Wow, what a twist.

The world heavy-weight champion was standing in a corner and eagerly waiting. The most agile pugilist ever was leaning on the wall, speechless, and was a spectator to the tantivy of the hospital staff moving athwart his view. One of the most daring ringster the world has ever known looked pale. The ultimate bruiser, holding the world record for the most number of first round knock-outs, was looking every bit knocked out.

His heart pounded and immediately stopped for a moment when the OT door opened. He started walking towards the door. Never ever was his foot work so desynchronised. The intense eyes, the very look of which would scare the opponents, turned moist. For the first time in the life of this champion incessant tears rolled down the cheek and plunged to the floor six and a half feet below. He raised his hands in reciprocation to the identical act performed by the nurse, The “iron hands” were shivering for the first time. Though the package transferred by the nurse exactly weighed 3.25 kg and could fit in one of his palms, he held it in both of his palms. The feelings were so overwhelming that all the heavy iron-pumping and the dreaded work-out sessions in the gym looked less tiresome. Overflowing emotions had drained his energy. Yes, the gentle and the most beautiful creation of mother nature had knocked out the world heavy-weight champion without a fight. The raw power and the brawn was no match to the innocent look that beckoned him and he had given up without any resistance. HIS NEW BORN BABY HAD WON HIS HEART IN THE VERY FIRST ROUND. HE WAS A FATHER NOW. WHAT A TWIST IN HIS LIFE.

I will always remember the moment I became a father. It was definitely the most beautiful twist in my life. This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.

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Raise the Bar, Literally.

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This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.

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Shama was one of a kind. She was the first female to own a BAR in the heart of the busy city. The Bar was house full every evening.  The city, being a cosmopolitan, had myriad ways to break people’s heart; love failure, work pressure, estrangement, bereavement being some of the common methods employed by it. The bull market brought in a lot of people to celebrate and at the same time a bear market would bring in a lot of disturbed souls. People who had no qualms in life would come to drink just because they did not know what else to do. Some people came to celebrate the entry of the newly born and at the same time some came to forget the departed. The palpable tension before an important event made people succumb to the habit of drinking, whereas, the joy/sorrow of the eventual success/failure of the event dragged them to acquaint the company of the bitter liquid.

“They say sweetness overpowers bitterness. But isn’t it true that most of the people, to forget the bitter experiences in their lives, fall into the trap of these bitter liquids. And what more, they say the more bitter, the more better. Interesting isn’t it?” Shama would often remark, while conversing with her husband’s photo, a task she would perform daily, before retiring for the day. As usual, every time, without a doubt, he would reply with a smile, and with the same smile. He loved her so much. An army major, he was killed while on duty. He left her alone, with two children, a decent amount of cash and a photo frame, which captured him smiling.

While in Kashmir with her husband she had taken up a bartender course just for fun. Now, it came to proper use. Her uncle, who was shifting overseas, sold his Bar to her at a very nominal price. From then on, she never looked back. To be true, she never had the time. Bringing up two children, taking care of the Bar and the household work would consume the 24 hours available for the day and sometimes would leave her begging for more. Six years had passed, and now she had got ‘used to’.

Madhu uncle, 85 years of age, was her loyal customer. Not a day had gone by without his attendance in the Bar. Even Shama looked forward to meeting him everyday. He was a fatherly figure for her, and someone with whom she could open up. He had helped her a lot in the upbringing of her children. In turn, Shama, quite an exponent in mixing spirits, would tender him a surprise drink across the table, everyday. He drank to forget; to forget the tragic death of his daughter, who would almost be Shama’s age, if she were alive. “Life has its own way of filling the gaps, isn’t it Shama dear?” he would ask her. “Shama, a lot of your customers talk hours together with you. What do they talk about?” he asked one day. “Uncle, it is not them, but the high spirits that talk. And the most common subject is God and Religion.” “Religion!!, Hinduism, Christianism or Isalmism. Which one?”  he quizzed inquisitively. “Ah, the one that brings all of them under one roof, Alchoholism” she retorted. Both had a hearty laugh.  He would always be the last customer to leave the bar, along with its owner. He would make sure that she  transferred the cash from the box to the purse and she safely locked up the Bar. He was also kind enough to remit the cash to the bank the next day.

