It all started with smoke …

I found this story that I had written in 2010 or maybe even earlier.Part of the story is a true incident involving the Chap, your’s truly and another friend. Read on..

  Prabodh was shrouded in a veneer of nebulous, diaphanous smoke-nicotine loaded smoke that could kill. That didn’t bother Alice.She stared mesmerized as it rose above his head in sinewy threads.It was billowing like some footloose teen angel towards the agency’s Michelangelo-inspired art on the ceiling.She decided to watch the smoke rather than get back to the game of solitaire that she was struggling with.Neither did she feel like getting back to work and writing some corny line to help sell New and Improved Ajantha Detergent Bar to  some poor, unsuspecting souls. The vodka,which she had slugged last night was coursing through her veins threatened to slosh out of her bloodstream into the stale airconditioned air, and finally onto the wooden floor in a piteous puddle.
“Alice..I’m bugged,”Prabodh’s voice boomed from behind the smoke.
“Go bother some intern, PG.I am busy,”She retorted, her eyes still glued to the slow,dirty dance of the smoke tendrils.
“I can blow nice, fat smoke rings for you,”He offered tentatively.
Her eyes glazed a little at the mention of smoke rings.She remembered how as a child her uncle blew smoke rings for her when she was upset or sad. She also remembered that the rings always made her deliriously happy.
 “Ok…but just 5 minutes,”She agreed gingerly.
Prabodh smiled slyly and proceeded to inhale some smoke for Alice’s rings. A few seconds later, the smoke re-emerged through his mouth in the form of a perfect “O”.
“Bravo!”She cheered and logged on to her Gtalk for her part of the bargain- Prabodh’s 5 minutes of practical-jokery.
Now, it was Prabodh’s eye’s turn to glaze.The sight of “Available” status messages on the messenger got him in a dizzy spell.
“Which one?” He demanded impatiently.
“Roark.” She replied flatly.
“Tell me more.”
“Known him from school.Works for an actuary.”
“Umm…”He nodded absently as he nudged Alice out of her chair.
                                                                            ****                                                      
Alice says: I overdosed on valium. Let me die!
“Jesus, PG.I know where this is headed.Be nice to him.He’s a very sensitive guy.” Alice whined.
“Relax.Go play Solitaire.”Pat came the reply.
Roark says: Alice??Are you okay?.
Roark says: ALICE????
Alice Says: No dude.This is his collegue, Prabodh.
Roark says: Oh.. What’s wrong?
Alice Says: My girlfriend.She’s dumped me.
Roark says: Don’t kill yourself for a woman, man.
Alice says: Why should I live?. I caught her with my best friend.My best friend and my girlfriend.. Ha ! That’s life for you, my friend. She told me I wasn’t man enough for her.
 Roark says: How many pills?.
Alice says: 20
Roark says: OMG! Don’t die on me, man.Where are you?
Alice says: Too Late. Just remember this, bro.Life really does go on forever and ever. Reincarnation is a fact. Those are not my words. Neale Donald Walsh’s wisdom,man.
Roark says: Get to a hospital.I can’t reach Alice.Do you work with her?.
Alice says: You can have my copies of Conversation with God after I am gone,man!You’ve been so nice to me. Remember this,you’ll find answers to all your questions right in those tomes.Life-changing book..
Roark says : Can I call you,please?..
Alice says : You believe in after-life?
Roark says : No,I believe in one life .I believe in not letting go of the one life I have. 
Alice says: Don’t get all moralistic on me,dude.
Roark says: Let me help you… Forget about the girl.
Alice says : I can’t forget Alice.She is lying here in a pool of blood and gore with my best friend. Murdered by my own hands. Remember conversations with God after I am gone,okay?.
Roark says : Shucks!
Roark says: Prabodh ….
Roark says : Hello?You there ?
                                                                            ****
Prabodh caught Alice in the copy writer’s room all alone, brooding and masticating on some dark thought.Her fingers were absently re-curling the tendrils of her wavy hair.Suddenly,she looked up as if she had known all along that she was being watched. Their eyes met.She flinched visibly and turned her face away from him. She hadn’t been speaking to him after the Roark-fiasco.
“Alice…. Don’t do this, sweetheart.”
“He’s not speaking to me, you know.He called me up after you logged off.He was a very good friend.”
“I’m sorry.Just got carried away. I’ll make it up to you, somehow.How about a few smoke rings?”
Alice glared at him.She didn’t want to succumb to temptation again.
“No! It was my mistake to let you chat with him, you psycho! Leave me alone,” She cried shrilly and walked out.
Several heads snapped up from their presentations in response to Alice’s high-pitched verbal assault.People gawked at Prabodh openly with barely concealed disgust. Prabodh shuddered at the collective animosity targetted at him.
                                                                             ****
“Taxi…Taxi…” Srikanth hollered as he managed to evade getting sandwiched between a scooter and a Swift car.
