Saturday, October 10, 2009

actually,... i want to rape!!!

I made an 8 day trip to paris and Frankfurt in the first week November, 2002. On board an emirates flight from mumbai to paris, via abu dhabi… Sipping red wine, served by the sexy Filipina air hostess…. after a few sips, as I felt the wine warm up my soul, I decided to launch into a conversation with my co passenger, an Indian guy in his late teens….. read on friends….

Me: hi!
He: haylo

Me: anand here
He: (showing surprise) here???

Me: I mean I am anand
He: ohh… my name is mansukh… from limbdi

Me: heyy that means you are a gujju, I am from baroda, I have passed thru limbdi many times, on way to rajkot
He: you traawell to rajkot also?

Me: yes I roam all over India, I am into sales. Nice to meet u mansukh
He: yes, very nice…

Me: are you off to abu dhabi, or will you be with me till paris? (mansukh had a habit of making a chuckling sound every few sentences he spoke, the way kids suck a candy, and he had already begun to get on my nerves…thanks to the red wine, I was managing to tolerate his whisssshhhhh whissshhhh sounds he made with his mouth. I was wondering whether his mouth produced extra saliva)
he: no, I em going to peris.

Me: that’s cool
He: hay cool cool, we are same types…

Me: meaning?
He: we two are going to peris, and we two say cool

Me: oh okk. Do you live there?
He: no no, my nani maasi live there, I will joining her from toomorow

Me: and what do plan to do once you are in paris
He: study music, I can use the sexophone, I am a fen of kanny gee.

Me: that’s really nice, what else in music?
He: actually, I want to rape

Me: (choking, with violent jerks, as the wine too got wild, and tried to enter my windpipe after hearing mansukh’s bomb blast) whaaaaatttt??? You want to rape?
He: (smiling, shaking his neck with jerks) yah yah, I very much like to rape…

Me: (hesitantly….instead of asking whom, decided to ask why) but why do you want to rape?
He: bcose I like it, its my ambition….do you know baba saigal?? The rape star?

Me: (getting my wine in the right pipe finally, letting off a huge sighhhh) ohhhh you mean raaaaaaap? You want to rap one day? And you mean SEHGAL?
He: bingawww, you finally got it bose!!

Me: ( I thanked netaji for not being there, or else he would have fainted) that’s nice, have you done a rap song already?
He: yes, I am a bataka lover you know….

Me: bataka? You mean potato??? A rap song on potato??? Are you serious??? He: yes, I want to experiment with everything, and since I like poteto much, I wrote on him.

Me: him?? Ohh you mean “it…”
He: no no I don’t eat, I just wrote.

Me: (desperately looking for the Filipina, as I badly needed another glass of wine….this was getting crazy) okok
He: you want to lissen? Here it is…
A frenchie fry, U tell me why,
Cos I am ur guy, Don’t let me die…
Shaka laka boom boom Shakalaka boom….
Here I go zoom Oh lets do dhoom

A finger chip, U kiss my lip,
And I will take a sip, Then lets go zip…
Shaka laka boom boom Shakalaka boom,
Here I go zoom, Oh lets do dhoom…

A potato chaat Oh dance fatafaat…

Me: (interrupting aggressively) hey that’s great, now excuse me mansukh, I need to go to the loo… will be beck soon, I mean back soon…
he: did you get excited na? You come beck, and I will complete this rape…

me: (desperately seeking god) yes I will soon…

I went to the Filipina charmer, and requested a change of seat, she readily agreed, as, till abudhabi the flight had very few passengers. I also requested one more red wine, and occupied a window seat at the rear, far away from the raping mansukh. God save me, and everyone else from such bizarre rapist…..

As I quietly laid back, sipping another round of red wine, I thought of mansukh, and the talent that he would soon unleash on the innocent Parisians. As I soon went into a gentle slumber, thinking of the lunch that would be served soon, I dreamt of the poor Eiffel tower, losing control, and actually tilting, and leaning… from the harrowing experience of listening to the limbdi-ka-rapist, and competing with its cousin, in Pisa!

Friday, October 9, 2009

bird watching of a different kind....

at times we all do queer things, sometimes out of interest, and sometimes just to kill time. i have always loved to observe birds, watch them…carrying out various activities. i used to spend afternoons in our back yard, watching them in our garden, beaver birds, babblers, mynahs, even the common sparrows, sometimes lucky to see a raven, a sunbird, or even a kingfisher….

last week i was in mahim, at my cousin’s place near shivaji park, he occupies a 4th floor apartment, the drawing room has a huge sliding window, that opens on the road leading to ruparel college… such opportunities for some interesting bird watching:)…..and then theres a huge tree, a few branches coming very close to this sliding window. since i saw a crow sitting very close to the window, i slid the curtain first, so that the crow cudnt see me, and then, slid open the glass pane a bit, and very quietly, and also moved the curtain just a few mm, and i cud see this crow from a distance of 3 feet or so.

it looked like a young bird, its ruffled hair was wet, from the rains, it was trembling and shaking a bit, trying to loosen up or may be dry itself, by shaking its wings, it was also eagerly rubbing its beak on the branch to keep it clean. then another crow appeared, and sat about a foot away from this young guy. this one was an oldie, looked his age, and haggard. the hair on top of its head in tatters, a glum look on its face. not looking at the happenings around below…it then slowly began to shift sideways, one step at a time, slowly, till it came near the young lad.

as it sat just next to the young crow, it tilted its head, very near to the younger one, and then as if on an instinct, the young crow began to probe the old guy’s head slowly with its beak, he was prodding along and looking for ticks i guess, or just nursing him maybe, i could also see a bruise on the head. i cursed myself for not getting my camera. the young one kept on sort of caressing the area near the bruise for a few minutes, very gently with its beak, and while it did this, the old guy, kept silent, its head tilted, eyes closed, looking relaxed. after a few mins, as if feeling better, and satisfied, the old one slowly moved away, and the youngster flew off… the elder crow was treated of whatever it was suffering from, at least temporarily!

for me, it was a very brief yet unique insight into the lives of crows, especially when us humans have started to increasingly ignore our elder generation, forcing them to be on their own, in several cases….

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


The night was eerily silent, it was well past midnight, nothing moved in the graveyard, except the barn owl, that kept moving its head from side to side, trying to follow the movement in the shrubs below, as it perched on the dead peepal tree. The tiny mouse that scampered along, in search of food, would very soon breathe its last. Such was its proximity to death, as the owl finally focused its binocular vision on its kill, almost ready to swoop down.

Just then, He walked out of the graveyard, and opened the old, rusty, rickety gate. He was of medium height, well built, with short cropped hair, and unusually red hot eyes, that furtively looked in all directions, before he quickly set off in the direction of the village. Vengeance was written all over his face, as he carried a large crow bar, and walked at a brisk pace. The owl fluttered its wings, a bit unnerved by his abrupt presence.

He walked as if he was possessesd. He was on a mission tonight. within minutes, he crossed the main village square, passed by the well, across the mosque, and was close to the lone two storey house. His face visibly angry, he clasped the crow bar hard in his hands, as he neared the main door of this old house, freshly painted green recently, on the occasion of ramzan eid…..

On his bed, imtiaz squirmed and turned, and tossed around helplessly, but just couldn’t sleep, he got up, gulped some water, saw the clock struck 2, and hopelessly jumped into the bed, to catch some sleep. He had to wake up early today, and drive down to the district court, 2 hrs away. Today was the judgement day, and he was sure of being acquitted from the charges of murdering his younger brother mushtaq, a few months ago. He smiled to himself, a cunning smile. That evening, he had pushed mushtaq in the old, unused well, just outside the village. He had no intention to share the 40 acres land that his father had left for both the brothers, 20 acres each.He had claimed that mushtaq had slipped inside, as they both stood near the well, discussing their father’s will. Mushtaq’s head hit a stone, and he had died instantly. Imtiaz shaikh was the prime accused, but was on the verge of going scot free, due to lack of concrete evidence.

