Pristine

The other day I decided to take a walk. A walk of shame down the rickety rather boulder studded gully next to Radha aunty’s house. I’ve always taken pride in the fact that I’ve managed to earn both money and respect amongst the people who crowd my life. Now I understand that it is because of the enormous luck that I have had aiding me and of course mom’s constant prayers to the boss above. Well, I consider all of them to be equally powerful – luck, mom and god that is. I’ve managed to absorb a lot of data when I was with Convergys and I did consider myself to be technically sound or uhm, technically competent if  you may, for modesty reasons. One of the prime reasons I was successful was because of the want to prove myself to my family, the society and her. For which, I studied, I followed up and I discussed technically challenging conundrums with my peers and was someone who was quickly motivated by challenges. I’d get to the task of eating up on problems and boiling down to conclusions and answers in no time. I was fairly confident of resolving any and every issue that came my way by means of communicating with my colleagues, my seniors and then google. The walk of shame came when I started feeling technically handicapped of late and I feel sorry for myself since I am someone who could have easily accumulated more information than all these liabilities and loan I have pressing down on my like a ceaseless guilt which would hamper your growth and insight.

Anyway, the walk of shame came to and end all of a sudden and to my utter surprise I see her! It was like a strong flicker of sunlight on a day covered by a bicentennial celebration of darkness. It was like a whiff of cold wind on a sultry thursday afternoon full of deadlines that devour your very want to live. It was like a… uhm… no more cause I’d taint that moment. All I’d say that it was magical. Like a drizzle when I wish for it. Sorry, couldn’t stop myself there. I love drizzles, did I ever mention that? I’m madly in love with the rains and I wait for the rainy season ever year and then wish for it to be gone when it turns into a menace. Especially cause I’m more of an indoorsy person and because I’d let a good book take me off to a fantasy land rather than be driven by a senseless rage and urge to spend more. Which is also something I used to do when I thought I was in love. Going back…

Her! I had just cut into this smaller lane out of the badly feet-raped little track which led out of Radha aunty’s place. I guess thats where she lived. She stepped out of her house squealing and giggling. She stood at the door for a while with one feet still inside the house and the other feat rearing her to run out and scream some more. She looked into my eyes and flashed a million watt smile. It was the brightest one I had ever seen and I stood there adoring her innocent face. A breeze caught her attention as it played with a tiny plait of her hair and she stared in the direction of the wind as if requesting it to stop tickling her. Her eyes shined brightly as she gave me a mischievous grin. I smiled at her and stood there, just to see what she’d do next. She sent out a shrill cry cause she couldn’t cross the threshold of her house since there was this high plank which did not allow her to cross over. Here is where I noticed a firm hand grasp her by both her armpits and softly drop her outside and into the verandah. Mom had done what she was supposed to and the little princess in her tattered but clean pink dress went on a dance run, squealing and running with sense of freedom which made me envious of her. She looked beautiful. She was worryless, unperturbed and did not care about who I was. She ran over and stared up at me. I bent down and set her hair right. I noticed her mom observing me and I smiled at her. She had seen me before I think and didn’t say much. I stood there and watched her play. The little bundle of joy. I’d wish to see her everyday but unfortunately for all of us, we grow and so do all our worries.

Its a life altering process; change that is. You wish for change but you are not prepared for it. Aging is a change. Its an unstopable, irreversible, most unavoidable change of them all and I’ve been trying to come to terms with the changes my life has seen over the past year and a half. Here’s another change or a new opportunity if you may which has come my way and I’ve decided to grab it, arms wide open. I’m not sure if I’m right or wrong and I’m freaking out right now but then, there is little I can do. I’ve always been someone who has looked forward for changes and challenges. I’ve been raring to get into some work which appeals to the more intelligent side of my brain and I seem to have a break at something which seems to be awesome! News, from the looks of it and from what I have in hand right now, I’ll be moving out of where I am into a new world very soon. I’d talk about where, when, why and all of that part later. For now, all I need to find out is about how my life would change from the 4th of May. Its been a very difficult decision and I’m looking forward to what has come my way. Will get back with details later. I might be missing for a bit but I’ll get back as soon as I can.

-Anup

The case of the disappearing roach.

I’m fairly certain about a recent revelation which has come through to me from my most recent stand offs with the tiny, dangerous; crawling carriers of disease and death – insects! No. I’m not doing that which I always do – exaggerate. I’m pretty horrified right now because I was in a mood for re-runs and trust me, I’m mad like that! I went on a massive movie troll spread across almost all the genres I could possibly think of and have. Did I tell you’ll that I have around 500 GB worth movies neatly arranged like a library would? I have them classified and organized in folders like – Sci-Fi, Thrillers, Horror, Animation, Crime, Drama, Fantasy, Mystery and Regional. So when I talk about a re-run, it’s usually coherent to the classics and those that we’d all love age-sex-caste-language no bar! That’s a new one I invented a few seconds back. I began with Harry potter, went on to the Matrix and then to Aliens. So you’d probably have guessed that my weekend was full of gore, bloodshed and otherwise violently powerful naked men and women who can do things you and I can’t!! Defines me, doesn’t it?

Anyway, the point here being, somewhere amongst the saga of sadness that my life is, as of now, it’s also a plethora of fears and confusion overflowing with anxiety. So much so that it drives me crazy sometimes. Cause here is where I suddenly discovered that I’m Entomophobic. I have an incessant fear of insects – crawly, creepy, buzzy or otherwise sticky and gross. Simply put, I’d rather die than be touched by a bee. I hate bees! And I certainly am not fond of ants. Mostly because they seem to love the food I love. Yes, I have a sweet tooth. Pretty much the reason why I’m stuck at 84 kgs! Hmmm, or is it 86 now? Arghh! I must do something about the distance I’m covering by virtue of the mass around me.

joe-s-appartment-photo1I noticed this repulsion when I was watching Joe’s apartment and I watched those disgusting brown creepy crawlies do the jiggle. It was undoubtedly one of the funniest movies I’ve watched but I got so grossed out by it that I decided to switch to Aliens which as you’ll might know had giant roaches. I think this is a more recent development. I’ve watched these movies before and I’ve loved them. But then, I think I’m just pissed at all those ants; those 8 shaped whiskerous doormats who never give up. I mean, it’s true that they inspire me. They are perseverant and they don’t give a fuck about how big I am. They’re bold and wouldn’t think twice before sipping off the tea that I’m drinking or basking in the glory of all the crumbs I drop. I’m quite pissed about how they invade my privacy. My bed is my place; I really can’t stand them there. So after repeated attempts at finger-kicking, squishing and tormenting, I’ve finally given up and thereby given birth to this fear. The fear is most brutal as I climb into my bed after a tiring day. I spend around 20 minutes dusting and re-tucking my sheets in. Uncovering my pillow and checking for stray ants. Ears are sensitive organs, you know? Thousands of rupees spent on room-fresheners and insect repellers. Ok, now that was me exaggerating. I’ll settle for hundreds. So, yes, hundreds spent on keeping these pests away – but they continue to delve and thrive in my fear. Good for them. I recently spotted a genuinely large 6 legged spider weaving a poisonous web near my geyser. I had to beg my maid servant to get it out of my sight. She graciously agreed to play squish squash with it as I observed with glee! Heartless, I know, but then; arachnids scare the shit out of me, which is ironical because I’ve been constipated for the past 3 days after deciding to eat some titbits the maid servant cooked up.

