Saturday, 25 May 2013

DOMAIN MOVEMENT

                                                     BACK PUNCH

www.backpunch.in
Back Punch is excited to let you know that we have moved from www.nairgoks.blogspot.in to our very own domain which is www.backpunch.in. Although not much design has been incorporated, everything is in the pipeline, right from little design tweaks as well as the introduction of a logo.

All the posts and comments have been successfully transferred to the new domain. The new domain is hosted by www.hostgator.in and their support staff have been of great help.

I, personally would like to thank the major contributor, AVB for her ideas and constructive criticism and also Ajith Aravind, Ameya Dusane, Komal Kokare and Sreerag Nair for the posts where their names have been mentioned as courtesy. Let the contributions keep coming in

We would also like to thank our imaginative friends, Tantra, Tuffy Singh, Nihar, Sasha, Roy, Mukthar and many more to come in the upcoming posts. Let's hope they keep doing good things and promote positivity.

And above all thanks to Arundhati Roy for the constant inspiration and our motherland, India for giving us stories of courage, determination and passion that each day our belief in our country just increases.

Thanks for the feedback. Let the feedback flow in.

Happy Reading.

Long Live India.

Thursday, 23 May 2013

The Stained Sari


It was her parent’s death anniversary. She woke up at around 4 am, made a cup of coffee and walked into her balcony. She felt the fresh breeze and the steam coming out of the piping hot coffee.


She wasn't crying. It’d been four years since their demise. She had cried enough. She kept doing a good deed on their death anniversary. She always got the opportunity to do one. Instead of waiting for one, Tantra thought about going to the nearby orphanage and spend some time with the kids.  She wore the Kerala Set-Sari and set off to the orphanage.

Tantra went off on her scooterette. She expected to have a fun-filled day with the kids. She was one amongst them. Her bright white sari made an impression in the bright sun. She crossed the signal and was about a couple of kilometers away from the orphanage when a man riding on a bike spat.

The wind pushed the spit onto Tantra’s sari and dark red stains covered a good portion of the sari. She yelled. The man looked into the mirror blew a kiss and sped. She followed him. She saw a signal. The biker stopped. He had possibly forgotten about her. He failed to look back.

BANG!!!!

Tantra rammed her scooterette into the rear of the bike. He fell down, swearing. She parked her vehicle and pulled out the keys from the bike. The man stood up in shock with a rather evident question mark on his face. Tantra quickly pulled out her cell phone and called up Roy.

Tantra yelled, “Kya hai yeh!” (What is this?)
The remainder of the conversation happened in Hindi.

The man apologized after having a brief look at Tantra’s stained sari. He asked for the keys.
Roy reached the spot in his car. She pushed the man into the car and Roy drove them to an oncologist.
Tantra had found her opportunity to do a good deed for this day. Rather the opportunity came knocking on her door. The oncologist, Dr. Mukthar, was their mutual friend. She explained in detail to the man the consequences of chewing paan masala and tobacco.

“Tu to ek din mere pe khoon thookega,” (There’ll come a day when you will spit blood on me) Tantra told him. Her eyes were red with anger and frustration realizing that he was the only earning member for a family of 5.

The man had nothing to say. He was a stranger. He might probably think about this and forget.
She expected the man to forget. She had one good explanation. She had been insisting her good friend Tuffy Singh to quit smoking since a couple of years. It kept falling onto deaf ears.

She felt she failed as a friend.

She clearly told Tuffy that she wants friends for a lifetime and not someone who will die in a couple of decades due to lifestyle issues. For Tuffy, nicotine was more valuable than a friend. He chose the road to death.

Life is about enjoying. Life is about enjoying in a healthy fashion. Proclaiming that the enjoyment of life comes from doing drugs is probably the most redundant explanation. You’ll probably get a million ways to enjoy life but if you choose a way which compromises your life, it’s your call.

After all, it’s your life.

Make it or Break it.

