Unspoken – My Debut Book of Poetry

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Unspoken, my debut poetry collection, has been finally published. 🙂

You can buy the book from here: https://pothi.com/pothi/book/ebook-vishnu-vardhan-unspoken.

About the Book 

As a young adult, you step into a ruthless world…you fall in love, you have your first heartbreak, you get betrayed, you struggle through intense pain, you lose hope, and yet, amidst the gloom…you find a silver lining – a hope for a better future.

Unspoken is all about the struggle towards finding your own identity in this world of also-rans. It is poignant, beautiful and intensely moving. Be ready for a rollercoaster ride of emotions – poems ranging from prostitutes to exams will enthrall you. If you have been in love, you will love reading these poems.

“I meet your eyes with mine, questioningly,
And you look away into the distance.
I plead with my voiceless silence,
For a single drop from your eyes,
As a memoir of all our years of love,
You struggle and wring your eyes awhile,
But, not a single teardrop falls.”

About Me

I’m a ‘self-proclaimed’ misfit (so much for following the calling of the heart). I’m not your average ‘MNC guinea’. After working as an Instructional Designer for three years at Akamai, I quit my high-paying corporate job to startup a social enterprise, Indian Superheroes. Through this organization, I’m committed to making the urban poor community self-sustainable through the three fronts (what I call the Holy Trinity) of health, education and entrepreneurship.

I’m also the co-founder of Rentokart, (www.rentokart.com), an online rental marketplace that aims to drive a shift towards renting out products versus buying them outright. I love designing (websites et. all, samples here and here), traveling, also teach at Just Robotics. My friends deem my energy levels to be always high (without external stimulants ofcourse), and my love for kids and animals alike has been documented as an unwarranted outlier in my family that’s terrified of dogs. In short, one crazy prick with a poor sense of humor. The kids will all vouch for it.

Thank you for all the support. 🙂

Link to buy the book: Here.


Chapter 1: An ode to destiny . . .

When you are diagnosed with cancer or engaged to a woman you do not love, the only thing you can wish for is a miracle. A sudden change of circumstance, a rewritten destiny . . . when the cancer cells (or in my case, the woman I’m supposed to be married to) mysteriously disappear. Not that I had anything against her. She’s a sweet woman, no doubt . . . but, sweetness cannot replace the intense love I still had for a person who left me for dead two years ago.

The only thing I can wish for is quick euthanasia. Painless, maybe . . . but, that doesn’t make much difference now. A short Mangni, a shorter Nikah. I look around the train to see my relatives, happily talking to each other, rejoicing at my expense. In my lap, I have the Mangni dress for my bride-to-be. It is a beautiful white salwar-qameez, adorned with gold lining.

How I wish she was the one who would be wearing it. She. My life. My love. She.

In the beginning, like every other family, mine wanted a miracle too…a cure for my disease of unconditional love; so, they termed it puppy love. They massacred it by bringing in customs and religions. I didn’t buy it.

But, after two years of silence; two years of pain of not knowing where she was, I decided to finally move on. Not that I wanted to. But, I ran short of excuses. I couldn’t lie anymore that I wanted to study further, now that I have done my MBA. I couldn’t tell them that I wanted to earn a lot of money, which I do now. I couldn’t even tell them that I wasn’t of marriageable age, now that I’m 27. I ran out of excuses. I was forced into not waiting for her anymore, even if I wanted to wait an eternity.

So, I accepted the first proposal that came my way. Ayesha Mirza.

Ayesha’s a successful entrepreneur, has an MBA degree to boot, and easily one of the most beautiful women I have come across in my life. There’s a certain charm in her eyes, an unmistakable beauty. But, wherever I see those deep brown eyes, I get reminded of the only woman I had loved in all my life.

“You will fall in love with other on the nuptial night”, my friends teased me.

“You know it doesn’t work that way. I don’t love her. I don’t love anyone else.” I said.

I received sad stares in return.

“Marry her. She is the best match for you. Love will happen. For now, just marry her.”

