Monday, November 10, 2014

Farewell, my love.

"Did you pack your migraine medication?" asked Arjun.

Sandhya, his wife, thought for a while and said, "No. I guess they are still in the draw. Could you fetch me those?"

Arjun handed her the medicines and also gave her the ear-plugs. "Keep these too. I don't want the noise and the cabin pressure to trigger an episode of migraines on your flight."

"What would have I done without you!" said Sandhya and hugged Arjun.

"I will miss you when you're gone", said Arjun.

"I will too. I feel guilty for leaving you alone. I tried so hard to avoid this travel. But they wanted someone with good knowledge about the project to go. I will come back as soon as possible. And we will Skype everyday."

"Every night you mean?" Arjun said and winked.

Sandhya smiled and mock punched Arjun and said, "Naughty boy."

"Do we still have some time? You know, for a quickie?" Arjun asked.

"Aww! My poor darling. Karan will be here anytime now. But don't you worry, when I come back I will make it up to you. For every single day I have been away from you." Sandhya said and planted a kiss on Arjun's lips.

"You could have atleast let me drop you to the airport."

"You'd have to drive for 40kms and drive back again. Also you have to go early to the office tomorrow, remember? Anyway, someone is picking up Karan's car after we reach the airport. So we felt it's much better option than hiring a cab or you dropping us. Now, stop worrying about me. When I'm away you take better care of yourself. No junk food, no binge drinking, no staying awake till late night and most importantly, don't bring your friends and create a mess out of this place. Ok?" said Sandhya.

"Yes, madam!" Arjun said and smiled, when they heard a car honk.

"Looks like Karan's here. Come, let me help you with your luggage." Arjun said and picked up her bags.

They walked to the car. Arjun put Sandhya's bags in the trunk. Sandhya sat in the car and lowered the windows. Arjun came to her and said, "Have a safe and happy journey." He then looked towards Karan and said, "Hey, Karan! Good seeing you. Take good care of her."

"I sure will", Karan said.

They waved each other good bye and the car drove away.

"So, did you kiss your husband goodbye?" Karan asked.

"Aww! My poor baby. Are you jealous? The unfortunate guy is going to die soon. The least I could do is to bid him farewell with a kiss. Now, come here." Sandhya said and pulled Karan close and gave him a long passionate kiss.

Karan looked at her and smiled. It was as if Sandhya had cast an enchanting charm on him.

"Eyes on the road, mister. Don't get us killed." Sandhya said pointing to the road.

Few days ago...

Sandhya called the contract killer from a second cell phone, one that was not on her name.

"Hello. Is this 14482?" Sandhya asked.

"Yes", said the voice from the other end.

"I heard that you offer very special kind of services for the right price."

"What kind of service are we talking about here?"

"The one that results in dead people."

"Who is the target?"

"My husband."

"Hmm. I only accept cash. 15 lakhs. Single payment. I will let you know about the place where you can make the payment. Also put all the details about the target in an envelope and place it along with the cash. After the payment there will be no further communication between us. You will know when the work is complete. Is it clear?"

"Yes. And there's another thing. It has to look like an accident."

"It will cost you another 30% extra."

"How about some discount?" asked Sandhya

"How about I kill another person for you for a 20% discount?"

Sandhya cut the call.

45 minutes after Sandhya left for airport...

Arjun's cellphone rang. The sound of the ringtone reverberated around the entire house. The call was missed. An eerie silence filled the house. Few seconds later the phone began to ring again. As it was going to be missed again, Arjun picked up the call.


"Hello. Is this Mr. Arjun?"

"Yes, speaking."

"This is Vikram. The expressway patrol officer. Is Sandhya your wife?"

"Yes. What is this about?"

"The car your wife was driving in met with an accident. The male passenger accompanying your wife died on the spot."

"What about my wife?" asked Arjun, worried.

"I'm sorry, Mr. Arjun. She passed away while we were transporting her to the hospital."

Arjun slumped to the bed. And his head hanged low.

"I'm deeply sorry for delivering this terrible news. I know this must be very difficult for you. Is there anything we can do? Do you want us to send someone to come pick you up?" said Vikram, with a very sympathetic voice.

"Hello? Mr. Arjun? Are you there? Are you ok?"

"Yeah, yeah. I'm here. It's ok. I will come down there." said Arjun, sniffling.

Arjun cut the call. He slowly sat straight from his crouched position. He looked at his reflection in the mirror and let out a wry smile.

Few days ago...

Arjun called the contract killer's number, from a payphone.

"Is this 14482?"


"I'm your next target. My wife paid you to get me killed, remember?"

There was a silence from the other end.

"Don't worry. I'm not calling to bust you. I called you to make you an offer. An offer better than that of my wife's."

"I'm listening", said the voice from the other end.

"I will pay you double than what my wife has offered you. And you can keep the money my wife has already paid you. You let me go and kill her instead."

"What made you think I will accept your offer? I have already committed to her's."

