April 29, 2007


It is 5:30 in the morning and still very hot inside my room. Walls are radiating heat which was accumulated by them all the day. I am in Ahmedabad and now free for sometime to read as much as I want. May be I am going back to phursatgunj tomorrow as today I received a call from Kharchu. Finally he got the job and now he has to join from 8th of next month so he wanted to come back here and also wanted to go home once before he starts working as a network troubleshooter.

Mumbai is a cruel place. I don’t know and can not even make a blind guess now. Shall I ever be able to work there in Mumbai? A city of dreams or a dream city? It is okay to go there as a tourist but to work there is altogether a different thing.

My friends who worked there before and who are working there right now showed me such a wild picture of lifestyle there, especially traveling on Mumbai locals and through heavy traffic on roads and environment at workplace, that I think I am a total misfit for this kind of life.

Those who live there may be never think about this. And it is very easy if they don’t think about it consciously. They don’t meditate over there own condition and start enjoying misery. Even 50 paisa of consciousness can not tolerate such a mad race for doing foolish things at frightening pace.

This is misfortunate. But it is so. Those who live there can live because they never think about this.

And I have total faith in my friends when they say life is not easy in Mumbai. I even can feel it from the outside, far away here. I certainly can not feel the physical pain they bear when they have to fight their guts out to get on board of Mumbai locals, but I still can feel the constant mental agony they go through everyday.

Once I was there in Mumbai with Kharchu and Binny the fool. That was way back in 2002 I think. I don’t remember dates exactly but may be after the riots in Gujarat. And that was one very funny and mind blowing experience as a tourist there. I enjoyed every bit of that journey but my friends were tired of me as I was so slow.

May be I was the slowest guy at that time in Mumbai. Once I missed 4 trains in row from Mumbai central station towards Andheri. My Mumbai Yatra was very funny and was full of comic incidents from the very beginning and I shall write about that some other time.

After reading Shantaram one thing become clear in my mind that Mumbai is for people who are rich and for them who are poor. Mumbai is very cruel to those who dwell somewhere in between. I knew this fact from day one but Shantaram made it more clear and transparent.

Any way best of luck to all my old age friends, who works there and face all this problems. Kharchu is going to join the working middle class of Mumbai very soon and I pray to god that he give kharchu all the supernatural powers so he can get on board of Mumbai locals more easily. May god bless him and give him super-hero like powers so that his old and thin bones can fight and survive the Mumbai Madness.

No kidding, but this hocus pocus was not intended when I started writing about Kharchu, Mumbai and my ancient friends living there. But this is what ground reality is and this is very ugly.

May be Mumbai has everything she wants, a big body and even bigger a heart, and very bright and active mind. She has no soul. It is like America, so many cultures interwoven that they have lost their very identity. They have lost their soul.

They have no roots. Not standing or not going anywhere. They can not enjoy the music and can not enjoy the silence. From the outer it is almost same even in the small towns of India and even in remote villages. But only difference is that they have a little bit of soul left in them.

They are rooted, earthy and life is much more natural and even easy for both body and mind. When our body and mind is in perfect harmony then only we can feel and sense our soul. Then only we can be more natural and can feel ourselves. At least that is like that for me.

When we were in Mumbai I was the only one who was walking, everybody including my friends were running. Mumbai sucked and over ruled Kharchu’s and Binny’s mind. They were brainwashed. Aroma and air of Mumbai intoxicated both of them. I was spared because I was slow and not the one she liked very much.

Mumbai sucks and than throws you in to the dark corners of the city where no one can claim you back. One feels as if he is manufactured by some moving assembly line in a mammoth human mass production factory. One feels that everybody around him is same as he is. Doing and repeating same things again and again senselessly.

She has a heart but she has no soul.

A very warm welcome to you my friend, she is Mumbai.

April 28, 2007

I play against Kings.

Just the other day i was playing with a Latvian on FICS servers. My game with him was very interesting ended as a draw after 58 moves. If i remember right he was playing black and I played smith-morra gambit, my favourite anti-sicilian system. Game was not a rated one but he was a slightly better player than me. He accepted the gambit and played usual standard moves for black. but after the mid game I managed to pin his rook and we had a draw. I shall give you some idea how smith morra is played.

