Those small little moments..!!

(Sorry, it turned out to be a long post. But couldn't help it. Read it if you are patient enough. No issues otherwise. And it's been a long time. How have you all been, drop in a comment. :) )


I was getting drenched, but for a change I didn’t care. I dragged my foot along the wet mud, got into my grandfather’s old car. Again, for a change, I had the key, so I slid behind the wheel and shut the door after me. The windshield, translucent due to the relentlessly beating rain, showed me a big vehicle parked ahead; a hearse. My grandfather was sleeping in it; it was supposed to be his final journey. The door to my left, made way for my grandmother. She said to me as a tear ran down her cheek- “Follow the hearse to the cemetery.” I put the car onto ignition, clicked the wipers into action and waited to follow the hearse. The wipers danced themselves into wiping the tears off the windshield leaving our eyes craving for company.

Recent Past…..
Firing ‘hate-beams’ over the slices of bread waiting in his breakfast plate, “How can I miss you if you don’t leave…..” my grandfather managed to sing with his broken voice. My grandmother, who stood against the ‘Dressing table’ applying some kind of cream across her face, retaliated by hurling a comb at him. “Thanks for the song, hero!” he waved at me and shoved some more bread into his witty mouth. My grandmother stared at me, and I could notice that fire-balls had replaced eye-balls. So, in an attempt to please her, I said to him- “You are lucky to have such a nice wife, remember.” His mouth was full of bread, so he grunted and coughed.

A few minutes passed by, and I made a face expression suggesting it was getting late and we must be moving.

“Will you have breakfast, or will you keep painting your face?” he asked grandma.

No Reply.

“We have to get going.”

No Reply.

“Dear, can I bring the breakfast and coffee to you?”

“Yes, please.”

He stood, winked at me and said- “I’m learning. I’m learning.”

I drove along, following the hearse, across the wet streets on a cloudy afternoon. The rain had reduced to a drizzle; the world around seemed to have muted itself from us; the silence slowly pinched us into reality. As the drizzle trickled out, I put the wipers to rest and turned to my grandmother. Those tears were much harder to wipe out.

In a few minutes we were ready to leave. My grandfather sat in behind the wheel and blew the horns wildly. I had to rush grandma to the car as she fed my ears with- “What a crazy man your grandfather is!” We got in, and within two blinks, he hit the accelerator and we were cruising along the main-road.
“Do you want directions?” grandma enquired as she emptied a bottle of water.

“Do you mean, in life?”

She chuckled. “No. To the…the..…… never mind.”

My grandfather drives his car like in the American movies, where the hero is running against time to save the world from mountain sized gorillas. I observed, when in the car, grandma sits very silent. I recollect grandpa once giving me this advice- “That’s how you keep women silent. The faster you go, the silent they would be.” Though I took the advice, in this case though, it was my grandpa who needed the plastering. My grandma, on the other side, wasn’t the one to shy away. I remember her telling me- she felt much closer to God when she was in grandpa’s car than during her morning prayers.

Anyway, as he drove along like a rich, reckless teenager, me and grandma sat quietly. In front of us, a school bus made steady progress. The children in the bus made themselves busy by waving at strangers, and cheering when their bus over-took other vehicles and exchanging high-fives. I saw their expressions change as we proceeded past them; I could hear them boo’ing us. My grandfather disappointed my expectations by not waving out at them. Sometimes I exaggerate his childishness.
Anyway, we had to stop for petrol, so we pulled up at a Petrol pump. “This petrol pump is like this car’s own mother. It’s never been fed anywhere else. Ask your grandfather about this, he’ll have something stupid to say about it” my grandma whispered to me. I got down, and as I saw the petrol being pumped into the car, I had a few silly thoughts running through my head. Anyway, once grandpa completed his joke filled conversation with the petrol-guy, we were set to leave. Just about then, the school bus sailed past us, and the children screamed their lungs out cheerfully.

