Mumbo Is Jumbo

Black Smoke Rising

At precisely 5:25 p.m. every day, my neighbours not only take their trash out but also put it to test by fire. The unholy ceremony is a daily reminder that I live in a third world country. From around 5:25 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., my room witnesses the burial of millions of buoyant carbonaceous material.

The smoke rises up from the burning waste on the other side of the wall and squeezes its way in through the spaces that my window can’t fill. I’ve tried a million ways to somehow shut it out but without avail.

Every day I’m left with no choice but to sit back and look on in despair as the smoke enters my room in a modest yet undeniably pompous fashion. The entry takes a good 30 minutes. The entire process is so slow and vain you could call it royal. In fact, I’ve started interacting with it like I would with an actual person. This could be a result of having to stay inside my room for the past 3 months.

The battle starts around 5:25 p.m. when I try to shut the door on its face and it sticks its foot in the way. After a few minutes, compelled by the thin edge of the wedge that it strategically sends my way, I give up and retreat to the uncertain comfort of a corner in my room. As I sit down, the door opens ever so slightly and I see its left leg. It’s always wearing a pair of old grey pants. They’re plain and have an air of death about them but the evening sun does them some good. It then waits for a good five minutes before opening the door and taking another step. At this point, I notice that it’s wearing a black coat. Nothing fancy. It’s probably not even a decent fit. I forgive the bad choice of clothes knowing how it’s always been all over the place. Another ten minutes pass before it finally sticks its head in. Mops of abundant dark grey hair fall over its face. The hair has the strangest texture I’ve ever come across. It’s almost gritty but there’s a certain grace to the way it moves. As interesting as it is, I show no sign of acknowledgement. This is followed by another five minutes spent in shared inconclusive glances. Then, after around 30 minutes, sometime between 6 p.m. and 6:15 p.m., it finally decides to let itself in fully and closes the door. I stare at it in disgust and express my anger in between short bouts of coughing. It then waits a courteous minute or so before opening the door for me and asking me to leave. Defeated, I do so, making sure I shut the door behind me on the way out.

Once outside I must wait for a good hour or so before I go back in. I do so hoping it will let its guard down. But I know that the longer I stay away from the room, the stronger it gets. It’s waiting for me to open that door and when I do, it will unleash a diabolical mix of sensual disappointments. The smell will hit me like the gentle nudge of a passing train. It will race in through my nose and mouth into my body. It is the most unpleasant experience. I almost always have to retreat and take a moment or two to recoup before I charge in again.

I win. That’s the only outcome. But it never stops trying. Over the years, it has thrown a few punches that knocked the air out of me quite literally. But I persist.

If you’re my neighbour and you’re reading this, please go read up on climate change. I’m pretty sure its your fault. Also, please stop hijacking my room.

Mumbo Is Jumbo

Being a ’00 baby

I was born in the year 2000. I entered into the world like a boss at the very beginning of a millennia. I made history when I opened my eyes. The doctor said “OMG, this kid is special”. He didn’t say OMG because I was cute or cried for my milk like an 80s rockstar. He said OMG because I was born in the dopest, swaggest, and most practical year of the 21st century. 

Being born in 2000 puts me at an advantage over everyone else in the world, save the few that were chosen to hold the same title as me. What is the title, you ask? 

We are called ’00 babies. 

Did I make it up? Not really.


I know. I know…


According to The Free Dictionary and Wikipedia, ’00’ is an acronym for public toilets in Germany and Eastern Europe but that’s not stopping us. On the contrary, we know this is a ploy to take our title away from us. We’re not giving up. We find strength in the jealousy of people born in not-so-cool years. We feed off the envy of those who say they’re better than us because they’ve ‘experienced both the 20th and the 21st centuries’. C’mon. They’re not that special. 


Look at people born in 1987 for example. What a pity. You have no idea how many people who asked them about their birthday ran away because they felt threatened. Can you blame them? It sounds like a countdown after 1. 

Or look at 1969. It looks like 9 did a flip. 

Or  consider 1992. 9 is definitely third wheeling. 

1991 looks like a mirror image gone wrong.

Face it. None of them are cool enough.


I actually even agree with many people who say that it should have been illegal to be born in 2000. It’s just too cool. There’s a line in Scott Pligrim vs The World where Todd Ingram absolutely wrecks Scott and this girl says “In short, being Vegan just makes you better than other people”. I would say that’s the case with us ’00 babies too (pls forgive me Vegans. I lou you all).  There totally should have been a law put out sometime in 1998 (another number I’m not even going to start dissing) that all men and women should, for the sake of the people of the 21st century, master their passion and abstain from all activity that may result in ’00 babies.


