Saturday, April 23, 2016


Disclaimer: All characters and events depicted in this story are entirely fictitious. Any similarity to actual events or persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental. Also this story is meant for entertainment purposes and I do not intend to hurt the sentiments of any individual, community, sect or religion. 
“Get ready. How long will you be involved with your work?” shouted mom. “I told you to be ready by 4 that we need to go to Mrs. Verma’s place to see their girl and you are still not ready. Get ready immediately. ”
Before she shouts again, it thought it best to switch off my laptop and complete the rest of the work later on. Well for all those who don’t know me, I am Raghav, a freelancer by profession. By freelancing, most people feel I do data entry or post ads on the internet as that’s what is most common amongst free lancers in India. I don’t do that. I write content for websites after watching videos, add tags, and give titles to make them interesting to users. I am also a part time script writer for short videos.
I got ready in few minutes and left with my parents to Mrs. Verma’s home whose daughter had just completed her MBA and is working in an MNC. I told mom why anyone who was brilliant and well educated be interested in someone who doesn’t have a regular job. But mom asked me to shut up and so I did. My mom is the all-in-all at my home. She is the PM, Home Minister, Finance Minister, everything rolled into one and both I and dad don’t dare questioning her on anything.
After a short drive, we reached Mrs. Verma’s home. My parents exchanged pleasantries and we sat down. Throughout the exercise, I was at my smiling best and did not say one word as I had clear instructions from mom to speak only when it’s needed.
 After we sat down, the daughter came out carrying a tray in her hand to serve tea, with her head a little lowered and smiling shyly.
“You have such a beautiful girl and she is also well educated. I like her already” my mom remarked.
“Thank you ji. She has been a topper all her life. You can see all those trophies there- they were all won by her. Also she is not just good in studies, she also dances very well. She is trained in Kathak and has also danced in shows when she was young. Of course, she doesn’t get much time now as she is working in an MNC. Know what these MNCs pay well but they also make you work like hell. But that is also okay if they are paying her 1 lakh per month, then they would also expect her to accept responsibility, isn’t it?” Mrs. Verma said singing praise of her daughter and also boasting of her pay package.
“Yes, that is also true. I must say your daughter in very talented” dad spoke.
“So what do you do?” Mr. Verma asked me.
But before I could open my mouth, mom jumped in with the answer. “He did get a number of jobs but he always said that he doesn’t like working under a boss. We said that is also okay. If you don’t want to work under a boss, then do business. So he started his business. Initially there was a struggle but now, his business is spread across countries and he earns 5-6 lakhs every month easily.”
“Yes, business is very good. But not everyone can do business. Even bright people at times are not able to run businesses. For business, you need a different kind of an attitude and you need great persistence. What business do you do beta?”
Even before I could open my mouth, mom jumped in again, “Well he is a content writer. He writes contents for various websites. Also he says he is also getting into script writing recently for some short movies. He is very creative you see. Even when he was in school, he had won lots of prizes in poetry and short story competition. He was also the editor of his college magazine.”
“Wah! You must be a very creative person then. Perhaps someday, you would write scripts for full movies as well and we will come to see you receive the Filmfare award” Mrs. Verma spoke clearly impressed with mom’s answers. “So what kind of scripts do you like writing- comedy, family movies or thrillers?”
“Mainly porn.” I beat mom to speak first.
There was a silence for some time in the room. I spoke again, “I watch around 100 videos a day and write their brief summary of the video, add a title to the video and create tags to make it easy for people to search that video.”
Soon the Verma’s verbally abused us all for hiding facts and we were shown the door.
As we were returning home, I had another dose of scolding from my mom as to why I needed to mention that I wrote porn everywhere. This was the sixth time I was rejected because of my job. I explained to mom that it is a crime to hide facts from my future wife, but she continued with her scolding.
I was sorry for the embarrassment that my family had to face because of my answer but also relieved that my mom promised never to take me to anyone’s home to meet them for my marriage. Returning home, I resumed my work.
The days that followed were quiet. My mom was still angry with me and dad would try to come and comfort me occasionally but then retract as he too feared my mom’s anger.
A few months later, my mom came home very happy and I could easily sense danger. Every time she has been very happy, she has taken me to meet someone for marriage who would ask me about my profession and abuse us for my honest reply. I did not like this ordeal. I did not even want to marry a person who judges me by my job. If at all, I am to marry, I would find someone who would respect me and my job. I had told this to mom as well but as always, she rarely listened to me. She had even asked me to stop my freelancing job and look for a normal day job. She applied on my behalf to a number of companies where I was forced to appear for interviews but when I failed in each of them, she realised that normal jobs are not my cup of tea and she abandoned her efforts.
“What happened mom? You look very happy.” I enquired so as to know where I would have to go now.
“I am very happy today. I have finally found a match for you and guess what I have met her parents as well. She has just returned from the US after completing her doctorate. I showed them your photo and they liked you. The marriage is fixed now but the girl says she wants to meet you once in private. So I have fixed a meeting for you tomorrow at Peshawri in ITC Maratha. So you meet her and talk to her but don’t mention that you write porn.” I assured her I would try to but if she asks me directly what I write then I have no alternative.
