Wednesday, August 16, 2006

I’ve just finished with the puja (ceremony) to celebrate Janmashtmi in our home. It rained heavily, as usual, and, as I had hoped. Every year, the rain gods follow tradition and it pours heavily on Janmashtmi. And dad turned down my pleas to not attend classes due to the rains, again as usual, and as I had expected. But hope never killed anyone, right?
After returning, I got down to the task of creating a miniature swing for baby god Krishna (it’s his birthday that we are celebrating). And did a job good enough to make mom go, “cho chweet!”

We have a practice of drawing little feet leading from the door to the swing, to show that baby Krishna has been here. Every year, mom makes those feet. This year, little sis insisted on having a go. So that, instead of Krishna, the feet looked like those of a strange footed creature which could change its foot size at will.

But she got mighty pleased at being able to do something which only mom did till now, and declared that Krishna was her favorite god. At least till the next festival comes along.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Mixed ambitions

Every once in a while, I feel these “ambition blues”- confusion about what my ideal job would be. If one is lucky enough to decide what one is happiest with, then they don’t have to work for a single day of their lives. But what happens to the rest?

What is it that I am meant to be?
A shepherd on a mountain, who runs so free,
A full-time rockstar who sings off-key,
A software engineer- all techno savvy,
A writer whose stories are never meant to be,
An accountant whose life is “balanced” to the T,
A voice-over artist for Donald and Mickey,
An athlete who jumps at the count of three,
A lawyer who won’t even sneeze without a fee,
A dance choreographer having two right feet,
Or a blogger who publishes her poems for free.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Yaaayy.. Part 2

As I said, the story I posted before this doesn't cut much ice with me, even though I wrote it. Here's another, quite light-hearted, and something which I like...

“Rambo, jump! Jump Rambo! What’s the matter with you, can’t you hear me? I said, jump!”
Of course I could hear him. Who won’t, if a mustachioed lunatic in garish clothes and a stupid cape shouted the same thing at the top of his lungs for about thousand and one times? But the point was, I was pretty much tired of him and his antics, and sat down in protest. Then he brandished his whip. And up I jumped through the circle of fire, and did everything he asked me to do without a murmur. I was really scared of that wretched whip, and he knew it too. After the tent had emptied and everyone had gone, I turned to go into my cage and have my meal- I am a disciplined tiger, you see. But the loon, it seemed, hadn’t had enough. He called me back, and muttered, “You are acting mad, Rambo, you certainly are. And I just know what you need…” and took out the whip.

Next morning, I woke up to the sounds of the circus owner and a bearded man discussing something near my cage. “…seems to have died of a major heart attack, Poor master! Who knew that a man who could face a tiger everyday would have such a weak heart?” Gesturing towards me, he Beard asked, “Anyway, what is to be done about him?” “Oh, I guess we will have to give him to the local zoo. After all…” Hey, just a minute. What was that? What’s a zoo? Why should I go someplace else? I am not going anywhere! I will… The only effect of my outburst was that the men, startled to hear a tiger roar so near them, eyed me cautiously, and moved further away to continue their discussion.

Two days later, here I am, again in a cage. Only, it is much, much bigger, and even has plenty of trees. My food is brought by an ill- tempered man who is always scowling. Bt I don’t mind, as long as I do get it. I have two other tigers for company and nothing to do all day- just stare at people who stare back at me. Occasionally, I let out a roar or two, if I want to see them make big-big eyes and chatter among themselves excitedly, like a bunch of monkeys. Of course, there is no dearth of them here, either.
But I am still surprised- who knew that just a pounce on that loon’s chest would do him in?

Thursday, August 10, 2006


I finally succeeded in one of my life-long ambitions- acquiring an i-Pod. And no, it wasn’t through begging my dad, or winning some sort of lucky draw, as I always thought it would be. It was actually the following story, called The Other Half…

After reaching home, I checked the answering machine for any messages. An automated voice said, “You have two new messages.” It had been a hectic day. I sighed and heard them.
The first one, which was from my mom, was long. Pretty long. She was upset that I hadn’t been in touch with her for almost two weeks (!) and threatened me with dire consequences, if I didn’t call her soon. It brought a smile to my face, which promptly vanished when I heard the second.
“Hello, Amrita? Amrita, its me, Shalini. I don’t want to die Amrita, I really don’t want to die… but the brakes of my car have failed…they are not working…God knows how much time I can manage here…But listen to me carefully, Amrita, you have to do what I say, please…I think someone has done this deliberately to me, but who?... and you have to help me find out…I found an earring on my dashboard- its not mine, and I think it belongs to the person who is doing this to me…please rush immediately…I am on the road from my home to the farmhouse. Help me if I am alive…if not…you’ll find the earring in my front pocket… punish the person who did this, Amrita…please, please do this for me…for our friendship…”
For a few seconds, my mind went numb. I just stood there and stared at the machine. Then, abruptly, I swung into action, took the keys, and left.
There were not many people at the accident site yet. The car looked like it had been hit by tornado. And Shalini was almost…unrecognizable. I reached into one of her pockets, found nothing. Then I checked the other pocket, extracted the earring and kept it safely in my bag. Next, I called the police and left the place.
I reached home and dropped into a chair. The half-sobbing, half-shivering voice of Shalini kept echoing in my mind, and I could almost see her turning the steering wheel, desperately trying to stay alive, shocked that someone could try to kill her in cold blood. Then, wiping the sweat off my brow, I took out a tiny jewelry box, and placed the pearl earring next to an identical one- its other half.

Frankly, I hate such spine-chilling stories, and would go for a Wodehouse, or an RK Narayan for reading. But what the heck, writing it won me an iPod, and I’d rather not talk too much about it.