Sunday, November 29, 2009


Samuel Johnson once said “Curiosity is one of the permanent and certain characteristics of a vigorous mind.”

“Maa ki aankh!!...”

I have a vigourous mind.

I couldn’t sleep after letting Piyush alone with Shamita. I was laughing aloud within. I was dying to see the how Piyush would behave in the close company of a girl. That too the one he is trying to woo. I jumped out of the bed, pulled on a T-shirt, pulled up a jeans and ran down slipping my feet into slip-ons to follow him.

I see them walking together at s distance. I maintain my pace to keep the distance constant. They take the turn. I walk faster now. I reach the turn and see them walking slowly. Piyush has tucked his hands into his pockets and is kicking his legs each time he’s taking a step ahead. Shamita has wrapped her arms around her elbows and is looking at her own feet as she walks. Once in a while, pushing a stray lock of hair behind her ear gently with her slim fingers.

They enter Aunty’s Café. I stand at a safe distance, far enough for them to neglect and close enough for me to observe.

I kept my eyes on them. And they kept a distance between them.

Awkwardness lingers between them, filling them up to their brims with an insipid embarrassment. They walk together to the centre of the Café and seat themselves in a position where they can attract everybody’s eyes. And they do, feeling much more awkward and embarrassed than before. After fifteen seconds of the wordless rezendevous they start looking around for escape. They need saviours. And I don’t want to budge from my position. Doing it meant spoiling Piyush’s hard put in effort and defying his trust in his gods. I stood there awaiting action. The situation had come unprepared for Shamita. Piyush was a classmate, but not a classmate who would ideally take her out for a breakfast. And going out with such an acquaintance on a sudden basis was suffocating her. She hugged herself tight in her discomfort. And as for Piyush, he was too prepared for the situation. So prepared that he couldn’t figure out what his exact course of action was. He was in a position every unprepared student is when the question paper lands on the desk before him like a stringless kite. He knows all the answers well, but has forgotten the questions to them. Both sit before each other as like strangers in the waiting lobby of an airport.

“Good morning all passengers…” The announcement blares on the speaker above their head. They look up. They look left. They look right. They look down. They look for it everywhere. It remains to be the untraceable speaker that rung in their ears and disappeared somewhere. They keep looking for it with restless moments of their heads and eyes without budging an inch from the positions their artists had sculpted them in.

Technology has always changed people’s lives. Then it transcended to change their individual lives and later their stand alone moments. Like it did for Piyush and Shamita now. Shamita looked into the mobile in her hand and typed something. Piyush jumped into the depths of his mobile to never surface back soon. Shamita started looking around again. And by the boon of technology, Preeti turns up there and sits beside Shamita. Piyush is outnumbered. But he doesn’t care. The depths of the mobile are too intriguing for him than the new ally his contender has gained.

Shamita and Preeti ask him something. He looks out of his mobile phone, answers briefly nodding his head and drowns in it again. They get up and leave the café without a breakfast.

I get hit by a small chip on my head. I look up. Sneha is standing on the terrace drying her hair. She smiles naughtily. I look around and smiles naughtily winking.

She pulls her smiling lips together and collects them to form a kiss. She sends it across. I send one back. This is more interesting now. Much more than watching those failed conversers head for their respective rooms. Sneha pretended to scratch her chest quickly flashing the tenderness of her ripening breasts contained in a pink brassiere and ran her hand over the satin, seducing me within a fraction of the second. Bitch! She knew how to give me a hard on. I ejected my tongue slowly and mimed a lick. I received a fiery smile in return. I could’ve walked up the wall to reach the terrace. I began walking towards the café. More precisely towards the wall that lead to the terrace. He stood leaning upon the railings, stripping virtually only for me. Her skin grew all over her clothes, pulling me towards her. I am about to set my foot on the huge pathway of whitewash that ended at her. I raise my foot. And the mobile phone in my pockets vibrates harder than it rings.

I stop half way. I take out my mobile and check its display screen. I see the expected name flashing on its screen.

I gritted my teeth and answered the call.


Tuesday, October 13, 2009


“Coming na?” Shamita inquired over the phone, unsure of my answer.
There have been days when I have skipped my regular breakfast with her. The days when I drank till I dropped or was stoned at the dawn. Today wasn’t one of those days. So I placed a “Yup” on the reciever followed by “Ten minutes?...”