The road was empty and that meant that there was nothing stopping grandpa. It took less than a minute to overtake the bus. For those children, it was like their ‘Games’ period being replaced with ‘Moral Science’. This time, my grandfather waved at them. If I was in that bus, I would be so pissed off that I would have frowned and skipped my evening glass of milk. Anyway, my exaggerated assumptions about grandpa proved to be right, and I dint know if I should feel good or bad about it. Just when I thought my grandfather emerged Mr. Victorious, the car started losing pace. In a few seconds, the car coughed itself to the side and grandpa got down for the surgery. He opened the bonnet, mulled over it and later kicked the grill in disgust. I didn’t want to see those school children dancing over the aisles at our pathetic defeat. None the less I could hear the cheer as their bus whizzed past us. I got out and asked grandpa- “You said your car never gives a head-ache?” He didn’t reply, rather he just closed the bonnet, asked me to sit as he slid into his seat. He put the car into ignition and it roared without a glitch. “This is my car. I maintain it. It neither gives a headache nor a typhoid.” He released the clutch, steered the car along the road to his left and headed along.

My grandfather is not the greatest person since mankind nor did he intend to be one, but that day he exhibited traces of simple humanity. My grandfather, he gave those children some disappointment, then some thrill but ultimately a little moment of happiness. I thought maybe I was making too much of it, but I just couldn’t resist thinking that way. I began liking him; in fact I liked him a lot. I turned to grandma, and we exchanged a simple smile. That smile, somehow I could never forget. It had a story to tell.

Somewhere along the route, it dawned to me that I was driving my grandfather’s car; the one which never gave a headache; the one which he never let me touch. My grandma, next to me, sat too silent for comfort. As I threaded along, following the hearse, which had my grandfather’s body in it, I was flooded with thoughts aplenty. I craned my neck and saw through the rear view mirror something which was the last thing I wanted to see on that day. It was a school bus approaching from behind, full of children involved in their regular activity of cheering and boo’ing. Call it ‘co-incidence; call it whatever, I hated it. I was worried for my grandma. Even as thoughts ran by and emotions ran high, the school bus steadily moved ahead. The children waved at me and signaled a ‘thumbs-down’. The bus moved ahead, now right parallel to the hearse. I don’t know what went through those young, innocent minds, but I was taken aback. They realized there was a dead body in the van; they lost the smiles on their faces, motioned their hands from head to chest in such a way as to offer a prayer, then turned around and maybe started off another game or so. At that very moment, I turned to my grandmother. Amidst all those tears, she gave me another unforgettable smile. This one had a bigger story to tell.

Roshan's back..!!

I jumped off the plane and found that my parachute wasn’t opening. No, in fact I was just knocking at Roshan’s door. I mean, that’s how it would feel standing there knowing that his mom would open the door. In just a few seconds the door cranked open treating my ears with a few silly noises. I would have been charred to death and instantly evaporated (due to ‘shock’), if it was someone other than his mom at the door. I mean only she had to open the door, at least to piss me off. Anyway, as usual she looked at me as if she had wasted her precious time just to open the door for me. She said- “He’s in the room. Sleeping” and vanished into the kitchen. I entered the hall and I felt this weird thought passing through my brain; I felt like I was playing ‘ball’ with a chimpanzee in an American zoo. Don’t ask for further explanations please. Then I noticed Roshan’s 8 year old brother sleeping on the sofa. I felt like watching a Lion making love with a deer. I mean, I never thought that was possible.

Finally I stepped into Roshan’s room and that idiot was sleeping too. I was kissing that chimpanzee by now. As I walked towards him to shake him up, I heard him talking in his sleep- “Sorry ma’am, I didn’t come to school because my grandfather died yesterday……. Oh Last week?? Errrrr… Oh ya, my grandmother died last week……… ohh is it? Then maybe it’s my grandmother’s sister…………” he went on. I thought about the job in hand; how to wake this guy up from sleep? Finally, I grabbed my cell phone and played one of Himesh Reshammia’s nasal growls and Roshan jumped out of his bed like a ghost. He stared at me, rubbed his eyes and said- “Oh, it’s you.”

