Friday, August 29

Word Tussle...

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“Where is the remote control?”
Kumar was getting his nerves tight. Checking the remote in between the pillows and cushions he was trying hard to control his anger. He checked the electronic instrument all over frantically among those ‘Times of India’, ‘Economic Times’ and ‘Readers Digests’.
“Why are you changing the place of the remote control now and then? You and your ‘saas bahu’ serials. It will be surely somewhere in kitchen.” He walked over to the kitchen. Displacing all the vessels over there he did a rat search for the remote.
“Where are you now? I don’t understand this. Whenever I ask for the remote you never respond properly.” He waited a second for some response from the bedroom. Impatient, he reached the bedroom in a jiffy. There was no one inside. A new sari was lying over there in the bed. He looked towards the bathroom door. Its closed and the light switch is on.
“Arundhati, where did you hide the remote”, the tone was harsher this time.
“What happened? Why are you shouting so much with your weak voice? Doctor had told to take rest minimum for three months.” She tried to remind him. “Oh please, don’t try to change the topic. Tell me where the remote control is? Then give all those silly advices.” He found her remark irritating. His clenched his fists.
“Ok then! You keep on searching. Or else wait till I come after my bath. There is nothing much to panic like this for a remote control. It will be there itself in the living hall. You might have missed finding it.”
He could hear the voice of water dripping from the tap. He stood there in front of the door, furious. In a hurry, he locked the latch of the door from outside. A devilish grin bloomed over his face. Without uttering a word he headed towards the living hall.
Fifteen minutes went over. Arundhati came out to the living room. Drying her hair she asked, “So, got the remote?” He was there sitting in front of the television, barehanded and not paying any heed to her, as if she was talking to someone else. “Now, won’t you at least reply to my question?” She growled.
“My doctor had advised me to keep a tab on my voice. Now why are you making me strain?” He retaliated. Somewhere inside he felt happy to attack her with the same coin.
“I don’t want to strain your voice. It was only you kept on screaming about the remote. Why I will hide it? You only need a reason to blame me of something. And to be frank there is no point in arguing with you.” Arundhati walked towards her bed room hastily.
“Oh yeah, and you want me to scream out of loudest voice for the remote control. You are well aware that I do watch the stock market updates this time and whoa! What a time to take bath? Its all planned, I know. You never liked me watching those sensex figures” Kumar didn’t even look at her this time. His moustache was shivering with anger. His eyebrows coned.
“There is no point in talking to you. At the end, you will just convince me that I am wrong and all is my fault.” Arundhati’s voice scrambled. Her eyes moistened. Her fingers were curling up the tail end of her cotton sari. Staring the television she sat on the couch, taking extreme care to sit on the other end where Kumar sat.
“You don’t love me” she whispered. He sat there staring the television. Stock market updates were flashing on the screen.
Half an hour went.
“Hey, did you have the tablets for your head ache this morning?” He asked her. He glanced over her and found a drop of tear ready to roll down from the walls of her eyes. He kept his remote on the sofa and positioned himself near to her. She turned her face onto the opposite direction.
“Ok dear, I am sorry. You know I love you a lot. I won’t get angry on you anymore. This is a promise.” He tried to raise her face.
“Oh, shut up!” She grinned at him. “This is a promise I started to hear right from the day after our honey moon got over. Thirty years back. Today I am not going to fall for this sentimental dialogue of yours.” She was enjoying Kumar's fingers trying to wipe out the tear drop which already started rolling through her cheeks.
“Oh yeah, the very same thing you say every time I make this promise.” He laughed loud. And she couldn’t control her either.

-->A hug, the first thing to follow their laughter.

Monday, August 25

Childhood Wife...

Vidya, she is looking prettier, he thought. Her curly black hair was waving in the light breeze that passed by her. She was smiling with those lovely dimples on her pink coloured cheeks. Sporting a ‘Police’ sunglass covering up her eyes, she stood there in front of him. The silky skirt had zebra designs on them.

Its after so many years he is meeting her, to be precise, after eight years, on her wedding day in one of those plush 4-star hotel. She had married Gautam, her boyfriend from her college. He never felt bad for that incident, but somewhere deep down his heart; he had once nourished a soft corner for her.

The very same Vidya stood in front of him and he couldn’t believe his eyes. When deputed for a major project on global warming here in Tokyo, he thought this would be the last place he could find some long lost friend on the busy streets. Before quipping a ‘hi’ he noticed a kid tugging at her jeans. He stared at him in surprise. “This is my son Abhinav!” she said sensing his surprise.

