Monthly Archives: June 2010

The Garage Door


Team This post has been published by me as a team member of Tiger Trails Team for the SUPER 4 round of Bloggers Premier League (BPL) – The first ever unique, elite team blogging event in the history of blogging world. To catch the BPL action and also be part of future editions and other contests, visit and register at Cafe GingerChai

“This guy must be richer than I thought. Insanely rich.” Narendran Iyer mused to himself, as he nervously rested his old legs on the comfortable couch in the middle of a huge hall, of the palatial bungalow, sipping quietly on to a hot cup of tea, all of which, belonged to the affluent and insanely powerful Rajan family of South Chennai. The Rajans were a well to do, and an equally notorious family in Chennai. They practically ruled the Real Estate scene of the city and every new deal, every new business proposal executed around the city, had to have their stamp of approval. Police, Politicians, Businessmen, were their puppets and the current Chief Minister of the state was a not so distant relative of the Rajans’. Power was their middle name. And Narendran sat there hoping for an audience with the young one of the family, Sarvesh Rajan, at his swank beach house property on the ECR. Sarvesh had a property for sale, and Narendran was interested in buying.

Narendran Iyer was getting his daughter married next month, and he felt buying a beach front bungalow would be the perfect gift to the new couple. He had made some calls, and someone had promptly put him onto Sarvesh. He had fixed an appointment for Sunday at the Rajan Home. And Narendran Iyer was promptly there, on time.

As Narendran sat there, extracting the last drop of the delicious, expensive hill-side tea, from the soaked tea leaves at the bottom of the cup, he was making mental calculation of the price that Sarvesh would quote.  “I hope he realizes that I’m not as rich as him and sells it fairly cheap. What on Earth is he going to do with more money?” he mumbled to himself with a smile. He admired the hall he was sitting in. Marble floors and Italian furniture seemed to be in perfect harmony. A grand stairway, the likes of which he had seen only in the movies, lead to a huge portrait of Mr. Vishwendar Rajan, Sarvesh’s Father, in the centre of the hall. The setting was fit for Royalty. However, the only sore point that Narendran felt, was an old, rusty, open door in a distance which seemed to be leading to the garage. “Hmmm. That doesn’t look right” he strained his neck to get a better look.

“Ahem..” a young voice coughed. “Mama will be down here soon. He is taking his medicines.” announced a young man to Narendran. “I hope you are comfortable Mr. Iyer? Would you care for another cup of tea?” he enquired, looking at the empty cup in Narendran’s hand. “Ah, No… Thank you. I’m fine. Please ask Mr. Sarvesh to take his time.” he said in the politest tone possible, putting the tea cup down on the table. “And you are…?” he hesitantly enquired to the identity of his young host.

“You are new here, aren’t you?” spoke the young boy, not more than 18 year old. His new, juvenile, sprouting moustache was the only counter argument to his eyes, which shone with an intensity much ahead of his age. His casual T-Shirt over his faded jeans could have advertised him as yet any other school/college going youngster, if he hadn’t properly introduced himself “My name is Karthik, Mr. Iyer. Karthik Rajan. I am Sarvesh Rajan’s nephew.” He introduced himself, hinting a dash of pride when he said the last line.

“Of course, of course…” continued Narendran extending his hand for a shake. “The reputation of your family shines in your eyes young man. Glad to meet you. I’m sure you’ll carry on the tradition of…”

“Like I said sir, Mama will be downstairs shortly.” Karthi cut short Narendran’s sweet talk. Narendran nodded and sat back down. His eyes went back to the garage door again. Karthi saw that and he had to chip in. “Mr. Iyer, I think this will be the first time you’d be talking to Sarvesh Mama, isn’t it?”

Narendran nodded in agreement.

“Well in that case Sir, it is my duty to educate you about certain facts and truths that you should keep in mind, before meeting Mama, lest you do not irritate him asking something that you shouldn’t. You do know how much of a hot-headed character he is, don’t you?” continued a solemn faced Karthik.

Narendran nodded and sat in rapt attention.

“Mr. Iyer. I shouldn’t be telling you this. Its a family secret, and not many people know it. But I respect your age sir. And knowing well that you are entering into a business deal with the family, it kind of makes you family as well. Also I see that you just cannot take your eyes off the garage door. There is a rather sinister story attached to it. And that’s the reason why that door has been kept that way. A story which explains Mama’s current condition.” Karthik continued, with Narendran listening to him like an attentive child.

“Sarvesh Mama, had a beautiful wife and a lovely young son. They were his greatest possessions that he guarded fiercely with his life. His life revolved around these two. In short he was the happiest person in the whole wide world. Until that cold, December Morning. That cold fateful December Morning.”

“What happened then young man?” asked a curious Narendran, judging the lump in the throat of the narrator.

“Mama wasn’t at home, as he had to go out on a business meeting. Maami and young Jeeva were at home. Those days, there wasn’t much security at home. We Rajans are peace loving people. We’ve never harmed anyone, and there was no reason for others to hurt us either. But clearly, the family’s success and incredible growth, did not go too well with certain people in the city. A few business rivals got together, and planned to get rid of Mama. Three men their faces covered, armed with sickles and knives, sneaked into the bungalow to bump off the indestructible Sarvesh Rajan. He wasn’t home, but his family was. These innocent looking walls have been witness to a sinister and barbaric act that cannot be put down in words. They killed Maami and the innocent little Jeeva in that very garage. The police later reconstructed the events of that night. They dragged Maami by her hair through these stairs and murdered her in the garage.” he choked. “I can not even imagine the coldness in the heart of a man to look at those innocent eyes of a 5 year old, and then see the light of life fading away from them. They were Barbarians Mr. Iyer. Demons. That innocent looking garage, Sir, has been witness to a gory past.” said a choking Karthik, pointing out to the open door.

“Who would do such a thing to a family?” Narendran shook his head.

“They never found out. There was absolutely no evidence left. The top sleuths of Police landed here, and carried on their investigation for months. They found absolutely nothing. The Rajan family hasn’t taken it lightly either. We still have people trying to sniff out the orchestrators of such a gruesome act. And believe me they will be found. And that day, I hope, Mama will go back to being normal from his present condition. That incident affected Mama’s mental health in a way none of us could imagine. Most people don’t know this sir, but the man you are going to meet today is not in perfect mental health.”

