Ode to a Soldier


He chose to become what others couldn’t dare;

A man of honour to be found so very rare.

Sacrificing everything for the ashes of his father;

A selfless man proudly serving his native mother.

He neither feels cold nor the scorching heat;

From North to South he sets his marching feat.

Committed to protect his land and the human race;

He rambles across the woods knowing what to face.

He defends, he battles wearing a thorny crown;

He inspires and emboldens but never lets us down.

Weighed down by his rucksack full of blue emotion;

A soldier works for glory not for self-promotion.

A medal for infinity covers the wound of his chest;

Scars on his mind remain rooted deep in his nest.

The comrades in his arms make the best dream;

Even when they fail, the spirit never stops to scream.

Fall he may in the face of tiring wars;

The soul lives forever beneath the scores of scars.

Angels fly to receive him as the darling growl and cries;

But the silence shouts to tell them that a soldier never dies.

                            – Col AC




Going gets uneasy,
but makes my return so sweet;
Revisiting the beginning,
can boost the will to meet.

A lot may change, I agree,
but not to miss the roots;
My soul laid the foundation,
to cherish the growing shoots.

From high above the Boeing
meadows looked so green;
The flight to my home
was sure gonna make a team.

The joy of just a glimpse of them
would fill my eyes with tears;
How it finally dawned on me
that love was never so clear.

She hugged and cried
while he prided in my growth;
My sister jumped in joy
as Murphy lost his north.

They would spoil me day and night
purely out of love;
Had missed my presence all through
now treating like a dove.

Life can bring you roses
but only with your folks;
As I unravel the true love
that had put under the locks.

Home is where I belonged to
even when I went;
Love and warmth of family
must always smell like a scent.

~ Col AC



Understandably, the above term refers to the study of cheeks. Not literally, though.  It is not analogous to Anthropology where one studies human societies, their cultures, biological and physiological characteristics and their evolution.

One would ridicule my above narrative for a total lack of clarity on the basic thought process expected before holding the pen. Ok, I respect the contempt but it would be premature to write me off. It actually has a lot to do with the ‘Cheeks’.

I intend to post mortem the newly acquired practice of rubbing cheeks with others’ while greeting, specially in the so-called “High Societies”. This practice is prevalent amongst the ‘elite’ [sic] class more often than the rest of the cattle class of Indian society. However, slowly but steadily it has crept into the system of the not so elite segment of our society too.

Nothing wrong with it technically, I agree.

How can I question the ever-questioning new generation! The FoE and the FoA you see!

Nonetheless, I still intend to  question its inevitability in pursuit of anything western and fair which unfortunately, is considered better than our own set of values, culture, etiquettes and social norms. We cannot alter the course too soon though since the practice does not have its roots in ancestry. It is merely due to our mysterious and blind love for copying western culture.

It is the urge to be seen class apart from the herd or the “cattle class”.

The subsequent question that clouds my feeble mind is why a certain class of people prefer to offer their unshaven / silky smooth cheeks while greeting rather than following the established Indian norm of greeting.

Is it sub-standard to fold hands and say Namaste or at most shake hands?

If the self professed Ultra rich or more recently even the upper middle class loath exposing their disinfected palms and unwashed hands, they are sadly being hoodwinked by their own unfounded set of rules and ideas in its shadow.

The cheeks are equally, if not more, greasy and dirty.  Aren’t they?

I am convinced that people wash their hands more often now and certainly more than their faces. The only silver lining that I can see while they insist on “Cheekshake“, is that one gets to experience an added intimacy with the other person which otherwise would be a distant dream.

But again, wait!

Even this tactless logic would sound striking only when the person to be greeted is from Venus as the brain cells, I agree, raise the level of testosterone on encountering a lady with fair, smooth cheeks. Obviously, not all can touch these desirable cheeks under normal circumstances. Hence, this idea offers an opportunity to explore the unexplorable. What is even funnier is the art of pouting lips as one approaches the unexplored territory on the map of smiling faces. Finally, the fake sound that is orchestrated to conclude the whole process is the last nail in the coffin. I am referring to that “Muaah – Muaah” thud. It does strike familiarity with the sacred sound reserved only for the bedroom.

