to perform 10X of my current output.

I take it easy, I like to listen to music, Read everyday for 2/3 hours. I don’t like working like a mad man. But I know this is the price you pay to be successful. So I picked up this book and said maybe it will help me work at 10X my current speed.

So the chapter which said don’t play the victim.

I have never thought of myself a victim. But then author says all your bad luck is created by yourself. I agreed. He cites the example of car accident. He says of all the thousands of car. It was your car which got involved in the accident, because it was your subconscious mind which decided to leave at the particular time and be present at that particular spot driving at a particular speed to make the accident happen. So don’t play the victim game.

My List of so called Bad Lucks

I only realise the catastrophe I have faced when people remind me of it. Otherwise I generally feel happy just to be alive. One elderly person said, If there was someone else who had gone through all this, he might have given up.

So let’s see if I was responsible for the bad luck which the Society thinks I have been thrown.
1. My mother was a raging alcoholic and my parents divorced when I was 12.

Was I responsible for this? Nope.

2. My father married and I has a step mother, whose interest were more inclined with her biological daughter.

Was I responsible for this? Nope

3. I got married and my father passed away when I was 26.

This is where I do feel responsible. Though I was 400 kms away from my father I believe some kind of stress killed my father. If I was a bit more competent and responsible young man, I could have saved him. So indirectly I do feel part of this bad luck of mine.

4. I got divorced after 7 years of marriage.

Looking back I don’t think this is at all bad luck, but yes, I lost all my support system when I separated and I felt I had no one. Not to mention my two lovely kids.

If it was bad luck then I was 100% responsible.

5. I shut down my factory

I had a robbery in my factory. I lost 11 lacs of stock. That was my working capital. I don’t consider it bad luck, but yes, it took away all I worked for 13 years. I was back to square one. It reduced my social status.

I was 100 percent incompetent and didn’t know people could do evil things like robbery.

6. A bank gave me 4 days notice to pay a huge sum or they would auction the house I lived in.

In 4 days I sold the house and paid the bank. But I was thrown out to the expensive rent market and I could never get the same social status of being in your own house. With the current levels of my income, it would probably take me 3 lifetimes to make money to buy a house.

This was the money my father owed the bank. I don’t feel responsible for this situation. Also dad left without a will, so I had a step mom to deal with on property.


So, you have your parents karma which you are not responsible for. Like you inherit your parents wealth and liabilities. This is not your responsibility. But yes, for your decisions. You are responsible.

I thought my Life would be like my Father’s

I think there was only one man I looked up to when I was growing up. It was my father. He had successfully built a narrative about himself to me of being a great man.

The story was

“ I ran away from home at the age of 10 with no money. I came to Mumbai and became an Engineer form a prestigious mumbai College studying under Street lamps often”.

Most of this is true, he was extremely successful given the condition. How many kids who run away from home can build houses and buy imported cars in their life time. But then this a story I hear often from the baby boomers. Baby Boomers coming to Bombay during Partition and then building houses in Pali Hill or becoming successful in their own rights.

Were Indian Baby Boomers relatively more successful ?

I really don’t know. I at least haven’t come across such a piece of study on Indian baby boomers. But in America and Europe, baby boomers saw the worst of the days after WWII and saw the best of the days. They amassed substantial wealth.

Why did I think I will have a life like my fathers

My life is so much different. I spend most of time working in front of a laptop. I work alone most of the time. Most of my work is done over emails and phone. I have no office to go to. I sometimes go to Starbucks to work.

Dad once home would eat his dinner and go to sleep. I work before dinner and after dinner. There is no fixed time for my work. I can work from any place in the world. Anywhere I will be paid is my office.

What will be the life of the next gen?

I spend considerable time worrying about the career of my children. Will it be better or will it get worse. Will they live on basic income or will they be millionaires. Are they under the same delusion that I was? What can I do to make them awake? Do they even realise how good one needs to be to succeed? Amen!

Birthday Wishes

So one more down and not sure how many to go. Preserving the old body takes lot of effort. You have so many things to think off. For eg. how to replenish your gut with good bacteria? how to make sure that your back doesn’t fold up or what is the tingling sensation in the brain? Is it a tumor? Why are my legs aching so much after a short daily walks?


Anyway, a good ol’ friend called said, he had accomplished all the things by the time he has reached my age. I know that was a soft nudge from him for me to think big.

This nudge got me thinking about my ambitions. I realise that I had lot of ambitions but no fire in the belly. I give up too soon. There is no dearth of ambition and passion, but I don’t want to fight every battle. I choose my battles, I don’t intend to win all the wars. I want to win the war which is critical.

