Gangs of MZMS 🔫💣🔥

when love was war….🔥🔥🔥

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In MZMS, when we were in std. VII, we started forming gangs. If it were a pre-80s suburb of Rio, we would have fought for drugs and stuffs; but we were born and bred in peaceful environments, where you only heard of robberies through a very distant relative who had been told of the same by a very distant relative of his own. Sometimes, you’d come across the reports of murder in the locality, and you’d gasp at the realisation that there was a locality right behind your ass that you did not have a hair of an idea about.

Fights did break, among all age groups and over a wide range of issues. Little kids fought for candies and stuffs, elders fought because their wives demanded designer dresses which their neighbours got from sale. Women fought because their mother-in-laws were being bitches. Mother-in-laws fought because their daughter-in-laws were being bitches. Women also fought when the grocer was not ready to pull the price lower than what the worth of a bag of 250 grams of okra was. Actually, okra sellers were an endangered species. Everybody fought them.

At our age, we fought for love, or because the umpire gave a no ball when it was not one. I remember testosterone rushing through our veins, making us feel powerful and eager. We’d watch the scuffles in Indira Gandhi Stadium, hear stories that triggered them, and admire the gang leaders with undiluted awe. If somebody had even a vague connection to those gangs, like if he could tell two or three unheard stories about the gangleader, he was showered with much respect and honour. Most of the fights happened when two boys fell for the same girl. It was war after that. They’d get to the stadium with their gangs and beat the daylights out of each other. A few years ago, a boy was even beaten to death. It came in papers and there was a small candle march.

So in std. VII, with so much hope in our eyes, we started forming our own gangs, so that if ever we confronted a troop, we would have one of our own to fight back. It was not like one of those 4 houses the Sorting Hat puts you in so that you could chase shots riding on magical brooms, it was quite deadly.

We had just made the switch from half pants to full ones, and there was an urgent need to display the privileges that came with full pants. We tossed our beyblades into the wastebin, we stopped watching Roll Number 21, we fastened our belts and geared up for a new life.

The class got divided into various gangs, each with its own speciality.

My gang was called Indo Dragon, the only gang to have a two-word name, and a logo. It was a dragon I’d ripped off from my comic book. We had put together a bunch of weird kids. Churan was the psycho scientist who was trying to derive a formula to calculate the volume of his penis, Bihari was a WWE fan who could imitate sweet chin music quite well. We had Bhola who was built like Thor. Then Mausa who had loads of money. We were an exclusive group where entry required some talent or 80% or above in Maths. My friend PC qualified for none, but I kept him in the gang anyway. For moral support.

There was another gang called Mayo gang. Its leader was Atif, and I don’t remember who were in the team.

Shoodra gang consisted of students who didn’t give a fuck about the rest of us. They were either too innocent or too distanced. There was another group called MARD gang, which consisted of four people the first letter of their names being M, A, R and D, which was the only qualification required for entry.

Later, there was a reshuffle and a new gang came up – Batul Da gang. Batul da is this famous tutor of my city who prepares newborns and infants for IITJEE. So everybody who went there, including me, had to maintain a level of swag by talking in coaching jargons.

Now let’s talk about the girls. Yeah, I know you were waiting for this. Okay. There was this crazy gang of five girls who were high on hormones. They had boyfriends and were known to set girls for desperate boys. If you liked a girl, you just had to contact them. But they were also loud and phoney, and even though I did not particularly like them, they were a force to be reckoned with.

Doctor was a part of the trio which was high on marks but low on kindness. Their favourite passtime was getting us beaten up by the teacher, especially Lauvva sir, whose favourite passtime was beating up students, especially us.

Other than that there were a few random trios. Insignificant but they hung on.

Unfortunately, we never had a fight. The closest thing to a fight we had was the tae kwon do sessions on the terrace during lunch breaks.

The class evolved in the next two years, and then we got divided on the basis of our relationship status into the following groups :

• Classroom couples. The most annoying of all. They’d snog in the back benches and write corny love letters for each other, often in their blood. The girls would bring maggie for their boyfriends and the boys would bring the biggest packs of Dairy Milk Silk, recharge their phone and give them their kidneys to play with, etc, etc. They’d often get caught fondling each other, and we would hear an hour of moral science lecture from someone as inhuman as our Maths teacher.

