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Friday, December 19, 2008

Balance...

No thought. Absolutely none.



Everything around you warps into bullet time. No voices, no wind on your face, nothing.Everything around you turns into a picture that you probably got in some old album in the drawer. Colours; they, for once get brighter. You see everything around you in a sort of seeming psychedelic reality. There is this buzz in your ears like you have at the end of a loud pop. Oh, almost forgot. There is this breathing sound, loud and clear. Like that bustling stream that you sometimes come across on channels like National Geograpic or something.



With a gun pointing right between his eyes, he felt exactly like this.

You go to a movie, watch it, eat popcorn and come out wishing you were like that great bod guy on the screen who beats the hell out of those nasties, or you were that swell looking girl who walks down costly carpets pretending money was being made in some free cola plant; but no! This guy upstairs, he got plans. And they dont stick to this script you thought of in your tupenny brain.

"Dont shoot me", he managed to utter after the longest two seconds of his life.

Or you have this day when the signals are all green. Or you find that fifty buck lying under the creaking bench at the park near your house. Or some guy says he is gonna take you for dinner and you know in your head that you saved a neat buck, addin' it up for your rent that you can hardly pay anymore. Hell, your company pays you after two months.

The guy with the gun felt like he was in power. Like all real and everything. Like this was the stuff he had been waiting for all his life. The final destination. Zenith. Stars and Earth.

Say. Say something!

"No last words", he said, and pulled the trigger.

"CUT!!" , the Director's voice cut through the air. " That guy is supposed to die! He is supposed to look scared! Why does he look like he does not give a shit! You think I am rich? Get these guys out of here! Pack up people! We are done for today!"

The man on his knees got up and dusted himself. He glanced at the director and walked away slowly towards the empty tent. The guy with the gun threw it on the ground, and walked away almost tearfully. No pal of his was saving him a buck tonight.

He reached the tent and lighted a cigerette."There's gotta be a better way to earn a buck than this!", he thought and kicked a stone. His phone, as if on a cue, started jangling. It was his boss. After two months.

The voice sounded cold."You have a new assignment. American guy, name is William Mason. He is up at room 15 at The Orient. Do it tonight. Money tommorow."There was a chuckle and he added, "Hope your gun's not rusted".

"Not yet", he said and hung up. He threw the cigerette and walked towards the highway, his beloved bag by his side. He was smiling now. As he looked up, the moon sniggered back, symbolising perfect natural harmony in his private universe. A final thought escaped him, as he walked back in to his life,

"I wish I could act..."

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Talk 'bout it!

There are times in your life when you are it. This it, mostly believed to be a phase, often tends to stick along longer than a normal phase would; like maybe a moon cycle or a temporary phase of pseudo-depression. Trust me, this goes a lot farther. A real lot.

Before you come to the conclusion that I have flipped my lid or gone cuckoo in the head, let me tell you a bit more, a bit more about it. The feeling probably comes closest to a feeling that was described around the 15th century as melancholy, but not quite . When you are overpowered by melancholy, you are sad, you are slumped; you are right off the rack. Not when you are inflicted with it. Stephen King immortalized the word by creating the perfect piece of fear in the form of one’s darkest nightmare, in a novel of the same name. You use it when you don’t have a gender for the object, or want to give a more objective view of the given situation. How do you find out that you are being bothered by it? Let me give you some indicators.

I am being bothered by it for a while now. I can comfortably blame my ‘not writing’ on this simple comprehensible two-letter piece of English Language symphony. The strangest and probably the scariest part is that it doesn’t make you realize that you are inflicted in any way. It just draws you away, from work, from pastimes, from anything that previously occupied your current train of thought. What it puts in place is, something, which you would not have possibly expected to be there. Take me for example (considering that we don’t have any volunteers here). I have always loved writing and was almost on the verge of shutting off this blog. Not because I got bored. Not because I have a block. Not because I wanted to give up writing. Not because I hate hip-hop. Not because of any reason that I could think up of in my rather infertile imagination.

Rather because, it struck.

I have switched to watching movies. I have seen close to ten flicks in the past week alone. I watch a movie everyday. I have been seeing movies ranging from Trainspotting to Madagascar 2 to Wall E to Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. I saw trash when I saw Burn After Reading. I watched three plays, one of them presented by a company called the Mad Cow Company. I don’t know what I am upto.
Maybe I should get back to horror. Maybe I should pick up something different. Maybe I shouldn’t pick my teeth. Pick up the broken China pieces of my strange life and glue them back. Maybe…
Maybe ask it

[P.S.- a little cuckoo I know; but I shall return in all splendor...shortly.]

Thursday, November 27, 2008

The Machine- Finale

[ The wait is finally over. Here is the final part of "The Machine". Thanks to all you guys for showing the interest that you did in the story. This is turning a little boring, so lets effing get the story on!! CURTAINS UP!! :D ]


He approached the machine. The machine sat on its black side, strangely seeming aware of his approach. He reached the machine and put his hand on the “rinse” knob. This was it. He had suspected throughout about the machine that there was some quality about it, something sinister that separated it from anything else that he had come across in his life.
He had been a loner throughout, so much so that he wouldn’t even find his name if a story was written on him. All his past stared at him like dirty laundry. He remembered every beating, every scrape, and every stigma that his brother had given him. And strangely enough, they were negatives. All of them. Not one drop of goodness in the sea of sickness.

This would be very nasty.
(what are you thinking no no no no stop)

The best part was no one would know.
(everyone would ohmygod ohmygod ohmygod)

He turned the knob.
***

Ronnie’s smile suddenly froze. He stood rooted at the spot where he was for a second. A kid from across the road stared at him.

That was the last thing he saw.

His body spun like a lolling top and fell into an alley, away from eyesight. The kid across the kid came running hoping to draw out a few stray coins that may have rolled out of his wallet. The wind had stopped blowing now. Everything seemed to be stuck for a moment. And then it began to blow again. The kid came in and stared into the alley where Ronnie had fallen.

He was greeted by bare earth.

***

The younger brother walked into what had been Ronnie’s office yesterday.
‘ You ought to be ashamed for coming in perpetually late, Ronnie’, the boss said.
The younger brother, who had ceased to be the younger brother just, gave a polite smile.

‘It won’t happen again sir’; he said and closed the cabin door behind him.

At this moment, the people at Mc Donald’s had been going around doing their chores. There had been no Ronnie’s younger brother working there. Ever.

Never did.

***

A smile had been playing on Ronnie's lips for a while. He now knew what the machine did.He always wanted to get rid of the bad things in his life….his misery, his pain, his grief, his memories…his existence. The machine had helped him get rid of all this and much more. He never would be a loser in life again. Ever. The machine washed.

***

Epilogue

Almost a year later.

He walked into a chemist shop. The guy at the counter, who had known Ronnie for a long time, greeted him. He laid his hands on the table, and bent towards the shopkeeper, a style that had been Ronnie's; something he had grown up seeing. He finally opened his mouth,

" I want a...um...give me a.."

"Yes?",the shopkeeper said patiently.

He nodded his head sideways. Not good. He looked up and said,

" I...I cant remember..."

