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#AtoZChallenge: Jet Speed


This post J for Jet Speed is written as part of  ‘Blogging from A to Z Challenge (April 2016). You can check related posts and alphabets down:

Letter I

Letter H

Letter G

Letter F

Letter E

Letter D

J for Jet Speed

It’s dark everywhere. Lights flashed on my eyes as lenses zooms in and out. I am running for my life zigzagging in the midst of horde of vehicles moving at jet speed and a plane closing on my heel. My heart is beating at pulsating rhyme. There is no stopping me. A voice inside me roars, ‘It’s possible. Run, Run, Run for there is a way out.’

The whole world is moving at jet speed above my head in the sky. There is not an inch of space as I almost fly in my shoes dangling in the air like the aeroplane, flitting at frenetic pace past buildings and vehicles. I stop for few seconds to visualize the entire scenery above the flyover with machines rotating and leaving no space for mortals to walk. No wonder, there is not a single space on the pavement and vast roads down as I look from above. I feel like a God observation life from afar moving in the cloud.

Tiny dots of lights are travelling faster than space ships in this world fascinated by ordinary mortals. I am no living soul right now. I find myself at the cross road of jet speed in a world where galaxies are moving in the fickle of time. I need to cross the waves of tiny lights wading at neck breaking speed and I am heckled, pushed by the waves of glittering lights. There are some unknown forces at bay and it feels like sea breeze as I lump my body forward that keep growing like a balloon at high altitude.

Striking little stars and magnets at the other end is calling for me and my inner sense propels me to reach out for them. I cannot even cross to that side to attain my destination. As I thrust my feet forward, the tiny stars zip ahead to shove past me and it gives me a heart attack. It’s now or never, I tell myself. My heart is beating furiously.

Finally, I take a leap and run with all my might to be stopped half way by the speed of light travelling past me. I stand like a statue, close my eyes convinced that they will hit me at any moment. It feels like vehicles zooming in speed at the highway and standing at the door of local train in Mumbai when another train flicks ahead, pushes your body with the strong accompanying breeze on your face and body.

Nothing has happened to me. I am still alive and I wonder whether death is better than braving those lights moving one after the other. I cannot stand like that for hours and it feels like the angel of death is calling. It’s nauseating. An unexplained and gravitational force pulls me and I defy the force, speeding up and flicking my body as if running away from the jaws of death. It seems they are not done yet. A bevy of lines in symmetry is blurring my vision and it feels like poles which are intimidating me like a foe hell-bent to destroy me. I keep running and throw my hand and body at the same speed to catch the stars.

I wanna leap in the air when the body is curled and turned upside down. A mass hit me on my face like thunder. I almost leap and dangle in the air when a cement pillar stood as a protective gear to save my life. I am wondering how on earth a slab would find its way to the sky but what I am seeing is horrifying. I am perched on the cement slab and see mass of vehicles down from afar. I feel dizzy. I am at the Bandra-Worli sea link and the very sight of a body almost hanging by the thread makes me weak. My body can be thrust down at any point of time and my hand is stuck on the metal corrugated fitting and what prevent me from falling is the concrete steel viaducts.

I hear the sound of a car screeching behind me. The crazy psychiatrist and Maya storm out to pull me out with forces and my hands stuck to the viaducts and metal steels. As I am ushered to the back seat, Maya caresses my forehead, “You are not too hurt, na. Are you ok? Gosh!! You’ve run that far to reach the Bandra-Worli sea link.” I am oozing blood.

The crazy doctor enthusiastically, “Awesome. It means my treatment is working. He sleepwalked right from time travel to the present…”

Maya is furious and her voice is blaring loud, piercing my ears, “Shut the fuck up, will you.” She has just rammed the psychiatrist who turns from eccentric to docile in no time.

Love

V

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#AtoZChallenge: I…was, am and will be


The post is written for the ‘Blogging from A to Z Challenge (April 2016). Today, I keep letter I simple for I…was, am and will be

I…was, am and will be

I am not protesting. I am not complaining. The soul and body system I am made of is attuned to this illusion called Maya. She takes me to meet this crazy Doctor, who is one of the best in Mumbai and honoured with awards in California. He is being over dramatic and asks me question in filmy fashion, trimming his unkempt white beard and long hair.

