Saturday, May 28, 2005

"rain rain, don't go away..."

(Pleasant rain outside...this story just kind of sprung up in my head).

It was five in the evening and the one kilometer walk to the library was turning out to be really pleasant. It was then he felt the fat drops of water fall from the sky like these huge marbles being dropped from atop a building. He looked up, squinting his eyes and had to bring his head down the next instant. He found a shelter nearby and started to head for it.

"Hey, let me enjoy this."

His feet stopped. It had been a long time since he got drenched. The last time was when he was a small kid, returning home from school, all drenched. He'd dance and jump with glee, splash through the small puddles in the road. He always loved the rains for that and probably was the
only little Johnny who wished the rain won't go away.

Now he stood on the pavement, as amused onlookers in cars and rushing bikers looked at him. He smiled back and then turned his face to the heavens, enjoying the shower, spreading his hands, trying to take in as much as possible. And for the first time, he felt the need for his beloved to be beside him, enjoying the rain with him. Only trouble was, he didn't have a
beloved. He didn't have anybody in his life. He stood for a second mulling over that fact, as he wiped the drops of water off his face. He'd always wished he met the girl of his dreams on a rainy day like this. He ran his hands through his wavy hair and looked up again, as if reminding God about this small favor.


He had barely got down from the auto when she came running from the building.

"Auto? Bus stand?"

He looked at her. She looked at him. What kind of girl was she? Can't she see he was still sitting inside? He got down and reached for his hip pocket. He could feel the girl brushing his elbow and getting inside.

"Excuse me, I'm not done yet."

She just put her hands up, not saying anything. Some thick skin, he fumed.

He started up the stairs and started planning ahead for the day, going over his schedule once again. And then it hit him. He turned back and ran down the stairs, almost running over a short, stocky old man. He muttered an apology and tore past the front gate on to the main road.

"Shit, I didn't even note the number." And why would he, the auto guy hadn't knocked him down. Well, the girl had, almost. He held his head, thinking fast.

Please, not on a Monday, he prayed the auto would return. But it didn't.

A hand on his shoulder made him turn. Anil.

"What's up?"

"Arre, I left my bag in the auto yaar. Stupid girl, rushed him off."

"Anything important in it? I notice you normally have only your lunch box and novel in that. And why did you take an auto today?"

"That's a long story. Now how do I locate this guy? I had my presentation CD in it. Owl's gonna kill me." Owl know who.

It was as good as gone, they both decided. Both the bag and his promotion.


Later that evening. He sat at his computer, staring at the copy of the presentation. If Owl hadn't fallen sick, he would've. Saved by a rat's whiskers. He looked out the window. Dark clouds had loomed up again. He sighed at his narrow shave and nodded. His cell rang.

"Yeah?" It was an unsaved number.


"Yeah? Who's this?"

"I think I have your bag."

Oh great. Ms. rush hour.

"Yeah, it is mine. If you'd been a little patient this morning, I won't have left it in the auto. Can I come get it?" He still wondered how she got his number.

There was a beat on the other side. He raised his eyebrow. Probably he shouldn't have said that. Oh well.


She'd said Coffee day. Here he was. No sign of her though. He could not forget that face in a hurry. She'd insisted on telling him how he looked but he'd had not patience. "I'll recognize you" was all he said, hoping she'd remember him too.

He paced outside impatiently. And then he saw his bag. Inside the cafe. Ah!

But...the girl wasn't her. strange, he thought and stepped inside.

She stood up. "Gautam?"

She was a different girl. "Yeah." He felt awkward. And now he bit his tongue for having said all that to her.

" I thought..."

"Yeah, that was Asha, my sister. She'd left the bag at home and gone. I guess your novel made her pick it up. I'm sorry. I saw your CD in it and thought maybe..."

"Yeah..But it's ok. Thanks." He smiled. How did she get his number?

"I got your number from the business card in your bag."

He wondered, when he'd slipped his business card inside the bag.


They walked out a half hour later.

"Can I drop you some place?" He volunteered. That was the most he could do.

"No, it's ok I'll walk."

He looked up.

"It might rain any moment now, are you sure?"

"I love getting wet in the rain." She smiled, looking up longingly. He smiled.

"Hey, me too."


He nodded, smiling. And then it poured. They were drenched in less than a minute. But neither moved. They just looked up, enjoying it. He was actually thanking someone.

Friday, May 27, 2005

untie and die...