Roaches. I’m sure these are the most tolerant, dirty, shameless, ugly and otherwise repulsive creatures EVER! They’ve lived before us and I’m sure that they’ll turn into the dominant species once we’re wiped out. Either by an Armageddon bought down upon us by god or by uhm, well, World War III? Personally, I’d prefer falling rocks of fire and lightening. That’d be a more celestially beautiful method of destruction. I sincerely hope it isn’t some sort of a plague. Considering the increase in the amount of pests around me, I’m preparing for the worst. Here’s where it suddenly hits me that I’ve strayed off topic and this is precisely why I’ve laid the book to rest for now. I don’t want myself running all over it and making mincemeat of all the hard work I’ve put in for over the past year and more.

So I saw this huge roach perched menacingly atop my wooden treasure full of clothes I dearly love. I froze for a second; aghast at the size of the winged blattodea. It sat there unperturbed and I thought it was staring at me and this aggravated me. I wanted it dead. I ran to the kitchen as fast as I could and grabbed the broom which is a perfect weapon of destruction when it comes to these defiant little creatures. They just refuse to die, if you might have observed. You squash them all you might – they have no blood and they seem to sustain almost all your blows. But I had made up my mind and I wasn’t going to let this one slip away. I raced back and found it awaiting its death. I smiled as I approached it, weapon raised and ready to strike. It flinched a bit as it felt the whoosh of the broom but it didn’t budge. WHACK!! The broom did land on it and I swear to god that it did. There was no way in hell it could have gotten out of that massive onslaught. I kept the broom stuck to my cupboard hoping to let it suffer for a while before it finally falls dead. I then slowly let the broom slid off and hoped to find a dead bloodless body. Here’s where I lost track of time and stood there, lost in thought. There was no sign of it. It vanished. Into thin-fucking-air! I desperately searched the entire room. The contents of my cupboard got transferred to the hall (where it is, to this date!) I then moved my bed over to the hall, my computer, my table, the buckets and the cups. I evacuated the entire room and the hunt lasted for several traumatizing minutes. All my efforts were in vain; a futile attempt at getting closer to a creature so smart that it’d demand your respect. I bow to thee, Ohh brown winged menace. But I promise, the next time I see you staring at me… well, you know what I’ll do to you! Pfft.

In other news, I’m going to be travelling a lot this month and like I’ve mentioned before, I love roadtrips and long bus rides are relished. I’m going to Pune on the 9th and I’d be there up to the 14th. I got an extra day’s leave since its Vishu; the mallu new year and mom was adamant on keeping me home that day. This vacation, courtesy Good Friday and Easter that’s coming up and the British clients I work for have graciously agreed to give us all 4 days of peace. I can’t begin to express how thankful and appreciative I am. Much needed break. Add to that, my new house is ready. At Kerala this time; his final house, dad laments and I’m sure that there’d be no more. We have a Puja scheduled for the 30th of this month and I’m hoping to drive down to Kerala again. It’s going to be fun cause this time I’d be doing it alone. That’s about it. No further updates. Peace out.

-Anup

An expensive weekend.

Once every month; Chetan and I have this unavoidable urge and craving to spend money. Its not like we do all that we want to do, which might include buying Levis denims and more shoes. We fall out of home hoping to buy stuff but these days we usually return empty handed cause uhm, allegedly, there isn’t anything worth buying. Or some random reason that we’d come up with at that point in time where we get stuck between the want to buy and the want to flee from the shop we’re standing in. Its awkward silence and then the both of us making a hasty exit from the shop leaving the salesman wondering what he did wrong. It was hilarious when we did this at Levis where I sent the boy to get a measuring tape for alteration since I had apparently just purchased a pair of expensive Levis. Here is where I looked at Chetan and we had a not-so-quite discussion about buying those denims. “Do you want it?” he asked. “I do!! and I dont…” said I looking perplexed at the thought of spending 3 grands on a pair of pants I did not actually need right then. Here is when Chetan turned into a Gladiator and he began fleeing the scene. I promptly followed suit and left those denims hanging by the manequins hands. Still cracks me up when I think about that day.

This weekend was one of those expensive ones where we did spend a lot of money on activities we could have easily avoided but then once in a while we like the rich feeling. Rich dining, expensive leisures and prodigal wandering. We visited Ruby Tuesday for lunch on Saturday. Chetans suggestion that. I’m positive that we’d never venture into that restaurant again. At least not the two of us. Its ideal if you want the perfect American date and I’d hope that the girl you’d take along would be worth the money cause its menu card is the epitome of a proposterously expensive list of food items you’ve probably never heard of unless, of course, if you fall into the Creme’De’wastera clan who is used to expensive places like these.  We had Penne mushroom Pasta and mini burgers with nothing but plain water even after the host asked us if we wanted something (alcoholic) to drink twice. It did seem embarassing the second time he asked and Chetan demanded some more water. We quickly finished our meal and paid a paltry sum of 600 bucks for the above mentioned food that was eaten tastefully by me. Chetan ended up stuffing most of it into his mouth cause it didn’t taste too great, he said.

Ahh! I nearly forgot to mention about the angel we saw at Pizza hut before that. Ohh yeah, thats right we had initially walked in to Pizza hut to eat a poor meal but then we decided to give Chetans choice of restaurant a shot after we caught ourselves staring at this angel on earth who couldn’t get enough of whatever it was that she was eating. She didn’t lift her eyes off her plate for once. What an ogre. Geez, no! This girl; I mean, its kinda difficult to put into words about how cute she was. Fair… infact, very fair but not pasty. A round chubby face but not fat. Curly hair right upto her shoulders. Eyes fixed on her plate and innocence written all over her gorgeous face. Lips so cute that you’d lose your apetite. The kajal in her eyes and those eyelashes, wooohoooo!! God sure spent a little more time on her. We exited soon cause else she’d be medusa who turned us into stone. Hey! Its not our fault. You cant help staring at girls like those.

We went bowling at Ameoba after all that food and we spent an hour just waiting for it to be our turn to take a shot at the heavy balls. We watched all those amateurs being funny with the ball and pins. We even found some dude trying to spin the ball in mid air. He was funny as hell and Chetan tried imitating him which made me tear with laughter. I finally decided to stop watching since there was this one girl who sported a lose top and decided to bend down with the ball. It made me feel guilty even though it was not me showing my cleavage. Chetan had no interest in watching live soft core banalities either. So we sulked and waited for it to be our turn. I wonder why that part made me feel guilty. I mean, its not like my eyes would self-realizingly close itself or blink for a longer second when images like this occur. Sigh, what a mindless world of women. It finally arrived and it was awesome. 45 minutes of unadulterated fun. I beat him in the first game and he beat me in the second. Its usually that way, we really cant decide on who is better. I guess we’ve decided that we both rock at it. Mostly, cause no one else there went above the score of 70 and we were in the 100’s. I loved the strikes we had and it was exhilarating. We then wasted time at Forum and had some Maharashtrian food for dinner. Sunday was a lazy day with loads of sleep and movies. Thats pretty much what we did this weekend and yeah, my purse got lighter by a grand. Sigh.

I am tempted to quit working and go take up a travelling job. More on that later. For now, I gotta head to my boring IT job and I guess you’d find me writing more if all that boredom doesn’t kill me. Later folks.

