Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Hero Aala Re

My Assistant Lakhan is one stupid Idiot. He can’t do anything properly and in order. Be it adjusting the lighting, or changing lenses or anything for that matter...he is stupid to the core. But then...I was not left with many choices. He never demanded much and I pay him less to be my camera assistant. Yeah yeah....I know. You think I am such a scum who lives on someone else's moolah. Well....I gotta make a make living pal.

"Boss, are you zooming in now?" asked Lakhan.

Lakhan never knew to shut up. He could come up with the stupidest questions and wanted to know everything. I was busy getting ready to zoom in the camera for the Hero's introduction. This is the most significant part of my job and the better I cover it, the more I earn. There comes the Hero. Damn! Even I look better on mirror (hey...really I mean it). He is dark (not dusky), has a cat like moustache, and inspite of the entire heavy make up, he looks despicable enough to puke. What the heck? If your dad is a rich producer, you could even make a donkey to be a Hero.

The Hero's entry is accompanied with heavy music. A curse and irreplaceable custom in our clichéd society. The Hero smiles looking at the camera. That is a signal that I should focus it on the face of the broom...sorry...groom. He walks majestically towards camera surrounded by stupid looking extras and I pray against hope that I should be alive after this shot. I wish I had an akela crane atleast to take one extravagant shot, but since this is a low budget movie, I have to stick to my allowed resources.

Next follows the Heroine. I will tell you something out of experience. Heroine's are far better...but their moms..god help us....they are damn bitchy. Just before a shot, they come and begin with "Thambi". Being a cameraman you automatically qualify to become the Brother of the Heroine.

"Just see that she comes nice" she instructs.

Well...what do I look like? Mandrake the Magician? You can only shoot what is available. If the Heroine manages to look like Vadivukarasi or Tuntun inspite of the heavy make up, what am I supposed to do? Truly speaking, sometimes the extras accompanying the Heroine look wonderful and gorgeous. But hey….if I cover them and the producers and Directors find it out…I would be thrown out of business.

Brushing all this aside, I concentrate on the combination shots of the Hero and Heroine which are not much dialogue oriented. That’s when I get a doubt.

"Lakhan. Is this a love story?"

Lakhan looked at me as if I had discovered plutonium.

"You never read the script before the shooting Boss. How did you find it out?"

Lakhan thinks that the rest of the world is as stupid as him. It was actually quite obvious. And that too with my experience, all I need is some signs. Basically Love stories are easy to imagine and conceive, moderately complex to execute and the most difficult ones to release. You get a hint of it once you get to see the producer's reaction. THEY HATE THEM!! They just look as if they have seen some ghost eating Hyderabadi Biriyaani.

The worse things to see in my profession are when a script changes its path drastically. What was a planned Love story suddenly changes course into an action movie or a serious weepy drama to dry your tear glands. The public remains mixed in its opinion as well. While some enjoy it, the rest despise it. long as I am paid, I care a damn about it.

As the day ends, Lakhan and I pack our belongings.

"Lakhan...get our bata from the producer."

"Boss. Do we need to always talk in the filmi lingo even after the marriage is over? Cant we talk like normal camera men who cover a marriage function?"

I feel like hitting him hard. It is my dream to become a cinema camera man...and I will become one soon.

After all...isn’t life all about chasing and fulfilling our dreams?????

P.S: Advance Happy New Year wishes to everyone.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

You, Me Aur Hum

He: Do you know where my socks are?
She: Must be inside your shoes. Now don’t ask me where your shoes are.
He: Got your sarcasm. Thanks for it. I am asking about my new pair of socks.
She: Why can’t you wear your old ones?
He: In this stinking weather? You want me to get kicked out of a job because of this? Imagine how weird it would be if my termination letter would read "Sacked due to smelly feet".
She: (giggling) Ok Ok Mr. Lifebuoy. You can find it in the top drawer of the cupboard.
He: Why do you always keep it there?
She: Obviously for you to find out.
He: Then why do you think I am looking for it.
She: Hmmm...lemme guess. Because you have a bad memory. Or maybe because you are a moron (smiles).
He: Yeah. At last you figured it out. Ever realized that that was the reason why I agreed to marry you?
She: it so? And who was the one who was running behind with flowers and asking "Will you please say yes to your dad"?
He: see...they correctly said.
She: Said what?
He: Love is blind.
She: Smart of you to realize it so soon.
He: And what does the blind man get in return for his love? Sarcasm?
She: I thought you were oblivious to it.
He: I am what?
She: O-B-L-I-V-I-O-U-S
He: What does it mean?
She: It means you are unaware of it.
He: Why do you need to use such a heavy word? What do you think I am? Some Thesaurus included word processor? You could have said unaware?
She: Not my fault that your English knowledge is limited.
He: Ok Ms. I-am-Shakespeares-neice. Maybe you should have had a dictation test before approving me.
She: Wow!!! You are good at retaliation.
He: How do you think I cope up with you?
She: I thought you just loved me for the food I prepare.
He: That has become obvious by my paunch.
She: I am glad you acknowledge me of some sunshine in your life.
He: But thanks to your super sweet cooking I have to buy dresses every 6 months.
She: I never asked you to eat above the limit.
He: Blame yourself for making the tasty food.
She: Well...then so be it. Do you want me to cook good or not?
He: (goes near her) You are a culprit.
She: Why is that?
He: You know the secret and the quote.
She: Ahan. And what is it?
He: The royal way to a man's heart is through his stomach.
She: Is it really you or just that the chicken chops I made yesterday have sprung to life inside your stomach?
He: Hmmm....maybe both. What is it that you mix in your food that has made me your deewaana?
She: Pick your guess.
He: MDH Masala?
She: Uhummm
He: 777?
She: uhumm
He: I give up. You tell.
She: Budhdhu. Its love.
He: I knew it.
She: Then why didn’t you tell?
He: Wanted to hear it from the devil's mouth.
She: Seems you need some favour from me and that is why you are melting into an ice-cream.
He: You guessed it.
She: What is it?
He: (goes close to her ear and whispers) Do you remember where I kept my car keys?

They laugh and hug each other lovingly.

P.S: Dedicated to my darling pals Nithya and Sathya (whom you better know as Nandoo and Sat respectively) as they unite to become HUM on Dec 13. Here is wishing them all the happiness and love in the world :-)

Monday, December 03, 2007

And God smokes Marlboro....

Inspite of the centralized air-conditioning, Dr. Vishnu Prasad had beads of sweat on his face. They originated from his slightly bald head, ran through the sides of his nose and died on the mask covering his mouth. The surgery lights could not pore inside his eyes behind the glasses and show that he was afraid.

"Lalitha, get me the defribbilator" he ordered his nurse.
She handed him the solution and equipment. Even she could feel the tension in the air. He was tense but didn’t show it around. It was a trait that could only come with years of experience. There seemed to be no reaction from the patient.

‘Doctor. I think he is dead’. The team of nurses and junior doctors knew the obvious and still were hesitant to tell it to the top chief surgeon in the hospital. They knew that the man did not know to give up.

He thumped his chest again. No reaction. Dr. Vishnu picked the pulse of the patient and confirmed his worst fear. The patient was no more. He wanted to throw the machine to one corner of the room and thump on his chest with his bare fist and try to bring him back alive...but that was childish and that was not what a top doctor does. He walked out of the surgery room with the possibly saddest face ever seen. It was a coincidence that Dr. Vishnu had been wearing spectacles since his school days, but they had been useful more in these trying times.

