Wednesday, August 31, 2005

guts & glory

We never think about certain things in life, do we? How's it that the newspaper never (well, almost) fails to fall in front of our doorsteps.The milk packets that make their way into our homes. Several things, fresh produce from the farms, petrol, medicines and other essentials. They are just there for our consumption, right, come rain, come shine? It rained heavily last night, sorry no milk. Rarely hear such things, huh? (Maybe Mumbai was an exception this time) Forget milk, the newspaper? Those guys brave all kinds of weather to be up and about much before the Sun is up. Just so you get to read your favorite comic strip on time. Says a lot about guts, grime and will power huh? Yeah, for them it's just another day at work. And you might say, someone has to do it. Yeah, why them? Why not us? Oh we're 'well read' 'well bred' and all that...When I sometimes grumble at my work place, I think - what if I were a paper delivery boy? Perhaps I should've. Then, no matter how much I read or which business school I attended, I'd be a more gutsier guy than any kick ass manager in the world. And then, perhaps that'd be my real education.I feel it's not the degree. It's the degree of hardship you face that teaches you some of the most valuable lessons of work, leadership and management.

Street smartness. Will get you through anything. Well, almost...and that's enough, ain't it?

Wednesday, August 24, 2005


If dog bites man, it's not news, but if man bites dog it is news. And if man bites man? Stop press!Some guys are prone to things naturally. Like my friend who's naturally prone to dog bites. I mean, dogs like to bite him naturally, I mean...dogs bite him frequently. I mean...forget it. This is the 2nd time in three months. "Saale, kutta tere ko kaata ke tu kutte ko kaatne gaya?"Might be, he says. You know, as kids we'd be scared shitless of dog bites not because of the bite itself, but because of the aftermath - BIG SYRINGES pierced in your stomach. Gosh!But now I heard it's less scary. The syringes have shrunk in size as well as numbers. Well, looks like the dogs know that too.

Let's not even talk about snake bites today.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

'Aao twist karein'

Someone asked me the other day, 'hey, why are there only murders and deaths in your stories?' That got me thinking. Though my answer to that question was '', I asked that question to myself. Indeed, why do I write morbid stories? Certainly not for the attention. Stories, especially on my blog, which has a select audience, will be read anyway, good or bad. And honestly, I'm nothing like any of my characters in real life. Am the usual everyman kinda guy leading a normal life. So why? Well, maybe the 'twist' is what sets my mind thinking. When I look at people around me, hear them talk, watch them go about doing their bit, I always think, 'what if that happens now? What if..?" And it's this 'what if' of life is what gets my pulse racing and the next moment it's there on paper, errr...on my screen, in the form of a story. I guess now it's become my style to twist the stories in the end. And I prefer a morbid twist. Of course, a romantic story can have a twist as well; a sad story, a funny story...any story can have a twist. But maybe I've just not thought about it. Maybe I should. Maybe I will. I will write the lighter side of twists.

This time round, kill someone with a lighter... perhaps. Hehehehe (diabolical chuckle).

Friday, August 19, 2005

Sisters, mangled dolls and raksha bandhan...

When my sister was born, my dad was quite happy. Contented. A few years later, my mom wanted to have another baby. “But we’re doing just fine. Why do we need another one?” My father asked. Now, he wasn’t being rude or anything. Only puzzled. Not that he had anything against a second baby, but…that was his opinion. He was happy with a single child. Not my mom. She wanted another. “I want a boy. And something tells me this time round we’ll have him.”My dad’s a scientist. So you can well imagine his reaction to that ‘intuitive’ sentence. But well, they went ahead and had another one. Me.

My sister was one of the most over-protective big sisters in the locality. “Give him back, your one minute is over.” Yeah, THAT over protective. And as a small kid I’d tag along like a pooh doll wherever she went. And she didn’t mind one bit. She’d bully me, boss over me, give me a dressing down, but in the end, I was her li’l brother, her ‘puppy’ as she’d call me lovingly.
Some boys are destructive by nature. Well....most are. No prizes for guessing what I was. My sister had a doll with lovely hair. One day she returned from school to find Persis Khambatta of Star Trek instead of her beautiful doll. Awash in tears, she ran to mom. When they stood over me, my answer? ‘But it’ll grow right back, won’t it?’

When in her 6th standard, she went away to boarding school. She’s been an independent person all her life and the fact that she’d have to live hundreds of miles away from her parents and little brother did sadden her, but didn’t break her. She wanted to be a dancer. And she’d do anything for it. Kalakshetra, Chennai. She trained in Bharathanatyam (A classical dance) and completed her post graduation after ten long years at boarding school. Of course she visited us twice every year. I think only once dad went all the way to Chennai to bring her home. The next time on, she was on her own. ‘I’ll be fine, appa,” was all she said. My father agreed. He was confident about her. She was his ‘big’ girl.