They used to play husband and wife. That was around twenty years back. Vidya did all those kitchen chores in their act. She used to boil water for him to take bath, when he returned from office she made omelettes using their plastic pan, he helped her in cutting the onions, she washed their cloths, he ironed their dresses, she fed the pet animals, he sang songs to her, she cleaned the room and he the bathroom.

“What’s up with you these days?” Her eyes were bright; those were the most sought after eyes in those college days of theirs. The conversations went on and on, as if they were sure of not meeting in the future anymore. The coffee table was getting well populated with coffee cups. Talks flew over their college days, career days, her marriage, she raising her offspring, his professional stints in various cities of the world, her husband’s flourishing ‘curry powder’ business in this land of the unknown, his various bride-hunting saga’s, her driving classes, his new car, and her new apartment which is under construction and what not. It was when Gautam’s call came that they realized they had stepped into the last hours of the day’s dusk.

“I will have to leave now”, she said after disconnecting the call from her hubby dear. “Gautam does’t has the keys of our flat.” They exchanged their mobile numbers and address. The hotel where he stays is quite far from her place. After hugging each other and with his promise to visit them over the weekend they bid good bye. He looked at her while they were leaving. Abhinav was jumping and bouncing like a rubber ball and she was adeptly handling him. With a smirk he took his laptop bag and that was when he noticed the bunch of coffee cups and pizza plates on the table.

It was he who cleaned the table; twenty years back, when they were husband and wife. He couldn’t abort his laughter but just realized they were still on the game. He picked the coffee cups and looked for the trash bin.

Friday, August 22


He loves sitting over here. How much busy he is, he loves to spend time over here.
Almost 90 hours for minimum is spend annually over here. Though it’s a minor part, he always felt this time to be worth spending. He loved the solitude he used to enjoy. Whenever he used to be there, it gave him a calm and peaceful atmosphere. The only thing that gave him a company in his heaven is books and magazines.

Last year he had paid almost 20,000 Indian Currencies for a teak wood shelf. The corners were carved artistically. On the top most part, by the center, the shelf got an image of book carved into the wood. Both dad and mom were aghast when he installed this shelf over there. They branded him as a bigot. Many of his relatives had ranting over this extravagant furniture over and over again It had a drawer in the lower part where he had planned to stock his Readers Digest’s and Outlook’s. The shelf consisted of the whole gamut of books, right from romantic fictions, detective novels, thought invoking fictions, cold blooded thrillers to philosophical non fictions, and biographies.

Near to the shelf there was a trundle table. He used to keep the latest copies of RD’s and other magazines on that. There was a pen holder also which boasted a collection of three or four pens. He used to keep his mobile in vibratory mode on that when he was engaged in reading. People used to wonder what he used to do with his mobile over there.

Daily mornings he visited this place religiously. He had himself convinced that without some time spent over there, there is no world outside exciting him. He realized long ago that a minimum of 10-15 minutes he need to be there; Long ago before when he started working, before he attended colleges or before he went to high schools. He never disclosed this dalliance, except that his family members knew that.

Sitting over here he had completed reading many Charles Dicken’s, R K Narayan’s, Ruskin Bond’s in those pre teen ages; Sidney Sheldon’s, M&B’s, Jeffery Archer’s in those Teenage ages; few autobiographies of some visionaries and God-knows-how-many magazines and newspapers. These four walls which covered him from the outer world seemed to give him a silent company. He at times used to whisper them the lines and dialogues of those dramas he used to read. No other person was allowed to intrude his space when he was inside. Be whatever urgency the other person got.

One thing he never forgot to do while leaving the room was to flush the excrement's he had relieved during the course of reading sitting on top of that plush Olive green European Closet.

Tuesday, August 19

Mend Able...

Tera jaisa yaar kahaan
Kaha aise yaaraana
Yaad karegi duniya
Tera mera aphsaana

{Where is a friend like you?
Where is such a friendship?
This world will remember
Your and mine virtual world of love}

Lyrics are so whetted at times. The evergreen Amithabh Bachchan is singing on screen in film Yaraana. I love these words, a song which epitome’s friendship. 26 years of life of his had shown me many such relationships in real. When I bought the DVD print of the 35 year old movie I had only one thing on mind. I always love to cherish friendships portrayed between the two protagonists of the movies like Yaraana and Sholay.

