The Judge's daughter

Short story

She joined school after the first midterm in the 8th grade.. Public schools are pretty strict when it comes to joining school on time. Her dad must a big shot, Rahul thought..

She was cute, petite, had short shoulder length hair.. She was confident, very sure of herself...

The class teacher introduced her as Kritika Rajan.. Kritika gave a friendly smile..

noticed her cute dimples.. Now Rahul wasnt a dimples guy.. never was.. But he couldnt stop staring at her as she smiled. Rahul was the tallest guy in the class, so he always took the last bench, Kritika took the third bench. Good for him, coz he could steal a glance or two everytime she smiled and those dimples flashed..

She had asked Rahul for his Geometry notes.. Apparently, Rahul's teachers had high regard for the guy, they had suggested Kritika to get his notes to cover up for all the portion she had missed the last semester.. Rahul was obviously too happy to help...
She came fuming to Rahul the next day...
"I dont get your handwriting.."
"Arre, samjha woh likh.. baki drawing nikal! hehawhaw"
"Shut up.."
Clearly, it was not the right time..
"Okay, what didnt u get?"
"This word - 'cle' Whats tht?"
"cle- cle means 'circle'!!Thats called Rahul shorthand!!" Rahul shrugged..
"Ooookay.. whats 'rle'?"
"Oh.. and 'tle' is er.. triangle?"
"Way to go girl.."
"Oh.. hmm.. hey, can u please wait after school to help me understand more of your shorthand? Please! Pretty please!"
Now how could anyone say no to that!!

That evening, among congruent and similar triangles, she opened up to him.. She talked bout her favourite movies, the sitcoms she watched, how much she loved Tv and why..

Rahul never met her father, but was pretty sure she was her father's daughter.. She was honest, strong willed, tough..
Her dad was a high court judge, and now was on the special bench for political cases. He must be an honest guy.. They dont transfer someone at a post that high that often.. Kritika later told him that she had changed 5 schools in the last 7 years. She had stayed in Nagpur, Aurangabad, Solapur, Pune and now mumbai.. she hadnt spent more than 2 years at any one place. She had very few friends, most of them in Pune, where her dad was last placed.

There was this place behind the school building.. It was like a very small playground, with a single swing, a slide, an incredibly small see-saw and a cement bench, for the teacher to sit and govern the pre-primary kids... He had seen the kids play there in the small sandy place. It seemed big when he saw them kids play there, but now that Rahul was sitting there waiting for her, the place seemed too small.. kinda cosy..

She came, she wore a pink sweater.. weird are these ppl who come from Pune.. After the freezing cold of Pune, they still find the need to wear sweaters in Mumbai! But then, Rahul didnt mind, she looked hot in that pink sweater..

"You have cute dimples.."
"Your dimples.. they are cute.."
Its weird how a girl who is that tough around others melts when shes around someone she likes..
"No they are not..", she tried to look away, trying to suppress a blush..
"Yes they are.."
"Noooo", the more she tried not to, the more she blushed..
"Yes they are.."
"No, they arent.."
"Yes they are"

The Judge's daughter she was..., she liked winning arguments, but she liked him too..., she could let him win this one...

Back in school they behaved like total strangers.. Ofcourse there was a glance here and a wink there.. but they made sure not to come within 1 metre of each other.. The fact that no one knew about them made it more thrilling!

They started meeting every evening behind the school after school..
She always wore that pink sweater, now, even more coz she knew Rahul liked it on her..
"You got nice hair.. and pretty eyes.."
Its weird how naive these 8th grade boys are! No creativity they got I tell you..
"Nooo.. No one has told me that before.."
"Well, I am telling you now.."
"No, they arent that pretty.."
"Yes they are.."

The Judge's daughter she was..., she liked winning arguments, but she liked him too..., she could let him win this one...

December days get kinda chilly, even in Mumbai.. That day it was a bit chilly.. Even Rahul wore a sweater to school that day.. he normally thought he was too cool to wear one! He looked at Kritika who was sitting on the third bench.. she looked lovely as ever..

He kept looking at her throughout the Geometry and Science class.. Restlessness grew within him as last lecture of the day was approaching.. He wanted to be alone with her.. Talk bout stuff.. bout what he loved.. his fears.. his dreams...

The bell rang.. After everyone had left the school, he went to the playground at the back of the building..
She was sitting there.. The golden sun rays of the evening sun were falling on her face.. her dark hair looked golden brown in the sunlight.. It was very cold, she was wearing her pink sweater.. He could stand there looking at her all his life..

She looked at him.. Something wasnt right.. or so it seemed..
He sat beside her..

"Whats wrong.."
"My dad’s getting transferred.."
"Yep..This is my last week in the school.. My dad will be transferred to Nagpur"

She was taking it amazingly well..

"What? But it has been only three months!"
"Oh.. I know"
"You wont miss me?"
"No, why?."

This was weird.. didn’t she feel anything for him..

"Not even a little?"
"Umm.. a little.. maybe.."
He saw a mischievous twinkle in her eyes..

"You liar.. You not going anywhere, are you.."
"I sooo got you there..haha"
"Stop laughing meano.."
"Nahi re, my dad is getting transferred.. But I am staying with my Grandmom.. "
"I m not even talking to you.."
"Aaww, I am so sorry re.. sorry sorry sorry.. "

She must have said sorry bout 9 times.. And there must be guys reading this thinking that it doesn’t make things better.. but trust me, it does..

Rahul’s heart melted..

Its not fair.. Men were made taller and stronger.. Men fight, eat with their hands, drink from the carton.. What was bout these girls that made men all soft inside.. damn..