***

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Machine- Part 4

When Ronnie came home, his brother had already left. The washed clothes were kept in a neat stack. He went and pulled out the shirt, the one that had a mark of his midnight ramblings. The mark was there. Either the machine was a flop or his brother needed a shot of the “elder brother ” vaccine. He walked over and flipped through his set of clothes. Spotless. This was not going the way it was supposed to. This was not according to plan. This had to be corrected. The way he had corrected him when he had caught him stealing money. When he had refused to go down on his knees. When he had tried to rebel. This was going right over the fence. Gone.

His brother was almost home.

***

Ronnie had not gone towards the washing machine when he had come home. He did not remember why he was not supposed to, but he knew he had to stay away. Then his younger brother walked in. There was plenty of violence where Ronnie only laughed. Some moments later, it was done. Ronnie walked out of the room, knowing that his end had been achieved. He had taken revenge off his younger brother. He had taken revenge off the machine too, but he still failed to remember why that was required. It was a washing machine. Nothing but a dumb piece of electrical hogwash. What was wrong with this idea then? He was glad to have left the house. That he surely was glad of.

***

He lay bleeding. There were bruises everywhere. He had been done in pretty well. He sat there, against the wall, laying curses in his mind. He did not deserve this. But, for the first time in his life, remorse had come horse riding with revenge. His body burned with hurt and hatred. He would do something this time. He knew that the machine did not clean anyone else’s clothes. He knew that the machine was on his own side. But now, he wanted the machine to do him a favor.

A very important one.

[final part coming up tomorrow! Stay put! :) ]


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Machine- Part 3

At the same moment, his brother was sweating it out at the McDonald’s. A surge of energy seemed to hit him, like a secret bolt of lightning, customized to fit into his head. He saw his brother touching the machine. He saw him placing his hand on the top of the machine in high definition in his head.

This was not right.

It was his machine. No one could touch it. His thoughts almost had a dreamlike quality. His brother was mean to him and that was okay. He worked around the house and his brother seemed to lie around and that was okay. It was His machine and he had touched it. Now that was not ok.
It was evil.

He left without saying anything.

***

Ronnie stood there for a while, trying to comprehend. His brain felt like spaghetti. The machine did not feel like one. He hated it. He could feel hate, dripping out of his system, like a leaking tap. He did not want to be around it, especially when it tried to pull one of its stunts again.

(Are you insane? You sure are getting old Ronnie!)

He did not want to be around anymore. He wanted to be out of this place. He moved away with slow steps, facing the machine as he did it. He had a feeling that the machine would jump him if he turned. He slowly found the door. The machine seemed to be eyeing him, completely realizing that this was no friend. And Ronnie resented that thought building up inside his head. So he just tried to find the latch and shut that thought out. He finally found the latch and turned his back to the machine.

He felt eyes on his back. Staring and hot.

***
The door was open when he came, and Ronnie was gone.
He moved swiftly towards the machine, almost dashed. He went and touched the machine, almost caressing it. The machine was special to him. It was the one thing that was his and did not belong to his brother. He knew the machine was on his side. The machine would do right. The machine would only do his chores. Now that was a childish thought.


(Only your chores? You are going insane! Next is flying turtles!)

He thought of trying it out. But, he would begin with his brothers’ clothes. His could come later. With all these thoughts gurgling in his head like a stuck up drain, he put in the clothes. The knobs seemed to stare back at him with a cold gleam. He turned the knob and waited.

First there was nothing.

The machine then started. It began with a slow hum and was picking up sound in a steady crescendo. Soon the whole room was filled with its drone. Nothing unusual. It still did not sound like a ghost story. Nothing out of place was happening.

Not here at least.

***

Ronnie ambled through the streets still trying to get a hang of the situation. What had happened in the room was already fading. Fading. Fading?
He felt the memory slowly seeping out, a blob of paint trickling out from an upturned can.
He tried to hold it back. Soon he could remember that something had happened in the room that had made him freak out, but he could not remember what. Then he remembered that he was out here because the room was not the place he had wanted to be in.
Soon he realized that he was not supposed to be in the streets in the first place. He suddenly turned and started walking back. And he almost hit a car too.

Almost.

[to be continued]

Monday, November 24, 2008

The Machine- Part 2

He went into the shopping arcade with only one thought in mind: costly. ‘This better be worth a real bunch’, he thought. As he browsed through them, he saw one of them standing all to itself. Not talking to anyone. It only stared at him. Knowing somehow that it was destined to go to his house. Wait…. not Talking to anyone? Was this supposed to be funny? He went close and checked it out. A dark black, it sat, waiting. As his hand made contact, a vision flashed though his head. A face, eyes almost popping out and mouth open, in an unending scream. And then it was gone. For a split second, he thought it was his brother and then the thought was gone. A strange warm sensation, like that of a house on fire, coursed through his veins. This machine was his. It was meant to be. Just like the smell in your shoe. But, he did not choose the machine.

The machine chose him.

***

The machine was delivered the next day. It stood at the corner, dwarfing the little table kept beside it. It almost seemed to throw an air of authority around the room. Ronnie just cast it a glance and that was that. It did not exist for him. For him, only clean clothes existed and his brother, who cleaned them, existed. For his brother, the machine was supposed to be a way out. ‘Tough chance there buddy’, he now thought. The washing machine was not his Nirvana. It was his way into a tampered paradise.
He got up to check the machine.

The machine looked despicable to him, to say the least, what with a black hose and black knobs. He tried to touch it and did too. Only, the feeling that he got was something he had not expected. The machine felt cold. Its surface seemed to be alive. It seemed to pulse with something hidden deep inside. And in the second he made contact, he seemed to feel the machine inside his head. Looking. Groping. Like it could think.

Like it was human.

(to be continued...)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Machine- Part 1

“I want a washing machine”, he said with finality in his tone. This had to happen, maybe a little later, but it was destined. The reason of this outburst was owing to the recent string of events that had cropped up in his life.
First there was Ronnie. He would have been more than happy to pretend that he did not exist but there were life functions associated with this…this thing. He ate and he slept. He spoke when the food was out or if he needed something. Chairs and tables did not eat, nor did they talk back. This guy did. He did not socialize but strangely required three pairs of clothes everyday. He slept enough to make the table in his room feel that it was moving around a lot more.
His clothes had been piling up and so were Ronnie’s. It would take Ronnie over a year to run out of clothes and he already had. And for some strange reason, he was fated to wash clothes for both of them. Why? He was the younger brother. It seemed like washing clothes of your sibling came like a precondition when you were born after him. Just like the price tag, which would always have to be in some hidden corner when you bought stuff from the mall. Like a secret smell, which lingered when you took off your shoes at the end of the day. It was just…. there.
So just when the pile of clothes had started resembling a Tibetan monastery, the thought had struck. The earnings were rather emotional, but this was important. Hell, this was priority. So the thought had been presented in front of the finance minister. And that had taken some courage.

***

“Get it”, he said and threw the credit card at him. This was a dream. He surely couldn’t have his brother’s card that easy. There was a catch. And then it came, a rush of pelting rain on a rather turbulent sea. “ Don’t make a noise after you get it and yeah, you start with the dishes too then. Also there is the phone bill that you would need to submit. I hope you remember the maid is out for two weeks starting tomorrow, so yeah.”

“Yeah. I am an idiot. Yeah. This is what I had been pining for when I asked for the washing machine. Yeah, I so totally want to be treated as a complete knucklehead. Yeah. HELL YEAH!!”

