Tuesday, April 28


"Hey kid, whats your name?"

"Amanda. Whats yours?"

"George. How old are you? And where are your folks? Kids shouldn't be moving around alone in this  ward."

"Nice to meet you,George. I am eight. How old are you?"

"75. Kid, your parents?"

"I don't have any. I am from Good Shepherd Orphanage. You see that fat nun over the reception? She is Sister Cecilia. I came with her."

"Is she sick?"

"No. I am.Doctor said its terminal. Whats terminal?"

"It means, there is no turning back. Like me."

"Turning back from where?"

"Death kid. Death."

"But you are old. And I am only eight. Why should I die?"

"I dunno kid. Its fate."

"But I don't want to die, George. I still have to be picked up by some family. Like, you know, my friend Clarissa, went across the river to stay with her new parents. She even has a dog now. I miss her though.

Sister Maria says, if I say my prayers daily and do the chores, I too will go to some good family."

"Really? Did Sister Maria say why you weren't picked up till now?"

"She said I am a bit sick. And the families don't want sick kids.But if I take my medicine and say 100 Hail Marys daily, some family will take me too."

"Why do you want a family so badly? Listen kid, you will do good on your own. Family is not worth 100 Hail Marys ."

"Because everybody has one.I too want one who will take me to park like Toby's does. Or buy me a doll house like Bess's. Don't you have one??"

"Yeah, I do. A son and a daughter. But they are busy with their work and their own families.Nobody has time for a bitter old man."

"Do they hate you because you have the disease?"

"Maybe. Or maybe, they are glad that I am dying..finally. After all, I am just an unwanted baggage."

"George, did my mother leave me beacuse I am an unwanted baggage too?"

"I dunno kid. But you are a good kid. Not unwanted."

"George, are you scared of dying?"

"Yes kid, I am. Terrified."

"I am scared too. Can I hug you?"

"Sure kid."

"George, can I die with you? I was always alone. I don't want to die alone."

"Kid, I ...."

"Promise me, George."

"I promise I will not leave without you."

"If I should die,
And you should live,
And time should gurgle on,
And morn should beam,
And noon should burn,
As it has usual done;
If birds should build as early,
And bees as bustling go, --
One might depart at option
From enterprise below!
'T is sweet to know that stocks will stand
When we with daisies lie,
That commerce will continue,
And trades as briskly fly.
It makes the parting tranquil
And keeps the soul serene,
That gentlemen so sprightly
Conduct the pleasing scene!"
~ Emily Dickinson

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Wednesday, April 22

Whats in a name?

Every picture tells a story, says a friend. This is my first attempt to include one for this picture.

"Shit! Christ!All I need now is a coffee stain."

"A wet napkin can do the trick. Here, let me help you."

"Excuse me? Does it look like I need your help?" Wow Ryan, you are super clumsy. Even  a stranger can tell.

"Well, I can't say much about your look. But you better remove the stain quickly.Or else it will cling to your shirt like a whiny wife."

"Haha. Very funny.Go ahead and laugh. After all, The joke's on me!" 

"zzissss..! You are hotter than your coffee!"

"What?! Are you flirting with me?"

"Totally.Are you my Prince Charming? Your table manners bowled me over."

"We are not even sharing a table. Listen lady, why don't you let me enjoy my 30-min break in silence?"

"Sure. Sip in silence. While I enjoy my shake. Slluurrppp...!"

Aarrggh! "Why are you doing this?What you want?"

"To remove that stain of yours. And maybe...talk a little, share a few laughs, what say?"

"Sorry, I am not into small talks with strangers. And thanks for the unwanted advice."

"So, you work near-by?"

"Still talking! What did I tell you about my no-talk policy?"

"Didn't hear that. I am a bit deaf on the left."

"Brilliant! Err..ok I am sorry about that. But, look at me? I really don't want to talk to you."

"Can't do that either. I am blind too. "

"What?? Then, how did you know I spilled my coffee?"

"Hehe..You swore out loud."

"Hmmm... You are too beautiful to be blind."

"Thats what everybody says. Life's a bitch, isn't it?"

"Tell me about it."

"So, your wife left you,huh?"

"What? How did you know?!"

"You didn't take the whiny wife joke well..simple!"

"Ya, she left me. But its not that simple. Anyways, you sit in this cafe everyday to talk to strangers?"

"Oh, I love the cafe no doubt. I specially love to sit here and feel the afternoon sun in my face. Also, Marco makes the best shake in this part of the town. Yeah, I occasionally talk to people here. After all, the voices are my only connection to the world."

"So, why me? I wasn't even polite to you."

"You sounded troubled. Like, you need someone to talk to."

"No, I don't."

"There you go again. Getting all defensive. Relax. Enjoy your coffee and the afternoon."

"So, how did you lose your sight?"

"Well, it so happened that I was on a road trip with my friends to........................."

And so, 30 mins led to five hours and after three rounds of coffee down.

"Oh, its almost evening. I can smell it.Listen, I have to go now.I have a bus to catch. And you have your boss to report your absence."

"That can wait. I doubt they even noticed that I was missing."

"Wow. No wonder you are so popular."

"So, I guess you can wait."

"No, can't do. The bus stop is around the corner. Why don't you walk me to the bus stop?"

"Sure, would love to.So, what bus do you catch?"

"The 5 o'clock one. Its almost time, isn't it?"

"Yeah. 5 mins left. Amazing. How did you know?"

"Creature of habit...simple!"

"For you, everything seems to be simple, isn't it?"

"Not exactly. Anyways, thanks for walking me till here. Is that my bus coming?"

"Yes. It was really nice talking to you. By the way, I am Ryan. And, you are?"

"I knew you wanted to talk to someone. I am glad it was me. And I enjoyed this afternoon as much as you did. 1520 Harrington, please. Thanks!"

"So, we meet tomorrow again??"

"Lets see."

"Atleast tell me your name!"

"Whats in a name, Ryan?!?" She smiles. The door closes and the bus leaves.

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Friday, April 17

My most memorable affairs...so far!

4 years in Vellore, and the only places I loved here(read, no other options) are the eating joints. Of course, we also have a fort housing a temple, a mosque and a church inside it, none of which interests me anyway. I even heard that people go for boating in the mosquito-algae infested moat surrounding the fort, a ho-hum affair which strangely, people find romantic in the Vellore heat. Yes, the heat is so terrible that it makes Siberia the best place on earth. Thus, the only good thing about my graduation exile to this uber-boring place are mygastronomical affairs.

China Valley delight:

I love the Chinese invasion in VIT. I 
really love it. Not only did they flex the University rules, but also brought momos here. Yes, these steamy drops of heaven are well appreciated. Obviously, they can't beat the momos of Momo Ghar in Guwahati.But still,thanks to this really small China Valley resaturant, which my myopic eyes have missed, like, zillion times earlier. And today, I tried the BBQ Chicken there, which was no better than ambrosia for me. The kebab styled chicken was cooked in the perfect Schezwan sauce- spicy and tangy with a hint of honey. It was worth the 45 minutes of waiting in the heat and ducking the thousand makkhis ke attack. Man, I have never seen so many flies at the same time. I guess, they too love chinese.

KFC ishtyle at Amala's:

Uncle makes the best 
chicken burger here.He did beat the Colonel on this.The chicken is crispy on outside, tender inside. Oh, and the pasta is equally awesome. Uncle, a 60-something returnee from London, is the cook cum owner of Amala. He amuses us not only with his culinary skills but also his gift of gab. The first thing he asks me and my friends, "Which branch you guys are from? And please don't tell you are from Biotech." He gave us a toothy smile when he knew that we are from Chemical. Apparently he finds the Boitechs very arrogant. He sat and chatted with us all the while. Nice Brit humor to go with the funny little Brit accent of his. Amala's is a different experience all together. In the evening the place turns into a coffee shop. You sit around and read some books, play carrom or simply devour the yummy sandwiches with coffee. A very laid back affair!
Afghani @ Darling Residency:

Afghani Chicken is a hot favorite out here. Covered with a thick layer of cheese and served with mint chutney, this is the only cheesy stuff I adore. I also love the grilled fish and the steaks. Best part is the roof-top restaurant, especially in the evening. In a town that gets over in the blink of an eye, Darling Residency surely stands tall(read, big building)
Quick Bites:

There was not one time that I passed by QB without having the 
Barbeque roll. Thats the power it has over me. Not to forget the fresh cream cakes, death by chocolate and the caramel cake, an indulgence for my sweet tooth.
Lalit Bihar:

Being a total carnivore, chicken is my vice. But the only place I don't mind being a vegetarian is Lalit Bihar. Pakka home styled Indian food. From lassi to parantha, this is a total desi-ghee cooked madness. The place is always crammed with people and its so small that sometimes you may get a bit claustrophobic inside. But the food can make you forget the world outside.

The list is not complete without a special mention of these: SBR chicken biryani, peking noodles and chicken taronest of China Town, chicken winglet of Punjabi Dhaba( but, at your life's risk. Don't be surprised if you backfire after this spicy treat.). But no meal is complete without a king-size dessert. Ladies and gentlemen, I present 
GellatoPazo. The generous servings of icecream does a total "Yuppie" to your stomach- DBC, Choca-Moca, icecream with fruit salad etc. Oh, almost forgot the hot jalebis served in the evening at Dhaba Express.They simply melt in your mouth. Try it out with Vanilla icecream.Bon Appetite!

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Thursday, April 9

The night that was...

Bob and Sharleen entered the house through the patio. The house was dark in the dead silence of the night.

"Bob, the staircase is to the left of the dining hall. We take the first flight and then right. That's where it is."

"How do you know the inside so well?"

"Oh, I worked as a maid here. Until Mrs. Black fired me."

Her creamy complexion looked too royal for a maid. For a moment, Bob was troubled.

"So you doing this all for a silly revenge?"

"Bob, this is no time to discuss. The patrol car passes by in another half an hour. We have to hurry."

"Fine. I got it." Bossy woman. He hates when she is in control. Except, maybe, the bedroom. He grinned.

"And Bob, be careful." She touches his arm.

Damn woman! Concentrate, Bob. Concentrate.

5 minutes later, they reach the staircase. Bob was amazed by the huge chandelier at the centre.

"Here, take the gun. Just incase."

"Sharleeenn! Where didja...?"

"Later Bob. Now take it."

The mahagony door was slightly ajar. Bob went agape when he looked in. The master bedroom was an image in white marble and mirrors.

"Stop drooling, you idiot!" She angrily hissed.

"Hey its my first big fish, dontcha get it?"

Inside, a body was under the covers of the kingsize bed. 

"Hey, you said the Blacks were on a holiday. What is he doing here?And where is she?"

"Looks like change of plan. You go over the bed and keep an eye on James. I will work on the safe."

"You call him by name?"

"Ya, we slept few times. That's when she found out and fired me."

"And so you stealing the Heart of Gold? A revenge?"Damn women and their vendetta!

"Ya, sorta." Damn kid, you ask too much.

Sleek as a leopard, she moves towards walk-in closet. Just few more minutes to waste, before the game is over. Honey, you so gonna pay. She couldn't help, but grin in the dark.

Bob moved nervously over the bed. The man in bed seemed to be in troubled sleep. No wonder, the rich never sleeps in peace. Suddenly, his eyes hovered over the huge picture above the bed. A wedding photo. The dark haired bride looked familiar. She looked like..like.. He let out a small cry!

"Sharon honey, is that you?" Suddenly the body in bed was awake.

Bang!Bang!Bang! Three shots through the head, and James Black was dead. Bob didn't realise that he pulled the trigger. Before he could react, something hit him on his knees. He sprawled into the floor.

"Thank you, Bob. It was sooner than expected." 

Against the moonlight, she looked like an angel. My death angel. 

"Let me introduce myself. I am Sharon Black. And you've just killed my husband. Congratulations." And she laughed like a maniac.

This is a mad woman. Not my Sharleen. "Why me?"

"You were just my pawn, kid. And you just opened the doors to the Black empire, for me. Now that you know the secret. I have to kill you."

"But I love you."

"Too bad. I never loved you anyway. Goodbye lover!"

Early morning, a week later. She goes over the newspaper until one item caught her eyes. 
"...It was just a week ago that Mr. James Black was murdered at his home by an amateur thief. And even under such trauma, Mrs. Sharon Black successfully holds the fort as the new CEO of the Black Corporation. Friends and family is still mourning over the loss with the Black widow."

Yes, I am the Black widow.

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My new Blog skin

I have this annoying habit of changing my blog template. Its nothing but the outcome of my constant need for change of surroundings. No guess needed, I am a restless soul! Anyways, I love my new blog skin. It a typical Piet Mondrian template. There is something about his work that always fascinated me.
Those of you don't know, Piet Mondrian was a dutch painter. It was, he who introduced Neo-Plasticism, the non-representational form of art. Also known as De Stijl, the famous Dutch artistic movement in 1912. This art consisted only of vertical and horizontal black lines and the use of the three primary colors-red, blue and yellow.
This genre of art expresses the spiritual harmony and order. The Guggenheim Museum's online article on De Stijl summarizes these traits in similar terms: "It [De Stijl] was posited on the fundamental principle of the geometry of the straight line, the square, and the rectangle, combined with a strong asymmetricality; the predominant use of pure primary colors with black and white; and the relationship between positive and negative elements in an arrangement of non-objective forms and lines."
A very peculiar form of art, for those interest can click here.


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Sunday, April 5

Will I ever see this again?

Today morning I woke up suddenly at 5. The sight I saw through the two huge windows on the opposite wall, was so outta nature's canvas. Early morning light through the clouds. The hills afar had a bluish tinge with the sky in the horizon adorned a pink glaze. The greens below were greener than usual. For  a moment I felt as if I was dreaming. Such a pristine sight. I feared moving just incase it was a dream. Like holding on the beautiful moments to last a lifetime. Such moments hardly come by or simply gets unnoticed in d humdrum routine of life. And I simply stared, quenching my thirst like on a hot day. Didn't realise when I drifted off to sleep. And I still wonder-Was this a dream? Or just my luck with reality?

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I did it my way by Tongue-Fu Lady is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 India License.