Thursday, October 27, 2011

I refuse to die!

She had been my best friend forever. I’m not sure she thought the same way about me. Sometimes I even wonder if she took anything I said seriously. The first time we met was at our school assembly as little kids standing in crooked lines, fighting the cold and staging a forced attention in what didn't concern us. Kids don’t care. I wish grownups knew that.

The sun gave a lukewarm smile and the wind made our brittle scraped knees rickety, biting lightly every few moments in sudden gusts. It got harder to concentrate and that’s when a roving eye brought me to face her. That was the day I found my ‘smile friend’. It’s all we did for the next few days- smiled at each other. Besides spreading the warmth there was also the part about us having a lot in common. Never popular, never sought after, what you may call- just average.

There’s a time when you don’t know anything about yourself. If there is a ‘you’ and how it’s not the same as others, doesn't matter. What you like, what you don’t. What you want to become. That’s not to think.
To think is, if you could get to plait your hair by rolling it round and round about your fingers. To think is, why it opens up and doesn't stay. Now that’s what you call a real heartbreak.

I don’t know anything about parents. I don’t know if I had any. Nobody tells me now and back from when I was born, I don’t remember a thing. I hung out a lot at her place though. Her parents really doted over her. It’s funny actually. Even when her pony wasn’t really straight they’d still call her beautiful. I’d tell her that, but she never listened to me.

I was always telling things. I still am. Sometimes she listens. But that’s only when no one’s around. There are always too many people I’m competing with to get her attention. I’m not sure how over the last few years she suddenly got popular and I stayed behind. Sometimes that makes me sad. Mad even. And then when she asks me stuff, I lighten up. I feel important. I don’t mean to brag but my ideas are always better than her other friends’.

Yesterday she seemed upset. I thought I must make her happy and told her my new theory. The smile. Again. She wouldn’t believe me. Again.

It’s rather simple really. Well, I believe in it entirely. Here, let me help you with it.
Most people never really do what they want to, until they turn seventy. Cos then they can afford to have diabetes or get fat. The pretty people aren’t going to look at them then, anyway.
Better still, slog up and then hope to have a happy retirement. They always dream about reading newspapers in rocking chairs. I think I’m pretty intelligent for my age. I read a lot.
But I also think I’m immortal. She thinks that’s dumb. She says all humans must die. Uh oh, I beg to differ, sir!

It’s all about dying. It’s all about the end. That’s the all important thing. If you’ve devised a way to fulfilment then, you’d just as well start running now.
Always worried about not making it to some awkward old age.
Lucky for me, I’m never going to have an end.
Unlike her, I don’t worry about being swept over by a Tsunami. My heart doesn't start racing when I hear thunder reverberate. I don’t flinch when a car stops short. I am not afraid.
Because I refuse to die.
And she doesn't listen. Again.

I tell her. I tell her. I whisper to her. I wish she would hear. She thinks I’m crazy.
But one day when everyone’s gone and abandoned her forever, I will be there.
She had been my best friend forever.
Although her shadow is all I am, yet again, like old times I will tell her,
I refuse to let you go.
I refuse to die!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Sifar- Part 3

Canthara looked out the castle window at the majestic twilight sky. The whole world soaked in hues of brown and orange exuding a caution of warmth tingled with the decoy of sublime cool breeze. A perfect evening what promised to be, was disturbed by a little figure trudging the drawbridge with a spring in his step.

Dismissive hope, she rued.
Looked on and mere advancing footsteps aggravated the hostility in her mind for every assuming person who imagined an act of barter could win her over. Judged by strangers who understood nothing but their own selfish desire to what they may have liked at attaining and hopefully her aspirations would coincide with.
The nearer Zaid got to the castle, the stauncher his imprints seared to ooze deep-seated hurt.

In a matter of perceived thoughtful flashes, the Emir sent an attendant with a parcel that marked another suitor.
As little shuddering hands and cold eyes unwrapped to witness this new advance at mockery, they softened, if only for a moment.
From emotion or newness one couldn’t tell.
But they stared alright. The crimson shrieked and her hands complied to pacify it with hesitation.
She commanded for her eyes to move away but they had grown a heart of their own. A daze of unrest followed with ears ablaze and a face that spoke of acquired celestial glow. As every sense fought a battle with the other, she ordered the hideous scarf be taken away.

In a fleeting moment, she reeled to get one last look at the gleaming magic fabric and before any of the confusion could make sense, the object was out of sight.
An impact of sheer brilliance naively dismissed as freefalling imagination.
What could have been felt was merely touched, and that made all the difference.