-Anup

Before I say DasVidanya…

DasvidanyaI just finished watching Dasvidanya; a movie that I’ve avoided for no rhyme or reason. Firstly, I wonder why I thought the word Dasvidanya was Bengali. I assume a lot of things I don’t know and if you’d ask me about where I get the ideas to my perpetrating assumptions then I’d have to point to my ignorant and the often oblivious and almost always subconscious mind that tries to reason for me and defend my stupidity. Anyway, I’m not going to glorify what I’ve already mentioned a few times here – I’m stupid.

I was blown away by an amazing storyline and some impeccable acting by Vinay Pathak. I thought I’d watch the movie because I do like the song “Meri Maa” which has been very well sung and makes me weep. Though it isn’t as good as the song in “Taare Zameen Par” it still manages to tingle my insides and I missed mom terribly. I’m all praises for Mr. Pathak’s work in this movie and I urge everyone to watch this movie. It’d give you those tears which would be lethal if kept inside and you’d feel better after having watched this movie. Even though the movie ends with the protagonists death. I felt a special connect with the character Amar Kaul. Reminds me of myself. Yup, I’ve been a part of the elite league of perennial losers who are used to taking crap! A couple of my favorite dialoges – “Duniya usiko dabati hai jo dabta hai” “Log inhe hool dete gaye aur yeh lete gaye” I especially liked the part where Vinay’s imaginary cool counterpart would come have a chat with him. That kinda happens to me once in a while. Mostly when I’m alone or probably in the shower. He’d show up and ask me to shut the fuck up. He hates it when I sing. The only twist here is, the current Anup seems like a wannabe cool imaginary fellow who left the real guy behind. Its he who pops into my thoughts once in a while. Soda-glasses, straight fit; measured, tailored trousers, a large shirt which was always left dangling out, old tattered floaters, a stupid grin and a half eaten mush (mucchi even); thats the real me. Very similar to Vinay’s picture here. I’m sure that the image would be shattered some day and I hope that I get back to being me.

I thought about making that list. The one before I too say DasVidanya. Very euphemistic. So here goes:

  • Stop being a petulant fool.
  • Be a better friend.
  • Send my parents off to an all expenses paid vacation to wherever it is that they want.
  • Watch my sister get married off.
  • I’d like to visit FOREN too!
  • Finish writing my book.
  • Own some land.
  • Get dad to agree that I’m the awesomest son he could have.
  • Experience true love.
  • Compose a magical love song.

I’m sure I’m not asking for more than what I can cover. I might be overambitious but I’m certainly going to try and finish up on all those said desires. Alright, so thats just about it for now. Its 2:00 A.M and I’ve been sleepy for the entire evening. Its Kuttapi who came over and woke me off my drowsy evening. I revisited God of War 2 and I think I’ve lost touch. I need to get going at it again. I’m hoping to feature an article about GOW’s storyline. Its brilliant and before they come up with a stupid movie which spoils it for everyone, I’d like to share the games story – its brilliant. Peace out for now.

-Anup

Experimenting with my hair.

StupidityAlright, laugh if you may and please yourself. This for all those laughaholics who’d laugh at a friends misery. Yes, I have those – friends who’d not miss an opportunity to laugh at you. Infact, they’d ask you to send in one of your stupid pictures just so that they’d grab a giggle before the sandman calls. Love you guys nevertheless!

This is how I look as an aftermath to my encounter with the dude-hairstylist at the ‘Macho Beauty Parlour – Mens and Womens‘ its a classy joint if you feel extra affectionate towards your soft exoskeleton and are in the mood to pamper yourself. Which is precisely what I did today after a not-too-great couple of days. My hair had grown out of proportion and I entered the place hoping to trim it up a bit just so as to look presentable. The dude coaxed me into something I should never have done! HE STRAIGHTENED MY HAIR!!! Arghhh!!! I cannot put into words the dilemma I am in right now. I spent over Rs 1,800 to get my hair to look like that. The smile here is to avoid the look that’d be on the phase of a girl who was recently molested.

Kya lag rahe ho sir aap…” thats what he said as he gave final touches to his master piece. I was in a state of shock and had no words who’d want to fall out of my mouth. I guess even they were embarassed to look at the mirror. You’ll see my trepidation here, don’t you? If there are people who don’t see whats wrong here please scroll down to the gallery below. The last picture there ‘Good bye Nandi’ is how I looked before I walked in and the picture displayed here is what the bitch turned me into! This is the result of over four hours of hard labour. Creams, ironing and washing; I was all over the place. Now you know what happens when you try to experiment, don’t you Anu? I’m pretty sure I noticed a couple of guys checking me out as I tried to keep those strands of hair falling off the edge of my eyes. This was on my walk of shame back home from the parlour. Smelling all girly with all those creamy creams and what-not. Now that its done; I will deal with it and I will, with the help of a lot of almond oil get it back to where it was – wavy and unruly, almost surrealy Junglee (wild)

That being said, here’s a promise (since thats the first step) – I will finish working on my novel by Jan 2010. I will dedicate time towards completing it everyday. Especially for you Abhi. Who by the way, has promised to sponsor and fund it if need be! Should be easy then once I have the data compiled and amalgamated. I know that I’ve been writing more than I used to and its not because I’m jobless. In fact, I’m busier than I have ever been. The new project I’m working on is squeezing out most of my valueable neuropower. *sigh* might as well say… I miss the following people very much – Sneha, Shags, mom, Smikh and Abhi. I’m selfish that way. I expect a lot from the people I love; thereby burdening them. I must stop smothering them. Sleep time.

-Anup

A year of not being in love – Happy Valentines – 2009!

He twitched a little as he shifted to third gear. The road was empty and he felt the need to overdrive. It was 11:55 and a cruel clock driven by the need to find a way back into love began ticking within him. It was close to a year since they parted ways and every second that ticked seemed like a nail on his coffined life. He felt the need to stop the car and take a walk but then he had, seated next to him this colleague to whom he promised a lift back home. Jassi (the colleague here) was silent as he tried to listen intently to the loud blaring music. He seemed so unfamiliar to Creed. “Loud music gives me the yips” he said without looking at him. He ignored the comment and switched to fifth gear. The sooner I drop him the better it’d be for me, he thought.

14th of February 2008 came rushing in and it seemed to drown him in a sea of sorrow, regret and hopelessness. That was their last day together. She looked beautiful (he thought) in a white dress with red flowers on it and matching flat shoes to go along. He had no gift, but bought a card and some flowers cause they had agreed upon getting no gifts. He caught her by surprise when he came up with the card cause she assumed that he’d follow himself since it was he who cracked the deal. “No gifts this time! You wanna break up anyway, right? So lets not waste our hard earned money” he said the other night in a voice that seemed to crack over the phone telling her of how much it pained him but he chose to fight anyway. “Alright” she said and slid back into bed. She dialed his number and burst into tears.

She: I can’t take this anymore. I want all this to end.
Him: What happened? Why are you crying? Are you ok? I’m worried…
She: (muffling her sobs) I’m worried. I don’t want to be with him anymore.
Him: I know. Its alright, we’ll sort this out. You talk to him tomorrow.
She: But its Valentines and you know how he can be?
Him: Yes. But you have to tell him someday about how you feel. You’ve dragged this for 2 long years.
She: (still sobbing) But I wanted to be with you. I never thought he’d come. We broke up before he left to join work at Bangalore.
Him: *sigh* don’t worry, just talk to him. Happy Valentines day – I love you.
She: I love you too. Call you tomorrow.

