Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Discussion

"He was always great."

"Yeah. He was. But I don't think he was always great. He had his downs. Ye' know what I mean."

The study had eight chairs. Actually it was only three. He didn't like too many visitors -- not in his study room anyway. That was his personal space. He always wanted one. Right from the time he was living with his folks in that dump near the railway tracks. That house had just three rooms. And his brother and sister all had to pack into that tiny room for the kids. But he always dreamt big. So when he finally made it big and had enough cash to splurge on a mansion, he insisted on a big study room.

He lined it with books. Not all of them he read, though. Being a big star in this circuit meant he had to project himself as an academician. But he had read most of them. The interesting ones. Which they were, no one had any idea.

His family pulled up the other five chairs in the study. Occasions like what they were having now called for such. His Granddad (still alive, even with a major nicotine hook) was always a little negative about him. Grans attributed his success to 'excessive luck'. His entire family was there for this meeting. From Grans to his favourite nephew Jack.

Jack was always in awe of him. He is in his early 20s now and aspires to become an actor as big as him. Talent he possesses not, but still he had starry eyes.

His Brother and Sister got settled much before he became famous. So they weren't all well off.

"He always told me that it was I who supported him the most. Remember when he returned from the screening of that movie. Which one was that dear? It didn't go down too well with the them journo kinds," said Sister.

"The Swan Brigade?" her husband helped her out.

"Yeah the swan one. He came straight to me. Said he wanted my support."

"Bah! He called me up from the theatre when that movie was screened. Was in much distress that boy then. Said, 'Grans... I don't know if I will be able to come up from this ditch.' I told him he will. And he did."

"Everyone liked him. But he always appreciated my sense of a story. Remember it was I who suggested he take the role of that cowboy. That was such a blessing for him. He thanked me for that." His Dad wasn't his biggest admirer. But he always believed that the lad inherited his talent. And his talent was mostly limited to the fake smile he gave to convince people into buying crappy cars.

"No matter what, I was his first fan. From the time he did that three scene role for Hunting's movie. I told him to take. That it will be his real break. I knew he was good. I saw all his school plays. And even Mamma hasn't done that."

His Brother's remarks failed to invite a response from his Mom. She sat quietly at the corner -- part of the discussion she was, and part she was not.

"But as the oldest in the family, I think it's rather easy deciding this. I don't have much time left myself." It was kind of weird when he said those last words. If he was least concerned about how much time he had left, he would've quit the stick long back.

"But they don't need old people. I think they need someone young. Someone who still has the same charm that he had," Jack was insistent.

"The same charm you say. How exactly do you have the same charm? You were rubbished even in that role of an extra you did. Stan told me personally that this little bugger is a black sheep of the family." His Sister never really liked Jack -- or Jack's Dad for that matter. Maybe it was sibling rivalry.

"Hey! Watch who you calling the black sheep. I am sure he will do well. He has another major role coming up," an ever-doting father his Brother was.

"Now now. We have all come here to discuss and not to fight," his Dad interfered.

"Yeah. Let's get to that," supported his Sister in fear of another rift.

"As his Dad, I think it should be I who get to go."

"Maybe Aunt Gene should go," came the voice from the far end of the study table. It was his Sister's son. Dennis was the quiet one in the family -- and he never really had an opinion. Even if he had, he never expressed it to others. But this was one time he expressed it.

There was silence all over the table. His Mamma still didn't look up. She had this white napkin clutched in her palm. She occasionally wiped her face with it. It was rather futile. There weren’t any tears. It had all dried up.

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She still had her white napkin in her hand. She clutched it ever so tightly. It had his initials on it -- 'J.K.' She had stitched that for him. He always used to sweat when he was tense. And was he tense during his first shoot. The napkin was her small gift to him. They say he always had it with him; even when he wasn't tensed. People thought he considered it lucky.

