20

The FISHBOWL

It was dark and crowded. The DJ was in his groove and the music was too loud for my eardrums. The neon and laser lights kept on flashing and at times irritating me. Though the room had varied beauties dancing off to the latest numbers my eyes were still in search of something else. Everything that I was seeing didn’t seem to excite me.

They (eyes) started scanning the room from one end to the other slowly following a green laser light. The freshness of the sweat glistened faces had long gone. The intoxicated arms were beginning to loose rhythm and were now not in sync with the electro mix that was screeching through the human sized speakers.

Suddenly I felt there was a gaze constantly fixated on me. I took a sip of the single malt (my second large) and tried to follow it but the inebriated swaying bodies were making it difficult.

The DJ changed the track and made a hand gesture in the dark. A help in the form of a spotlight appeared. It kept flashing on random people till the time it was on her. It didn’t seem random anymore.

She was in a white breezy summer dress, something perfect for the weather and occasion, standing near the bar counter. Her gaze was still on me. If it would have been some other day, I might have felt uncomfortable but on that day the confidence was there in the right place (thanks to single malt). The moment her gaze met mine, her lips responded with seduction. She was like a true magnet and I, like a raw iron piece, started getting attracted towards her.

Unconsciously my feet started moving towards those eyes. I couldn’t care for the crowd, the pushing or the shoving. The hypnotized me kept moving on. I stopped a good three feet away from her. Smile was a permanent feature of her exquisite face. I realized my lips were already resonating with the shape of her lips.

I was yet to speak to her but something in her face especially her eyes through her round retro spectacles suggested that she was yet to consume any alcohol. For some strange reason I felt she doesn’t belong here and blurted, “Are you looking for someone?”

She moved her red lips and answered, “YOU”.

The ‘you’ echoed in my head. I felt this couldn’t be real and I had to regain my senses. I kept my drink glass on the counter and took a glass of water and guzzled it in a single go. She was watching me patiently.

“Yes you heard it right. I am looking for you”, She said playfully. There was calmness about her face and was sexy in a soothing kind of way. She was flawlessly beautiful.

“Do you like such crowded soulless places”, she asked.

“Not usually. Only with my friends”, I replied.

“Then how come you are alone today? What brings you here?” she questioned.

“I guess for the same reason that brings you here”, I responded.

“Oh! That means you are here for ME”, She said and broke into a gracious laughter. I was matching her giggle by giggle, mesmerized by the serene sight.

We both had signed up with a dating app, which after proper scrutiny of profiles organized events where singles could meet up. Their interview process was like obtaining a job offer.

“It is getting late and I don’t like it here. Shall we go to my place”, She asked. Though it was a question but she already knew the answer. After clearing the cheque we exited from the place and reached the car park and from there drove to her expensive high-rise apartment.

I know what you are thinking but she was way too classy to be an escort or something of that sort (at least that is what I thought).

It was a huge apartment, which was very tastefully done. We sat in the living room on the smooth plushy couch.

“Would you prefer whiskey or some wine”; She was being a good host.

She poured some wine for herself too. We sat there, chatted and had our wine late into the night. It was too blurry to exactly remember the time when we started melting into each other. She maintained great poise doing everything.

We made insane carnal love. It was pure bliss at least her expressions suggested. Completely spent we both dozed off with her head snuggling into my chest.

A tickling sensation broke my slumber. It was her hand on my chest. She was awake as if she never slept. We again started sharing talks.

I asked, “What do you like as in hobbies and all?”

She looked outside the window. The morning was just round the corner. She turned around towards me with a naughty smile and said, “Morning sex”.

Right after the morning session of love making just when that feeling of love and affection was about to sow its seed, she said, “Could you please do a favor for me?”

“Please go ahead”, I replied.

Photo by Sadiq Nafee on Unsplash

She handed me a small piece of paper and said, “Please write your name on this”.

“That’s it”, I said still unable to make anything of it. I wrote my name on the piece of paper and handed it over to her.

She kissed the piece of paper and put it in a flashy fishbowl that was kept on an antique table right next to the window.

“What happened? Why did you do that? And why doesn’t this Fishbowl contain any fish and more importantly Why are there so many pieces of paper inside it”, I quizzed.

She stood there quietly. My expression told her that she would not get away without giving an answer.

She replied, “The pieces of paper in the Fishbowl contain all the names of men that I have made love to.”

For all those who have been in such scenarios,

For all those who have made morning love,

For all those who have fallen for beauty,

And

For all those who still believe in true love.

It’s not a Goodbye…

But it’s a GOOD BYE.

Manas “Sameer” Mukul

I am taking my Alexa rank to the next level with Blogchatter

#MyFriendAlexa #ContemplationOfaJoker #CirqueDuJoker

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204

Death on Karnataka Express

Death on Karnataka Express

The sudden jerk of the train coming to a halt shook me out of slumber. I was sleeping on the middle berth of a three-tier AC coach. I moved the pungent smelling inflexible curtain and tried to peep through the window. The sun was yet to rise but the morning blue had taken over the milieus. It looked like the train was moving through the outskirts of a city. I got my wristwatch out of my backpack and checked the time. It was 6:30 am.