You'd think wires and cables have lives of their own. And believe it or not, each time I have to unwind cable of any kind, my mind goes into this weird paranoic loop where I fear that I'll never be able to undo the damn thing and somehow it will end up wrapping itself around me in the process and crush my bones to powder. Ok, that was a little too much..but nonetheless that fear is always lurking at the back of my mind. Especially when I sit in the bus and take out my FM player's headphones. Somehow a knot seems to be sitting there, waiting for me to undo it, like a kid waiting on it's mom to do her shoelaces. And this, despite the fact that I'd have wound the headphone wire carefully and these days, I even retain that plastic bit that holds the whole thing together neatly. Somehow when I untie the reptilian being, there's that knot, smiling at me.

And let's not even start discussing cables behind my computer and music system/tv/dvd player.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

TJ Pandu

Something I saw a few days back reminded me of this post...again, from Blurty.

The Bangalore traffic police is now trying a hand at Djing…err..TJing – meaning Traffic Jockeying. As if unruly, rash drivers and other violators weren’t enough to fill their cups of woe, these uniformed guys have to now wield the mike and announce safety rules and other stern warnings over the speaker.

‘Hey you red jeep, go back to the white line!’

‘Don’t drink and drive, it’s dangerous for you life’ etc etc..

And at the end of the day, the cheesed out cop’s voice resembles a worn out gramophone record player drawling out tired numbers. ‘dooooon’t driiiive raaashly…’ well you get my point. But I fail to see their point. Fine, educate the drivers, reach out to the 20th driver in the 4th row behind that huge bus, trying to overtake him from the left..but, who’s listening? And what can the cop do if this guy violates the rules anyway? Refuse to play his favorite song the next time he’s stopping by? Give me a break here!! Bad Traffic manners can be turned to good ones by slapping hefty fees, not lulling them to sleep with ‘friendly’ announcements. Duh!

nuts about it...

I don't mind even if our cricketers miss all the catches in a match, but if I miss one peanut falling out of my hand, then it's akin to sacrilege. I mean, come on, it's a peanut, not just any snack. But interestingly I've observed the same phenomenon all over. Nothing disappoints or frustrates more than a peanut rolling under the couch and you can see the most stoic person, on all fours, looking under the carpet, searching for that one peanut.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Me, myself and my blog...

My previous post on readers' appearances has sprung some more questions and thoughts in my mind. Writing has different meanings for different people. Some write because they like to express their thoughts in words. For others, it's a way of communicating. Some write because they...well, like to write. For peace. As therapy. For recognition (not to be confused with comments on other blogs, am talking about authors, wannabe novelists and others) and fame, for exploiting their talent of the written word and so on...bottomline, writing does wonders to the brain. It oils the brain, it helps us think better, makes us feel better and generally makes us confident. But you know I've known a lot of people in my life-time who're excellent writers but clam up the moment they're asked to talk. They just can't speak in the same lucid manner they write. And I guess that's ok, every coin has two sides. And in some cases they're also extreme introverts, but hey, seat them in front of a keyboard and they'd put Jim Carrey to shame with their flamboyance. A case in point. I used to know this one guy at work, a couple of years ago. Silent, mild...he rarely spoke and the time that we did actually bump into each other, we'd exchange the cursory raise of the eyebrow with a curved line that probably resembled a smile if stretched any further. But that's it. I even had this itchy urge to go up and ask, 'err, excuse me but are you undergoing therapy of some kind to improve your speech?' Nice guy. Around the same time I started blogging and soon got to know a lot of 'em. There was this blogger who was comparatively louder than the rest. His comments were filled with !!!! and @@@ and...well, you get the point. Just out of curiosity I sneaked into his blog one day and there you are - more !!!!s and @@##$$s..and boy was he expressive! Funny, loud and at times, excuse me - a little offensive to my taste. And surprise, surprise. Turns out to be our 'I-wanna-talk-but-my-smile-is-in-the-way' guy from my office. I couldn't 'hyde' my amazement at this jekyl. And you won't believe it if I said this, the next opportunity I got, I asked him about his blogging and he just smiled his acknowledgement nervously and the very next day - hey presto! his blog's gone. Poof! Just like that...

Now I don't mean to put off all those people who want to explore their 'other' side blogging. I mean, to each his/her own and it's only fair that they find their means of doing it. But it makes me think, not to mention feed my brain with another idea for a story, and I wonder at this wonderful machine called the 'human being'.

Monday, May 23, 2005


Do you imagine a face when you reply to comments? Do you visualize one when you read someone's blog? How does the mood of the writer determine one's looks? Or for that matter the general tone of one's writing. Cheeky, funny, 'sing-song' kinds, et. Some people are actually very very different outside of their blogs. They might write a certain way, humorous, serious, whatever...but their real persona in flesh and blood is pretty different. They might write very well but might not be very good speakers. And vice versa...

