Tuesday, 30 December 2014

My New Year Resolution

I was always a person who never believed in making resolutions. When I see people making New year resolution, I usually remain silent. I had never made any such resolutions, until the beginning of 2014. I don’t know what happened to me that time; I made a New Year resolution that I would complete my first novel and try to get it published. It worked out smoothly and it was fun. “Story of Tublu” will be published soon. 

So, resolutions do work. This New Year, I’m thinking much bigger. I think with a little determination it can be achieved. Well, my New Year resolution is that I will quit smoking permanently.

This should be the final book cover. Coming soon!!

Sunday, 28 December 2014

The Warmth

In those chilling winters during our early school days, as soon as the power went off in the evening, our hearts filled with delight. That was the time to relish some wonderful breaks from our studies. I remember how I, my elder brother and my little sister tried to position us inside our father’s big shawl, to feel the comfort sitting in his lap. Such happiness of warmth reignites every time  my little angel, Jia, takes pleasure to cuddle up together with me early morning, when her mom tries to wake her up to prepare her for school. Well, now I can feel the peacefulness of the warmth inside my father’s shawl, same like before; it was so relaxing. But with growing age,  I couldn’t realize how and when the space inside his shawl didn’t fit me any longer and the warmth simply got detached day by day.

Thursday, 18 December 2014

My First Novel

The story starts in the late eighties, in a small picturesque town of Assam. Devastated by the floods, Bipin and his little boy Tublu move to a faraway land, where they meet the Sharma’s. This marks the beginning of a long and enduring relationship between Bipin and the Sharma’s, and the growing friendship of their children Tublu and Maina. The book captures the journey of this friendship through childhood to adolescence and into adulthood. From some interesting school and college humor, the story progresses on and develops into a mature narrative. As years pass, Tublu’s plain and silent crush on Maina develops into deep love and longing for Maina which bears the potential to conquer all of life’s challenges. The story starts in a small town in India and ends in Berlin. The book has its share of drama, that entertains; humor, that makes one reminisce; love, friendship and emotions that defines the amazing journey that is, life.

Genre: Fiction

"The Story of Tublu" coming soon to entertain you all !!

Friday, 14 November 2014

Condolence, DD Style

Life was pretty smooth during our childhood. Those were the golden days of Doordarshan(DD). Well, the world DD brings on pure nostalgia and takes me down the memory lane of those special childhood days. There were very limited source of entertainment that time. Just imagine the meaning of our life without the basic needs of internet, mobile phone and cable TV(or DTH). But people were still happy those days and the only source of entertainment they had, was DD. No doubt that some of the serials showcased by DD during the late 80's and early 90's, were really of very high quality. Some of my favorites were 'Karamchand, Dekh Bhai Dekh, Fatichar'. Now what to say about cricket? Well, the game continued to be as popular. In fact, IPL has successfully managed to exploit our sisters, mothers, saas and bahus as well, as far as love for the game is concerned. But I feel cricket is more like a side dish, these days. But during our childhood it was undoubtedly the main course for the vast majority.

One fine afternoon, I returned from school in a hurry, riding my bicycle. One day cricket match was going on between India vs West Indies. I rushed to the TV room and as I switched on the TV, I was surprised that instead of cricket, a sad tune of Shehnai was being played. A couple of men were playing the sadness with their dismal face. I calmly waited and after a few minutes, the shehnai turned into a sitar. 

'Oh! Shit, some famous personality might have passed away,' I wondered. I was actually true, a well known personality indeed died that day. I was very disappointed as I was sure that DD would telecast Shehnai/Sitar vadan for the entire day. People had to follow such condolences mainly only for the politicians. The impact was slightly tolerable if the expired politician was regional. But for national level politicians, people had to live with the Shehnai/Sitar sad tunes for almost a week. The importance of a politician was directly proportional to the number of days DD seized to telecast the regular programs.

'But why the hell DD stopped telecasting a one day cricket match? It's just a sport'

Well, cricket, particularly one day cricket was always considered as entertainment. But I remember DD always used to telecast test matches, irrespective of which politician died that day. The logic was very correct, test cricket is less entertaining and was considered more like a sport rather than entertainment.

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Street Marketing

During my initial Bangalore days, one afternoon, I was walking on a busy street. I was in my formals; went for an interview that had gone really bad. All of a sudden a decent looking man approached me. He had a pleasant smile on his face. He was holding a brochure kind of thing. The picture of a bearded man in the brochure looked familiar to me. The man talked to me for a while. He was trying to convince me on something. It seemed he was a marketing guy of the very well known "Art of Living"

'What Art are you talking about, sir? At present I’m just struggling for a living. I am jobless and trying hard to get one,' I said to him.

'Oh! You are not working', the man responded and started to ignore me. 

'Is Art of Living, only for working people?' I asked.

With a charming smile the man disappeared into the crowd.

Some years later

I, my wife Anjali and my friend Sinha were walking on a busy Kormangala street, pretty close to Sinha’s house. Suddenly a smart looking guy blocked our way and handed over a brochure to Sinha, without saying anything and disappeared. Sinha had a look at the brochure and put it in his pocket. I was quite disappointed that the guy didn’t find a potential customer in me. Might be I looked more like a jobless fellow. I was confused that the guy even ignored Anjali. Ladies are by default potential customers and on top of that Anjali was quite well-dressed, well-groomed.

'What is it about, Sinha? I asked.

Sinha replied, ‘Nothing dude. Someone or the other would always give me something like this’

‘Wow! You look very wealthy. See how the guy neglected both me and Anjali,’ I commented and now, Anjali also started pulling Sinha’s leg. 

‘That is very true, Sinha, you look very wealthy,’ said Anjali and Sinha sighed. 

‘What is this about? Are there any offers? Show me the brochure,’ I asked.

‘Nothing dude, it’s not related to you guys,’ Sinha hesitated to show the brochure.

I and Anjali tried to have some fun, ‘It’s okay Sinha. We may not be as wealthy as you, but even we can afford to buy a few small things’

It continued for a few more minutes and then Sinha passed on the brochure to us. It seemed a new fitness center recently opened in that area. The brochure had many contents, including in bold letters ‘Lose 10 kg weight in just 2 months’

Well, the incident happened a few years ago. Now, both I and Anjali turned into potential customers for the fitness centers.

Sunday, 12 October 2014

The Memorable Gangtok Trip

During our fifth semester of Engineering we had a wonderful Gangtok trip. Along with me and my roommate Nair, Bikram, Mehboob and Mustaque also went for the trip. We boarded the train early morning from Guwahati Railway station. We reached New Jalpaiguri at around 2 pm and got down there. We took cycle rickshaws to go to Siliguri, which is at a distance of 4-5 km from the Railway station. Usually the rickshaw drivers charge four to five time the normal fare from travelers. Well, we were aware of all that from some of our Gangtok friends.