Game 269: FICS server. White: tuskerking (1917) v/s Black: vilkacis (2023)

Smith-morra is gambit played by white against black's strongest defense: Sicilian. It is an anti sicilian system and works well in speed games. I shall not discuss the whole game here but only the opening and how it works. But the most important and interested part of this drawn game was the conversation after the game between me and vilkacis. I will print it here for you. I don't know why should I publish it here but it may interest you. So start.

Moves: 1.e4 c5 2.d4 cxd4 3.c3 dxc3 4.Nxc3

This is smithmorra gambit accepted and from here there are various lines, almost 8 in all but not a lot of theory and study like sicilian only 8 main lines so I like this very much.

After this how game went in our case: 4...Nc6 5.Nf3 e6 6.Bc4 d6 7.0-0 Nf6 8.Qe2 Be7 9.Rd1 e5, a vary common mainline of the gambit. There is this figure for you below to have a look at the position.

Than after 58 moves game ended in a usual draw. Statistics on Chess bases says that in smith morra gambit 33% of time white wins. 49% of time black wins and 18% of time it is a draw. So we had a rare draw.

Even our conversations after the game also ended without any conclusion or result. Again we had a draw.
vilkacis: greetings from sunny Latvia
*(after the game, result; 1/2-1/2, a draw)
vilkacis: Thank you for the game
tuskerking: thanks
tuskerking: was a good game
tuskerking: sorry, i was busy calculating moves
tuskerking: didn't reply your greetings
tuskerking: hi from india
vilkacis: i was busier not thinking
tuskerking: ha :-) great.
tuskerking: playing from the work place?
vilkacis: where in India?
vilkacis: i am retired
(I hope not mentally, he plays good chess and is higher rated.)
tuskerking: western part of it
tuskerking: gujarat
vilkacis: the land of the महात्मा !! (Mahatma!!)
tuskerking: and the chess
tuskerking: are you a latvian?
vilkacis: yes
tuskerking: do you know him?
vilkacis: not personally, but i have read some of his writings
tuskerking: ....like his autobiography and his story in south africa, etc.
tuskerking: i guess so…
tuskerking: i personally don’t like much of his ideas and ideologies but i like his non violence movement...
vilkacis: the autobiography of course, but also many of his letters, my nephew has a CD with complete works
tuskerking: do you know he was in touch with leo Tolstoy for quite some time.
tuskerking: he wrote so many letters to him and count replied him very frequently
vilkacis: i would not say constant and frequent.
tuskerking: i think for quite some time they were frequent
tuskerking: it seems you know much more about him than an average indian
vilkacis: there was some correspondence, but Tolstoy died early in Gandhi's life
vilkacis: one of the great men of the 20 century
tuskerking: yeah, he was impressed by his movement. but he also was confused how britons can control such a big country
vilkacis: Gandhi was still in S Africa when Tolstoy died
tuskerking: yes
vilkacis: the Svaraj movement had not yet begun
tuskerking: after he came here in india gandhi was under the infulence of tolstoy's thoughts and ideas
vilkacis: at least he considered himself to be
tuskerking: who do you think was better? gandhi or tolstoy... for me it always is Tolstoy
* (Tolstoy certainly was a much better thinker.)
vilkacis: Gandhi, without any doubt
tuskerking: why?
tuskerking: i mean i just want to know your opinion
*(itching and irritation)
vilkacis: he accomplished much for his people, and for all humanity. He also was able to conquer himself
vilkacis: Tolstoy was just a thinker and an artist
tuskerking: what tolstoy did for his people was much more important than what gandhi did for his people
tuskerking: come and have a look around here in India, ask his people and you will find that 90 out of 100 are against him
vilkacis: Tolstoy achieved nothing
tuskerking: yeah you are right
tuskerking: he achieved nothing
tuskerking: because "nothing" was his goal
vilkacis: Tolstoy also started in a privileged position
tuskerking: that is most difficult thing to achieve... nothing.... that is what we call nirvana, moksha, enlightenment, walking with jesus etc..
tuskerking: gandhi also was a son of an aristocrat
vilkacis: an aristocrat?
tuskerking: i know traditions in kathiyawad, not exactly an aristocrat but son of a very rich man. i live in ahmedabad just few miles away from gandhi ashram...
tuskerking: mehtas, baniyas.... do you know this tradition...
vilkacis: a better than average Vaishya
tuskerking: in old india they worked as collectors
tuskerking: and they used to manipulate everything under their control
vilkacis: that is a businessman or a crook, but not an aristocrat
tuskerking: his forefathers were rich otherwise it was impossible to go to england in those days when even bread was difficult to buy
vilkacis: they certainly were not poor