Imtiaz had also spent well on a good lawyer. As he thought about his dead brother, the way he screamed as he fell into the well, he heard a knock on the door. Imtiaz instantly jumped out of his bed, who could it be at this hour? As he opened the door, he couldn’t see anyone outside. Imtiaz stepped out of the house, and HE was waiting, with the crow bar, before imtiaz could see his face, the crow bar hit Imtiaz very hard, a precise decisive blow on his head, shattering almost a third of his skull, the broken part hanging from his head, the brains splattered out on the wall. There was barely a scream. Imtiaz fell in a heap, and at once, he dropped the crow bar to the ground, and left the place, rapidly walking back to where he came from.

Once near the graveyard, he could faintly hear the commotion at imtiaz’s place, now it was his turn to smile, and smile he did, more out of satisfaction. As he entered the graveyard, the owl noticed him walking towards a grave, the owl was still perched on the peepal tree, the mouse firmly under its claws, breathing its last. At that lonely hour, no one was there to watch him, as he stood just above the grave, and slowly, his body just disintegrated inside, going under the gravestone, gone within a few seconds.

As the owl tried to see what just happened in front of its eyes, its powerful eyes zeroing in on the grave, if only the owl could read, the name on the gravestone said - “Mushtaq Shaikh”!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

roganjosh mein udd gaye hosh!

1979 november in srinagar, I was 17, on a vacation with family, to this exotic destination known as the Switzerland of India. Kashmir is truly a paradise, nature has been more than kind to this magnificent land, weather is absolutely wonderful, and food is out of this world. If you haven’t tasted kabargah(hope the spelling is right), meat chops cooked in milk, with saffron and other spices…. Then you haven’t lived at all!

we were at a decent eating place, close to the famous char chinaar. Me and my cousin had ordered a plate of roganjosh. Our hotel manager had informed that this place served the most authentic roganjosh in shrinagar. As we were busy sniffing the different aromas that seemed to travel around in that spacious restaurant, a family of four came and sat at a table diagonally opposite us. Needless to say my attention was drawn to the young girl, who was the part of this family.

The long and silkiest hair I have ever come across, or had ever come across till that time, she must be of my age I guess, I have never been able to guess the correct age of a woman. The more attractive the woman, the more off the mark I am, as far as guessing her age is concerned. Anyways, this girl was facing me, and next to the hair, another thing I noticed at once was the freckles on her face. I have been hugely attracted to females with a freckled face, it has been like this always, I don’t know why or since when. But the heart starts to beat faster, and in a blissful rhythm, whenever I see a girl, with that tiny area just above her cheeks, full of freckles!! God bless all the freckled females on this earth!

She looked at me and must have seen my popping eyes, or even felt the dhak dhak I was having, and started to move her fingers naughtily, a bit lazily, thru her hair. I cud recognize it was a signal, but being colorblind, cudnt make out if it was red, green or plain wait waala orange!!! Dusky skin, large eyes, large poetic n dreamy eyes, thin yet wide lips, she was 5 plus feet tall, and broad shoulders. An amazing package, a very stunning package. A package that had started to send off signals to me within minutes of taking her seat, and not bothering about her parents or her younger brother.

So much so, that I cudnt get my bearings right, and was completely floored. Meanwhile our rogan josh arrived, and my cousin insisted I pay more attention to it, or else he would leave me starving!! Reluctantly, I started to dig into the roganjosh, it was delectable, to say the least! As I glanced at her again, I observed she was staring at me…..wowww, a freckled beauty staring at me????? And then I saw her giving me a faint smile……I must have died a dozen times in those few seconds.

And as I extended my hand to pick up the glass of water, most of my attention still focused on her, I accidentally pushed the glass, which tilted in my plate. Oops!! My cousin let out a cry, I gasped, the rogan josh had turned watery, and the girl could barely contain her laughter, she saw the whole thing! The water had trickled on my trousers too, a waiter was there to clean up, my cousin was upset at me for being clumsy, half the roganjosh was gone, and I was left dumbfounded, counting freckles in the end!