We all have something in common, as writers. And that is an imaginative mind. And naturally a writer has to visualize a lot. We visualize our characters, we visualize situations, things..

But come to think of it, I never really visualized any of my fellow bloggers.Never really mattered to me. Hmmm, interesting.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Death wish...

Yesterday, I watched Final Destination, a 'horror' movie...well, I won't know if you could call it that. You see it was more about dying than the 'after-death'. :) Know what I mean? Having said that it wasn't also a slasher movie. But there WERE a lot of youngsters dying all over the place. The theme was this - Death happens.No matter what, no matter where. And it's really weird how they die. It seems so...donno, justified? One is ironically killed by an air bag, another almost chokes in a dentist's chair, a third is severed from his respirator, and so on, although strange things do happen in real life, some scenes were a little hard to stomach.

We always discuss dying like it were some joy-ride all of us are gonna take one fine day. Don't know, maybe it might turn out to be just that (in case we fall off that roller-coaster), but it has been a topic that's always intrigued me. What would it really be? I've imagined the different ways in which I could die. I mean, final destination was literally a 'death catalogue' if there ever was one; left me with very few choices after I watched it. But I guess death is the only experience that we won't live to tell about. Hmmm...that brings me to the topic of 'after-death'...maybe some other day.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

And the rest(room) is history...

ok, this one is below the belt; literally. We all know that some of the greatest ideas have originated from the know...the loo. So what is it that this place has? Apart from the fact that this is the only place where you are completely yourself, alone with your thoughts. Your fortress of solitude (if only in thought). And if you keep aside the other 'not-so-mentionable' characteristics of a place like this, the rest-room is actually a great case for study, (pun unintended). There've been many anecdotes written and spoken about this room. The walls of public loos are virtually history books (ok, other books too;geography, biology, language...etc.). And for us of the male species, though it's not so much a private affair, the rest-room has also doubled as a 'conference' room, a conspiracy lobby, and many more. It's really funny when we all congregate in the company rest-room, from the trainee to the MD. It kind of levels us. Standing there in deep thought, looking up, looking down (The really tall guys face many embarrassing do the really short ones), looking here and there, whistling, talking on the cell, murmuring...

And here's a loo joke that has not spared even the big B himself, you might've heard it:

Amitabh and Jaya Bachchan are waiting for their flight when the former excuses himself and heads to the restroom. A few minutes later, he returns, drenched and smelling like a restroom himself. An aghast and disgusted Jaya asks him, "What happened?!!!" And the sheepish Mr. B says, "Arre everything was ok until the moment I stepped in. Then, one guy spotted me and shouted 'Amitabh Bachchan aaya, Amitabh Bachchan aaya'! And they all turned."

Err...excuse me now...

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Tee's the truth...

“Don’t just exist. Live.”

Saw this on a Tantra tee-shirt some time back. It got me thinking. I mean really hard. Until a certain point in time, during our formative years, we live. We really live life. Then begins the vicious cycle of doing something in life. Achieving something. Getting there. And doing what? After getting there I mean. And do we really get there? Cuz any goal is really the starting point for another race. Expectations rise. It’s like that mime show where these guys try to pick a hat but their foot always kicks it first, so they just keep following the hat, never really able to pick it up at all.

We work so hard to earn enough and feed our loved ones, our families. Then once we reach that financial summit, work takes another form. It becomes a journey, a kind of challenge to excel at. Ok, I made the big bucks, I have got all the materialistic comforts. I’ve worked up the ladder. Then you look down. Boy, what a ladder! You’re entire life has gone right by. Whoosh! Like that. And then you take a moment and think, ‘heck I’ve been so busy trying to earn the means by which to live, I’ve ended up just existing.” That’s when you stop existing. And start wearing tee shirts with philosophy printed on both sides.

I could go on rambling, but you see the problem is, I have a document to worry about. See you folks. And remember to wear those tee shirts. You never now, you just might inspire someone to live.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Cinema Paradiso