Peak to Peak

This friend gave me an example of how a person’s career can leap from peak to peak without every traversing the valley (failures). It feels that life is taking me from one valley to another. There is no hope of feeling the sun on the face standing at the summit.

My Ambitions

I don’t have any ambitions. Ambitious itself is rather ambitious word. I want to have enough money to provide to my loved ones. And in my old age I want to have some comforts.

Childhood Ambitions

When I was a kid, I wanted to be an industrialist (or marry an industrialist daughter atleast). After a bit of growing, I wanted to be a space scientist or some kind of researcher. My schools and college educatioy wringed out all my ambition. It left me unsipired and dull.

to be continued… on next birthday

Story on mental health

One day as I came home from school, I found my mother was sitting on the window ledge in our 3rd floor apartment block. She was pissed drunk. She was wearing a nightie.

That day must have been the most embarrassing day of my life. The entire Goregaon East, now knew I was her son. I must have been 7/8 year old. She was a chronic alcoholic, she would usually drink, eat her fish curry and rice and try to sleep. She would be muttering incoherent stuff while lying on the diwan the entire day. She might or might not, try to sober up before Dad came home.

I have never understood till date if my mother was a schizophrenic or hopping mad with my Dad for cheating on her. This was her way of doing a revenge. All the wonderful imported cars he bought only got him the respect upfront. I suspect people talked nasty things about him behind his back.

JJ Hospital did certify her schizophrenic, and my father was granted a divorce. Somehow in my heart I don’t want to beleive it. My father is no more, but I want to be mother’s lawyer and defend her case.

Next hearing date ….

Deshpande Sir

For 5 long years I had only one tuition teacher. He would teach me everything from Maths to History. His name was Despande Sir. He was not a teacher by profession, he was a clerk in a bank. Before me he has taught my two elder sisters. He was passed down to me.

Everyday for an hour and half in the evening he would come to my house and try to tutor me. I was a wall, I didn’t understand a creature like him. I thought he was dull and boring. He knew I was a lost person. He would often go out of his way to instil some value in me. I never took him seriously. He was not successful businessman like my father.

One day after an bad report on my calendar in school, I had tried to sign my Dads signature. I told Deshpande Sir, that I am scared of showing the report to my father. One thing he told me has stuck to this day.

He said – “ If you are scared of your father, the one who loves you. How will you ever face the other people in the world.”

I had no idea of what he meant, but it made sense somehow and I am not able to forget those words. Now I know what he meant.

I didn’t respect my mother. I thought she was a loser. On my birthday Deshpande Sir gifted me a book. It was a Marathi book called “Shyamchi Aai”. The Book is tribute to all mothers. I used to only read English then. I never touched the book.

A few days back I started reading “Shyamchi Aai”. A bit too late, but it is never too late.

Thank you Sir.

My childhood eating habits

I was a finicky child as far as eating habits could go. I didn’t eat any vegetables. I survived mostly on Dal Chawal. Dal chawal was my lunch and dinner for better part of growing up.

Breakfast was generally eggs and toast. Eggs in any form was ok. I didn’t like the taste of milk. I needed some Horlicks to gulp down the milk. I started drinking tea once I started living in college hostel.

Snacking I was a bit flexible. I remember eating lot of poha + milk + sugar. It was so easy to make, put in some sugar to the poha add some warm milk and ready to go.

Another snack which i had a lot was kurmura (puffed rice) + peanuts. This was a filling snack for me.

As for non veg foods

I was just a chicken and fish. In Fish I could only tolerate pomfret.

This was my diet till I was 10. After that I got exposed to new foods. Maggi came into my life in a big way. I ate tons of maggi. I hope they were safe then.

I did relish mutton though.

So what was your childhood food?

Kalyani Nagar, Pune

I remember Pune fondly. My mother had bought a house there. Dad and I used to travel there often, sometimes sister used to accompany us. Those days were the happiest days of my growing up. I had just learnt driving, I was 14/15. We had a beautiful brown Toyota which drove like a dream.

Since the building was new. The bathrooms in the house with hot and cold showers felt like being in a hotel and not a house. Mother was very vulnerable as her daughter had fled and married to a guy she didn’t approve off.

Is that when people are most vulnerable they are at their kindest best. Emotional Pain can make you blind to other people’s fault’s.

Pune was so beautiful. The winter actually felt like winter, unlike mumbai weather where we get 4 days of winter in a year from Dec 25th to 1st of Jan.

Pune is also where I went to do my diploma in Engineering. I didn’t enjoy my Engineering days. I felt I was sick or sleepy most of the time. I never attended any classes. Still I managed to pass is some kind of miracle.