Narendran jumped from his seat.

“Relax Sir. He is not like what you think. He is perfectly normal in every sense. Except that he has not come to terms with the loss of the love of his life, yet. Schizophrenia you see. He keeps looking at that rusty garage door every day and every night, expecting his lovely wife to walk back through the door, with his baby in her hand, smiling at him. We have tried explaining to him, but he gets insanely angry when we try to. His medication has been increased of-late, and that is why he doesn’t make as many public appearances as he used to. My Uncle is ill Sir. I hope you treat him with a respect that an ailing man commands. Please do not ask him anything that might hurt him. Please.” Karthik said with tears in his eyes.

Narendran wiped away his tears and said, “Do not worry young man, God is watching. He’ll bring the evil people who’ve done this to your family, to justice. I know that for sure. And I’m intensely grateful to you, to have shared this grief with me. Do not worry Karthi. The Rajans will see this through.”

Just around that time, a man in his thirties, with unkempt hair and an overgrown stubble, wearing a spotless white dhoti and shirt, descended down the stairs. Karthik wiped his eyes, and addressed him, “Mama. This gentleman is here to see you.”

Narendran clasped his hands, stood up and welcomed Sarvesh Rajan, multi-millionaire, business magnet, Real Estate king and lately the face of the Rajan family. He usually kept a low media profile, but was the most approachable, and the most soft spoken member of the Rajan clan. He had heard stories of his kindness and yet ruthless business acumen of the man. And yet the dark glimpse of the man’s history, made him look at him slightly differently. It was a stark reminder that he was human after all. Beyond the aura of royalty, there existed a man who had lost what he had most cherished. A man who wasn’t well. Then in a minute his eyes turned pensive.

“Hello Mr.Iyer. Sorry to keep you waiting. They say I’m not too well, you see.” Sarvesh extended his hand to Narendran.

“Not at all sir. My pleasure.” Narendran shook his hand.

“Would you like to see the bungalow now? It’s quite close. My secretary will accompany you. We can talk business after you see the property.” Sarvesh offered.

“That would be really great. Sure.”

“But I hope you don’t mind waiting a couple of minutes. I usually ask my wife to fetch the keys. Silly tradition you see. She’s my lucky charm.” Sarvesh chuckled with a dry laugh.

Narendran was shocked. He saw Karthik on the other side, clutching his head in despair. Narendran did not know, if he were to pity at the poor state of the man, or humor him by accepting to stay for a while expecting someone who would never return.

“Err…” He muttered.

“It won’t be long Mr. Iyer.” Sarvesh explained pointing to the garage. “She’s in there. You see. Little Jeeva is in there as well I think. Should be out any moment.” he continued, looking gingerly at the door.

Narendran was devastated to see the plight of this man. Why did God choose good men for such a plight, he wondered. He said a silent prayer for the man. He hoped he would realize his loss soon.

“There they are…” cried Sarvesh.

Narendran felt, it wasn’t right for him to stay there anymore, so he started to rise from his seat, when a faint sound of muffled footsteps came from the open door. He sat up with a fright. He turned towards the garage as fast as his body would let him to. What he saw, shook him out of his wits. To his horror, he saw a lady in a red saree, with a baby in her arms, walking out of the door.

“There, see. There they are.” Sarvesh repeated pointing out and breaking into fits of cough.

Narendran looked at Karthik who reached his Uncle’s shoulders and held him softly with grief in his eyes swelling up with tears. Couldn’t the boy see the figures there. Was he sharing the visions of that sick man sitting across him. Was he making him sick as well. Narendran’s heart started beating faster. He rose from his seat and darted out in a flash, fear writ large on his face, with a surprised Vaidi looking at him. Narendran ran as fast his legs could take him, with Sarvesh yelling “Mr. Iyer…? Sir? Hello…”

“There. That patch of dust on your shirt looked hideous.” said Karthik, who dusted off the shoulders of his Uncle’s shirt.

“What’s wrong with him Karthi?” asked Sarvesh.

“Nothing Maama. Nothing at all.” Karthik continued, as he traced the stumbling figure disappear from the room, from the bungalow, and with the sound of a car engine revving up, he figured, from the locality. The man had gone cuckoo, and Karthik cracked a sly smile. He walked towards the portico, a thousand thoughts riding his head on what Mr. Narendran Iyer would be feeling at this point, when suddenly he was startled by a lady in red saree, with a kid in her hand, reaching out to his shoulder.

“Maami… You scared the living daylights out of me.” shrieked Karthi to a beautiful, smiling lady in her late twenties, with a smiling baby in her arms. His aunt walked in with a bowl of unfinished food, and young Jeeva licking the food off his lips.

“There you are. Where were you guys by the way? And what were you doing in that garage?” Sarvesh had all the enquiries directed at his coy wife.

“You know how Jeeva is, don’t you? He and his fussy eating habits are driving me crazy. Your son will only have his meals in your Toyota Corolla, see. And that is why, our garage has sort of become his dining room. How is your cold? Did you take the pills? And Karthi, who is that poor old man who ran away from the house like he had seen a ghost?” asked Sarvesh’s wife.

“Oh, that’s nothing Maami. Just some poor old guy, who I guess was suffering from some mental ailment. Guess the he had one of its mental breakdowns here. Poor thing.” explained Karthik with a glint in his eyes.

“Oh that’s so sad. God bless him.” said his Aunt, as she continued, “Karthi close that wretched garage door now, we should get that lock fixed soon. And someone get that rusty door changed please. It looks quite frightening”

Karthik was more than happy to oblige.

18 year old Karthik Rajan was a student of English Literature. Apparently, Crime Fiction, just happened to be his forte…

——————————————————

Adapted from a short story told to Yours Truly in his childhood by his dear Father. Thanks Dad. 🙂

—x—

This was an excerpt from the Tiger Trails Magazine – The Sunday Roar. Click on the Cover below to enlarge. Click to read the Magazine.

