The Man From Nowhere

“See the nowhere crowd cry the nowhere tears of honour 
Like twisted vines that grow 
Hide and swallow mansions whole…”

— James Hetfield, The Memory Remains

He came from nowhere and he didn’t know where he was headed. He seemed lost, confused, a paper boat caught in a hurricane, with turmoil eroding the last traces of sanity and reason in his head. He was escaping, hopefully to a better tomorrow, but he didn’t know for sure. He wanted a fresh start, desperately. He didn’t know how he was going to achieve it – his bad luck seemed to have followed him here as well. Everything he tried seemed to fail, and fail miserably. He caught himself searching for straws to clutch at.

He vowed to find a muse, an inspiration, a candle in the whirlwind of his bad luck. He wanted to find the elusive abundance of good luck that had deserted him for so long. He yearned for the peace and tranquility that had been hiding from him. It was not a search in vain.

He met her on a hot, sunny afternoon and they regarded each other cautiously, unsure of just how much attention the other person warranted. She seemed harmless enough, but he was expecting his seemingly unlimited quota of bad luck to step in again.

“Been a while,” he said. Cautiously. Two tigers, one paranoid and the other indifferent, circling each other.

“Yes. How have you been?” she asked.

“Good,” he replied and they went on to talk about other things mundane.

Time flew by and a pact was etched in stone between them, unwritten yet indelible. It took time, obviously. It did not happen overnight. He began to experience her presence more and more in his life until it almost became an addiction. Over time, he started craving for her company. She became the beacon of light in the darkness that had clouded him. She forced him to embrace good luck again, though he never knew how she managed to do that.

He still had no destination in mind, but he knew that his journey wouldn’t be lonely anymore; the journey that he had started from nowhere and had seemed to head nowhere; the journey that she had spectacularly derailed and made more bearable. He had a lot of things to be thankful for. And for a million things more.

He had found his muse. He had found his share of good fortune. The man from nowhere was finally home.

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Return To The Bay Of Pigs!

A long, long time ago, I had written a piece on how men can be more successful in wooing women. I had come across a lot of men who had complained to me about the difficulties they were facing when trying to talk to a woman or flirt with a woman.

Recently, a close stranger read this post (titled ‘Bay Of Pigs’) and decided to write a rebuttal for each of the points, this time from a woman’s perspective. What started out as an experiment in killing time soon became an insightful glimpse into the mind of women, what they think of men and what they expect from a man when he tries to flirt.

You need to read the original post for this to make sense, because in the interest of time and keeping in mind my readers with attention deficit disorders, I’ve edited those parts of this article that belong to the original.

Bay Of Pigs: Redux

(Note: The text in italicized black is part of the original post, while the text in brown belongs to the stranger, the woman who wanted to argue. Any mistakes in spelling or grammar are entirely my own and not the fault of the guest author.)

men-are-pigs

Men are pigs.

They say that God created Man because he was bored and that He created Woman because he needed a challenge. Man is the blueprint while Woman is the masterpiece. […] Men can consider this post as an eye-opener and take stock of what qualities they lack, and women can consider this post as an easy read and be amazed at my insight into the female mind.

Men are pigs. Truer words were never spoken!

1. Sense of humor: Most women look for funny men. But be warned, being funny does not mean cracking inane jokes and making complete idiots of yourself. It’s the wit that counts and not your ability to remember jokes. […] Just make sure you’re laughing with them, and recognize when they’re laughing at you!

A good sense of humour does appear to be amongst the top 3 of “what women want”, and the author appears to have it figured out. I think this is what most women want. On the other hand, I wouldn’t want a man that can make me laugh as such, rather, I like it when a man can keep it simple. By this I mean, a light and easy-going conversation is favored. I am the kind of person that is rather shameless, and have no qualms about laughing at myself. Men seem to love making jokes at the expense of the ladies around them, and get terribly disappointed when it isn’t received well by their female counterpart. In that regard, I am a good subject of jokes, I would say, because I almost always laugh along.

2. Build: Women are very realistic unlike men, and they know that not all men can have a body as hot as Arnie and Stallone. […] We men need to be realistic, and not stupidly optimistic. All women are hot, no exceptions!

