Sunday, June 19, 2011

A bus-load of Stink

       She wrinkled her nose in dismay.
       Oh, How he stank!
       This fat one next to her. How he stank!
       There was no space in the crowded bus and already people were in each other's armpits.
       Where could she move to? She tried to turn her face away, away from the source of this stink. But she was trapped. There were so many of her kind here. Jam-packed.
       To make things worse, he 'oozed the stink' now!
       Oh, God! How longer could she bear? He was oozing something vicious smelling and sticky. And it would rub off on her, if she didn't move.
       She had to get out of the way!!!
       And then relief flooded her as the driver braked suddenly and the fat one rolled out, leaving her enough air to gulp down.
       'Oh no........!' the driver cried out.

       'Don't worry. It was rotten. The other mangoes are still here....'another man replied, as he tucked her into the basket.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

The Blah-Blah and The GasMe

       Just when I thought I had enough of Dhongi Blah-Blah RamDev, I am now being bombarded by Sai Blah-Blah's hidden wealth. (btw, love the word Blah-Blah - coined by my genius of a brother)
       But why is everyone surprised? I don't think it should come as a shock to anyone that all these Swamis have ill-gotten wealth stashed away in their orange underwear. What are these poor Swamis supposed to do. Wear one loincloth and walk around giving free advice? Donate all their wealth to charity? Come on, India has so many children unable to afford food or education or healthcare; so many mothers with no access to healthcare; so many elderly thrown out of their homes; that this wealth cannot cover all their needs. The Great Swami-Babas know this. That their wealth is too little to feed one whole village for the next 100 years. They are knowledgeable. They are wise. That is why we drink the water which has been used to wash their feet. They are holy. We are ready to be made pawns in their political games. While we donate thinking our hard-earned money will be blessed by Baba and sent to some charity, they sit on it and warm it. Until this whole stash of currency notes and gold and silver is so hot that they need to levitate from time to time by making one small tiny hospital promising free healthcare.

       And how dare you say that they are materialistic? Haven't they renounced the materialistic world of India and taken refuge in the Swiss banks? How can you say they are attached to this world?
Also they are God-men. You must never, ever offend a God-man in India. There are thousands of fools behind them who will run amok in hysteria cutting up whoever they think is an opposer of this self-made regime.

       Did you know that Homosexuality is a disease?! What you didn't? How foolish you are, Bhakt! Come here, and do yoga with me. Yoga will cure everything. This corrupt disease called Homosexuality as well as cancer. I also want to say, it can cure AIDS, but not now. I will say it later when the incredulous doctors and scientists, whose brains are miniscule in size compared to my unschooled wise brain, calm down. So come and do Yoga. I have been practising Yoga for years. It is another matter that Yoga cannot 'cure' fasting.

       Looking at all the clowns in saffron robes now, I have decided to change my career.

       I'm now officially Sutli-maiyya. Come and listen to my nonsense. Membership fees only Rs 50,000. Though I cannot do bellydancing like them, I can make Tin jewellery(since i'm still a new-comer in this business) appear from thin air. If I do not get 4 members by tomorrow evening, I will go on indefinite fast.

Friday, June 17, 2011


This was the second version of my entry for 'The Other day' @B-A-T. Yes u guessed it right - I am totally obsessed by relationships ;)

       Selma switched off the A.C. She knit her eyebrows together. Her head throbbed and her mouth tasted of bile. Last night's events unfolded in her mind without any order or clarity. Tumbled forth randomly. What exactly had happened 'yester-night'?

       She had had no idea why she chose to look for Zarine in the Nursery. Her daughter was away at her parents'. It had to be the drinks. The whisky was running out and she wanted to ask Rutul to get some. He was not there in the Living Room, neither in the Kitchen. The tequila shots hadn't gone down completely, n she had tottered, grabbed at curtains, leaned on railings, while she had gone looking for Rutul. Maybe her subconscious mind had given her the idea that Rutul was putting Zarine into bed. Or maybe it was her intuition. Something that she would rather not take seriously. Years ago, her intuition had told her, Rutul was not the right guy to marry. But she had gone ahead and married him and it had turned out to be great. They had had a fantastic house, fantastic friends and a fantastic Life. Absolutely no way, she was going to spoil things for herself, by listening to the loony-bin inside her.

