Friday, December 09, 2016

Acceptance




“You okay?” Ashok asked.
“Actually, tensed,” Deepika replied, “You know my family will disown me forever.”
The sudden cool breeze kissed them as Ashok held his arms around Deepika.
They both were getting married today after several years of dalliance.
He looked straight into Deepika’s eyes and said, “You will always be mine.”
Deepika smile and said, “Yes, I trust you.”
“You look like a Queen in this attire,” Ashok said to Deepika.
“After all, I am a woman in a man’s body,” Deepika smiled.
They’d accepted themselves but the society didn’t! Acceptance is what they both craved for!
 


Did you like this post? Get The Solitary Writers updates via Facebook or Twitter, better yet, subscribe to it via RSS Feed. It’s easy, and free! Comments are just another way to let me know how you feel.Don't forget to comment.

Friday, December 02, 2016

The Esteban Rock Concert


“Abba, I’m going to attend Esteban’s Rock concert this weekend,” Mustafa stated.
“No, you’re not,” his father, said brusquely
“Abba!” 
He was a diehard fan of Rockstar Esteban. 
How I could even afford to miss my idol Esteban’s concert when he would be performing in Mumbai, he thought.
He decided to ignore his father’s words this time and secretely booked his tickets.
It was Saturday. The entire Mumbai complex was packed with over 90 thousand Esteban fans.
Esteban sang his favourite “Freedom Sake...” song
Mustafa spotted his Abba and ran towards him as he saw him pressing a button.
KABOOM!!!







Did you like this post? Get The Solitary Writers updates via Facebook or Twitter, better yet, subscribe to it via RSS Feed. It’s easy, and free! Comments are just another way to let me know how you feel.Don't forget to comment.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

14001 - The Samjhauta Express

14001 - The Samjhauta Express

Samjhauta Express


 The evening sky looked gorgeous displaying a beautiful shade of Orange and Red. It looked unusual for me. There was something peculiar about the sky pattern. I rubbed my eyes and sprawled my legs. Looking at the sky shade indicated that it was evening. I looked around and saw that the train was empty.  There was no one in sight. It was dark.

I lolled on the train seat and wondered what had happened suddenly. The 14001 Samjhauta Express was a ray of hope to some people across the borders. I still remember that Kareem Chacha from Lahore used to regularly travel to India to meet his Khala who lived in Kanpur. Baljit Uncle from Amritsar used to travel to Pakistan using this train to meet his  best friend  Ahmad Khan who lived in Islamabad. The train was a breeding ground for so many amazing stories. I fondly remember the good old days where people used to chit chat with each other and talk about their Indo-Pakistan memories.  The Samjhauta Express displayed the friendship between people from both the nations. It was the government of the two countries that had a poor relationship but not the people. It's on this train where I and few of my friends used to steal Delicious Biryani from Nafeesa Chachi's food bag and consume  scrumptious Aloo Parathas from Amrit Kaur Aunty. That was our way of adventure. But they embraced us with an open heart, at least we felt so. I slowly walked inside the bogey to check if anyone was there. Alas! the train was empty. It was waiting at the Attari Station. 

Strolling inside the train, took me back to the memory lane. I reminisced the wonderful bygone days where I used to listen to the India-Pakistan partition stories narrated by older passengers travelling in the Samjhauta Express. I used to narrate those stories to my parents and even they used to wonder about the bond. There is no hatred between the people of these two countries but like I said earlier, its the government that's sowing seeds of hatred. 

" Motherfuckers! Not even a single fucking person on this train." I yelled at the top of my voice.
Devastated and Disappointed, I returned back to my seat.
That was when I eavesdrop on a discussion between two Indian railway officials. They were standing outside the train.
"I don't understand when will these Pakistani's stop killing Indian soldiers." The first guy said to the other.
The second person took a sip of the chai and said, "I heard the Pakistani Militants had killed 9 Indian sepoys."
"True. And I don't understand till when will India remain silent on such issues and keep condemning such attacks." The first person said to the other.
I listened to the conversation with complete alacrity.
"I think it's high time India should drop a nuclear bomb on Pakistan and regain it's lost territory." The second person replied.

"Holy Fuck! War is not a cake! It will kill innocent people." I murmured.
I moved my head and turned around to see if I could get hold of someone. But the train was still empty and these guys were talking about wars.
"I actually see no meaning of this train running too and fro between Lahore and New Delhi." The first person said and continued,"  There is no Samjhauta between our two countries."
"The train name is an irony. " The second person said and laughed.
"That's why this train is lying here like an orphan at this border town." The guy said.
I almost freaked out.  "What!!" 

As per the discussion, it seemed that the Indian government had decided to discontinue the Samjhauta Express train running between India and Pakistan.
Sad, I sat on my seat, resting my chin on my hand. I am definitely going to miss the wonderful stories between the two countries, I thought.

By now, the evening Sun had almost vanished. The moon, full and bright looked mesmerising.
My eyes aimlessly wandered around as I looked for those two guys outside. They were not to be seen. 
I walked towards the footboard. I stood there and spotted those guys again. Their political discussions were never ending. 

"Oye Sukhwinder, sunne,  just got the news from our station master," The first person said to the other.
"What news, Boobinder?" The second person asked.
"That our government is planning to reuse this train for some other route,"he said and continued, "We need to clean it and make it ready." 

I keenly listened to whatever they were talking.
"Oh Wait, Sukhwinder!" Boobinder, the second person  looked at me.
I freaked out once again. I soon ran and hid  beneath the seat.
"Let me get that Black HIT right away." he continued, " they are such a menace."
He got vexed after he spotted me. He angrily walked to the Office to get the Black HIT.
Once I got to know his future action, I kept running. My life now was in my hand. I had to save myself. I kept running for my life. As I ran, I saw the virtual images of Ahmad Chacha, Kuldeep Uncle, Shana Begum and many other passengers.  How beautiful this train once used to be!
But now ,the train was empty! And I kept running to save my life from Boobinder!

 ‘This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.’

