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.


My Flatmate Goes on a Date 😂

Accounts of a disaster.

My flatmate, the Kota Guy, is seeing a girl these days. Today they went on a date. Or whatever it was. 
Let me give you a nice little prologue here. A few days ago, he dropped in my room and began telling me about this girl on whatsapp who wouldn’t blink an eye before forty billion Goodnight exchanges. 

“I went to sleep at 4 in the morning. “He said. His eyelids were the first victims of a freshly brewing love story. 

It reminded me of Heer, so I told him about her. No personal details, just the story. Five minutes into it and he was bawling with laughter. I narrate my tragedies very well I guess. It wasn’t even that funny, I mean you already know how shit happens, you just have to add humour to it. 

“Did you get something in the end? “He asked, seemingly excited. He meant if I fucked her. 

“We kissed. “I said, “on her ex-anniversary. ”

God! Is that even a word!?

He gave me a puzzled look, so I told him about the shit that happened on 19th February 2016. 

He told me he was going to meet his whatsapp girl soon. And that he really wanted to fuck somebody. 

“You could go to Qutub Minar. Nice romantic place. “I suggested, imagining Heer and myself plodding through the quiet graveyards. 

“It’s very far. “He said the other day. 

“It’s worth going. “I said, “You don’t have to worry. It closes at 5 pm. No safety issue. ”

He didn’t seem too happy about it. 

“I’ve asked her for a night out. Chances are less that she’ll accept, though. “He said. “We shall go to CP, probably. ”

Ah, the CP. Such a shame people would choose those glitzy blocks in place of beautiful rotting monuments. I mean you can go have your pretentious little dinner in an air-conditioned hall with fancy tables and fancier walls, but you can never feel the love you do while walking under the bowers that have witnessed a million love stories for more than 800 years..

If I ever go out with a girl again, it will be these royal ruins where we shall head to. 

Anyway, my flatmate did go on a date, that’s what I thought when he left the flat. I had already given him a few do’s and don’t’s, and he had repeatedly said he wasn’t looking for a relationship. 

“Tell me, Barbossa, how can I ask for sex on the first date? “He had asked. I imagined him in a little box on Republic tv, already branded anti-national and anti-women and anti-matter and anti-whatever by Arnab Goswami. 

I was sick of writing assignments so I thought I should have some fun. I googled dating tips for men and sent him half a dozen screenshots and links.

see, how I care for people!
Despite everything, there was a teeny tiny possibility..
In case……

 Then, I went back to doing my assignments. 

He dropped in in the evening, and said,

“She almost saw that shit. ” referring to my messages. 

“How did it go? “I asked. He began looking for a word to describe the experience, however, couldn’t come up with anything satisfying. 

“I saw the tips. And I realised I was doing exactly the opposite of what men are supposed to do on dates. ”

“Did you crack some jokes? “I asked. 

“Yeah. Lame ones. “He said. 

“Like? ”

“Like I told her have you ever wondered that CP sounds like ‘see pee’? ”

He told her what!   

“Oh my God! That’s terrible. “I said, shell-shocked.

“That’s what she said. ”

“I mean it’s so terrible that..that…ughh it’s not even a joke, it’s a joke’s death. “I retched and laughed for a solid 15 minutes, wondering if the girl would ever go out with him again. 

“The worst part is that I had practised that joke. ”

“And when she asked me if I played sports, I told her I play chidiya ud. ”

I nearly fell off my chair laughing. I wanted to ask him if he got laid, but I thought I already knew the answer. He laughed too. 

“What did you guys talk about? ”

“The same shit as yours. About her ex-boyfriend. “He said, “She kept telling me about this ex-boyfriend of hers she was very good friends with. They dated for about 3 years and stuff. Then she told me about this cute boy she dated yesterday. ”

At this, I sprang off my chair. 

“Dated when? ”

“Yesterday. She said he was a cute boy. “He said. 

“Oh my God. “I looked at him with wide-opened eyes, “I thought nothing could nullify your lame jokes but this so does. ”

I asked him if he was sure they were on a date and he shrugged his shoulders. Poor guy! Now I knew for sure they didn’t fuck. Had the Kota Guy followed my advice and took her to Qutub Minar and saved himself from being an unfunny comedian, he would have definitely scored. Hell, I had sent him stepwise guides to approach a woman. There was guaranteed success at the end of it. People don’t listen to my advice. Disappointing people. 

