Thursday 30 April 2015

Defence Mechanism

When an ugly smile pours out,
and fills the cup overflowing.
When you listen to a joke,
and you laugh without knowing.

When the awkward silence,
smothers you dead.
When you cannot remember,
what you just said.

When the fangs come out,
and you want to hide.
Cute paws, cat videos,
and a smile so wide.

When there is nothing to say,
and nothing to do.
When sarcasm is not an option,
but a necessity too.

When you ex-girlfriend,
wants her stuff back.
When you feel hit,
right in the sack.

When your boyfriend thinks,
you like Finding Nemo.
And tells the World, you
know all about him too.

When you want to ask,
for a kiss or hug.
But you know she will pat you,
like a sad little pug.

When you want the career,
to take a U- turn.
But your family wants you,
to earn and earn.

You know that you,
cannot return.
And you know that your last,
was 'the one'.

All those times are when,
right in the chin, you need a kick.
All those time are when you,
feel broken, need a mechanic.

All those times you just,
need to ask yourself-
if you want to keep looking,
in your empty shelf.

Or do you want to pretend,
that you know the answer to it.
Smile is the answer,
use it as you see fit.

But careful, do not let it overflow.
Sprinkle some of that sarcasm over it too.

Tuesday 28 April 2015

Uneven Earth- A Romance

'If you don't really feel the urge to rest your head on his shoulder, but you just want him around, is it love?' She wondered sitting in her room appearing lost in deep thought. Her head pressed against her thumbs as she leaned forward and tried to find all the answers by deduction and reasoning.

She was jealous of him. 'How could he be so sure of what he wants? I have never been sure of what I want. Event the grandest of my dreams have a hint of fear in them. I am not even sure if I want to sit or lie down right now and he knows that he wants me.' Her thoughts kept her awake. He had made her feel important and she didn't find it comfortable. She was used to being insignificant. A guy would look at her, like her and tell her that he likes her. She would be affable, not play hard to get or anything and the guy will slowly drift away. No harm done. She thought of herself as a milestone in someone else's long road journey. She wasn't headed anywhere. She was scared of change. She thought she was the girl guys would leave behind when they're on their way to better things.

'Let's meet tomorrow' A text appeared on her phone. She typed a response without promising anything. It was him and she was unsure.

The next day, in the evening, they sat and as he looked at her, she melted. His obsession was disarming. Her disheveled hair, her weary eyes, the closely shut lips, none of them had left a gap in the wall that she had constructed around herself. How could he still look at her and not feel even the slightest bit of it? The way he looked at her, it was clear that the wall was invisible to him.

She was mildly annoyed at this persistence. It reeked of a lack of honour. This man was no knight who would just throw her a glance and gallop away when she would turn her gaze away. This man was more of a beggar. He stayed praying for some love. She didn't think highly of such love which needed a vulgar display or expression. More than annoying, it seemed unsightly. There were people around, people who expected a man to be a certain way and a woman to be the other. The man is supposed to chase the woman, court her and win her easily. The woman is supposed to play elusive and rude at the starting and then slowly become a trophy in the man's shelf.

It is another thing that she wasn't herself okay with the conventional role assigned to her gender in these cupid games. She herself took pride in not conforming to the norms set by the people. She would sit cross-legged at restaurants and eat with her fingers but, that didn't mean she didn't care what people thought. Quite to the contrary, she was worried about what everyone thought of her. She cared too much about not letting anyone know that she cared about what they thought, so much so that she pretended not to care. So she was conflicted and her logic was twisted.

We can't assume that he was a simple man either. He was twisted in his own way. He did believe in all things she stood for. He regarded pride as a big virtue and would have played the part of a knight who just walks away when his glance is not returned. He believed in the 'all or none' law. He thought that a girl would either love him or not at all. Love isn't for the unsure. But, he believed in one more thing- he took his decisions not based on words but those unsaid little nothings. 