• There also were people with partners outside of the classroom, and they were usually quiet. Sometimes they’d miss the classes. They didn’t usually care.

• Then there were fucked up one-sided lovers, like yours truly, who used to nurture sadness because true love is immortal according to Nicholas Sparks. Two years ago, when I joined college I gave away all my Nicholas Sparks for free. When I think about it now, maybe it was societal pressure. I mean all my friends were leaping into relationships, and Doctor was kind of cute and funny, so I thought it was love. Maybe it even was – if you ask my 15 year old self, he would swear it was. But I’m not sure. I mean we had a total of 8 conversations on phone, about which I shall tell you in the next post.

• People who were single had it easy. They read Bhagat Singh or French revolution and successfully kept their female interactions to a minimum.

Anyways, so this was it. We passed X and went separate ways. The attempts at reunion have been in vain so far. Let’s see…

Snippet #2 Summer

when it’s hot as hell…

A few days ago, the temperature was a sweltering 36°c with 79% humidity. In the Feels Like column on timeanddate.com, it showed 48°c. My mother was convinced it was over 50. My father recounted the good old days when summer used to be mellow and full of rains. They’d go to the field, wading through the knee deep water and watch buffaloes swim in the distant river.

There was a time they used to call this place Mini Darjeeling, but these days you can smelt ores by simply leaving them out in the sun. A few people in the neighbourhood have already been admitted to the Hope because of sunstroke, or some weird photochemical reactions due to the scorching heat.

pinterest.com

The air was stifling hot. As I lay on the coarse, trampled turf of Indira Gandhi Stadium, streams of molten lava flowed under my skin, scalding my insides like chucks of meat in a boiling pan. I remembered all those real life stories of spontaneous human combustion, and pictured myself lighting up and turning to ashes. People would more likely record my groans and convulsions and upload them on youtube than pour water or sand over my body. My shirt was sodden with sweat. The stadium felt like devil’s frying pan, where we the evil souls were being burnt and purged. The devil laughed its heinous laugh as we melted like butter cubes.

“This must be the new record. “Commented the IIT guy. He’s the only student from our batch to make it to the mecca of the great Indian Education system, so his comments are respected. We nodded in a unison.

Then we started comparing summer in different cities to while away time, which budged painfully slow.

“Is it hotter than Delhi? “Goteya asked.

“The heat there is different. I mean it’s not that suffocating. “Started Samar.

Well, I remember Delhi’s heat. Apartment blocks all clumped together. There’s no duct for air to pass. Every time there’s a power cut, terrace is the only rescue. I’d wake up in the middle of the night, all sweaty and hot, cursing my fate and rich people who live in hill stations during summer. Capitalism, people, capitalism!

“You must find it normal, right? “I asked the IIT guy, who lived in IIT Jodhpur. He took out his phone and whatsapped this cute girl – half girlfriend – to send him a random balcony shot. It was raining in Rajasthan. Goddam.

We talked about school and memories. I’ll tell you about that very soon.

After it was dark, we trudged back to our houses, hoping for some mercy from the skies.

“It’ll rain tomorrow. “Said the IIT guy. We nodded in unison.

(Well, it did not. )

Back at home, there was no food because my mother felt it was too hot and she hated the idea of standing in front of a goddam stove. So we ate mangoes and slept, praying the power remains forever.

Bloody Love

slitting the wrist and stuffs…😂😅

Yesterday, I came across this melancholic poem by Sameera, which made me kind of nostalgic. So I’d like to share this crazy memory.

I remember those crazy teenage years when I pined for Doctor. Gender-based animosity had perished by the time we reached class VIII, and in IX and X, my classroom was more like a lovers’ lane, where couples groped each other in the back benches as we (the monks) crammed French Revolution for upcoming exams. Love was in the air, and if you inhaled it enough, Cupid would himself get down to earth and push you into deep shit. It was a hormonal high for us – everything we felt was an overdose. We loved like nobody ever had, we hated like nobody ever could.