tuskerking: have you ever been to india sir?? do you know how things used to work here? what is the caste system and how much important a businessman was in indian feudal system?
vilkacis: you are right, i am ignorant
*(I was rude, he was wrong.)
tuskerking: even more important than king himself sometimes if one is a really rich businessman... nothing less than an aristocrat
vilkacis: plutocrat
tuskerking: exactly, that was the case with nehru also.
tuskerking: you are not ignorant, for sure, but just our opinion differs a bit
tuskerking: but ground reality today is much different than what it was before 60 70 years
vilkacis: Gandhi nevertheless had to work as a lawyer, admittedly unsuccessfully
tuskerking: yeah..
tuskerking: because he was more like an or rather one who was listening to Englishman. their mouthpiece.
tuskerking: he always lived his life as an english man... pretending as if working for his own people
vilkacis: it is of course different, but had it not been for Gandhi the British might still rule
tuskerking: no chance !
tuskerking: after world war II london was far behind new york in economic war.
tuskerking: new york was new world economic capital and english was facing all kind of problems to rule not only over india but over more than 50 colonies
vilkacis: of course one can make all the hypotheses one wants, but history will be unchanged
*(Irritated, tired poor old man)
vilkacis: maybe colonialism was falling apart in any case
tuskerking: if you want you can read glimpses of world history by nehru and all will be much clear
tuskerking: gandhi or no gandhi, nehru or no nehru english were forced to leave india...
vilkacis: maybe
tuskerking: Hitler was the key factor for India, i think, he hit the british economic back-bone and also french and new york bankers who did the same. good for india.
vilkacis: but also because of their impoverished state they could have decide to stay and recover their strength through exploitation
tuskerking: 1930s great recession shattered america and to recover from it she needed another world war
tuskerking: american agents were doing their arms business all over europe... one very famous american agent worked with hitler also... i don’t remember his name right now. may be john bright.
vilkacis: that is certainly a unique view
tuskerking: at that time they were not able to stay any more, i tell you, coz indian rupee was even stronger than pound at that time
vilkacis: rupee was probably still gold, no?
tuskerking: yeah rupee was on gold standard while much weaker pound was off gold standard
tuskerking: they maintained this because they wanted to suck gold out of indian market
vilkacis: economics is something of which i have no understanding at all
tuskerking: it is all rosy from outside about the movement. gandhi openly biased for nehru.. Sardar patel was the most powerful candidate for the PM. gandhi was not even a very good human being in my opinon. though he was better than average.
vilkacis: as a primary historical source i am sure they are valuable.
*(nehru’s letters to indira.)
tuskerking: an enforced Mahatma. but still what he did for the poor was good
vilkacis: well there we must differ
tuskerking: what is your age sir?
vilkacis: very old
tuskerking: in your 80s? or 90s? or don’t remember anymore like me?
vilkacis: 80s
tuskerking: you must have seen both the world wars.. or may be second one.
tuskerking: was part of anyone of them? may be second worldwar?
vilkacis: no just one,
tuskerking: World War II
vilkacis: for us second war finished only in 1991
tuskerking: 1991?
tuskerking: civil war in latvia
tuskerking: ?
vilkacis: the end of Soviet occupation
tuskerking: oh yes
tuskerking: i forgot
tuskerking: before that latvia was under polish-german rule i think
vilkacis: Polish?
tuskerking: in distant past
vilkacis: first the Soviets invade, then the Nazis, then the Soviets again, but not the Poles
tuskerking: in 1100s may be
tuskerking: latvia was doing trades with poles
vilkacis: Polish-Lithuanian ruler was 16-18 century
tuskerking: i rather should say through poles with western europeans
vilkacis: Poles used to come as seasonal farm laborers
tuskerking: i am confused where is latvia? in eastern europe or in northen europe... i think it is in northen
vilkacis: between the wars Poland was a bit backward
tuskerking: was not doing trading with western european countries?
tuskerking: just like russia? a barbarian country... for so many centuries
tuskerking: and than suddenly become one of the worlds most technologically advanced country
vilkacis: not so sudden
tuskerking: my 125 year old mother is shouting
tuskerking: my food is ready i have to go
tuskerking: i will be back after sometime
*(and we never talked after that)
tuskerking: sayonara
vilkacis: all the very best
vilkacis: Namaste
tuskerking: same to you
tuskerking: namaste