He would have left if she would have turned her gaze away in disgust or pity and not out of a sense of inner turmoil. He wouldn't have held her hand and kissed it with surety if he wasn't sure of the strings he was pulling. He could feel that all this was not comfortable for her and he was there because he knew behind that veil of conflict and fear, there was girl who just was uncomfortable treading on an uncharted territory, regardless of how she felt. He believed in the fact that when we are about to do something of remark, we are the least comfortable. All we need at that moment is someone to believe in us. And he believed in her. It was not about being sure, it was about believing.

So, they were sitting and she asked him- 'I am so unsure of us. I am not even halfway to the point you have reached. I am broken, I haven't known love my whole life. I am never intense enough with my display of affection, I am scared of hurting you. Why do you continue to ask for my hand to hold and kiss? Why don't you ever get tired of me?'

He smiled. He reached out for hand and held it. Her hand which was lying limp in her lap suddenly came to life. He pressed his palm against hers and reaffirmed the familiarity. She still had the same confused expression. He said, 'Of all the hands I have held, not a single one could fit so easily into mine. They took effort. You say words like fear, brokenness and yet, it is only your hand that has the skin that feels comfortable with mine. When I am holding you, I am not waiting to kiss you. When I am kissing you, I am not waiting to hold you tighter. None of my acts with you is a lead up to anything. I talk to you to talk to you, I hold you to hold you and nothing more. There is no rush, all those things happen like I have known you a long time.

There is a rush of the other kind though. The head rush of knowing that I am with the prettiest girl in the World. And the rush gets stronger when I realize that you don't know it yet. 

I know you say you're not sure but, when I am about to leave, I see the flutter in your eyes, whenever I mutter a parting thought, I see you cringe just like woman in love. You might not agree with me, you might not even know it but, I have seen you love me. I have seen you grow impatient like a mad lover. The fear of hurting me, the fear of not coming through, the fear of the word 'love' itself - believe me or not, are all good signs. They mean you're headed somewhere. 

When I say I want you as my girl, I do not say it without my doubts. I am sure we will fight, I am sure there will be times when you and I will not like to see each other's faces. Love is not about living a smooth life, it is an assurance. When we were brought in this world, we didn't know where to go. In our early years, we were told the basic concepts of love and family and then we realized that there is a place we can call home and there are people we can love. But, there is still a part in all of us who feels alone. It is the deepest sense of self. It is your innermost person who is all alone. It just needs an assurance that there are more people, as alone and as scared as itself. When I see you, I see myself. When I talk to you, the words that come out from your mouth are just the words I want to hear to know that I am not alone. 

That is why I have decided to pursue you. I have decided to follow you. You are not a stone lying on the roadside, you are a temple covered in dust. Your heart is the holy shrine I have sought all my life. How am I so sure of it? I am not. But, I believe in you and I know for a fact that you're not as cold as you make yourself look.

I have seen that look in your eyes when you feel unsure and fearful. Only the best kind of people can feel this way. It is the feeling you get when you take someone seriously. I love to be taken seriously by you. I love the way you spare your thoughts for me. Believe me, my dear, what you do for me is much more that what I am doing for you. And that's why I know I want to be with you for a very long time. I am not saying 'forever' because I know the word scares you but, as I said before, it means you give it thought. You have kept me close to your heart somewhere and I am not letting you go easily.

You can spell out all your doubts, all your misgivings, all your confusions. I will hear them, feel them, with you. Until you are sure. And beyond.'

The Earth tilted a little. It was a bit even now.

Friday 17 April 2015

How to find a bride in India? Simple steps.

How to find a bride in India?

To find a bride in India, one needs to give the impression that he is not interested in marriage, love or any suchlike distractions. One has to pretend to have tangible, attainable life goals. Whenever someone asks what you are doing with your life, you have to reply that you're preparing for civil services to at least qualify as a serious minded person.

Once everyone is convinced that you're a serious-minded person, this is what you need to do- assess your skills and talents. Then start pursuing higher studies in something which is completely opposite to your personal inclinations. You might ask what is the reason behind such diabolical behaviour. The answer to which is SHUT UP! You're not supposed to ask questions.