“Yeah. What were you doing in school man? I thought you would be running around trees with that ‘Air Hostess’ girl.”

“What to do macha! Last night I was thinking about that day when we begged our School principal for attendance. You remember?”

“Yeah. But WE didn’t beg. It was YOU who begged and almost cried.” I reminded him.

“Shut up macha. Otherwise, he would have informed our parents about what we did that day.” He reminded me of things I had tried all my life to forget.

“Hey, how about we go meet them now? Our school teachers I mean. It’ll be nice after such a long time.”

“Get lost. No way.”

In ten minutes, we were in his car heading to school; he was driving and I was praying. He took a sharp right turn and my heart almost skidded towards my ribs. He was not a bad driver; he was a terrible driver. Just when I started thanking god that we were just a kilometer away from our destination, he applied brakes and brought the car to a sudden halt. He turned and stared at me with his round eyes. He looked like the male version of Rakhi Sawanth. He behaved like a pressure cooker, as though invisible steam blew out from his ears. I got scared; I got tensed. I recited my last prayers. I tested my lost voice and enquired- “What’s up? What happened?”

As though like the whistling of a cooker, he exhaled, hit me on my head and said- “Stupid. It’s Sunday today. The school will be closed.” He was right; I felt silly, I felt ashamed. I felt- like a Superman without powers; like a crow without wings; like James Bond posing without pants. On the other hand, Roshan’s face glowed victoriously, as though he had fought the war and won the princess.

Anyway, we just had to roam around the school, literally and head back home. In an hour, we were back at the door of his house waiting for his mom to open. As usual, she never disappoints. She stared hard at me and told Roshan- “One more time I see you wearing that T-shirt, I’ll not let you in.” I knew that was for me. As ever I didn’t care. If I’d cared, by now I would have invited you all for my tenth 'Death Day' celebrations. Anyway, I entered in and Roshan’s brother who had woken up by now was in full action like those dinosaurs in Jurassic Park. As usually he hurled his plastic monkey at me and I dodged it with perfection and grace. But I had enough for the day. I collected my bike’s keys and disappeared from there in 3.2 seconds.

“A day spent with Roshan is called a ‘Stupid-day’. It is also known as ‘Everyday’.”

P.S- Snow, for me is Grey..!!

(I wrote this for Writers Lounge. The theme being 'Winter stories'. It was written with a word limit of 400 words. And for a change, it has no humor. :))

Some kind of a realization dawned. He troubled his old muscles as he glanced up at the somber sky and scratched his chin- “It will only get worse.” His cheeks were sunken and hollow; his eyes depicted poverty. It was Christmas and he was at work; he poked at the far side of the grave with his spade and it split wide open.

I love Christmas, more so for the gifts that continues to flow into the next day, my Birthday. Adoring the season’s first snow fall outside my little window, I awaited my tenth birthday. My dad owns a bakery, my mom’s a school teacher. There’s another boy in my home; dad says he’s my brother. My mom's love towards me is infinite. I love her but I hate my dad. For two reasons- he gifts nicer things to my brother; He never talks to mom. Meanwhile, the snowfall intensified and I noticed mom. She sat in a corner, her eyes, as though set deep inside their sockets. I waited for dad as she sat still, dangerously still.

He cursed the relentless snowfall, which was making his job tougher. But he had to do it, for his living. His face appeared as though it had lived with pain as a constant companion. He leaned over his spade and started to dig again.

My mom hadn’t moved an inch, I got tensed. Just then my dad arrived. He surprised me with a hug and hurried towards mom and put his arms over her shoulder. Her head collapsed into his chest. For the first time I noticed a tear drop down my dad’s cheeks. He shook her face vigorously until finally mom moved. That relieved me; the snow outside appeared better now.

He finished his job of digging, covered his face with a scarf against the snow and waited impatiently.

Within a minute, I saw my mom burst into tears. My dad hugged her and brought her to me. My mom hugged me tight; she didn’t want them to put me into the coffin. I couldn’t hug her back, I couldn’t say I loved her, I couldn’t even cry. The snow turned grey to my eyes yet again.

I had to be taken to the graveyard; the old man was waiting. I made him struggle, but I made his Christmas. My parents, I love them. By the way, my name is Kevin.


When I was SULTAN..!!

“Every day I get to hear some or the other forts falling into his hands. I don’t care what you do, Afzal Khan, my friend, I want him dead.” I said with an angry face, loud voice and a wicked smile.

I was in class 5 when it struck to my parents that they needed to make me Mr. Nice Boy. My mom turned to her colleagues, her Google search, for suggestions. It wouldn’t ‘shock’ me if I’d kissed an electric pole, but it certainly would if her colleagues didn’t have a suggestion to offer or an opinion to share. So, as expected, they sprung into action and suggested a ‘Personality Development’ camp which was to be held far outside the city. Talking about those colleagues, someday I will shoot them and go to jail surely. Anyway, about the camp; we had to camp in for 10 days; we would be woken up at 4 and made to lift our hands and legs; I mean, we were taught yoga. A little of cleaning, praying, eating, sleeping, bhajan-ing fabricated the rest of the day. It was after dinner (at 6.45 pm) that the actual fun began; things like plays and dances. We were split into groups and I fell into a group called ‘Shivaji’. Our group had four guys (including me) and three girls, one of which I would name Miss. Stare, would stare at me at a rate of 30 glances per minute. I didn’t like her.

“I will bring him dead in 24 hours, Sultan” Afzal Khan, who resembled a skeleton promised, bowing down. “I’ll look forward to it my friend” I patted on his cane-like back and let out an evil look. Miss Stare made a signal to me that I had to leave the stage for Chatrapathi Shivaji to enter. I didn’t like her at all.

“I wand you to read this book gombletely today” our group’s new instructor announced in a Mallu accent and handed over the mini-sized book on Shivaji. We gombletely read the book and waited for him the next day. He examined each of us top to bottom; shameless I say. It took him 2.6 seconds to decide that I should be the villain, The Sultan Of Bijapur. The skeleton guy became Afzal Khan and the other became Shivaji. I objected- “Sir, this Shivaji is just half of me.” He showed us that he had a smile and said- “ You dond worry. Shivaji should be simble.” Miss Stare giggled at me until she learned about her part in the play; she along with another girl had to escort the Sultan of Bijapur ( that’s me) to my chair. I explored options as to how best I could piss her off, but ultimately satisfied myself with a teeth-exhibiting smile. This girl gets on my nerves. Anyway, the practice began in full swing. I practiced my dialogues and evil looks outside kitchens, outside toilets, everywhere. Shivaji practiced killing while I and Dr. Skeleton practiced dying.

“Not with me Afzal Khan” Shivaji punctured Afzal’s chest with his cardboard knife, and headed straight to the Sultan Of Bijapur, who was rejoicing with his girls.

The day had come and it was time for me to enter the dais. I wore someone’s churidhar, had a yellow colored half-moon painted on my forehead, tied a cloth around my waist, pushed my wooden sword through it and walked to my chair with the two girls escorting me. I had to walk like a chess champion, as though I had to think deep about my next step. Doing so, I reached the big chair and sat but immediately jumped out like a spring. That damn sword was poking. So got up, pulled it out and then sat. I could notice even the last row of people laughing like mad dogs. But I was a man, whose heart was made of steel. I sprung up, blasted my dialogues blowing off a few ear-drums thereby killing all the surrounding laughter and restored pin-drop silence in the hall (of around 150 people). Afzal Khan walked in wearing something resembling a frock, but again, a man made of steel wouldn’t giggle, so I grabbed the opportunity to shut up; then continued with my dialogues and exited with ultimate grace. My part was surely a hit, I thought. Only thing remaining for me was to get killed by that tiny little Shivaji.

“How dare you try to kill me” Shivaji tripped my foot, held me with my back resting on his arm and pushed his knife into my chest. That was it; I had kicked the bucket; I was dead.

Shivaji was supposed to drop me on to the ground gently but just before he could do that I heard him grasping for breath- “ Hey, oaahhh.. I am not able to hold on…aaaa…” even before he could complete it, let his hands off me and I fell real hard on to the ground. bloody damn idiot.. I wondered what an irony it would create if I got up and killed him. But anyway, the great fall incidentally turned out to be the best part of the play; a blood-pumping action scene.

Later as I was exiting the stage, I observed Miss. Stare laughing like she hadn’t for a decade. God, I hated her.

P.S- Unfortunately, nobody took photographs of the play that day. Leave alone snaps, that damn place did not have a single mirror for me to even see how I looked.

P.P.S- My parents' colleagues are still a pestering lot. What to do??

My Morning..!!

“Monicaaaaaaaaa….. Oh my darling…” RD Burman’s voice trickled through my peaceful ears as the clock struck 7 in the morning. If there was someone who knew how to wake me up, it was my dad. As I struggled through the process of opening my eyes, I noticed my dad standing like a policeman. “Don’t you remember that you have to go give your blood sample for the blood test?” he reminded me. I’m a man of silence and not violence, so woke up and began to make the walk to the bathroom. “Don’t get settled in your white house” another timely reminder. I remained silent and dragged myself into the loo. It was ironical, me being silent. I mean, just before I was woken up, I was having a heated argument with my dad in my dreams. Such a thing is possible only in my dreams, but that’s totally a different issue. Anyway, within fifteen minutes I was ready. By now, my dad was behind the wheel in the car, again Mr. RD Burman’s trumpets going wild. We breezed through the empty roads to the lab.

“Sir 420.” The lady behind the counter appealed to me.

“What (the hell)?”

“Rs. 420 sir.” She smiled.

Once I paid, I was escorted into a small cabin where a woman was waiting with a needle (ok, syringe). She began a search operation; where to poke this fellow. Finally, she smiled, I smiled and the blood was sucked. My God, my blood looked the darkest shade of maroon, almost brown. Finished this ‘bloody’ business with another smile and went back to the car. RD Burman never got tired, nor did my dad. Dad hit the accelerator and we were off. If you thought we were heading back home, you just put your leg into the gutter. No, my dad wouldn’t stop unless it was a hotel. He takes me hotels of his college time and puts me through his college stories. It was one such hotel; it was non vegetarian. For the first time I had non-veg for breakfast. It was so spicy that one could spot a waterfall from my eye and nose. Even small kids dint miss a stare.

We travelled another 5 kms to have the best tea and then headed home. The lion spotted the deer and was ready to attack. Sorry, I just meant to say that my mom was waiting for me. She literally blew steam into my ears- “Now, who will eat the breakfast that I prepared? Eat the same thing for lunch.” The orders came. So, here I am, the man of silence writing this post in search of some sympathy. I’ve made lunch plans with my friend already. Now how can I go keep my head into the lion’s mouth? Wats the way out?? Let’s see.

I actually also wanted to write about a play, that I had acted in, while in school. But I guess long posts are boring. Anyway, I’ll write about it very soon. Guess what, I was killed by Chatrapathi Shivaji in that play. :P

(Just this thing. Let me know your opinion. I’ve never written such stuff on my blog until recently. It has always been some fiction story or something. Always thought, such meaningless rants would be boring for people who read it. I actually still feel so. Let me know, if I should rather just write my usual thing or if such writes are okay? )

Have a super-duper weekend. Try to do nice things for people who will never find out. Yenjoyyy..!! :- :-)

School Time Reminiscences..!!