“Okay….I’ll give you a missed call when I leave…fine?”

“Fine” I said with a yawn.

I had just finished with my bath. A yawn now meant I needed to slep more. I could have slept right away. But I had just agreed to join Shamita for the breakfast. I sat down on the bed with my back resting lazily on the wall next to it. I checked the cigarette box for a quick fag. It was empty. I gave another yawn and shut my heavy eyelids.

Strain drained out of my muscles slowly, inch by inch. I felt restful as I lied with my eyes closed. Ragini’s words which were still looming over my head, settled upon me like a quilt. They soothed my spine seeping into it lightly. I was about to turn myself on my side to get cosier, when I heard the large dislodging of the bathroom latch. I broke out of my reverie with a shock. Piyush walked out the bathroom, towel wrapped around his waist. He religiously walked to the little images of gods on the side table and prayedf before them.

“We are happy on your devotion towards us child!...” gods said to him in a booming voice which resembled mine.

“Shut up Anay!!...” Piyush said with closed eyes and joined hands.

“We are serious…Shamita is coming to meet you in 5 seconds…be ready…” Gods said again.

“Anay….let me pray!” Piyush was loosing his cool.

“Five…four…three…” Gods began the countdown, “two…one…”

My phone rang. A missed call from Shamita.

“There we go…” Gods said!

I went to him jumping out from the bed.

“Dress uo fast devotee… you are going to have your breakfast with your love today…” I said putting the ash from the incense stick on his forehead. “Vijayi Bhava!”

“What are you saying Anay?” Piyush snapped back with utter irritation.

“I am saying that Shamita is going for the breakfast at Aunty’s…and you be her company…”

“You crazy?”

“No…but you have to be…go…take her for a breakfast…”

“I can’t man!!.....I don’t know what to do…”he shivered at the thoughtr of it.

“Nothing….just sit and order her a breakfast…rest…your gods will take care of…” I threw a lesser smelling T-shirt and his perfectly soiled jeans towards him. “Go…”

“And you…?”

“I am suffering from a terrible hang over….so I slept off…”

I got another missed call from her.

“Go fast fucker….she is waiting…” I barked on him. The gods on the table shook a bit on hearing it.

He quickly dressed up and finished his daily lengthy consecrated confrontation in a haste.

I called up Shamita as he thrusted his thousand little belongings into his pockets.

“Hello Shamita…” I said in a made up ill voice, “I amhaving a bad headache…I think I’ll sleep for some time….by the way Piyush was also leaving for a breakfast…I thought he could join you…is it okay?”

After a brief annoyance over my deception, she accepted the optional company of Piyush.

“He is coming down now…okay?...bye!” I finished the conversation and turned to Piyush.

He was looking curiosly at me.

“What?” I said shaking his eyes off me.. “Go fast…She is waiting…”

“But….how will I manage?” he still had a doubt.

I pointed a finger at the gods.

“It’s their repayment time…they have to pay bak for those incense sticks now…” I said with a smile.

Piyush hastily touched their images thrice and left almost running.

Sometimes people perform the virtuous of deeds for a moment of rest.

© 2009

Sunday, September 13, 2009

7. b

I took a closer look and the gush of happiness in me fizzed out in a moment. It had an unfamiliar number on it. Not any from my contact list. It had no name below it. But knowing Apu well, I knew she would take her pleasure in surprising me this way. But what if it wasn’t her? Who else would it be? Who else had received my msg asking to return back? There was one clear answer!

Out of excitement I called back immidiately! Then I quickly disconnected out of fear.

A different voice answered the call. Different yet familiar. Not Apu for sure! I was a bit confused.

“Hello?!” I said a bit unsure about the reciever.

“Hello!!” the confident voice almost shouted from the other side.

“…..Who’s this?”

“Kyun re?...Awaaj bhi bhool gaya meri?”

God!!! Such ‘Guess who am I?’ phone calls always intrigue me somehow. I feel like giving sophisticated answers like ‘Ohhh…the Gay hair dresser I met in train??!!...How are you buddy…Did you enjoy sucking on that uncle??’ for males and “Ohhh…Britney Spears??!!...I was just seeing your hot pics on a banned site!!”