"Well, you kill people for money. I didn't think you were big on professional ethics. I'm trying to get a person killed who is trying to get me killed. It shouldn't be a moral issue. I'm offering you more than her. It is good business. Also if you accept my offer she is not going to come question you for not keeping your part of the deal. She will be dead anyway. It's a win-win for all."

"I will have ask you one thing, just out of curiosity. Why are you both trying to get each other killed?"

"Do you ask these kinda questions to all your clients?"

"No. Only to the husband and wife who want each other dead."

"Well, I guess there's no harm in telling you. It's not like you are going to go tell someone else. Also it may feel better to shed some load off my heart, you know. Ours was a marriage of convenience. Both of us didn't want to get married, but had to due to our parents' pressure. We didn't get along well after our marriage. We even slept in separate bedrooms. And frankly, I didn't mind it either. But all of a sudden she becomes this mushy, overtly loving wife, smothering me with love and affection. And I thought, may be this worked out for good. Marriage is not that bad after all. And I reciprocated to her love. We were happy. But it was too good to believe. So I stalked her. Found out she was having an affair. Not just that, but the bitch was trying to get me killed. And here we are now."

"Couldn't she just leave you and go with him?", asked the voice on the other end.

"Ah! That is where her brilliance lies. You see, if she were to divorce me, she would be the bad person. She would be the one who broke our marriage. Everyone would blame her. So she wouldn't divorce me. And I wouldn't divorce her either. But if I were to die somehow suddenly, accidentally, then she would be a widow. She would act like she is mourning, for a few days. Few months later she would find a man who loves her. The same asshole who is secretly fucking her now. They will declare their love to the world and get married. Not only will she get the sympathy of the people, but also their blessing. Imagine that, a young woman, who is a widow, heart broken and sad, when a prince charming comes around and picks her up and loves her with all his heart. A fairy tale built on lies that every fucking moron would believe. He gets to be a hero and she gets to be guilt free. Bloody brilliant, isn't it? I would have let her go happily if she wanted to leave me. But when she decided to get me killed, that is when I decided to get her killed. Survival instincts, you see. So what do you say?"

"Well, you make a strong argument. I will let you know when and where you need to make the payment. It was nice doing business with you, Mr. Arjun", said the voice and the call got cut.

A week after the accident...

Arjun stood in front of Sandhya's tomb. He placed a bunch of flowers on it. He stood there, looking at the tomb, blankly. He felt nothing. Just like when they got married, when he found out she had an affair, when he found out she was trying to get him killed, when he decided to get her killed and when he got the news that she was dead.

"If only things had worked out well. Sigh! Farewell, my love, farewell", Arjun said, turned back and walked away.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Morbid Curiosity

Amar got down from the office cab on the main road. He decided to walk to his apartment from the main road. It was late. The road was deserted barring few street dogs. Bangalore dogs were known for their notoriety. He was cautious. He kept walking, whistling tunes to himself. As he kept walking he saw a guy sitting on a compound wall. He was strangely dressed. A long black robe with a hood and a rope tied around his waist.

"Weirdo", Amar thought.

He ignored him and kept walking past him. As he kept walking, whistling and kicking the odd stones on the road he suddenly saw the same guy sitting on another compound wall ahead of him. Amar turned around to see the compound wall where he was sitting previously. No one there.

"What the hell!", he said to himself.

The guy in the black robe started staring at Amar. Amar was a little freaked now. He started walking briskly and tried to look away from him. After a few brisk paces Amar realised that the guy was now following him. Walking at the same pace as him. Amar thought that he could either start running or turn around and punch the guy in the face.

"Okay, punching might not be such a good idea", he thought.

He decided to confront him. He stopped, turned around and walked towards the guy. The guy stood motionless.

"What's your problem, man. Why are you following me?", Amar asked as he stood at arms length from the guy, deciding to throw a punch even at the slightest provocation.

The guy looked around and said, "Are you talking to me?"

"Do you see anyone else? Yes, you dumbass. I'm talking to you", Amar retaliated.

"You mean, you can see me?", the guy asked, surprised.

"Oh sorry! I didn't know you were wearing an invisibility cloak", Amar smirked.

"This is... unexpected", the guy said, and continued, "Do you know who I am?"

"Yeah. A freak who wears creepy dress and follows strangers on the road."

"Whoa! Hold on. This is weird. This never happens usually. Let me introduce myself to you first. I am Death", the guy said with a pleasant smile.

"What?! Is this some kind of prank? You want to share this on Youtube and get likes and shit?", Amar said, now furious.

"Ok. I think we got off a bad start here. Let me make it clear to you. I'm 'The Death'. Well, the personification of death to be exact."

"Yeah right. And I'm Batman. Nice to meet you", Amar said and started walking away.

"You don't believe me, do you?"

"Yes. What gave you the clue?"

"But, I am death. What would make you believe me?"

