The Mistaken Barista

Massive glass doors fly open as he enters, shrouded in bright sunlight, beige chinos and blue cashmere hug his chiseled form. He looks nothing less than a modern day Apollo. A God that deems fit to walk this realm of mortals. He walks straight towards me with purpose and a wide smile on his glorious face, his perfect teeth glowing like tiny stars and his eyes are deep blue gateways into the vast universe.

My world stands still as I clutch my apron, until my fingers turn blue and prick of a sharp nail brings me back to reality. Yet, I can’t keep my eyes off that heavenly specimen of mankind. I lick my lips and bite my lower lip hard, and his lips twist into a naughty smirk. His strides are decisive and he walks with the air of someone who always gets what he wants. Somehow that knowledge creates a puddle of desire between my legs.

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“So, am I going to see you tonight?” He asks, his voice a sultry invitation into the caves of my darkest desires. Looking into my eyes, standing less than two feet away from me, his nearness makes me want to swoon and fall into his arms.
“Yes…. Oh yes.” I say, my voice a hoarse whisper. And I kick myself for sounding so ready, so desperate.
“7 o’clock dinner and later at your place? That is if you are okay with it.” He asks again.

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Notice me Trump Senpai

mike-dive-i-surely-hope-that-trump-senpai-will-notice-me-4342575

Assad sprawled upon his large four poster bed covered in red satin bedsheets. He drew his silk bathrobe closer to cover his bare shoulders as he blushed a little. When the phone on the other end of the line began to ring he blushed harder and crossed his legs in their white polka-dotted briefs. He twirled the silk string of his bathrobe in nervous anticipation. After a long time, the operator told him that his call will not be received at the moment and they would get back to him at the earliest. Assad sighed and hung up the phone. Then threw it at the bomb proof window of his palace. It thudded dully against the window and plopped down to the thick carpet.

Assad flopped into a nest of his goose feather pillows and switched on Skype in his ultra large smart TV. He dialed Kim’s number. He knew not to disturb Kim at this time…But he was feeling too dejected and Kim always knew how to cheer him up. Kim answered the call and the camera took moment to focus on his large round face. Kim’s face was covered in a thick green paste and he had cucumber slices on his eyes. He seemed to be soaking in a large tub of bubbly water. He pulled a cucumber slice off of one eye and chomped on it.

“Ah, my friend, the butcher of the east, come to give me my weekly dose of venison…” he laughed until his jowls quivered like those of an obese pig.

“ Kim, my buddy, I was just feeling a little IL! Thought I would check in with the sickest man I know!” Assad laughed until his bony shoulders flapped like those of a freshly skinned chicken. Continue reading

The End of Reason

 

this-is-partha-mahabharatha

A hail of arrows flew up and blotted out the sun for a second. Sudarshan Chakra, the divine discus, flew into the arrows and swept them away like a broom would some stray twigs. The Chakra flew back to the forefinger of Lord Krishna, cunning statesman and flirt extraordinaire, and kept spinning there like a DVD in a disc player. “ We could do this all day, Partha, and we would get nowhere with it…” Krishna gave a nod and the peacock feather in his crown nodded emphatically, “ You of all people know this. I am your elder and I have laid a claim to this. For your own good, let it go.”

On another chariot halfway across the battlefield, Arjuna, handsome prince and master marksman, lowered his divine bow the Gandiva and scoffed, “ If just being elder was enough to lay claim to anything, then the war of Mahabharata would never have taken place, Madhava. You of all people should know this…” Arjuna raised Gandiva and in a blink cocked an arrow and released it. It flew in a wide arc towards Krishna’s and halfway through its path it split into a hundred arrows that burst into flames. The flaming arrows plunged towards Krishna who yawned at their descent. As the arrows got closer Krishna twirled his flute and waved it at the arrows, the arrows popped like popcorn and transformed into large marigold flowers that rained over the chariot and Krishna.

“The same old tricks Phalguna? Your arsenal is growing rusty…It’s long overdue for a hardware update…” Krishna smirked.

“And you are still using the same old parlour tricks, Keshava, your magic could do with a software update…” Arjuna grinned back. Continue reading

Asha and the thought police (Akhil Bharatiya Vichar Arakshak)

drone

Asha climbed down from the mountain after a long arduous trek to catch the first glimpse of her city, her eyes widened and her nose twitched when she saw the entire city covered in what appeared to be a glistening orange mist. The rest of the way down she peered into the mist and watched it as it swirled around in unique patterns. How long has she been gone for? She counted the days on her fingers, she wasn’t gone for more than a week. What had changed in a week? She hurried down faster towards her home.

