Monday, 16 December 2013

Waiting For Jesus


Johnathan loved this time of the year. Not for the usual "Holiday Cheer" which swept the town but the highly requisite break from work which came with the month long celebration. The Jefferson farm was almost ready for Christmas and the produce was ready to be delivered to the markets. There was not a worry in sight.
Johnathan had just finished the Christmas tree and the cold night was not going to deter him from lighting the stable too. He makes his way to the stable but stops on seeing a small figure in front of the stable. He draws closer and realises that the object in his path is a boy.
"Aren't you the O' Reilly’s boy?"
"Yes sir. Peter O' Reilly."
"Well son what are you doing here? Shouldn't you be at the church, helping out your folks and the town for Christmas?"
“I will go there in a while."
Johnathan sets up a ladder and begins his climb with the lights and ornaments. He does not let socializing ever slow his work down and today was no different. The lights were spread all over the stable roof and decorations were put on the edge and the corners. He looked at the spread and felt a sense of pride. He began his climb down to the empty ground.
But he was surprised to see Peter still standing at the exact same spot.
"Are you looking for something?"
"I am waiting for Jesus."
Johnathan chuckled at the reply.
"There are scores of kids like you at the town mall, asking for Santa and giving him their wishes. Why are you waiting for Jesus?"
"Well, Mama said that it was Jesus’s birthday on Christmas. So all this that we do is for him. And Santa can only get you toys and chocolates. I have enough of toys. I want something which only Jesus can give me by coming back."
"Why do you want Jesus back?"
"Mama said that a long time ago, he came and changed the world. I want to change the world, so I need him."
Johnathan paused at the unanticipated replies he was receiving. He had felt a sense of pity for Jesus."The Son Of God died for us. Look what we did with that opportunity? He died for humanity. And now only humans remain, covered with greed and the seduction of the Serpent. Forgive us Lord for insulting your sacrifice." That was his silent prayer every Christmas.
"What do you want to change Peter?"
"Everything. I want him to give us enough food so that the whole world can cure their hunger. I want him to give us even more chocolate."
Johnathan smiled at the simplicity of the child's demands.
"I want him to kill money. So that my Mama can get that cancer treatment she needs. The mean doctors refuse to treat her till she gets the money. She tried working at two jobs. But She got even more sick. I want my Daddy to stop drinking. I want him to be less mean."
The smile evaporated from Jonathan’s face. A small kid did not want a man in a Red Coat for Christmas. He wanted the Son Of God to save his Mama.
"I need Jesus. I need him to change this world. Then I will grow up and make it better. But I need love at first. As Mama says, anything which begins with Love, will always last."
"Kiddo, I am sure Jesus is listening to you. But why come here? You can pray to him better in Church."
"He came to us the first time in a stable. Yours was the only stable I knew that was close enough. So I have been waiting here every night for an hour since 2 weeks."
"Why don't we start walking towards the church and you tell me what else you will ask Jesus?"
Peter nodded. Johnathan lifted him up and they began a walk towards the church.
"And call me Johnathan."
"Johnathan?"
"Yes, Peter."
"I hate money."
"Yeah. So do I my friend. So do I."
The Jefferson farm was enveloped in a blanket of silence. There was not a soul to be seen or heard for the entire breadth of the farm. Suddenly, strong gusts of winds began. A plastic angel at the top of the stable fell to the ground.
Three figures made their way from the back gate of the farm. They were singing a word in perfect harmony.
"Jehovah! Jehovah! Jehovah!"
A burst of bright light swamped the Jefferson Stable which broke the sleep of every animal in the stable.
To some a conspiracy, to some an elaborate show, but to many, it was just what the world needed.

A Christmas Miracle.

