Saturday, December 29, 2007

Moth and Reality

Moving at a glacial pace, he stumbles upon Jagger the wide mouthed moth. Flutter flutter. Scratchy pollens fly off, waft about for a second and settle upon his suede. Allegoric allergens trigger the finicky foxholes of his mind. Scratch scratch. Blood red blotches mushroom the decaying neurons of his caloried impulse. Jagger smiles at him and with a furtive poise in air disappears into the bright lights of artifice. Flash flash. Ruben, is left stranded on the clueless corners of Blind spot. Tall moments of absolute cluelessness look down upon him like buildings. Unkilled mosquitoes, aeroplanes, crows, cats sneer at him with a triumphant demeanour.

All at once. Twice, thrice. vroooom. honk, honk. vroooMMMMMMMM.....

Bullock cars run him over, time and over again. Bright light is cast upon the entire town of Blind spot. Fuse white electricity burn out the fatty suspensions of his impulse. Ironically, he feels gold.

"Whoa!", he exclaims....."Bermuda shots!"

Friday, December 28, 2007



Two young writers were sitting in a coffee shop. Both of them often chose this one in Lajpat Nagar among many that had sprung up in Delhi. It was mostly a time when they didn’t have a hot looking babe to hang out with, that they sat together. Actually they never had any. Perplexed by the intellectual mediocrity of the babes they couldn’t get laid with, they came to this coffee shop to smoke away their time and talk about something that they would really want to talk about. While one was contemplating ordering a 60 bucks coffee and not giving the manager another chance to ask them to leave, the other followed a female’s arse with that usual lustful look in his eyes and broke the silence.
“That’s what you call a wobbly arse.”
“And what’s a wobbly arse?”
“It’s the kind that wobbles when you spank it.”
“You can’t get over thinking about girls. Can you?”
“I hate this thing about you; all the good writers say and write about what they feel and not what’s moral and righteous. The other day I was reading these memoirs by a Turkish writer, where he said he used to think a lot about religion and politics and the rich and the poor and then he turned 14. He just thought about sex after that.”
“Ha ha…I’m sure he did. But he wrote about a lot of other things too.”
“Yes but those guys had issues dude… he wrote about the melancholy that prevailed in the fallen capital of the great Ottoman empire, Kafka had this whole surrealistic movement influencing him, Dylan had this folk tradition which was in vogue. And he could do it better than anyone else. Tom waits, Lou reed wrote about the down-town trash the great capitalist economy, Rand glorified the virtues of capitalism or individualism or objectivism or whatever. What do we have to get inspired by? Hot looking dumb chicks?
“You sound like a pseudo. But I know all you can think about is sex.”
“Dude, there’s more to me than sex.”
“The truth is - you are sex and more.”
“Whatever…maybe we are living in happy times. Booming economy, great jobs, a flat and a car for every hardworking executive of a corporation, fashionable wives, kids in schools that cost more than a stay in a luxury liner. Happy lives. Happy times.”
“That’s what someone cursed an artist with – may you live in happy times.”
“Or may be its guys like us who aren’t living those happy lives, desire mayhem and disorder and chaos and ugliness.”
“There must be some kind of way out of here - said the joker to the thief.”
“And I must assume that the joker is me and the thief is you.”
“How does it matter? Both of them aren’t normal. It’s just that the thief accepts the mediocre thoughts of most people and obviousness of life and the joker can’t come to terms with it. And the thief is the one helping him understand that.”
“But dude I can’t live with this shit. I need inspiration. Some real inspiration.”

The other guy takes out a rod out from somewhere under the table and bangs it on the head of his friend. He keeps hitting till the poor guys head is all but a pulp of blood and flesh.

“Is this inspiration enough for you?” He shouts aloud.

“Extreme violence is not an alternative to real inspiration.” A voice comes out from the moving lips of the battered head.

People around them continue their gossips while sipping coffee and smoking cigarettes oblivious of what just happened.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

The answer

Khud mein jo dhundta hun tanhaayi ka sabab,
koi hal nahin milta mujhko.
Poochh toh lun tujhse magar darta hun,
kahin tanhaa na kar dun tujhko...

Wednesday, December 26, 2007


very recently, a regular visitor to this blog said that my writing is getting from bad to worse. she said that it was mediocre, shallow and a complete waste of time.

i’d say, without a doubt, yes. certainly, affirmative, spot on, 20 points and do you want to go to bonus round.

let me explain. and i’m being dead honest here.

i hate you.

i hate the lives you lead. i hate the people you live with. i hate your parties. i hate your small talk. i hate what you do for a living. i hate how you do it. i hate who you do it for. i hate your parents. i hate your relatives. i hate your pets. i even hate the people you hate.

all of you. i hate all of you.

and i hate you too much to explain why.

if there was a little red button to push to kill you all, i would have pushed it yesterday.

see, it’s like this. i’m a misanthrope with jilted plans of world domination and an obvious lack of talent. so, given the lack of access to a nuclear solution, how do i wreak my malevolence on you.

the answer’s pretty simple, really.

bad writing.

i mean, if chetan bhagat can do it, why can’t i. it requires zero effort, it completely wastes time you could have spent doing something more worthwhile (like playing football with the little critter you spawned or fellating your friends, for instance) and some fuckheads actually like it.

think about it. people say you destroy five minutes of your life with every cigarette you smoke. my longer stories definitely destroy more of your time. and it costs to produce a cigarette. it costs me zilch to write.

there. i hope that explains that.

and fuck you.


coffee at ccd

i’m small and in a small white cup on a small white saucer. the sort they pour and serve 25 ml shots of coffee in. i’m wearing a white arrow shirt i bought for Rs. 40 off the road with my favourite black jeans - pepe 73s, they’re worn out, frayed near the boots and have a small hole in the right pocket. on them, i’m wearing my black levi’s beatnik jacket. it’s not really a beatnik jacket, it’s just that with time i’ve made it one. the pockets have holes in them. i realize all my clothes are damaged. it’s got no significance, they just are. i’m standing barefoot in the cup.

suddenly, the white starts going grey. i look up and realize it’s a giant shadow. a giant jug is approaching the cup held by a giant hand. it all looks like slow mo to me because i’m smaller and time passes slower for me. a great steaming dark brown wave appears out of the jug. it approaches and finally splashes over me. it splashes over my face. its heat blinds me. i feel my face melting. i taste it. it’s bitter. in my veins, it kills my pain. i observe, objectively, what’s happening to me. it stains my shirt, spotless white goes a shit brown. the skin beneath burns. it chars my exposed palms. there’s a stinging pain in my feet. as it settles on the bottom, the coffee burns my feet past the skin, past the tissue and finally past the bone until i can’t stand anymore. as i fall, i feel myself broken by the current of the fluid as it fills up the space. i’m swimming in the heat now. i feel it cut in. my clothes go first, my skin follows and slowly, i feel it move towards my soul.

with little by little by oasis playing in my head, i dissolve.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Ha Ha Ha ~

lit lamps and leaking lungs ,
butts bitten till lips got burnt ,
intriguing voices ,bells, and colossal gongs,
eyes of void – eyes that haunt
misspent times of idleness ,
hunger fatigue and laziness,
night that dawns for Neanderthalls,
and voiceless dream that appalls.
Chattering monkeys with Chaucer thoughts ,
Coffee ,omlette ,and a big hug ,
Colourfull butterflies ,aspiring moths,
Addictive garden with decaying logs.
And in ponds of absurdity they dip ,
The soulless bodies they rip,
Tired aren’t they?-the Hedonists
Of endless nights ,of grandeur feasts ~


hoity, toity, dressed for a marriage reception in black suede shoes, black cords, a black turtleneck just about showing traces of a red checked shirt around the collar and wearing dark red gloves, i take delicate and conscious bites off shish kebab on a paper napkin.

an old hunched man on a walking stick and in a clumsy suit (i can almost imagine him drooling unconsciously while watching something mediocre on TV) is stopped, is distantly related and is introduced.

'so young man, what do you do?'



'you know those things between TV serials, i make them.'

'bastard', he mutters and moves off.


Monday, December 24, 2007

Good Hotels

Good hotels are always sexy.

The virgin cleanliness of the room when you first enter. The full length mirrors in the bathroom. Strangers congregated in lobbies and coffee shops and herbal parlours. Saunas with aromatic massages. The anonymity of it all. The ‘do not disturb’ sign on the door. The curtains translucent like shimmering veils. Cool women in cocktail dresses, in restaurants talking to their husbands, or their boyfriends, or taking a break from them. The crisp uniforms of room service. The knowledge that as you walk down the carpeted corridors there are, in rooms to the right and left, honeymooners, and professionals, and people determined to break off their marriage in dramatic fashion. The sheer convenience of it all (in good hotels, the sheets are changed daily and in your absence). Good hotels are always sexy.

Good hotels are also lonely.

The way in which the staff tries to act friendly. The plastic covering on the cups, the bottles and the soap. Honeymooners, hand in hand. A short note for you when you open your suitcase. Time on your hands. The antiseptic perfection, an exact apotheosis of normal life. Newspapers with their local interest stories and regional politics. Getting your meals ordered to the room, because what’s the point eating alone. May as well watch TV (in good hotels all sitcoms seem that little bit warmer). Good hotels are necessarily lonely.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

A generous friend has been foolishly generous enough to invite me to his blog. Hoping, of course, that I'll make some valuable contribution. Now, hasen't he been through enough to realise how vain it's to extract something meaningful from the back benchers (read the last ignominious row in the office). The row listens to boy bands and reads Ayn Rand. And if that isn't bad enough, prefers tea over coffee. Also disgustingly, combs their hair, doesn't know who Pokemon is, what it's all about or how it's spelled, loves chewing colourful Suparis and spitting the same on people who run the office. The Generous Friend has no sense of foreboding.Only god bless him. Now.

smile please

Subah subah jab murgay ki pukaar suni, to aisa laga mano kambakhat muskura raha ho. December shuru hote hi, mahaz balon ko chorke… baki poora sansar… mano kambal ke andar hi bas jaata ho.

Apne dain haath ko tasalli di… to sahab sirak-ke dono moze …andar ko khainch layen. Andhere mein hi who anhoni hui jab left or right ulte pad gaye.

Thande farsh pe chappal khonjte hue balcony tak aa pahuche…rasten mein kahin …pata nahin kaise …ek garam chai ka pyala haath mein aaa thama.

Samne wale ghar ki balcony mein… aunty roz ki tarah aaj bhi kapde sukha rahin thin…mein sikud ke, dono hathon mein apna pyaala liye khada tha.

Suryadev… aaj bhi mazzak kar rahe the.

Aunty ne bach-che ki chaddi balti se nikaalke…nichoodke… …taar pe tangi aur galti se balti mein bachche hue pani ko neeeche udail diya…zor se chillane ki aawaz ane par… Aunty ne forun sorry bol ke smile paas kari …to neeche khade bhaiya bhi…koi nahin …bol ke hans diye. Itne mein meri chai thandi pad gayi…malai to khair mein waise bhi nahin khata .

Ghanti baji to chaukidaar chori ki khabar liye muskura raha tha…upar se gande pani ka bahaw dekha to jamadaar khil khila rahaa tha. Press wali aunty jale hue kapde leke khush hue jaa rahin thi to akhbaar wala dobara bil dete hue sharma raha tha.

Bhai… koi mujhe bata sakta hai ki is sheher ke logon ko itni hansi kyon aati hai?

Monday, December 17, 2007


Automatic Kafka

Feel out of place with you arty friends?
Need something to say in the interval of that art film?
Want to badly hit on that pot smoking beatnik chick but don't know want to say?

Here's the answer, order the Automatic Kafka by mail today. This device can be easily assembled and concealed at will in your bedroom, in the kitchen or even in your dresser. Whenever you find yourself in need, think of your faithful electronic companion, come to it and press it's enter key. Within a few seconds, it will articulate through its revolutionary 30 Watt No Scratch Sound Speakers (TM) some words from the well known and currently deceased philosopher Franz Kafka.


Manj Pandey, 23, Kalimpong reports a sudden increased popularity with healthy members of the opposite sex. A pretty girl by his side nods in agreement.

Avinash Chugh, 28, Panipat, has found himself being invited to more parties after his acquisition of the Automatic Kafka. 'I Have become life of party!', he exclaims joyfully.




Chakravarty & Associates
Chippi Tank, Meerut-250001


Friday, December 14, 2007

Perched Headlong

My phallic intuition is perverted
To a ruthless precision
The heat is fermenting the sugar in my blood-wine
Tightening my vessels with alcoholic indecency
I lie here naked
Plucking grasses impulsively
Subconscious of the harrowing bees
That matters not .
Daisies,ducks,half submerged damsels
In chaste lakes,
Come, undress,spread all over
I am tired of sleeping with vanity.

Keep it to yourself…

Uncovering a bit of medieval history amongst the Monday morning madness can safely be termed an achievement. Yes sir it is, when your name is not Howard Carter, haven't discovered King Tutankhamun's tomb and it’s not your raison d'être.
Three times in a row, I had been on the same spot, waiting in the morning for my friends to pick me up for office. It stood there, hidden from my view by the unusually dense foliage of a shrub and I missed it thrice. But then I happened to chance upon it - an epitaph erected on the footpath, just after the Chirag Delhi flyover. It read:
The tomb of the Chishti saint Roshan Chirag Dilli (14th Century) is located on the bank of the canal flowing from Nizamuddin, where the dargah of his teacher Nizamuddin Auliya is located. Chirag Dilli’s dargah became a shrine for devotees and a settlement developed near it. In the 18th century, a high wall was built around the village with four gateways. Though little of this remains, and the village is now densely populated, traces of old settlement can still be recognized and a sense of medieval township be understood.

Just as I had gone through the engraving, my phone rang and my friends broke the news that they were stuck in one of those colossal traffic jams that have become as much a part of Delhi as the ubiquitous auto-rickshaw that gets trapped in these jams. I do the math and determine that it would take them at least fifteen minutes to reach me. I look for another essential ingredient of Delhi that is ubiquitously sprinkled in its topography, the ‘chai-wala’. Tea break awaits me only fifty feet away and I am being served a hot cup by a dwarfed old man who has two fingers and an eye missing. Hands covered in soot from the kerosene stove and head covered with a grimy monkey-cap, he uncovered a secret while I reluctantly sipped the brew he had concocted.

“Aap uska tasveer kheench rahay thay naa. Usay chhupaane ke liye pauda maine lagaya hai.”

I got a little amused at first but then he said something that had me all ears. The old chap has entered into an accord with the Djinns that live in the reeking rivulet. He devises ways to hide the epitaph and in return gets to do business on the banks. The MCD erected the epitaph with the intention to provide a historical insight into the place and enrich the knowledge of the tourists and the locals alike, much to the dismay of the Djinns. And since it reveals the history of Chirag Dilli, the epitaph also starts serving as a marker to evil people practicing the occult. They can come scouring the place for the Djinns if they get a whiff that once there was tomb in the area. The Djinns cannot uproot the epitaph because the authorities will come down heavily on them and drive them out of the place. So an unannounced, mutually sustaining symbiotic association thrives on without meeting many people’s eyes.

I go on and ask my storyteller the reason for the benevolence he has shown to me.
“Aapne tasveer kheench li hai na! Aapko bataana zaruri tha. Kya pataa aap kis kis ko dikhao. Aur phir log unko dhundne aa jayein. Zara soch samajh kar kisi se iss baaray mein baat karna. Unki na dosti acchi aur na dushmani.”

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


The Cula Bite

"Bloody Mary", shrieked the lean waitress. "The Cula is here! He's here!', shouting aloud, she ran out of the pub in an alcoholic delirium. Aaya was bit. Dark red blotches of clotted blood were all over her neck. She started in alarm. But it was unheard, as the DJ was in and the music burst open in fruit flavours. Spreading around a thin air of tipsy nonchalance. Aaya felt good. Better. She almost came twice. She was in hunt for the Cula. () It all happened very swiftly. Friends turned into enemies. Strangers turned into beasts. And the weak, turned into dinner. In mere hours, The Hell Yeah! Pub had turned into a scene from From Dusk Til Dawn. Aaya stood tall, on a bar stool, and surveyed what lay in front of her; bloodless corpses, the stench of violence. Almost instinctively, those still standing turned towards her. () She looked down upon them like a Diva. Her stilettos tapped across the bar. Her body wriggled in spurts of orgasmic outbursts. She had become The Second Lady. The one and only. Mistress of the Cula. () Without warning, without the dramatic slo-mo shots one is used to in the movies, arrows began to pour down on them from the heavens. Most of newly turned didn’t have a chance. Heads were split open; lungs, hearts, kidneys, brains, balls—all were ripped out by the arrows. Aaya was whisked away from the scene. But not before one deadly arrow claimed her left arm. () The black cloak of the Cula flung open blinding the light that was peeping through a small hole on the roof. Flutter. Clatter. Humpsk. Phunkt. And Silence. The Cula was gone. So was Aaya. The small hole peeped in again casting a spotlight on the floor. Where dark feathers wafted down like autumn fall. . . () The Aluc stormed the pub--like many times before. But they were too late--like every time before. The Cula had gotten away. They searched for signs of life amongst the undead. They were not to find any. Flype looked heavenwards, his sword by his side, flaming like hell itself. Swiftly, automatically, the 9 member "Aluc" burned down whatever remained of the pub. Then, the pursuit resumed. () They vroomed down Underworld highway No.386. In wolverine packs. Howling with a Machiavelian deceit from random corners. Vroom past one blind spot to the other. The Cula moved in flashes. Like lightning in absolute chaos. And so did Aaya's screams. The Aluc crashed in confusion. Until Flype screeched. And cut open the viel of darkness with his gleaming sword.

Blinding flash of white light.

Me: I'm choking with a poetic urge gurgling up the glottis of my mind. Blip~


December 11th, The Pebble Street

I've been here before. I've done it all not so long ago. I know what's going to happen. It's all so predictable.
Our favourite song will start playing in the background. Hear it?
Now, do you see that table in the corner?
Hmmm... What about it?
Nothing great, just that they won't let us take it.
But why?
Coz it’s booked and someone special is going to turn up on that one, so they will seat us two tables next to it.
What? What the fuck is wrong with you? We haven't even ordered drinks yet and you talking crap already!
Trust me, I've been here before. And that reminds me; don't be frivolous with the order. Just ask for two Old Monks, I ain't got enough dough for tonight.
Can you ever tell me how much is ‘enough’ for you?
No. But make the order quick n be prepared for the show.
Show? What show?
I don't want to spoil your share of the fun. So wait up...

Is it for real? That's not them? Tell me they are not who I see. What are they doing here?
I told you that you're in for a show. Now be calm. Keep sippin at your drink and not attract their attention.
*sip* *sip*
How did you know they'd be here? I don't get it. What are you up to?
Nothing much. Just settling some old scores. Now, take this, walk up to their table and point it at his back. Nobody will see what you're doin. Trust me.
Are you fuckin crazy? It's loaded! And besides, if you're so sure, why don't you do it yourself?
Because I've seen it happen and it works out fine only if you do it. All I want is that you do as I tell you. Here, go for it!
And what do I do after that?
Ask him to get up and take a walk with you. I'll pay up and follow you guys outside onto the street. Head for the parking lot and force him to drive out with you in his car.
What about the other one?
Leave that to me.
And then?
Wait for me at the crossing. And while you're at it, just give him a subtle reminder or two that he'd be in serious trouble if he resorts to any heroics.
OK, Mr. Nostradamus, what is to be done after that?
*sip* *sip*
Well, I don't remember exactly. Let's order another round and in the meantime, I'll try and piece it all together.
But I heard you say you ain't got enough money?
Can you define 'enough' for me?
So shut up and order another round.
*sip* *sip* *wait* *wait*
Have you figured out the next move?
No, not yet. But why the fuck are you so uneasy? Just enjoy your drink and let me concentrate.
Sorry. Cheers!
*sip* *sip*
Tell you what, this Monk worship is really something. It's just so blissful in the winters. You want another one?
I won't mind.
So where was I?
The next move.
Oh that. Ya, the one we've been talking about all this while?
Yes, what about it. What do you want me to do next?
Well. You don't have to do much.
*sip* *hic*.
Just sit back and enjoy your drink.
I guess I got it. You've managed to get high enough to fuck apart one more story to shreds, haven't you? Well guess what, I too have been here before. And I've also done it not so long ago. And it so happens that I knew what was going to happen. The thing is, I was here to pay homage to the Monk & you can never do 'enough' of that, can you?
Now pay up. And don't forget, I’d be waiting for you at the parking lot and not at the crossing...

Tuesday, December 4, 2007


Darkness gives way to light, light to pain.

A man winces, his eyelids refuse to obey.

‘Too... too much light. And that smell. What is...?’

Shrapnel explodes in mid-air, pellets fly in all directions. Soldiers duck, those who don’t no longer need to. Pieces of sharp metal hang in suspended motion for those who have but a split second to live. Flashes of light, the sound of thunder, blood on the walls, it’s a storm straight out of hell.

‘What just whizzed past my ear? What is this place? Where am I? Who am I?’

A man, ragged, torn, soiled, stands amongst flesh fused with clothes and concrete. He tries very hard to make sense of the world around him. He tries to remember. And secretly wishes he can’t.

‘This doesn’t make sense. This can’t be real. Who are all these people? They look like soldiers. And I look like them. Am I? I have to be. But why isn’t any of this familiar? This piece of metal around my neck, it has a name, it...’

As a battered, beaten soldier stands in the eye of the hurricane reading his dog-tag, an explosion right above him, a little to his right, sends three floors of bricks and bones crashing down on his foot.

‘God no! Damn this! Oh god no! My leg, I can’t feel it. This isn’t happening! It’s NOT happening! I need help. I need to know. That man, he’s still alive. I just need to...’


A badly wounded soldier, screaming away his breath, pulls out his crushed leg from under the debris and drags his bloody body towards another. Inch by inch, moment by moment, he draws closer to the inevitable.

“You... you have to help me. You need to tell me where I am, what is all this? Do you know who I am? Who the fuck am I? God please tell me who I am!”

The man being questioned rests his remains against a wall and probes the man in question. His fingers travel the stranger’s body and stop at his hands. He grabs them and brings them closer to his face. He feels touch, he feels warmth, he feels the need to ask.

“My eyes... have you seen my eyes? Have you seen my GODDAMN eyes?”

Pair of eyelids open on one face, a pair of them closes on another. The one legged soldier pushes back on the hollow sockets dripping with blood and pus. He throws up amidst demands of lost goods and a solitary gunshot that ensures the search, need be no more.

“Help. Man down. Help! Please.”

From the smoke emerges a man with blood on his face, and clothes, that isn’t his. He looks into the eyes of the fallen and fakes a smile, his fangs glistening.

“Get yourself together soldier, the war is almost over. We are going ho...”

Startled by a subdued ticking noise, the warrior eyes the wounded suspiciously. In a swift motion he rips apart the suspect’s shirt to discover 4Gs of dynamite strapped to his chest and an LCD display that changes 5 to 4 in the blink of an eye.

“Fuck! God damn you! Traitor! Mother...”

A brother shouts obscenities at another, fumbling with his gun, trying to locate the safety, fearing his own.

“But I can’t be. I’m one of you... Aren’t I?”

Light gives way to darkness, darkness to void.

Monday, December 3, 2007


Let the story roll

As new worlds unfold before me
As new faces come to life
I look back at me from a distance
My story's come alive

One last leap is all it needs
As it slowly rolls on by
Nobody move an inch
Let the music be my guide

Soon it'll be all over
Coz the hero's found his way
He's charging ahead towards the end
The story's nearly there

I hear a knock on the door
I think I know who it is
It's too bad for you my hero
This story's got to wait

Saturday, December 1, 2007


every day, to get to my office close to the new friends community centre, I have to ask the auto wallah to turn right from the red light.

‘right?’, he always asks.

my office, at the tribhuvan complex, is situated behind a hole in what used to be a wall before the mcd’s sealing drive. you’re supposed to follow this hole to a beaten path to a gate that leads to a garage cum general store cum lingerie store cum call center cum advertising agency.

the hole is towards the right. towards the left is a proper road that careens off to the community centre – easily a more noted social venue. So when I say left, the man driving the auto is confused. his mind says: ‘what this loose headed spectacled beardman saying? nothing being on right. does beardman be demanding u-turn. isn’t taking a u-turn philosophically inconsistent with the idea of progress’ and so on and so forth.

the man bespoke such and I convinced him that there was no alternative but to turn right. we reached the red light and waited for the traffic coming from the other side to stop. the dancing children who beg around this area started dancing for money. finally, the light went green. the oncoming traffic stopped. the traffic behind us waiting to take the u –turn and cross over into the hole started. however, we realized that we couldn’t. it was the angle maybe, or the rush overtaking us that disallowed us the space to move, or both. we just stayed stuck. the waiting tore on my constitution. if I had a cigarette, I’d smoke it, if I had a bottle of wine, I’d drink it. I was on the verge of considering drugs when the light turned back to red. the oncoming traffic, hitherto building to a manic crescendo, started again. there was traffic behind us again, building up with a ferocity that I hadn’t noticed. then the light turned green again. and the traffic started overtaking us again. we found we were stuck like the last time. after what seemed like forever, the light turned to red again. the autowallah sighed and shut his engine. one of the dancing children, now resting against the light, smiled a quiet knowing smile at us. what had been ten minutes turned to hours to days to weeks to months to years. the auto wallah grew bald and lost his teeth, my clothes grew dirtier, my beard grew larger, my spectacles smudgier. after contemplating suicide for the nth time and a few affairs with interesting passerbys, I started writing.

for jayant, avinash, kingshuk, abhinav, riyazat, deshwal and others who've suffered nfc with me. our office moved friday.