The next day as scheduled, I went to the restaurant well before time and sat on the table reserved for me. Mom did bring me a photo of hers and had put that on an envelope at my bed side but I never bothered to have a look. As I was seated, I saw a beautiful girl enter the restaurant and come towards my table and enquired, “Raghav?” I stood up, “Hmm, yes”
“I am Vandana.”
“Yeah. Please sit.”
Vandana was beautiful, like the kind you see in movies or in your dreams. I fell in love with her right away.  She caught me staring at her dumbfounded and she smiled and broke the silence, “I met your mom yesterday. She was really nice. I learnt you were very busy with your work and could not come.”
“Yeah. I was kind of busy yesterday. At times, you are flooded with work you know.”
“Hmm. I know. Work can be crazy at times. So what do you do?”
“I am a content writer. I work as a freelancer for some websites. What do you do?”
“I just completed my PhD and at present I am still searching for a job.”
“Okay. That’s nice. You must be very brilliant then, Dr. Vandana” I smiled trying to charm her.
“Thanks”, she smiled.
“What kind of content do you write? Aunty was also telling me that you had started doing some script writing as well?”
At that time the waiter came to my relief and I could avoid answering my question. She ordered something and I asked the waiter to just make it two. For the first time, I was wondering that perhaps I should lie about my job, knowing fully well that the truth may result in me losing her. She was beautiful and I was in love with her already.
 After the waiter went, I pretended to not remember the question and asked her, “So which subject did you do your PhD in?”
“Psychology. I loved observing people, their behaviour.”
“Yeah. That’s interesting.”
“What did you study?”
“Well I did my Bachelors in Civil Engineering but did not find a job. Besides I did not really like Civil Engineering jobs, so I started to do freelancing.”
“Hmm that’s nice. I believe one should always do a job that one loves.”
“True. So you were born and brought up in Mumbai?”
“No, I completed my schooling in Delhi. My dad was posted there then. And then I shifted to the US soon after school. So I did my college, my masters and PhD all in the US.”
“Okay. So you are new in Mumbai?”
“Hmm, yes.”
“So how do are you liking Mumbai?”
“I like the place. People are warm and not interfering.”
“Yeah. No one cares about what the other does as everyone is so busy with their own lives.”
There was a brief silence for a few seconds before she spoke, “I was asking you regarding your job? So what do you write?”
“I write…” The waiter came again as my saviour and brought the dishes and served us.
After the waiter went, she began again, “So you were saying…”
I put some food in my mouth and after few seconds, I replied, “I write porn.”
She was chewing something and she stopped suddenly on hearing my answer and looked at me. I knew she was going to walk away, but she didn’t and she asked, “As in?”
 “Like I work for various porn websites. They send me the new videos that they receive from all around the world and I view them and I write a brief summary for them, add titles, and tags and then post them on their website.”
There was another pause and my heart skipped a beat thinking that she would sure throw her plate at me but to my relief, she smiled.
“Okay. You are one honest guy I must say. Not many people would be so honest.”
“Thanks, but then I don’t want to start a relationship with a lie. It ruins everything.”
“True. So how many porn movies do you watch every day?”
“Around 100 to 150.”
“Seriously! Are you kidding me? 100 to 150. That’s a lot.”
“Yeah. But that’s my job.”
“Hmm. So how did you get into this?”
“Well during my Engineering days, I had almost a porn addict. Most engineers are as you rarely find beautiful girls in Engineering.”
She smiled, “I know. I have met quite a few desperate Engineers who would send me Facebook requests saying I look good and stuff.”
“They are not lying I must say. You are truly beautiful.”
She smiled shyly, “Thanks. Yes, so what after that?”
“Then I completed my engineering and joined a job. The job involved too much physical labour as you would have to stand in the sun all day doing measurements and calculations and I did not like it much. So I quit my job. At my mom’s behest, I applied for a number of office jobs but did not get selected. It was during this time that I watched The Dark Knight and the lines “If you are good at something, never do it for free” made me think as to what I am good at.”
She laughed. “So you realised you are good at watching porn?”
“Yes precisely. I searched on the internet if there was any job like that and I found one on and I bid for that immediately. As not many people apply for such jobs, I got the job and ever since, I have been doing this.”
She was still laughing a little. “So Mr. Porn Content Writer, you still love watching porn as much.”
“Well when I watched it during my Engineering days, it was quite different from what it is now. Then it was for entertainment and now it is a job. So I don’t enjoy as much but still I get paid well.”
“Hmm. So who is your favourite porn star?”
“None as such. Some are good looking but no favourites as such.”
“Come on, there must be someone? Sunny Leone? All my male friends are crazy about her.”
“Yeah, she is beautiful. But not quite like favourite or something?”
“No one?” she asked
“You must be lying now. There must be someone whose videos you must be watching repeatedly, having wet dreams about her.”
I paused trying to remember if I ever was crazy about anyone like having wet dreams and stuff. “Well yes. I was in college at that time and an MMS scandal had come out of a school girl in Delhi. She was really beautiful and I did have a huge crush on her for a long time.”
“Okay. You still have a crush on her?”
“Not quite. She must have grown old now. That’s at least 10-12 years ago. But then she was the only crush I have had till date.”
“Okay, do you have the video with you?”
“Hmm, not sure.” I paused trying to remember. “Perhaps yes.”
“Can you show that to me?”
“Well it’s a public place. I don’t think showing porn here would be good.
“No, mute the sound. Nobody would get to know, I promise.” she winked.
“Okay.” I searched for the video on my phone and played it and gave her the phone.
She watched the video and started laughing.
A little annoyed, I asked “What is so amusing about the video?”
Amidst peals of laughter, she replied, “This girl is me!!!”

