Toothbrush 💕

with 8000 counterclockwise revolutions per minute and all that shit….


It was a cold day. The train was parked amidst some godforsaken jungle. The LTE sign on my notification toggle flickered like a dying candle. A mild morning light came seeping through the web of trees. And in front of me lay amorphous pieces of human turd which the last fellow passenger had probably forgotten to flush. That’s a regular scene in North Indian train toilets, so I did not make a fuss about it. I just peed, saving any possible collision of my stream with the last man’s debris, and then I tried to flush but there was no water, so I slipped out like a mouse.

The sleeping beauty on the side-upper berth had finally woken up. She fished in her fancy handbag and pulled out a fancy brush. It was one of those toothbrushes people with Swiss bank account buy – with counterclockwise 8000 revolutions per minute and all that hyper level shit; the ones so expensive that they don’t even advertise during daily soaps, so my mother has no idea about their existence.

I imagined telling my mother about such toothbrushes and about people owning them.

“We used powders and your Nanny rubbed ashes and sand on her teeth. Now I’m beginning to think we are cave people. “She’d say, and then add that toothbrush to her wish list.

The girl did not have a toothpaste though. Maybe it came with an in-built mint flavour, I thought.

Is there any cap to how rich you can get? I could have all the money in the world and still be poor as fuck. If I get rich enough to buy that kind of toothbrush, I’d rather buy one of Saturn’s moons and drill oil out of it to get even richer.

The girl went towards the wash basin. I was not sure if she could bear all that revolting shit. See, with richness there comes a whiff of intolerance. But she handled it pretty well.

A just-woken-up girl brushing her teeth in a train is not exactly how they show you in movies. I mean they look pretty wrecked up, but it’s kind of cute, nevertheless. Yeah, you won’t like to snog her but you could still make art out of her.

I thought I would, but then I gave up that thought. She was too rich and too far. And I had my own worries. So I turned around like a good boy and walked back to my berth, plugged in the earphones and played Kailash Kher on a loop.


I watched that movie..

The most evil people bring babies to cinema halls…

Yeah. So a few Sundays ago, we stuffed ourselves with fried chicken, and when the breeze ran cold and the sun dipped low, went to watch this famous movie that got its ‘i’ dropped. You know which movie I’m talking about.

Now I’m not a very ardent cinemagoer to begin with. I’ve vague memories of my mother carrying me in her arms to this dreary cinema theatre in Banmankhi where they sold roasted peanuts during the interval. I also remember that they played the same stodgy crap over and over. The movie would be about a woman whose life was hell because her in-laws were children of satan and her own family was a cluster of eunuchs. The husband was a pisshead who fucked whores and had a debt equal to the combined GDP of Bangladesh and Myanmar, which he had acquired from shady people. Not to mention he was vile and violent and loved torturing his wife, which was considered an act of domestic violence before E.L. James came up with Fifty Shades of Grey. The mother-in-law had a PHD in finding faults and the father-in-law was an insignificant character who read newspaper and had no idea what he was doing in the movie. Also, there was unpaid dowry. So they’d beat her up pretty good. But the woman was a devotee of this Goddess, who for the most of the movie, perhaps enjoyed her plight munching popcorn in her higher dimensional sofa, who towards the end realised that the in-laws were pretty evil blokes and so she almost killed them but the good wife requested her to not to do so and then all those evil people somehow got magically transformed into gentle human beings in the last two minutes of the movie. I was a small baby back then, but I swear I knew I had landed up in the wrong place.

When I grew up, we didn’t go to movies that often. Mostly, it would be south Indian mass entertainment crap on Star Gold every sunday at 4 pm, full of ludicrous action sequences and incoherent songs. We did go to watch Veer in JVR Plaza, but it flopped terribly. I also went to watch Kambakht ishq with my mother, a disaster about which I shall talk later.

So anyway, what I’m trying to say is that I don’t drop at multiplexes every Friday, and so when we waited at the fast food counter on the second floor of Vikas Mall cleaning our 3D glasses with the tissue paper, I felt kind of excited. There was a Black Panther poster on one of the walls, and my friends started posing in front of it. There were dozens of army officials, strolling around with big guns. The mall looked like a battle camp.

We went in after a while. And it was a cheap ticket, so we got front seats. They were showing Delhi Police ads against child sexual abuse. The movie started in a while and we put on our 3D glasses. It wasn’t that clear. We’d to really focus hard to see the movie. This intellectual friend of mine tried to explain the science behind it. But when he started using words like refraction, we told him to shut the fuck up.