“After a point, I didn’t even know what I was doing. I felt like a dumb person.  She said she had never been to CP but she kept showing me the shops and lanes. Starbucks, Cafe Coffee Day, big words. Those fuckers charge 40 bucks for water. Can you imagine? ”

I could. Even though I am generally poor, I am familiar with the 40 bucks water thing. 

“I ate chicken, though. It costed 260 bucks. “He groaned. 

“It was bad I suppose. ”

“Barbossa, I will have to work on my jokes. “He said. “Chuck it. I will ask her directly if she is interested in fucking. We had a little sex chat, by the way. ”

Okay, that got me hooked. I asked him to elaborate the whole conversation and he said,

“She asked me if I knew they played porn at Rajeev Chowk metro station a few months ago. ”

I puckered my face to show my disgust. That’s not what you call a sex chat. Hell, that’s not even an information. That’s…that’s just shit. 

I wondered if I should suggest him a cigarette date, but then, decided against it. Some things are better kept secret. 

(Have I ever told you about this world-famous cigarette date I went on?) 
Anyway, the date, or whatever it was, was an epic disaster. And as my flatmate confessed, the chicken was more pleasing than the chic. And also, if you’re really interested, he did not get laid. 


♥The Girl in the Train♥

A journey pleasant and not so pleasant. 😌


We drove amid the downpour for an hour to reach Katihar Jn. The loud splashes at the window and the faint music in the car sort of swirled into a nostalgic lemonade, throwing me onto the glowing streets of Ranchi – Airport road and all – and I ended up thinking about someone I shouldn’t. I was also missing my mother a lot, because she’d always come to see me off in all these years and that day was an exception. It was plain nostalgia, but it was pretty awful.

The train arrived, trundling with an ebbing musical roar, well before time and I picked my luggage up and started towards B8. Red coaches, white lights, blue seats – Rajdhani offers you weird amusements. The last time I travelled by this train, I swore never to come back here. But you know my mother, right? She thinks Rajdhani is Noah’s arc and so I was here, yet again, jostling through the crowd to find my seat, my mind doubtful and my soul uneasy. 

That’s when I saw her. Black top, dark blue jeans and rectangular frameless specs. There was a man by her who I suppose was her father. They both didn’t look related at all, though. She was pretty and he looked like the normal middle aged guy who acts in teleshopping commercials. My seat was just above her and it was kind of comforting. No, I wasn’t filled with lust instantly like I am supposed to. You see, when you are missing your guava trees, erection is impossible. 

I sat on the edge of the seat and twenty minutes later, the dad bid her bye and got off the train. Okay, now I was curious. I scanned through the boggie and found just one competitor – the guy on the side upper berth. He seemed like a narcissistic moron, who would spend a hundred bucks on haircut. But he wasn’t much interested, it appeared, and that escalated my chances of getting to strike up a conversation with her. 

I had it planned. I’d pretend to look out the window, but just so well that she knows I’m pretending to look out the window, and check her out, just so well that she knows I’m checking her out. Then, I’d check her reaction. 

Yeah! That was it! This trick never gets old. How else do you think Roman knights wooed their damsels? They pretended to look somewhere else. 

Er..As it turned out, though, the girl took my acting seriously and started looking out the window herself. She thought I saw something fishy, like a flying baby or something, so I stopped peering out and let a behemoth sigh. This idea tanked like Bombay Valvet. 

I thought about giving another try. I pulled out my sleek golden Galaxy J2 and plunged my earpieces in and fished through my albums for a girly romance. There was none, so I played Lootera. I was halfway through the movie when I realized I had to only pretend to watch the movie, and not actually watch it, and just so well that she knows I’m pretending to watch the movie and well you know the rest. Ughh…this was proving to be a lot more difficult than I’d imagined. 

The train staff arrived with samosas, and just ten minutes later, a family stepped in. There were five kids in that goddamn family. Perhaps the news of the invention of condoms had not yet reached their village. Five kids who looked alike and wore the same dress. I bit the samosas with trembling jaws as I calculated how many hours more to go with those imps in the next boggie. Delhi was yet a billion light years away, but I hoped they’d realize they’d boarded the wrong train and get off at the next station. That didn’t happen anyway. 