We were travelling in Karnataka express from Bangalore to New Delhi. My initial job training got over in Mysore and I got posting in Chandigarh. Mom was paying a visit to my sister in Bangalore and hence was accompanying me back till Chandigarh.

The last time I checked in the night, when we reached Bhopal, the train was running on its scheduled time.

I thought, ‘we must be approaching Agra by this time.’

I slid to my left and looked down at the lower berth. Mom was still sleeping peacefully. A sensation urged me to use the washroom. I slowly got down in a crouching position, making sure not to wake her up, slipped into my slippers and walked through the narrow passage towards the washroom.

Death on Karnataka Express

After using the washroom, I decided to look outside the entrance door of the coach, since the train hadn’t yet moved. There is no more serene sight than countryside right up early in the morning. I leaped outside the gate but there was no one in sight. ‘Probably most of the people are still sleeping’, I supposed. ‘It was a good four hours still left for us to reach New Delhi, if the train reached at its timetabled arrival time.’

The huge iron wheels slowly started moving making a screeching sound. I shut the door and walked back to my berth. The berth opposite to mom’s berth was empty.

‘The elderly man would have got down at a station somewhat late in the night, as I was pretty much awake past midnight’, I pondered.

Five more minutes passed by and the train gathered momentum. The rural dwellings in the landscape were being replaced by more urban infrastructure. I knew that the railway station was about to arrive and considered having a cup of tea and some biscuits. Mom usually is an early riser and it was way past her regular wake up time. ‘

‘I guess she wouldn’t have an idea what time it is’, I assumed.

She didn’t prefer tea prepared at stations but I, nevertheless, thought of asking her before the station arrives. I feebly called out, “MOM.”

“Mom…Mom…MOM”, I kept calling gradually increasing the pitch of my voice. She didn’t respond leave alone waking up.

I touched her feet to wake her up but she didn’t respond this time either. I started shaking her arm slightly and simultaneously calling out ‘mom…mom…mom.’ It felt as if she was intentionally not waking up.

I touched her forehead. It was damp and cold. Initially I thought that the air-conditioning might have done it. Her cheeks were even icier. I didn’t know what had happened to her. I kept shaking her arm and calling her for more than two minutes but she didn’t budge a single bit.

I was beginning to get worried. I didn’t know what to do. I could see the train slowly entering the station through the window and thought of trying to wake her up one more time.

She didn’t respond.

By now the glitter of sweat was shining on my forehead. I was getting more and more nervous and anxious as time passed. Somehow in these sorts of situations, negative thoughts are the first ones to swarm your mind.

They didn’t spare me either and for a second I thought, ‘Is Mom dead?’

The more I was trying to wake her up, the stronger the sinking feeling became. I knew I had to remain calm and try to think my way through, ‘what if she was actually dead.’

In my custom and tradition the first thing that happens is, as soon as you get to know that either of your parents or any blood relative has passed away, we aren’t supposed to eat anything till the final cremation rituals are performed.

I quelled my mind and focused on the difficult task at hand. I started deliberating, ‘should I get down at Agra or should I continue till New Delhi and seek some help there? Should I call someone right away?’ Should I seek some medical help in the train itself?

My heart was breaking in fact shattering.

I knew it was going to be a long…really long day ahead. The thought of not eating anything for the next two days was already eating my mind. I decided to get down to at least have a cup of tea and couple of cookies. The train was about to move and I had to act fast.

I immediately got down and went to a railway tea stall. The vendor was selling some stale tea but there wasn’t any other option in sight. I decided since I might not get anything else; let me purchase two cups of tea. I purchased a packet of biscuits and put it in my jeans’ rear pocket. I thought of having one cup right away but that same screeching sound of the iron wheels started.

I hurriedly reached the metal door and a fellow passenger helped me board the train again.

I was making my way through few people who were beginning to wake up, making sure I don’t spill any of it.

The eerie feeling of having tea right next to my dead mom also came over me for a second but the contemplation of being hungry for the next two days made a starving sensation in me and I thought, ‘what the hell! Let me have it. There wasn’t anyone who knew me or would complain that I had tea and cookies after mom passed away.’

As soon as I reached my berth, I was dumbfounded and speechless by what I saw.

Mom was wide-awake sitting upright and combing her hair. She annoyingly looked at me and began, ‘how many times have I told you not to get down on every station. What happened to you is everything all right? Why do you look so astonished?’

I handed her a cup of tea interrupting her and sheepishly said, “I got down to bring you some tea and biscuits.”

“In all these years have you ever seen me have this railway station tea?” she added.

I knew it was embarrassingly awkward what had conspired into my head and decided to tell her the ordeal of buying two cups of tea.

She broke into a loud uncontrollable laughter. I joined in. I told her that the first thought that came to my mind after seeing my mom dead, was to have tea and biscuit.

We kept on laughing till we reached New Delhi.

To this day, whenever we discuss a train journey, we roll in fits of laughter remembering this episode.

