Friday, September 26, 2014

A Puzzle Solved, Almost!


Team Tandem Tensome

Read the previous part here: A Place of Mirage by Aditi Pathak


Round 2: Chapter 20: A Puzzle Solved, Almost!


The pieces were starting to fit, Jennifer saw him take Roohi into his mansion. It was weird. He had brought her out saying he would go to the stores. There was no ice cream anywhere. She carefully walked behind him avoiding his sight while he kept looking over his shoulder. Jennifer saw those eyes, full of pernicious intent. This was not the man at Shekhar’s house.

A chill ran down her spine, if there was something she could do, it was ‘RIGHT NOW’ she reassured herself.
She took out her cell phone and made a call.

‘Jennifer Calling’ read Shekhar’s phone. Troubles they say come together; the phone was not with Shekhar. He sat flipping channels on the television with Cyrus in the living room.
Tara heard the phone ringing and her eyes fell on the name, this new photographer had reached their bedroom. This was it. As she continued to fret over the situation a message beeped:

“ROOHI IN TROUBLE”


Tara dropped the phone and ran to the living room.


***


Jennifer jumped up the fence of the garden at the backyard of Mr. Ahuja’s mansion with her camera on. Fluff was at the front gate. She had to avoid the barking, the slightest noise and she would be bringing more harm than help. She wanted to catch this man red handed. All she could think now was to save Roohi and get proof.

She called Cyrus. He picked up.

“Hello listen, get Shekhar and Tara to Mr. Ahuja’s, CALL THE POLICE, we need HELP!” said Jennifer before Cyrus could ask or say anything. Cyrus did as instructed.

She climbed up the pipe and reached the balcony, the door was open. She could see a huge room, toys and toys and toys everywhere.

Strange!” Is this some Wonder Land?”

“What is this bloody freak up to? Or am I thinking too much?” she thought.

Seeing Mr.Ahuja enter the room she hid behind the balcony window, Roohi ran inside like any kid would. The toys delighted her. The train, the towers, the lights, the dolls, the teddy bears….

“Pick anything you want Roohi, everything is for you my darling!” said Mr. Ahuja.

“That’s nice of him!” thought Jennifer hearing him from behind the curtains. She did not want to get caught now, it would be a definite embarrassment, following him for a stupid doubt that too, trust was something which never came easy to her.

Roohi was about to run to a huge teddy when…

Mr.Ahuja stopped the little girl and held her arms with his entire grip saying “But you gotta do one thing for me princess, only then!”.

"Uncle...you are hurting me...let me go...please" Roohi started crying and pleading.

He did not. Jennifer who was silently clicking pictures until then was aghast.

“O’ My…O’ My GOD!!!” she screamed and ran into the room seeing Mr.Ahuja put his hand on Roohi’s frock.

His face tightened ”What the hell are you doing here?” he yelled.

Jennifer got his hand off Roohi and hugged her, “Get off you B******” she said and kicked him hard. He was knocked down by her blow, she was a tough girl indeed.

“So this is why you got her here, you S** OF A B**** shall go to hell!”

As Jennifer said and started throwing anything she could get her hand on at him, Mr.Ahuja got up and dashed around. Roohi started crying looking at the brawl and hid behind Jennifer holding her tight. Jennifer’s hand was bleeding again but she did not give up, her only priority was to keep Roohi away from the brute.

The police barged in, they could hear the commotion upstairs in the forsaken mansion. Shekhar rushed in, so did Tara, and Cyrus too. The atmosphere was lunatic. Mr.Ahuja was tied down.

Jennifer shrieked telling everyone about the heinous act the man was about to commit, hearing which Shekhar punched him on his face and said “You bloody…dare you get near my daughter!”

“How could he let it happen!?!” he thought and cried.

“Roohi…Roohi” he called, his eyes frantically searching for her.

The police handcuffed Mr.Ahuja and took him away. Roohi ran and jumped into Shekhar’s arms. 

“Papa!” she said hugging him tight and did not let go of him until they reached home.

It was apparent for Cyrus that Jennifer was a brave girl, and what she did today was not beyond any surprise for him, for a moment he was proud he knew her. “Do you feel better now?” he asked looking at her wound, trying to wrap it up again with his handkerchief to control all those bleeders.

“Yes! I do…” Jennifer replied hearing which Shekhar knew he could not thank her enough for saving his only daughter, and his life. He held and pecked Jennifer on her forehead.

Tara felt she was deep down sinking in her vacuum, Roohi did not look at her even once… nobody did…was there anything she could do now or was it too late?

