Ranu and the cast

Yes that is the name of the new horror story that my whole family is terrified of!!! No it is not a new production by the Ramsay brothers or something as interesting as an amalgamation of khooni-kabarastan and omen 6 but our very own home production quite lame actually. I am not very good at conversations so I wont make another attempt at it but the story goes as this:

Ma, Dad and niece had to make some purchases before they left from Mumbai so they had to go shopping. As it is the norm with FAT people I am not able to keep my body steady on one uneven hard solid sock and another tied in ribbon. (I know the background sounds just like Christmas….. socks and ribbons et al). Resultant whenever I want to do something I have to summon for help….. I honestly don’t need it but Ma and sis and dad just won’t let it at that. So usually I am kept under the hawk eyed surveillance of my niece who screams whenever I put my leg down and a whole lot of people appear. This has been going on for quite sometime. It is actually become an irritation specially with the dose of medications and me being immobile and mainly lack of my precious sleep. I can sleep all day but at night I get claustrophobic and sit on bed all night owl/bat like. So whenever I am awake I keep staring at the cast if only and when things get unbearable I scream that I want it off and will remove it!!!

Coming back to the day of the shopping Ma and dad waited all evening for hubs to arrive who got caught at work last minute and was delayed so that they could leave. Ultimately after convincing them that I was a good girl and I would cause no harm to the CAST they went. The departmental store where they went is just adjacent to my society but every five minutes dad would call and ask how I was and if hubs had arrived and if I was OK. Hubs on the other hand left work in haste after my dad called him and caught the first available train then started the premiere of our horror story!!!

I was overjoyed at the prospect of being alone after so many days and sat fiddling with the tv remote…… normally I have to share it with my niece who likes strange grotesque looking characters prancing on the screen in something called pogo (whatever happened to good old mickey, donald, pluto, tom and jerry???). Hubs called me asked me what I was doing and the same blah blah that I had just answered dad. I was irritated that they did not trust me and I told him I was sharpening knives !!!! Hey it was just for fun!!! and also mentioned that I and CAST were alone and we were having a convo. Hubs returned 15 minutes before time and dad and ma in an hour’s time. I wonder if hubs has emergency wings to reach so fast. He otherwise takes a lot more time to come…….. New topic for research !!!!

By the way what are you punekars giving Indra ?(for all you novices : according to Hindu mythology he is the god of RAIN) Well I can promise you that whatever it is we Mumbaikars will double it. Man it is raining pleasantly there and we people sweltering it in the heat!!! It is hot we need the rain too. So just send the guy here !!! He just won’t cross Kamshet. Is Menaka having some dance concert there? if yes we will book a full stadium here for her just send him here!!!!

Just a song I thought I would be including in my movie just a few changes. Still have to work on the complete lyrics !!!

Main aur mera pair (leg) aksar ye batein karte hain
tum hoti to kaisa hota, tum ye kehti, tum vo kehti
tum is baat pe hairan hoti, tum us baat pe kitni hasti
tum hoti to aisa hota, tum hoti to vaisa hota
main aur mera pair aksar ye batein karte hain

The CAST is not really so bad you know……. it is USEFUL. When somebody irritates you, you can accidentally lose your balance and step on them……. hehehehe I have already tried it !!!! Some people are even scared of me!!!!!

Listen to your wife

Life’s been a bit Topsy-turvy lately……. I know nothing new!!!! As I have mentioned earlier this is just not my year!!! Well pa-in-law has been hospitalized in midst of Aila creating havoc in the state of West Bengal. First it was the CPM being ousted and now the Aila. Did you know that Aila is actually a bad word in Marathi. I was actually quite stunned that the cyclone was called Aila.

