- PonderingTwo July 2013 ~ Pondering Two The title of your home page

Wednesday, 31 July 2013

He blinked his eyes so as to stop tears from flowing.
‘Do it’, she ordered.
Nervy, he pushed the plunger into the deltoid muscle, thrusting the medicine into the system.
‘What are you doing’? She screamed. 
Upon her screaming, he opened his eyes to find the needle injected into the cotton sheets and he shuddered.


‘Do it,’ will you? She ordered. 
I rose from my deck chair to look directly into her eyes.
Cool breeze played with her tresses as I tugged the flying strands behind her ear.
Pulling her close, I tilted her face upwards to match my height.
I blew.
She relaxed.
Foreign particle had left her eye.

Write Tribe

This post has been written for WriteTribe

Friday, 26 July 2013

‘What guts do you have’? Neil exclaimed huffily. ‘Kicking your job at times of recession needs you to be courageous at heart and by brain too’, he added further.

‘Risk toh spider-man bhi utha tha hain, mein toh fir bhi salesman hu’ (Even spider-man takes risk and am just a salesman!), he winked and they both chuckled as Neil wished him success for his future.

He had left the job in such circumstances where one would do anything to cling to ones job. Such was his nature and style of functioning - To be unpredictable at times much to everyone’s disbelief. An impromptu decision that shocked everyone, even his family.

Having seen, learnt and understood the trade practices that people follow to the riches that the job gave him both mentally and monetary wise to those ugly office politics people played to being the company’s go-getter man, he had experienced it all. But off late it give him a feeling that his freedom is being gagged and is being reduced to just a puppet in the hands of his bosses.

‘Time to move on, young man.’ He said to himself as he gave a final look towards his workstation. 

With a sense of pride and a tinge of happiness in his heart he left those premises forever to the new dawn awaiting, asking to be ready for a new chapter in his life.

Call it nature’s magic wand or sheer luck, he happened to visit UAE for a vacation. A surprise planned by his family for celebrating and welcoming the following year. A bit hesitant at the beginning due to job search – interview saga, he agreed for the vacation after a lot of persuasion from his family.

Over there amid all the fun and frolic he happened to visit a restaurant for lunch. Friendly reception, delicious food, nice soothing ambience and a generous owner left a mark on his mind. He was so amused with the overall hospitality and especially with the young thirty something owner that he decided to meet him the next day itself.

‘If a thirty something person can own a restaurant then why can’t I?’ He said under his breath. ‘This will need a huge amount of investment’, his inner voice said to himself, thus sending his plans of owning a restaurant one day to a peaceful death.

‘Don’t come to conclusions. One step at a time’, he calmed his inner voice.

The next morning he decided to visit the restaurant during the lunch hour as he hadn't requested the owner for a meeting. Keeping his fingers crossed and counting his chances of meeting him, he entered the restaurant. His face lit up as soon as he saw the owner and straight away went forward to greet him.

Hours passed by as they kept on chatting. From being somewhat unusual at the beginning with each other’s company to what seemed like two best friends chatting after a long time, walls of discomfort and aloofness had been bridged.

Soon the discussion turned towards the business side when he offered his willingness to sell part of his stake in his baby, his restaurant.

'Oh – My – God! He is offering me a part of his stake in his restaurant!' He exclaimed. His heart did a somersault. He couldn't believe his ears. 

He committed an answer upon landing back home, keeping the option alive. A series of e-mails were exchanged before he took any concrete decision.

After doing a detailed SWOT analysis, taking his near and dear ones into confidence, he agreed to purchase the stake in the restaurant. A calculated risk had been taken by him. Getting a ready-made and running restaurant that too in a foreign land bereft of much competition made him take the plunge. The only rock that needed to be taken care of was money, as his inner voice had said. The valuation came to a huge sum which required at least fifty percent funding from other sources. The rest can be met off with personal savings, said his SWOT analysis.  

He paid the first tranche of payment from his own savings, PF and Gratuity. Yes, from all those resources which are the sources of money when one retires. A risk taken to fulfill now what had become his dream. A dream to own a restaurant and see it grow in size, just like a baby.

The path ahead was full of challenges but it was surely the dawn of new beginning for him.

With no income and rising expenses he kept on relying upon his sons to run the house which they did promptly and happily. So his one major worry had been taken care of. Now only thing left is to search for the funding options for the remaining stake and to fulfill the balance and final tranche of payment for the entire acquisition of the stake.