“So you bought me a card and flowers even though we weren’t supposed to get gifts?” she questioned. He knew that was coming. “I know, just wanted to get you closer to reality. You’re a shallow person, you know? Don’t you know me? I would never turn up without a gift” She had the smudged but unwilling to accept embarrassment kinda look on her face as she hopped into the car. She sat down and stared at the mirror adjusting her make up. “You look gorgeous” he said. “Care for a picture?” and he notioned her to get down from the car. She got out and he went all clickety. Pictures always made her happy.

“And whats our POA for the day?” she asked, as if trying to estimate when she’d get free. She had other appointments. “POA? I’m not sure… err, what?” “Plan of action, I mean” she said, continuing to play with her maskara. “Ohhh, movie? I heard P.S: I love you is playing at E-square, lunch and then a drive maybe?” He seemed unsure if she really had the entire day. He knew she had other plans. It was like he always knew. This was the dreaded day. “Sounds like a plan, lets make a dash” and she smiled for the first time. Well, thats what kills a man, doesn’t it? Her tears and her smile. They drove off and she seemed to be lost for most part of the drive to the movie hall. She fiddled with her phone, tried to concentrate on the music blaring out of the radio (she had this turned high on volume, reasons unknown) and finally feigned some sleep. They entered the hall and bought movie tickets. They still had an hour to the start of the movie. “Hey, I’d like to grab a sketch if possible. Guess we’d never get to do that again” it was like the bite of a venomous snake. The pain of the bite and the venom seeping into his bloodstream. The pain was ineffable. “What do you mean? Nothings wrong! you’re crazy…” she lied. She held his hand (for the first time that day) and dragged him to the sketch counter. They stood in front of the web-cam and it clicked a picture and began sketching. Both of them wore a cemented smile and waited for the sketch. The silence grew on them and he broke the dead air…

He: What plans for tomorrow then? I’m leaving day after.
She: Anything you say. Just don’t ask me to bunk work. I hate doing that.
He: I didn’t ask for anything. It’s alright if you’re busy. Its just that, we both know whats to proceed. I thought you’d want to spend some time with me.
She: Yes, I’d like that. Work begins at 4. Jodha Akbar? Tomorrow? I heard its funny (and she guffawed)
He: Alright, good, you get the tickets. I’m sure you’d have saved up truckloads of money on all the gifts you avoid buying. (he winked)
She: Arghhhhhh!! I knew you’d come up with that. I was just doing what you said.
He: Hey! I was just kidding, whats with you? Weren’t you the one who suggested I take jokes?
She: No! I don’t want you to curse me with this later. I want to get you a gift like right now!!

(She dragged him into Archie’s)

He: Listen, please? Forget about it? I was just messing with your head.
She: Yes, you’re a pro at that, you know?

(She has a toy figure of olive oyl in pink in her hand and seems appreciative about its cost)

She: Could you parcel this up for me?
Shopguy: Sure (and he goes on with gift wrapping it)
He: Uncalled for. Suit yourself though.
Shopguy: 220 Rs ma’am.
She: Hey, can you lend me 200? (after shuffling in her bag and purse for a while)
He: Hey, sure thing! Here you go…

(She hands his gift over)

He: Hey, thanks so much! I love the gift I bought myself. (and he winked again)
She: You come up with new ways of killing me every day. How do you manage?
He: I don’t need to try luvey, you are the artist in me!
She: Hey! I thought we were out together on Valentines day? Lets try to be happy?
He: Sure thing. You try. I’m happy that I get to be with you. Its difficult handling all the call waits anyway. You have been a busy bee off late.

(A quite lunch and an amazing movie later)

“You should consider untying your hair I think” he said and gave her a worried look. “Do you really want to show all that bare back to the crowd?” and he got into the car trying to avoid eye contact. He knew she’d give him the “stfu-low-life” kinda look. “Uhm, I thought you said I looked beautiful” she said carelessly and got in. They didn’t speak for a while. The traffic kept him busy. “So where to? same old?” he asked. “Ohhh yes, lets go there!! I still remember…” she began. “Please! don’t fuck it up with uncalled nostalgia. You know things wont end well if we got nostalgic” he said as he tuned up the player. He drove on until they reached the spot. This was where they used to come when they were madly in love which seemed as though it was all a mirage. For him it was as real as could be. Love slipping away; he had been living with it for a long time now and he wanted to gut it down. They got out of the car and walked slowly towards the tree which stood on a small plateau. They sat down and spoke… for the very last time. The drive from there back home was washed off by the countless tear drops which hit his soul.

He: Why all this?
She: What do you mean?
He: Why did it take you two years to know who you really wanna be with?

(She hits the mute mode)

He: We have to talk, ok? For me and for you!
She: I used to love you.
He: When and why?
She: What do you mean?
He: Just cause you never managed to get his attention? Wasn’t that why you signed up for me? Ohh and add to that, FREE GIFTS!!!
She: Calm down!
He: I’m sorry. I just wanted to finish this dialog and be done with.
She: I’m sorry. I didn’t know things would turn up like this.
He: Common!! think about it. You didn’t know? Is that the best you could come up with?
She: (sobbing) I’m sorry…
He: DOWN with those tears girl!!! We aren’t discussing the probability of us getting married here. Thats long over. All I want to know is about why you put me through this pyre?
She: What do you want me to tell you?
He: The truth. Whatever it is…
She: You sound as though you know it all.
He: I do. But I’d want you to tell me so that its itched onto me and I get rid of your torturous thoughts.
She: I don’t love you anymore.
He: I know that. Crystal. Since forever now. Tell me why. Thats what I want to hear.
She: I’m sorry.
He: Please!!!!!!!!! stop with the apologies. (he broke down) Why apologize when there is no forgiving? I’ve got nothing against you. You just want to be happy and I’m not good enough.
She: No… its not that, its my fault, not yours.
He: God, thats the worst cliche in the book luvey.
She: I’m sorry… I…
He: Lets leave. Thanks for your company thus far. It has been 2 and a half years of bliss hidden deviously behind the illusion you created. I can’t thank you enough for all the times you’ve heard me out. I don’t think I’ll ever love anyone as madly as I’ve loved you. I’m letting go and I know thats what you want. I don’t quite know how I’m going to do without you.
She: I’ll miss you too…
He: Shhhhhhhhhhh…. don’t say that.
She: But…
He: No, you have no say in this. Lastly, all I have to say is that you look just as beautiful as you looked today even when you’re in your sweats. I can’t promise about going away without the final struggle. There’ll be tears and phone calls. Deal with it. You know me better than I know myself. Please be patient with me. Now, give me a hug…

(They hug and walk towards the car)

“Hey! Happy Valentines day dude, its 12:02 and you’re the first one I wished!!” he shifted back to 2nd gear and then to first as he slowed down. “Turn left and stop, thanks for dropping me home” Jassi said as he watched tears well up in his eyes. “You have a good one man…” he waved as he sped off. “Happy Valentines day luvey…” he muttered and then there was light! He twitched again,

-Anup

P.S: All the charecters in the plot above are REAL! Sue me.