Moving on, once you're done with your education and are done eyeing all the pretty girls in your college, you develop a werewolf-like personality. Due to all the repression, your face develops scary features like dark circles, baldness etc. This is perfectly normal, you're on your way to getting married.

Now once you've acquired a graduate degree, look at your degree and enlist all the jobs suited for you. Now, take that list to the toilet and flush it. Start preparing for civil services, bank exams or other such institutions which offer jobs that require you to sit in a chair and analyze data for the government. Again, do not ask questions. The keyword here is 'government job'. Ok, two words. Keywords.

Anyway, now once you're 'settled', go to the marketplace with a cloth bag and ask for a bride. I am not kidding. Pick up that jhola and take your relatives for bride shopping. Whenever you are bargaining for a bride, assess all features like height, weight, colour (especially colour because dark ones are bad for some reason) etc. Once you have selected a bride suitable to your 'market value', just pick her up and put her in your bag. And here comes the best part, her relatives will pay YOU to take her away from them. Isn't it great?

All the best out there!

Thursday 16 April 2015

Book Review- Sorry, Not For Sale- Urmila Bhargava

ISBN- 978-1-60976-709-9
Title- Sorry, Not For Sale- A Woman's Fight Against Corruption
Author- Urmila Bhargava
Publishers- Strategic Book Group
Price- Rs 195
Pages- 218

About the author: Urmila Bhargava is the managing director of IFP Petro Products Private Ltd. She holds a Master's Degree in Education from Allahabad University. She lives currently in Noida with her children.

Review: How do you weigh years of wisdom and honest advice on a scale? I cannot rate this book because it is not like any of the other ones. It is not even looking to make a profit. It is the story of a simple woman who overcame odds and achieved the honour of living a full life without compromising on her ideals. Even the book is titled 'not for sale'. The introduction leads us into the world of this lady who sounds like she has stories to tell. You know there is years of experience in her so you wash your feet, grab your beverage of choice and curl up in the bed to soak it all in.

The acknowledgements page reeks of family bonding. It is just a granny being thankful to her family and the things that must have gone into the making of this book bring a warm fuzzy feeling to the heart.

The introduction page introduces us to the basic premise of the book. It is the story of a lady and her husband (she calls him MM) who fight it out in a bad, bad world. They come from different backgrounds. One from the family of British loyalists and the other- quite the opposite. And yet, they inherit the same basic fabric of morality and values. It is hard to be objective when you're indulging in telling a story where you're never going to be wrong because, well, it's your story. The author has tried hard to give an objective view and has succeeded in parts. It is not a book about spiritual nirvana so, the sense of self is evident.

The book talks about the lady's struggles when she came to Delhi to establish her SSI unit and the problems she faced with the system. The historical mentions of those times make the book more relevant and interesting. She does have an adventurous spirit and her exploits in the wilderness, trekking and just traveling are worth preserving. Not every incident is nail-biting or edge of the chair adventure but, yes, they bring you a sense of those times and those people. Nostalgia is definitely a strong point in this book.

The tales are amusing and they can be read at a slower pace on lazy afternoons. This book is less of a novel and more of a short stories compilation with different references to Indian history. The funny quips and repartee between those real life characters make for a light, entertaining read.

The pages are nice and thick and the book feels slightly heavy due to the good quality. The cover art could have been better but it does convey the message behind the book with impact. The fonts are large and readable and the book is meant for those who prefer their stories like I prefer my chicken nuggets- warm, delightful and pleasurable even in small doses.