       And so last night, for some reason she didn't know, her body had stumbled and fumbled and somehow reached upstairs. In the loud din of the Music blaring out from the Living Room, her shouts were drowned.
       There it was. the Nursery. Just after the master bedroom and the guest bedroom. No that was the master bedroom, this was the guest bedroom. Forget it. She had peered inside one of the rooms. Nope. No Rutul. She had then, headed straight for the Nursery. Wait a minute, the Nursery was on the other side, why had she come here? To this part where only the bedrooms were? Selma shakes her head. Too many drinks. Recall. Remember Selma, what do you remember? Yes, she had passed the first room. And she had heard a noise. Or a voice. She wasn't sure. But it had sounded like someone laughing. giggling. Or maybe a 'Gosh'. Something like that. Something that kicked her from the inside. She had looked for the door. There. Just ahead. Straining through hazy-unfocused eyes, she had managed to clasp the door-jamb. She did not recall if she opened it, or someone opened it for her. All she knew was that she had fallen into the room. 
       Into Rutul's arms. 
       He was naked. Yes, he was. But why? And he was sweating. And he smelt of some familiar scent. She did not know what. But it was a scent that had been around in their house recently.
       If only she hadn't been so befuddled. She would have been out of this confusing maze now.

       Rutul had said something. Something. What? 
       'Selma, What are you doing here?' Yes. He had asked her what she was doing there. And she had giggled. Like a fool. 'I came to look for you. Why aren't you downstairs?'...He was trying to block her view of the room. Almost trying to wrestle her out. 'I want to lie down for some time. My head is spinning. Please put me into bed, Rutul.' And she had stepped past him. And fallen again. He disappeared for a second.    Leaving her on the floor. 
       A split second. 
       During which she thought there was a mannequin on the bed. A head of raven curls. A wig, that moved. And then he was back. He carried her into bed. 'I saw a wig here. Where is it?' she asked him. Looking under the sheets. Flailing with her arms. 'There is no one here darling. No one. You take some rest. I had come here to change my stained shirt. I will get some lemonade for you, and an aspirin.'. 
       There she had seen it again. A head of curls disappearing through the door. Yes, she was sure of it. Or was she
       Later, she had dreamt of an army of curly-wigs attacking her. Running after her. Baying for her blood. And she had woken up screaming.
       There was something wrong. This was the guest bedroom. And Rutul's clothes were in the master bedroom. So what was he doing here last night. She had examined the room, and especially the sheets. She sniffed at them. Where had she smelt that scent before?
       There was a knock at the door. A knock followed by a sweet female voice. 'Are you up, sweetie?' And Parul pushes open the door with her foot, balancing a tea-tray in her hands.
       Parul, her childhood friend. Who has come to stay with them for some months.

       The wig of curls.
       And Selma recalls with complete clarity, all the missing details.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

The Other Day...

This post has been published by me as a part of the Blog-a-Ton 21; the twenty-first edition of the online marathon of Bloggers; where we decide and we write. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton.
       It is stuffy inside the Law Offices. I wave away the offer of Tea that my lawyer asks me. 'There, you go. It is all done. You have been given Zarine's custody now. He will be allowed to see her every Saturday for 2 hours, but that is if you want him to. Basically he has lost his rights as a father.' He explains. I nod, mutter ‘Thanks’, grab the file and walk out of his office.
       I can see his eyes boring the back of my skull.
       For one weak moment, I want to go back and tell him to somehow make all this vanish.
       The files, the court summons, the papers I just signed. Erase them, Tear them, Fling them away into the air. And go back to the Life I had. Wedded Bliss, like Rutul called it.
       Maybe if I was alone, I would have.
       But for Zarine.
       But for her, I wouldn't.
       When Zarine arrived, we could not have been happier. Rutul and I had been married for 9 years, of which 3 were spent dating each other in college. It was Love at first sight. He was perfect in every way imaginable and I considered myself lucky. 
       We had everything planned. When we would buy our own house, when the children would arrive - everything. He had always wanted 4 kids. 2 sons and 2 daughters. ‘For now, let us start with one’ I teased him as he stood there with our precious daughter. Father and Daughter. Touche. 
       It was perfect. 
       Too perfect. 
       I remember lying in the hospital with a living and breathing tiny porcelain wonder in my arms and Rutul holding the telephone to my ear. People calling in and sharing our happiness.
       Life would change. 
       And how.

       The last telephone call that day was from Parul. She was wondering if she could come down to stay with us for sometime.  Rutul thought she was rude to ask that when she knew I was exhausted from my Birthing ordeal. But Parul was my childhood friend and we had done everything together. Until she went to Milan to study and I came down to Delhi with Rutul. She had been on and off with some guys up there and had suddenly decided she wanted to get away from it all. Basically she wanted some breathing space from her too-many-doomed relationships. Her project with some NGO in Delhi had worked out n she wanted to know if she could stay with us. I said yes while Rutul looked at me amused. I saw no offence in what she asked. 'It would be nicer and easier on me, what with the baby and all. I could sure have her help while she stays.' I explained to Rutul later. 