Coming back to Pa-in-law, he was diagnosed with multiple complications so he was rushed to hospital in an emergency. On the other front dad and ma continue with their ups and downs on health front. Too much of tension!!! I just don’t like this year. I will be just glad when it is over and all is calm and quiet. I am fed of living on the edge. So much that I have again started dreaming of people dying…… result is insomnia. My insecurities are again surfacing to the point that yesterday I told hubs that I need a vacation all by myself……. alone!!!! I do sound selfish but man I do need a break and especially one where there won’t be phones or people and I don’t have to talk…….. solitude!!! Guess that is just a pleasant and unachievable dream……. far far far from reality!!!

On home front my well earned and deserved holiday seems to be coming to an end. The highlights of it being that I was successfully able to stay away from the computer and television for days at a stretch and I actually got back to reading frivolous stuff after a very long time. By frivolous stuff I obviously mean MB’s. They are so relaxing specially amidst the whole lot of commotion in my life.

I remember when I had sat in front of the ICU for days and nights at a stretch waiting for some answer to the problem, I used to see hordes of people probably with a similar predicament as mine, reading religious books and praying. I was too fraught to even consider doing any kind of reading or for that matter do anything. I left the hospital only once a day to go home for a bath too scared to leave. The rest of the day I just sat and waited and did my accounts of how to get money and from where. I wish they would keep some copies of these nonsensical books there for us to read. There should be more of these stuff in front of ICU’s and in hospital waiting areas.

I know MB’s are not a solution but then I definitely don’t think religious books are a solution either. They just talk in terms of black and white and somewhere you start judging how things came to this and if it was because of you…….. so I personally think that all hospitals should be stacked with joke books and nonsensical books rather than medical journals which make a small itch on your arm sound like skin cancer.

I guess your wondering about the title of the post. Well it is about the Supreme Court judgment last week in which the Apex court of India, the supreme court of India acknowledged the key to marital bliss is to listen to the wife. Nothing new but apparently wife holds the key to happiness and marital bliss. Even supreme court judges agree to that.

Most men I meet these days are cool with listening to their wives and I honestly foresee no threat to anybody’s masculinity considering the fact that of late a lot of researchers think that the entire male species is on the verge of extinction…… that is what these two reports say!!! you can read them here and here. Two very interesting articles that I found rather amusing last week. I am definitely not going to justify the SC’s stand because I see no point. The writing is loud and clear on the wall and very aptly so.

Will close for the day hopefully back soon and hopefully have something different and cheerful and happy to say than just sickness and depression and negativity and pessimism.

We all hope for a better tomorrow don’t we????

Phew !!! alls well at last!!!

First of all thanks all of you for your best wishes!!! Jethu is out of danger and the temporary pacemaker is off. I spent the whole of today just fretting over the doctor’s “kabhi haan kabhi na”. If it was in Pune or Mumbai I would have just got on the phone and dealt with the doctors but doctors in Kolkatta carry a massive weight of their egos and “I am God” mentality on their shoulders and I didn’t want any harm to come on Jethu so I just kept my peace for so many days.

Once I heard that he is officially out of danger and he has started cribbing, I was really happy……. you wont believe it but cribbing is a very good sign in my family. If any body of the Chakraborty household remains in bed without getting forced to do so…… alarm bells start ringing and doctors are summoned……. cribbing means that he is out of danger and right now he is giving a very bad time to all the hospital staff…… he wont stay on the bed and insists on doing things by himself. However, this rule does not apply to my generation. All of us love sleeping however bad the earth quake is.

Another good thing that happened is that the whole family came together. I was so touched to see the whole joint family come together again and running around for Jethu. I wish we didn’t have to wait for calamity for something like this to happen!!! Another good thing that all the kids of our generation agreed that the elders in the family were getting loonier and that we should not put up with their life threatening antics…….. resultant dad and my Jethus and Kakus are going to see some real changes around them!!! For one all kinds of gardening equipments are going to be kept under lock and key or thrown out secondly they are going to be seriously monitored as to the amount of activity they do……. my dad has no idea as to what is going to hit him!!!

Wait till I come Dad I am going to make your life miserable and I am going to enjoy it thoroughly!!!