The bastard – the other guy in his late twenties, with receding hairlines and all, who looked like an Insurance agent you shouldn’t trust – on my opposite seat took advantage of my nervousness and tried on the girl. First, he called somebody on the phone and started conversing in lame English. There’s this English that you speak from your heart, and then there’s this English you speak to make your copassengers guess if you are the illegitimate child of Warren Hastings. This guy was getting an accent in his conversation, and that pissed me off. 

Then what he did was completely out of the book. He hung up and asked the girl if she was from DU. 

“Galgotias. “She said and I almost laughed.

“Oh. “He said, “My cousin studied there. ”

Like fuck he did! Like fuck he had a cousin! 

“Oh nice. “The girl said. Now I was getting worked up, and to add to my ire, the five kids in the next boggie started crying together. There was no symphony in their wails and it jabbed my ears and gave me cerebral aneurysm. I loathe kids. 

The man started talking about his cousin and this teacher who she would probably get to know in the second year, and I just pretended to look at my Galaxy J2 while I gritted my teeth in rage. 

The only comfort was that the girl wasn’t interested much. 

The kids stopped howling after their mother thrusted a lollipop each in their mouths and I felt like asking why she hadn’t done it already for the last one million years. Parents are dicks, I tell you. 

I finished Lootera and concluded that love is bullshit after all and nobody’s going to paint leaves for me, so I climbed up onto my berth and tried to sleep. I couldn’t because the blinding white from the flush mount ceiling light was giving my soul a third degree torture. I considered switching it off but the girl had already opened The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari by now, and I was pretty sure she couldn’t read in the dark. Damn. 

Late at night, when people were about to sleep, she asked me if there was an extra pillow on my berth. I felt like giving her my own pillow. Umm…not really. Sacrificing your pillow is the zenith of virtue. This Ranchi girl I dated once asked me to come over to her room so that we could sleep together (in the most innocent manner possible) but get my own pillow because she wouldn’t share hers with me whatsoever. 

Anyway, that bastard got off his seat and went to the train staff and demanded a pillow without the delay of a breath. 

“I’ll rate this train a big 0, I swear. “He swore, and I could see the girl’s face and I almost laughed at how she wanted to jump out the emergency window. 

“Is he your brother? “I asked. She looked at me, pretending to be thinking about it, but just so well that I knew she was pretending to be thinking about it and said,

“That would be a nice proposition. ”

He brought two pillows with him and asked her to tell him if she needed anything else.

“Thanks Bhaiyya. “The girl said. 

They never talked again. 

An hour later, I thought about giving it a shot, this time, without any pretense, and so I poked my head down, but she was asleep and beautiful and so I just smiled and got my head back on my berth and slept. 

Till the kids started crying again. 


A Day in the Bank

Yes. There was a girl.


A few days ago, I had to visit the SBI office in my city to report a minor bug in my message alert facility. Given the triviality of the issue, I thought dressing up would be a bit too much. So I just slapped my face with water and touched my hair a bit. I haven’t had a shave for two months, and I looked like a person you would rather stay away from on the subways. I wore the same short pants and shirt I was wearing a few weeks ago when I ran into Doctor. If you really want to know, I wasn’t somebody a girl would masturbate to. 

“You know what, sometimes I wonder if you’re adopted. “Said my mother, who never leaves the door without wearing eyeliners and lipsticks and Shehnaz Hussain 24 Carat Gold Facial Kit. 

I went in, and to my surprise, there were a few hot girls waiting in the chairs. Tight black clothes in the month of July – they must have been aliens for pulling off this – and no hint of sweat. They kept moving their head around aimlessly, presumably bored with the unending wait. Their eyes would pass through me as if I was invisible. Sometimes I wonder if girls have an auto-reject button inside their brains. They spot you and then totally ignore your existence. I touched my beard – it felt no different than pubic hair – and wondered if I had made a mistake. 

I went ahead towards the counter and oh my God! There she was, A Goddess in glasses! Parrot green suit, parrot green specs, and a face made out of snowflakes. She was a girl you see in movies, beautiful and intelligent and oh my God. I started to sweat profusely. I felt like running back. How I wished I had been to a salon before dropping here! 

