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…

Two Days of Winter : Day 1 #the monkey God

A long walk up the hill…💕

With laboured breaths, I dragged myself on this never ending slope, secretly working on the probability of reaching the peak on my own legs. They said if you mumbled Hanuman’s hymns, the ascent became smooth. But stubborn as I was, I chose to do it without any supernatural help. Plus, I believed Hanuman has better jobs to do than push people’s ass up the hill. I mean I could picture him having his brunch, sweet red berries on his plates, and suddenly the doorbell rings and millions of SOS calls trying to get through. If I were God, I’d probably resign soon and get myself a nice planet where I could fix my chair with supernatural cement and watch torrential rains over dense forests.

This junior behind me swore he could feel a heart attack creeping up his chest. I told him it was just gas and asked him to keep moving.

“I’d collapse. I had an operation a few months ago. “He pleaded. I chose not to believe him.

“Don’t lose heart, boy. Once you reach there, you’ll be reborn. ”

Let’s rewind to the moment we went to the temple, from where we watched the hills and the houses, planning honeymoons.

“If there were no condoms in this world and a couple lived in Shimla, at what rate do you think the population would escalate? “I quizzed.

Acting thoughtful….

“I just want to have a machine gun and shoot down those tiny people walking on the road. “Said the Military man, thus spoiling my erotic thought.

We took photos and then branched off into two groups, one behind healthy male teachers, the other behind diabetic female teachers. We went to Mall road, and Mr. Gabbar asked us to get over with the shopping quickly. We went in an elegant clothes store, where women with rosy cheeks sold swanky shawls.

“How much for this? “I picked one from the counter that had Pashmina written on a plate above. I could buy it for maa.

“Twenty Six thousand rupees only sir! “She said coolly, as if she were selling Kismi bars. The shawl dropped from my hand. People’s stare oscillated dramatically from my face to her face. I could hear Ekta Kapoor background music. Dhoom tana na na na….

“Ermmm…what’s the lowest price? ”

“Thirteen thousand for this one. “She showed me the dullest piece of clothing ever manufactured.

‘Does it come with superpowers? ‘I wanted to ask. But I just said hmm, and turned away, as if I was a ghost and nobody could see me. If I had twenty thousand rupees, I’d start a business in clothes rather than purchase a shawl.

We then moved on to the main street, and the guide told us that we could get to Jakhoo and watch the sunset. One of the teachers revolted against going on foot, so we left him and walked ahead. It was agoddamn race against time.

None of the girls came with us. They got a cab and Mr. Gabbar cited security reasons and sat with them while we the bravehearts walked on the slope, fighting gravity.

Saying that the walk was a backbreaking exercise would be a severe understatement. The muscles in my legs stiffened like cement. My heart pounded like those cheap DJ speakers they put on small scale marriages. I was gasping for breath. I was kind of convinced I’d not make it to the temple.

But I did it. I was the last guy to reach there. It baffled them. I mean I’m a fat guy, nobody expects me to climb mountains and stuffs. Mr Gabbar patted my back.
The girls were already there, without a hint of sweat on their brows, clicking selfies at the base of the sky-high statue of the monkey God. As we sat for a group selfie, one of the monkeys stole a girl’s specs. We had to give him a whole pack of roasted grams to get the soecs back. Monkeys are shrewd, I tell you.

Clicked on the way….

We had missed the sunset, but the last smear of red was still there. We clicked photos and left the temple. Since gravity was now working downwards, girls and Mr. Gabbar joined us this time. Somebody dropped the idea of a bonfire, so we started collecting dead branches with some vigour.

I’d never felt so excited before, I must tell you. I mean who dreams of picking twigs in a foreign land. We got the flashlights and searched in the bushes. It was scary but exhilarating.

As I left Jakhoo, I made a secret vow to some day, get here with my…..alright, maybe I am too desperate. But when you have a beautiful experience, you add it to your bucket list.

to be contd….

Two Days of Winter : Day 1 #get, set, go….

getting ready for the adventure….

