Sunil's Blog – Mistico Indio

Ruminations of a poet and philosopher

The Foreign Minister’s Visit

Posted by Sunil on August 28, 2011

By Sunil Kumar

Blood is thicker than water. All of us agree that the India-Pakistan relationship is drenched in red, albeit of a different hue. Whenever our distinguished foreign ministers meet, there is a lot of talk and practically no substance. Promises are made, only to be broken at the next moment.

Our opinionated intelligentsia, millions of media personnel and distinguished analysts indulge in systematically undermining the Indian nation-state. As cry-babies, we constantly bicker on our inept bureaucracy, inefficient police and archaic laws. But, practically little actually changes. When Hina Rabbani Khar, Pakistan’s first woman minister of foreign affairs landed on our shores, the media was agog with stories of a feminine touch: Roberto Cavalli shades, Birkin bags and pearls. We also had the vision of a peaceful detente between two old foes: India and Pakistan.

When blood is spilt on the streets of Mumbai, there is absolute apathy from the state and the government. How can a woman’s accessories be more important than the thousands of people who lost their lives, crores of property destroyed, and the sheer negligence of our lawmakers?

Our diplomatic entourage, with our distinguished foreign minister, erudite foreign secretary are busy planning their next plum assignments. When the Indian nation-state is bleeding from a thousand cuts, why don’t they arm our police with more weapons, fence our borders and create a more robust security infrastructure?

As honest tax payers, the least we can expect from the government is concern for a hassled population. In some time, Mumbai is set to be the most populated metropolis in the world. The strain of living in an urban jungle is already evident in the collapse of many civic institutions, pressure on land, resources, lakes etc.

When we talk of building world-class cities, and bringing our country at par with the rest of the world, the least we can expect from the media is attention on serious issues and not frivolity. My empathy is for the millions of traumatized citizen who have been brutalized by the senseless violence emanating from across the border.

Admittedly, an eye for an eye makes the world blind. But when you are already bleeding, somebody has to take guard and sock it back. When a journalist with the courage to take on the oil mafia is gunned down in broad daylight at an avenue that is supposed to be one of Mumbai’s safest, what precedent does it set for everybody else? We have to assume the reign of terror will continue, and those in authority will accept our neighbor’s sweets.(Bombs come with the package)

Moral posturing, and preachy news bytes have not gotten us anywhere. When will India wake up and smell the coffee? Maybe, in our next birth, when our sins are washed away at Haridwar. (Ahem, beg your pardon, even the ghats at Varanasi had to face militant ire).

India earnestly waits for a savior. Not the supermen of Bollywood, or the religion inspired concept that has led to more misery, and blood than anything else. But the next practical realist who can actually save our souls. Till then, waiting for a new beginning.

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Shadowlands, Alternative Timelines and Identity

Posted by Sunil on March 10, 2011

By Sunil Kumar

Evolution created a dichotomy. The mind creates shadow lands- peeping images, glimpses of nowhere spooking your innards.


Alternative timelines can scare you- the choices you make determine destiny. The eternal conundrum – fate v/s free will. Science is inadequate, philosophy does not live up to its promise. Is the soul real, or is evolution the result of a big bang ending in a big crunch? Where do I go from here? Or do your gray cells refuse to acknowledge a new idiom? Millions of nanoseconds later, an identity is elusive.

There is certainly no reason to explain why despots survive, human beings fight and there is an incredible need to expect the unexpected. Similarly, what drives somebody to pen ideas in a blog. The entire wordpress universe, the amount of opinions in the blogosphere are jarring.


For anybody writing a comment on this post, make it a point to add to the debate. Start a discussion, realize the beauty of life and add to intellectual discourse. Give links if you must, but create a thought trail – healthy debate will add to my mental wellbeing and help a few more readers who make it a point to go through these posts.

Netizens beware, you have nothing to lose but some broadband bandwidth. The time taken to go through this message should add to your latent sensibilities, make it a point to create a forum for collective brainstorming.

In simple words, make interesting comments.



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My American Cousin

Posted by Sunil on November 7, 2010

By Sunil Kumar

India waits with bated breath as the President of the United States lands in its commercial capital. The country’s functioning anarchy gets a kick in the groin when the most powerful man in the world decides to visit.