“Haan…bolo ab kaisi ho!!” I said with a false confidence.

“Tu bhi naa…poora mazaa kharaab kar deta hai” The voice fell for my trick! “I thot u wud guess!!....and I wud know who you are hitting on these days… ” Now I got the voice. It was Ragini! A song of yesteryear. A melody of melancholy. A tune that took me back to the past.

“And you thought I would not recognise your voice!” I said with a pretentious pride for my guessing ability.

“You didn’t in the beginning!” She argued.

“No I didn’t…I thought it was Britney Spears!” I replied.

“Yeah yeah!...liar!” she said laughing.

I was sure she was blushing on phone. I knew her well. But then, how did she call up when I had sent a message to Apu. And where the damn did she call me up with this number from! I was completely confused!

“Did you get my message?” I asked eagerly to clear the confusion.

“No!...why?...did u send me one??” curiousity filled into her.


“What’s it about?”


“What about me?”

“Nothing…just that I was missing you!” I had to say something!

“I didn’t get it…..send it agaion please…I want to read it!” Soup!!

“Yup!” I said in an assuring tone.

“Thanks!....Listen…I am coming back next week!” she said excitedly.


“A week….got classes….” She said regretfully.


“Because you were missing me!”

I smiled. And I know she was smiling too.

“When are you coming?” I asked. I had a plan brewing up in my mind.

“On first!” she said gaily!

I smiled to myself.

Soon a new month would begin and life would fill up with happiness!


Chapter &

7. a

I closed the Bhagwad Geeta on my lap. It was the only way I could connect to Apu. Her number was unreachable. My emails to her came back with a delivery faluire notice. She never came on chats. And I didn’t even have her address. Which meant I couldn’t even write her a letter if I wanted to. Probably she didn’t want to talk.
But I didn’t have much objection to that. She could just receive my call and stay quiet. Or just read my mail without replying. Or be idle on chat without replying to whatever I typed. Or just read my letter and then crumpled it. I did not want her to talk. I only wanted to express myself to her. To tell her about the vacuum her absence had created. To tell her about the turbulances within me. To tell her about the turmoil I was going through in her absence. And carelessly sidelining the reservation she had set between us, I would have urged her to come back. Or even begged for it. I would have poured in every bit of my heart in my words and made her weep silently. Maybe she knew that I would do it. And that was exactly why she had purposely detached herself from me. To prevent my words from effecting her. And had left me just a single link of connection with her. The Bhagwad Geeta.

I didn’t read the Bhagwad Geeta. I talked to Apu through it. I told her how much I missed her. How much I needed her. And how incomplete I was without her. I thought she heard it. I imagined it plainly. But the fact that she didn’t even have a hint of it put me all down. And I abruptly closed the book. And marked the page with the lace I had flipped off her on our last night together, devoiding her of a well functional bra. The touch of it involuntarily filled my eyes with tears and choked my throat. So I touched it as minimally as I could. Holding the tip most of the time to place it as a book mark. But when Apu filled my heart, I softly ran my fingers over it. It felt as if I was touching her. It had an element of her in it. Because it had been closest to the part which she was totally composed of. Her heart. A crazy girl’s crazy heart.

I kept the book aside and switche off the reading light. I lied down on the bed with the revived pain of Apu still twirling within me. This was one of the days people slept early. Amongst the days at the end of the month when there wasn’t much cash left in the pocket to splurge. A single beer and a two cigarettes in this time was the highest point of enjoyment. But it wasn’t to last long. Soon a new month would begin and life would fill up with happiness. Living in dire straits for a few days was always acceptable on that term.

I picked out a cigarette from our common box and went to the terrace with my mobile. I light it with my duplicate Zippo and tried calling Apu once again. It was unreachable. I typed her a message, just hoping that someday she would get it. Little hopes gets people to do weirdest of things at time. Even when you know that things aren’t possible, you try out their possibility. Ending up disappointing yourself once more.