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Gods Of Reality


Of all the things Evil needs to exist, Apathy is the most important.
6 AM: She enters the office with a pensive look and murmuring words to herself. She is charging with a uniform speed towards her office as a bull charges towards the matador. She calls for a staff meeting in the conference room at 7. The routine kicks in as the television is turned on to see the rival channels and scanning through the newspapers to see news which the channel has not covered. The ratings from last week have come along with the viewer complaints. She gives the rating a thorough look while the complaints are chugged into the garbage.
7 AM: The staff meeting has begun 10 minutes late. She does not look impressed.
"We reached a new TRP low. The channel which began a year back has higher rating than us. How the fuck did that happen??"
The room is silent.
"I know. It is because this room comprises of the worst journalists in the country who do not let a story go and never pick up a new one which is interesting."
"We have reports out of a village where a girl has complained against a local Godman saying he molested her."
"Ok. Has this "Godman" done anything on national level? What is the number of his followers?"
"I do not know the .. ex..exact figures but I would guess a district atmost."
She gave a venomous look," Then perhaps you should let local news handle it or those idiots at Hindi news channels! We need TRPs!"
"Madam next week, Ramesh Ghyan retires from Hockey after 17 years. Can we do a special about that?"
"Speaking of sports, what is happening with that cricketer who retires next month. Is the video package ready? What was it 8 years on the national side?"
"Yes Madam it is ready. We also have the interview with him at the end of the month."
"That is some good work. Finally!"
"Umm madam, what about my request for the Hockey Retirement?"
"Yes Yash. What is the National Sport of this country?"
"Hockey."
"What sport is watched by the whole nation and is on everyone's minds everyday?"
"Cricket."
"Exactly. So tell me what is my reply going to be?"
"Ok. I will make time for it on my Sports show today."
"Today we will run the life and times of Amitabh Bachchan as he turns 75. Major focus on him every hour,ok? No news story should interrupt for more than 5 minutes and hour. Is that clear to all the producers??"
A group of people nod their heads.
She pulls a journalist aside as the room is being vacated.
"Sukanya, where are you with the investigation of XYZ?"
"I will be getting a call from my sources any minute. They will furnish the evidence."
"Great. You will come straight to me after the call."
8 AM: Sukanya enters her office.
"Madam, here it is. Proof that the officials from the MNC bribed the village heads into accepting lower compensation. They even destroyed the crops as well as instigated riots. Once that happened, the villagers were ready to vacate the land."
She looks over the details with a smile.
“Excellent work! Now let me take care of it. Thank You!"
Sukanya smiles and leaves the office.
As soon as the door shuts close, She starts dialling a number.
"Well Aakash , it's Channel 8 news, We have some evidence of foul play involved in you procuring the land in MP for your fertiliser plant. Care to comment?"
A long conversation ensues which ends with a laughter-
"So it's agreed, XYZ will be the title sponsors for our Telethon next month. Nice doing business with you."
9 -11 AM: She is busy supervising the proceedings at the channel. She takes the call to reduce the feature time on the story a building fire because there was no report of casualties of more than 3. The Star Special was interrupted once again only to celebrate the century of a cricketer and to talk with "experts" on whether the current Indian Side was the best in years.
12 PM: Sukanya meets her at the production room.
"So madam will I be carrying the story this evening?"
"Sukanya change of plans, we will be burying the story. I don't think there is enough mileage to extend it beyond a week. Rajesh!? Come here."
"But madam.. what about the villagers and their land?"
"Well life is tough now isn't it?"
"But madam this.."
Sukanya is pushed aside into the storage room
"Now listen to me you petty journalist, I am your boss and I just gave you an order. You will follow it. You think your little story would change anything? The MNC has the strongest legal team in the country. They have invested billions here. You think the government will do anything to them? It will be a fine atmost. Besides, I need them for the Telethon next month. You drop this story or you can bid your career goodbye."
 2 PM: Second Staff meeting: 
"Madam I think we should put a regular focus on Irom Sharmila atleast once a week."
"Oh I am sorry, is this 2000? What will you want next? Still focus on the Anti-Corruption Movement? Or perhaps the Bhopal Tragedy??"
There is silence in the room.
"Rajesh here has done some extraordinary journalism and got us an exclusive leak. RAW had placed a high level asset under Pakistan's ISI. They now fear he is a double agent. I want the story to be carried at 4. Any suggestions for the title? I was thinking the "Double-Edged Sword of Espionage: India’s failed intelligence"."
"Madam I have got RAW on the line."
"Yes Mr Deshpande"
"You do realise that you cannot reveal this story. You are forbidden under the present law from doing so." A grave voice on the phone .dictates
"I am forbidden from revealing the name and rank of the officer. Not the fact that he may have betrayed RAW."
“You listen to me, If you go ahead with this story, you will endanger the security of our agents and nation. This is not some Parliamentary report or an expose on corrupt politicians. This is a matter of national defence!"
“Well the people need to know about the competency of the agencies protecting them. I hope that was not a threat. Our legal team will be ready to answer every accusation you may want to level. But what you should be worried about is the witch hunt which I will claim your organisation has against this news channel. I will get the army of journalists to line up with us. I hope you know when we say that the public has forgotten the issue, it is simply not true. They remember what we want them to remember, they forget what we want them to forget. And if I so choose, I can make this a constant nightmare for RAW."
The phone disconnects.
3 PM: "Natasha, I need a celebrity ambassador for the Telethon. No, I am not going to pay them a dime! Get me a scoop you have which can be leveraged for a favour."
Few minutes later, she dials another number.
“Hello, This is Channel 8 news. I feel sorry for you, the nightmare of having a starlet dating a married man."
The conversation continues for 10 minutes and ends with a wide smile across her face.
4 PM: She leaves the office and meets a guy on the way.
"Ravi, I am done for the day. Remember the lineup and the debate at 8 with the party spokespersons about the stupid thing one of them said the previous night. Let’s hope that they do it again. More fodder for the week! And remind me next week, we need to increase the time for commercials. Make it 15 minutes in every hour."
11 PM: Sukanya is crying in the TV Room. The crew is busy making packages or reviewing the lineups. The Channel is showing an interview with Indian Ocean as they perform "Des Mera".
Sukanya looks at the various screens in front of her. The lyrics and the images are in a rhythm.

