The assassin who tried to kill my family

assassin

Image from here

I am one of the few blessed people who live in a city away from their relatives. Less noses in my affairs. Less Gyan. Less plastic smiles. More peace of mind.

So when a relative is about to come to our house, it creates a frenzy equalling that of cyclone Phalin. I must admit that the frequency has reduced after the death of my grandparents but there was a time when there were regular visitors. It was one such visitor whom I remember very clearly. He was the guy who tried to kill my family.  The assassin.

This assassin was a cousin of my grandma. He was from the hills. He was rotund, had pink cheeks that were dropping off his face because of old age. His eyes were sharp and always scanning everyone in the vicinity, as if trying to find avenues in case he had to escape. His voice was muffled, as if he was standing behind layers of cotton. He never brought gifts for us children but always hugged us whenever he came, swathing us with smells of trees and his unwashed underarms. He would sit for hours with my grandma talking in their local language, sometimes laughing his terrifying laugh. His laugh always reminded me of a serial killer who while trying a dress made of the skin of his victims realized that the dress fits him perfectly.

Grandma was very fond of him. She had no idea that he tried to kill us every time he visited. Every single time.

I distinctly remember the first time he tried to murder me. I was sleeping and suddenly there was this deafening roar that shook me out of my slumber. For a second I thought that a gang of lions have attacked our apartment. My heart was in my mouth when I heard the roar again. I sat up hurriedly torn between screaming and hiding under my bed. Then a third roar happened. A thin crack appeared in the ceiling. It was as if the house was unable to stand the vibrations. I gathered courage and got off my bed. I reached the adjacent room where the assassin was sleeping. I was at the door when another roar brought a warm gust of wind towards my face, leaving my hair in an upheaval. I almost choked at the moist wind smelling of a mixture of chicken curry and bad breath. The roar happened again and I saw the windowpanes vibrate and the ceiling fan sway. I was terrified that the house will not be able to withstand the strain of such powerful snoring. Soon, I realized that my whole family was up, confused and shocked. My grandfather almost had a heart attack. Our hearts were in our mouth. We were so close to our deaths. Eventually, mother stuffed some cotton in my ears to ease the suffering but I was not able to sleep.

In the morning, the assassin tried to kill me again.

There was just one loo in our house back then. I was desperately in a need to use it but the assassin was taking his own sweet time. Maybe he was skinning a rat alive. Its not that we had rats in our house but he might be carrying one from the hills to play with it before slaughtering it. Finally, the door opened and he came out. I rushed inside and locked the door. What followed was the stuff hell must be made of. Even though the assassin had the good sense to flush, the loo reeked of such unimaginable smells that I choked for a good five minutes before I decided to stop breathing. I opened the window but the smells were not leaving. I eventually pushed my mouth towards the open window and took a lungful of breath because I was in a danger of turning blue and collapsing. It took me a good fifteen minutes to save myself from this lethal attack of the assassin, during which I completely forgot the real reason for which I entered the gas chamber.

It was not just me, every member of my family who had the misfortune of entering the death room after the assassin met the same fate. They came out wide eyed, clutching their throats, panting like a man with a fish bone stuck in his throat.

We were all terrified. We huddled together night after night, morning after morning, trying to survive the attacks. Thankfully, none of my family members died of choking or heart attacks but the assassin left no stone unturned as he tried to wipe us off the planet.

He visited us again and again, year after year. Everytime the news of his arrival was shared by grandma, we all sent a silent prayer towards the almighty. Mom used to run towards the small temple in our house and pray for the survival of our family. His visits dwindled after my grandma passed away and now I haven’t seen him in years.

Even now I shudder when I think of those terrifying days where my family was attacked mercilessly. We survived the odds. The trauma brought us together, binding us in neverending love.

I am proud of that time when all of us held hands together and fought the assassin. The assassin who tried to kill MY FAMILY.

Chronicles of Dearth – Three Gods Two mistakes

long_time_ago

…there lived three Gods named Amar, Akbar and Anthony.

Now this happened much before Dearth was filled with Insanes, when it was called Buxom. The three Gods were great friends and had a blast attending cloud-room dance parties thrown by Gods in the neighbouring star systems. In one such party, The Goddess of 100 hands boasted about the creatures she had created in one of the planets in her star system. Soon, other Gods joined in with similar claims. The whole conversation left Amar, Akbar and Anthony deeply embarrassed. They were like nomads wandering through galaxies and dating young goddesses. They realised that they had a status to maintain if they had to remain in the circle.

The three Gods  (Image from here

The three Gods
(Image from here)

The three of them visited the Market of Planetary System where old Gods who were too old to look after planets sold their share. They met God Dharmendra who was half dead and could hardly lift his finger. God Dharmendra was a legend, one of the most handsome gods ever. But like in all families of Gods, the second son of his first wife – God Bobby, was a notorious black sheep. Anyways, so the story goes that they bought the Klatoon System (similar to our Solar System) from him and then chose a green planet on it called Buxom to populate it with their personal creations. The three Gods decided that each of them would create life without sharing it with the other two.

“It will be like a surprise,” God Amar said.

They had realised that their casanova days were behind them and it was time to settle down and what better way than to create a planet as an ode to their friendship. Well, it was their first mistake. If they would have chosen separate planets things would have been different. They did not realise that the fact that they have been together since childhood affected their creative powers. So God Amar created Manu and Shatrupa, God Akbar created Aadam and Hawwa and God Anthony created Adam and Eve. Even though they had no idea what the other was creating, they created replicas and placed them on different parts of Buxom. The pairs were left to discover sex and reproduction on their own as it was not appropriate for Gods to indulge them.

When God Amar, Akbar and Anthony finally met and exchanged notes, they were shocked to see the similarities between their creations. At first they thought of putting them immediately on different planets but the other 27 planets of the Klatoon System were inhabitable and the Gods were not rich enough to buy more planetary systems.

“Why do we need to separate them? Let them stay on the same planet,” God Amar suggested.

“Yes. They will eventually discover each other and live like brothers,” God Akbar squealed with delight.

“Just like us!” chirruped God Anthony.

Well, that was their big fucking second mistake.

The three pairs eventually undearthed the formula to reproduce and went out of control. Soon Buxom was teeming with their children and grandchildren. It was like a chain reaction. The Gods watched Buxom from the clouds while munching Moon chips and Meteor popcorns. They never interfered but yes, they fondly gave a combined name to all their creations – Insanes (pronounced Insaan). The males were called Hinsanes while the females were named Shinsanes.

Soon, the three kinds learnt to make fire, created wheels and ships and traveled beyond their lands and came across each other. But nothing went as per planned. Each of the race believed in the supremacy of their Gods and thus began the blackest era in the history of Buxom. Insanes killed and tortured each other in the name of their Gods. They wanted to win Buxom over. They wanted only their God to be called bestest. They devised strategies to convert each other, they sent missionaries to pull people to their side, they tried to cleanse the planet by obliterating each other. This went on for hundreds of years. None of them were successful but never understood the futility of it. They created spaceships, nanobots, submarines, supersonic jets, skyscrapers, bullet trains, artificial hearts, robots but never gave up the fight to wipe out each other. The three kinds branched into a few hundred more. Things got murkier and confusing. POLs (Piece of Lands) were created (similar to countries on Earth). Eventually Buxom was renamed Dearth after all its resources were squeezed out.

The Gods sat in the clouds and watched. At first they were terrified at the turn of events but then a feeling of amusement took over. They mulled interfering but then where was the fun in that?

“I think we must study them so that we make something better later on,” God Amar said once. God Akbar and Anthony agreed.

“I do not understand why Insanes have this concept of divine intervention? That is bloody crazy. Why will the three of us try to control a billion insanes? That’s insane!” God Akbar remarked.

“Oh come on! I think they are wired that way,” God Anthony said.

So, the Gods watched. Centuries passed. Sometimes, there was hope which was then mercilessly squashed by a concentration camp or an atom bomb or a burning train or a plane flying into a building. The thought of destroying Dearth never passed the minds of the Gods. After all, it was the planetary system of God Dharmendra. Also, the mistake of creating Insanes and the events that followed had given them immense popularity amongst other Gods. Never in the history of the Universe had anyone seen something as remotely exciting as this planet. They started inviting other Gods to watch the show. They threw expensive parties in the clouds and had hundreds of Goddesses running after them. From three nondescript, nomadic Gods, they had turned into eternal celebrities. Soon they started war betting between various POLs on Dearth and won more planetary systems.

And so Dearth went around Klatoon year after year, being nothing more that a rich source of entertainment.

This was a brief history of the creation of Dearth and how it reached its current state. To know more read the following chapter – Chronicles of Dearth : The case of missing Yaun-doms

God Dharmendra with God Bobby, God Sunny and God Chewbecca (Image from here)

God Dharmendra with God Bobby, God Sunny and God Chewbecca (Image from here)

CroreHit Shetty goes to Hollywood

New York Depress starring Brave Willis and Emma Wandson

New York Depress starring Brave Willis and Emma Wandson

Crore-Hit Shetty was pacing worriedly in his office. His last 7 movies have been blockbusters, generating revenues of over 100 crores each. Producers were falling over each other to make a movie with him. Top actors were rubbing their nose on his toenails to give them a chance. Recently, Kamsina Kaif had a massive heart attack when she was approached to do a dance number for his movie. She was overwhelmed to death.

Suddenly the phone rang. It was his dear friend, Safe-Run Khan.

“Are you taking me in your next or not?” Safe-Run shouted the moment Crore-Hit picked up the phone.

“Oh! You won’t believe what I am directing next. I have a Hollywood offer!” Crore-Hit blurted out. He could not hold it any longer.

“What!?!? Please take me! Please! I will dance in all the weddings of your family. Tell me you are not joking!”

“No, I am not! I have been approached by Hippo Searchlight to make an international movie for them.”

“So what is the problem? Why do you sound worried?”

“I don’t have a story!” Crore-Hit said exasperatedly.

“Bah! But you never did! Come on! Pick up any older movie of yours. Pick Chennai Depress. Turn it into New York Depress,” Safe-Run suggested.

“Oh my Crores! You are a genius! I will give you a role in it,” Crore-Hit said and kept the receiver back. Safe-Run wanted to tell him that he would be happy to play even a telephone booth in his movie, but he kept that for later. 

Crore-Hit started working on the modifying the script. He took help of his lungi friends like Sajid Crap, Sajid’s sister Farha Crap, and Arbaaz Crap. The first thing they did was to take away all the South Indian characters out of Chennai Depress and fill them with stereotyped Caucasians. Then the locations of all the romantic songs were changed. There was one song atop the New York subway now and another one where the actors hang upside down from the Golden Gate. Just-Teen Burger was roped in to lend his voice to the lead actress while Yo Yo Donkey Singh was finalized to playback for the male lead.

“What about the crappy one liners and stale jokes?” Crore-Hit asked the Crap clan.

As an answer, Farha Crap took out the ‘Stereotype encyclopaedia for Blondes’ from her bag. The elite directors spent the rest of the day digging out jokes from the book and fitting them in various parts in the screenplay. 

“Have they finalized the starcast yet?” Karamchand, the editor-in-chief of Film-unfair asked Crore-Hit Shetty in a page 3 party.

“Yes, they are taking Brave Willis and Emma Wandson.”

“Isn’t Brave a bit old for the role? And Emma is 1/10th his age,” Karamchand said.

“But the audience loves old men and young girls. It’s aphrodisiacal,” Crore-Hit said flashing his teeth. 

Finalizing the actress for the item number was a monumental task. Crore-hit finally decided to hold a dance competition and invited Brave Willis to judge it with Farha Crap. It was a disaster. Three actresses shot each other with machine guns while one of them had her eyeballs clawed out. One actress was found naked tied to a commode while another one’s hair caught fire mysteriously. Another one died in a landmine blast just outside the venue. It was finally decided that an international celebrity should be taken. Sunny Lube-onee was finally signed because of her varied ‘exposures’ in the field. 

The movie went on floor and the Hollywood production house was pleasantly taken aback by the amazingly grotesque treatment of the subject. Crore-Hit convinced them that this is what the audience want nowadays. He told them that they leave their brains at home (India’s latest contribution to the list of Idioms) and laugh at all jokes from the Stereotype Encyclopaedia. The highlight of the movie was Brave Willis pelvic thrusting a song in the voice of Yo Yo Donkey Singh on top of a subway train as Emma Wandson quivered semi-naked in front of him. She lip synced Just-teen Burger’s rendition of the duet as a group of hundred dancers gyrated with her atop the train. The whole of New York was out on the streets to see this unbelievable spectacle. 

The movie earned billions of dollars. Crore-Hit Shetty was rechristened BullShit Shetty in international circles.

Safe-Run Khan loved his promised cameo in New York Depress. He was the one who helped Emma Wandson get on the train by giving her his hand, followed by Emma doing an ‘Obliviate’ on him. He looked forward to promote the movie in India by appearing with the lead star cast on the best television shows like See.Eye.Duh and ‘Niyati entangled in the whirlpool of relationships’.

Meanwhile BullShit Shetty was offered to direct the next part of Aven-jerks – The rise of Loki, Tinda and Tori. 

Daddy Diaries : Timings, Fire and Nosy Aunties

injection

Dear Diary,

Anika turns two months old tomorrow. She is taller by a few centimeters and weighs almost double of what she weighed at the time of her birth. She now has layers and layers of baby fat on her arms and legs and has a double chin that can shame Adnan Sami (older one). She also has started smiling although she does that more while staring at the walls than the family which scares the shit out of us. We believe that there is a ghost in the house.

Sharma Clan is famous for its sense of timing. We have a 100% track record of understanding the importance of a perfect sense of disruption and I am proud to announce that Anika has picked the trait in just two months of her existence. So, the moment I put her to sleep and tiptoe towards my laptop, she suddenly opens her eyes and start wailing. The feat is repeated when we are eating food or trying to take a nap or basically doing anything that does not involve her. She pretends to be asleep and the moment you happily turn your face emancipating a sigh of relief, she opens her eyes and give an evil grin.

I am so proud of her.

Dear Diary,

We had Anika’s naming ceremony a few days back. It was just a formality as she already has a birth certificate with her name on it. She slept throughout the ceremony, flailing her arms in alarm as if the world was about to end when the priest dropped a utensil on the floor. When the fires were lit in the hawan kund, we deported her inside. The priest had too much time on his hands as he had no other appointments and he took his own sweet time to finish off the ceremony.

Now I really like the fire part of such rituals. I was adding ghee to the fires, just like those vamps in our daily soaps. It is an art. You have to drop the ghee at precise locations so that the wood catches fire properly and you don’t end up suffocating to death. It’s basic survival skills. So the whole Sharma clan was more interested in strategically burning the wood rather than what the priest had to say. He was anyways into too much of Sanskrit. In the end, I had to lower a mini coconut in the fire and I loved to see it burn with the rest of the wood that the family had successfully reduced to ashes.

Then the eunuchs arrived. Their leader was a towering personality (imagine The Great Khali in a saree) who made us shudder by her dance. We had to part with 7500 Rs because the gang repeatedly threatened us that they will be taking off their clothes in front of us. I was amused and actually wanted to see if they are capable of doing that but I got glares from my family and we finally gave in to the blackmail.

nosy peopleI can’t describe how much I abhor all those nosy ladies from Mom’s kitty who came for the ceremony. One of them has a granddaughter of her own who is a month younger to Anika. There is some problem with her eyes as they water very frequently. The doctors say that they might have to do a minor surgery. Now this lady finds solace in scrutinizing all the babies in the colony to find watery or uneven eyes. The first comment that fell off her mouth after seeing Anika was – Don’t you think one of her eyes is smaller than the other?

“Really? Just like your boobs?” I wanted to ask. Of course I held my tongue back. Then she did what we were avoiding to do throughout the ceremony. She smeared Anika’s forehead with the red tilak and then plonked a few rice grains on top of it as if she was a ceremonial goat tied in a temple.

Another lady had a huge issue with what Anika was wearing. She behaved as if we have draped the baby in woolens in peak summers. Then she had a problem with her name too.

“Why Anika? It is a very old fashioned name,” she remarked.

Another one had a problem with Anika’s upper lip. Sigh! Dear Diary, I must tell you that my middle finger was twitching to be raised throughout their stay in my house. I am contemplating putting a sign board outside the house specifying that dogs and nosy aunties are not allowed inside.

Dear Diary,

Anika got two injections in her thigh as well. The moment the needle went in, there was an expression of utter shock on her face and then the scream came 5 seconds later shattering all the glass windows of the hospital. I think she was quite brave, given the fact that her mother still holds my hand while facing an injection and makes a face as if she has swallowed a frog.

Time is flying by. I can feel it. A few days back Geet and I were discussing about how Anika will grow up and leave us one day to find her world. Silly, I know. It all started when I took a policy in Anika’s name that will mature in 21 years. Now I have two policies to take care of in addition to a home loan. The dent in my pocket is so enormous that I can fall through it and out of my pants.

Anyways,

I need to stop. She is awake and quivering her lips like Sharmila Tagore.

So long.

[images from 1,2]

Do as the Romans do

indianfamily6bike

Going abroad is not a distant dream anymore. In fact, come summers and the Indian streets seem deserted (if you do not consider dogs and beggars) as most of us are ‘holidaying’ abroad. Europe, South East Asia, Amrika – you name the place and you will find Indians sitting in Indian restaurants, sucking a chicken leg with a noise loud enough to shatter the lens of the Hubble.

Indians going abroad is a welcome change when the roads back home seem a bit cleaner in their absence which in turn give some relief to the sweepers. It also gives me some sort of sadistic pleasure. The tourist destinations that boast of their superior infrastructure are tested to their limits. For how long can we curb the urge to throw that stained tissue on the road? For how long can we restrain ourselves from leaving a mark on the country in the form on a single straight stain on a wall that runs down to form a puddle? There are times when we would like to spit on the spotless roads, when we would like to honk the hired convertible to glory. No wonder Indians breathe a spit of relief the moment they land in their beloved motherland and throw the slurped paper plate of Dahi Bhalle on the road with tears in their eyes. They are doing a national service, they are helping the sweepers to retain their jobs and put food into the mouth of their army of kids.

Monalisa DeshpandeWhat I find a bit disturbing is the way nationals of other countries behave in the presence of an Indian dipped in his culture.  Taking an example – We love to put Champakali, Chameli and Coconut oil in our hair. It is a recipe for our lush hair that has been passed through generations. Then why do we see people wrinkle their nose all around us when we go abroad? Don’t they get the exotic aroma rising from our head? Now we already smell of spices because of the kind of heaped-in-spices and swathed-in-oils food we eat since childhood. Add to that a dash of Champakali on our head and we turn into walking aphrodisiacs. Is the wrinkling because of the fact that we at times forget to use deodorants and smell like a dead rat? But how can that be when the oil and spices are so overpowering to make a person lose his consciousness in ecstasy? Beats me.

We Indians are very colorful people. Ask a foreigner who has been to India and the first thing he will tell you is that he thinks the whole country has gone gay (which actually seems to be a very good idea considering our amoeba like growth). We love our colors so much that we carry them unabashedly to foreign lands. Even when foreigners all around us start wearing sunglasses indoors to save their eyes from the razor-sharp colors or when they hide their faces in the beer mugs because of the sight of the momma made jumper we are wearing, we fail to get the subtle hints. And why should we? What is the harm in adding some colors to their boring grey, blue and black life?

To curb our habit of staring is another monumental task while we are abroad. If anything remotely Caucasian walks by, our jaw hangs dangerously. It is difficult to make a foreigner understand that we stare at anything. It is our way of admiring the beauty of nature. We also point fingers and giggle. It is harmless of course.

Patience is the name of the seventh moon of Jupiter. That is why when we are subjected to the word while in queues in foreign lands, we respond with bewilderment. Why can’t they make a separate line for ladies, senior citizens, children, people in orange clothes, people in whites and people with two legs? How can everyone have so much time on their hand? Don’t they have a daily soap to catch, a maid to manage, a child to batter and a match to watch?

Should we do as the Romans do or should we splash our superior culture all over the world and teach them a thing or two? Why not turn the question the other way around? What do we expect from a person visiting our country? Don’t we expect them to litter the roads, spit till they end up with salivary deficiency, eat and drink food sprinkled with fumes from the roadside stalls and bring out taser guns the moment they see four men walking towards them? So if we would like tourists to be a part of our culture and enjoy their stay here, then why can’t we reciprocate in a similar manner? In the same way that we are all proud of our culture where people leave soiled diapers in Taj Mahal, people from other countries will be proud of their shiny roads and non-aphrodisiacal surrounding and would like us to respect that.

We know its their loss that they miss this chance to bask in our refined and better cultural glory during our stay in their country but we can leave them to their miseries. If we can adjust 7 people (dog included) on a motorbike, we can do this. Don’t you think?

[image from 1, 2]

Forgotten Heroes – Tuffy and Pigeon

TuffyPigeon

There were times when Tuffy could not believe that he was sleeping on the road, fighting with stray dogs over tiny morsels of food. He lived in a mansion once, where everyone sang and danced, where he was once made an umpire in a game about which he had no idea (all he knew was that one of the wooden boards had a bit of chicken tikka masala rubbed on it and whenever he picked it up, everyone screamed and pointed at the sky). Those were the good old days.

Pigeon sat on a wire, curiously studying the familiar dog that gnawed at a bone near one of the huge dustbins. Even though he was dirty and his shiny white mane was hardly visible, the pigeon could not whisk away the inkling that the face was too familiar. Pigeon did not have any friends. The fact that he was white gave him delusions of grandeur. This really pissed off the usual grey pigeons and they kept him at bay. As he saw the dog, the pigeon remembered the time when he was a pet and sighed. He missed how Suman rubbed his nipples while singing. Those were the good old days.

HAHKHe flew towards the dog.

“I hope I am not disturbing you Sir but are you Tuffy?” the pigeon asked.

The dog looked up. It was days since anyone has talked to him.

“Yes, I am,” he said.

“It is a privilege to meet you sir! I am aware of your heroic deeds and how you helped Prem and Nisha in Hum Aapke Hain Kaun.”

“Wait! Are you Prem and Suman’s pigeon from Maine Pyar Kiya?”

“Yes, Sir. I am,” the pigeon said puffing his chest.

“You were quite heroic yourself. The way you helped Prem and Suman was commendable.”

“Thank you Sir. So what happened? Why are you here?” the pigeon asked. Tuffy sighed.

“Well! I got bored. It wasn’t as if I didn’t like the family but they were getting irritating,” Tuffy said.

“Tell me about it!” the pigeon said rolling his eyes.

“Their house was so bloody big and then everyone was calling my name all the time. I have had enough of running. And then they would sing like 20 songs in a day and made me dance on my hind legs. It wasn’t funny,” Tuffy said.

“I know what you mean. I loved the way Suman held me in her hands and rubbed my crotch but she would throw me in the air like 50 times in a day to send a message to Prem. They lived in the same bloody house!” Pigeon said.

“There was always a crowd in that house. It was as if a whole country was living there. And people will pull my hair, pick me up, toss me around, make me run. By the time I went to sleep at night, my muscles would be burning,” Tuffy said as a tear slip down his cheek.

MPK“I must confess something. I hated my owner. She had this permanent begging expression on her face. And the way she said Prem almost killed me. I wanted to peck out her eyes. And she was a tube light. The poor guy took her to the balcony to have sex with her and she won’t let him. She made him sing and dance till he collapsed of exhaustion,” Pigeon said.

“Nisha and Prem were idiots too. She prepared food for him, wore here fancy pink dress and when they had all the time in the world, they danced! Can you fuc*ing believe that! And her sister who fell off the stairs was another idiot. Why did she have to dance all over the house to get into a room? No one in that stupid family knew how to walk. They even danced before going to the loo. I wonder how they reproduced,” Tuffy said in disgust.

The dam was broken. Old wounds were opening.

“Are you happy now?” Pigeon asked.

HAHK2“Hell yeah!” Tuffy answered licking the bone he was holding in his paws, “Of course, I miss Nisha at times.”

“Why is that?” Pigeon asked in surprise.

“Nisha had a habit of touching me at inappropriate places.”

“Really? Suman also had that habit. She would run her hands all over me as if I was a Kashmiri shawl. Since I never had a girlfriend, this was the closest I came to having sex.”

“I don’t know. I was always aroused by Nisha. Once she wore a backless purple blouse and swayed her hips like melons tumbling off a cart. Heaven!”

“Oh! That was classic. Vagaries of the civilized world.”

“Tell me pigeon. Did you actually push that villain off the cliff?”

“I have never talked about this. Well no, I was not trying to kill him. I was trying to kill Prem. When Suman was thrown out of Prem’s house by his father, I had no idea that he would come after her. Oh! How I wanted to put my beak in his nose and pull out his brains when I saw him in the village. Even though I hated Suman’s shrivelled face, the physical pleasures she gave me were too much to sacrifice. I thought that if Prem died, she will be mine. But Alas, that idiot villain could not understand my intention. I was just trying to help him pull Prem down and he thought I was attacking him,” pigeon said with a sad expression.

“I would like to confess something too. When Nisha gave me that letter to give to Prem, I thought that giving it to his elder brother will create a ruckus and he will still marry her and make her life hell. And then she will be mine. She will always turn to me for comfort. But the fool made her marry Prem. I cried buckets that day,” Tuffy said.

As Tuffy and Pigeon were busy being nostalgic, no one noticed a tigress coming from behind. Before Pigeon could spread his wings, she landed her paw on his tail and closed her mouth over his head.

“NOoooo,” Tuffy shouted and jumped at the tigress. He did not see a blurred movement of her paw that slashed against his jaw, flinging him at a wall on his right. Tuffy slid down the wall like a dead fly.

Within seconds, the tigress was licking her claws as a few feathers slid off her mouth.

“Pathetic animals! I can’t believe someone took them as pets. Look at me! Now I am a majestic animal worthy of being a hero. I am elated that Himmatwala took me in. He is kinda sexy too. I love licking his shaved cheek,” the Tigress said fluttering her eyelashes. She then moaned and walked away to find Himmatwala.

The thought of another lick of the shaved cheek was too much to bear.

Himmatwala-New-Poster

[Images from – 1,2,3,4, 5]

The Director’s Cut

I am a director. My vision has given wings to stories, flesh to characters and panache to words. I do not have a cinematographer, a costume designer, an art director, a make-up artist, a special effects supervisor. I do that myself. Alone.

Heir of RedclyffeI have the power to dissolved away my surroundings. I have the power to be deaf to tyres scraping on roads, to honks hammering my ear drums, to mouths producing conversations, to songs blaring out of machines. There are times when the car dismantle around me – strips of metal fly away, the seat dissolve beneath me, the humans vanish in fumes – and then I am sitting alone, ready to direct my movie. Ready to be devoured by what I love the most. My private universe.

I open the book and my fingers melt into the pages and then I am somewhere else. I am a time traveler.

The idea was breathing with me. It was not planted but surfaced at the right time. It took time to evolve but soon I was directing books instead of reading them. It started in the 90s. Like the rest of India, I was awestruck by DDLJ and my directorial debut was a Shahrukh-Kajol starrer named The Heir of Redclyffe by  Charlotte M. Yonge. Tears trickled down my cheeks when Guy Morville (played by SRK) dies of a fever leaving a widowed Kajol behind. Yes, such was the magic of my directorial debut. SRK and Kajol played numerous important roles in the classics like The Wuthering Heights (although I replaced them with Hrithik and Kareena in a remake later), Rebecca, Gone with the wind, Anna Karenina, The Scarlet Letter etc. The list is endless. While SRK and Kajol reached the heights of stardom by featuring in my movies, Aamir was as usual sulking. So, I threw an occasional Barnaby Rudge and Jude the Obscure towards him. You might throw a spear of a question towards me asking why were Bollywood actors playing Caucasian roles? It was, dear readers, an alternate reality. It was supposed to be insane.

barnaby rudgeIt wasn’t just the classics where the Bollywood actors were shining. SRK (!), Kajol (!) and Saif came together for The Fountainhead. Who played Ellsworth M. Toohey, you may ask. Nasseruddin Shah. Movies like The English Patient, Sphere, Birdsong, The Bind Assassin, 1984, Life of Pi etc kept coming out with Bollywood actors till the director in me outgrew the SRK-Kajol pair and wanted something more. I wanted to work with Foreign actors. And thus started an era of movies where I worked with Jack Nicholson, Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt in A Finkler Question, Japanese actors in Memoirs of a Geisha, Black actors in The Colour Purple and countless other movies.

The_Immortals_Of_MeluhaSoon afterwards, my nation started calling me back and I did The Immortals of Meluha with Hrithik as Shiva. A new idea was germinating. I wanted to go for collaborations. Sometimes blind ones. I picked up The Wheel of Time. It was an epic 14 books fantasy series and a huge star cast was required. I had no idea what the story was and hence I randomly assigned actors. It was a gamble but it created results seen never before on the screen. Katrina was paired opposite Brad Pitt. She almost fainted at the proposition. Kareena became the Amyrlin Seat (after uprooting the wicked Angelina Jolie) with a lost puppy of a Matt Damon trailing her. Yes, who would have thought? Priyanka Chopra ended up as Bradley Cooper’s sister. There were minor hiccups like Aishwarya Rai falling in love with Amitabh’s character, but then we were playing blind, weren’t we?

I had tasted blood.

I read A Song of Ice and Fire Series next and had an equally enchanting star cast lined up. And then The Malazan Book of the Fallen happened. It was strange to see Amitabh and Hrithik playing Gods. It was strange to see Rani Mukherjee and Tobey Maguire together in a scene with A.K. Hangal in the background. It was strange to see Aishwarya playing Empress Laseen talking to Sergeant Whiskeyjack played by Arnold. It was strange to see Ashmit Patel (a slave and a mistake) trying to calm down a weeping emperor played by Johnny Depp. It was strange to see Kareena commanding an army with George Clooney standing next to her as a sergeant and then she goes ahead and kills Kristen Stewart of Twilight fame (they played sisters).

Malazan book of the fallenIn the end it is not just about the actors but about the visualization – the costumes, the makeup, the backdrop, the special effects, the music and the acting. It is about watching a book and enjoying the experience. I assume it is an art we all possess but the limits vary.

This is another reason the movies in the real world never live up to the books. I have already created them in vivid details in my mind. I have already seen them. I have already directed them.

Nothing comes close to the joy of carrying a world at my disposal in my brain. There are moments while turning pages when I forget that I am turning them, when I forget that I am physically outside the book, when nothing exists except the screen.

[images from 1,2,3,4]

The day Gods were Arnab-ised

arnabgoswami

Arnab looks at the camera and gives a triumphant smile. He feels like the king of the world. 

Arnab: Ladies and gentlemen! This is a Times Wow exclusive. Nowhere in this world, and I repeat, NOWHERE IN THIS WORLD, have you seen a debate of such a scale. Today we will talk to Gods of three religions. Yes, you heard it right ladies and gentlemen. * A pause and he stares at the screen for 3 seconds* You heard it right. Let’s call them God A, B and C. We will not be disclosing the religion they represent, neither will we be disclosing their faces. Please welcome the three Gods.

Three blank screens appear next to Arnab with God A, B and C written below them.

Arnab: “Welcome everyone to the show. Let’s start with the most important question haunting mankind. Let’s end the hide-and-seek game today. LET’S SETTLE THIS NOW AND HERE!!!! Where are all of you? Why are you not helping us? God A?”

God A: Because we are not supposed to! Unless and until a calamity of a monstrous scale happens that threatens the end… 

Arnab: OH MY GOD! You are telling me that there have been no calamities of a monstrous scale? Let me remind you sir. No! Let me remind you! 900 people died in the Mumbai riots in 1993, more than a 1000 people died in the Gujrat roits….

God B: Arnab, he meant on the scale of lakhs, crores. When there is a danger of extinction of mankind, we might appear. Until then…

Arnab: *giving a Dilip Kumar expression* Might appear? Might? MigHT? MIGHT? WE HUMANS HERE ARE COMSUMING VICKS AT AN ALARMING RATE BECAUSE WE ARE GETTING HOARSE CALLING YOU FOR HELP AND YOU MIGHT APPEAR? WE ARE PUTTING LAKHS AND LAKHS OF MONEY AT YOUR FEET WHEN MILLIONS ARE STARVING AND YOU ‘MIGHT’ APPEAR?

God C: Arnab, we cannot undo what humans have done. It is your fate. We gave you brains, didn’t we?

Arnab: *Pointing at God C with a Nirupa Roy look* YOU SIR ARE THE WORST OF THE WHOLE BUNCH! Your people are killing other people since hundred of years and you are eating popcorn and watching the show! Can you sleep at night? Can you look into the mir…..

God C: Why are you blaming me, God B’s people have been destroying one nation after another since decades. What about him? Why don’t you….

God B: Hold on! My people have always fought righteous wars! They have always fought for the love of America humanity. You cannot….

God A: Hrrrrruumph! Give me a break! Both of you should have at least appeared once in a while and made things right. Look at me. I have already appeared 9 times. All you guys do is sit on your ass and….

Arnab: SILENCE! Silence! All three of you are guilty! All three of you! And stop playing your politics here. THIS IS MY SHOW! I AM THE GOD HERE! So, don’t you guys dare to fling fingers at each other. The only finger that flings on this show is MINE! God A, tell me something. Your people are goondas. They beat girls who drink. They beat couples who celebrate Valentines day. Tell me, don’t they serve drinks in heaven when you have cultural programs where apsaras dance? Don’t you have Kamdev in your cabinet?

God A: I never said any of these things are wrong.

Arnab: But YOU NEVER DID ANYTHING TO STOP IT!

God A: What do you want? I can’t bloody come every time on Earth when someone has a flat tyre to help him.

Arnab: OH MY GOD! You are comparing hooliganism and murders to flat tyres? OH MY GOD!

God A: *rolling his eyes* It was just an expression!

Arnab: Let me tell all three of you today – YOU GUYS ARE GOOD FOR NOTHING. *Inserting a sad Anupam Kher expression* I feel like an orphan today. An orphan! And I say this on the behalf of the whole humanity. ALL OF US ARE ORPHANS! WE ARE ON OUR OWN! OH MY GOD!

God B: You really don’t have to be such a drama queen. Let us speak. You have to understand that this is not how it….

Arnab: DRAMA QUEEN? YOU ARE CALLING ME A DRAMA QUEEN? YOU THREE ARE THE BIGGEST DRAMA QUEENS I HAVE EVER SEEN! Sir, let me tell you that you guys exist because of us. If we want, we can shun you all and live on our own. Tell me how it happens then. I would like to listen. Let’s finish this now and here. Today is the day. Today is JUDGEMENT DAY!

God C: Our task was to create the world. We cannot solve your problems. We can only show you the path. It is up to you to walk on it.

Arnab: So, the three of you agree that you cannot help us?

God A,B,C: Yes.

Arnab: OH MY GOD!

*another 3 second pause and then he looks at the camera*

Arnab: Ladies and gentlemen. Tonight we have seen incompetence at the highest level. Forget politicians. Forget the World Wars. This is the reality exclusively on Times Wow – that we are alone. We have to fight this battle of saving humanity on our own. That OUR GODS ARE NOT GOING TO SAVE US! I WILL NEVER BOW MY HEAD IN FRONT OF ANY GOD FROM NOW ONWARDS!

God A: *yawning* Arnab, why don’t you become the god for humans? You have all the characteristics. *God B and C nod in unison and pass a smile*

Arnab: STOP YOUR SARCASTIC HANKY PANKY! YOUR ROSE TINTED IMAGE HAS BEEN SHATTERED TODAY. HUMANS NOW KNOW WHAT YOU ALL STAND FOR. *looks at the camera* THIS TIMES WOW EXCLUSIVE WILL BE ETCHED IN THE MEMORY OF MANKIND TILL ETERNITY.

God C : *telepathically talks to God A and B* His face is going red. His lungs will be on the table anytime.

God A,B : *telepathically* Don’t make us laugh you idiot! He has already done enough to portray us in a bad light.

God C : *telepathically* You appear as a blank screen, you fool! And you really think people care?

God B : *telepathically* Of course not. That is one reason I haven’t turned him into Rakhi Sawant yet.

God A: *telepathically* Shall we leave?

God C: *telepathically* Oh for God sake! Yes!

*Meanwhile Arnab is still rambling*

Arnab: I AM ASHAMED OF ALL THREE OF YOU!! ASHAMED!! Do you have anything else to say before we end this show?

*Silence*

Arnab: God A, God B, God C?

*Silence*

Arnab: OH MY GOD!

10 Syndromes to check before you decide to have a baby

one one legWe all know that India is going to overtake China in population in roughly the next 35 years. The country is already packed to the rafters and our nation might develop a gigantic crack any day from Kashmir to Kanyakumari and do a Sita on us. I completely acknowledge the commendable job our country is doing in reducing the population which includes hunger, accidents, suicides, murders, foeticides, price rise, riots, Rahul Gandhi and so on and so forth but clearly the measures will never be enough unless we move all the people below poverty line to the moon and cut off the oxygen supply.

But there is another way and hence Mashed Musings have come up with an incredible idea to dissuade couples from having babies and nipping the problem at the root. A lot of couples in our nation are anyways not worthy of becoming parents because they are so incredibly messed up and would have been immediately quarantined in another country. So, here is a list of dangerous syndromes commonly found in couples. Refrain from having a child if you have any of these and help to create a better India by ending your family tree.

The Loud Mouth Syndrome – If the frequency of your voice is very close to that of a bat but still in audible range, if you talk on a mobile as if radio waves are not yet discovered, If people pretend to be a wall-hanging the moment you enter a room, if someone faints in your presence because you have been yakking since the last 5 hours, if empty popcorn boxes fly towards you when you attend a call in a cinema hall, then you should not have a child. The child might end up as loud mouthed as you are or start pretending that he is dumb and deaf from the age of 5, similar to Mamta Banerjee, Rakhi Sawant and Manmohan Singh.

The No Rules Syndrome – Now there are times when you are the king of the roads honking to glory, there are times when you are spitting red liquid like Mount Etna, there are times when you cannot see the harsh red traffic light, there are times when you zigzag your car through traffic like a hungry anaconda. If you are a person who suffers from this syndrome, then you should not have a child because he might end up as irresponsible and worthless as you are.

The Leone Syndrome – If you are addicted to porn, you are making the biggest mistake of your life by making a baby for obvious reasons. Your child will become a liability and you have to discover Sunny Leone on mute.

bad_parentingThe Long Nose Control Freak Syndrome – Your life revolves around what other people are doing. You use the gossips to forward your interests or to add some masala to your bland existence. You might go into combative mode just like the Indian Media as soon as the gossip is turned on you. A side effect is that you might have an immensely irritating laughter or a Dracula smile. You should not have a baby because she will shun you violently, commit suicide or end up like you.

The Special Job Syndrome – If you are a painter and usually do not remember when or where was the last time you emptied your bowels or had food, if you like to travel to places like Tanzania to eat a special delicacy of earthworms, if you are a page 3 celebrity who salivates on seeing young models (male/female no bar), if you are a TV actor who works/sleeps/bathe buried under 10 kilo of fake jewellery, if you are a news reporter who specializes in dancing with soldiers in war zones, then try not to have kids. They will anyways never know you.

The Take Care Of My Child Syndrome – You might be dreaming about how other people will take care of your child once you are done with providing the world with your labour of love. If you are about to burden people with your child on weddings, travelling, watching movies, shopping or elections, it will be better not to bring the gift in the world. We know that you derive sadistic pleasure from it but your child might refuse to recognise you as he grows up and might have disorders because of people shunning him all the time. He might end up like Tushar Kapoor.  

The Toy SyndromeIf you are going to handle your future child in any of the following ways, then you should not have the kid – Moving the baby from one room to another by holding him upside down with one leg, throwing the baby 10 feet up to pacify her, slapping/pinching the baby to make him stop crying, putting a strap in his neck and drag him while you shop, forgetting the baby in the car, allowing the dog to lick your baby clean instead of giving her a bath etc.

the prefect familyThe My Child is Cool Syndrome – If you might be the kind of parent who thinks that his child will be the most special angel that will grace the Earth and everyone around you have to bow to your and your kid’s flights of inflated egotism, then better not bring the angel in the world. If you think it will be ok for your child to create ruckus by howling at public places, pull hair of aunties in cinema halls, break lines, create special Vadra queues, throw tantrums and your Vijay Mallya money while you wipe a proud tear off your puffed-with-pride face, then try not to grace the world with his existence.

The Bhatt Syndrome – If the habits of farting, belching, peeing in public and scratching your private parts in public is like a gold necklace passed through generations in your family, it will be probably a good idea to deprive yourself of a kid. He will anyways end up an animal just like you or die of poisonous gases and infections.

The Sexist Syndrome – This is the most dangerous syndrome of all. If you are a true blue sexist, then it will be a good idea to use that condom with Fevicol. You MUST NOT have a child. Your daughter will either run away, kill herself, get killed by you or end up as a vegetative cow. Your son might end up a molester, a rapist or a wife abuser. You are a hazardous factory that should be immediately locked.

If all the couples of this country who are suffering from any of these syndromes give up their plans to bring a baby in this world, the day will not be far away when India will have a population less than Lakshadweep.

p.s. We know Mahesh Bhatt does not fart, belch and pee on walls. The syndrome was named after him to honour the self-inflicted (please note) marks on his sexy body.

Mahesh-Bhatt

I can’t *scratch scratch* lift both hands but thanks for *scratch* naming the *scratch* syndrome after me. *scratch damn! scratch*

[images from 1,2,3]

My guest post on Bhavia’s Blog – The Utopian Indian Society

Strange things were happening in India. It was smeared on television. There were heated debates. Astrologers were shrieking about doomsday. People were terrified and desperately trying to seek solace in their Gods, unaware of the fact that God himself was responsible for their unbelievable situation. He was laughing uproariously. How did I know? We had a code word – Lightening bolts.

Read my guest post on Bhavia’s blog if none of that made sense. 🙂

Here is the link – The Utopian Indian Society.

And do read the introduction about me written by Bhavia in the post. It is unbelievably sweet and made me blush to a shade of beetroot red.