Friday, April 29, 2005

pen friend

Years ago, and I mean yeeeears ago, I used to have a pen friend. Of course all of you know what a pen friend is, so I won't waste our time here. But yeah, I was chatting with another friend this morning and we suddenly remembered this person. Now, there's a funny story behind this friendship. I was in the 6th or 7th grade, don't remember which one. At home, we used to subscribe a comic book called Tinkle (again, won't waste time here). And those days, they used to publish a stamp-sized b&w photo of boys and girls who were pen friends and generally wanted their names to be known to other 'wannabe pen friends'. So, well, here was the picture of a grinning boy who struck me as pen-friend material. He liked reading comics, especially Tintin (Oh boy, tintin..evokes some strong childhood memories there. Another post, sometime...). That was enough for me. And the best part was, this guy was from a neighboring city, which I frequented. Ah, we could exchange tintin comics and I could get to read all those tintins and asterixes I'd missed. Yippee! So I shot a card and hey, what do you know, he replied! Many inland letters and postcards later, I finally got to meet him. He was quite like how I'd imagined he would be. It was great. Surprisingly, that was our first and last meeting. But our pen-friendship lasted 2 more years. And then I'd to move down south to a boarding school. Our letters came down in numbers and finally, we faded from each other's existence. I don't know what happened. It happens, I guess...

About 11 years ago, this guy surfaced in my life again, though not in person; only in name. Through a classmate of mine in college. Apparently these two guys were also pen friends and the whole connection was re-established through the mention of Tintin comics. They'd parted ways as well after a year or so of correspondence.

*Sigh*. Those were the days. Was fun, I swear!

I mean, today we have the internet, connecting literally billions across the world. I speak with you guys like we've known each other for years and it's good fun too. It feels nice to belong to a community of people. We write, connect, share feelings; it gets all mushy at times.

Pen friendship just got a step ahead. But it's not the same anymore.

Thursday, April 28, 2005


"Can you remember a smell? Can you really really feel the smell in your nostrils and recall it on will? Ever tried it?"

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Mush ado about nothing

My friends are always asking, "Why do you mostly write crime/horror stories?"

You know it's really strange, cause I'm such a different guy in real life. I like to crack jokes and generally pun any word that comes my way (I know it's an awful habit; I'm trying, I'm trying).

Well, I HAVE written a couple of other stories, but...yeah well, I like the crime genre. But I also like romantic comedies. As in movies. So I thought, 'why don't I write a romantic shortie for a change?' You know, when it comes to shorties, (I'll tell you why I call a short story that sometime later), I've always been rrreal economical with words. I don't like beating about the mulberry bush a lot. I like to eat the mulberries straight off, without further ado. And it's easy to do that in crime fiction. But romantic shorties are tough to write. But no harm trying. Let's see where this whole thing goes. And oh, if you feel I should go back to crime, just say so, huh?

I Got The Wrong Mail

"Hmm, that's funny." He picked the flat parcel up and turned it in his hand, the frown on his forehead making a 'w'.
The address was indeed misleading and obviously, Mr. postman didn't know there wasn't any 'Shilpa' in his house. But the parcel looked important and he didn't want somebody waiting eternally for it. He bent over the gate to see if the postman was still rummaging in his bag somewhere on the street, but there was no sign of him.


'Ding dong!'
An middle-aged person stood in front of him, with 'what-the-heck-do-you-want' written large on his pudgy face.
"Uh, sir, I believe this parcel is for you. The postman dropped it at my house by mistake. I...I live four houses from here."
The man almost snatched it from his hand and looked at it. Then at him. And then back at the parcel. He raised his eyebrow slightly, as if acknowledging the act and stepped in, closing the door.
So much for playing the samaritan. If Shilpa's father was like this, he wondered how she would be. Hands in the hip pockets, he walked out.