My favourite place that time in Pune was M G Road. The walk there was very pleasurable. Those high shopping streets are vibrant with life.

Oh! Pune I miss you!

Who killed my childhood dreams

Space Exploration

US Astronauts Neil Armstrong and Alwin Aldrin landed on the moon in 1959 or was it 1961? Russia had already been sending rockets to moon by then. The world looked infinite to my tiny ears. I was fascinated by the stars and the planets. I remember when everyone were asleep in the house. A little 5 year old mini-me would walk to the window, pull a chair and stare at the skies till it was dawn. I would stare at the stars, try to figure out the the planets. My Favourite planet was Mars, since I was told the same could be inhabited. I wanted to be a space explorer.


Another carreir I visualised was becoming a scientist. I even had converted our small balcony in our 1 BHK flat in to a personal lab. Trust me I was only 7/8 years old and I had a fucking lab at home!! I would open up radio’s, Tv’s and whatever caught my fancy around the house.


I realised I was not a hard worker, I didn’t have the discipline to put in day in and day out. So by the age of 10, I would ask my friends who were better with radio, transistors etc to come and work for me. They would just hangout in my lab, spend some time, helping me wherever they can.

After that I realised that I could be better industrialist. I mean, I clearly wasn’t cut out of studios stuff of scientist. Here also I felt laziness creeping into my bones again. I had another brilliant idea. I announced one day to all my family that I would rather marry a industrialist’s daughter.

How Engineering killed all my childhood dreams

Of-course, Dad wanted me to become a Engineer. If there was anything of my childhood dream left. The boring engineering college professors mutilated it. Engineering damaged me so much that I gave up on all my dreams of space travel and being a scientist. I came out of college, thinking I was good for nothing, dimwit idiot.

I became a idiot instead of a scientist or a space explorer

Today, I spend 16 hours staring from one screen to another. I shift from my iPhone to iPad and then to the mac.

Where are those space travels? ??

Where are those fabulous inventions I was supposed to make???

The highlight of the day now is getting 25 comments and 25 shares on Facebook.

P.S – If you read till the end, could you please share/comment/like this post? 😛

Childhood memoir of Summer Vacations in Mangalore

The school summer vacations, a good 2 months of nothing to do. Dad packed us, me, my mom, and occasionally my sister to Mangalore, where his two sisters lived. My mother’s uncle too lived close.

Dad’s extended family comprised his 2 elder sisters and their children. Each aunt had many children. In our wonderful language, we called our male cousins “Bhavji” and our female cousins as “Vahini”.

My Cousins

The custom of spending summer vacations in Mangalore started around age five and abandoned after I grew ten years old. These five summers are the liveliest of my life. My cousins who were much older and in their youth were great fun and unique. They took me to restaurants for Gadbad ice-creams and other food, told me fascinating stories. These cousins were my childhood heroes, they could climb trees and get me fresh coconut water. They could jump from a floor or more, and they climbed into well’s if a cricket ball fell into it.

The Food

Though both aunt’s and my mothers uncle lived around Mangalore, the character of the food varied. At the aunt who lived in Mangalore city there used to lot of fish for lunches and mangoes and jackfruits to eat for deserts. With the aunt in “Puthige” (a village near Mangalore) there used be lot dosa and chutney and a wonderful homemade pickle which tasted divine with watered rice. When we reached at my mothers uncle place in Polali, we got treated to a huge watermelon fresh from the fields. My mother’s uncle then caught a chicken roaming around freely in his house front-yard and screwed it’s neck. The half dead chicken is then dispatched to the ladies for cooking. Thin Rice wafers (called as Roti) is usual accompaniment with the chicken curry.

Toilet Matters

But there were troubles too, the greatest issue for a city slicker, was the lack of toilets inside the house. Being a shy child and not keen on being led by an elder to the field for my daily defecation. Most of the times a girl cousin escorted me into the open, who I accused of sneaking in to see my behind. Open defecation in the field tormented me, even though now I consider it as an extravagance. Later the aunts got into a rat race to get the first toilet built. The city aunt won. The game plan for the aunts was whoever builds an indoor toilet’s will make us city slicker more comfortable and hence get more time at their place. More time, means more ability to influence. I don’t think it worked, my mom spent extra stay time with the family who provided her the intoxicant of choice.


Both my aunts (fathers sister) houses were as different as apples & oranges. The elder aunt’s house had 2 or 3 other houses in front of them with a center courtyard. There was a beautiful temple in the courtyard where every evening all the residents of that houses sang aarti’s (devotional songs). This typical village house surrounded by paddy fields and coconut tress looked idyllic.