"Not fair..You cant do it to me.. I like you"

It was the first time he said that to her. Both of them knew it, but it was the first time he said it to her..

"I like you too.. more than you like me.. "
"No, I like you more.."

"No, I like you more.. "
"Nope, I do.."

The Judge's daughter she was..., she liked winning arguments, but she liked him too..., she could let him win this one...

She smiled, Rahul’s heart melted. He had won the argument.. But something he lost.. And he was not sure what..

She held his arm close to her and placed her head gently on his shoulders…

Last time I saw them, they were just 14 year olds, with dreams in their eyes.. and maybe.. one day... they got married...., and had kids and yes..., like all good stories go.. They lived happily ever after...

I am a sucker for happy endings.. Something didnt seem right in the last story. So I changed the ending..Happy New Year Guys..:)
The Judge's daughterSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend
Current Issues: , , , ,
21 letters to the editor Links to this post  

The problem with having friends who work for software companies is that very few of them are actually placed in Mumbai.. I have close friends - one of whom is placed in pune, and this girl whos currently residing in Delhi.. Lets call them Harry and sweety, not to conceal their identity or anything, but just for fun..

So they arent jobless free souls like me.. they are pretty much 9 to 5 guys.. when my sunday evenings are spent playing cricket in the field, it comes as a surprise to me that these guys chat their hearts out on the net.. In other words they do the pretty same things on a Sunday evening what they do the rest of the days. To be honest thats what I do too during weekdays, but atleast there they are getting paid for it..

So this particular Sunday, I was winning the game for my team singlehandedly(some guys think I am Sehwag, with a really bad wig.. whtever!)

So after hitting around a dozen and a half boundaries, I checked my cell for any congratulatory messages..

There were two, but they werent congratulatory..They were what is see as FRANTIC
One was by Harry - Abbe kahan hai? You are needed here..
Second was by sweety - Kahan ho aap? Online aao na.. (Note that she uses the Delhi lingo- aap and all. If in Mumbai you call someone aap, they start laughing at your faces)

I wondered what important work these guys got with me.. I hurriedly completed my triple century (what? the boundaries were short!) and rushed into my abode.. logged in.. I sent a conference request to them.

Sweety has joined Harry has joined
Arshat(thts me btw):


Harry: all 3 here..
oye? kya hua? something serious?
abbe nahi.. timepass..

wht the? Man.. I thought u were getting married..
Harry: who me?

yeah.. both of you..
Harry: hehehe.. or worse, to each other!
Arshat: I think you guys will make a lovely pair! ;)
his mom wud kill me..

Arshat: harry? ur mom does that to women you marry?
oh not now.. she has improved by miles..

see sweety? she doesnt kill them now.. I think you shud give this a try..
nahi re.. she has plans for her future daughter-in-law.. n i dnt fit in thm..

why? his mom feels you arent sexy enough? as in for him.. (Raunchy is my usp)

God! you guys!

hahahaha.. seriously funny.. I just imagined my mom say tht!- "sweety isnt sexy enuf fr u!"
I thout u were scared of your mother...

And what gave u tht idea?
Sweety: Parent teacher meetings..
Harry: oh that! That was 10 years ago.. Baccha abhi bada ho gaya hai..
And he aint talkin metaphorically..
Harry: Infact I had a forced convo with my parents a few yrs ago, thy said i cud marry whomever i like..
Good.. but harry, tht sumhow has nevr been our problem.. the one whom we like never likes us back!- thts the problem..
hehehhe.. kuch bhi..

aur bolo.. hows life?
Sweety: Harry is having fun.. n will start working on a new project..
And sweetys college is on as usual..

You guys knw so much bout each other.. and u say u dont wanna get married :P
Btw, hows sally?

(Sally btw, is the 4th pillar of table? She stays in Mumbai. Harry, sally, sweety and me are frds frm school..)

Shes good..
Phd huh?

Arshat: Yeah.. good college too..
Sahi re..

But I aint calling her a doctor before she gives me a treat..
I am lousy friend aint I?
(Trust him to come up with the silliest question, with no reference whatsoever)
You bet.. the worst I got.. (Trust me to come up with the silliest answer)
chup re arshat.. nahi u r a good frd harry.. y do u say dat?

yeah..whts got into u?
No.. I mean, i dont call, scrap or mail you guys..

Oh.. cant comment on that.. I m a bigger defaulter there ..
Nahi re, I have so many calls free.. and messages free..

u do?
even STD is free..

stop bragging popat, this aint helping your status as a lousy frd :P
Harry: I dont know whats going on in sallys life.. Its been ages since I called her..
Arshat: hmm.. but your credibility isnt dependent on callin her alone.. as in, u always ask bout her when u call me, and she always asks bout u when she calls me..
Sweety: yeah, frdshp is nt all bout callin scrappin and emailing, its bout comfort..
Arshat: hmm.. we hav stuck ard for the last 10 yrs right?..and I dont think we have done tht bad.., I just want you guys to know, phone calls or no phone calls, mails or no mails, we will remain friends forever... I soooo miss u guys.. Do I sound like a girl..?
Harry: yes u do..
Sweety: tht girl..
Arshat: wht girl?
Harry: She knows bout her mate...
Arshat: u told her? kya yaar..!!#$%
Harry: she forced it outta me!
Arshat: yeah.. right..
Sweety: ya ya.. i m very forceful :P
Arshat: oh dear..
Sweety: toh bolo bolo.. give me all the details?
Harry: look at her go.. she wants all the gossip doesnt she!
Arshat: arre thr is nuthing to say...
Sweety: u like her..
Arshat: her who?
Sweety: her.. HER! u like her..
Arshat: this is so 7th gradeish...guys, i m going home..
Harry: hey even i need to go, office tomo..
Sweety: yeah me too, coll early morn..
Harry: hmm bye then..
Sweety: byeee...
Arshat: bye.. take care.. have fun..:)