He'd been watching her ever since she walked into the library. "She's cute." And oh, she was headed this way now. She was browsing the english section, her slender fingers flicking the dvds gently. She was humming a tune. He slowly walked toward her and stood beside her, muttering some titles and flicking dvds himself. He could tell she was looking at him, but he didn't turn and continued searching. And then it happened. They reached out for the same title. The usual, 'you first, you first' later, he gave in. She smiled thankfully.
"I'll be returning it tomorrow."
He shrugged, "Oh, that's ok."
She looked at him for a fleeting second and left. Did he notice a naughty knowing smile curling at the corner or was he imagining? But no time for that...Oh no! She was leaving, she was leaving. And he was letting her go. "She gave you a chance to talk and you blew it, you idiot. You should've asked, 'when tomorrow?'"
She was climbing her two wheeler now. "Do something! Run out. Raise your hand. Something." But he stood glued.


She didn't turn up the next day. He rented a dumb flick and walked out of the library.


Nope. Not even the 2nd day. Forget it.


He stood at his window, watching the rain. The steam from the coffee did wonders to his nostrils. He drew in the cool air and sighed loudly. He looked on in silence. Then, the gate opened. He craned his head to see. He couldn't believe his eyes. He gulped his coffee and rushed to the door.
"Uh, hi..."
She folded her umbrella and stood there looking at him, smiling nervously. The water vapour gushed in from behind her.
"Oh..uh, sorry. Come in. Please."
She stepped in, smiling nervously, the video title in her clenched hands. He led her to the living room. They sat down.
"Here," She held out her hand. He took the video title.
"You shouldn't have...I..I'd have picked it up from the store anyways."
"You wanted it bad, I know. You waited two days for it."
Now, wait a minute! How did she know THAT? Was she...? He opened his mouth to ask, but remained silent. "Who the hell wanted the title ?", He wanted to say. He smiled instead.
" did you know I lived here?"
"The same way you figured out which house the parcel should go to."
It took him a moment to realize. And they both burst out laughing.
"I watched you from my window. And the parcel which came was a dvd I'd ordered online."
There was a moment of comfortable silence.
"So how come I've never seen you before?" Not that he was an old timer here, having moved into the locality only a year back.
"I was on an assignment abroad." She smiled. Ah, the dimples.
He settled back in the couch. This was going to be a long afternoon.


Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Just do it...

Rerun of a thought which I posted in blurty long back:

Don’t do it. But if you do, don’t repent it. Don’t do it if you feel no matter what, you will ultimately repent for it. But if you end up repenting not doing it, then first think about the consequences that would have resulted by way of your doing it. Do it if you are absolutely sure that it wouldn’t really harm any body or you and that you might not repent it after a long time, cause time has a way of healing things. But you know deep in your heart that even if you were tempted to do it back then, you resisted doing it. And that’s a good thing. But then again, you might repent not doing it. But now it’s too late. You cannot do it. So bottomline – you wanna do it, do it.

Monday, April 25, 2005

esreveR psycology

Reverse psychology works on kids most times, has worked on my daughter on several occasions, but not always. Lessons learned over the weekend:
Me: Don't eat this one, it's not nice. *making a face* - pthoo, pthoo...yechhh!
Aayushi: why? Appa, why?
Me: It's not nice, uggh..
Aayushi: (looks at the bowl thoughtfully and my heart does a bungee jump. She's gonna eat it now. Yay!!) Give..
Me: No. Not good..not nice...don't eat.
Aayushi: I want to eat. Give.
I hand over the bowl to her and she digs in a spoon or two. My wife enters the room and stands still, looking at us with a curious expectant smile. (Ah, that smile...)
Aayu looks at us both and almost instantly, together we realize the mistake. We were smiling at each other. (Drat!)
She pushes the bowl. "Yeah, appa. Not good - yechhh!! You are right. Not nice. Uh huh..."
So much for reverse pyshology. Duh!

