Archive for the ‘Writing’ Category


Tree of love

Image by Mozzer502 via Flickr

 

 

She was six, when she first came to a sleepy neighborhood in a small town in Mysore. And it didn’t take her much time to liven up the town. It wasn’t particularly her wish to change anything- but it was due to the playfulness she seemed to awaken in the people around her. Nobody had taken more than five seconds to say, “So Cute!” to her and pinch her large white cheeks.

Though she had to perennially endure burning red cheeks throughout her childhood, the cuteness had its perks. People would bring her chocolates, cookies, cakes, pastries and all the exotic sweets- as if she was their own daughter. She always seemed to bring out the “Let’s Party!” emotion in the adults around her and almost always parties ensued. She would sing, she would dance, and she would clap, and jump, and fall- all, as requested by the many laughing care-free adults around her. She seemed to absorb this carefree attitude- or was it her own, to begin with? Whatever the case was, it didn’t really matter- at least not when she was six. Soon she’d do more than just sing and dance and laugh and clap and jump and fall- she’d start delivering love letters.

Her name was Sharmila and she was the town’s love messenger. A kid of the conservative 90s, she was part of a town where most boys found it tough to talk with the girls they liked. Asking out for a date was a concept straight out of a sci-fi movie for them.

But boys will be boys. They prayed, requested for knowledge transfer from their helpless seniors and tried imaginary love-potions; they did many brain-storming meetings in the last benches during the class- and found the answer to their prayers- Sharmila. After all, isn’t there a saying- Use poison to break poison? Only a girl could break a girl! Sharmila was cute- and if she ever delivered a love letter to you, even if you were a girl, the least you were supposed to do was to read the letter and give a reply, preferably in another letter. Of course, writing your reply using the scented pen and the pink paper was optional- naturally, both the scented pen and blank Pink paper come with the love letter being delivered to you. And giving a blank pink paper with a scented pen to a girl in those days can be compared to giving a mobile phone with unlimited talk-time to any such girl today. And thus, the combination of love letter, plus a blank pink paper, plus a scented pen, plus the charm of Sharmila always ensured a reply.

Sharmila enjoyed all the attention she got from the boys wanting her to deliver their love-letters. Her services were the best in town- and she guaranteed a reply from the girl. And she did all this, for free. Though the boys did give her sweets and ice creams and all other sorts of bribes they could afford, it was also true, that people gave her far better sweets just for clapping and singing. In that sense she was the richest kid in town- she could play with any toy and get any sweet- and she didn’t have to cry for them like most other kids. She was the darling of the town and she was never, what some boys notoriously call, high-maintenance.

By the time she retired from her first job of delivering love letters at the age of 11, she had delivered 399 love letters- and got 399 replies and started a new field in Modern fortune-telling called Papistry. In that town in Mysore, she’s called the Prophet of Papistry who brought 230 positive replies from the Almighty Girls. Her success was probably better than the town’s marriage bureau.

Though Sharmila cannot be credited with the opening up of this new stream in Fortune-telling- she was no doubt, the cause of this Papistry. The term Papistry was coined by her first customer- Sriram. He said, “Just like the random lines on your palm, written by Destiny, can tell your future- in the same way, the pink paper brought by Sharmila, is written by your Destiny. And this pink letter contains glimpses from your future- and I call the Science of reading such Pink Papers as Papistry!”

When Sharmila first heard this from Sriram she said, “It makes sense. But why does it sound so tasty?”

“Ah, it rhymes with Pastry!” said Sriram.

“I see…”

And thus began the legend of Papistry in a sleepy town in Mysore.

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The Romantic Horror

(A Romantic Thriller Story)

I am a young struggling actor and I have just one dream- to haunt every silver screen in the world. I want to be the biggest movie star the world has ever been an audience to. For the past 3 years, I’ve lived every day like a high profile audition for my next big break- each day the tickets were sold out and each day it was a stellar performance. Today is one such day…

A rich and successful producer, Kapoor Saahab, wants me to go to the Apollo Hospital and meet his sick daughter, for two hours. If I do this, and if the sick daughter is pleased by my performance, then I will get to play the lead character in the very talented director Bhansaali  Saahab’s next Romantic Sci-fi movie titled “Trisexual Quadrelateral”- where the species of man is trisexual, instead of bisexual. And all I had to do was-to pretend that I was the sick daughter’s boy friend, convincingly! Sure why not! To be the lead actor in Bhansaali  ‘s next movie- I’ll be her God-damned husband for the rest of my life.