The problem with good friends is that no matter how far we stay away from each other, we are
somehow very close.. sometimes too close for comfort mrgreen
But yeah, its fun, the only time it is not fun is when the joke's on me.. which is most of the times redface
But seriously, you guys have been great.. And I risk sounding like a girl here, but I soooo miss u guys..
Take care u guys, and remember - I am just a frantic message away
smile Of friends, Conference chat and sounding like a girl..SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend
Current Issues: , ,
14 letters to the editor Links to this post  

Silver in my teeth : One hour at the dentist

I have been a little busy over the last few days.. not that you miss me not blogging or anything, but just felt you would like to know.. Did I hear you asking why am I busy? (Well, dont answer, I am on the other side of the screen and I cant hear you.. sorry)

So, I got my tooth cavity filled.. I have been blessed with a good set of teeth, I have never had any problems so never had to visit a dentist ever.. Most of my friends have spent a small fortune at the dentist after spending half a fortune on Cadbury.. I have had these guys telling me their experiences at the dentist, so I thought now that I have an experience why not share it..

Yeah yeah.. I know.. Getting your cavity filled is nothing to blog about, but if you have been playing attention, my last post was about a speaking dog.. So now that I have set really low stds for myself, I can blog about any crap that comes to my mind.. So here goes..

The place was huge and really clean.. I sat at the reception along with the other er.."patients"

"Mr. Chaudhary? You are in next..", said the receptionist.
I love being called Mr.Chaudhary.. Its so, u know, grownup..

I entered the cabin.
The dentist was a lady in her late twenties, she had a mask on her mouth, but had really pretty brown eyes and long hair.. Something told me she was a south Indian, probably Tamil.. (I have a southie fetish mrgreen)
"Umm.. Chaudhary.. Arshat Chaudhary, right?"
Man! this was like James Bond..
"Yeah.. 007"
"What? is that your phone number..? Pls fill it in here..", she said, handing me the patient card..
No sense of humour these doctors have I tell you.. (I was to be proved wrong)

I filled up all the details and then sat on the Dentist chair, which is pretty much like a barbers chair, only at an more obtuse angle....
"Heylo doctor", I said as I lay down on the chair
"Hello", she said
"I am kinda nervous.. I have never been to a dentist before.. Its my first filling"
"Oh.. Dont worry.. Its my first too"

"joke tha baba"


"I have done atleast 3 fillings before this"

"hee hee.. I meant today"

This was gonna be one long session..

What kinda filling would you like?
Umm.. Chocolate?bwhahahahah
No no.. I meant, silver or tooth coloured filling?

Hmm.. silver.. I mean, atleast I can sell it in times of need.. bwahahaha..

umm.. satish, bring the drill.. the BIG one..

She didnt like the joke it seemed..

Satish was her assistant,he seemed more than happy to get her the big drill.. He had that look on his face.. You know, the kinda look that says somebody-gonna-hurt-real-bad-tonight

The engineer in me noticed that there was a hermetically sealed compressor in the corner of the room. The engineer in me awakened (I would have liked had it awakened when I was giving my sem 7 exams)-
Hey! Thats a hermetically sealed compressor!
Hermi.. what?

Umm.. never mind.. What would you doctors do without us engineers!

She looked at me...Her eyes
didnt look pretty to me anymore.. The big drill in her hand was making grrring noises..
We will see..Now this is gonna hurt.. Dont scream..
Oh, dont worry.. We men dont scream.. we fight.. we hunt.. but we dont scream..ow ow ow..

With that it started.. The drill drilling into my tooth.. I learnt a new thing bout the human mouth that day,- If someone drills into your tooth, it will hurt!....

one more thing I learnt - If someone puts their hand inside your mouth and you dont get to close your mouth for a long time, a lotta saliva collects in your mouth..
The dentist had a female assistant whose job was to place a pipe in my mouth which wud suck out the saliva, but she wasnt doing her job properly, some of my saliva drooled onto my shirt.. I dont think her heart was in that job.. But in her defense, who would find sucking saliva outta a guys mouth interesting?!mrgreen

With a good amount of drool making my shirt wet, which btw doesnt happen too often.. It kinda happens only when I look at Salma Hayek, or when I am waiting for food to be served at a restaurant (Is that why girls dont come out with me the second time? :P) Anyways, the point is that my shirt was getting wet, and I dont like me gettin wet in public (or in private.. bathing is such a painmrgreen )
The dentist, however, was enjoying every moment of it..
"Satish, miracle mix and Zinc phosphate banana.."
Satish enthusiastically started mixing stuff that came outta weird looking bottles..

"Open wider....God.. this is the biggest cavity I have ever seen.....biggest cavity I have ever seen"
"Why did you say that twice? I am nervous already.."

"Oh.. I just said it once, the second time it was the echo!
hahahah.. Satish and the female assistant joined in..
"Yeah yeah.. very funny.."

Once the miracle mix was placed in the cavity, the job was done.. All I needed now is to get outta here...

Hmm, so Arshat, how do you like your filling?
umm.. I like it..
Good.. so if you have any other problems you can call me, my name and number is on the bill..
Yeah.. And you can call me too, my number is on the patient card..
Err.. Yeah.. right..
Wow.. this bill is kinda steep.. Dont I get a funny guy or a cute guy discount..