The movie was good. It could have been better had there not been (1) Stupid people entering the theatre all the time because they were probably given wrong timing or had alzheimer (2) Stupid couple always having to buy some stuff during the movie because they couldn’t buy it later (3) Stupid baby kicking at the back of my chair because, well, wait, why the fuck is it legal to bring babies in a movie theatre (4) Stupid aunties in the back discussing if Malik Kafur was that.

The glasses sucked but I managed somehow. There were very few hot scenes. Khilji was impressive and cruel. I wouldn’t even talk about its historicity because it is pointless. The songs were nice. The plot was a bit stupid. The story sucked towards the end. It wasn’t a Bajirao Mastani. Deepika was pretty but Aditi Rao Haydari looked like someone you could build Taj Mahal for.

Yeah. That was it.


A Priest from another Land.

And I almost got converted…


It was around midnight when a blinding light pierced through my eyelids. I squirmed and squinted and shielded my eyes with my palms, but I couldn’t stop seeing the light. I knew I was only conjuring it up, because my palms were perched like a crab upon my clenched eyes, but you know I have this condition that when I think something it just gets into my head. The beam of light broke through my skin, and my veins glowed like neon and my bones smoldered like coal, and the light kept seeping; it burned the tissues, it lit up the blood and it stabbed through the skin, searing each layer of me until it hit my pupils. It made me dizzy. What’s worse was that it wasn’t even real light.

Unable to find solace, I pried open my eyes. There was a white woman with a silver pony, arranging the middle berth on the opposite side. That’s all I could make out apart from her skin tone. I let my eyes dart around for a while. On the other side, I saw another girl. Black hair that sparkled in the light of a distant source, almond eyes that seemed lost in a distant memory – she seemed like a piece of art with deeper hidden meanings. She just sat there, unaware of my existence while I watched her from a shadowed bower that was lit up like a forest fire a few seconds ago. She was making me poetic. Oh my heavens! This compartment was choking full of hot women!

Only that there were slight issues which I discovered the next morning. The white woman actually turned out to be a guy. And the other girl went into hibernation once she got under her blanket. I was sharing a journey with a married woman, a zonked out woman who might as well have been dead, and a woman who was actually a guy with a silver pony – which is not exactly the kinds I picture my voyages with.

I checked the status of the train – it was 9 hours late. I stepped down and took up a seat on the lower berth, by the white guy. He had a rudraksh mala in his hand which struck me as weird. Then I studied him with the precision of a lab attendant. Saffron Kurta, white dhoti, a red tika on his forehead, malas around his neck – the only thing that was odd was his face, white as Sheamus. I wondered if he was an Indian guy with some skin disease. I didn’t ask him anything. I just observed.

“Iskon Temple. “He said as he showed me in his phone. The notifications dropped in a foreign language.

“Where are you from? “I quizzed.

“Russia. ”

“On vacation? ”

“I’m here to learn Bhaktashashtra. “He said.

Oh my…doesn’t Putin love you anymore? I didn’t even know there was a thing called Bhaktashashtra. They don’t offer it at DU, so anyway.

“How much time has it been…”I almost faltered.

“5 years. “He said as he smiled with great satisfaction, the one you get when your daughter finally gets married to a nice guy.

5 years? I mean is that even legal? 😑

Then he showed me his Bhagwad Geeta, and I began to realise he was completely brainwashed.

“You know about this? ”

Yeah. That’s what they made Amrish Puri pledge upon in a Bollywood courtroom. And it’s full of moral preachings and there are no hot scenes in its entirety.

“It’s a part of Mahabharata. “I said.

Then he started explaining stuffs and Krishna’s messages and I felt like a pagan.

“I guess I am an atheist. “I said. The married woman chuckled at my tragedy.

Then came the Russian guy’s girl, from the other compartment, and I froze, my eyes stuck on her like I was an esthete and she was a Michelangelo masterpiece. You remember the fairies they tell you about in pre-school? That was she. Dressed in a saree, with nose stud and all. I felt weak at my knees even though I was sitting. This is unfair, isn’t it? You can’t learn Bhaktashashtra for 5 years and have an ethereal wife at the same time. Such is life, my dear friends, such is life.

They stayed for a while and then the girl went back. The guy tried to show me some more videos of his Keertan but I said I was sleepy and so I climbed up to my berth and checked if the sleeping beauty had woken up but she had not, and so I slept, wondering why foreigners are so queer.

to be continued…


The Cyclones 💕

Now that the sea retreats, the sand has a doubt…maybe you’re just a thought that I thought…


I was beginning to learn that your life is a story told about you, not one that you tell.