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Book: The Time Tourists (aka Earth’s Rebirth)

Chapter 1: How to Kill Science

Vibhuti: Burning "Man's Sins" into Ashes, to save Earth...

Timeline 1

As he looked at his Mother Earth, at the peak of her glory, a vision flew by Vibhuti. The planet earth was rolling down from the peak of the Majestic Pyramids- at lightning speed,  in the grandeur of Pyramids, he could almost hear the excitement in Mother Earth’s voice- he tries harder to hear her voice- her words. His pupils dilate- it was her deafening scream for help- the earth was rolling down towards the vast lifeless desert.

He could see his Mother Earth pale- the blues and greens on her face were fading and gathering the dust from the pyramids. She soon turned brown & her face was cracking- falling towards an abyss of sand…

And then he saw himself- running down the slope of that Pyramid, desperately in pursuit of his goal- Mother Earth. “I won’t let her get away!” he says and his heart beats so loudly- as if to answer her cries. He hears himself shout, “Mom! You’ve put on weight, you can’t outrun me! I’ll catch you with these small arms! And carry you around like an infant!” And he sees in his hands two paint brushes- one green, the other blue, trying to paint his Earth back to her real glory- the earth was not rolling towards her death- he was guiding her- helping her to go through rebirth…

The vision was exhilarating- he couldn’t wait anymore. He couldn’t waste time here anymore. He looked at his tour-mates. They read his expression and nodded back with happy smiles.

He changed the time co-ordinates, from 2781 AD to 10,000 BC.

“Mother, here we come, to save you.”

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I could clearly see the spark I was so familiar with, in her eyes. She was not the real girl I once knew- but even God couldn’t have done a better job at recreating her, the way these scientists had done. She was the first human clone of the world- the clone of the most famous Indian Actress, Aabha- the same Aabha I knew from my childhood days. The same Aabha who is to marry some businessman in a few days…

“You’re very funny and romantic” she said between her guffaws.

“Seems like you liked that story…” I said with a smile.

“They told me you were funny, but they didn’t tell me that you were this cute! I was underprepared- I’m totally bowled over by you…”

“Stop hitting on me, Aabha_639!”  said I winking at her.

“Aabha_639? Call me something else!” she said, “Even if I’m her clone, I certainly don’t have her personality or her memories and I certainly do not want to have her name! Give me a new name, I say! I don’t like the name Aabha!”

“My name is also Aabha!” I said. The famous actress-my childhood huh, friend and me shared the same name- Aabha. Fate plays dirty tricks- the one name you want to forget, is splashed all over the world- even in your birth certificate & driving License! Frankly, I too started to hate the name of Aabha…

“Aah Aabha! Yes! Aabha & Aabha- Classmates for 5 years. The school legends… I forgot to ask you all about it… Tell me the whole story! I want to hear the untold story…”

“I am supposed be analyzing you and not vice versa” I smiled.

“What’s your analysis so far?”

“Hmmm, you look exactly like her, you have copied her body language well… but you don’t talk like her at all…”

“Then tell me all about her! And if I knew more about her, then maybe I can talk like her, act like her… Please tell me…”

I looked in her eyes. The spark that always drew me near Aabha, that made me do anything for her, was there, in her clone as well.  Was this just coincidence? That the scientists had made her clone days before her marriage? Was there a big picture I was not aware of? If there was one thing that I was never sure of, it was Aabha. How did I feel about her? What should I have done? And what not? What should I say to her? If I should speak to her at all? Did I still love her? I was confused. These were not logical questions for the brain, but these were emotional questions of a hurt heart…

I looked at her again. Her eyes induced me to talk. I wanted to get it off my chest at least once in my life… Would I feel miserable that I let out the secret details of a friend, that might hurt her image, if leaked to the media, or would I feel relieved, that I got everything about my crush, out in the open with another human, well, in this case, a clone?

I wanted to feel relieved. I needed closure.

“You promise you’ll keep the details of our talks a secret?” I asked her.

She nodded excitedly.

“Once upon a time…” I began dramatically.