Sunday, April 3, 2016


Disclaimer: All characters and events depicted in this story are entirely fictitious. Any similarity to actual events or persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental. Also this story is meant for entertainment purposes and I do not intend to hurt the sentiments of any individual, community, sect or religion. 

I was a little surprised to get her call. We were good friends at college but ever since, we had almost lost contact. We did chat a few times on Facebook and talked once in a blue moon, but we were completely out of touch since the past few months, perhaps years now.  She was coming to Thane and asked meet me to pick her up from the railway station.

I checked the arrival time of her train on the internet and found it was on time. So I left at the destined meeting time of 6 o’clock at Thane station and waited patiently for her. Her train had already arrived and I was looking for her when she called out my name. I turned back to find her standing right behind me. She still looked pretty much the same was she did during her college days.

She asked, “Hey, how are you?”

“I am fine. How are you?”

“I am fine too. How was your journey?”

“It was okay. Very tiring though and my head is aching.”

“Have you booked a place? If not you can stay at my place as well if unless you mind staying with a bachelor.”

“Actually, it’s a company trip. So they have booked a hotel for me. But the next time I come, I promise I will stay with you unless you get married by then and your wife has objections to me staying at your house”, she said winking.

“No she won’t” I replied.

“Okay how do you know? You have got a girlfriend?”

“No. Still no luck but then when I find one, I am sure she will love my friends” I smiled.

“To blame it on luck is not right. You never tried.”

“I was never interested. I have a lot of things to accomplish in life before I think of love and marriage.”

“Yeah I know. Dreams-so huge, that I feel you would be a bachelor for your life” she teasingly smiled.

“No they will get accomplished and I feel I would soon fulfill my dreams and find the women of my dreams as well” I frowned. “You did find someone?”

“No! Still single.”

“Okay where are you staying? I will drop you there?”

“No. Please let’s have some coffee somewhere before we head there. I am having a bad headache and badly need some coffee.”

“Sure lets head to Viviana Mall. There are a lot of coffee shops there”

We drove for a few minutes till we reached Viviana Mall and went to a coffee shop in there. On the way she talked about her job and life in Bengaluru.

She sat at a corner table while I got the coffee and brownies that she asked for.

“So your weakness for brownies is still there?” I asked.

“Yeah, can’t help it. I just love them. So how’s your job?”

“Hmm…Actually I quit my job a few months back hoping to do what I love the most- writing. But now, I feel a little lost and am stuck with my stories and don’t know how I proceed with them.”

“So you are writing a novel? Wow, that’s great.”

“Actually I started two but am not able to complete either.”

“Why don’t you write short stories just like you did earlier? You can publish a compilation of that too before your novel gets published and that may help you gain popularity.”

“I have written a few but then, that’s not what I left my job for. I felt I was not able to write novels because of my official commitments at my job; and now that I have left it, I am still stuck the same way as I was before. I don’t know what I did was right or wrong. I am so lost.”

“You just need to keep faith in yourself. You have to keep trying. If you want I can share a story with you. I will tell you the story in brief. You can add to it and make a novel out of it.”

“I would love to hear it. What’s the story about?”

“Promise you will write about it and not stop till you finish it.”

“Promise. “

She sipped some coffee and continued “The story is of a girl called Aadarshini. She was born to Tamil Brahmin parents in a small village near Bengaluru. She was fair, around 5ft 7 inches tall, not too slim but decent looking. A bright student at school, after completing her twelfth, she took admission to a college in Mumbai. Once in college, she became the object of attention of most guys in college. Guys fought over her as if she were their property. She didn’t like it but never cared much about who fought whom. After all, she was in college to study not to bother about who did what.”

“Like those typical serious and studious girls.” I said.

“Yes. She was a kind of introvert. She had very few friends but the friends she had were very close to her heart. In her second year, she met a guy called Rohit from another department of her college during a quiz competition at college, and soon became friends. Their friendship blossomed with time and it soon turned into love. The two would always be seen together in the college.”

“The guy must have been the envy of the college.”

“Not sure. Perhaps you can say that. You guys know more about who you envy.” She said smilingly and continued, “But then their relationship met their first hurdle. She got a job in Bengaluru and the guy got posted in Mumbai. Their parting was a tough moment for them as they loved each other deeply. At that moment, she provided him great support and encouraged him to stay back in Mumbai and excel in his life. They can always be together once they get to leadership roles in their respective companies, she said.”