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The Domestic Olympics


Team This post has been published by me as a team member of Tiger Trails Team for the SUPER 4 round of Bloggers Premier League (BPL) – The first ever unique, elite team blogging event in the history of blogging world. To catch the BPL action and also be part of future editions and other contests, visit and register at Cafe GingerChai

It’s a wonderful morning in Suburbia. The Summer Sun is only just up and the stage is perfectly set up for the Weekend Edition of The Domestic Olympics. A very warm welcome to all our dear readers who have joined us from all corners of the world. We are coming to you live from a random household in Suburbia, the venue for today’s games. I am your friendly neighborhood Commentator, and this is The Domestic Olympics.

We’d love to have included a logo for the games, but our players keep adding a new ‘ring’ to the games each day. Jokes aside, this one should be one hell of a Tournament. The Domestic Olympics is one of the oldest sporting events on the face of this planet. There are many versions of these games, played everyday across the world. Our players today, in a way, symbolize all the married brave Men and Women of the planet, who fight it out each day to co-exist. Here’s our tribute to all of them.

Here’s a quick pre-game analysis of our players.

Previous games have seen Her routing the competition by relentlessly overpowering Him in the games and winning quite comfortably. Will today’s result be different? I have a gut feeling it would. So without further delay let’s start off with the Tournament. Here we go…

Waking

And we’re off. The alarm goes off sharp at 6.30 in the morning to kick off the contest. He and She are fast asleep and the annoying alarm attempts to bring them out of their dream world. This is tense… Both of them reach out to find the alarm, but fail. They prod each other to find and shut it off. But both are unmoved. The alarm continues on with its annoying cacophony. This is the real test, to see who can withstand it. Nothing happens for a while, and then… she relents and wakes up. Is this His break? She seeks out the noise maker, hits the stop switch, sees the time, and with a realization that she can have no more of her sleep anymore, wakes up. She tries to wake Him up, but he doesn’t move. She switches off the AC, draws the curtains, and turns on the light… But He sleeps… He wins the first event 1-0. 😀 He is off to a flyer.

Fetching

This event involves our players to fetch the sachets of milk from the gate along with the day’s paper. A relatively easy sport compared to the rest of the games, this is usually made difficult by the sleepy, half-paralyzed state our players usually are in after the first game.

He totters out of the bed making immense effort to reach the couch in the living room. He switches on the TV, when She yells at Him from the kitchen to ‘fetch’ it. He tries to drown it out by increasing the TV volume. She makes an appearance, and pulls out her best move. Hands on hips and a mean stare directed at Him. He switches off the TV instantly. But in a swift move, He clutches his stomach, distorts his face, looks at the toilet, looks at Her, and pleads with an almost choking tone, “2 minutes?”. Nice… He deftly avoids the task, dashing into the toilet, staying there for the next half hour or so. She shakes her head, and goes on to complete the game. He wins this handsomely. 2-0 to Him. 🙂 He is on a roll.

Cooking

He used to excel at this sport in his college days, and when he was a bachelor. But ever since He graduated to being a husband, his skills at this event have waned down considerably, to a point where he now lacks them in good measure. She, having lost out at the first two events, wants to win this one real bad.

She orders him into the kitchen, and asks him to help her out. Helping out, usually means, running the food processor, cutting vegetables, lighting the stove, making rotis and so on. Clearly cooking is not His forte. The jar of the food processor is loose, and the tomato pulp spills out to the kitchen wall. Oops, that’s going to come back to bite him sometime in the future. 🙂 The cut vegetables, hardly look cut at all. She shows him how one slice of his can be further cut down to four more slices. He doesn’t care, he tells her that he’d rather be watching TV than being an ‘overhead’ to her. He burns the roti to prove his point and almost scores 3-0. But She is onto him in a flash. She tells him, that it doesn’t matter if he burns the food, because he’ll have to eat it anyway. A smart move. I think that has scared him. She opens her account impressively. But He still leads 2-1. Closely fought out this one.

Cleaning

Trying to make amends for his loss in the last round, He starts off cleaning in style. He dusts off a little spec of dust on his 32 inch LCD TV, cleans off the remote and settles down on the couch, proclaiming a successful completion of the event. But She has other big plans. She hands him a feather duster, a Vacuum cleaner, a mop and points to all corners of the house. He is devastated. He argues that weekends are for resting. She just does not listen. After all She has a perfect record in these games. So He goes about, with a long face, dusting, vacuuming and mopping the house, under the strict supervision of a smiling Her. And there’s the equalizer. 2 all folks. This one’s going to be tight.

Eating

After the first few ferociously fought out contests, we reach a more relaxing Eating round. The burnt rotis that He had made along with some delicious gravies made by Her have been served. Having been warned that He might have to eat the rotis he would make, He managed to do a decent job in the Cooking round. Except for a few black, burnt rotis, the rest of them seem fairly edible. But what’s this? In a wonderful exhibition of sportsmanship, She takes pity on Him and declares that He wouldn’t need to eat the burnt ones after all. He is happy. So happy that he gobbles up half the food on his plate, before She has even finished serving. And soon enough, Her hands are on her hips again, and the stare is back. He is told to eat slowly. He frowns. It is against his nature, but right now that doesn’t matter. He has only 2 choices now – food or no food. And he cannot afford the latter. She takes an amazing lead 3-2.

TV-ing

This is His favorite sport. He was born for this.

He turns on his full HD, LCD TV, connected to his 5.1 Home Theater, and finds that the match is on. He grabs a can of his favorite drink and a big bag of chips and sits himself in front of the big screen. This is the perfect way to unwind, after going down consecutively in 3 previous games. He puts his leg up, sips his drink, and is about to say “What a life…”, when She comes in. She smiles at him (oh no, that’s a sign of impending doom) and asks him if she can watch the rerun of Indian Idol? He tries to explain that it’s a very crucial match, but She says, its her favorite singer’s turn. He tries to protest, but that sad, dejected, frowning face of her’s, makes him give up.

This is his favorite sport alright. But that doesn’t mean he can win it always. 4-2 in Her favor.