'Lal batti se jauge to 100 Rs and normal rote 50 Rs,' said one of the rickshaw drivers.

'Ye lal batti kya hai?' We were confused what is lal batti?

Mustaque was an expert in all those and immediately replied with his typical laughter, 'abbe, lal batti means Red light  area'

'Aree nahi bhai, normal route se le chalo,' Nair responded and asked the driver to follow the usual shortcut.

It is 4 to 5 hours drive from Siliguri to Gangtok, and we traveled in a regular shared taxi. Pretty soon we were ascending the elevation, driving through exotic dense forest. The scenery was mesmerizing. The zig-zag terrain and the elegant view outside, was magical. The forest looked refreshing with different varieties of strange and colorful flora. On the way, we encountered some fascinating waterfalls. Everyone was looking outside the window, enjoying the beauty of Mother Nature. But Mehboob was sound asleep with his mouth wide open. I was very confused, how could anyone sleep in such wonderful and thrilling drive. 

"Mehboob, Mehboob, kya so raha hai, gandu," just look outside, the view is so scenic.

"Haan yaar, bohut sundar hai, it’s really beautiful outside," Mehboob said and again went to sleep in the next couple of minutes. 

We reached Gangtok by late evening. We called our senior friend Digvijay, who is from Gangtok. He helped us in finding a reasonable lodge for our stay. We shared some good time and then Digvijay left for home. The next day he took us for sightseeing. We visited many places, including some monasteries, zoological parks and gardens. Later we had sumptuous lunch at Digvijay’s house. The next morning we visited Tsongmo Lake, popularly known as Changu Lake. Well, Changu Lake is the most attractive place to visit in Gangtok. It is a glacial lake in the East Sikkim, some 40 km away from Gangtok at an elevation of 12400 ft. Sikkim is really very exotic. The best part is, people are very kind and friendly, there. October is one of the best seasons to visit Sikkim. These days all the major travel companies offer different kind of Travel Deals, which give heavy airfare and hotel discounts. 

I remember Mustaque had an embarrassing stomach throughout the trip. Poor guy had serious issues in filling his tummy; he found it difficult to digest the kind of food we enjoyed, there in Gangtok. Well, this is where the branded food products like KFC or McDonald's plays the vital role. They never disappoints, irrespective of any place. Also the kind of Food Deals we get in such brands, is seriously tempting. But those days such yummy brands were not available in the market. Even if they would be available, our pockets wouldn't have allowed us to relish such sumptuousness. Mustaque was quite conscious about his condition. He tried to take extra precautions to avoid any kind of embarrassment, but then it’s difficult to fight one’s angry abdomen. 

We started early morning for Changu Lake. It was 3 to 4 hours of thrilling drive through the Himalayan terrain. It was the month of October and the snowfall could have started anytime soon. The locals told us that during winter the entire region is covered under snow. On the way all the vehicles stopped at a particular place for refreshment. The cab driver told us that we could use the washroom, there. He also told us that in Changu Lake we wouldn’t get such facilities. We tried to pull Mustaque’s leg and asked him to use the washroom as many times as he wanted. We strictly advised him not to showcase any drama in the venue, later. It seemed Mustaque’s stomach was in a good mood that time and he laughed at us with some of his trademark slangs.

Changu Lake is damn exotic. It was freezing cold. It was quite fascinating to see the alluring blue lake at a height of more than 12000 ft. During winter the entire lake would be frozen with a thin sheet of ice on the top. The place was covered with beautiful rocks all around. There were many tourists trekking all over the place. We also started to trek and after reaching a certain height, it seemed Mustaque’s stomach had a mood swing. He started to express his anxiety. We tried to ignore him but Mustaque was getting restless. 

"Tabhi bola tha kar le, gandu" Our irritation was at peak and we asked him why didn’t he finish it off in the place where the jeep stopped. Mustaque was not in any condition to give explanation. Somehow he managed to convince Mehboob to bring two bottles of mineral water. Mustaque thought he would manage to find a hiding place in between the giant rocks. Mehboob had to go all the way down to bring the water bottles. Mustaque’s wait was getting impatient. His stomach could have burst any moment. Mehboob appeared in ten minutes. But, what the hell? He just came empty handed.

'What happened? Why didn’t you bring the bottles?' Mustaque asked in panic. 

'The assholes are selling 10 Rs  bottles for 20 Rs. Also, it’s already late and I thought you might have finished by now,' Mehboob tried to clarify.

'Chutiya, asshole. Just bring the bottles even if they charge 100 Rs. I will pay the money, don’t worry. Just go and bring,' Mustaque desperately yelled at Mehboob, .

Mehboob was in no mood to go all the way down again, but then he went for it. Later, we saw a satisfying smile on Mustaque's face.

"With emerging technologies, the way people do business is changing. The competition is really tough and it’s not easy for the corporate to sustain in the market. Be it retailer sector, food industry or travel companies for instance, people have many options. People look for the best possible deal for them. Well, this is the era of deals and coupons. Initially I also ignored such offers and thought it’s just a marketing gimmick. But then, it’s more than that. Let’s say, four guys want to have a pizza party. They go to a Pizza Hut, satisfy their tongue and tummy. They pay a bill of say, 1500 Rs. With a little bit of knowledge on deals, or with a little bit of google search, they could have enjoyed the same party in say, 1000 Rs. This is the power of Deals and Coupons, these days"

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

A Hectic Day

Today was something different, a little hectic though. I had to meet someone somewhere in Mysore Road, which is at a distance of twelve to fifteen km from my house; about 30 - 45 minutes drive. For people like me who are born with extremely horrible sense of remembering roads, GPS came as a blessing. I always rely on GPS if I have to drive in little unfamiliar roads. So today morning also I obediently followed the beautiful voice coming out of my mobile, directing me the way. But after an hour drive I realized that I was in a totally unexplored territory, and then guess what? My mobile battery went dead. One gentleman laughed at me and said that my destination is about 20 km from there. The man was kind enough and he explained me a shortcut route. It was a narrow road which passes through a wholesale market. Trucks were getting loaded and different types of horn were creating melody. 

Already half an hour passed and my car didn’t move even a single inch, and then a gentleman came and revealed the truth that there’s no way we could make that way. He asked us to move back and take a different route. It was another 15 to 20 minutes of fun. It was ultimate thrill to drive the car in reverse through such a narrow road as two-wheelers passed, kissing my car every now and then. The AC was full on but I was sweating like a pig. Ultimately I reached my destination at around 12:30 pm. I was there till 3 pm and then left from there. 

