Friday, December 29, 2006


They call him Shane, though it isn’t his real name.

Shane for Shane Warne. Like the cricketer. But only for his appearance – fair-headed and irresistibly attractive with a spring in his step despite his lumbering large frame. It has nothing to do with his [the original Shane’s] propensity for making it to tabloid double spreads for his extra-curricular exploits.

This Shane is the most moral man that walked the earth.


This Shane hadn’t touched a girl till he was 28. This Shane hadn’t even been in love till he turned 33, to the exact day.

And till then, his thirty-third year, he concentrated all his passion on particular things.

Till he was 12, it was horses. He loved them with an intensity that frightened those who beheld his strange secret communion with them. He spoke in a tongue that no one but the horses understood. It was in his breath, the heavy snorting pounding pumping of air and life that tears through the earth under thundering hooves. It was in the sweat that poured out of him when he hugged her neck and cut through the wind. It was in his eyes that could in a moment become from a gentle grey to flashing green blue waves that thrashed about with an unfathomable rage. Then suddenly one day, they moved houses; far away from the race tracks and he never stepped upon a saddle again.

He was like that. Willful. One moment he could feel his being fused with the object of his affection, and the next, there would be a cold impenetrable sheath between him and it, never to be pierced again.

When he was 15 it was football. On the field he was invincible. Running through mud and grass skidding on pale knees, kicking with all his might, his thoughts and eyes and being all focused on one thing – to get the ball through wind, through people, past the goalkeeper in through the goal post; and at such times he would feel the stirring of an ancient rhythm thunder through his veins, like when he rode the horses. In moments like these, he was happiest. Despite his poor eyesight, Shane soon became the most powerful player on the school team.

One day, that too ended. He grew up and discovered cigarettes and chai.

He was 18 when he realised that he could sit for hours at a go, concentrating on nothing. Emptying his mind of everything. And he could be alone. Wherever. Whenever. Somewhere, something was beginning to fit and he experienced a sense of peace and calm he had never felt before.

This is how he met his Mother. She came to him one night naked and beautiful, in a dream, and put his aching head on Her lap. Shane had his first glimpse of the intensity of love. For the first time, it didn’t confuse him. And yet he couldn’t describe it. Was it soothing? Was it passionate? Was it deeper than his soul? Was it lighter than sunshine? What was it that he felt when he put his head down in Her lap?

Once he knew love like that, Shane was a changed man. He savoured moments that he could be alone and shut his eyes. He sought stillness in the winding roads of the Himalayan foothills. And that’s how he discovered his other passion. Bikes. Everywhere he went, even in his dreams, he rode his bike down to the last inch of his destination. His obsession grew so much that one day, when he was drunk and doped beyond coherence, Shane walked out of a party clinging to the handles of his bike, waving his arms every time he turned right or left, till he was finally home two hours later, still walking and waving.

For all the years in between, Shane has a few vivid memories. They aren’t painted with the colours he saw, the textures he touched and the smells he smelled. They are painted with the memories of different caresses. Caresses of people and experiences and thoughts and moments. And through all of these he felt alone, till each time he put his head down on Mama’s lap and forgot each one in an instant, never to recall it again.

And then one day he turned thirty three, and she walked into his life, with ‘exquisite cheekbones and intense black eyes’, or so he thought, till she showed him in the sunlight how truly, brightly brown they were.

For the first time in his life, Shane forgot everything. He forgot Mama, he forgot his work, he forgot his religion… all he saw was the erratic, confusing, confounded hypnosis of her brown eyes that seemed black but weren’t. For the first time in his life Shane felt completely absorbed in here and now. She took form in the distant lands of his dreams. She filled his life, all thirty three years, completing memories of things that had been half lived. And like a fly to a fire, she consumed him in her love. Bit by bit…

Till one day he woke up and realised how truly unhappy he was. With touch. With sight. With sound. With love.

That day, he bought an air ticket to a far off land. He shut his eyes and flew into the night. And when the pretty airhostess asked him if he’d like tea or coffee, he didn’t respond. He was far away, his head in his Mother’s lap, and everything was forgotten once more.

He seeks a passion that will carry him through lifetimes… beyond here and now.
And every time he moves on, exhausted and spent with the futility of his passion for an unworthy cause, he leaves them in Her lap, one square-eternity of love to tide them past his treachery. Mama’ll take care of his follies.

And She does.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Curious Blue

His belt is silver tipped. It peeps out from under his deep green turtle neck sweater. He likes green. A lot. That dull scummy shade of green that really doesn’t do much for his pale pinkly complexion.

One blue eye is slightly smaller than the other. In a charming, attractive sort of way.

He glances up every now and then to comprehend why she’s taking so long to make sense of something so simple. Sometimes he does it just to get a good look at her.

“What are you thinking?”

Nothing. She’s sick of this shit. She’s rehashed the same damn thing five times, and right now she couldn’t care a rat’s arse. She’s blank.

“I’m stuck.”

Hmmm. He’s NOT going to be judgemental. He’d promised himself before boarding the flight that he wouldn’t be judgemental. But this is just not going anywhere. It’s just so simple and yet… nothing’s moving forward. Why can’t she just put it down? It’s just a damn three-minute story for heaven’s sake!

“It’s a tough topic this one, don’t worry. It will take time,” he offers. It’s been ten minutes and nothing’s moved. He felt obliged to speak.