I met my guide yesterday…….. I am to submit a paper in some international HR conference plus submit my research proposal and literature survey by the end of this month……. that would mean surfing/researching the net non-stop for an average of 5 to 6 hours daily………. lot of work lined up for me this month starting today!!!

I finally went to the gym today after so many days!!! The trainer seemed to have really missed me a lot because today he made me catch up with all the days I missed. Man I pushed 15 kgs dumbbells in each hand. Right now I am physically lifting my hand and putting it on the keyboard and typing and then getting it down. It is really paining and me is wondering……. who is cooking today!!!

Something happened in the gym today……. which I just have to share with you. First I have to go flashback to tell you what happened on Saturday last!!!

Flashback: Officially the gym has a timing of 11 am to 5 pm as the ladies hours. Personally I prefer to go during the ladies hour because then I am saved from the horrendous vision of all the men doing weights and showing biceps and specially because during this time the trainers (same rule in all gyms) get really excited about sprouting biceps and they get the women also to weight train and that is real bad. There is this man (lets call him Mr Room freshener) who came in the ladies hours and since he was all set…… the trainer allowed him to work out. (There a poster just like this in the gym….. for inspiration….disgusting I must say!!!)

The man started pulling and pushing iron and doing weights….. really heavy weights !!! He started sweating and his t-shirt was drenched. So he got rid of the t-shirt and started working out in his vest…… vest is also wet…….. then he starts dripping. The whole place starts stinking !!! Cant the man carry a towel…… we all do!!! All of us……. women start to leave, looking at each other and not touching the “wet” weights he had used and all of us left before time citing some reason…… mine was I had to study.

Present: I have to claim one thing here: I am extremely sensitive to smell. I cant stand heavy smells…… specially that of heavy perfumes and deos……. I get a very bad headache and in some cases start to sneeze. So today when I was doing Yoga after my hour long strenuous workout with my eyes closed…….. a weird very very strong smell attacked my nostrils!!! My eyes were closed so I did not see anything……. but the smell kept moving from the left to the right and then again left. It was irritating and my eyes and nose started to burn. So in the middle of the breathing session I started to sneeze and in my bout of sneezing I started screaming to the trainer to stop spraying so much room freshener in the gym.

Well, Mr Room Freshener decided that he did stink and decided to combat that with some really weird perfume or was it deo!!! donno but it was bad!!!

There was a mum and after I had collected my senses I realised that all the women were again making a bee line for the exit saying that they had to rush home to cook or something or the other…….. and me I suddenly came face to face with Mr Room Freshener!!! I had no business to make any kind of personal comment but was very irritated…… so I looked at him and told the trainer to please lower the amount of room freshener he sprayed in the gym and left.

After I left the gym the whole thing became so hilarious that I stopped my two wheeler and started to laugh!!! Well one improvement…… Mr Room Freshener had a towel today!!!

Female point system

Hey Guys !!!

Just got inspired by Dhir’s recent blog you will find it here. First it was Smita talking about Maids and then Dhir “how to avoid blasphemy in the absence of maids!!!” No I am not going to rave and rant about maids but the fact that men start walking in the proverbial mode of “treading on egg shells”……. when they are not around. Well its the same in my house but I think that that is the case in all households.

People who live abroad often say that we Indians are very lazy and we need to keep maids….. just because we are snobbish etc etc. But I have it from friends who have travelled abroad that the living conditions there are very different from ours also the amount of gadgets at their place make life rather simple for them. For eg : they don’t have to dust mop the house everyday because the dust factor there is very less. The gadgets that they use like vacuums and dishwasher is rare in India etc etc……

As for me mine is the classic case of an egoistical angel. I spend hours sweet talking her. She is in the fourth step in the pyramid of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs….. only self actualisation being left out!!! I do it because she is also an angel…… she has been with me forever…… she is the best……. though every few months she back stabs me and goes off to somebody else…… I try my best to protect her from getting poached but not very successful…… As I frequently tell Hubs…. “REMEMBER: She is my best friend. She is sacrosanct!!! I can do without you!!! but can’t do without her !!!!”