The dentist, satish and the female assistant gathered in a huddle to discuss my discount..
I heard satish saying - he was funny alright..
not that much - the assitant added
But that chocolate filling thing was hilarious..
yeah.. tht was good..
so what say? shud we reduce 150 rs?
150? u think he was that worth it?
okay then 100?

The dentist left the huddle- Arshat you ll be getting a 100 rupee discount..

I paid the bill.. I was happy on receiving my cute guy discount.. I know.. I know.. But its my blog, and I can say whtevr I want to... mrgreen

As I left the clinic, I thought bout the Dentist, and Satish and the female assistant.. Its a boring job that they do if you ask me, I mean what can be more boring than sucking saliva outta a guys mouth or drilling a hole through his teeth or mixing ZnPo4 and miracle mix, but the entusiasm with which they work makes me feel good bout them.. And if hadnt been for them, I wudnt have silver in my teeth!

P.S. - The dentists name was Dr. Iyer btw.. She was tamil afterall!

P.S.- I figured most of us have been watching the news about Mumbai Attacks, so I half-cooked this post up.. Hope I have managed to extract a smile or two through this post...biggrin Silver in my teeth : One hour at the dentistSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend
Current Issues: , , , ,
20 letters to the editor Links to this post  

Hey Dog (Part 2) - Dog's day out..

Part 2 of the "Hey Dog" trilogy.(Yeah, just like MATRIX!!)

Read the Part 1 -Hey Dog (The original dog!) here..
Read the Part 2 -Hey Dog (Dog's day out!) here..
Read the Part 3 - Hey Dog (The return of the wise one) here..
(No reference between the three, just like MATRIX!!)

I took a trip to Manori again the other day.. I now like the place even more than I did the last time.. I went there alone this time coz I wanted some peace and quiet for a few days, get away from the world, stuff like that..
The staff at the resort were increasingly nice to me, maybe coz I was alone.. I think they saw me as a loser who likes to spend his holidays alone (which was partly true.. er... no, not the loser part.. The part that I like being alone). The guys there upgraded my room to a nicer, roomier room for no extra charge!

Not only the staff but even Dogs there were nice to me..

Now I am not too fond of dogs, for that matter, I m not particularly fond of any animal, but yeah, I dont mind them being around.

So, as soon as I reached the place, I hit the beach.. I ran along the stretch, took a few pics of the setting sun, saw the sky change its colour every minute and sat on the rocks which were still warm as the sun melted into the ocean..

Once it was too dark, I returned back to the resort.. As I was walking, I noticed a white dog was following me..
I stopped.. He stopped.. I started walking again.. He started walking again.. The problem with dogs is that you dont really know why they are doing what they are doing.. And you cant befriend them by offering them some gum.. They apparently like bones, and for some reason I dont carry extra bones with me..

It was getting really dark now. My fav thing in the resort are the hammocks they have put up outside the cottages.. I lay down on one of the hammocks.. As soon as I settled down in it, the same dog came and sat below my hammock..

I am not scared of dogs, so I didnt mind him much, but I wanted to know what did he want.. But he was wagging his tail, and from what I have learnt from my CS class(Communication Skills) in engg, that means that the doggy is happy and he means no harm..

Next morning I forgot everything bout the dog, and set out for a run on the beach.. Thats when I again felt someone following me, I checked to find it was the same dog..

Inorder that you believe that its true, I have the clip as the proof..

Please note how when I increase my pace, the dog also increases his. When I turn right, he turns right.. When I stop, he stops.. I have heard that animals can be very camera conscious, so I tried shooting this discreetly.. that is one of the reasons why u see my shoulder in the video..
To make the shoot more authentic, I show that my hands are empty (Like David Blaine does at the start of a magic trick) and that the dog is following me without me doing anything special.. (not that I am particularly proud of it..)

I admit that I was getting a bit nervous by then.. I didnt know what to expect.. I started to run on the beach trying to lose him.. The faster I ran, the gutsier his chase became.. I saw in some Vinod Khanna movie that you run in a zigzag manner if you have to confuse a dog.. Though it works only when the dog is following your scent and you are outta its vision.. Here, I was right before him.. Still, I decided to give it a try.. I started running in a zigzag line.. A few of the locals gathered around me coz they expected me to break into their local dance form after the zigzag run.. But I didnt know the local dance form, so did a Govinda meri-pant-bhi-sexy routine there.. Somehow they werent impressed..

In the commotion, the dog lost the track of my scent or whatever it was that he liked in me.. Happy to not have a tail behind me, I plugged in my music player and started running to Nickelback's Rockstar.. As I was running I heard a lot of panting.. As far as I remembered Nickelback dont pant that much while singing.. Still running, I looked over my shoulder to find two dogs, yeah, not one, but two dogs running with me.. Running, and at the same time smelling each others, you know what..

i ran fast, they ran fast.. I ran faster, they ran faster.. I got tired, they didnt.. In my defence, they have 4 legs while I have only 2.. sucks, i tell you!

I dont know if I smelled too good, or too bad(coz I have seen them chase the Garbage trucks) that turned them on or something.. To check, I got close to a pig, gave him a whiff of body scent, but it didnt follow me..

That means my deodorant was still working.. It was meant to attract girls, but look what it was getting me - a couple of dogs, not even bitches, but dogs! Not that I have any interest in bitches.. er.. anyway.. the point is that they followed me till it was time for me to leave..

