Interview: Harleen Vij

The Abstruse is all set to be launched in the end of August, 2016. The blurb of the story seems very interesting and curious. Curious enough to discuss the book with it’s author. Here are snippets of the conversation with author Harleen Vij about her debut novel.

A college girl has the power to predict cricket matches. But her lover thinks otherwise- she has the power to see glimpses of future and he is right. Things take a turn in their relationship when they realize this. Their trust and love, which were once spontaneous, become carefully thought our choices. And then, she has a vision. A vision to do with her brutal death and her lover. Should she believe in her vision or her most trusted lover? Should she ignore the premonitions or plan escape?

For the interview please visit words’ worth by Samarprita


#‎Banksy‬ about ‪#Advertising‬

Manish Kapoor

People are taking the piss out of you everyday. They butt into your life, take a cheap shot at you and then disappear. They leer at you from tall buildings and make you feel small. They make flippant comments from buses that imply you’re not sexy enough and that all the fun is happening somewhere else. They are on TV making your girlfriend feel inadequate. They have access to the most sophisticated technology the world has ever seen and they bully you with it. They are The Advertisers and they are laughing at you.

You, however, are forbidden to touch them. Trademarks, intellectual property rights and copyright law mean advertisers can say what they like wherever they like with total impunity.

Fuck that. Any advert in a public space that gives you no choice whether you see it or not is yours. It’s yours to take, re-arrange and re-use. You can do whatever you like with it. Asking for permission is like asking to keep a rock someone just threw at your head.

You owe the companies nothing. Less than nothing, you especially don’t owe them any courtesy. They owe you. They have re-arranged the world to put themselves in front of you. They never asked for your permission, don’t even start asking for theirs.

~ Banksy

Coffee: 7 amazing occasions to drink

Coffee is not just a drink. Every cup of it has a distinct memory. Sometimes we drink it because we have a deep urge while other times we need it for a company. It helps you boost your zeal when you are feeling depressed and alone. It also gives you a high when you are with someone you admire. It is a connection of body and mind. A connection of spirits,In my last article on coffee, A Cup of Coffee, I have mentioned seven types of coffee drinkers. All those types are unique in themselves. Today, I feel the urge to discuss some amazing occasions when a cup of coffee brought a broad smile on my face.

Excitement: We live in a virtual world. We make friends over internet and phone. So, when such a friend with whom you have been talking to for months, calls for the first time and says, “hey, I am near your home” you can’t resist meeting that person and you ride twenty odd miles on a bike in 20 minutes to catch them at café. It happened to me a decade ago.

Craving: With attaining the maturity every one of us develops a specific taste for the things we like. When we don’t get the stuff of that particular taste our mind sends a refusal order to the body and you feel like you are bushed. After a two-day exhausting trip of Amritsar and Wagah Border with Punjabi kind of tea, our urge found a satisfaction at Café Coffee Day on highway mall near Jalandhar.

Reunion: An old friend is a real gem. Imagine going to accomplish a somewhat important work with a pre-occupied mind, you hit an old friend on the way. During those pleasant hours of the reunion, a cup of coffee at the nearby café bar lets you forget the world and takes you down to the memory lane. I have experienced this more than once for I value my relationships. What about you?

Gossip: Sometimes you don’t find some office work of your interest. It bores you, and you don’t find interested in doing so. During that moment, you feel tired, overloaded with work. You go to the office canteen for some refreshment. You meet your colleague near the coffee vending machine and the two of you start long office gossip. And the coffee becomes the witness.

Reading: Reading keeps our mind alive. Most of us read at night. We find those moments of slumber our very own when we connect with ourselves while reading a book and find the plot in sync with our life. In the back of the mind, we try replacing the character with us. We don’t want to leave the book but the eyes show its inability to read further. In those moments, a hot cup does the magic to continue our reading.

Waiting: No one likes waiting for someone or something. Still, at times, we are bound to, like waiting at the airport for the announcement of your flight or at railway platform flipping a fashion magazine. Unknowingly, you gulp numerous cup of coffee down your throat.

Rains: Everyone wants to enjoy the rain, get wet and sing-song along with its tune. Nothing matches more than a cup of coffee after such a nostalgic feel.

You may have your coffee on whatever occasion you like. It will always give you the wonderful taste and aroma for your taste bud. My Coffee is black as the devil, hot as hell, pure as an angel, sweet as love.


Beard is the first sign of ‘physical growth’ in males. Physical growth because it is nowhere significantly related to the mental status of the person. It starts with the teenage and sometimes quite late. In some person, it doesn’t appear at all. Even though, they are men enough. People think the beard isn’t a sign of being masculine. So, most of the men shred it in order to appear well groomed. To some extent, the idea is to impress people in the surroundings, especially girls. People derive at such ideas mostly from the films, the film stars and the celebrities they follow. The way these celebrities look becomes the trend for their followers.