-John Green, Turtles All the Way Down.

Chicken Biryani @ Rs. 80 – I read from the giant menu board with a picturesque background printed right out of Laura Vitale’s YouTube thumbnails, and me being in a state of starvation, the doormat at the entrance seemed no less than God’s own flying carpet. My brain felt like a centrifuge – and I don’t even know that word properly – it just felt moving round and round and round – as if my mind was Jupiter and my thoughts were cyclones. If I fell unconscious at the door, I’d lose my phone, my wallet and my key, and so I did not have that luxury, I reminded myself.

I trudged in and walked up to the counter. The receptionist was a lanky man. There was nothing attractive about him. I know as a writer I’m supposed to give you descriptions but when my great immortal love story is written, I am pretty sure we won’t need this guy. So stick with the adjective lanky for a while because that’s all I remember.

” Chicken Biryani. “I said. He looked at me, registered my voice, had them transferred to his basilar membrane where tiny hairs did a little piano show before transferring the message through electric pulses which hit his auditory cortex where the brain decoded it and then his primary motor cortex told him to get his hand out of his pocket through a really long chain of nerves sparkling with electricity and so he moved it out, took out his pen, took out another hand to pull out the cap, kept the cap on the table, then flipped the register on his desk, after which he put his pen on a blank space and made really slow loops.

Yeah that’s how long it went.

“That’d be 80 rupees. “He said. He didn’t like his job. I keep meeting all those people who don’t like their jobs. And then I wonder why there’s so much negative energy all around me. I took a seat and let my mind do a little free fall into the cyclone.

The world may seem quiet and everything, but if you flip every human being inside out, you’ll know what Dante Alighieri meant by hell when he wrote Inferno 700 years ago.

This is a sick place and a sick millennium. And that’s how it’s always been in every millennium and in every place. The utopias exist only in our imaginations. So here’s a little thought –

our utopia is almost perfect. The contrasts of it are limited to diverse shades of a butterfly, or diverse shapes of a snowflake, which do not, for example, produce energy equivalent to 50 megatons of TNT up somebody’s ass. So the ideal world that we create are free of our own concepts of sin, and are attempts towards a little more organised and beautiful landscape.

Now suppose you are the creation of an other worldly being. All your physical realities are the result of somebody’s overdose of philosophy. Just like your Utopian puppets don’t realise the fakeness of their existence, you don’t have the tools to realise the fakeness of yours. Just like you are making up a world of your own, sitting in a random chair at Bhagalpur Junction, maybe you too are a made up thought. Maybe somebody’s in a 4 dimensional sofa, munching 4 dimensional pop corns and thinking of a character at a railway station which is you. Maybe you are a part of his Utopia.

Having established that, I delve further into the world of higher beings. Previous versions characterise them as omnipotent, omnipresent noble beings – people with long sparkling white beards who’d make it rain bullion with a click of their fingers, for example.

But here’s a contrast – if we are a part of their utopia, we are, by their definition, at an ideal state. The horrible sins of our world is just a contrast of shades to them, a diversity of shapes, a difference that’s not really harmful. I wonder at what levels do the criminals operate there. Like, what sort of badassry is a bailable offence in a higher dimension district court. And like how do you divorce somebody?

It gives me deep chills. I dart my eyes around in nervousness and tell myself that I’m not a made up thought. My heart beats frantically. This demon of inside is hard to kill.

I am not a made up thought.

That’s what she thinks, too.

Shut up. She is real.

Is she?

Yes. I’ve seen her. We’ve chatted. We fuckin went to the same school. I’ve known her for half my life. She is real. Doctor is real. I’ve got her pictures.

Is she, though?

In Memento, Lenny creates the memories that drive his life. Without them, he’s just a working human body. At some far horizons, the difference between real and unreal vanishes. The solid land beneath your feet floods every full moon, but when the beautiful night is over, all you’re left with is a tide retreating back to the sea – a reality touched by an unreality. The imprints left on the wet sand is what you refer to as life.

“Here it is. “Said the waiter as he plonked the food at my table. My stomach started live drum ceremonies, so I ate like it was my last meal, the image of a retreating tide ebbing away in the back of my mind.

to be continued….


Bookstore @ Bhagalpur Junction

books and strategy 😂


Bhagalpur junction is just slightly bigger than Godzilla’s ass, but it has got two bookstores. There’s a restaurant as well, and not to mention free wifi, and random switch bords with enough holes to allow half a million people charge their phones simultaneously. The icing on the cake, though, are the girls – hot and plenty.

I roll my trolleybag to a bookstore, browse around for a while and then check my pockets. Everything – phone, wallet, key – is at its place. I feel a sense of relief that otherwise only comes with peeing after a long time.

Probably I should stop masturbating, a random thought brushes my mind.
I start thinking about my dick after that, and it takes a while. Brain is a shitty dirty place. I mean you think about your loved ones and then you think about penises, all through just one organ. That’s really absurd if you see it that way.

Since the train is still a few stations away, I take the liberty of scanning through the stacks of books. There are Paulo Coelhos perched over Chetan Bhagats, there are Tolkiens mixed with Preeti Shenoys, there are Dan Browns lying around with Amish Tripathis – this pacific disarray makes me wonder that the world could be at peace if humans were just the books they wrote.

My eyes catch a book titled Omnibus. The author – one of my favourites – Jerome k Jerome.

“What does that cost? Omnibus? “I ask the shopkeeper as I point at the book. He isn’t much for books, if you ask me. Fat guy with eyebags, and he is using a Salman Rushdie as his tea coaster. It takes him about a minute to locate Omnibus. He checks the MRP and plonks the book at the countertop as if he were tossing a dustbag.

“200 bucks. ”

I flipped the book. 200 it is.

“Don’t you offer some discount? “I ask. I mean I love Jerome K Jerome but Amazon was offering the same at 175. And they give bookmarks for free.

“No. “He says. I turn around and start moving. An old trick I learnt on wikihow.

“10 rupees. “He calls.

Alright, it’s working. So maybe if I keep walking he’ll bring the price even lower. Good, you’re learning. Okay, if I have to draw a price-distance graph, at what point will the Omnibus reach the upper limit of my book expenditure fund?

Ummm, now would be a good time to check your phone. And wallet. And key.

I have reached the edge of the platform but the shopkeeper hasn’t called yet. Something is wrong. I could have carried on, but I don’t want to be found dead on tracks, so I move back, mortified, and start walking towards a fast food joint that promises delicious biryani.

to be continued…


My Brother is Back…with 4 large bags.

our crazy family gets even crazier… 😂😂


My mother called me from somewhere underneath her blanket. When I went to her room, the first thing I wondered was,

“Where’s her head? ”

“You know what, I’ve got this great business idea. “Her voice came from the other side of the bed.

To be honest, I’d far more important jobs to do, like unlocking my phone to check if Dale H has made any moves in our three-day match at, but I chose to listen to her great idea. That’s how good a son I am.

“I was thinking of designing a full body winter suit, which would cover you from the tip of your hair to the nail of your toe. And it would be skintight to keep you warm.”

“Well, such suits already exists. “I said. In porno.

“Really? Who wears them? ”

“Lara Latex. “I said, and then I realised my mother knew how to search names on google, so I quickly covered it up.

“He’s a superhero. Like Batman. ”

“They have funny names. “She said.

“But I am designing it for common people. Like really common people who can’t afford a stove, for example. It could make me rich. ”

“People who cannot afford a stove would rather save money so that they could afford a stove so that the whole house could be warm. “I said. The silence that followed after suggested that my mother understood my point but didn’t quite like it.

“Check if your brother has reached Katihar. “She said.

My brother was on his way from Kota with 4 large bags. He has travelled that distance before, but my mother was worried for him, because he has never travelled with 4 large bags before. You see, mothers’ worries kind of make sense. I checked the running status of the train.

“It’s budged one and a half station from where it was three hours ago and is right now parked at some godforsaken halt which has a funny name. ”

“Really? Who the hell is driving it anyway? ”

“No idea. ”

My brother’s homecoming, unlike mine, was an event. Boxes of Gulaabjamun were happily perched in the refrigerator and despite it being my birthday, I was not allowed to consume more than a couple of those. They’d got his brand new phone out and already put it to charging so that he could feel special and loved. My mother had, by now, called four of our relatives to tell them how brave he was for travelling alone with 4 large bags.

And my brother did arrive safe and sound in the morning, with all his bags. And wished me a belated happy birthday. When I asked him for a gift, he presented to me an unused bottle of mineral water which he’d purchased on train. I vowed to gift him a pink hanky on his birthday. My mother kind of jumped on him and hugged the life out him. I could hear his bones crack, it was so brutal. Then he asked for his love, his phone and my mother told him to first take a good little bath. My father asked him where his other shoe was.

“Oh I lost it in the train. “He said. They pretended as if it was normal to lose shoes in trains and carried on with further conversations. I faked a stroke but they completely ignored me. Then I went back to Dale H because that’s the only human being who literally responds to every move of mine, and I don’t even know his sex, or anything else apart from the fact that he/she is married and has a kid.

