Monthly Archives: March 2005

Where credit is due….

Today he would know whether he would get one. the credit card company’s executive had just called and asked for an appointment… he had been wanting one ever since he had seen sachin showing off his in the ad, while encouraging others to get it… but he couldn’t apply for it then, being busy with his career…and later, just when he thought he would apply for one, he had gotten busy again, with things ranging from work and peer pressure to riots….
not that he needed it desperately, for his influence was huge, but it was helpful when you were going abroad, and was much better than carrying cash… he had applied for the latest card in the market, the one named after the famous island in new york.. it was only appropriate since he would be going there shortly..
he had known that all the applications were just a formality, for once they got to know who he was, they would only be too happy to give him a card…just then, the executive came, but contrary to his expectations they had rejected his application.. he was irate and screamed at the executive , “do you know who i am?”
” yes sir, but theres nothing we can do here. since it was top priority we had sent it to our hq in the US. we had hoped to get you some special benefits, but they have rejected it. i am yet to get the details”, the executive mumbled.
he wondered at the audacity of the company… how could they not give the visa power to the chief minister of a state whose diaspora had significant influence among not only the Indians, but the general populace in the US? where would the US be without us, he thought..
he controlled himself with an effort. he would get a card from the other company, the one that said ‘there are some things money can buy, for everything else, there’s……..” for his situation, it was only apt…but he wouldn’t stop at that.. he decided he would go the US, to the credit card company’s hq and give them a piece of his mind…. the bank, he would deal with, later!!
he called his PA.
“call the US embassy. ask them the status of the gujarat chief minster’s visa application”
until next time, who has the power?

The Birthday

She knew she had very little time.. his birthday was only a few days away… his birthdays had never been celebrated grandly.. he had never asked for it, and no one had ever felt the need… considering that the only thing he spent money on were books and cassettes,he was never difficult to please if his birthday presents were any of the above… except for the occasional games or toys, much like his life, the presents he got were also routine, not that he was complaining… he was, well, like that…
but this time, she wanted it to be different, it was his 15th birthday, the one after his tenth standard board exams had got over, the first big hurdle in life… and she wanted him to celebrate it in a slightly better fashion than they usually did… and the first and perhaps only difficult task was convincing him.. because, although she was very strict about everything he did, lately she had understood he was growing up, and increasingly left his things to his judgement.. well, she was his mother, and knew what was best for him..
besides, she knew things he didnt..convincing him was difficult, for he was a shy child, with a handful of close friends, and ran away from attention of any kind, except for the ones which his extra curricular activities demanded.. for she was still very strict about that… and so he was trained in classical music, played in the cricket team,and was a member of the school quiz and debating teams… all of which he liked in a very matter-of-fact way…
all said, he was a very reluctant social animal…but she wouldn’t have any of that.. with 2 days left, she forced him to accept the fact that he would have to invite at least 10 of his friends to celebrate his birthday.. the only thing which he could decide was the place…and so it was, that for the very first time he could remember, he was doing something more complicated than distributing sweets for his birthday..
but after all was said and done, he was happy, and grudgingly thanked her… and she in turn, thanked her god, for she had survived the day…but he doesnt like celebrating birthdays, because she died 9 days later..
until next time, some things arent forever…

Casting Grouch

She alighted at the station and had her first good look at Mumbai.. the place where her silverscreen dreams would take shape.Although hers was a stereotypical story of a small town girl dreaming of making it big in Bollywood, she was sure that hers would be a success story, because she was sure of her talents…. and assets.. and she had a definite plan…
she had taken up all the courses in fashion, modelling and acting that her small town could offer… and her small town already boasted of a precedent in making it big in bollywood.. but she was sure she wanted to make it on her own.. and not take her predecessor’s help.. but her predecessor had given her one crucial info that was essential to her plan- the casting couch, its existence and the way it worked, and the ‘contact’ persons… she had her parents’ approval on her bollywood dreams, but even to them, she had not revealed her plan…
She called a taxi, and asked the driver to take her to the 5 star hotel where she had booked a room….. not that she had the money to spare, but this was crucial to the plan… she checked into the room, and thought about reading the paper, since it was almost 3 days since she had read them… always important to keep oneself updated about bollywood.. but she decided to do that after she kicked off her plan….
she started calling up the contact persons, and got her first shock, for the responses ranged from ‘do you think i am dumb?’ to ‘which channel are you calling from ‘ to plain abuse… she wondered what was going on and decided to take a shower before proceeding…
to jail!! the cops barged into the room, minutes after her phone calls, and arrested her for trying to trap people.. they talked something about an established villain having been ‘exposed’ a couple of days back on a news channel…. she said she didnt know a thing about it… and was only a wannabe actress.. she was so afraid she even told them about her plan- to use the casting couch- where she wouldnt struggle (and therefore could bypass the ‘struggling actress’ phase)..
but they werent convinced…. she reckoned she knew who her enemies were – a nexus of actresses who didnt want competition and news channels who wanted TRPs….. she also realised that what she needed now was shakti, tan ki nahi, par man ki….
until next time, news channels cant help broadcasting and filmmakers cant help casting…

Blessed??