I myself was in boarding school for 5 years. I’ve never thought about my 'akka' (big sister in our mother tongue) and me consciously. We were a pair of ordinary siblings. We’ve never been very expressive about each other’s love. But during our teens and adolescence she was always there to guide me when I needed a ‘girl’s’ point of view. There’s not been a single raksha bandhan when I’ve not worn her rakhi. Not one. The distance never mattered. Though she’s never lived with us throughout she’s always been there. We’ve had our fair share of childhood escapades. Thrashing from parents. But we’ve never really lived together for an extended period of time.
I guess distance makes the heart grow fonder. And in my case, this distance has always made me respect my sister that much extra. Love her that much extra. To me she’ll always be my loving ‘akka’. And I’ll remain her ‘puppy’. I'm always there for her, and she for me.

Happy Raksha Bandhan, big sis.. And yeah, I received your rakhi, as always. A day in advance.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Stop thief...

He heard footsteps in the hallway and froze. The next moment, they faded away. The kitchen light came on. At least that's what he assumed. There was the bathroom right next to it, but who'd want to take something from the bathroom? He watched the shadow in the light that crept in through the bedroom door. He looked around. A sharp object. Quick. Anything, blunt, long, thick. He unplugged the fancy bedside lamp and pulled it, clutching it hard. He just hoped the loud click when he did that didn't reach the other pair of ears. He moved to the door and stood right beside it, waiting. He didn't want any surprises. He waited a good one minute. No sound. No footsteps. What was this guy upto? He tiptoed through the hallway and peeped into the dark living room. There was a loud crack. Funny, when did that bright star appear on the ceiling? Then he slumped to the floor.


"Hello police station?"

"Yes. I just caught a burglar in my house."

"What? No...I've tied him up. Yes, yes..please. Thank you."

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

dishoom, dishoom!

Watched 'Amar Akbar Anthony' for the nth time yesterday. Know what, they don't make those kinda movies anymore. You know, the picture perfect family ending at the climax, but before that a mad 'pow wow' all out wrest fest between the goodies and the baddies. Ah, pure fun! The best part is the 'table turning' that happens so smoothly. Gun pointed at the baddy, the next minute, someone slips on a banana peel that the director's assistant carelessly threw on the floor and presto! The gun jumps to the baddy's hand. And then finally our 'hero' manages to tickle the badmaash and snatch the gun yet again. And then the rest of the heroes (don't even bother counting) take the cue and immediately start the fist-blist. Pow! Biff! Bang! Ouch! Even the oldies leaning on the villain's hands get an adrenalin rush and badger the goons who suddenly transform into circus bufoons. And then u have the court jersterish comedian who turns the entire exercise into a mime show, the buffoons all to eager to cooperate. The heroine, fresh after a bout of calisthenics and music dances happily on the villains' heads. Slap! Slap!The heavy duty 'gymmer' goon falls like hollow timber at the mere wave of her hand. Ah, what fun!

But wait, there's more. The cops who're waiting outside patiently finally barge in with the works - whistles and bullets. Good wins over evil at last. And finally - Say cheese!

Manu desai, where art thou?

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Only you...and me, and everyone else.

If you've done some introspection lately, you'll realize that not much has changed about you. In terms of your inner self. Externally yes, a lot would've changed! Let's not even go there - appearance, responsibilities, financial status, marital status, parenthood and all that blah, blah...that is the circle of life and most of us (most...) have to go round it. But...have you ever felt this? I mean, your thoughts, your basic thoughts remain the same. Of course, as you grow older in this life, most of those thoughts become memories. "Ah, I used to think that way too" or, or smile at a youngster and think "teenage." But that aside, what you are, you're the same. And in that sense, you don't feel a day older than school. Yeah, every now and then, along comes an event or person to remind you to 'play' your real age, your exhibited self. But that's it. When you're alone driving, smoking, lying in bed or even sitting on know what, every morning, you are back being the kid, the thoughts playing hide and seek with themselves. Your 'real' opinions about things, which are not much different from when you were a ...say, 10 year old peep from your mind. And it's remarkable how our body is actually shielding our real self, like an astronaut's gear. Insulating it and keeping it warm. And you carefully treasure that self day in day out. Looking at it every now and then, taking a peek at it when nobody's looking.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005


Remember jhankar beats? Not the movie, the REAL jhankar beats, the tunes that were remixed with the same. Yeah, Kumar Shanu, Nadeem Shravan and of course, how can we forget Gulshan Kumar? (He's still presenting albums, so say the promos!) Where from, up there I guess? Well, anyway, the point of the matter is, yesterday I happened to listen to this old number in a tea-shop (jhankar beats and all) and my memory revved up on all cylinders! The first thing back in those days, whenever I heard these songs, that came to my mind was that of a music composer collectively holding all the accompanying instruments and beating them on a washing stone, much like the neighborhood 'dhobi'. It made that kind of a sound - 'Thup-jhunk, thup-jhunk, thup-jhunk', interspersed with those legimes that you hear in popular bhajans. Oh boy!

Remixes? Not for me. Ummm, well some of them are kind of catchy..but gimme an original any day.