‘I wnt u badly. Let thngs nt b lk b4 if u wnt. Bt atlst tlk 2 me. lstn 2 me. I hv no1 2 evn tlk 2. I fl so damn lonly widout u. plz cm bck. lu ’
I pressed the send button. The message was sent. I pointlessly waited for the delivery report that was never to come. It didn’t come anyway.

I smoked my cigarette deeper. I wanted the smoke to fill me up. I wanted it to burn down the lump in my throat. I wanted it to lighten the heaviness in my chest. I sent out a prolonged exhale of smoke.

The night was filled with silence. Stray dogs barked at a far off distance. I smoked hopelessly leaning on a terrace railing . My hopes slowly drowned in the smoke ofmy cigarette. I was on the last puff, healed of pain and baseless hopes.

I smoked a deep last puff and I felt something vibrate in my pocket.

My message tone suddenly filled the silence of the night.

I hurriedly pulled out the mobile from my pocket and looked at its screen.
‘One message received’ it said.

I quickly punched the ‘view’ button.

It opened.

‘I m cmng nxt wk.whr r u?’ it said.

A blast of happiness burst within me. I was split into pieces each filled with happiness. I looked at the message again.

I took a closer look and the gush of happiness in me fizzed out in a moment.


Saturday, September 12, 2009


“I can read it on his face….” The televisor said.

“What?” The old blind king asked curiously.

“The archer prince…”

“What about him?” The king rolled a grape in his hand. His eyes fixed on televisor’s eyes. “Has he picked up the bow yet??”

“Nope…but its clearly written on his face….”


“That he won’t pick it up ever…” The televisor said in a slow lingering tone.

“How do you know that ?…”

“Dejection!...on his face…” The televisor hummed the words that he spoke.

“And what does he say?” The king entered into his inquisitive role.

“He says….that he will be a sinner if he attacks his kin…” The televisor replied gravely.

“And then…what did the flutist say?” The king asked incomprehensively.

“He says…when you are fighting a war for justice…there is no right and wrong…no sin or salvation…there is only one thing…and that is…the stand…and you have a correct stand…so pick up your weapons…..and begin the war…” The voice of the televisor resembled that of the flutist.

“What are his consultation fees?” The old blind king asked hopefully.

“What?!…” The televisor asked coming back to his senses with a suden shock.

“What are his consultation fees?...can we hire him?... I always asked my eldest son to change the strategist…but the dumbarse just wants to stick to his uncle’s arse….and upon that…my wife!….she is so adamant on keeping him as the strategist…sometimes I feel I have no power at all…” the king unfolded his helpless brfore the televisor.

“But you are the king sir…why do you have to listen to her?” the televisor raised a doubt from the bottom of his heart.

“Come on…she gave up her social life for my sake….she gave up her career and looked after the children…havung hundred of thm is like running a school you know….each one has a different tantrum…she even gave up her vision for me…even I am obliged...”
“Do you think she did it just because she could blackmail you with her wants?”

“Maybe…” The king rubbed his chin.

“Or maybe she is madly in love with you…” The televisor presented his argument.

“How can you say that?”

“After knowing that you are blind….should could have gone a thousand ways…but she always stuck to you and your blindness….” The televisor elaborated on his thought.

The king only shook his head. The televisor smiled.

“So…” the king returned to the topic to divert the previous one. “can we hire the flutist?”

“No!” said the televisor firmly. “We can’t…he is into a contract with the archer and his brothers…and he is amongst the very few….who repect the contract…and anyways….nowadays he only takes challenging jobs…like this five brother’s case…he takes up a job where he can work towards turning the fortunes…rather than bathing in the existing fortune without any challenge… ”

“Hmm” The king nodded.

“Should I proceed?” The televisor asked.

“Yeah yeah…sure!”

“The archer prince says….if I kill my kin….I will be sinner…my hands will be stained by the blood of my near and dear ones….my conscience doesn’t permit it…” The televisor began with his reporting.

“And then….what did the flutist do?” Asked the king eagerly. According to the golden law that an old aged enterprenuer has a stark eagerness for knowing every business movement. This quest takes them into an intrusion into their target’s personal lives. Because they believe that these are the true places where all actions are born.

“Then why couldn’t your conscience save your wife from being malhandled…asked the flutist…”

“Did it help?”