"MP calls his wife a witch and accuses her of cheating in public" 

" Indians refuse to progress"- Is this the biggest betrayal by Salman Rushdie to his motherland?"

"ISI claims that one of their senior officers has died in a car accident”

“How safe are Indian Women? followed by a discussion with directors on the importance of Item Numbers and how they design them."

“Do we really need Sex Education or will it just degrade Indian culture?"

"India's 1.4 Billionth baby named Harsh, Government announces new scheme to control population."

“Building Fire kills 15, Builder cannot be traced."

Her tears stop as the last lines are sung,


"Sukhe naina, rooki ankhiyaan
Dhundhla dhundhla sapna
Aansu bhi namkeen hai pyaare
Jo tapke so chakhna"



Tuesday, 8 October 2013

I Do Not Love Thee..

That sight which profess love at first,
The eyes and smile which haunt any man's dream,
The grace we all worship,
And yet, that be not my cup of tea.
I do not love thee...

Fate played with us again and again,
There you are on the street floating,
Thou greet me with kindness and laughter,
And fool me for a second.
I fly to a land where your innocence could exist,
I am glad you made me feel this way,
But I do not love thee..

I feel at unease at being myself 
I yearn for your presence and beg to court thee,
Thou agree to put me out of my misery.
I sit there as a loyal audience to thy stories.
Laughter.Pain.Hope.Joy.
They flood my eternal cynic of a heart,
And yet, I pray and try,
But I do not love thee...

In the first month of our courtship,
I did that, which I feared the most,
I cross you and hurt you,
For a reason I did not expect,
You decree me to being a pig,
That your passion lies for a man who treat you as an equal,
For you possess the tenacity to match every man.

Well my dear, I have studied thee for a time now,
And I must proclaim your falsehood,
For you do not match us men,
But outlast us through and through,
Thy endurance and strength be not matched by any,
Thou be the most formidable creature I had the pleasure to meet,
I am weak and fragile in comparison
And though I admire you,
I do not love thee....

So here we are on the edge of green,
Staring at the flood of blue below.
You beg for a swim in crystal blue sea,
I protest and insist that I am a ruin of physicality,
She kisses me on the cheek to declare,
"You are perfect to me."

The little confused man in me knows not what to do,
Should I break apart now or sweep her through?
With every ounce of life in me,
And courage that I could lend from God's great Will,
I looked you in the eye and sang,
"I do not love thee. For love I regard a selfish beast.
I cherish thee with all my might and more,
I pray with all my faith that I help you grow,
Be what you wish and desire to be,
That I should never be a hindrance to your needs,
I resign my ego and jealousy in hope that you reward me with honesty and loyalty.
With this declaration I patiently wait on thee,
For I beg you to not love me ,in hopes,
That one day you will Cherish me too....”