The city aunt’s house was on a hill. It had a narrow un-motorable approach road. We left the rickshaw down the main road and walked to the house. The front yard of the house had fruit trees like jackfruit, mangoes. I recall the big Jackfruit tree right in front of the house where we would put up chairs and sit. The back gate of the house led to barren hill where a solitude cashew tree stood. We ate those cashew fruits sometime.

Work and Education

Most the girls in the neighbours houses of the village aunt, used to make “bidi’s” – (an Indian cigarette without filter) and sell it to the local manufacturer for cash. It helped them support the household. The marked difference between the village aunt and the city aunt was that some of the children of the city aunt studied to become graduates. The less educated cousins moved to Bombay to earn and support the family back home. A few of them worked with my father in the factory.


The older aunt was the like Queen bee, she made sure, they was money to feed all the mouths. She did a good job to push her relatives to work. The younger aunt aptly named “Sundari” (‘O’ beautiful) was more talkative and extrovert. She educated her kids and took pride in their success.

Relationships outgrowing in time

My father got divorced and re-married. The vacations to Mangalore stopped.

Disclaimer – My memory is rather bad, maybe I got stuff here wrong. 

How Vijay (Amitabh Bachchan) made me an Atheist.

Nowadays I don’t get influenced by Hindi movies, but when I was a kid, the only way for a new idea to take roots in my brain was via Hindi films, and mostly it was the special occasion of watching an Amitabh movie. I guess no other film has impacted me more than the movie Deewar.

Amitabh’s character Vijay in Deewar is how I modelled myself, along with a strong influence of Bruce Lee my other Hero. Our household wasn’t very religious, but someone in the house would light agarbatti and diya in the morning and evening at our house. I had nothing to do with it after I saw Amitabh blaming GOD for all the hardships his mother and he faced when he was a kid.

I also conveniently blamed the invisible Gods for all my childhood problems, cause my childhood wasn’t normal like other children in the neighbourhood, I couldn’t blend in.

Check out this scene from Deewar, its sounds almost funny now, and I cant bear to watch it.


The Mind tries to find patterns – A Story about childhood friendship.

Have you said to yourself “Man why does this happen to me all the time?”. Have you observed, how many close calls you had in life, I mean I could have been dead when I was eight years old. I had set up this lab on the balcony of my house, and I was at least getting one electric shock every day trying to become the next Einstein.

Yes, my childhood dream was to become a scientist, but my Dad thought I should become an Engineer and manage his business. So I did become an Engineer.

A couple of weeks back I was missing an old childhood friend Rajesh of mine, I mean we grew up like brothers, but then we lost touch, and a few days later I found Rajesh sitting at the table across me and sipping his coffee. We both recognised each other, but we didn’t talk.

I realised we weren’t kids now, I found him grumpy and felt it isn’t worth working on the old relationships now. Yes, you might say, “how cruel?”. Yes, I feel sometimes, I don’t have a heart, the cold-blooded way in which I manage to conduct myself.

But then again after a few days I meet another Rajesh, who tries to help me with some important work. Here my mind, starts talking to myself “ Woh, God compensated me with another Rajesh”

But hope you are getting the drift, all these coincidences happening to me, I am building a pattern, I am linking the first event “My remembering of my childhood friend” to the other 2 events.

I know, we all love connecting the dots…

But stop there, just don’t connect the dots and let it be! Trust me; you will save yourself a lot of bothers.




deborahsk0 / Pixabay

Memorable Drives.

As long as I have been conscious, I have always been in a car, either being driven when I was a minor or driving with someone, or driving alone.

I have driven a lot, most of the times alone, and lot many times with families and loved ones.

Driving with someone is a good opportunity to know someone, due to the circumstance of proximity, you and your companion end up talking and a kind of intimacy develops between you.

When the roads are never ending, you tend you slip into your inner consciousness. I have been aware of great compassion and love from my fellow companions during those long journeys.

Mostly my driving has been for work and only a couple of vacations. But I have had some revealing insights about my loved ones when driving. When I look back, I feel glad I took those rides with them as those 8/10 hours on the road, made me understand them much better.

Now I don’t drive, but I am looking forward to a trip with someone, somewhere on a beautiful, long winding roads, into the future.

Learning to Fight Back

As far as I remember, I was labelled as the “obedient child” a little bit early in life. An obedient child is aptly rewarded for good behaviour. Even as a child one tends to understand that one has to exhibit proper behaviour, which mostly meant “Just keep your stupid mouth shut”.

This enormous burden of a sweet boy label creates an extremely repressed young boy. The obedient child doesn’t get a chance to rebel; because of the following reasons

1) Complete denial of access to the outside world and interactions.
2) He is made entirely dependent on his parents.
3) By reiterating by action and words, that your parents can take care of all your problems.

