Saturday, 29 December 2018

National Anthem - Should you stand up or not?  - True Story! 

I recently hit the theatres to watch a movie. I guess the last time I watched a commercial potboiler with a tub of popcorn was 2 months ago. 

Anyway, I got the tickets, bought popcorn and took my seat. A couple of minutes later, a young foreigner took the next seat of mine. I had this surreal-like feel for a while. 

While the stereotypical Indian in me pondered ‘why’; the ‘thought-provoking me’ quoted ‘why not? 

I knew there were around 10 full minutes before the film could start rolling; so I mustered some courage to strike a conversation. 

Hi. I’m Vishal, where are you from? I asked with a lump in my throat. I could already sense some discomfort in his body language. 

But, he shut my doubts with a broad smile and said - Hello! I’m Miguel. I’m from Spain but settled in Bangalore. 

Since there was no room for more time, I pushed the conversation and came to know that - he was residing in the Silicon Valley of India for the past one decade. 

I asked him why? I know it was none of my business, but still, I gave it a shot. 

‘In a gifted city like Bangalore, you’ve got the chance to experiment multiple things. So, I freelance for an advertising agency, I do photography and I travel places’, he said. 

For a second, I gave a thought to myself. 

Maybe, I should decode this guy rather than watching a commercial potboiler. Before pushing myself to throw the next question, we were alerted to stand up for the ‘National Anthem’ 

I put up the popcorn aside to stand and to my astonishment, so did Miguel. But, I wasn’t game for that reaction from him. I knew he was a foreigner and I also knew it wasn’t a compulsive requirement for a guy from a distant country. Maybe, I was forced to think like that after seeing our own Indians debating over the issue. 

But, Miguel broke the stereotype in me for the second time and joined the patriotic chorus and guess what? He knew our anthem by heart. For a second, I thought, the anthem was latched onto his head. The moment we finished reciting the anthem, some guy from behind with an enthusiastic tone chanted - ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’.

This time, Miguel surprised everyone by chanting back a ‘Jai’ in a high pitch. 

Since there were few more ads to go, I quickly thanked him for showering respect on our country. 

I knew it might have sounded a bit cliche for few. But, Miguel sipping his coke quickly said - ‘You don’t have to thank me, buddy. As I mentioned before, I’ve travelled a lot, explored multiple places, met thousands of people and binged on crazy adventures. So, what’s wrong in giving your 2 minutes for a country that’s given so much to you in return?’

By now, I was not just shocked. I was inspired too. So, before the credits could start rolling, I just applauded him for having a broad mindset on things. So I just ended the conversation by saying - ‘I wish even a few people in India could follow your approach, Miguel’ 

‘You can’t force people to do things. Because they are too busy in following an ideology which ironically doesn’t give a shit about them and they’re also too ignorant in differentiating between politics and patriotism. While the former plays poison, the latter at times becomes an antidote. However, ironically speaking, why are these issues popping out only in the last 5 years? 

After listening to what he said, I just laughed my lungs out and replied ‘Welcome to India once again, Miguel’.


Written By Vishal Aryan Komara 

Saturday, 17 November 2018


“Sir. Are you Mr Shankar?”

“Yes. I’m Shankar Narayan. Tell me. Is that a post or a courier?”

“I guess a post, sir. But you need to sign it.”

“Oh. Where’s Sundaram? He was the regular postman.” 

“Sorry, sir. Sundaram was one of the oldest postman in the Indiranagar suburb. He passed away yesterday.”

“Oh. That’s tragic. I met him three days back at the post office. He spoke about his daughter’s wedding which is just a month away. I’ll visit his place today and pass the condolences to his family. By the way, thanks for letting me know.” 

“It’s fine. But Sundaram sir’s family are not in the town. They left to Chennai this morning.”

“That’s ridiculous. How can they leave without finishing the rituals? I’ve known Sundaram from the past 30 years. He used to visit my bank once a week to deposit his weekly savings. I’ve known their family too. They were highly orthodox. How can they leave all of a sudden?” 

“By the way, how did he die? He was fit and perfect. I fondly used to call him ‘Joe Pesci’.” 

“I’m sorry to say, sir. It was a murder in broad daylight. The killer used a cloth hanging rope and strangled him to death. 
It was a gruesome murder. Don’t know what was the killer motive. Even the cops couldn’t find it.” 

“Well, that’s intriguing and sad. AND, how do you know all this? Did someone tell you? By the way, is the murderer on the loose? Did the cops catch him yet?”

“The killer is on the loose sir. The cops haven’t found a clue yet.”