Laptop-ing

With the TV round gone down, He has nothing more to do than to go to his dear old laptop. With the live match now being a distant possibility, the live scorecard is what He will have to do good with. He checks his Facebook page where a friend has posted an interesting video. He plays it, only to be interrupted by Her. He thinks She wants to check out her farm on Facebook, and proclaims that Facebook is down. But oh no.. That was a googly there, She says the sound from the video is interfering her show on TV, and asks him to get his headphones. He quietly acknowledges. And then when she sees how beautiful the guy on Indian Idol is singing, she gets excited and yells out to him. But He is on headphones and can’t hear her.

So a frown, a stare and an angry yell later, the laptop is turned off and He has no other choice than to watch Indian Idol, with the permission to check the score for a few seconds during the Commercial breaks. 5-2, she’s winning today as well. Can He stage a comeback?

Shopping

They are at a Super Market shopping for groceries. He goes straight to the snacks section and picks up a trolley full of snacks. She shakes her head, picks a couple of packs from it, nd sends him to keep the rest of them back. Ouch. That would’ve hurt. And she picks up packets of groceries from the shelf like a scientist picking up chemicals for a life saving experiment. She picks three different brands, compares prices, looks at offers, and then keeps all of them back saying they don’t really need that. Boy this is real slow. He is losing his patience and it shows up on his face. Will he lose it? Tense moment guys, anything can happen here. Wow. This is a masterstroke. She cools him off by buying him a pack of his favorite drink. He is happy and She continues with her shopping. This is going to take a while. Let’s break for commercials.

Alright we are back. This is a totally one sided match today. 6-2. And She has won it.

Movie-ing

We are reaching the business end of the games, and we have the Movies event to go. Our players have settled into the couch and have decided to watch a movie at home. This should be exciting. He pops in a no-brainer action flick and sits back. She protests almost immediately and the DVD is got rid off. Next is a Bollywood Rom-Com suggested by Her. He agrees at the prospect of watching the ‘hawt’ actress on screen, and possibly ogle at an Item Number. The movie continues, but He is slowly getting bored of it. The actress does not have too much of a role and is mostly fully clad. Oh no. Poor Him. He protests now, and another change of DVD is on the cards. After intense debate, a horror movie is agreed upon, and is soon popped out after She gets scared in the opening scene. And finally a classic movie is played, and He has no other option but to agree. After all, She, although being his competition, is also the love of his life. 7-2 it is then.

Power-Down

And as the movie chugs on towards the climax, reaches the final part, there is a power cut. Now this is a new twist to the tale. What is He going to do? Will She go wild now? But wait. What’s happening there? They drag their chairs to the balcony under a splendidly silver moon. The gentle cool breeze seems to be carrying romance in the air. And He and She are sitting there embraced and enjoying every bit of the moonlit, night. All the competition of the games seems to have gone away. The cut throat screams of one-upmanship seem to have been replaced with gentle whispers of “I Love You.” She tells Him that she was sorry to make him work today, and promises to do all the work herself tomorrow. He says that He doesn’t want anything at all, than to be with her tomorrow. Wow. That’s cute. This calls for a point for each of them. The scores are now 8-3.

I’m just getting news that this renewed love between our competitors has lead to the announcement that there will be no more competition going forward. He and She, in a carefully worded announcement have declared ceasefire. They will not be competing anymore.

So would this mean that there would be no more games from tomorrow? Are we witnessing the last edition of The Domestic Olympics? Will all this excitement cease to exist henceforth? Well it looks like that. Here’s wishing our dear He and She a wonderful future ahead.

Before we go, let’s talk to our players. He, what do you have to say about your performance today?

He: “Well I started off real well. 2-0 up against her is a rollicking start. But I failed to capitalize on that momentum. But all’s well that ends well. It was a delight to lose to my sweet-heart. Full marks to Her. Love you.”

Commentator: “That was sweet. She… happy?”

She: “Oh Yes, its always been. It was, is and will always be a delight to win. I mean He is a sweetheart…”

He: “Will always be…? Darling I thought we will not be competing anymore?”

She: “Oh yeah yeah. My bad, darling… Love you. So like I was saying He is an absolute sweetheart. He almost shook me up when he took a 2-0 lead. But then winning has sort of become a habit now. 🙂 But darling, I must say the burnt rotis were truly hilarious.”

He: “Hilarious, darling?”

She: “Oh yeah. In a cute sort of a way. I was hoping, you would learn it after all these days, but…”

He: “Oh ho ho.. hold on, I did it on purpose, dear ma’m.”

She: “Agreed.. But even if you had tried, it would still have been burnt, my dear.”

He: “Oh yeah? Atleast I don’t put my hands on my hips and stare to get things done.”

She: “Of course… You’d rather hide in the toilet, isn’t it?”

He: “That’s it. Me letting you win, is going to your head?”

She: “Excuse me… Letting me win? You are crazy.”

Commentator: “Err guys…”

He: “I am? Let’s see. Tomorrow, the games continue.”

She: “Sure about it? Can you survive another humiliating defeat?”

He: “We’ll see who loses. Bring it on…”

Commentator: “Aww Come on guys… That was unsportsmanlike…. Ouch! That hurt…. Why are you guys hitting me?… Oh no not there… Time out guys…”

That’s one painful way of bringing the games to an end. The Olympic Night ‘fights’ will continue into the night, and I’ve decided not to play peacemaker. But the good news coming out of this commotion is that the games will continue tomorrow. Tomorrow is a new day, and the next games should be super fun.

We wouldn’t be meeting next time, because frankly I’ve had enough. I do hope someone with a strong voice and stronger bones, meets you in the next edition. This is your dear commentator signing off. We would like to thank our sponsors for helping us bring this to you. Hope you had as much fun reading this, as much we had presenting this to you. Good bye. God bless.

— x —

This was an excerpt from the Tiger Trails Magazine – The Sunday Roar. Click on the Cover below to enlarge. Click to read the Magazine.

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Driving Dearest Dad


Stoppppp… Shift up, shift up, shift up. Slowly… Watch it… No slow down. Hit the brakes… No wait… that’s the accelerator….