"Ok, mister. Lets play this game. You want me to believe that you are death, right? Then, for starters, you can prove it to me."

"If I have to prove it you, I'd have to kill you. That would defeat the entire purpose of proving it to you."

"Yeah. Personification of death afraid of killing people. That just proves it."

"I'm not afraid of killing you. It's just that it's not your time, yet", Death said, looking straight into Amar's eyes.

"Ok, you have my attention. Whatever game you're playing, it better be good", Amar said, now curious.

"This is not any game. I'm Death. I follow people in their final moments. And when their time is up, I take their lives.", Death said, with a glint in his eyes, literally.

"Does that mean I'm going to die now?", Amar asked, quiet frankly.

"Not now. But tonight. This usually never happens. The dying person sees me only after their life has left their body. You're an exception."

"You still have to prove to me that you are death, though", Amar said, managing a faint smile.

"Sure", Death said and drew a big circle on the ground. "Step inside. And be careful, do not touch me. Anything that comes in contact with me, dies", Death said.

As soon as Amar stepped inside everything became hazy. As though they were in the clouds. Death moved its hand in front of them in a clearing fashion. The fog disappeared. They were staring at a little girl.

"Her name is Xia Cheng. Terminal cancer. She was diagnosed with glioblastoma when she was 8. The tumor was surgically removed and she was on medication. Everyone thought the worst was over. That she was going to have a long, relatively healthy life. But the cancer recurred. And now she is going to die", Death said. As they watched, another person with a black robe who looked like the Death appeared beside Xia. As she breathed her last breath a light rose out of her. The other Death captured it and put it in a pouch and disappeared.

"Was that you?" Amar asked.

"Yes, another manifestation."

"Another manifestation?"

"It's all bit complicated. You won't understand."

"Try me."

"You couldn't even solve a third order linear differential equation. Trust me, you won't get it", Death said, in a matter of fact tone.

Death moved his hand again. The haze cluttered for sometime and cleared again. They stood looking at a road.

"In 2 minutes two cars are going to clash head-on here. In one car, there is one Mauricio Gonzales, 38yrs old, survived by his wife and two daughters. He is on his way to home after a long tiring night of work. Trying to catch a glimpse of his daughters before they leave for school. In the other car there is 19yr old Sarah Diaz. Returning hung over after a night of booze, party and wild sex. And one of them is going to die."


"Lets find out."

Sarah's head kept whirling while she was driving. She had scant memories about last night. Everything was a blur. She sipped her coffee and checked her phone for all the messages and calls she missed, when suddenly she dropped her phone and then the coffee spilled while she tried to catch her phone. She lost her concentration and started steering into the opposite lane while she scrambled for her phone. Mauricio tried his best to avoid the car that was coming the opposite direction. He held the steering wheel tight when he realised the clash was imminent. The cars clashed. Metal tore and twisted and the glass shattered. The cars rolled and landed on their side and up. The traffic came to a halt on either side. People started running towards the cars to help the people out. Both Mauricio and Sarah lay motionless. Sarah bled everywhere from her body while blood dripped from Mauricio's head, held upside down in his seat by his seat belt. People pulled out both of them. Both of them were not breathing. A guy started performing CPR on Sarah. Mauricio had a rod pierced right through his heart. Sarah suddenly coughed and gasped for breath. Someone checked the pulse on Mauricio. He was dead. They moved away. Few started sobbing. A man in a black robe appeared and caught the rising ball of light and put it in a pouch. He looked at Amar and Death, smiled and disappeared.

"Is this proof enough?" Death asked.

"Yes. This is enough", Amar said, now a little down.

"Step out of the circle", Death said.

Amar stepped out and they were back to the place they were.

"So what next? Are you going to kill me?", Amar asked, looking straight into Death's eyes.

"Don't be silly. I don't kill people. They die. I'm here for the after work", Death said, nonchalantly.

"So how long do I have?", Amar asked.

"A little while more."

"Then I'd like to take care of few things before I go", Amar said.

"You look pretty strong and composed for a person who knows he is going to die in a short while."

"Well, everyone dies. Some early, some late. But it is inevitable. So I guess there is no use in making a big fuss out of it. Also the dead don't feel pain, it is the living that suffer. I'm not worried or scared about my death, it is the thought of the people who have to deal with my death that affects me."

"Wiser words were never been spoken", Death said. They both smiled.

Amar went to his apartment while Death followed him. He turned on the laptop. He pulled out a file with numerous documents from his draw. He went through them. He picked few of them and started composing a mail with various information from the documents - his insurance, EPF, investments, savings account details and others. He hit send. It was mailed to his father.

He picked his phone and went to the contacts. 'Home', it read. He called the number. It was late. He was not sure if anyone would pick up. As he was about to hang up someone picked up the phone and said, "Hello", groggily.


"Amar? It's so late. What are you doing till now. Haven't you slept?"

"I just returned from office. I sent you a mail. Thought I would call and inform you."