As she neared the first street of the city, she saw that the mist was made up of a formation of small flying quadcopter drones. All of them were painted orange with images of tigers, Shiva or Shivaji Maharaj drawn on them. Each one of them had a small orange flag flying on top of it that read ‘ABVA’ on it. Asha walked on in silence and mouthed a “what the…” as she stared from one drone to another as they moved about lazily. She knew the state would have elections while she was gone and she had expected some changes, but this was beyond anything she had imagined.

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Goodbye and all that “stuff”

I am shoving her suitcase in the car trunk and then shoving it further down between her other bags, is when she says, “what are you doing? Be gentle! This one’s fragile.”

“Yeah?” I say, “Unfortunately I am not your cabin crew … and put a fucking sticker on this thing. Make it bold.”

“I have put a sticker on it. And it is bold. Look,” she points.

“Well then make it more bolder. I can barely see it,” I say.

“There is no such thing as, “more bolder””, she corrects me.

“Well, there is now,” I say, “And sorry, I am not born or brought up or moving to America, unlike some other people. For me, more bolder means, more bolder, you get it? Something I can see or read from 20 mtrs away … And oh! Boulder also means something I want people to get smeared by, when they annoy me.”

“I am sure, you can read this from far. If only you want to,” she says.

“Nope! I can’t. I can’t read or write things. I am stupid. Okay?”

She breathes deeply. Looks away and looks back at me.

“Really? Right Now? God! You are such a jerk” she says, not loud enough for me to hear it but loud enough to grab my attention.

“I heard that!”

“Good. Coz I wanted you to!” She yells, walking towards the house and slams the door behind her.

all-that-stuff

I stand there, staring at the open car door and appreciating a pigeon fidgeting with a dark spot on the windshield. His feathers are messed up. He is probably hungry too, but look at him; he is so calm and beautiful, he is not shouting at me, plus he is not even flying to a different country by himself. Even though he could – free of cost. This pigeon is a star!

Why can’t she be like this? Why does she have to either be an ugly monk or a raging bitchface?  Why there is no in between?

And a voice from within, that I am way too familiar with, shoots up to my head and whispers, “stop it! You know it’s you. It’s always you. She’s more of a gentleman than you are. She has the calmness of a bomb squad, you on the other hand, look like you are always in a moshpit of a metal concert, elbowing the person behind you. Screaming, “Hell yeahhh!!!”, or whatever the fuck they yell in moshpits.”

And while I am having a moment with myself, she comes back with some more stuff. She has more luggage labeled as “stuff” than what should be called as “stuff”. And all her “stuff” come with her other “stuff”. Because she buys “stuff” and doesn’t throw them away. Then she buys more stuff to match the “stuff” that she has bought before. So there are twice as many and as much “stuff” with her than there should have been in the first place.

She stands and looks at me for help.

“What?” I shrug.

“What what?” Help me with these, she says, pointing at her “stuff”.

So then, I stuff all her “stuff” with all her other “stuff” in the car. Fuck it! It’s all stuffed now.

“Happy?” I bang shut the door. She frowns.

And we drive away to the airport. She is checking her phone and I am honking at every next person; scooters, bikers, fucking autorickshaws, vegetable vendors. All of them. The Madmax in me is looking to ram this car somewhere. Take it to a desert and destroy it, put it on fire. Cut through a bridge railing and drown it in the sea. Call it a day and die somewhere. I am done.

But since I can’t do all that, I play the FM at a deafening level. She doesn’t say much, gives me the look and turns the volume knob down. So I give her the look now and I turn it back up. She turns it back down. I turn it back up. She turns it back down.

I take a pause. My hands are reaching to turn it back up, but I am also a little scared …

“Staaaaaaaphhhhh it!” She yells.

The rebel in me still wants to turn it up, but what’s the point, really? I don’t like that kind of noise either. It would annoy me more than it would annoy her. So I let it be. But in my head, I haven’t lost this to her. I have lost this to myself. Which is fine, I don’t mind losing to myself.

And then I drive ZIG-ZAG, don’t slow down at speed breakers, break signals, honk occasionally at no one, and also sudden unexpected breaks are my new favorites at this moment.

Next, I switch off the AC at a signal.

“What’s that for?” She says.

“Saving petrol.”

“Fine!” She says. Wipes sweat off of her forehead. I check my face in the mirror. My cheeks and ears are burning with the heat and the frustration that I have brought upon myself.

I peek outside the window like a dog. Bark at the traffic. Honk harder. Abuse pedestrians in local language, that I can barely speak.

You see, I don’t usually do these things. I am not “that” guy. But today I have turned into one and at this point, I am also afraid, that if someone abuses me back in the same language, I wouldn’t have a comeback. I would lose the fight and probably get beaten up. Yelling at random no-ones is never a smart thing to do anyway. You don’t know which sidewalk the next Jeffrey Dahmer is walking on.