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Kahan se kahan tak

Nothing like driving in a drizzle, listening to some great music, huh? The countryside does wonders that not even some drugs could achieve. You know, listening to music while driving is truly therapeutic. I’ve blogged about it in blurty once. I wonder when this beautiful thing was created and by whom. Speaking of which, if you guys’ve seen ‘history of the world’ by Mel Brooks, there’s a hilarious explanation to how this thing called ‘music’ came about. There are these 9 to 10 cavemen standing in a row with one of them their band-leader, or conductor…whatever. Now what this guy does is he…and yeah, all of them are holding rocks over their heads and so is this guy. And this guy drops the rock hard on his feet and cries out in pain. The others follow suit and lo and behold – a symphony, cause each has a different voice in which to yelp or howl in pain. Heh. When I write it here, might sound silly, but you’ve to watch the scene, with their facial expressions and the different pitches in which they let out the howls. But you know, comedy aside, sometimes I do get into those curious trances when I wonder how things really started, and who or what started them. Look around you. You will find a zillion things you won’t give a second thought about, but if you consciously pick ‘em up one after the other, and think of them…

Yeh post kahan se shuru hua aur kahan jaa raha hai, yaar..!

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

What? can't hear you...

Ever wondered how irritating it would be to have background score in real life? Imagine...

Monday, April 18, 2005

You are...?

The_hitman: Hi, gorgeous!
Rose: Hi
The_hitman: asl?
Rose: You first
The_hitman: male, 35 years
Rose: Oh..
The_hitman: Why? Am I too old for you? *wink*
Rose:, nothing. forget it.
Rose: So...what do you hit?
The_hitman: Excuse me?
Rose: Your user name...
The_hitman: oh that! :)) Yeah, I am a hitman
Rose: What is that?
The_hitman: You don't know?
Rose: Why would I ask?
The_hitman: Be prepared, you might get scared. But you should not...
Rose: Tell me first.
The_hitman: I do contract killings...
A beat
The_hitman: I told you you'd be scared.
Rose: No
The_hitman: Really?
Rose: Yeah.
The_hitman: wow, I like courageous women.
Rose: lol

A week later...

The_hitman: So, how's it like being in a travel agency?
Rose: Better than being a killer (if you are one, that is) :)
The_hitman: Lol.You know what, you are a nice girl, I'd like to meet you.
Rose: And kill me? ;)
The_hitman: Come on, be serious. Can we meet?
Rose: That depends...
The_hitman: Depends on?
Rose: On one condition. You should tell me all about your profession. I want to know more.
The_hitman: Forget it, it's not for women like you.
Rose: Look, if you want me to meet a hitman, I might as well know more about his profession, no?
The_hitman: Hmm, you have a point. Ok...

The next evening, this time face to face...

Rose (sipping coffee): You don't look like a hitman. (Giggles)
The_hitman: Well, you do look every bit like a travel agency executive.

They smile. An hour later, they're walking down the road, feeling the gentle evening breeze on their faces.
"So what are you really?"
"Come on, I know when I see men. You cannot be a hitman."
"Is it written on a hitman's face that he's a hitman?" He laughs.
She laughs, but is serious the next moment. "Tell me".
He watches the traffic silently for a minute and sighs.
"Ok, I might as well tell the truth, why fib? I'm a builder."
"You could've told me that straight away, the other day."
"Yeah, I know, I should have."

They walk and talk for another half hour and walk back to the parking lot inside the empty compound. It's late in the night now.
"So being a builder is equally dangerous, hmm?"
He smiles. "It is. But we have to take our risks."
She smiles and nods in agreement.
"Do we get to meet again?" Mr builder asks.
Rose smiles. "I don't think so."
"Why?" He puts on his best smile.
She doesn't answer him. She gets on her bike.
He looks at it for a moment, unsure. "Hmmm, that's quite a ride for a travel agency executive."
"How can you be so sure I'm an executive?" She smiles mysteriously now. In fact he's a little uncomfortable with that smile.
"Yeah, told me..." He smiles, but barely manages...


The little pea sized hole in his forehead looks like a third eye, written by a cartoonist. She looks around and then down at him.
"Am so sorry we cannot meet again. You were kind of cute. But you know what, I have to take my risks too."
Then she kickstarts the bike to life.


Thursday, April 14, 2005

Cell, baat karte hain..