Did you like this post? Get The Solitary Writers updates via Facebook or Twitter, better yet, subscribe to it via RSS Feed. It’s easy, and free! Comments are just another way to let me know how you feel.Don't forget to comment.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Excuse me, Aunty!

Excuse me, Aunty!
Image Source 
I swiped the Metro Card at the Entrance, excused myself and ran towards the platform. I was getting late for the college. I started panting heavily as I climbed the escalator.  
I accidentally brushed against a plump woman as I ran upwards.
"Sorry Aunty," I said , pointing my finger towards the metro train. It seemed it was waiting for me. I squeezed myself onto the  metro train . It was an adventurous journey I thought. 

I discovered a seat next to an old man. I quickly seized  it. The fat uncle gave me a disgusting look as if his daughter eloped with me. I glanced across the train and my eyes came across a woman.She was unknown to me but she looked familiar. I was trying hard to recollect but my poor memory betrayed me. I failed to recognize her. I looked at her and she smiled at me in return. I thought of striking a conversation with her but it was weird talking to strangers and was against my principles. 

Finally,  I mustered enough courage and thought of conversing with her.
I cleared my throat and said, "Excuse me, Aunty!"  My voice was so loud that even people from the adjacent bogie looked at me. 

"Me?" she asked me.
"Yes, Aunty!" I smiled at her.
"Come and have a seat," I said and offered her my seat.
She walked towards me and gave me a tight slap on my face. For a moment, all eyes were glued on me. 
She got furious and slapped me once again. 
I stood there speechless. I had no inkling of what was happening  and why I deserved her animosity. For a moment, people started chitchatting about this. Some college girls even laughed  looking at me.
"Aunty , stop!" I uttered.
She slapped me again.
"You are Rahul, right?" she confirmed
"Yes, Rahul Kapoor." 
"From DJ Sanghvi Engineering College, right?"  she confirmed again.
"Yes." 
"Second Year B.E Electronics, right?" She asked.
"Yes." 
"Division B, right?" She asked.
"yes, right."
"And I look like an Aunty to you, right?" She got  vexed.
"Oops!" 
She sat on my seat and I looked downwards waiting for our stop. It was embarrassing for me.
She was my classmate, Eshita Saxena.  How would I know? I attended the introduction lecture and never  sat for any class. My own eyes betrayed me.  I wish I could tell her  - "This is between you and me , Okay?"  But my poor cheeks  were not ready for another slap. 
I never looked at her again though she glared at me. 


Did you like this post? Get The Solitary Writers updates via Facebook or Twitter, better yet, subscribe to it via RSS Feed. It’s easy, and free! Comments are just another way to let me know how you feel.Don't forget to comment.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

That Day

That Day
That Day
How can I forget that day?
It was the day when it all happened.  I never believed in love till I met her. The day I met her, I realized that love was supreme. For a man who wasn't determined to fall in love, fell for that gorgeous beauty. Who was she? For weeks,  her thoughts strolled inside my mind. With each passing day, my urge to meet her grew strong and stronger.  You might tag me a lunatic! But I  wouldn't mind being called that.  If she was a goddess I would have prayed to her every day.  I never met her again. Her thoughts started fading away. Cursing my luck, I got back to my regular work - Marketing. Being a Marketing Manager, my primary task was to visit various companies and promote our products. 

During one such visit, I met her. She was the one whom I was supposed to meet. She was the Product Manager at Fuji Labs.   We discussed in details about our product but at that moment, I couldn't describe what I was going through. I felt as if a gazillion butterflies were fluttering inside my stomach. Days passed and I thought that the Almighty had listened to all my prayers and I got to know her close.  With each passing day, we  got to know each other better. One day I spilled the beans and told her everything. I emptied the content of my heart that stored memories  and thoughts only about her.  She remained stunned for a while and there was a deafening silence! This silence haunted me for days. But she never replied me. Things had changed for me. I couldn't sleep properly.  What if  she rejected me?  I was getting bizarre thoughts on my mind. My love for her was pure! She called me that very night to confirm that she even felt the same. I could never believe my ears. 

We lived together happily for years. Like every bond, even we had our ups and downs. I couldn't live up to her expectations and she believed that she was not my priority. I had zillion reasons to tell her what she meant to me only if she agreed to listen to it. None of my words could translate into actions and she believed that I had taken her for granted. But sadly she never respected my feelings. She wanted to discuss and asked to move on. She asked me if we could be friends and nothing more. I was shattered. If being busy  in life can question someone's priority and interest in a relationship then it was the most absurd thing that I came across. I begged, pleaded, urged and requested but none of my methods to get her back worked.  I had lost hopes by then. I knew that she was a stubborn woman. I was upset and saw her leaving my life silently. 

That Day! 
How could I forget that day?
It was 17th May 2011 when I met her and 17th May 2015 when I lost her. 

Image Source


Written for IndiSpire

Did you like this post? Get The Solitary Writers updates via Facebook or Twitter, better yet, subscribe to it via RSS Feed. It’s easy, and free! Comments are just another way to let me know how you feel.Don't forget to comment.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

If I had a Time Machine

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.
Time machine is a machine that's capable of transporting a human being in future as well as the past. There are many movies that have adopted this theme and they have worked well. Think for a bit and imagine if anything as such is constructed in mere future. Wouldn't that be amazing. But it is practically impossible! That's  not going to happen. That defies science. 

Suppose if I had a time machine. What all will I do? You might be interested in knowing. I have always been an admirer of science and Vedic Astrology. In the last few  Indian Science Congress conferences held in Mysore and Mumbai, what we saw  and heard was astonishing for many.  Many argued why such elements were allowed to present their papers in the esteemed  Science Congress. Many even termed it as an Indian Astrology Circus for  jumbling Mythology and Science. This amalgamation of Science  and Mythology, many didn't approve of! Because  most of them lacked evidence. It is quite obvious that when you state something you should associate it with  correct evidence.