The rainy season would always give Shama sleepless nights. The reason for that being the Bar was situated in a low lying area. Rain water running down the adjacent streets would finally accumulate right on the street where the Bar was located. In the past, there were occasions when rain water had lodged in and flooded the Bar. This time the rains were torrential. On that fateful day, Shama had decided to close the bar early. She was worried about the children being alone at home and also heavy rains had made sure that the attendance in the bar that day was scarce. It was quite early in the evening that the bar was left with only one customer, Madhu uncle. Sensing the increasing violence of the heavy rains, Shama asked the employees to leave at once. Madhu Uncle volunteered to drop Shama back home. She was in the rest room changing, when she heard a unusual loud noise. She, at once, guessed that the huge water tank right in front of the Bar had collapsed due to the rains, and the flooding of the Bar was now imminent. As she changed quickly and came out of the rest room, water bursted into the bar dismissing every thing in its way. In a moment she found herself drowning. She quickly swam to the roof and managed to take a few deep breaths in air and began to search for Madhu Uncle. When she swam to the serving area she noticed Madhu uncle, severely injured, desperately trying to keep his face above the water surface, struggling to breathe. She at once swam to him, caught hold of his long hair and dragged him along with her to the entrance. She dived into the water, asking Madhu uncle to manage on his own for a moment. As she reached to the door handle and tried to open the door she realised that something huge was on the other side of the door and even her strongest attempts inside water was not enough to open the door even an inch wide. She swam back to the surface caught hold of Madhu Uncle’s hair again, and in the brief respite she got to breathe, she had to come up with an escape plan. “Yes, the window of the rest room” she shouted. “It does not have grilles” she exclaimed, not caring for the fact that the only person who could celebrate the idea with her was almost unconscious. But to reach there she had to swim dragging Uncle with her for at least twenty metres. She closed her eyes. The smiling face of her husband and the innocent faces of her children passed by. She was ready. She took a deep breath and began to swim. She was determined not to let Uncle go. He was the God – given father to her. She had lost enough in her life and was not ready to lose someone she loved, again. She made it to the rest room. She was taken aback when she noticed that the window  was ten feet high. Since the rest room was the inner most part of the Bar, the water was only neck deep. So grabbing Uncle, she had to jump ten feet high to reach the window and go out to live again. She made sure that Uncle rested on the wall, standing. She jumped to reach the window. She could only make eight feet. “I love you children” she cried. She again thought of her husband’s smile and this time, she raised the bar. By taking the support of the toilet seat, she gathered enough energy to jump high enough to get the required grip. The willingness to survive can give you unbelievable amounts of energy, isn’t it? She then reached out to Uncle, who by now was almost conscious and reached out to her. She pulled him up and both were out of danger. They had snatched life from the jaws of death.

Six months later, Madhu Uncle inaugurated the renovated Bar. This time it was on the first floor with the ground floor dedicated for parking only. While talking to the invitees during inauguration, Madhu Uncle jocularly remarked about Shama that “this time, she has raised the BAR, literally”. Shama won the bravery award that year, which was only apt for an Army Major’s wife.

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IPL – Indian Political League

5-4-3-2-1, the crowd chanted the countdown as the special IPL, 5 – 5 over a side, match began.  Why 5 – 5 over a side? Well that is the term of the winning party in elections. The venue was the FEROZ SHAH KOTLA stadium in Delhi. The two contesting parties had decided to compete in this match since the election had ended in a stalemate. “The winner of the match will rule the nation for the next 5 years”, the president of the nation had announced. The elation in the election commission knew no bounds since going through one more round of elections was a pain in the ass. What more?, the President had also agreed to function as one of the umpires in the match since he too was bored doing nothing for a long time.  The other umpire was RAUF, an unanimous decision by both the parties. His credentials as an umpire was unquestionable since he had a court order on his side stating that no one should question him in the public until the ongoing case against him is solved. Also the sponsors felt the he would provide some entertainment in the field by mingling with the cheer girls, and area in which he had a lot of expertise.

The Bhar –  Atheeya party (know so since there were heavy, mighty stalwarts in the team) had chosen Sree – santh ( A baba in Kerala) as their lead coach. The team owner Advanee , sporting a laodicean attitude and a plastic smile, sat on one side of the dugout. He was no longer the playing captain of the team. Atalji, the confidence builder of the team was ready with his inspirational kavitha; but no one took a listen to it since it would take exactly three hours for him to read out the four lined ode. Crestfallen and confidence shaken, he too sat next to Advanee.  The official spoke person of the team Mr Rajnath, tired of explaining to the media as to why Advanee was not in the “Game”, collapsed onto the sofa in the dugout.  Inside, in the change-room, Captain Modee was ready to deliver his pep talk to the team.