Ajay Devgan (in a borrowed raincoat :) ) is the poster boy for this post. i have been wanting to write this ever since i saw the movie, and a few days back, when i saw another character like him, i had to write, because i know a lot of guys like these, and i sympathise with them..
- the driver who looks on in anguish as a guy zooms past him, riding on the wrong side, because he is too nice/meek not to do it.
-the guy who stutters at the waiter that the people who came after him have gotten a table as well as their food, and he is still waiting.
-the guy who slogs all day at work and watches a colleague walking away with the accolades because he aggressively presented himself.
-the woman who suffers verbal/physical abuse from her husband.
-the kid who is forever bullied by friends/cousins…………………

there is a feeling that aggression has to be developed if you are to succeed/ get out of the sad predicament/s you are in. but what if you are made that way, when you cannot be forcible enough, when you are too nice to take offense? are you going to be defenceless, are you going to suffer forever, is it only you who can save yourself? but if you are made that way, can you save yourself? or will you forever have to slink away to the bathroom to sit and cry in isolation? because you are too meek to even cry aloud.
and sometimes it is not just about being meek…it is because you have a principle that what goes around will come around, and therefore cannot bring yourself to shout/ proclaim/abuse…..
does this world cater only to people who are willing to fight? do you have to snatch something thats yours by right? do you have to shove your way forward all the time? was life ever meant to be such a big fight??
to correct myself, i dont sympathise, i empathise, because quite a few times i see the character when i look in the mirror.
until next time, ” Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth”.

Little Boy Blue

Towards the end of a decade, when the ‘flower power’ generation were swinging towards what the rest of society considered normal, a set of parents were eagerly awaiting the birth of their first baby… the flower power seemed to have rubbed off on the baby, coz in later years, it wished it had been born at least a couple of decades earlier… the baby’s maternal grandmother was also eagerly awaiting its birth, since the baby’s mother was the only girl child and so, the granny’s favourite…. the baby was very inconsiderate as it chose a late hour to be born.. but he(yup, was a boy) was quite inclined to come out, and didnt cause much trouble…
a few hours later, he was brought into the room, where he would spend the next few days.. and that was where he was supposed to lie, with little cries in between that were indicators of entry or exit of materials…. but quite apparently, he was an attention freak, for within 24 hours of his birth, he decided to test his destiny and the nerves of his granny…
while his mother slept because of the sedation and his dad was at home for some well deserved sleep, and granny was dreaming of her newborn grandson’s future, he decided to question whether he had a future at all…he just stopped breathing, and within a few seconds, turned blue, scaring his granny out of her wits.. but she wasn’t one to give up without a fight…
in the dead of the night, she ran up three floors, carrying him, searching each floor for a duty doctor/ nurse… she finally found one, and got the equally frightened nurse to force the breath back into him… and was rewarded with a happy gurgle from him, as though a question had been answered…
years later, he still has the blues, albeit of a different kind, and writes about them in his blog… today is his 27th birthday…

until next time, what are you waiting for? wish me…

What dreams may come!!