Through them I live in those college days of mine. I vividly remember Vignesh a.k.a Vigs and his friendship with Pavan, a.k.a Pavi. When both of them came to this city, they were like everyone else; Strangers. They both were naïve and shy those days, but yet very chummy. Vigs got so many friends in his lifetime, but none like Pavi. They never realised when such a casual college friendship turned into a soul connecting relationship. They never moulded it in that way, but were in their destiny.

Vignesh was a talkative person to the core. Be it any topic under the earth, he got an opinion. And hell he didn’t give a damn whether his opinions were worth a debate or not, he used to express it. Teasing others was his forte, but he never gave others any chance to get offended. His presence gave the liveliness in our group. He was keener on styles and tried to execute them. His low waist jeans and buffoon shoes were a hit in college. Pavan on the other hand was a bit reserved. He was very expressive but only when he felt there is a need to. Styles mattered to him but were very conservative. He was more emotional, experimental and quite intelligent. When befriended, he was one of the best entertainers we all had in our group.

Vigs and pavi, they were always together. Both had their own friends initially. Slowly, as days passed all their friends became common. They went for movies, roamed around on the same bike. They paid each others hotel bills many a times, shopped together and studied together. Canteen, Reading Hall, Classes, College Veranda’s, Tea Shop Corner, everywhere they used to be together. They watched porn movies together and eyed at college beauties together. I remember the way Vigs and Pavi used to tease each other mentioning their crush from their college. Bunking classes were a normal routine for them. Others in the college defined them joyful, helpful and inseparable. The booze sessions with them in the group were the best I ever had. Vigz and Pavi both used to take the same brand-Bacardi’s, Romonov’s, and Cannon 10000’s and what not. They both preferred to take their first two pegs a 90 ml neat one; preferred Chicken lollypop for biting more than anything and even tried fag together. All those spicy, sex talks transpired after that was memorable.

Those were the days. Today I realise it’s not the same as before. The distance, once they didn’t let come in between, was there looking at them dreadfully. Their lives had separated them more than the physical distance. Last days of theirs were not pleasing. They never let the world know about the heat that burnt their relationship. Whatever it is, I was sure their relationship had grown more to that. Alas! I wish it was like that.

Few months back I met Vigs when he had come here for a business meeting. We talked a lot. The three years of professional life had brought lots of changes in him. He is much more matured than he used to pretend in his earlier days. He was still a chatterbox, but very articulate. When I asked about what stirred his relation with Pavi he initially chose to remain mute. He put me out of their misery by stating that somewhere, something went wrong. His mind, even now, boggles whom to blame. He is a martyr to the bleeding of emotions, still oozing from his conscience, even after so many days. A little effort would have made things on the other side, I felt. A more matured act should have assured him a great gift forever. His eyes got wet in agreement with my thoughts. He had only two pegs of drinks, maybe he never enjoy the drinks anymore as much as he used to enjoy them with Pavi.

Last day when I received a mail from Pavi, I could sense the vacuum of a good friend in his life. Maybe, Vigs and Pavi need each other as much as they were before. Is not the relation mend able?

I played the song once again.

Tera jaisa yaar kahaan
Kaha aise yaaraana
Yaad karegi duniya
Tera mera aphsaana

I switched of the player and television. Got up from my comfy couch and headed towards the bed room. It’s high time to catch some sleep and give the flustered mind, a rest. Before crawling into the winter blanket I took the Ipod. Inserting the headphones, I had only one song in mind to play and there in front my eyes were Vigz and Pavi, four years younger.

Thursday, August 14


A Month Back…

Things were not going in the line which he had thought off. He was not ready to accept the failure. He was apprehensive of admitting that the decision he took was a wrong one. He was carrying the burden of his distraught along with him. He had taught himself to be positive and keep hope that matters will settle for good, some or the other time. But somewhere down the heaps of thoughts, he was realising the mistake he had committed while taking the decision. In between, it emerged in front off his eyes in the form of a monster showing its dreaded teeth dripping blood wanting to engulf him completely. He was facing an intelligent cul-de-sac.

A Week Before…

He was on the verge of a nervous break down. Accepting the mistake will be almost like finishing himself totally. He was not sure whether to accept his fate or not. Facing world seemed to be the toughest task. He wanted prove a lot in life. He had planned a lot for that. Lots of hasty decisions were on its way. But now, the junction seems empty. No sign boards in front of him. He realised it’s his failure. Life seemed to take a U-turn abruptly, without even giving him a chance to renounce his decisions.