He single-mindedly pursued an empty-looking black and yellow taxi.The rain was falling in rhythmic pitter-patter all around him.
 Look where you’re going!” the guy driving the Swift hollered.
Srikanth shrugged and showed the guy his middle finger.Fucking Mumbai traffic.
The taxi he had flagged slowed down.It wasn’t empty, though.
“Hey..Want to share a ride?. It’s raining and there aren’t too many taxis around at this hour,” A voice called out.
“Thanks, man.I’ll get off at Marine lines.What a beast of a day!” Srikanth exclaimed as he scampered into the cramped taxi,tugging at his raincoat.
The interior of the taxi was bathed in a psychedelic,kitschy glow.Rani pink spotlights showcased a Ganpati statue swathed in jasmine flowers. A stale, meaty smell assaulted his nostrils and Srikanth gagged.
“I’m going upto Andheri.No sweat.”The kind taxi-benefactor said.
 He was sporting a french beard, a checked-gingham shirt, Levi jeans and bright smile.A copy of Conversations with God (Part III) was tucked under his arm.
“My favourite book. Actually, all three parts are great.But this is my favourite,“The man offered when he caught Srikanth looking intently at the book.
“My favourite too,”Srikanth nodded.
 “By the way,I am Prabodh.”
The crazy traffic and  the crazier rain derailed Srikanth’s thought process for a few seconds.The stale smell and Altaf Raja’s nasal voice crooning “Tum To Tehre Pardesi” didn’t help matters much either.
“Sorry.I was in another world. Srikanth.”
“New to Mumbai?The city can be a sadistic bitch at times. But, there’s no other place in the entire world that rocks as much as this one!”Prabodh enthused.
Srikanth nodded absently.
“I wish I could share your enthusiasm.I’m from Hyderabad.It’s been an intimidating first day here.”
“Hyderabad…. A friend of mine is from there as well. Maybe you know her.Alice D souza?” 
“Alice..Ummm..Not really.Hyderabad’s a big city too,” Srikanth quipped.
“Ha ha.I didn’t mean it that way.”
A stifling, pregnant silence ensued.
“Do you wonder about the futility of life?”Srikanth asked.
“Yes,a lot.Why are you asking me this?.”
“Would you believe me if I told you that I am a bookie and that this very minute there are atleast 10 people who want my bones broken.”
 Prabodh stared icily at his co-passenger.He found himself shivering, despite the hot, humid air circulating in the taxi.
Arey..did I scare you?It’s not that bad actually.Let me just show you something,” Srikanth said.
He slipped his left hand from inside his raincoat pocket and held it up for Prabodh’s supervision. 4 fingers stood eerily, accentuating the absence of the pinkie.
“The little one got removed when I didn’t have enough money to finance  my coke habit.They have my pinkie stored in their warehouse,embalmed like a mummy.When I pay them back,they’ll let me have it back.”
“Oh Fuck!.” Prabodh exclaimed.
He realised that his teeth were clattering in an alarming fashion.Beads of sweat had appeared unannounced on his forehead which he mopped up with his monogrammed,silk handkerchief.He noticed that Srikanth was staring at him intently.
“Save me!You seem like a nice guy.Can you lend me some money?”Srikanth implored.
Prabodh looked on in mute horror.He wondered why he had let this crazy guy get in at all in the first place.He slowly pulled out his wallet.
Srikanth’s pupils enlarged rapidly.
“Here..I have just 1000 bucks now .You can have it.”
Srikanth smiled. It reminded Prabodh of crazy gangster movies. Prabodh glanced lovingly at his pinkie and caught Srikanth looking at him in a strange way.
The taxi had stopped at a red signal and Prabodh’s eyes were drawn to the taxi’s door.Suddenly, he wanted to be away from strange Hyderabadi men who abused coke, owed a tonne of money to gangsters and loved Conversations with God.
A sense of urgency gripped Prabodh.
NOW.He told himself.
Disregarding the rain, motorists and the no-money situation, Prabodh jumped out of the taxi onto the road. The signal turned green and the taxi rolled away. Cars swerved trying to avoid hitting him.Srikanth peeped out from the taxi window, his face creased into a scowl.
 “Crazy fucker!” Prabodh screamed as the taxi speeded , receeding from his line of vision.
                                                                            ****
The manila envelope read “To Prabodh.”
The note simply said “We are together again.And it is very good. Love Srikanth.”
 Comprehension dawned.The last lines of Conversations with God (part III). Pellets of fear bombarded Prabodh’s damp skin.His eyes darkened and he hurried into the boss’s cabin to ask his boss if he could take    the rest of the day off.
                                                                             ****
Alice was hunched over her computer in the corner of the copy-writer’s room.A crowd had gathered around her.Wild unspoken cheers echoed through the corridors. Jubliant faces looked on as she logged into her Gtalk.
A window popped up.She typed.
Alice says: We got to him, Roark! He’s peeing in his pants now.
Roark says: Let’s roast the bastard some more tomorrow.
The crowd cheered some more in anticipation.