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Watching Bigg Boss with Gandhi


The clock reads five minutes to 9. I race to the kitchen to grab my daily dose of beer and pasta. I come back and place myself in the living room and turn the television on to see the crazy antics of Bigg boss participants. Except this time, there is already someone sitting on my sofa. He is covered in a long white cloth and has a thick stick in his hand. He is bald with thinly rimmed glasses on his face. I remove my wallet and a ten rupees note in a series of involuntary actions. I rub my eyes twice and stare at the figure before me.
"Holy Shi...zs it's Mahatma Gandhi!" I shout at the top of my voice, as I still compare the person before me with the face on the note. 
I am still not convinced and I spring towards my laptop to perform a quick search.
"Does watching a Breaking Bad Marathon give you "Methi-cal" Hallucinations??"(Shockingly, almost all the search results were positive. It is on closer inspection I realized that almost all of them were smoking something while watching the show, so does not apply.)
"Ok you are real."
The man kept smiling back at me and sat still as a loud noise woke up the participants of the reality show. What do I do? Should I explain to him what a television is? Should I turn it off?
As these thoughts raced through my mind, I took a sip of my cold Kingfisher. He started a deep frown and grunting as the beer flowed through my throat. I looked at him and smiled.
"Well, umm, the guy owns..sorry, who used to own this company is a huge admirer of yours."
The frown grew deeper. I disposed the beer into the garbage.
So the night had taken an unusual turn where I was not having alcohol and my TV mate was the Father of The Nation.  The television had the habitual drama of a fight with censors and beeps used continuously followed by crying and insane theatrics of a house member.
"These children seem very distressed. They should meditate every day. What is this noise which interrupts their speech?" he asked in Gujarati.
How do you explain it to the Father of Non-Violence that these "Children" were using the crudest forms of expletives in a race to win money and fame by demeaning themselves and their loved ones? This is not the India he fought for.
I change the channel and a music channel comes next with an item number.
"Why is this child dressed like that?"
"Well, Bapu, fashion has changed a lot since 1940's. Everyone dresses like this nowadays. And as far as her case goes, well, the producers and director have given her this dress which exposes her as much as possible without claiming nudity so that men all over the country get excited by the meaningless song and come to theatres to watch the movie where this song will not even be a part of the film. The melody is made so catchy that everyone grooves to it-man or woman, uttering garbage at the same time. So yeah that is the purpose."
Bapu closed his eyes. I remembered something.
"Bapu, you always preached,"See No Evil, Speak No Evil, Hear No Evil". Why?"
"To keep the soul pure."
"Forgive me Bapu, but I beg to differ. There is far too much evil in the world to simply numb our senses to it. It seeps into us eventually. We need to be like stones. Let it slide around us and not be affected by it. Fight it head on. Not cripple ourselves by shutting the senses down."
He gives me a look which I presume meant that he was taking my opinions under advisement. I again change the channel and a news debate appears. Three men and two women are shouting with broken throats. The topic was about the Reservation for Scheduled Castes and Tribes.
"But Ambedkar and others assured me that it will only be for a limited while. For upliftment and not division. “Exclaimed Bapu with a grave undertone.
"Leeches love division. That is all I can say."
What more do I tell the man? How religion is used like a weapon in politics, despite all his efforts. The corruption and the hypocrisy. The numb and almost rampant violence we have. The India he fought for is barely recognizable  That now there are more books written on his sex life than his teachings. There are more critics than believers.
"I think it is time for me to leave. I spent all my life fighting for her. I cannot fight her and its children. I do not have the strength to fight my own. Can you give me some fruit, son?"
I rushed and got him an apple. He ate them with the same satisfaction as I eat an expensive apple pie. He smiled and blessed me.
He began his walk towards a bright light at my front door, singing "Raghupati Raghav" (The original which is infinitesimally better than the deplorable Krissh 3 mockery)
His frail body supported by a stick reminds me that you do not need to have packed abs and perfect biceps to change the world. I guess one of the problems is that the world has forgotten that.

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Confessions of a Naive Thief.

"Damn Aziz! Tomorrow someone will come and bail you out. Till then atleast entertain us. We hear that no thief in Mumbai can match your exploits."
Two men in a Khaki shaded uniform addressed a set of steel bars. A figure behind the bars appears, but barely shows his face.
"That depends. Are you holding a cigarette?"
"Oh sure! Ganesh, give him a cigarette and lighter."
Aziz sits with smoke enveloping his presence. The two men also sit in front of the bars.
"This was the time when I had got a fake gun and planned on gaining extra honey for the weekend. But I encountered 3 youths which changed the whole goddamn plan. The three of them must have a difference of only a couple of years  between them and yet so different."
"The first one I found in a quiet lane all by himself. He was wearing a school uniform and had two cell phones in his hand. He gave the clear impression that he used to have baths in money every day. So I decided to make him my first client on the steep turning of the lane. A black cloth covered my face as I placed the gun on the back of his head and asked him to kneel down. The little shit starts crying and begging.
"Please brother, don't kill me. I am still in the 10th grade. I have only slept with one girl. I want to sleep with atleast four more. I want to go to clubs and drink till I collapse. I want to smoke a cigar. This vacation, we are going to Goa. Please, I want to go. I want to be with a group of people who do not care about me but will accept me if I join them in doing hash and ganja. Please I want people, I want to have fun. I want to have girlfriends and cheat on them. I want to know what an open relationship feels like. I want to push my parents with my recklessness and destroy my life. Then I want to sit back and watch them salvage my life because they love me. Please I want to live, please."
"I know what you guys are thinking. Of all the things in the world, this guy begs me for his life so that he can destroy it. And the honesty. The honesty which flowed for a person he had known for less than five minutes. The truth is always stranger than fiction."
"I took away all his cash and one of his phones. He ran like a dog released from his cage. I loved the gun. I wished I could put the gun on everyone in my life to make them honest."
"The second turd of a man was seen by me on a busy road in Bandra. The day had dampened my high hopes and I needed a score. This fellow was weak with thick spectacles and holding a phone in his hand which consumed the entirety of his attention. Easy target. I waited for him to make a turn in a nearby lane and I shoved him to an isolated space."
"Please, please leave me. I don't have anything"
"I grabbed his phone and was about to push him away when I saw something which widened my eyes behind that black mask. A woman in skimpy clothes, what do you call that "beekiini", yes that. On something called "Instagram". Yes I can read a little. Below there was a number something… 150 +.
“I enquired about what I was looking at?"
"Seriously? You don't know Instagram?"
“I gave a threatening look in reply and he recoiled with profuse apologies.”
"It's an app where you can put up photos and your followers can see these photos. It is the best thing for boys man, there are twice as many uploads than facebook, beautiful girls uploading anything and everything they have clicked. I am also able to save some of them through a hack, here let me show you my collection"
There were thousands of photos of women, in different folders, one saying "Facebook", “Twitter”, “Instagram”. He looked at them as they were his own and with a glee and smile. I could swear he was hungry.
"Why?"
"Why? What you think anyone will go out with me? I am a gigantic loser. Plus with these women spilling everything online, I already feel I am dating atleast 5 of them." he responded with a sinister smile.
"You know Bopare Saheb, last week when you arrested Raju for teasing that girl in his chawl? What about this guy? He has teased more girls than my entire gang combined. Where is his lockup?"
The audience was silent. Bopare then asks," What did you do next?"
"I took his phone and sold it."
"You know Aziz that your buyer must have extracted those photos and uploaded them online."
"No, he can't. I got the weirdo to delete everything on his phone and give to me. I then hit his face with the gun. I warned him that if I find out that he was again doing this, I will make him pay. It's disgusting; we tease women in front of them and get slapped for it. This guy spies on thousands of daughters and gets away scot-free."
"My last encounter was the most interesting one."
"I followed him from Dadar station. He was wearing a tie and looked like an office guy. I took my chance in the empty urinal and shoved him to the floor with a stern demand to empty his pockets."
"Don't kill me. I have just started with my life. I want to dream and live to see those dreams break in front of me. I want to find someone whom I can love and trust and then wait to see who the first to break that love and trust is. I want to begin with ideals and values and then sell them out to survival. I want to have kids and kill their dreams. I want to throw my back out in working for my family and then die of a deadly disease in my 50's. Or I want to wait and see who wins. Whether I die with the blast of a nuclear explosion decimating me or a flood which submerges this city with unprecedented weather. I want to live to give taxes to leeches that do nothing for me and destroy my world by creating more thieves like you. Yes this is the future, the shittiest one, but I still want to live."
"His words hit me in an inexplicable way. I put my gun back and told him to get out. I did not snatch anything from him."
"He got up and hugged me as he cried. He then walked as fast as he could out of the urinal. I felt a strange sense of joy and amusement."
"I was washing my hands when I felt my back pocket was lighter. I checked and found my wallet was missing. So this man, who had more than everything I could afford, stole from me. What could I do? Report to the police?"