For all those who love their moms,

For all those who have lost loved ones,

For all those who are fed up of such rituals,

For all those who love trains,

And

For all those who love humour…

It’s not a GoodBye…

But It’s a GOOD BYE

Manas ‘Sameer’ Mukul

I am taking my Alexa rank to the next level with Blogchatter

#MyFriendAlexa #ContemplationOfaJoker #CirqueDuJoker

17

The Curious Case of TINDER Girls

The Curious Case of Tinder Girls…

Boy swipes right…Girl swipes right…It’s a MATCH!!!

Tinder boy: hey! H r u

Tinder girl: hiiiieeeee…I am good…u tell

Tinder boy: what are u looking for…here…

Tinder girl: nothing much…just friends…

Friends…Friends…Friends…

The boy would be friend-zoned here as well!!

Are you single?

Are you fed up of your single status?

Do you want to date someone?

Are you on tinder?

Have you ever tried any online dating apps?

Have you never ever found anyone online?

Then this one is for you.

For everyone’s benefit I would just define what tinder is; it is an online dating app where you can like or dislike someone just by looking at their pictures and a small bio. If that person also likes you…then you become a match…and you can proceed to chat with each other and in that process hopefully get to know and fall in love with each other.

I won’t lie and shy away…but I did try the app myself. Unfortunately I lucked out in finding anyone who can find my pic likeable enough to swipe right on me 😀 but I was fortunate enough to come across a number of profiles after every 12 hours and here are the types of girls the joker saw there.

Emma Stone is on Tinder! (Stop using a celebrity pic)

The Celebrity DP

I really request to all the girls out there who really want to try out tinder (or for that matter any app) for dating please upload your real pictures. That would help. I mean that would seriously help. We definitely know that Emma Stones and Alia Bhatts of the world won’t be using Tinder to date or find love. Lets assume even if they are, do you think that we don’t know how we look that we will fall in your trap? 😀 So stop using a celebrity pic. Just remember you are beautiful in your own way and the right person will like you the way you are. Anyway…there are many (guys) who swipe right (Like) on all the profiles.

The less the merrier (DP with four other girls)

Talking about display pictures, there is a certain section that, I don’t know why, uploads DPs with more than one girl in them. I mean I know that I would love to date more than one girl, but again it will be of great help to know which one is actually you…to whom the profile belongs out of that selfie, which contains four beautiful damsels. No offence…but I would whole-heartedly try to convey to them that even if you feel that you aren’t that attractive…you don’t have to hide behind a group. Just be you.

The Quotation DP

The landscape or the quote girl

Then there is this third kind who will end up putting quotation or landscape pic or no pic as their DPs. I totally believe that, I wouldn’t want to date a landscape or a quotation…I guess you can understand that this sentence even doesn’t make any sense. You simply miss the logic of the dating app, which is based on the likeability (read hotness) of someone’s face/body and how can someone be interested in you when you don’t even put a picture, which even showcases a face. Please…you need to understand that we guys have a limited quota of free likes and in the rush of liking everyone…we don’t want to like a landscape.

It’s a simple bio not an essay

These apps definitely give you a chance to redeem yourself, if you aren’t able to attract someone just on your face value. There is a small bio (about me) section where you can write things about yourself…your likes and dislikes…hobbies and other related stuff. Some girls just take this section too seriously. They will end up putting a 300 words essay as if to compensate on what they didn’t achieve during their boards exam. Do you seriously think that boys really read that much…did I say that much…actually boys hardly care what you have written in your bio…especially if it is this long. The ironical part of these long bios is that most of them usually have a last line saying I don’t want to write much here. The guy is almost dead by then.

Everybody is a traveller

Choose one

I am of a kind…who usually goes through the bios. I believe the most overused term these days, which you might end up reading in almost every bio, is that they are ‘travellers’ (for this one I am including the boys as well). Firstly it is already a misunderstood term but that’s not important here. The laughable part comes when you actually chat with them and you come to know that they might not have travelled ever in a train/plane or worse…they would have not even left their city ever and still they have the audacity to call themselves travellers. I wonder how can someone highlight transporting in metros and local buses as travelling.

The Sapiosexual kind

One incredible advantage of skimming through these bios is that your vocabulary is definitely going to improve. You will come across all kinds of jazzy fancy intellectual words. One such word, which actually stands out is ‘Sapiosexual’. Off late I have seen this word being used a lot in bios, which literally makes me laugh. For people who don’t know, sapiosexual means one who finds intelligence sexually attractive or arousing. Ma’am you really think you are sapiosexual then stop swiping right for it virtually and go seek the truth in reality. I guess when you write a word like Sapiosexual in your bio on an app which focuses on face value…I don’t know whether you find intelligence or not but it definitely speaks a lot about your intelligence quotient.

Just looking for friends (P.S. I am not looking for dating/hookup)

One interesting line you are going to see in about 70-80% of the bios is that they are just looking for friendship. And on top of that they will explicitly mention that they aren’t looking for dating/hookup. I literally fail to understand that, then why ma’am why…why the hell are you on a dating app on the first place. I hope there are enough friends already in your life and even if they aren’t…tinder isn’t a place to find one. Just for one moment think about that poor guy…who is serial victim of being friend-zoned by every girl he know out there in the physical world. The only resort left for him is to try these dating apps and you are not going to spare him there also. I don’t know about you but he definitely didn’t sign up on tinder to be friend-zoned there as well. Right!!