“But, how do you know all this young man?”

“Sorry again to break it down sir. I’m Hari and I was the one who strangled Sundaram sir, your step-brother to death.” 

Shankar Narayan was shocked. His heart began to pound faster for two reasons. Firstly, the killer was in front of him and secondly, apart from him, nobody knew Sundaram was his stepbrother. 

“Hey. Stay out. How do you know all this? said Shankar with sweat pouring all over his face.”

“Relax. Sir. I’m not here to cause harm to you. Don’t worry. I just dropped here to share the story behind the killing. I’m here to justify the crime I’ve committed.”

“Sundaram was your step-brother. Isn’t it Mr Shankar?”

“Yes. But, why the hell you killed him and what’s your bloody motive?”

“Patience sir. Patience. An old man like you need to be calm and even Sundaram was in a hurry to explain me things. But, you know what sir? My reason to kill him was stronger than his cries.” 

“As far as I’m concerned, Sundaram is a kind-hearted person. He wouldn’t hurt anyone. Even after my father threw him out of the house, he never took it to his heart. Right from bringing up his kids to managing his household songs, he did it all by himself. Only after he lost his job as an accountant, he was forced to work as a postman. It was only during that time, he sought my help.”

“AND, based on the way you speak, I guess you’re a cold-blooded psycho who loves killing people for no reason!”

“Relax, Mr Shankar. I haven’t spoken about my reason yet and you’re already jumping into conclusions.”

“Whatever the reason might be, Sundaram wouldn’t have caused you any loss. I know about him very well.”

“Ok Mr., Shankar. Let me not drag further and tell you the reason behind me killing your step-brother. After all, you should be knowing how unrighteous Sundaram can be?”

“I guess it was 3 years ago. It was on June 9th 1991, I was employed at HAL as a chief engineer. I was the only breadwinner in my family. Father left us early and I was left out to take care of my mother and sister. You know how difficult it is to handle a family, Mr Shankar? In simple words, you carry all the burden.”

“But still, I studied hard, took tuitions, paid my bills and finally got a job at HAL. 6 months after I got placed, my mother sent me a letter and it was about a marriage proposal to my sister. I was on cloud nine. It was one of the moments where you feel proud of yourself, isn’t it Mr Shankar?”

“Anyway, I couldn’t travel to my hometown immediately. There was an ongoing project going on and I was designated as a project lead. So, I wrote a letter to my mother stating I would be dropping by two weeks later and I also sent her a cheque of 50,000/-“

“After two weeks, I packed my bags with enough sweets, bought some jewellery to my mother and sister and visited my hometown with full of excitement.”

“But, I’d never expected the sweets would go for waste. I’d never imagined the jewellery would be of no use. I’d never thought in my wildest dreams that there would be a day where I would get to see my mother and sister dead. 

You know what’s more painful Mr Shankar?”

“It’s losing your dear ones even after being a responsible son. But, it was your bloody stepbrother who was responsible for my loss.”

“I’m sorry for your loss. I know a sorry can’t justify your sorrow. But, I would like to know how Sundaram was responsible?”

“Mr Shankar. I guess you’re not getting it. I guess you’re still thinking your stepbrother was an innocent person. Had he been innocent, he wouldn’t have invented a murderer in me. Had he been innocent, I wouldn’t have strangled him to death.”

“Listen, young man. I would like to know the truth. As far as I know, our upbringing has never led to any atrocities in the past and yes, it would never, even in the future.”

“Mr Shankar. I’m not here to play philosophy. I’m here to convey the brutal truth.”

“It was your stepbrother who forgot to deliver that cheque on time. In fact, I got to know about it only after reaching the post office. It was still lying on the office amid many undelivered letters.”

“My mother and sister were humiliated by the local villagers. Poor people. They couldn’t handle it. So, they took a decision which would haunt me for a lifetime.”

“I thought of killing Sundaram the very next day. But no. What’s the point, Mr Shankar? What’s the point in killing him when his family is stable?”

“So, I patiently waited like a hungry lion who’s hunting a prey. It took me 3 years and only a month ago, I came to know Sundaram had arranged a marriage proposal for his beloved daughter.”

“I felt the time was apt and right. I visited him in the morning yesterday and as you can rightly guess, you know what happened.”

Shankar was left with tears. He was unsure about the cries. Whom he would cry for? His stepbrother or his unethical values? 

“Sorry, Mr Shankar. You might be a righteous man. But, Sundaram had to bear the brunt of his mistakes. After all, some mistakes have to be corrected.”