One of my friends fell balls down for this really dumb girl. He proposed her with a diary milk, a rose and a letter – with three grammatical mistakes – written in his own undiluted blood. Needless to say, the girl agreed. They all agree when they are in std. IX. Try proposing the same girl after she’s like three guys down, and you’d know how poverty feels.

Anyways, both of them, and the others really liked this bloody game. Every time they had a tiff or had to prove their love, they’d steal a blade from their dad’s shaving kit and give a small slash on the wrist. Blood would ooze out and all the misunderstandings would miraculously evaporate and they’d be groping each other in the back benches again. Sometimes I wondered if the girl was a vampire. She saw blood and it calmed her tits.

So yeah, blood sacrifice was a common ritual to resolve a conflict or to celebrate sadness. The deeper your cut went, the greater your melancholy. They were all reading Ravindar Singh back then, what would you expect.

So this friend of mine had cut marks all over his forearm. When there was no space left in the left hand, he moved to the right, and when that was filled up as well, he went to the left arm. Before he could move to the right arm, they broke up.

Slitting the wrist was such an important marker of love and grief that I thought I should give it a try. Cuipid had touched me by now, and I was head over heels in love with Doctor ( or so I thought). I really believed love was powerful enough to overwhelm your mind and make you do absurd things. I mean, according to cheesy bestselling romance, what’s love if it doesn’t kill you in the end. Damn those novels!

One day in November, when Doctor probably had her PMS or whatever, we fought and she stopped talking to me. So I thought it was quite depressing and I had to slit my wrist. Writers promise that physical pain helps you forget the mental agony. Plus, it was autumn and I had no porn. Plus, I was really addicted to her texts.

So I got a brand new knife from the local store. In the evening, I decided to do it. I googled how deep a cut would be okay, and it started sending me suicide prevention links. Anyways, I breathed in twenty gallons of air and got down to the business. I swear to God, the moment the blade touched my skin, all the veins became clear to my eyes. I could trace each of them, branching off right under my translucent skin, carrying life in a fluid red. The blade seemed real sharp. I dropped that idea. I’d seen in movies how people spasm when their jugular vein is ripped. Too scary to attempt!

I mean yeah I could die a Romeo’s death and maybe prove my love for her, but hell, I hadn’t even had sex yet. I didn’t want to go to heaven and find out that had I survived, I’d be having a kinky threesome with Janice Griffith and Keydon Kross ten years later. That would be really depressing.

But I was sad. So I had to hurt myself. How else would I be relieved! Everybody writes poems on debris, so I had to be one. But knife was too risky. So I’d to find something else.

There was another trend that caught me as quite romantic. Scribbling the lover’s name on your hand with a sharp object has its own elegance. I had seen depressed people do that in movies. And I was depressed. Damn I was heartbroken.

But Doctor has a really long name. One alphabet short of being a south Indian name. I could write her nickname but nobody would know if it was a real name or some secret, acronymed message for the illuminati. Moreover, I liked her real name more. So I chose to doodle her name on my wrist with a pen, and then to overwrite and overwrite till it was all bloody. I did it. Ah! Don’t ask me how. Annddd…

Fuck those novelists. Really. Goddamn. Physical pain and mental agony have different spots inside the brain. You can never forget a dead wife by amputating your pinkie, for example. Goddam it. Also, go for a goddam slash if you really want to.
Scribbling hurt for weeks. And I cursed all my friends who thought slitting wrist or torturing yourself had a point. I mean it wasn’t half as pleasurable as BDSM.

Our class had over 15 couples in std X. Almost all of them have broken up by now. No, Doctor is still clinging to her boyfriend probably (no idea). Teenage love doesn’t last long.

We don’t slash our wrists anymore. A few friends of mine guzzle beer or smoke Goldflake. I watch porn or try to learn something new. You don’t have to hurt yourself, because talking can heal deep wounds. This I have learnt.

If you ever feel depressed, start talking. If you don’t find people, talk to yourself. It helps. Well, you can always go back to blades. I mean I’m no judge but give yourself a chance. Love does not kill, emotions do. Get hold over them.

Okay now I have begun to sound like Sadguru, so I’d shoo off.

Bye bye.