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Fugu, a political and poisonous delicacy

Image via Wikipedia

As I entered the contest, with the odds of winning being 1 in 999, Murphy’s Law brought a sneer to my face. Forgive me Pascal, I had just sinned, for I let an irrational thought like Murphy’s Law run through my brain. Murphy’s Law is a Law for people who do not understand probabilities. Probability Theory is my Bible, Murphy’s Law- a blasphemy.

I never believed in Murphy’s Law. I was too smart for it. I had noticed the situations, in detail, where people attribute a certain event to Murphy’s Law. Take the case of queues in Bangalore Railway Station. There are 15 counters, hence 15 queues. Sometimes I hear people grumbling that some other queue was moving faster than their queues. From Murphy’s Law- the other queue is always faster. If this statement is accepted to be true then it meant that 14 queues were slower than that 1 fast queue. So the people in 14 queues were experiencing Murphy’s Law, while the people in that fast queue didn’t. Hence Murphy’s Law is not universal.

The probability theory does a better job in explaining the above 15 queues experience of the people. The odds of anybody being in the fastest queue is 1 in 15. A very small chance. If anybody from the slower queues, visits the station again some other day, then once again, he has the same (even worse actually) small chance of 1 in 15. And chances are that this person will, in most cases, choose the slower queue. Hence this person generally feels that the other queue is faster.

With these positive thoughts in my brain, I entered the contest at the Motor Show. The contest was for the audience at the Motor show, and each audience member was blindfolded by an extremely pretty Korean Girl & the audience member had to select a ball from a bag, blindfolded. The person who got the ball with number 999 was the winner- and the winner would win a 4 hour date with that very beautiful Korean Girl. There were chances that many people might win a date with her on the same night, at the same time- but the announcer assured us all that such a scenario had never happened before. He obviously didn’t understand Probability theory or he was an excellent liar.

I let that beautiful girl blindfold me. I reached out into the bag of balls. Supposedly 1000 balls were here. I held one ball, the probability of it being 999, was the worst. So I discarded that ball, and took another, the chances of this being 999 were better than the previous ball, but still, not good enough. I kept on doing this, and kept on discarding balls, and improving my chances, for three minutes when, I felt her warm soft hand hold my arm. I took out the ball I was holding at that moment- and from the cheer of the crowd I knew that it was the ball number 999. This is why I love Math. Math had won me a date! I’m sure it’ll happen to all the other Math fans out there, one day. Have faith!

After she unblindfolded me, I kept on eyeing her with the widest grin. The organizers of the event asked me to take a seat and wait patiently for the rest of the audience to get their chance. They also explained to me to be gentlemanly in the date with the lady- this they did after realizing that I didn’t understand Korean. I was an Indian visiting South Korea. One of the guys explicitly warned me about the consequences of doing anything stupid with the lady. I wasn’t paying much attention to those organizers- all my attentions were to my dazzling date.

I cheered every audience member who got anything but 999. Nobody else won. So it was going be me- and her, on a date, for 4 hours, from 10 pm to 2 am.

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I needed money desperately. I wanted to buy that new mobile phone with Facebook “LIKE” button. I could actually physically feel the pressing of “LIKE” button on facebook in that phone! How cool is that! The only problem, my parents won’t give a dime to buy me a bandage even if my heart was cut out with a butcher’s knife! Ok, Ok, I’m exaggerating, but this is how it is, in my home.

To make matters worse, I have a big brother– an intellectual ass. Everybody loves him! Everybody! You won’t believe what he thinks about facebook!  He thinks it brings out the worst in everybody for everybody else to see, publicly- say for example- those attention seeking cry-babies! A perfectly normal guy has this irresistible urge to be “LIKED” by everybody, all the time! He keeps updating about the routine day-to-day things every other minute and expects others to “LIKE” it. What would you say about these status messages of some of my friends- “I just woke up… and farted, thrice- and my mom walked in! It was super LOLz!” or “Thinking that boys and gals are different, yet very same, but different… you know?”

And because of this intellectual ass I can’t enjoy my life! I can’t enjoy facebook! Ignorance was bliss! It’s so true- but this guy doesn’t let me be ignorant- that jack-ass! I want to be ignorant! I want to enjoy my poisons that I’m addicted to- I have many things to do in my life- many serious things, and I need every little escape from this reality that I can afford. And so I super “LIKED” both those status messages. I don’t care if my friends are greedy for attention and are super-asses. They are my friends. They are who I “LIKE”! They make my life “LIKE”able. Not my brother’s philosophies and theories.