A couple of years, or so ago, I would have been at the receiving end of these instructions, being barked into my ear by a driving instructor, hanging on to dear life; he pretending to teach me driving, me pretending to learn, on a bulky, bare boned, Maruthi Omni, on the pot hole filled roads of Ambattur. Who would have known, a couple of years later, A ‘road worthy‘ and ‘licensed to drive‘ Sudhakar, in his shiny red Maruti Swift, would be barking the same old instructions, to a visually excited soul, loving every minute of his time at the wheel, learning to drive with a unshakeable confidence in his instructor, something which even I never have in myself and my driving abilities. Dad, was loving it.

It was a reversal of roles in a way. A few good years down the memory lane, he was my teacher when I drove my first set of wheels. I’ve never had any vehicle to call my own. Except perhaps, the second hand BSA Champ cycle, that a family friend had ‘gifted’ me, because he was leaving to Calcutta with his family. The small, red, rusting BSA Champ. I still remember the time, when Dad held me as I steadied myself perched on the cushion of that bicycle. Which young boy can forget his first time on his bicycle, back in the time when training wheels did not exist, with his dad behind him, running to keep up with his son, providing support, as he pedalled his first few steps on his wheels, only to be zooming around in Pulsars and Karizmas of the world a few years later. You would have cried, thrown a fit, faked an injury, but Dad would have always been next to you. Supporting you and your bike, every time you lost balance. He taught me to ride a bike, I was teaching him to drive a car. Life had come full circle.

Dad was as excited as me, perhaps even more, when the Swift rode into our driveway. His son had got a car. And with his own money. He beamed with pride when he first sat with me as I took him for a spin. Beamed, yes. Perhaps trying his best to hide his nervousness with a smile, during my initial driving days. I still remember that he tried to be my navigator, GPS, proximity sensor and traffic police, all rolled into one. I remember it clearly, when I almost hit an auto which came speeding out of a curve. That was it. Two good looking ladies on an activa, standing next to my rolled down windows couldn’t help giggle, as dad shouted at me in full view of public. The auto driver didn’t need to say a word. I still think he got terrified of dad, that day. 🙂 Dad taught me his mantra that day. “In Chennai, you ain’t the King of the Road. That title is reserved to Water Tankers, MTC Buses and Autos. You are a mere subject, using the road. All you are expected to do is, drive slow and steady, and pray that nobody takes his frustration on you.” For a guy, who has been driving a two wheeler in Chennai for over a decade now, you usually take his advice with eyes closed. I did, and ever since then, I have had cycles overtake my Swift day after day. 😀

Dad has had his share of vehicles that he has proudly rode. Dad has told me that he had a cycle in his secondary school days, which he treasured till his college days. He still smiles, when he tells me the story of his first time on his cycle, and how he almost broke the behind of an innocent villager in Salem, when he ‘parked’ the vehicle between the legs of a guy having tea. He cracks me up everytime he says the story. In the 80s dad got his first set of motorised wheels, the swanky, new, blue Bajaj Chetak, which was almost like the Pulsar of the 80s. I still remember the time when I would proudly stand in front of ‘Hamara Bajaj’, pretending to ride it with a “vroooooom”, only to be jolted, everytime dad changed those stiff hand gears with a thud. 🙂 Dad prized his Chetak. I would drool at the Vespas and Kinetic Hondas of the Nineties, but I could identify from a distance when dad came home, with his trusty blue Chetak neighing away under his legs. When we moved to Chennai however, we had to leave the Chetak behind. Dad moved on to the trendy TVS Spectra, which still lies with a perfect engine but a broken body, in the corner downstairs. And off late, Dad is the proud owner of a nippy little Honda Activa, which I helped Dad get after I saw him pushing the Spectra home one night.

But all this time, Dad had never had the chance of driving a car. A dream, that his son had fulfilled only recently. You could fathom the deep desire the man had to drive a car, that perhaps only motoheads like Dad and me could understand. I had caught him a couple of times, wiping the car, after I had just washed it, making sure it was spic and span. I have seen him running to the balcony, when a neighbours car starts shrieking its Security Alarm, to check if it isn’t our Swift. I have asked him a lot of times if he wanted to drive the car, but he would always turn me down saying I needed to drive well first. I know for sure, that he was scared if he would do some damage to the car. Then one day, very recently, he signed up for driving classes with the same instructor who taught me. after a few classes of learning the fundamentals, Dad asked me this Saturday. “Dai… Will you teach me driving?” I just smiled, and grabbed my keys immediately.

Dad was nervous as we sat in the car. “Do you want to drive now dad?” I asked him, as I removed the car cover. “No da. Lets go to that T.I Cycle ground. That oughta give us some space.” said Dad, as he wiped that little puff of dust on the windshield. The T.I Cycle Ground was one huge ground, which could accomodate 8 evening cricket teams, playing in parallel. We drove there absolutely sure, that the ground would be empty. Afterall no one plays cricket in the midday Sun in Chennai, do they. Well, not everyone atleast. And as predicted, we had the whole ground to ourselves. Dad nestled into the driver seat as I introduced him to the control panel of the Swift. He knew the A, B, C’s alright, but he was nervous when he got behind the Swift. I told him it was alright, and assured him I was right next to him. Now, lot of people, I know, would have laughed their head off when I assured them that I was right next to them, but it did calm Dad’s nerves. And a few minutes later, Dad was away in the Swift, with his proud son sitting next to him. The clutch-accelerator combo was difficult for him to begin with. But after a while, he got the hang of it. A couple of false gear shifts happened, sometimes, he accelerated too fast, sometimes, the car just stopped abruptly, but slowly and surely, Dad was getting to know the beast. It was fun sitting next to him, laughing, smiling and turning the steering with him, as we negotiated the bumps, the odd rock which would have been stumps in the last match that was held here, and tiny pools of water filled with yesterday night’s rain. I got out, and tried to make a hazard course of sorts, for Dad to drive through, and he did just about fine. There were a couple of times when Dad looked at me apologetically, when we thundered over the bumps when he forgot to slow down. I did not mind it at all, and just smiled back at dad. It was like seeing an eight year old in a candy store. All excited about eating all the sweets, and yet nervous as to what Mommy would say. That day, I was trying to be the man, who held his son’s bike, as he learnt to bike. Nothing he did, would make me angry. We spent a good couple of hours there, me trying to teach everything I knew, and he, an Ex-Principal of a School, listening to me with rapt attention. After that, Dad let me take over the wheel, and drive us home. I asked if he would want to drive to home now, and he said No with an exhausted shake of his head. “Maybe next week son, maybe next week.” Its strange, the places where a Father and Son can bond. During a Cricket match, watching movie, or just debating if iPhone rocks or Blackberry, over the morning paper. Today it just happened to be my Mauti Suzuki Swift.