Let me make this clear – most women do not aspire to be at the arm of men like Arnie; Stallone maybe, but not because of his build! Men are the only ones that want Arnie bodies. I wouldn’t want a “flabby piece of shapeless dough” (I’m shallow that way) I would like a fit guy though. Let’s face it – they’re so much more fun to look at, and show off! We women tend to look awesome pretty much all of the time (unless we’re caught in midst of beauty treatments like face masks or oily hair) and men need to realise they should at least try to live up to the standard we set so early on. Digressing from build, allow me also to add that well-groomed (which means well dressed, clean and smelling good, just in case you’re clueless) is what we’re looking for. So if you’re going to show up in denims and a sweatshirt, make sure you look cute while you’re at it, would you?

3. Chivalry: The concept of chivalry, for most men, stops at holding the door open to women. Wake up, men! That’s not all what women look for in the chivalry department. […] It takes great skill and greater patience to hold your own and also defend her while arguing in a group.

Ah! This is the tricky one. You don’t want to be chivalrous to a point where we constantly feel like damsels with faint hearts,  but you don’t want to be so aloof that we feel like you don’t care. It has to be just the right amount. That’s all I will say here. Why should we make it easy for you all the way? 

4. Possessiveness: Women like men to be possessive about them. It makes them feel special and wanted. […] For more advice on this, mail me.

Do men actually enjoy being possessive? Oh yes, you have the whole Neanderthal way of expressing ownership. You might as well pee all over us to state we’re “yours”! I personally don’t like possessive men. If a guy were to “tell me at every opportunity that they’re….” yaaaaaaaawn.. Oh MY, I think I just dozed off there a second! No no noooo! I really don’t want to hear that, I’d probably end up punching you in the nose!

5. Music: Women hate tone-deaf men. Every woman has a particular taste in music and it may not always match with yours. […] Listen to her favorite tracks with her, and encourage her to play it again if she wants to. You can pull your hair out later, when you’re alone.

Looking at the next point I’d like to say, mood music is very important – make it sensuous, trust me, you’ll enjoy it too (if you can get past the fact that you’re getting it on!) I don’t know about most women’s taste in music, but I’m always open to listening to new genres of music. In fact, most of the music I listen to today was introduced to me by men. If you don’t listen to death metal and the screeching, banging sort, I’m good to go. Some women really seem to enjoy sappy music, and that’s where I think you men should just take a stance and say, “hell no!” (and knock some sense into your lady’s head, please!)

6. Sex: Do not, I repeat, do not push the woman for a physical relationship. Women are very, very careful in this matter and if you push the wrong buttons (no puns intended) you come across as a sexually-frustrated despo! Be careful!

You have to tread carefully in this department. Women may say they are alright with casual sex, and want no strings, etc. but trust me, they almost always hope that strings will develop, that they dazzle you with their sexual skills, and you’ll fall in love with them. Sometimes that does happen, but I’ve noticed that men are capable of knowing the difference and maintaining it, women are NOT. I would suggest, if you really like the girl, take it at an easy pace in this department, and things will fall into place nicely.

7. Family Values: Most women like men who have good family values. Respect her parents and her family and she will like you all the more. Never ever call her dad “Dude!” or “Old Man!” because that will being down your brownie points!

What gets to me the most about a lot of Indian men is that they’re “mumma’s boys” and they want their partners to be as domestically awesome as their mothers. It’s all very well that you love your folks, in fact, I endorse it, but come on – recognize! I don’t know about other women, but that’s a big turn off for me. On the other hand, I don’t expect that my partner will get along brilliantly with my folks. It’s almost a universal fact that there will be friction between them. That’s what keeps life interesting, eh?

(On an entirely unrelated note – what exactly are brownie points? Am I allowed to cash them in for an actual brownie or two?)

8. Perseverance: Women like to be pursued with vigor. They hate being ‘flung’ around, if you know what I mean. […] Trust me, it works!

This one’s true, makes us feel special and adds the whole romantic movie atmosphere to real life. Lots of fun! Keep it real, don’t be a big pile of mush, because that gets old real quick. We like to be shy and coy and play hard to get – it makes the whole deal feel that much more special. Indulge us, would you?

9. Fighting: Fights are inevitable in every relationship, and when there are situations where you know that the reason is trivial, just take the blame. […] You do not blame the woman!