A sad piece of cloth now, examined by the wrong hands; hands that were raised to evoke submission, but never to kindle dying flames; consequential hands; hands that clutched the giver to unveil his lustrous secret.
Refused to believe the magic couldn't be recreated. Refused to gauge it's impossibility.
Adamant at bringing rolling a fortune from hunting like savages for a mere moth.
Never mind, it never was intended that way!
And when the pious word was parted, sworn in secrecy was a man who merely wondered of setting a heart to flip and twirl, locked and thrashed in a dungeon forever to be.

No, not the end, as every time in shadows of nothingness when two lone souls would spare each other a grazing thought of what could have been, it would all end at the point where a lanky figure walked under the twilight sky and a face unknown housed a pining heart misunderstood.
The point where two roads that briefly met, diverged forever on a course of indifference.
The point that defined a listless journey from start to finish.
Sifar. Zilch.

*****THE END*****

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Sifar- Part 2

Breathless as though life had ordained its concluding traces, the monk’s fading poise leaped up at the eventual twig of hope in gulps of fresh water endowed by a young lad whose eyes read concern. Life breath restored, a saviour must get his due and so he did.

A hollow cane box and a secret preserved over centuries revealed.
Not a mere matter of chance that floated along as serendipity.
It needed time.
It needed sweat.
It needed caressing affection.
It needed murder.

Zaid’s single minded instinct tore at the adventure and its perfectly asymmetric outcome. Seasons rolled by as he forgot all else in the ploy of one discreet task. Looked after its every need, stroked its every whim with undying passion, submitted unto ecstasy in order it evolve to a form that befitted a fated goal. And then, when the time was right, killed the squiggle.
Gurgled till no pulse escaped and smothered in silence; with wrath or agony, never to fully comprehend.
One of a kind, a tribute must be.

And then he assimilated. Long and short; spools, spindles and yarns; loops and strands; tighter, terser, stifled together; a gleaming expanse that placed itself stark and serene.
Unseen, unheard of creamy lustre. 
Too soft.

Except, it wasn’t yet over.
It still needed splashes of life. 
Of a colour that could speak in silence lest he waned.
Deep, impressionable and holy.
Dipped and dyed to give it the blushing tint of blood.

A crimson silk scarf.

To be continued..... (the concluding part)

Value Addition
Silk, in ancient era was credited only to the Chinese for centuries, until a few monks acquired access to the ‘secret’ knowledge of sericulture and smuggled silkworm eggs in hollow cane baskets on their way to Turkey.
It is during this journey that unknown circumstances led to filtering of the ’secret’ in Syria and what later became another reason for the city of oasis to excel in trade for which it is now known as ‘Bride of the Desert’ .

Click for Part 3

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


Disclaimer- Set in AD 550 Syria, the following story is a work of fiction. All landmark events are real, and places mentioned therein have been restored as present day UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

In the lustrous oasis of Palmyra that greeted every tired traveller to dispel forlorn thoughts of home and renewed their motives with a zest to adventure, to live, to conquer; there once thrived a race of people wiped from the face of history perhaps for the lack of what too many, too good could not say too much of in too little.
They behaved like the Romans. They behaved like nomads. No restraint. A city with no boundaries, to be picked as a frothy feather and carried at a moment’s notice. No fear, no lies, no longing.

A haze of dust clung on never to see a canvas of the sky studded with little neon twinkles. Yet some nights it was luminous. At the far end, so far you couldn’t trust how real, on the highest point of a peak stood shining as a North Star the Qala ibn Maan castle of the Emir Roudafshan. To say it was an ordinary structure as the far many others would do adequate justice, but for the connect it had to the city. A steep drawbridge from its iron gates knitted into the veins of the roads that led to the oasis and pent up a sense of regalia. A foreboding presence of an equal in figurative but hierarch in perception is what prevailed.
‘The Emir’, revered the people.
‘The Emir’s daughter’, thought Zaid.

Canthara. All that was ever known about her was a mere name. If a slight remark had ever been made about her being, the sheen may have come to pass. It was the lure of the unseen that enthralled a dwelling thought. The rhythmic familiarity her name brought in the minds of its people was acquaintance of a person known and yet a stranger whose face couldn’t be acknowledged.
How may one decide the worth of that?

It was an unusual calling. In a time where trade ruled supreme, alliances brought fortunes and a princess couldn’t settle for much shorter, what could reconcile for a fitting barter that royalty may be appeased by? The Emir adjudged to oversee who from his kingdom and afar, rose above the rest to please the princess with a tribute that marked her entire worth in a single sweeping gesture.

Days passed into months as people from far and wide poured in gold ashrafi’s and jewels, treaties for chunks of land and every which way the rich could sell himself to be a mere pauper. It was a prize veiled thus far in the decoy of losing to a less esteemed clincher. None succeeded as the lady at her throne observed, absorbed and rejected one, the other and then yet another.