April 14, 2007

Amish Community of America

It is not easy to maintain a 300 year old tradition in modern America but Amish Community has proved it that if you believe in nature nothing is impossible. Yes I am talking about the great Amish Community of America. They live in the remote regions of North America. They love nature and try to remain as close as possible to her. Just like few of us in phursatgunj they also hate all modern technologies and as far as possible avoid to use modern gadgets. They don’t use motor car or telephone for their conveyance or communication purposes. And they are most famous for that only.
After 1760 they migrated to Lancaster-Pennsylvania in America from Europe (northern parts of Germany) and settled there. They follow Anabaptist beliefs like other sects who arrived with them in America from Europe; they basically are Mennonites and little other similar kind of people. In those days in Europe Anabaptists, whenever found, were severely persecuted, tortured and killed just like old day pagans. So they left Europe and came to America. Jacob Amman become leader of Anabaptist and founded the Amish sect.
They follow certain set of rules described as ‘Ordnung”. There are no such written rules and that’s why may be they follow it with total faith. Here is a glimpse of their lifestyle:
They never use motor car, horse-buggy is only mode of transport they use and encourage their children to walk as much as possible.
They don’t use electricity and modern electric equipments. They just use oil lamps or gas lamps for their luminance purposes at night.
They don’t send their children to schools, they have their own schools where children learn German, English, History, Math and all other subjects but at free will.
They are farmers and they basically dress like farmers only in all circumstances. They don’t use tractors to plough but only horses are allowed.
They don’t have any churches and they pray at their houses turn by turn. They use it for the purpose of social gathering also.
Only thing I don’t like about them is that they say marriage is lord’s command and they always invariably get married between the age of 22 and 25. I don’t think anything divine is anyhow directly related with the system of marriage.
Few Pictures of Amish People:





April 13, 2007

Baul Mystics of bengal

Book the beloved is about Bauls of Bengal. When I was in the second year of college i bought that book from the phursatgunj Osho Library. And from that day it became my Gita, Quran and Bible. A scripture on no scriptures. They wander the countryside, singing their religious songs. Their beliefs are a mixture of many influences and traditions, such as Hinduism, Sufism and Yoga. They break away from many common Indian beliefs, including the age-old caste system, and the separation of Hindu and Muslim communities.

I love Bauls because their rebellion is total. They are just simple human beings. They are like hippies on right path. Osho says that their rebellion is even greater than that of Zen Masters and Sufi mystics simply because they don't belong to anything. They don't belong to any society, religion, philosophy, dogma, creed, institution, organization, university, family, friends, strangers and even fellow Bauls. They totally belong to themselves only.

They don't posses anything but an ektara and a duggi, two musical instruments. Music is their life and their god. A Baul mystic lolan fakir sings: "What form does caste have? I have never seen it, brother, with these eyes of mine!"