But this blog post of mine is not about maids or to compare our lives with theirs but to talk about a very common trend in men….. when the going gets tough…… Men keep away…… or completely disappear!!! I received this forward from my friend Poornima today morning and so I just could not nudge of the feeling of deja vu when I read Dhir’s post!!! and before your accuse me of plagiarism please note that I HAVE NOT WRITTEN IT just copied it to my blog:

Happy reading and let me know what you think of it : As for me I totally agree with the post!!!

In the world of romance, one single rule applies to men: Make the woman happy. Do something she likes, and you get points.

Do something she dislikes and points are subtracted.

You don’t get any points for doing something she expects. Sorry, that’s the way the game is played.

Here is a guide to the point system:

SIMPLE DUTIES

You make the bed (+1)
You make the bed, but forget the decorative pillow (0)
You throw the bedspread over rumpled sheets (-1)
You go out to buy her what she wants (+5) , In the rain (+8), But return with Beer (-5)
You check out a suspicious noise at night (0)
You check out a suspicious noise, and it is nothing (0)
You check out a suspicious noise and it is something (+5)
You pummel it with iron rod (+10)
It’s her pet (-10)

SOCIAL ENGAGEMENTS

You stay by her side the entire party (0)
You stay by her side for a while, then leave to chat with a college buddy (-2) Named Rita (-4)
Rita is a dancer (-6)
Rita is single and is really beautiful (-80)

HER BIRTHDAY

You forget her birthday (-50000)
You take her out to dinner (0)
You take her out to dinner and it’s not a sports bar (+1)
Okay, it’s a sports bar (-2)
And it’s all-you-can-eat night (-3)
It’s a sports bar, it’s all-you-can-eat night, and your face is painted the colours of your favourite team (-10)

A NIGHT OUT

You take her to a movie (+2)
You take her to a movie she likes (+4)
You take her to a movie you hate (+6)
You take her to a movie you like (-2)
It’s called ‘Death Cop’ (-3)
You lied and said it was a foreign film about orphans(-15)

ENJOY THE ‘BIG’ QUESTION

She asks, ‘Do I look fat?’ (-5) [Yes, you LOSE points no matter WHAT]
You hesitate in responding (-10)
You reply, ‘Where?’ (-35)
Any other response (-20)

COMMUNICATION

When she wants to talk about a problem , you listen, displaying what looks like a concerned expression (0)
You listen, for over 30 minutes (+50)
You listen for more than 30 minutes without looking at the TV (+500)
She realizes this is because you have fallen asleep (-10000)

God vs Satan

I think this is hilarious !!! I have never before read creation explained this way before!!!


In the beginning God created
the heavens and the earth
and populated the earth with broccoli,
cauliflower and spinach, green and
yellow and red vegetables of all kinds,
so Man and Woman would
live long and healthy lives!!!

Then using God’s great gifts
Satan created Ben and Jerry’s Ice cream
and Krispy creme Donuts.
And Satan said, ” You want chocolate with that?”

And Man said. “Yes!!!” and

Woman said , ” And as long as your’e at it,
add some sprinkles.”
And they gained 10 pounds
And Satan smiled!!!

God created the healthful yogurt that
Woman might keep the
figure that Man found so
fair and Satan brought
forth white flour from the
cane and combined them.
And Woman went from
size 6 to size 14.

So God said, “Try my fresh green
salad.” And Satan presented
Thousand – Island Dressing
buttery croutons and garlic toast
on the side.
And Man and Woman unfastened
their belts following the repast.

God then said, “I have sent you
healthy vegetables and olive oil in
which to cook them”. And Satan
brought forth deep fried fish and
chicken fried steak so big it needed its
own platter. And Man gained more
weight and his cholestrol went through
the roof. God then created a light fluffy
white cake, named it “Angel food Cake,”
and said “Its good.”
Satan then created chocolate cake
and named it “Devil’s food.”