Monday, 20 May 2013

The Smoked-Up Writer


The spirits inside his brain started to erupt. He didn’t know what he was doing. He ripped off his shirt and started behaving like a maverick. He started coughing and the traces of spit coming out of his mouth were red in colour. It was blood. He rolled up another round of weed and started puffing.

Tuffy had no idea what he was doing. Earlier he said weed reduced the anger within him. Then weed just became a reason for him to infuriate. He became angry over trivial issues and used to run away during office hours to roll up and smoke.

He was thrown away from his job because of the infinite number of breaks he used to take and for influencing others to take up weed.

Tuffy loved writing.

Writing was an in-born talent he possessed. He wildly proclaims that he wrote 4 books under the influence of weed, published them and made profits. Tuffy used to smoke up an entire stick rolled up with weed, pull out a note-book and pen and stroll down the roads looking for stories. He made sure that psychedelic tracks were playing in his ears continuously. He used to feel sky high. He read people on such walks. He sat on the footpaths and wrote about them. Sometimes just looking up into the sky and reading the faces formed by the clouds and drawing characters from them.

Tuffy found joy in taking a stroll when the sun was right above his head. He used to find such a place where the sun pierced its heat onto him.

Tuffy was weird in many ways. He lectured how cigarette smoking was bad for health and how alcohol consumption can ruin one’s liver but he practiced weed smoking. Although he never preached about it. Earlier when he used to work, he smoked up in front of his colleagues but never offered them a puff. He was spoilt in a way but never tried spoiling anyone else. He was particularly agitated when the manager pointed out that one of the reasons for his expulsion from the company was because he influenced others to take up weed smoking.

The manager then went onto become a prominent villain in one of his books. Many of his close friends forced him to give up the weed but to no avail.

One of his books got critically acclaimed.

He got a call from one of his favourite authors. Tuffy was called over to the 98 year old author’s place. He met the great author and both spoke in depth about their common passion. Writing.

Tuffy realized that if he kept smoking like this, he would die before he is half the age of that great author. He had a conviction. He quit smoking in a week’s time.

He went onto write 8 books. Sober. All of them were critically acclaimed.

He still goes out and sits in the scorching heat but his thoughts are smoke-free.

At the end of the day it’s just a stick you have lighted up and inhaling its remains. You are reducing the life of the stick, the stick, in turn, is reducing your life.

Nicotine or Weed. Quit Smoking.

Say Hello to Life.

Sunday, 19 May 2013

The Joy of Being a Pessimist


Hardly have we seen life beyond our selfish thoughts. The time we waste in pointing out the negatives in a person is immense. The positives just lay around. Alone. Being a pessimist gives us more joy than being an optimist.
Switching on the television and cruising towards a news channel rarely gives joy to Tuffy Singh. After a rather 14 hours of relentless work at office, he comes home to see a bespectacled anchor raring to go at his invitees. The invitees rarely get a chance to voice their opinions on a show titled ‘The Newshour’ but contain more fights and lesser news. He switches it off. Moving to a CNN IBN or an NDTV 24x7 won’t give him joy either. He wonders what joy these people get in just showcasing the negativities of the day. He rarely sees any form of positive news.


On a day when there is no negative news whatsoever, he doesn’t see the spectacled anchor. It’s 2215 hours, he walks into his balcony and looks up and stares into the sky. The moon is missing. Again a negative day for Indians.

He just feels that it’s an off day for the Moon.

Whenever Tuffy meets a new person he rarely rips into the negatives of the person and starts hating them. Rather he focuses on their positives and starts up a conversation on that. Even when a person cracks a joke, he doesn’t care to think if it’s a good or a bad joke. He just laughs.

The person cracking the joke feels appreciated and Tuffy heals up his heart by laughing out. However bad the person is, he finds out a reason to hang out with them.

Life is not just about spending time with the people giving you peace but also with the ones who don’t know what peace is.  Listening to pravachans and meditating won’t give anyone inner peace if they are pessimists. Be an optimist. Life’s all about being positive and spreading joy. 