I moved back a few steps and turned around. I cleared my throat and whispered to myself, 

“Ahhmm..Excuse me miss. ”

No. That’s too cocky.

“Ahhmm..Mam. ”

Are you going to ask her a calculus doubt? 


Stop coughing for Santa’s sake. 
“Hey listen. ”

She’s not your clingy ex.


Confused moron.

“Uh. ”

Dumb fuck.

“Argghh. ”


“Fuck. ”


“Okay. Okay. I’ll just go and speak whatever comes out of my mouth. ”

That’s always landed you in trouble. 

I switched off the other-me and turned back to walk upto her. I stopped at a glass door and pretending to be a curious art lover who just hit upon a masterpiece, started checking my hair. As already mentioned, I was invisible to the girls. As I was fixing my hair, trying to give those frail strands artificial erections, I saw two ugly eyes staring at me through the glass door. 

“What the fuck! “I flinched. A short round face, pencil mustaches and tired sunken eyes. He looked like someone with a terminal disease – so like myself, only older by a thousand years. I glared back at him for a good 30 seconds and then I looked above at the small plate on the door. 

Manager – it said. 

I slid away like Tom the cat. 

I went to the angel at the counter, who had defied the concepts of blackheads, pimples and dark circles long ago, and who was waiting just for me. She would have been 5 years older at most, and I was sure that that wasn’t much of an age gap to start a family together. You see, when girls say, “Boys just care about sex ” they are wrong. They have been with wrong guys all the time. If you go out with me, I will treat you with all due respect, like those polite males in Ekta Kapoor serials. We could have sex – umm, make love – every Holi, blitzed out by Bhaang, with the most romantic chartbusters in the background, as a result of a conspiracy planned by your nemesis or something. Wait, getting back to the subject, there she was and there I was, a transparent yet impermeable glass between us, and how amazing she looked… All those stupid ions in my body started having their own Hedron Collider experiments. 

“Yes? “She said. 

Will you marry me? – I almost blurted out, but I told myself to maybe start with the basics first. How about a

“I am facing difficulties with my registered number. Could you help me? ”

Wow! That was easy peasy. 

“Write an application. Get a xerox copy of your id proof. “She said. So romantic! I imagined our babies playing with debit cards and singing SBI theme songs in their cribs. So nice! Hunky dory. 

Hmmm. I had written applications before. But in all those applications, I was either terribly sick or had to attend my relatives’ marriage ceremony. Why don’t they ever teach you the actual applications you’ll need to write?

I googled and Google helped me without a hiccup. I wrote the application as if I was designing my tombstone epitaph, making swirly Ys and all, and it took me half an hour to write it full. I was sure she’d be impressed – I had devoted my entire artistic experience to this boring job, so it was only fair of me to assume she would get my handwriting xeroxed and save it in her secret album. Boy, was I confident? 

I erected my hair again.

And strutted upto her with full confidence.

She saw my application and yawned. She covered her mouth with her slender porcelain fingers and said,

“Get it signed by the manager. ”
“The who? “I asked, just to make sure I heard it right.
“The manager. There. “She pointed to the office I had found my older version in. Damn.

The manager had a good look at me once I went in. He interviewed me like Chanakya IAS academy does to UPSCE aspirants. And then he asked me to go fill the Net Banking form. 

All in all, it took about 3 hours. By the time I got the kit from the gorgeous lady, I was a miserable heap of sweat, not sure anymore if she’d still go out with me. 


The Food Robbers

Don’t roam around with your wallet. 💀


Friends are the most non-violent robbers you’ll ever get to see. Meet them after a long long time, accidentally wear the same pants which have your wallet in the back pocket, and rest assured you’re returning back home half naked. I have a bunch of friends – all of them greedy gourmands who eat like Burmese Pythons. I remember being robbed for their hungry stomachs and thirsty lungs, when the money that I didn’t know existed was pulled out, as if by magic, from my back pocket and they gave me the look you get when you don’t show answers to your friend in a GATE paper. I was surprised and I swore I had no money when I left the house and it wasn’t my money at all, and then I wanted my money back. 

“Which money? “They asked. Needless to say, I never saw that pretty bill after that. 