His mouth stinks of alcohol and Gudang Garam cigarette. I whisper to Maya, “You think this crack dude will help me recover my memory.” She taps my shoulder, “Go along, man and at least something good will come out of it.” He oscillates his body and raises his hand in the air to speak at first in a demure, calm voice but raises it passionately, “Sky!! I think I am clear. This superstar!! I gonna make him time travel to the past and defy the logic of gravity. But!! But!! I ain’t gonna tell them my name till I am successful. For now, it’s I…I was, am and will be.”

“Doc, everything fine?,” Maya tries hard to conceal her smile.”

He turns around and crawls towards Maya and me, twirls his eye and makes some weird sound. Now, he is scowling like a dog. He shouts to me, “Now lie on the bed. Close your eyes and relax. I am going to take you on a journey. You will time travel, boy.”

The crack Doc changes his tone from hyper to gentle. His voice suddenly turns into a jingle, “I’ll ask you about objects and tell me what comes to your mind.”

Ships, he asks.

“…sea…Konkoni fisher folks.”

He grins widely, “Good. Close your eyes and forget everything. You are not a superstar but a lifeless body. What was your last shot like?

I try to remember, Scent of wood.”

He runs his hand in the air and massages my face. “Good you didn’t say the scent of a woman Now, travel up in the sky. You are flying high and reaching for the astral planets.”

“Stop,” he shouts. “Who is that chick, the pop singer, who calls herself your girlfriend.”

I feel agitated, “I hate her.”

“You flung that chair with violence. Why? It seems you are angry with yourself and life. Ok! Never mind. Just pull your body and travel to the sky.”

I feel heavy and empty at the same time. Everything is blurred and dark like a spiral of black-clad demons singing and dancing. I float and my body is weightless. I am transported above mountains and hills. There are smokes everywhere. Foraying into a thick dark zone filled with thorns and wading through the sky, I feel the sensation of dim light flash piercing my head and soul. I am travelling miles but it seems to be a never-ending path.

Suddenly, I hear some scary voices on my heels. I got up and start running. I am sweating profusely but my legs are not stumbling. Some unforeseen forces are propelling me. The plane above my head is chasing me and I double the effort. I feel no sign of fatigue and the speed increases in the flick of time. The sound of rattling of trains pops at the back of my ear and swerve my way, dashing on the railway track. The speeding train is within inches of my body. It’s gonna hit me and I shall be dead…just a lifeless body ready to be dumped.

Love

V

 

 

 

 

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#AtoZChallenge: Hunting the Past


This post H for Haunted Past’ is written as part of ‘Blogging from A to Z Challenge (April 2016).

 

H for Hunting the past

The mystery woman, Maya, is nothing short of an enigma and every single action she does rips my mind apart. At times, I wonder whether her mental age is really 18. Daring to the hilt, she chased this young boy fiddling his hand in the garbage by throwing herself in a patch of mud, swimming in the icy cold water and ramming the boat beating the storm. She is the real deal, the heroine capable of almost anything while her hero lurks in a shadow and waiting for every single opportunity to run away.

Mystery woman won over Babloo by lying down on the muddy sand along with him and he smiles shyly to her. She winks. He winks back. They are like some long lost lovers and Maya playing some younger version of a cougar to a six-year-old boy trapped in poverty. She holds his hand and giggles, “Should I tell you a secret?”

Babloo makes a sound with this tongue, “No!! Yes!! No!!” They’ve been playing around and fiddling in dirt under some abandoned construction. Maya bribes him with a toffee and 10-rupee note, “Now, tell me what do you know about him?” He pulls Maya finger with this tiny hand and she runs after the latter, jumping off debris in the village to cross the tiny lake. A small dingy hut could be spotted where one would hear the dry and persistent cough of an old man.

She bends her head to enter the hut and the old man, wearing a banyan on a pyjama struggles with his patchy eyes to look at her. Babloo whispers something into his ear. I am watching from a distance. The man asks in an irritating tone, “What do you want to know about him? Go away.”

I walk briskly to enter the small house and try to mollycoddle him, “I have come to the village and say something na, Kaka.” I slip a handful of notes on the torn clothes that double as a mattress on the floor. “You were born in this village and were very naughty as a child, troubling everyone. You would come to my STD booth every day to steal coins.  Some guys would trouble your parents often and one day, they slapped your father. You stormed into their house and burned everything they have with coconut leaves lying outside. You had no choice but to run away to another gaon. They say people are rich there.”

He takes a pause, “Many years later, you visited the village again in your big car. You became a sahib and they say you have become very rich.” The old man voice stammers.  Some phoren journalist accompanied you. I don’t know more than that.”

“Where is she?” I ask. Babloo held the shoulder of the old man, “She is dying in the hospital and is in her last stage.” “Let’s go,” Maya shouted. We took the car and Chotu sits in the front seat, showing us direction to the only private hospital more than 5,000 km away.

Her name is Irene and is an American journalist settled in India after she came to cover me. I don’t even remember her. She smiles faintly, “You have come. I am sorry that I couldn’t publish your biography.

Coughs…

The doctor signals us that she is in her last stage and suffering from lung cancer. As we smile feebly to her and start walking away, she calls in her meek voice. She directs me to pull her black bag and to open it for her. Irene says, “Take this bundle. It’s the manuscript of your biography. Everything is written right to your struggling days in Mumbai and how you became a star.”

We leap with joy and embrace her. But, our joy was short lived when we realize that the ink on the stack of papers has faded away. She wears a disappointing look. Her hand is trembling as she scrolls something on a paper sheet. “Go back to the Red STD Booth. Chotu will show you. I collapsed there and the pen drive must have fallen somewhere. I saved everything inside the black pen drive. All the best,” Her eyes became moist.

Someone bangs on our door at the bungalow in the middle of the night.  It’s Chotu. He is panting and in tears. He says, “Madam Irene has passed away during the night.” We arrange for Irene’s funeral on the next day and as the body is put to rest, I am aware of the trial that I am going to face in the coming days.

Fate is playing a game with me now. In a matter of hours, the shiny red STD booth has been erased and crushed into fragmented pieces. One can see telephone wires, a plastic chair and shard of glasses lying scattered. My life is into pieces like the STD booth. The illusion, I mean Maya, scolds me, “What are you doing standing like a bystander? Come and put your hand in the dirt. We pulled the booth upside down, fumbling our fingers in the mud and inspect the broken phones in the hunt for the passport of my life, the tiny USB. Our hands are scratched and we are sweating heavily in the scorching sun. No luck so far. It’s been 5 hours that we donned the mantle of scavengers.

Maya unplugs the landline and hits it on the marble floor but what we get is some rusted devices breaking into tiny parts. “Fuck,” I yell. “I ain’t doing that anymore.”

We’ve put our hands into everything and depleted our energy by rolling the STD booth, which is now a luxury in urban India. Yet, we massacred it for a fucking pen drive. Screw us, man. The hands and palms that dug into fungus became sticky with dirt. Finally, we abandoned all search. The haunted past is eluding me further and I am sure, it must be a very painful reality.

Dejected I turn towards Maya whose silence is tricky and says, ‘Let’s go. It’s over now.’ She looks flustered like a thief hiding something. Perhaps, I am hallucinating.

 

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#AtoZChallenge: G for Ghost from the past


This post is written as part of  ‘Blogging from A to Z Challenge (April 2016). Click here for more.

G for Ghost from the Past


The most respected Psychiatrist in Mumbai, Dr. Shyam Swaroop, is tensed and fidgeting with his cell phone, chaperoned by me and Maya-the illusion, that’s how I call her, facing the media. The poor Doctor has no choice but lie to them as we sit inside the air-conditioned conference hall at Trident Hotel in Bandra, surrounded by the sea and stormy waves crashing.

I try to act cool but can’t beat the pulsating nerves. Maya, the illusion decides not to address the media and that’s how she chose to dump me. Guess, we will face a barrage of questions in this press conference. I gulp a glass of cold water to beat stress.

The Psychiatrist straightens his voice to show an air of confidence. Good Morning, ladies and Gentleman and our media friends, I am Doctor Shyam Swaroop, the appointed Psychiatrist of our young friend. There have been several media speculations that Akhil Kumar has lost his memory and is suffering from depression. However, I am glad to inform you that my patient is perfectly fine and as the document that I am sharing with you shall attest, he is sane. It’s the figment of imagination of his foes and media speculations doing the rounds.

A journalist stands up and asks, “How are you feeling?” I reply, “I am hale and hearty. We are actors and sometimes we are ego ridden and suffer from idiosyncrasy. What happened on the streets of Mumbai was an act that I’ve pulled since I am preparing for my next film. Unfortunately, my sworn enemies have put it that I have lost my memory.” I tried to avert any gaze that will let the cat out.
A pretty female journalist raises her hand, “Sir! This ain’t happening for the first time. We all remember the hungama you created by fighting on the street with the actress that you were dating and on another night, you danced in the middle of the street in a drunken state with few girls where you created a ruckus by threatening neighbours.”

I am taken aback by this question and say, “It’s a spate of lies and I intend to take the case to court.” The journalist is adamant, “There are few cases against you in court, as well Sir. You gave dates and took Rs 5 crores from producers but never reported to shooting. Also, what’s the guarantee that you are not afflicted by memory loss?”

Maya-the illusion steps in, “I am his media advisor and let me tell you that we shall refute all allegations in court.”

We hush out of the stormy press conference and sneaked out of Mumbai in the middle of the night. In the car, Maya asks me, “You don’t remember anything. Any particular incident? At least try to! A diary…pen…paper?” I am getting irritated. “No, I don’t. What is the relationship between a diary and my memory?” I protest. That’s okay, she says, we will find out first thing in Jamshedpur. We reach the factory the next day for shooting.

Maya spots a boy, in ragged clothes, following my gaze everywhere and gapes at me as if he found his lost brother. She calls him, “Hey, are you his fan?” The boy bends his head and shyly says, “He is from our gaon (village). My father tells how he was mischievous as a child…that incident made his run away to that big city with sahebs flashing big cars, gold rings and stay in palatial houses…”

Maya stops him, “Which incident?” The boy shrieks and flees from the spot. “Hello!,” Maya calls out but he is already gone. She forcibly takes me in a corner, “One thing is for sure. You are from Jamshedpur. Now, something is boiling in my grey cell. What have you done that you run away from your village?”

“What have I done?” I throw the question back at her. I took a cigarette drag and mutters ‘STD booth.” I am shocked at myself and asks Maya, “Did I say STD booth?”

She flashes her tooth, “Yes! You did. Think yaar!! What was the last thing you did before sleeping the night you lost your memory?”
I am having a headache and at the back of my mind, I am hearing voices, fire breaking, glass splinter and cackle of laughter. What’s that! I crash on the floor.

I can hear voices yelling, ‘pack up’ and let’s carry him to the vanity van.

Love

V

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#AtoZChallenge: F for Face Off


This post is written as part of  April 2016.

Letter F for Face Off

I decide to face him. I shall tell him the reality on his face. After all, he has no right to jeopardize and screw my life like that. I stand in front of the mirror and fiercely look at him. “Who are you?” I ask.

A popular face on TV and film reels who has a horde of female admirers swooning after and kissing you like crazy. You know what? Today, I am You. Your female fans got loose and after I got off the car at the multiplex to launch the new Mercedes, some of them threw themselves to kiss me. “Jealous…why don’t you fucking tell…speak bloody moron…How does it feel that I am you,” I yell.

There is no reaction on his face. In fact, he looks like a slab of ice doggedly refusing to melt and makes me wonder how on earth he became an actor whom people call one of the most talented. Now, my blood is boiling. I am so fucking tired impersonating this guy every single day.

“I am you,” he finally speaks with arrogance.

I raise my voice, “You cannot be me, you understand that. It’s simple, let me explain. I do not know anything about You and secondly, I do not remember anything that you’ve done or how you perform. The truth is that I am a commoner trapped inside your body.”

His silence is killing me. I just wanna rip him apart. I am stuck. I want to run away from this world, his fucking film sets and the life he leads. He is standing like a statue. I raise my voice like a volcano, “You bloody coward. Who do you think you are? Till when you will use the mirror as a shield to protect you. Wait!! Wait!! You know what I will hit you with the hard steel on your ass and rip your skin.”

There is no expression on his face. I take the stool and break the mirror into pieces. Maya is unfazed and takes a long cigarette drag that she took from my pack. I turn to her and flick the tool in the air as if it’s some light object. I am tired and throw myself on the bed. She sits next to me and without batting an eye, pushes her lips on mine to make it a passionate smack. I am too shocked to react.

She winks at me, “You cannot even protest the smooch. You see, I am protected and they will say that you molested an 18-year-old girl.”

“I am not done yet. Have you been to Jamshedpur? ” she continues.

“Jamshedpur.w-h-a-t-s-t-h-a-t ?”  I stammer.

“You said it, right?” she presses her tiny body on mine.

I am at a loss of words and lost, looking at the roof top in the dimly lit room.

“Right! Tomorrow, you will tell your crew to add some scenes in an old factory in Jamshedpur. We will leave the day after!

“But !”  I protest.

She is adamant, “You never know. There must be some puzzle there. We must find that guy you so hate so much. The real Akhil Kumar, the star and not you, the imposter.”

Love

V

 

 

 

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#atozchallenge: E for Enigma


This post is written as part of Blogging from A to Z April (2016) challenge. Today, on , I write on Letter E for Enigma.

Enigma

Many dream of the life that I live. It doesn’t matter that it comes at a heavy price and the five precious seconds in my life does not belong to me. What they wouldn’t give to be in my place! I would happily trade places with me. The joy of living a simple life and driving to the beach to enjoy the breeze, swimming and warm the heart and body by drinking in peace a  cup of tea. I am an enigma to their eyes. I am hounded at every nana second of my life…brands, producers, media and fans.

Today, I resume shooting and we beat the Mumbai crazy traffic to reach the studio in time at Chembur. Everything is so new to me as if I am doing it for the first time. But, not to them: the director, spot boys and eager fans who are chased away but come back to face the sticks of cops just to have a glimpse of me. I am tempted to ask them, ‘You peeps don’t have anything better to do in life.’ But, guess I remain unaffected for I am not the person they hero worship. At least! What I think!

I almost hit a nervous break-down when some journalists are stomping on my feet for a sound bite on my health and rumors of memory loss doing the round. How I wish it was a rumor! I fake it by denying all and sundry. I cannot pretend for long.

I am hearing words like, Sir! Shot ready…repetition, light, camera and action. I snap my way to follow the director’s instruction. I just did it by impersonating myself which is such a risky business. Scared that I’ll be caught and perhaps tried by society for being a pack of lies and cheating on my soul. I live in constant fear.

My life doesn’t belong to me, nor to films but to an 18-year-old girl ordering me on how to act and be someone that I am not. She insists that I recommend her name as part of the film crew. I know that I am being watched and followed at every step.

I am an enigma, I repeat to myself. Be that guy that you were and the world think you are. But, can I be him!! To play him, I have to be conscious of his reality. I am not even aware of who the fuck he is. I don’t even know his age and where he came from. Yet! I am playing him on and off screen. People will clap hands and be in awe of me, the star who has everything and swimming in luxury. Some will try to debunk the myth and the enigma that I am, the film star and how I wish to tell them that I am trying to do the same to unravel his identity, my identity.

The AD tells me that there will be an extended schedule and a song has been added that will be shot on me and the new model who got a break as an item girl.  Aha! Now, I remember her: The same girl on the billboard. She inches closer to me and chirpily says, ‘Hi’. WoW! An angelic face that one is automatically drawn to and I am quite amused to eye her beautiful face, tresses of hair that she is chewing like some bubble gum.  She is the stuff dreams are made are and her creamy face is too perfect. “Thanks so much,” she plants a kiss on my left cheek.

“Huh!! For what?! ” I ask.

“Remember! You recommended my name for this item song.”

The savior of my life pinches my neck from behind my back. She orders, “Say yes. It’s a pleasure, Tamanna.” I repeat after her like a kid straight from the Horlicks ad aired during commercial breaks on TV.

I’ve been saved time and again. I just wanna run away from here. I brusquely drag that mystery woman in a corner, “Now what? I want to find out who the fuck I am. I cannot play double role like that and wanna get out of this film studio now. I feel suffocated here. You were supposed to help me find who that guy is. At least, I need to call you by a name…cannot plainly refer to that girl.”

“I am an illusion…in Hindi it means Maya,” she quips.

 

 

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Blurred Image


This post is written as part of Blogging from A to Z challenge.

B for Blurred image

I am a rising star in that place called the film industry in Mumbai. The psychiatrists who self-appointed themselves as my close associates have proved that I lose my memory in lapse. At least, this is what they keep telling me. I was acclaimed last year by the film awards and labelled as part of the young brigade that will change the face of cinema.

Am I really that guy they are leading me to believe? I have serious doubt. Those press clippings, videos, interviews and rumours of hook-ups with some chicks…can’t it be constructed by them as part of a conspiracy to make me a pawn in their game of chess? Is Sanjana Singh for real? She claims to be my steady girlfriend. A pop singer, she calls herself and that’s her claim to fame. How I hate it when she holds my hand and caresses my face. Oh!! This baby thing she says by making pout faces…I just wanna kill her.

A tale of blurred image, constructed by film folks, the producers, financers and Sanjana, pumping hot iron in my brain that I am a celebrity. Damn it! She is so fake. I am pretty sure that she is plotting to kill me.

I need to get out of this huge space where I only speak to the white coated walls in this huge duplex at Andheri. I need to run away from here and walk on the crowded street to eat something at the stall. I don’t feel like waking up at all for some idiot will bore me to death and narrate to me some of my own tales. At least, this is what they say!! The soul that I am or has become is fed up of visitors thronging and journalists asking me some stupid questions, ‘How are you coping with memory loss?’

I sneak out of the apartment and smartly avoid the security guys downstairs, snuggling on the luxurious couch and crimson cream tiles. I almost slip and dash out like a kid running away from parents.

My heart is beating frantically. I feel like an ailing patient storming on the street in Mumbai. It’s a mad, mad city. The frenzy and maddening crowd, cars and buses going berserk as they almost dash their way into each other yet handled with a maven’s hand.  Wow! It’s amazing.

Run!! Run!! Mister!! A voice tells me. I don’t have the heart to turn my gaze towards the loud voice and sprint my way on the busy street, avoiding to crash on cabs and jump on the deck of vehicles at one stretch, doing a somersault. Their cuss words find no echo inside my head as I sprint my way inside out moving trains at the railway station before storming out. I run short of breath.

I hear the voice again, ‘Blurred image. The formula has time and again proven to be successful. No point running away from me. I am your shadow and follow you everywhere. Deconstructing the blurred image inside your brain by splitting into tiny parts, like a Mathematical formula. Hey, dude, you were never good at it. Forget it.”

I turn around and seethe with anger. I lash out and deplete my vocabulary of expletives on this moron. Bingo! He has already disappeared out of thin air. There is no one but a huge crowd thronging to have a peek at me. I can hear voices, “That’s him!! Yeah, this M-Town superstar…You haven’t read the news or what…Yes! He has gone mad.”

A young girl, dressed in school uniform, toggles with her hair who looks more like an adult than anything, flashes her smile by showing her shining teeth and looks almost like the Colgate model on TV. “No one is here. Is anything wrong? You can tell me. I will help you. It’s all about blurred images in your mind. I know something about it. This year, I will take Psychology in my first year. Please do not get mad at me.”

She is too sweet. I don’t have the heart to berate her. Perhaps, yes, it’s blurred image raging inside my mind.