Just like the cliché goes, Speak good about people and Good will happen to you.

Friday, 25 January 2013

I Believe


I believe in an India where I can voice my concerns.

I believe in an India where females can walk peacefully whenever and wherever.

I believe I’ll hear officials doing their jobs rightfully and not expecting a pat on their backs after someone dies.

I believe in an India where I can write a book and not get it banned.

I believe in an India where the two main political parties work together and not blame one another.

I believe in an India where the politicians aren’t corrupt.

I believe in an India where politicians use their brains and not call a terrorist as a Sahab.

I believe in an India where a sensible movie makes more money than mindless films.

I believe in an India where every citizen votes and then criticizes the governance.

I believe in an India where the streets aren’t littered and dogs are not run over.

I believe in an India where the Government listens to its citizens when we need a new President.

I believe in an India when parents have a smile as soon as a baby girl is born.

I believe in an India where engineering and medicine aren’t the only two professions.

I believe in an India where eve-teasing and stalking women are passé.

I believe in an India where, when a rape is reported, the police file the case, the human rights activists not rally behind the rapists and the women not lash out at the remaining male community.

I believe in a positive India.

I believe in an India where the caste column disappears from every form.

I believe in an India where a person’s name is much important than his/her surname.

I believe in an India where feeding the poor is more important than gifting the rich.

I believe in an India where Birthdays are celebrated to thank parents and not to intoxicate our friends.

I believe in an India where I live as an Indian and not as a Hindu or a Muslim.

I believe in an India where a religion is no longer a votebank for a particular political party.

I believe I’m a proud Indian.

And will always remain so.

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Bravehearts


Finally the nation is awake. All of us have been trashing the government. All of us have been saying that the Congress will not come into power ever again. Six ruthless human beings killed a girl and atlast we are awake.

There is a girl from Suryanelli in Kerala who was raped by 42 men over 40 days when she was 16 years old. The case is finally in the Supreme Court. The girl is a woman now. Ostracized and isolated from society. When her parents go to the market or a religious place to pray for the speedy justice of their daughter, they are often called by passersby as ‘Suryanelli’s parents.’ Severely stigmatized.

That girl is 32. Still waiting for justice. Does it take a protest for the government to open its eyes?

Every time we travel in a train, how many times have we seen a handicapped beggar come over for alms! Probably like a million times. Saumya was travelling in one such train when a beggar tried to rob her after trespassing into a deserted ladies compartment. She resisted. Her head was smashed and thrown out of the running train. He didn’t stop there, he jumped out, brutally raped her whilst she lay in a pool of blood. She didn’t survive. He was awarded capital punishment but lawyers came all the way from Mumbai to represent this criminal. Further investigations revealed that such kind of a racket is operational from Panvel.

Govindachamy, the offender, paid Rs. 20 lakhs to his lawyer.

All that money he collected from begging came to the rescue.

All these girls are bravehearts. They Fought Back.

The other interesting thing we find is and is a rampant style is that of getting a girl drunk.

Take off her senses and then offend. No modest female would ever allow that.

An interesting incident happened down south when the public got hold of a rapist. The mob beat him up and damaged the so-called weapon which gave him the momentary pleasure. Furthermore the medical reports also confirmed that his private part was permanently damaged.

So here we have people who are ready to face the gallows or spend their entire lives languishing behind bars for that momentary pleasure.

And here is a system that absolutely doesn’t care about its women. And then there are people who blame the entire male community for offences like these.

Which males?

When a pimp forces a girl into prostitution to increase her business, no man blames the entire female community so when some ruthless criminals gangrape a girl, it doesn’t mean that the entire male community is at fault.

Both of us need to fight together.

The Indians are finally awake but the people who run this country have again gone back to sleep.

And let’s hope that the idiots do not take the thing out of their pants unnecessarily.