They bought cigarettes and samosas, and mint flavoured chewing gums to cover up the smell. Then they looked for a safe spot so that they don’t get caught by their relatives who for some inexplicable reasons could be hanging around behind our backs, following us with binoculars. 

They found the man made caves behind the stands, littered by significant amount of dog shit, bat shit, goat shit and human shit, smelling of hell. After smoking enough cigarettes that would kill a hummingbird instantly, they marched proudly towards me. I wondered if I should tell them about the dangers of smoking, but didn’t they know already? 

Anyway, somebody gets robbed in our group almost everyday. Abhishek was once caught with a few bucks he would have fed his scooter with. Poor guy ended up feeding us. Then, Bumbum and Mama had to feed a dozen people once, because they wore jeans and had wallets in their pockets. I have started meeting my friends in bumchums, as a precautionary measure, now. They point out that my buttocks are sexy and I tell them to go fuck themselves. Despite the sleazy comments, it’s way better than being disrobed of your monetary possessions. 
Some people, like Atif, get robbed voluntarily. You’d expect him to refuse a treat because he could barely manage a 60% or so in the Boards, but that guy just throws you off every single time. 
“Eat whatever you want. Only 35% students have passed. I’m in the superior minority. “He said, and so PC ordered a chicken roll for himself while I had to pretend to be happy with a veg burger in my mouth. Why is veg burger even a thing? 😑
Atif is such a positive guy, he gives treats for absolutely no reason. I remember that sweltering noon of May when he rode his brakelss, bellless bicycle all the way from Navaratna Hata – which is so far you could send a letter there and wait for his grandchildren to grow up and receive it from the immortal trash talking postman of our area – just to give me a treat. 

“Want some Kachodi? “He asked, his forehead a Niagara Falls of sweat.
“What are you upto? “I asked and told my parents I was going out. My mother reminded me of how I never accompany her to the market but always fool around with stupid friends of mine in the hot humid summer. 

There‘s a pattern people follow. There’s a method to rob your friends. You have to be alert as ACP Pradyumn and clever as those blokes in Pawn Shop. You have to analyse and execute it like CIA. The target is wearing good pair of pants.  There are two bumps in his pocket, one of them is phone and the other one is wallet. Now you have to talk about how you’re hungry and how there’s a heartless bastard in the group who never spends a penny for our welfare. And with some more tactics you finally get to munch on nice food. 

It doesn’t work on my friend Churan though. He has never ever given a treat. He doesn’t even reveal his birthday because that would mean feeding a colossal crowd. No, people, he doesn’t live in a shack. He is quite rich, if you call somebody who changes mobile phones every six months rich, and he just got a decent rank in IIT. 

“What’s in a treat. Just let me get the admission. “He says. Earlier, he used to say,
“What’s in a treat. Just let me get a decent rank. ”

I was supposed to be on a strict diet this summer. But food is food, after all. I ended up eating more than a hundred sweets, more than fifty samosas, twenty burgers and an insane amount of panipuree. Also the cheap coke you get in dixie cups. See, fitness is another thing, but living in a lodge, away from my parents, I have learnt one thing – Never ever say no to Free Food. 

Anyway, almost all of us have started wearing bumchums now. Even Churan. 
And I’m leaving in 3 days. So back to another life. This holiday was fun….


My Mother and Her Harmonium 😑



It was a chilling dream. A man goes to a book store to find out that his wife, who was dead 10 years ago is now the wife of a British millionaire. Spooling back the threads of past, fitting the jigsaw pieces one after one, he realises the death was a hoax and that he had been cheated. Filled with rage and vengeance, with his two children, he makes a flawless plan to murder her. Will he put her back into the coffin? Or will the smart ass wife outfox him again? 

Before I could demystify this spine-chilling hair-raising breathtaking suspense thriller, I woke up to the sound of what sounded like a loud overstretched scream. My first thought was we were getting robbed, but then I realised we were poor so that was an impossibility. My mother must have forgot to put salt in dal or something

I squinted my eyes and groaned like a cat, and got out of my bed. I chased that annoying sound and found my mother playing a Harmonium, her eyebrows knit together, her eyes half shut like Lord Budhdha’s and my neighbours peeking through their grilled windows, their faces a swirl of exasperation, perplexity and fear. My father was nowhere to be seen, but I was pretty sure he must have left the city by now. The birds who used to sit on our boundary wall had disappeared, the cats gone without leaving a trail. 