Call it cliché of cinema, but the instant a doctor removes his spectacles while addressing the kith and kin of the deceased, they know the result before hand. He went to the college -going son of the deceased and just said "I am sorry" and walked away. He could hear the wails and cries of the wife, daughter, son and scores of some relatives who had gathered outside the theatre expecting a miracle to happen. He wanted to run away from that spot as soon as he could.

Miracle. That was what had drawn Vishnu to this profession. He could have become anything with his state top marks in school, but he chose to be a doctor. The sheer amount of adulation and respect that a doctor earns in society is only next to god. He had always dreamt to be a top surgeon and had worked very hard for it. Today his name was synonymous with quality, perfection, skill...and miracle.

He threw his hand gloves in the dust bin and washed his hands twice with the hand cleansing liquid. Slowly he walked to the near by car parking area where his Honda CRV was parked and sat on the hood. He drew a Marlboro from his pocket and gave life to it with his lighter. He realized the irony of a doctor being a smoker and still advising his patients to give up smoking to live life longer and healthier. The smoke from the cigarette seemed to draw away all his frustrations of today's operation into thin air.

Every time an operation succeeded, he felt second happy to the relatives. He realized that he had enabled someone to live few more happy or sad days with his family, witness some good functions of his or her wards, maybe make some more money, most of all...he would have saved them from being non-existent. To him the operation theatre was a battle ground and his surgical instruments, his experience and skill were his weapons he used to fight the lord of death.

The trouble was when the operation would have failed. He felt like some pile of shit when it would happen. Inspite of doing everything he could, he would have failed in his battle with death. He wished he could become a child and cry on his mom's lap. Sometimes he feared that he may need counseling for taking away their sorrows as his own. How many of them knew what a doctor goes through outside the operation theatre. He had to keep reminding himself that he was a doctor and not their near and dear.

Just then his mobile buzzed." Doctor. We have an emergency. A patient is seriously injured in an accident. Could you please check him?"

He crushed the Marlboro under the skin of his shoe and drew a long breath. It was time to fight death.

It was time to save someone and their family.

It was time to play god.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Peck on the cheek

Today at 6.30 PM, Besant Nagar beach

"Sir Murukku Sundal". The small vendor kid at the beach kept pestering Abhishek who was engrossed looking at the relentless waves. When his trick failed to make any impact, he harbored to his last resort " it for the pappa. She will love it." He was referring to his 7 year old daughter, who oblivious to all these happenings around her was building a sand castle with the precision of an engineer.

It seemed like a penance to her. She was so focussed that Abhishek wondered if she even realized that he was looking at her craftsmanship without battling an eye lid. Irrespective of Vasthu or Feng Shui or anything, she decided on doors, window and facade based on her moods and whims. She looked proud as if she was preparing a blue print plan for the Twin Towers.

Just as he was admiring his daughter’s creativity and commitment, he saw a women far away playing with a child and a bald guy standing right next to her. His brain cells to answer one question.

Was it her?

21 years before Central Bus Stand Trichy

She said nothing. Usually she could talk non-stop for almost 100 words per minute, but today she chose to remain silent. It was a silence of mourning, silence of loss, silence of anger and a silence of helplessness. They went to the Rockfort temple, ate samosa and poli at Chinthamani's, saw a latest movie in Maris Theatre, ate ice cream at Michael’s and walked back to the Sattiram Bus Stand. It would be possibly the last time he would see her or talk to her.

This country was filled with hypocrites. We are the second most populous country on the face of the planet. This was the land which gifted Kamasutra to the world. And still most people behave as if men and women dropped from tree tops and not the "natural" way. When a man and woman talk outside, they had to be either lovers or siblings but could not be friends. The stares of the so called "society" are so narrow minded that it narrows the relationships to nothing.

For the past one month she had been avoiding him and he had been puzzled by that. One day he confronted her and asked her straight if she didn’t like him and his friendship. The answer was something that he had not expected. She had attained womanhood and so her strict orthodox parents were shifting her to a ladies boarding school somewhere in Ooty. At the outset it seemed ridiculous to him, but anyone who had known her orthodox family or parents would understand that there are people who still live in rock ages.

He had been her best friend for the past few years and the thought of a day without her seemed like the Mona Lisa painting without her smile. He saw her straight into the eye for one last time and nodded his head. He then presented her a pair of earrings he bought for her from his little pocket money. Tears flowed from her eyes and she walked away without a good bye.

He remembered how it had all started on one fine day of fighting.

30 years before at Mr. Ethiraj's Tuition Center

"May I come in Sir?" quizzed the little pony tailed girl and entered into the 600*600 room. She was wearing the pink colored checked uniform for girls with a new bata shoe. Seemed somewhat rich kid. The general practice being seated in the alphabetic order, she was seated next to Abhishek. He gave her a mean look. She had separated him from his dear pal Balaji with whom he had shared the bench for the past month. She had eyes like buttons, round cherubic face and a pony tail which hardly was held by a rubber band.

She gave him a warm smile and he smirked in return which showed clearly that he was in a hostile mood.
When Mr. Ethiraj went to drink water downstairs, he pulled her pony tail as an angry gesture.
"How dare you do that?" she squealed like a rat caught between the door.
He laughed. She was in pain and he enjoyed it.

Another half an hour later she yelled at him again.
"You took my Tom and Jerry eraser without asking me? How dare you do it?"
"What are you going to do? Squeak like Jerry?" he laughed at his lame joke as his friends joined in.

"I told you never to touch my bag without asking me." She was yelling at the top of her voice and was close to sobs.
Mr. Ethiraj just popped in and beat him with his customary thick stick.
He asked him to apologize to her and he realized that it was not her fault that she was seated next to him.

Then she introduced herself.

"Hi. I am Avanthi and I am new here. What is your name?"

Today at 6.40 PM

It was getting darker and they had to get home early. She looked at the sand castle by running around it and beamed which meant that she had accomplished her mission. Abhishek took a picture of the sand castle with his Mobile camera and showed it to her. She jumped and squealed as if she had won the Architect of the year award. They walked towards the parking lot when she started to run without any warning.

"Avanthi Stop. Dont run."

He had named her in memory of his long lost dear friend.

The women with the child turned back and looked at him.

He looked like someone familiar from her past.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Oops...I did it again

I admit that I am possibly the laziest blogger alive. Originally I wanted to write a blog to chronicle my thoughts and views with news, songs, reviews and everything.

Sometime later, I started writing stories and now they never seem to end. In a way this blog of mine has become identifiable with stories and nothing else. So when a sudden desire arose in my mind to have a news and commentary blog, I had to start a fresh one.

This blog is my lazy but pampered child and it will remain the same. This other BLOG of mine will be a news and commentary blog and will be something “Just like that”. I hope to write something or other regularly in this blog and keep it up. Lets see how far I keep up my word.