"I felt disgusted and that is when I beat up that beggar and wound up here tonight. I realised that everyone is a jerk. Even those who have never seen the inside of a cell. Fucking Imbeciles."

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Fairytale

"When the history of our time is written, you know what we will be called? The Bubble Age." Dr Sant declared with conviction as he was telling his secretary with another gulp of whiskey. She types and awaits his next word. She is still at office while across town her boyfriend is waiting for her so that they can go to the hottest club in town. But her tormentor boss has a speech at a huge conference tomorrow with hundreds of VVIP's and aired across the nation. But you need money to pay for the shots. So she is not going to protest.
"We all want the bubble of ignorance. The comfort of our family, friends and lovers around us. He forgot to kiss me before he left for work. My son is not studying and conforming the way society desires. My eldest son has no zeal to earn or to carry on my family business. Are we doing enough for the baby? How does it all matter? Do you know in the next 12 years wars are not going to be fought on oil, but for clean water? We are, by even the most optimistic predictions going to face a water crisis globally. The worst in Mumbai and Delhi. We grow and grow with no thought. There are families who think it’s more profitable to live in slums with the risk of infections and diseases than in a clean secure environment. But everyone loves their bubbles-The teen wants the girl he loves, the nerd wants the new laptop for better gaming, the Jock wants to win his next game. The teenage girl is worried about the way others see her. The mother of her children worries about what they will amount to in life and will they ever be responsible. And that businessman is trying to chunk in the last piece of currency to add to his ever-growing pile"
"The Terrorist wants to kill as many as he can to prove his point because he believes blood changes the world as per his wishes. There are wars because someone wants a piece of land. We made the world a more dangerous place and then we expect to thrive and hope. We invented the atom bomb and now want to reduce their supply; We are busy killing each other as if it's a race on who beats us all to heaven and hell."
Sant stops and sighs." Climate Change. Asteroids.  Epidemics.  Social breakdown. We are staring into a dark abyss and what we want is not to save the world or correct it, but the next I Phone model."
He chuckles and gets up. His secretary is staring at him with her jaw wide open. He comes to her desk and turns off the computer."But sir that was not saved!"
"Enjoy the club, Miss. I will see you Monday." She gets up and looks back at him with a puzzled look.
"When the whole world is going down the drain, all you really wanna hear are Fairytales."


Wednesday, 26 June 2013

The Night Satan Called






"Pleased to meet you, hope you guess my name...” I turn in my bed and with minimalist enthusiasm, my hands reach for my phone. When did I change the ringtone to Sympathy For the Devil. I don't recognise the number and I accept the call with the sole intention of chiding them for the "Un-Godly" Hour call.
"Hello" a voice sweet as honey greets me and sleep is instantly de-prioritized.
"Hello Madam, I am sorry I don't recall who you are?"
"It does not matter who I am, what matters is what I can do for you”. The sweetness grows even more but I can see that this is not a SOS call and rather a prank or even worse-the services which married men like me should not be associated with.
"Ok I am not interested in anything that you want to offer"
"But I think you are interested Mr Matthews." Suddenly a stern voice of a man replaces the honey-filled sounds which greeted me.
"Who is this? Do you know what time it is?"
"666.That's all the numbers that matter to me. John, You are talking to the eternal Genie, the greatest Salesman ever to walk the earth and the only true friend of your kind. My name is Lucifer."
"So you want me to believe that you are The Devil?"
And as the words were being spoken, a plate of donuts appears on my bed.
"You were craving for these right now aren’t you?" giggles the man on the other side of the phone.
I jump out of my bed away from the donuts as if they were leopards, out to get me.
The Prince of Evil gives out a loud sadistic laugh.
"So John, What will it be? That new client is very attractive isn't she? Want me to set it up? The wife will be completely clueless. Or that new promotion which Richard is getting, wouldn’t you want it? Want me to make him go away? Or you want me to pay a visit to your stepfather who wants to grab your late mother's wealth, wealth which is rightfully yours. Tell me John."
I give all his offers a thought and then shake my head to reiterate to myself. He is the Devil. I try to turn the tables on him "What makes you so special and better than me? You may be the Fallen One, but the fact that you have "daddy issues" makes you pretty human too. Where is your father? Have you resolved the anger you have towards him? If you do that then I know you can perform miracles."
Now silence engulfs my surroundings. But it was just silence before the storm
"HOW DARE YOU QUESTION ME? YOU INSIGNIFICANT HUMAN!" 
A gust of hot breath burns my ears as my phone becomes too hot to hold. I drop it on the bed and step away to the corner of my room. Then the phone speaks at deafening pitch.
"My Father chose you. You gang of imbeciles who breed greed and degeneracy in the world. He regrets his decision. You blame me? You brand and curse me for everything bad in this world? I am a mere seller of contracts and wishes; it is you and your kind who accept the temptations i offer. You think because you are the buyer, it absolves you of any wrongdoing? No it does not. If humans are so noble and strong, why do they give in to me .Lying, Cheating, Greed and Lust cannot be committed with the innocence of the perpetrator. As far as you are concerned Johnny Boy, You will succumb to my charms. You have had few misgivings in this life, but I can sense your need to fail. You will soon be my customer." The voice ceases to speak and the phone burns to ashes. I quickly throw it on the floor to prevent my house from burning down.