From phone calls to friends, to meeting them, to meeting various investors, to applying for a loan, he tried everything. But nothing worked. Frustration grew upon him. He could have easily asked for a reduced stake equivalent to the payment done but he didn't. For him that was the last resort.

“When money poses a problem, time comes to rescue”. With this he bought some time from the owner for the balance payment.

In the mean time he took active interest in the operations of the restaurant. Be it administrative or marketing, he was completely involved. From the menu for the day to the price of the dish everything was on his fingertips. This enthusiasm and active involvement led him to meet many people from various fields for marketing related purposes. Slowly and steadily, watching and judging by the progress of the restaurant many small investors and interested parties came forward. But he kept them waiting.

It is said that fortune favors the brave. And how true that is.

A land deal that he had entered many years ago had materialized and the plot of land had been sold entitling him to huge commission. Thus enabling him to fulfill the balance trance of payment and acquiring the desired stake in the restaurant.

Today he is the owner of the restaurant and has seen the valuations soar and profits multiply keeping all the strategic investors at bay.

‘Dreams come true only when you act accordingly to turn them into realities.’

This is a true story about taking risks and determination and fighting against all odds to turn your dream into a reality.

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Nervous? He asked.

Amid butterflies in my stomach I reached the venue along with him. A pull of my cheek and the warmth of his hands holding mine were enough to set aside all the nerves that I had. Yes, it was my first Blogger's meet ever; to be precise an Open BAR (Blogger Author Rendezvous) arranged by The Indiblogeshwaris, The Cool and The Dashing Vinita Bahl and The Bankster himself, Mr. Ravi Subramanian.

We took the first step in, in what felt like a nice, cool coffee shop called as Chocolateria San Churro. Upon reaching upstairs, he introduced to his fellow blogger friends and mingled with them upon introductions as my eyes kept capturing the beauty of the place. A perfect and a nice venue for a lazy Saturday afternoon. 

And in entered a gentleman wearing a tee and jeans rather than those flashy suits, jackets and what not.  As simple as one can get. And this also reflected in him when The Bankster, Mr. Ravi Subramanian started taking questions one after another with ease and calm. Very honest and straight forward answers greeted all the questions that were asked. 'Direct Dil Se', if I may say so.

Mr. Ravi Subramanian - Author
With few sips of delicious coffee and a plate of chips we kept on bombarding with questions ranging from his books and ideas to publishing to some incidents to his previous workplace to office politics and women to selling and marketing to movies and what not. The discussion continued till our stomachs sent a signal to our brains and that was lunch.

But the questions still kept popping out of mouth amid mouthfuls and he, like a school going kid answering his mom about his day in school, kept on replying without any fuss.

Ah! not to forget the tiramisu cake and chocolate mousse cake. The yummiest thing I have eaten after my own cooking. (No, that's a fact. All of you can drop in and check :p) Take a bow San Churro for that!

And finally came the time to bid goodbye. Not before some mandatory clicks with the author and the fellow bloggers. 

The Author and Wannabe Authors
And he even won a small surprise activity where one has to guess the weight of the sealed box. I must admit I was pretty displeased when the entire credit went to him, when he being regular at carrying plenty of grocery bags and shopping bags. (Rohan, I know you won't mind to me making it public. Also have a surprise for you today. So please don't even think of doing the same to me.) :P But a sincere thanks to Vinita for that deliciously, awesome, mouth-watering cake!!

And the darling also had an icing on the cake when she offered all of us a small potlis of gold and silver coin aka coin chocolates. 

Coin Chocolates
All in all a wonderful event filled with lots of information for all of us (Wannabe writers) with sweetest memories and an enriching experience one can take home. Thanks Vinita for consistently stalking the author, without whom the event would not have taken place and Mr. Ravi Subramanian for being the perfect host. A small thanks to my hubby, Rohan for lapping up on this opportunity. Also a round of applause for the team Indiblogeshwaris! Hip Hip Hurray!! You guys rock. Looking forward to many more such meets... :)

The cute lil couple, We :)

Photos Courtesy: Vinita Bahl, Indiblogeshwaris

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Enduring with the challenges of life
Dancing to the melodies of a fife
 Educating him only to see him fly
My eyes bid a teary goodbye

Expecting him to return was my strong belief
To be my ‘Shravan’ in older days was my heart’s motif
Had I learned to obey my sixth sense’s magic
I‘d have been lucky not holding the walking stick

A teary smile she gave when we first met
Tied a beautiful bond by kismet
That played ugly when needed the most
And with that teary smile she surrendered to the foremost

What was once hale and hearty
Was left as fragile as a dream and ashy
When you blatantly refused to fly down
To be next to your ailing mom, we were letdown

With weakening vision and growing gray
I trundle to survive, to complete life’s essay
Her smile still brushes my canvass with a ray of hope
Which fades when your memory gropes
Was there a clanger in your upbringing?
I don’t know...
For a father’s heart can forgive everything
But how can it forgive the disrespect shown to the mother’s womb?

