She woke up, startled
In a dark, dank place
It seemed eerily familiar,
and yet so strange
The noise was deafening
A cacophony like monkeys make
“Come here, look at me”, a voice yelled
“Not that, me, come to me”, the other wailed
“You are a loser”, snickered one
“How fake can you be”, chided the other
The voices went on,
screeching and singing and crying and laughing
At first she cupped her ears,
trying to make out what each said
Then got tired, and looked some way
to block the mess they made
She was embittered, and so added to it
Screaming out loud, just to get herself heard
But realized soon she wouldn’t win
and so sat defeated, in despair and a temper frayed
It smelled like honey turning vapid
and felt like nails scratching chalkboard
Scared out of her wits, she prayed
Wondering if there was something she missed
She searched wildly, looking for a needle in hay
and found it, crushed, and little grey
She tapped it, and lo behold,
the light arrived, like nothing happened
Funny how a simple “Log Out”
can make a brighter day.
It is 8.30 pm in the night. You are at office, working on that issue customer reported two hours ago. It was a small change in configuration, and you have emailed the customer, keeping all the required people in CC. It is Thursday, and you really want to head home now. The cook didn’t turn up today, and so tonight’s dinner is going to be Barbecue Chicken Pizza, your flat-mate has messaged.
You are about to shut down your laptop when you see a meeting reminder from Outlook. The meeting doesn’t have a subject, but it says “ConfRm-BLR-1st Floor – Tanjore”, starting now. You are surprised, you don’t remember accepting any meeting invite for this late in the evening. You check for the email Invitation , but you can’t find it. You are annoyed, but you might as well go and check once, isn’t it? So you head to the 1st floor from your cubicle at 6th Floor, taking stairs of course, to compensate for the beer you would be having later with your pizza, and reach the conference room.
The room is dark, and there is no one on 1st floor. You switch on the lights and decide to wait. You fool around with your laptop, look for the email again. And this time you find it, it is from firstname.lastname@example.org . But that is an alias for automated emails, how could an invitation come from it?
15 minutes pass. The meeting is officially over. You decide to leave, you need to ask the IT guy about this tomorrow. You go to your cubicle, taking the lift, pack your laptop and leave for the parking lot. Once you reach the ground floor, you hear some commotion. A lot of people seem to have gathered outside the office. There is a tempo standing outside the parking lot, but you don’t know what is that for. You come out of the office gate, and ask the security guard who is standing at the outer edge of the crowd, “Kya hua Bhaiya?”
“Arey Sir, that tempo was over speeding and came from opposite direction in the one-way street, ramming into the tree. Fortunately no one is hurt, because had someone been leaving from our parking lot 15 minutes back, they would have died on the spot.”
You freeze. You think about that invitation. Or was that an intervention?
We Indians love our elaborate traditions and gaiety. We have many festivals all through out the year, and each is celebrated with joyous splendor and magnificence. But there is one festival that we love more than others, even more than Diwali – Weddings. The union of two souls is memorialized in grand ceremonies and extravagant show, and the Indian wedding only seems to get bigger and fatter with every passing year.
Since November-December is supposedly very auspicious for weddings, every year my Facebook news feed is religiously occupied during the marriage season with lovely pictures and picturesque check-ins of weddings and honeymoons and everything that precedes and follows it. And a very amusing trend in the matrimony “industry” (and I use the word “industry” because a lot of people mint good amount of money during this period) is the pre-wedding photo shoot. I saw it the first time couple of years ago, and it was absolutely adorable!!!! It has been long since then, and looks like this one is here to stay, except now, it has become kind of, cringe-worthy.
I don’t get it. What’s with these mock-up, larger-than-life pictures that look so unreal, like the romance has retreated from the life of the couple before it even started? I saw a photo-shoot recently that left me astound – one picture of the couple was overlooking the ocean, the other on a mountain top with the obligatory Titanic pose, and yet another was in a forest! I mean, is it a photo-shoot or a 4th standard Geography-text book?
At the risk of getting unfriended by truckload of married friends, who have wasted precious money on those mushy and pretentious pictures,me – your oh-so-single friend is telling you that you that those photo-shoots are actually, very silly.