As usual…your priceless reviews and comments are welcome.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Whenever Hum Mile

She: "Sorry. I am late."
He: "Do you realize that you say this almost every other day?"
She: "I said sorry. Duh"
He: "I beg the bus boy almost daily to stop it for you."
She: Don't worry. I will get him a new T Shirt for New Year as a favor.
He: You can't be serious can you?
She: Why? Did he speak bad words at you?
He: That's what has been missing. The look he gave...damn...I feel disgusted.
She (almost whispers): So what do you want me to do as a return favor?
He (whispers): It's actually quite simple.
She (huskily): What is it my darling bubblegum?
He (huskily): Come to bus stop atleast 2 minutes before for heavens sake.
She: Hmmmm...back to square one.
He: Why do you always come late?
She: I told you a 1000 times. I have to help mom make Tiffin for morning, lunch for my brother and dad and also get ready to come to office.
He: Why don't you have a maid servant at home? Is you dad so stingy (grins)?
She: You can't stop pulling my dad's legs can you?
He: are welcome to do the same to my dad.
She: hee hee...stop laughing. That was a bad joke.
He: Ok....easy tiger. So what did you eat?
She: Idly.
He: With?
She: My mom and brother.
He: haa haa...Very funny.
She: ok ok...chill. With milagai podi.
He: No chutney?
She: In all the morning rush, it is kinda hard.
He: God. Will you do the same after you marry me?
She: (pretends to think hard) Depends on how you mom helps me do the morning chores.
He: I will tell you now itself. I prefer idly with chutney.
She: And what if I decline to prepare chutney?
He: Well...Rupa is always there.
She: Who? That rat faced girl opposite your house?
He: You know that she has a crush on me.
She: If that twitch that’s slowly beginning to show by the side of your lips means a blush, then... (Drags her voice)
He: What will you do?
She: Haven't you heard in tamil "kolayum seyvaal paththini"
He: (moves back) Yappa. I am getting married to a very very violent girl.
She: Better you get that right Mr. Yaada Yaada.
He: Why is our conversation so banal and clichéd?
She: Huh. That's because the idiot in our heads have exhausted all the goody-goody words last night and are now suffering from what I call a talker's block.
He: Hehe! So, what about last night Darling?
She: Yeah right! It’s the telephone conversation we were having while you were busily looking out of your window into that Going-to-be-Ms.Universe Rupa's apartment.
Me: Oops. Game over :-(
She: Oho! So after these few months you can’t even continue a conversation with me for more than 2 mins huh?
He: Oi Sweet Cheeks! Look, you don’t get it. Let me explain.
She: Ah there you go again. The Choochpooch and the Blah blah's.
He: (moves closer and whispers) Honey, you know what? You are so hot I could book a room without heater in Switz for our honeymoon. What say?
She: (sarcastically laughs) Haha! So funny! And you know what? You are so sweet the ice caps there might just turn into Kucchi ice!
He: Damn! I thought of using those lines during our honeymoon. You stole it. :(
She: Youuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu!!
He: Ok ok. Peace. If you are so mad at me, why don't you return all my kisses?
She: !!!!!

Thursday, November 01, 2007


It was raining. Not that he cared, but he wished he could just look at the tiny drops of water fall under the spell of gravity like he did in his childhood days. At 2 AM, the whole bay was deserted and he was the sole occupant of the area which was usually filled with around 400 insomniac busy bees.

It was not scary, but depressing. Abhishek was not able to concentrate on the error message and the bug really bugged him. The developer who developed the module was out with conjunctivas and hence his senior and Mentor Abhishek had no choice but to fix things up. It had been quite a while since he had done any sort of coding stuff since being promoted as a team Leader.

Cursing the bug, he decided that maybe he needed coffee to refresh his senses. He went down to the first floor and found the coffee boy sleeping sitting in the chair. Not willing to disturb him, Abhishek placed the coffee cup beneath the machine and pressed Strong coffee. It was his 7th (or 8th?) coffee of the day. He wondered if someday his blood would turn brown in color. After filling the cup to the brim, he picked a 50-50 packet and placed exactly Rs.8 near the book log. As he walked back, he saw a pair walking to catch their late night cab.

It reminded him of his friend Murugan who worked in the same project a few months back. There was a girl called Manasi in their project and she was a gregarious and a nice girl. Murugan mistook her openness for liking and out of the blue proposed to her. It’s quite strange but men do not realize the consequences when they like something or someone. For them the ultimate aim is the possession of it at any cost. Practicality takes a holiday on those issues.

Women on the other hand are mature. They draw a line in relationships and do not cross it. They are clear about what they want from life and also look at every possible impact of a decision that they make. Manasi politely refused and said that they could be friends but not life partners. Murugan behaved good for a while, but soon his impatience and stupidity took over and he made threats of suicide if she didn’t oblige. Unable to take it no more, Manasi complained to the HR and Murugan was terminated. It was sad that no one even bid a goodbye to him nor felt sorry for him as he packed his belongings.

Ironically life does not come with a Ctrl Z option to go back and correct our mistakes. What’s done stays done and things come to a dead end. The rule applied to Abhishek as well. He wanted to be an IAS officer in his school days. But fate played a different role when he got selected in the campus and gradually lost the motivation. He had worked unearthly hours to earn the good will of his superiors, but had turned an insomniac in the process. For the outside world IT is a lucrative world with fat paypackets and rich perks. How many wondered what went behind the closed doors and prison like enclosures?

He was reminded of the trick used to catch monkeys with peanuts. The monkey clutches the peanuts placed in a small jar that is tied to a tree. Since its fist is full of peanuts, it will not fit through the mouth of the jar, so the monkey’s hand will be stuck – he won’t be able to get his hand out of the jar that is tied to the tree. The monkey will let himself be caught by the hunter rather than let go of the peanuts. The monkey does get the peanuts...but only behind the bars.

Not to sound very pessimistic but there were perks of this profession. He had bought jewels and gifts for his mom and wife, had admitted his daughter in the top school in the city, traveled to foreign countries with his family, bought a house in Ashok Nagar and of course the huge pay package he received every month end. But he had butchered his ambitions as price for the happiness.

He saw the rain drops on the window go down at a leisurely pace. Some things go at their own pace irrespective of the way the whole world functions. Inspite of the coffee, he felt sleepy. Unable to concentrate and unwilling to work anymore, Abhishek decided enough was enough. He locked his machine and walked out of his bay. As he almost placed his access card, he heard the phone ring. He knew that it must have been from the onsite coordinator about the status of the bug. For once he thought of returning back, but changed his mind.

He knew what their next target would be. He picked up his mobile and switched it off. As he did so, unknowingly there was a smile on his face.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Gods must be crazy

Disclaimer: Try to read it just like any work of fiction without any assumption.

They were seated in the shape of a triangle surrounding the carom board. The game was intense with each man trying to outwit the other and garner points. But then they had been bosom pals for long and victory or defeat was not doing to crack their friendship.

God1: Gotta admit buddy. Your back shot is awesome. You never miss.

God2: You should play with my mom. She never misses any strike.

God3: Wish I had someone like that who could have trained me.

God1: Dont worry chum. Life is all but a learning process.

God2: Well said dude. Wonder why many don't realize it.

God3: Hey switch the TV on. Did you see the report on the sting operation on TV yesterday night?

God1: (after some silence) Yeah I did. One sick report. The details are damn gruesome.

God2: I was numbed by the reactions of the concerned parties.

God3: I have got used to them. "Opposition's efforts to sabotage our reputation." "This is done to dent our votes". Is democracy just about votes? What happened to "By the People, of the people and For the people"?

God1: That's just for the books. You will see them asking for votes shamelessly waving to the people as if they have just won some Olympic medal.

God2: And I can’t believe we created these morons in first place.

God3: Hey I have a doubt. Your folks are fighting over some bridge you built. What happened to it?