No amount of devastation can break a man’s heart
That is already torn apart
By his own blood
Blinded and acrid

As I lay with a creased forehead
Waiting for the old age home to roadbed
My life’s essay
Dancing to the tunes of His merciful screenplay 

This post is a part of the topics shared at the Indian Bloggers League organised by Writeup cafe 

Friday, 12 July 2013

Blisssful Petrichor
Igniting a window
Seduction and Romance

This post has been written for WriteTribe Prompt

Also please do visit my set of Haiku on Rains written few days back. Would love to hear your views. :) 

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Eagerly awaiting, results come as a jolt from the blue
Shocked upon seeing it as if I have no clue
Friends placate to no avail
Finding solace in mom’s arms, I learnt
Family support matters a lot in your worst days

In an age where one is called a teenager
You tend to swing from one to another blunder
Peer’s advice you adhere
Whereas parent’s caution falls on deaf ears, I learnt
To stand up to my mistakes and rectify

Being the go-getter of the company
Always handling work pressure ably
Expectation rises as appraisal nears
Dejected and shown the mirror, I learnt
To rise after the fall with a renewed vigour and focus on the goal

When life takes a turn for good
From one you are now two
Amid all the vows and kisses that you blew
One thing that heart tells you
To keep the apple of your eye always happy

That single stick gave a shock
Recollecting how parents taught you to walk
Tears slowly glide down the cheeks
As weak limbs struggle and seek
For me to be their walking stick

What are the lessons that we need to learn?
Lessons that you see...
Lessons that you learn...
For I feel, we need to learn
Lessons that never depart, that stays within our heart.

Life Lessons

I am sharing what 'I Saw and I Learnt' at BlogAdda.com in association with DoRight.in

Tossing the coin of my dreams, my intellect trundled only to realize that it will be wild to help myself in such a fashion. Looking upon the calendar, noticing the date and arming myself with a spotless and tidy postcard, I decided to inscribe.

Few years later

“Dear Samar,

Eloping with you was my naivety. Marrying you was my Love for you. With you, life was nothing less than a sugar coated pill till you betrayed. Earth shook beneath my feet. All the sugar had vanished from my life. Life had festered. Until I decided to voice my feelings. I feel much better now. I am able to breathe, to live again. It is believed that all the good things happen after some struggle and fight. So thank you for allowing me to struggle and fight my intellect now that you have gone.

Love .

Tears rolled down his cheeks as he continued to feel the pain reading it for the umpteenth time. Leaving it aside for the first time, he laid his hands on the book titled ‘Responsibility Towards.

He went straight to the acknowledgement page to find it and there it was etched in bold letters.

Pic Courtesy: Google
My sincere thanks to Samar....

His already moist eyes gave away upon reading it as he struggled for his last breath.

This post is in response to a contest hosted at WriteTribe

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Jacob Hills
Jacob Hills
Written by: Ismita Tandon Dhankher
Published by: Harper Collins
Genre: Fiction, Suspense
ISBN: 978-93-5029-649-3
No.of Pages: 263
Price: INR 299

Synopsis: It's just another evening at the Tiller's Club. Capt. Rana, a Young Officer training at the War College, stands at the bar, deliberately avoiding his pregnant wife, Heena. Saryu, village belle-turned-modern babe, drink in hand, chats up with another YO. Her husband, Maj. Vikram Singh, shoots angry glances at her. The flamboyant Lt. Col. Gary Randhawa and his wife Pam chat merrily with the senior officers - who'd guess that they lead an underground swinger couples' club?

In a corner stands Eva, the beautiful Anglo-Indian wife of Maj. George Chandy, who finds herself at the heart of the murder mystery. The murdered woman's body is covered with cigarette burns. A six-year-old girl's wrist is similarly marked. Another little girl shows signs of severe abuse.