I hastily rubbed the pink deo soap on my naked chest as my ears caught vague chitchat in the bedroom. The lather from the three rupee sachet of Pantene dripped into my eyes and stung them blind. This is when people get murdered in Hitchcock’s movies. I squinted through the white foam to place the soap on its wrapper, which was glowing with a white woman in a pink nighty, her sparkling teeth exposed in a seductive smile. It was a women’s soap, and a women’s shampoo, but I swear I had no choice. I had pleaded with the shopkeeper to look for a pack of Wildstone or something; I even pointed at a few shady corners where such things could be hidden, but she gave me a flat no, and chided me for gender discrimination.

“There’s no such thing as a women’s soap. “She said.

Then, she stuck me random candies because she did not have change.

“Is it over yet? “Popatlal knocked the door twice and then said something which made the rest of them dissolve into laughter. From their laughs, I could figure out our HOD, who’d returned for some reason, only that this time with her were Mr. Gabbar, Little Man and Mrs. Fatty. All the teachers and four of my friends, laughing in our room while I painted soap all over my body.

“Just a minute! “I shouted.

I came out after fifteen minutes. No I wasn’t masturbating; I was waiting for the teachers to buzz off. Moreover, the water was so pungent with chlorine, you could not manufacture sexy thoughts. Shimla had tremendous scarcity of water, and I had not yet met any pahadi girl with bewitching eyes. This trip wasn’t turning out to be magical. Hmm..

We had half-baked and burnt Rotis, vegetable pieces swimming in oil, stale salads and lemon pickles for lunch. If you cooked the same dish in a royal kitchen, the emperor would have you guillotined on the charges of poisoning. But monarchy is a past now. So we appreciated the food when the staff appeared with a jar of water on his own, and asked with a goofiness you only witness on the face of Spike the Bulldog if we liked the food.

We sniffed the water to check for chlorine. There was none, so we believed it was for ingestion, and gulped it.

Neta went busy fiddling with the remote again. He was trying to figure out the purpose of various buttons stuck across its abdomen. The tv was a sleek pane with tentacles protruding out of its body, and it silently perched on the stand, reflecting our idleness on its 50 inch black screen.

I lay flat on the bed, my arms and legs stretched in perfect resemblance to the Greek symbol of pi. I heard the birds chirp. Gossips from the floor below wafted up. In the distance, vehicles zoomed at alternate moments. If only you went any further, you could here silence, whispering to your soul the melodies of eternal happiness.
We had to get ready for another lag, so they did not let me engage in any more subconscious adventures. I wore the blue shirt, a brand new pair of kook n keech shoes (which sucked) and squeezed a handful of hairgel to make my head look like a porcupine’s coat.

“Ah! It looks like someone wrecked the cuckoo’s nest. “They said, and then claiming to be great hairstylists with diplomas bundled up in their almirahs, they jumped over me, clutched my hands and played with my hair one after the other. At the end of it, I looked like an interesting combination of Naruto and Gangadhar. And the gel was so fucking good I had to do another round of shampoo to get a normal hairstyle again.

We then went down and waited for the girls to appear.

Oh My God! Curls and layers and fringes and what not! Artificial blush on cheeks, bright lipsticks, mascara and oh fuck me in the eyes already.

I did not get a boner. In fact, I was more shocked than seduced. I mean they looked more like models than someone you could give oral pleasure to. I mean ughh…too much make up. Not that I hated them, but I’d definitely ask them to wash the lipstick before we could kiss.

We moved towards Mall road, and soon, got divided into two groups – the lazy asses behind the lady teachers, while the active and adventurous ones, behind Mr. Gabbar.

A rare picture of me flaunting my shirt with the aesthetic appeal of a cocumber…

The Metamorphosis : #Photography

The story of a night…

I love this little corner of my city. The tiny stretch of land offers you so much that you could spend a lifetime admiring its beauty. I’ve been doing it for 10 years now and I am still as wonderstruck as a 10 year old child.

Here are some of the photographs that try to capture a tiny inch of this unparalleled elegance.

The earth that blooms with sweat and fire….

