Monday, November 28, 2005

Fiction..or fact ??

Disclaimers: All the characters are purely a figment of the author's imagination.
Any resemblance to any person or incident is coincidental !! :p :p

(scence 1: The intimation)
The official drummer could be heard miles away. He had a deep bass voice and beat the drums as though he were a washerman beating the grime out of a pair of unwashed denims.

"Hear Hear Hear....
Sir Walter is here
to face the beast
do not worry the least
for he is smart, he is cool
though he looks like a dorky fool
and lest he succeed in the quest
he shall be welcomed as the best
into the elite club of the brave
If not, may god bless his grave"

(scence 2: the departure)
The balconies thronged with people like buses in the metros of a far far away place called India. Young and old alike elbowed others around them in order to catch a glimpse of the hero. Young ladies scratched and bit their counterparts in the bid to pass on their silk hankies to the bloke. And he stood there, the knight in shining armour...armed to the teeth, not a chink in his armour !!!! He was prepared to face the beast. He had been preparing for a good four months...and now the hour of reckoning had arrived. There were prayers, there were tears...and fears too !! All blending to build a climax which would give a certain Karan Johar run for his money.
He started marching towards the lair of the beast. There were drumbeats accompanying his steps...oh hell..those were just his heartbeats !!!!

(scene 3: the lair of the beast)
He reached the lair of the beast. The beast was nowhere to be seen. His heartbeats had stirred up a warcry in him. He scanned the area. Thousands had tried before and thousands had failed...but he knew he would succeed...after all..he was the "one".
And then he saw the beast. It was hideous....!! His mouth gaped open as wide as the four lane highway in the kingdowm. He had heard from the ones who had tried before that the beast always changes form. But what he saw was what he hadnt imagined in his wildest dreams. He had conjured up a tail...but there were poisonous thorns. He had etched out a moustached smile...and there were ferocious fangs playin peekaboo from under contorted lips. He had heard a purr in his mind...but the beast roared.
The beast lay in wait...he had to make the first move.

(scene 4: the heat of the battle)
He went round the beast in his best battle stance - daringly defensive yet cautiously attacking. He tried to pick vulnerable points from which he could attack the beast !! But the beast was like the rock of gibraltar...some knights had even nicknamed it 'The Wall'. He jabbed at the beast from all directions, his lance moving faster with each move. Some wild shots ended up puncturing the air, pregnant with the tension and fervour. Others made small holes on the beast's hide - mere mosquito bites on an elephant's calloused heel !!

(scene 5: the climax)
Sweat trickled down onto his face. Time was ticking by. He hadn't much time to win the battle. He had tried all the tricks that the knight's school had taught him. The studied approach that the more eminent knights had recommended. The 'around the bush' strato that some mavericks had talked about. And yet the beast grew bigger by the moment, mutating into more hideous and ferocious forms. The beast was patient, just watching his struggle in an amused manner.
In a last ditch attempt, Sir Walter went berserk and started yelling, running around and jabbing at the beast with all the force that he could muster.
The beast was irked and it lunged at him. With one swipe of its paws, it yanked out the only muscle of his body which was loose at one end. The dismissal bell rang loud and clear

(scence 6: the aftermath)
Sir Walter returned to the kingdom - weary defeated and teary-eyed. The young ladies returned back to their rooms with a toss of their haugthy heads, to mourn the loss of yet another silk hanky. The old returned to their beds shaking their heads, muttering something about youth not learning from the past. The curious ones asked him what had transpired. The scribes were furiosly etching out onto their stone tablets. The analysts asked him how the beasts looked, hoping to make predictions and get yet more students into the knights school.
But he said nothing...!!!!! He just walked on to join the thousands who had tried to tame the beast and had failed.

(scence 7: 30 years later)
The epitaph on Sir Walter's grave reads

" Here lies the great Sir Walter
Who never but once did falter
He tried to bell the beast
And anticipated a huge feast
But he returned torn and lost
Having paid a heavy cost
And never spoke or sung
Cos the cat got his tongue"

Monday, November 21, 2005

Spectrum of thoughts...

The cold wind stung his face as he stepped out of the building. A three-odd-day-old stubble was not protection enough from the ravenous cold that was biting everything in its path. He zipped up the sweatshirt, pulled his cap over his ears and continued walking down the road with his typical swagger. There was a slight drizzle. He looked up at the sky - the sun was defiantly holding onto the rays of light, surrounded ominously by murky grey clouds. They were fast closing in.

There wasn't a soul in sight as he turned round the corner. Drops of rain were trickling down through the small gap in his sweatshirt, washing away the grime of the day's work from his muscular back. Streaks of grey on a wheatish canvas. He ran his hand through his hair. The diamonds that had cosied themselves on the furry coat were perturbed. They whooshed down the forehead and pierced his eyes. He shook them away with an amused smile, his eyes glinting with the shine that they left behind in their wake.