They have influenced Bengali folk music for centuries. Their love of music is of the celestial form and they worship sky as a whole. They worship their body as if god is nothing but the body. They dance and sing and move from village to village, always traveling and enjoying whatever situation they come across.

Bauls are true individuals. It is difficult to find two identical Bauls or even two who have few similarities with each other. They are neither Hindus nor Mohammedans nor Christians. They don’t follow any faith and by doing so they follow all the faiths. Lalon fakir the most famous Baul Mystic was inclined towards the Sufi faith (Suphi in Bengali) but he never followed it like Rumi and other Mystics. For them Quran is a formal scripture but for Lalon fakir his body was the only scripture he could read with open heart.
They have inspired so many Indian masters, writers, poets, philosophers and saints. Few of them even have sung more than 1000 songs. They never compose their songs, but just sing it and create it as it comes out of their heart. They are illiterate and don’t write their songs beforehand. They are against all kind of documentation and believe that nothing is permanent in this world but change. So we don’t know much about who created these songs. They just sing and dance and enjoy life.

A baul song:
How does the unknown bird come within the cage and go away from it?
If I could catch hold of it, I could chain it with my mind.
The cage has eight chambers and nine doors are affixed on it.
It is carved here and there, above these there is the main room
- within which there is the hall of mirror.
Oh mind, you remain illusioned with the desire of the cage,
Your own cage is made of tender bamboo,
Who knows when will it collapse?
Lalon says, 'Where does that bird flee by opening the cage?'
You can download these songs from:
Few of them for you to play online:

Baul Song 1:

Baul Song 2:

April 12, 2007

life is just bowl of cherries !!

What is there is there is truth of life. But seldom we do understand this wise saying. Especially life in Mumbai has been pulling me away from the truth and bliss. What is the point in spending life in such way that has no content, forget about bliss. but my past karma was not good enough to find the luxury of leisure time, at least a house to live and free food. Still i believe that i will get emancipation from drudgery of these worldly chores at some point of life. Time is running out of my hands and i am growing old and loosing my vitality. What will happen when old body will have some unfulfilled desires and wishes. There are certain things that I would like to do before i vanish into dark cave of old age, but where is the time for it (and money of course). It would be bad to have unfulfilled desires and unsatisfied body when i enter 2nd innings of life. But what is there is there; we cannot really do much about it. Even though, I hope to sail through river of life steadily with minimum trouble, if not smoothly and happily. With this note i conclude this scrap. Amen. thanks for bearing with me

April 11, 2007

40 Days

It really was a very very long and hot day today. Now temperature constantly remains more than 40 degree Celsius for long hours in the morning and noon. And now summer is here and so I am. I am in Ahmedabad since 1st of this month and busy studying for my exams but what I miss the most here is burning hot furnace like room of phursatgunj.

India was famous for its hot ‘summer and spices’ to the world for centuries before technological growth started ruining here beauty in mid of the 19th century. As I am in Ahmedabad I can enjoy both home made hot spicy food and even hotter summer sun. This is not the right time to visit India but if you want to feel and know and understand real India this is the only time when you should visit. April and May and June are ultimate torture, just like pain before nirvana and July rain is enlightenment. I am waiting for July to come and shower love on mother earth.

April is one third gone and I am here after forty days of gap. What happened with me and my life during those days is a usual story of hopelessness and laziness. I am a very lazy, tired and boring man, just like my 300 year old friends. Nothing of much importance happens to me very often, and I also don’t happen to many things in general. Either I remain aloof and silent or I remain aloof and silent when I talk. I don’t even talk much these days as I don’t have to. My conversations are limited to very few effective, intelligent and useful words. With my mother: where is pickle? ; I don’t feel like it, etc. With my father: how was your day today? (We meet in the evening only); Market was 300 points up today. With my brother: how (well) Bangladesh is doing in super8? ; You look like Bobby-Darling in your new hairstyle.