So by now you must have known what weed I'm going to smoke. Okay If I had a time machine I would definitely visit the time period that the Indian Scientists stated at the Indian Science Congress to know if they actually meant it or just cooked a fantasy story. 
So, let's get started. BJP MP Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank of Haridwar constituency had made a statement that Lakhs of years ago an Indian sage Karnad had conducted a nuclear test. India is known to conduct a nuclear test in 1998 under the leadership of Shri ABV and AJP. 
Image Source

So I will first clock the Time machine to transport me to a period where Sage Karnad lived. I will talk to him and make recordings of his Experiment where he was said to have conducted Nuclear Tests. I will have a nice tete-a-tete with him and talk about his experiences. I will collect  as many pieces of evidence as I could if he really conducted those nuclear Tests. 

During the inauguration of a Reliance Hospital in Mumbai last year, Our Honorable Prime Minister had mentioned that Karna of Mahabharat was born out of his Mothers womb citing that Genetic Engineering existed in that ancient period. Urging the need to have enhanced technology Modi had said that but to actually be sure of this I would like to travel to the Mahabharat era and enquire about Karna's birth with the help of the time machine. I will ask people from those areas and ask family members of the subject to grab details about if Genetic Engineering really worked in those days. 

During the same event, Modi Ji said that Plastic Surgery happened in India for the first time.  The same was mentioned by Kiran Naik in an interview and said that heated sugar was used in the plastic surgery to affix Lord Ganesha's Elephant head  to a Human Torso.  I would transport myself to that period with the help of the time machine. I would  actually witness the surgery and record it. I would talk to the Lord himself and again collect evidence. I wouldn't prefer our Politicians making fun of Hindu Idols for cheap vote gain. But if that really happened then would record all those and bring it back to our current era. 

Image Source 

I would then go back to 1000 years and meet Mr. Baudhayana and talk to him more about the Theorem that he invented. Many Vedic gurus and Union Minister Harshavardhan claimed that he had written Phytogoras theorem long before Mr. Phythagoras of Greece wrote it. The entire Western Scientist Community is laughing at us for such statements. So it's obvious that I would bring shreds of evidence from past if that actually happened. I will talk to Mr. Baudhayana and ask about it. If he actually did it and if he did then I would fast forward to Greece and meet Mr. Pythagoras and talk to him about this and inform him that  what he created actually was an Indian's creation and he can't do anything like that.  Only if Baudhayana invented that much before Pythagoras. We Indians wouldn't like the Greeks to take credit of what belongs to us. But that's history. People would laugh at  us if we claim all that now. 
Pythagoras crying after knowing that his theorem was already written by an Indian Sage. Image Source

Kiran Naik also mentioned that during the Mahabharat wars helmet was used on Mars. During the wars, there was a chase from Earth to the moon and then to mars where  a king attacked his rival breaking his helmet. So it indicates that helmets were used during  the Vedic era on Mars.  So you know where I would be moving next.  I guess Star Wars movie must have been inspired by this event. 

Former pilot Anand Bodas made a claim that others found to be a bizarre claim. He said that Maharishi Bhardwaj of 1500 BC  had laid guidelines how to fly aeroplanes and said that during those days aeroplanes would not only fly between countries, in fact, they would fly between galaxies and planets. And those planes would be too huge powered by 40 Engines. He also mentioned that such planes not only moved in forward directions but moved backwards as well. So I would travel to those days and record the aeroplanes flying between planets and, in fact, experience by sitting in one of them and click photos of Earth, Venus, Jupiter - my Birth planet.  A perfect Star Wars experience! As per Mr.Bodas claims, Aviation technology existed in India in 7000 BC. Isn't that amazing? I would find that by travelling to that age. 

But only if I had a Time Machine! Alas, I don't have one. :( 
No one would accept Claims without Evidence.  The entire science community would make fun of you if you try to interpolate mythology, fantasy, fiction and science. They would think that you are cooking a good fantasy story.
You need to produce perfect evidence for things that we want to prove right. As an analyst, the evidence is important! 

We all could buy those points  only if we had documented proof. Because Science works on evidence. And I wish I had a Time Machine. 
Did you like this post? Get The Solitary Writers updates via Facebook or Twitter, better yet, subscribe to it via RSS Feed. It’s easy, and free! Comments are just another way to let me know how you feel.Don't forget to comment.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Live in the Present, Not Future


hugging family
Image Source

It was 5 on the clock and the appraisal letters had not yet arrived. It was the talk of the day as we all had anticipated the hike letter.  I was quite sure that the HR's mailbox would have been jammed with too many emails from the employees asking questions about the letter. I was foreseeing  a good hike this year   and had already made plans. Shoba, my wife had sacrificed her last few years for our twins.  Her own family disowned her as she considered me important than her family. Being from different castes, our parents didn't agreed to our marriage. She eloped with me at a time when she needed her family support the most. May be she trusted me a lot. She couldn't even continue with her education. Her folks declared  that they would not see or talk to Shoba again.   I had promised my sons Abhishek and Abhijit that I would take them to Disneyland this year.  I wanted to surprise my family.  The rented house that we were living in was not too good.  The Home loan gulped large portion of my Salary. Even  both my  boys were growing up and school fees these days are expensive.

"Ashutosh!" Monica, my  junior called me and I came out of my reverie.
"Guys, Check mail ASAP," Ankita Singhal from the Database team announced and we all launched the HR IDEAS Portal at the same time. 
"Shit ya! 4%!" Shriya said with a straight face. 
"Fuck! 2%,  Fucking peanuts," Gotham muttered.

My heart started pumping rapidly after seeing their initial reactions.  The Portal was still getting loaded. As the progress bar of the browser moved forward, I had my heart in my mouth. I was getting anxious with every passing minute. Finally, the web page opened. I clicked on the "Show my ratings" Link and I stood stunned. 
"B  - You meet your expectations!" I read.  I calculated and found that  an annual hike of 3 % was awarded to me.  I closed the browser and left for the  Tapri. I took a puff of the cigarette and got lost in my own train of thoughts.  I soon left for my Bay. That day I was disappointed with my appraisal hike. I just couldn't stop thinking about it. Everyone seemed depressed. 
I soon locked my desktop and left for the parking.  I inserted the key into  the ignition and started my Splendour. The security guard saluted me as I neared the gate. It was then I realized that I had forgotten my helmet on my desk.  I  gave him a pleasant smile and moved ahead.