God then brought forth
running shoes so that his children
might lose those extra pounds.
And Satan gave cable TV
with a remote control so
Man would not have to toil
changing the channels.
And man and woman laughed
and cried before the flickering blue
light and gained pounds.

God brought forth the potato
naturally low in fat and brimming
with nutrition. And Satan peeled off
the healthful skin and sliced the
starchy centre into chips anmd deep-fried
them. And Man gained pounds.

God then gave lean beef so that Man
might consume fewer calories and still
satisfy his appetite. And Satan created
Mc Donald’s and it’s
99 cent double cheeseburger. Then said
“You want fries with that?” And Man
replied, “Yes!!! and super size them
and Satan said, “It is good”. And Man
went into cardiac arrest.

God sighed and created
Quadruple Bypass Surgery.

Darkness chronicles

I was reading some of Dhir’s forgetfulness in one of his blogs and there was this blog which mentioned how he once forgot his wife…….. you can read the same here . I really wanted to comment on that but my comment was a long one so I just linked this post to his and dedicated a post to this topic.

This incident happened a long time ago with Ma and mashi (maternal Aunt). This incident is so funny and even now years later……. almost 45 years……… everyone in the family laugh at the mention of it……. including me!!!

This happened before Ma’s marriage to Dad. Ma’s paternal aunt (Pishi) was a widow and lived with them. She had become a widow at a very young age (people used to get married very early in life then…… refer to Ballika Badhu in Colors channel). When this incident happened, she was around her 70’s and had lost all her teeth. She was usually clad in a white dhoti cloth….. which was a dressing norm of widows at that time.

Ma’s Paternal aunt wanted to go to the take a dip at the Ganges for the Gangasagar snaan Jatra. Gangasagar Snaan Jatra is basically a festival that takes place at the time of Makar Sankranti when people take a dip at the holy ganges…… something like the Kumbhmela. Lots and lots of people gather in hordes to take a dip in the Ganga at at particular auspicious time.

After a lot of consultation, Ma and mashi (maternal aunt) were designated as her companions. They left early to avoid the rush. When they reached, there were already a lot of people there. In fear of getting lost they decided to hold hands of their Paternal aunt (Pishi) lest she got lost.

Amidst all the crowds it was very easy to get lost and their Paternal aunt (Pishi) did not know her way back….. so ma and mashi were very cautious and never left her hand. They went in the waters of the Ganga together. Paternal aunt (Pishi) started saying her prayers and that took a long time for the whole thing to take place. It started becoming dark and the duo started losing their cool and started telling Pishi to hurry else they would miss the bus back.

Suddenly there was a huge influx of people who were travelling in a group who came between them and they lost Pishi!!!! Ma and mashi were totally terrified. They could not go home without her. It was getting dark and they were getting petrified. They looked for her everywhere……. but they could not find her amidst the hordes of people. It was hours and very dark when they finally saw Pishi already in the bus.

They were very happy that at last they had found her. At that time mashi noted that the bus was a wrong one. She panicked and started calling out “Pishi neme poro” (Pishi get down). Pishi said something which they could not hear. Then Mashi and ma marched into the bus and started yelling “Pishi neme poro bolchi”……. (Pishi get down I tell you) Pishi started crying and said that she would not get down. Now both of them were very agitated and dragged crying Pishi from the bus just in the nick of the time before the bus started and left.

When they alighted from the bus with Pishi they heard announcements of their names. The administration was calling them and asking them to collect their elderly relative who was waiting there in their office. They were totally disgusted with Pishi thinking that Pishi had made those people announce for them and then very conveniently went and sat in the bus. It was very dark and when they reached the temporary office of the administration where the announcements were being made. There in the light of the hurricanes they saw their Pishi waiting for them!!!

They were totally aghast!!! They had made some other old lady miss her bus. The mistake happened because of the common attire and that both old ladies looked similar in the dark. They started apologizing profusely and the old lady in question started crying more saying that these two women had made her miss her bus and now she would not be able to go home as her family had already left in the last bus.

Pishi then consoled the old lady and told her to come to their house and that her brother would leave her home the next day. It was already dark when they reached home and recounted the whole story to the family. That night amidst lots of apologies, she was given the treatment befitting a queen. She forgave my Ma and mashi. The next day my maternal uncles and grandfather all went together and left her home and apologized to her family.

My Ma and mashi were totally grounded forever and were never again sent for Ganga sagar. Even today when it is Sankrant, Mashi calls up ma and they have a great laugh over how they had kidnapped an old woman thinking it was their Pishi.

This incident still puts the whole family in a laughing frenzy and Ma who has been blamed for the incident…… since she was older of the two…… backs up her stand saying…… “It was very dark!!!”

Kasab in Kolkatta

This was sent to me by my friend. I have posted it because it is hilarious!!!

Just imagine a scenario where Kasab actually ends up in Kolkatta to blow up a five star hotel there instead of the Taj in Mumbai (26/11 terror attacks). A re-enactment of the 26/11 scene only a different city this time : the City of Joy….. Kolkatta!!!!

Let me know what you think of it :

Chapter 1:

Kasab sits on the steamer as it moves down the muddy waters of Ganga towards Calcutta. He looks suspiciously at his fellow passengers all of whom are playing bridge and talking to themselves loudly. He however is silent. He is nervous. The sweat rolls down his brow. Somewhere up above a crow defecates on his shoulder.

He barely notices. He curses his luck. If only he had not detonated the bomb two minutes too early and almost killed the ISI colonel who was teaching them urban warfare in the LET camp, he would not have come last in class. And what a horrible punishment had that been. Just for one instant of performance anxiety. While the first three had secured bumper Jihadi contracts and a chance to die in Mumbai and a promise of the choicest of virgins in heaven, here he was alone heading towards Calcutta. The lone citizen from the “Land of the Poor”.

His crew consists of Bangladeshis. He has little faith in them. They had not been trained. And worse their Urdu was horrible, they spoke to each other in Bengali, several have pot bellies and he doubts how much he could depend on them when the shit hits the fan.
But he will have to make do. It is his operation. He has to make it work.

Chapter 2:

Its morning. They make ground. Kasab and his crew of five grab their equipment. Kasab tells his Bangladeshis: “You know the plan. We shoot random people on the streets. Then we go into the Grand Eastern Luxury Hotel, shoot people in the restaurants, kill the staff and hold the foreign guests hostage.”
One of the Bangladeshis, chewing a pan, says something like “E hala to dekhi sudhu bakphottai maira zaaye” to which the others laugh. Kasab chooses to ignore, simply because he has no clue as to what he just said.
[What they said was: “This saala just keeps talking the talk”]

Chapter 3:

The group reaches their first action point. But wait something is wrong. Kasab knits his brow. There are no people in the streets. Who the hell is he supposed to shoot at? There are two charred public buses on the road. He feels afraid. Has he goofed up again? Did some other group of terrorists already come and do their job? Had he come too late? But no. That cannot be. Presently he catches sight of a man walking on the street. He reaches inside his backpack to pull his Ak47 out but then realizes he needs to know what is going on. He walks upto the man and says “Eh you, why is there no one on the road?”

The man sneers “What kind of a man are you Dada? Don’t you read the papers. Khamata Banerjee has called a 48 hour Bangla Bandh, a general strike. (Khamata means “Power” in Bengali) No one dares comes out on road sir. See what her supporters did to these buses. This is wait let me see the 20th such bandh we have had this year. Dada, I am a daily laborer this lady will kill us all. I tell you. By the way you want to get your shoulder cleaned. A crow has shat on it.”

Kasab feels his stomach knotting up. No people on the streets ! Oh man. This operation hasn’t even begun and already the first part has failed. No problem.

He thinks of shooting the man. But no killing the first person you see is bad luck. He does not need more of it. He turns to his crew “On to the hotel.”