“Anyway, it was nice meeting you, Mr Shankar. I feel better now. It was nice meeting you in person.” 

“Wait! Why did you come here? You could’ve just escaped or vanished. What was the reason to meet me and tell me all this and make me more unhappy?”

“Mr Shankar. I guess you forgot the foremost essence of my story. Even I hail from a lower middle-class family. In fact, I don’t mind taking the privilege of being a more righteous soul than you are.”

“But, unfortunately, a murder is a murder. Sundaram committed a blunder and I had to repay. However, after killing him, I felt a bit guilty. I don’t know why. It suffocated me to the fullest. I just couldn’t handle it. For me, it was like a negative energy, Mr Shankar. I couldn’t destroy it. The only option I had was to pass it to someone.”

“AND, I don’t think there could be anyone as best as you to take that honours.”

But, what if I tell it to the police? 

“Ha ha ha ha ha. Mr Shankar. That was a good joke. Remember, just a couple of minutes back, you spoke highly of your upbringing.”

“Just go ahead, Mr Shankar. Go ahead and prove your upbringing was wrong. I would be more than happy to get jailed.”


Written By Vishal Aryan Komara

Sunday, 30 September 2018

How Living Your Bucket List Can Transport You To The Present?

We live in a world where philosophers, motivational speakers, authors and positivity-driven babas constantly look upto one objective and that’s - ‘Do What You Love’. 

You know what? Most of the people love sticking to the above objective, but as ironic as it sounds, they end up ‘Liking What They Do’. 

Which is precisely the opposite or what you call it in layman terms - living someone else’s dreams. 

Damn! Can it get more awful than this? Think about it. What if you just had one week to live? What would you do then? 

You definitely wouldn’t want to continue with your life paying bills and outraging on issues, right? 

Perhaps, any self-respected person in the world would just up their game for that week by marking off the things they always wanted to do. 

But wait, this ‘week-in-the-basket’ or the ‘last days concept’ is also the most negative story ever told. 

Yes. The worst part is we’ve been thinking even a Bucket List is something same. Where one has to dart their list before they actually ‘kick the bucket’.

Again, that’s one cooked up theory we humans have created. Well, in reality, a Bucket List is something that has to be counted as an activity to accomplish in the PRESENT. 

Are you confused? Well, let’s make it simple with a story. 

Once upon a time, there was a man called John who started his career in the 80’s as a copywriter and had slogged all his life living dreams of multiple people. 

Though writing copies were something that he liked, there were other things he could never indulge in. 

But, he never complained. He just lead his life like any common man would do. 

Be it buying groceries in the long queues and dreaming about that heavy compound interest or let’s say dreaming about a future which seems too far to consider. 

He did fairly well in his career. He could dart three promotions at ease and soon, he retired as a manager. 

All his life, he just wrote copies for clients and made some moolah, so that his family could sleep peacefully at the end of the day. 

Apart from being a passionate writer, he also loved sports, hiking, and travelling. But, he had never time for the latter as most of his life was occupied with penning copies. 

By the time John realised what he had lost, it was too late. All these thoughts struck him in his last day at work - the day he retired. 

He packed his bags, took his things and bid a farewell to his colleagues who took away his precious time all these years. 

However, John never gave up. While heading back home, a thought struck him again. This time, it was an idea where he could start his life from the scratch. For him in the head, it still wasn’t too late to make a new beginning. 

As his new idea could take him to a world, where he can be himself. Soon, after reaching home, his family welcomed him with a surprise party. They were eagerly looking forward to celebrating John’s retirement. 

Though John had different plans, he ended the night with a vibrant party and the very next morning, he shared his plan to his wife and his kids. 

The plan was to embark on a world tour for a year and yes, he also wanted to marry his wife again in Paris. Because, it was in the same romantic destination, had he met her for the first time. 

His wife and kids gave him a YES, and the rest, as you can guess, was a story that can be never forgotten. 

He, in fact, marked many things off his Bucket List and found his true self. Or what you can also term it as ‘Being Finally Settled’. 

But you see, not everyone can be as lucky as John. Don’t you think? Well, when I say lucky, I meant TIME. 

Because, no matter how big your dreams are, you need sufficient time to get there. 

AND, for the record, at any point, you need a life that can get BETTER, not BITTER. 

The idea is simple you see. You can’t afford your Bucket List dreams turn into a nightmare. You can’t afford to lose your ‘present’ for an unpredictable ‘future’.

So, take the plunge, dare to be the person you wanted to and live your present life to the fullest. 


  • Vishal Aryan Komara. 

Monday, 17 September 2018

Decoding the meaning of career advice and happiness advice!