As far as his words go, I did give in to his charms three months later. There were no personal calls, no visits or coercion. The natural human desperation lead me from a path of "somewhat" righteousness to a dark abyss of numbness. I did it once. I did it twice. I never stopped. I went on till I felt cold and hollow deep inside. I got what I wanted. I lost what I needed. 

Thursday, 13 June 2013

It Was All A Dream




I follow him,the brother of the Son Of God,
With a stone and force I make him fall asleep to the ground,
"Run!" I beseech my lord and he does with a blessing in my name,
And then a tap of my mother wakes me from this noble quest.

"Bella!" I shout,echoing at every corner of Florence being built,
Da Vinci stands lost in his world and
Michaelangelo is jubilant at the appreciation,
And suddenly I wake up remembering to study.

"Write a book on your life" I shout in a tavern,
A drunk scribe laughs "Me?The mortal common flea?"
Little does he know that he is the King Of Words,
The Soul Of The Age drinks it up and agrees.

"To be or Not to Be,That is the question."
Echoes in the Globe as claps thunder,
I stand,I cry,for words be living things,
Permeating the flesh and blood of me,
A part I cannot shake,
Words are loud -"Get up,Son!"

Armored Guards make way for me,
I stand before him-The Emperor Of India,
He smiles and welcomes me to a grand chamber,
"Din I Ilahi" vibrates through the chamber.
For its him the King Of Kings-Akbar.
And suddenly comes Optimus,
To sully my dream and wake me.

"Don't give them a port"I scream in the crowd.
"Make them Partners!The British will destroy us"
Jehangir Jehangir echoed the Delhi crowds,drowning my voice.
And a regretful me welcomes himself back to reality.

A jovial crowd gathers as a man in shawl walks,
Two women on his either side as he greets his audience,
And I come charged with a knife,"Godse!"
Knife lies deep in a guy with a gun,
I smile with relief.I saved him.

"You have got to take it easier Mate!"
A guy with glasses hands me over some beer,
"I am John,These are Paul,Ringo and George"
And they all hummed a tune,something familiar I felt.
"All you need is love,eh?"
Shouted Paul and all four burst into laughter.

I look down and see myself in a fine cotton tuxedo.
I look up and my eyes go wider,
"That is the prettiest smile I have ever seen."
She walks up to me and hugs
"How are you Al?"
"I am fine Audrey,How are you?"

I storm at the Iron Throne,
With a sword in my Hand,
"Today I slay a King again along with a Queen"
I shove it deep in Joffrey and Cersei, as they look at me,
Jaime Lannister killed Family.

"You got me something?What is it?"
A loud exuberant shout emerges,
"You did this?" And I see a wide smile.
Only dream where I am Me
And she embraces me,
Happy and Smiling,
"Its all back and I am happy"
With that thought, Eyes open.
Memories make the best dreams.

"Child I stand before you with an offer."
"I am the angel of dreams and I can make your glorious musings your reality"
"So I will no longer stand aside,watching others dreams come true?"
The angelic smile said  "Yes".
Alarm thunders.
As I come back to the reality of nightmares, I smile.
You can put me through what you want,
You can shove me high and low,
But All my dreams are here to stay,
When the world abandons me,
With my eyes closed,
I rule it for eternity.