As I was riding the bike,  several thoughts gripped my mind. My mind was invaded by negativity. What about Shoba? What about my twins? What about their education? What about my promise to them? What about the Home Loan?  I just couldn't focus on driving. 
I missed the signal and  rammed onto a Truck.  It wasn't the truck drivers fault. I lay drenched on a pool of blood.  My body lay there on a state of stasis as I felt my soul departing from my body. A mob  thronged into the scene and encircled me. My skull got ruptured  and I observed my bleeding brain.  People were talking amongst themselves. Few of the college going kids were shooting videos with their mobile phones. Police arrived in few minutes. They drew a chalk outline of my body and send my body to the Sion Hospital for a formal necropsy.  The Officials contacted my employer and  my wife Shoba through  the information available on my Office Identity Card.  

I was watching everything from sidelines. Shoba and my boys rushed to the Sion hospital. Tears streamed down her cheeks.  Abhishek and Abhijit were sobbing. I wanted to go down and embrace three of them. My entire team comprising of my Delivery Manager, Project Manager, my juniors and my close friends were present at the Hospital. My boss was providing solace to Shoba.  But tears just couldn't stop flowing from her eyes.  She hugged both my boys and sat in one corner in disbelief.  At that moment, I felt that I shouldn't have fret about the future. Days passed and Shoba and kids were asked to vacate the rented house by the Landlord. She pleaded and asked for time but the arrogant rascal refused to budge. I stayed close to three of them, watching every single action of theirs. I used to be the only source of income of the family. She was helpless. Initially, my organization and my team helped her but such kind of help are only subjected to a limited period of time.  If her parents hadn't disowned her she could have lived with them. But Shoba was a rebel. She could fend for herself and raise our kids. She started working in a house as a maid and my boys discontinued their education as they couldn't afford to pay more fees.  Her mistress  used to harass her.  I just couldn't face all that. 
After a long day at work, she sat down on the floor with the kids sleeping on her lap. I sat next to her. I saw the pain on her eyes. I  always loved her smile.  It was one of the most riveting parts of her body. She looked at my photograph and tears started rolling down her cheeks. 
"Shobha, don't cry!" I asked her not to cry. I just wanted to hug her tight. 
"Shoba, Please don't cry," I said but she ignored me. Maybe she would be ignoring me forever. But I would   mind dying once again to let her know how much I loved her. I so wanted to hug her one more time but that time would never come again.
She deserved a life of a  Queen and we would have happily lived  in our own little Kingdom. I wish I hadn't thought about our future. "Oh God! Save my family and give Strength to Shoba!"  I prayed to God. 
At the same time, I saw Shoba mixing the Rat poison to the food. 
"Shoba! Don't do that for God sake!" I screamed. But sadly all that I screamed or cried could be heard by none
"God save them...God, please stop her. " I screamed at the top of my voice. 
But by then  they all had consumed the food. 
"Shobaaaaa.........." I screeched. The incessant honks from the vehicles behind got me out of the dream. The Traffic Signal showed 3 seconds left. 

"Bhosidike! aage  jaa naa." An auto driver yelled at me.
I moved ahead and thanked Almighty that it was a dream. Dreams could be scary at times and they could tell you everything about your future. I lost my  family in that dream and even saw their sufferings. 

I stopped my bike near a Tapri and washed my face. 
"Never, ever,  Never... I will think about my future," I promised to myself.
My family needs me and I am their support structure.
"I will be there for them forever!" I said and started my bike.
After I reached our home, I hugged and kissed three of them. 
"I love you guys. You are my life!" I hugged them tight,  so tight that no one could separate us.
-------------------------

Dear Friends,
We all should understand that  our family and our loved ones matter the most to us.  It's our responsibility to support them and show that we care for them through our every words and action. Show that you love them! Live the moment! Don't worry or think too much about your future. It will hurt you and eventually hurt your family. 
Live the moment. 
Take Care


Sunday, January 03, 2016

Memoirs of a Workaholic

 
Disclaimer -This is a work of fiction. 

It was like a bad dream, a kind of morning which I never expected. I opened the daily horoscope and quickly browsed through it. 

"Sagittarius!"  

"Sometimes it's fun being an uninvited guest and today you will be one. Await a week full of misadventures and travel. For your own good, avoid interactions with strangers!"

"Interesting," I said with a straight face.

"Always ready for the challenge," I mumbled to myself.

6.30 AM. I opened the window to get a glance of the morning sun which shone at my face. I checked my mobile phone to see if I had  any texts or missed calls.

"Yikes! 8 missed calls by Bakshi." My heart started pulsating.

Cursing myself, I called him back.  I am sure he certainly had plans of ruining my Sunday. 

"Good Morning Boss," I greeted Bakshi.

"Morning Varun.. Why didn't you pick my phone call?"  Bakshi said. 

"I was sleeping!" I said, brusquely.

"Oh yes, I am quite sure you must be online talking to that European girl Nikita," he added.

"Ahh!"  I tell you never share your personal secrets with your boss. They might use that as a weapon to attack you in future.

"Bakshi, what's the matter?" I asked curiously.

"There is a surprise client visit. Their Israel E&Y team is here in India for an Audit," he said.

"So?" 

"So, I need to send my right guy to New Delhi to face the Audit," he said and continued," You are the man, Varun."

"What?" I almost stumbled down and fell from the chair. 
At times, it's essential to be a hardly working employee. Hard working resources are subjected to too many risks. 

I should have guessed that he had plans of ruining my Sunday. Yes, he planted an atom bomb  to destroy my happiness. 
"Bakshi, look, I have some plans for today,"  I said.
"What plans Mr. Varun Kapoor?" Bakshi said rudely.
"You don't even stay with your family. I have some great plans for your future and I'm telling you that you are a valuable resource to the project. Don't let me down."
"Err..But..." 

"No buts..I have asked Rajeev from the Transport team to book the flight tickets," he said.
"Mostly Spicejet!" he added.

