Friday, May 26, 2006

Thus Spook Phatichar...

Don't be afraid of ghosts. Remember, they were also human beings just like us.


Funny thing, these horror movies. Some of the most scary are the ones featuring kids in them. Take 'The Others', 'poltergiest', 'Exorcist', 'child's play', 'Vaastu-shastra' and many more for example. And kids aren't supposed to watch them. Do the kids acting in them watch them? I don't know, it's really very strange to think about it. Kids make darn good actors. They can emote naturally, because they're such natural actors in real life as well. 'No mom, I didn't take the cookie from the jar. Honest." I'm sure kids acting in horror movies go watch them, at least during the premiere. Accompanied by their parents, of course (I presume). But the point is - why make horror movies with kids in them at all? And I think the answer is quite natural. Grown ups are so boring, that horror movies featuring them wouldn't scare kids. So make horror movies with kids to scare the adults. I think the basic usp is this. We get scared when something bad happens to innocent people. Unsuspecting people who're vulnerable to violence and fear. And that's what makes the blood freeze. And children are the epitome of innocence, aren't they? Hence, a very successful horror movie. But having said that, and having watched countless horror movies since my childhood (yeah, I'd sneak in once a while), I sometimes feel, we humans are funny beings. We get scared of the unknown, of ghosts and demons and such...but still pay money to go watch them on the screen. It's a good thing ghosts and demons aren't, or don't make themselves present so often in real life. Wonder if that happened...

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Cat got their tongues...

This one's a re-run from my own blurty blog a long time ago. It was dedicated to Khushee. :)

The shorter guy whispered harshly. "Don't touch that."

"Why?" The taller one, who the other guy kept calling 'sting' for whatever reason, replaced the black velvet form on the floor. A small 'mew' escaped its lips.

"Cats are evil", shorter said.

"But he's so...he's so warm" sting said. "And fuzzy." He looked puzzled and even slightly disappointed at having to keep the cat back.

He sighed and continued stuffing the huge gunny sack with other 'important' things like the mantelpiece clock and littered jewellery like a bracelet and ear rings. The owner of these was surely not bothered about theft, it was obvious.The black furry animal blinked at sting once. He smiled in the semi darkness as the two glowing eyes met his.

"Nick," Sting said. "What if the folks come back sooner than we know?"

Nick waved him away. "No they won't. Trust me? Now hurry up and stop gazing at that beast. We've a long night ahead of us. Remember we've to rob at least 5 more houses to keep us going this month."

Sting shrugged and continued stealing. Then something caught his eyes. "hey."

"What?" Nick almost jumped. "Don't you ever scare me like that. What is it?"Sting pointed to the corner of the room, on the other side of the huge bed.

"Yeah, it's a computer. So?"

"Aren't we gonna take that?"Nick looked at it for a minute. It wasn't a very good looking one he decided. Moreover, he had a bigger, meaner machine back in their dump.

"Nah." He shrugged. "It's no good. And nobody's gonna buy it anyway. That's the funny thing about these things. They're not valued for their appearance. or even price. The juice is in the software, memory and such. And this one's a goner" He chuckled.

"You think so?"

"Uh huh."

"Well, you're the boss."

They were almost done. A half hour later they were gone like they'd never come in here. Outside on the dark street, you could hear a 'mew' every now and then from the house.


The local newspaper carried a picture of two local thieves a couple of days later. Nick and Sting. The report said the two were identified by a video of theirs, captured in a webcam.


Salma stroked her fingers gently over the fur as she gazed at the blue light in her monitor. The house slept. She'd logged on as usual to write her online journal and check emails. But the events over the past few days had baffled her. She still didn't have an explanation. The police had had no trouble nabbing the two thieves who'd burgled their house. Her webcam was on when they were going about their job.

"But...I thought I'd shut it off," She'd stammered when the cops had come sniffing.