She took another sip of her coffee and continued, “The boy reluctantly agreed. The two used to talk for hours together at night after they came back home from office. At times, they stayed awake till morning, talking about their dreams. But then came the second hurdle. When she had gone home for vacation, her parents informed her that they had fixed her marriage with a Madhav Raghunath. She was shocked and protested. She told them that she loved someone else and wanted to marry him but they did not listen to her. She tried to inform him about that but he was busy in a meeting when she called and so could not talk. She cried to sleep that noon. In the evening, her to be in-laws were supposed to come. Her father threatened her that he will kill himself if she opposed in front of them or said anything about her past relationships to them. After all, she was a daughter who loved her parents however wrong they might be. She decided to remain quiet during the entire ‘show’. She behaved like completely normal, smiling shyly at them just like the ‘to –be wives’ are supposed to be in their culture. They liked her and confirmed the marriage. They were supposed to marry in a year’s time.”

“What her marriage got fixed and the guy had no idea of it! She should have told him, come what may? Had she told that it’s very important and it was regarding their relationship, I am sure he would have given the meeting a miss and talked to her.”

“She had other plans. She knew marriages don’t take place overnight. There is always time enough to cancel it till they marry. She planned to meet the guy alone some time later and tell her about her being in a relationship with someone else. Madhav looked like decent guy and she was convinced he would understand. That night she tried to tell her boyfriend about what happened in the day but he was so happy regarding his new promotion, that she could not master the courage to give him the news regarding the happenings of the day. The next day she came back to Bengaluru.”

“What happened then? Did she tell her boyfriend about what happened?”

“No. She could not master the courage to say that she has got engaged. She knew, he would be furious if he came to know about that. The last time she mentioned about a guy proposing to her, he was furious. He drank all night and did not talk to her for a week. She was scared.”

“When did she tell him then?”

“She could never tell him. A day after she came to Bengaluru, her father had a heart stroke and was admitted to a hospital. She had to go back. Her father never recovered from the stroke completely and was paralyzed on the right side. After he came back home, he called her to be in-laws home and requested that the marriage be preponed to the coming week as he felt that as he may not leave too long, and wanted to marry his daughter married before he dies. Everyone agreed.
She thought of informing her boyfriend regarding that but could never do so for the fear that he may come to her home if he got to know of her marriage and her father’s health may get worse.”

“So she married without a protest?”

“Yes. She did not have a choice. She married Madhav in a private ceremony attended by few neighbours and relatives.Her in-laws were good to her and were open-minded. They allowed her to keep working after marriage in Bengaluru even as Madhav ran the family business at her home-town.”

“What happened to her boyfriend then?”

“After she came back to Bengaluru, she deliberately fought with him repeatedly and then they broke up. Madhav had won her heart by his open-minded and caring nature. Everything was going on well. She went for a honeymoon to Mauritius and soon got pregnant.
A few months later, she gave birth to a baby girl, Madhu. But that brought a sudden halt to her happiness. Her in-laws though educated and open-minded wanted a boy and not a girl. They did not even once take the child in their arms. Madhav also didn’t support her through this.

She was missing Rohit now. She wanted to contact him but he had changed his number by then.

Her in-laws announced that now that she has committed a mistake by giving birth to a girl, she must rectify it soon by giving birth to a baby boy soon. She was still lactating when Madhav started putting all efforts to fulfill their demands. There was no pleasure and love making with Madhav anymore. He just fucked her again and again, in attempts to have a baby boy.
Soon, she got pregnant again. Upon confirmation of the news they took her to a doctor who was related to her mother-in-law’s side and got the gender determination test done of the unborn. They were satisfied only when they got to know that it is a boy.

Her in-laws and Raghav started to be loving to her once more though their contempt for her baby girl, Madhu did not change much.

A few weeks later, she gave birth to a baby boy and he earned the affection of the entire family. They were so enthused to welcome the baby boy that they often treated her baby girl as non-existent. One day she heard her in-laws talk that they cannot afford the upbringing of Madhu and that she must be given away to an orphanage.

She cried back in her room holding Madhu close to her. She did not love her baby boy as much as she loved her daughter. After all, she was born out of love and he was born out of pressure from her husband and in-laws.

That night, she decided to flee the village with her baby girl and live separately. While she was leaving, she thought of a sweet revenge. She took the kitchen knife and thumped it into her baby boy.
She reached the station and boarded the first available train. The train reached Thane station the following night. She checked into a hotel at Thane West with her child. The news of the baby’s murder must had spread by now and she was scared of getting caught with Madhu. She was not bothered about her own well-being but was concerned about Madhu’s future.

She logged into her Facebook account after ages and found Rohit still stayed in Mumbai. Better still, his number was there too.

In the morning, she called him and asked if they could meet. Rohit agreed and they decided on meeting at a cafe.”

She reached there much before time. She was nervous and was getting impatient. She called him and 
he said that he had just left home and it would take him an hour to reach. She could not definitely stand for an hour, waiting for him and was in no mood for window shopping. So, she sat in the cafe, sipping her coffee and staring out of the window. The blood stained knife lay in her handbag covered with a blue silk scarf.” she paused

“What happened next?”