” Mitro, we can do it. Today we are wearing a thin silk T-shirt so that our vests are visible inside. Why? Because we believe in transparency.  Although I am not good at batting or bowling, I promise you that I will lead the team well, i.e., I will give a good governance. We are the “Kai Po Che” boys.” The entire team cheered in unison and began dressing up for the game. Sushma and Smriti were ready to be the cheer girls for their team. They were wonderfully attired in dark saffron saris.

The Con – Grass party had chosen Allesandro Del Piero as their head coach. ” We believe in following foreign leaders, and especially we would love to follow any one Italian, even if he/she does not know how to play the ‘game’ ” was Chidu’s press statement on the issue. The team owner Sonia, also the main cheer leader, flanked by Sheila, Priyanka and especially Tiwari were looking immaculate in their pristine  gowns. In the dressing room Rahul was ready to deliver his rallying cry.

” India is an idea. India is a mission. India is……., Oh shit! this is the missing page of the speech I delivered at CII. Sorry guys. Here it goes. Ahhh…. Oh God…, not again. I have lost my speech. Okay, I will do it extempore. Guys lets play fair.” The entire team looked shocked and clueless since they had never done such a thing in their life. ” I was joking. Mom has already fixed the match in our favour.” There was a loud applause and the team members began their preparations for the match.

The stadium was jam packed.

Earlier in the Stands:

A sobbing Yeddy had complained to the manager of the stadium against Dev. It seems Dev had usurped one of the VIP seats next to his hoping his son Kumar will join him. Yeddy wanted that seat badly. Manager referred it to Rajnath and god knows what transpired later.

Raja and Mozhi had set up a small kiosk and were selling 2G and 3G sims to the customers. The had named their kiosk “Spectrum”. “They are overcharging this time”, one of the customers had remarked to the quizzing media.

Vijay sitting in the cashier- compartment turned cockpit, true to his taste, had planted his Airbus right in the lobby. “Now that they are not flying, I better use them for something at least” he said while answering inquisitive customers. He was selling mineral water. Siddharth and Deepika were assisting him as attenders. As usual beer was sold at the back door.

Jaya, a VIP pass holder, was angry that the water bottle that she had requested for had not yet been supplied to her. Somehow Jaya and water never go hand in hand.

Mohan, motionless, was standing next to Sonia. Priyanka ran towards Sonia and flaunted her new Barbie. Sonia, pointing towards Mohan, retorted ” I have Mohan”. “I beat you Mom” said Priyanka, ” My doll can speak.”

Lulloo, given the job of a ball boy, had made a good fortune by cutting the grass on the out-field and selling it to milk vendors outside the stadium.

Sonia and Shiela had requested Shak-thi Cupoor, another VIP pass holder, to drop them home in his car after the match. ” Delhi is not a safe place now. Two women travelling alone at night is not recommended. We know we will be safe in you company” they had pleaded him. Shak-thi had agreed with a devilish smile.

Maya was waiting with a garland of 500 rupee notes worth 1000 crore while Mamta was waiting with rasagulla to greet the winner and pledge their alliance.

Now coming back to the present:

The two teams walked towards the centre of the pitch. As soon as Modee and Rahul stepped onto the grass the rain god decided to have some fun of his own. It rained like cats and dogs and the entire ground was lodged with water in no time. The entire event turned out to be a spoof of Lagaan. A hysterical Rahul wept like a small baby while Modee couldn’t believe his luck. It was nature’s way of saying that both the parties did not deserve a chance at the centre.

Why did I hit ‘SEND’?

 

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And before I knew it, I had hit ‘SEND’.

I felt terrible, but I had no other choice. ‘SEND’ is the abbreviation of the name of my dear friend, whose real name I will not reveal, since I completely agree with Nazeeruddin Shah’s words in the movie  ‘A Wednesday’, that people scout for religion in a name.