 ”Sweetheart the things you get into I tell you!” Cyrus took Jennifer’s arms and remarked as they slowly walked back, mentally making a note:

”Time to do something before it’s late, this gutsy girl 'WILL' know who’s who, Cyrus a.k.a.‘Nikhil Rathod’ the BLOGGER”


"For the good...to survive...there is too much evil around..."

PS: “Me and my team are participating in ‘Game Of Blogs’ at BlogAdda.com. #CelebrateBlogging with us.”



Friday, September 12, 2014

Paths Crossed, A Journey Begun

Team Tandem Tensome


“I don't think that anything happens by coincidence. No one is here by accident. Everyone who crosses our path has a message for us. Otherwise they would have taken another path, or left earlier or later. The fact that these people are here means that they are here for some reason” 

-James Redfield, The Celestine Prophecy: A Pocket Guide to the Nine Insights-

CHAPTER 1: Paths Crossed, A Journey Begun


“Too much to do, too less time!” Jennifer sighed as she stood on the platform fumbling with a dozen of those funky bracelets she was wearing. There were all signs of travel at the station until a loud announcement like always in a railway manner happened. Her train was to arrive an hour late. She looked this way and that wondering what to do now. Porters and vendors were moving around, folks and friends had gathered like a school of fish except for the fact that they were not hers. ”Travelling anywhere and anytime must be an event of some life changing significance!” she thought looking at them amusingly.
Kochi had given Jennifer everything that she had wanted, well almost, but she was a girl with a futuristic perspective, leaving her home town for a couple of months at this point of life was not really a big decision for her. It was a pleasure, and an experiment. She knew she had one life, and her one camera to make it worth living. Clicking and working on pictures for her was more than a mere impulse, now at this place with an hour at hand and with a horde of interesting subjects around, she could not have asked for more.
 Click! Click!”
A click here, a click there, nothing stopped her. She adjusted her camera strap and turned to the screen for a moment to look at her shots. She deleted some bad ones and prided herself for some nice captures for the day, particularly the one with the man on the bench in the corner had come out well. And before she could start again she heard a voice from that direction.
“What the…?”
The same man…fair, bald and French bearded adjusting his thin spectacles gave her a little puzzled look and said. For a moment she wanted to apologize, she must have made him feel uncomfortable she thought, but there was something weirdly gentle about his voice. She stared at him and smiled. He smiled too.
“Hello Ma’ m, are you one of those with a DSLR, can I have a look at my pictures, I doubt if they are any good!” he remarked with a quaint formality.
Clipping her hair over her shoulder she started walking towards the bench he was sitting on and said “I hope you did not mind!”
“Oh, not at all!”
There was a pause and a look passed between them as he said that. Here was a dusky girl with no makeup, no blow dried hair, wearing an over sized tee and shorts doing something which she was passionate about amidst the chaos, it was not difficult to get intrigued by Jennifer. “In life not often one finds people who are more interesting than beautiful” he thought.
While she came sat beside him “So where are you heading to Ms…?’ he asked.
The way he spoke was more adorable than flirtatious, and the good thing was she took note of it. Jennifer liked meeting new people.
“Um…yeah. I am a photographer. I am on my way towards Mumbai. Work calling you see, joining a media firm for an assignment, and you?”
In a rekindled reverie, he thought of the many young and headstrong, like how he was years ago before shifting to Mumbai, a city now his home and said “Sounds great! Myself Shekhar, Shekhar Dutta, I am a writer, I think the look of one must have made you take my pictures, I am heading towards the same place as you, so Mumbai calling huh! Nice!”
She started showing him her shots leaning close, he couldn’t help but notice her right hand.
“That’s an interesting one you have got!” he opined.
“Oh that one! Thank you! That’s because you seem to be in some deep thought which makes it for a good frame, well more than the angle and the light…” she went on.
“I was speaking about your tattoo” he said and smiled again.
“Is that a fairy?” he asked curiously.
Jennifer laughed and looked at her hand, her face broke into the biggest smile when she thought about how much she wanted to travel, how much she wanted to see the world and how much she wanted to fly and be like one.
“Ah! Yes!” she replied getting up and adjusting her backpack.
“My daughter Roohi, she believes they exist too!”
She beamed hearing him say this, “He he…thanks! I thought I was the only one!” she said.
The sound of the train on the track grew louder as it appeared from the turn.
“Oh there it is!” said both pointing at it in unison and laughed.
A good conversation between two about-to-become friends was about to end, the train would stop only for a couple of minutes at the station. He took out a piece of paper from his track pant pocket and hurriedly scribbled his address and number.
”Do call me if need be, Mumbai is the place where you shall become, all the best!”
He wished and handed it over to her, and walked away to find his compartment. Jennifer all happy and pleased ran too, for there was too much to do and too less time.
As Shekhar sat down, the train started. He leaned up the window railing” What did she say, what was her name?!?” he wondered.
Paths had crossed and a journey had begun.