There are two types of people in the world – who can sing, and who can’t. I’ve gone through hundreds of motivational stories where people work hard and get whatever they want in life, I’ve heard the stories of lame people climbing Mount Everest, I’ve read about people surviving cancer, but I’ve never known a man who couldn’t sing, but with strong determination and consistent practice, later went on to bag a Grammy. No, it doesn’t happen that way. Skills can be developed through practice, talent can’t. Drawing is a skill, so you can hone it with time and effort, but a person who makes birds fly away with her songs cannot become a Celine Dion. Well, unless you’re Salman Khan (because then you can do anything).

Somebody must have told my mother she sings very well, probably one of those dumb aunties in her Ladies Club, who wanted a lead singer for the Friday Keertans. This music fad has struck my colony like ebola, and every house has women buying musical instruments and getting a tutor so that they can form their band. When I came to know about this, I thought my mother was joking.

“Why? Don’t you think women can form a band? “She stared right into my eyes. 

My face turned from extremely jolly to extremely concerned.

“Are you serious? “I asked, baffled. I imagined my fat neighbours standing around my mother, each with an instrument, staring at the audience that is composed entirely of men. The wind blows dramatically, flicking their wispy wild strands, whooshing through as if it was an episode of Dragon Ball Z. The first string is tugged and the small crowd on stage plunges into an ear defeaning Jagrata, killing everyone in its vicinity. I imagined cops and military gathered outside our street, helicopters hovering over the BSNL towers, specialists clad in space suits trying to enter the area 51. The media telecasting how a group of singers have managed to kill radio waves and bend the orbital paths of our neighbouring planets through their music. 

“There. Look at my Harmonium. Cheeku’s mother’s got a guitar. We’ll rock. “My mother said. 

“But you don’t even know anything about music!? “I said. I won’t mince my word, topper Ganesh knew more about music than my mother. 

“What’s there to know? “She said, and added, “I’m getting a tutor, anyway. ”

And she did get one. The tutor, a short fat man, who looks like he’d teach anybody for a free cup of tea, has been visiting my house every week. He sings a verse and then asks my mother to repeat it. That’s when I call my friends and ask if they are free. I run away, and don’t stop before reaching the stadium. 

Yesterday, she was singing Baby Doll on Harmonium. I so wanted to commit suicide there.

And what can one do? I tried once to tell her that she can’t sing.

“Maa, if Qadar Khan and you sat for a duel, Qadar Khan would win even before he starts to sing. “I said. 

“You don’t know a thing about music, son. The teacher told my voice was improving. Let me sing to you the latest verse I learnt today morning. ”

And then she sang those verses and it was so bad I wished I had been born deaf. I couldn’t make her see that all her teacher wanted was a chair, free tea and regular inflow of money.

I was also offered the bait by a music teacher once. 

“Your voice quality is good. If you practice daily and are coached by an experienced teacher you can easily win Indian Idol. “He said, “here’s my number. ”

Well, I once recorded myself singing Wo Lamhe. Last year, my mother used that recording in order to scare away my little cousin sister while she was being a noisy imp. 

“Ziyan. Ziyan. “My cousin cheered and clapped and I felt happy and destroyed at the same time. 

But at least I accepted that I can’t sing. Some people never do that. And then they’d sit near you and give periods to your ears. 

One of my friend always sings wrong lyrics in a wrong tune, and so passionately that you’d wonder if he seriously believes he should try his luck at Indian Idol. He is pretty bad. He is so bad that he was singing Raju’s theme song from Chhota Bheem a few days ago and he ruined even that. 

I don’t think my mother’s going to stop anytime soon. The activities in Ladies Club have only shot up. 

I think I should start believing in God so that he could save us from Doomsday. 


Plans of a Reunion



It all started with a random post – the photo of an empty classroom – and twenty minutes later, everybody was nuts with excitement. PC was all geared up for the historic reunion which was  just coming out of the cocoon in the comments section of Haddi’s nostalgic rant, even though the photo he had uploaded was nowhere near to what our real classroom looked like. 

