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The Lord of the Files.

He was nicknamed The Lord of the Files, that lazy, old Mishra. Right from the way he carried himself, to the way he functioned, or, er, malfunctioned, he had a royal way of doing it all. It's a wonder how he survived all these years!

He would make a grand entry into the office at an hour that suited him.  Parking his rusty, old two-wheeler in the parking lot, he would lumber over towards the building that had been a witness to his 20 years of "service" as a clerk. No, there had been no promotion in all these years, because a promotion would need efforts and efficiency on his part and that was really not his style of working.

Then, in he would drag his bulky frame right up to his chair and dump his posterior in it as it creaked under his weight. Shouting off orders to Gopal, the peon, to switch on the fan overhead, fetch him a bottle of cold water and his first cup of tea and some biscuits was his pre-work ritual. Absentmindedly scratching his sweaty underarms, picking h…
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War and Pieces.

The decapitated body of a soldier lay in a ditch in the clearing where the combat had taken place.  Some distance away lay his comrade in a pool of blood, wincing, counting the last seconds of his life, calling out to his wife and his little son.

Their camp had been attacked in the wee hours of the morning. It had been a surprise attack, but the soldiers had fought valiantly, till their last breath. The rest of the unit had left in pursuit of their adversaries, to finish what they had begun.

Far away in his village lay his wife on her bed, tossing and turning.  Sleep had eluded her all through the night. It was only at the break of dawn that she had dozed off. And, no sooner had she dozed off than she had had the dream that had woken her with a start. Her heart thudded wildly as she looked around her.

Her mind in turmoil for what she had dreamt of, her tears came cascading down her cheeks. Had he been wounded, or was he...?  She shuddered with terror as she gathered her sleeping baby…

Of Ice and Men.

"Mmm...just look at that guy, Riya! Isn't he terribly good-looking? Sania sighed as she gestured towards the man sitting at the table across. "In fact, he looks positively yummy!" she purred.

"Shush! Sania! Are you nuts? He can hear you! And, he doesn't appear to be the friendly sort, at all. He is not "positively yummy", but positively icy! Look for someone else, and leave the Ice Man alone! Riya admonished her childhood friend as she threw a glance at the man, furtively.

"Naah! I prefer Ice Men, Ri. Cold, distant with an icy look in their eyes that could freeze a waterfall! The challenge lies in melting the Ice Man's heart, teaching him what love is all about!" Sania continued,  eyeing her object of admiration.

"Yikes! Sani, how much more gross could you get!? "Melting his heart and teaching him about love?" Just cut the crap, will you, and concentrate on your book, for heaven's sake! We have a test in half an hour,…

Anything but books.

My dear friend,  Shantala Nayak of Shanaya Tales, recently  shared a post, which was about anything but books. It spoke a lot about Shantala, the person, instead of Shantala, the book reviewer. It was, indeed, a wonderful way of learning more about her, her likes, her idiosyncrasies and about things that we generally don't care to share with the world. And, the lady tagged me at the end of the post, so, it goes without saying that I, too, have to publish a similar "about me" post and, inadvertently, pull out a few skeletons out of my closet!

So, Shantala, here goes...

Name a cartoon(s) that you love.

It has to be Tom and Jerry, the loveable scoundrels! I would watch it as a child and laugh like crazy and I watch it now and find it equally amusing. Then, there was also this one cartoon about robots...can't remember the name.. oh yes, The Flying Robot! And, yes, Fireball, too. Back then, I would sing along when the title song would be played even though I hardly followe…

Life of Pie.

DAY 2 of the BarAThon.



He: "MOM..MOM..MOM..for the love of God, please bring out the pie!"

I: "Shush! What's the matter with you? Just keep it down, will you!?"

He: "What? Keep it down? Mom, that aroma is driving me crazy and you ask me to "shush"? Oh, mom, please, just give it to me, that thing in the oven...JUST GIVE IT TO ME!"

I: "NO! You are NOT getting even a sliver, sweetie! It's not meant for you!"

He: "What  did you say, mom? It's not meant for me? Aren't you baking that heavenly glory for me?"

I: "No, sweetie, it's for dad,"

He: "What are you saying? You are baking that pie for dad? Just look at the man, mom, he is not even bothered what's going on in the kitchen! He's just sitting there, glued to his phone thingy! Is he drooling a gallon like I am? No! Is he wagging his tail in anticipation like I am? NO! So, please, give the pie to meeeee, mommyyyy!"

                 …

The fault in our stares.

Sweat drips from her forehead as she pushes her way towards the exit.  She has numbed her senses to the stifling heat and the maddening crowd of the public transport bus that ferries her from her place of work to her home.

"Just a few more minutes and we will be home," she reassures herself as she wipes her brow in exhaustion. Just then, a push and a nudge from someone behind her and she finds her wayward dupatta sliding off her shoulders.

 Grasping it hurriedly, she curses the rush hour, the crowd and everyone else who jostles against her in the vehicle.

"Damn this crowd" she mutters under her breath as she hurriedly places the piece of garment back where it belongs, covering her modesty from the scrutinising eyes of her co-passengers.

The paan stained grins grow wider, as does the lecherous gaze in the foxy pairs of eyes that follow every movement of the hassled woman.
"Tch tch, don't you all have sisters and mothers at home, you scoundrels? Look away!&q…

The 23rd Girl. Book Review.

Book: The 23rd Girl

Authors:  Divya Ratan & Rohan Kachalia
Genre: Romance
Format:  Paperback


The 23rd Girl is a quirky story about a young man named, Rashv. A roly-poly, mamma's boy, Rashv is the usual college kid going weak in the knees each time he encounters a pretty girl. He gets his heart broken a few times before accidentally discovering a connection with the number 23.  He gets obsessed with the number theory to such an extent, he allows it to exert power over everything, including his love life.

 I have often heard about this obsession people have with numbers, letters of the alphabet and what not. Call it superstition, call it obsession, but, the truth remains that such theories become a part of people's lives, controlling every aspect of their lives. People go to extremes to incorporate the theories into their lives, often leaving others baffled by their behaviour. And, this is what we find in the story of Rashv who is completely under the spell of the number. Feelin…