Now, as a bonus, here's some free-floating music- 

(Courtesy- Hersh Bhardwaj)

Tuesday 14 April 2015

Book Review- Circle of Fate- Prita Warrier

Title- Circle of Fate
Author- Prita Warrier
ISBN- 978-93-81506-56-1
Pages- 291
Price- Rs 295
Publisher- Amaryllis
Genre- Fiction

'The author Prita Warrier was born in Cochin in 1960 and has an M Phil in English Literature from Madras University. She lives with her husband, the writer Shashi Warrier in Mangalore.' As soon as I read the author intro from the book's back cover, I developed great expectations from it. I started reading the book and couldn't help comparisons with a much darker modern day classic The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy. This novel too is set in Kerala and is about Malayalis. The dark humourous undertone is quite present in this one too. I guess the only aspect where it falters is characterization. The characters in this one seem to be in a perpetual hormone soup and their opinions are too fickle to be trusted. The protagonists are Devaki and Sheela, grandmother and granddaughter duo who are fighting their inner demons as they are placed in uncomfortable and sometimes inhospitable surroundings.

Language-wise, the book is impeccable. The plot is rich and the novel reads at a lay pace with multiple revelations and amusements. It is one of those perfect books that do not leave your conscience. But as you finish around two-third of the book, there is a certain restlessness developing in your conscience because there is no sense of an ending developing and new characters are still getting introduced and older ones are still being ironed out. So, if you are an impatient reader, you will be tempted to skip a few pages and read the eventual ending of the novel.

Amaryllis- the publishers have done a brilliant job this time. I had begun viewing them as niche publishers for typical commercial fiction or Punjab-based literature but they have turned everything around by publishing this book about the dilemmas of an NRI and the struggles of a progressive girl in conservative Kerala.

The saving grace for the lazy pace of the book is the mystery behind the story of tussle behind Devaki and her son Naresh. It is very well guarded and is impossible to predict for the reader. It lends the much needed pace to the book and also keeps the plot coherent.

The vivid descriptions of the yesteryear are a delicious treat and the author needs to be commended for the same. If only the author drew more rigid lines around her characters, the book would have been perfect for me. For example. if in the plot, a character is rude once, then few pages later, he is likable; then skip 20 pages and again he turns again into a flirtatious jerk- it takes away the credibility from the descriptions. After a while, I was numb from all the emotions and was ready for unpredictable acts by characters.

I have to put in a special word here for the humour in the author's writing. The wit is uncanny. The fine nuances of day-to-day instances have been well-brought out and are presented with much subtlety.

 I give it 4 stars. ****/5

Saturday 11 April 2015

An imperfect ending.

He had met many girls. He had learned that the first few days are always great. You are getting to know each other, your hearts are syncing and you feel the connection- everything goes great. Then there's the buffer when you begin to snap at the small little things that used to enchant you earlier. And then comes the breakup. He had had three breakups and was now a changed man. His heart could anticipate the subsequent steps of a relationship.

She was always a one man woman. She believed in love and never gave up. She had met her match and wanted to marry him. It felt like destiny and she was happy with life.

He had hopes that he will unlearn life's lessons and make all those mistakes again. It was horrifying for him to think that one day, a princess will come and he will not kiss her hand before kissing her cheek because he would have let go of his own etiquette. He was scared of change and wanted to hold on.

She? Her world was soon shaken. Her lover did love her but, it wasn't enough. When the world set fire to her, she had no walls standing. Her castle was intruded and she felt like letting go of everything she had held so dearly.

He found that no one liked a conflicted soul. His confusion and inner turmoil made him slightly unlikable among women. He would say the wrong things, ask weird questions, try too hard. He was just not himself and had left all hopes of a normal life- a loving wife, a simple house, a dog. He dreaded the future.

Once all her dreams were razed to ground. She took a rigid stance against sandcastles and banned daydreaming from her life. She allowed fate to take over. And she wanted to change herself. She liked the way life was shaping up after letting go. Her marriage was arranged with a prince. She had good things going again. Her fears were melting because she had surrendered. 

He was fighting. He was scared of the eventual surrender. It was the impending doom that would follow which scared him. He was scared of settling with mediocrity, average kind of life. What if he was okay with leading a mediocre life, a wife he loved just adequately and not passionately was his greatest fear.

She had had enough of overflows. Now, she wanted things to be adequate. Her marriage was in a fortnight and she was shopping. Parties were being thrown, in-laws were tagging each other on their Facebook updates.