God1: Dont even talk about it.

God2: Why?

God1: Even my wife for whom I built the bridge is so angry with it. She can’t believe that they are making an issue out of this.

God2: They ask for votes with these issues?

God3: Mob is just like a domino effect. You push one in the stack and then see the rest fall.

God1: Some times I wonder if there is any difference between humans and sheep.

God2: Gosh. These images on TV are so sick.

God3: Why do your people behave so savagely? One guy claims to have killed a pregnant lady. Are your guys so sick?

God1: Hey. Dont you remember what your guys did? Didn’t they keep bombs everywhere?

God2: Hey. Why are you too shouting at each other?

God3: As if you are the holy one. Your guys give money to people to transform. Your guys do everything in the name of saving the country.

God1: You forgot oil buddy.

God2: Hey. You talk as if there is no problem there. In my place they fight in the name of color. How sick you think it makes me?

God3: Why did your guys break our temple?

God1: They even chanted my name before killing your folks. How do you think it appeals to me?

God2: Yeah. In no almanac or Holy Scriptures we have asked them to fight for us. They why do they do this?

God3: Simple. Votes? Oil? Money? Positions? Fame?

God1: Inspite of the fact that all 3 of us have preached common things.

God2: Like?

God3: 1. Nobody is immortal. Everybody’s final destination is a six feet resting space.

2. Love thy fellow human being.

3. Distribute your wealth.

4. Live in harmony.

God1: Everybody knows this.

God2: Then why do they kill one another? Why do they act as if they are blood thirsty?

God3: Wish they knew that the men in who's name they fight below, are playing carom together and are bosom friends.

God1: What do we do the people who instigate all this and spoil our name as well?

God2: Dont worry. That is not our headache.

God3: Why is that?

God1: Simple. Either way they go to hell.

God2: We better ask our folks over there to keep the oil extra hot.

God3: As if that is going to cleanse their dirty souls.

God1: Oh damn! Its 9 PM. I better go or wife will be angry.

God2: Oops! Time to report to mom.

God3: At least there is one thing we are same as humans.

God1 and God2: What?

God3: We are all afraid of the women in our lives.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Johnny Gaddaar?

She kissed me as she left the bed. I am sure that at this moment I would be the most cursed soul of the entire male fraternity in this area.

Most of the men around would give their arms, legs and everything for her one touch. And here she was..laying on the bed...waiting for my kiss. I kissed her gently and she smiled. She got up from the twin bed and marched with her usual elegance to the bath room. She was dressed in her night gown and yet she looked beautiful enough to cause a Tsunami (I am bored of quoting traffic jam :P).

I looked at her framed picture beside the bed and wondered what was the almighty thinking before making her. He must have been in some supreme form and mood to have carved her. Her oval face, slender cheek bones, the perfectly chiseled nose, naturally rosy lips and a chic athletic figure could even tempt the most austere monks to give up their celibacy. No wonder I fell head over heels in love with her.

She came out in her bath robes and smiled at me. No words exchanged. She went to the nearest dressing table and combed her hair. I was feeling too lazy to get up from the bed...but still I preferred being in her company. We ate our breakfast on the dining table watching Good Morning India which was laden with news of bomb blasts, political back stabbing, over paid stars and as-usual-failed cricketers. She kept changing channels till she landed on "Aao Naa" from Kyon ho Gaya Na.

She smiled at me instantly as she knew it was my favorite song. We then decided to go to the park near our apartment. Being a Saturday, the park was filled with under-aged run-away lovers, college students and bored & fat middle aged men. Almost the whole park seemed to be looking at her. I felt like the Onida Devil mouthing "Neighbor's envy owner's pride".

We sat at one end of the park and wondered what to do next. We kissed much to the dismay of the fat middle aged gentlemen who looked as if he could turn to ashes. She got up and threw the tennis ball far across the park. I ran as fast as I could and came back victoriously.

"Smart boy my Johnny Darling". She said and rubbed my fast wagging tail. I was waiting for my incentive and expectedly she handed me another sweet kiss.

Throw as far as you can darling…Johnny hai naa…..

P.S.: Inspired from a Jeffery Archer short story.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Mr. Yogi and the 2 rupee coin

Mr. Yogi squirmed. He was standing behind 19 people in the queue to buy train ticket from Pallavaram to Saidapet. The railway station was as usual crowded and the heat wave just made it worse.

The railway track was littered with cups, plates, frooti bottles, left overs and smelled good enough to puke your stomach out. Some characters who were anxious enough to get to the office stuck their neck out to watch the train arrive, spit on the tracks. Mr. Yogi who was once a co-offender for the same offense, now felt like throwing them down on the tracks. Some things never change.

The train arrived and it was crowded as usual. It was so crowded that one guy was checking an sms in his mobile and the person next to him was reading it along with him. It was then that Yogi realized that he was the inhabitant of the second most populous country on the face of the earth. It seemed as if one person was breathing air released from other person. Inspite of the space available inside the compartment, romeos preferred to hang outside to lure the juliets and do acrobatics which one day was sure to land them in hospital beds (or worse mortuary wards) rather than their beloved's hearts.

Almost 75% of people inside the train either seemed frustrated, impatient, bored or angry with their life with the exception of the lovers at one end of the train, the 3 year old kid seated on his mother's lap enjoying the company of the mute bear and the bum seated near the exit who either knew nothing or knew everything. Most of them seemed like a mountain waiting to erupt their emotions out. Mr. Yogi just prayed that he better be not the pin to prick anyone and get their lava of anger all over himself.

And then it happened. He entered singing some song in some language with a harmonium around his neck followed by her. He was wearing an old worn out white shirt with a tattered lungi with a towel around his shoulder. She was about 6-7 years old wearing an yellow tattered frock and was sweating profusely with lot of innocence and pain in her little eyes. As he sung, she went around the compartment with her little arms asking for help. The gentleman at the end of the compartment who nodded in the beginning then began fiddling his pocket and put something in her hands.

Her little hands were full of 1 and 2 rupee coins. Mr. Yogi wanted to get up from his seat and grab that singing bastard's collar and ask him why was she begging for alms when she should have been in the school singing "twinkle twinkle little stars". She came near him and just raised her arms without speaking a word. Mr. Yogi searched in his shirt pocket and found a 2 rupee coin which he thrust in her little arms. How he wished he had all the money of the filthy rich, corrupt politicians, extravagant socialites, overpaid cricketers and could help these kids restore their world with innocence instead of such wickedness and pain?

His heart yearned to take her out in the next station, feed her fully, admit her in some destitute home and arrange for her eduction. Alas it was the stuff that was reserved for cinema heroes to perform in the movies. Yogi was just a common man on a day's work who could just dream of reforming the society but could do only as little as 10% of it in ways that he knew. He felt numb and helpless that he did not have the power to reform anything and everything. Everyone of us on earth have to bear our burden of sorrows and that was the way the world worked.

As the train stopped he realzied that the train had reached guindy. The man and the girl walked out of his compartment and rushed to the next compartment. Just then Mr Yogi's mobile confirmed that it was alive and it was just another stupid Airtel promotional message asking him to check his future for a few bucks. Just when Mr. Yogi thrust his mobile back into his pocket, his hand stumbled on a coin. It was a 2 rupee coin. Mr. Yogi could still hear the man singing in the alien language and could imagine the girl innocently begging for either her food or her father's liquor or maybe both.