The geyser story..

Been a while I took digs at the chap on the blog.Here I go without further ado…
Me: The geyser’s not working.How did you manage to bathe? 
The chap : Oh, that…I have my ways. 
He smiles enigmatically and I wonder how he could have managed the feat. Though its not freezing sub-zero temperatures, the water that flows out of the pipe at 6:30AM is CCOOOOOOLLLLDDDD! GRRR..
Me: Like what? You skip showering?  
Smiles at me patronizingly, like I am the biggest nit-wit on earth.
 The chap : Oh , I use the microwave. 
Me: What!!??$$$
The Chap : I heat the water in microwave. 
Now , I am mentally shuffling through my collection of microwavable containers which the chap could possibly have used and come up with nothing that is bigger than the size of a medium-sized bowl.
He finally relents and decides to show me the container her uses to heat the water.
The chap: See, this is the “cup” I use for heating the water. 
And he shows me the extra-small mug I use for heating milk, normally. Apparently, he uses 4-5 cups of microwave water and that makes the tap water warm. Of all the other options available to heat water(like a gas stove) trust him to use this one! Why does he use it – because everything else is too much work ! Or maybe milky smelling water makes him feel like Cleopatra.

Needless to say, I fell off my chair laughing.

Husbands are priceless when it comes to household chores, I say.

 

The Malalankey poem

For some strange reason,I have been belting out this silly limerick for the last few days.Sample the piece that has been tormenting me ..

I Willilish I Walalash in a malalankey Lalaland
The lalaland whelalare I walalash Bololon
The malalankey Kililish melalee on malalay cheelilick
And salalaid goodlalabye for lololong…

What it really means is…

I wish i was in monkey land
The land where i was born
The monkey kissed me on my cheek
And said goodbye for long..

It definitely is one of the most perplexing ,silly little poems i have heard..Why would a monkey want to kiss you on your cheek and say goodbye?..Still i keep humming it.And the best part is that it makes me grin every time i say it out loud..its the simplest forms of time travel for me..Takes me back in time into my childhood when at school we used to sing the poem and giggle uncontrollably in physics classes..Do you have some silly little piece that amuses you and makes you want to chuckle like a carefree three-year-old?

See you on the other side…

People who wanted to know why the last post was deleted, here’s the reason- there were some formatting issues and being a sucker for aesthetic stuff,i couldn’t stand looking at it a second longer than i had to.. so,poof it went.

I have taken long breaks from the blog before ,but almost 3 months back i decided not to take any long breaks from here and keep writing.I have been faithful to my dear friend,bedazzled , blogged regularly and blog-hopped with equal panache.Also,in the last few months,i have consciously made this a book blog.. lately,i realize i have been deviating from that and posting random stuff..