And then they met!

Thursday 9 April 2015

Of Pretentious Writing

A good piece of writing for me is anything that doesn't portray its author as something he or she is not. If you are a racist bigot and your book defends racism, I might not read your book, but I would be okay with it existing. On the other hand, if you write a an intelligent sounding treatise on curbing racism, there will be undercurrents of shallowness in your writing that will annoy the heck out of the reader.

Such books are the advertising world equivalents of fairness cream commercials which ask women to develop confidence by telling them that their natural complexion is ugly. 

And then there is funniness in false pretenses. There are writers who think they are writing an original thriller but eventually end up writing the most generic piece of work ever. There would be a hero, a sidekick, a crisis, a mystery and in the end it will all unfold not so shockingly. Some of course do not have any pretenses about their writing and that helps but, some writers use superlatives for their own hero. Every silly observation by their detective is a 'work of genius', every silly twist is 'so shocking!' For me, the superlatives are very close to self-praise and should be done away with.

In literary novels, there is a different kind of pretentiousness. The author tries to deviate from the topic as much as possible. There should be no plot and every character must have a background story. Sometimes, this ends up creating a very confusing picture. A grandpa character who could just have been a happy dude becomes an elderly figure who hates cats because he loved his son too much who abandoned him and his name rhymed with the name of a neighbourhood cat. It is also implied that the grandpa actually loves cats. Such entanglements create conflicted instead of complex characters. Also, in literary novels you have to describe every flower that is on the roadside. Attention to detail is good but, as soon as it seems unnecessary or forced, it turns nauseating. Unless your protagonist is a wine-sniffing, poet-cum-botanist, why would he be interested in the scientific names of the yellow flowers he saw once on his way to work? Keep it real.

Then there is the generalizing kind of writing. People feel a certain way and then they make a label out of it and paste on the world. People who are not comfortable in their skin try to make it a social issue. If no one talks to you, it is not because you're dark, fat or short. Yes, world is unfair but, not everything needs to be turned into a campaign. Sometimes instead of posting a one page status update on Facebook about how you feel women should not be judged on the basis of looks, you should just be thankful that the jerks who just see women as pieces of meat are not after you. Good people gravitate toward good people. Bad people attract needy pretentious people. It is that simple.

Short Story- The Loop

That ringing sound in his ears was very bothersome. He sat in his office behind those corporate doors in perfect silence the whole day, minding his business. Suddenly from yesterday, it had become terrible. He had started hearing a loud ring in his ears and was thinking of getting it checked by a doctor.

'Tinnitus- so that's what they call it,' He had googled his condition and was now even more perturbed to find that there was no definite cause for this condition and he was just supposed to relax. He had relaxed enough, was he even stressed? Sure he didn't love his job but he didn't mind sitting all by himself.

He had branded himself as an introvert and was comfortable remaining isolated from the rest of the world in his small little cabin. He would watch movies, listen to songs when he was bored. But now this sound had changed everything.

He called the sweeper and got his carpets dusted to remove any crickets hiding there. He took a day off and went to sit by the lake. The noise followed him everywhere and it was driving him mad.

Later that day, he went to the doctor. The prescription was just a long list of medicines. He was also supposed to get his ear wax removed. He did all that and after a week, the problem still persisted. He had lost all hope.

Suddenly, he woke up one day and it was gone. The world was silent again. He went to his cabin, sat there and fumbled with papers a little. He was so happy, he didn't know what to do with this newfound joy. He sat with an arched back on his chair the whole day watching TV series on his laptop. Work wasn't much and he was in full mood to go footloose that day.

The next day he had terrible backache. He set an appointment with his doctor.

Wednesday 8 April 2015

Book Review- Arjun Without A Doubt- Shinde Sweety

This review is a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books!

Title- Arjun- Without a Doubt
Author- Dr Shinde Sweety
ISBN- 978-93-81836-97-2
Publisher- Frog Books
Genre- Mythology/ Epic/ History
Price- Rs 195
Pages- 306
Cover design- Champa Srinivas


I knew there was nothing poetic about death.
I knew not that the most horrific battles are fought off the battlefield.