Mr. Yogi looked at the 2 rupee coin. Maybe it was destined for some other kid in some other place for some other time......

Monday, September 17, 2007

The Pact

He saw his watch for the 10th time in 2 minutes. It was funny that he was patient through the 22 hour flight in air, but impatient with these few minutes of hovering of the flight on the ground.

On any normal day he might have got useless doubts on how a pilot would possibly get a license by circling an "8" with an aircraft. But today was not the day for such stupid and mundane questions. He had released his seat belt long ago and was waiting for the announcement. He had already secured his hand luggage and was ready to run just on the word 'Go'. Pity that he was seated at the rear end of the craft and had to wait till all the passengers moved out of the metal bird at snail's pace. He curbed himself from running with his hand trolley as he did not want to be caught on suspicion or worse be chased by sniffer dogs and be smothered to pieces looking like some street beggar.

Ah....the immigration check! Damn! He had forgotten to fill the immigration form. He searched his hand trolley for a pen and he seemed to find everything including his old forgotten worn out toothbrush but a pen. The old man standing next to him understood his predicament and lent him an old Reynolds pen. Damn you Parker, Cross and Mont Blanc. As he looked at his filled form, he realized that it looked like some cryptographic manuscript of the Da Vinci Code than an immigration form. Even he was unable to understand some of his answers.

The middle aged lady looked at his passport and at him for 2 long minutes. She could not understand how the bespectacled, cat-mustached and innocent looking young man in the passport could now transform into a dark, tense and stupid looking fellow in a span of few years. be it and she asked him to leave. Heaving a heavy sigh of relief, he rushed to the baggage counter. Hail Murphy's law!! In all these days of his travel encounter, he used to collect his baggage in just 2 minutes, but today when it mattered the most, he could not spot them for almost 10 minutes. Every other bag looked like his but had a different name. Finally his 2 American Travelers bags arrived and he pushed them grudgingly on the hand trolley.

And then he looked at her waiting outside the lounge. She was wearing a short cream colored kurti and blue jeans. He had worn the black T-Shirt and blue jeans as they had promised each other. He pushed his trolley outside with his heart beat racing at the speed of light as he looked at her. Instinctively he forgot how he should react. Should it be a "Hi" or "Hey honey" or a kiss?

Her small peas like eyes were moist and every tear spoke of her affection for him. Her small pink lips didn't speak. She was blushing and had turned pink. Before he could decide on his move, she snatched his hand and hugged him. He was completely thrown off his feet by surprise. She wet his shirt with her sweet tears of love.

He wished that the hour hand would never meet the minute hand and hence it would never give birth to the second hand. He wished that time could stay frozen forever in this moment. They seemed oblivious to the fact that they were in a crowded place and were surrounded by scores of people. She never asked him "Why it had taken so long to meet her" and he didn't answer "It had taken all his efforts to make this happen". It was as if they had made a pact - a pact of silence.

As she pushed the trolley with her child like hands, he put his hands around her shoulders. She smiled. They didn't speak. They needn't.

P.S: At last managed a happy ending love story :-)

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Mr. Yogi and the candy bar

Mr Yogi's 2 month uncut hair breezed along. It was not as if he was trying to give some serious competition to John Abraham or Hritik Roshan. It was just that he was lazy enough to get a haircut and also because it cost him 16 dollars in US against the usual Rs 30 in his country. Once a middle class perhaps always remains a middle class.

Looking at his year old worn out MotoRazr phone, he was reminded of his conversation with his cousin in the morning. It began with the usual round of "how-are-you-and-your-parents-in-india" talks to "when-are-you-getting-imprisoned(marraige)" stuff. It then shifted gears when his cousin asked him to change his L1B visa to a H1B. Hearing this idea Mr Yogi laughed as if he had just seen Shahrukh speak without stuttering.

His cousin still not sure what was so funny in it told him that it was logical indeed. When you have all the facilities in this country and you get overpaid for a job for which you were paid peanuts in India, what was wrong with staying here?

Th basic idea of most of the average joes who land in US as software experts is to come here for almost an year odd, get married, bring his wife, stay for another 2 years till his visa expires, go home on a vacation and renew it, come back, have kids, wait till they grow to 3-4 years and then run away to motherland. does sound like a plan...until someone interferes.

That is when your dear friend tells you from India that the salary here is meagre compared to US. Your wife who has lived long enough as an independent bird without any knitpick (read inlaws) will shell out reasons of comfortable life here and welfare of kids. Your kids who have now started to speak with an english accent look like the brown version of

Leonardo De Caprio or Drew Barrymore and you wonder how will they adapt to the Indian living conditions of 12 months of sunshine, frequent powercuts and water diseases. You yourself wonder if you can cope up with the long queue for water, constant traffic jams, never-ending bribery etc etc. Why bother to take the path full of thorns when you have a cement road laid ahead?

And that is how an year becomes 2, 2 becomes 5, 5 becomes 10 and then you wonder what happened to your initial plan of staying for an year and settling at your place. As his cousin asks Mr Yogi "Come on Yogi. Dont you think that you can earn enough money to remain happy for long?" They all say that...dont they? Money is an aphrodisiac and it is hard for most of the human beings on earth to be content with their earthly possesions. Why?

You go to a shop to buy candy bars. You happen to see a 5.1 surround home theatre DTS surround and decide to buy it. After the speakers arrive you realize that your 25 inch TV isnt the perfect match for it. So you buy a 40 inch plasma HD TV. Then you realize your old sofa is not the one to sit and enjoy your TV. So you buy a plush leather seating black sofa to enrich the movie experience. Then you realize that the whole hall looks small for your plans and you need a big (read grand) hall to maintain your status. So you end up buying a bigger palatial house or a flat. Now next you need a car to match ths status of this house.......

Whoa think that this is exaggerated? Ask the ones who have gone through this whole material cycle. all starts with the hunger for a bar of chocolates. Then Mr. Yogi saw an Oreo biscuit and felt like eating it. And then he realized....

....that there was a greater joy in eating milk bikis dipping it in the filter coffee prepared by his his own home.

P.S: Good bye US and hello India
P.S1: Freaked out colleagues...friends...and parents by arriving unannounced :-)

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Thursday, August 16, 2007

The Pocketwatch


He was clean shaven. The smell of the old spice cologne was in the air even though an hour had passed since the barber shaved his 5 year old beard. 5 years. 5 precious years in life.

He walked out with the new dress and few hundreds in his pocket given to him by the captain of the ship who found him unconscious in water. God knows how he was going to repay him. But for now they didn’t seem to be the cause of his worries. He had to go to his town and see her. It had been 5 years since he had seen her.

5 Years before
“You look beautiful in this black turtleneck” he said.

Don’t try to flatter me and change the subject” she sounded angry. She was.

I am not lying. You indeed look beautiful” he tried to put his hands around her neck and drag and kiss her which she fended off.

She was indeed angry. Her cheeks had become pink with anger and her normally cute cherubic cheerful face today appeared very serious and gloomy.

So you are going away for real?” she was close to tears.

Don’t say like that darling. I promise I will be back as soon as the assignment gets over.”

Do you remember that in a month we are going to get married?”

How can I forget that darling? It is just that my boss wants me to complete this assignment. And it is only for 15-20 days. I will be back before you realize I was gone.”

He took her hands in his hands and kissed them. She hugged him and wet his shirt with her sweet tears.

Come soon. I will be waiting for you.”