What to make of profile like these

Entertainment or promotion or simply validation

A study says about 20% of the girls on tinder aren’t there for dating and about the same amount are there just for entertainment. These kinds of girls are there for the simple purpose of entertainment. I have come across many of my friends as well who end up saying that they are on tinder just for fun (not that kind of fun 😉 ). They used it because they were getting bored and instead of doing anything else they like swiping on tinder. Some of them are there just for the sake of validation of their current hotness…whether people are still finding them likeable and how many people have swiped right on their pics. Then there is this lot…that likes to promote them. In their bios you will find their instagram ids, their snapchat ids and all the possible social media ids on which they have a profile. Poor guys!!!

The ones who want their business to flourish (pro-fess-titutes)

Sometimes I feel that on Tinder there are more of those kinds, who want to make a quick buck rather than actually looking for dating or friendship, especially in metropolitans or in international locations. The moment you have their profile on your screen you know for what purpose it is there. Some awesomely hot pic with negligible clothing with their prices in their bios. I let you know one comical thing how these workingwomen…put out their contact numbers. They will never write like 9876 it will be mostly like nine eight seven so that their profiles are not caught in algorithms preventing such profiles.

The guy angle

Then there is this epidemic problem where the guys will have their profiles in the girls section. I wonder how difficult it is to select the correct gender out of just two options. And how can you expect other guys to swipe right on your profile unless they themselves are seeking the same gender. There will be some who will pose as girls themselves. These guys don’t know that we already have this instinct that the moment a profile matches to our profile 99% of the time we assume it to be a fake profile. I mean we see ourselves daily…how can somebody swipe right on us. If somebody swipes right we would go to any extent to find out the genuineness of that profile. Plus I don’t understand those guys who pose…because if we match…what do they get out of a romantic conversation with other guy assuming that the other might be straight. 😀

I know I know I have used a lot of stereotypes in this one. But all you feminists out there before you just decide that this guy shouldn’t have a right to live…or simply want to pick up your gun and shoot me…this was all in good fun.

For everyone else I would say if you are using an online medium to find date or love. Just be you. Say things and behave in the manner you would have in a real physical world. Smile please and happy dating.

For all those who are on tinder,

For all those who date online,

For all those who date in the physical world,

For all those who are too shy to go out there,

For all those who are seeking it online,

And

For all those who have found love online…

It’s not a GOODBYE,

But its a GOOD BYE…aur han…Keep swiping…you never know what you find out there.

Manas ‘Sameer’ Mukul

 

18

The 28 ‘Something’ Bachelor

This Post is among the 12 Best Blog Posts of 2015 in India.

Best Blogposts of 2015


The 28 ‘Something’ Bachelor…

Are you 28 years old or above??
Are you single??
Do you get nervous these days before you login into social media with the fear of somebody posting a status or a pic of their engagement…marriage or even the birth of their child??
Are you avoiding paying a visit to your relatives??
Or are you simply fed up ducking the question of WHEN ARE YOU GETTING MARRIED?? Then this one is truly for you.

Remember the famous dialogue from the Rani Mukherji starrer movie ‘Hum Tum’ where she ends up confronting, ‘Jab tak ek ladki ki shadi nahi ho jati…logon ko chain kyu nahi padta’ (why doesn’t anyone finds peace till the time a girl gets married) but I personally believe it holds true for everyone. I think life isn’t as easy as everyone thinks for boys even.

The Settle down logic

The moment you are in that age bracket everyone from your mausi (aunt) to your chachi (Another aunt)…from your milkman to even your maid ask or I should say poke you with the same question or to put it nicely with a caring suggestion, “Beta why don’t you get married now?” why don’t you settle down, as if I am a dust particle and the only motto of life is to settle down at a place. Unknown…Unseen…Unheard people appear from all corners of the world with their logic of why one should get married and they try to convince you with all their might. I think if you ask a person who has been married for let’s say about 50 years…I am sure he/she won’t be able to answer the question how can marriage be related to the concept whether a guy is settled or not?

Image ref: suburbanbachelor.wordpress.com

Image ref: suburbanbachelor.wordpress.com

‘Budhape ka sahara’  (Old age policy) 

If you try really…and I mean really hard to explain your side of the logic of why you are not getting married…some of them actually end up agreeing with you but then come up with their own philosophy of, ‘Beta!! We understand that these days marriages are not lasting as long as they used to but don’t think about the present…think a little ahead…think about the future when you will be 45-50 years old.’ ‘Then at that age you will surely need someone to share your morning walks and evening talks.’ But then how can one make these people understand that if anybody wants someone at that age then he/she can find someone of that age…at that age…rather than screwing up your life some twenty odd years before.

‘Responsibility se bhag rahe ho’ (You don’t want to shoulder your responsibilities)

The third most common ‘stirrer’ used by the world against you…or in other words for you to get married is that you are running away from your responsibilities and you don’t want to shoulder them. At times it angers me but most of the time it muses me when someone says this to my face…because the same people forget…what the hell a guy is doing when he tries to fulfill his parent’s dreams of becoming a successful person…how is he running away when he is the one who is already taking care of his parents and closed ones or will be taking care of you in your old age. According to these people the only logic which survives is that ‘if a guy is married…he is responsible otherwise he is just a loafer who is busy dodging bullets of responsibilities.’