Arjun: The idealist in a non-ideal world; the warrior whose deadliest opponent was his conscience.

History forgot his voice, but misquoted his silence.

My self-esteem originates from me and ends in me.
Why does your honor depend on me? Find your own.

Draupadi: The untamed tigress, the fragrant flame, the unbridled spirit.

Power does not justify sin. Power is not virtue.
Virtue is that which lasts in spite of power.

Krishn : The enigma whose unique ideology churned the battlefield into a quest for Truth.

The Missile …The Trajectory … The Vision.

The trio that makes for the core of The Mahabharata.

This is their saga.
Insightful, visceral and candid .

Find ‘other’ famous Arjuns; compare Arjun vis-a-vis Achilles and Alexander; Explore Myths of Mahabharata.

All this and much more in ‘Arjun: Without A Doubt’.


Review- 3.5 stars

This is an amazingly written book. When I started reading it, I was mildly surprised by the brilliant quality of writing. I have seen people write books once they have attained a career goal because they see it as something they always wanted to do. In this case however, it is utterly baffling how good Dr Sweety actually is. And this novel is not just something she needed to get done with, it is born out of love. The love of story-telling, the love of Mahabharata, the love of mythology AND history.

Not only does the language weaves perfect pictures in the novel, the writing and the thought behind it reflects a certain maturity of thought that is rare to find these days. The author has turned the ancient epic into a format easily comprehensible to a modern day reader while keeping it equally entertaining. The first person accounts of the protagonists - Arjun and Draupadi make them come across as real and human. Even the divinity of Krishn is not the focal point of this mytho-drama. He is portrayed just as a key- character in this story. The author takes her hand and reaches inside the guts of 'Mahabharata- the epic' and turns it inside out to make it- 'Mahabharata- the story'. She has imbibed the values and philosophy behind it, has taken a stand instead of reading it passively and has presented her view boldly in this book.

I am usually against preachy books with lots of monologues but I am all praises for this one because it is not preachy. It is thoughtful writing with brilliant execution. The author doesn't force her thoughts down your throat, she reasons with you, goads you into thinking on a higher plane and then just presents what appears plausible.

The Arjun and Draupadi monologues are separated by squiggly lines and are marked to avoid confusion. Personally, I think the publishers need to find a more graceful way to do that. The cover art is visually pleasing. I would have loved it if there were symbolic representations or changes in font to denote that the narrator is changing. I hope this gets taken care of in the subsequent editions. Particularly for myself, I didn't feel any ambiguity while reading. It was a masterful work and I will cherish it in my personal library.

Now, with the above description, one shouldn't assume that there is no room for improvement here. No book is perfect. This book might not appeal to those who are looking for accurate/ alternate historical accounts because it does take its liberties in describing mystical events just like its parent epic- Mahabharata. Nothing new or shocking here in terms of story line. It is just the perspective which is unique. Also, the language gets too poetic at times but then the book never claims to be hard-hitting real-life journalism from Kurukshetra battlefield. It just gets assumed in the mind of the reader as the accounts begin to get realistic. And then the assumption is shaken at certain points.

Nevertheless, it remains a book to be read and then re-read.

Take a bow, doc. (bow... Arjun... get it?) You nailed it!

Thursday 2 April 2015

Chal pyar karegi? Feminazi, nazi.

Forgive the horrible pun in the title but, you have to agree that it grabs eyeballs. Today we talk about the wave of feminism that has swept across the globe. Much has been said about it- 'You can never have too much of a good thing, feminism is much needed and also much misunderstood. Men also need empathy. Equality is the keyword. In terms of physical labour, men and women cannot be equal,' so on and so forth.