A timeless story.

I’d like to begin with this:

Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day
You fritter and waste the hours in an off-hand way
Kicking around on a piece of ground in your home town
Waiting for someone or something to show you the way
Tired of lying in the sunshine staying home to watch the rain
You are young and life is long and there is time to kill today
And then the one day you find ten years have got behind you
No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun

And you run and you run to catch up with the sun, but it’s sinking
Racing around to come up behind you again
The sun is the same in a relative way, but you’re older
Shorter of breath and one day closer to death

Every year is getting shorter, never seem to find the time
Plans that either come to naught or half a page of scribbled lines
Hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way
The time is gone the song is over, thought I’d something more to say

I’ve been wanting to write something about ‘time’ since times immortal. But then, time happens to be a very complicated subject to talk about; for me, cause its bundled up with nostalgia. Now nostalgia as we all know can be pleasant sometimes and disturbing on other occasions. I choose not to experiment with luck these days and I’m trying to avoid unnecessary thoughts. Especially since its nearing the 14Th of February. Hrmphh, guess I’ll surely come up with something by then cause I’m celebrating one year of worry less life on that date. A year of life after the shackles were broken, a year since I began sleeping peacefully and a year since love ended. Or so I want to believe. Couple of days more! Wow, now that’s an accomplishment and come to think of it now, god damn! Its a year since the misery (mine and her) ended. Well, more on that later.

For now, I was pondering about how much time I’ve wasted and its true what they say, time and tide, once gone never return! I’ve wasted a lot of my time doing things I should have avoided. Its pointless cursing myself now but then I’m going to take up this opportunity to remind myself of how big an imbecile I am to have whistled away those many hours, those precious seconds. I should have been utilizing the nanoseconds god gave me by doing something worthwhile. Its during times of self-inspection like these that I realize that I haven’t respected time and thereby I haven’t been fair towards my Karma or my purpose in life. I was certainly not made for loitering around malls buying random stuff that I may or may not need, sometimes for someone else who in the end was all geared up to crush my heart!

Now, you’ll would probably wonder about why I’ve suddenly come to this moral epiphany. Its more than just a divine manifestation of thoughts in my head giving birth to these rather sad feelings in my heart. This is me looking into what I’ve done thus far with my life and a retrospective self-justification to myself. A feeble attempt at telling myself to step up and grab life by its crotch! Sadly, I guess I’m just a fat fuck lost in melancholy. I dug deeper into the time I’ve lived thus far hoping to find a story worth telling. A story that’s devoid of variations caused by my will to shine. I went quickly past my work life and the part of my life that I’d like to forget the most – college. Arghhh, that was horrid! Except of course for Prab. Prab is an amazing person and I’m sure he’ll be there with my for the rest of my life as my only gain from the limited time I spent in college. I had to track back right up to grade 4 when I was a stupid kid who knew nothing but Malayalam. A kid trying to even it out with the many bright kids that plagued his classroom. This happened to me and this incident makes me feel like I’m alive – even today! I can nearly feel the worry of a little boy. I can feel his apprehension and I can still heave the same sigh of relief that I did 16 years ago. It was all about a pencil…

Satya was this awesome sport man who was loved by all. He was a teachers pet cause he looked cute and I guess the girls dug him right from then. We were supposed to use pencils when working on our ‘classwork’ books so that we don’t ruin it. Later on, once the teacher checks it we’d get to re-write it in the fair copy with a pen. Or if I remember right that happened after the 5Th grade when pens came into picture. Fountain pens mind you. Ball pens were taboo! Heh, silly things like thee make me want to go right back in time and be seated next to one of my classmates. Those pesky, rather nasty beings who had everything but love for a fellow who hadn’t studied for his exams. They’d try their level best to cover up what they wrote on their answer papers. Copying was for the scum of the class, the last benchers. I’ve strayed away… precisely what happens when I write about events close to my heart.

So, yes, Satya. Satya had this beautiful red pencil which he had acquired from someone who had recently returned from ‘abroad’. Abroad here implies a place outside of our knowing. It could be the US of A or it could be the street next to my house that I don’t know of. This pencil; it was the object of envy for me from the day I saw him draw lines with it in his geometry book. I wanted it so bad that I stared at it and hoped that it’d hear my plea and come running to me. Satya could never negate the pencils will! It wanted to come to me, so it did. My concentrated efforts led to nothing but scornful looks from Satya. Probably wondering about why I had my eyes set on his amazing pencil box. Ohh, if I did not mention it, he had a double decker pencil box where he could neatly stack up pencils, scales, rubbers (as we called it then and I dare not refer to an eraser as a rubber now. Heh, we’ve ruined English) and everything else that he could own and did not want to share. I had the old scratchy camlin geometry box that I hated since the time I saw his box. On this specific (but lucky day I might add) he was seated next to Vinod B, an Einstein in the making. I had gone through my ritual of staring at all the cool stuff these cool kids had and gotten back to being my unappreciative self. I was at that point in time cursing dad for not buying me new white shoes. As I cursed on, I heard something fall, ever so gently; as if it was meant only for my ears and then I saw it roll over to my feet; as if it was meant for me! I was filled with incessant joy. It was the pencil. The red pencil I so wanted. It even had a red conical ending to its top portion from where the lead began. I caught a glimpse of Satya and Vinod talking and I hoped that neither of them noticed what I was up to. I slowly slid the pencil under my feet and began gleefully talking to my partner. The bell rang, the kids got up and made a run for it. They all just wanted to go home. I had pocketed the pencil by this time and had rushed out with the rest of my peers. I just wanted to get the hell outta school and rush home. I’d hide it away and shower it with all my love I thought.

The next day was Friday and I was destined to be stupid that day. The first bell rang and we sang the national anthem and settled down with class work. Here is where I extracted the red beauty which was neatly hidden in my camlin box which looked as though it had survived brutal carnage. I began writing away with it. The text I wrote appeared so beautiful that I was lost in its beauty. By this time Satya probably noticed that he was missing his awesome pencil and had begun freaking out. He turned around and caught a glimpse of me with his pencil. Here he went, “Hey, that’s mine!” and I go all crooked eyed and sly. “What? No, this is mine. Uncle got it for me from Dubai” Uhhh, alright, I had no one in the US of A then, OK? “But mine looked exactly like that and I don’t have it anymore” he said looking all perplexed and slightly embarrassed at being unable to differentiate between his pencil and mine. We spoke about it for a while and he seemed to carry on with his work. Crisis averted I thought and continued on my gleeful journey with the red stick of lead. The period after lunch arrived and here we had our class teacher, Mrs. Shirke walk in. We quickly finished our after-lunch prayer and settled down for a boring class. After lunch classes usually meant a lot of snoring, boring, farting and cranky kids. Mrs. Shirke was talking to Satya and I noticed her turned towards the class unhappy about our dishonesty. I chose my lie to be our collective failure. I just decided to ignore what was going on and continued yapping with my partner. Here Mrs. Shirke shrieked, “Anup!!! Stand up…” I stood up with a sheepish grin. “What are you smiling about?’ she questioned. “Nothing miss” I said meekly trying to avoid eye contact. “Ok, you come here now” she said. i walked up and stood next to Satya. Here she began questioning me:

Miss: Have you taken Satya’s pencil? The red one?
Me: Me? No miss, I have only one red pencil and I bought it from Mayur shop near my house.
Satya: Haaaa… miss, he’s lying. Yesterday he told me that his uncle bought it for him from Dubai!!!
Me: Noooooooo miss… I bought it from Mayur.
Miss: Ok Anup, you buy the same pencil for Satya and he’ll give you the money. He’s lost his pencil.
Me: Ok miss.
Satya: How much money?
Me: 10 rupees (that was the largest amount I could think of then)
Miss: Now go to your seats both of you stupid boys.