I love my car. I spend a good part of my salary every month paying EMI for it. I wash it, clean it every week, and spend a good deal of my time on weekends behind its wheels. I blow my lid, when someone even leans on it, and I’m sure I’ll suffocate anyone who even attempts to scratch it. But if Dad wanted, he could take it apart and scratch it till the paint falls off, and I wouldn’t say a word. Because to me, the man who taught me to ride a cycle, and his dreams of driving a car, are way too important than this contraption of polished metal, synced gears, cams, shafts and wheels, that we call a car. When your dad’s old mobile, which you had passed onto him when you ‘upgraded’ to an N-Series, has a photo of his son grinning like crazy at his car, as the only photo in it, you know he is proud of you. Dad was all smiles as we rode back home after having driven the Swift through the perfect learning ground and he had learnt to negotiate sharp curves, and simulated traffic. Dad had done perfectly fine and he knew it. He looked at my driving license, feeling the lamination, smiled at me and said – “I totally enjoyed it da. I am driving kind of fine, no?” I nodded my head, “A few more sessions, and I’ll be fighting with you for the car, Dad” I joked. He smiled, thought for a while, and then turned to me and said with a twinkle in his eyes – “You are a good teacher da. Far better than those Driving school guys. Always be patient, thats the best way to teach. Someday you’ll be a good teacher to your kids as well.” 🙂

Then… At that very instance… A mere Love you, Dad seemed grossly inadequate…

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Filed under General, Humor, Nostalgia, Stories

Hey There! You Idiot!!


Team This post has been published by me as a team member of Tiger Trails Team for the SUPER 5 round of Bloggers Premier League (BPL) – The first ever unique, elite team blogging event in the history of blogging world. To catch the BPL action and also be part of future editions and other contests, visit and register at Cafe GingerChai

“Hey there, you Idiot”, shouted the Big, Fat, Guy.
“I hope you’re happy with the pain you’ve caused?”
“Who me? What did I do?” asked that skinny, grinning Creature.
Who was busy spewing smoke around, before he paused.

“Oh nothing much, dear friend,” said the Big, Fat, Guy.
“Except you’ve put a mighty big hole in my underwear.
And I know for sure, you wouldn’t know how much it hurts.
Till you are fried in the summer sun, with your bottoms bare.”

“Hey, you haven’t been too kind either”, he argued with him.
“You’ve made all of us suffer a lot with your mood swings.
Hope you remember the times when you spit acid at us.
And your severe gas problem lately, that clipped our wings.”

“I stay mute, when you shamelessly steal from my pockets.
When your deadly farts give me a fever that never ends.
With the dirt you rub at me with each passing day.
I’ll have to take the occasional shower to make amends.”

“I’ve built you shelter, with the threads from my coat.
Hey I’ve been giving you free meals for all your life.
You’ve never thanked, but have stripped and disrobed me instead.
If only you could learn to control your insatiable appetite.”

“You feed me stuff that my body cannot digest.
You never know the worth of water till the well is dry.
You pour poison into my veins and look the other way.
Smear oil in my eyes, and expect me not to cry?”

“I trusted you with my precious pets, but you’ve killed them all.
And the woods are devoid of the beautiful creatures few.
When will you realize you are in the eye of this storm?
Not just a passenger of this relationSHIP, you are my crew.”

“I’m not your past inheritance; I’m borrowed from your future.
I’m a tiny part of a vast family of millions, be warned.
You are killing a million dreams, and spitting on God’s face.
My family has many dead, some living, and millions unborn.”

“I’m getting pretty old, dear boy, I can’t bear your weight.
And multiplying at this rate, you aren’t being too kind.
And then when I give up, don’t blame me in the future.
Don’t blow this one, good homes are hard to find.”

“I do understand”, solemnly, mankind reasoned with him.
“We sit together sometimes and talk of reducing flatulence.
All our Leaders plead support, and fight it out.
Some dress in green, and speak in tones intense.

“Once a year? Your talks are only filled with hot air.
And you fight for your right for passing gas.
That gives you a right to fight amongst you again.
If only you could think of eating right, alas.”

There is a limit to the suffering that I can take
Hope you realize it soon, its kind of getting late,
Mend you idiocy, or I’ll have to fix it for you.
My health, fitness and well-being decides your fate.

The gentle evening breeze, the sweet smell of wet earth,
This beautiful life, imagine if it disappeared, God forbid,
You are too dumb to think of you, but think of your children,
I might not be around long enough to play with your kids,

A young, innocent voice, chipped into the somber chat.
“I won’t let it happen again”, a little kid did cry.
“I apologize for mankind. You know, how big a moron he’s been.
I promise to take care of you, give me another try.”

And then the aging big guy, looked up, nodded and smiled,
Looked at the future, in the little blue eyes of his new, little fan.
A better tomorrow rested on his tender, little shoulders,
And he hoped that hope survives, within the Father of the Man.

— x —

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Filed under Complaint, Current Affairs, General, Humor, Poetry

Dog Days Of Love


This was originally supposed to be my entry to the Non Human Love Story for my team in BPL’s Super 6 Round. But I found it a bit too ‘conventional’ and to be frank, quite long, for my own liking, and decided to go ahead with ‘She, Me and a Love Story‘ instead. On hindsight, that turned out to be a good decision, but I couldn’t resist posting this anyway… 🙂

As the harsh Summer Sun dimmed down over the horizon, life that was sheltered inside concrete buildings and air-conditioned rooms, gradually started coming out. Cries of children playing in the park waded through the air. Men with their cups of coffee stood on the balcony and watched the world. Bikes and cars zoomed on the street, perhaps ferrying eager occupants of them, to places of amusement on that warm Sunday evening. 1st Cross, Vivekanand Nagar – That’s what most called this place. But some… called it home.