The President starts with usual panache – a verbal flourish and does what a good salesman can do exceedingly well- sell his country to the hosts. The Land of the Free does not need a window to its soul – we all know American marketing muscle only too well.

Incredibly, India is at the verge of an incredible change – the world now looks at the country’s growth story as a significant event in global history. Existential debates on survival will continue – as we increasingly integrate into the mainstream.

As a country, we are only too conscious of our shortcomings – the world outside does not need to point fingers. Politicians and industrialists react with typical candour – some may even find a hint of servility. Magicians need gullible audiences – the brown Asian fits into the mould admirably.

Glib Western messiahs in fancy business suits suit our pretentious midriff- the country’s burgeoning middle class. Do the poor really matter in our scheme of things? Writers in blogs cannot be seers- intellectual speculation however is a very human failing. Only time will tell whether the country lives up to its incredible aspirations. Till then we await a new beginning – benign and benefical.


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The Agony And The Ecstasy of Steve Jobs

Posted by Sunil on August 27, 2010

By Sunil Kumar
Link To Mike Daisey Facebook Event

God bless Chinese protocol.

Watched a wonderful monologue yesterday. Wozniak coded and Steve Jobs designed in a company full of maverick creatives. This makes you wonder, if the First World sends its “shit”(read:IPAD) to the Third World(read China- second biggest economy) and relentlessly exploits it, what indeed is the future of globalization? Obama wants jobs in the U.S., Indian IT companies want to be self-effacing, cost-effective chopshops and China wants to widen its trade surplus. We all have problems with our daily lives.

To make a long story short, Steve Jobs designed what he thought people wanted. So he shifted base from California to Utah, Texas, Singapore and finally to China. Since most of the world is “uber-cool” and Apple is apparently one of the trendiest computing companies around, technology geeks and newbies lapped up everything he had to offer. His company went from trendy to trash to top of the heap. And he achieved this with a few geniuses and a lot of bozos.

So how important are First World dynamics to the economies of the Third World? If blood-sucking capitalists can make life miserable for a regimented communist society, democracy has no hope!

Opinionated, boorish, sadistic – relative perspectives. Most of the world seems to be in a narcisstic frenzy – to reach some level of gratification and not self-realisation. Conversations are inane, they are cosmetic additions to a protective ego sheath. Combine Jung, Freud, Vedanta, Tao and the most primal urge – the will to survive in a competitive world and you have a lethal cocktail – my attempt at psycho-babble.

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The City of Djinns

Posted by Sunil on August 10, 2010

By Sunil Kumar

I walk through a mausoleum. Distant voices, eerie past. The modern city merges with remnants of a bygone age. Global terrorists and spoofs. The sands of time in a splitsecond. What is eternity? The imagination of poets and philosophers or the miasma of a daily grind.

Well-manicured gardens with sycophants in the city of power. Find the soul in this city. Ostentatious celebrations reek of falsehood – Really?? Analysis probably leads you to a dead-end.

Wasn’t I reared on history, ghosts and the celebration of life? Slang – crass, no unfamiliar? Commercial, carnal cities on the Arabian Sea are probably worse. Who are we to judge? Do cities have a heart? Adios to buried politicians, seats of power: back to life alive, positive, meandering, incredible and interesting!!

[Apologies to Monsieur Dalrymple ]


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Mammaries of the Welfare State

Posted by Sunil on June 29, 2010

By Sunil Kumar

End of an average day. As I search inwards for meaning, the outside world forces me to reconcile to short-term crass reality. Actively trying to ignore the riot of colour assaulting me, my brooding subconscious is searching for meaning.

Pretense is important, it probably gives us all a reason to exist. The very process of thought intrigues me. Thread of fate- divine or manmade? Flip from an idea to another. I write for myself, then reexamine – whether it fits into your linear reality.

Walk with me – helpful old men in an other-worldly old library in South Mumbai – trying to find some white poet who went through my brain Sar, then disappeared. London – old, haunting and enchanting. Conformance is such an ingrained virtue.

(I promise not to think too much about this post- Me to me)

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New York, I Love You

Posted by Sunil on January 29, 2010

By Sunil Kumar

Waiting for the Summer Rain: Copyright:

As I settle into a cushy sofa seat in another nameless multiplex, the human condition is again brought to the fore by a kaleidoscope of spontaneous, surprising and imaginative stories from one of the cultural capitals of the world, ‘New York’.