“Can I just come back in a minute? I badly need to use the washroom.”

“No you can’t go now. You have to tell me what happened after that? You can’t stop at the climax like they do in the TV soaps. Please tell me now.”

“Please I need to go. I will come back in a minute. My purse is still here. Please look after it.”, she smiled. As she got up, she dropped her cell phone. She bent down, picked up her phone and left saying she will be back in a minute.

It’s been a long time and she still has not returned from the washroom. The waiter comes to our table with the bill, “Sorry Sir. We are closing for the day. A corpse has been found in the mall.”

 “What? Who is it?”

“No idea Sir. Someone reported about it just a few minutes back and the police will be coming for investigation soon. The mall will be cordoned off and shops closed”.

“Even malls are not safe nowadays it seems. Someone gets killed even with so many people around”.
After the waiter leaves, I pick up her purse. The zip is half open and I see a blue blood stained silk scarf. Nervously, I open the zipper and find a piece of paper lying over the cloth.

“Sorry about all I have done. By the time you read this, I would be no more. I always loved you but could never master enough courage to tell you. This story I told you is of my life with a few changes to it so that you don’t suspect. Because of the current circumstances and for Madhu’s safety, it’s best I don’t live any longer. I know you are a good human and felt you would be the best person to bring her up. Please pick her up from Hotel Rajhans and take her home with you. I have told the baby sitter that her dad will pick her up from there.” The baby sitter’s number was mentioned below.

Saturday, September 21, 2013


I had never realised that Vandana would leave me, high and dry with me at my lowest ever-lowest in the sense that I had just left my job at the National Rock Café for her sake and I had not much work to do at home and it frustrated me. She never liked me working at the café or for the matter ladies drooling at me and I quit my job so that it makes her happier. To be true, that’s what I had told her after being sacked from the pub thanks to a fight I picked up with one of its most valued customers. May be an apology could have saved my job but then I refused to apologize to the person and turned off and packed off my DJ instruments at the peak hour on a Friday night leaving the owners of the café red-faced and in shame. If that wasn’t bad enough I went as far as threatening the DJ’s with dire consequences, who came to apply for the job there.