The cliff lay just ahead of him. The glass blades that stood defiantly had now given in to the two pronged assualt by nature - the beads that the heavens perspired had pinned them down while the wind strangled them. He walked to the edge of the cliff.
There was a bright hunchback rainbow that lay on the horizon. The colours were still fresh. He could smell them - the heady smell that greets you in a new apartment. He peered into the vast expanse that lay between him and the horizon. His eyes were a darker shade of the sky. He shut his eyes - a premature end to the consummation between the light and the dark.

And yet he could see the rainbow. Bright - it almost spelled VIBGYOR, the behemoth of the science techer by its side making him repeat what each letter stood for.
The Violet was the embossed letters on his office door "Shyam Mehta - CEO" ,imposing and regal. The Indigo was the tie he had chosen at the Van Heusen outlet after much goading by his wife and a fine display of flattery by the salesman. The Blue was his eyes as he drove a hard bargain at the latest acquisition deal - intense, compelling and passionate. The green was the envy of the Sharmas in 101, Prestige Towers as they watched the latest addition to his fleet of cars rolling into the driveway - the bitter bile transforming into words spitting themselves out of contorted lips.
And oh, the yellow was the zardosi border on chiffon saree that had wormed its way from his wife's eyes to his credit card statement. The sheen was blinding him. He shut his eyes tighter. The orange danced in the crystal glass as his fingers curled around the stem. He didn't drink..not even socially. The red unfurled itself infront of his feet - pleading to be trod upon. He stepped ahead.

His eyes opened wide as he almost lost his balance. For a moment fear turned them into a panicky black. And then they were back to their usual icy blue.
He looked at his watch. It was 6 pm. He had to go back to the building. The party would have got over by now. There would still be some souls clinging onto the last shreds of the evening. He would take the 'tools' and get back to work. And then someone would walk across the room - the size 8 Lee Coopers leavin their muddy prints on the floor, which glistened more with his sweat than with the phenol. A stamp of disapproval on his work. And he would start afresh - mopping away the prints from the floor, occasionally bending down to remove the styrofoam cups that lay strewn around. Work was an infinite loop for him.

He turned back for one last view of the rainbow. The colours werent there. The zardosi saree and the tie had been shrouded by the carpet. The letters had been peeled away. The green had settled itelf onto the grass. And the orange had clambered onto the rays and the crystal had shattered into thousand shards, which split the rays into the beautiful illusion before him. The dream drained out of his eyes. He was walking away from the dream - but he would be back again.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005


Nithya has tagged here it is...
my attempt at crystalling my thoughts into seven points under captivating lil' headlines :))

Seven things I would like to do before I die...(wow...scary thot !!)

1. Start my own my own boss
(did someone talk of cubicle-induced hallucinations ???:p)

3. Visit Sicily (The-Godfather-effect) and Florence and...well..a thousand more places

4. Write a book....or maybe a bit of journalism (sting operations anyone??? :p)

5. Do something which touches lives....(i dunno wat it is..but m shure will find it someday....guess m too confused at the moment)

6. Go on a backpacking tour all by myself to lonely places on the face of the earth (Any recruiters from Discovery or Nat Geo reading my blog???)

7. Make a bonfire by the beach...and sit alone with a cuppa coffee by the fire...watching the sun set !!!

Seven things I can do....ahem...can i write more ????

1. Read for hours and hours altogether without even hearing a word of what people around me are talking (spare me the textbooks though !!)

2. sketch designerwear-clad models with disproportionately long legs (no prizes for guessin who the designer is...)

3. talk non-stop on any topic...

4. argue with vague roundabout logics...until the other person is thoroughly confused or the argument gets ugly n i start cryin :D

5. cook ( quality assurance given...and NO...m not potrayin myself as a prospective bride :p :p)

6. eat 5 and 1/2 gulab jamuns in half a minute (dont ask me how i got to the exact figures :p )

7. list 6 things which i can do :))

Seven things I cannot do

1. Sit quiet for a long time

2. Stand in a queue

3. Take crap from people without retorting back

4. Eat curd (yuck...i tried honestttlllyy !!)

5. Stop eating nonveg (i tried this tooooo !!)

6. Go on a diet (reality "bites")

7. Sit in a cubicle the whole day and debug chunks of code....(yeah yeah...i know wat m sayin....but as i said reality "bytes")

Seven things i say the most

1. macchan...

2. goddamn/bloody (its a close call)

3. what the...(i stop at that !!)

4. as in...

5. No da (my every sentence starts with that :D)

6. shit man...shit ya

7. abbee yaar....