Language is a potent formula – if I speak yours and you speak mine, there may or may not be an interconnect – or so some of the directors of this anthology would like us to believe. [Diamonds, art, bellboys et al].

This is not a movie review – very interesting in parts, the feeling of loss, betrayal and angst set me thinking about how the world has changed or maybe has always been the same.

Elation, despair, betrayal – common human emotions – replayed everywhere – but a very big yes to the visuals here – the rarified confines of one of the richest cities in the world.

If you love life, then transformations happen or they fade away like the destroyed canvas of an unknown vagabond.[The meaning of loneliness – forgotten ideas in huge megapolises].

Maybe (emotions) have nothing to do with it. Speculative minds can write, fight wars, gloat over spilt milk and never say never again driven by automation from above.

Death To Immortality

Asato ma sad gamaya.
Tamaso ma jyotir gamaya.
Mrtyor ma amrtam gamaya.

Lead me from the unreal to the Real.
Lead me from darkness unto Light.
Lead me from death to Immortality
Source – The Upanishads

Can time stand still – or is realisation of higher truth the preserve of a select few? A self-help manual or a site for the introspective types – Use every second well to prioritise and mobilise your life.

“No learning is acquired by anyone unless he wants to learn it, and believes in some way that he needs it”. – A Course In Miracles

If I believe in the soul, the nameless invisible entity that seems to be the saving grace for many religions of the world, a construct that has lent itself to innumerable systems of philosophy, fatalism, grinding and self-inflicted imagined misery – what is the final goal? – OR was it all a non-dualistic illusion?

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Avatars, Digital Incarnations and Nirvana

Posted by Sunil on December 27, 2009

By Sunil Kumar

The eternal skeptic lives. This year is coming to an end. “Avatar” – Hollywood marketing at its best lives up to the hype and is acclaimed as great film-making. But was there a story in all that technical wizardry or merely poor men eating cake marvelling at a rich man’s 300 million dollar world?

It’s been a year since my personal fulminations have been online. “Existential Angst” in England, and an Indian interlude.

Nirvana cassetes stock mein nahin hai and Cobain in Indian English has left for his heavenly abode. Colloqualisms are wonderful. If Sakyamuni were alive today, Boddhisatva would mean a doper with only a faint idea of religion.

Link it with a dawg idea – and please Mr., Mrs. Miss xxxsan, heaven loves me more than you could know.

Three hundred days, innumerable hours and countless seconds come to an end when one annus durabilis comes to an end. I don’t know what durabilis means, just identify it with mirabilis and horribilis, the Queen of England and Princess Diana probably knew it with some help from (ahem!) red-tops.

In my next incarnation, I’m going to be digital and my brain not a mish-mash of three hundred different influences competing for space.

Enlightenment will be within my lifetime and my ineffable presence will glide through the galaxy. Nirvana will not be a grunge band from Seattle, and it will not mean extinction of a soul flame.

Ideas and opinions will merge into a new idiom, and the world will acknowledge that human ideas are borrowed, mingled and re-used.
Rich countries will not con poor countries, and natural resources will be equitably distributed. Frequent TV breaks will not disturb my thinking, and conmen will be a thing of the past.

Books on philosophy will not remain noble statements enshrined for college courses, academics or rock singers. Golfers, governors and commoners will not be caught in sex scandals and carnality will not be a taboo subject – admired, reviled, spoken of in hushed tones and sold to the highest bidder.

Nobody will know what idealism is – and not misuse it. Countries will not be bullies and invent Weapons of Mass Destruction. Social inequities would end and nobody will starve.

Six billion people will have a reason to smile – and MJ would not need to sing meaningful songs, marry Elvis Presley’s daughter and be accused of being a paedophile.

Media generated frenzies would not engulf the entire world and money would not be the sole means of survival. Hollywood blockbusters would not make money on apocalyptic scenarios.

We would not live limited lives devoid of meaning – searching for solace in false religions. There would not be prophets of doom and godmen in all parts of the world.

Till nirvana remains elusive, let me pray for a mutation- Avatar, personal and collective.

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Let’s Blog About Sex, Baby

Posted by Sunil on January 17, 2009

Sex is comon knowledge. So Steve Martin is equated with humor and Hindi movies are “banal”. Well, not always, but there’s repressed carnality, now, overt and vulgar, both, Hollywood and Bollywood.