She sits through all this. Unbuzzed. Fiddles with her phone. Breathes heavily. Stares at me occasionally- with love, anger and pity.  I don’t look back. She knows me and knows how I behave in the moments when I don’t know how to behave.

Now we are at the parking lot of the airport, I put her luggage in the cart, roll it up the escalator and turn left at the end of it. She turns right.

“Hello? Where are you going? It’s this way.” I say, pointing at the signboard.

“How do you know how to read a bold signboard, when you don’t know how to read or write bold things? It’s such a paradox.” She giggles.

“Well. Ha Ha” I mock her.

At the entrance, where we stand, her passport is in her left hand with ticket printouts sticking out of it.

“18 months,” she says, sliding her phone in the back-pocket of her jeans.

“18 fucking months, that’s fucking long. Okay? ”I say.

“I know. I know. I know. But don’t put it like that and it will be over before you know. Also we will Skype. Daily. I promise. Okay?”

“Yeah, well that never goes well.” I say, “People die. Haven’t you seen that movie … what’s it called? Befriended or Unfriended … or something like that?”

“Shush … it’s not important and listen it will be fine … trust me. This is not a movie. Although at this point it almost seems like one. But it isn’t.  And please don’t make it a sad goodbye.” She stands on her toes and kisses me on my cheek.

“Alright! If you insist.”

“Yes. I do.” She says. “Now smile.” She hugs me. I hug her back, but not like how I usually hug her. “This hug is as cold as her intentions right now.” I tell myself.

“Yeah whatever.” I say, and push her to the entrance, “you are late.”

And she waves back at me and disappears in the mob.

“She is never coming back,” I tell myself. “And if she ever does. She will never be the same. I know this. I have seen enough movies to claim that I exactly know how this will end.”,  I keep talking to myself holding a teardrop or two as I walk my way back to the car.

When I open the car-door, a kitty cat from nowhere appears and hugs my leg. So I pick it up and drive him home. Feed him milk or something.

“The animal has found me in these dark times to keep me company” I tell myself, “because, I guess, animals know these things?”

When women drive big cars…

“Beta, don’t you think you should travel by cab?” my dad ventured, hesitant at first, firm later and positively, relentless thereafter. I had been listening to him and my mother moan and crib about their precious daughter driving a massive Tata Safari around the city on a daily basis, for more than two years now.

It also doesn’t help that after successfully maneuvering my car all the way from ITPL to Kormangala three times a week during peak hours, for two years has still not instilled enough trust in my parents to take a 3km ride with me.

Every single time I venture to take them shopping or other chores, relentlessly at first, firm later and then hesitantly thereafter, they respond as if I have suggested taking them to a brothel.

The vehemence in their voice when they say, “Nahee! We are not taking your car. We would rather go by cab.” makes me believe that they probably think I run over three men and two kids every time I take my car out. And the only reason I am not rotting in prison or hell; is because of the Thursday fasts and pujas that my mom religiously keeps.

Having witnessed such lack of faith, for so long, I began contemplating; Why?! Why such distrust for women drivers, especially for the ones who drive an SUV?

woman-in-suv

Lets get this straight, people still need a lot of conditioning to get used to a woman driving. The ones, who actually are used to women driving, expect her to be in a hatchback, not a sedan, definitely not an SUV, and God help her if she dares to drive a jeep.

Because she is a woman, and of course she would look good in, you know, those cute little Japanese toy cars that are electric blue, green, or white, or yellow. If it is a pink Reva, it is even better. All those post retirement uncles and aunties would give you looks of approval, even smile at you and call you “Beta.”

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Escape from midlife crises – A to-do guide for women & men

“Life is a prison”, now I didn’t say that. Someone did, someone completely inconsequential to this write up. That would explain why I don’t feel even a teeny bit of inclination to make you aware of his or her name.

But if life is a prison then mid-life is the Green mile. It is one those fancy semi colon tattoos that everyone is getting, as if “a down on his luck 40 year old” is even going to notice the tiny semi colon strategically placed near your wrist.

But your tattoo is not the reason for this write up. It is the prison of your mid – life and how to escape it.

Now, it is extremely critical to understand that mid-life crises differs from men to women. For example a woman, almost every single month gets minute mid life shocks when she starts PMSing. But for men it comes like a meteor falling over their head out of nowhere.midlife-crises-women

So, let me start with an escape route for women.

Ladies, believe me you have it easy.

You hit 36/37 or the 38 mark. You realize the kids are gone or almost vanishing, the husband doesn’t notice your new hair cut. Continue reading