She knows what he’s thinking. She can tell how frustrated he’s getting. She can see he’s making an effort to be patient. And right now, she can’t help but be amused at how hard he’s trying. Story be damned. This is funny. Ha ha. Ha.

She looks up and smiles at him.

He’s confused. He doesn’t expect a confident bold concentrated gaze from her. She’s the one who’s supposed to be struggling over here. Uh?

He leaves her alone and turns back to cleaning the timeline and shifting files from bin to bin. One frame here one frame there.

She’s relieved. It isn’t exactly easy to concentrate on a script with a pair of expectant blue eyes watching every squiggling scratch on paper. She tries to write a whole bunch of meaningless nonsense [just to look busy and productively engaged] as indecipherably untidily as she can. Bad idea, because now she can’t read it herself. Ha. This is just not working.

“Right. I think I’ve got it.”

Oh has he now?! She should be offended, but all she can feel is this bubbling mirth well up. This is fun. He knows what I should say in a story about myself. Right.

“Well, so you start with – I love the… and that’s all I’ve ever wanted to be… and you end with so today this is what I am”.

She writes it down as he dictates it. She’s tempted to say “can I get you cup of tea please sir, after the dictation?” But she daren’t. He’s being wonderfully helpful. This isn’t his job, and she knows she’s being rather arsey.

She smiles again. He’s not amused. There’s something about her smile he can’t place… it seems to bore through him, gently. It makes him…

He pulls out the recording device and asks her to read out what they’ve just written. She reads it. It sounds terrible. But she can’t complain. As she ends with “and today this is what I am” she can’t help let a long suppressed giggle escape.

She wants desperately to share the joke. This is terrible prose. It stinks... But he refuses to look into her eyes.

She feels stupid. Chastised. She shuts up.

The day has already come to an end. The voice-over sucks. Everybody can see that. So can he. And finally now it’s hitting her that she’s holding a headless baby. Her baby.

Fark. Fark. Fark.

Things are really looking shitty.

Besides she’s already heard from the others that he doesn’t like to stay at work beyond 6:30 pm. It’s 8:30 pm. she’s feeling guilty and all she wants to do is go home and die. Three days of no sleep. She can’t take anymore… least of all his judgement.

“Listen, I was thinking we could stay back another hour and crack this.”

She’s startled. But… but, doesn’t he want to go home?

She declines politely. “I’d rather go home and figure it”

She’s surprised at the puzzled look on his face.

“Ummm. Are you sure? I was thinking maybe we could...”

“No. Really”. She surprises herself with her firmness.

“Well. Ok. But call me anytime. Err… that’s if you need to sound off something… err if you give me your number I’ll send you my guesthouse number and umm… yeah”.



“Hey, and don’t worry about calling me any time. Seriously. I’ll be ummm… yeah. Just call.”


He told her later that he thought she was the most efficient and organised and focussed of the lot he had worked with, as he gazed sweetly into her eyes over amritsari fish and paneer tikka.



This is an odd but admittedly fun tag by HB. Knowing as he does how much I hate tags, he thought it the perfect Christmas gift for me.

Ah. If thoughtfulness were angel wings, bro you’d be the featheriest [read ‘hairiest’ in bird-speak] critter up there…

Back to da tag.

So the task is:
1. Grab the book closest to you. Don't choose!

2. Open to page 123, go down to the fifth sentence.
3. Post the text of the next 3 sentences on your blog.
4. Name of the book and the author.

Luckily enough, the closest book to me is ‘Candy is Dandy’ by Ogden Nash. My all-time office companion.

So, from IT’S SNUG TO BE SMUG [on page 123]

Quoting line 5 onwards [oddly pertinent lines I daresay!]…

So I don’t really wish I had the wings of an angel, but sometimes I wish I had the sweet voice of a thrush,
And then if I sang an Indian Love Lyric why thousands of beautiful beauties [
handsome hotties in this case] would harken and quiver and blush,
And it would be a treat to hear my rendition of Sweet Alice Ben Bolt.

I haven’t a clue of what Sweet Alice Ben Bolt is. Obviously a charming little ditty by some work-deprived love-lorn dandy for his sixteen-year-old virginal sweetheart way back in 1829. But enough. This caustic tongue will get me nowhere with the thousand handsome hotties.

So. Coming back, I think I’ll replace this song with…


Suggestions? Anyone?

Thursday, December 07, 2006


He said: “Where I come from, we like sentimental narratives. It’s considered high art.”

She said: “How odd.”

He said: “Yes. It is.”

They were silent.

He said: “But I like it a bit spiky now.”

She smiled.

He said: “It’s more fun that way. For me.”

She said: “Me too.”

She smiled. He smiled. They both looked down at the paneer tikka, amritsari fish and virgin mary.

He said: “No smoking, no drinking?”

She shrugged.

He said: “Your body must be a temple.”

She blushed into her script. He fiddled with the keyboard. Too late to take it back.

He said: “We wear only blacks and greys.”

She said: “That’s a gorgeous red shirt.”

He bought it immediately.

He said: “You have a sophisticated, penetrating, deep gaze that I find slightly confusing/ seductive”.

She said: “that’s a long sentence.”

He smiled. She smiled [confused and slightly seduced].

He said: "Dear H"

She said: "go on."

He said: “Alvida.”

She said: “Kal chaand dekha thha?”

Tiny tiny fleeting crush. Across continents.


[Phish, if you’re reading this, let me explain … ha ha ha.]