       We threw a party a few days later. Welcoming Zarine and Parul, both. I was glad to have her by my side. We reminisced over school incidents, startling Rutul with our giggling fits. He felt better too. Maybe he was secretly relieved that I no longer cribbed to him about how grossly fat and ugly I thought I looked post-delivery. I had felt that Rutul and I were growing distant. Maybe it was my Post-natal depression taking over. But sometimes I felt rejected when he turned over to his side of the bed, instead of cuddling me like before. 
       It was Parul who made me feel beautiful. She indulged me and booked the Beauty-Salon to attend to me at Home. We went shopping, and once again after all these years, she was my soul-sister. The party was a huge success. Parul was not as beautiful as me, yet she looked looked stunning in her backless gown, while I looked like a douche bag with my post-natal fat.
       She was infectious. Her vivaciousness, her optimism and her laughter. 
       'Stay away from her,I'm saving her for someone', I growled mockingly at Sam and Arush, who wanted me to ask her out on their behalf.

       14 months after that party, I filed for Divorce.

       I had had no idea that the ‘someone’ I was joking about would be ‘my own someone’. Absolutely no clue. No, not until The Other Day. When I impulsively decided to cancel my shopping mid-way and returned to find Rutul, still in his back-from-work clothes, explaining to me, in front of a half-dressed Parul surprised, while I stand there, the bags on the floor, Zarine shrieking at being awakened by our noisy intrusions, two voices in my ears, Paruls’ and Rutul’s, incoherent mumblings, stammerings, lispings, repetitions of the same words, two voices – ‘It is not what it seems, darling, let me explain. I have not done anything wrong, (….No, Parul screams, No you loser) and he had just come upstairs to change (…..we have been going at it ever) and that Parul had seduced him (…..since the party) and that he loved me and not her (….you pathetic prick, you wanted me) and that it was just a physical momentary thing for him (….don’t believe him, he is lying) and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah......

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Wednesday, June 01, 2011

The Yellow Suitcase

       Little things she will not miss now. Her socks. Her bag. Her plaits. Her long hours in front of the mirror practising to dab on lipstick without it being visible - so she could tempt Him with them. The polka dotted underwear. The 30A Enamor bra that she has been towing for 10 years. Though she can't fit into it anymore, she still has it. 
       It is in her yellow suitcase. That old container of secrets. The treasurer of Valentine day cards, Secret admirer cards, love letters scrawled in a boy's handwriting. Folded and refolded many times. Cinthol powder sprinkled across to have them smell nice when she opened them. Now they crumble in her hands. 
       Sighing, she arranges them in the paper-bin. Fondling an old silver chain with a heart shaped locket. He had put it around her neck last week. Just like he had all those years ago. He had brought it for her, wrapped up in a leaf torn out of a notebook. Hidden away in his school bag. They had been scared someone would see them. He had fumbled with the clasp, while she held her hair away from her nape. He had hardly dared to touch her, and yet, she had hugged him fiercely and demanded his mouth. And just when they had parted, they had seen their class teacher pass by in the corridor. How they had fled!
       Little things she will not miss now. Her old watch. The one she would check impatiently when she was waiting for Him. Stomping her feet in mock-anger when He turns down the corner. Then flinging all shyness aside, running into His arms. The world could go fuck itself. She was 15 after all. As grown-up as she could be. And she was in Love with this sexy 17 year old God.
       Oh, what agony it was to love someone and not be able to indulge in all the glorious wonderful things that Love brought with it! Oh, to hide from prying eyes of their teachers, and classmates and their families! What agony! To sneak up in the canteen after school was over and steal a kiss. To pull apart as if struck by lightning, the moment they heard any sound. To have that tingling all over everytime they saw each other. To continue talking to friends when all they wanted to do was spend every waking moment with each other. To keep wishing that they did not have to give a damn about exams and tests and marks.

20 years ago. How time flies by! 20 years. During which He had gone off to another country to pursue higher studies. During which she had studied and worked and married. During which they had lost contact. There were no mobile phones and internet then!