That was the most forgettable of all the mornings of my life. The irony is that I recollect that morning the most as the most forgettable morning of my life. It began like an A R Rehman’s melodious composition, quickly faded, and ended up like RG’s speech at CII. On that fateful morning, for the first time in five years, my motor bike, my love, wouldn’t start. It was 7:00 am in the morning and it would be foolish on my part to expect the mechanic shop to be open. So I decided to choose the onerous task of walking half a kilometre to the nearest bus stand. On the way to the bus stand I realised how drastically my locality had changed, and later I realised that one tends to miss these details when all one does is take off in his motor bike every day. My neighbours and the usual onlookers were surprised to see me on foot, so much so that one of the ladies, a friend of mom, decided to portray three exclamation marks as the rangoli for the day. I reached the bus stand and was proud of the fact that I would contribute to the exchequer by using the public transport that day which, I completely agree, would fall nanoscopically short when compared to how much the President depletes the exchequer on his/her foreign trip. There I saw a CHANGED India. People, surprisingly all of them male, were standing in a QUEUE!!!!!!

All my fretting was washed away in a jiffy the moment I saw HER on the other side of the road. She was easily the most beautiful girl I had ever seen. Her blue infinitely deep eyes, pitch black perfectly-groomed hair, wheat-brown complexioned skin  were a testament to how good an artist god is (OOPS, ‘COLOURED’ WAS LAST WEEK’S THEME RIGHT, I AM SORRY). Any worthy male on earth would  be more than willing to buy her as many kilograms of onion she ordered in return to her resplendent smile which bordered the wizardry, even if it meant that he had to import them from Afghanistan. I noticed that my neighbour, also my college-mate, whom I had conveniently ignored all these days in the fear that I had to drop him every day in my bike if I befriended him, was standing right in front of me.  SHE walked close to the queue, close enough to eavesdrop a casual chat, and was gesturing at a group of people a fair distance away. I was all decided to make a wonderful first impression and I began to chat with my neighbour.

” So, dude going by bus is it? I love the change in the Indian mentality. We have queues in the bus-stop. Wow! a great transformation” I remarked in a slightly beefed up accent.

Before my neighbour, who surprisingly looked surprised at my remark, could utter a word, my friend ‘SEND’ joined us and interrupted.

“What da macha? What are you doing here da?  Where is your darling bike ra macha?” he quizzed in the most rankling way.

“My bike is under repair and what else will I do in a bus stand other than waiting for a bus you dumbo?” I retorted, happy that I sounded a little more intelligent and sophisticated(based on my usage of dumbo compared to his macha, which was local). I was sure she was eavesdropping since she too chuckled at our conversation.

Both my neighbour and ‘SEND’ had a hearty laugh. ” Dai macha, I am not dumbo da. You are. You have not traveled by bus for ages da. The bus stop was shifted from here four years ago da. This queue is for people waiting to meet heroins of popular TV serials. It is a campaign launched by a TV channel against the crime on women happening at different parts of our country. The heroins will tie RAKHI to willing men. Today they have chosen our locality da. (Coming close to me he whispered) The lady standing close to us is the latest bahoo in the serial ‘Kkyon kki bahoo bhi kkisikki beti thee.’ (Purposely increasing his decibel levels) You are the only one who are trying to impress a woman so that she ties RAKHI to you da, you big dumbo” he said.

I did not know where to hide my face. I was crestfallen when my neighbour, ‘SEND’ and ‘SHE’ were laughing out loudly at my expense. Five minutes later SHE tied RAKHI and said “Thanks Bhaiya”. What more?, IT WAS LATER TELECASTED IN THE CHANNEL NEWS and my entire family watched it and congratulated me on my noble deed.

‘SEND’ paid a  visit that night. “Macha, I have sent a song via Whatsapp. Take a listen da.” he said.  I quickly downloaded it in my mobile and played it. It was the song ” Bhaiya mere, rakhi ke bandhan ko nibhana”. As soon as it played, ‘SEND’ began laughing uncontrollably and I could not control my anger anymore.

And before I knew, I had hit ‘SEND’.

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This is a fictional story narrated by a fictional character. Any resemblance to any one living or dead is purely coincidental and not my problem.

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.