Ever heard of this question? Or does it sound like you’ve had enough of it already?

Right from a random schmuck on the street to your retired relative, everyone seems to be interested in your career decisions; right? 

Every tom, dick and, harry seems to feel responsible for your actions. 

If you’re sailing in the same boat, worry not. I’ve been there too. But yeah, I also found a solution to stay away from such bits of advice. 

However, before heading to the solution. I would like to ask you the difference between a career advice and an happiness advice. 

Both might look similar. What if you give a deep scrutiny? Just try it out. It’s gonna blow up your minds as both are quite different. They don’t attract each other. 

Career advice might perhaps be the best bets for the well-paid counsellors. But in reality, most of the times, they are crap. 

Yes. You read that right. In fact, the counsellors have a greater job satisfaction than the folks who are shooting them questions. 

Think about it. What’s the basic description of Career Advice? 

Or, to explain in the millennial tone, how does an objective of a ‘career advice’ look? 

Maybe, something like this - 

‘Hey. I’m career advice and my only objective is to make people slog so hard that they screw up their health. I also make sure that no one gets time to lead a comfortable personal life’.

Did I say personal? So, this was the solution thing I was talking about. 

Ever stumbled upon a counsellor in a magazine who would preach about living your passion or what you precisely term it as a Happiness Advice. 

No. They don’t bank on such topics. Why may you ask? Because they never had a passion. Period. 

So, people went mad and curious to find out folks who could fetch them some happiness advice. 

Boom! Entered the entrepreneurs-turned authors. The numbers rose and things began to change. 

While counsellors in the magazine spoke about the next software update, the passion-driven ninjas spoke about ideas that could turn toilet papers into gold. 

AND, it began to work. What looked boring in the past became an interesting task in the present. 

So, that’s the difference between an happiness advice and, a career advice. 

Unlike the latter, happiness lectures are exciting and, most importantly, if implemented well, you’ll end up happy forever. 

Just look at some famous people. Right from technology, sports, entertainment and to arts. Most of them are happy and successful only because they could dedicate everything to their passion. 

After all, many are privileged to enjoy the riches; but only a few end up having a Wikipedia page. 

So, it’s all about living and hustling for that one goal you’re looking forward to accomplish. 

Written by Vishal Aryan Komara 

Sunday, 16 September 2018

Why is stability the favourite word for Indians?

Have you thought about it? 

Being an Engineer turned writer, at times I don’t have the answer myself. 

Maybe, it was because I took a risk of not following the herd. A herd that would often  boast a group of engineers, doctors, government clerks and other monotonous 9-5 gigs. 

However, before getting further, I’ll start with a small true story. 

During a graduation day, an Indian Harvard professor asked his students about their future plans. 

He asked them whether they desire to become another ‘Jobs’ or become a person who would just dream a secure job. 

While most of the foreigners preferred the former option, the Indian students pondered to the latter. 

Do you want to know who was the professor? Any guesses? Well, it was none other than Dr Subramaniam Swamy. 

But, what surprised me was the answer from the Indian students. 

Why would they do that? It then hit me. It’s not their fault either. It’s the stability stigma that has been brainwashing such people over the years. 

Fortunately, things are now different. Entrepreneurship has changed the perception. In fact, it lead people to ponder deep thinking. 

So, what do you think was the deep thought? 

Simple. People just felt like quitting their jobs to start their own careers with the money left out in their pockets. 

AND, this also became a habit for the freshly graduated teens. Don’t jump into conclusions now! As there are instances where millennials have spun millions out of an idea that was born over a mug of beer. 

Now coming to the big question - Why stability is a favourite word to Indians? 

Well, going by the trend, stability is no more a burden to us. When I say US, it’s about the younger crowd or a bunch of people who’ve lost some hair in what you call an enlightening stressful career. 

People these days don’t fall prey to preachings like - Don’t quit your job, there is time for everything, you can live your passion later or what is known to be a middle-class favourite - RESPONSIBILITIES. 

Don’t you believe it? Just feed some thought. Unlike the folks from the 70s and 80s, people these days are living their passion in their present. 

They could have played like the older ones who would think of their favourite careers only after a retirement. Isn’t it?

But, things are different now. Folks these days are eagerly looking forward to creating a dent in the universe. 

Gone are the days where dreams ended up with questions. 

Gone are the days, where for every solution, there stood a problem. 

At present, it’s about darting a solution at every problem.

So, what do you seek?

Adding life to your years or Adding regret to your life. 

Choose wisely. 

Written by Vishal Aryan Komara