I am not going to add anything new here to those thoughts, but just add a personal perspective to the whole thing. There seems to be a crop of women growing in the recent times who wear this 'proud to be a woman' tag on their sleeves. For me, feminism is something very subtle. It just exists as a voice to say that women exist as sentient beings and they should be acknowledged for the same. In novels, movies etc, when a female is portrayed as an object of desire- it sends the wrong signal. The society treats them as one treats pets- just for one's personal amusement. Females do not deserve such treatment. They are not great, they are not godlike, but they are humans with emotions and feelings.

Some women, while making their case, try to instill the fear of the Mother Goddess in the male's mind. A female is shown as someone who is just silent because she has chosen to. In those campaigns, it is shown that if we provoke the women more, the wrath of Durga shall befall all of us. The fear technique is going to backfire in my view because, you are again portraying the woman as someone alien, someone different. It is not very different from the conventional objectification of women.

A woman doesn't and shouldn't need to fight to be treated equally. She needs to encourage logical dialogue. There will be men who are not ready to listen to logic, you can fight, punish, ignore them depending on your inclination. The address here is directed toward the more sensible lot among both men and women. The suppression shall get eliminated when better sense prevails. A sense of justice is needed. We need to evoke empathy and familiarity in the minds of men. The thought that women are not from Venus, men are not from Mars, we are the inhabitants of the same planet with more or less similar sensibilities should be enough to curtail the bifurcation of society.

If there are no females fetuses dying in the womb, girls are interacting with boys freely and there is no fear or alienation, the world would perhaps be more equal, more fair. In Western societies, similar feat has been achieved and yet, all the problems related to gender inequality continue to persist. It doesn't mean that there is no solution. It should be seen as a never-ending battle that cannot be abandoned.

Man is a logical species and should behave logically. If the results are slow or unfavourable, one should strive for minor corrections. Overhauling the whole process, making stringent laws and instilling fear of the female in the male's mind will only worsen the situation. Now, this shouldn't be seen as an advocacy for leniency in cases of heinous crimes like rape and murder. Hang the murderers and rapists for all I care. I am here talking about the general mood that is being created.

If you exalt women to a status which is unreachable for a mortal, you will only be giving birth to more rakshasas. As long as there are women who are not posting rants about how all men are evil, as long as there are men who are not foul-mouthing women who reject them, men who respect women's choices- justice shall prevail. Once this logical sub-species dies out, we will be left with Nazis.

Wednesday 1 April 2015

Short Story: People Versus Pictures

Riddled with myriad confusing emotions, the dentist sat on his desk. He had just done a root canal and still reeling from the backache that the long procedure had given him, he again started thinking about the weird gestures the patient had been making. She was a young female with a grossly decayed tooth. 'Grossly' here to show the extent of damage but, it also conveys how he felt about the signals the patient gave him.

She was married, her husband used to come and drop her. This was the second time the husband hadn't come and also the time when she had smiled at him with those weird eyes. Him! Her dentist! Her healthcare provider! Ugh! He didn't mind the smiles but they came out of the blue and without any reason. She would just smile and look at him.

He was never attracted to her. Well, she was pretty but once you see the deposits and tartar on someone's front teeth, you can never un-see them. She, on the other hand, was a great patient. Too great for his liking. She would come for regular check-ups. She would drop by in those early mornings when the clinic was not crowded, she would hold his hand for far too long during those handshakes. He would look into her mouth and often would catch her gazing into his eyes.

It was all making him pretty uncomfortable and he was getting on the verge of politely transferring her case to someone else. He had even planned an excuse. He was going out of town for a month! He knew it would not be concealed for very long but, he was more worried about getting her off his back than concealing the fraud behind his excuse.

*Boop* Suddenly, there was a small red notification icon on his Facebook page.

He had a friend request from his patient. He hovered his cursor over the 'Delete Request' button but decided to check her profile picture before that. There she was! Holding her husband's hand and walking on a beach. The cover photo had her and her husband just sitting together. It seemed like a dinner date.

He accepted her Friend Request. A chat window opened. She said hi and he replied. They had a long conversation. A week later, he was on a date. The girl in front of him was smiling a lot. He smiled back and looked at his phone which had just beeped.

'Enjoy your date and take care of my little sister', the message read.