I packed my bags, locked my cottage, and paid all the bills.. I was still being followed by the two dogs.. And I was getting irritated..

"Hey Dog! Look, I am really getting irritated with you constantly following me..What in the world do you want? ", I asked..
"Hey Human!"
Wow.. you can talk..?!!
Yeah.. or maybe its your imagination..

Oh.. maybe..

So why do u humans come here, stay for a while and then leave?

Hmm.. I guess we do that to get away from stuff.. you know.. relax a bit..

You like the beach..??

Yeah.. I do.. I like the ocean kinda..

Because it makes you realise how small and insignificant you are..

Wow.. those are big thoughts coming from someone who licks his own, u know wht, for fun...bwahahahaha..

Hey! Dont be jealous coz u cant do it..!
I am not, trust me..

So you come here to getaway, relax and in short have fun,right?

Yeah.. well put..


What do you guys do around here to have fun..?

Oh.. we follow unsuspecting humans staying here in the cottage till they get irritated and frustated.. It is really a cool modus operandi developed by my friend(pointing to the brown dog) changu.. We just follow them, we dont bark, we dont bite.. just follow... We keep them guessing bout what we want..

Oh.. sounds familiar.. So what happens to those humans..?

Nothing major, they start talking to us and in their imagination see us talking back to them.. bow- wow! weirdos u humans are i tell you..
Yeah.. right.. I need to go now.. Please dont follow me anymore..

Oh.. Dont worry mate.. We wont.. And your imagination will be back to normal once you leave this island..

I sure hope to..

P.S. - To my friends : If you find me digging for bones in my garden, kindly inform Paris Hilton..

Hey Dog (Part 2) - Dog's day out..SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend
Current Issues: , ,
11 letters to the editor Links to this post  

Goodbye Sourav : meet your destination..

This is a pretty long post.. Such a day comes in a players life only once, and I think he deserves the perfect farewell for all that he has done for the game. This is more than a farewell though.. This is about what Dada means to this blogger.

On the off side, first there is God then there is Ganguly!

- Rahul Dravid

There comes a time in everyones life when they want someone who could make everything right.. We look in different directions to find that one hero who makes us believe in ourselves.. some find the hero in their best friend, some in their teachers, some in themselves, I found him in Sourav Chandidas Ganguly..

I was 12 when he first hit that maiden century at Lords.. I don't think at that point I saw him as a hero.. He was just another bespectacled kid who had a moustache which looked like it had been pasted on.. Well, he was 23 back then, not so much a kid, but that age is adolescence in a cricketers life..

The reason why I feel so close to Dada is coz I have grown up with him.. Ofcourse there is a 12 year difference between our ages, but I have grown up seeing him evolve as a player and then as a Leader..

Dada became my hero when he became the captain of the Indian side. He changed the face of Indian cricket.. No, Sachin Tendulkar didn't change the face of Indian Cricket, with due respect to the batting maestro, piling up 15k runs doesn't amount to changing the face of Indian cricket.. If you saw India meekly surrender matches in the 1990s and then fight till the last ball in the 2000s, you will understand what a force Dada has been in this team and how he has changed the way we look at Indian cricket..

When you are a teenager theres nothing more important than proving that your hero kicks every other hero's ass... Mumbai is predominantly anti-dada. I remember spending hours arguing with my friends and family proving Dada's contribution to the game is unparalleled.. Now he might not be as good as batsman as Tendulkar, Dravid or Laxman. But his batting coupled with his captaincy, makes him as tall as the aforementioned.. perhaps taller..

Dada's arrogance is legendary but so is his trust in his players. His coming late for the toss, keeping Steve Waugh waiting showed that we were ready to give it back to them.. every glare was returned...every question answered..F words flying everywhere.. every player backed -from Yuvraj to Harbhajan.. barechested bonhomie on the Lords balcony as the English watched bewildered... thats passion..

If I am not wrong, in the last 10 years, no Indian cricketer has lost more percentage of his match fee to disciplinary action than Sourav... Every third match he lost 20 to 50% of his match fee! That brashness however brought something intangible to the team.. Something that was very untypical to Indians.. The freedom to do what they wanted to, if they felt it was right..

Sourav is a dreamer... a believer.. an administrator.. a motivator.. the perfect friend.. the honest foe.. He taught us to believe in ourselves, back the people we love, give it back to the men who bully you, kick butt, and above all do what you think is right..

Do what you think is right! This has been his philosophy all along, hasn't it? He married Dona (who for me is still among the most desirable women in the country) against his family's wishes.. Backed Bhajji when he wasn't among the wickets, backed Yuvraj when he wasn't a 6x6 force..

Then one day, admists allegations of sourav faking injuries, he was unceremoniously dropped..
Remember how a certain selector had declared that Ganguly wont get selected till hes in the selection committee..?

Dada was pushed into oblivion. The media spent precious air time to justify the move.. Everyone said Dadas time was up.. Dadas detractors were having the last laugh.. Back in college , I gave up on discussions with my friends.. There was nothing left to say... I was tired, of all the injustice being dealt to the man who had made the Indian team what it is today.. Harbhajan Singh and Yuvraj Singh did stand up for Dada, imagine such a thing happening in the politically driven BCCI.. They were very young back then, had the entire career ahead of them, still they stood up for their captain... that gesture summed up the importance of dada in the team.. it was his team..

Slowly everybody accepted the fact that Dada's chapter was over.. Even sourav's family members thought so...