"But evidently it wasn't, ma'am", the bushy moustached officer had beamed. "You must've been video mailing someone and left in a hurry. Maybe you could ask your cat, he was there." He laughed heartily, his belly heaving.

She frowned.

"Well, thanks to you, they're ours now."

Salma had placed an icon of the webcam on her desktop and all she had to do was click on it. The thing came on. Yeah, she video chatted with her friends now and then, but...she was puzzled. She was dead sure she'd switched off the computer the other evening before heading off for her cousin's wedding. She never forgot to do that. Never. If Devil could speak, he'd say the same thing. He was always watching her when she sat in front of the computer.

She nuzzled her face against Devil's "What do you say, Devil? Did you switch my cam on?" She said, and laughed at her own silliness.

She looked at Devil. He blinked and mewed. She could swear she saw him smile, as he leaped off her lap and settled on the bed, looking at her from there. She turned to her monitor and opened her mailbox.


Wednesday, May 17, 2006

once bitten..

Vanaja was watering the plants when Karthik walked in, his shirt a mess and face all bloodied, and his school bag dragging behind him like a corpse. She dropped the hose-pipe and rushed to him.

"What happened?"

Karthik just looked at her and proceeded to his room. She pulled him back.

"I said what happened? who did this? Who did you fight with?"


Funnily, he didn't seem to be in great pain despite a bleeding lip and bruised cheek. Like some big cat had mauled him.

Vanaja took off his shirt and immediately pulled him to the bathroom.

"I knew it. I knew one day this would happen. Picking up fights with classmates, fighting..are you a boy or are you a...?" She ran the hot water and prepared the scrub, while searching for the Dettol. Then she turned to look at him. His eyes were red, and his lips quivered.

She pulled him close and waved her hand over his ruffled hair.

"Oh, I'm sorry sweetie..."

She held him at arm's length, studying the wounds.

"Does it hurt a lot?"

He nodded.

"Oh, my poor baby.." She washed the wounds and gave him a bath.


"I've told you na chinna (darling in kannada), not to pick fights with the other boys? This time see, it's hurt you so bad."



"I wasn't fighting with the boys."

Vanaja placed the milk cup on the table and sat beside him.


Karthik bowed his head.

"What? Who was it then?" She found her voice rising again. She sighed deeply and turned his chin up.




She couldn't believe what she'd just heard.

"Why would Rinki do this? And why did you have to go fight with her?"

Rinki was Karthik's music school classmate from two lanes down the road. And to think that music wasn't the only thing they practised.

"I was teasing her sister."


"Rinki came to her rescue."

Vanaja looked at her little tiger sipping milk. And then burst out laughing.


Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Eye of the beholder...

Geeta entered the park through the west gate and followed the jogger's path that deviated to the right soon after the entrance. She was in an upbeat mood today. Her ad copy had been accepted by the client last evening, and a round of pats had done her back some good. She inhaled the fresh dawn air and almost smiled to herself. She had also decided to run an extra lap today. She wondered how humans adapted themselves to their surroundings. This was a city she hated four years ago when she landed here on a new assignment. She looked at the familiar faces and smiled. And now, it was all different. She was fiercely protective about the same city now and wouldn't leave for all the wealth in the world. Funny, she shook her head. She would've almost passed by the hunched figure sitting on the bench, had it not been for the distinct actions of his hands. She continued running and turned back. When she came around, she saw his fingers nervously running over the text of the book. And then it dawned on her. Obviously! How could he've seen her? He was reading in Braille. She hadn't seen him around earlier. Must be new to town. She stopped after her quota of rounds and sat beside him. He looked up toward her - through her. She smiled. If it were the movies, he'd have fluttered his eyelashes and asked, 'kaun hai?'. But not now. He just went back to his book, his fingers slowly moving over the pages.



"Oh, hello. I'm sorry, I was so involved in reading.. I.."

"It's ok." She smiled.

"What're you reading?"

"Oh, it's about Zen."

"Really? Interesting."