Actually, today I also had an appointment with Passport Authority at 4 pm. My passport got expired a few months back and I filed for a reissue. It was already 4 pm and I was still struggling to locate the passport office. I knew I was somewhere near; I parked the car somewhere, took an auto and reached the office. I had to stand in the queue for half an hour. When it was my turn, the lady in charge told me that she needed my marriage certificate as well.

"It was not mentioned in the list of required documents," I said.

"No Sir, you are married now, so we will require your marriage certificate"

Well, she gave me a different date. I came out and realized it was raining all the while. The traffic was at peak and I tried to find my car. I was in a hurry and wasn’t concerned much about the place where I parked the car. I struggled for almost half an hour, walked through muddy roads with my soaking wet shoes. Hell, where I parked my car? I started to panic a bit. I shared my misery with an auto wala. Fortunately he was a nice man and he seemed to be equally tensed like me. Finally I found my car and felt a wave of relief passed through me. The auto guy was also happy and gave me a good enough gyaan

Friday, 12 September 2014

The Transformation, Part-2

Few months ago I had written a post "Transformation", where I expressed how, where and when I started writing. How I dared to enter into the world of blogging and the kind of happiness I feel whenever I see any comment on my posts. How all the Leibster and Versatile awards inspired me to continue with my writing. I had also mentioned about my first novel. Actually, I published the post on the day when I sent my submission with the first 3 chapters to some of the publishing houses. Well, it was a long and pathetic wait thereafter. But then, a couple of months later some publishers started responding. A few days back I had signed the deal with LiFi, a well-known publishing house of fictions. Hopefully my first novel will get published in early next year and as promised, will be launched in February 2015, in the New Delhi World Book Fair.

I still find it weird to digest the fact that soon, officially I will become an author. I would like to thank all my friends, my blogger friends and all my blog readers, who always encourage and inspire me to write more

Something about my book:
The story begins in the late Eighties, in a small picturesque town of Assam. The story is about a small family, about Tublu and Maina. Right from his childhood, Tublu had special feelings for Maina. With time, his feelings for her only grow stronger. The novel depicts Tublu’s one sided love, how his silent crush turns into an obsession. The first half of the book is fun, about the intriguing adolescence and some college/hostel humors. Later, the story shifts gear and gets more and more mature. The novel is about friendship, love, struggle and hope. Well, it’s all about the amazing journey of life.

Friday, 8 August 2014

Wonderful Bangalore

During our initial days in Bangalore, we stayed in a place named R. T. Nagar. We stayed in an one bedroom house; I, Lami, Dhiru and Mukha. We continued to live our hostel kind of life, only that unlike earlier, we were a little serious about our careers this time. Initially, our landlord told us that he would only allow two guys to stay. We tried to convince him that we were three friends and wanted to stay together. Looking at our pathetic condition, he was easily convinced, but we didn’t dare disclose that we were actually four guys. The landlord asked us to give a copy of our photo ID cards and some other documents. Lami had to play the undercover part, as the landlord was aware of the other three of us. Well, our landlord had an annoying habit of giving us short surprise visits and on ever such occasions, Lami used to hide himself in the washroom. It was a tiny room but we stayed comfortably. Even though none of us had a job that time but still, life was cool. 

Born and brought up in Assam, I also lived for a year in Delhi and then moved to Bangalore. I was mesmerized with the Bangalore weather, initially. Well, it’s almost a decade now and the pleasing weather still fascinates me. R. T. Nagar was a wonderful place to live in, but we only stayed there for a couple of months. It was the month of March or April; we decided to visit some of our friends In Koramangala, a well-known place in Bangalore. It was quite far from our place and the only mode of transport we could think of that time, was bus. We had to change three buses. Also, we were a little confused in locating the house where our friends used to stay. It was a sunny day and we were sweating. Somehow we reached our destination and were delighted to meet our friends after a long time. Our friends were preparing lunch; we had a great time chatting with them. It was very hot that day and the ceiling fan was spinning at its maximum speed. We had our lunch by 4 pm and we ate to our fill.

After lunch, we continued to chat. A little later, someone already started to snore. All of a sudden the weather turned pleasant. The big windows were open and cool refreshing air was entering through them. One of our friends switched off the fan. Guys were sleeping, covering themselves with their blankets. It was 5 pm; I went to the balcony and was mesmerized to see the snowy white clouds, moving fast through the lower horizon. The cool breeze was very refreshing. I enjoyed a few moments in the balcony and then, I also tried to get some naps.

The Bangalore weather and the lovely clouds have always fascinated me. This year, the weather here is one of its best. The time when many parts of India was burning, including some Southern parts of India, Bangalore was covered under a thick blanket of clouds. After dinner, every time I go to our terrace for a stroll, I get mesmerized with the night sky. I just can’t stop admiring the magnificent clouds. Quite often the sky would be clear; the moon would be shinning bright and the white clouds would be moving through the lower horizon, and as usual, the cool breeze is simply wonderful. I tried to capture the drama recently and thought to share those.

Saturday, 2 August 2014

Friendship Day

After passing out of college, I was in Delhi with some of my hostel buddies. Our initial Delhi days were fun; we came in contact with many guys, common friends and other friend’s friends. It was around 10 pm and we were enjoying our hangout near a movie theater, smoking and enjoying eye candies. We were about to return to our house and then, few other guys arrived. I didn’t know them; they were friends of some of our hostel guys and they studied in some college in Delhi. The guys looked fashionable with one of them having a ponytail and few others looked freaky. They were very friendly and started hugging us. Well, that moment only I realized it was Friendship day. The guys were under the effect of ganja (grass) and were behaving in a rather weird manner. 

'We should celebrate Friendship Day, guys,' said someone. 

Different ideas started to pop up, and then someone came up with this one, ‘Let’s to Agra, we would reach early morning. We will see the Taj Mahal; by afternoon we will be back in Delhi’

Some guys liked the idea and few others including me, were skeptical about it. It was already drizzling and I thought it wasn't a very good idea to go to Agra that time. The guys were comparing the headcount and the number of bikes available. Few of us tried to avoid the situation and disappeared from the scene. But our good friend Tuku couldn’t escape. He was not at all interested for the adventure but he had no other choice. Jiten had a minor accident recently and he had a bandage on one of his knees. He was in his shorts that moment. The plan was to see the Taj Mahal and return to Delhi after that. I and some of my friends went back home, and the other guys were prepared for their adventurous bike ride. 

The next evening Tuku came home and looked absolutely exhausted. He was repeatedly saying the same thing, 'Shit! Why I agreed to go?'

Tuku’s wallet was totally wet. He carefully picked his soaked rupee notes and tried to dry them over the gas flame. It seemed, the guys consumed a hell lot of ganja last night. On the highway there was a police check post. 

'Where are you guys going in the middle of the night?'

