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 #1 fish fry

vegetarianism in human beings. Is it natural or man made?

Neighbours frying fishes is a recipe for disaster. In some of the small town high caste hindu families, you eat non-vegetarian food, but you still view this as an act of self-pollution. Some people abstain from meat or fish on particular days, because on those days, God himself inspects the earth through the telescope perched on his balcony. In some families, non-veg dishes are cooked outside the house.

So one of my neighbours – a hardcore non-vegetarian – was in the mood of a feast. He was frying fishes in the parking area, and the spicy aroma – of a fish wrapped in oil – invaded our house like a flank of Mongol cavalry.

“What’s this rot? Is someone dead? “Asked my mother.

“Cooking fishes. “My father, fixing the electric wire, pointed at their parking. My mother gave a sign of disgust one reserves for a hypothetical carcass. It was a delicious smell, let me make it clear.

“Goddam these people! “She said, loud enough to be recognised by aliens floating in the neighbouring galaxies. They did not react, just kept on flipping the fishes in the pan.

A few years ago, our neighbour had around 80 goats slaughtered for an exotic chevon dish for his daughter’s reception. My mother didn’t go out for half a dozen days.

For the past two days, I have been feeding a cow and her calf bread loaves. It’s a noble job, plus cows are kind souls. They just stop at the gate and wait for me. If they spot me, they stare with those big expectant eyes. You know you just melt in these situations.

Having said that, I don’t participate in lynching beef eaters. I think you can eat animals. If you read human history, vegetarianism in the form of crop-consumption has a tiny existence of 7000 years ( less than 5% of entire homo sapien sapien history ). The first tools were developed so that we could hunt and tear animals for consumption. So I’d never consider vegetarianism to be inherent to human nature.

Humans have eaten terrible things. In that list, cows would be probably floating at the bottom.

Anyway, the fish smelled like heaven. I might give it a try in the near future.

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…

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.

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.

A Priest from another Land.

And I almost got converted…

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

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

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

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

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

“Where are you from? “I quizzed.

“Russia. ”

“On vacation? ”

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

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

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

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

5 years? I mean is that even legal? 😑

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

“You know about this? ”

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

“It’s a part of Mahabharata. “I said.

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

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

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

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

to be continued…

Bookstore @ Bhagalpur Junction

books and strategy 😂

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

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

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

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

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

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

“200 bucks. ”

I flipped the book. 200 it is.

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

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

“10 rupees. “He calls.

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

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

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

to be continued…