I had applied for a job at various other pubs after that but having lost a job at the National Rock Café, the city’s biggest and most prestigious night club didn’t really help me bag another. Also my dwindling reputation thanks to the threats made by me made it that much more difficult for me to bag another job. The funny part was that even the places where I had given interviews after the incident were scared of telling me the truth regarding the exact reason for rejection, as they felt the truth may make me lose my temper and leave them with broken bones and black eyes. I never realised that the one incident at the pub had changed my image from a charming and energetic DJ to the bad guy who beat up people and spoke foul in public. With my current reputation, it was more than obvious that I would not be having a job anytime soon.
I know I am not a great guy; in fact I have far from being a great guy. I agree I am moody, sentimental and very short tempered. She often insisted that I should go with her to see a psychiatrist who she believed could help me in controlling my short temper. A lot of her most valuable things had fallen prey to my temper, including her Pierre Cardin pen that was gifted by her father after she had got admission to an IIM and her IPad, which her sister had brought for her from USA, amongst a lot of others. I just don’t seem to know what I do when I am angry. I can hardly remember the next day what I said to her the previous night when I was angry. I am sure I never mean a word of the abuse I hurl at her but can’t stop saying all those that I say at those times when I am angry. I knew it was not normal but still visiting a psychiatrist-am I mentally ill; like am I mad or something that I should visit a psychiatrist. I don’t need a psychiatrist.
I always felt that she was mine and she would forever be mine, when one day on returning home, I found her bags packed. She told me that she was tired of me and my temper every day and that she could not tolerate it anymore and that if it weren’t for Landon she would have left me a lot earlier. It tried to stop her but she refused. I was devastated and miserable till a couple of weeks later, I learnt from one of her friends that she had getting married to a Bryan something, an NRI born and brought up in the United States of America and who had once worked as an administrative head in the India division of one of the American banks and now started his own financial consultancy company. I learnt that she had been dating Bryan for over two years, when he was her boss at the Bank and that short trip to her home last summer was not because of her mother’s illness but because of her engagement. If the fact that she left me pained me, that she was cheating on me for over a year made me miserable and hurt the most. I never thought she would leave me in this way and especially at a time when I was at my lowest.
  Apart from me, there was also another one who was extremely pained at her decision, so much that he rejected to even have his meals or go out for the regular morning and evening walks with me. Landon, my pet dog had got particularly close to her after she came to live-in with me. I still remember the first time when she had come to my house, how he had initially barked at her and then how he had then stopped barking, went close to her, smelled her and then started to show his happy dance, running from one end to the house to another wagging his tail when I introduced her to him as my girlfriend. His happiness knew no bounds later when she shifted to my house and he understood that now he was going to have two people, instead of one to play with him every morning and night. Through the days, he became all the more close to her and even started refusing to take his meals if it was not served by her.
After she left me, whenever I sat down dejected on the sofa and cried a silent tear, he would come and sit down beside me and lick my face wiping my tears as if to say “Don’t cry and be brave. Why are you crying when I am with you?” He would never have his meals till I had brought mine. Whenever the phone rang, Landon would run and pull me to the phone thinking it might be a call from Vandana and then he would sit down with his head in between his paws, in a sad dejected manner finding that it is not.
As time passed sensing me still miserable, he would run to me to play with me as if to cheer me up. He would press the TV remote with his paw till some cartoon or comedy movie comes up so that I smile at the silly things shown there and laugh or smile at little. However, it made me more miserable when he did that as it only reminded me as to how Vandana taught him to watch the TV and use the TV remote to watch his favourite cartoon shows and how they would be sitting in front of the TV all through the morning hours watching Tom and Jerry and laughing uncontrollably till she had to go for her shower before leaving for office. I understood that he was doing all this to make me happy and acknowledged it and so I continued to watch it with him and laughing half-heartedly at the silly jokes so that it makes him happy. However one day, I guess he sensed my fake laughter during one of the movies and from that day on, he would not put on the TV anymore and sit near me licking my face to express his love and to assure that he be my companion for life.
As days passed, I tried to forget her and as a first step towards it, I removed the large wall-size picture of Vandana and me along with Landon that was there on one of the walls at the drawing room. I was about to throw it when Landon came from behind, headed straight towards me and bit my leg real hard, causing me to bleed. He would not stop biting me till I put the picture back in its place. Landon had always been a very stable and well-mannered dog and had never ever bitten me in his entire life till that day, so when it bit me that day, it really surprised me and I scolded him and even used the cane on him. He took every beating of mine and never once barked till I stopped. That night I could hardly sleep, not because of pain from the bite of Landon but because of the fact that I had hit Landon for the first time in my life and even more because he never retaliated when I beat him. The next day when I tried to remove the picture a second time, he repeated the same exercise and again bit my leg. Once I left the picture, he brought me the cane in his mouth, with which I hit him the previous day and laid down in front of me as if ready to get caned. It just moved me to tears. I now understood what he wanted to say. He didn’t want the picture to be removed from where it was even if it meant getting caned by me. For him, the picture was the last memory of his small little family-me, Landon and Vandana.