I have also become colossally lazy and let chores and work accumulate.I am going to welcome the new responsible (ha!) me and finish up all the things i need to.. I am excited about the times ahead,but secretly scared about the discipline it demands. There is also this milestone which is breathing down me in approximately 3 months.. yeah,i am turning 30!!..Scary!.I know nothing ever changes from one bday to another,just that when you are in your 20’s,you know you have time for all the monkey-jumping you want.And when the dreaded 30 looms up ahead you,you suddenly realize that you will have to get your act together ASAP and not careen off the way you did before..Some may ask whats in a age!! well, technically,nothing.Its just me !;-)

Anyway,Let me see you people in a couple of months…I’ll miss your blogs and all your comments..If you need to drop in a line,my gmail address is always there..Have fun,guys.

sniffle.. achhooo!!!

what do u call a common cold of right hemisphere of the brain ??? well , i have had this ailment for a while and i am praying that it doesn’t end up becoming a full blown infection thingie..i haven’t written anything new in the last few months.. and am beginning to wonder whether i remember how to write at all !! words r clotting and refusing to flow out onto the screen ..but life’s been really good .. interesting times , must say !!! hee hee .. am i grinning ear to ear?? .. now, why would i want to do that without any reason .. ??try getting wet in a refreshing spay of rain and u’ll agree with me .. achooo!!!.. lemme get back to my inhaler now !!!

The Game of Life ..

If you thought this was going to be a serious post cos of the title ..think again .. No way !!! I am battling this horrendous writer’s block , so It’s old post time !!…

This is the tale of my illustrious real estate career and assorted other interests.. In my humble opinion, I’ve built them all …libraries, workshops, ramblers (have to look up that word in the dictionary), colonial homes, estates, coffee shops and parks. After a lot of hard work, I’ve raked in a colossal $ 10,201,400.
Do I smell something burning??

Now, that’s easily my career best. Well, I’ve been practicing becoming a real estate tycoon by playing “Build a Lot” lately. And it’s taken me almost a week to perfect the game with the kinds of odds against me.. For starters, I can get only one hour free trial download from each gaming site.

Then there is a problem of finding enough sites that have thisgame. I’ve reached a point where I have downloaded every free trial available on the internet for this game. I’ve also used 4 other email addresses and 2 other computers… and now I don’t have any other option, but to buy this game.. Now, that’s bit of a problem,cos my
credit and debit cards are all gone , thanx to my shopoholic nature ..

Similarly I’ve scrounged the net for several other no-brainer games..What I am about to share with you are rare gems of wisdom, which ideally would have been handed down to my daughters , their daughters, their sons and so forth …But since I happen to be this really generous and nice person, I have decided to share my secret de-stressing
no-brainer free games on the net. Nothing is more enriching (?) and rewarding (?) than these games at the end of a stressful dog-eat-dog day in the merciless corporate world.

Read on.. You can thank me later…

My top-5 no-brainer type Net games..

No 5. Hidden objects mysteries games where amongst an assortment of junk, we need to find an apple or a knife or something hideous like a missing tooth. I’ve never actually solved any mystery completely though ,cos i guess the gaming companies would go out of business if they let me do the entire investigation(read as find all then arcane,mundane,stupidly concealed objects) in one hours time.

No 4. Noah’s ark type stuff.. Actually I don’t remember the name of the game, as I had started my gaming career with this amateurish game where similar looking animals have to be linked up by creepers before the water fills up the ark …Don’t miss this game cos it has the most adorable pigs and hippos in town..;-)

No 3. Bejeweled type games.. Where you have nice, popping, colorful gems that go “clink,clink ,clink” when you make clusters out of them… This game is as arbitrary and random as games can get. It does also give you a sense of achievement of deftly letting the gems go “clink ,clink, clink”. In reality, most of the “clink, clink, clink” is not in your control- It happens quite randomly…Nice music though,
especially the “clink, clink, clink” sound.

No 2. Monopoly type games.. Nothing like plain vintage monopoly for expensive time pass like buying up Newyork city or building 3 houses on California …

And No 1 , as you would have guessed already would definitely go to Build a Lot type games where unlike in real life I am actually a multi-millionaire.

Through these games you can also get to do a lot of things you can’t be in real life. I’ve been a Wedding planner, Cook, investigator, ancient traveler in second century BC, rich tycoon at the roulette table or a Restaurateur.. Just name it and I’ve done that. Plus If I have a not-so great gaming session, I can always get back the next day and do the same level again. Just save the game and get back when
things are a lot better… That’s my take away from all the mindless gaming I’ve been indulging in… If today’s not your day, come back tomorrow and take on life from where you left it…

“Alt F –S” and “Alt F- X” today, if you are down
Double click game of life tomorrow at dawn
And live happily ever after…

Ps: Since i am bankrupt(also read jobless), please donate money to help me buy
build-a-lot on the internet.$ 6.99 only and you can bring back happiness into my life ..You can transfer the money to ABN Amro A/c ***********1908 .. Thanks in
anticipation 😉