Review: I am sure after reading the synopsis you wanna read it now! Yes, it is a riveting and a gripping tale set in 1980s at an army station that houses a War College called Jacob Hills. Eva and George Chandy are the latest couple who comes to this place but are unaware of many undercurrents persisting at the college -  From personal equations to professional rivalries to high ambitions to using others as a success ladder to parties and to swinger club. And among all these, there is a murder mystery which engulfs Eva. There is no way out for her but to find the murderer and thus setting a high paced tempo for the story.

The story is nicely told from the eyes of it's characters and progresses smoothly. That for me works very well. The plot which includes too many characters and situations may tend to be complex but actually it isn't. Once you set your eyes in, the book will not allow you to get your eyes of it. Such is the author's brilliance and control over the plot. 

The characters are superbly etched. Especially the characters of George, Eva, Sarayu and Bunny. Certain delicate issues like that of child sexual abuse and domestic abuse has been brilliantly handled. Also, the story gives a brief highlight of the army world especially the men although fictional but highly believable. The suicide at the end of the story could have been avoided. But nevertheless a whopper of a plot, nicely told without any dull moments while reading thus making it a sure shot page turner.

The plot displays the mindset of people in the eighties which for me still resembles the mindset of today's people. The line "Under the uniform, they were all naked, a promiscuous man was a Casanova but a loose woman was a whore" still stands true, sadly.

Writing: The writing is crisp and clear without any proof reading errors. The author has a strong command over the language and a clear understanding of characters and their roles which is a rarity when there are too many characters. Infact the characters stand out for themselves which is the high point of the book apart from a good plot.

Overall: A must read for a superb plot and a riveting suspense that will keep you on the edge. 

Ratings on:

  • Plot - 4/5
  • Characterization - 5/5
  • Writing - 4/5
  • Entertainment - 3.5/5
  • Overall - 4/5

Friday, 5 July 2013

Door bell rang. A tall man wearing a leather jacket with his face covered with a hood stood in front of him when he opened the door. He smiled upon seeing him, shook hands and welcomed him in.

‘How are you, sir’? Danny enquired as the words automatically slipped out of his mouth.

He raised his eyebrow in reply to his question.

Err... sorry sir. Danny corrected himself and said, ‘How are you Mr. Reclusive Billionaire?’

‘Fine, as always’, he replied.

With a smile, Danny handed him a briefcase stashed with money along with a small metal box which seemed old but able to hold the necessary. ‘A small gift from the team who is minting money like never before and it is all because of you’, his beaming face said.

‘Blue! Wow! This is spectacular and rare’! A pleasantly surprised look adorned his face upon opening the box. He kept on admiring those beautiful blue eyes which were once a path finder seeking vision for that mute but lethal animal called Tiger. To be precise a White Tiger. After a while he kept the briefcase and the box inside the closet ensuring that it is locked properly from outside.

The next morning he was fuming upon reading the headlines. “A dead tiger found”, “Business of skins”, ‘This has to be stopped. How can one behave in such an inhuman way? Bloody rascals. One day they will even sell themselves for that crisp bundle of currency!’ he screeched. Clenching his fist in rage he slammed it on the breakfast table. The impact was such that the table broke one of its legs. Yes, such was his muscular strength, inspite of him leaving the army many years ago. He decided to take the matters in his own hands and planned to put an end to this organised crime.

He searched for similar kind of news, flipping pages of past news papers, cutting out those articles and pinned it on the planning board in a proper sequence. Several paper cuttings eventually hung from the planning board. Using his strength of analyzing the clues from the dates, places and names of accused involved, from numerous calls to various people, from getting the images of the accused from the internet and various sources, he came to a conclusion and decided to eliminate that strong and only link between the supplier and buyer. Ordinary people can go wrong on this but not him. Yes, this was ‘The Analysis Man’ analyzing, a tag given when he used to work for the army.

For the next few days he investigated the middleman’s daily routine and noticed one similarity. He was frequent at a night club. ‘This is the perfect opportunity to nail that bastard. Your time is up, Mr Sheru’, he grunted with a smug smile on his face.

The next evening he skimmed one of his favourite verses before executing the planned action to push away doubts that had tugged in his minds.

Karmanye vaadhikaarasthay maa phaleshu kadachana, maa karma-phala-hetur bhur ma ate sangho ‘stv akarmaani.’

After receiving the final confirmation from his informer, he left for the night club.