Satya looked disgusted cause he knew I was lying and he quietly went over to his seat and sat down. Here on I experienced a surge of guilt and remorse and it was nothing like what I had ever felt. I was sad and lost throughout the weekend not knowing what to do. I couldn’t’t talk about this to my parents or anyone else for that matter cause I had stolen what was rightfully someone else’s. I had broken all the values my parents and my school had taught me. I did try to justify myself once in a while. I did not steal it, you know? It just rolled into my pencil back, didn’t it? I spent Sunday trying desperately to find a pencil like that in Mayur. I remembered dad telling one of his friends, “Mayur is a good general store, avide ammem pengalem oyichu ellam kittum” translated – You get everything except a mom and a sister. Mayur wala also couldn’t help me. I was lost and could not find sleep. I even tried avoiding school on Monday but mom was mighty smart; she ducked under my lie and sent me packing.

As I sat on my desk expecting the worst to happen, I could hear the kids call me all kinds of names. Chor, chortya, dhaprya. These are all variations of the word ‘thief’ I was expecting the worst. First period, prayer done. I prayed hard this time. Mrs. Shirke looks at us sternly and begins teaching. I could feel the seconds go by in milliseconds. I thought she’d take this matter up after the class ended. To my amazement, neither she nor did Satya come up with this unsolved case. Then the next period slipped by and then another. I couldn’t eat and I wasn’t able to be my usual self. Slowly but surely the day went by and I couldn’t believe my luck. They actually forgot. The entire class of 40+kids and the teacher forgot about it in over two days. What kinda luck god did I pray to? I hid the pencil away and never bought it to school after that. The days slipped by and no one ever spoke about the pencil. I don’t have the pencil anymore, but I have its memory and I can still remember how it looked in my hands. Someone else’s prized possession. It looked sad and stolen. I’d never forget those few weeks. I spoke with Satya recently and told him about what had happened then. He was completely blank about this ever happening. I sometimes wonder if Mrs. Shirke and he let it go on purpose. Just cause they were angels in disguise. I was a lovely kid. I never stole after that.

Aha! I feel refreshingly awesome now. Even though its 2:30 AM and I have had a rough day at work. its memories like these that keep me going. For all the time I’ve wasted, its memories like these which seem to make up! Thanks Satya.

-Anup

Raw cut, served fresh – Anup Menon

I was being paranoid the whole day today about how I don’t take care of myself and about how that lands me in trouble. I ate at the new office canteen yesterday and thats where I caught this violent intestinal regurgitation; following which the undigested contents of my experiment with fate yesterday were forcibly expelled. Out of my mouth, mind you. Disgusting! I suffered from food poisoning and I’ve promised to never eat at work again. So while I was taking care of myself and as I watched Yuvraj and Sehwag thrash the Sri Lankans, I found this notepad where I had randomly written stuff about myself.

Now, I’m probably obsessing about myself here, but then, what the hell? This is my place. Here goes:

  • My name is Anup S Menon, S for Sasidharan, thats my dads name and he is my Idol.
  • My family includes and is limited to: My dad (Sasi Menon), My mom (Usha S Menon), younger sister (Sneha S Menon) and me!
  • I have loads of cousins and I’ve other family spread across everywhere; Kerala, Bangalore and the US of A!
  • I wouldn’t say that I love them, but I surely think about them once in a while. I like it when I speak to them.
  • I spent my entire life (upto around 4 months ago) in Pune, Maharashtra.
  • I did my schooling from Kamal Nayan Bajaj High school a convent in Pune.
  • I loved my school and everything about it and thats a section of my life that I’d never forget.
  • I used to have loads of friends there and I’ll never forget them. I get nostalgic once in a while and I miss them all a lot!
  • I still have some friends from school who keep in touch, some courtesy orkut.
  • I did my Junior college and my Bachelors from D.Y.Patil college, Pimpri, Pune.
  • I never liked my college and I hardly ever attended classes.
  • During the times I bunked college, I used to frequent cyber cafes and chat on the IRc network – DALnet.
  • I learned a lot of stuff during those times, cool things like, Linux, Windows, servers, clients and so on.
  • Thats where my fascination for computers began and its never ended, I still make my living off these machines.
  • I loathe the people of my college and whatever it is that they did for girls and cheap thrills.
  • I sincerely hated the porn they drew on the college desks and the dirty cheap talk they did, apparently, to impress girls! I mean, what?
  • I failed all of my dads dreams about me, when it came to educating myself, I was a failure.
  • My dad wanted me to be an Engineer, huh; isn’t that a cliche? Every dad wants his son to be an Engineer or a doctor these days.
  • I seriously never wanted to slog or fight a losing battle with those huge books cause I always knew that they weren’t my friends.
  • I managed to graduate myself somehow and trust me, I have no clue of how I did it.
  • I began working at the age of 20, Argo Tech, Pune.
  • I was not particularly happy with the fact that I was a prodigal son and my dad was awesome; he helped me throughout. Never left my hand.
  • Mom looked up the newspapers for me and found for me a place that’d decide my future – Convergys.
  • Convergys gave me everything from information to wealth, from friends to a girl friend.
  • I worked there for 2 years, 7 months and 3 days. I loved the place then and I love the place now. I still miss it very much.
  • A few of my assets from there – Abhijit, Manoj, Sanket, Smita, Smikh & Muiz.
  • I lost a couple of them to love and I feel sad that I’d miss them for all my life, but I guess thats how the world works.
  • A few of them have stood by and are my closest friends to date.
  • Thus, Convergys, I must say has been a place thats given me loads.
  • I learnt what I know now all because of it and I’m well placed now at HP, because of it. Thanks a lot!
  • Continuing from there, I got a pretty nice job with HP, Bangalore and thats where I am as of now.
  • My life is currently a cycle of cliches and I feel ok about it.
  • I find those cliches to be better than unexpected shocks, know what I mean?
  • I am proud to say that I have madly loved and lost! Some say its better than to have never loved at all.
  • She has given me memories that I’d never forget and I’m thankful for it.
  • She has taught me lessons that I’d always remember and I’d use them to better myself.
  • Friends are people I’ve always lacked, but I’m thankful for the handful I have as of now.
  • These few, I can say are really MY friends. I’ve managed to differentiate between the hypocrites and the good ones. Ohh, thanks again to love.
  • I own a car – A Maruti Swift and I’m super happy that I own it cause it makes my life much easier.
  • I live in a rented flat very close to my Uncle; thus I’m well fed and I maintain my weight.
  • I’m plumpily plump; which means I’m very plump.
  • My sister says that my height seems to cover for it, but no! I feel I’m fat cause I FEEL fat.
  • Thats one of my resolutions for this year and I’ll work hard over it.
  • I love rock music and my favourite bands include, Staind, Poets of the Fall, Daughtry, Pink Floyd and a few others.
  • I love movies and I can be a buff once in a while, where I watch one move at 10 AM, one at 12:35 PM, one at 4:00PM and the last at 10:00 PM, all on the same day, ohh yeah, I can do that. To top it off, I’d be alone when I do this.
  • I read as and when I can and I love reading, just that I haven’t had time off late. +favs: All of Dan Brown, Most of Paulo Coelho, Chetan Bhagat and I really liked The Kite Runner.
  • Writing is one of my passions and I seem to derive immense pleasure when I get the right flow. I can write for hours listening the same song over and over again for hours if I get the right subject. Most of what I write is personal though and I really feel the need to move into greener lands and reach out to people.
  • I’m an Agnostic, but I respect people who believe in what they want to.
  • I have myopia and its at an all time high of -5.75 R -5.00 L and it sucks that I’m practically blind when I take off the glasses.
  • Sometimes I feel like I suffer from OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder). I feel like repeating what I do till the time I’m perfect.
  • I overexpect from people and I’ve been treated for that recently.
  • I’m a vegeterian.
  • I’m happy whenever I can be.
  • I’ve been accused of being a sexist; but the truth is… I’m too much in love with the fairer sex and I just can’t hate them!
  • I do not drink (consume alcohol) or smoke (tobacco, weed and its brothers and sisters)
  • Finally, the only reason I feel sorry; is for hurting my parents.
  • If you’d read me someday dad – please know that I am trying hard. I’ve just been stupid!
  • Also, I’m still not sure about the person I am; is it wrong if you’re a soft hearted guy? A guy who’d cry? Someone who’d be hurt easily? I loved myself more when I was in love and I’d miss the emotion forever.
  • To end this, hey you, yes you; if you’re reading me; thanks for everything!