It was the classroom you find on google – an elegant interior with expensive, polished furniture, a high ceiling with flush mounted lights, decorated walls and a green board greener than the grass in John Green’s novels. On the other hand, our classroom was more of a whorehouse. Dingy walls that hadn’t seen a duster since their creation, old desks plagued with scribbles as old as Indus Valley Civilization, mainly composed of love letters to Bewafa Soumya, coarse floor that made a soul searing screech everytime somebody walked – our classroom was the place where you get dengue if you sat in the last rows. Yet, there is something about the old sepia images of insanely jolly kids within those dingy walls that makes me want to think about it again and again. 

I remember our classroom and our precious seats that were allotted through chits (yeah! 😑). Our principal was a fat lady with some serious phobia of seeing happy faces. So she made sure our life was worse than hell. It’ll take me an entire post to describe her. 

Anyway, as I write this post, I picture each of my classroom right through the 7 years I spent at MZMS. I can see people, the ones who mattered and the ones who matter, and Doctor in her three different hairstyles and forty four different frowns, and the winds and the sunshine outside, and oh, it’s beautiful! I remember walking upto this place very early, sometimes long before even the door had been unlocked. I remember sitting and waiting for Doctor to arrive (hopeless romantic I was 😅) and she wouldn’t unless the room was already infested with people who I could forget with a blink. I remember her entries more than I remember mine. The same expression – the big, innocent, confused eyes, as if she’d seen something odd, or as if it didn’t matter to her as well, as if she could, too, forget people with a blink. I remember her steps, the way she trudged along, the slow relaxed walk, the soft glimmer of peace on her otherwise turbulent face. Or maybe I’m making things up. Or maybe I really did see her like this. Like Jordan watches Heer in the end of the movie, while she’s nothing but a beautiful hallucination. Alright, I think I should stop describing her and get back to describing the reunion talks. 

So when we met the next evening – PC and Churan and everybody else – PC restarted the talk. 

“Hey. I’m dead serious. We’re having a reunion at the school. “He said. 

Churan thought for a while about that and said, “whatever. ”

“What do you think about it? “He asked me. I was already planning my hairstyle for the day of reunion by then.

“Yeah. But unless there are at least fifteen girls who are ready to submit it in written that “even if there’s a zombie outbreak in the city, they are coming for reunion”, I’m not coming. “I declared. 

“Can you even name 15 girls from our class? “They all butted in at once. Okay, now this was a rude thing to say. Of  course I knew the names of 15 of our female classmates. How could I not! There was Doctor and her two friends, PC’s 3 foot tall ex-girlfriend, this 7 feet tall, white-as-Sheamus girl I talk to these days, then a few girls I would not like to have babies with, and, and, and this girl, and oh shit, I am out of names.

“Okay. “I frowned. “But that doesn’t change anything. Fifteen girls minimum, that is. ”

“Alright. Talk to Doctor about it. I’ll talk to the Big Fish. “PC said. 

Talk to Doctor about it!? 

I’d rather wear red pants and dance in front of spanish bulls than ask that crazy girl anything. I mean you could never guess what would make her mad. It’s like playing a different game of chess everytime I converse with her. After the formal openings are done, you have no idea what’s coming. And she’s as unpredictable and tempestous as monsoons. She says hi and I say hi and then I start to pray because I don’t know what to say. Ughh. 

Anyway, she’s still furious after that you-ignored-me ordeal. And my last post got her pissed off even more for some weird reason only intelligent Roman Gods are aware of. 

“I don’t think so. “I said, “Tell her boyfriend about the reunion. He would ask her. Better chances of acceptance. “I laughed like an idiot. They all nodded as if it was a really good idea. Sometimes I wonder whose side my friends are on. 😑

After a long discussion. It was decided that we would do it in December. We’d start preparations towards the end of October. It’ll be a bang, if those 15 girls show up. And we also made an exception for Any-Hot-Girl-Who-was-Not-Our-Classmate-but-Shows-Up. I mean what if PC wore a deo and some angel dropped from heaven. For such a highly probable case, that exception was necessary. 

Having said that, I’m not sure what I’ll be doing at Reunion. Playing a host? Nah I don’t think so. Maybe I’ll watch Doctor and her boyfriend and fan my burning insides. But anyway, it’ll be fun.