Here is what Sourav's father had to say - "I thought my son had gone mad. He would bat in the living room at 12 in the night. He would make the servant bowl. I wanted his mother to tell him that it cant be done... that he cant make it to the Indian team..."

I remember telling my dad(whos not much of a dada fan) that he ll make it... it will take him 1 yr..2 yrs.. 5 yrs.. but he will comeback..

He had to comeback.. for his fans.. for everyone who idolised him... It hurts when you realise the one you idolise are as human as you are.. Failure is as much a part of their lives as it is yours.. But still you want your hero to dust it off and give it a last try..

The selection committee changed.. Sourav returned.. and how!

I feel he still has a couple of years of cricket left in him.. But this statement from him says it all..
"I was tired of being humiliated again and again. I don't want to play cricket at the mercy of others," Sourav Ganguly said in an interview..
India's most successful captain ever! And this is how bitter he has gotten..! I have always felt India lacks good leaders and now I know why.. Coz anyone who tries to make a difference, work against the system is pushed and poked, screwed and humiliated..till he gives up..

Now that he is retiring from the game, I am reminded of this story..
Samrat Ashok travels through his empire dressed as a commoner when a monk asks him who he was..
Ashok: Me? - A traveller..
Monk: Your presence says you are not that ordinary..

Ashok: What does it say? -(smiling) That I am a prince?
Monk: Even Princes are ordinary.. You seem to be greater than them..

Ashok: (quizzically)Who's greater than a Prince?
Monk: A traveller- when he meets his destination..

This Thursday when he wears the Indian whites for the last time, I hope he meets his destination..

Dada, you have made us proud...

Goodbye dear friend.. It wont be the same without you....

Thank you for the memories.... Goodbye Sourav : meet your destination..SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend
Current Issues: , ,
13 letters to the editor Links to this post  

The shiny watch

Short Story (The story isnt that short, but is worth a read..)

Diwali always reminds me of this incident..

The good thing bout 6th grade is that studies are free of any distractions..You are not yet into girls or if u are a geek like me, you are not much into sports either... You only have to concentrate all your energies towards scoring well.. And thankfully even the people around you are pretty much intrested in that.. Except a few ofcourse..

Narayan Gaikwad.. The most notorious of all 6th graders this part of the world has seen..

He was the most known face of the 6th grade.. Every teacher, every peon knew him..
The most disliked guy in all 4 divisions of 6th std.
He was mischievious, a true prankster. He was the big daddy of all naughty kids, he had earned the title from proving himself time and again - Like the time he burst crackers in the toilet.. No big deal actually a lotta mischievious kids do that, but in this case the teacher was in the toilet!! Heh heh.. ahem..

I hear he was suspended from the school for 2 weeks(Narayan, not the teacher).. And the teacher didnt enter the school toilet for 2 months..

Narayan was short, and had a hefty build.. He could easily pass off as a 15 yr old.. He never combed his hair, the last time he did was back in 1992. He had a dark complexion, not a natural one - but the one that comes from years of playing cricket in the afternoon Sun.

Narayan kinda held the record for the most punishments endured every season... Only once
during the 5th grade did Karan Mehta(the second most notorious kid this part of the world had seen) came close..
15 kneel-downs to 14 kneeldowns..
But by the end of the semester however, Narayan had a comfortable 27-22 lead..

So all in all, Narayan was the kid your parents warned bout..!


Our class teacher that year was Miss Daisy... she was just out of her B.Ed college, and was full of bright new ideas on how to make the system better for "weaker" students. One idea was to make them share the bench with a smarter,brighter, hard working student.

I dont know if I was smart, bright, hard working but I was among the decent scorers of the class. This decency made Narayan Gaikwad my bench-mate!

Guys like me dont gel well with Narayan types. Narayan was mischeivious, shabby and poor.. Karan Mehta atleast had the latest video games which he did let us play with..His dad was Harshad Mehta's distant cousin we heard. Narayan's dad on the other hand was into security business, an euphemism for the word - watchman..

During lectures, Narayan, now my benchmate, would crack jokes which would frustate me, I was here to learn, what did this dumbo know..Maybe he will end up like his father.. But I dont wanna spend the rest of my life saluting people as they entered the building..

I asked Miss Daisy to change my partner, but she was adamant.. She had, based on our report cards, classified us into two groups and made the weaker kids sit with the better ones and according to her, it was working!! Sadly for me, it wasnt!


It had been 4 months of being bench mates with Narayan and though we werent like the best friends, we had started to get along a bit.

My least favourite period in the 6th grade was the PT(Physical training) period
We used to play cricket in that period. Since there were more than 22 boys in the class, the two teams had to be picked.... I never got picked in the team. I used to hate PT.
Narayan used to love PT.. Infact, that was the only period he liked.. He was the cricket captain simply, coz, well, he was the best cricketer our school had known. .

The selection procedure was the worst part, Karan and Narayan were always the captains.(The best players got to be captains by default) They selected the team. A group of guys always surrounded them, just so as to get picked first. I stood outside the group coz I knew they wont pick me.

Narayan won the toss. "I take him."(pointing at me). Karan eyes grew as big as saucers and so did everyone elses! Was he nuts?! I suck at this game! He picked me!

I think that did it.. I started liking him after that, not wholly though. I still had my reservations.. He never brought any tiffin, he used to utilise those 20 mins of lunch break to play cricket! I offered him my lunch, he offered me to play with him, neither of us accepted others offer..