Farthest from the castle in a little shack filled with moonlight at the hem of the city’s limit lived an unassuming commoner. Zaid.
Not for love.
Not for lust.
But a desire to know what eluded a winner from a keeper.
What would a pair of eyes hidden away from the menial grind raptly peer at?
What would a heart indifferent to monotonous ridicule soar at?
What could be the worth of an unfurled soul in tireless wait?

He didn’t know the answer.
He didn’t know how close he was to it.
He didn’t know it came knocking at his doorstep as a monk entering the city straits feebly tapped his humble abode for a glass of water, the price of which altered a few pages of history.

To be continued.......
(Click for Part 2 of 3)

Friday, October 7, 2011

Chashmish kisko bola, huh???

You know that amazing never to forget moment when you accidentally hear an exceptionally nice compliment about you, like some motu aunt exclaim ‘Allah! Kitni pyari bacchii hai na?’
*and then your mind refuses to believe you actually had the audacity to address a sweet moderately healthy woman as motu*
You feel like you’re reclining on a lot of Fairy dish-washing liquid waale bubbles and ethereally floating in the cool cloudy sky.
Yeahhhhh, that uber awesome feeling.
It’s never happened with me.

What really happened is this.
I attended this crash course sometime ago *at the time when exams play tablaa tak-dhina-dhin on your head and you go into a state of Omigod-I’m-gonna-flunk-and-mum’s-gonna kill-me, sort of panic*
So somewhere in the middle of that a *not so good looking to be honest* guy asked his friend if they must clear a subject doubt with the girl in orange *read- me*.
To which the other dude friend said this, ‘Kaun wo chashmish?? Don’t even think! *nods head* She’ll just slap you and keep walking.’

*!!???!! What the what???*
Never mind the above statement makes me look like a total geek or worse still a hapless behenji of sorts. Never mind also, my failure to comprehend why I would slap a poor guy for asking a harmless subject related question.
*I mean do I look like the sort of person who goes around slapping random people??? And what does ‘keep walking’ mean anyway??*
The most irritable thing though, was the use of this word ‘chashmish’. I mean talk about discrimination. Whoever said I wanted free access to that league by complete strangers??

For a start I don't even wear them all the time. A year ago my eye doc gave me this wowwieee news that I need to be wearing specs when reading, at the computer or watching T.V. *which frankly I still don’t understand cos reading is short distance and T.V. is long. Uhh correct na?*
Anyway, this was like my dream come true. Ever since I was in Class 3 I had prayed to God to please please pleaaaase let me have those plastic really really round colourful specs like my friends, so I could keep touching it and act like a total snob.
*Don’t ask. In school, I was just weird*

So after much over-enthu deliberation, bugging the sales lady for about an hour and value addition on how buying something round would make my cheekoo face blow up to look like a ‘balloon’, this is what I bought.

Smart, eh? If you think that way for one teeny beeny weeny moment then you got to see me wearing them and you'd imagine I jumped out of The Flinstones in a black and white TV set. In my defence I was soooo confused.
Also, might I tell you, my family cooperated really well with this new change in appearance.
My bro said- 'Dideee what’s that ‘thing’ on your face!'
Dad said nothing. His expression was a blank stare *read- yuck yuck yuckkkk!*
Mom said- 'Beta aur kuch available nahi tha?'
Don’t even ask me how much I paid for it. Except, well I didn’t. Somebody else did, and I got it for free so it’s cool.

Now after this unwelcome response I seriously pondered over how specs is really a long term investment and I need to focus on delivering my absolute best in term of aesthetics and I came up with this-
Oh right.

*Image Unavailable*

Why, you ask? Because emm
I lost it.
Ok ok. I KNOW I kept it on my bedside table but then under some shady inexplicable circumstances the next day it just disappeared. Now don’t be a baalti and suspect my ability to search stuff. I did. On the table, in the draw, on my head *just in case you know*
Critical analysis- I think somebody stole it. Which btw I take as a great compliment. I mean surely they have more faith in my choice than I do myself. How awesome! \m/

Hence, I bought yetttt another pair and here’s how they look.

Did you just imagine them to be slightly broken?
*bheegi billi expression*
Yessssss, they broke. *buhoo*
But you know this is what ‘experience’ is all about.
Now I know and can even give YOU some serious gyaan on why you must never dump ze pince-nez in ze duffle bag without the fatso Dabba.

Anddd this brings us to my absolute final venture. All the manhoos Dhanno's are out and Raampyari is in!