PS: “Me and my team are participating in ‘Game Of Blogs’ at BlogAdda.com. #CelebrateBlogging with us.”


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-R.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Big Hug & Kiss



One of my favorite smell is that of an old book, that musty sweet odour does take some of us to another world.  And like a cherry on top some of them have a postcard, an invite, a sketch, a bookmark, a date or a note. They are like a window to somebody's world, It is always a pleasure to read these personal messages in old books, I found one today right under the cover written with a pencil that made me like the book all the more . Especially the last line "Big hug & kiss", you know when you actually relate to it as though someone wrote it for you, that feeling :-)

Good night
-R. 

Saturday, September 6, 2014

PiZZa Effect


"This now qualifies as free right?" I asked him. He gave me a sheepish smile and said "Yes Ma'm". For once there was a pizza delivery boy at the door without any spontaneous reasons. It was half past five and I remembered one of those somber voiced girls on phone telling "Your order will be delivered by 4:35 pm, thank you for placing the order Ma'm, have a good day!" after which I had waited and waited.

This boy, there was something peculiar about him, the look of a new kid on the block. He did not explain, he did not argue, no reaction unlike his peers would have given, not everybody is of the same make you see no matter how much one trains them.I looked at him and I looked at the bill, I wondered if the management would cut it out of his pay. The way things work in this jet set age and our oblivious attitude to the same, aren't we happy that we get what we need in a call or a click, need anything more? He constantly seemed to avoid eye contact, bending his head down under the cap looking here and there at the floor. I handed him the amount along with the bill and asked him "Are you new to this place?" by now it seemed like it.

"Yes Ma'm" he replied again, nothing more. I knew he wasn't lying and all the yelling that I was contemplating to do somehow did not happen. He thanked me with a brighter smile than the previous and ran down the stairs to his bike, I guess he had more boxes to be delivered. He looked to the right, and then to the left and then finally up. He must have sensed someone watching him. "Ma'm if you don't mind, can you tell me how do I reach the main road?" he called out. "Go straight and take a left" I replied and waved from the balcony. He waved back with one of the nicest smile I shall remember for a long time to come.

For those who are not aware of the PIZZA EFFECT, it is a term used for the phenomenon similar to the one in which the Americans reshaped the Pizza and sent it back to Italy, making their own Pizza a very popular food. Strange ain't it? When someone else has to tell us the value of what we own? It has been happening with most of us as well. We see, read, hear, judge and opine about everything and everyone in and around us with suspicion, GREAT suspicion unless someone from outside gives a greater deal of assurance. Just like the way we half open the doors for these pizza delivery guys, we do so many things half-heartedly. It is sometimes okay to let go off our inaneness and inhibitions and make an extra conversation with a stranger or give a kind smile, who knows it may make somebody's day :-)

PS: This post is for all those delivery guys under the rain and sun who make our lives easy :-)

-R. 

Friday, September 5, 2014

Happy Teacher's Day

Picture Courtesy
To all those people who tread the less chosen path so that the others acquire enough insight and discretion about the working ways of this world. To all the good Miss Wormwoods of our lives from kindergarten to college, we are because of what you are, a Happy Teacher's Day :-)

-R.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

60 Minutes - Book Review



Picture Courtesy
“Revenge is a natural instinct…But there’s more often than not too much collateral damage and in most instances we miss the point in the process, and hurt ourselves”

That’s something from the book which aptly sums up its concept. 60 minutes is the second of the triumvirate novels of Upendra Namburi, a contemporary Indian life thriller. The story is set in the background of current urban life of those who reign at the top of corporate set ups. The high intensity drama happens in a span of sixty minutes. On one end there is a kind of fanatical rivalry between two chief marketing officers, jealousy and competition drives their actions in a battle of their product launches, and on the other there are gross personal failures. The author has tried to make the story as realistic as possible. The issues that emerge, at the office and back at home, and how the characters-Agastya, Maithili and Sailesh deal with it in a constant rush is the matter of the book.

Professional networks and game plays, stock market and millions of money, relationships and stress, domestic violence and infidelity-the author highlights all aspects of their lives. The characterization is from an insider’s perspective and that adds to the realism the plot tries to convey. There is no right or wrong, no good or bad in this game which is more than a cold war. Everyone goes through the process of survival of the fittest. One can almost feel the pulse of their office rooms.