In Islam, marriages are just social contracts that had to be respected. But, I never believed that. I have always believed in the concept of soulmates. I always believed that marriages are made in Jannat. That was all I believed in, for all the years I had known her.

If life quietly slips out of me today, and Malak al-Maut raises me up towards Allah, I do not mind being thrust into hell-fire. I have got a glimpse of Jannat, infact more than a glimpse…I have lived in paradise throughout my lifetime…or, more specifically from the time I met her.

Her. Maya. My Hoor Al-Ayn. Woman of Paradise.

Constant taps on my shoulder brought me out of my reverie.

“Ziyan beta, do you want to eat something?”

I looked around, a little dazed. There was laughter, there was happiness, it was a din. The train. I was oblivious to it all. And, I was famished.

“Ya mumma, let me just go to the bathroom and come back.” I said. I wanted to get out of this place of happiness. I couldn’t be there. I didn’t belong there. I belonged to wherever Maya was. I belonged to her.

The train chugged along and I made my way to the bathroom.

There were a few beggar women sitting on the floor alongside the restroom door. A few things in India never change, I thought to myself. Their clothes were torn, and their faces looked grimy and ugly. A couple of faces were scarred awfully. I looked at them sadly. Sunlight whipped through the windows and fell upon them. Their hair glistened in the sunlight, and their eyes, as they looked up at me, reflected a deep brownish tinge. I looked away abruptly. Something in those eyes. Anything brown reminded me of Maya. Just Maya.

“Why are you staring at me like that, Ziyan?”

“Your deep brown eyes, Maya. They do something to me. Like magic.”

“Don’t make me blush, Zi.”

“I’m intoxicated, Maya. Besotted.”

“Kanna, drunk. That’s what you are. You are just too drunk.”

“I don’t drink, you know that.” 

“You are drinking me in, Zi. Drinking me in . . . One millimetre at a time”

She flashed through my mind, her eyes, her hair, her puppy-like laugh . . . and, I fell to the floor unconscious. Never rising again.

Words of Wisdom: Pain and Suffering


Millions of people are suffering
they want to be loved
but they don’t know how to love…!

And love cannot exist as a monologue;
it is a dialogue, a very harmonious dialogue…!

It is because of the pain of love,
millions of people live a loveless life.
They too suffer, and their suffering is futile.

To suffer in love is not to suffer in vain.
To suffer in love is creative;
it takes you to higher levels of consciousness.

To suffer without love is utterly a waste;
it leads you nowhere,
it keeps you moving in the same vicious circle…!


The first kiss

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A heavenly silence swept the night sky, nothing but the mysterious sound of birds disturbed the peaceful surroundings.

Holding her fingers in mine, I looked deep into her eyes and fell in love with the stars that shone bright within those beautiful black pearls. She was MINE.

Sitting next to her, I could hear her breath on me, warm and caressing. I felt a crackle of electricity through my veins, the thumping of my excited heart growing louder by the second. She brushed her beautiful lips against my ears, and whispered softly with a heavenly voice that struck a chord deep into my soul.

“Vishnu . . .”

I fell in love with her at that moment, bewitched by her tantalizing looks I wanted to kiss her . . . Unmindful of the waves that washed my feet clean, I leant forward wishing to hold her in my arms forever.

 “Can we play the lie game again darling?” I probed.

I looked at my beautiful baby expectantly. She looked up at me with her tender eyes…eyes that spoke a thousand words of love.

 “Vishnu, plz . . . I never want to listen to you saying that you hate me even if it is just a game.”
My heart missed a beat. She is ONE awesome woman, I thought.

“You mean the world to me Vish . . . Every inch of my body is yours. Take me.”

“I just need your heartbeats darling . . Nothing else.”  

And we looked into each other’s eyes never feeling the need to break the silence prevalent between us. Time flew past us. Words were a luxury. We were lost in love. Totally.

“Kiss me Vishnu . . .” she said suddenly, breaking the calm of the night.

She was sitting just an inch from me now. She put her fingers into my hair and slowly pulled me close to her. I could feel the hair on my body standing up. My brains ceased to work. My heart was pounding aloud. I felt a sense of excitement and fear together.