Seven things that attract u to opposite sex...laws of attraction huh ??? :p :p

1. Wit and Sense of humor

2. Sarcasm (chandler bing rocks)

3. i-dont-give-a-damn-attitude (a la Rhett Butler)

4. Ability to converse

5. Expressive eyes

6. Lopsided smiles (shucks...m movin to the candy-floss domain....retreat !!!) :p

7. times...

Seven Celebrity Crushes

1. Rhett Butler (havent seen the movie..this one is from the book)

2. Al Pacino (as Michael Corleone)

3. Richard Gere

4. Irfan Pathan (the latest addition :D)

5. Pierce Brosnan

6. Roger Federer

7. Nagesh Kukkonoor

(hmmm.....there is still strong urge to add more....but lemme just play by the rules...) Amen...I rest my case !!

oh yeah....i have to pass it here goes...

Hema...the lady at the sea...who loves the little joys that life offers and Damak....the "hyd and seek" guy...and mind u damak...u cannot put an "additional info required" tag on this one :p :p !!!!

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

enshackled freedom

The first rays of sunlight sneaked in through the small window in his room. They danced on his wrinkled face,weaving their way through the week-old stubble, illuminating the dark circles under his eyes,urging him to open his eyes and greet the new day.But darkness held his eyes tightly from the back - like an old friend who plays the 'guess who?' game.The dejected rays withdrew from the muffled room and carried their dance to more a receptive audience - the flower beds outside the building and the gardener in his soiled dhoti with a half-smoked beedi put away safely over his ear.

Footsteps.A face at the door.He opened his eyes and peered in the darkness.
"The warden wishes to see you", the loathing in the voice echoed across the dank room.He got to his feet.The familiar tapping of leather shoes on the cement floor.
"Aah...Gopal..I guess I woke you up a bit too early.But then..I have wonderul news for you.You are going on a vacation", the voice was devoid of any emotion.
Confusion.A melange of apprehension and guarded triumph.
"You see..the committee is happy with your behaviour.So we have decided to let you out on parole for a week.Mind you, not a luxury all guys here on 'lifer's are given"
Retreating steps into the darkness.

Joy.elation.ecstasy....the smell of fresh clothes on a grimy body. The feel of a three-decade old ring on a callused finger.The shoe bite of a worn-out shoe. The first unsure step outside the edifice that housed the 'scum-of-the-earth' as the city tagged them.Murderers,rapists,petty thieves,tricksters, politicians tainted by scams - all painted in the black-white stripes of uniformity under law.

The sunlight was too bright.Eyes shut themselves into tiny slits in protest.And yet they were wide open with excitement.with apprehension.with fear.The city looked hostile and yet strangely familiar.He took but one step and was lost.He could might as well have been a newborn child opening his eyes to find blobs of brown,white and black all around him that contorted into funny shapes, orifices that opened to reveal tiny structures in shades of white,off-white and yellow......and noises that peaked at dangerously high pitches when he smiled. The city was a potpourri of noises - the vehicles, the masjid around the corner, the soft bells of the church, the election rally.....a symphony in itself. He took a deep breath. Ten years is a long time.

The house was still there.The people were there too.The ones who had been spared the axe of time.The tears were there too.Ten years of suffering had not dried them.The flowery faces had wilted into wrinkles.The toothless grins had grown into pan and cigaratte stained grins -root canals et al.The radio had relinquished its position to a 15" black and white TV.The grumbling granny's corner had given way to a framed photo with a garland with white plastic flowers around it.

The rice was soft.And yet it brought a lump in the throat.The dal was not pungent and yet a tear trickled down the eye with the first morsel.The soft mattress whispered sweet nothings to the calluses on his back deep into the night.
And the next morning the rays returned with their fine dance,cajoling him into opening his eyes.This time he obliged.

And as the sages said,time and tide wait for no man.The stopped clock with it 'rigor-mortis'-ed pendulum could not even wring its hands in despair.Tears flowed again...prayers were said...the house was hungrily devoured in a long last look and eyes were shut. And then there was darkness again.

The journey back was like a slow motion sequence in a bollywood flick.The sights that had enthralled him over the last one week,played over and over again infront of his eyes.The little joys of life that had finally crept out of their hiding places after a ten-year long game of hide-and-seek returned back to their elusive positions.
The cacophony of the city, which a week's freedom had painfully separated into a thousand different sweet sounds, had returned again - indecipherable,intimidating.

The edifice loomed over the horizon.As the metal gate clanged shut-he didn't look back.It was quick..the transition.The ring was back in its place - a tattered bag with a tag - no.1298. The worn out shoes were dumped on a mountain of anonymous chappals,sandals,shoes and a few lucky nikes and leecoopers.

The familiar tapping of leather shoes.."So Gopal...had a great time ??? Is there anything else you would wish to do before you return to your cell???"
"yes...I have to make a not free me not grant me enshackled freedom...." and he surrended himself to the black-white stripes yet again.

The door shut on his face.And there was darkness once more.