Indira Gandhi Stadium. On Sundays, you’d find it teeming with hundreds of people, of all ages and castes, burning their calories and wisdom in the great fire of human zeal. There are two tracks – antique, and haphazard as they were made by people trampling over the same circle of earth over and over – the external one used by fat and diabetic middle aged men and women wishing to somehow regain their youthfulness, while the internal one often by young boys wanting to grow into strong men who could carry the weight of the nation on their shoulders. No government has ever given a rat’s ass about this place, despite using it twice a year for pompous display of culture during national festivals. Anyways, the running never stops. The fire never dies. Everything’s in motion here, even the clouds.

The tricolor…

The sunset colors the sky saffron. Under it, white patches crisscross the green fields. Nature has painted the tricolor on its infinite canvas, asking us to be proud of ourselves. The glory of this country stretches over to the skies. What could be more patriotic?

The transition…

And the transition begins. The sun has left this side of the world, but its ghost lingers, as if it wants to be remembered for some more time. Memories are quite like the sunset – dying but beautiful.

The night approaches…

The ghost is finally purged. The spirit begins its journey to the west. Fresh clouds arrive, bringing with them the darkness that is here to stay. The shops are already lit up with fancy lightbulbs. Ah! humanity has no time to appreciate the beauty of darkness.

The venus…

That tiny white dot is Venus. It shines like hope – small, but it’s there, right there. The sky is wearing prussian blue, and soon, it’ll be silvery, if the moon breaks the clouds and comes out alive.

The moon…

And the magic begins. The silvery spirit is out, peeping through the clouds. It’s under this sky Shakespeare wrote about love and tragedy. It’s under this sky people composed songs and died for their lovers. This is the most romantic shade of nature. Oh the moonlight!

Disneyland mela.

They celebrate happiness like nobody else. The fair glimmers with joy, the light is there only to act as a metaphor. It’s been years since the inception, the tiny Disneyland still attracts people like moths.

Rain and Photography

few pictures and few stories…

The much-awaited Monsoon finally reached my city. As I woke up to a cold morning, the earth smelled like rain. The rhythmic beats of the drops, the icy breeze that blew the curtains halfway, and the absence of a blaring sun – it was so dreamlike.

I got my phone and clicked random photos. Though they are not of high artistic value, they do look good.

The rawness…

The shacks serve as lodging for students. These late-teens come from the aphotic zones of the country, where life unfolds slow and harsh, in search of this glimmering city, which is an aphotic zone for us. My sunlight is Delhi, which is dark and dingy for the people who’ve flown away to a brighter place. Light, I think, is a subjective reality.

The companions of my parents…

The parking lot of my little bungalow. Standing elegantly on its exquisite brickwork flooring is Dhanno – my mother’s scooty – who receives more love than all other members of the house combined together. Dhanno has been with us for years now, and has an equal say in every decision of the house. She’s covered in a lavish shawl with fine threadwork, and her butts are wrapped in transparent plastic, which, I assume, is the latest fashion in the bike world. In the background, that dying thing is my father’s bicycle, which is older than me (3 years). It does not have a name. It still works, though if you add the repairing costs over the years, you would understand why we could never buy a Pajero Sport.

Glide…glide….glide…and fall…

The coconut fronds lashing in the air. The dense trees jiggle in the wind and the sheets fall on the sheet, and the nature’s instruments play in sync, and my heart sings and sings and sings.

The baked earth over the unbaked one…

The insides of my under-construction house. Yeah, we are building a new home. A better one which can accommodate more of my mother’s dreams. But I like it this way – unfinished and raw. That’s more like me.

A half-baked story….

My proposed study. Right now, the workers have occupied this place, so all the stuff you see here belongs to them. The rack with the water camphor is actually for keeping our suits when we get rich. With this level of planning, my mother could run finance ministries of two countries and still have enough time to watch the Maha episode of Ye Hai Mohabbatein.

Down the memory lane….

My old house staring at me. No my love, I haven’t forgotten you, for love is not so simple, and I am not that heartless.