Tuesday, 14 May 2013

The Best Paper Ever Written





 A pack of papers flutter as the wind blows in from the battered window. A peon comes and quickly grabs them taking them to the floor below. He puts the pile in front of a disgruntled figure, who looks at him with bloodshot eyes. The peon smiles and the figure grumbles for a tea. The peon moves out, with every intention of delaying the order as is humanly possible. The figure then proceeds to gather the pile which he was ravaging with his red knife. He places a card on the pile. 'Ravindra Kante' Kaivalya College of Commerce is engraved in bold.

He looks at the ceiling and gives out a loud sigh. He begins the next pile, preparing to plunder and damage the future of the undeserving leeches. Red grades and crosses mark subsequent papers, each with an increasing tone of disdain from the plunderer. As he picks up the fifth paper in the pile, he feels a slight glee at the blank paper. As he is about to remove it in a special pile of 'no chance' he sees one long question answered and then a one page letter. The answer is graded 9 out of 10 and the letter is about to be given a big cross with the red pen.
But for some reason, Mr Kante stopped. This boring afternoon could use some humour from a dimwit who wrote a letter in his graduation exams. Mr Kante starts to read with as much attention as the first paper of the day got.
"To the brave and courageous examiner who is paid Rs 1.50 for correcting my paper." Mr Kante shrugs, thinking the guy doesn't know anything. It's Rs 2. 
"The bravery to be underpaid in a less than conducive environment and still care to survey the depths of the minds of our nation's future. I laud and respect you. I can imagine that my paper has come as a relief to you among the piles of good, bad and ugly paragraphs. I am told you do not spend more than 2 minutes on each paper. By that standard my paper would have got roughly 15 seconds. Anyway, I am not writing this to insult you. I am not the student that this paper displays.
I had imbibed the noble principles taught to us in our childhood-Study Hard and Well. The principle paid off handsomely till the last semester. The content of what I studied did not matter to me. I sucked it in, drank it and ate it and with unmatched fervour, splashed it all across the question papers. I rationalised what I did not understand and was more than often correct. But then the last semester examinations happened. I studied well. But it is in studying for the second-last "most important" examination of my life, that I had an epiphany-What am I doing? I am studying the same thing I learnt 3 years back in a book which has more spelling mistakes than I have ever committed in my 15 years of academic life. But why am I telling you this? You already know all of it. You know how studying under this system they have all said -We should change this. We should make a move towards the better and not be a part of the rat race. Well you made the highest grossing Hindi movie about it and the message seems to go unnoticed. Well today I take a stand-stupid, misguided and damaging.
I have written my 5 papers to the perfection. The 6th paper which you are correcting right now has the minimalist efforts given by me for anything. I read the subject and the course content and concluded after much deliberation that this subject adds no value to me or my future. And I refuse to give proof of my understanding about something so inconsequential (what examinations were originally designed to do-test my understanding).I apologise if you were one of the syllabus designers .I do not claim to be a revolutionary. In fact i know I will be dismissed as the stupid oversmart kid who ruined his future. But I think I know what I want to do with my life. And graduating is not a priority. So for the first time in 15 years I will fail an examination. And I promise you that this "setback" will not deter me. You will hear about me again."
Mr Kante smiled. A smile because he just read the truth or perhaps a smile that knew the outcome of the student's endeavour. He swiped viciously across the letter and in strong words wrote irrelevant above. He put the paper in the pile. Later, in the day, the pile was collected, the black labels were removed. 4697 was revealed as the seat number. The moderation for the paper was not considered as Mr Kante had informed that only one question was attempted.
The marksheet for 4697 was printed and sent but remained uncollected.
Six months later, Mr Kante was glancing through the first page of the morning . Two stories were in the middle of the paper, side-by-side, One about a suicide by a 21 year old man, stating that he had ashamed his parents with his wrong and misguided actions. The second one talked about a 21 year old male employee of a company who had shown great business acumen and gained huge growth for his company in only 3 months at the job, with no knowledge of his graduation or education. He was now starting his own restaurant, his childhood dream. Mr Kante then looked at his watch and rushed. It was that time of the year when new stupidity and incompetence had come and it was the period of fresh killing for which he could not be late.