He smiled and ran into the private charter plane as it was raining heavily. He waved her good bye before he boarded into the plane. He looked at the pocket watch that she gave him as Birthday present with her photo in it. She was beautiful.

The town had changed a lot. 5 years is a lot of time in life. Empires tumble, technology advances, shops renovate, new malls come up, old ones crumble, people get married or get divorced, have kids, die…but unacceptably they change. He was not sure how much he had to catch up to know the new stuff around.

Every one seemed to be talking on a cell phone or were wearing some white colored ear phone connected from their pant pockets to the ears. Must be radio he thought. He was not sure if he recognized most shops or its owners. Neither did he want to meet any of them. He bought a rose from a roadside shop. It was her favorite white rose.

2 years before
Day 1000. He had kept count of the days by scribbling on the wall like as in the Count of Monte Christo. He remembered day one as much as yesterday. It was the most horrific day of his life. The charter plane got caught in turbulence and it crashed into an unknown island about an hour after take off. He woke up the next day to find all his colleagues dead….and as the lone survivor in the plane crash on a lonely island.

He waited for help to arrive. Days turned into months, months into years and still there was no sign of any help. He tried many times to swim but the oceanic currents would sap his energy in a few 100 feet. He had learnt to make fire by rubbing igneous rocks, he had become an expert fish catcher, and he learnt to climb trees. In short, he had become a caveman in modern times.

All he had with him to survive was her thoughts and her love. Each and every minute he would think of all the happy moments he spent in her company. Her poodle like curly hair, her beautiful grey eyes, her sensuous lips, her childlike small but artistic fingers, the curves of her body, her gentle warmth, her toenails….very importantly….her sweet voice. All he had now with him was dead silence and her memories. Precious memories.

He looked at the worn-out-and-stopped-but-still-precious pocket watch. She was beautiful.

Nobody was going to recognize him. Neither did it matter if anyone did. He had become skinny in these 5 years. His soft facial features became rugged and he looked 10 years older than his original age. What should he say to her when he sees her after so long? Should he hug and kiss her?

But his stomach churned when he thought…What if she didn’t recognize him?

3 days before
Her only memory was her photo in the pocket watch that she gave. Every day he saw it and told himself that one day someone would come and help him. He would talk to himself aloud to keep reminding himself that he could talk, tell her how much he still loved her after he meets her and how her love had kept him alive for so long.

He looked at the watch again. It looked as if the sun shined to illuminate her beautiful eyes. He remembered how much she loved and cared for him. He loved everything about her and to him she was perfect no matter what others thought or said. He saw her eyes in the blue sky. He heard her voice in the sea shells. He tasted her kiss in the salty ocean water. She was everywhere….and she was nowhere.

Suddenly he felt empty. He felt dead. The whole exercise of living to be alive felt stupid. Harnessing all his energy he cut few trees, tied them with whatever he could find and built a small raft. He looked at the ocean.

He looked at the pocket watch and her photo. Come what may, he was going to swim or die.

He stood at least 100 meters outside her house. Something told him that she would be living in the same house even after 5 years. He confirmed it when he saw her black Honda Car parked outside. She appeared opening the door. She looked as beautiful as she did 5 years before.

He was afraid his heart might forget beating after seeing her after so long.

Just as he marched towards her, out came a man with a child sleeping in his arms.

You forgot the kid honey” he said and kissed her.

Oh cmon. Being mother doesn’t mean that I only need to care about him. You can surely do it as a father.”

She said with a fake anger. The same fake anger she always displayed whenever he would play a prank on her.

Ok Ok. Now don’t shout at me. Drive safe and be home soon.” Her husband kissed her farewell again.

The whole world seemed to be spinning around him. He should have expected it. She didn’t do anything wrong and he would have done the same if he were in her shoes. Just that his poor little heart doesn’t understand it.

He walked back in the way he had arrived. It would be better for everyone if he remained dead to her. He boarded a bus in the bus stop. He looked at the white rose, smiled and kept it in the flower vase in the front row of the bus.

He looked at the pocket watch once again. He had replaced the battery and it had started to work again. He could turn the time on the watch, but unfortunately not in his life.

She was beautiful.

P.S: Inspired from Tom Hanks’s soulful performance in Cast Away

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Mr. Yogi rides a cycle

It was not that Mr. Yogi was fat. Standing 5 feet 8 inches and weighing around 160 pounds he looked quite normal. But his childhood memories of being branded fatso and elephant reminded him to stay fit and not to grow out of proportions.

The advantage of being at onsite in the IT profession is that the office closes by around 6 PM and you could come home early and have some time to take care of yourself. He remembered his offshore days when he had tried going to the gym at the max for 2 months after which even coming home at night became a luxury. This gym was moderately crowded and it was occupied predominantly by the desis living in his apartment.

They came in all shapes and sizes. The fat punjabi aunty trying to shed her maternity weight, the Chinese uncle who was trying hard to lift the bench press and possibly going through an American beauty style mid-life crisis, the newly wedded husband who was teaching his wife how to run on a treadmill by holding her hands and displaying his chivalrous attitude, the Andhra gaaru bachelor buddy who was running hard puffing and panting to reduce his gongura chutney weight and impress his fiancé who was soon to be his grihalakshmi with a bank balance of more than a crore (as per last market rate for US IT groom). There was one lonely American among them and he looked as bewildered as a deer among a pack of lions.

Since it was his first day in the gym, Mr. Yogi decided to take it slowly. He spotted a cycle at one end of the gym and hopped on it with enthusiasm. As he started to pedal the stationary cycle, his mind raced dynamically to the past to remind him of his cycling experiences. His last bicycle was an Atlas MTB that his parents had bought him in the 8th standard. He took good care of the cycle for the initial period of a month cleaning it daily and oiling it on weekends. Thereafter the cycle never saw any cleaning or oiling till it was transferred to his cousin brother after Mr. Yogi finished his 12th standard.

In his 3rd standard Mr. Yogi witnessed that all the kids in his neighborhood had owned a bicycle and came to the nearest play ground on their cycle as if they were Superstars giving a grand entry with their Suzuki Hayabusa. Unable to bear the humiliation any more, Mr. Yogi demanded his parents to get him a bicycle.

As any other middle class parents in India, his parents entrusted him a MISSION IMPOSSIBLE type assignment. GET FIRST RANK. Mr. Yogi didn’t quite understand if the intention here was to motivate him to get first rank or avoid buying a bicycle. As of now it seemed to serve both the purposes. Mr. Yogi was just an above-average student for whom even being remembered by his class teachers seemed like a huge act of accomplishment. Getting first rank was therefore like Himesh reshamiyya singing non-nasal or like an Ekta kapoor serial titled without 'K'. Purely hopeless.

Why does one need to win? Can we win always under all circumstances? Isn’t there a quote which says that "Life is about the journey and not the destination"? Why do all parents bribe their children from their young age? We teach kids that if they behave nicely we will give them chocolates, get first rank and we will get you a bicycle, win the scholarship and we will get you a bike. In a way we train their mind to accept that for every action in this world they will be rewarded suitably and immediately. That is why this generation is impatient with every other thing from official matters to personal issues.

And what happens when they lose instead of winning? An immature and young mind that is incapable to digest that failure hence contemplates the inevitable. That is why you can find so many suicide cases when the 10th and 12th standard results release. That is why you see dip in work quality in companies after appraisal periods. That is why you find many suicide cases arising out of love failure. If life can be finished after one or a few acts of failures, we all would be dead in our mother's womb...had she been given birth to.