My love affair with the movies began very early in life; when I was a little boy of about 5 or 6. We used to live in this small colony in Bihar (that’s another story, but don’t you get images of a pan chewing, oily haired guy now. ok?) :) Yeah, we were in Bihar. I was born there (though I'm a south indian native) Anywayz, this colony was our world away from the rest of the Bihar and that was a relief, ‘cause it was a mini India and we were quite different from the average Bihari crowd outside of the colony. Since most of us had educated, well meaning parents, we were brought up with the same values.Our colony had a community club that was a favorite haunt for, among other recreational activities, the movies. The main dining / party hall opened out to a backyard that was almost as huge as a football stadium and this was MY favorite place. Come Saturday evenings, and the place would resemble an open air stadium, with steel chairs (remember, those rusty creaky things that electricians still use to fix things?) lined up neatly in rows and columns. The chairs would be evenly lined up with an aisle between them, just like in a cinema theater. When the chairs filled up (which would be around 7 pm I guess), the projector ‘uncle’ would get to business. He had this old 16 mm projector that went ‘whirrrrrrrr’ throughout the movie and added a rare ‘bioscope’ kinda experience to the whole thing. You could find a couple of rows near him empty, unless of course a young couple wanted the noise as camouflage for ‘THEIR’ movie show. ;) Well, anyways, once the projector uncle was ready, the lights would be turned off in the back porch of the dining hall and the small squarish screen in front of us would be filled with lovely images of movie gods and goddesses in their beautiful and colorful worlds. Ah! Bliss.My initiation to the movies started with the short Laurel and Hardy films, old hindi masala movies which had lots of ‘dhishum dhishum’ in it. Then my father gradually allowed me to tag along for movies like ‘The Guns of Navarone’, ‘Where Eagles dare and westerns like ‘The good bad and the ugly.’ Initially I would wonder why the hell he brought me along to such movies that had lines I could hardly understand and that at the drop of a hat the main hero would feast on the heroine’s mouth like it were a fruit to eat. Ugh! J But the raw action in these movies chilled my spines and I got hooked to them after a while. Most kids would be left at home for such shows, but not my dear ol’ man. He would take me along. I thank him for it now. From then to now, I've come a long way. It’s been more than two and a half decades of movie addiction. I can’t even begin to count on my fingers the number of films I’ve watched. And I’ve watched all sorts of movies – from li’l kiddie cartoon shows, to serious ‘off-beat’ stuff to the main stream masala to the short 50 minute movies that the Europeans are so good at making. Small wonder then that I've penned a screenplay. I was toying with this story for more than 2 years now. I’ll have to start marketing it. Know anyone? :)

filmy funda!!

Maine injection de diya hai, baaki oopar waale ki marzi (God help if the syringe wasn’t sterilized properly)

‘Tumne mujhe maara?’ (Lagtha hai phir se maarna padega)

Kutthe kamine!! (how insulting to the dog)

Purane khandahar ke peeche, paise leke aa jaana (Err, woh toota phoota sulabh shauchalay chalega? Humare shahar mein khandahar nahin hai.)

Is bandook ke saare goli (the whole of 20 bullets in a revolver) tere andar daag doonga

Aise mat karo, tujhe meri kasam (what? Awww no, u uttered THE kasam word? Now I’m chained).

Main aapko kaise yakeen dilaoon ki main hi aapka beta hoon? (birth certificate, remember?)

Ek gaana sunao beti (Lata mangeshkar ke aawaaz mein)

Main..main..main maa banne waali hoon (What?? You realized after 3 months? Whatever happened to..err..u know..that..?)

Main tumhe hospital le jaaoonga tumhe kuch nahin hoga (If he’s still talking with 4 bullets lodged in him, use sachmuch kuch nahi hoga, the bullets are fake don’t worry!)

Monday, May 16, 2005

cold milkshake

'chill dude.'

'Bhaaya, kahe ko use doodh bula rahe ho? kya usko doodh jamaane ke liye kah rahe ho?

'Tch, tch,'s not doodh, it's dude. Get it? D-u-d-e.

'Achcha..ab samjha..lekin yeh doodh hotha kya hai?'

'It's like 'yaar'.

"Oh, achcha..ab samjha. To lekin usko thanda hone ko kaahe kah rahe ho? Woh kya bahut garam ho chuka hai?"

"For man, it's like sayin' 'aaram se...aish kar...maze kar..'"

''To ee bolo na.. huh! chill. Ka yeh angreji bhi na..tch, tch, tch..Achcha hum chalte hain. tu bhi dahi jama lena. Aaj kal garmi bahut hai. Aur usko khaana mat bhoolna."


Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Old wine...

The old order changeth, yielding place to the new. This phrase always intrigues me. Even now. It's a universal truth and has to happen. Keeps happening. Whenever I see newcomers in any walk of life gradually gaining experience and then moving on to become old hats in that area, it feels good. I studied in a residential school for five years and now when I look back and compare my first year and final year, the changes I went through, the relationships I built over time, I feel it was all worth it. Every minute of it. The same guys who looked down on me as an outsider, never included me in their gang, are today my close friends, who discuss their problems and lives with me, write emails to me and vice versa. And this whole thing of reminiscing the past, remembering the people I met and grew comfortable with over the years, warms me up from within.