The other day I heard two guys talking in the loo. Yeah..I heard, didn't see, heard 'em. They were sitting in adjacent pots and went yak yak yak.."parsing, truncate, trigger..." and on they went. "Programmers. They will talk code anywhere", I thought. But then I paid a little more attention. They were talking into their cells. Because while the first guy was still talking about binaries, the second guy had started talking about some movie.

walk down memory lane

Isn't it heartening to talk about places of childhood, days at school and all our old friends? And what joy when we get the email ID or cell no. of an old chum with whom we used to climb trees and play hide and seek, hmm?

Monday, April 11, 2005


The other day, watching a CD-rom of nursery rhymes, my daughter asked 'but why did jack fall and jill come tumbling?' Apparently, the 'hill' in the CD didn't look very slippery so my li'l one figured they could've as well walked happily back.

Err..any answers?

Friday, April 08, 2005

Well, now...

Am not able to get myself to blog the past couple of days. I hope I'll be back on my fingers the next week. Am pasting this shortie from a past blog. Some of you might've read it, some mightn't. I wrote this at a time when I was on a 'crime-thriller-genre-spree'. My 'Tequila shot' was the first of the series. Not that I've written a great many shorties in this genre, but goes.

The Mourning

She picked up the receiver on the third ring and was about to say 'hello'. Cross connection. She recognized the male voice, her husband's. The other was a female voice, unknown.
"You'll have to be patient, Priya. See..."
"Don't you priya me. You know I've waited long enough."
A pause.
"4 years, Hemant. Four long years. Isn't that enough?"
Her blood froze as she heard the two voices pulling at each other inside the instrument. Then suddenly she remembered she had to breathe. She cupped the mouth of the receiver and let out a long, shivering sigh and continued listening.
"Ok, enough of all this. When are you going to kill her?"
"Shh, Priya, not on the phone. Please don't talk..."
"ok, ok. but when?"
A long pause. Long enough for her eyes to fill.
"Don't know. I'm very busy these days. Maybe next week."
"You're lying. You can never do it."
"No,'s just that..."
"You can never do it, Hemant. Admit it."
"No. NO, I can."
"Ok, I will wait. But next thursday...I want to see myself at the mourning."
And the line died.
She had to virtually tear the receiver from her ear and replace it on the cradle. It felt like a dumb-bell.
The house was crowded with mourners. Some wept quietly into their handkerchiefs. Some sobbed heavily. Others looked on, gravely. Priya dabbed her bloodshot eyes and sat in a corner, looking shocked. A hand on her shoulder jolted her. She looked up.
"You are here, Priya. Mourning...and it's thursday. I hope your wish is fulfilled now. That's what you wanted, right?"
Priya sniffed and looked on in disbelief as Asha rose and walked slowly toward Hemant's large garlanded photo.

Thursday, April 07, 2005


Blank. Blank. Blank.

Monday, April 04, 2005


Gangster flicks. Modern day cowboy logic. The one to draw first, lives. When I watched Godfather the first time, I was thrilled by the easy killing, the macho dialogue and the blood spurts. It was so easy to deliver justice. Just kill the person and 'poof'. I thought that was the coolest thing to do to someone you disliked. Thankfully there was my father to anchor me firm on ground. I had questions. My dad had answers. But some questions still lingered. Of course most of those were answered as I grew up, watching not just many other gangster movies, but also reading and learning about their lives. If you look at it, it's all got to do with our basic animal instincts. Survival of the fittest. These guys do it raw, direct - eye for an eye style. Others outside the 'underworld' do it differently. They kill souls, lives and even our morales. But there's a strange jungle rule to the way we live. Being humans, it's only natural to build it all around civilization and blame it on upbringing, culture, values etc. But bottomline. Get ahead or get killed. The moral questions about 'rights' and 'wrongs'get blurred in the underworld. There's no such thing as right or wrong. There's only this or that. Live or die. Black and white. Actually life in the underworld is much more clearer about that than in other areas where there are more colors than in a 17 inch plasma color monitor. So much that it stinks after a while, trying to assume colors that put you in a 'good' color, one that appeals.
So am I saying, be a killer? And take an eye for an eye? Well...