"What... Spicejet? Why not Kingfisher?"  But by then Bakshi had disconnected the phone call. 
"Always travel by Kingfishers. Kingfisher se travel ni kiya to kya kiya!"  I remember these words said to me by my friend Ganesh. No, he didn't work for Kingfisher airlines but he said that the air hostesses there are beautiful.

"Shit!"

 7 AM. I soon washed my face and got ready.
Sooner, I got another call from the Transport Department Manager.
"Is it Varun Kapoor?" 
"Yes,"
"Rajeev here from the Transport team. Bakshi told me about the sudden visit to Delhi. The flight is scheduled to  leave at 9.30 AM. Milind will be coming to pick you up. Be ready ok? "

"What? 9.30?" I slapped my forehead.
"Sure Rajeev!" I said and disconnected the call.
I took a quick shower and got ready. I saw a missed call from an unknown number. I looked outside the window and saw the office cab driver Milind waving at me. 
I showed him 2 fingers indicating that I would be down in 2 minutes.
He displayed a thumbs up in response. 

Bakshi was my role model in many ways. I learned from him on how to manage a team and team management is an essential skill that everyone in IT field should have.

Being the Boss's right man was a difficult job. You got to cope up with the additional name callings and tagging. I was known as Bakshi's secret charm by few of them in the office  and few even addressed me as his lover because I was close to him.
But I never had time for all that because I had certain principles and objectives in life. To reach the zenith of the success ladder was the ultimate goal in my life.
I got dressed in a black suit and locked the room. Before I locked the room I ensured that all the lights were switched off.

Fifteen minutes later, I recollected that I had forgotten the tie. But by then we were already late.
"Varun sir, Rajeev sir had sent this ticket for you." Milind smiled at me and handed me the flight tickets.
"Spicejet 109S!" I read.
"Thanks, Milind bhai!"
"Need kharab kar rakha hai," I blurted out

"Work for 6 days and again work for Sunday where others enjoy with their loved ones." I grimaced with disgrace.
Milind looked at me with a straight face
"Can you be quick? We are already late," I added.

Fifteen minutes later Milind drove the car to a nearby Petrol Bunk. I got vexed for once as I saw this as a complete wastage of my valuable time. As of now, we were  5 km away from the Mumbai Airport. We finally reached the airport at 9 AM. I collected my boarding pass and did the security check in.
As I moved inside, I heard my name loud and clear.

"A final reminder  for Mr.Varun Kapoor to board the Spicejet 109S destined for New Delhi at 0930 HRS."
I quickly boarded the flight. Life can be challenging at times. Unpredictable things happen when you don't expect it. Sundays are usually meant for having rest. After having worked long hours during weekdays, life can be so harsh when you have to waste your weekend for official purpose. The meeting was scheduled to be held at 2 PM. 
"Spicejet 109S mei aapka Swaagat hai ( Welcome to Spicejet 109S)" We were greeted.
The cabin crew and the pilots were introduced. 
"Ahh!"  Even the Spicejet air hostesses were looking pretty. 

The Air hostesses  were beautiful and attractive. 
But I was feeling agitated because of Bakshi. He slaughtered my Sunday. Sweet Sunday!
The Air Hostess demonstrated how to use the emergency exit and the Oxygen mask when the Cabin air pressure was low. She also taught us how to wear the life jacket and other safety measures.  

One of the Air hostesses smiled at me as she passed by. I failed to realize this but was aware that she had something different in mind. I was, as usual, cursing my fate for working under a sinister.
I soon recollected what my horoscope had to say for me. 
"TRAVEL" Flashed on my mind. With a sad face, I closed my eyes to get some sleep.
"We are at an altitude of 11000 feet," The pilot announced.

I opened my eyes to see if everything was ok. I saw the beautiful valley created by the clouds. It was a wonderful sight  to see.
"Sir, Would you like to have some toffees." The same air hostess who smiled at me asked.
"Thanks. But I don't need any," I said. 

"If you need anything then we are here to help you," she said and smiled at me to which I nodded my head.
I failed to know what  her intentions were. Had she never seen a tall, handsome guy dressed in black suits before.

So now I was cautious and alert. I started monitoring her from the sidelines.
After 15 min, she woke me again. "Sir, would you like  to have some cashew nuts?" The same flight attendant asked me and  gave me a graceful smile.

I realized that no one else was treated royally as I was! What's the matter? I failed to understand

"That's it!" I stood up and got vexed.
"This is too much...," I shouted at her and an ensemble of Air hostesses gathered next to her.

(To be Continued....) 

Read Part 2 here  Memoirs of a Workaholic 2 

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

I Feel You ( Part 1)

Image Source - Here 


It was Wednesday. Wednesdays are usually the red letter days for Scrum masters who work for agile projects in IT companies. Being a Scrum master myself, I had to face the wrath of Customers and product owners in case if we messed up with the deliverables by not delivering the product within the stipulated timeline. Sprint is the unit of work in agile projects. Everything should be covered within the sprints. Imagine how cruel life would be for Scrum masters like me!

I was already running late for work that day. I started the ignition and drove the car out of the parking area of my Apartment. While driving towards the intersection, I met a friend. She was Neha, my college days crush!  She possessed a unique charm that drew boys towards her. 

Well, that was during our good old college days.  But her charm and elegance was still intact. She still looked adorable and her smile was something that attracted me. It dragged me closer to her and I would secretly admire her beauty when I was young. I had no clue about her whereabouts but today I found her back.  I stopped my car at the bus stop where she was waiting for the bus and waved him at her.

"Hey,  Isn't that you, Neha?" I curiously asked. "Neha Kakkar."

"Yes! But sorry! I couldn't recognize you?"

"It's me, Rajat!" I said. As we grow old, we tend to change in appearance. Well in our case it was quite evident. She failed to recognize me. Perplexed, she took a careful look at me and said, "Rajat Saxena?"

"Yes! Rajat Sexy na?" I winked at her and said, "Get in, I will drop you."

She got inside the car and we started discussing about how life veered out in these 10 years.

"Got married?" I curiously asked her.

"No.." 

"And what about you?"  She asked me.

"I still haven't found a girl as charming as you!" I joked.