He did not say this, but his head could actually have blown off with the vocal warfare in his head. He just pinched his lips praying that his brother would turn into a lump of foul smelling dung and that he would exact revenge. His first did not come true. The second did.
(to be continued...)



[ This is a long story so I am putting in up in parts. Keep 'em feedbacks comin'! :) ]

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Fall...



Fall, fall, fall, fall…

The words kept ringing in his ears, in his head, a forgotten church bell in a forgotten village. They rose to a crescendo, immersing his entire being into the sound of the single word. He had been falling for a while now. It seemed he had been falling for eternity. He was getting used to it now; the darkness around him, the flickering stars which went past him like fleeting memories. Everyone got used to it eventually. Everyone would.

Everyone after all, had to fall.

Fall, fell, fail, fallen.

Angels fell from heaven and turned against the Creator. An apple fell from the tree and gravity took birth in a fruit orchard. Against a manger did the light of a star fall, where God himself decided to fall into being. Faithless are the fallen, for they fail to fulfill the foretold fortunes of the feared.Man failed, a spectator to the crumbling walls of his self created social machinery. Women fell from grace to be burnt at the stake when men decided their fall from honor at the hands of a deprived society.

And thus became the fallen.

He came to rest among desolate looking trees that had almost lost all their leaves. He did not want to open his eyes, in case his sense of stability might be stirred back into action. A fleeting wind, cutting through his defenses decided to ruffle his hair. Something cold, a snowflake perhaps, brushed his cheek and finally made him open his eyes. It was gray all around. The sky matched perfectly as it slowly melted from soot to the color of ash.

Fall had just begun…



[This was a writing exercise where the only cue was the word "fall". Go figure! :) ]

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Writing...



The day looked sunny, unlike other times, and the sun was seriously contemplating doing a good while in the sky for now. Sunlight spread as far as you would see and covered everything in a poached blanket, sunny side up. The garden was being tamed, as junior decided to steal past out of the gate, hoping to escape by his dad unnoticed.




" I hate to say this big guy, but we need to talk", he said, trimming down the hedges from wilderness into cityscape mode. "Almost out", junior thought, but froze exactly where he was.He knew this would come sooner or later. Thanks to his English teacher, it had decided to beat all predictions and slap him straight across the face instead.




"Whats this that I keep hearing about you from your teacher? You writing scary stories an' all? Ghosts, lifts, rats, god knows what! You are not going far with that kind of talent my son! The teacher says that she had asked you before to kick the habit and write like other kids but you refused? Am I making any headway or am I talking to the gate in front of you?"




Junior stood where he had been frozen into his present state due to his dads words. He stuck his hands deep into his pockets and wished he was somewhere else. The birds on the trees around his house looked down, making comments at him,for being scolded in broad daylight. Not funny at all. His left hand found a loose thread and decided to pull at it while the tirade from his father continued. He kept staring hard at his feet, hoping they would turn into claws or some such.




" Other kids write happy stories", he continued. " They write about lost puppies finding their owners, friends hanging out together in parks and things of that sort! You choose to write about deserted highways, hospitals and I don't know!! Ghost journals?What are you getting at young man?"




" Ah jeez Dad! I like writing about them. I mean, isn't it cool to talk about rats and highways which are empty and.."




"Enough!", he said, cutting through icily. " Another of those short stories and its not going to be my mouth that would do the talk. My hand might do some talkin' the next time!!"




He went back to the house and decided to sit on the story that was pending for his next assignment. He wrote a story which had ducks, a pond and some kids fishing. There was nothing dark about it. In fact, it was a very happy story. Till the time, one of the edges caught fire on its own. He immediately stubbed it out and put his hands to his temples. He had his answer.And it wasn't a happy one.




He hung his head and decided that it was time to finally get his legs moving. He went out of his house and sat on a pavement the whole day. He saw people go around, running, milling around like little insects around a candle. What was the hurry? The sun, in the meantime, having got a cue from the kid decided to slowly hide behind some buildings and let darkness come in. The stars, finally braving the night, came out one by one, salt crumbs from a shaker on a used dinner table.




A slight gust had picked up, sweeping up lost paper planes and forgotten toffee wrappers. It was time. He would be standing exactly at the same spot as always! The little kid hurried his steps, as he braced himself for the explaining he would have to do. This was not going to be easy. He had heard of punishments which were so scary that kids often had them as nightmares. He closed his eyes and hoped that this would be a dream. He opened his eyes to the footpath he was on, something that was soon going to turn into a nightmare.




He stood there leaning against a lamp post, the only lamp post which seemed to be switched off in the whole lane. He wore an overcoat and his skin resembled the pallor of faded tomatoes. He breathed deeply and kept his eyes down. A passerby would have taken him to be a crook who hangs out at night with bats. A little stub seemed to be poking from the back of the coat.




His hat almost managed to hide his little horns.




The kid now stood in front of him staring at his clawed feet, the ones which he wanted. He did not know how, but it had to be done. So he did.




He breathed out and began, "forgive me father, for I have sinned..."




[ The story was inspired by echo's comment to change the content on my blog.A big thanks for the idea. And the update did not happen earlier due to a heady mix of busy and lazy. Laters.]

Friday, October 24, 2008

highway...




Silence screamed at the trees peopling the highway as she walked into the fading light of the setting sun with measured steps. Late again. No buses or anything that would take her home at the this time of the night. "Take a step, one at a time, and we would find some way to go home", she promised her feet as they ambled along, unknown of the distances that they would walk among alien foliage, at a time when you could cut through the darkness with a knife. The streetlights, sparse as neglected diamonds, winked at her knowingly, seemingly aware of the fate that seized travellers at this hour.




The rat had woken up and was starting to crawl around now. It went sniffing around at first, trying to find whatever defences it could chew through. There was still time. The night was young, yet, and it would have a whale of a time in the coming moments. It knew she could not run away even if she wanted. At least once it was awake. It now was. Soon it would be scurrying across, causing some massive mayhem and total upheaval. It knew she had a name for it.




She called it Fear.




The car was old for sure and you could make it out from the peeling paint at places. It was not a very lavish car either, but one look and you could label it as someones bygone royalty. The entire structure now creaked occasionally, like a rusted almirah, when it got rolling on wheels which had seen younger days. Tonight, it rolled along, a silent nightmare. It now crossed the trees which had stood as silent spectators when the girl had crossed them, covering distances in a fast gallop. Another five minutes and it would be with the girl.



She walked along, now counting stars, now humming a song. The trees still refused to speak to her, unlike crickets who seemed to be exchanging treasure troves of knowledge among themselves. It was totally dark now, and there were goosebumps popping on her flesh. She occasionally turned to praying, hoping that she would find some mode of travel. She could now hear the faint noise of an engine drawing closer.



The rat was totally awake now.



He lit a cigarette and puffed like a wheezing vacuum cleaner. The leather on the seats were dull and the speedometer, weighed down with journeys beyond memory, had finally breathed its last. The fuel gauge looked unsure as well. A little skeleton head, perched on crossbones, dangled merrily from his rear view mirror.


She heard the car approach and saw it halt at a few steps from her. She walked on, head bowed, hoping to pass by like a spirit, unseen. The car idled, a figure moving towards the passenger's seat. The door unlatched and opened exactly at the same time as she reached the car. She had the first view of the guy who would be giving her a lift tonight.