"Mail? Is it something important? Do you want me to check it now?"

"No, Dad. It's ok. Check it in the morning. Nothing important."

"Go to bed soon. It's late. Don't spoil your health."

"Yeah. I will now. Is mom asleep?"

"Yes. She wasn't feeling well. She took some pills and fell asleep a while ago. Do you want me to wake her up?"

"No. Don't trouble her. Let her sleep. Tell her that I love her when she wakes up."

"Is everything ok, Amar? You sound low."

"Don't worry, Dad. Everything's fine. I'm a little tired. Also I miss you guys."

"Alright. I will ask your mom to call you in the morning."

"Ok, Dad. Go back to sleep. Good night. Take care."

"Good night, Amar", said the voice on the other end.

Amar hung up the phone. He choked up and tears started rolling down.

"Not so wise and strong now, are you?" Death said, mockingly.

Amar cleared his throat, took a deep breath and wiped his tears. He went through the contacts again. Suma, it read. He called the number.

"Girlfriend?" Death asked. Amar nodded yes.

The phone kept ringing but she didn't pick the call. He called her again. Still no response.

"Love is not there when you need it the most?" Death asked.

"She wakes up early so she sleeps early. And puts her phone on the silent mode sometimes. Also love is not just about being there all the time. It's about being there when it matters the most. And she has always been there for me when it mattered."

"So your death doesn't matter?"

"It does. But she is not you. She doesn't know that I'm about to die."

Amar decided to leave her a text.

"Hey, beautiful. Good morning. By the time you read this I will be gone. Some place far. I will not be able to pick your call or talk to you. I'm gonna miss you. You are everything that I could've asked for, and more. Thanks for always being there for me. Love you." He sent the message.

He put the phone down on the bed.

"Do we still have time?" Amar asked.

"How long do you need?" Death asked.

"Long enough for a short walk."

"Sure. Why not?", said Death and shrugged.

Amar pulled out a cigarette from a small box in his draw.

"You smoke?" Death asked.

"No. Smoking kills. But I guess it's ok now. Actually I watched a movie in which a guy kept a cigarette with him at all times but never smoked it. He saved it for one last smoke. I thought it was cool. I thought I will smoke one if at all my death is certain and there was nothing I can do about it. You know, like if there was a nuclear explosion or I got cancer or something or if I meet Death and have a talk with him", said Amar and smiled.

"Still some spirit left in you, after all."

"Hey, dying doesn't mean I shouldn't have my share of fun", Amar said and lit the cigarette.

"Shall we take that walk now?" Death asked.


"After you", Death said showing the way.

They started walking in silence. Amar finished his cigarette.

"So, how am I going to die?" Amar asked.

"And I was afraid you'd never ask", Death said and smiled.

"I thought I'd just leave it. But my curiosity got the better of me."

"Why do you want to know? You are going to die anyway. Knowing how you are going to die doesn't change anything. You're not going to suffer more or less. You are going to die. Nothing matters anymore", Death said.

"C'mon. Not many know when they are going to die, but I know. Nothing is usual or expected with my end. In your own words, I'm going to die. Nothing matters. So why does it matter if I know how am I going to die? Just one last favour, please", Amar pleaded.

"Ok, let the world say that death did you a favour. You come late from office. You pass Death on your way. You talk to him. You ask Death to prove itself to you. It proves. You know this is the end. You get things in order. And then you take a walk with Death. You get curious and ask Death how you're going to die while standing right where you went past Death. When Death reveals how are going to die, a stray bullet hits you in the head, killing you instantly", Death said...

When a stray bullet hits Amar's head and he drops dead.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Matters of the Heart

It was 3:00 in the morning. Kadhir was trying hard to fall asleep. Big day tomorrow. He had a meeting with the clients of his next project. His manager had asked him to be at the office by 8:30 a.m. Half an hour before the meeting. So that they could go through the details once before the meeting. He worked late the previous night and was completely exhausted. As he was starting to doze he heard a loud cry. Kadhir and Sandhya's five month old daughter. Sandhya rolled her blanket away, trying to get up.

"I will get this one. You have been up twice already. You go back to sleep," Kadhir said.

"Are you sure? You have to wake up early tomorrow," Sandhya said, groggily.

"It's already tomorrow, honey. Do not worry. I will put her to sleep and come back in 10mins." Kadhir said and kissed her to sleep.

Kadhir walked to the cradle. Pranitha, their five month old daughter was crying her lungs out. Kadhir picked her up carefully and took her to the main hall. "Achachachacho! What happened to my Prani baby! Why are you crying!? Are you hungry!? Does your little stomach hurt!? Don't you worry. Appa is here. Appa is going to take care of his little angel," Kadhir started talking to his daughter in a childish voice, as if the child understood. He starts rocking and cradling the baby in his arms. He hummed unclear lullabies and walked around the room. It was around 4 when she finally went to sleep. Kadhir carefully put her back in the cradle and came to sleep.