'Aree, uncle ji, aaj Friendship Day hai na, to thora celebrate kar rahe hai' (Actually, we are celebrating Friendship Day)

'Friendship Day, ye Behenchod kaun sa day hai?' one of the policemen was puzzled.

One major advantage of grass over alcohol is that it’s easier to escape the police. Very soon, the drizzle turned into heavy showers. The guys were in six to seven bikes, and they were riding slowly. It was windy and they were shivering, but they continued their adventure. Just before the dawn it stopped raining and they felt a sense of relief. They were crossing a village; a couple of old ladies were warming their hands in the fire outside their house. My friends joined them and started warming themselves. Jiten realized that his bandage came out and there was blood all over his leg. The blood had actually dried out. The guys looked miserable and pathetic. Tuku told that Jiten looked like a leprosy patient that moment. One of the ladies went inside and brought blankets for the guys. My friends got embarrassed and without spending more time, they left from there. 

There were many tourists around but more than the Taj Mahal, my friends were able to grab their attention. 

'Let’s move out of here before the tourists start offering us money,' one of the guys suggested.

They were tired and wanted to book a couple of rooms in a hotel. They thought to rest for a few hours before returning to Delhi. The guys were at the hotel reception, bargaining with the manager. Guess what? No one had money to pay for the rooms. Few of the guys had ATM cards and they went out to withdraw cash. But the overnight rain had corrupted all of their cards. In fact, few of the mobile phones which some of the guys were carrying, also got damaged. My friends decided to return to Delhi, instead. But they were running out of fuel as well. The guys called their friends in Delhi and asked for help. One of their friends immediately took a bus to Agra and reached there in the next few hours. 

Sometimes I wonder, whether I was lucky not to be part of it or I missed the fun.

Saturday, 26 July 2014

One Pomeranian Puppy

Anjali was fond of doggies. Her father Mr Prasad was equally crazy for them. They lived in Shillong, a beautiful hill station located in the North eastern part of India. Shillong is at a distance of 100 km from Guwahati and situated at an altitude of 5000 feet above sea level. Guwahati is the major city and the commercial hub of the North East India. People from neighboring states have to visit the city frequently for official as well as for other unofficial purposes. One day Mr Prasad visited Guwahati for a couple of days. When he returned home he had a surprise for Anjali. He brought an extremely cute Pomeranian puppy from the city. Anjali was quite amazed and her heart filled with delight.

'Where did you get this cute little puppy?' asked Anjali.

'I bought it from a pet shop in the city; I paid 4000 rupees for it,' her father replied.

'Wow!  So nice. It will be so much fun to play with the doggy,' both Anjali and her mother expressed with delighted.

'But please don’t tell others that I’ve purchased this puppy from a pet shot. Better tell them that one of my friends in the city had given me this,' Mr Prasad suggested.

'But why we have to tell a lie?' Anjali and her mother asked, confused.

'You don’t know the neighbors; they are very complicated people and I don’t know what they would feel about us if they come to know we have purchased a puppy,' replied Mr Prasad.

Even though the ladies found it a little weird but they were aware of their neighbors. Anjali and her mother knew that their neighbors looked for opportunities to speculate on every minor things. So they also felt it would be wiser to tell others that one of their family friends in the city had given the puppy to them. 

As usual, one of the neighbor families visited them in the evening. Mr Prasad was not at home that moment. 

‘Wow! Such a cute puppy! Where did you get this from?’ asked the neighbors

Anjali and her mother eyed each other for a while and then they simultaneously replied, 'Actually, one of papa’s friends in the city gave him this. They already have two-three puppies and since father is very fond of dogs so they gifted him the puppy'

Everyone was having a wonderful time, slurping their tea and biting the hot and yummy onion pakodas. Suddenly Mr Prasad popped in and joined the party.

‘Wow! Mr Prasad, you have got such a cute puppy,’ expressed one of the neighbors.

Mr Prasad's face brightened up with pride and he had a big smile on his face. 

‘Yeah, it’s one of the cutest breeds; it is called Pomeranian. I visited four to five per shops yesterday in Guwahati and finally got this one. It’s very costly and I paid Rs 4000 for this puppy,’ uttered Mr Prasad.

There was an awkward silence in the room and everybody started staring each other. Mr Prasad realized his blunder but the damage was already done.

Saturday, 19 July 2014

One Creepy Journey

Vacation was over and it was time for Shilpa to return to her hostel. Her college lectures were supposed to start from the next day.  It was 9 pm; Shilpa’s parents went to drop her to the Bus terminal. Shilpa smiled at the elderly lady who was sitting next to her seat. She placed her luggage in the overhead bins and sat comfortably. It was a non AC bus. Well, those days, AC buses were not that common. Shilpa was happy to get the window seat as it was always her preference. She slid the window glass slightly and the sudden blast of cool air embraced her face at once. She was refreshed and looked outside the window. It was an over-night journey and Shilpa would reach the city by 6 am.

It was summer and she was in her casual jeans and t-shirt. Shilpa was enjoying the cool breeze, lost in her thoughts, trying to get some sleep. Suddenly, she sensed something unusual. She felt someone embarrassing her waist smoothly. Shilpa was very nervous and didn’t know what to do. She tried to catch hold of the unknown hand but it departed instantly.  After a few minutes Shilpa again felt someone fondling her waist. She remained still for a while, but it was getting embarrassing. She again tried to hold the hand tightly, but it escaped in no time. The lights were off and it was dark inside the bus. The lady sitting beside her was sleeping deeply. Shilpa knew it was someone from behind but she didn’t want to create any scene. She continued to bear the embarrassment for the next couple of hours and then, the bus stopped at a place for tea/snacks. The bus illuminated as the lights were switched on. People were slowly getting off the bus one by one. Shilpa stood up and looked behind. She saw two men sitting there. One of them seemed to be in his thirties and another one looked a little older. Shilpa was confused. She wasn’t sure who the culprit was.

Shilpa also went down and had tea in a tea stall. It was middle of the night. Shilpa noticed a small shop where people were buying cigarettes. She bought a chocolate for herself from there.

'Do you sell blades, brother?' Shilpa asked the shopkeeper guy.

'Yes, I’ve blades but we are not supposed to sell any sharp things during night time,' the guy replied. It took some effort but Shilpa was able to convince him and bought a packet of blade, for which she paid double the price. 

As expected, once again Shilpa felt the unknown hand embarrassing her waist. She was holding the sharp blade in his hand, still confused whether to go for the assault or not. Meanwhile, the mysterious hand grew in confidence and it was slowly moving upwards towards her breasts. Shilpa held the hand tightly with all her energy and attacked it with the sharp blade. 