One among them was a sprightly, young canine who lay on his side across a thick patch of grass before a rickety old gate, visibly tired and deep in thought. His fur wasn’t as shiny as some high pedigreed breeds brought up in luxury, but his athletic build and pointed ears introduced him as a very intimidating creature that could be fierce when defending his territory. And yet, those quiet eyes, brought in an air of charm around him. His brown colored body, lay there breathing heavy, with his tongue hanging out and eyes half closed. He was perhaps, in pain. His old, leather, collar read RAJU across it, amidst chipped edges and bite marks.

A stranger passing through the picturesque Vivekanand Nagar, chanced upon Raju’s street, and found the line of shady trees and a gentle breeze blowing through, immensely inviting. He decided to stop here for a break and walked towards an emotionally occupied Raju.

“Hello Partner!” the stranger barked at him, as he raised his neck up to see a dark, ragged, old, street dog, with a patch of white just above his head. He wore no collar, and his coat was dirty. However his eyes glowed with wisdom that could have only come from experience of having seen life, and whose legs bore scars from his journeys across the lands. “Hope you don’t mind me resting here for a while. I have a long journey ahead.”

Raju just nodded…

As the stranger settled himself down in the shade near Raju, he introduced himself. “I am Guru, dear friend. Guru da, is what people I love call me. I am a traveler. I love moving on and meeting people. The world, with the risk of sounding clichéd, is truly my home.”

Raju acknowledged with a customary bark. “Welcome Guru da. I am Raju. I stay with my master in this shack behind us. This area between that lamppost and this bin on the other side, well that’s my territory.”

“I see a collar around your neck, but I can spot a lean, mean, street dog when I see one. Been here all your life?”

“My mom, they say, was the meanest street dog to walk these streets. She died shortly after my birth, and Ram Singh, my master, who is a Goorkha here, has taken care of me like his own son. He gave me a name, this collar, and shelter in this old shack behind us. This is my world.”

“But… If I may say so… I see there is something eating you. I can see it on your face. I am an old timer my son, I’ve seen the world. I may be able to help you. Come on, tell me. What is the reason for this gloom in your heart?”

Raju raised his head to look at Guru. Nobody said anything for a while. Then Raju buried his face between his paws and let out a soft bark.

“Sheela”

“Ah… young love… Tell me all about it.” Guru settled in close. This was going to be yet another love story.

— —

“I was your regular neighborhood dog, Guru da. People were scared of me. Strangers could never walk past me. The milkman, postman and the newspaper guy, all of them almost quit their job when asked to deliver to this street. I’ve chased cars and bikes, scared people away, got pelted stones at by innocent kids, got into brawls with the rival gangs of the nearby street, extorted meat and bones from the butcher down the road… and yet managed to be called a good dog by the people in this street. 🙂 I was blessed in that way, having Ram Singh as my master. I belonged to the street. I could do anything I want. I wasn’t like those wimpy rich dogs who barked their loudest behind the tall gates of their masters and never even let out a purr when they saw us in the streets. I always liked to leave my mark, if you know what I mean. 😉 This was my street and I enjoyed that power.

But then all this changed after she came to our street, Sheela. That cute, feisty, beautiful animal – Sheela.”

“Love at first sight eh? Typical at your age, boy.” Guru chimed.

“Woof!” Raju’s mood changed from introspection to excitement. His eyes gleamed with joy.

“They told me that the mean streak in me was from my mother. But I’ve been told many times by Mani, that my mom had a heart of gold. But I realized that a heart beats within me only after I saw Sheela. I still remember the day when she and her masters moved into that posh bungalow 3 houses down some time back.”

“Who’s Mani?” enquired Guru about the new character in the story.

“Oh he’s a very old, wise, family friend. A ghost is what I think people call him; He’s been haunting these streets for decades now. He knows these streets and the people in here like the back of his palm. He’s perhaps the only one who’s been in every house and knows everyone in and out. Perhaps as learned as you Guru da. Perhaps even more…” replied Raju.

“Oh no. These ghosts are far wiser than us canines. They’ve seen world differently. Pity we are the only ones who can see them in that light. The rest of these humans fear them.” said Guru. “Go on.”

“She arrived here, and my whole world changed. Word had spread to all the neighboring streets about her beauty. The other dogs from nearby had an eye on Sheela as well, which had to happen. But I wasn’t going to let go without a fight. Love is truly, survival of the fittest. And she was in my area boss. You see, I have a reputation here of being quite a ‘bad-ass’. There were a few rough fights. Bittu, that mean hound, from the 3rd cross, was one mean competitor. You see these scars on my neck and limbs. Some of them were from that fight. But then, yours truly came out tops. And hence I became the only eligible bachelor dog of this area, who was the only one fit for Sheela… Well that was until that ‘Tiger’ arrived at the house opposite to hers.

Sheela mostly kept to herself, spending time inside that posh bungalow. I spent hours before her gate to catch a glimpse of her, but with little success. Her master was an aging, balding gentleman, who took her outside only during mornings and evening for a walk. And what a walk that was. Believe me Guru da, you should’ve seen her. Damn she was beautiful.”

“I can see that in your eyes, son.” Guru chuckled.

“Yeah, and it was in one of those walks that she saw me and said ‘Hi’. I swear on the Dog Star Guru da, that was the sweetest sound, I’d ever heard a canine make. I was head, over heels in love with her. And I think she knew it too. But a big ‘Tiger’ was in the way.”

“Tiger sounds bad…” Guru said.

“Yeah, he felt bad as well. He was a huge Doberman, the size of a cow. His bark could wake up the ninth street. Good thing he was on a leash, inside a big, black gate which seemed to be built with a purpose of keeping him inside, rather than keeping others out. I would’ve been history, if he was on the streets. He was terrifying. And coming from me, that’s quite a complement. a clear threat to me. Once he confronted me and told me to stay off Sheela’s trail. His Master and Sheela’s bald guy were thick friends as well. Hence his arrival was like a villain in my love story.”

“So he got Sheela in the end?”

