Monday, April 28, 2008


So, its my birthday....and as usual, as per tradition, the guys showed up at my door at midnight, with cake, smiles and wishes. Every year its the same thing....last year D got a dholak and woke the whole building up at midnight, banging away like a crazed bongo player on meth. This year he got me a fedora hat...or at least the closest you could get in India. Madness. So the cake is all ready, i blew out the imaginary candle, and cut it...then A gets ready to feed me a piece...only problem being, he smears my face entirely...well, I guess theres a first time for everything. I like cake...but not as moisturizer for my face...the smell itself is enough to give me a bad bad headache. So I do the only logical thing...get out my Drakkar Noir aftershave, and apply liberally till I stop smelling like the gingerbread man, and start smelling like the Marlboro man :) R slept off instead of coming to my place..and called me just now :) I guess she had a long day. So I am planning to go to work in the morning(ummm afternoon more likely), and as it is a 4 day week anyhow....I'll probably end up swamped in work until the weekend when we'll all go out for dinner. Every year, every birthday, all of us do this...midnight madness with cake, drums, wild hooting, a lot of laughs. I love it, and I love them friends are completely insane, totally irresponsible, and extremely lovable. Whatever would I do without them.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Ice Cream magic

He walked towards the buffet spread, leaving the noisy, smoky table behind him with the guys from work. It was a fun evening, with much banter and he had enjoyed the food and company. He needed an excuse to leave the table, and decided to get some ice cream with the chocolate syrup on indulgence that he felt he deserved. As he reached for the ice cream scoop, he ended up grabbing her hand, as it got to the scoop before his...women, they're much faster than men in general, but this one looked like she dropped straight out of heaven. The palms of her hands were decorated with intricate henna patterns, and the curls of her highlighted hair had probably given many men sleepless nights. Before he could apologize, and he was a little wary of the situation already, she smiled, revealing perfect pearly white teeth and just a hint of a twinkle in her eyes told him, it was all fine, and there was no reason to panic. As he waited for her to scoop out some ice cream, he couldn't help but notice her smelt almost like almonds and honey and all the nice things in life. He awoke from his brief reverie, to the sound of her voice asking him, " I can't seem to be able to work this damn scoop! The ice cream just wont fall off...". He couldn't help but smile at her predicament...and leaned forward to help her. In an instant, he realised that if he used the scoop, and got it right, she'd be embarrassed at her own the blink of an eye, he pretended to fumble the scoop, and dropped it to the ground, smiling sheepishly at her, as she threw her oh so pretty head back and laughed. Before she could react, he reached for the nearest clean spoon, and scooped a big lump of ice cream into her plate, while using his other free hand to offer her the chocolate syrup..saying.."I know chocolate syrup is your favourite...". With one upturned eyebrow, a cheeky little smile and a slight tilt of her head, she looked straight into his eyes while scooping spoonfuls of chocolate syrup onto her bowl. Those 3 spoonfuls must have taken less than 10 seconds, but he was aware of each millisecond, and could hear his heart thumping loud inside his chest...almost afraid she could hear it too! As quickly as it had all begun, it ended with a waiter walking between them, and breaking the spell that had been cast. She remembered her family and friends waiting for her at her own table...looked back at him, and gave him another tender look that seemed to say..."hmm I wonder who you really are, I wish I could find out", but her lips mouthed "Thanks for the help" instead, and he nodded at her..watching her leave him forever.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


They wait until the sun sets on each Friday to meet. Its a tradition that has been meticulously followed for 14 years. Every friday evening, they meet at the local pub to discuss the week's news and events. Not for them the petty gossip that the wives spread around. They speak of matters of great significance. Global warming, the outsourcing debacle, the occupation of Iraq, the violence at Chechnya, the Israeli conflict, the Iranian question, the killers in Sudan, and other similar issues.
Over the years, their numbers have dwindled. There were 11 of them at the very beginning, 14 years back, when each of them had retired from the army. The best times of their lives behind them, each with memories of friends lost in battle. They survived wars, they survived youth, and middle age. Each now faced the evening of their lives, with equanimity. Each has a colorful story to tell, each has his own heroic tale, his own romance, his own tragedies and his own accomplishments. All water under the bridge, as they tell me. Today, the youth remember nothing, respect nothing and revere nothing. Their own progeny seem lost in the maze of consumerism, of petty urban oneupmanship, squabbling amongst others of their own generation, their lives amounting to nothing but credit card bills and mortgage payments. Each one of the 11 has been forged in the battle of life, has scars from their struggles with poverty and their life long duty of waging war against the nations enemies. Each one recognizes the value of life, and treasures every living moment. Each rememberes the ones that fell behind in the war against time. There were 11, and now there are 4. The 4 that remain still stand tall and proud. I salute you, Gang of know who you are.


Its 7:30 AM on a cloudy July morning, and She waits by the window, her fingers forming a delicate, elegant hook around the bars. She waits for him to turn around and wave goodbye, to give her the smile which she cannot live without. He walks on, seemingly oblivious to her eyes boring holes into his back. His immediate focus only on the wet puddles on the road, how he hates getting his shoes dirty! She's lost in thought, though her eyes still follow his every move, noticing his crisp ironed shirt, and lanky gait, taking pride in his casual elegance and beauty. Then with a slight frown on her brow, She reminds herself to keep the neighborhood girls away from Him. Her eyes sharpen, and she breaks out of her reverie, almost physically feeling the jolt of reality. Soon he will be out of sight, and out of her domain for the rest of the day. The thought of being without him for such a long time is enough to drive her to despair. She can feel the claws of loneliness digging, deep into her heart. One step, two steps more and he is almost gone.She cannot bear it any more, and runs out towards the front door...where she is met by his happy, smiling, 7 year old face...saying "Amma, why weren't you at the window....I came all the way back just to say goodbye".