Dumb, dumber and dumbest

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This post is a fictional conversation between SG, RG and MMS:

It was dawn and the reddish Sun had decided to take a sneak peek into the lives of the people in its favourite planet. In a posh locality, sunlight crept through the green earth making its way across the trees and magically touched the lawn grass rendering them golden. After all it was the lawn of the villa owned by one of the most powerful ladies in the country, whom I will simply call as SG. Once known as the Gora Bahoo (white daughter-in-law) she now rules the roost and has absolute control over most of the proceedings of the country, so much so that it could be called as a Gynarchy. On that eventful morning SG was resting on her rocking chair and sipping tea. Her mobile, on silent mode, vibrated to announce the receipt of an MMS which, coincidentally, was accompanied by the arrival of her aficionado, whom I will call as MMS. SG perused the MMS on the mobile and as she lowered the mobile onto the table beside her, she sensed the palpable tension in the face of MMS, who quietly sat down on the sofa right opposite to her chair. As usual he remained dead silent, occasionally scratching the imported fine Italian mauve velvet sofa cover with his fingers. His skin complexion was fair enough to glow red when under anxiety. The dark blue turban, pitch black pupil, opulent white beard revealing the skin only in the lumpy parts of the cheek, which were now glowing red served as a fine example of juxtaposition of colours. Before SG could utter a word, RG, her son, stormed out of the living room having a hearty laugh at a song being played in his mobile.

“Mom, did you view the MMS I sent. It is hilarious. It is a song about the rocketing onion prices and how it is now making the person buying it cry even before he peels it” he babbled.

“Shut up son, don’t you see MMS uncle is here. He seems to be worried about something. Grow up son” SG remarked.

The bright smiling face of RG turned into a pale one in seconds.

“Hello MMS uncle, sorry I did not notice your presence. Shall I send that MMS to you too” he asked with the smile revisiting his face.

The lawn of that villa had a rare distinction. The air filling it carried the sound waves generated by the vocal chord of one of the most silent person in the history of the world. That air concealed in a jar would be the centre of attraction in the Ripley’s believe it or not collection. Yet another occasion presented itself today.

” Son, you are our next leader. A lot of hopes are pinned on you, and loads of responsibility rest on your shoulders. Please grow up” spoke MMS, with the decibel levels just bordering the Threshold of Hearing.

” Don’t worry uncle. Once I lay my hands on the most powerful post of the country, I shall, by default, become very responsible”, he uttered nonchalantly, disregarding the genuine concern of MMS.

“How so you idiot?” shouted SG.

“Mom, did you not watch Spiderman, I quote ” With great power, comes great responsibility”. So shall I expect that I will be powered this time around?”

” Ya Ya, you speak well in front of me and uncle, but when in front of a learned gathering you blabber and make a complete fool of yourself.” SG rebuked. MMS felt happy that RG was taken to task for his childish behaviour. SG now turned her attention to MMS and queried coquettishly, ” Tell me MMS ji, What is bothering you? Why is your charm at harm?”

” SG ji, Onion prices are rocketing, fuel prices need oxygen supply since they have reached the uppermost layer of the atmosphere and the value of our currency is plummeting, so much so that we need to ask Brendan Fraser to embark on another journey to the centre of the Earth to find it.” he confessed.

“Arey wah MMS ji, you seem to be good at black humour. I want to stand on the top of Mt. Everest and shout ” MMS is not dumb. He is a great speaker” so that the entire world can listen” she remarked with a chuckle. RG guffawed sounding like a braying donkey.

Acknowledging the fact that MMS was not even a teeny bit impressed by her remark, she regained seriousness and enquired ” Do you think Onion prices will further increase.”

“Yes madam ji. I think it is not only the case with Onions, the price of almost all vegetables will touch 70 rupees in the near future.” MMS answered with utmost concern.

“Okay, what about the fuel prices?” SG asked

” It has already touched 80 rupees per litre. We can try and bring it down to 70 rupees at least for two months before the scheduled elections.” MMS replied.

” Wonderful. Now what about the value of our currency?” SG continued shooting questions at MMS not even giving him a brief respite.

“Madam ji. I think for now it will stabilise at 70 rupees for every US Dollar.”

” Fantastic then. MMS ji don’t you think that everything is falling into place? We can now rename each of the petrol bunks and vegetable shops in our country as ” The Dollar store”, an act of Globalisation.” said SG, proud of her version of the black humour and at the same time high-fiving with RG and eventually both ended up laughing uncontrollably.

A visibly enraged purple MMS got up and walked away. With every such incident his decision of remaining dumb makes a lot of sense and his will to remain dumb gets stronger.

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This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda