Things To Do Before I Die

No, this isn’t just any other bucket list. This one’s unique.

There are quite a few bucket lists floating around in the blogosphere (By the way, is the word ‘blogosphere’ extinct?). I’ve seen and read them all, and most of them follow a predictable formula – go traveling somewhere, see some sights, taste some foods, etc. That’s all fine and dandy, and I wish them all the best in their endeavors. I have a few of those things to do as well, but I don’t think they would qualify for my bucket list. For example, I’d love to see a sunset over the Grand Canyon someday and I would give a hand and a foot to see the insides of a Pyramid. But these are things that I can and will do over the next few years. What I would ideally put in my bucket list are unconventional things that one would not normally find in conventional bucket lists.

Here’s my list.

  1. I want to see the DNA molecule. Not the vague, hazy white mass that appears at the bottom of a test tube after centrifugation, no. I want to see the molecule in all its double helical glory. I don’t think anyone has. Ever.
  2. I want someone to come up with a concrete explanation for the nature of light. I think Newton was confused enough to propose two theories that fit his math better. If light is a wave, then one equation works and if light is made up of particles, then the other equation fails. I don’t think I’m alone when I say that both these schools of thought were born out of necessity than reality. I want to see a solid unifying explanation before I die.
  3. I want to travel around the world in 80 days without flying. If Jules Verne can do it (or his character, at least), then so should I. Yeah, I know, this isn’t exactly a wow-event, but it’d be cooler than seeing the Eiffel Tower. And without flights, it’d be double the fun!
  4. I want to be able to sit on my porch with my dog on a Monday morning, put my feet up, open a can of cold beer, and shoot trespassers with birdshot. Redneck for a day. Nice concept!
  5. So far, in all my 27 years, there has only one book that has made me go, “Oh wow!” at the end – Italo Calvino’s “If On A Winter’s Night A Traveler”. I want to read three more such books before I die.
  6. There are seven people I know whose lives I want to ruin. I think I should be able to do that without too much trouble. Don’t worry, I’m not a scheming psychopath. I just think that these seven people deserve a lot worse for all the lives they have ruined.

One fine day, I’m going to buy a house in Gokarna and settle down there. What would make life more interesting at that point of time is owning a nice big tavern on the ground floor.

One day at a time.

PS: I used the full screen distraction free feature of worpress to write this. A neat idea, Jane. Thanks!

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Writing A Musical, Trying Hard… Hope Springs Eternal, Sharp As A Shard…

Oh here I am, lost in thought,
Trying to write a musical this day…
Looking out the window, into the sun,
Into the faces of men, women and children who play…

I saw the faces walking past me, lost in their own thought, lost in their own little worlds of deceit, greed, lust and love, and didn’t think twice about the challenge that lay before me. I, who have never before embarked on the journey of poetry, never before undertaken the arduous task of making simple little words sing a tune and dance to it, I, who have always hid behind the safe mask of prose and paragraphs, thought to myself, albeit foolishly, how difficult can it really be?

I turned back into the gloomy room,
Saw the mismatch walls and the lack of life.
It needs a woman’s touch, yes it does, I think to myself,
I need to get me a wife.

Pushing these frivolous thoughts away from my head, I sit at my desk and stare at the coffee and the plate of untouched bread. I pick up my laptop and open it’s hood, and I try oh so hard, not to brood. As I type these flimsy words, my head breaks into song – songs of love, songs of death, songs of everlasting breath. Songs of chivalry, songs of beauty, songs of virtue, joy and revelry. I try to catch the thoughts, I try to hold on to them long enough to write. But, it seems, I am bound, irreversibly to a life of prose, bland and contrite. Just then, a voice rings out in the room and I turn to see my cook, standing in the doorway, gazing upon my confused look.

Oh sir, what will it be, your choice,
For today’s lunch – will you have rotis or will you have rice?
I am your humble servant, please get me a cell phone,
And a connection, some decent clothes and a cycle so I may roam.

I send him away for some Pepsi and a smoke, as I continue my attention to the musical, that was disturbed by the funny bloke. Why can’t I rhyme to save my life, I ask myself. It’s because you waste too much time, reading trash, wizards, warlocks and house-elves.

Oh Darling inspire me, I call out to the woman I love,
The woman whose touch I miss, one with whom I fit like a glove.
Inspire me enough to call out to you in your own sweet way of poems so true,
The art that I can never master, never as good as you.

I give up my mundane effort, trying not to think of my failure. I give up my childish dream of using words to lure. I am never as good as her, I can never be. Even when she writes to kill time, with effortless ease, she outshines me. I guess I will leave it here, with nothing more to come. I guess I’ll get back to my coffee and bread and dream of things to come.

Simran Ebook Available For Download!!

IT’S TIME!

Simran is now available for download! Please download it and read it and let me know how good or bad it is! Damn, I am so frikkin excited!!

Click the nice little “Add To Cart” button below and you can use Paypal to buy the book. Oh, by the way, a lot of people told me that $10 was too steep, so in the spirit of goodness, the price has been reduced to $5.00 only for the readers of MirrorCracked (with a substantial cut to my royalties, of course!) πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

So, what are you waiting for? Click, buy, read, review!

Add to Cart

This is awesome! Yay!! πŸ™‚

Okay, so two books down. I wonder how many more… I’m off to have beer..!! Yay! πŸ™‚

Exclusive Excerpts From Simran :)

And now, as I had promised, I’m proud to give you a few select excerpts from the book, exclusively for the readers of MirrorCracked. I hope you like it, and if you do, please be sure to spread the word. It’s in the PDF format and you would need Adobe Reader to view it.

First of all, I’d like to thank all of you for your wishes and congratulations for the launch of my second book and first novel, Simran. It’s an amazing feeling and I have to tell you, I’ve been writing for a long time now and this story was perhaps the most satisfying to narrate. There are aspects to the story that have been influenced by real-life events, which makes it that much closer to my heart.

And now, as I had promised, I’m proud to give you a few select excerpts from the book, exclusively for the readers of MirrorCracked. I hope you like it, and if you do, please be sure to spread the word. It’s in the PDF format and you would need Adobe Reader to view it.

Simran Excerpt Download
(Right Click, Save As...)

Just to remind you folks, the e-book is releasing on the 20th of July, 10 days from now and will be available on Amazon.com for $18.90. But if the book is downloaded on MirrorCracked, it’s available at $10.00, for the first two months.

Please read through the opening chapters of the book in the excerpt above and let me know your views. Bouquets and brickbats are welcome.

PS: Spread the word.

PPS: Please buy it once its released! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

Simran: Second Book, First Novel :)

Simran

Genre: Fiction
Author: Nikhil Kumar
Publisher: Waters Publishing House, New Delhi
Price: $18.90 (special rate for MirrorCracked downloads: $10.00)

Okay, it’s about time I come out of my hibernation and reveal what I’ve been up to. No, I’m not dead. I’ve been holed up finishing my second book (my first novel), after being repeatedly hit over the head with a hockey stick by everyone I know and forcing me to complete the book. There it is – my novel is done! Phew!

No one knew what I was working on. A very few people guessed it, but most others thought I had gone into hiding after publicly humiliating myself in Delhi. Unfortunately, all those rumors are untrue (except perhaps the humiliation bit).

So, what’s the book all about, you ask? Well, I’m kind of proud of it myself. The book’s called ‘Simran’, and I’ve been told by my editors and reviewers that it appeals to almost every age group. It’s a book about love, strength, betrayal and the power of memories. It’s a book about miracles and how easy it is for us to overlook them. It’s a book that doesn’t tell you a moral, for the moral lies hidden within each of us. It’s a story that was worth telling. I’m glad I did. Here’s a sneak peek at the cover:

SimranCover

The book will be available for download on the 20th of July, that’s 11 days from now. Now, here’s the exciting part – you guys have stuck with me for this past one year through all my rants and misfortunes and laughed with/at me and my misadventures. To show my gratitude and appreciation, my publishers and I have agreed to make the book available for download right here, on MirrorCracked, at an unbelievable price, for a limited period.

The book is stated to be priced at $18.90, being available on Amazon. But if the book is downloaded on MirrorCracked, it’s available at $10.00, for the first two months. The book is also scheduled to be printed in DecemberΒ  by Waters Publishing House in New Delhi, and will be available in bookstores in India, US, UK and Canada early January.

I am quite excited to have come this far. When my first book was published, I was over the moon and never quite thought I’d experience it again.

I’d really appreciate it if you could spread the word about ‘Simran’. Over the next few days leading up to the launch, I’ll be sharing excerpts from the book, exclusive background research material and of course, my latest Delhi Disaster posts. Yay!!


Hairy Potter And The Over-Ambitious Gall Stone

Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction and all names, incidents or places are fictitious. Any resemblance to any persons or characters living, dead or fictional is purely coincidental and no harm is intended to anyone through this story.

toonclub.blogspot.com
Image Courtesy: toonclub.blogspot.com

“I stirred from my sleep at around 8 in the morning. The sun streamed through the window and made my hairy chest glow a brilliant red. I looked around my room and saw bits and pieces of pottery lying as they had been the night before – haphazard and lacking order. My flowing beard got caught in under my feet as I stepped off the bed and I couldn’t prevent my head-long fall. The ground rushed up and I hit my head on the hard red-oxide floor and I passed out.