I could just see my reflection in her eyes. It was too close. Way TOO close.

I could feel the brushing of my nose against hers, and her beautiful soft lips touching mine. I was in heaven. I closed my eyes and lost myself totally to her.

I never knew who kissed first, but, the taste of her amazing lips lingered on mine throughout the night.

I just knew one thing. I would prefer her lips as my food till the end of my life. And beyond.

“You bit my lips Vishnu, idiotic puppy!” she barked cunningly, looking at me with her naughty eyes.
And suddenly we looked at each other and for no reason, we started laughing our heads out.

“You are a doggy then!” I claimed.

“Never…I don’t even know to kiss properly. But, I guess you are an MBA in kissology. French kiss Expert!”

“Liar!!!! U ate my lips not me. Doggy!”

And we argued and argued before I pulled her close and kissed her once more.

That night, I became hers forever.


There was still just one nagging thought in my mind when I recollected the amazing kiss I shared with my beautiful Maya . . .
Does a puppy know how to French-kiss?

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The crossroad dilemma

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I was smirking as I saw my friend staring intently at the computer screen in front of him.

“How to tie a tie” it said in bold capital letters.
Wow, of all the atrocities of the modern world, this one takes the cake!
“How in the world can you learn to tie a tie by looking at a computer buddy?” I taunted.
“I just figured out that we can’t, so zip the talk and help me out dude!” he shot back.

Caught on the hop at the crossroads of theoretical and practical knowledge, I realised that I wasn’t alone; almost the entire world shared the same dilemma as I did. Dimly lit was the pathway to both the roads, I was nonplussed and so was everyone else.
Theoretical knowledge lays the foundation for a successful career ahead. Experts in the field claim that a person without an MBA degree is like a chicken without its head. It is an absolute prerequisite in the flea market of jobs in today’s world. The three letter suffix prefixes marriages too. “Any fiancé as long as they are MBAs” seems to be today’s mantra. Henry Ford must have felt proud.  After all, whatever we read today in management has already been researched upon standing the test of time. Ground-breaking knowledge available at fingertips. We become masters the easy way. Who’d miss a free cake if they see one? So, even though mounds of books scare us white and make our knees go weak, we still stick around to witness another day. Thanks to the devil in our minds that always says “What you SWOT is what you reap”.

This then makes me think! Did we as babies learn from books to walk, talk and sleep or did we learn to drive a cycle through Google? There are only N things that we can read from books, but, infinite things to be learnt from real-life. We cannot read minds as we read books, there’s no use of a Dale “How to be successful in public speaking” Carnegie if we don’t climb the stage. That’s what management fests provide you. The chance to be THE change. We cannot read about leadership traits and behavioural theories and just expect a smooth relationship with Mr.tom, dick and harry. We can discuss so many things about financial crunches and ways to tackle it, but, it is much more than just a bunch of theories and formulas. It leads to acute pressure, it brings brutal burdens and ruthless saddles that weigh people down and drives them mad. 

We can all acknowledge that we cannot make a pizza without a pizza base (revolutionary thought, maybe I should patent this quote!). Practical knowledge without a foundation of theory may lead to more harm than good. Couple both of them together and you have a deadly cocktail that makes the world bear you on a palanquin. So, it means that I was mocking my poor friend for no reason, I go back to saying that you CAN look up how to tie a tie in Google, but, ultimately you have to put into practice what you learn so that knowledge becomes your skill.

We as future managers of the nation must understand the fine difference between a glass half full and half empty. The ethics of management cannot be taught, it has to be nurtured. In the incubator of theoretical knowledge, an erudite baby is born. We have to develop it feeding practice as food everyday. The gap between being wordly-wise and worldly-wise is huge.

