Monday, July 1, 2013

Lottery Ticket Seller

The advantages of writing down memories are that if it’s a bitter one, you can simply tear it off and the sweet ones will always be remembered. I broke the shell of a pista as I wrote this and I couldn't help contemplate. So before I get into the topic of this literary torture, I had to write a pseudo prologue. Everything in life is a message. It may not shout it loud. It’s silent. Our challenge is to listen to those silent melodies. So what pistachio told me was that some people are like the pistachio nuts. They may be bitter on the outside, but in the inside they maybe the sweetest ones we've ever known. I know the connection between the title and pistachio seems absurd, but the description is what I felt was the man’s character. So let me introduce to you the lottery ticket seller I met today, a pistachio character I guess.

The scene starts in a tea shop near a bus stop. A small one in size. Hardly any customers in that small shop. It was under a small tarpaulin sheet. The place reeked of saw dust flame. I could see particles fly as the helper filled a container with saw dust (supposed to be the stove). A phone, a rather poor imitation of the new age devices was hung on a window. It played an old Malayalam melody. (Somehow, the whole set up seemed highly dramatic.)A melodramatic track with brilliant verses. It reflected the tendency of the society to isolate you in your bad times. It had this line which said when you’re sad; you are forced to seek companionship with just your shadow.

The tea shop lady gave me a look that meant “What do you want?”.”One chai.” I said. I somehow liked the word chai to tea. I always felt it had this dignified tone to it.  She took a glass tumbler and started making some sweet tea for her only customer at that time. As I took my first sip, a man walked into the scene slowly. A lottery ticket seller: our protagonist. He was a blind man. He walked with the help of a walking assist. It was rather a luxury for a blind man selling lottery tickets. His face was one that didn't demand a natural sympathy one has for a man with a disability. He was an old man who in some way redefined the definition of a poor blind man we have been accustomed to. He was neatly dressed and didn’t beg the bystanders to buy a ticket.

The lady began a conversation with him. I could figure out that they weren't strangers from the way she spoke to him. It was a cruel sunny day and the heat from the stove made the woman look like as though she was from some quarry. The old man swallowed his saliva. Seeing this, the lady forced him to have a tea from her. He accepted after the persuasion and began a dialogue filled with pathos. I felt he spoke to the world and I too happened to be one among them. He complained about the monsoon and said that nobody bought the tickets in this season. Being a hot sunny day in this season, it was his only opportunity to earn something. He was depressed about his low earnings and said that tea was his only meal. Tea was his staple diet. It not only quenched his thirst, but also made him save money that would've been spent on food. The Utopian idea of communism was practical in tea; tea being a drink that both the rich and the poor drank. The rich drank green tea to stay “healthy and fit”. It helped to awaken their sleepy cells. But for the poor, it represented the idea of a diet. Was three times square meal still a luxury in our world? I felt bad. In this world where people out of their own consent remain hungry to look better to other eyes, we have people, for whom hunger is not an option. Socialism ki jai! Let’s eradicate hunger. I got carried away.

The tea shop lady said the reason behind his bad health was his hunger. I was glad to realise that humanity wasn't extinct. The man then said that he was in the climax of his life. He said”This is it”.

“Is he a coward?
Not at all, he is facing his life with vigour.
But he wants to end it.
Well that’s just his poverty shouting out loud.”
My mind became eloquent suddenly. Inference: I’m thoroughly confused.

I don’t know what forced me to say that, but I did. I told the lady that I’d pay for him. You see I’m also a member of the “educated-concerned-radical-textbook-do-gooder”. We all are people with a concern that’s alive when we see something like the scene mentioned. A concern that has a lifespan equal to that of the light from the firefly. Its short lived, but its brilliant.

The tea shop lady became happy and advertised it to him. He started refusing the tea. He didn't want me to pay. He didn't want anybody’s sympathy. I was in awe of that man. His self respect was boundless. It prevented him from being victimized by anybody’s benevolence. He was independent; “a lone wolf”. His new definitions broke down the castles of prejudice in me. It shook it right from the bottom.

In what way was he inferior to me? Just that his vision showed him a different world from mine? Perhaps his vision shows him a far superior world to the rather superficial tangible world of ours. But our physical bodies were in the same world. There we stand as equals. We were both performers to the same audience in the world where our bodies were.  The textbook now calls such people as challenged. I had no respect for such a categorization and was always in the constant state of sympathy. But this incident gave meanings to the word ‘challenge’. They’re superior athletes who can live with even a ‘challenge’. It was just a way of life.

realized this was one such memory, worthy of being written. It was one that was worthy of being read, years later. It was a memory worthy of remembrance.