Don’t be irrational, that’s all. We are always right, that’s true, but we would get suspicious if you always agree – we’re smart that way. And that would lead to a whole new set of fights! So pick your battles, men, put your ego aside, in fact, maybe its best if you forget you have one, while you’re with us! 

10. The Ex- factor: Do not, I repeat, do not maintain contacts with your ex- girlfriends while you’re pursuing a woman, or when you’re in another relationship. […]

Hmmm, this one is a bit tricky. If you’re staying in the same city as your ex, and have common friends, you are bound to run into her, right? What we want to see is that you’re over her, and there is no residual anything for her. You’re better off if you cut all contact, unless you want to see us turn into raging lunatics? Oh and by the way, we’re complete hypocrites about our own exes – we will want to remain “friends” with ours, and you’re not allowed to protest. So there.

Good luck. Live long and prosper. If you didn’t understand that, you’re no fun, and you’re not a geek, which is what women want! (Or do we?)

AUTHOR’S NOTE

It takes great literary skill and greater convincing skills to get a chance to write for, or be featured on MirrorCracked. To have successfully passed all the barriers and made it on to this forum, I would like to personally extend a warm greeting to the lovely stranger (who has expressed her wish to remain anonymous) for her time and effort in helping men pick up women.

One beer coming your way, ma’am.

We are open for comments, opinions and brickbats, which I will deftly deflect in the stranger’s direction.

Metallica! The Wait Is Over!

Metalica! Live In India

“You’ve waited long enough, India!” said the legendary James Hetfield, vocalist and guitarist of Metallica. “And so have we! Thank you for your support, loyalty and patience!”

With these words, Metallica performed live in Bangalore yesterday, October 30, 2011. It was an evening to remember. A concert that had more than 100,000 people attending from all corners of the country, a few thousands from abroad. It was a concert like no other. Everyone who attended went home stunned, upbeat and reliving each second of it. The energy that coursed through the pulsating sea of raised arms and jumping bodies was unmistakable, undeniable and absolutely unbelievable. Even hardened concert veterans like myself could not help but rise up with the crowd, which became one organism – living, breathing and pulsating with the music.

Metallica has been a rock band that has denied India the pleasure of a live show for two decades. A twenty-year wait in which original fans grew up, grew old and passed on the legacy of some of the most memorable rock songs in human history to the next generation. A twenty-year wait in which the support and loyalty for their music never died and never reduced. A twenty-year wait, which ended yesterday and made martyrs of all those who were there.

A few years ago, when Iron Maiden performed in India, it was said that the crowd went berserk, the die-hard fans couldn’t get enough of the music and one newspaper even touted it as the musical event of the decade. But not anymore. Not after yesterday’s performance by the Gods of Rock. It was hard to decide what was the clincher – the unbelievable pyrotechnics, the songs that most people grew up with, the crowd singing the lyrics along with the band or the sheer brilliance of Metallica’s stage presence.

I am still in the hangover of the show. Here’s a glimpse of what I was a part of. \m/

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Message In A Bottle

Her memories still haunt me sometime. It has been half a decade since I last told her that I loved her, and it has been less than a year since she told me to die a painful death. Its strange how the heart works – it seeks out the unobtainable and covets it. I sometimes lie awake at night thinking about her face, her smile, her lovely hair, her scent, her eyes – and feel this incredible amount of pain coursing through every sinew, blaming myself for what happened and wondering what might have happened if things had turned out differently. I reach out to touch her lips and clutch at thin air.

I have caught myself wondering at times, whether she were the pinnacle of my existence. Whether everything I’ve done since she left, everything I’ve achieved or failed to achieve, all the adolations and the accusations that came after her, was just an insignificant grain of sand on a beach. I have caught myself at times, going through all those mails and letters we wrote to each other back then, expressing our undying, everlasting, unconditional love for each other. Maybe I was too young to realize what love really was. Or maybe I was too stupid to believe in its idealism.

I don’t know where she is, I don’t know what she is doing right now. I don’t know if she is married, has kids, is working somewhere or stydying something. I don’t have her email ID. I definitely don’t have her phone number. She doesn’t follow me on Facebook, Myspace or Twitter. And I don’t have her on any of my IMs. If it weren’t for the old email and letters that I have saved, its as if she does not exist. As if she had not existed in the first place. Someone as pure and as beautiful as her must have been ethereal, a figment of my imagination.