"Thanks!" She said and blushed.

"How's Life, Neha?" I asked as I drove my car on the Western Expressway.

"It's Okay!" she said.  From her expressions, I felt she was hiding something.

"You sure?"

"Yes, why do you ask that?" She asked.

"Hmmn.”

"Frankly, I am so happy after seeing you today." She said and continued, "It takes me back to the memory lane. Old memories surface on my brain and it seems like it all happened yesterday and its bliss!"

"For a moment, it seems that the cupid has arrived and once again made me fall in love with you ...just like I loved you secretly during our college days," she said.

"What?" I interrupted her.

"Oops!" She said, "I need to get down."

"What did you just say?" I asked, my ears couldn't believe what I just heard.

"You really loved me?"

"What do you think?"


(To be continued...)

Monday, June 08, 2015

My Nose knows! Sniff Sniff

After surviving my Engineering years , I now realize that my nose too survived. 'Survived' is a word too small as compared to the type of smells and stinks that my nose got hold of. Thanks to the Mumbai local commuters of the second class bogie and the Indian railways. I don't know how to thank them enough for sharpening my olfactory organ's function. My brain would rejoice. I would have served the Mumbai police better than the sniffer dogs. Hah! Of course I am kidding. 

Every day when I stood there at the Kurla Railway station ( the Filthiest ever in Mumbai) exhibiting my innocent face, a thousand thoughts wandered across my mind. I never had any issues with boarding the jam packed bogie. No, I never had! Of course all  I had to do was to stand in middle  between the crowds consisting of the stocky men with unwashed craggy faces and tobacco stained teeth who  would automatically ferry you inside the train free of cost.  What perturbed me was how I could sustain the 30 minutes train journey. Being squeezed inside the train was not a matter of concern. What mattered the most was how would my nose react to the smell of the sweaty arm pits and unbrushed teeth and bad breath of my fellow passengers. Bad Odor, in fact very bad!  I realize that not much damage must have been caused in Japan when America bombed  it during the WW2 than what I faced everyday during my Engineering days where I had to travel by the Mumbai local. A guy from the other corner of the bogey would pass a silent fart. Purrr....  some less audible and some like sound of a cracker that is burst during Diwali.  Their fart would be so powerful that it will reveal what they ate the other evening. No, if you are thinking that I am a fart analyzer then you are wrong. I only analyze software quality. :D Trust me! 


Taken from Google Images

Everyone would stand there displaying their puppy faces. No one would ever react to it. If someone did then the ACP Pradhyumans and the Dayas travelling inside the train would look at them suspiciously. And squeezed between the crowd I would helplessly try to move my hands to clip my nose. But all my attempts to do that would eventually remain futile. Out of frustration I would bury my face on the back of the guy standing in front of me.  'Oh God! Some guy farted,' The guy standing besides me would mumble. 

"Why did you eat Potatoes last night?" I would want to ask the guy who farted. But sadly that was not in my nature. I would roll my eyes and look around. At the same time a guy would ask me - 'Bhaiyya,  agla station Vashi hai?'  
While doing so he would get his arm pit  close to the area around my nose.  Oh no! Don't! I would want to scream. 

"Haa!" I would say with a straight face.  A group of small miniature birds would parade around my  head when the train reached Juinagar. That was the time when most of the stinky nasty smelling dudes would get down. A silent tears of happiness would copiously roll down my sweaty cheeks when I get down at the Nerul that shelters my Engineering college. I would want to do a pelvic thrust like legendary Mithun Daa. Of course, I never wanted to be the apple of all eyes  so I would refrain from inviting any kind of unwanted attentions.

For four years in my Engineering college, I also served the role of being the love guru. Guys knocked my doors to seek love ideas. Of course, I was adept at giving nice ideas. One day a dude from the Electronics department asked me for some love tips. I gave him some nice idea but the very next day he came running towards me like he was going to bash me. I investigated and learned what exactly happened.  I realized that he belonged to that  league of dudes who showered once in a week in a city like Mumbai that is cursed by the Sun dearest. I took him for a stroll and advised him to shower everyday, brush twice a day and use a nice deodorant. He snapped back and showed me a very ugly look. What! Hah! Dude, be clean! Bad Odors are a big turn offs.

The irony was that being the love guru I never had any girlfriends. Oh yeah! all the girls whom I eyed  were already taken. The grapes are sour! 

 You might be wondering how I know all this. Well, my nose knows everything! :P 

Trust me! Sniff Sniff



 “I am sharing my odour story for the ‘My Nose Knows’ contest as a part of the #SniffSniff activity at BlogAdda.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

The Song of Life!

Image Source 

It was a balmy Sunday evening. I was waiting outside the Mumbai International Airport to meet Monika, my beloved! She was returning back to India after 8 months. The furore grew more with a thousand butterflies fluttering within my stomach. 5 PM - My wrist watch displayed! We were not in talking terms  after our recent breakup. But through her friend Ayesha, I got to know that her flight would be landing sharp at 5.15 PM. Despairingly waiting outside the airport, I wished if she could  forgive me. My phone beeped with an email notification message – King Julian has commented on your post – ‘The Song of Life’

24th April 2011. How could I ever let this day slip from my memory? That day I interacted with Monika for the first time. Monika Juneja was a blogger who blogged at a blog called ‘The Song of Life’. Our first virtual encounter happened on a blogging website named  The Write Up Cafe!  The enigmatic world of blogging had mesmerized me. Monika was a popular blogger and had a huge fan following in the blog world.Coincidentally, that day I had logged into writeup cafe. I was randomly strolling through few blogs. During blog hop, one particular blog post touched me.

“Circumstances change people around us.  I’m feeling weak and broken. I feel a thousand invisible knives being jabbed on my soul by people close to me! Why do people change when someone trusts them blindly?  Perhaps, I feel blessed that I could identify such fiends under the label of friends! My blog is my new best friend right. Come sing with me  the song of life!” It was something intense and profound. Perhaps her life had been invaded by backstabbers. She had already started embracing melancholy, I thought!  I quickly typed a comment on her blog.