Reminds me of that line from the movie As good as it gets - "Sometimes the people we can't stand, become the people we can't do without".

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Que sera sera

Aayu sat in front of the music system, punching buttons.

Anu: What'r you doing, honey?

Aayu: Shhh, don't disturb, this is ATM. I'm taking money.
(All those green and red LED numbers flickering on the console, I guess)

Anu: Really? *smiles at the li'l one's imagination and goes hugs her*

I watched them quietly from the couch.

Some day, my little one will indeed be drawing real money from a real ATM. When she was an infant, I yearned to hear her talk, walk and generally do all that a kid does. Now she talks nine to the dozen, doing things that make my teeth go all tingly with fatherly affection. Tomorrow she'll grow up to be a sensible & beautiful young woman, having her own life to lead, her own responsibilities towards the world at large. *Sigh*, she'll never be my li'l aayu again. One I used to 'see-saw' on my legs, one who used to swing on my arm, one who'd mistake me for a mountain and go climbing right atop my head (no kidding), the one I'd seat on my palms and play 'spring chair' with; one who climbed my tummy middle of the night and slept, clutching me; one who rode on my back, playing 'elfy elfy'; one whose million dollar smile would immediately make all my worries look like chicken-feed.

I think I understand grandparents a whole lot better now.

Monday, May 09, 2005

sweet nothings...

I have a sweet tooth. And back as a kid, the one thing I just loved doing is, taste a sweet when it was still in the production stage. Errr...I mean when my mom was still stirring that pan, with the intoxicating aroma of ghee, cashew and God knows what else, wafting through the whole house and finally reaching my bedroom. For instance, whenever a cake was baked in the house, I was the official licker of that heavenly concoction of egg, butter and sweet baking powder off the vessel. And hell knew no wrath like mine if somebody else would get to it before I did (mostly it used to be my sister). And in other cases, I was the official scraper. Nothing more fulfilling than scraping the last bits of a dish from the bottom. Yummy! These days, when wifey dearest makes a sweet dish, she makes sure I taste it while in production. You see, she is a great cook (and no, that's not why I married her. We fell in love even before I knew her name) :) and loves to cook. She says, it feels great to cook for someone who loves food. As the cliche goes, 'the way to a man's heart..' and all that; and what's the way to a woman's heart? There's no map there. You just start the trek and be lucky if you reach the destination.

Friday, May 06, 2005


Yeah, men do cry watching emotional scenes. Big deal. I've done it as well. But it all depends on the involvement and the authenticity of an enactment. It might've been a samosa-like lump in my throat, almost choking me to death or it might be tears that well up, on the brink of trickling down (Never reached the bawling limit, thankfully). But it's been a while since I watched a really well played out scene, good enough to have me all red-eyed. They don't make that kinda movies anymore, I guess. But there were a few movies which melted me. And believe me, the tears were real and they appeared with surprising speed. Here are a few that did the trick:

Mahanadhi (Tamil, Kamal Hassan)

Color Purple (English, Whoopi Goldberg)

Rainman (English, Dustin Hoffman)

Goodwill hunting (English, Robin Williams) * Yeah, according to me, this guy was the real star of the movie. I"ve blogged about this scene in blurty. Here's the link:

Ankahi (Hindi, Amol palekar, Deepti Naval) * A small movie, but what performances!

Masoom (The old one...)

Beladingala Baale (Kannada, Ananth Nag)

Lorenzo's Oil (English, NIck nolte). * A lesser known movie, but one helluva story. Moved me to tears. A must see.

There are some more..don't remember now.

Training day

Stuck in a training jam...will be back soon.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

shoppers, please stop! And read at your own risk...

Going to work in a bus has its pluses. A few ticklers I see:

"pried rice" (pry 'em open, dissect 'em and then eat 'em)
"chenise nodules"
"ladies blows stiched here" (ouch!)
"puncher work is done here" (ouch again!)
"vegeteranian food avalibel" (wht 'bout pacific?)
"vecles of all types repairee done here"

Monday, May 02, 2005

Why me?

If most of us think 'why me?', I guess it's not only us. But we still ask that question. I guess deep down, being human and all, it's only natural that we want to be in our respective comfort zones.

But on some days (as yesterday), as if Murphy's law weren't enough, a few other such great lawmakers join hands and shower their blessings.

It's like one of my friends had once twisted this famous phrase aptly.

"Bhagwan jab bhi deta hai, thappad maarke deta hai".

How true. How true...But, why me? Oh, why only me?