Saturday, 3 November 2012

The Special Normal



How many times have we hid ourselves in fear or made a sympathetic look or laughed at a person who looked different? Someone who has slow mental growth. Someone who isn’t normal but special.
Students engaging themselves in Creative Activities

In search of these special individuals we visited Kamayani School. A school which falls in an upbeat but quiet area of Pradhikaran. Searching for the school wasn’t a big problem. A rusted board then confirmed us that we had reached our destination. KAMAYANI SCHOOL FOR THE MENTALLY CHALLENGED. I could see a playground with boys in an all white uniform playing cricket. For me they just looked like normal kids who played cricket like each one of us play. I still believed that mentally challenged is too harsh a word. We entered the main gate of the school. The children were just surprised to see unknown people enter their school.
Cooking Class

But they welcomed us with smiles. We were amazed. When asked about the principal’s office, they politely denied her presence.

After about a minute the principal Mrs. Sujata Ambe welcomed us into her office. She explained us in detail about Kamayani.

The Rally held in Support of the Girl-Child during Ganesh Chaturthi
The school was started by Mrs. Sindhutai Joshi in 1964 named after her house. Earlier these students were just a taboo and were pelted with stones by the so called normal people and were subject to taunts. Mrs. Ambe continues talking about Kamayani. The biggest challenge was to educate people that such kids shouldn’t be ignored. She then recalls how people started accepting the cause Kamayani had taken up and today the school she is in-charge of has a headcount of 100 with a student to teacher ratio of 8:1 which again is astounding.
Kamayani isn’t just a school; here students are prepared to be practical in life and self-dependent.

Their curriculum is beyond academics. Music, dance, cooking and other activities are part of Kamayani’s time table. Mrs. Ambe pulls out an album which contains photos of their students from an annual gathering held in October 2012. While showing us some pictures of the annual gatherings, Mrs. Ambe calls one of the students to bring her spectacles. She brings it willingly. Mrs. Ambe thanks her. The girl’s Welcome was louder than my Thank You. She isn’t normal? I’m sorry I won’t believe that.

The photos looked expressive and elegant. From candle making to embroidery, sewing to garland making, these kids are capable to do anything which we shy away from. She further adds that many students who have been given vocational training easily earn anywhere between 600 to 12,000 rupees a month. Even at the ZP (Zilla Parishad) Level, Mrs. Ambe insists the officials to include her students in the normal category and she proudly shows us the 2nd runners up trophy they won.
Preparing themselves for the Annual Gathering



During Ganesh festival a rally was held by the children with the motto of ‘Save the Girl-Child.’
As we are prepared to leave, we notice a biometric system which is fixed to monitor the attendance of the students.

Standing near the gate we look into the PMPML bus and are given a million goodbyes by the ever so loving students of Kamayani. I look at the bus as it leaves and wonder about the skills these kids possess. Incredible.

Yes they are mentally challenged. The things they can do with their minds can hardly be challenges by us. The talent they have is special. The next time you meet such individuals go give them a handshake and the smile you receive in return can be treasured for the rest of your life.

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Drops of Joy 4


She walked down the road. A million thoughts. The pouring rain. The smell from the earth was so tempting that she felt like eating it. She had a sense of loneliness. She loved that though. There was also this emptiness which crawled into her life from nowhere.

Tantra was drenched.

She was sitting by the window, reading and had already gulped 4 cups of tea. Hence she went out. She went out of her flat. Exited her building.

Looked towards the crying sky. With blinking eyes. She allowed the water to go into her eyes. She loved that moment when she suddenly shut her eyes as soon as raindrops pierced through her eyes.
Water in its purest form. She spread her hands horizontally and stared into the clouds. The rain was in full flow.

Tantra saw a puddle of water about 100 meters from the place she was standing. There were about 4 kids playing in the puddle. Fresh water filled into the large pothole on a recently constructed road.

She played with the kids. Being one amongst them. They had fun in that rare form joy, the government could gift its citizens. She got up from the puddle. She didn't care to wipe off the soiled part on her white kurti. 

She allowed the raindrops to once again fall into her eyes. What if, in a year’s time, it might just be acid rain from above, thanks to global warming?