Merriam-Webster defines sex as “the sum of the structural, functional and behavioural characteristics of organisms that are involved in reproduction marked by the union of gametes that distinguish males and females.”

Google Zeitgeist (actually, Google Zeitgeist blushes in admitting it) and many articles often refer to “sex” as the most googled term. So why is sex so popular?

The most obvious answer is “the basic instinct”. Since men were cavemen, and women were well, “cavewomen”, sex has (ahem) been the most basic urge.

Apart from say, certain alternative science fiction scenarios, or the Governor of California getting pregnant in a movie, there have been no unfortunate instances wherein men had breasts and women acquired testicles.

So what drives an increasing online population to find sex? Why is the world driven by sex magic? (Case in point: Searching for porn brought you here).

The Masters and Johnson sex studies were dry and clinical, but sold a lot of copies around the world, because of the subject matter. Now click on the Time link, click it, click it please, I know you want to do it!

If most people didn’t know by common sense that sex sells, and advertising did not constantly sell sexual stimuli, Mark Levit, managing partner of Partners & Levit Advertising says, yes, but only when used in “good taste”. According to him, as marketeers we must think not only in getting customer’s attention, but also in building a good reputation that will yield long-term results.

But why then is pornography(largely smut) one of the most googled terms and Internet Pornography Statistics state that the porn industry has revenues larger than the top ten technology companies combined!

Well people may go to church, mosques and temples, but it seems that most of them are closet perverts. Well the answer, if God permits, I don’t know if there is a God(blasphemous statements again), is probably in our genitalia. Salvation Jane or Horny Joshi, all the world seems to revel in the fuzzy undersides.

I’ll end this blog by putting up a list& links of the ten most beautiful women in my opinion, so guys enjoy,
And one of my favourite songs, “Mambo Italiano”. Actually I’ll put three up, including Peter Gabriel’s “Steam”.

Yah, and for my fellow Indians, all the people who were obsessed with “you-know-what”, and the white (Sorry, Black, White, Cuban & Asian) people reading my blog, here’s an American’s view on where to find the sexiest girls in the world outside the U.S.

Warning: This is not an encouragement to pornography[I love grammatically correct sentences)- if you thought so, this is just an exhaustive list.

Here’s an survey, No: 46 Britney Spears, follow that link, keep clicking for more.

Finally, to end, and as an ode to rabid feminists, Voila!, I present Gisele Bundchen. Ciao for now!

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Posted by Sunil on December 4, 2008

By Sunil Kumar

“The past and the future is where we spend most of our lives. In fact what you are going through in this small microcosm of ours is the disorienting feeling of having stepped for a few hours into the present”… Salman Rushdie, The Moor’s Last Sigh.

Salman Rushdie once said, “I hate admitting my enemies have a point.” Growing up in a newly independent India in the 50s and the 60s, Rushdie is very much like the midnight’s children he won the Booker prize for.

Mixing Indian metaphors with global abstraction comes easy to Rushdie. Not easily accessible at first, Rushdie is a writer who captivates the reader with the broad sweep of his imagination and the sheer audacity of challenging the fundamentalist establishment. Another interesting facet is the eclectic mix of ideas that he draws from and projects in his fiction. Shades of Don Quixote, magic realism and caricatures of a living breathing reality.

The fatwa made him famous. Rajiv Gandhi’s India banned him instantly and the Ayatollah Khomeini made him a pariah in the Islamic world. How did Rushdie live through those traumatic times?

Sir Salman Rushdie said in a Telegraph interview that he plunged into despair when the fatwa was declared and says that it “erased” his personality.

He adds, “The thing about hitting the bottom is then you know where the bottom is…And after that, it cleared things up in my head… One of the things it cleared up was an urge in my mind, which is that everybody should like me.”


“That was the moment at which I stopped being the prisoner of that thing, because I thought, OK, there are people who are not going to like me and do you know what, I don’t like them.”

Rushdie always reminisces about Bombay post-independence when he thought the city was going through a kind of golden age, an Indian Camelot, where he was the knight in shining armour.

The city and its multiple identities inspire Rushdie – a miasma of illusions, the mecca of Indian dreams, sleaze lightnin’!!!

For specific feedback on this post or the blog feel free to send in comments at: ideasmyblog

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