Nothing is happening in my life for so long long time that now I can only be good for nothing guy. What I did in last few days? Hum, few movies at our home theaters like Natraj and Raj-shree and few books and novels I finished while everyone around was busy with their final submissions. Nikhil has left phursatgunj and so I also left the room there. You can now find me either at bodhi-baba’s place or at the hostels. Of course I still enjoy masi’s food with chach in the afternoon if I am in phursatgunj. I simply love that place and people around there who do things at their own pace. Nothing changes and no one seems to be in any kind of hurry there.

After three four years gap movies again have become integrated part of my daily schedule in phursatgunj. My visits to cinema halls are now a common occurrence. I don’t give it another though to visit my home theaters in the morning and for matinee shows even if they show movies like ‘parvati ka pati kaun?’ and low budget Hollywood remakes. Very movies with aesthetic appeal and sense of art are released in post-liberal India. Quality of moving making has improved a lot in last decade but still movies are not up to the mark. I still love light weight comedies and they are now vanished from the big screens of Bollywood. But I still enjoy and celebrate third class love stories and forth class action movies.

Few movies I recently watched are nishabd, 300, hat-trick, hanuman, water, one night at museum, the ghost rider, transporter, hum hain rahi pyar ke, and few others. I don’t remember their names as I watch it for time pass only. The best I think was nishabd. Most of them, they say that they are pretty impressed with the concept and theme of the movie but I am much more impressed by Amitabh’s acting. Khan is just above average but not excellent in any sense or way. Historical facts in movie 300 are manipulated and I don’t think there is much truth in the story left. Animation was good. Hat-trick was worst among them all. The ghost rider was a regular Hollywood shit. All other 10-15 new movies I watched in the month of March were on an average one out of five movies.

On the other hand I really enjoyed and celebrated reading books and novels. Shantaram is worth a double read. It is even more gripping and interesting than the Da Vinci code and it took me only a week to finish that off. War and Peace is still going strong and it seems as if it is a never ending novel. I also read biography of Abraham Lincoln in Gujarati by M. Desai and few of Shakespeare and Tolstoy stories and plays. Lincoln’s life was full of senseless struggle and fight against slavery. I don’t like particularly this kind of books. Shantaram was book of the month for me though. Characters like Quasim Ali and Johnny Cigar gave the story more realistic and earthy feel while Lord Abdul khader khan made it a roller coaster ride for the author. Senseless Karla and ruthless Nazeer were partners in crime. Abdullah made the story passionate and Madame Zhou gave it thrill. But the tourist guide cum taxi driver Prabhakar was the juiciest character of them all. I again am going to read this book after sometime.

After all this March celebrations April began with study books and still I am very busy with them all. I have to prepare for three and a half subject in 20 days and it is not a very big task but I still have to work hard for it. I don’t blog or log on to this computer very often even if I read just few meters away from it. Sometimes I play chess online for couple of hours for refreshment. Yesterday afternoon I talked to Gauravbhai on gmail. He told me that it was his last day in front of ‘The Electrical Monitor’ and was going to join jasubhai media group from tomorrow. He even told me about the latest ‘Mr. Jose without josh incident’. I think we don’t have an instrument yet, and science and technology are not so much developed that we can measure the josh effect on any Richter scale. But effects are always more devastating than the deadliest hurricane.

India and Pakistan’s performance in the world cup cricket forced me to stay away from TV even though I can access it any time I want as far as I am in Ahmedabad. This world cup is full of spicy events and shitty stories and hilarious matches but my exams don’t allow me to stick to the TV for long hours. I am not much interested in the matches involving teams like Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and West Indies. South Africa even is not as reliable as it was before 5-7 years. England is almost out of the World Cup. Australia New Zealand is a very probable final and I think New Zealand was my favourite from very beginning and I think they will make it big this time. I hope they win the world cup and can give Australia a break.

I am very tired now and don’t feel like writing any more though I have so many other tales to tell. I won’t be able to write again in the near future but I want to write more and more. My laziness and exams are preventing me to do so. I also want to write about Osho and his friends. I was planning this for long and recent comments on our blog forced me to think about that again. I must now have to write about them. I shall try. Amen.

April 07, 2007

Haiku by kojo

Night, and the moon!
My neighbor, playing on his flute -

out of tune!

April celebrated !!