Narayan was the youngest of 4 siblings and lived in a chawl.. He told me that himself. Diwali was the only time he got gifts. Like last Diwali his dad had gifted him a Season ball.. But he never played with it, coz none of the guys in the chawl had a season bat. The year before that, his dad's friend got him new a digital watch from Dubai.. it wasnt exactly new, he had used it for 1 year before "gifting" it. I looked at that watch. The dial shone against his dark, sunburnt forearms.


The term was ending in a week, and diwali vacations were about to begin.
"Bought any firecrackers for Diwali?", I asked.
"Not yet, but I love bursting crackers, the big ones bey.. not the Taj Mahal kinds. I burst one in my chawl everyday of Diwali at 4 in the morning! Its so much fun.. he haw haw.."
"Heh heh.. Good."(This guys such a chatterbox, and such a pain to the neighbours I thought)
"Yeah.. I buy 5 sutli bombs, big ones.. cobra brand!"
"5? But they always came in boxes of 10.."
"Yeah.. they sell it loose"
"What other crackers do you buy?"
"Uh.. thats all.."

Thats all? 5 sutli bombs? I felt bad I had asked the last question... I think it didnt strike me that some kids celebrate Diwali only with so many crackers...

And all of a sudden it all seemed justified.. The pranks, bursting crackers in toilets and in the chawl at 4 am... The youngest in the family, always left wanting for attention. All he wanted is to have the maximum fun out of the limited resources he had...

Any 12 year old kid who gets only 5 crackers to burst in Diwali has every right to blow them up when he wants to.. 4 am, 5am, 6 am.. He has every right to blow them up in their face.. And no one should say anything bout it..
Narayan looked at my face.. I tried hard not to let the disappointment show.. but it did..
To get rid of the embarrasment(mine, not his) he said..

"Oh.. Oh.. But I am gonna buy sumthing else too.."
Saying this, he removed a piece of paper cutting from his bag. It was an advertisement for an Omega.
"You are buying an Omega watch?"
It costed Rs.3000, a lotta money in those days.
"Nahi baba.. The band.. watchband.. Duplicate.. But looks original. I ll show you, its available in the shop across the street."
Again, I felt silly I had asked the last question..

I looked at his watchband, the digital watch his uncle got from Dubai, the tin coating had chipped off in several places, rust showed where there was once glossy metal coat..


That evening he took me to that 4X4 shop. The shopkeeper reluctantly took out the watch band, implying that Narayan had been here many times to ask boutt he band.
"Rs. 30.. mangta hai kya? Baar baar idhar nahi aaneka"
We left sheepishly.. I meant I did.. To Narayan, the shopkeepers attitude didnt make any difference. He was too absorbed in thoughts of how the shiny metal wud look on his wrist..

It was the last day of school before the vacations began. The spirits were high.. Half of the teachers had taken the day off so that their vacations could begin early..

We had bout 5-6 periods free..

In the second last period, Karan and Narayan began to have a chalk fight. These guys collected chalk pieces from the staffroom so that they can have their very own World WarIII. Our bench was in the 3rd row from the door while Karan's bench was the 1st bench on the 1st row from the door. In other words it was right next to the door.

Karans "missile" hit me, and I got involved in this fiesta..
Narayan-Arshat v/s Karan Mehta..
Chalks flying everywhere. I got better with every throw. One hit Karan on his head, the second in his belly and the third,.. into Karta Miss' eye!

Karta Miss was our Vice-Principal, it seems our class was making a lotta noise and she had come just to check on us. And just as she was coming in, my chalk missile was into the trajectory and it had hit her in the right eye...

She was the most feared women in our school, or for that matter, in the world.. She was a cross between a bull and a wolf(or so the legend goes). She looked like a bull and wolf part, i ll tell you later... The chalk that I had hurled had hit her right eye. It gave the word - bullseye a whole new meaning.. Her eyes turned red, but then I couldnt make out if it was coz of the chalk-missile, coz they were always red!

The class stunned into silence.. Narayan still had a chalk in his hand, the last one in my hand had already found its target.

"YOU! COME HERE!", she screamed pointing towards Narayan with one hand and holding her right eye with the other...
Narayan got out of his seat and started to walk towards her..
Now the wolf part - She had claws like wolves do, with which she used to pinch the ears of her victims..

She grabbed him by his right ear and started dragging him out of the class..

"But Miss..", I said
"You stay OUT of THIS", she screamed..

She thought it must have been Narayan.. But Narayan knew it was my chalk that hit her. Karan knew that too and so did the whole class.. Narayan was a pro in chalk fight, its me whose aim could be this bad. But Narayan didnt say a word..

Narayan was made to wait in her office even after the school left. I waited for him outside the school gates.

That October night, I waited for him outside the school gates. It was only 6 o clock but winter had set in, and it seemed like it was 7 in the evening. I waited for him there for almost an hour after which he came out of the gates.

His right ear still had shades or red and a few weird shades of purple. He was made to kneeldown for 2 hours outside her cabin, his wobly walk testimony to that..He had been hit with a wooden scale on his shin.. But he didnt utter a word bout me..

Maybe he thought what would it do to my reputation among the teachers or what Miss Daisy would think bout me - a decent, bright, hard working boy.. hitting the vice-principal in the eye.. or maybe he just did it coz he saw me as his friend...

Thats what friends do, stand up for each other.. They are brothers in arms, so what if they belong to different backgrounds and have different grades on their report cards, each one of them, in their own way, completes the other..

That Diwali, I bought him that shiny watch band from the same shop across the street from the 30 rupees I had saved for myself...

I thought, a guy who would do that for a friend..., deserves.... a shiny watch....


