Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Heavy Boots & The Alarm Clock

It was a hot summer night.

Even the crickets and the fireflies seemed to be tired from the heat. Silence mingled effortlessly with the sweat of the farmers that still had the fields wet. And scraping, half-crawling through the mud was a young lad of about 20.

The full moon reflected on his face – blackened hollow eyes leering eerily into empty darkness. The iron chains on his feet stopped him from standing up. His face, arms and bare back glistened with blood, oozing out with every movement of his muscles, from deep lacerations made by a thousand hits from the whip.

The whip that dangled like a snake spewing venom.

From the hands of one of the dozen men wearing heavy military boots. Thud after Thud, they followed the crawling, half-dead corpse. Like wolves following a dying foe.

“That is his fucking village, alright”. “Ji, Saheb.”

The village courtyard had been swept clean. Only to be dyed dark red as the boy panted onto it, muddied by the boots following him. They stood there – 12 men and a half-dead corpse, waiting for a door to fling open and a woman shrieking out to comfort her son.

Nothing happened. Except that the crickets were awake now.

The Brit officer was losing his patience. A four-mile walk through muddy paddy fields and mosquitoes for nothing. He whipped the boy hard on his back. Half the whip hit the ground, producing a weird ‘Crack’ that mixed with the boy’s gurgled shriek.


“Water.” The boy half-whispered into the night.

You could almost see the dozens of pairs of eyes flinch shut from behind the boarded doors and windows. Yes, they were watching. The whole village was watching their son. Dying, under a full moon night.

“Show us the house. And you shall have water.” The boy spit blood onto the brick floor of the courtyard, “Ha. Ha. I sure will.”

The second officer kicked him in the head. The boy writhed in pain.

“Bloody Fucking Natives”.

Inside the second house on the left lane off the courtyard, someone moved.

“Ma, please. Let me go. Dada will die.”
“NO. Please Reema. He killed Inspector Sands. If they know that this was where he was hiding, they will burn the whole place down”, the mother knew she had to choke her tears, if the village was to live.  
“But Ma..”
“NO. Give that glass to me. GIVE IT TO ME..”

*CLAANKK*!! The bronze glass landed with a thundering clatter on the windowsill, and rolled off onto the floor.   

The sound echoed around the village courtyard like a giant bell ringing to the chimes of death.

Was that a smile curling up on the corners of the Officer’s mouth? Was it failure that now shone through the eyes of the battered lad? Could this be the end of it all…


Oh fuck! It is 8:00 a.m. already. Yours truly is going to be really late for office today. Damnation be damned! I leaped off my bed and ran towards the bathroom, grasping the day’s paper on the way.

Waaaait a minute. The big tri-colour on the front page could only mean one thing! It’s Republic Day.

Haha. Fuck you Alarm Clock. I am going back to sleep! Yaay!

What? What happened to the young lad and his village? Who cares?

They probably died. Trying to get us our freedom. To sleep.

I mean what else could you do on a boring holiday, right?

What are your plans on this Republic Day by the way?!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Chivalry Is Dead. And They Are Loving It!

This is no news to most folks. But it was news to me, especially as I came to know of the dear friend’s death only a couple of days back.

Now what transpired was this.

I was scraping money off the bottom of the ATM from my Bank account with my card. Now the thing is, I fall in the almost-homeless category of ATM debit card holders, and hence I do not feel the need to check, re-check and recheck the check of the account balance while in an ATM.

I go, type in the amount, take the money and scoot.

And that is probably why I am often looked down upon scores of ATM-goers who have a serious day job of standing in queue in front of an ATM, and checking, re-checking and re-Rambo-checking the balance in their accounts, withdrawal or no withdrawal.

So when I was getting out after my swift poke-in-the eye of the ATM, I found that a lady, with two mammoth-sized bags by her side, was trying to push the door and find a way in.  

So I stopped, flung open the door and with a smile and a slight nod of the head pre-accepted her appreciation of the act.

Lady glared back in such a manner, my left part of the brain almost assumed that the right part had tricked it and made me utter something as heinous as asking her to sleep with me.

And that too with the money I had just cashed out at the ATM.

I mean, what gives man?
Here I am trying to act chivalrous by the book – and the beneficiary just gives me a cold stare and possible “silent gali-galauj”. Is it because she has had many a leering ass trying to be chivalrous and courteous just to be hideous later? Or have only almost-homeless hideous guys been chivalrous to her, which made her label me as the same?

Whatever. But from my perspective, I won’t stop offering my seat to an old lady in a crowded bus just because the last woman I offered my seat to turned out to be a man. A weird man at that.