-Anup

The smaller things in life.

I’ve always been in love with the smaller things in life. I’d take my time to savour every second of such an occasion and my brains full of these tiny but important things. Come to think of it now, I don’t like thinking of the more complicated problems I or anyone else has for that matter. I’m better off in my world of bits and tinier bits.

I was talking to Ruch yesterday and it was from there that I had this whole thought of expressing whatever was in my heart. Again, I’ve not yet learnt the basic instinct where we humans think and act from different parts of our body. For me, its all heart and I’d want to change but I can’t seem to help myself now. Ruch was telling me about her small squabbles at home and how it affects her. The weird feeling in me was about how drabby life would be without these small fights at home. No reason to cry, no reason to apologize, fights with mom and siblings, a sibling who adores you, a father who acts tough but isn’t and most importantly the food mom cooks! Foods the reason for all make-ups at my place. We’d all have to face each other at the table, whatever the fight be!

I sometimes feel like I’m watching the world around me from a distance and I look at all those people running around for glitz, glamour and glory. I’m confused, do I really want to be a part of the mob or am I happy where I am; this distant space in time where its just me and I’m looking at the world? I’m not a part of the race. I don’t feel the need to excel in anything. I don’t feel like competing cause I always find myself running on a different plateau and I’m tired of running. Why should I bother competing with myself? I can see everyone else running a race they’d never finish. Trying desperately to outrun everyone else. And in this feeble attempt at winning life’s race they’d forget to wait and notice whats whizzing by. Its beauty unlike what they’ve ever seen. I am contented with what I have and with the way I live life but I feel the need to share the infinite joys I find in smaller things and I find no one to share it with cause everyone else is running. I know, I might sound depressing. But then, think about it how many of us have the time to:

  • Wake up in the morning and look at the rising sun and feel its warmth.
  • Talk to the watchman and share a smile.
  • Take out your own garbage.
  • Let that stray dog walk with you silently.
  • Take a walk and observe people.
  • Think about aliens and wonder about life on other planets.(HELL YEAH!!)
  • Dig your nose on an idle tuesday afternoon. At work? Then notice the people around and pretend that you have an irritable itch.

I can think of many more small reasons to feel happy for life but then I feel the world around me has turned anhedonic and what makes them happy is success, power, money and everything else thats nothing but temporary. I guess people would laugh at me for being a dorky dreamer or a whacko freak but then I’ve learnt to not give a shit and then again – Ignorance is bliss! I feel sad for myself cause I’m part of the mob and I sometimes tend to flow in its flow. Here again, I remember the time when I was in love. Man!! I so miss those seconds… those seconds when I watched her walk back home and I waited for her to fade off, waited for her to whisper a ‘love you’ as she clenched onto my jelly belly and we drove off to nowhere, watched her eyes close ever so slowly as we kissed; seemed like eons of neverending glee… THEN! Now, I don’t quite know what to make of all of that. I’m just part of the move on generation and all I can do is move on ever so nonchalant, lost for words and love.

-Anup

The bus date.

There’s something unusual that happened to me on my bus ride back to Bangalore and it was just as unexpected as an A on my school report card. Sigh, that never happened. Of All the 12 years that I studied in school; I never managed to score above B+. I was an average student but that doesn’t make me an average brain and an average person, does it? Well, my dad thinks it does. Actually, I guess he goes one step further and its not only him but almost all who were born in the early after independence era in India believe in the power of education. Ohh well, we’ll get to that. Now where was I? Ahh yes, the bus ride back to Bangalore. Its a story worth telling and I’ll most probably move to dialogues somewhere down the line. I get bored of narrations these days.

If I didn’t already mention I was super excited that I was coming back home. My flat that is. I’ve grown very fond of it and it seems like the safest place for me. No tormenting notes on how I need to study. No sarcastic comments on how I need to exercise. No anecdotes about how good the other kids are. God damn it – I don’t wanna fucking change, alright? So yeah, when I’m here it seems as if though no one can bother me. I like being here even if it makes me an antisocial rather nocturnal mammal who comes out only at night to feed. Now whom do I sound like? A vampire or a bartender? Whoever. I was happier than usual about boarding the bus back and I rushed to the bus stand as early as I could on the 3rd. On my way back, I did contemplate the fact that my actions could have hurt my mom and sister but then, there’s a limit to the amount of word lashes I can take. I’m usually never lucky when it comes to such situations. Like the guys in the movies? They always seem to get the best seat. The one adjacent to the heroine. The pretty one I mean. I’ve endured some horrendous people the last couple of times that I’ve taken to a long bus journey. I was scared of a similar situation this time.

You know what pisses me off? Its not that I don’t get seated to the best girl in the bus. Its just that I get seated to the worst person ever! This happens almost all the times. Its most usually a fat bugger (much fatter than me) who eats like a pig, laughs like a maniac and snores like an angry bull! I was hoping… praying if I remember right. Please lord, I’d be happy if no one sits next to me but let it not be a fat, snory bastard. I’m fat and it just makes the whole seating arrangement uncomfortable. Abhi and me were waiting at the bus stop; bird watching as usual. We oogled at a few girls, some good and the others weird. Abhi has a weird choice when it comes to women. Or maybe I have a weird choice *winks* Here is when I noticed this orange-topped, jeans clad, slippers on feet and kajal in eyes girl walk across the road with her family. She was cute, not the cutest I had seen but cute nevertheless. She looked like someone I like a lot. Quite a few pimples on her face, most of them fading off but still there. Specks, cute ones at that. She had this odd green bagpack and she had a constant smile on her face. By this time I got Abhi to leave and hoped for the best.