An unfinished poem from a part of my life which I don't want to remember. They say unfinished work tends to have beauty that cant be found in many 'complete works'.

Accustomed to failure,
I've made it a part of my life.

The winning streak is like the horizon,
it seems to exist without an existence

What's the point in being straightforward
when everybody eventually reaches oblivion

Saturday, May 21, 2011


'Doc, you see. I know them very well.'

'What do you mean sir?'

'Please try to understand their condition.'

'I am a doctor and I have to save lives and not take them. I cant do it'

'Okay. I get it. But letting that girl live is the worst torture you can give them.'

'See its just a disorder.'

'Really, is it just a disorder? The child has the disorder, but the entire family suffers. Have you ever thought about the consequences she will face when she grows up?'

' I know. I understand your cause. But please do think about us. Do you think that we can live with peace after we kill her?'

'You are just asked to perform Euthanasia. Its mercy killing. By doing this, you are helping a family. I'll take the responsibility if anybody comes to know about this. I promise.Its a bad world out there. Do you think she can live with peace even after her parents are dead.'

'Sir, I cant just kill a girl and say that I have been merciful. There are millions of children out there who live by slapping people like us each day, proving that they are no different from you or me.'he shouted

' Doctor. This is all I can do. The rest is in your hands.'

The doctor was left alone in his room to think. He was in a dilemma. At one end he had his promises in mind. He was a doctor. He had to save lives. But some part of his mind did justify the family's position.

The doctor began walking towards the girl's parents.Meanwhile he had a conversation with his thoughts.

'She has her parents, who else would she need?'his mind asked him
'Her parents would one day die, and she would still live on. 'his mind replied.

'The family friend who spoke to me was a spokesperson of the undesirable truth. He was right. It was a bad world. And when she would grow up, she would have to face it. She would be helpless.You are just scared to face reality. Don't ruin the lives of many because you happen to be a coward.Why do you want them to suffer?'his mind asked.
'There are many organisations that take cares of special people. She could live there.They came here because their daughter was ill. Do you think her parents would want their daughter to be killed? Never. They consider her as God's gift.'his mind said.

He noticed nothing as he walked. He was deep into his thoughts. All of a sudden he began imagining. He felt weightless for some time. His mind started saying things like, nothing is permanent. He realized that one day she would die. Even if he decided to save her today, one day she would never wake up.

That was when he entered the room where the girl was. He didn't notice her.She was wide awake. He was still unclear about his decision. He went close to her looked at her eyes. Her small petite eyes spoke of her innocence. It wanted to see more. The doctor could sense it.

Slowly a small yet mesmerizing smile blossomed on her face. The doctor made up his mind. He wanted the smile on her face to last forever. It was one of the most beautiful things he had ever seen. He decided to let her live as long as she should. He was nobody to decide her death or anything. He was just a doctor who was there to serve people.

He walked outside. As he walked , he saw the girl's mother approach him. she was filled with curiosity. Before she could ask anything he said that she was fine and could go back home.

The doctor was also happy. He walked the lobby with pride. He had gathered enough courage to tell the family that she didn't need euthanasia. But before he could meet them he heard a long cry from the girl's room. It sounded like her mother.

He ran to the room. He found the mother crying on the floor. With utmost fear he approached the girl. He palms were sweating profusely. He felt his legs burning under his shoes. He found the girl old and lifeless. She was smiling. Now he was horrified. He couldn't control his emotions. Even he began weeping. He walked away from the room. He questioned the credibility of his knowledge. He wondered who was indeed helpless. He wanted to let her live as long as she could but still was unable to protect her from the arms of death.

He walked to his room. He had never felt so bad when a patient passed away. He decided to leave the hospital early that day. He stared at the clock. He failed to realize how time went by. Her smile remained in his mind. he felt weightless again. He felt as though he was swimming. He began thinking of his childhood. He wanted to see the parents. Somehow he didn't have the courage. He agreed that he was a coward. On that note he left the room.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

To the sytem.....

You stole my childhood
for meaningless education

You stole my happiness
for something called 'success'

You stole my sleep
in the name of satisfaction

You stole my adolescence
in the name of my future

You stole my friendship
in the name of an nonexistent race

You stole my mind and brain
for your pointless balance sheets

You stole my health
for the 'country's development'

You stole my children
in the name of their childhood

You stole my life from me
and yet i am christened the theif!!!!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

What happened in the 5th room in the 6th floor??

'Trrrrrrrring'the doorbell rang.

'Come in'replied Mike partly engrossed in his laptop.

'Please help me. I am being chased by some people. They look very furious. Help me. Please.'a lady said frantically.She was in a bikini and looked distressed.It was a weird combination. She looked like a woman of around 20 years or so. Nevertheless her desperate look made her look older.

'Lady who are you?Why are they after you?And firstly get yourself dressed. I dont want the cops to doubt me.' Mike made no sense in the end and turned to his packed bag.'I'm sorry, I have only men's wear. But desperate conditions need desperate measures.'He sounded like a salesman. After hunting for long he threw a shirt and jeans at her.

She got dressed and returned with a more peaceful face.

'Now who are you?'

'Can I have some water?'

'Yeah.Sure inside the fridge.'said Mike as he pointed at a small fridge.She opened and found only one bottle, and that too whiskey.

'You have no water?'

'Dont know. What?There is no water! There maybe some alcohol.Help youself with it.'

'Thanks.'she said as she joyfully gulped drops that provoked social inhibition. For some time, her senses would be off.

'Yeah.Now tell me who are you?'

'Me.I am Monica. I am journalist.'

'Which magazine?'

'No, newspaper You have some more whiskey dear.'

'Which one?'

'A daily.Not a weekly newspaper.'

'Which daily?'

'Oh.Hate that place. Its such a disgrace. The Cosmopolitan's Chronicle.'

'Hmmm. Actually I have never heard of that before.'

'Yeah.How could you have heard about such a petite newspaper.But all the same. They pay me so I don't care.'

'Which area's newspaper is it?'

'North America.'

'Wow.North America.Oh.'he tried sarcasm in which he terribly failed and continued.'Specific.Be more specific.'

'What am I doing here answering SAT!Be specific, precise, crazy blah blah.Hahahaha'

He interrupted."Shut up and tell me.'

'Nevada.'she replied with a shake.She gulped more whiskey.Lost more mental control and spoke.

'Okay. So why are they chasing you.'


'Well the thats the door.You may leave.'

'Well sorry. You see I was a part of this team.'

'Which team?'

'We had to report a scam.'

'Which scam?'

'The canary tube scam.You know Micheal Scothers.'

'Oh.So what happened in the end.'

'He was kicked out of the senate. And I was the main so he is taking revenge.'


'Yeah. All my coworkers are kidnapped.I am the only one.Well now can I ask?'


'Thank you for helping me. May I know something about you?'

'Yeah sure.'

'Go ahead.Tell me anything you wouldnt mind me knowing.I respect your privacy.Who else gave me shelter in this 5 star hotel but you.So no compulsions.I will always remember you.'

'Yeah sure. I am a politician too.'


'And my name is Mike.'

'Thank you Mike.'

'But my real name is Micheal Scothers.'

Monica was taken aback.She sighed heavily.After so much of trouble from the hunters dogs, she came right underneath him. This is life's sarcasm.

'And you know what, what you said was absolute rubbish.In the end of the scam, I was proved innocent.So thers no point trying lady tell now who are you?Thers no point playing.From the time you entered I had started doubting.And thats why you got whiskey and not water.'he said as he stuck his lips to a bottle of water.'Why on earth would you enter the 5th room of the 6th floor. If at all you were chased you could have gone to any other room over here. Why mine? Do you want to see the jail. Tell me, you have no other way out.'

'Okay fine.You are right. I am no reporter. I am a con woman. We saw you at the casino yesterday sweeping money so thats why.So we decided, either I am going to seduce and con you, or we do it brutal. You have chosen the second option.You aren't going to get out alive unless you stick out your money or bank account details.'

'Woho.I am scared.'Mike said as he stuck out a pistol.'Do you think I'm an idiot. when I have a fully loaded pistol,that too pure German breed, do you think you are going to get away alive.I have license and besides check out my record in shooting. I was trained by the Scotland Yard.Before you con someone just check how dangerous he is.Or else you may not live to see the next sunrise.'

Mike gets up and slowly grabs her arms keeping his gun in position on her forehead and tied her with a rope.'My team will enter this room in another 2 minutes. We are street trained. Far ,more sharper than your Yard.Come on dude, we are the cop's headache aren't we.'Monica tried revolting.She failed in that.He shoved the table cloth inside her mouth and keeps the gun in position and continued,'you know what I aint Micheal whatever.I am also a con man like you. You dug your own grave lady. By the way, I'm Mike. Real name..Mitchell. ' as he said this she cursed herself.Of course silently. He took her to the door.

Before he could open the door, it is fired open.


Down in the lobby, the cops had arrived. They asked tried the lift, but it said 6th floor so they tried hit stairs.


'Move it folks or else, she's dead meat. Move it. Now you, put any money that you have inside the red bag.' he said as he pointed a red one.The con men tried breaking inside, but Mike didnt lose grip over Monica and started blackmailing. At first though they tried lying, Mike tightened his grip on Monica, and also the gun.Monica nodded frantically out of fear. And the con men put their money.


The cops reached the fourth floor. They were called Mike silently when he was talking to Monica.


'Put the bags near the lift.' One of them obeyed.'Looks like they love you Monica.He moved slowly placing each step very cautiously near the lift. As he got near the lift, he pressed the open button. The con men stood opposite to him, near the room,As the lift door opened, he kicked his bags inside.

The cops almost reached the sixth floor.

Mike made eye contact with Monica's eyes and whispered 'You are the only fool who was scared by a water gun.'and pushed her out.

The con men began firing hard.

After a smoky atmosphere, the con men were dead. Near them , Monica lied motionless;dead. The lift reached the third floor by then.

Some bullets hit Monica,some went inside the lift.

As he threw Monica, he moved to the side where the numbers were and clicked the third floor and close button hard many times.So he escaped without a bullet.

As the con men started firing, the cops were right behind them, so they started shooting too.

In the third floor, Mike moved with his bags into his real room.The whole thing was planned.

Unknowingly, Mike had watched the con gang for a long time by then.He knew their techniques by then. So he booked a room in the third floor as Mitchell, and later imitating a lady's voice booked the 5th room in the 6th floor. Within a day, Mike vacated the room in the third floor and the daily said this.

'A lady named Janet Peterson had booked the room. Being a rich woman, she was being conned by few con men. Hearing doubtful sounds from the sixth floor, a responsible citizen names Mitchell called the cops. But the cops were too late. By the time they came in, the lady tried escaping. As the cops came, the con men began shooting at her. And the cops shot down the con men.Though Mitchell or Mike's call was ineffective, since these kind of sensible citizenship needs to be instilled he was given a medal for bravery and a cash price.'

Mike smiled as he read it, gave a sigh and started planning for his next CON!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Somethin about Ian

“Ian go……..Come on see even a fifth grade kid can do this…..Bungee jumping ain’t Mt.Everest.” Mr. Frank (Ian’s dad) said to his son. At last with great apprehension Ian decided to take the task……….Bungee jumping in a park.

He was afraid that the rope kind of metal would have some fault and he would be flying like Superman and crash very badly. And to his dread he heard a “crank” like tone in the thing.

He closed his eyes. The seat went up carrying Ian. And………..

He was right the rope had some fault and he was flying……………….In the end he felt him falling down……..

Giving up to gravity……In a moment his head would crash on the ground and………….He could see fear in his parent’s face…….His while life flashed in front of him and………………..

He woke up with a scream.”AAAAAAaaaaaahhhhh. I am dead. Where am I? In hell or heaven.”“Ian what happened!” his sister screeched at him.

“Hey it would be his regular flying and crashing dream.” Ian’s mom said nonchalantly. “Today where was it from….Eiffel tower or Mt.Everest or was it just a car crashing.”

“Option .None of the above” Ian said “Well this time it was Bungee Jumping”.

Well this is one of the few NORMAL days of Ian Dunham-the teenage author. He published his first book right after his school. It was a runaway success. And Ian Dunham became Duni Anham. Weird name. People thought he was from Greece or somewhere. But it came out by just rearranging his name. But he was from our very own Bangalore. He was the youngest member of an Anglo Indian family of lawyers.

His book “Its Him” was a book about detective story set in the backdrop of a college romance. Okay let’s not get too much into that book of his as we have to capture his one day.

“Where’s Ian” asked Mr. Frank sitting at the dining table.

“IAAANNN” his sister called out for him.He came down.

‘So son what are you going to take for college. I mean for your B.Sc degree? I would suggest English as we love in this language.’

‘What dad? Am I not joining some engineering college?’

“What do you mean? We are a family of lawyers. That too for generations. It’s our family job. Law runs through our blood. IPC codes give us food. The black gown is our life son.’

“Dad we are rich enough to buy how much ever black gowns we want to. That means our life’s aim has been satisfied. We can buy a law student’s book. So food shortage has been resolved. And I don’t know whether there is a “law blood group”. If there is then can I go for engineering?” Ian replied

‘Don’t you act smart in front of me Ian?”