So I will hope that you women would start doing the same too. Though I don’t think it will help revive my old friend back to life. Chivalry, for all I know, is dead.

As they say, “The age of chivalry is past. Bores have succeeded to Dragons.”


Friday, January 21, 2011

Story of a Budding Entrepreneur

I was about 9 then. Or maybe 8. An ordinary boy living an ordinary life in an ordinary town. Along with Typo (my non-evil twin, in case you forgot), I was content with life unraveling at a languid pace – cornflakes in the morning, school in the day, cricket with 3 other guys and a dog in the evening and homework at night.

Now, all of these activities seemed real hard when you were at that age. I mean how can any kid put up with Math and an agonizing wait to relieve himself simultaneously in school? And playing cricket with 3 guys, using the dog as the wicket, is not very easy. Try proving that you bowled the batsman out, with your wicket running, screaming in an odd voice, like a dog hit in the rear by a heavy rubber ball. Very hard, I tell you. And pretending to finish homework while slyly catching up on the latest fashion on FTV at night is even tougher.

Anyway, point is, life was hard. At least for me and Typo.   

However, like all Bong kids, it was mandatory for us to take tuitions. Now in 21st century, it is easy to say hah, big deal! But back then, what made taking tuitions, & life in general, hard for Bong kids was the tuition teacher – who was not exactly the online voice-over, giving lessons like serenading a monkey.

Ours was no exception. And after 3 months of being pummeled with formulas & equations, we gave in and scored a neat Jhiro on 30 in a Test de la Grande. Yes, me and Typo both did ‘Aryabhatta’ proud.

However, Mr. Tuition Teacher was not a fan of Aryabhata, but admired Sarah Palin instead. This was evident from his ‘red-eyed’ refudiating of everything good that Mr. & Mrs. Pal could have envisaged in their boys.

And so, we ran away from home. Into the wild. Or as Bongs call it, to the Math of the Tepantaur (can’t help if it sounds like a bad breed of the Minotaur). 

Almost-Gone-Missing Aryabhatta-Fanboy
Unlike what you’ve heard in stories, running away from home is easy. All you need to do is this – Sulk > Think of buying a gun & kill Mr. Tor-mentor > Realize it’s not possible > Suicide > WTF? > Talk to Typo > Run away from home at 12 pm post-lunch > Climb over barbed wire fence of Campus > This.Is.Freedom.!!

In our case, all went smoothly except the fact that Typo’s pants got caught in the barbed wire and he has been experiencing man-problems ever since. Rest was all good.

We made our way over mud dunes, paddy fields, passed by a Bata factory & also ogled at women bathing in a nearby pond (Typo insists he did not. What a liar!). We were also stared down as potential kidnap/extortion victims by 4 weird men playing teen-patti in a hutment. One of them was a Steve Jobs-look alike, smoking Dhania-chhaap beedi. Come to think of it, maybe he WAS Steve Jobs - considering the fact that he’s got pancreatic cancer now. Yeah, Dhania-chhaap beedis are not at very good terms with the pancreas, last I heard.

Whatever. We got traced down by the CBI (Chanchal Bhushan Ishmail, our gardener), who had been alerted by terrified ‘gaaowaalon’ about a bear bathing in their village pond. Turned out it was actually yours truly having some harmless topless fun in the sun. Blechh.

By now you must be outraging over the title of the post, and what the fuck am I trying to prove here – with a misleading Title et al. Well, there’s a twist in the tale here.

Yours truly, being a genius sans parallèle, had not run away from home on an impulse. After all, we had planned to set up camp in another city and build an empire ala AOE III. Hence, like a true-blood, nifty entrepreneur, we had made plans for a business first.

We handpicked the choicest of ‘Hot Wheels’ from our collection, some of the rarest books and some easily saleable stuff like pens, chocolate and Femina Miss India posters (wink wink nudge nudge). We were planning to sell off these and make a living till Google or Stevie hired us for one of their sweatshops in Bangkok.

And like a quintessential entrepreneurial partner, Typo chickened out, almost jeopardizing the venture. However, telling him that chickening out may ruin the chances of radio silence on his barbed-wire-man-problems helped sort it out amicably.

And like a quintessential entrepreneurial venture, we lost all of the investment; lock stock and barrel.

There. Explanation complete.

However, the upside of the whole story is that we learnt 2 valuable lessons that day.

Lesson #1 - Running away from home is overrated.
Lesson #2 - Nothing can beat gorging on home-cooked food, especially after learning lesson #1 the practical way.

As I said, life was hard back then. But it was also great, in parts!

P.S.: You really thought this was another ‘Steve-Jobs-is-so-awesome’ story, didn’t you, you bloody Apple fanboys?!   