And yet, everybody keeps bragging about how great my brother is, even everybody else in his batch of over-achievers in academics, the sheep-geeks, are praised. But the truth is none of them made it big. Not even my brother. He’s just living somewhere doing something that nobody cares. Sure he has a great girl friend and a cool job- but he doesn’t have what I will have. I will make it big. I was going to be a Grandmaster in Chess. I knew it. I was nearly there- and yet, my parents or brother- won’t buy me that one thing that’ll keep me sane- that phone- facebook- anywhere, anytime. I wanted that phone- Desperately. Very desperately.

So I took matters into my own hands. I was forked for money- but I was not check-mated yet. I had my pawns- my ability to be super good in chess. Alas, Chess has no money, you say? Every talent can rake in the moolah- even farting thrice, in front of your mother- can get you money. You just have to think about the how?

As my dear brother once said- Today, the man has made his life so complicated- that it has become infinitely simpler to fool him than it was ever before. This was how I was going to get my dream phone- Using the fact that Ignorance is not always bliss!

There’s this site called zapak.com. It’s a gaming site. They award you points if you beat other human players in the games they are hosting. If you have collected enough points, then you can convert your points to cash and spend the money on e-shopping. And one of the games they hosted was, you guessed it, Chess! Game On was my War-Cry!

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I had friends. And I knew Girls. But the cross of these two hugely different species? Never! But for three weeks in my life, I had what most boys wanted more than blowing up crackers in cow dung- a girl friend. From my personal experience, there was not much difference- you have a girl friend or blow up a cracker in a huge pile of cow dung- the end result was the same. Let me explain…

Once upon a time, there was me…

Well I had just moved to Bangalore and for a month I lived alone- It was like a single goldfish in a water-bowl- Depressing. I needed a room-mate, desperately. I sent out the following ad in the local newspaper.

WANTED: A room-mate. House 10 steps from a cheap bar. Must love Vodka.

I received a lot of calls. Just too many of them. Didn’t realize that a lot of boys loved Vodka! How stupid! I should have been more specific, more demanding- Must love Tandoori Chicken… and Megan Fox.

My mobile rang. It was from an Unknown Caller. Nothing out of the ordinary. Probably some guy wanting to be 10 steps near a cheap bar. I answered the ring.

And kids- that’s How I met your Mother! Ted Style!!!

Just Kidding!

It was my three-week girlfriend. She just didn’t realize that soon she was going to be my future girl friend, and ex, eventually, when she called me.

Why did she call me? Well, to give me an earful. She was just being a caring samaritan and hence felt the need to tell me that I was the exact reason why India was still a developing country. She asked me what I had to say for myself… I could think of just one thing. I just asked her if she wanted to be my room-mate…

She said- “No!”  Obviously!  Duh! What did you expect, huh? That she said Yes!? Wake up! This is reality! Not my happy fantasy!

Well, an unexpected thing happened anyways. She recognized my voice- apparently I was in her class for three years in high school. Way to go three week girl friend!!! She was the hound of the Baskervilles!

I soon realized who she was and we talked. And talked. And talked…

We met a few times- couple of pseudo-dates, nothing special.

Soon, we began to crawl into each other’s thoughts… like some meaningless vulgar song that gets stuck in your head for days- only with a bigger funny smile on your face. We started dating & got close to each other- but we never kissed. I promise. I wanted to- but without a few drinks on me, I wasn’t much of a self-destructive freak.

I was hoping our meetings would grow to be like those cute romantic comedies- but alas it was all loud comedy for her and silent tragedy for me. No romance for either of us.

Soon the day came when she introduced me to her dad- and he asked my qualifications. We lasted three weeks without knowing each other’s educational background. I was just a Bachelor in Engineering and I had just seven years of wonderful work experience in one of the most prestigious technology companies in the world.

She? She did M.S. @ UCSD, USA.

Good, right? Wrong.

Her dad wasn’t particularly a fan of me. He didn’t seem to be the kind of guy who’d “LIKE” my pictures or status messages on Facebook. He probably would have clicked the “DISLIKE” button if there was one, to my current status message: “Feeling Lucky Tonight!”

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