He smiled. "I'm Arun."


"New around here?" It amazed her how she'd so easily started a conversation with a blind person. She'd never done it before. But there was something about him...


They made small talk for a few more minutes before she rose. She had an early meeting to attend. She wanted to ask him if he needed help out of the park. But she knew how fiercely independent differently abled people were, so she let it be.


Arun was a nice guy with a great sense of humor. Jogging in the park was not just another morning routine for Geeta anymore. She looked forward to meeting him and talking with him. For more than a fortnight, the new routine was she finishing her jog, and then talking to Arun. Then they walked to the nearby tea-stall where he had his tea and cigarette, and then she walked him to the edge of the park, outside. She decided that it was time to call him home and bring him into her circle of friends and family.


"Geeta, it's fine, but..."

"Please Reena, you don't start that thing about him being blind etc." Reena was her close pal at office, who had started out with her around the same time in the city.

"I know, I know..but..hope you've thought about this, hmm?"

"Trust me."


He wasn't there. Her first thought was, "I hope he's ok." And she now felt bad that she didn't know where he stayed. She'd told him almost everything about herself - where she lived, where her parents were, who her friends were, where she worked. And he'd never divulged anything more than his interests, not even his background. She suddenly realized she didn't even know if he lived in this city - he'd never mentioned it. Maybe his blindness had somehow stopped her from being more inquisitive than she'd normally be.

She finished her jog and waited on the bench for more than a half hour, but he didn't show up. She felt a pang of disappointment. She shook herself. "Relax Geeta, don't be so restless now."
He wasn't there the next day either. And the next, and the next. And the next. A month later, Geeta only turned to look at the bench while jogging, but was now sure that he'd gone. But she felt cheated. He could've at least come by to say bye. But then, well, he might've had his own reasons. She accepted his absence and carried on with life.


Sunday afternoons were the most boring, according to Geeta. As she flicked through the channels, her droopy eyes almost closing, the loud door-bell jolted her out of her senses. God, she must have that bell replaced, she muttered, dragging herself to the door.



He was looking different. And she realized he was not looking through her. He was looking at her. Into her eyes. It took her a moment to realize.

She gently pulled his hand and got him into the house, but his eyes won't leave hers.


"Yeah, that's right Geeta. I'm not blind now."

"Uh..." She didn't know how to react.

"I've come to invite you to premiere of my movie this evening."


"Yeah. I play the same character that you saw in the park all those days."

She sat down in disbelief.

"how was I?"


He smiled. "My acting. How was it?"

She didn't reply. She didn't know how to reply.

"We had to wrap up the shoot and the other post production work. So I couldn't come to the park. I wanted to surprise you by inviting you to the movie."

She just kept looking at him.

"It's my directorial debut. It's a small film, but...."

She was staring ahead.

"Geeta. Geeta?"


"Look I'm sorry for all'll come to the movie, won't you?"

He smiled that same innocent smile. She slowly smiled back.

"Of course, I'll Oscar winner" She replied, hitting him gently on his shoulder.


Thursday, May 11, 2006

Ok, now what?

"If you wanna write, write. Don't think". That's precisely how the better half put things in perspective when yours truly cribbed about the 'bloggers block' and all that jazz about not being able to post for so long now. Well, taking a serious cue from that one, I thought, yeah well, if thinking about writing a story on my blog could lock up my fingers from writing just about anything else, then I probably shouldn't blog - I should maintain a diary where I jot down my so called stories and wait for eternity until the next idea strolled up my brain. But for now I'm doing just what the doc prescribed - just write. And this is something we as writers are advised and instructed to do, right from the time we learn that we could do some serious damage with the alphabet. But still we talk about writer's block as if it were some privileged five star condition that only we were entitled to. "Oh, I have writer's block." The common cold feet.

Wondering, should I post what I just wrote?

What the... well, here it is. Now it's just a matter of 'just writing' everyday. Hmm? I feel better already.