It was rook to C4, attacking my queen. I moved my queen away, to D5.

After all the talking, he fished out a polybag from one of his large bags and threw a shirt at me. It was red and sexy. I looked at him blankly while he stood there with a big smile. Damn. He is love. I would have hugged the bones out of him but it was too cold so I decided to do it later.
He fished out another shirt and gave it to our father. It was blue and it had buttons and a front pocket, exactly like my father wanted. The real surprise came after he fished in his bag for the third time and took out a glitzy slim silvery bracelet watch and gave it to our mother. My jaw dropped and made a hole in the floor.

“Have you started selling drugs or what? “I questioned. He just laughed.

“I saved it.”

My mother hugged him even tigher. I swear I heard a spine fracture this time. The last time I had saved money, it was in a piggy bank, to buy Spiderman trump cards. There was no way he could have saved that much. I mean it’s twenty first century, even oxygen costs, like twenty bucks or something. His polybag must have some magical properties, I told myself. It was a more believable prospect.

When he was done I asked for the polybag. I wished for an iPhone, spelled some charms I’d learnt from this Bengali magic book in std 4th, and fished for it in the bag. Nothing came out. He laughed harder.

I quietly slipped back inside my blanket and played chess for the next two hours while my mother discussed the great business idea of full body winter suits with him.


Midnight Musings

Greetings are somwhat artificial…


I’ve squeezed myself to the size of a ragdoll. And wrapped two blankets around myself. Under normal circumstances that would be termed a suicide attempt. Through the atomic gaps between tightly bolted window shutters, an evergreen melody flows in. I can’t make out the lyrics but I can swear it’s from the black and white era. Those were great days. Typewriters, post cards and black and white movies – everything was so amazing back then. Now we have an app that shoos away mosquitos. Sometimes I wonder if human progress is actually just a descent.

My father’s not concerned with my stray thoughts. He’s busy warming his hands over the firepan. My mother is snoring in the other room and despite there are two people within a tiny sphere, I couldn’t have felt any more alone. No, it doesn’t have to do with the girls. It’s just this sinking feeling, this termite of the soul gnawing away at my self-esteem. Quite like Jordan. ( I always knew that movie was made for me. ) This simple life I’ve lived so far has left enough holes to worry about. I can’t bear this. I simply wait for my father to get over with his job and switch off the lights. Darkness will make me poetic. Or maybe I’ll just watch porn.

Well, it’s my birthday today. It’s 12 of midnight. I have deactivated my Facebook account long ago. I wonder if I should uninstall whatsapp too. I don’t like birthday or festival greetings. I don’t want to sound like a grumpy old man but it just turns me off when somebody who doesn’t give two pieces of shit about me texts me on particular days to remind me that they do give two pieces of shit about me. It’s so phoney that I wouldn’t even consider thinking about that. It’s not unbearable though. It just makes me disappointed to watch friendships getting reduced to the role of a calendar. I’d happily accept your birthday wishes if you talk to me on other days as well.

It was similar with Doctor. She’d call me on her birthday and sulk because I did not wish her at midnight. And after that I’d call her on my birthday and pretend to sulk, but I’d give up by the time she spoke, like, the second word of the conversation. It seemed sweet for a while, but then, it sort of turned into a responsibility. We didn’t talk for months, but on birthdays we had to wish each other and then resume not talking for months. It doesn’t work that way for me. I’ve got this reminder app in my phone. It sings nice birthday songs for me every year. Why would I need somebody to wish me unless they have, for example, a free holiday coupon for Hawai or something?

So this December I committed the sin of not wishing Doctor on her birthday. Well, I nearly texted her. I had the drawing ready. Everything was planned and prepared. But the existence or death of Schrodinger’s cat depends upon the opening of door. I was waiting for that sulky midnight call. Only a text flashed on my screen.

“Wish her birthday. “It was from Captain. Yeah, my friends remember her birthday, she’s that special.

The call never came. And the day passed. I deleted the message and tore away the pages. It wasn’t my ego, it was just the realisation that maybe she too understands the futility of such greetings.

To be honest, I didn’t feel sad or anything. It didn’t seem wrong or unfair, somehow…

The texts have started flowing now. I slot the earpieces in and play Faasle by Kaavish and Quratulain Balouch. It’s a coke studio song and it just gives you enough pain that you can bear without crumbling into pieces. Maybe someday, I will get that heartbreak. Right now, I’m just a JJ.