She was just living the moment. A moment she wouldn't allow to pass off so easily.

Tantra found joy in that raindrop which fell into her eye and hurt her eyeball. She couldn’t feel the same raindrop again. A new one fell into her eyes as soon as she stared again.

Every moment in our lives will have something we can cherish. It might be a raindrop, a puddle or just the crying sky. 

Break free.

Friday, 21 September 2012

Not So Nervous Nineties

(The following post has been written in first person.)

I was waiting for that black Dio to enter my building. Tuffy came. He parked his vehicle. Pulled up the seat and took out a Crossword plastic cover from the compartment. After a brief chat, he handed me the cover.

He left.

I took off the book. Khushwant Singh's face was all over the cover. Absolute Khushwant was the title. I just had Train to Pakistan in my mind which unfortunately I've never read.

Once I started reading the book, I realised the amazing human being he is. Never have I read a person write extensively about the partition and proclaiming his love for Pakistan but being a truly patriotic Indian at the same time. It wasn’t just reading the book but knowing who this nonagenarian was. It was about knowing who Khushwant Singh is. I have seen many joke books written by him in the school library. Never have I tried to read them.

He fuming on the various riots which happened in India reminded me of my Godmother Arundhati Roy. Their stark criticism and undaunting courage startles me.

The way Khushwant Singh openly talks about sex indeed took me aback. He has written a few books on sex but it shows the immense respect he has for them. He still goes to meet them.

He is 97. Nor is he underrated neither overrated. He is amongst the few writers in India who has got his due. He has a fetish towards Urdu literature and excerpts from them can be seen in his life.

He isn’t a great writer just like he confesses but an honest human being. Sadly as per this article (http://www.daijiworld.com/news/news_disp.asp?n_id=122512) he won’t be writing anymore. I pity myself to have started reading him this late.

Let’s hope the dirty old man of Indian Journalism keeps writing. Some Sardars are hardworking, some head the government but some form into one formidable man. Khushwant Singh.

P.S. With inputs from Tushar Kathuria.

Thursday, 20 September 2012

The One Night Stand


Tuffy was too tired. The one night stand was keeping him awake all night. He was awake. Wide awake. He was completing his office related work amidst the one night stand he had for the night.

The one night stand he had for the day was literally burning. She was fuming because of the time taken by Tuffy to complete his work.

Every night the electricity went off and she would just be sweating and waiting for him. Sometimes the wait was so long that she would just fall down and Tuffy would also crash down. Sometimes Tuffy would hit the hay forgetting about her.

Every night he had a new one. Sometimes two of them a night.

The first one would just be sweating it out until he would start off with a new one.
 The old ones would just be the past for him. Just another one which kept him awake the entire night.

He never used the same one again so that’s how the term 'one night stand' came into existence.

The stand he had for all of them was the same which was he invested a lot of money. He knew it would never happen in office and every night from 2100 hours to 0000 hours the electricity would be gone so this was his only source of entertainment.

His office time would be from 0500 hours to 1400 hours but he waited until 1700 hours and took the rest of the paperwork home. Whilst going home on his bike he would stop near a housing colony, pick a pretty looking one, pay, never bargained and come home.

Exactly when the electricity goes he would take the candle from his bag and fix it on his night stand. He had purchased the night stand from a handicrafts shop in Delhi. He had a paid a good 15000 rupees for the copper plated night stand which had engravings from various religious texts.

So his only form of entertainment was his office work.

Today he just needed one candle as he was going to sleep in an hour’s time an not wait for the candle to fall of the stand and clean the wax it sweated out. 

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Romancing the Books


And then she cleaned her bookshelf for the seventh time in one day. It was a Saturday noon. The weekend had finally arrived after five days of pleasure at work.

Yesterday she had to go with Roy to an awful nightclub right after work.
She thought of cleaning the bookshelf. Browsing through her own collection of books again and again was hilarious but Tantra loved doing that. 