“When I woke up a little later, I was surprised to find that the fall had driven my brain against the walls of my skull and opened up a new dimension. I was blessed with excellent bladder control. I haven’t pee’d for two week now…”

“Whoa, wait. Hold on a minute!” said the police inspector as he switched off the tape recorder. He looked skeptically at the strange man sitting in front of him – he was covered in hair from top to bottom; hair was flowing from every part of his body, and the inspector wondered if he was wearing any clothes.

“Are you telling me that your beard got caught under your feet?” asked the inspector.

“Yes, it’s true,” said the hairy man. “Please believe me!”

“It’s hard to, but I’ll let you go on, Mr – “

“Potter. Hairy Potter. So, as I was saying, I have excellent bladder control.”

“Ok,” said the inspector. “Where does the Gall Stone come into the picture?” He didn’t sound convinced.

“Ah, the Gall Stone,” said Hairy Potter, and smiled…

In the dark recesses of Hairy’s kidneys, there lived an Over-Ambitious Gall Stone. It wanted to break free from it’s confines and see the world. Unfortunately, Hairy’s bladder movements were punctual and he had an excellent bladder control. For a whole week now, the Gall Stone hadn’t been able to move. Then, it made a drastic decision – it decided to break out of prison.

Bladder control or not, the Over-Ambitious Gall Stone started digging a tunnel in the kidney in order to break free. Hairy realized that he had to go check himself in a hospital to relieve himself of the pain. The doctors decided to operate and remove the Gall Stone.

As soon as the surgeon clutched the Gall Stone in his forceps and brought it out into the open, it screamed out, “I’m Freeeee!” and jumped out and started rolling towards the door. No one could find it anywhere…

“So, I want you to arrest the surgeon for losing my Gall Stone,” said Hairy Potter.

The inspector switched off the tape recorder a second time and placed his hands on the table and leaned forward. He looked at the hairy creature in front of him.

“Sir,” he said. “Do you think I’m fucking insane?”

Hairy was flustered. “Why?”

“Get out before I arrest you for attempted manslaughter!” he said. Hairy jumped up and moved towards the door, feeling scared.

“The toilet’s on your left. Go enjoy yourself,” the inspector called out after Hairy.

After making sure that Hairy had left, the inspector dialed a number.

“Lord Wall ‘de Fart?” he asked.

“Yesss,” the voice hissed.

“I think we may have found it. The Gall Stone Who Lived…”

[to be continued…]

My Jodha :)

polyvore.com
Image Courtesy: polyvore.com

Only once in a lifetime do we get a chance to be swept off our feet and made to fall head over heels in love. I know what you’re thinking: Oh no, not another post about love! πŸ˜€

Well, in my defense, of late, there’s nothing more exciting happening in my life that is worth writing about – last night, I was stranded in the middle of the road when my bike ran out of fuel and this morning, a download I had kept in progress overnight, crashed and I had to restart the process again, but all this is quite normal and I can only say that God was in an awfully playful mood the past week. But more than this, the terror-child Cupid has been pulling at my heart strings for a very long time, and has been forcing me to write this post. πŸ˜€

I’ve been reading this fascinating book by Salman Rushdie called “The Enchantress Of Florence,” a book that was gifted to me by this very very special woman and I don’t want to be a clichΓ¨ over and over again about her, but the heart rules the mind these days and I don’t want my logical brain to come in the way. πŸ˜€

In the book, Rushdie talks about the relationship between Akbar and his beloved Jodha, and she is portrayed as an imaginary woman, a Phantom Queen who pleases the emperor in all aspects and makes him ignore all his other queens, thus making them jealous of this figment of Akbar’s imagination.

She remains elusive and intangible throughout, at times lovely and at times frustrating because of her inability to be seen. Jodha has been portrayed as the product of the emperor’s fertile imagination, and remains the unseen whiff of wind, the unheard laugh, the untasteable kiss, the unfeeling yet-so-warm touch and the fragrance that isn’t. She resides in his head and yet roams around the vast palace, she resides in his heart and yet sleeps next to him at night, she plagues his mind and yet keeps him healthy, she feels sad about not being alive and yet she’s so full of life, she’s the only woman the emperor ever loved and ironically, being unreal, she’s his only anchor to reality.

The only difference between the Jodha in the book and my Jodha is that the woman I love is as real as you and me and she is a hundred times more beautiful than the Moghul Queen. She’s my anchor to reality just as much as the figment of Akbar’s imagination.

I’m just a hopeless, pathetic, over-optimistic romantic! πŸ˜€