“Ouch, ouch…” Shilpa was expecting sharp screaming but all she could hear was some mild and uncomfortable sounds from behind. She couldn’t hold the sick hand for long. Shilpa’s hand became wet and she could smell raw blood, but it wasn’t hers. She was prepared for another assault but the evil hand never bothered her anymore. Everything happened silently and except Shilpa and the mysterious man, no other passengers were aware of the incident.

PS: This is a true story that happened many years ago, one night, in the highways of Assam.

Friday, 11 July 2014

Love, That Shit!

"Like a roller-coaster, relationships have their nauseating ups, downs, twists and turns… Sure, like a rollercoaster, relationships are also fun and exciting but what happens when the ride isn't as smooth as you thought it would be? What do you do when you want to get off the ride but disengaging the safety harness is a lot harder than you thought? Or simply, what if you’re finding it difficult to get on a ride in the first place, especially when there isn't a height restriction?
…Unfortunately, relationships don’t come with perforated edges and Love, That Shit! (LTS) hopes to help you through the process of getting into, dealing with and even the aftermath of relationships. What sets LTS apart is its contemporary approach, aimed at enlightening while simultaneously, entertaining.
Challenging norms and common thinking at times, LTS hopes to keep you chuckling, or at least smiling, as you embark on the journey and absorb its message"

I'm not a big fan of non-fiction books, particularly self-help kind of books. A self-help book on love, relationships and marriage is definitely not my cup of tea, but there’s something in the title that had grabbed my attention. I was sure that it would be an interesting read and I wasn’t wrong. The author had written the book with some good humor. He mentioned that there’s not much of a difference between online dating sites and arranged marriage. The main variance between them is that parents are the portals and they simply use more traditional means. The author described about many faces of Mother in laws (MIL). We have the L’Oreal MILs, who refuse to go silently into the night and continue to cling on to their youth. There are Status MILs. This breed of women is all about designer wear and making sure everyone knows about it. Some other categories are Yummy Mummy, Kitty Party, Owl MILs, Nosey, Google MILs, Hari-Om MILs. 

This book is all about different phases of relationship. Even though I enjoyed the book a lot, but I'm not sure how much knowledge I have gained. I think every relationship is unique and it's not easy to generalize the problems. Also, I felt that the author didn't give convincing solutions to the relationship issues. He suggested that it's always better to walk away from a relationship if it's not working and find a new one. Well, Chandru the author lived most of his life in abroad. Born in Africa, he was raised between Nigeria, India and the UK. After graduating with Masters in International Business and Management, he moved to New York where he worked for three years as a Business Development Manager. In 2002, Chandru returned to Nigeria where he currently resides and runs a trading company.
Title: Love, That Shit
Author: Chandru Bhojwani
Publisher: Om Books International
Genre: Non Fiction / Self help

Friday, 27 June 2014

Not An Ordinary Love Letter

Rakesh and Rumi were in their eighth grade. Adolescence is an interesting phase of life. Guys get to learn many new things and girls start getting undue attention, particularly from the senior guys. Well, some smart girls also make their first boyfriend. Rakesh had a crush on Rumi. He had even expressed his love to her many times, but Rumi was not interested; neither in Rakesh nor in any other guy. She was matured enough to think beyond love and wanted to concentrate more on her studies. Gradually Rakesh was getting obsessed with Rumi. He wanted to win her heart at any cost, but he didn’t know how? Some of his friends had tried to help him. His friends played the mediator role and exchanged messages between them. But Rumi was not at all interested. Rakesh was getting crazy and his condition was becoming miserable day by day. Rumi’s thoughts and images kept occupying his mind. Then one day, out of the blue Rakesh had an idea. He thought to write a love letter to Rumi. Well, not an ordinary one, but love word written with letters of dripping blood, his own blood.

It was middle of the night and Rakesh was pretending to sleep. His parents were already asleep in the next room. Rakesh calmly got down from his bed and started to walk towards his study table. He switched on his table lamp and then opened his geometry box. He picked the compass and stared at its extremely sharp edge. Rakesh wanted to pierce his skin to get some blood. He had also placed a small container on the table to collect his vital fluids. He was a little confused with which part of his body he would pierce. Lost in his thoughts, he was very anxious and also very scared. He was sunk in an ocean of emotions. Even though Rakesh was distracted by the annoying mosquito sounds and their bites, but those tiny irritating creatures couldn't take away the feelings he had that moment. Rakesh tried to be calm as he feared his parents might wake up. It was a long night for him, but he was successful in his mission. He managed to express his heart in a couple of lines, written entirely in blood.

The next day one of his mediators passed on the note to Rumi. The guy had conveyed to her that Rakesh had written it with his blood. Rumi read those beautiful words. She took the letter close to her nose and inhaled a cloud of air making a loud sniffing sound. She could smell blood and became very emotional. She looked at Rakesh and their eyes met. Rumi didn’t know what to do and she was on the verge of crying. Rumi hadn't spoken to Rakesh for the last few months and now she wanted to talk to him. She became very emotional for Rakesh, but she was still hesitant to talk to him directly. During lunch break she talked to Rakesh's best friend Santosh. Rumi said to him that she was very disturbed.

'Why Rakesh had to do this? I’m feeling so guilty. I was always rude to him. He loves me so much, he had cut his finger to write to me,' said Rumi and tears streamed down her cheeks.

On seeing her condition Santosh felt very bad and he said, 'Rumi, I have to tell you something. Actually,  last night Rakesh had seriously thought to pierce his finger and take out sufficient amount of blood to write a long letter to you. But he was scared to hell. He tried his best, but couldn’t dare to pierce his skin. He then came up with an idea. During these monsoon days, Rakesh's room is usually a shelter for mosquitoes and they use to suck his blood all the time. Last night he had killed about fifteen to twenty mosquitoes with his hands; all of them were healthy, loaded with fresh human blood. Rakesh somehow managed to write a couple of lines using those mosquitoes blood'

PS: This is a true story, but the names of the characters have been changed.

Saturday, 21 June 2014


'A prostitute turned entrepreneur, who hires a ghost writer to make a biography. 

A murder that she was accused for and her vision to legalize prostitution completely in India.

A parallel conspiracy that threatens her life and her vision.

A forgotten tale of mermaid, that must be told.

Time is ticking and history would be altered. What would be the fate of Nazaqat?

Will she succeed in her vision or she would end up as a victim?'

Naazani Singh Shekhawat is a girl from Dehradun. She had a lonely childhood, her mother died while delivering her and her father was a general in Indian army, who would be either on duty or boozing with his friends. Her father had always lived a disciplined life; too strict on the people around and on himself. Naazani had always lived a life of desolation; motherless girl, an insensitive father and a limited number of friends in her all-girl-convent school. Life was quite boring for her after she returned home from her convent school. She confined herself within their old fashioned luxurious house in the valley of Dehradun.