       Her marriage was a successful one, technically. She saw her husband twice a year. When Mr. Husband was home as Mr. Husband for 10 days and not as 'Captain-General' in the Indian Navy. It was just a matter of convenience that they did not opt for kids. 
Twice a year Mr Husband remembered that his wife was a woman. 
Twice a year, for 10 days each, she lay under him like a mechanical doll. Making the right noises and touching the right places. While her mind went back to her Lover. 
She often wondered where He was. And if He was married. And if He kissed His wife the same way He had kissed her. Gently, lovingly. 
Her tears for her lost Love delighted the husband who thought it was for his skill at Love-making. 
       Now her husband was no more. Befitting his status, He was given a 17 gun salute at his burial. She walked and talked and posed as the Grieving Widow. Sadly there was nothing that she remembered of her husband, to miss. Except the smell of cigars whenever he was home. 
       5 years of working in an NGO and being a Social Butterfly in Mumbai had not eased her Loneliness. She would never find peace until she found where He was. She wished she could get hold of a Time-machine. She would have changed everything. 

       It was some days later that her neighbour's son started coming over every time his mum was out. She welcomed him and his mum was grateful that her child did not get bored alone. She found him a very intelligent and typical of his generation. Hooked onto the Internet. 'Don't you have a boyfriend, Aunty? How can you not have one?' - he asked with all the wonder of his 11 years old wisdom. 'Well, I'm trying to look for this friend of mine, but have no idea how to' - she replied. He squealed and hooted with laughter. Surprised, she waited for him to speak, half-expecting a 'You are mad' from his mouth. But no, he immediately switched on her computer and before she knew it, she was learning how to use the 'Search' options in Orkut and Facebook and half a dozen other sites! It was Wonderland to her. She had never imagined looking up someone in the world would be so easy (or difficult when they faced about 773 results for His name). Through the next 3 days, they filtered the results and settled down on 2 profiles. She decided she didn't want to compose the message in front of the kid. It was much too intimate for her, all this contact-making thing. Over too much Vodka and Wine, her Best friend convinced her to stop living like a 'Fool' and write to Him. They sent the message that very night - to both the men.
'Hey, Do u remember me? We went to school together at Doon. It is all right if u don't.'
       Days went by without an answer. Then her inbox showed a new message. It was not him. The man had replied 'No I don't. But I wouldn't mind, looking at ur picture' n a leering smiley face. She blocked him. She waited some more. 
       And then the pumpkin turned into a chariot. It was Him. He had written, that he did had never forgotten her! Funny how she still felt like a young schoolgirl. She resisted the impulse to hoot and whoop and twirl around the room. 

       They talked for hours, and days. And she learnt that He stayed in Mexico and his wife had passed away years ago. He hadn't remarried, 'never got the hang of it' he had joked. He had one teenage son who was off to college. He was pretty much alone. And dating. Yes He was dating on and off. But if she ever came to Mexico He sure would be glad to catch up!
She booked her flights. And then told Him there was some Charity she was expected to be attending in the States, but she would definitely like to meet Him, if He was, er, free.
       They spent 2 weeks together. He hadn't changed much. She was scared that He would have become paunchy and bald like most of the middle-aged men she knew. While she was confident her looks and figure would make His eyes pop out, she did not want to be dismayed. Even when she saw the photos He had sent across, she was not too sure. But when He came to pick her up at the airport, she recognized Him almost immediately. Hair peppered with a little grey, yet the same twinkling hazel eyes and the sexy arms. And His massive chest. She trembled when He greeted her with an embrace. He still wore Christian Dior. She almost had an orgasm then and there. He took her to a hotel near His ranch. They went places. They tried acting formal. It didn't work. Then He flirted and she giggled. They reminisced. They laughed. It did not take Him long to be bothered by their chemistry. 
       That same night she broke a nail and He bumped His head. 
       He had thought of her often, He said. And longed for her the same way she had. He had come back once and tried to visit her old house. But it was inhabited by new people who had no idea where her family had moved. He had given up hope then and there. 
       They spent the rest of the week in a dreamy haze. He could not have enough of her and she of him. One week later He put around her neck, a platinum chain with a little platinum heart. No diamond ring nothing. Heck, she was still a school girl wanting diamonds, when he was giving her platinum! He kissed her nape, she trembled as that delicious stinging ray made its way up her spine. And then He popped the question.
       The precious four words. 
       Needless to say, she agreed. 'I should have done this years ago' He mumbled. 
       She agreed to that too. 
       Smiling, she turns her head to look in the mirror. The little heart on her chain lies nestled between her breasts. She powders her face and leaves. Her flight is at 9 tonight.
       Little things she will not miss now. 
       Her Yellow Suitcase. Her Years since school. Her Longing for Him.
       Little things she will not miss now.