He was a young man from a small town… born and living in the small town that was his home… his parents had sent him to a good school, and then to a good college in the hope that he would get a good job, marry, give them grandchildren and generally achieve the ‘purpose of his life’… and things were going according to plan till the time he started actively following bollywood, its heroines and the general glitz and glamour… in his final year in college, it started affecting him in a major way..from a shy, unassuming lad, he morphed into a cocky youth who assumed a lot of things, including the love that his beautiful neighbour should feel for him…. and thus began the nights of serenading, bolstered by the fact that he had a good voice and when that didnt give any results, he knew that his studies wouldnt help him anyway, and to realise his dreams, he had to make it big, somewhere, he knew he had to unleash the entertainer within!!
She (not the neighbour above) was a studious young girl, her parents had pinned a lot of hopes on her.. they were very liberal parents, and wanted her to live her life, her way.. and she had her head firmly screwed on to her shoulders…. that was until she heard a certain bollywood singer. she began hero-worshipping him to the point of obsession, and made up her mind that she somehow had to meet him, whatever be the cost.. her interest in her studies dropped, and she was forever listening to him, and making plans to meet him…
and thus it is.. for people like him and her, and others quite similar from them or different from them, they made this (er, something like this)….judged by a forever ‘inspired’ music director, a choreographer turned director, and a singer who’s not sure if he is a singer, an actor or a rockstar, they want their moments in the sun…
billions would watch them..one will win, ten will get offers, hundred will know they have taken a step in the direction, ten thousand will be shattered and may not be able to pick up the pieces… for them, was it worth it??
until next time, is idol worship in??

The contract killer

He was watching her, in fact, he had been watching her for quite sometime now… a week… like with every other ‘contract’ he had in the past, he studied his victim… but this one was not just another victim, this one was the retirement plan.. he was suddenly reminded of the character made famous by Forsyth, in fact, that character had been one of his inspirations to get into this trade… the sheer excitement of having control over someone’s future, and the someone not even having a clue about it… but he quickly pulled his thoughts back, for Forsyth’s character had messed up his own retirement plan..
the person he was watching…. a pretty middle aged woman, who balanced a successful professional life and a stable personal life… her husband was also an extremely successful professional in his chosen field… and the kids were doing very well in college…if his line of work hadnt made him so cold and unemotional, he would have really not wanted to harm this family in any way…but it had…
and so it was , that after intense scrutiny for a week, he had finally spotted the chink in her schedule which would help him make the clean hit, without anyone knowing it, until it was too late… as he waited in the small dark room opposite the building she would be entering in a short while, he thought about success… her success was exactly what was working against her now… she was the key decision maker in a multi billion contract, and the people who had paid him didnt exactly like the way her decisions were going… so they had paid him to make sure that she was removed from her position, forever..
she entered the building, without as much as a glance around, and as he knew she would, went straight to the fourth floor, first apartment on the left… her lover was waiting for her, and they went straight to the master bedroom… again, he knew that and was waiting with his sights fixed on the window.. he wondered how they could be so stupid as to not close the windows.. strange, but that was not his business, and besides, it made things easier for him…
the first shot happened while the last bit of undressing was going on.. and was followed by around 20 shots…… he wanted to make sure…no one saw the tiny sparks of light during each shot… and blissfully unaware of all this, they were on a roll, in more ways than one…
his paymasters were happy with the results.. the woman resigned from her job because she couldnt allow photos of her affair going out in public…and therefore she couldnt take any decisions on the billion dollar contract…the lover was a high profile guy himself and was silent on the whole issue..
and he was happy, he could retire in style… as the best’ contract killer’ in the corporate world…..
until next time, who says shots in the dark dont work??


P.S: happy birthday, wifey…

Far from the madding crowd…

absolutely an out of the world experience, he thought, that was what he was having here.. peace was the first word that came to mind when he thought of his current lifestyle…he was comfortable with the routine and the rules..and the food, they didnt give you pizzas or chopsuey, they gave you what they thought, and you knew, was good for you… and there was freedom all around, so long as you didnt harm others- in word or deed.
but he wouldnt have thought, even in his wildest of dreams that he would be landing up here, at the zenith of his professional life… all the targets, launches, conferences, hirings and firings, wild parties, wilder women.. all seemed such a long time ago..that was the professional life…
on another front, there was a loving wife, who understood him.. though in their final days together, their communication was nil…. he somehow felt that it had something to do with her affair with their common friend, the doc…all those secret meetings and phone conversations and the secret glances (even when he was around) seemed to suggest that.. hell, towards the end, he even felt that she was trying to flush him out of her life, like the shit she considered him to be…
sometimes he felt that his friends and relatives knew long before him that he would be giving up his ‘wild’ life and coming here.. they hadnt mentioned it to him… but they all seemed to agree with his wife when she suggested it to them..thats what one of his friends had told him, when he also landed up here… he had known she was behind it, but he had played along, even when the place didnt turn out to be what she claimed it to be ..
she was happy now, well, so was he, for he was far from the madding crowd…. he wouldnt change a thing, but somewhere deep inside, , he knew there was some little thing that had gone wrong somewhere, because he had brief patches of missing moments, and yeah, he hated those shock treatments, he wondered what they did that for…
until next time, dont get mad, get odd…