“Nah, not really.” Raju smiled. “I decided to use brains than brawn to deal with Tiger. I went to Mani for help on how I could woo Sheela. He was a master in these situations as he himself had spent considerable time wooing the pretty and scary Mohini who haunted 8th Street. He told me that I had to gift her something she loved if I had to create a first impression. He promised to take care of Tiger. I stole a new tennis ball that the kids used to play in the ground, and gifted it to Sheela one day. She was delighted. I was well and truly away. Sometimes she would sneak in some dog food that she was served in her household. It was delicious, but nothing could match the large bone from Ahmed Bhai’s shop. I brought it to her one day, and she loved it. We were in love.”

“But what happened to Tiger?” asked a curious Guru.

“Aww that was a masterstroke. Mani bhai paid a very visible visit to Tiger’s master’s bedroom that night. I heard he left the locality with his dog the same night. :D” replied Raju.

“Woof.” Guru shrieked in appreciation. “But I’m curious, did you ever tell her how much you loved her?” Guru enquired drawing himself closer to Raju.

— —

“I did. One day, I mustered all the strength that I had and decided to confront Sheela with what was in my heart. I waited for her during her evening walk. She came out with her balding master around sunset and took the usual route. I jogged up to her with my tongue hanging out in expectation. Her master spotted me and shooed me away. I didn’t give up and kept chasing her. She seemed a bit uncomfortable. I barked out to her. That bald guy tried kicking me out, I got irritated, was about to charge at him, when…”

“When… What?”

“Sheela barked at me. Asked me to get out of there.” said a crestfallen Raju.

Guru shook his head. “That’s it. I know what would have happened next. Young one… Take my word. That’s how the opposite gender are.” Guru said in a condescending tone, getting up shaking himself. “They might show interest in you and throw you off balance, and turn your life upside down. And then when you’ve changed into someone who can’t live without them, they’ll wag their tails at you and leave you forever. You should’ve moved on dawwg. There are a lot of good looking pooches out there to pick up and hang around with. There are always choices.”

“Well that sounds like a great idea… But wouldn’t Sheela have bit my neck off if I did that?” Raju enquired?

Guru stayed silent for a while trying to understand what Raju was trying to say. He opened his mouth to say something, but all he could manage was a cat-like purr.

“Wha… How…?”

“Well I never gave up you see. I was way too tough for that. You need to be tough for love.” Raju growled, with a touch of pride in his voice.

“So Sheela…?” asked Guru.

“…was always in love with me. She was just playing hard to get. I bet you know these girls much better than me. Don’t you? I never missed Sheela’s morning walks after that. I realized Sheela’s bald master was sleepier during mornings than the evening walks, allowing me more time with Sheela before being shoo-ed away. During my conversations with her, I found out that she had barked me away earlier, because she was scared what her master I might think, and that I might hurt him. She always had loved me. Now imagine what would’ve happened if I had moved on leaving her behind and move on as you had said.” Raju clarified, Guru silently nodded.

“I kept following her. One day, when I helped nab a thief trying to break into Sheela’s household, I became her hero. The bald master grew very fond of me after that. And slowly I became a part of the family. Sheela and me are together now. And that’s how our love story goes…”

“But why the long face then? You are happy aren’t you?” enquired a puzzled Guru.

“Of course I am. But then no-one said lovers always keep smiling, did they? There are challenges in our everyday life. Having each other for company, just gives us more strength to face them. We’ve had our fights and our disagreements. I’ve screamed at her, she has screamed at me. But that doesn’t mean we are any less in love with each other.”

Guru nodded in agreement.

“And about now, well Sheela’s in labor. I’m worried about her…”

Guru was taken aback.

“Holly Scooby Dooby doo… And I had almost thought you were a love failure, you dog.” exclaimed Guru with a wink.

“You see Guru da… Any fool can fall in love. But it needs dogged determination to stay there.”

Guru waited till he got news of Sheela’s delivery. He wished and blessed the new pop of three wonderful pups. He wanted to meet Sheela, but he had to continue his journey. He bid goodbye to a madly excited Raju and as he crossed the street, carefully negotiating the tricky, traffic filled, intersection, he kept thinking about what he had heard from Raju. “Any fool can fall in love… But it needs dogged determination to stay there.” He could only smile in agreement. “Love stories never have endings” he told himself. He kept on smiling. He kept on walking. 😀

—x—

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Filed under Romance, Stories

My Experiments with 55 Fiction


55 Fiction is truly a tough job. I struggle hard to keep a ‘Short Story’ within 3000 words, so you can imagine how hard it would be for me to fit a story within 55 words. 😀 But I tried a 55F for BPL, and based on the warm responses and absolutely wonderful encouragement I got from my fellow bloggers, I’ve written a few more.

55 Fiction

Here are 5 of some 55F that I’ve written recently. Hope you have fun.

—x—

The Criminal

woman-baby.jpg

Struggling with her bags and a baby in hand, she looked around for help. A fine gentleman helped lift the luggage and deposit them on the shelf of the train. “Be careful of thieves” he smiled an advise. She smiled and thanked him for his help… and for his wallet that was in her handbag.

—x—

The Alien

alien.png

They had captured the Alien and were running experiments on it. It had a biological system similar to theirs and was trying to communicate something vocally. They brought in the Translation device.

“Where are you from?” the chief scientist’s voice shouted out of the translator.

The creature listened to it and only said – “Earth”.

—x—

Fear

woman-fear.jpg

She felt his icy cold breath at the back of her neck.

There was a sharp blade pressed against her throat.

She cried, begged for freedom.

“Don’t kill me please” she pleaded. His sinister thoughts were getting the better of him.

“CUT!!!”…the Director yelled, and it was all over… The film crew packed up…

—x—

Strange Love

strangelove.jpg

“So where do you stay” Aarti’s chat message got Ranjith excited.

“Lets meet up tonight?” she continued.

Ranjith typed out an affirmation. “Internet Chats with complete strangers does have its plusses.” he mused.

Ranjith did not know 2 things.

One, his internet line was dead since morning. Two, Aarti was dead since 2 years.

—x—

The First Time

guilt.jpg

He breathed heavily. He didn’t want to do it, but he had no choice. He had practiced it hard a hundred times, but it still made him nervous. With no option left, and with a guilt laden heart, he committed his first crime. With trembling hands he put his Father’s initials in his Report Card.

—x—

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Filed under 55 Fiction, Humor