As the days passed, I moved on with life. I started my own music store from the money that Vandana had left me with. I cannot say the business really flourished and to be honest, it never really sold much, though it was a good distraction and kept me occupied through the day. Once it was during one of the regular days at the shop that I met Jennifer, a young British girl who had come to India to explore and learn Indian classical music. I shared whatever little I knew of Indian music with her. I arranged for her meeting with some of the stalwarts of Indian classical music and she learnt from them. It was during one of the trips with her that she kissed me on my lips and professed her love for me. I accepted her proposal straight away. We dated for a few days and one night, I brought her home. When I brought her home, Landon would not let her in. He barked uncontrollably threatening to bite her if she dared stepping inside the house. Unable to allow her in, I left her at her service apartment where she was staying. On the way, she told me that she was upset with the way Landon behaved with her and warned me that I shall train him to love her or let her go away from my life. I told her and assured her that I would train Landon to learn to love her.
On returning home, I scolded Landon for his behaviour. He looked at me, made a sad face and pulled at my pant and brought me to the drawing room and made me stand in front of the picture of his family. I shouted at him “Wow! You can’t be doing this again. Look Vandana is gone. She won’t come back. She is a bitch. She left me and she left you. She never thought once before leaving us. She won’t return ever. You get it. This is not your family. It’s me and Jennifer who are your family from now on.” Saying this I tried to pull down the picture from the wall and once again he jumped on my leg and bit me, thus giving me a negative answer to all I told him a little while earlier. I couldn’t even hit him this time. I closed my eyes and sat down at the sofa as I didn’t know what to do- on one side there was Jennifer, someone who loved me and wanted to be with me and on the other hand, there was Landon who had none but me in his life and who had stayed with me through all my good and bad times. I opened my eyes to find Landon still licking at the wound that was drawing blood thanks to his bite. I just wiped my teary eyes, held him close to my chest, hugged him and went to sleep there itself on the carpet.
The next morning I woke up to the tring-tring sound of the phone. I picked up.
 “ Hey, good morning.”. It was Jennifer on the other end of the line.
“Good morning. How are you?”
“I am okay. Thank you. Have you thought about what I said yesterday?”
“I can’t get you. What are you talking about?”
“Do you want to live with me or do you want to live with that stupid dog of yours?”
“Don’t dare call him stupid. Landon has been with me when you had not even come to my life. He had stayed with me through my tough times, when I was at my lowest, when I contemplated committing suicide. It is for him that I am still alive. Else I would have been long dead after all that had happened in my life.” I shouted at her. I just couldn’t control my emotions when she called Landon stupid.
“I got my answer.” She shouted back and hung up.
I kissed Landon’s forehead, “I won’t leave you. I won’t ever leave you.” He licked my face all over acknowledging my love for him and reassuring his love for me.
            Days passed and slowly I became accustomed to my daily life. Each day was pretty much the same. I wake up in the morning, take Landon for his morning walk; come back, take my bath and have my breakfast while Landon eats his morning bowl of milk along with pedigree. I would put his lunch bowl at his eating place and cover it. I will then go to the store and sell music CDs and return home late at night to be welcomed by Landon, wagging his tail and hugging me as soon as I keep my bag down. Then I would play with him for some time; cook dinner for me as well as for him and take it together, before retiring to the bed with him in my arms.
            A few years later, Landon became ill. I took him to a vet who said that it was due to his old age and could not be cured. It dejected me. I was going to lose the sole companion of my life. Landon would no more go out for his morning walks; he would not play any longer. He could not do all, that he once used to do. I put on the TV for him and put on the cartoon shows that he once loved but he won’t even look at them now. He would not even have the meals regularly. I would often find the lunch box still uneaten when I returned home. He would sit at the drawing room and stare at the picture of his family.
            One day when I reached the store, I found a letter with my name at the top. The handwriting seemed familiar. I opened the letter and found that it was from Vandana. She wrote that she had separated from Bryan. She had an unsuccessful marriage. He did not want her to work and made her leave her job. After a few years of marriage, he started dating other girls and came back home drunk and would often hit her. Unable to tolerate his torture, she divorced him and came back to India. She asked for forgiveness and asked me to call her if I didn’t mind. I called her and talked to her for the first time since she left me. She asked me if I had married and I told her that I had not. I told her about all what Landon had done after she had left us. I asked for the address where she was staying after she agreed to meet me. I picked her up that evening from the address and took her along with me to my home. On the way, she bought Landon’s favourite ‘Kaju Barfi’ which he would earlier demand from her every day.
            As we entered the house, we saw Landon sleeping in front of the picture. As he heard my voice, he opened his eyes and on seeing her, he lifted his body a little and tried to walk towards us. He could hardly move and fell down after two steps. She ran to him and patted his head and he kept on looking at her as if to ask, “Where did you go away? I had missed you so much.” I also came towards him and patted him. Tears ran down her eyes and my eyes. I held her hand tight. Landon got up a little, put his head on our hands, looked at us and closed his eyes forever.