The alarm went off at 6. Kadhir silenced his mobile. The second alarm went off at 6:15. Kadhir turned it off and got up, still half asleep. His wife and daughter were still deep in sleep. He tip toed to bathroom so as to not wake up his daughter. He took bath and got ready for office. Everything appeared hazy for him, as if he was doing things while sleepwalking.

"I'm leaving for office, honey. See you in the eveining," Kadhir whispered in his wife's ear and kissed her on her forehead.

"Breakfast?" she asked.

"Ah! I will have something at the office cafeteria. Need to leave before the traffic. Ok, bye!" Kadhir said and rushed.

Kadhir started the car and turned on the FM. He switched the stations until he found the one that played some peppy songs. He started driving. The traffic was slim. He kept driving, slowly rocking his head to the music. There weren't any vehicles in front his car. Suddenly his vision started to blur and before he could realise he fell asleep. When he woke up, his car had already hit the concrete divider and was flying to the other side. The car tumbled and landed on its top and was dragged for 30ft. The screeching sound of the metal meeting the asphalt filled the air. And then there was a deafning silence. The few people in the surrounding started running towards the car.


"What's the next case?" asked Dr. Vikram to the female attendant, Suja.

"Male. Age 30. Accident." Suja replied, to the point.

"Accident? What is he doing in the exam room instead of being in the emergency ward?" Vikram asked and chuckled.

"The guy fell asleep behind the wheel. The car hit the divider, was tossed into the air, landed bottum-up on the other side of the road and was dragged for 50ft. And guess what? The guy walks out of it all, unscathed," Suja said with a glint of amazement in her eyes. They both looked at Kadhir sitting on the examination table inside the exam room.

"Seems to be one lucky bastard."

Suja looked up and stared at Vikram, as if disapproving his choice of words.

"So what do you want me to do?"

"Check him. And clear him for discharge if he is alright"

Vikram took the case file from Suja's table and walked towards the exam room. "Having an adventurous day, are we?" Vikram asked as he opened the door and entered the room.

"I know, it was a mistake. I was really tired and sleep deprived. I should've taken the bus or a cab. I risked my life and that of others. Can't believe I'm still alive," Kadhir said and let out a wry smile.

"So, Mr. Kadhir is it?" Vikram asked.

"It's Kadhiresan, actually", Kadhir replied.

"Ok, Mr. Kadhiresan. Don't worry. All's well that ends well, not for your car though," Vikram said and smiled sheepishly.

"No visible wounds or injuries. No disorientation. You seem to be a little shaken by the incident. That's normal. Do you feel any pain anywhere in your body?" Vikram asked while checking Kadhir.

"No. Not really."

"Your eyes are bloodshot though. Too much drink last night?"

"No. I don't drink. At least not after our daughter was born."

"Oh! How old?"

"30yrs", Kadhir said.

"Not you. Your daughter," Vikram smiled.

"Oh! sorry. 5 months old"

"I see! Sleeplees baby equals sleepless dad equals a nasty accident. Having a stressful job too I guess," Vikram said. Kadhir nodded.

"Ok. We will run some tests to check for any internal bleeding. And if everything checks out fine, you're good to go. I will prescribe you some immune boosters, though. Sleep deprivation and stress can take a toll on your immune system. A couple of days of rest and you will be ready to take over the world with your daughter," said Vikram and asked, "do you want us to call your wife and inform her?"

"No. Don't. She will freak out. I will tell her myself when I go home," said Kadhir when they heard a knock on the door.

"Doctor, need you for a minute," Suja said while peering into the room.

"Just a moment," Vikram said and excused himself.

"May be you want to take a look into this," Suja said and handed a file to Vikram.

"What's this?"

"Patient's history file. His personal details, medical history and other things. We went through the contents of his wallet and found his doctor's card. We contacted his doctor for details of any pre-existing conditions that we ought to know about. He sent us his files," said Suja.

"So, is there anything medically signifacant to know about Mr. Kadhir?"

"First thing, he is not Kadhir. His name is Gaurav. Around 8 months back he had an accident. A more serious one. Another car coming in the opposite direction lost control and hit the divider, like today, and came flying towards his car. The other car had a father, mother and their 5 months old baby, a girl child. The mother and the child died on the spot. The father was taken to a hospital in a very serious condition," said Suja and continued, "Mr. Gaurav here, had a metal shrapnel lodged into his chest, piercing his heart. The heart couldn't be fixed and he was in need of a heart transplant. And like they say, fate, it seems, is not without a sense of irony. The father died after 10hrs and his heart fit all the criteria for a transplant. Mr. Gaurav survived with that ill-fated father's heart." Suja paused for a moment and said, "And the name of the father whose heart was transplanted is..."

"Kadhiresan," Vikram completed Suja's sentence.

Vikram turned and looked at Gaurav sitting on the examination table. And then Gaurav looked at Vikram and smiled.

PS: This is one of my longer posts, sorry for that. Whenever I think of a story, I have different storylines/plotlines. Then choose one among them. Here, I had another version where Kadhiresan survives, the mother and the child die and there is no Gaurav. Also in another version the mother survives, the father and the child die. I was apprehensive about sharing this. But thought it would be fun to give different plotlines and let the reader construct their own version(s), if they wish to. :-)

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Have you heard about the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.?? If not, google it. More importantly google about ALS and the charity. And also it is very much fun.

Now, it's a very good thing. But what's more fascinating is the proportions it has reached. I mean, 20yrs ago who would've thought that billionaires, executives of MNCs, sport stars, politicians, movie stars, talk show hosts and other social media celebrities would dump a bucket of ice cold water on their head and tag other famous people to do the same, even if it was for a good cause. The speed at which this has reached everyone, simply amazing. And all of this happened through social media.

Humans are social beings and we love to communicate, unless you are a sociopath. But the speeds at which this information revolution is happening is staggering. Compare the way we communicated and exchanged information 10 or 15yrs ago and now(20yrs in the first world countries :P). Love it or hate it the social media has penetrated into people's lives more than we've imagined and also wished for. As much as this is exhilarating, it is also terrifying.

PS: With all that said, I still wonder if the US President Barack Obama would do it. And if at all he does it, I wish he tags our Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and Russian President Vladimir Putin. That would be real fun. :D

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Bloody Dogs

Nithya was trying hard to fall asleep, but her insomnia and the incessant barking of the street dogs didn't help her. Her apartment was closer to the road and her bedroom window faced the road directly. She kept rolling on her bed as the barking kept getting louder and louder.

"Bloody dogs", she said as she got out of her bed. She went to the kitchen, filled the jug with water, went to the balcony and threw the water on the dogs. The dogs whined and ran away. "Run you monsters and let me sleep in peace", she said and went back to her bed.

Finally Nithya started to drift slowly into her sleep when she suddenly heard the barking again. Only this time, it was fiercer and louder.

"I swear I'm going to kill these dogs", she muttered under her breath as she got out of her bed and walked towards the bedroom door. And when she opened the door she just stood there, shell-shocked, looking at the snarling dogs with their bloody mouths and canines out.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Love gifts.

"I have a surprise for you today" read the text from Vidya.

Anand texted back, "What surprise?"

"You will find out when you reach home today", she replied back.

When Anand reached his apartment in the evening the watchman called him. "You have got a courier, sir", he said. Anand signed the registry and received the package. It read "From, Vidya" on it.

"So this is the surprise", Anand thought.

He went to his flat and opened the package with excitement. There was a white shirt in it. Anand looked at it, puzzled. "Just a plain white shirt? This is her surprise for me?" Anand wondered.

He took out the shirt and opened it. A white cover fell from inside the shirt. He picked it up.

"Just for your eyes. ;-)", read on the cover.

He opened the cover. It had a picture inside it. A picture of Vidya wearing nothing but the plain white shirt. Her curvy figure quiet visible through the translucent cloth. She looked sensuous. She looked ravishing. It was a sight for Anand's sore eyes.

A week later...

The door bell rang. Vidya opened the door.

"Madam, courier." said the courier guy.

Vidya signed the acknowledgement form and received the package.

"From, Anand", it read on the package. Vidya's face lit up. She crashed into the bean bag and started tearing the cloth lined cover from one end. It had a neatly gift wrapped box inside it. She unwrapped it with glee. She opened the box. It had a beautiful black 2 piece laced lingerie. Her cheeks now turned a little pink. She was blushing. She stood up and decided to try them on. She took them out of the box. And below them she found a white cover.

"Just for your eyes. ;-)", it read on the cover.

She opened it slowly, praying that it not be what she thinks it to be. And then she slumped into the bean bag, looking at the picture of a hairy Anand wearing nothing but the black 2 piece laced lingerie.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Music for life.

Vishal saw Kiran at a distance. Kiran was Vishal's colleague. They both lived in the same locality, so Vishal thought they could go together in the bus and catch up about their work and stuff.

Vishal called out Kiran's name. But Kiran didn't turn back. He called him again couple of times. Everyone else except Kiran turned back to see who was hawking Kiran.

"Is he deaf?" Vishal thought, exasperated.

He quickly ran towards him as shouting his name didn't help.

As Kiran was to step down from the sidewalk onto the road, Vishal caught up to him and put his hand on Kiran's shoulder. Kiran turned around to see Vishal catching his breath and Vishal understood why Kiran couldn't hear him. Kiran took off his earphones.

"What happened?", Kiran asked.

"I have been calling out your name and everyone was looking at me like I was a crazy person. That's what happened", Vishal said.

"Oh, I was listening to music. That is why I couldn't hear you", said Kiran.

"Well, should you be listening to music even while walking and crossing roads?", Vishal asked.

"Sorry man, I can't live without my music", Kiran said, put on his earphones back and stepped onto the road without heeding to the horn of the oncoming minibus.

True to his words, Kiran didn't live without his music.

PS: Writing is such a great thing. You know, sometimes you're irritated by some people and then you want to punch them in the face or kick them in the ass or strangle them with your bare hands or do all of the above. But you can't. Not because you don't want to hurt them but because if you do so you will be put in jail. And that kinda sucks. So what you can do is, you write a story, you make them a part of the story as a really annoying, irritating character whom people will hate. And then you kill that character in the end. Sadistic pleasure. *Evil grin* :-]

Tuesday, June 10, 2014


Naresh was returning home from office. It was late.

"There won't be much traffic. If I hit the gas a little hard on that long stretch of road, I can reach home in 30", he thought.

As soon as he entered that long stretch he hit the pedal hard. The car was going at around 120. The road was almost deserted. It was easier to maintain the speed for him. 5 minutes into that long stretch he saw a person standing on the side of the road at a distance. As he got closer he noticed that it was a woman. He let the gas off a little. The car slowed down to 80.

"A woman stranded on this road at this time of the night? Should I ask her if she needs a drop? What if I scare her away or she raises an alarm?", Naresh's mind kept popping these questions as he drove past her.

"What the hell..", he thought and hit the brakes. The car came to a screeching halt. He reversed the car towards her and lowered the windows.

"Need some help? A drop may be?", he asked her.

She looked hesitatingly at him and her watch and then said, "If it isn't any trouble for you."

"Don't worry about that. C'mon, hop in", Naresh said.

She got into the car and Naresh started driving.

She looked gorgeous. Naresh felt lucky.

"So where should I drop you?", Naresh asked and gave her a gentle smile.

"Just a little further on this road. I will let you know when we reach there", she said.

"Okay", Naresh replied.

They both sat silently. Naresh kept looking at her now and then. She looked nervous. And once when Naresh was looking at her she turned towards him. Their eyes met. They exchanged an awkward smile. And Naresh continued driving.

"Hold on", she said.

Naresh slowed down and brought the car to a halt on the side of the road.

"Is this where you need to get off?", Naresh asked, looking rather disappointed.

"Yes. Thank you very much", she said and turned towards the door.

Naresh was searching for words in his head and then said, "Oh yes! I'm Naresh by the way", and extended his hand.

"Nisha", she said and shook his hand.

"You know Nisha, you shouldn't trust people you just met so easily. Didn't your parents warn you about getting into car with strangers?", he said, smiled slyly and locked the door.

"Well, didn't your parents warn you about picking up strangers from the road?", she said and pulled a pistol out of her clutch and put a bullet through his head.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Batman Vs Superman: Who's your Hero?

The title was one of the topics of discussion on our office forum. I wrote an answer there, but the character limit got exceeded. :D Not wanting to trim down the answer, I decided to write a post out of it and leave the link in the comment section. Here's my answer to this seemingly difficult question.

In short, as much as I like the Caped Crusader, I have to go with the Man of Steel.

Batman is one of the most epic characters created in the comics. The reason why we all love him is because he is one of us. A normal human with no superpowers. Yet he commands the respect of the entire Justice League. Hell, they even fear him sometimes. He showed us what any human can achieve with proper training and willpower. He is not an epitome of goodness. He has shades of grey. And we love shades of grey, 50 or otherwise. ;-) Although not monetary, he too faced hardships as a child. He has flaws and at times he fails. Making him much more human. And like they say, Batman is a symbol, anybody can be Batman. He fights his own inner battles along with the external ones. It is easier for us to connect with Batman.

But having said all this, my heart goes to Superman. Batman lost his parents? Sorry, but Superman lost his entire planet along with his parents. Yeah, he was too young to even realize that, but that doesn’t make it any less tragic. Batman was raised by a butler? Superman was raised by alien parents in an alien world. Batman became Batman primarily because he wanted to avenge his parents’ death. Superman was always Superman, and he decided to show the world how good one can be. Imagine being the most powerful person in the world, capable of superspeed, supersonic flight, superhuman agility, X-ray vision, heat vision, super breath, super hearing and the ability to absorb Sun’s energy. Now imagine being humble, not wanting to hurt or kill anyone, not going around boasting about your powers, not wanting to rule the entire world, not wanting to make a shitload of money and just going around helping people and saving the planet, daily and coming back to work at ‘Daily Planet’(couldn’t help with that wordplay :P). Hard to imagine, isn’t it? And he does all this to an alien species who call him alien even after all that he does. Because he empathizes with the human race. He knows what can be achieved with peace and unity. While Batman is trying hard to save Gotham from going to ruins, Superman is trying to take Metropolis into the bright and prosperous future. He is the quintessential good guy and better than all of us in every aspect. And we don't like it when others are better than us.