Beard not only changes one’s look, it also changes the overall personality. The way they look, the way they behave, the way they walk and the way they talk. The dynamics of beard also reflects their thinking. It gives a man a strong personality per se. The dense the beard, the deep the thought becomes. And perhaps the confidence level also grows with it.

Until late last year, I was not very keen to grow the beard. I do not recall any incidence when I had deliberately let my beard grow except twice when I fell ill for over a month. That was the time when my month old intense dark beard was largely praised but failed to inspire me enough to continue with that look. The gentle stubble of a week was enough for me to flaunt that casual look. All these years I was happy with my clean shaven self-acclaimed macho personality. It all started during the last week of December when I felt a strong urge to do all the things I have never done. I felt that at the age of sixty I would not like to regret things I have done and not the one I have not done. Hence, I started growing my facial hair. It’s over twelve weeks now and people say its so damn sexy.

For a confident person, the gap between the real self and the perceived one is not much. One should bridge the gap between the world and themselves. Believe in whatever you are and not focus much on getting consent. Nevertheless, for all those who still think a bearded look doesn’t look cool and does not give them a fair personality, think again. Some of the strongest people in the history (as well as in modern era) have given thought to the facial hair. From Karl Marx to Friedrich Engels, Charles Darwin, Otto the Great, Che Guevara, King George V and Grigori Rasputin, every one of them had those bearded look. And they were more famous than most of the people among us aspire to be.

Atheism – My new religion

Down through the periods of human history, there have been various civilizations, realms, traditions and people who have come and gone in the world. While some of these developments made extraordinary contributions to the progression of mankind, others have had practically zero effect. Archeological evidence found through the unearthing of holy places and sanctuaries around the globe, shows a large number of these missing social orders unmistakably had a few “sense of divine” in their affinity for embracing and creating different polytheistic conviction frameworks. In any case, the majority of these old civilizations were still unequipped for perceiving, recognizing and worshiping the one, genuine and eternal God. Atheism too fails to recognize and acknowledge the God.

Atheism is a lack of belief in gods or deities. It is not a disbelief in gods or a denial of gods per se. The ancient thoughts about atheism describe it as “a belief that there is no God.” Some people term it as ‘wickedness’, ‘sinfulness’, and other derogatory adjectives. Most atheists prefer to insist they embrace a system of “non-belief” as opposed to a “belief” system.

Atheism has to necessarily reject ‘theism’ which beliefs in at least one deity. These belief systems are mutually exclusive – just as an eternity with or without God would also be mutually exclusive. My belief is a bit different on the subject. No one is born atheist or theist. A newborn child doesn’t know anything about God. As they grow, the ‘fear’ of God is being fed in their mind. People use God to scare people around. We often listen “this is the right act and what you are doing is wrong, God will punish you”. Why would he punish me? And if he is the controller of the world and every act being done here, why on earth, I can do a wrong act?

Sometimes I feel as a victim of the world. My upbringing has been done in a religious Hindu family. ‘God fearing’ – as they say. The so-called ‘good deeds’ has been injected into my veins since I started growing up. It has been imbibed with my soul. I do worship all Hindu Gods and Goddesses. I do not have an objection to people who believe in other religions. But over the years, everything I do has become a formality for me. I have my own reasons for it. No one ever had given me a satisfactory answer to my queries. I have read the Geeta, the Quran (though in bits and pieces); had read about Christianity too, but no religion significantly establishes all the whys. Every religion misguides in disguise.

My belief is simple:

  • God is an illusion.
  • It is a fictional character, created by powerful ancient human.
  • The epics have been written and rewritten to glorify these characters.
  • God is a medium to scare the people around and take advantage of them.
  • God is a tool to blame for people’s own doing (or as they say ‘misdoing’).
  • The existence of God is fed in our mind.
  • There is nothing called God.

And my questions are simpler:

  • Who is God? Who is the God of a newborn? (The God of which religion)
  • Why don’t animals have their God?
  • If there is any God, why there is suffering?
  • If one believes in multiple Gods which one is the best?
  • What is the reason he doesn’t employ any magic now as written in the books?
  • If there is any God why the evil does exists? Is he weak to eliminate it?
  • If the God runs the world why there is disparity is doing and misdoing?

Atheism holds a more obviously characterized position than “agnosticism”, which trusts we can’t know with any certainty whether God really exists. While agnosticism can sometimes include a certain search for God, it can also be the result of a sluggish moral conscience that remains indifferent to the ultimate question of why mankind exists at all. This is the reason in the ethical choices the non-believers make as they direct their lives, agnosticism is equivalent to practical atheism.

Yes, I am turning into an atheist.

एक ख़्वाब

I have written this piece on 18 December 1995 in Hindi. This is one of my verse which is my own favourite. Today I dedicate these words to my Love. Hope she will read from wherever she is. :) 
I request all the readers to comment.
Manish Kapoor
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