The rat was scurrying frantically now.All hell seemed to have broken loose. It went around scratching, gnawing at whatever it could. Not long now. The rat would soon reign supreme.

Fear would rule...



She stepped into the car with her nerves giving her a mighty hard time. It was okay after all.

(nonononono)

Strangers were not supposed to take you off the road and then...

(dont think dont think)



They were the last people who would ...you know...

(stopstopstopstop STOP!!!)



Her gaze shifted to the guy driving the car. Unknown to her, his left hand had slid into the left pocket and clutched something.

(not a gun oh lord please not a knife oh god shitshitshit)


He came out with a cigarette and lighted it. The skull dangled on, uncaring about the situation of the new passenger. He drove on not as much giving her a second glance since the time she had got into the car. They raced along into the night, turning roads into forgotten memories. The rat seemed to have settled down for now.He finally turned to her and said,


" Say...Would you want to hear a ghost story?"







Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Caught...


The evening gave her a despicable look as she stared back with equal distaste. The office lay empty, save for staring monitors and toothy keyboards. She shut off her workstation and headed towards the lift.


Jessica Whitebridge always hated lifts because she always saw things in them. Rotten things. Evil things. Things that people would not believe if she told them about it. So she did not. She would never board a lift and talk about lifts to anyone till a lift ride with a sight so scary would totally freeze her existence seven years later...


She forcefully shut off the novel in her mind. She would have to stop reading the creepy novels alone at night, before their peek-a-boo activities become a part of her daily existence. Her nerves had totally become shot off late for a handful of reasons. She lived alone and she read novels which would not form a part of a regular read of the usual bookworm. She, at this moment, could not pinpoint a third reason which would offer a testimonial to her jangled senses.


She reached the lift and waited as it came up from the bowels of insanity itself. "Stop!", she screamed inside her head and felt as if her head would pop like a corn. The lift came and stopped with a lurch in front of her. The door slid open like a deathwish, almost inaudible. The lift stood silent almost waiting, asking her to step in.


Jessica would not step in ever because she knew the things always waited in hiding and never appeared till the door of the list closed. It seemed empty and there was nothing to be scared of. She would not step in, oh, how could she? She would not. She would...


"Stop!", this time aloud. A few pigeons fluttered, slightly disturbed in their quest for the 53rd root of a really long number. She got into the lift and swore to herself that she would give up reading the novels from the next morning. Tonight, she had to know what happened to the girl who was afraid of lifts. Would she die? Would she turn into something that would not communicate ever again? Would she...


She had stepped into the lift and the door had closed behind her. The single light on the roof flickered, dimmed almost into nothingness and stayed as it always did. She could feel the insides of the lift turning cold. They were coming. It was almost frigid now. She breathed hard, rasps coming out like smoke from a brick kiln. She touched the sides of the lift. They felt cold; Dead cold. There was something wriggling inside the transparent button which said "G". She could see a mist in front of her face as she breathed. Any moment now...


"Damn! No wonder this piece of rut seems to be taking forever!", she said and pressed "G" on the lift. The lift gave a slight lurch and started humming in satisfaction as it headed for the ground floor. She would read the book tonight, she thought, as she mopped a drop of sweat off her brow. She smiled to herself as the button marked "G" glowed softly, pulsing as if with a life of its own. The lift moved slyly downwards, a taskmaster who never failed to deliver people to their destination. Mostly...

Monday, October 13, 2008

From the Lost Seafarer...

Ahoy, me landlubbers!!I be back from plunderin' and pillagin' the high seas and I be bringin back tales fo all ye whippersnappers to be tellin' ye folks! So draw close while I be openin me Rum and be pourin me a heartful, for the night be young!

As the moon riseth high
And the shores be nearin'
Such be the night
When the Pirates be steerin'!

Yes, I thought of trying out a bit of pirate speak. I hit Delhi yesterday and life has moved back to the same ol'. The trip back home has given me a few pointers, which I shall now state. You are in India when:

  • your train is 13 hours late when going to your hometown(Jamshedpur in this case).
  • it is 7 hours late when you are on your way back(Good ol' Delhi).
  • the auto guy asks you to pay 250 bucks from the Railway Station to your residence(Kalkaji).
  • Last, but definitely not the least, the pantry doesnt bring in food because the cooks did not get on the train from Kanpur!!(WTF!!?!)
Besides these minor setbacks, the trip in itself was okayish. I, for once, did not have anything to read on the train and kept itching to throw out "3 mistakes of my life" which was being read by a teeny school hopper in the seat in front. I noticed that I havent written in a while and I shall get back to it as soon as I can. Your dose of strange fiction shall be delivered shortly. Just be a while.

I be visiting a great many strange lands in the days gone by. There be monster caves and strange serpents. You be thinking them to be old wives' tales, but believe you me, I not be lyin' here. Lookit for your own selves!





Laters.






Tuesday, September 30, 2008

playtime...


The sun was setting against an orange crepe paper, spilling its last streamers of light through candyfloss clouds. It would soon be night, a time for the boogeyman, for all things scary to pop out of closets and scare them. Scare us.
The two of them were still out, playing in the mound of sand near their house. Innocence is like a toffee, leaving people bitter when it is gone. They came here everyday, building castles of childhood, mounds out of unanswered wishes, building them all with the sands of infancy. A fistful here, an occasional mouthful there. Their mothers would soon be calling and it would be the end of 'playing God' for the day. Other children of their age were already into other resources of entertainment, but the sands always beckoned them everyday like some unanswered prayer, gnawing at the subconscious. The last birds were almost nested till the coming day.A few more moments and there would be nothing to worry about. They would be safe and secure, comfortable in their own homes.Just a few final minutes. Just...

He always hoped that there would be something buried in the sands, like the pirate stories that his dad sometimes narrated; a lost coin, a broken wheel from someones toy, anything. He had been playing here since the start of his memory notebooks, but he was yet to be lucky. He stuck his hand into the grains and looked at the sky, almost unknowingly praying to the setting sun. Just then, his hand closed around something oval and smooth and a smile creased upon his lips, the first star appearing on the horizon.


His playmate was on the other side, creating a new galaxy, lost in his own personal cosmos. The crepe paper had almost been pulled down now, to be replaced by something a lot darker, like ink. The first star was also starting to receive company, a loner no more. The cosmos creator was wearing a cap, a gift from the uncle who looked like a cartoon duck, the one he saw while having his morning milk and sermons from his mother. He was oblivious to the discovery of his companion, something that would change the immediate future. His cosmos was made, and a smile similar to his companion was beginning to take shape on his lips.


The creator did not see anyone coming from behind; he really wasn't God now, was he? The rock was held tightly between his little fingers, as he sneaked up behind the little creator of universes. He still hadn't been noticed. A cat saw him, its eyes shining like broken glass, and chose to ignore the event. He now stood behind his companion, his hand raised, resembling a bowler stuck in action. With a final "Here it comes", he let the rock come down on the cap, perched on the creator's head.


The smile froze in its tracks. His vision turned hazy for a second and he turned to look at what had hit his head. He had not expected this now. Red, the color of his favourite pajamas, dripped out of his cap, staining his yellow tee. He just stared and blinked, blinked and stared. His companion stood there, rock still held between fingers, watching as his companion got covered in crimson. He gave his tee one final look and took off his cap.His head felt sticky and gooey. He slowly got up, trying to get rid of the stray grains of sand from his pants. He looked up and said,


"Mom's not gonna be happy about the tee and the ketchup!"


His conspirator gave him an "it-was-your-idea" look. They slowly got out of the mess and trotted towards their homes. Ink spill totally covered the sky, stars peeking through the tatters.Playtime was over.

For the day.


:)

Friday, September 26, 2008

Stuck...



The Streetlight stared down at him like a one-eyed pirate, spilling shadows around him like stolen coins. The night was just about begun.


The city was a farce. Milling people, loud thoughts, unspoken actions. A Bad Attitude, ready to snap at you if you provoked it even slightly. The city was a hunter's trap, rusted out of corruption. The animals roamed free tonight.

He walked in slow measured steps, thoughts circling endlessly, bats caught in a disturbed cave. He walked down to the grub-joint, his morsel haven. He would not eat much tonight.

The people did not pay much attention. A dog barked somewhere. The night refused to go down quietly. Another fight tonight.

"Ladies and Gentlemen, presenting the fight of the decade! On one side, we have the reigning champion, the nearly insurmountable Wit! On the other, the challengerrr, light yet totally menacing, almost death-like, we have the less popular Wisdom!! Brace yourself , ladies and gentlemen, as we get ready for another gut-wrenching battle tonight!"

His head felt light, thoughts scrambled like eggs. He could not, but he would have to. Shadows raced him, as he lumbered towards his shack. Something; anything out of the jumble. Clarity still came costly, and his senses were just about broke. Buying it out would be tough, but not impossible.

The lock yelped as he turned the key into it. "Mongrel lock", he thought and a fleeting grin almost formed on his lips.The door opened, a gateway to more turmoil, more thought. The guitar lay on one end, quite forgotten, procrastinating. No melodies tonight. The cooler came on with a grumble. He settled down on the bed, a novel lying neglected on one side. Desperation, the title said. How apt. He turned its pages, still trying to stack his thoughts, rumpled clothes upon a shelf. Sleep took over, stealing into his senses like old age.

Next morning was a blur; phone call, flash bath, tying shoelaces, flying down the road. Almost ran out of breath, like a kettle, wheezing a little. He crossed the road, now reaching the railway tracks. A train trundled past, listless faces looking at him like they would look at a caged animal. He crossed through, still trying to come up with something that would be coherent, something conclusive. A total muddle, fleeting ants on a forgotten crumb. At the lift now, waiting to go up to his office. Signed in, to realise its the last working day of the week. It would be a week today, so there would have to something . His personal deadlines danced in the back of his head, teasing him. Flashed his card on the slot and headed towards his terminal. He switched his computer on, and waited for it to boot. Words circled in his head, eagles, refusing to perch and just happy circling. Someone told him that Friday held so much promise since it was the last working day. He stared into the screen, a final thought almost screaming out,

"I must blog today."


He hunched over his keyboard and fired away.


(I seem to be facing some strange sort of a block. Its not that I cant write, there are a billion things playing in my mind, all wanting to come out at the same time. I just cant sort them out. I hope to come out with something more intelligent soon. Till then, I can just hope that the stuff above would give you an idea of the rigors that I go through to come up with something passable. The narrative is slightly inspired by Frank Miller's Sin City which I was reading sometime back. And yes, Desperation is a novel by Stephen King, which I am reading right now!)


Laters.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Into the night...


Time slipped by, like a secret tide. The knight sat deep in thought,as the moon engaged itself in a battle of wits with the clouds outside his castle walls.


The storm Gods had been wreaking havoc since they put the Sun to rest for the day. All was nearly drownded and movement was nearly impossible. The kingdom lay wasted as men waded through dark waters trying to wind their way home. This was not going to be easy.


There were people. And they were braving the weather, waiting for him. Waiting for him to bring the scrolls that would free them of their cursed fate. The scrolls which would open their eyes unto the arts, unto music so sweet, that Apollo himself would look down upon them with wonder. He would have to take it upon himself to face mighty Zeus. The people were waiting. His people. And he would do it for them.


He did not have a steed; O what he would do to have one right now! Knights, as the folklore went, would not be so, without their steed. So much so for the bards. He would need to reach the people. A farmer on his way to his village was startled when a knight asked him for a ride that night. He dropped him off at the foothill of the grey hills, from where his path separated. The journey for the knight had just started.


Zeus seemed to have relented a little. The thunderheads did not look as ominous as they had some moments back, though the heavens cried its hushed tears. He walked on, scrolls secure, water threading down his face like curious streams. He did not have time to lose. The people had been sending him calls, echoing in his mind,reverberating screams on the mountain side. He hurried his steps. Time was growing shorter, almost aging. He had to go faster. Then it happened.


His sandals ripped and he almost fell, face first. Surely this could not be happening! This was unheard of! A knight encountering broken footwear to deter him in his quest? Surely this could not be the truth. The sandal stared back at him, now trailing, almost dragging along. He could not stop. He braved the elements, almost braved Fate itself and walked along into the blackness of the night, his wits alert.


Half a field away, another noble soul offered to take him a bit of the distance. He would do this for coins. The knight sighed. The old times were indeed passing by. The knights were not taken seriously anymore. His heart felt a twitch but then he hardened up. He would live up to the legends. Hell, he was a part of them. He would do it for old times sake.


Further ahead, there was chaos. People, caught in the midst of various errands, huddled and hurried at the same time, in a wild frenzy. A shadowy figure on a dark horse cart, waited patiently for an erring customer, who would need his services. He hadn't expected a knight at this hour. "Seventy coins", he muttered, his whip silently cutting through the cold night wind and finding the horse. The knight, grumbling, got on, finally hoping that this would be the last person he would be talking tonight. Only if he had a steed!!


The night opened its mouth wide to swallow them as they rode on in the darkness. This would be a night that would not find its way into history. This victory of his would remain etched only in his mortal memories. And the people who would be saved. Hopefully. The calls had been louder now, like a seagull, making him realise that time was indeed short. They raced on, hoping to just make it in time.


"I told you I am coming, its all bloody jammed man!", I told a drenched Anil, as I stepped out of the auto. Anil totally ignored me and kept bickering about time lost, concert started, blah de blah. I took out the passes and we walked in into the concert of Shafaqat Amanat Ali, drenched to the bone. My brother and his pal kept quiet, probably realising that I had come through hell to reach the concert. The concert was yet to start so everyone was happy.


They all walked out of the mad night and into the soothing confines of the pantheon. Lights glowed, dispelling the darkness like a tide receding. The knight had made it yet again. This would not go down into history, but the name of the knights had stood the test. A smile almost formed upon his lips. He felt a chill down his spine and noticed that it was cold. A slow shiver racked through his body like a forest fire.


Some one turn the AC down!!!


(This was written when jane reminded me that I had not written for a while. The concert was one of the best ever. The only setback was a broken Reebok slipper, which I dragged along in to the concert, and post it too. The following idea struck me on my way to office today in an auto. What I would give for a bike!)


Laters.




Thursday, September 11, 2008

Past...



Not exactly a manuscript,but it sure looked old and worn out.It smelled of bad memories.





She opened the journal.


Oct 3 1925
I dont like ma.She keeps beating me.Baba keeps beating her.I dont like Ronu.He throws stones at me.I ran away from school today and sat near the pond.Some ducks came and pecked at my toes.Some were on the branches and singing.


I like the birds.


They talk to me.



Oct 9 1925
Today Ronu threw my lunch in school.The dog ate it up.I dont like him.He went and told everyone that Baba meets some other woman.I dont know.Ma was telling him about it the other day and he threw a bottle at her.Baba does not talk to me.I went by the pond again.The birds seem to be happy.It rained today.I am going to get muri for them tomorrow.




***



The handwriting was clear ,like the hand of someone who was sure with words.She had picked it up at the Sunday market in Daryaganj, planning to tear away the written pages and make her own journal out of it.Now, here she was, reading it like the work of a great scribe.The light from her bedroom lamp created strange shadows .The words seemed faded at places, a strained memory .What would have been a few yellow pages in the bin had suddenly become a secret peek into someone's life.It was like looking into your neighbour's house at night.Not that it mattered.She was liking this.It was like a story she kept at some hidden corner in her mind.



It sounded like a known story.



It sounded like her story.




She turned a few pages this time.A little over a month passed in the journal.



***



November 12, 1925
Today Monai mama brought jilipi but did not give me.He told ma that she cannot stay at this house forever. He said she is married to baba and should stay with him.Ma started crying.I dont like Monai mama . He reminds me of Santosh Sir.He slapped me when I told him that baba tore my copy.I went to the pond again.



The ducks were there.



They said they will tell me something in a few days.






***



She flicked away the tears that were on her cheek like careless whispers.She did not care about being sad.She wanted to know who this girl was.She did not like suspense.She hated it.Infact she hated it more than she hated her father.She turned to the last written page.



***




February 13,1926
I told Ma that I was leaving.She laughed at me when I said the birds at the pond told me I could stay with them.I dont care.I like them.They said they would wait on the terrace for me when the moon came out.They would show me how to fly.I see the moon.I am going to meet them.I can hear them calling me.


Bye Bye Diary.



I am going to fly.



***



The page quivered like it was made of water.She looked at her dresser mirror.A little girl wearing a white frock looked back at her.She held the same journal.She put pen to paper and wrote something in her journal.A word formed in the journal outside the mirror.




COME.




She got up from the bed, and headed towards the stairs."I will be back", she told her mom and headed towards the open stairs.



She never came back.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Of passing time...

Alo! I have been around and I have been about, but yeah I haven't been close to blogging for some time now. It sometimes is amusing, like someone on a bus, to watch the world go by you, talking back, occasionally talking "black", but talking mostly.I did the same, watching all of you coming over, liking what I wrote, disliking it, thinking that I was totally whack and the types.
I liked all of it. Really!!:)

And what have I been up to? I have been a part of a weekend night out where we talked in and out about real ghost stories, and quite a bit of reading. There has been writing too, two stories actually, but they will be coming up later in the blog. There was another thing that I wanted to talk about to all those guys who read the gibberish from time to time. A lot of you probably think that I am some strange demented guy who eats frogs and lurks around alleys with a laptop, turning happy children stories and rhymes into works of horror. Sorry to disappoint, but then, however much I wish, I am not exactly a person fitting the above picture. I am just another guy, going clackety-clackety in my office and trying to fight out the mean world. Why I like horror is another story.
Everyone loves romance. Everyone loves mush. Everyone always hopes that there would be this killer place where there would be tons of dough and lavish cars and life would be like "Cribs". But alas, that's not the case it seems. There is always an anti thesis to everything good that has existed or will ever exist. There will always be the shadow behind your door at night waiting to jump at you. There will always be the wisp of air that brushes your cheek when you least expect it. There will always be the times when your hands turn cold and you don't know why. Mostly you would choose to ignore it, or turn it into a goth poem saying

"when the dark night lay weeping
I felt Satan's breath upon my shoulders..."

Maybe I shouldn't do poetry because I suck at it. But stories which make the hair at the back of your neck stand up, that I would do. As for the purists, I love the nursery rhymes and stories as much as anyone else. My intention remains honest; making tales that make you do a little more than just grin. And also do tales that would make you fall off laughing. I would do tales.

And I would do them just for you.

Sach tagged me to do a tag which seems interesting.She wanted me to do the tag under the pretext of trying to know"Just what kind of books do weirdos read". I will pretend to ignore it and do the tag instead!!:)

She wanted me to quote some favourite lines from some of the books I have read. I am doing a Stephen King special here because he remains my favourite author. Here are a few quotes:

IT:
"You cant be careful on a skateboard man!"
"In vain he thrusts his fists against the posts and still insists he sees the ghosts" - Bill Denborough at various stages in It.
"The magic exists" - Stephen King, Dedication to IT
"You don't f**k around with the infinite."

Pet Semetary (the latest)
"Sometimes, dead is bettah" - Jud Crandall

"The soil of a man's heart is stonier [...] A man grows what he can... and he tends it" - Jud Crandall, Chapter 22 (near end) .

Needful Things(my first Stephen King novel)

"The trust of the innocent is the liar's most useful tool."

Christine

"If being a kid is about learning how to live, then being a grown-up is about learning how to die."


Misery

"Can I? Yeah. You bet I can. There's a million things in this world I can't do. Couldn't hit a curveball, even back in high school. Can't fix a leaky faucet. Can't roller skate or make a F-chord on the guitar that sounds like anything but shit. I have tried twice to be married and couldn't do it either time. But if you want me to take you away, to scare you or involve you or make you cry or grin, yeah. I can. I can bring it to you and keep bringing it until you holler uncle. I am able. I can." - Paul Sheldon, Misery Part 2, chapter 4.

That's that, a list of quotes that I could find. The tag is open for everyone.This is one last that goes out to all the people who think that my writings are "weird".Its in the words of Mr. King himself:

"People think that I must be a very strange person.This is not correct.I have the heart of a small boy.It is in a glass jar on my desk..."

Laters.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Growing up...



A chair.Or maybe a table.Could also have been that China vase on the corner.

He looked like furniture.


He sat there, his eyes like grey stones staring into nothingness.He felt wasted.


The door opened and a man with too much on his mind walked in."Son?",he almost whispered."Johnny"??


A weak grin came on his face, a flickering candle in a full gale."Yes Pa," he said.


"You doin sugar again huh??Temme son!!"


"No Pa.."weaker still.


"Now you lyin to your ol' pa like that?Temme you lyin' son!"


"No Pa.."voice like a floating dead leaf.


"You wanna talk to me, you open your mouth son!!I am tellin' you...Just...OPEN YOUR MOUTH!!"


With a heavy heart he turned his back to his son and left in a tearful hurry.And then he heard the most awful sound that he had come to hate in the last few years; that laugh.


Ha ha ha...

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Thought...


The front looked inviting.The door was slightly ajar, just enough place for the house to breathe.Alice stepped in.

The walls were papered with pictures of people caught at various emotional pit stops.There was one with his hands out as if he was about to fall.You could make out the grey sky spreading in front of him.Maybe he was falling.Falling off.

Another one with a grin.He looked like he had been asked to smile.His smile did not look happy though.More like someone who had accepted his fate and fare, whatever it might be.Another one frowning, probably wondering what the photographer was up to.Yet another getting out of the frame, and probably pushed back to pose.Alice stared at them, with a flickering thought.Then it came to her and she knew.There was something common in all the pictures.How did she miss?


They wore hats.All of them.


Her thoughts skittered away as she heard footsteps approaching the room.The man who walked in wore a black coat and a brand new hat.He walked with a slight stoop and carried a stick. His ears looked thin and the lobes seemed almost not to exist.Alice thought they looked like a rabbit's.


"Lookin at the pictures I see?", he said with amazing grace. The words seemed to perform a little dance routine before they reached Alice.


"Yes sir.They look...intresting...if I might add", Alice fumbled.

He nodded slightly. A grin appeared, like a rabbit out of the magician's hat.He winked knowingly and asked her,


"Wouldn't you like to know why they call me the Mad Hatter?"


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Snap back to reality...


Ahoy, me smashin pumpkins. I am back into the emotionless hyperspace called office and I am loving my job.From my last post, I have learnt lessons.One, a piece of work could be humorous, happening or horrendously horrifying according to the interpretation of the reader.Two, a piece of work's ego could completely be altered by the light one sees it in.Three, and the most interesting, I do have a clear-cut alter ego!:)
I had been on a ten day voyage which took me to the ports of Mumbai and Bokaro, with a little stopover at the Indian capital.The initial 3 day sojourn to Mumbai was an eye-opener to say the least.Hail you Mumbaikars for living in one of the most amazing cities in the world. I fell in love with the place so much so that I am actually contemplating moving my base to the City of Dreams.And yes, vada pav has the potential to replace the oh-so-stylish pizza globally!!
Next up was Bokaro. Flew back to Delhi and caught a 22 hour long journey to the Steel City. The occasion? India's favourite single episode soap: the wedding!!
It began like Planet Of The Apes in reverse. My relatives, their relatives and anyone who was relatively related eyed me with discovering wonder. I, like a lost prophet, trudged to find someone who would care to understand my long haired, shaggy look philosophy of life. Finding no success, I settled down to the soothing confines of my Ipod Shuffle. More whispers, more disapproving glares. I suddenly realised how it feels to be a turtle in an aquarium.
Like totally.
The acquisition of the occasion was a 7.1 MP camera bought to capture memories of the carnage(what?don't you have emotions??I say phbbbhht!! :P ). I thought of putting up a few pictures and let some of you feel the blissful emotions of matrimony and then decided that it wouldn't go too well with the flavor of my post.The final goodbye of the occasion was my paternal grandma saying "I want to see you up next" or some such. And I realised that being part of a reality show could actually be much worse than I thought.

The return journey was marred by a catastrophe of epic proportions.
I got my cellphone stolen.
Its gone.
Contacts.Pics. Music. Games.Wallpapers.Contacts.Messages.Contacts.

I.am.devastated.Sigh.

Life has resumed with a 1300 rupees cellphone (I double checked to make sure it wasn't a dummy or a transistor they were peddling). Whether the creative workshop in Mumbai has influenced my writing will be told by you guys. The highlights of the weekend gone-by have been FIR at Old Delhi Railway Station, hardcore metal mayhem at Independence Rock, mental assault by landlord over non-payment of rent(now cleared) and pestering by the United Nations over giving up world dominance. So I made up the last one.Yes.
Will write something better when I get my bearings right. You have the option of dismissing this as a filler.Also the tags shall be done in the near future.

Laters.

P.S.- Glad that most of you guys liked my dedication to Heath. After that post, my vision has cleared up. Indeed, chaos is the key...

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Hope...



His eyelids seem to weigh a lifetime.It would take him more than willpower to get them open.

"I am dead.And this is my life after death", he said aloud. With this thought ringing in his head, he opened his eyes.A bright light, with the power of a thousand needles pierced his eyes.He lifted a hand and shielded it.The world, a world he believed no longer existed, came into focus.

"No you aint.Thats just the Operating Light over your head and nothing heavenly."

"I am not??"

"Nope!! you tried real hard though. Jumping in front of a car wasn't wise.Should ave tried a highrise maybe.You know..."

"Shut up for a second will you??How are you feeling?"This time the second guy spoke.Both of them had been the only people in his field of vision since he had opened his eyes.The one talking seemed to be in command.The other, though a little frail, looked more angelic.

"Oh me?I feel fine...never been better...dont know..there is some sort of a disconnect that I cant figure..."

"There is NO disconnect", this time a little more curt."just rest a while and you will be fine...and yeah you are alive...so (*thinking*) thank God!!yeah why not?Thank GOD!"

"um ok...I guess I will.Thanks guys."

The Talking Guy's face broke into a grin."Ah its ok. You could always thank later.Everyone does.Well, most do.Maybe not most...but ah, for now, rest, ok?We will meet you again.We will leave now."

With these words they walked out of the Operation Theatre.As soon as they stepped out, the frail guy burst out, "You think its funny??Its not always funny!!You really need to understand that!!"

Talking Guy's face remained contorted with that grin.

"Why so serious?", he said and dug into his pocket.Took out a cigerette and lighted it.As wisps of smoke curled from his lips, he turned to the Frail Guy, grin in place.He looked up and said;

"Dont you think its easier to fool people when they are dead?"

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Me-Wanna/Be...

Allo, whadup?Things have been sort of a whirlwind of late and as a result, I did not get time to write much on the blog.No, actually I was kidnapped by Martians and was tested for terrestrial tolerance to martian bullshit. Not really, I mean you wouldn't want to talk about Your experience of being a part of the Indian contingent to the International Summit of Polka Dotted Umbrella Users, would you?

Okay Smartypants, I did not know what to write.There, I SAID IT!!


Looking at my previous posts,one must have definitely got the point that this blog is the result of a software bot malfunction.So, I thought, I might try to add a little bit of the human aspirational (inspirational, respirational??) value to it.Most of you guys who have cared to glance through the previous clog of words must have noticed that I am indeed a part of a Radio Station. But, ah, the bittersweet irony of life, I am not a jock. I am someone who pretends to be creative and also pretends to be extremely good at clacking the keyboard at brain-numbing speeds.But yes I have had my moments of glory behind the Microphone.That's the saga that I thought could deserve a little narration.


There was this jock(read Radio Jockey) who had to go on a leave for the marriage of some estranged cousin in Ranchi( often mentioned in association with the likes of the mentally deranged).As a result she recorded her show for a good week and left. The only problem that arose was the execution of live traffic updates from the studio.And who better to save the day than me;The saviour of the greedy (um needy??) and ill-begotten (downtrodden was it??).I was to do four traffic updates in two hours for a period of five days.That's when the catastrophe finally decide to rear its ugly head.


The On-Air console(read Radio Jockey remote control) resembles a badly drawn industrial township map by a fifth grader.It has a huge cache of brightly coloured buttons and a lot of twiddly faders which just go up and down and not sideways.The only buttons that I was asked to handle was a red button which was "OFF" and a yellow which was "ON".There was also this fader which was supposed to be pulled down after I had done talking and then push the red button which would switch the Microphone off.In the studio, on one of those days, I was struck by a bolt of creative lightning.I decided that the Fader in question was not of much consequence.So I put it up and let it be there.The rest of the job was done by the red button and yellow button.

What a discovery!!Less confusion, better and supreme control!!I was the master of the NASA-esque console!!Better still, in my own little cosmos, I was a friggin RJ!!

And then it happened.Between the traffic updates, listeners call up and tell you where the traffic jams are. So as soon as I finished an update, I lunged towards the telos kept at the side of the studio.All was going good. Till the I-am-listening-radio-in-car angel called up.


Me:"Radio *beep* bataiye jam kahan laga hai??"

C:"Maine aapka traffic update suna...mujhe song dedication karna hai."

(Lord help me NOT to shoot this guy dead over the phone.)


Me:"Sorry only traffic updates...please traffic update bataiye."

C:"Wo to nahi tha...magar...."

By this time I was about to go to the next caller.As I was about to disconnect his call and take the next, he said the words.My blood froze and the studio clock stopped ticking.My brains zzzed for some time and fused.


"Gaane ke upar aapki aawaz arahi hai..."


I looked at the console.The fader was up just as I had left it all the time.Only one thing was different this time.The yellow button glowed, glowed with the devil inside it.


THE MIC WAS ON!!

I reached the Red button which seemed a gazillion miles away and pressed it.The microphone was silent.A little vein at the side of my head throbbed merrily.I stepped out of the studio,praying the world had come to an end.Seemed it hadn't. But thankfully enough, no one had noticed. Slowly, very slowly, the world that I knew, came back into focus. It was intact.

Not even a nick.

Most people often decide that being an RJ is probably the next easiest thing to being a security guard. All you need to have is speech, comprehensive possibility of differentiating between a baboon and a banana and voila!!You are an RJ!!One and a half years later, I still hope to be one, THAT when I am on the inside. My idea is not to deter goals or crash hopes.All I would say is being an RJ is tough.Maybe not as tough as being an aeronautical engineer but tough nonetheless. With that, my dear reader, I rest my case.


(P.S.-It is indeed heartening to see that a lot of you guys seem to like what I write.More cases of twisted humor and horror coming soon.Keep reading!!)

Laters.

:)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The Strange Tale Of Mr R...



I have been in two minds about writing what I am going to write now.Most people would refuse to believe it, casting it aside as a rather fertile figment of my imagination, but no. This is as true as the lines on my palm or the thinning line of hair on your head.Or you could have it the other way if you want.

This happened at a party a few moons back and I came across this story through word of mouth from a colleague.Believe it if you have to. I wouldn't have. Mr R is a real person and is a part of the organization that I work for.The rest can speak for itself.

It was a vibrant party, almost down to its smouldering embers now.The press conference had attracted many a guests, some freeloaders, some people of renown.Mr R had a moustache with a sense of humor.Tonight he was happy after guzzling down a few drinks and trying to catchup on the swarm of words buzzing around his head.His wife sat in the corner, blissfully ignored.

The lady stood in the corner, exactly like she would have in a Sidney Sheldon novel. The dim light made it difficult to figure out how she looked, but with more lighting, she would have more than made it into the "look-ma-I-am-rich" club. Suddenly she dug into her bag and came out with a nicotine stick; the surefire combination of feeling rich and looking famous.

At this point, Mr R's mind finally gave up on trying to catch the flying wisps of conversation.His vision strayed and came to rest on the dark shadowy figure standing near the bar. All the novel jackets of his school days; the novels he could never fathom, nor read, flashed before his eyes like a short film.His senses were alert; a strange glow filled his eyes. Then she decided to walk towards him, nicotine stick carefully held between her beautiful fingers...

Time slowed down.The lights seemed to dim a little more. The lady walked up to him and stopped. Mr R could have been a part of the Big Brass Band with his heart thumping away to glory.

" Got a light?", she said.The surroundings melted away.Thus she spake.It was just him and the voice of the lady, as it seemed to take all the time in the world to reach him. Time warped out to nothingness. His wife still lay catching a few fleeting Zs on the couch next to him, seemingly oblivious of the fact that history was being created at the very moment.Mr. R reached down to his pocket and grasped something.The lady waited patiently.The whole thing seemed to go by in slow motion. A few lazy eye-balls turned to look at the sheer piece of art that was addressing Mr. R at this very moment.

In the moment, Mr R looked deep into her eyes as he held on to the magic charm that would free her out of her misery.Slowly, very slowly, with magic precision, the hand finally came out.What it held was beyond the reckoning of the human race...

And then he said, " I have an application on mobile.It give out light."

:)

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Ze story of ze soopid callers...


Aloha...have been away for some time, and there have been some "under" developments. I am under stress due to rising inflation and the rising tirades of the existing auto wallahs.I am also under obligation to my office people for choosing the most god-forsaken place on the planet to build an office in, where most fear to tread. Most of all, I am under intense obf-li-gation(try pronouncing it...its fun!!) to the callers who decide to call my workplace and the guard at the reception (no bimbette there!!!) who happily forwards these soopid, stewpid, stooooooopid calls to me.

Alright, Shakespeares, STUPID calls.

*rrrring* *click*
C:"Hello??Radio Station se bol rahe hain?"
(No.you have reached the Railway Status Enquiry.Press one if you are single or press two if you WANT to be single!!)
Me: "Haan boliye."
C: "Ji actually hamein yehi wala Radio Station Alwar mein kholna hai...Iska franchise kaise kharid sakte hain?"
(Why not???You could open up the station and also sell piping hot masala dosas and coconut water too!!It will add to our station's alternate revenue and also become a franchise in the true sense of the word!!)
Me:"Nahi...Actually aisa allowed nahi hai..."
C: "Lekin hamare paas budget hai..."

*click* *beeeeeeeeeee*

***


*rrrring* *click*
C: "Radio Station se bol rahe hain??"
(Bad luck there!!you have just reached the self-destruct zone of the tele-network...in 5 seconds you lose your human status and become a chimp...54321...eeeep)
Me(doped):Haaan...boliye...

C: "Aapka studio hai??"
(Here I really lost him.There were two possibilities;Income Tax Department or better, he had really changed into a chimp!)
Me: "Haan... bataiye..."

C: Actually, I am singer. I compose song and write also. I want to use studio to make album.
(Ladies and gentlemen, presenting the next big thing in the music industry;the Radio Studio Singer!!*deafening and blinding applause*)

Me: "Sorry...Aisa to hum nahi karte..."
C: "To aapke paas studio nahi hai??"
(@$%&*!!!!)

*click* *beeeeeeeeeee*


And that, my beloved junk readers, is not the end of it all.When I thought the calls couldnt get worse off than these (besides song dedications, RJ audition calls etc), there came the mother of all calls till date day before yesterday.



*rrrring* *click*


C:Hello...kaun bol rahe hain??


Me: You called up...aap bataiye...


C:Actually main rajesh bol raha tha...mujhe janna tha ki aap degree Haryana University se dete hain ya Kurukshetra university se?


(at this point in time my brain did a backward summersault and imploded...a red light blinked for two seconds and the backup power came on...)


Me: Degree to hum dete nahi...Waise aapko kya degree chahiye?


C:Mujhe Business Management mein Bachelors karna hai aur travel ko added subject rakhna hai...


(backup fizzles out....)


Me: Aapko kahan baat karni hai??


C:Ji Yeh Jagannath Institute of Management Studies hai na??


*click* *beeeeeeeeeee*



And that my dear readers, is just another day in office.


(Disclaimer:all the calls above are absolutely real and bear no resemblance to any person imaginary.The institute exists as well."Doped" is just an expression.Well, atleast here.Besides, "C" is supposed to denote "caller" and NOT any other expletive that comes to your mind.The motto of the post is nothing but to entertain and not to demean anyone.Radio has a long way to go to really make people understand its true meaning!! :) )


Laters.

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