“Your post has touched me deep. Of course, life is all about identifying true people. Life would have been great if it lets us  to classify people whom we meet. Unfortunately things don't  happen as we wish. Maybe we should be smart enough to identify people. First time here, I loved this blog – The Song of Life”

Our initial interactions were through blog comments.

“ : ) Yes, it is easy to say but situations and things change everyone.  A big hello to you – Mr. Another Blogger!”  She had replied to my blog comment. I used to write by the name – Another Blogger!

Those days I used to spend my weekends reading her blog posts. I found most of her articles to be sad and dark. Sooner, I turned out to be her regular blog reader. I was growing into a big fan of hers!  Even she started reading my blogs. Days later we exchanged our email id’s and soon we even connected on Facebook.  Her display photo suggested me that she was beautiful. But looks can be deceiving in the social media frenzy world. I kept staring at her profile photo for a while. At the same time, she pinged me on Facebook chat.

Monika– Hey Mr. Blogger
Me - Hello Singer :P
Monika– You write so well.
Me – Not better than you. But Why gloomy and dark  posts?
Monika– I had been at the receiving end of something disastrous that happened in my life. Maybe I am not that great.
Me – Cheer up! You rock and you know that.
Monika- :) That’s so kind of you to think like that.

With our every single interactions, I got to know her minutely.  She  never hesitated sharing all her dark secrets with me. With each passing day, our friendship grew stronger. And that was when we decided to  exchange our phone numbers.One fine day, we mutually agreed upon to meet. 

It was a fine Saturday evening. I waited for her at a coffee shop in Vile Parle. Having booked a table for two, I incessantly poked my mobile phone and checked my blog for blog comments. She arrived two minutes later. Gorgeous, Elegant, Chic, Pretty and many more adjectives would define her.  She had a long hair that cascaded down her back. An arched eyebrow, long nose, and full red lips framed her face. In fact, she looked prettier in reality  than most of  her Facebook profile photos. We exchanged smiles and shook hands.

“Finally I see  the face behind the song of life ,” I said.

She laughed and said, "Same here Ankit!”

She looked reticent to me at first.

“What are you up to Mr. Blogger?”  Monika asked.
“All good, between we never formally introduced ourselves.  Why don’t we do that now?”
“Why not!” she replied and at the same time the waiter interrupted us, “What would you like to have?”
By then she had already surfed through the menu and it didn't took much time for us to decide on the order.

“One Choc√≥ frappe and One Cappuccino,” she said.
Monika Juneja,  the name is enough, you see,” she joked and added, “I am doing my final year Engineering and I have big dreams. I am an occasional short story writer unlike you and I love poetries.”

“So would you be singing a song too?” I joked.
“Excuse me?
“You write at the song of life, no?” I laughed.
“Bad joke!” she said, her voice terse.
“Ankit, what about you?” she said.
“I work as a software developer in an IT Company. There is nothing interesting to say about me. But for a fact I love writing short stories.”
“What genre?”  She asked.  The waiter arrived at the same time with a tray containing two cups.
He neatly transferred the coffee cups from the tray to the table.
“Mostly love relationships,” I said brusquely.
“I love writing poetries too but I am an amateur poet.”  I added.
“But any day I would fall for a man who writes cute poetries. I know some guys who write amazing poems you know,” she said.

We spoke for 1 hour and then we headed for Juhu beach. It was after a long time that I was hanging out with a girl, a beautiful girl to be precise. She sat and  rested her hands on my shoulder as I started my bike.  She held me tight as I rode the bike on the Juhu Tara road. The sun had slowly started to set and a sea of slow moving vehicles almost made it impossible to reach the Juhu beach in 15 minutes. I zig zagged my bike through the intense heavy traffic.  I parked my bike on the parking area and walked towards the beach.  The beach was crowded with people, mostly family and college students. As we walked, admiring the setting sun, we came across many young little kids constructing sand castles.  

“Isn’t childhood the best phase of our life, Ankit?” Monika asked.
“I second you!” I replied.
“You talk about childhood and I slowly start transforming into a little child.” I laughed and ran towards a little girl. I helped her in building her castle. She stood next to us and clicked a picture of us.
“Ankit, let’s go,” she said.

“Bye Bhaiyya.” The little girl bid me adieu as we walked further.
“This sea has no boundaries, Ankit,” she said and continued, “I wish even happiness had no limits and boundaries in life. But for me it was nipped in the bud!”

“I don’t even have someone whom I could call as my best friend. Guys entered my life only to break me into pieces.  That’s why I hesitate before trusting any man!” she continued, “I will be the happiest person in this world when I meet a guy who would love me unconditionally and accept me for what I am.”

“You are good at philosophy too!” I winked.  Philosophies do amuse me, but she had said something strange. How could she generalize all men?  I thought. For some reason, I felt that I  had all the qualities of being the man who would give her complete happiness.
“What are you thinking, Ankit?” she said.  She looked at me. At a closer glance, I realized that her eyes were the most riveting feature of her face. She again asked me. She got me out of my reverie.

“What did you ask?” I asked, calmly.
Nothing, forget,”  she said and we sat on the sand.  Out of blue, life started blooming flowers of happiness. Where was she all these days? I asked myself.
I wrapped my arms around her shoulder. She looked at me, perplexed!
“Life will be tough, Monika. It will give you bad experiences as well as good. We need to take forth the good ones and learn from the bad experiences.” I whispered.
She rested her head on my shoulder and asked, “What about rejections?”
“Rejection is fine. It is not the end of the world. People learn from it and move on!” I whispered again.  It didn’t look as if I we were meeting for the first time.

“Ankit, you know what?” she said and continued, “It doesn't seem like we are meeting for the first time.”
“I was thinking the same.”  She smiled back at me.
It was 7.30 pm. It was turning dark. The sun had completely set and the night sky displayed the bright moon and the multitude of twinkling stars. There was deafening silence for 10 minutes.

“It’s late! I think we should leave now,” she said and we got up.
“We should meet quite often.” I said to which she agreed.  I dropped her till the Santacruz Railway station.  
That night I couldn’t concentrate on anything. Like a fool, I was laughing without any reasons.  I rested the laptop on my lap and stared at her profile photo. She was not bad, I thought. Maybe I had conceded defeat in the game of love! My liking for her had transformed into love. Yes, I loved her!