“No…he said it with a true feeling of disappointment”

“Then what did?”

Televisor closed his eyes again and reached the battleground through his soul. When he came back the old blind king was still equally eager to know what happened further. The televisor was quiet.

“What?” king’s face twisted wearily as he asked the televisor. “What helped?”

“It ‘sa disourse in the middle of the field” The televisor warned.

“I am ready…what is it?!” the king said firmly.

“A logic…” The televisor said gravely.

“What logic?” The king was desperate to know the answer.

The televisor began.

“The flutist said to the archer…Karmanye vaadhika rasye maa faleshu kadaachanam…”

“And it means?” The king was harangued.

“It means… You are only entitled to right action…and not to its fruits... so don’t expect them now…whatever be it good or bad…they should never motivate or demotivate you to act righteously…”



Sunday, September 6, 2009


“She is a good girl….and…she is very beautiful…and…she is smart….and intelligent…and…” He dragged the pause too long.

“I asked what all you know….not how she is…” I asked flatly.

“She is independent….and extrovert…and….” He was done with his quota of adjectives for the love of his life. The sense I put in the question, was exactly what he hadn’t got. He continued counting theoretical virtues possessed by Shamita according to him. All of which were wrong of course. And I could see my effort going down his sweat.


“And…That’s it!” he accepted defeat.

“That’s it?...that is all you know about her?” I asked curtly.


“And you plan to woo her with this information?”

“….” He fell silent. His face flashed the utter confusion that had jumbled up his mind.

“When you want to woo a girl…first know her…and know her well…” I threw a line at him. And it broke on his forehead. He nodded in incomplete comprehension.

I was about to take my next sip when he suddenlty blurted out.

“But how can I do this??”

I took the sip sidelining his question for a moment and then got back to him.

“By getting close to her….” And before he could present me with his next dumb question, I said “and you need to spend more time with her….”

His face was telling me that I had caught him right. Now all I had to do was stretch this further and wind him in it.

“…And you will have to do this alone…” I said with finality.

He turned towards me in surprise.

“What happened?” I asked him.

“Alone?...Won’t you be with me?”

“Of course I will be!...where will I go?”

“Then…?” I could see clear incomprehension in his eyes!

“Then…I can’t do all this for you….it is something which only you can do for yourself….you don’t expect someone to acratch youre balls for you…there are certain things which one has to do for oneself…what??”

“Yeah…” he nodded gravely, “But…”

“But what?”

“I don’t talk with her much….then how will I….?” his voide had a regretful tone to it.

I took another sip from the bottle. I was thoroughly enjoying this session of counselling. I was feeling like God!

“That you will have to figure out…all I can do is…help you break the ice…”

“Yeah man….I need serious help with that….” He was almost begging before me.

“How to take it forward is your talent…” I warned him again for fun.

“But…Will I be able to do it?” His doubts didn’t seem to end upon a single question.

“Once you fall into the water…you learn to swim on your own!”

“It is possible naa??...I mean…I will succeed na??”

“You have to man….its a do or die situation…she may be a bit rigid in the initial stages…but you have to be patient…women are unpredictable…only way to deal with this is patience…”

“Hmm…” he nodded again in approval.

“And yes….dont think about success and failure now….let it begin first…don’t think of the outcome before you begin the war….”

“No man….nothing like that…if it had been hitting someone….i would have known what to do….or a cricket match….or an exam…..i know how to tackle…..but this is different…” He gthered back his ego.

“That’s what….this is different…with me on your side….you don’t have to worry…I will take care to it that you win her heart….”

“I trust you man!!”

“Don’t!!...I could fail too!”

“….” He was scared.

“So could you….but even if u do….I promise you…the experience of being in love will be unforgettable!!”

He was still silent.

“I can assure you success…but I can’t guarantee it to you….No body can guarantee anything in this world…you have to put in your efforts without expecting anything…if you love her truly….will you be able to do it….?”

“Yes” He said firmly.

“Good!” I said.

I had earned my trump card.