Imagine if that actually happened. An year that saw no babies. Pampers and Huggies would go bankrupt.  As consequential as it would have been, I think it’s a step people from the 20th century should have taken. 


It should have even been a matter of security. Such a high number of zeroes in someone’s birthday is scary. After all, zero is like the most secretive number ever. Kids don’t even know that it’s a legit number until they learn about Whole numbers in primary school. In some cases, they don’t know it till after they get into middle school. This is rare but very common with kids who have way cooler things to do than learn about numbers. Even NASA when they do the countdown for their launches makes sure you never hear the zero. They blame it on the rockets. I don’t believe that for a second.


You have to know that I’m extremely grateful to have been born in 2000. I came pretty close to losing the title. Thank God my mom didn’t meet my dad a year before. What a disaster it would have been to be born in 1999. At the cusp of making history but falling down into an abyss of numbers that are not special at all. A bottomless pit of numbers that lack the abundance of the magic of the 0 (cue choir Aaahs). 


Imagine all the recognition and fame I would have missed out on. It would have been such a pity. But it would have been a greater loss to have missed out on the practicality that comes with being born in 2000. I just need to look at the last two digits of the current year to know my age. Believe me when I say it’s a much faster process.


If after all that I’ve said you still don’t believe me, I don’t blame you. Most ’00 babies are still on their way to becoming famous and successful. But mark my words when I say we will take over the world. 


Peace, hugs, and love.


P.S. If you were not born in 2000, hit the like button. If you were, where the heaven have you been all this time??? 

Author’s note:
The above post is part of a series called ‘Mumbo is Jumbo’. This series will look at seemingly silly ideas and make them weirder. Some are meant to be funny, while others are meant to bring out the aesthetic qualities of an experience. This particular piece was inspired by my belief that being born in 2000 is cool.

Philosophy Of Life, The christian life

I’m Aching To Be Out There

Metamorphosis Behind A Window. Photo by Suzanne D. Williams. Source: unsplash.com

I’m a butterfly. I used to be a caterpillar. Before that, I was an egg. But you don’t know me. Yet. But I know you. I see you through the transparent chrysalis that envelops me. In time we’ll meet. I’m nearly there. I’m a complete butterfly inside a cocoon. How did I get here? It was inevitable. It had to be done. That’s how God made me. It was important for me to shut myself in a cocoon so that I could develop into a butterfly. But now, it’s nearly done. I don’t understand why I have be here anymore. I’m complete. But all in time. But make no mistake, I’m aching to be out there.

Metamorphosis Behind A Window is one of the tracks I made during this summer holiday. I’ll link it at the end of this post if you guys want to listen to it. I couldn’t upload it.

What inspired me: I had been stuck in my room for the past 1 month. Only going out on Sundays to attend church. After going to college, I had a really vibrant social life and being back home and not even going out, I felt trapped. I was looking out of my window, seeing all the cars honking at each other, a sight quite normal to the average Indian citizen. We spend a lot of time in cars stuck in traffic. I was looking out and seeing all this activity and I was back home, stuck in my room. No one shut me in. I just had nothing to do outside. I didn’t have many friends from school that I could go meet. But i had my passion for music. I spent the last two months in my room, playing my guitar and experimenting with music. It was from this, that the track came.

Now, through this track I wanted to convey a message. Here is a butterfly, fully formed, inside a transparent cage( The chrysalis of a butterfly, is usually transparent). Just before it comes out, it has the same potential as it will have when it has come out. I would imagine a butterfly really struggling to come out, considering how it must feel, knowing that it’s complete and yet not being able to go outside. But if you actually look at a butterfly coming out of it’s transparent chrysalis or cocoon, regardless of the amount of movement you see, it looks graceful. It looks like the cocoon and the butterfly are working together to create a release of potential into nature. That inspires me.

We are all undergoing a metamorphosis of our own and there will be times when we feel like we have reached our ultimate potential but are being caged by systems. It’s hard. Because we know what’s out there and we know we are meant for it, just like the butterfly in the transparent chrysalis. But like the butterfly, we must learn to work together with the chrysalis to release our potential.

God loves us. More than we could ever imagine. And sometimes, he gives us cocoons to develop in. We must learn to use it to vitalise our potential. This has a place in every situation in life, be it work, study, or personal development. I believe it is key to enjoying life and reaching great heights at the same time. And I hope that you never ever forget to enjoy life.

Do check out the other tracks and tell me what you think. I really appreciate it. Thank you once again for taking time out of your life to read the stuff I write. It means more than you know. God bless you!!!!

My Instagram page is over at @stefguitargeek

You can listen to the track mentioned in this post here: https://www.instagram.com/p/BxxArFJDY70/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

Some of the tracks are also there on YouTube at Stef Guitar Geek