The bus arrived 15 minutes late and I was the first one to board it. She was right behind me and we got our stuff loaded into the bus’ belly. I was on seat number 13 and I settled down. I guess she was seat number 8 or something. Not sure but she sat in the seat adjacent to the one in front of me. Simply put, I could see what she typed on her cell phone when sent out those many happy new year messages. Now what kinda sick freak would do that, nay? What the hell? I’ve got eyes alright? And I see things. There’s no stopping that. Halfway down and at Swargate, I noticed that there was no one next to me. I was thrilled and I whistled a bit. Thats when mom called and we discussed about the bus ride in malayalam. She turned back, looked at me and smiled. After which she proceeded to untie her hair and call someone on her phone and yeah, she spoke in malayalam; as if to tell me something; or so I thought or hoped even. I also noticed how easy it was for two chicks to kick start a conversation because she started chatting up with the girl who sat in the seat in front of her. How easy is that? Talking to random strangers that is. Doesn’t it take time? I thought. Or maybe its female bonding. Here is where lightning struck the both of us. First her and then me. This fat dude in his late 50’s ran in and bounced around his seat before finally rebounding onto it. He could hardly fit in and fiddled around with his luggage trying to push it into all corners of the bus. His suitcase worried me because he had strategically placed it to my top right from where it’d give me a mole on my head anytime the bus swerved. She had a sick look on her face as he sulkily spoke on his phone to someone about how he hated traveling in buses. I praised the lord that I was still alone. Next stop – entry into Pune-Bangalore highway, the Katraj cut and here is when misfortune found me. The next fat dude in his late 20’s thus stuck on his phone in ultra loud marwadi came pounding in through the door and jumped into the seat next to me. Pfft, what rotten luck I thought and slumped into my seat music blaring into my ears trying to avoid whatever the fuck it was that he was saying on his phone. He spoke so loud that it annoyed the entire bus and I was hoping that the bus driver would throw him out. Gujju, Marwadi and other north Indian languages are just as annoying to me as my language, malayalam is to them. Its like a mosquito in your ears that’d beeeeeeeeep non stop on a fanless night.

There was this messy family that got into the bus too. It wasn’t actually the family that was going to Bangalore, it was just the daughter of the house and thus the entire family was there to witness her awesomeness. They hugged and kissed her so much that I thought she’d need a shower. Her mom wasn’t ready to leave the bus and I cursed my luck for it was getting late. This girl was funny looking cause she wore a pullover and track pants. So the women next to her asked, “So you going to play for the state or something?” and she says, “No, I am not” then the woman, “You look like you’re going to play and all that…duh!” she gives the woman a ‘god damn you look’ and says, “Nah, just… style hai!” and I’m sitting there wondering to myself about why god has to do this to me! Why wouldn’t the bus just leave? To add to all this, the driver loves the song ‘Hum to thehre pardesi.. saath kya nibhaooge..” he repeated it a few times and I nearly had a nervous breakdown. We finally moved and the fat fuck next to me called the bus-boy aside and discussed his chances of moving to the seat behind us – what luck!! Those seats weren’t taken until Kolhapur and he dragged himself onto seat number 18. Here is when the girl I was talking about spoke to the bus-boy and from what I could make out, I guessed that she’d be coming next to me. Damn! the gods must be crazy today, I thought. She got up, and said, “Excuse me…” and gave me the ‘move your fat ass’ look. I was kinda lost in thoughts and hadn’t noticed her come next to my seat. I obliged and she sat next to me. We didn’t talk for a while. I pretended to be lost in reading the book I had and she continued with her sms’ and many phone calls. The bus sped on and out of Pune. I didn’t quite notice her since I was consciously trying to avoid a conversation. I get funny during such circumstances. She began talking..

She: Malayali ano? (You a mallu?)

Me: Ade, Malayali ano? (Yes, you a mallu too?) I mean, what kinda stupid question was that?

She: Ella… (No)

Me: Pinne? (So..?)

She: I know malayalam and I speak Tamil, we’re from Pallakad.

Me: Ahhh, thats why.

She: Enikyu seats shift cheyyandi vannu… ayalude phone samsaram sahikyan vayya, pinne seat ayalku pora, appo sthalam vittu kodutu (Had to shift my seats, his phone talks got annoying and he needed the whole seat, so left it for him)

Me: Hmmm, toni enikyu (I thought so) Ende adutu irinne aalude idu tanne ayirinnu kuyappam, pashe ayal pinnilite seatilkyu maari (The guy who sat next to me was similar, but he luckily moved behind)

She: Guess we can get back to English now?

Me: Don’t quite mind whatever.

She: So, you from Pune? Or Bangalore?

Me: From Pune, working in Bangalore.

She: HP?

Me: How did you know?

She: Noticed your bag when you climbed the bus.

Me: Yeah, HP. What about you?

She: Ohh, I’m studying and I work for animal welfare.

Me: Nice! So what were you doing in Pune?

She: I’m from Pune. Moved to Bangalore a few years ago. Couldn’t manage an engineering seat in Pune.

Me: Ohh, Engineering? Heard thats fun.

She: Dunno, just wanna get over with it.

Here, the conversation slowly died out and I continued with my book, music and random thoughts of how my rotten luck had changed for the day. I think I dozed off and woke up with a jerk when she patted my shoulders. “Tea?” she said. “Yeah, have we stopped?” I asked sheepishly. “Thats why I asked, lets go, everyone else is off the bus. You need to move for me to get out of this seating arrangement. This is so uncomfortable!” We got up and walked out to the dhaba we had stopped at for tea and bathroom related activities. We had a quite tea break and didn’t speak much. The journey from there to the next stop for dinner seemed to have flown by. She was a chatterbox and would just not shut up. In the cute kinda way, I’d add. We spoke about food, music, education and politics. I guess she was taken aback and turned off by my apathy towards the subject. I mean, what the hell? I don’t give a fuck. Dinner was good and she continued blabbering about her countless little tips on bettering the world. I’m a good listener and thats what I did on most of the occasions. Except for the regular wise inputs which she seemed to relish and that would just mean that she’d dig further into the subject. The best argument was on why education is over-rated and she sounded like my dad sometimes. Anyway, big deal; I offered to help her securing a job after she finished Engineering, heh.

Here on, sleep was ruined for all of us in the bus because those couple of fatso’s decided to play ‘Who snores louder’ MAN!!! snoring is the most annoying thing ever, I tell you. I relied on my mp3 player to get over the night. We got talking again for a while when we stopped for re-fuelling and she needed to use the restroom. So I walked with her and had to wait outside the ladies restroom. It was an awkward feeling, but I thought it was worth the trouble. We hadn’t bothered asking for names, but I picked up that her name was Swapna from one of the phone called she received. We somehow managed to doze off and it was around 7 when I opened my eyes and we had nearly reached Majestic. She was tying her hair and wished me the most pleasantest greeting ever! “Good morning! I’m so happy that you didn’t snore…” and we shared a laugh! That was just about it. I picked up my bag and she picked hers up. We walked out, got our luggage. I turned around, tilted my head a bit to say good bye and walked into the waiting auto. No names, no keep in touch, no nothing. Don’t ask me about what it was that I was thinking. But then, some things are better best forgotten. I’d always remember the day luck shined on me. An awesome bus date. God bless the cutey.

-Anup