Happy Diwali everyone.. The shiny watchSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend
Current Issues: , ,
9 letters to the editor Links to this post  

Thackrey "Raj"

This is not a Political blog and neither does it aspire to be one.. I usually write bout things that affect my life or of those close to me in some way. If Politics turns you off, please dont read this post, but if you are remotely interested, go ahead!

"Akkra rupaye zaale", said the conductor while punching the ticket
"matlab..? hindi mein boliye na..kitne rupaye hue?", the man(most probably from up) asked while accepting the ticket..
"marathi yet nahi kay? mag ja na parat bihar la" (Dont know marathi? Then go back to Bihar)

I was travelling with a few of my office colleagues in a state transport bus..Everyone in the bus gave the man a dirty look, some even echoed the conductors sentiment in hindi so that it was clear to that him that he was not welcome in this part of the world! I looked at my colleagues, it seemed that they supported the conductor instead of feeling sorry for that guy...and thats what this post is all about..

I have these 2 friends who close to me, both of them are non-marathis(and NOT non-maharastrians, coz everyone whos born and brought up here is a maharashtrian). Lets call them Deejay and Sally.. Both of them did their schooling from a community school, needless to say they were protected and identified with the culture there.. When they shifted to a bigger college, they had their own problems getting used to the culture.. Deejay complained that he felt left out when even in a group everyone started talking in marathi. Sally was frustrated that even the office staff talked to everyone in marathi..(and looked down on the people who didnt know their language)

The irony here is that she is a supporter of the Thackrey 'Raj'.. influenced by his ideology of kicking the "outsiders" back to where they came from, in this case UP or Bihar..
"But they are taxi drivers, carpenters, construction workers! How can we ask them to leave?", I reason.
"So what, I am sure we have enough people here to do those jobs"- Sally retorts..

I say - why not ask the south Indians to leave too? And the Gujratis, the Marwaris, why should they stay?

I am sure we have enough educated youth here to do the high end jobs that South Indians are involved in.. We dont want Marwaris and Gujratis coz we have enough of our Marathi businessmen to take care of all the businesses.. We dont want Punjabis in here coz we have enough marathi people who can run hotels and auto maintainance garages... All of you, go back to your respective states!!

The chances are, if you belong to one of the said communities, you would wanna scratch my eyes out...

And only I know how amazingly stupid and increasingly unconvincing I sounded when I said the those things..

Just like these communities play an important part in the functioning of the city, so do guys from the northern states.. Just like you go to a Punjabi restaurant for the best Chole bathure, you go to a bihari carpenter to get the best deal for your sofa.

But that said, it should be noted that its not acceptable to come to the city and live under a pipeline. These kinda people(and not any specific community) put a lotta pressure on the already strained city. Its these freeloaders that should be kept out of the city.

Time to resurrect the images of my friends..

Why do they hate the UP-Biharis? Its not that they have to compete against them for jobs or anything! Nor do they have to interact with them on a day to day basis.. so what makes them mad?
Its the freeloaders!! Its the people who think its okay for 7 guys to live in a 10X10 feet shanty in Dharavi..But Dharavi or for that matter any slum town in Mumbai has a quite a mix.. There are Gujratis and Punjabis, Christians and Muslims, marathis and south indians.. So why are Deejay and Sally mad at the northerners only? - Well, thats coz Raj wants them to! We do what we are told to.. More so when we are frustrated and want change bad. I dont blame them.. Crowded trains, bad roads, encroached footpaths do that to people... seeing their tax money not being utilised properly, their money used to provide electricity and water to the slums.. it sucks! Its similar to the sentiment people in the US show towards people who live off social security..

Now to the big question- Why is Raj mad at the northerners only?!

Well, a quick scan through Shiv Sena's history shows that through different time frames they have been mad at different people.. First it were the Gujratis (because they controlled most businesses and not the "sons of the soil"), then in the 80s the South Indians (coz they got the best jobs and not the "sons of the soil" ) and now for the last two decades, its been northerners..

The reason why most people dont know bout the 70s and the 80s is coz the "tigers" back then were "cubs" whom the congress bred to keep the marathi vote from going to the communist CPI. But then the cubs grew to be tigers and joined the saffron bandwagon to beat congress at its own game. Once in power in the 90s, the sena guys have added "value" by renaming every 3rd street to Chatrapatti Shivaji Maharaj and city has been rechristened Mumbai(which I support, btw)

Raj, who must have been in his late teens back in the early 90s, saw how his uncle worked up his charm. And now, his time has come to do what the Thackreys do best - implement the "us against them" doctrine. Then it doesnt matter who "them" is.. Afterall, this is tried and tested formula that has worked for ages.. Hitler used the same tactics...In that case, "them" were the Jews(and the rest of the world in general). Imagine less than 4 crore men ready to die for their leader and for a unbelievable dream of ruling the world! ... Some brainwash that must have been!!!

This tactic is super successful in the short term since it works for all classes who are on this side, but it does not help much in the long run... it brings a section of the society closer, at the same time, letting other sections drift away...

PS 1:- Raj is a great orator. Hes pretty charismatic. He appeals to the masses as well as the educated classes. Who knows? He might make a great leader someday.. When he does, he will unite the state, but in the bargain, end up dividing the nation..

PS2:- Deejay is still getting a hang of the language, but is comfortable with the idea of speaking the language. Sally has worked hard on the language and now, speaks excellent marathi.. The clerks at her college are proud. Her work gets done faster at all govt. offices simply coz she tries speaking the their language... Is that surprising? Nope! Its just human nature... Thackrey "Raj"SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend
Current Issues: , , , ,
6 letters to the editor Links to this post