The best way then to learn management? Unlearn preconceived notions, participate in management fests, be part of the organizing, work with teams, people with varying mindsets, egos and cultural backgrounds, drive people towards a common goal, inspire them, motivate them, mentor them, lead them, balance a financial sheet, volunteer for events, understand your strengths and weaknesses, analyse your opportunities and threats, market yourself, come to a consensus, take a census, think on your feet, brainstorm for ideas, involve in a focus group, bring in endorsements, celebrities, meet people on the job, meet others off it, sign deals, contracts and value them, speak up, speak against, speak for, step on the stage, master the ceremony, play around, fool around, learn life, prepare for the bumpy but highly exciting road ahead. Are you ready to take the plunge? There can never be another better opportunity to test your growth than to participate in a management fest and feel the pulse rising, heart pumping, adrenaline drenching, goosebumps inducing call of life. Whether you take a step back and settle for the worst, or you step forward with courage and belief and embrace the challenges of the real practical world, it is upto you. As of now, you are just standing at the crossroads. As the light dawns and clears the hazy air, you notice a third middle path. Dare to think beyond?

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A unbroken dream . . .

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It kills me from within when I speak of the pain I go through now. Things left unsaid, I cannot let my emotions speak. I have to hide those tears from my eyes and give her a weak smile, a fake smile. Pain. Ultimate torture. Hiding someone’s love just because the other person does not reciprocate is a feeling worser than death. I prefer being killed, slaughtered right here, right now instead of being in such a position. I pray to God that none in this world, not even my enemies, should go through such an intense emotional trauma that I go through now.
It pains you to hide your love and put on a false brave mask of friendship. A veil to just stop your feelings of intense longing to be with her forever. I do it with a smile, because I don’t want to lose her. I do it with a smile because I love her. I do it with a smile because I cannot live without her in my life. I do it with a smile because she gives me those smiles. I do it with a smile because she is the reason I live.
After living in dreams so divine, sharing my entire self with her, and giving her my heart to take care of, I find myself alone. TOTALLY ALONE. The heart that beats for her is safe…with me. It fails to beat further as it knows that the girl it loves can never caress it nor care for it. And, when she mentions that she wants to be my sister, the end of the world is visible. Oh god, why should I go through such a mental state? Did I commit such a great sin to be treated this way ? is loving someone such a great mistake ? why do you kill me but don’t really kill me ? Am alive, but, am dead.
When she mentions it to a guy who loves her that she has taken me as her brother, she felt so happy. She cares a lot for that guy feeling bad that she spends most of her time with me. She wants him to know that she is always closest to him and that she will always care for him the most in this world.  Why else should she have to mention that I became her brother? God, it pains me! I hate living in this world. I don’t need to live longer. God, let me come to you.
 It kills the most when two people who could have ideally become the best couples in the world would become complete strangers the next moment. My case is worser, I’d have preferred to go away than stay and get hurt every second. But, I still stay strong, ready to act, put a false mask again, put on a smile again and stay with her as her brother if that is what she wants from me. If she loves him the most in this world that she would consider telling him that I become her brother so happily, wowww…then let it be. God, I beg u. I don’t need this. Please take me away.
Here’s to the gal I love the most in this world. . . Tomorrow when you wake up, I will be awake already. Tomorrow when you wake up, you will treat me as your brother, you wont speak the way as if nothing has ever happened between the both of us. Whatever happened between us is not even a memory. It’s gone. Now we will be brothers and sisters. If u are happy with him, stay with him. I realise how much you love your parents and how much you care for him. I know you feel hurt whenever he feels hurt. I know you wanted to make him happy by saying that am just your brother. He is the perfect man for u in your life. As for me? I loved spending each and every moment of my life with you…those beautiful moments in the canteen, in restaurants, cafes, shopping malls, cinema theatres, buses, autos and those moments in the rain. J U are such a great gal dear, your parents are very lucky to have you in your life. I have never seen a woman love her parents the way you do. I’m proud of you, of whatever you have achieved, of whatever you will achieve in the future. Am leaving you forever sweetheart, after these two years. I will never come into your life again after you achieve your dreams. I’m staying with u just because I want my baby doll to be the best in the whole world…and I know you will be J and till that day when I finally disappear from your life, I wil stay with u… as your brother, just the way you wanted me to be. U can be happy with him. Don’t deny yourself. Everytime you call him through the day waiting to see if he just picks up your call…wow, you wait with lots of care…which shines through your eyes dear. He would trust you and love u even more since you made me your brother. Go. I will always be there for you sweetheart, if you need me.
God, you know how much I love her. You are the only person in the world who can understand what I go through now. Please take me away as soon as possible. Darling, you were mine, you are mine, and you will be mine. I cant live without you, I will forever take care of you with all my heart, my soul J and you know I will. I will always love u forever. And you know I will. And we will always be happy together….you know we can. If we marry, we would be the best couple in the whole world. And you know we will. I will never go to another gal in my life and I will take care of your family like my own. They will love me. And you know they will.
I love you beyond my life, I will always love you till the day I die and even after that I will. I just hide it every single time. Tears are falling from my cheeks now darling, I love uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu. Goodbye sweetheart. Wish you the best married life and all the best for your career and your future dreams. you will achieve them all and make me proud. J Even if I’m in heaven at that time, I will surely smile at my little baby winning hearts and winning the world. Take care of your hubby, and please take care of your little babies when you get them. Who knows? I can maybe take a rebirth and come as your kid. I’d be the most luckiest baby in the world J