But life was entirely different for Naazani after she moved to Delhi for her higher education, particularly after her encounter with Sharat. Sharat was an opportunist guy who had smelled business the moment he met her. Well, Naazani was an epitome of beauty and with every passing day she was becoming more and more exotic. She had the seductive killer eyes and guys were just crazy for her. Somehow under Sharat’s influence Naazani entered into the world of prostitution, that too wholeheartedly. She was happy and loved her profession. She enjoyed experiencing new guys and found it very interesting. Naazani used the name Nazaqat and she became famous with this name in her darker world. She was living a dual life, one that of Naazani and another of Nazaqat. Naazani was humble and a very sensitive girl, while Nazaqat was opportunist, selfish and egoistic.

Several years later, Naazani is quite older now. Nazaqat in her, had already died. Naazani had filed a petition to completely legalize prostitution in India. This has made her a celebrity and she is constantly in media headlines these days. And very recently she has been accused of murdering her close friend Biplab. Is it a conspiracy? Well, the climax of the story is very interesting and I was really thrilled.

I enjoyed reading the book; it’s a crime thriller. But throughout the story I couldn’t understand the character Nazaqat. Neither she was money hungry nor the author has portrayed her as a hardcore nymphomaniac. I completely failed to understand why she continued to be a prostitute. I could only make out that Nazaqat loved to meet new people, talk to them and sometimes also enjoyed seducing them. But God has designed human beings in such a way that women need not indulge in prostitution to experience such things. 

The author Harsh Agarwal is a young writer who made his debut in publishing industry at an early age of 19. He is an Engineering graduate, but nowadays he’s into full time writing business. Apart from writing he also runs an organization ‘The Asylum’, which aims to help aspiring authors. Due to some reason Harsh had written Nazaqat with a pseudo name of Sasha H Singhal. After reading the book I asked him why he had published it with a pseudo name, ‘were you afraid of your parents?’ Well, Harsh simply burst into laughter and replied, 'no, that was not the reason'

Title: Nazaqat
Author: Sasha H Singhal
Publisher: Half Baked Beans
Genre: Fiction (Thriller)

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Delhi Summer

After passing out of college some of my good hostel friends went to Delhi to start their career. The market was badly hit by recession those days. Well, I didn’t know much about recession and all; the only thing I knew was that none of the companies were hiring freshers. After staying at home for a couple of months I was absolutely bored. I felt a sense of anxiety at the reality of my situation. I didn’t have any clue what to do in life and simply decided to go to Delhi to my friends. It was the month of March, so we didn’t encounter the lethal winter. Even though none of us had a job, but life in Delhi was cool.  I smelled freedom yet again, as if I was out of my cage and could fly like a free bird. 

The weather in Delhi was pleasant initially, particularly in the evening; the moderately chilly breeze felt sumptuous. We stayed at a place named ‘East of Kailash’. The place was considered to be a posh area, but we lived in a ‘Dhobi’ washerman’s colony. For the first time I witnessed a modern ‘dhobi ghat’ where they washed cloths in some giant washing machines. One day, my good friend Javed came to meet us. He was staying in Delhi for the last few months and was familiar with the surroundings. He lived in Lajpat Nagar and it was not very far from our place. In the evening he took us for a walk to show his locality. We visited Lajpat Nagar market. There was a person who was selling soup in his thela. There was a huge queue and I wondered if the man was distributing soup for free. Javed said that his soup was very famous and his business was at boom in the winter. My friends wanted to taste it, but I was not very interested. Well, I was more into solid food and some hard core liquids. I considered soup kind of stuff as luxury and a waste of money. But I was quite fascinated with the price of the soup, there. There were a few varieties and the usual chicken soup was priced at Rs 10. I thought it was worth a try.

'For Rs 10, even if I get the smell of chicken that would be more than enough,' I wondered.

Without much expectation I also lined up in the queue. When I got my bowl of soup, Oh dear! I was mesmerized with the aroma. It was so refreshing and also there was adequate amount of solid chicken in my bowl. It was delicious and that was one of the best soup I ever had.

A few days later, one chilly evening, I had a craving for that soup. I asked my friends, but nobody was interested to go that far. So I went alone, had my soup and returned. On my way back home, I was lost. I knew I was somewhere near ‘East of Kailash’, but I was utterly confused.
I asked one middle aged and a decent looking man, 'Uncle Ji, ye, East of Kailash kidhaar hai?'(Could you please tell me where is East of Kailash?)

'Aree Behenchod, East of Kailash pe khade hoke poochta hai ki East of Kailash kidhaar hai'

The man replied sharply and in a rather weird manner, with the F-word.  He tried to convey me that I was already in East of Kailash. I was totally stunned with his behavior; not that I wasn’t used to such  holy words, in fact I preached those with my friends. But I never expected that from an elderly stranger and I was a little disappointed. The man then asked me where exactly I had to go in East of Kailash and guided me properly. Within a few days I understood that entire Delhi was just like a hostel where people love to greet others with one F-word or another, just to add a little more intimacy, a little more love and a little more gravity to their greetings. 

Time passed by and soon we started to feel the Delhi heat. I noticed the Delhi men got busy with their coolers in their balconies. Summer had arrived. We were aware of Delhi summer, but experiencing it for the first time was a different matter altogether. Initially it was hot, then it became unpleasantly hot and then the heat turned brutal and unbearable. Delhi summer had really frightened me. Neither I nor any of my friends had a job that time. Forget about Air Conditioner, we didn’t even have one of those local made coolers. After lunch we usually passed time in a nearby cyber cafe. Using internet was secondary for us and our primary intention was to enjoy the AC there. The cafe guy had already increased the price by Rs 5 per hour. So instead of two, three of us started to occupy the same computer. During the day I gulped enough quantity of the street lemonade. I was quite fascinated with the special looking bottles sealed with a marble stuck inside them. Those were served chilled with fresh lime juice and the special Masala. The street lemonades were like saviors and they cooled us off for a while.

Our life was a little normal after dark. That was the time when I experienced how it feels to treat 10 pm as evening rather than night. But I remember that some nights were equally brutal as the days. Those nights I used to have shower multiple times, after every hour. Immediately after shower I used to stand under the fan. It felt really good, kind of cooler effect. But the water droplets on my body would disappear within a minute and soon the heat started to strike all over again. Our room had turned into a heater and the walls were radiating heat all around. I felt I was in hell. On a few occasions I had thrown a bucket of water at my cotton mattress. It worked for a few minutes and then I felt as if I was sleeping in a big pot of boiling water. Well, I had many sleepless nights that summer. I remember there was a sugarcane juice stall near to our colony. The guy used to come early in the morning to start his business and a few times, I was his first customer for the day. Unable to get any sleep for the entire night I went to that juice stall. I found the guy was not ready yet, he was still busy settling his stuff. Once he was ready, I gulped four to five glasses of icy chilled sugarcane juice and returned to my room. The juice inside my body somehow managed to resist the heat outside and finally I was able to get some sleep.