            There have been a great number of love classics that I have heard about and read about. But this unusual love story of Landon and his love for his family will remain the most amazing love story I have ever heard about. He could not speak, could not do all that we as humans can do but there is no doubt, there can be no love greater than the love that Landon had for his family-Rakesh and Vandana.. 

Friday, December 28, 2012


I am a proud Indian,
I am a responsible citizen,
I pay all the taxes,
I follow all the rules.

I pay for the up keeping of the criminals in jail,
Who have killed me mercilessly in bus and in rail!
I pay for the security of the VIPs and VVIPs,
As I die in ambulances to let pass their convoys.

I am murdered in roads,
I am raped in buses,
I am robbed in trains,
I am burnt at my homes.
Still I pay for their food,
I pay for their travel,
I pay for their weddings,
I pay for their children.

One day my condition surely would change,
As I shall come out to break all chains.
I will walk that extra mile to set me free,
‘Coz till then they wont stop exploiting me.

I have “miles to go before I sleep”,
I have “miles to go before I sleep”,
Till then they would laugh at me,
While I silently weep.

A poem by Aisharyya Arindam

Saturday, October 15, 2011


I guess the title of this new article of mine will startle you. To write something justifying and supporting corruption, especially at this point of time when the nation is going gaga about a bill that would potentially stop corruption, looks odd and out of place. However the purpose of article is not what you may be guessing that I am being sarcastic about corruption. I am indeed justifying and supporting corruption. I really feel that the right way is the corrupt way.
Days ago, I met an old school friend of mine whose name I would rather hide in due respect to his privacy. He used be very hard-working since his childhood and was decent in his studies. His dad was a farmer and his mom worked as a maid before she died days before his tenth examination. He did reasonably well in his tenth, got admitted in a govt. college, passed his twelfth and got admitted into a college to do his B.Sc. Meanwhile his dad passed away as well leaving him nothing but a house with a broken roof and a number of loans. It helped him that he got a scholarship from the government. He taught a few school students after his regular classes to feed and fund for the education of his younger brother who was in the fifth standard. But life took an ugly turn for him as the entire India joined the fight to make the nation corruption free. The government officials who earlier worked once on being offered bribes decided to lie low till the corruption-free craze went out of the heads of the common man. The third installment of the scholarship was due in a few months when all this started. He had to get signatures of approval from government officials so that he could get his renewal. What used to take him two days and a hundred fifty rupees to get a signature now became impossible to obtain even when he agreed to double the amount. At the end he couldn’t get the signatures necessary to get his renewal and he couldn’t get readmitted for his final year of study. More agony came his way when the parents of the students he taught relieved him of his duties and he couldn’t get new students as it lowered their self-esteem to have for their children a tutor who was a twelfth pass and would never be a graduate. His brother too dropped out of school and both now work as daily labourers. A boy who could have one day become a bright scholar thus lost his bread and studies thanks to the anti-corruption fight.
This is unfortunately the fact of India which many of us tend to ignore. Not just this but I can give you a number of examples which will give you an idea of what many a common man of India experience every day of his life, who are not well-to-do unlike many of us who are ready to get into a crusade against corruption. A corruption free India would sure be good to have if and only if a number of things change before it.
On any random day, ask a little 4 or 5-yr old child what he would become in life. He would reply he would become a doctor or an engineer and now that the National Law schools and good management schools have come out, some would say that want to be advocates or managers. Why doesn’t anyone want to be a policeman, why not a sweeper, why not a clerk, why not a peon, why not a vendor? He has no idea what these people do but he knows his aim in life because these are taught by their parents that they are important powerful and wealthy people and that they would be loved if they could become one of this. This is where our problem starts. Look into your families, the visit of wealthy relative calls for a big party and special attendance while the visit of a poor relative would call for your family members to gather around him and express their sympathies. This is what the little child sees around him and soon he begins to dream of being like the rich relative and earn respect. These creation of classes in the societies or in our families need to stop.
Once you grow a little old, slowly reality dawns on you and you start realizing that being rich is not so easy. All cannot become doctors or engineers or lawyers or managers. And while some resign to their fate, some decided to fight it out and earn a place in the society. Some decide to go for business. They pay bribes in a dozen offices, get a thousand clearances and permits, take loans and start their respective businesses. Some flourish and get them the status they always dreamt of. Some pay a suitable bribe in some office and become teachers in schools and likewise. No doubt if corruption stops the people would be able to get their work done without paying those bribes, thus saving them some money. But also it would be impossible to get their work done. The anti-corruption law doesn’t also bring about an efficiency law that this work has to be completed within a specific number of days. I asked a relative of mine why she was paying a bribe of ten thousand rupees just to get the pension bills passed? She replied “I go to the capital city, stay in a hotel and then the officer would make me run from office to office, then a number of days he would say he is busy with something else and call me the next day and after a month I would finally get the bills passed. I would spend around fifteen thousand in the hotel, seven to ten thousand on the food, and another two thousand on the travel from one part of the city to another and then after all the hard work, I would one day get it. Why not pay it once and he does everything for me. He saves me both money and hard-work.” What she said were her fears to get the bills passed for which she readily paid the bribes will be the scenario tomorrow when corruption stops. People from an important or so called higher class or rich families always get a preference in whatever they do. Like it to me fourteen days and twenty visits and I still failed to obtain my Permanent Residence Certificate (PRC) and it took my dad an hour to go to the office and get it. My dad didn’t pay any bribe but because he has a bigger name than me and is known to the people, it was easily done. All people doesn’t have a dad who is known to the people in the government offices and for them corruption is necessary and the only path.
Today to have a business, we need a number of permits, a number of government clearances and lots more apart from the loans. These things were brought into the system by the British so that the Indians could not do big businesses without their knowledge and was rather a measure of suppressing the Indian men from becoming powerful. But the sad fact is that even after 60 years of freedom, these rules exist. When a person is doing a rightful business, why does he need these thousand permissions and permits? Why can’t he just open shop and do his business. If there are irregularities, shouldn’t he be punished anyway no matter he has his licenses, permits and clearances or not. When some industrialists from a not so rich or high-class background opened their businesses, they had to face a number of struggles and bribe higher authorities, government officials, etc to ensure that they get the permits, while the other sons of rich already established businessman got them easily without much difficulty. Had he not bribed them we probably would have never had many a industry which India boasts of today.
Before the people join in these revolutions against corruption and others, I would like to remind you certain facts from history. Mahatma Gandhi became the father of the nation and got recognized for his part in the freedom struggle, so did Mr. Nehru and some others but along with them, many more Indians participated in the freedom struggle and gave sacrifices whose names we don’t even know. How many of you outside of Bengal heard of Surya Sen before the movie ‘Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Se’ released, how many of you know Kanaklata and Mukunda Kakati from Assam and how many of you know Parbati Giri from Orissa? They were also brave freedom fighters and had contributed to the Indian freedom. There are still some more freedom fighters whose names even I don’t know, never heard or forgot even if I heard. Yes that they didn’t become famous has nothing to do with my article, but I am pointing this out to highlight the fact we Indians are emotion driven rather than logic driven. We blindly follow whatever we hear and see. All it takes to bring an Indian revolution is a dynamic speaker and some wonder words. Most of the people who start a revolution are people who have something to sustain themselves even if their revolutions fail and they don’t become heroes. The people who lose are the common man who follow them blindly and give the revolution their all and when it fails so do they and if it succeeds, they still have the same life they had before the revolution. Apart from a freedom fighter quota for their children and grandchildren and a small pension and a felicitation on every Independence Day, the freedom fighters didn’t get much after Indian independence nor did those thousands of crusaders in various parts of India for various issues get much after their demands were fulfilled. The power has always been with the rich and the powerful and the common man has been the silent sufferer whether he supports the revolution or not. Life remains same for him.
A corruption-free India is a distant dream we would all like to have but before it the mentality of the Indian man needs to change, the existence of class needs to be done away with, efficiency of the employees at the work place needs to be ensured and freedom to do business and other work without the government interference need to be ensured. Corruption-free India without these changes will only make the common man suffer more. If these changes cannot be brought, I would rather say that THE RIGHT WAY IS THE CORRUPT WAY.