The pace of the book is another impressive point; the events unfold as the reader turns the pages. I finished the book in about two reading sessions. The flashbacks in between kind of adds to the movie like feeling and the reader can understand the motive behind the character’s actions and decisions. An another opinion about it is that the scenes are a bit off from the title of the book, in the sense if the happenings of the previous weeks, months and years were not highlighted there is not much of drama, without the background what happens in the 60 minutes is just an another incident. When I began with the book I was excited and curious to know how the story would unfold in 60 minutes, the rewinds were a big disappointment.


Obsession and revenge carried from the past is all what drives the scenes in the sixty minutes. Some happenings do seem without purpose, some of the flings and fights in particular. What happens in the concluding chapter is beyond a reader’s expectations, the two rivals portrayed in the story meet during a holiday at the beach watching the sea and the setting sun, having a conversation like estranged lovers, a weird but an interesting ending.  I did not put down this book nor did I like it overly. The last line of the quote in the preface ”The truth lies in the shades of grey” is quite what I felt about this book, very grey.  A one time weekend read and a good addition to the genre of Indian corporate thrillers, this one.

Book Details:

Title: - 60 minutes
Author: - Upendra Namburi
Publisher: - Westland Ltd
Publication Year: - 2014
ISBN 13:- 978-93-84030-24-7
Binding: - Paperback
Number of pages: - 361
Price: - Rs 350

My rating: - 2.5/5

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

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

An Indian Home



This post is a part of Makemyhome activity at BlogAdda.com

When I look around inside my newly painted house, 'SHARADHI' about which I mentioned in my previous entry to this contest, the newness just made me realize how much I have grown up and have been guarded here for years. It has just added to what I already have for this place. The roof and the walls of our homes are not there only to keep us out from the rest of the world, every brick in the wall also helps us to become. And therefore when we put up a picture on the wall or a thing in the corner of a room there is something about it which affects us. It is therefore obviously wise to make the right choices at the right time when we decide to deck it up. Off late at my place I have seen that we have been accumulating a lot of accessories and home decors without any forethought, having started the renovation and restoring I thought of writing this second post.


Being Indians with such rich cultural background and heritage, I thought it is best to use something what defines us and our people to furnish our home. As I browsed through the Best Of Home Decor at Make My Home, I found a few interesting things which gave me a raw, rustic and realistic feel. I would love to get them home for they would definitely enhance my place with all the 'INDIANESS'-My Theme, something what the items that I have picked have in some form or the other. Here are the unique things of India, like India what the Indian in me liked and loved :-) :


Villcart Group Of Men Dancing


This wall piece interested me mainly because it is crafted by pioneered blacksmiths of Bastar, it depicts five men holding hands and doing a form of traditional dance. What is impressive in this artwork is the earthly feel and the unity it puts across, just the way the men are holding each other at their back and the ones in the corner with sticks guarding the group, so Indian isn't it? :-) The wrought iron make is ecofriendly, and would look good on one of the ivory white walls of our living room here. 
       

Aapno Rajasthan Wallmount Set Of Miniature Pots


Pottery is an intricate art and having so many in varied shapes and colours neatly arranged on the wall in a wooden mount would only remind me of how much we as Indians are gifted in matters such as these. These delicate terracotta pots are specially hand painted in Madhubani form of painting, something which dates back to the times of Lord Rama. I find the colours and the design very divine and surreal. I would love to have it on one of the cherry red walls in one of our rooms here.



925 Silver Indian Traditional Silver Night Lamp - 15104


Lastly, this intricately beautiful electric lamp is something which gives me an ‘Indian Queen’ like feeling. I know it’s not something I can even dream of affording right now unless I have something to do with the Mughal lineage :-P But what does it take to wish, a little imagination perhaps ;-) ‘Light’ like I said in previous post is required to create the perfect mood and ambience, this lamp has everything in its design to bring that, the shape and the silver, isn’t it perfectly royal? Having it in one corner of my room with a lamp or candle to light inside everyday would take me back in time...when India, every Indian home in fact was a paradise on earth to live :-)

So there they are with everything Indian about them, three exquisite pieces in my wish list for my home decor attempt with this theme. There is nothing quite like decorating an Indian home, especially with the number of choices that we have beyond the current trends of interior decoration and architecture.Our diversity is indeed our strength.


Home is a place of retreat, where we are constantly loved and are reminded of our roots. To 'Keep It Indian' as much as possible is my theme because no matter what we become or where we go the Indian within us is meant to stay. And to have it personalized in our space is to tend to that much deserved pride. What do you people have to say? :-)

PS:

This post is a part of Makemyhome activity at BlogAdda.com

-R.