Maybe, I am jealous because I have not been successful thus far in chicksmooching. Frankly, I have not tried this even with my wife. We prefer to hug each other when we meet rather than be seen vulgar while sounding “Muaah – Muaah” in public. In fact, why would I greet her like a westerner when there are so many traditional, time-honored, refined, dignified, tolerable and more personal Indian ways available than faking to join the bandwagon? Indian culture has distinct and highly acceptable forms of greeting. I would touch the feet of elder family members and my teachers, say ‘Namaste’ to others and hug those closer to my heart to convey my ‘real’ happiness. ‘Cheeksology’ communicates neither the desired intent nor the real feelings to the object. Respect and love have no better way of expression than those practiced in our Indian culture. Of course, these can be altered if the intentions are primarily to drive satisfaction of feeling someone else’s cheeks. I would personally hate to get close to the unknown territory and make that utterly disgusting sound in order to be judged classy.

Why not hug the whole person rather than going only for the cheeks?

Signing off with hugs and respects!!

– Col AC


My name is ‘HU-MAN’ and I am NOT an atheist. I not only believe in GOD but also love him. I am fully conscious of the truth that without Him, we all are nonentity, absolutely nothing. I am also sensitive to the fact that those who scorn at the name of God are pessimists because God’s name and His being offer peace and positivity in life and not pessimism. Anyone who has seen Hindi movie “Oh my God’ will agree with me that  even the biggest of non believer at some point in time will realize the truth that God controls and guides all living beings.

          So, the question comes if I am a believer in God, why am I so judgmental and critical of all the rituals associated with His being. Does it reflect my superficiality in believing Him just because I can’t afford to remain on His wrong side, or does it confirm that I grudge the semantic due to my lack of knowledge about Him? I am yet to analyse both the reasons.

          I have always been surrounded by hardcore God loving (or, is it God fearing!!) people in my life. My mother has been following a particular faith since last two decades and my sister too has risen (not fallen) for the same belief system. And, now, my wife also follows a different set of religious belief. For me it has been a case of                                 “Shiva vs Krsna”. All this should be very encouraging to me, isn’t it? Yes it is, because, if nothing, it fills my home with virtuous and Godly atmosphere. Yes, it does. But then why am I leaving myself out of all the goodness surrounding me? Maybe, because I have my own set of rules to follow Him. Actually, the only rule to follow Him is to love him. My mother and wife will question me on this since God cannot be loved or hated as per one’s own whims and fancies, I agree. God has to be loved unconditionally without any set of rules. I have no set of rules and that could be the main reason for my predicament and negativity emerging out of the shackles which, in my opinion, have chained the freedom of thought in respect of people who set their own rules to believe in God. May be that I am spiritual and not religious.

          I have had very fruitful and healthy discussion on this topic with my mother and wife both. But most of the times I have emerged as a villain who questions the very foundation of these set of rules. Never have I intended to disrespect those who follow a particular belief system. I have always believed that religion is for the mankind and not vice versa. It is not meant to be subjugated and forced on anyone. There is no place for fantasies and fanaticism with respect to God. India is supposed to be the place from where religion and its associated goodness have emerged. We all have inherited it from our culture. But, looking around us will reveal the naked truth that our edginess and bigotry towards each other has ruined the basic foundation of our religious virtues. I am equally responsible for it. I am of the opinion that all the problems related to ‘faith’ have emerged out of “My God is better than yours” attitude. I understand that every learned person has a logical approach to the facts related to his belief which may seem viable but are equally debatable. But what right do we have to negate others’ theory and prove own as God’s own.

          As far as I am concerned, I neither have a theory nor any intention to prove anyone wrong. But, yes, I reserve the right like everyone else to trust in Him the way I want. Let’s not treat others as lesser mortals because they do not subscribe to a particular set of rules and views associated with those rules. Let’s also not act as an authority on moral and religious policing. And, to top it all, let’s just worship Him and not any human being because religious masters in ‘Kalyug’ are susceptible to selfish motives. The Asarams and Nirmal Babas have done little to restore sacrosanct standards in the mankind. It’s all about the intimate fight to the throne, a very corrupt and shameless desire to outdo the other with an aim to blur the otherwise clear vision of the masses.

I wish to promise Him today that I will neither grudge anyone’s faith nor will  question their fundamental right to belief. I will continue to support them and draw requisite happiness out of their religious inclination. Yes, I will.  I also wish to assure my loved ones that only thing that I value is ‘Him’ and ‘them’. Always!!