Picking one from the shelf, opening it and smelling the book thoroughly. It was a drug. She could easily distinguish between a pirated one and an original one. The pirated one never gave the addictive smell hence she never purchased or accepted one as a gift.

Accepting a pirated one was disrespect for the love she had for books.
She never had a library membership. The only reason being that she loved owning a book rather than take it on rent and give it back within a stipulated time. She loved savoring the book page by page. Travel with the characters.
Hence she is in a relationship with every single book.

Sometimes with the characters, sometimes with the author or sometimes just with the book itself. It’s one thing she enjoyed.

She never exchanged or gave her books to the scrap vendor just because a parent would never give their kid to an orphanage.

And it started raining. She quickly ran, made some tea, grabbed her book from her dustless bookshelf, sat by the window and started to read.


P.S.[So any of you readers have books which you no longer need/want feel free to mail me on nairgoks@gmail.com and I’ll be more then happy to adopt them and provide them a shelter]

The Stalker


Tantra was out with Roy after she was forced to accompany him to a nightclub. She didn’t consume alcohol. Roy did.

She ordered juice and Roy asked for beer. Roy was just about to take out his card until Tantra knocked his hand, heading towards his wallet in the back pocket.

She took off her card and got it swiped.

Tantra reached for the receipt to sign it.

“450 bucks for a Minute Maid, that’s what I think this citrus thing is, and your stupid beer,” she yelled at Roy.

“Hey, hey that’s not Minute Maid, it’s a mocktail and the beer is imported, I’m a regular here, don’t humiliate me,” Roy yelled back.

“I’m sorry to have invited you here, Roy,” Tantra replied in a sarcastic tone and continued saying, “I guess I’m being stalked by someone here.”

“Oh yes! You’re high,” Roy laughed off the last line.

Tantra wasn’t high. She really felt someone was stalking her. She felt the same whenever she went grocery shopping, online shopping and even at some book stores where she swiped her card and purchased a dozen books.

She left the nightclub with Roy at around 1 am. She went in her flat and crashed on her bed expecting text messages from her stalker the very next day.

She woke up, grabbed her phone and there it was. Two text messages from CITI bank, one informing the Rs. 450 she swiped and the other, her remaining balance. Her stalker was right in her bag, her debit card which followed her wherever she went to shop.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Drops of Joy 2


Walking down the beach holding a wrapped box made her wonder the life she lives now. She looked at the waves. She looked at how each wave wanted to be higher than the other. She looked at the people playing in the water and awaiting for the next big wave. She keenly observed how some of them were afraid of the big waves and went a step backward and how some of them fearlessly jumped towards the charging wave. 
Far far away she saw a vessel (a ship) lying stagnant. She wondered about the life the people on that ship must be leading. Far away from their families. Looking at her endlessly stare at the vessel a kid came and touched her.

“Do you have anyone on that ship?” asked the kid.

Tantra nodded her head in the negative.

To this, the kid replied, ”Well you know my dad is on that, I may not be able to see him but he might be glaring in through a binocular to check on his little boy. So I come here daily to wave at him. He may well as may catch a glimpse.”

The kid waved at the stagnant vessel, stared at the box in Tantra’s hand and ran away.

Tantra was moved. She had to move on with her life. Her parents just died in a car accident. She didn’t go to see her parents’ burn down to ashes. Roy managed to collect the ashes in a pot, wrap it and give it to Tantra.
She just stood on the beach holding the ashes. It was almost a week and even after repeated requests from friends she failed to move on.
Perhaps the big waves and the kid might have made a difference.

She looked up and saw one cloud stand out.

She looked down.

She looked at her footprints on the sand.

She saw that whenever her left leg was behind it always wanted to overtake the right leg. She saw a fierce competition between her legs. The universe wanted her to move on.

Tantra had saw her parents smile from above. In the form of a cloud. That finally made the difference.


So whatever be the problem, the Universe never wants you to moan and cry forever. Live your life, surpass the obstacles and watch out. 
Someone somewhere always wants you to be happy.

It sometimes comes, even in the form of a Happy Cloud.