“Dad I am not ACTING SMART…I am just being normal. Why can’t I do engineering and later learn law.”

“What you mean you want to waste five years! That’s ridiculous. If you start practicing law young, you can earn a better fortune earlier. A better career. A better life”

“But dad………..”


And after a similar fight for three days along with the plea put forward by Ian’s mom and sister, Ian gave the final verdict-“I’ll go to college. B.Sc subject will be English Literature.”

“Today is Ian’s first day of college. I’ll take him to college” Mr. Frank said. “You see I’m very happy now. Where’s Ian?”

"Well he's dressing up” his mom replied

And our friend set for the college.

So then Ian stood in front of the large gate of his new college. He took a big sigh and put his first step into the campus.

"Dude! Watch where you're going. I would have killed you by now.Idiot."A person in a car shouted at the dreaming Ian who very dramatically was putting his first step inside the famous college.

He dreamt of flowers that fell and that he would accidentally crash into a beautiful girl. He dreamt his college days unleash like a movie. But flowers didn't fall. God knows why.

BANG. He crashed into someone. He looked at that person eagerly.

He thanked God and................It was not a girl. Instead a sweaty guy. He was running. He continued. After that guy five others also crashed into Ian. They were chasing the first guy for cash. Ian slapped himself and continues his walk.

He reached his class.

"Hi friends.” A person from behind said. "I am a third year student."

"But isn't this first year student's class?" someone else asked.

"Yes, yes you are absolutely right. I am third year in first year. I mean this is my third year in the same class. Remaining I'll tell you guys later. By the way my name is Rakesh."

"WELCOME STUDENTS" a loud voice called out from the podium.

"Oh no! It’s junior Hitler. He keeps ripping my skull that’s why I don’t pass."Rakesh whispered to Ian.” So all you've got o do is be his pet."

"Roger." said Ian

"After a huge controversy, we have revised the syllabus. Rather updated. For studying modern literature, we suggest you read a book, whose name I'll tell tomorrow.” Junior Hitler announced.

"That tomorrow will never come."Rakesh whispered."Oh it will. I think tomorrow is Feb 31st or April 35th."

And that day of Ian passed quite uneventfully. He was sleeping in class.

"Hey guys guess what, I lost the bet. Junior Hitler actually got the name of the book." Rakesh announced in him canteen to Ian and some others who sat near Ian.

"Dude, what on earth is junior Hitler's actual name .My mom asked me yesterday, and I didn't know his name. Somehow I got away.” Ian said.

"Dude!!!This question is tougher than our question paper!!!Dont worry, we'll find out."Rakesh replied.

And so the class started for that day. Ian got the brainwave for writing his college experiences as his next book. He received many letters asking him about his second book.

"Students!!!!!!Some of you believe that I am all words and no action” junior Hitler said

"Well you said it right."Rakesh whispered.

"So here I am. I will change all your notions."

"Stop giving a speech. I have heard many of these for the past three years."

"The book's name.............The book's name is......"He tries arousing their curiosity. He failed helplessly. No one was curious.

'The book's name is..........It's a very popular book. I believe most of you have read it. The book is "IT'S HIM"

Ian sat dumbstruck. Should he say that he was Duni Anham? Should he say something?

"Its Greek author's creation......I guess” Junior Hitler addeed.'Anyways it’s great.'

'Yeah right! Dude you need to check the address. It clearly said that I am from Bangalore.' Ian thought.

"Ian this gives me chance to pass the exam. I’ve read this book many times."Rakesh said happily.

Ian just smiled. That day was also uneventful. His mind went from the college to many places. He was dreaming. From Greece to Bangalore to romance. Many subjects related to his book.

"Hey dude. Class is about to end, let's finding his name."Rakesh said. And so Rakesh stood up.

Rakesh began.” Sir, I had a doubt."

"That' why I am here for” the teacher replied.

"It's quite out of syllabus."

"If I know the answer, I can clear your doubt."

"Ahem, sir....."

"Yes proceed."

"What's you name?"


"Same pinch sir, I am also Rakesh. Good name no sir? Why do you have to shout for that?

The bell rang. Class ended.Rakesh promised that he would find the name through the register. Ian didn't hear any of these. As a matter of fact he didn't even laugh at what happened to Rakesh.He was somewhere else. In a dreamy land. Not a height fearing dream. But flowing.He traveled countries. He saw many creatures. He saw many dreamy things .At last he gave a sigh.