He used to get pissed off with the horoscope messages his mobile service provider used to send him daily in the mornings. They never used to get late. Though hated like anything, off late, unlike the earlier days, he started to read them instead of deleting them on arrival. That was a free service his provider was offering. So never bother to unsubscribe it also. Like everyday he checked out the message which read, ‘Horoscope for Taurus: One mistake does not mean you have failed. Think about how much you can learn from this slip-up’. He kept his mobile aside. The whole day he was inside his room, closed.

Today, Present…

He is much more content today. The long lost smile is back on his face, unveiling every now and then. World, seems, a better place today.

Monday, August 11

Teary Hug's...

Jai and Janki waited there outside. Besides them was a well dressed man, with a moustache which had grey hairs here and there, a navy cut hair style which clearly showed the baldness, in his early fifties. He was not as calm as they were. His eyes were wandering here and there. The phenol smell, a typical hospital thing, was in the air. The air conditioning was doing its best part, but still, his forehead was filled with sweat drops and two rivulets of sweat were running down alongside his face.

They three looked towards the door impatiently, whenever someone opened the electronically locked door. In five minutes after their arrival many people passed through those iron doors. An old man seated in wheel chair was guided by the male nurse. Another old man in a moving bed assisted by few staff holding some fluid containing bottles was struggling to look who is waiting for him outside. An old lady with her son, maybe, came through that door. They rushed towards the general ward section of the hospital. Then came a lady in her thirties, dressed completely in a check gown and this flow was continuing.

Six eyes were waiting for the door to open and someone to call their name. Seconds were passing like centuries. Heartbeats were pounding like a bullet train. Thoughts were streaming wild. The every moment the door opened, their eyes read anxiety. The extra cool air from the ICU gushed out through the door when it opened. It tried hard to lessen the sweat that perpetuated on their face.

Jai stood in the same place, his hands inserted in his worn out jeans. Jiya, her hair plaited well, was supporting her body on Jai’s shoulders. Her one hand was firmly affixed to his. The other one carried a mobile, which was a source for her to check the minutes crawling.

“Anyone for Janvi”, the voice shrieked through their ears. They didn’t even wait for the fat lady, a nurse, to complete the sentence. “Yeah”, all three chorused. She led them through the narrow walk way, made them wear the special attire, sandals. The air conditioned breeze smelt anti-biotic. The moment they entered the highly sophisticated ‘Intensive Care Unit’ their heartbeats accelerated. Two beds away there she was, Janvi.

The charm which always used to spritz from the exuberant face had hidden somewhere. Dressed up wounds covered her face. Her eyes were filled with tears dripping down her cheeks and were apologising for her mistake she made. She never expected to meet with an accident in those slippery roads when, together with her friends, she made plans for an outing without informing her family.

Jai and Janki stood near to Janvi holding her hands. The man with them stood there, near the bed with his hands covering his mouth. His wide opened mouth was unable to utter anything. His shivering fingers tried hard to close his mouth, failing terribly. Eyes moistened in a jiffy.

“Sorry Dad”, was what all everyone over there heard before him breaking into tears. The sight of his daughter curled up with all kind of plastic tubes supplying required Saline and other supplies to her body, her watery eyes and her penitent words were enough for him to forgive her small mistake. When their eyes got entangled, the dam of emotions exploded. He stood there, crying like a baby.

Janki noticed; the staff were trying hard to control their tears. Who said, a mother loves their kids more. Who said, men don’t cry. She went near her father; hugged him tight. She felt the whole world embracing them.

Saturday, August 2

Oh! How Are You Dear...(Fake Grin)!!

Getting bored is not some problem he is facing now. Off late he is not comfortable with this bane of his. After working with machines and laptops the whole day, after being among a group of only technical-stuff-talking old men in his company, he always felt he required a freaking out with his friends. Or maybe a nice outing with his family, lengthy talks on phone with his distant relatives can do to keep his boredom at bay.

But he was missing something. In this unknown city, he felt he had isolated from many. His friends are settled in various other cities, busy with their own daily chores.

He took the laptop from his office bag. While opening and switching on the laptop a stream of thoughts flitted through this mind. If this laptop was not there, if the music system he had installed in his apartment was not there, how would have been his life like? I am indebted to the technology invasion, he thought.

First thing he does after opening is to get connected to the internet world. He opened his mail. The networking site is kind of addiction to him. To know what his friends were up to, to get the latest reviews regarding the movies, to discuss all those political issues, to gather all business information’s and to be a part of small gossiping and backbiting. The inbox was flooded with mails. Most of them were official mails, a few from his yahoo groups. Before opening a mail from his friend he noticed a name.
Priya Joseph. A surprise smile flowered his face.