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Autos & the Great Class Divide

Prologue – By autos, I do not mean the swanky Volkswagen Jetta or the Lamborghini Gallardo. I mean this. So if you had any plans to read up an article on your dream ride, dream more about it, and then get back to coding software, this is NOT for you.

Ok, so – most of you who stayed, know how cool these rides are. And how lame city traffic would be without them. I mean which fancy car can fit in 7 guys AND the driver, and still do a decent 70? Right. Without autos, life for us low-lives would be Zilch. Naught. Jhiro.

Anyway, once upon a time in West Bengaul (that’s how Bongs pronounce it, so relax!), autos ruled the roads. They roared, callously did wheelies, paralyzed cyclists and honked dead people deaf. And more importantly, they were Black. Black – ala Samuel Jackson. And like Samuel fuckin’ Jackson, they didn’t fuckin’ care.

And the even-blacker drivers of these black panthers were in a league of their own. They would swivel 100 degrees towards oncoming traffic, exchange gutkha with their north-bound brothers and chew out any dissidents then and there. With 206 auto-unions (last I counted, it was actually 286) to back them, who could challenge thy manhood, Herr Jackson(s)?

However, many gutkha-covered-moons later, a great, great revolution swept the Bengaul plains, and the roads too!

A new breed of autos had emerged – Tadaa!! C.N.G.!!

And before you knew it, the Great Class Divide was born. Green was the new White. Black was the new… Err… Black.  

The green autos were swanky, had fresh coats of shiny paint and most importantly, were elegantly subtle while on the move. And they had a certain autocratic, cocky demeanor while being on the move.

And as was expected, it irritated the fuck out of the Blacks. They felt downright ostracized – and even more inferior than their rusted bolts could mirror. Outrage soon turned to Enrage-ment. And thus, the Never-ending Feud of the Auto-bots was born.

Now, Black autos would swivel 100 degrees towards oncoming traffic, only to exchange domestic-borne pleasantries with the north-bound Green rival, like “tor maa ke mere gutkha kore debo” (‘I will beat your mother into the gutkha’ – Trust me, it sounded much more menacing in the native language!) and likewise, 7 screaming passengers notwithstanding.    

Apparently, 7 screaming passengers is no mean deal, especially when they are all trained in Rabindra Sangeet – hence you can imagine the amount of pent up anger the Black autos had to vent. And vent they did. Every other day, Green autos fell prey to Blacks. Swathes of scraped-off paint, headlights & rear-view mirrors littered the streets of Bangla. And, obviously, all of the said collateral damage was for the Greens.

After all, what did the Blacks have to lose anyway?

Till this very day, the bloodthirst continues.

And to top it all, like in the Black Supremacy & the Black Panther Party era, caught in the feuds of the Blacks & Whites (or Greens) were the Asians. This class included the Black autos who got themselves painted Green to enjoy the luxuries of the Green life, and yet not get their rears slashed open by the Blacks. Turncoats you say? Wise guys, I insist!

And so everyday, while going to work, yours truly does a 28-minute ‘sashtanga pranaam’ before the Goddess Durga, and wears a Kuver Kunji & Dayal Baba’s kavach– wears war paint ala Geronimo and walks out to the mercy of the autos. For being one of the very few ones not trained in Rabindra Sangeet, death will be pretty silent. And boring. Yours truly certainly does not deserve that.

And off I go!

As I said, what would our life be without the Autos?!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Vhelkaam to My Blog!

Tadaa! That’s it!

Finally, I have a brand new Blog handle to post from. Something that is probably only as good as a spoof of a bad movie. But in more of the “Airplane” fashion, rather than the “Meet the Spartans” type.  

Anyway, it is not that this is my first leap into the Blogosphere. Being a copywriter, I have been writing on Blogs for clients, corporate firms as well as other guys.

Now the fundamental problem with letting your ingenious ideas fornicate on other peoples’ Blogs is the same as doing defense research for the French. You may have the best resources, the best talent & the best results ever – but at the end of the day you need to sell them off to the richer/retarded guys to make a living. 

But those days of whoring out for money is over. Oh ok, it is not. I am still doing it. However, now I can also whore myself out for fun! This. Is. Freedom.

I promise these posts will get better with time. Or, at least longer. Keep a tab on this for more. Especially if you are as jobless as I am.

As Confucius says: “Man who want pretty nurse, got to be patient.”  Yeah, I made that up.

P.S.: I owe two guys who urged me into Blogging. One is Typo (my brother, whose name I dare not spell). And the other is Fat Man, whose sense of humor is quite his namesake. And if this Blog gets too unbearable for you, I will be ready with their addresses as well!