I am not saying that this is all deliberate actions on the part of the parents, but it may be just how parents are, they want to control their creation. I hope though some enlightened parents know better than this?

I am no longer an obedient child; in fact, I have rejected the society as it is, I am one of the biggest critiques of societal norms and the superficial values it imposes so that it can make compliant citizens of everyone.

But being an armchair critique is one thing and fighting back is an entirely different ball game.

I have never learnt to fight back for my rights, because fighting back most of the time means hurting the very ones who said, they would protect you. Fighting back means telling the people you respect and sometimes even love, that they are hurting you.

Sometimes there is a such a thin line between what is rightfully yours and what’s not? It is like the predicament of Arjun who drops his weapons when given the task to eliminate his elders and loved ones.

Life is messy and it gets dirtier when faced with such a dilemma, but one has to fight and I hope I learn to fight, and always fight for the right cause.

Why I grew up thinking money was not important.

Day before yesterday, I made a statement for the first time in my life, when I met my sister and brother-in-law for my 4_ birthday celebrations.

I said “Money is my God and I dont believe in happiness in watching sunset in a beautiful scenic place” . My brother in law who is the most practical person I know off immediately understood and retorted “That, after all it takes money to travel to those exotic places to watch the beautiful sunset or sunrise and expereince that happiness”.

Flashback –

Going back say 30/35 years, I was a young kid, 7 or 10 year old, every time i told my mother I was hungry, she would just give give me the keys to the locker where there used to be lot of cash, you know that 5 Rs bundles back then? My mother was a raging alcoholic, she didnt cook at home during the day and only would cook for the evening when dad would be home, so the only recourse for her to solve my hunger was to send me w money to the nearest Udipi Hotel to fetch my masalsa dosa. I hated the fact that my mother wont cook for me, like other mothers did, I fell really sick with Jaundice eating those Masalsa Dosa everyday. After which my father imported a cousin home from mangalore to do the cooking.

Even with my father, who was quite sucessful in monetary terms could never spend any quality time talking to me or he never had time to take my tutions or take me out for fun, i think I saw my first circus when I was well in my teens.

With all the houses and the factories Dad set up, I thought, there was no quality of life for me. This was my perception that there was a lot of money at home, but then I realise, my father was stressed all the time, because he was always short of money to raise capital for his varied projects and had created substantial financial debts and he worked a 12/14 hour day, day in and day out, but that's his story.

I wonder sometimes, will we ever feel, we have enough money, so that we can nurture our loved ones or is it going to be a life of unfulfilled responsibilites because there was never enough money?

I wonder how people with complete financial security (if there is such thing as financial security) live their lives, are they better at dealing with their loved ones, or is it over indulgence with money which spoils their kids?

Up until now, I feel I have been living off my fathers assets, now it is time to make my own money and before that I need to learn to love money. I still dont know if chanting “Money is my God” a 1000 times a day will make me get over this childhood distaste(Hate) for money.



Revisiting the Past.

Making a journey to the past, revisiting it. The journey to the past would be only constrained by the memories (of happiness and sadness).

reconstructing it with new adult perspectives and reinforcing the relationships which were meant to be broken and healing them by thought.

The past shouldn’t be treated like a trash can, it can be salvaged and re-aligned with your present and might just make the future richer.

So what are the tools we have to revisit the past. I am starting a dairy for each relationship, for each phase, for each venture in the past and reconstructing it with memory. I am writing non linearly, whatever comes to my mind. Do let me know if you have other tools to revisit the past. Maybe past life regression? Has it worked for you?

There is too much of a treasure left behind to let it go. It is a short life as we all say, nothing is worth losing.


Looking at intuition in retrospect.

I am a skeptic when words like intuition, magic and esoteric rituals are referred too.

It seems very loony to get involved in these stuff, but I have been greatly influenced by such people who believe in these stuff.

Now looking in retrospect I see signs of my childhood intuition coming true. While I was a kid, every time I used to travel to Bandra, my eyes would get tranfixed on a store called “Satguru’s ” on linking road. Now after 30 years I moved into a house which is opposite Satguru’s.

Again whenever I used to go to Nariman Point I would be very curious about NCPA , my parents never went to NCPA but I do feel extremely blessed whenever I am at NCPA (one of my most favourite place in Mumbai) .

Were these childhood sense of wonder just a sign about what the future holds for me. What if I was more aware of the subtle signs in the universe, would it have been easier for me to navigate this treacherous world with my own mental blue print.

Now I’m exercising my mind to back in time and explore those hidden groves of the memory lanes to find more clues for the treasure life awaits.