Two Days of Winter : Day 1 #the Hotel

We reached the hotel…yaayyyy.

Shimla, from the balcony of a hotel at a high terrace, is the sublime fantasy of a romantic. As I leaned on its rusty rails, whose paint had begun to fall off, my eyes swam through the bewitching landscape and stopped at a light brown monkey scratching his groin with one hand as he held a sinewy branch with the other. A few others enthusiastically jumped from roof to roof, perhaps training for a forthcoming athletic event. Tiny houses peeped from behind the trees. Sleek cars zoomed by jogging mules on the road below. Despite sharp curves and high speed, nobody honked. Sun was a pleasant yellow orb of joy, floating in an azure sky, while a gentle breeze hummed along, and all the pines broke into a song. Ah! How I wish it was my honeymoon and I could watch sunlight dripping from my wife’s eyelashes and serenade her corny poems from my immortal collection!

I was lost in my wife’s eyelashes when my mother gave me a buzz. It was a video call. I gave my room a Sherlocky glance. Neta was changing into his (girlfriend’s) favorite clothes and the Military Man had already slipped inside the bathroom. I turned to the other side, with Shimla in the background, and slid the green icon.

“Oh my God! “Said my mother. Her mouth fell open while she blinked and gazed like a child on her first visit to a zoo. Within that tiny 2.5″×4.5” screen, my entire family was bunched together, like grapes on a fruit stand, gaping at me (the background) with unparalleled awe. We are a poor family who spend vacations collecting daily coupons and buzzing our village relatives to ask if they have any surplus mangoes left in their bagaans.

“This is amaazziiinnnggg! “She gave a squeal. My father just smiled. That’s not the maximum attainable curve on his face, but you have to tell a really nice joke to draw out more emotions. My brother was staring fixatedly, as if trying to calculate the velocity of leaping monkeys behind me.
“Hello aunty!”Neta gave a cheerful shout from the back. Hiding my hand from the camera, I flipped him a birdie.

“Hello beta! You should come home!. “My mother said. I was sure she did not mean it because Neta is a hardcore non-vegetarian while my mother believes that all the problems in this world can be solved if people simply turn to vegetarianism. Hunger, terrorism, AIDS – everything can vanish just by changing the contents of your plate.

“Wow! You’re having the time of your life. I wonder what you’ll be bringing for your mother from Shimla. “She said after soaking in the view from the balcony.

What do you bring for your mother from Shimla? A pahadi daughter-in-law? Or something simpler she could flaunt to her neighbors? Like shawls and stuffs?

“Raveeeeeeeeshhh…..”came a girly voice, and through the corner of my eyes, I saw her dash like a tracer bullet.

It was Manika.

FUCK!

I gave her a glare that could make kids permanently scopophobic. Mummy – I performed an award-winning dumb charades to make her understand, and when she finally got it, her cheeks got rosy; she bit her tongue and scurried like a mouse.

“Is there a girl in the tour? ”

Around 25, I wanted to say. But you don’t disclose such stuffs to your mother.

“It was mam. She teaches us Mughal History. “I assured her.

“The one with a giant bindi? “My mother said, talking about our HOD. If they two ever had a conversation, it would end up with a blank cheque and an offer from Vince McMahon to join WWE divas.

“Yes. Listen, I’ve to go. Freshen up. See you later. “I made a leap towards the end of our conversation. She agreed and asked me to stay away from pahadi girls.

“They have pretty eyes but that is because they are witches. Bye. ”

I would tell you the truth – old and ugly witches, they scare the bejesus out of me; but give me horny and hot ones, like Melisandre, and I would not mind getting boiled in a pot the next day.

“So, you seem to like it! “Came HOD’s solid voice, and I turned to find her smiling at me, the large bindi on her forehead with black lines around them, as if it was the symbol of some secret satanic cult.

“Yes mam. “I said, not really pleased but neither too sad.

She entered the room without an invite and crashed in our sofa. She started talking to Neta who was euphoric as hell.

The door opened and Military Man came out, wearing a faded white underwear that already was in the process of natural decomposition. It was like that great scene from Hera Pheri where Baburao’s dhoti is absent from his hairy hindlimbs. HOD saw him and turned her head away in shock. Military Man stood gobsmacked, as if a part of a frozen video frame. There was an awkward silence, like the one right before the big bang.