Tell me something, is the romance really about exotic locations or filmy postures? Ask yourself if this is how you fell in love with your partner, while getting photo-shopped on the top of Himalayas, or when he/she reminded you to go easy one that ice-cream because you are still recovering from a cold? Why is romance, or love, supposed to be so mythical and beyond the realms of a normal world? Isn’t it about practical wisdom, dealing with each day as it comes, and stealing moments here and there to express how mad you are about each other?
My parents didn’t have a fancy wedding photo-shoot, and neither did yours. And they still turned out pretty well. Look around you, don’t you squirm uncomfortably when you hear of young married couples struggling to make it work, irrespective of their marriages being love/arranged, because they are incompatible? Why can’t love be more, honest and straight-forward, instead of fake? Why not have a photo-shoot that shows the two of you living life like you normally do – enjoying that occasional glass of wine or goofing around each other?
As I sip my coffee and go through some really crazy photo-shoots, I have no clue whom I am getting married and when. But I sure as hell know what I am not planning to do – A down-on-one- knee proposal picture with relatives in tow. Eww, no! Doing headstand together though, now that sounds interesting!
I saw him today. He had come for the evening Aarti. He looked just as I remembered him – unassuming, quiet, unremarkable. The kind of man you wouldn’t give a second look in a crowd. He is dutifully religious, he comes for Ganga Aarti every full moon day and Ganga Snaan on Thursdays. It is hard to believe he is the owner of Rajshree Jewels, he bears no airs of a rich man.
They say he started small. His father had a small shop in the old market area, but he made what Rajshree Jewels is today – opulent, regal and one of a kind. Apparently, Bollywood stars specially order jewels from his shop; his daughter’s wedding graced by so many VIPs was a testimony to his powerful network.
His daughter, they say, is a splitting image of his wife. His wife was the daughter of his gardener, and she was so beautiful that he fell in love with her the first time he saw her. He fought with his traditional family to make sure he married her; his parents gave up in front of his strong will. They were tied in a wedlock in a quiet ceremony, and were blessed with a daughter within a year of the marriage.
Nothing is forever though, isn’t it? The wife died in a terrible incident 10 years ago, she was on her way from her morning walk when she was shot three times in the chest at point-blank range. Paid assassins, the police said. The motive was to kidnap her apparently, to seek a ransom. But when she resisted and fought back, she was killed. The police, despite all sorts of political pressure, couldn’t find anything about her murderers. People speculated that they were foreign nationals, who ran away to their respective countries after the killing.
The man was bereft at her funeral. He turned to religion to overcome his grief, and hence began his faithful evening ritual at Har ki Paudi, followed by feeding orphans and beggars.Today is his wife’s birthday, so he will distribute Moong dal halwa with Matar Poori. My dinner for tonight is already fixed. Sometimes I feel guilty though, shouldn’t I let him know how his wife stopped screaming the moment I fired the first shot into her heart?
via Moody . My dear friend at 3rd Perspective Photography asked me to write something for this photo and though I have been crazy upbeat post the dance showcase on 17th (more about that later!), this picture made me write something very dark and melancholic. Maybe I had a not-so-discreet mood swing 😀
He moved through the tunnel gingerly; a flaming torch in one hand, and the other numb from rubbing across the cold walls, looking for some support for his tired hands. The water was knee-deep, he had no choice but to do this. He continued his cautious walk, startled once or twice by strange noises that were probably rats scurrying around, or so he hoped. There was no time or place to rest for a while, the water made sure he had to keep moving.
There was a flicker of light, in distance. He blinked hard and fast, to check if the flicker was his imagination – but it stayed. Hope started to grow in his heart, the end was near. He quickened his pace, and began to move faster , oblivious of the splashing water and darting bats.
As he moved faster, the source of light grew brighter. He had a spring in his step now, his exhausting journey was drawing to a close. The dark walls had finally began to get illuminated, the water level receding. He ran, to touch the warmth that proliferated the confines of the tunnel.
He had finally reached, he could see the sunlight coming inside. But he realized he was behind a gate, of glass, that allowed him to see outside. Suddenly, a melodious voice spoke.
“Hello! You are about to enter your land. Please do the last task and you will be free to go.”
Pumped with adrenaline, willing to give his best to the last challenge, he asked ,”What is the task?”
“Please watch one of the movies from the list below. The gate shall open after the closing credits roll off: