Sex with an ex (9)


Anita’s furtive eyes followed Ajay’s gaze as the BMW car they were in, waded on the busy street of Mumbai and he almost cursed at the yellow-and-black cabbie doing a U-turn in front of them. He avoided the taxi just in time and banged on his window. “Easy,” Anita said. “Bhenchod,” Ajay cursed.

He sweated as he steered the wheel with his right hand and fidgeted with the latest silver coated i-phone with his left hand. Anita was losing patience and lunged out at Ajay who didn’t say a single word, “Dude, do you realize how I escaped from there? I almost flirted with death to get out of there to meet you, the moment you called. At least, say something rather than driving in silence and pointlessly doing the round of Mumbai on New Year eve as if we are some fucking tourists. What’s the deal?”

Ajay slowed the car and removed a bottle of Black Label Johnny Walker whisky snuggled under the driver’s seat and gulped a drop down the throat.  His eyes were red and he looked like a weak, emasculated man who hasn’t slept for days. He tried to reassure her and touched her naked arm, “Roshni is my estranged wife and she is sleeping with your fiancee but not for long. He came as your fiance and the whole thing has been a set up by Roshni who brought him into your life since she was persuaded that you are the only one who could break the locks of the vault that would make them richest to rule the entire Mumbai. She has meticulously planned the whole thing and played the victim card to earn your trust. She knew about us from day one. Roshni is behind the biggest gang of corrupt business nexus with politicians involved in nuclear weapons who want to bring the city to its knee so that they rule us,  You have been part of their hatched conspiracy and she has exploited your emotional weakness at very instance. It’s either us or them. Two people have to die or else, the guilt will forever haunt us to our grave. You have given them the password to the biggest secret. It’s a scam, a terrorist attack to destroy the city today. We have to stop them. It’s their last act.”

Anita was flabbergasted and looked at Ajay with shock written all over her face. She lost her voice and felt dizzy. “Sh…” Anita couldn’t complete her sentence when they heard a sharp beep inside the metal silver coated roof inside the car. Ajay was seething with anger and was scared at the same time. His heart was racing ferociously. He knew that Roshni and her lover has put a device inside the car. He had no time to react but steered the car to maximum speed, almost flying over the pavement and leaped onto the JJ flyover. Ajay saw no possibility to stop the car and the black-and-yellow cab that was on their trail and reared the BMW.

Suddenly, a flurry of gunshots hit the high luxury car. It was Rohini and her lover who were following Ajay and Anita since a long time. A deadly device was planted inside the car. After doing the cat and mouse chase and firing were exchanged, Ajay lost control of the vehicle which hit a concrete wall, painted in yellow with the phone number of Vijay Coaching class.

Thud! A huge explosion deafened their ears and the glass windows splintered, hitting them on their faces. Ajay and Anita clutched to each other and their eyes slowly blinked. They fell unconscious. Rohini urged her lover, “Fast! We got them. The device is hidden in Anita’s handbag and both must be dead by now. Get it now.” As she rushed towards the car, the two lovers mysterious disappeared. “Where have they gone,” Rohini’s eyes which were sprouting fire suddenly became icy cold and her face went blank. “We don’t have time. It’s do or die. Jaldi, let’s find them,” she dragged her companion along.

Ajay and Anita’s face and clothes were soaked with blood and hid behind the abandoned and rusty railway track. Anita was shivering and almost shrieked in fear when Ajay pressed his hand on her mouth. He flung a red apple and crushed can that landed inside the BMW car which rolled and escalated to make the noise of humans struggling inside. Rohini and her lover were distracted and ran to look for their targets inside the car.

On the spur of the moment, Ajay pressed a button on his i-phone and bang the car exploded and the fire ravaged both Rohini and her lover. Anita was flabbergasted and hit Ajay on the chest, unsure whether she should cry or laugh. She held him tight.  Ajay whispered in her ears, “To the world, Ajay and Anita are dead. We will be born again in a new city and taking a new identity. Tomorrow is a new day with hopes and aspirations to start all over again.”

Ajay cupped her lip with his hand, kissing every layer and she pushed her lip inside his mouth and their tongues pressing and biting each other, swirled passionately as they embraced a new life. It was the kiss made in paradise.

(To be continued)

Love

V

Depression and suicide: Listen, remove labels and fight it out


It sent us into a tizzy of shock when a young student, Arun Bharadwaj, sitting in a posh hotel room in Bandra and filmed a tutorial on committing suicide before throwing himself out of his window room. The man confessed how drugs and depression weighed heavily on his life and it leads one to think the extent to which he buckled under pressure to take his own life.

We live in stressful times where it is easy to pull the trigger that sends the brain into turmoil and one suddenly feels there is hardly anything one can do to fight the evil. The question one can ask is, was Arun feeling alone and whether there was no one he couldn’t reach out or relate to. Of course, I am assuming things whether there was no one to listen what he was going through and the feeling of being ‘misunderstood’ or the ‘guilt shame.’  Drugs are one such scourge that destroys lives and our youth are at its receiving end across the globe.  The saddest part is that as a society, we are so quick in judging people going through a rough patch in life and we throw the so-called moral rocket about destroying the self, bringing a bad name to the family reputation or being attention seekers.

Our society is sick. Depression is not a crime. There are so many of us who goes through it at some point or the other in life. It is very easy for us sit and criticize someone trying to find solace in drugs, thinking that it will help combat the stress that is ripping lives apart. As I said, in today’s times of running against time to outwit the other in this ‘silly’ competitive world, we tend to ruthlessly face the brunt of society. It is a natural tendency to feel wanted and prove to the world our worth. We feel ignored when things doesn’t go our way and many of us resort to drugs for it’s an assumed medium to hit back at society that excludes people. Validation shouldn’t be sought only on social media channels but warm human interactions.

It is very important to educate our own self and the surroundings on the need to stop labeling people and stay away from criticizing someone who is going through hell. What a person needs is a shoulder to lean on but more so to listen to them. How do we do that? Let the person speak and touch him gently in ways that he will speak without the fear of being judged in society. I think it matters more than anything else. There is a gentle way to convince them to come out in the open and vent out what is suffocating them inside. It is important to check on someone who will try to hide things by putting a brave smile and never let them be alone on their own. True, we do fight our lone battles in life. But, there are times when we will feel vulnerable and that’s how our loved and dear ones can offer their helping hands in keeping a close eye on us and step in if our behavior is worrisome.

Depression is gender-neutral and lacks caste or class bias which can affect anyone in varying ways. There is always the misconception that someone who doesn’t lack the means is safe and that this evil will not affect them. It’s not true at all. The case in point is public celebrity Deepika Padukone who choose to come in the open and was also part of a TV program together with her Doctor who explained it so well. It is high time we remove our conceptions, be it on depression or the scourge of drugs who are destroying our youth and injecting death to them at an age where they should dare to dream and make it bigger in the world.

The death of the young man Arun Bharadwaj is something that scared us in the way in which death and suicide were committed. No, friends, there is nothing ‘glamorous, daring or death-defying’ in killing the self. I am not judging him because I don’t know what he has gone through when his dreams were waiting for him. Always remember, if you are going through depression, seek help not necessarily from psychiatrists but your closed ones and postpone suicidal tendency. Be a real life hero in cheating death like our heroes on celluloid.

Love

V

 

 

Sex with an ex (8)


The mind wandered between putting an end to the whole thing and at the same time, gathering her wit, telling the whole truth to Rohini. Over time, the two women became the best of friends. One night, Anita’s world came crashing down when she saw Rohini having a showdown with Ajay in the hotel lobby.

She followed the movements between Rohini and Ajay who dashed out like a storm. Rohini was tripping with the alcohol running inside her vein, fuming and her hands trembled when Anita ran towards her. She innocently asked, “What’s wrong, Rohini?” The latter was trembling, “Arrey! It’s my ex-husband. What a bastard he is. I mean, we live under one roof but we don’t have any relationship. I just discovered his affair with his ex. I am sure he is banging that bitch. I will get that bitch killed.” Anita was silent and went numb.

Anita couldn’t comprehend what’s happening with Ajay who turned out to be Rohini’s husband and the latter plotting to kill her. Her phone rang and as the number flashed on her screen. She almost fainted. It was her fiancée, the man who is controlling her with a remote control. During the past few months, Anita has turned into a swindler, siphoning million from a random company’s account, transferring funds into her bank account.  The man at the end of the phone ordered,” Hey baby! What are you doing losing your time with a random woman in the hotel?.” It pierced her heart. She turned around to see if he was following her and it was impossible with random men and women swirling in and out. She is being watched. She knew for sure.

The guy said, “Back to business, business. It’s the last assignment and I promise not to make your life hell anymore. We will live happily after with loads of money and rule over the city.

Anita couldn’t muster the courage to refuse and nodded her hand, stammered with a hesitating, ‘Y-e-s’. She took her laptop bag and scampered into her green Maruti Swift, driving recklessly to reach the hotel room where she put the machine on.

She scanned her laptop to steal the password from the corporate giants since she came across that they are going to do the biggest business tie up in Mumbai that makes the stocks run into a tizzy. Her fiancée wanted to cash on that to make crores by stopping the deal and the only way is to hack the emails and block the company’s account. It’s like a fortress. She knew it. She took a sip of a cappuccino when she incidentally stumbled on an email that was left open which someone forgot to close in a hurry.

It felt like a Pandora box and a volcano that hit her on the head. What, how, why! Fuck! Oh my God! He is having an affair with a powerful lady and they’ve been conspiring to use and kill me after the deal is closed. Oh! I am trapped! Anita couldn’t believe her eyes. She hit the keyboard in frustration. A fear ran down her spine and she felt like her would explode. “So…I’ve been used as a scapegoat…the whole engagement and that woman knows me to the core…Everything was a trap…”

The ringtone screeched inside her ear like a cry of despair that compelled Anita to pick it up. “Listen! No, I don’t want to hear anything. Just come and meet me near the Railway Station…No time to argue with you. Both of our lives are in danger. Yes! Rohini! It’s my wife. She is behind everything. We need to save our skins,” Ajay’s voice crackled as if he encountered the face of death.

To be continued…

Love

V

Har ek friend on Sunday and things like that!


You know what’s the best feeling on earth? When you make first calls on your brand new phone to your closest and bestest friends, no matter how far away distance separate you from your folks. Saat Samundar Par is just another excuse. The first call was made at  Dadar in Amchi Mumbai where the best buddy is nestled with his wife. Love birds and new couple. Ha! He told in a whatsapp message that he got rear ended on his way back home when three cars stumbled to hit each other. Thank the stars, no one were hurt or bruised.

The first call was made and we spoke for a good half an hour about the lazy Sunday in Mumbai. Shit man! How much I miss that place? The conversation verged on my impending relocation plan and the first thing in his mind was don’t come back, till I get a well-paying job since the place is getting so expensive by the day and it’s becoming increasingly difficult for bachelors to secure a place in the city. Travelling can be taxing, he said. My thought harked back to my routine travel by the local train and which is really my comfort level. That was form another era.

Despite me being out of the city and the country for hell long time, I reasoned that it shouldn’t really be an issue. After all, it’s a matter of time to get back to the grind despite the 8-year-itch. He doesn’t travel by Mumbai local nor BEST buses. I teased him about how he has become the typical NRI. We discussed and agreed on the possibility that I can consider moving to the outskirts, Navi Mumbai and places like Vashi, Kandivali or Thane. It would make it easy to travel through the harbor lines and not the western route, he argued.

Still, he doggedly believes that travel is a drudgery of sort. The conversation was done. I felt bad of not being able to shift owing to issues made by homeowners of denying a roof to bachelors. You know the whole so-called social norms and what’s not! It’s such a fuck-all feeling of wanting to shift but not being able to do so based on economic reasons.

I had a networking event to attend along with a colleague and friend for the Bangladesh Independence Day as part of our job for the website when she along with her husband was supposed to pick me up past 5. I reached the place one hour earlier and sat at the coffee shop, sipping cappuccino and reading magazine and stuff. I love to sit in coffee shops to read and drink coffee. It’s my idea of relaxation. The whatsapp call buzzed and it was Meghna from Mumbai, whom I was trying to call subah on the new handset. After all, what better way to use the new phone than calling close friends?

She was my first caller on the new phone. We spoke for a good 20 minutes about her work, lack of holiday by working crazy round the clock, meetings we both abhor attending and of course, Mumbai. I think that I am going to turn into a sentimental memory freak for the rest of my life, hanging on to the past and wanting to reclaim the life that went by. A lovely conversation about everything under the sun, right from munching Maggi  as quick but unhealthy bite to fill up and both us looking for extra freelance work. Naturally, the conversation hovered on housing in the city and how everything is fine, except renting a home. Mumbai can truly be called Sankat in the city.

There are few Sundays like that which ends in the company of friends over the phone, travelling and working together. In today’s stressful times, the only thing that makes us sane and healthier is the company of friends…har ek dost zaroori hai!

Love

V

 

Decluttered, done and dusted with


Slab of wood is aesthetically cut to give shape to human intentions and desires, dust is chucked out painstakingly and polished to near perfection. Dreamy layers are suited to one’s mental, spiritual and artistic contentment offering aesthetic glance. It is what we make of life, with joys and sorrows, ups and downs growing in leaps and down as we slouch our head on the soft pillow, listening to the lullaby of breeze and rain. Our life is like the carved wood, polished and left on its own to gather dust again and the sweet memory sounding like the song of perfection, listening to the downpour of emotions that falls like water and gentle sea breeze.

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The blue travel bag dusted and done with.

It snuggled cozily between my bed and wall, finding its space and demanding attention for it stood neglected for all these years. Once in a blue moon, it was pulled out and my fingers snuggling on the thick dust to retrieve my treasure trove of memories, flipping pages to relive the days of near perfection. It felt so real and in the current times. It demanded my immediate attention, my green luggage bag that I bought at Mahim on a rainy day on the eve of my departure, leaving Mumbai, my city. It’s been eight years from now. A fortnight ago, I decided to get rid of the blue luggage back that was torn in places, removing old magazines, xerox copies of notes and tiny plastic dabba where the perfume of Biryani flew in the air. It’s the stuff memories are made of. In the end, I decided to throw away the cheap luggage bag that stood like a tower, earning its place in my room. It was time to bid farewell and like some say, decluttering and getting rid of excess baggage makes way for fresh energy. Choking the self-doesn’t help.

As I look back, what dash of memories a huge bag that I bought cheaply off Mahim, outside the railway station held for me. It’s the cheap man’s accessory when I spotted someone selling the travel bags in South Mumbai during the monsoon 2008. I took his number. It was a Saturday when I walked in the cake of mud behind Mahim station, traipsing clumsily past the dingy shops and huts to plod my feet in the workshop. The green bag was packed with memories of the xerox Economics notes while I was reading for my Masters at Kalina campus in Santacruz Mumbai, old newspapers and entertainment magazines such as Filmfare, examination papers, paper files holding handwritten notes, cutting posters pasted in the room and what’s not. I am a hoarder of things, memories, and people reminding me of life as a carefree soul. Some, I chucked out and the rest I neatly kept in two plastic bags.

Treasure trove.

Eight years can be a very long time in holding on to memories clutched to the chest and never letting them go. It soothes me and, at the same time, hurt me in places. We are all bruised souls, nurturing the wounds. The brutal love tale that wouldn’t make you the same. The unrelated hoarding of things often serves a brutal reminder of a city and its inhabitants, local trains, cabs, people, and friends. It gives you the feeling that you spent a lifetime growing on such things. The good thing that I retrieved hall tickets of exams of the year 2005 and attached slip on your degree document to keep in a single place.

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Hall ticket in SY.

I was showing my handwritten notes that I would summarize sitting in the library at Rajabhai Tower in Fort at South Mumbai, often writing with multiple fancy pens at one time, to Mom. It’s a habit to summarize notes and making skeleton ones as a technique to memorize.Kya karein, aadat se majboor. Trust me, my fingers pained. Just imagine, Mom gave me a sermon for something written almost a decade back that my handwriting is too small and I ain’t going anywhere with that. Somehow, we learned to write on paper in those days and exchange chit of romance notes in the silence library that stood as witness to our romance, a far cry to the days of phone applications downloaded online.

Penmanship.

It’s quite a story that my minnow handwriting didn’t earn me marks in the second year despite being quite the disciplined and regular student that all lectures loved in college like their own son. I was berated by my Economics lecturer after the famous KT in SY and she coached me for free in her spare time, saying that the handwriting is too small where I failed to score. I followed Ma’am instruction and the marks magically turned from 30 to 70 plus. Ah! What days!

That’s life, you are tempted to say. It’s not just life but everything. A reminder that you just woke up from slumber after 1000 years to imagining things. Except that it’s real.

Love

V

 

 

BMC election 2017: Roti, Kapda aur Makaan and ‘Mumbai’ values


India and Asia’s richest corporation, BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is a milch cow for our politicians and it comes as no stroke of genius that throughout the contest, it was under siege by political parties vying for the pot of gold. The secret ballot is out where Shiv Sena won by a tiny whisker with 84 seats, edging past BJP’s tally of 82.

This time, BJP and Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis gamble paid out with the saffron party making a mark in the city with 82 legislators edging past the Grand old party, Congress, suffering yet another political hemorrhage.  It’s high time for the Congress Party to introspect on their complete washout, like the monsoons, in a city where they once stood tall. Perhaps, Raj Thackeray and his MNS should now see the crude reality that regional politics doesn’t pay off and their complete wipe off in Maharashtra is testament to that.

It makes political sense for Raj Bhau to merge his MNS with Shiv Sena. He stands a better chance as a political leader to dictate things and time to reinvent himself in embracing an all-inclusive ideology in the city. For the Marathi Manoos, it’s Roti, Kapda aur Makaan rather than picking on outsiders entering the state to eke a livelihood. Political goonda gardi will not work in a cosmopolitan city like Mumbai.

To CM Fadnavis credit, he single-handedly played clean and tapped on issues faced by commoners every monsoon, be it potholes or promised transparency in the way Mumbai or Maharashtra, is administered. He played on anti-incumbency factors and in the award of tenders, allegations of scams or infrastructure ‘crippling the city’ that allegedly reign supreme at BMC level. The average middle-class Mumbaikars are tired of the same old story and it could be accounted for one of the reasons that the BJP was able to make a mark in the city.  It shouldn’t be viewed as a vote of confidence in favor of BJP though but more as the woes of commoners for a better administered Mumbai. It was a well-calculated move to tap on disenchanted voters by giving 53 tickets to Non-Marathas such as Gujratis and North Indians. The moved paid handsomely well.

Make no mistake, Mumbai is Shiv Sena’s forte and they performed decently well in the city, taking into account the anti-incumbency factor of ruling the city over two decades and the death of supremo, Bala Saheb Thackeray which left a void in their vote bank. A large chunk may have gone to the BJP who also gained Congress vote. The tiger may have been tamed and is not roaring like in the good old days but it will not sleep on its laurels. After all, the stakes are too high and there are areas in Mumbai who swear allegiance to the Sainiks. High time for young Turks like Aditya Thackeray who showed the promise of having a modern outlook, to practice an inclusive policy for political gains.

India’s financial capital, Mumbai, suffer from plaguing issues such as potholes, crumbling of buildings where FSI is violated and infrastructure taking its toll on citizens every Monsoon. It’s a city known for never sleeping and needs its nightlife unscathed. The young-Marathas and Non-Marathas-abhor enforcing the Hindutva agenda or all forms of bans, be it beef ban or shutting down nightlife, a time where life starts. It’s a huge opportunity for the Shiv Sena with fresh leaders like Aditya Thackeray to be inclusive and represent the face of Mumbai, taking a departure from its ideology of bandh or hoodlums to incarnate modernity and embolden the values that Mumbai always stood for.

Jai Maharashtra

V

 

 

Remembering 26/11: bled to death, paid in blood


We bled to death.

Paid the price in blood!

A devastation and grim reminder,

that the human life has no value.

Scars remained.

Life wouldn’t be the same again.

Like the tender flower,

crushed to death,

we could never come to terms.

We may laugh and sing the anthem of life.

Yet! The fear instilled in us.

Perhaps, closure is such an abused word.

Humanity sank the lowest.

It was that day!

We abhorred it and hated to be reminded.

We should!

Face the demons!

Sacrifice of the unsung heroes.

Blood must be scrutinized.

Corpses lying in blood should rage in our minds.

Forgetting is no closure.

26/11

We remember the city bleeding and consumed in anger.

Remembering the dreaded terror attack in Mumbai 26/11, eight years back and the loss of lives.

V