And all the people who say Supes is dumb, you don’t understand his powers well. He is fast not just physically. He is pretty fast mentally too. He has an eidetic memory. He can read an entire book in a matter of seconds. But his physical strengths are so overwhelming that his mental abilities are hardly highlighted. Batman knows how to diffuse a bomb? Well, Superman would just hold it between his palms and let it explode or throw it into the space. Also, in the Justice League, Bats is the brains and Supes is the strength. So there is hardly any chance or need to show his mental prowess.

Now coming to who would win in a fight, it would most probably be Batman. If at all they decide to fight that is. Not because Batman is better than Superman. But Superman would let the Dark Knight win. Because Superman knows he can take it all. Blow after blow after blow. Even if weakened by Kryptonite, he knows he can gain back his strength with a short trip to the space. He was able to live inside the Sun for God’s sake. He is literally God-like. Also Superman is always holding back. Never letting himself fully go. That is one of the reasons why no one knows the limit of Superman’s power. He knows no one can take it when that fist comes down with all its might. Above all, he will let Batman win because he is a good person deep down and a true incorruptible being.

Adding a dialog from the movie Kill Bill 2 where Bill explains why Superman is special and what makes him, him. This is one of my favourite dialogs from any movie and gives one of the best perspectives about Superman.
“Now, a staple of the superhero mythology is there's the superhero and there's the alter ego. Batman is actually Bruce Wayne, Spider-Man is actually Peter Parker. When that character wakes up in the morning, he's Peter Parker. He has to put on a costume to become Spider-Man. And it is in that characteristic Superman stands alone. Superman didn't become Superman. Superman was born Superman. When Superman wakes up in the morning, he's Superman. His alter ego is Clark Kent. His outfit with the big red "S", that's the blanket he was wrapped in as a baby when the Kents found him. Those are his clothes. What Kent wears – the glasses, the business suit – that's the costume. That's the costume Superman wears to blend in with us. Clark Kent is how Superman views us. And what are the characteristics of Clark Kent? He's weak, he's unsure of himself, he's a coward. Clark Kent is Superman's critique on the whole human race.”

So who's you hero.??

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Cellmate chronicles

Chronicle 1

Two guys in a jail cell.
Guy1: Who are you?
Guy2: I'm an environmentalist.
Guy1: Environmentalist? What did you do? Protest against cutting tress.?
Guy2: Nope. I grew plants.
Guy1: That's insane.
Guy2: I know, right?
Guy1: What plants did you grow.?
Guy2: Marijuana.
Guy2: Why are you in.?
Guy1: I bought plants.
Guy2: Marijuana.??
Guy1: Yep.!!

They both Hi5 and live happily in their jail cell.

Chronicle 2
So a guy was put in jail. His cellmate asked him, "Who are you?"
He said, "I'm a scientist."
"A scientist.? What did you do to be put in here?", his cellmate asked.
"I invented a new drug. It makes people behave like dogs.", the scientist replied.
"So the drug didn't work as expected and killed people?", questioned the cellmate, now curious.
For that the scientist replied, "No the drug worked alright. The guy injected with the drug pissed on a electric transformer with his one leg up. And he got electrocuted."

Wrath of the Gods

One fine day in a village, the village priest called for a gathering. Everyone gathered near the ceremonial grounds. The priest told them that he had a very bad dream. That someone was going to commit a grave sin and the Gods are going to punish the entire village for that. Frightened, the villagers asked for a remedy. A way to appease the Gods. The priest said that they were to conduct a grand ceremony, offer Gods their gifts and sacrifice a goat to absolve them from the God's wrath.

The next day a huge ceremony was organised. All the people came to the ceremonial ground with their gifts. A healthy, full grown goat was brought to be sacrificed. The priest kept jumping and dancing around in trance whilst muttering words of Gods that were not understood by men. The goat was brought to the center. The village strongman was given a machete and the priest held the goat's head. Just when the blade was about come down, a huge lightning bolt struck the village chief's house. The poor frightened animal tried to pull away, bringing the priest's arms under the blade. The lightning started a fire which quickly spread to the entire village. The priest's arms lay chopped away from him while he howled and wriggled in pain. The last thing someone saw was the villagers running to save their houses while the goat ran into the woods.

The Manager who knew Shannon.

A manager had to hire for a position in his company. This position required the person to give suggestions, depending on which the company made decisions. So 3 interns A, B and C were hired. They were informed that the person with the best success rate at the end of the probation period would be hired permanently.

The probation period ended. A had a success % of 50, B had 70 and C had 10. Everyone thought that B would be hired. But to the dismay of all, C was hired. Enraged, B confronted the manager to justify his decision. To this the manager calmly replied, "A has a success % of 50. We will never know which suggestion would succeed or fail. You have 70. It is good, but not good enough. C has 10%, but everytime we do the opposite of what he suggests we will have a success rate of 90%. You either be good at something or be good at being bad".

P.S: I read this long back somewhere on the internet as an example for Shannon's error detection and correction theorem. Couldn't find the source now. All credits duly belong to the original author. :-)