The Military Man trotted back and HOD resumed the conversation like everything was hunky dory.

She left after Neta told her a few stories about chicken and revealed to her some of our personal secrets, in return for some of the funny stories from previous college trips. Neta is such a bitch!

I gave a sigh of relief and fell on the fluffy bed like a piece of wood.

“30 minutes to have lunch and get ready. “Screamed the leader.

How I wished I could break out of this body and float like a leaf, and slowly descend to the lonely cottage amid that inviting wild forest, where a fireplace will crackle and a pahadi girl with bewitching eyes would wait for me…

“Take a shit before the tank runs out of water. “Neta dropped wise words as he fiddled with the tv remote.

Alright! Alright! Next time I come to Shimla, it’ll be with a girl.

The Predator Mom

Is your enemy worth the kindness?

I spotted it right when my pee stream reached its maximum attainable velocity and began to recede like a dying shower. There it sat still, sprawled like a wedding tent, the two front legs of it hidden behind the drenched bamboo pole. I could not see its eyes, but I could sense them fixed on me, monitoring my movement, mapping my gaze, like a predator following its prey. The stream vaporised mid air. My joints froze and my skin turned white. My heart shuddered as the hair on my napes rose in alarm. One giant spider in my toilet! Mummmmmmmmmyyyyyyyyyyyy!

If I were a six year old, I’d have sprinted like a gazelle, and not peed or pooed for the next two days until my father got sick of my whining and grabbed it with his hands wrapped in plastic bag and tossed it out of the house. They’d return to find me – sometimes spread on the wall, sometimes lurking behind the flush, sometimes puckered up on the back of the door. They’d never move, just stare at me with the strange silence that shrouds over decaying cemeteries. My throat would go dry and I’d stop breathing, afraid of the venomous stench of them pervading through the air.

The presence of spiders was frightening, but their absence was even more horrifying. My eyes would look for them in the corners, digging every place they could hide for a Guerilla ambush. I imagined them quietly crawling over my body, their long legs feeling my skin, their teeth tearing through it. You cannot squish a spider, because its gland splatters deadly venom which sears your skin and leaves a spider shaped scar. It’s dead and gone, but its ghost remains to give you nightmares. What a terrible feeling, to not be able to fight a tiny insect that’s crawling all over your body, like an emperor treading over his slave! It builds its web all around you, right on your face, and you cannot do a thing. You cannot hurt it, it’s a suicide bomber, it’ll go by killing you.

I would have nightmares of me trapped in my chair, bound in spider silk, spiders crawling all over me, trying to get inside my mouth. I’d clench my jaws tightly, but they’d get inside my nostrils and crawl all the way up. Spiders taste like death, they smell like death.

But I was not a six year old anymore, so I had to put up a fight. I could turn and run away, but if I did not find its dead body hanging from its own web the next day, I’d assume it was still hiding somewhere, waiting for me, an evil sneer pasted all over its face.

I made a bowl of my hand, poured some water and threw it on the spider. No movement. My heart thundered in my mouth. In an hour, a spider can run 1.8 miles, which is 156,230 times its own body length, where as, in the same span, a human can run only 24,606 times its own body length. There was no way I could beat a spider, it was quick, Spider Man is quick as hell. I gathered all my courageous bits from the floor and threw some more water. It moved. Damn! Godamn! It turned and ran. Under its belly it had a large white egg sac. I shot out of the room like a propelled rocket.

Goddamn it! A spider mom laying spider eggs in my house. A giant spider sac contains 150 to 300 eggs, and a giant spider produce 10 to 20 sacs in their lifetime. That equalls 1500 to 6000 spiderlings in my house. I was getting dizzy with all the maths involved.

My nightmare was realising – the 6000 spiders shall cocoon me up and devour on me. They’d crawl in and out of my skull, they’d bite and rip off my flesh, they’d burn my skin, they’d feed their babies off me. I’d be the dinner to a family of house spiders!

I was sweating profusely, my throat all dried up from fear. The hair on my body went stiff like erect penises. I shall have to abandon this house.

That night, I could not eat the okra fry, because it felt like spider abdomen – soft and squishy. I knew there were no spiders in my plate but my eyes still combed through. The mangoshake my mother offered me wasn’t tasty as before.

Earlier, I used to raise lizards in my house so that they would eat all the spiders in the house. I’d never shoo away lizards, I’d play Rahat Fateh Ali Khan when I saw them mating, just to make the air more romantic. Every baby lizard that was in the danger of getting trampled or flushed would be saved by me. Then one day, we found a 7 inch lizard in the milk pan. And my mother started shooing them away.
Goddamn.

I googled spiderlings that night. They are not cute. No way. Tiny little monsters crawling with their horrendous legs. Ah.
Next, I googled spider moms. They are brave, they carry all their babies with them, all the time, till they are big enough to find their own ways. Quite like my own mother. Okay….

In the morning I came all prepared with a hose, my body wrapped in winter clothes. And there, I spotted a lizard. It had repaid the kindness. The spider was absent, but I was sure my Geckoboy had killed it. I was relieved.

I thought about the spiderlings though. Would a lizard really harm a pregnant mother? It could have just shooed the spider away, I mean.

Maybe it did.

Do spiderlings find their ways if the mom is dead? And does the mom leave her child when she has to escape the predator?

My parents’ wedding anniversary 😂

my parents are the last people you would club together as a couple…..

Yesterday, my father threw me off by asking me to bring a dozen samosas from the market after I was done fooling around in the stadium. Junk food and my father are antonyms, but he had to compromise his ethics to save his marriage, as my mother had declared him an ‘unfit’ husband at 16:34 because he did nothing special on their 22nd anniversary – and anniversaries before – which was a shame because Rani Mausi’s husband takes his wife to Darjeeling every year on their marriage day. My father coolly turned another page of the newspaper, scratched the vest over his stomach, yawned and deadpanned,

“He really wants to push her off the cliffs. ”

That apart, he did not even help her find the Hanuman Chalisa in the morning, which was a sin given that it was their marriage anniversary.

I am a product of arranged marriage. And I can vouch that my parents are weird couple. They are so different they are not even meant to be together. I’ve imagined several parallel worlds where my parents don’t meet until 2018, and I can see my mother, young and lively, breezing past my grey-haired father, like Rajdhani passes by dilapidated halts. I can’t believe they’ve managed for so many years without getting into nasty fist fights or court cases.

My parents are so opposite in nature you’d assume their marriage was a social experiment. My father is a sweet, composed man who has never shaved off his moustache, while my mother is a moody, peppy woman who is currently donning her thousandth hairstyle. It’s not just about their physical appearance, it’s also about their character and what they want from life. My father hopes for a little garden and a cow, and a honey brown book shelf with framed glass doors when he retires. My mother dreams of a business class seat in an aeroplane flying over Paris, and poor hostesses asking her if she’d like to have something.

‘Nothing but a spa. ‘She’d say in her newly acquired British accent, and the hostesses shall escort her to an attached cabin with an elegant spa, where a Jacuzzi surrounded by candles would have Ecuadorian rose petals floating over lukewarm water.

My father finds content in small things, eating a mango, for example, where as my mother could have handkerchiefs made of gold and she’d still wonder why she is so destitute.

I am not my father’s advocate. My mother is emotional, where as my father is a stoic. He doesn’t have a taste, nor does he reveal his thoughts too often. Sometimes, he’s difficult to get. We didn’t even know when his birthday was until a few years ago. When we asked him, he turned another page of the newspaper and said,

“I’ll look that up in the certificate. ”

On the other hand, My mother speaks her mind. No, she screams her mind. If you don’t want to know what she’s thinking at the moment, she’d still tell you, even if it’s a dumb idea. She likes to exhibit all the colours of her emotional pallette and also pokes at us to know the finest details of every happening in our lives. Yesterday, she wanted to know if Dolly aunty saw me on the way and if she said anything.

“Who is Dolly Aunty? “I quizzed, to which my mother gave a really long answer, which included enriching informations like the design on her son Tinku’s 2nd birthday cake and her current waist size which was large enough to circumscribe two soccer fields.

So yesterday, I went to this old fast food joint, Rangeela. They sell samosas at 7 rupees a piece. We tripled on the scooter and zoomed to Rangeela. On the way, we saw a hot girl riding a scootey.

“If I were the son of a Dubai Sheikh, I’d have turned. “PC said. Since fuel prices have gone up, PC takes extra care in his movements.

Also, I’d say don’t triple on a scooty. If you do, don’t sit in the middle, as your penis will have to struggle against the butts of the rider, and your butts will be pressed against the penis of the person behind you.

The joint had been revamped. The counter was glistening with polish. There were fancy watermelon bowls to hold Sprite bottles. There were tokens to facilitate the transaction. The bar table was clean and shiny and there were three bottles of chilled water at each table. Well, time changes things, you see.

We bought Samosas after waiting in a long queue. After that we relished the chaat and scooted off.

At home, everything was hunky dory and my mother didn’t grunt much when I emptied the rasgulla can down my stomach. There wasn’t much celebration because my mother was kind of tired from all the cooking and marketing. I massaged her feet with two oils and she asked me to get a wife who won’t fight with her.
My father was busy putting grease on the door handle meanwhile, because that could, in a way, make our life better.

Two Days of Winter : Day 1 #the last lap

Sunrise….

 

“5 minutes to go! “Mr. Gabbar announced after stretching his back at about 9. “Grab your bags. ”

I looked around drowsily. The zombies around me had finally collapsed. The couple was zonked out, snug together – the boy’s head glued on the girl’s shoulder at a weird angle. Somebody had put a kurkure in his half-open mouth, which I’d have plugged out had I been a kind man.

I was sick of filming the curvy paths and the deep lush green valley. There was no snow because we forgot to click that option while booking the hotel. Anyway, no matter how lovely the scenery, after a while, you start missing the comfort of your fluffy mattress, the privacy of your small room, the choking groans of your fan which your landlord swore on his mother he’d repair in the evening. You rot away for months and the fan still whimpers like a granny’s fart; but there’s a peculiar relief in the realisation that nobody can hurt you within that territory. The familiarity sustains you – take that away, and life becomes a minesweeper.

They woke up. Well, it seemed like they were only pretending to be asleep. But their faces were all tired and swollen.
In the back, a girl gagged loud enough to throw airplanes off the radar, and it produced a domino effect, and people started either gagging or complaining of nausea. Mr. Gabbar took out his magic pill – the orange candy – and got it distributed through volunteers. Of course, the volunteers got to keep the remainders with them. Since, one of the volunteers was Popatlal, I got an extra candy.

“Don’t look out. Look straight. “Mr. Gabbar suggested.

“Why, sir? “I quizzed.

“Your head starts spinning. We are going round and round. It’s necessary to look ahead. ”

I swear to God I’d looked out at the windy paths all the morning and nothing had happened, but the moment I heard Mr. Gabbar’s explanation, I began feeling dizzy.

“Sir, why don’t they honk here? “Mishra asked. The conversation began with the definition of sound and went on till I passed out. Later they would tell me how Neta puked after he had enough of their enlightening dialogue regarding the effect of wave on the rocks of Shimla.

We reached the bus stop two hours later, because the driver had forgotten that they didn’t allow buses through that way and so he had to go back and cover the distance of 3 kms in 26 kms. I could not feel my legs when I leapt out of the bus. Our bags were kept in a van, and we were told to follow a lanky guy who was a local. The Military Man lead the parade, sometimes even passing the lanky man, and we followed like Hamelin’s rats, avoiding death as the cars zoomed by, allowing us a narrow space, on the other side of which was an alluring death miles below.

We reached the old hotel, which was nothing like Bhatt camp’s opulent horror houses. It was a four-storey establishment in the need of repair.

We went in to take the keys, and Neta was quick to grab a bunch from Mam.

“Distribute it. “She said.

Neta nodded and ran upstairs. There he found the room with a balcony, which offered the most panoramic view of Shimla, plonked our luggage there, and threw the keys at the crowd behind. The Military Man, Neta and I had seized the best room of the hotel already, and now all I needed was a nice commode with a bidet.

The view…

To be contd…