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Failure . . .

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It totally sucks when I fail or get embarrassed in front of a big crowd. It sucks when you aren’t able to capture the audience and charm them into liking you. It hurts me. It kills me. I don’t like it one single bit. I feel that the best thing that I can do is to cut myself into pieces and throw it to the winds. Ok. Stop. Maybe I’m just speaking with pure hatred. Maybe I didn’t get so embarrassed in front of the crowds. Or, maybe, the entire episode was a dream. I don’t give a damn whether it happened in my dream or in reality. It happened. End of story. End of my life.
I have been fed the success pill every day. I need to keep pushing my limits, I need challenges, I need to rock every time I climb the stage. I realize now though that it is highly impossible. It is highly a biased bullshitting of myself. People did like my show. Doesn’t matter. Only some did. Impossibility is a term that I never deem worthy to think of. I-M-POSSIBLE. Every Tom, Dick and Harry of this world has a certain talent inside them. I know that I’m talented on the stage. I know that I can set the stage on fire given a proper entry. People don’t want my entry here. They want my exit. They don’t want my success here. They want my failure.
I have a few things to say to them. Just bring it on. Try to do whatever you can to put me down. Try to kill me and lay me inside a coffin. Am game. Just try it. Let’s have a duel head to head instead of just hiding in the crowd and booing when nobody notices. I don’t give a damn about you. I know that I can win hands down. You want to throw me a challenge? Just do it. Each and every one of you in the audience, I have to tell you what you already know. I failed today. But, I want to tell you all something that you won’t know. I will rise from the ashes of this defeat like a phoenix bird. I will not rest till I win you all over. I will not rest till I succeed and keep piling successes on top of this failure that it disappears deep into the ground. To all my enemies out there. Beware. A Scorpio can sting bad. A Scorpio WILL sting bad. Here’s my challenge to you all. Try to screw me, fcuk me, kill me, hate me, shit me . . . I will leave my legacy behind.   

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Hazards and Hazare . . .

Anna Hazare is a rockstar. A 74 year old man has the entire nation at his nimble fingertips. Though he ceases to speak after a continuous fast of 8 days(running), he has managed to stir a nation awake from it’s 64 year old slumber.

I was abroad the Spice Jet flight recently when it passed over the Marina beach, and I could see the sea down below. But, it was not just the plain blue sea that I saw. There was something more. Infact a lot more. I could see a sea of people flocked together, waving the tricolor, chanting and shouting slogans and though I could not hear them, I could sense their passion and patriotism flow through my veins and from way above the clouds I felt the hair raising sensation of being an Indian.