‘Shadi ki ek age hoti hai’ (The right age for marriage factor)

Everybody has plans…and he might also have some plans…and marriage might not be on the cards on an immediate basis. Having said that, I know, there is a right age for marriage and if the plunge is not taken at the right time, it will surely have an effect on the ‘Quality’ of offspring but given the current lifestyle and the expenses of settling in a metro requires some planning…some savings and a lot of mental toughness. What if the guy is simply not mentally ready??? In any case these days’ people are deciding to get married at a later age when they feel that they have at least tried to cover all the corners.

‘Kab tak akele rahoge – khana kaun banayega’ (Till when you will stay alone…and for God sake who will cook for you)

I guess the day my mom realized that my dad can’t even put on a gas stove she decided that her son will be able to suffice all his cooking needs. Still the so called caring relatives…the ones whose life is already hell…try to make sure…yours is surely one too. ‘Now that you are already have a good job…a four-wheeler…and you have already booked a flat…why don’t you get married?’ ‘At least when you return from work someone will be there to share your day and more importantly till when will you cook by yourself.’ My logic, if I have to stay…’happily married’…in a big city…both the partners need to work to meet out the expenses and the expectations and in that case a maid needs to prepare the meals for both of us…so if I have to eat maid cooked food after marriage too…why not let me cook my meal…and stay… ‘Happily unmarried’ 😉 .

‘Duniya kya kahegi…jarur ussi me kuch kami hogi…baal bhi kam ho rahe hai’ (The world will think that there is surely something wrong with him only…and more importantly you are losing hair day by day)

If you take too much time to decide on your marriage…the world will think that there is certainly something wrong with you. Some may come up with wild medical guesses others will somehow link this to your old heartbreaks and believe me this definitely happens. Even your friends begin to taunt you, ‘bhai sab kuch thik hai na…kabhi field me cricket ball to nahi lag gayi’ (is everything totally fine with you medically). My simple reply to this is a silent…stern…smile.
Then there are the ones who really treat you as their son. The moment you reach their place they will have a newspaper cutting saved for you with new Ayurvedic hair oil, which can increase obviously your hair growth. And you slowly fold that paper…into your pocket…with a genuinely ‘fake’ smile…’Ji aunty main kal hi ye tel kharid leta hu’ (I’ll definitely buy this one tomorrow). But I don’t blame them only…it’s the ‘awesome’ mindset of our society that the moment a guy starts losing his hair…he is considered old…an uncle. I really pitied my cousin who had to get a hair transplant just to get married…sad.

The ones who have taken the plunge also begin to push

Even the ones with whom you have shared your childhood…your bruises…your secrets and your memories begin to push you to get married. Sometimes for the simple reason because they themselves don’t want to be the one who have to swallow the pill alone. ‘Yaar tu kab tak akela rahega…bhai!! Ab tu shadi kar le’. You call them in the middle of the night with some of your issues and the only resolve they will come up with is, ‘Bhai!! Ab tu shadi kar le’. You will say…these days I don’t find interest in office with the profile that I am handling…and their reply, ‘Bhai!! Ab tu shadi kar le’ (Dude!! Get married).

Infact these days…some of the long-lost friends ping me only, either to share their CVs so that I can refer them or to check on me…when I am actually getting married. My ‘bhabhis’ (Sister-in-laws) have found even a newer way to harass…every time I wish them…their only blessing is ‘Jaldi shadi ho bhaiya’ instead of ‘Jeete rahiye bhaiya’. I remember recently attending a school friend’s marriage and out of all the friends who turned up…I was the one who was single…but I guess that should not be the reason to get married…Right!!!

Image ref: prokod.com.tr

Image ref: prokod.com.tr

The Emotional Attyachar

The list will never end for the singles out there…but the last one…the big one…which I believe the parents use to get daughters as well as their sons married is ‘the emotional attyachar’ (the emotional blackmail). ‘Beta!! Hum marne se pehle pote-poti ka muh dekhna chahte hai’. It’s so pathetic that they use their death to blackmail their kid for marriage…leave alone their choice for the marriage. It’s so convenient for them…they decide all your childhood…they decide more or less what career you choose. I believe the decision with whom you want to spend your life with…whether you want to spend it with someone or not should be yours.

For all those who are going to ask me after reading this whether I am actually going to get married is, my reply would be, ‘Arrange marriage main karunga nhi…aur pyar humse koi karta nahi’

For all those who are 28 years old or more,

For all those who face similar issues,

For all those who are married,

For all those who are bachelors,

And

For all those who believe Singlehood is awesome

It’s not a GOODBYE,
But its a GOOD BYE…Aur han…Believe me I still believe in the institution of Marriage…

Manas ‘Sameer’ Mukul

24

The ‘CURLS’ Next Door…

The ‘Curls’ Next Door…

“Mom…Mom…Mom…please listen to me…I have told you so many times that I am over it and I am not looking forward to marrying anyone. I beg of you not to talk on this topic every day. I am fed up of it. I have decided for sure…that I won’t get married all my life” were my last sentences before disconnecting the call. I was still standing on the balcony of my newly rented apartment in Chandigarh when it started raining. I quickly put the mobile in my pocket and stuck out one hand…to feel the raindrops. The weather suddenly went from dull, humid and sticky to awesome. That fresh smell of the soil…the first rain of the season…was more than enough to get the mood going for the rest of the night.