Honey, I promise to love, honor and cherish thee, 'till death do us part.
O yea!
Purple is the color of this season and that’s what I was gifted last week.
What you thinks??? Tell tell! *tukur tukur expression*

Soooo that’s my specs story. I’m a really low maintenance person that way.
Share your specs story too. If you have one, that is. J

Saturday, October 1, 2011

The (In)eligible Bachelors- Book Review

Yo mehrebaan’s and kadardaan’s, listen up!
A couple of days *or months? I'm not so sure yaar* ago, this girl named ‘Raam Pyaari’ commented on my blog *I hope not by mistake or anything*, which is why I visited her page and *gasp* what do I see?
She is an author! I almost instantly decided she would be my New best- blog- friend and to give the saboot of my never to die pinky dosti, I promised to read her book reallyyyy soon. You may think *yes, you! The one crinkling your nose to read this* that I lied *Ok ok I did, but that’s not important now*

You see Ek baar jo maine commitment kar di, usko do chaar maheeno main poora kar hi deti hoo. *sooper dooper smug*
Given my first class air conditioned coupe like kismat the book came knocking at my doorstep *sunglasses please* and here I present to you a cut to cut review of the same. Yenna rascala! Yenjayy!!

‘The (In)eligible Bachelors’ by Ruchita Misra comes as an ‘inspired’ version of ‘Bridget Jones’s Diary’ with Kasturi, the protagonist, playing not-so-hep-not-so-demure-ish working kudi from Delhi trying to keep up with her perennially harrowed mother who is worried stiff. Why? Because she’s 24. And Single! *hawwww! How horrible!- aise thinks her mummy. not me*

What follows is a series of Mother *India?dwaara arranged muh-dikhaai dates with random wannabe grooms in the form of Vishal, Pita Ji *that’s right*, Komal and Purva. Kasturi however remains disinterested in them given her ‘pehli baar dekha aur louuve ho gaya’ feelings for Rajeev Sir *thy boss mademoiselle*- Greek God incarnate and his growing interest in her only adds fuel to fire.

The chick lit trudges at a steady pace, doesn't dwell too much on mush and has a subtle sense of humor. Rickety at the beginning, it gets a lot better midway as the romantic tale of Kasturi finding true love takes shape and keeps the reader engaged in spurts of funky side artists. The vocabulary is very strictly conversational and doesn't even make a lukewarm attempt at a staged literary contribution *Ok too much to expect. I know. Still. Just saying.*

High points over its breadth would scale from-
The character sketch drawn out for Pita Ji chap. He comes as a delight in the shape of a goofy and irritable geek who by the end warms your heart in a quirky sort of way. If the book was about him alone, I’d give it a five pointer.
Purva too comes across in an endearing neat package for most part of the story. Ananya and Varun, Kasturi's colleagues are sweet and say all the right things at the right times.
Cameo roles in particular are brilliantly creative with 'parents meet parents' setup coming in as a long awaited delight in hilarity.

The low points would stretch a little further I guess.
For a start, the tale is thoroughly stale so a fresh voice may have helped, but that’s hoping for a lost cause.
Kasturi’s personality is hugely one dimensional and never really evolves, mainly because she has no opinion about anything. At best, you get to know she likes Pepsi, is a big fan of F.R.I.E.N.D.S, and loves Maggi *which is weird because she doesn't know how to spell it!*
Bluntly put, the woman is fickle, lacks spunk and is uhh *nail biting expression* Boring! *Yes, I said it*

The alleged Omigod-drop-dead-wowwiee Rajeev Sir isn’t half as drool worthy as say, Luke Brandon and rather platonic in most parts.

Lowestttt point *I mean haunt me for the rest of my life kind of low* being, the book is a product of God-awful editing. Multiple spelling mistakes, poor grammar and typing errors. Yep! you have it all!
Beyond a point you want to shake up the author to say. Hello hellooooooo, it’s-
God* not god
lose*, not loose
Case in point- ‘loose the look’, ‘loose their depth’, ‘loose my way’
Anyway*, not Anyways
Case in point- ‘Anyways, the induction is now over’, ‘Anyways, coming back to LSD’, ‘Anyways, coming back to the doorbell’
MAGGI*, not Maggie for crying out loud!!!!!!!!!!

Anyway, *underline, underline* the book on the whole is good for a light time pass read. If you were to watch Force or Mere Brother ki Dulhan then I highly recommend the book priced at 195 bucks.

At its crux, The (In)eligible Bachelors has a good heart.
Now if only it had a soul.

Star rating - 1 and half *somebody please teach me how to type out a star. No, not the teeny asterisk wala*

This review is a part of the Book Reviews Program at Participate now to get free books!

P.S- @ Raam pyari ji- In case you read this, please FIRE your editor with immediate effect.
And hire me off course. I promise I will work for much, much cheaper. J