Contentious though is the Jan Lokpal Bill. Let me try to understand what the government wants and what the country needs. First and foremost, I hated the way Anna Hazare threw a fast without any sense of logic whatsoever. I mean, I might get brickbats for saying this…but, we can’t throw a fast and expect a bill to be passed. I understand all the crap about democracy and the freedom of expression talk..! So, if you want a bill passed then gather a group of people, threaten a fast, fast till the doctors pronounce you to be on the verge of death, get the government flummoxed and sweating and blackmail them to pass a bill ? Atrocious. Imagine if tomorrow any youngster takes his cue and makes a big fasting fuss to create publicity ? Freedom of expression must ofcourse be curbed. You can’t expect everyone to walk down the street naked just because we are a democratic country.

The ideal way ofcourse was to talk it out, sit down like gentlemen and speak. Ofcourse. It never would have been so easy. But, then who else had to rule the country than the UPA government ? From the frying pan of scams and corruption into the fire of anti-corruption act ! They will all curse Allah and Shiva and Jesus for the soup they are swimming in. So, citing differences with Anna Hazare, they introduce the famous “JokePal” bill that was an overwhelming superhit(notice the tongue in my cheek).

As I see it, the Jan Lokpal and the JokePal have several contentious issues. I disagree with the Prime Minister not coming into the umbrella of the Lokpal wing. Though I understand the logic behind the government thinking that the the PM will have several weighty issues of taking care of the nation than answering to the public scrutiny while in office, including them in the Lokpal purview will make them realise that they are answerable to the 1.2 billion heartbeats of the nation. When taken in the right view and with no hidden agendas whatsoever, it will surely transform the PM into the greatest leader of our beloved country. The leader has to lead by example. He/She has to be the first one to say that they are ready to be scrutinized. If anyone is accountable to the debacles of our motherland, it has to be the PM.

The minimum punishment under the Jan Lokpal is ten years !! So, that means that if a policeman gets 50 rupees for letting you off without imposing a fine, he gets ten years of imprisonment ? Wow ! That’s something. The JokePal is more worthy here, it has a window of six months to life imprisonment. If the Lokpal is an independent body without any intervention from the Supreme court, then there will be two parallel bodies of justice in the country. Though it may seem to be the way out, it will lead to more confusions. Lokpal will be an independent body not answerable to any of the judicial courts of justice. Which will mean two High Courts in each state, and two Supreme Courts in the country ?!! Preposterous !!

The government also came up with something along the same lines saying that the CBI and the Lokpal will be independent of each other. That’s funny. Who will take care of corruption then ? The CBI or the Lokpal ?? The two anti-corruption bodies must be allowed to merge and work together on common issues.

Anna Hazare also stated that the Jan Lokpal will involve and undertake all complaints against corruption !! So, if a layman gets cheated of 2 rupees while buying a cool drink, he will get the same body to take care of his charges as will a 1.76 lakh crore scam. Imagine the manpower required and the amount of complaints that may come in !! 1.2 billion people…! If just half of the population have just one grievance each…that makes it 60 million !! 60 million grievances to be solved within a one year duration ?? 1.64 lakhs of grievances per day !! Now, it seems gigantic doesn’t it ?! And, am only taking HALF the population of our country.

The issue where he undoes himself is the NGOs not coming under the purview of the Lokpal. Everyone of us know how many money laundering NGOs have come under critical review in recent times. Case in point, Satya Sai Baba, Nithyanda, Baba Ramdev’s unaccounted millions. If the PM is under the Lokpal umbrella, everyone MUST be under it too. It’s ALL or NONE. You can’t have two bites of the same apple.

The best way out is to bring the Lokpal into the parliament for discussion and for Anna Hazare to stop his fast. It may all be well and good for us to shout slogans and sings praises of him, which he thoroughly deserves, but, fasting is never the way out of any situation(imagine tomorrow’s world…everybody mind end up fasting to pass a bill..) !! Understand me perfectly. Am not against Anna Hazare. Am not supporting the government. I feel proud that the nation is rising against corruption. But, I urge the government to sort the issue out soon. Let’s put our thinking caps on and remove our hearts from our sleeves and do something substantial for the future of our country. Jai Hind !!

(I know I will get a lot of brickbats for my view, but then it’s the freedom of expression… 😀 !! Comments welcome !!)