At the same time, I got a ping from on Facebook.
Monika - It was nice meeting you! : )
Me - : )
I was writing a poem for her.

“Sadness gripped me hard,
Melancholy haunted me days and night,
But now, after you stormed into my life,
Life has given me a reason to smile again.
Will you be my reason to smile?
Will you sing a song with me?
The Song of Life!”

I posted the blog post under the name – The Song of Life and slept soon.
The next day when I woke up, I checked my blog and was amused to see Monika's comment. 
“Who is the lucky girl?” I read.
She had texted me the same message to which I replied, “You : )” I completed my daily morning rituals of shower, shaving and breakfast. By then I read two unread text messages on my phone.
“:-/ Let’s meet today at R City.”
My day at office went smooth. I didn’t have much work apart from training newcomers in my team. I did some Code Reviews and worked on the estimates. After that I left for the R City Mall where Monika was waiting for me. I saw her from a far distance and she was looking elegant.

“Hey Monika,”
“Hi, Ankit,” she said sans smile. We ordered our dinner and remained silent for a while.
“How was the poem?” I asked.
“Good. Was it for me?” she asked.
“Yes!”
The dinner arrived and we never spoke much. I curiously waited for her reply.
“Let’s go!”  She said and I paid the bill. As we walked outside, I reminded her about my question. My heart started pulsating rapidly with every single minute. I could feel it.

She smiled at me and walked forward. I still didn’t understand anything and my heart was beating rapidly.

“What does your smile means?” I asked, curiously.
“Dumb! I will be the reason for your smile and let’s sing the song of life together.”

My heart skipped a beat. I had been successful in winning her trust and heart!
Months passed and our relationship was growing strong. We used to talk every day and meet every alternate day. We both had plunged deep into the ocean called Love. Relationships do have problems associated with it. Even we faced many problems and even fought several times. But those used to be petty ones. But I couldn't forget that day! I couldn't forgive myself. The day when my relationship crumbled into pieces. I never knew that Monika would leave me all alone. She wanted me to prioritize her and my work. Work gave me my bread and butter.  But she was the fuel to my life! She failed to realize that.

That day I had asked her to get ready and meet me at Grand Hyatt at 5 pm! It was our 2nd  anniversary.  We wanted to spend some quality  time together. I had informed about this to my boss earlier. He didn’t approve my leave, but he asked me to leave early. The clock struck 4 and it looked like there was a big mess at the office. The code failed in the production and the Telco guys were not happy. The company suffered a  loss of $ 125 million and being a senior, I was my Boss's rescue ranger. I requested him, but he refused to buy my point. Even my own phone betrayed me. It ran out of battery at a wrong time. Being surrounded by my boss and my teammates, I couldn't even  call Monika to inform her. It was already 5 PM. I worked on the fix, but it didn’t happen! I had to stay the entire night at the office. By the time I reached home, it was already 2 AM. I quickly charged my phone and tried calling Monika. All my attempts to talk to her failed. I quickly logged into Facebook and tried to ping her. But I realized  that she had already blocked me  though I got to read her message.

Monika– You know what? Like a fool I was waiting for you at the Grand Hyatt with a cake. I have never faced such embarrassment before in my life. I can’t explain you how I felt when people there stared at me. You didn’t even have the courtesy to call me. I tried calling you for 1 hour. I am sorry, Ankit! I give up! Have a great life!

Me – Pls try to understand me... You got it wrong!
You cannot message this contact. A message was displayed. 

She had blocked me from every medium from where connecting to her was possible.
The next day I visited her apartment. I saw Monika and her friend Ayesha standing outside. She refused to speak!
“I am sorry. Please understand that I was caught in an unavoidable situation,” I said.
“I need no explanation, Ankit,” she said, “I never asked for one.”
“I only wanted your happiness. The first time I saw you, I realized that you were going through a difficult phase. I wanted to be someone who would listen to you, heal all your wounds and instill joy again into your life!” I said, "But sadly all I had to offer you was hurt!”

She turned backwards.  “My love was true and everyone entered your life to hurt you and break you into shards and here I am pleading and requesting you to come back in my life again!” Ayesha looked at her, perplexed.

“You told me that you will be the reason for my smile and today I am the reason for your tears,” I said and observed that she wiped the tears rolling down her cheeks. 
"But I am hopeful that you would be back.” I said and left.  

We never met her again. I got to know through her friend Ayesha that she had gone to London for her MBA program.

My phone beeped again with another phone notification. “Serene Angel has commented on your blog post – The song of Life”

The notification message  got out of the reverie. I looked at my watch and it was 5.45 pm. 
I launched my inbox and read the comment.

“Hey did she say yes to you? That’s such a cute poetry! I hope she said yes to you. Awww!”

I smiled at her comment and I wished if I would narrate my entire story to her. Even she would feel pity on seeing my plight! ‘Times News’ was busy showing one news – British Airways A45 Jet collapses mid air. Infosol smells Al Kawida Links.”  I broke into a loud shrill I couldn't believe my eyes and ears. It was the same flight through which Monika was traveling as per her friend Ayesha. The  pain was unbearable! Dejected, not able to bear the loss, I sat on the promenade outside the airport. I turned around and saw Monika and Ayesha standing next to me.

“Real Men never cry!” Monika said and wiped the tears from my eyes. Ayesha was giggling at me.
“I missed the flight, Ankit!” She said and continued, “How can I leave someone who is the reason for my happiness and smile.”  My own eyes betrayed me for the second time within minutes.  Thank god she missed the flight and took the other one!

“I’m sorry, Monika,” I enunciated a sorry to which she cupped my mouth. She looked straight into my eyes. Our eyes met again and our lips locked.
“I am back, Ankit!" She said, “We are here to stay together.”

“We will sing the song of life together,” I said to which she nodded in agreement. We both hugged each other and Ayesha clapped!


This post is part of the contest Spin your Story on WriteUpCafe.com