The fresh, blue, cold water circumferenced by irregular shaped coconut trees; she witnessed an eye candy. The fog appeared as if it sat resting on the water thereby blurring her vision. The boat proceeded steadily as the cold wind stroked through her face which instantly rejuvenated her senses. She stood over the dancing boat and spread her arms wide and almost screamed with a voice of joy but paused when she heard a distant, familiar sound. She opened her eyes and it took a couple of seconds for her to realise that it was her alarm clock that was ringing and the boat, the waters – everything was just a dream. “Oh God, that was such a lovely dream. Why do these mornings come?” she said to herself as she jumped out of the bed to get ready for school.

In school, she shared her dream with friends as they all exclaimed at each other. Being a Monday, the day went on; nothing special, just a normal day at school. The regular classes, regular conversations and everything about the day were sailing just about normal until the last period. Just before the final bell rang, the teacher read out the circular announcing a picnic, rather – ‘A Field Trip’ to Hyderabad. It served no surprises as all the students got excited at the mere thought of the trip. And instantly almost all of her friends concluded that they will be part of the picnic almost forgetting that they needed their parents’ consent.

Back home, she waited for her father to arrive home as her mom told her to take her father’s permission first. The clock struck 8 when she heard her dad’s car at the gate. She hurried to the gate and welcomed her dad with a wide smile. Once her dad freshened up and returned to the hall, she informed him about the trip (that was scheduled for the coming week,) and how excited she was to go. She went on to say that all her friends were going and hence she too wanted to join them and to not miss out on the fun.

Diluting her expectations into disappointment, her dad announced a firm NO to the trip. Her smile vanished and the eyes moistened. An uncontrolled tear ran down her cheeks onto the ground. Her voice seemed to have disappeared. She cleared her throat and enquired with a broken, crying voice- “Why Daddy?”
Her dad replied- “You know you have a health problem and you are not old enough to take care of yourself in case you fall ill.”

“Our teachers will be there daddy.” She managed to say.

“I said no. That’s it. It’s late – 10pm. Go to bed now,” her dad announced and headed into his room.
A week later, on the day of the trip, the clock struck 4 in the morning when her dad walked into her room. All her friends were going but she wasn’t allowed to go even after a number of requests. Her dad decided to give her a surprise and woke her up and said- “Go get ready, I’ll take you somewhere.”

“Where at this time daddy?” she enquired in a sleepy tone.

“Don’t ask anything, go get ready.” He brushed her hair.

By 5, they both bid good-bye to her mom and drove along in their car. Within an hour they reached a place by the hill just a small distance away from the city. Her dad held her hand and walked her in as she explored a picturesque lake with a few boats lying empty. They both got into one of them as her dad rowed it into the waters gently.

She noticed the fresh, blue, cold water circumferenced by irregular shaped coconut trees. The fog appeared as if it sat resting on the water thereby blurring her vision. The boat proceeded steadily as the cold wind stroked through her face which instantly rejuvenated her senses. She stood over the dancing boat and spread her arms wide and almost screamed with a voice of joy but paused. She realised that it wasn’t a dream this time. She screamed out loud, turned to her dad, hugged him and thanked him for this ‘dream-come-true’ excursion.

A dad often knows what his daughter deserves.

Spotting the Miskates... oops.. Mistakes..!!

Too many things cooking up in my mind nowadays, so no posts, sorry. But I don't want to see drought in my blog. By the way, I had been to Mysore yesterday to witness the Grand Dasara ( as we spell it here in South India) celebrations. So, I conveniently made it an excuse to update the blog.

Horses, a parade, a band, elephants in the backdrop of a Palace, wow! What is it but Grand?? Anyway, apart from it, I had a walk around the city, through exhibitions and other places. I had the camera with me and hence -

Time to select your 'Mummies' and 'Daddies' .. They are on sale..!! :P

Three Cheers to Tourism..!!

Cover your face. Sonia ji will slap you with the same hand.

Shaun Pollock would commit suicide if he'd see this.

The most "Evergreen" one of all. ;)

Edited - added later. A few pics of the Grand Mysore Palace. Couldn't manage to take good pics of the procession. :)

Until next time, yenjoyyy. :P