Saturday, September 5, 2009

6. d

Expressway is different in the mornings. At night it is a sea of darkness. If there is moonlight to guide you, the mountains around it look like waves which rose high and froze themselves. Turning into the large creases on land that a mighty hand had forgotten to wipe out. The head light of the vehicle passing by lightened up the entire premise, and you could see the real face of the mountains, moving away the veil of darkness that covered them. Like an enticing face peeping out of a black cloak. During the day, these creases take up clear shapes. Mountains and hillocks painted in strokes of green and brown. And a few touch ups of black, for the rocks that peep out from the green and brown carpet.

The cars which run on the expressway at night are just two eyes of light, finding their way in darkness, followed by two red eyes on the back, keeping an eye on the rash followers. In the sunshine, they transform into colourful celestial bodies, blazing like shivering flames of a fireball.

At night, the breeze which blows over the expressway, chills youir bones. During the day time, the same breeze keeps you yearning for more. It a gush of soothing coolness that blows across the heated land. But on the rock under the huge mango tree, it is never so hot. The shade is as cool as the shadow of night clouds and the passing wind, which makes the leaves rattle like a tambourine, livens you up in an otherwise hot daylight. And chilled beer which slides down through your system, cooling every cell in your throat to your belly, makes the endeavour to reach the place worthwhile.

I take the first sip from the bottle in my hand. I gulp it down, and it goes down chilling my chest and settles in my belly. I can feel it going down my heated body.

“Tell me….what do you know about Shamita?” I ask him.

“She is a good girl….and…she is very beautiful…and…she is smart….and inteligent…and…”

We were amidst one of the counselling sessions which we had decided to conduct, so that Piyush could get some guidance on wooing Shamita.


“You have to help me now…” He said to me as I washed my hands.

“I know…” I replied plainly.

“Only you can help me…” He was about to say something further.

“I know…” I interrupted him coldly.

“Will you?” He inquired hesitantly.

“Yes…I will” I smiled as him and wiped my hands.

“Tell me everything…about her….and everything about girls….and about making them fall in love with you…and impressing them….and wooing them…everything…I want her in my life at any cost…” He said frantically.

“Yes…I will” The smile on my face didn’t fade out. It grew wise. Like the one that Krishna bears in his pictures.

“When?” He asked in excitement.

“Today afternoon onwards…” I replied patting his arm in assurance.

“Thank You Anay!!” He said hugging me tight.


The truth was, there was no such way in which one could woo someone. If that would have been the case, most hopeless of guys wouldn’t have got hottest of girls. It’s all a stroke of luck. Or more a psychological reaction to a pecularity of an ability in you, that rings the bell in the opposite person. Marriages are made in heaven. On earth, we only legalise them. What we get from them, joys or sorrows, is all our destiny. The most we can do is break them and try once more. Till our quest ends. At times it might never seem to end. That is the time to realise the supreme truth again. And that is ‘Marriages are made in heaven’. If someone is made for you, you won’t be able to deny their presence in your life, even amongst the countless other presences in it, including the significant ones. And if it is not to be so, each of your ceaseless attempts to rivet them to your life, fail miserably, taking you farther from the then considered soulmate of yours. This is the only way in which everything in the soulmate business can be depicted. Rest all are just words of void wisdom.

The only effort you have to take while hunting for the love of your life is not to take any effort. It will happen on its own. And if it doesn’t, it wasn’t ever to happen.

But then, these words are of no use to me when it comes to Piyush. Because if he realised, understood and followed this truth, I would loose every bit of importance that I maintained in his life. Which clearly would lead to the deletion of my role from his life. And so would it mark the end of my purpose. That was clearly not the reason why I had stood up to help him in first place. I had to give him some gyaan in order to keep him glued to my fingers. And this counselling was the medium for it. Giving away the truth wasn’t wise. It would mean clear loss of faith in me. On the other hand, the benefit of not disclosing it was that, if at all Piyush lost faith in my guidance, I coul bring him back to me by suggesting a hundred false ideas, and blame the failure of the earlier ones on the circumstances. The truth would leave any place for me in his life. So I decided to begin a farce of counselling him, and continue it through the end.

Sometimes, a lie of relief, is worth a lot more than thousand painful truths.

I begin.

I take the first sip from the bottle in my hand. I gulp it down, and it goes down chilling my chest and settles in my belly. I can feel it going down my heated body.

“Tell me….what do you know about Shamita?” I ask him.