He couldn’t wait to open the mail. Priya, his cousin, settled in a town far away from his place, had mailed. He was happy to see her name. With a little apprehension, thinking how come she mailed all in a sudden, he opened the mail.

Sorry for not responding to your repeated Gtalk buzz’.

He recalled how many times he had pinged her from his messenger. After her delivery, she was busy. Her daughter is a sweet little angel. Her brother had forwarded the photos, and once or twice she had passed pleasantries back through the chat box. He was very eager to talk to her to share his happiness for her.

‘Life is so busy with my little one and time flies away. Anyways, I am enjoying every moment of it’.
That is bound to happen, he thought. After waiting for five long years, prayers to make a deal with Gods and long procedures of medication finally she too was blessed with one. One small angel, to make the whole family brightened with joy. He couldn’t wait much to read the mail. His eyes dived into the pool of words in the mail.

‘Dad wanted a favour from you. Can you send downloaded songs of ‘Deshadanam’ movie? Let me know if u can. How is life there? How is your work going on? How is everyone else? Convey my regards to everyone. Rest in next. Take care...’
He felt dejected. Wild thoughts crossed his mind. She didn’t mention much about her newbie. He didn’t get the feel of love in her questions. So emotionless they were. It’s for the first time she had mailed him after the delivery. Before that also, she was out of reach. He had many a times consoled himself convincing that she will be busy with her first and longing pregnancy. But now, she could have shared much more. ‘I am expecting too much’, he thought. Everyone got their own business to mind. They are comfortable with their own spheres. But what he hates is this artificial love. He was doubtful why she had mailed all in a sudden. Though happy seeing her name in his inbox, down under his mind he doubted its purpose. At least the previous experiences are what made him think like that. And here, now today it turned out to be true. Why the hell people are so mean? Is it that we remember others when we want something? Why to fake all I-care-you-how-are-you attitudes?

He logged out from his mail. Not feeling to have dinner, he started some music on his laptop. But he couldn’t enjoy its melody. He was disturbed, it was better if she had not mailed him. At least he would have made up his mind that she was somehow busy with her kid.

It’s better to catch some sleep. He kept the laptop aside, hibernated. Danny slipped into the blanket. The only sound that was hearing was of the fan roaring aloud and the tic-tac of his alarm.

Friday, August 1

Vulture Stares...

Why the hell on earth they are staring at my sister, he thought.

It was her summer vacation. It’s after two years that she had come to her hometown. She was pretty much excited. The calm city was very beautiful than her current city, where all kind of pollution drains you out. Here the number of vehicles will be the same, but still, there is no hurry-burry on roads. She wanted to roam around. She wanted to enjoy the breeze of her city, enjoy the hustle-bustle of the city crowd, wanted to go to the local bakery and have pastries, enjoy the innocence of the people out there. And all these reasons were enough for him to take her out for a ride.

Parking the bike they decided to stroll through the pathways of the city. She was very happy to be back and it showed in her glowing eyes. The city seemed to be different. All in a sudden, he felt strange. He could sense more eyes prying on them. He started wondering. He felt the atmosphere fill with some particular kind of suffocating air. He looked around.

He saw many eyes following them. From those who were standing at the bus-stop they passed by, the shop keeper along the road side, the middle aged guy standing near a magazine shop, the group of youngsters gathered around the corner; everyone seemed to watch only them, but only them.

A flash! Suddenly he realised the reason for the extra attention. He saw it in the eyes of the shop keeper; he saw it in the eyes of the bespectacled uncle-type person standing with a cigarette, he saw it in the eyes of the rag picker; he saw it in the eyes of the bald headed ‘gentle man’ standing with his wife and he saw it in the college going students. He could sense the fetish air surrounding them.

He realised his little sister is a grown up woman. She is very attractive, enough to get everyone’s attention. But, she was well covered. She hasn’t left any chance for the voyeur to set his eyes upon. That was a quality she had imbibed from childhood. She takes care not to give any provocative steps while she is out. But still, he was disturbed; the stares of those strangers were unavoidable. Those stares of hunger were aiming at her. He felt like screaming, “What the bloody fcuk do you guys want? Don’t you have any such specimen at your home?"

He wanted to speed away from there. But the vultures were all around. Damn this world! Life is not all about woman and their flesh. Enjoy the beauty in a descent way. Everyone enjoys getting that attention. But, definitely not such a vulgar way is expected. And this was the first time he was ashamed to be called a 'Man'