These days, a serious power crisis is going on in Delhi. I can’t imagine how the people are surviving without power, there. On top of that, the summer is ruthless this time; I’ve heard that sometimes the mercury rises beyond 48 degree Celsius.

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Tin Fish

During our college days, the hostel was more than a home for us and we were pretty much addicted to the place. I loved to remain in the hostel, doing nothing. Life was so cool, the place created happiness and serenity. Now what to say about our hostel food? I think it’s more or less the same story everywhere. But no matter how the food was, everyone used to eat gracefully. Every year our hostel warden kept changing and they all preferred to visit only in freshers and farewell nights. Also, they usually showed up when most of the guys were in their normal state of mind, before the party got wild. Many of the hostelers were confused to see a stranger in the hostel premises and after knowing he was our Super Sir, the guys simply disappeared. Everything related to our hostel including our canteen, was managed by us, the hostelers. Every month the guys used to choose a new mess secretory and the entire responsibility of the mess was with him. The best thing about our hostel mess was that it was more like a home. Many were not satisfied with the regular food and desired for something extra.  The canteen guys were aware of such demands and they always used to keep boiled potatoes, raw onions and green chilies. Such luxuries were usually limited to the seniors. I remember a few such seniors who always used to yell at the canteen guys, 'bring boiled potato, fast', 'fry the boiled potato with onion and green chilies, and get it fast'

Boiled potatoes were in great demand and it lasted only for a limited time. Whosoever wanted to worship boiled potato, had to eat early. After the boiled potatoes were finished, guys used to ask for fried green chilies and onions. When the onions also got over, the chilies became highly demanding. My good friend Bhushan liked the 'Onion-Chili' fry to such an extent that when he was our mess secretary he introduced the recipe as part of the main course. Well, it took many of us by surprise when we had to finish our meal with dal and onion-chili fry. Apart from those yummy extra eateries, we also had the luxury to prepare some customized special food like chicken, egg amongst others. Sometimes a group of guys used to contribute money for their special meal. Usually one of the hostel cooks prepared the delicious cuisine, but some of the guys had a chef in them and they participated enthusiastically. Such exclusive meals were usually relished a little early or a little late from the usual mess timing, just to avoid the public assault on the food. 

Gradually I also became habituated to such exclusive meals. That was the time when I tasted Tin Fish for the first time. Some of the shops near to the college used to keep Tin Fish and it was quite popular among many of the hostelers. Tin fish preparation is very simple and takes only a few minutes. It’s utterly yummy and I became its fan in my first encounter itself. I remember, those days one tinned fish cost 50 rupees and usually we used to contribute 10 rupees per head in a group of five to enjoy our splendid meal. Those days some of us were regular Tin fish eaters and we had become addicted to it. We usually used to prepare it with boiled potatoes. Years later, nowadays also I prefer to keep Tin Fish in our refrigerator. My wife also loves it a lot. Sometimes when we are tired or there’s nothing to prepare, we usually end up making Tin Fish. The recipe is very simple and can be prepared in ten to fifteen minutes.

1. Heat cooking oil in a pan in low flame.

2. Meanwhile chop an onion and some green chilies, add them and saute till golden brown

3. Quickly chop one or two tomatoes, add them and mix properly

4. Add turmeric powder and salt, stir for a while. I usually add boiled potato or green papaya or pumpkin in it. In case of papaya and pumpkin, the recipe will take a little longer. But last time I prepared Tin Fish with only tomatoes.

5. Stir it for four to five minutes till the tomatoes get fried properly

6. Add the tuna fish along with 1/2 cup of water and cook covered for a few minutes.

7. Add freshly prepared ginger-garlic paste and mix it thoroughly

8. After a few minutes add freshly chopped coriander leaves

That’s it and done. You will get aroused with the tempting aroma and once you grab a bite, I bet the prepared Tin Fish won’t last for long.

Friday, 23 May 2014

Morning School Assembly

After my 10th grade, I always tried my best to avoid the school assembly in the morning. But every time it wasn’t possible though, and sometimes I was present there physically. It was so boring. I could never understand the Morning Prayer, neither I could memorize it. Our Morning Prayer was so damn complicated, but I always managed to sustain the illusion that I was praying. Then, somebody had to read the news as well. On top of all these, I remember one time our Principal Sir introduced something new in the morning assembly. He randomly called a student on stage, particularly from the senior grades and asked to reveal publicly what he/she had prayed to God. Being a true atheist, I was always tensed that by mistake our Principal Sir shouldn’t call me on stage. Fortunately I was never a victim of that. Every day, someone or the other, more or less used to say the same thing like, 'I prayed to God that I come first in class', 'I prayed to God, I asked him to give me admission in an IIT', 'I prayed that God makes me the best doctor’ Bla Bla Bla. It was so boring. 

One morning, Sir called someone on stage. I was waiting to hear the same old craps. But then, she said, 'I prayed to God to give me strength, so that I can work hard and fulfill my dreams' I was kind of stunned and wondered, 'what the hell was that?' I repeated those words several times in my mind. Well, sometimes some words get stored in our memory forever!!

Friday, 16 May 2014

Ginger Tea

After passing out of college I was staying with a few of my hostel mates in Delhi. Most of us learned to cook during that time. Well, we didn’t have any other option, but to cook our own food. In the morning we usually used to have black tea with lemon. Within a few days things had turned a little messy as people were only interested in eating, rather than preparing food or washing the utensils. So we tried to distribute the work among us. But dividing the work was also very tricky, as everybody had their own preferences. Ultimately we decided to follow a different rule. Instead of distributing the work we divided the week among us. Let’s say, Monday-Tuesday it was my and one of my friends turn to take care of everything, from breakfast to dinner and from cleaning the utensils to taking care of the garbage. 

One morning, I was preparing tea. Not finding any lemon in the kitchen, I mashed a small piece of ginger and had put it in the boiling tea. It tasted really good and even my friends liked it. My good friend Tutul was very impressed and asked me how I prepared the tea. A couple of days later, it was Tutul's turn to prepare food that day. As usual, we woke up late and everyone craved for a cup of tea. As I sipped the hot tea, it tasted bizarre and terribly unpleasant. Another friend yelled at Tutul, 'what the hell had you mixed in the tea?' Poor guy Tutul, actually he wanted to make the tea a little more tastier and he had put ginger-garlic paste in it.