For one person to win, so many must lose. That’s the way the world functions. It’s CRUDE but it is PRACTICAL. We must teach children to learn the very fact that NOT every act is rewarding in life. Children must be taught that their conscience will hurt them when they do something illegal or bad. As Mr. Yogi was thinking this and pedaling the cycle, his foot slipped and the pedal broke off. Mr. Yogi looked around. The gym was deserted.

Mr. Yogi quietly walked out of the gym. If he reported about this incident to the Apartment authorities, he would be fined to the tune of 50-100$. He quietly walked back to his home. Surprisingly his conscience didn’t seem to hurt much now.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The grass is always greener....

Warning: The text colors are done deliberately. Read and you will understand :-)


"Present Sir."


"Present Sir."

The attendance is over. Now I can go back to my primary dreaming in the class room. The advantage of your name starting with A is that you will be called first on the roll call and can sleep for the rest of the 5 to 10 minutes while the teacher wakes up the rest of the class. Disadvantage do not have much luxury of time to realize that the attendance is on. God knows who invented class room, practical, exam and all this shit. Can’t they teach stuff in a way that students love and will remember for long? Even a person like me who is in Class 11 can realize this, then why cant these jerks who control education and are donkey years old can’t understand this plain simple fact? All they care is that students score marks. We score not because we love it you morons. It is due to the simple fact....that we are afraid.

Any mission is worthwhile when carried out with an aim to win, but look how parents instruct their kids. "You fail in this exam and I will break your bones." You slip and you will be reminded that you are on the verge of joining the bandwagon of losers in the family. How convenient!!!! Somehow I managed good marks in 10th standard, now I got to repeat the same bloody shit (worse excel it) in 12th. Hmmm...added misery is this mustache wont grow. The 10th standard girl Abhirami who lives next door said that she that she likes men with mustache. I have been shaving daily and still its growing as slow as Dravid's test innings. Damn hormones!!!!

"Anand. Can you collect the test papers?" said Mr. Paneerselvam

Oops...time for duty. I am the class representative. I so much envy our Maths teacher Mr. PannerSelvam or Paneer as we call him. He teaches Maths, looks smart, earns decent money, rides a Black Bullet (I love it), has a beautiful wife (my friend Avinash joined his tuition class to just catch her glimpse), a cute kid, will become Assistant HM by next year. Man...what else can someone want in life. He is like the complete man as they say in Raymonds. Hmmm...lucky guy!!!!!

"Here you go Sir." I handed him the answer sheets. Mission accomplished!!!!


Hmmm...56 papers. This means 56 different answers and approach to one problem. You give a problem from the book and they declare that SIR is so great and if you give them something out of syllabus for the grey cells, you are branded Mr Mogambo. I joined this profession for the love of teaching and imparting knowledge among my fellow men and look what they did to me? I have to be aggressive and aim for the Assistant HM post for next year. It means more money, perks and name. I am supposed to lobby for the system and not go outside it. Else I become an outlaw. I can survive as an outlaw if I was single, but what can a family man do? Maybe marriages are done with the purpose of mellowing a human down.

It is easy to solve a 3*3 matrix or a traveling salesman problem. What is hard?

1. To understand what a woman wants.

2. To change diapers for your kid.

Why do women always want men to explore and understand them and give them what they want rather than TELLING them what they want? They won’t. Why? Because they are women and they ought to be complex. The wedding anniversary date is a month away. I got to get her something surprising, wonderful, unique and costly. Added to this is the referee work I need to do between her and my mom. No wonder the Greek mathematicians and philosophers were gay. Had they been straight they would wasted at least half their lives understanding women.

"Can I have a minute with you Mr Selvam?" asked the headmaster Mr Raj.

"Sure. Go ahead."

Lucky fella our HM. Started his career here as Maths teacher and became HM 5 years before. He has made nice money and name out of this. He got a Central Government award from Delhi 1 month before. He has a college going daughter and a 12th standard studying boy. Wife has lot of property which means he can retire in peace next year. Either way he can earn always by taking tuitions. What a man!!!!

"Can you submit your part for the Annual school report by next week?"

"Sure Sir." I better hurry. Its time to rush to the 12th standard classroom.

One horseshit report after the other. Basically it means we are going to blow our trumpets to everyone that we are this blah blah that and so on. When the teachers and parents drive their kids so wild in this high pressure world, how can they not study? Where is the room for creativity? We all want Kalams, Verghese Kuriens and Amartya Sens. If we choke them with so much bookish knowledge how will they learn to think on their own? I can’t even talk about this as I also have been reduced to low levels as these scumbags. Somehow my wife's nephew in Delhi lobbied and got me the award. It means a career even after I retire from school.

They always say that "A scholar's child is idiot." They got it right at least when it came to the sons. Look at my daughter. She has graduated with top honors from her university and has got grants to study abroad. And look at my son. One reckless fella. Barely crossed 75% in 10th standard. I would have been happy if he were differently talented in any other way. Worse, he drinks, smokes and wastes my hard earned money. Being the only son he qualifies to be the apple of his mom’s eye and chillis in mine. Wonder what I am going to do to his life.

"Sir, May I have a minute"


"The attendance sheet Sir. Need your signature on it."

Look at this young man. He is also my son's age and so responsible. was so simple being a student. All you needed to do was to study and get marks. Needn’t worry about any award, money, relatives, on. How good it would be to switch places???

"Anything else young man"

"No Sir"

For time being at least forgetting the useless report would do.

P.S: Inspired from a Jeffery Archer short story

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The Gift

The dining table was just long enough to seat 4 people, but he was eating alone. He adjusted his spectacles which were huge enough for his 11 year old small face. He was quiet. In fact he was disturbingly quiet. The only sound in the room came from the ceiling fan above him. The Tube light blinked as if it could die any moment.

He was eating pan cakes with maple syrup poured over it. The syrup tasted bad as it had crossed the expiry date. But still he remained thankful to god for the pan cakes. Next time he reminded himself to pray for fresh maple syrup as well. By this time kids in the neighborhood usually play baseball or hide and seek, but they ignored him. They always did and they called him freak as well. At this young age he had learned to avoid taking things too personal and just ignored them. He was better off without them.

Suddenly it happened and it startled him. The door opened although he remembered closing it. The man who came inside the house looked at him. He looked at him as if he could eat him alive. He was roughly the age of his father whom he never remembered seeing, talking or feeling. His dark robe and bloodshot eyes made him look dangerous, sinister and harmful. He had seen him couple of times and every time he did, he got a sick feeling in his stomach. He had avoided him deliberately, but that man won’t listen. There was some connection between them, he sensed.

He came quietly in to the room and sat on the nearby chair.

"You see to be afraid of me" the man said.

"What makes you think that?" the boy asked

"You run away when you see me."

"There are so many things to run away from. What makes you think I run from you?"

"I see the fear in your eyes."

"Hmm...what do you see now?"

"An interest. Don’t you want to know who I am?"

"Should I know it?"

"Shouldn’t you?"

"I don’t. It could only be trouble for you."

"Why is that?"

"Because then you may have to face the inevitable."

"And what is the inevitable?"

"The truth."

"Truth? What truth?"