And as she climbed the stairs to the stage there were tears in her eyes. The host of the show handed her the golden statuette. She could barely see through her moist eyes the rows of celebrities all standing up in an equivocal ovation. She held the napkin to her eyes. And he felt the tears on his cheeks.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Stoner's Ink Pen

It was all over his brand new white shirt. Roe's Dad got him this white shirt for job interviews. And there've been a lot of those. Not white shirts. Job interviews.

These days they all blamed it on recession.

"So do I get a raise?"

"What raise?"

"You know... salary hike."

"What?!?!?! They are paying you a salary????"

The boss rang a bell. That's weird. Because these days no one has that kind of clerical bell. That's such an 80's government office phenomenon. Anyways.

"Accounts? This boy here says he's getting a salary."

Roe just stood there. "Bastard! Didn't even offer me a seat," he thought.

"So waddyamean it's peanuts. There's a goddamn recession on, and I am not entertaining any salary."

He put down the phone. Now, wait. Didn't he ring the 80's government office bell? Anyways.

"Ha! Salary it seems!"

The boss eyed Roe with mock disgust. On second thought, the mockery was either very subtle, or non-existent even. It was pure disgust.

"Some people think they are still working centuries ago with such medieval notions like salary." he kept mumbling.

He looked up again at Roe.

"What are ya lookin' at?!!!? Go on. You are fired!"

"Well, so much for a raise. Now I am in gutters." With that thought, he'd started his journey. For a new job. In a recession-plagued society.

And this happens.

Roe's Dad's intentions were good. You know. Anyone would want their kid to have a new shirt and a new pen for interviews. Especially when they are in the gutters. Shows that someone's there in this world for them. But the mistake was. Ink pen.

Roe hadn't used an ink pen since he was obsessed (and then irrevocably dis-obsessed after a few months) with the Hero pen. Oh yeah! The sleek hero pen with its shiny golden cap and microscopic golden nib. Its ink sucking mechanism was almost space age.

But this one wasn't anything like that. It was black and bulky. Like what you'd see in British actors from the 70's. And it never worked when you wanted it to. Like British actors from the 70's.

So what does one do? Not to the British actors! To the pen.

Shake it like you are trying to bring a dead rabbit from its grave.

And what do you get?

Ink splatters all over your sunshine white shirt.

Roe didn't see any point in going for the interview now. He was more of a pessimist, you see. And the recession is a bad time for pessimist. It's like too good a home for the pessimist. And you wouldn't put up with much struggle in your home, would you? Roe was like that. He wasn't gonna put too much effort during the recession.

So he went back. Not to his home. Not to his parents. Not even to his neighbouring Midnight Booze Bar. He went to Dango's place.

Dango isn't his real name. It's Elango something. One cannot remember much at Dango's, let alone Dango's real full name. That place is just kinda abusive. So Roe went to Dango's.

He opened the door. Dango's doors are never closed. There's not much in there to steal anyways. But I am sure the cops would have a truckload of stuff to take away if they ever got a sniff of Dango's. For starters, he had an aquarium that didn't have any fish. Or water. He grew some plants in that. Plants of a 'banned' variety. So Dango was never really scared of the cops. He was an optimist. A little bit too much of an optimist. And Roe wanted an optimistic trip. That's why he was at Dango's.

"Heyyyy.... dude....," said Dango in his trademark drawl. He always drawled. Even when he wasn't stoned. But Dango was always stoned. So you wouldn't know if he ever talked straight.

"Wassup bro..."

Roe sat down in this flamboyant pink carpet with the picture of Shiva on it. Usually people wouldn't sit on such carpets. But Dango wasn't very religious. Neither was Roe.

"Don't ask man. This recession. It just kills me."

"Ah... aspirations from life. I tell you...," he paused, trying to scan Roe's name from his smoky little brain.

"Roe... the whole existence is pointless. Job is a 20th century invention. All you have to do is breathe. Let your soul loose. Let it wander the world. See the beauty of the Spirit's creations. The mountains, blue lakes, green hills. Hold on."