Saturday, 10 May 2014

Mr Beans

Last weekend we visited Mr Beans - The Coffee Lounge for the first time. Initially I thought the place would be similar to a CCD, but found it different both in terms of ambiance, as well as food and beverages. As we reached the place we saw a few people having their coffee while enjoying their cigarette drags. I was delighted that Mr Beans got a smoking zone outside. People, who are interested in a little bit of nicotine along with the caffeine, can take a table there. The atmosphere outside was pleasant with the cool breeze, blowing. But we thought to sit inside and entered through the main door. 

As soon as we entered in, we felt the rich aroma of various coffee flavors. The ambiance inside was pretty relaxing. Light music was being played and people were talking in groups, sitting on black leather couches. There’s enough space inside and there are different sections. We saw a group of colleagues enjoying their team outing in a separate room. It seemed Mr Beans had made some special arrangements for them. We noticed a few young couples, enjoying their date, talking and frequently embracing each other’s arms. We saw a group of friends having a wonderful time together. The place is Wi-Fi enabled; a pretty lady was sitting alone, busy with her lappy grabbed my attention. The design and ambiance of the cafe are such that it would make everybody feel comfortable and rejuvenated. Mr Beans is a perfect place for a business meet, a date, a hang-out with family and friends.

Established in 2001 in Indore, Mr. Beans now operates also in Jaipur and Bangalore. Mr. Beans has won the Times Food Award for THE BEST COFFEE BAR for two years consecutively (2013- 2012, 2012-2011). In Bangalore it is located at Kormangla 3rd block, next to Karnataka Bank ATM. Well, after a satisfying ambiance, now my tongue got hyperactive. I thought it’s a coffee lounge and didn’t expect much in their food menu. But it took me by surprise when I noticed a wide variety of yummy stuff, not only in their beverages, but also in their food menu. Mr. Beans has an extensive coffee menu ranging from signature hot and cold beverages. Apart from coffee there are many tea drinks as well, and non-tea, non-coffee people need not worry as they also have milkshakes, fizz drinks, smoothies and lemonades. 

I was having a thirst for something cooling and refreshing, so immediately I asked for an ice tea. My wife was smarter enough and she asked the guy about the most special drink of Mr Beans. A little later, he brought her a Brownie Millionaire. Their menu says it’s the king of all shakes served with brownie. I wasn’t very impressed with its fancy name and I was happy with my ice tea. My wife asked me to have a sip of Brownie Millionaire. As I had the first sip, it was impossible for me to stop there and I kept sipping till I realized the glass was already half empty. It was icy-chilled and the flavor of brownie was so refreshing. That was one of the most refreshing drinks I ever had. 

In the nearby room some people were enjoying Foosball. Our little Jia was getting restless, so I took her there. She was so interested and never wanted to return from that room. 

After quenching my thirst, now I felt about my stomach. Mr Beans got a diverse range of goodies to serve, right from tit-bits to whole-some-meal, from sandwiches to pizzas, from pastas to salads and yes, also some mouth-watering desserts. To view their full menu click here. We enjoyed some thin crust Italian pizzas. Well, those were much yummier that the pizzas we order sometimes from the well-known brands. 

We had a wonderful evening at the coffee lounge and stayed there for a couple of hours. Mr Beans is a cool hang-out place and definitely worth a visit.

Monday, 21 April 2014

The Slimming Package

Few years ago, my wife Anjali worked with a Health Care organization, which was mainly into beauty and slimming. The company was also into the business of manufacturing, marketing and export of products/services that constitute skin care, body care, hair care, dental care and many more. It had its wings spread across India. In Bangalore the company had 6 to 8 divisions and Anjali worked as a center head in one of them. She was not directly involved in sales and marketing, but had to manage the smooth functioning of the center. The company had many innovative slimming products and packages, some claimed to reduce 20 kg of weight in just three months, with their unique and effective herbal body massage. 

The ladies at the reception were very good-looking and were utterly smart. Clients were really pleased with their smooth and confident talking. One of the girls loved to communicate  more with her eyes and most of the male clients couldn’t stand her piercing glance for long. She talked with a typical Delhi accent and could easily convince the clients for taking one product or the other. Sometimes a few of the clients were not very satisfied with the service. Instead of 20 kg, they could hardly reduce 2 kg of their weight, after paying a hefty amount and after completing the course. On a few occasions, some clients even shouted at the employees, asking them to return their money. But the pretty ladies easily handled such situations. Some clients were so annoyed that they even made police complaints, but the terms and conditions to reduce weights were very tricky. 

One day a decent looking middle aged man entered the front door. He looked to be in his early fifties and was slightly overweight. The enchanting ladies at the reception greeted him and immediately his face lit up with a bright smile, and his heart filled with happiness. The man was quite soft-spoken and the ladies started to explain him about the various slimming packages. He seemed to be more interested in body massage. The girls were able to convince him for an alluring package. It was a three month’s package which included weekly two times full body massage, along with some exercises. The man looked very happy and he didn’t mind one of the ladies swapping his credit card for a transaction of Rs 50,000. The smart girls could read his mind and they were pretty sure that the man actually wasn't much bothered about reducing his weight, but he wanted to explore some of his hidden desires.

One of the girls escorted him to a room. It was a small room and the man was mesmerized with the fragrance inside. It was quite an ecstatic moment for him. He was expecting one of the enticing ladies from the reception would come and massage him. Various seductive thoughts started to flow through his head and his wait was getting impatient. Suddenly a good-looking guy entered the room. He picked a big towel that lay nearby and passed it on to him. He asked the man to get undressed and cover himself with the towel. The man was in a terrible state of shock. Totally clueless, he did exactly what the guy had asked him to do. The guy started his therapy and the man tried to relax with his heavy heart. 

‘Are you the one who’s going to massage my body for the next three months?’ the man gently asked.

The guy replied, ‘there are a few more therapists and I might not massage you every time’

 ‘Are there lady therapists as well?’ the man asked.

‘Yes, there are, but I’m afraid cross-gender massage is not done here’

The man was very disappointed and felt being cheated. Later after his therapy, he went to have a talk with the beautiful ladies at the reception. The girls already felt the sadness and dissatisfaction on his face. They were a little worried and felt the man might no longer interested in the slimming package he had already paid for. They tried to play it safe and didn’t give him enough opportunity to talk. 

‘Actually, I don’t think the package would be much of a help to me,’ the man said with utter shyness. 

‘No sir, it’s a very good one and it will definitely help you in reducing your weight’ ‘Hum log to aapke beti jaisi hai, aapse kyun jhooth bolenge?’ ‘We girls are just like you daughters and why we should lie to you?’

The poor man went speechless and the embarrassment showed on his face. After a while he simply walked away from there. He continued with his therapy and kept visiting the center. But every time he visited, he looked awkward and absolutely unsatisfied.  

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