The boy hesitated. Maybe he had gone too far. He knew it the moment he had seen him and that is why he avoided contact with him. He did not want to break away the man's little happiness or whatever hope he had left in him. It was in such moments he realized how badly truth hurts. He wished he was mute or deaf or blind or altogether. He could have been much happier and not go through this whole trauma. Seems that the time had come.

"You want to know?" the boy asked


"You are dead." the boy paused "And you still don’t know it."

The man gasped. The boy pointed to his left side where he saw stab marks and blood stains on his shirt. The man thought that it was a nightmare..a bizarre nightmare….but realized that it a bitter truth to swallow.

"How d-d-do you k-know it?" the man whimpered as he asked.

The boy had done this before when asked by similar people. He hated telling it and wished he could die. It was his gift. It was his curse.

"Because I see dead people." He knew that he wouldn’t need to speak after that. The pan cakes had gone cold.....and so had he.

P.S: Shyamalan must have been a genius to make an entire movie based on this one little twist :-)

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Your Tube

What do people do at 11 PM? Normal people go to bed and either drool or debug or code or sleep(?) around in dreamland. Since you all know already that I am far from normal, it is quite obvious that my task varies for that hour. When in India, I worked in a project where my standard home coming time was bang at 11 PM and above. I was so regular at those hours that even the stray dogs that used to bark at me for the first few days gave me a sympathetic and apologetic look later on. I would have appreciated the same look and concern on the face of my office superiors...but hey...doesn't that require some heart? :-) My only solace was...the idiot box.

I know I know. Your dirty mind is thinking that 11 PM means that I would watch Hot Hotter Hottest or Mid Night Masala and cool myself with little bit of sleaze and skin. I pity you perverts (:P). After a day full of sitting before a stupid comp and attending meetings where everyone has no idea what they are talking about, thats possibly the last thing I could find solace in. was JUST FOR LAUGHS on Pogo that I got addicted to.

No No. This post is not about the best or worse gags in that program. Its about laughing at yourself. Hard? Not at all. I will tell you how. In my training program, we had a personality development class as the usual charade and in that we had a game where one guy had to tell something about the other. Not a big deal. As usual I got down everything about the other friend of mine and blurted it out on stage. Then came the real shocker.

The lady who conducted the program then connected the handy cam with which she had recorded the whole thing to the TV and showed us what we did on stage. Holy Cow! I just looked like Dudley who had been kissed by a Dementor (Potter season U see). There on the screen I saw myself gyrating at 180 degrees with my feet moving as if I scared them that I could dance at any moment. I was touching my nose, smirking, rolling my eyes, twirling my lips...Oh dear made me live to this day to see this? The worse part was this all happened when I had not yet opened my mouth and the other fellow was talking about me.

Then the earth shattered. I was talking at the speed of light and even I had difficulty in understanding what the hell came from my mouth. The lady looked at me and smiled. My naughty mind placed a cloud above her which read "The same god who tortured us by creating Jim Carrey and Chris Tucker, for a change decided to mix them into this moron." She requested me to speak slowly for everybody's sake (which I followed only for a week).

The other worse case was when I had my thread ceremony. Out of the blue they decided to shave my cat moustache and I had to wear a veshti. I would bungee jump from the Petronas towers or watch TR's acting(?) rather than wear veshti for one hour. I had a veshti, angavastram and sacred ash on my forehead. Had they applied sandalwood over my chest I could have bagged Nattamai role in couple of Panchaayat tamil movies beneath an old aalamaram and nasungi pona sombhu.

My cousins had hell lot of fun pulling my leg over the belt that I wore above the veshti. I have promised them that I would wear cargos and T Shirt for my marriage. Unless I find a girl who is ready to trade skirt for a madisaar, I guess I will have to stick to bachelorhood. Trust me...before laughing at others, just imagine what would you have looked like in the same situation. Unless you have the heart to laugh at wont find it funny.

As for my case is concerned, I watched the video of my thread ceremony once for 15 mins and switched it off with immediate effect. Why? Simple. I do love watching horror flicks....but this one was for real...and starring me :-)

Thursday, July 12, 2007

He said, She said

He: It was a nice dinner isn’t it?

She: Yeah Yeah....donno how do they make such amazing food in that hotel alone.

He: I loved the Dal Makhni. The taste is still lingering in my mouth.

She: Oh yeah? You liked it so much?

He: Well I can prove it. How about tasting it from me?

(tries to hug her and she laughs and pushes him)

She: Ok ok...I got it. Hmmm...and what else is still lingering?

He: The Dum aalo was good. I also loved Garlic nan.

She: Well...does that mean that we would be returning there sometime soon?

He: Yeah yeah. I guess so. didn’t like it?

She: Yeah...I liked it. But I liked ONLY the food there.

He: What do you mean exactly?

She: Well...don’t lie as if you don’t know ok?

He: What are you talking about?

She: You don’t know what I am talking about?

He: Seriously I don’t know. What is it about?

She: Weren’t you gaping shamelessly at that waitress?

He: What is wrong with you?

She: Oh yeah. You look at the waitress and it is wrong with me? You were looking at

her as if you could have eaten her alive.

He: What am I? A Cannibal?

She: Oh yes. That’s what you are. I should have taped the way you smiled and giggled at her. I

should have brought a hose pipe, connected it to your mouth and watered the plants in the

hotel. You were drooling shamelessly you moron.

He: Oh c’mon honey. Now don’t make it an issue. I was just trying to make some conversation.

She: now it comes under the category of Making conversation?

He: Look...if I treat her with respect only then she would serve us first. You know what I mean?

She: Wow...and you now treat me like a 6 year old and tell me these stupid bed time stories.

He: Oh c’mon honey. That’s the truth. Why would I lie to you?

She: Yeah have never lied to me. What about the time you were looking at the women in

the blue saree when entered in to the hotel?

He: the tally has now added up to 2.

She: Don’t act innocent. Weren’t you looking her there?

He: There? What’s there?

She: THERE? I mean THERE? What is wrong with you?

He: (hesitates)Look..its science...ok? It’s like a reflex effect.

She: (imitates him) reflex effect. You shamelessly do it and blame it on science as well.

He: Now why are you so angry?

She: Why do you all men need to look there?

He: Look...that’s what men do and that’s why eyes are at front. If it weren’t so important then ears

would have been in front and eyes would have been hanging sideways and we would have been

looking like aliens.

She: And now you have jumped to science fiction? What else...history or drama?

He: Look...I am not justifying it..ok? I am what should I do?

She: (sobbing) Answer me something.

He: What?

She: If I weren’t there with you, you would have married that waitress right?

He: Whoa I am getting married to her? Do I also have 2 children who are sucking their

thumb or having nipple in their mouth? What is this game all about?

She: Answer me. Just imagine I was not there with you. Would you have married her or not?

He: Whoa whoa...I am not playing this game. This whole What-if-you-could-do-this scenario is


She: (sobs) So you would have married her right?

He: Oh c’mon honey. Look at me...I am so happy here..married to my amazing life with


She: And is this fight part of the amazing life?

He: Of course it is. Look honey...just looking at some girl randomly is different than looking at

someone with love. I look at you with love.

She: (smiles with tears) You are trying to seduce me.

He: Is that something I shouldn’t be doing?

She: Only if you look at me.

He: (hugs her) By the way I forget to tell you something.

She: ??????

He: She was really beautiful.

She runs after him with a fake anger and a real smile.

P.S: Inspired from an episode of Everybody Loves Raymond.