My flatmate shouted from inside, “Oye!!! Pakode and Chai ho jaye”. I was not able to see him so I shouted back, “Bilkul”. Just as I was about to go inside…God had another plans. I saw a figure emerging on the balcony of the adjacent flat. Although the light was very dim but it was sufficient enough for me to carve out her figure in the darkness. Her face was not visible…she was wiping off the rainwater from her face…her hair with the help of a towel. It seemed as if she had just arrived from work. She was in formal attire. The more I gazed in the darkness towards her balcony…the more I was able to figure her ‘figure’ out. 😉 . I won’t exaggerate anything but I had a good side-on view…remember she was wet.

She was averagely built…I mean…it was not as if she had ‘huge’ asset value but was not bad either. You know that perfect kind of body 😉 . After scrutinizing her from top till wherever I could possibly see (because of the balcony wall) my gaze was somehow stuck at one point (wipe off that dirty smile of your face…). I was not able to take my eyes off her hair. The sight of her amazing hair was like…aaaahhhhhhhhh…soothing and not horny. They were curly and at the same time free flowing…less like kangana ranaut’s and more like urmila matondkar’s. That monsoon rain…that petrichor smell of the soil…those ‘Curly’ hair…for a moment made me regret what I just said to mom about not marrying anyone.

For the next few days…I don’t know how and when it became a task from a general curiosity to just get a glimpse of her…and her curls. I finally got a GOOD view of her. She was in the same organization for which I worked. She was standing, with her bunch of friends, outside the food court…enjoying a cornetto. I was hungry and in hurry but my sad and lonely ‘Heart’ got the better of my ‘stomach’…it wanted to amuse itself. I bought an orange bar for myself and started sauntering near that ‘bunch’. Unlike the other girls…for whom it took a herculean effort to even giggle…she had a terrific smile…infact laugh. It was as if she never held back once she started laughing. Her curls…her not-so-perfect round face…her never-ending smile…made her face glow as if it emitted light.

Her positive attitude…her energizing smile …her ‘bubbliness’…the great aura around her made all the negativity…of anyone…disappear. Wherever she went…wherever she stood…to whomsoever she spoke…she charged them with her electrifying attitude, to an extent that I never saw anyone dull near her.

I was beginning to spend more time on the balcony than the entire time I spent in the apartment. In the mornings…I found her coming to the balcony only to hang her towel and tiny unmentionable pieces of clothing to dry. There were occasions when I wondered as if they (4 neighbours including her) only washed these clothes…and purposely hung them on this balcony just to seduce us (me and my flatmate). In the evenings…she used the balcony to avoid her flatmates when she was conversing with her boyfriend on phone. Yeaaahhhh I knew she had a BF but it was not good enough to discourage me.

I began making special efforts to get her to talk to me…to somehow become friends with her if not anything else 😉 . Every time I heard them/her lock her door from outside…I was ready with a mop to clean my bike. If she made an eye contact…I found myself unnecessarily smiling at her and if she was close enough then saying a ‘HI’ knowing that I would hardly get any response. Some efforts went in vain…some paid a little off. From a complete ‘no-no’…I started getting a smile a week or an undirected Hi here n there. I knew that it was high time and decided to make a move.

The same monsoon weather but no rain…the same huskiness to the soil…my flatmate and I were enjoying a chilled and freshly opened pet pack of coke. My flatmate saw it in my eyes that I was upto something. I emptied my glass of coke as if it was a peg of Vodka…hoping that it would intoxicate me…hahaha. I stood up and went to her door. My flatmate got anxious and started peeping from the window. I knocked at her door…and prayed to God (that she and only she opens the door).

God again had a plan this time. To my surprise and happiness… she was the one who opened the door. It was about 10 30 pm and it looked as if she was cooking. In one hand she had a piece of ginger while two green chillies in the other one. She inquiringly looked at me. I, with my hunky looks and a Brad Pitt jaw line…naaaaahhhhh…let me write it again. I, with my boiled egg looks (that’s better) moved a little closer…looked straight into her eyes…and asked, “Will you please accompany me to a disc”?

Her face had a mixed expression…shocked…with that effervescent smile of hers. She replied, “Are you serious”?

Yes…is all what I can mutter.

“I don’t even know your name”, she laughed. “I don’t go to disc with strangers…Ass***e” (she might have thought 😀 ) but she refrained from such profanity and handled it quite well by saying, “May be some other time…I hardly know you” (All this while she had that constant sparkling smile on her face). She went inside…I stood there for a while…thinking about those curls n smile…and then went back to my flat…took another glass of coke…went to the balcony…and it started raining again.

For all those who have such neighbours,

For all those who have a crush on them,

For all those who love ‘curly’ hair,

For all those who want to grab their attention,

For all those who love such bubbliness,

And

For all those who still want to go to disc with them…

It’s not a GoodBye…

But It’s a GOOD BYE…aur han I am still waiting for her to accompany me to a disc… 😉

MANAS “SAMEER” MUKUL

21

THE FIRST 100 KISSES…

THE FIRST 100 KISSES… 

I offered her water because to my surprise it was more than 6 hours that she last had it. We (Paplu, She and me) were traveling from Ghaziabad to Lucknow in Gomti Express. Kanpur arrived… Paplu left …aur meri Fattee. I was left high and dry with the daunting task of taking her to my place and from there helping her to reach Varanasi (her home). I was beginning to feel numb and was getting deprived of any new thoughts. So I again offered her water…which saw the same fate as my last attempt. I couldn’t resist the temptation…and asked her… why was she avoiding any fluids and that too for so long? Initially she avoided by looking outside the window of the coach but I persisted. She finally replied, “Haven’t you seen ads on TV?” I know you didn’t get this one…actually I; on the first place was left clueless, what was she talking about?

She sensed it… and decrypted it by saying,” Haven’t you seen ads on TV related ‘only’ to girls?” Now here was my clue… and this time it didn’t take me so much time to understand that this was ‘that time of the month’ for her. “I am without any protection”, she exclaimed. I was left dumbstruck… since we were just acquaintances from college…not even friends… and for the first time in my life…a girl was conversing with me on such an intimate subject. I did not utter a single word till we reached Lucknow. She requested,” we will get down once everyone in the coach has left. I tried to guess her mental state and hence complied with what she said. She took the big bag by herself and asked me to walk just behind her and……not to look ‘there’.

We reached home around 1 30 am and to my surprise…my father and sister were still awake. I signaled 😉 to my sister to behave as if it was my custom to bring girls to my place at this time of the night. I could sense my father’s emotions and sentiments…but really appreciate the way they welcomed her. After dinner everyone went off to sleep… at least everyone pretended to.

The next morning my father left early for office, she was still fast asleep. At 11:00 am my sister’s friend came over…by this time Ma’am was awake and had had her breakfast. I was sitting in the TV room…fiddling with the remote…preoccupied with thoughts of yesterday’s events…what would be going through my father’s mind…what my sister would be thinking of me n all. Right then…Ms ‘unprotected’ came to the room and sat on the other side of the bed. Because of what happened a day ago…I could say that we were now friends. Suddenly, she crawls across the bed…sits right next…close to me… too close for comfort. Out of the blue she questioned,” Manas!! What is the difference between a Kiss and a Smooch?” (You should have seen my expression 😀 :D)

A guy with no prior experience of ‘any’ kind with a girl was asked such a question. Expressionless…I stammered, “Have you seen the movie Black? What Amitabh does to Rani was a smooch and the rests are classified as kisses.” Ma’am was far from satisfied. She leant forward…kept her head on the pillow in my lap…facing me…whispered, “Karke batao”. I simply FROZZZZZZE. Failing to come up with the next move, I got up and left the room…and the house.

I returned in an hour or so and straightway went to the computer room on the first floor. Ma’am came to the room, accompanied by my sister. As soon as I saw her, I said, “The bus to Varanasi leaves in 2 hours…please be ready”. My sister left and went to the kitchen. ‘The Ghost of kissing’ came back to life once again. More desperate this time, she kept on insisting…I lost my temper…slapped her right across her face (not joking). She started weeping uncontrollably. I was in a muddled situation…with my sister downstairs…a girl weeping in my room…what will my sister make of this scene…I was beginning to fear the worse…and that is when I decided to give in.

I was getting ready for my ‘SEMI CONSENSUAL RAPE’ (I coined this term especially for this) … moving backwards…finding no more space to go…stood upright against the wall…closed my eyes…tight…and muttered, “Ek karlo…Jaldi se”. She came within an inch of me…so close that I was able to feel her breathe…my eyes still closed…she took my face in her hands…and slowly planted a kiss on my lips…before sliding her tongue. I instantly came back to my senses…eyes wide open…pushed her back. There was no stopping her…Ms ‘Puchhi’ was far from over; she pushed me to the bed…pounced on me…tasting and salivating…my lips…tongue…ears…and face…as if I was a piece of ‘Black Forest’. I was beginning to realize that it actually was not bad…a sexy, sultry gal was busy licking me (my face 😉 ) and I was feeling guilty … feeling sorry for no reason.

The time was right for her to put the final nail in the coffin. For a brief…we parted…she didn’t take a second and dropped the hydrogen bomb… I love… … Mr. A. I, on the other hand who was still gasping for breathe, being so naïve in those days, couldn’t understand what all was happening. The covetousness in her was yet not satisfied and before I could have got hold of the situation…she resumed to her wild and passionate ways. Realizing that we won’t be able to be like this in college, she said, “Let me make it up for you for the coming four years…we will complete a century”. Returning back to the business…she started kissing…and I was counting 😉 and we kissed A HUNDRED TIMES.