Just in case, hoping against hope, that she is out there somewhere, and hoping that she can read this, then all I want to say to her is that I do understand what love really is. This is probably my message in a bottle for her. I am keeping my fingers crossed and I hope that it gets picked up. I remember those days quite clearly. I remember those days so clearly that I wish things were that simple again. I wish life had not gotten in our way. I wish life would have remained so… completely musical.

Why I Deserve The Nobel Prize

With a little less than three hours to go for the Nobel Prize 2010 Announcement Ceremony in Sweden, I have decided to enter the race in all the available categories. This post is meant to be read by the arbiters of the Swedish Royal Academy and I do hope that they don’t make the mistake of overlooking me and my remarkable achievements in this regard. I deserve the Nobel Prize for the following compelling reasons. I am an honest man and none of what I write below is falsified.

Nobel Prize in Physics:

I was the first man in the world to explore the physical properties and inconsistencies of photographic film, paving the way for stronger and more secure forms of image storage. This happened when I was ten years old and I took a brick and promptly broke open a 32-exposure Kodak film, the one that rolls into itself. You know what I’m talking about. I took the spoils over to the National Security Agency in the US of A and explained why they needed to invent digital cameras. They took my advice and the history (future?) of photography changed forever. I hereby nominate myself for the 2010 Nobel Prize in Physics for the discovery, invention and exploitation of digital cameras.

Nobel Prize in Medicine:

I was the first, and perhaps the only man in history to record a ten-second footage of what happens to the facial muscles when excessively stimulated by rock music. The video is available here. This discovery paved the way for the recent improvements in plastic surgery and permanent disfigurement clauses in the constitutions of the almost every country in the world. The very fact that you can walk up to a plastic surgeon and tell him/her that you want to look as handsome and stimulated as I do is a testament to my great discovery. I hereby nominate myself for the 2010 Nobel Prize in Medicine for great advances in plastic surgery.

Nobel Prize in Chemistry:

I was the first man in the world to ascertain the true nature of the drug whose comemrcial name is Aspirin. Acetly Salycylic Acid (ASA), as it’s chemically known, was a CIA invention aimed at monitoring the world’s population. Each and every molecule of ASA contains roughly 13 carbon atoms. What the CIA did was replace one of these Carbon atoms with a molecular camera. Anyone who swallowed a pill of Aspirin literally swallowed a tiny camera and gave the CIA complete access to their body’s interior. I discovered this great conspiracy when I accidentally hacked into the CIA’s database when I was five years old by solving a puzzle in a kids’ magazine. (This true life story of mine was then adapted into a movie called Mercury Rising and I made a lot of money out of it.) I brought the whole ASA conspiracy to the attention of the Interpol and they decided to stop the manufacture of Aspirin completely, thus safegaurding the privacy of the world’s population. I hereby, humbly, nominate myself for the 2010 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for revolutionizing the pharmaceutical industry with my own non-traditional ‘drug discovery’.

Nobel Prize in Literature:

MirrorCracked. I won’t say any more. I’m sure you agree.

Nobel Peace Prize:

Well, though I don’t exactly qualify for this award, I would like to bring to the attention of the Royal Swedish Academy that if I’m not given this year’s Nobel Peace Prize, I will sell the other four Nobel Prizes and buy cigarettes and distribute it to freshly-graduated smokers. Read as: 18 year olds. In order to avoid this, I think you should just call it a clean sweep and give me this prize anyway.

I will be available for comments and interviews.

Update: October 8, 2010, 00:01 AM: This article made the wordpress homepage.

My Slow Chemical

The wonder of the world is gone I know for sure,
All the wonder that I want I found in her,
As the hole becomes apart I strike to burn,
And no flame returns…

Every intuition fails to find it’s way,
One more table turned around I’m back again,
Finding I’m a lost-and-found when she’s not around,
When she’s not around, I feel it coming down…

Give me what I could never ask for,
Connect me and you could be my chemical now!
Give me the drug you know I’m after,
Connect me and you could be my chemical…

When everybody wants you,
When everybody wants you…
Give me what I could never ask for
connect me and you could be my chemical now!

Give me the drug you know I’m after,
Connect me and you could be the chemical…

You could be the chemical…