Dango got up and walked to his laptop. He played some song. Actually, you cannot really call it a 'song'. There was a woman wailing, a wolf howling, sirens screeching, monkeys playing guitars, hamsters snipping off a chimpanzee's hair, and an owl playing the piano; all at the same time. No. You couldn't really call it a song.

"Well, where was I...," Dango fell down on to the carpet. "Ah... yes... spirituality, man. That's everything. You should know... there's the Spirit... and nothing more. You'll detach yourself from the world's sufferings."

Roe never really believed in all this crap. Being a pessimist and all. But today he wanted it. He took a deep drag from the joint.

The stuff slowly started hitting him. Dango said it was Afghan. It didn't really matter to Roe.

Roe took another deep drag. The grey cloud enveloped his vision as the stuff clouded his awareness. He took another look at the ink splatters on his sunshine white shirt his Dad bought him for job interviews.

Blots of blue ink transformed into majestic oceans. Blending slowly into each other. Separated by white sands. Bright white sands. It shimmered under the bright sun. Almost blinding Roe. The water started sparkling, reflecting a clear blue sky above it. Majestic waves slowly started forming. It crashed into the white beach leaving a small, frothy trail. He took five steps backward. Like those old toy cars. Couple of inch backwards. And he hit the blue ocean like a kid who's found freedom from school.

And Roe wasn't pessimistic anymore.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


Buy yourself a drink from the bar.

Buy a mocktail for the teetotaller chic at the counter.

Buy a cocktail for the girl on the dance floor.

Share your drink with the girl in the lounge.

Buy yourself another drink from the bar.

Buy a cocktail for the teetotaller chic at the counter.

Throw drinks at each other with the girl on the dancefloor.

Keep the girl in the lounge waiting.

Buy yourself another drink from the bar.

Offer a drink to the teetotaller chic who’s no longer at the counter.

Wait in the lounge for the girl on the dancefloor.

Why’s that girl in the lounge staring like that?

Buy yourself another drink from the bar.

Buy a cocktail for the teetotaller who's doing trick bartending now.

Play with the teetotaller's cute little goatee.

Kiss the teetotaller's burly hand placed on your shoulders.

Buy yourself another drink from the bar.

Hey! You're flying out!

Saturday, June 13, 2009


Golden gates,
At sun down.
I fall.

Around the sun,
The flame licks,
Torching the heart
To a cinder dark brown.

Through clouds
Where I reach out,
For a silver line.
It scars my skin with naked sorrows.

Flights, flocks
The birds soaring.
I plead,
Carry me from here.

The drop ends?
Am I dreaming,
Or is it a nightmare?

Further below,
With its green and brown,
Awaits me with Devil's clutches.

A craned neck,
I look up,
At where it all began.
It did.

With a fall,
A drop.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Photos from an onsite IT professional

(Psst. I don't actually have the photos. But this is more or less how it goes. You can verify with the orkut album of someone you know. Psst over.)

Onsite - the nameless mecca that is an IT professional's haven. But what does he click when he's there?

Arbit photographs, like:
1) Ben (my new colleague), his girlfriend Heather and me

2) Statue of Liberty and I (shot in a low angle with caption that says, "Who's taller?")

3) Me in front of Niagara falls (caption: such a beautiful place for a country's border)

4) Me and my new car (Caption: my new ride)

5) Me in front of random building

6) Me in front of random roadside statue

7) Me sitting on a park bench

8) Me in front of New York traffic

9) Me with my Starbucks

And last but not the least,

10) Me playing in snow (Caption: It's snowing!)

Wow, genius. How did you figure that out? Why don't you check again? It might be coagulated calcium dispensed from heaven.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Here I am!

But why am I here?

Isn't that how most of life is? Small and immediate successes define these milestones. We do not know where we are going. But we just get to places.

So I have taken another turn. The direction, I have a vague idea. But will I get there? Noone knows. At least, not for now.

So well, I think I'll be gone now.


I guess, you know the answer.