In the back of his mind he knew that finding and killing Sheru will not be enough as they will be back to business with a new middleman in a short span of time. But so be it. It’s time to instill fear in them and then plan things accordingly.

There wasn't a tinge of fear on his face as he was confident of his analysis. Armed with a tiny syringe, placed carefully under the heaps of clothes hanging from his body, he managed to enter the night club with ease. He straight away went to the bar, took his seat and ordered a drink. He screened the place. People of various ages and shapes burnt the dance floor - Some young and some pretending to be young. Some swaying their hips whereas some enjoying the eye’s gape. From locals to foreigners, everyone was busy with dance and drink.

He noticed Sheru among his group of friends shouting and dancing. He waited and studied his movements before advancing towards him.

First he went towards the washroom and made himself ready for the attack. Sheru’s group was in direct vision from where the washroom was located and he could see Sheru clearly from here. He gave a final glance to his weapon and placed it in the inner pocket of his jacket which he had left open. Thus making it easy to fetch and attack. He looked towards Sheru, paced his footsteps in sync with his movements and jockeyed his approach. His hands slowly moving towards the inner pocket of his jacket. Nearing Sheru, he then pretended to jolt forward as though he had been pushed from behind and slammed into him. Sheru was about to fall from the push just then he held him to gather and with his right hand jabbed the needle forward passing through his shirt with ease. He depressed the plunger, shooting the contents of vial into Sheru.

With such a loud noise blasting through the roof and Sheru busy dancing, it was difficult for him to feel the needle prick.

‘Sorry’, he said to Sheru and went ahead dancing and singing towards the exit. ‘It’s fine’, he replied and continued dancing not knowing that the deadly chemical injected into him will take effect in next ten minutes. Sheru’s end was nigh.

Next day the headline read, “Sheru, the middleman found dead. Lots of animal skins have been recovered from his place.”

Few days later, after thorough investigation the team of local police and officers from various agencies busted the gang of operatives smuggling illegal tiger skins to various countries. Thus putting an end to this organised crime.

‘Finally, it’s all over’, he heaved a sigh of relief and continued ‘What was started by me – a reclusive self appointed vigilante is complete now.

Few months later a team of policemen stood in front of his bungalow with a search warrant.

They were searching for that old metal box which can finally nail the kingpin of this racket. It was kept as a public secret so that the kingpin is not cautioned and allowed to flee the country. And hence the series of news reports claiming an end to this but it actually wasn’t. They played smart.

With meticulous interrogation of all those guilty, they came to a conclusion that Danny had left a metal box with some retired army official. After searching many homes they were finally standing at Ret. Maj. Nachapoku’s place.

Baffled and left insulted Maj. allowed his bungalow to be searched, a palatial place for a retired army man.

Few hours of searching found Maj. in a soup when they recovered huge sums of money and that old metal box. He pleaded to be ignorant about it, boasted about his successes and laurels he earned when he served army but to no avail. He was immediately taken into custody for further interrogation.

The interrogation was one sided as he didn't reveal much but the search of his bungalow led to further evidences against him. Apart from that they also recovered his medical file which stated an alarming fact.

It read...

Case no. 484: Maj. Nachapoku is suffering from Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), dated 10 years ago.

The medical records detail that once fighting against the infiltrators in a land surrounded by wild animals Maj. was attacked by a tiger from rear but bravely fought the animal and killed it before the animal could kill him. In the skirmish his left leg got badly injured which eventually had to be amputated and in the due course was replaced by Jaipur Foot.

This incident took a beating on his agility severely and was asked to take a voluntary retirement from the army. Though he was offered a desk job but he had promptly declined the offer. It was not him but his ego talking. Once the bright star of the Army, now thrown and abandoned just because he couldn't run and fight the enemy.

Dissociative Identity Disorder
Dissociative Identity Disorder
He went through the roof following the outcome of events. Seething with rage, he was looking for vengeance to calm his inner self. Tiger being the prime reason for his present state, he formed a team of people and ordered them to kill tigers. But later got in contact with wrong people and eventually resulting in smuggling of animal skins.

But how can a man of principles and discipline do that? His heart and mind were at loggerheads. Heart pleading to forgive but mind adamant for retribution. Thus resulting in DID.

“Sir, with your permission can we take him for further diagnosis and treatment”, asked Priyal and the officer replied affirmatively. 

This post is written as a part of the topics shared for Indian Bloggers League organised by Writeup cafe