We boarded the bus from Lucknow bus station to Varanasi. In a way it became my obligation to drop her safely to her home…the one who gave me my FIRST KISS. She even went on to saying that, “Mere Solah Somwar ke vrat Tumhare nam”…and being the chu*** that I was…I actually believed her. Once the college re-opened she simply ignored me….never ever spoke to me…except for the time when she came to tell me that we don’t have a future. Within three days…I went from being accepted…to being loved and kissed by someone…just to be left SHATTERED.

For all those who have been kissed,

For all those who have kissed,

For all those who were betrayed,

For all those who were left shattered

And

For all those who were kissed a hundred times…

It’s not a GOODBYE…

But it’s a GOOD BYE…aur han a few years later she did apologize to me for my semi consensual rape.

MANAS “SAMEER” MUKUL

10

The ‘GHARHI’ INCIDENT – Incomplete Friendship Part -2

The Gharhi Incident – Incomplete Friendship Part-2

City Montessori school was a place where you could find , if not all, most of the beautiful gals in Lucknow, One reason why I was always thankful to my parents for sending me to the Temple of Knowledge, for there were numerous Deity’s to whom I wanted to bow down. Well actually what I wanted was more, coz they seemed really hot to me then and somehow these girls have managed to become hotter now. Well any ways the point was there was too much of challenge for one to have kept sane. The already struggling minds of adolescent were thrown more obstacles everyday.

The hero of our story is a guy with geeky looks, low confidence, hesitant and reserved. The type who thought they were smart and intelligent but the truth was known to the world in a better way. However he was considered genuine and decent, unlike me, by all. Let’s give him a name, Mr. Decent….actually this name was given to him by our physics teacher, Leena Ma’am.

Mr. Decent then was a student of CMS. So unable to cope up with the daily conflict, our hero reconciled, by our support, that he was in Love with one of the most powerful and admired deity of our class, Ms. BPL….can’t mention the real name (on special request by her)…frankly speaking after I coined this name many of the admirers never came to know her real name…and this became the household name for us all. The name itself has a story to it. One day she suffered from ‘Low Blood Pressure’ and hence the name BPL was coined (akhir kuch to code word rakhna tha….nahi to bahut mar padti 😉 ).

Ms. BPL…..ohhhh ab kya bataein inke bare me…..her hair were ‘boy cut’ then….or a ‘wedge cut’ as she pointed out to me this morning, it were golden brown. Well to be very honest its today that I find myself comfortable conversing with her but back in those days I found orating in front of 500 people easier. She was beautiful but it was her smartness that blew people’s minds often. But for Mr. Decent it was always like she stood with a HALO as if an angel from Indra’s kitty. Her skin was flawless, Silvery with every mole in the right place. I’m sure every time He saw her, his heart sang…. ‘chandi jaisa rang hai tera sone jaise bal…’. She was always drenched in excessive attitude which was flaunted by her killer looks….which made some of us grumble….,  “apne ap ko Ms.India samjhati hai kya???” Her smartly fitting shirt….knee length skirt and the list goes on n on…

And the fate unfolds.

CMS made it compulsory for everyone to take part in extra co-curricular and we were always game for it. It was one such event at the Sahara City and we (Mr. Decent, Ms. BPL and of course ME etc etc) were part of the ‘Bhartiyam team’. Mr. Decent approached me and expressed his desire to speak to her. Me being the expert in the subject instantly agreed to help. I told him to wait for my signal.

After one of the practice sessions I asked Mr. Decent to hand over his watch to me and go to Ms. BPL to ask for time and this way he can crack a conversation (ab saala us samay yahi sab ideas aate the… 😀 ). His desperation got the better of him. He immediately snatched his watch off his wrist and handed to me. I waited for her to be alone and as soon as she was…..i gave the Thumbs Up to Decency. He like an obedient follower obeyed my instructions….step by step, brimming with confidence…or I should say Overconfidence, he moved towards her. One final glance he gave to me and this time I had my both Thumbs UP.

Mr. Decent (mesmerized): Hi…eeeeee….excuse me…..

Ms. BPL (attitude overflowing): han …. Kya hai???

Mr. Decent (taken aback by her cruel affection): mmmmmm…wwwww…what’s the time???

Ms. BPL (thinking): Tumhara to acha nahi lag raha…

TABHI…..hum prakat hote hai (I appear)

Me (with a smirk): abe Decency tum apni gharhi mujhe deke kyu aaye ho mere bhai…

Me (looking towards Ms. BPL): kahi ye tumse time poochne to nahi aaya????

Mr. Decent’s face became pale…..yellow…..n then what all happened can’t be mentioned here…..

But on a serious note his crush, infatuation, genuine liking or LOVE (I don’t know what it was) grew over the years for her….and I guess still carries with him. Hope she understands it one day. I can today just say, “I am sorry bro”.

For all those who were my classmates,

For all those who were schoolmates,

For all those who gave nicknames to girls,

For all those whose crushes were crushed,

For all those who had a AH friend like me,

And

For all those who still carry there childhood love….

It’s not a GOODBYE,

But it’s a GOOD BYE…..aur han HAPPY BIRTHDAY (10th june) Mr. DECENT.

Manas ‘SAMEER’ Mukul.