Chapter 4:

Kasab and his group barge into the hotel with Kasab holding his AK47 in front of him. He sees a large lobby. To his right and left are two places which look like they could be restaurants. He bursts into one ready to shoot. Empty. He rushes to the other. That’s empty too. The lobby is empty. He shoots one shot into the air. And shouts “Come out you dogs. Death is here.”

A spectacled man, in his sixties, thin and emaciated in a white dhoti comes out and stands behind the desk in the lobby. He says in a calm voice “No need to shout. I am coming. Oh at last. You guys are from pest control right? You are like one year late.”

Kasab waves the Ak47 at him and says ” We are not from pest control, you dog. We are here to take revenge for Gujarat, Kashmir, Palestine and for not making Zaheer the winner of Saregama. Now where are the people in the restaurants?” The man behind the lobby doesn’t lose his cool.

Adjusting his ancient glasses, one of which is held to his ear by a string, he says “Oh my. Terrorists. My friends, who sent you here?”
Kasab screams “Not your problem old man. I asked you a question.”

The man says “There is a Bangla Bandh. Plus even at the best of times, no one comes to these restaurants. If you have ever tried the food here, you would have known the reason. Ever since the government took over the operations, things have been like….”

Kasab once again feels a cold sweat running down his back. Trying to control himself he says “Okay. Stand still. We will kill the guests. Eyy everyone go upstairs and start shooting.”

The man says “Hold it hold it. First of all, the contractors who repaired this hotel three years ago put sand instead of cement and stole all the genuine stuff. So if you guys go on shooting arbitrarily, its you who will be dead before long as the ceiling and the walls will fall on you. Second of all, there are no guests in this hotel.”

Kasab says “W-ha-tttt? A five story hotel without guests? You mean to say there are no foreigners.” The man says “Yes sir. That is exactly what I am saying. Why would anyone want to come to Calcutta? There is nothing here any longer. Foreigners? Hah ! Dear sir, we have made sure that there are no investments in this state by capitalists. We have made this city into a foreigner and capitalist-free zone. No Westerner comes here. Neither do businessmen from any corner of the world. ” A sound comes from upstairs. The unmistakable sound of footsteps.

Kasab smiles. “Very brave old man. Protecting your guests with that lie? You will now die.”

The old man shakes his head. “Not very bright are you? Those “footsteps” you heard upstairs are of mice. Gigantic mice. They run all over the place. I thought you guys were here because of them…”

Kasab barks. “We will check that. So where are the cooks, waiters, the hotel employees? Bring them out now.”

The man shakes his head mournfully. “That was what I was trying to tell you sir. Ever since the government took over the operations, there has been a strike as none of the five employee unions have been able to come to an agreement. In Bengal, you can fire a person by shooting him with a gun but you cannot fire him by taking away his job. Even when he does nothing. The short of it is there have been no employees here for many years. Those red flags you see of various shades all around aren’t works of art. They are union flags.”

Kasab’s voice breaks. “Then why are you here?”

The man says “Long story. I stay here out of habit. I worked for fifty years. Grew up in this place. Now I no longer get paid. But I just stay here out of hope that maybe some day…. Plus I don’t have a house…

Kasab now feels very sick. “Shut up you dog. Noone wants to hear your life-story. Oh my what am I going to do now”.

Chapter 5:

Half an hour later. Kasab stands again in front of the old man. “Seems you were right. There are no people in this blasted place. Wait. This is State government property. I can hold the building hostage.” The old man says “Oh dear lord. Government property means its none’s property. None cares. People don’t care here if old manuscripts are stolen, if heritage buildings get destroyed by promoters.”
Kasab says “We will see about that. Plus the government cannot be sure there are no people here. Once the cops and commandos come, we will have real people to shoot at. Okay let’s see here is a phonebook….mmmm…Police Station…ok old man call this number. And tell them that terrorists have entered the hotel and taken people hostage.”
“I am sorry sir. The phone has been out of order. No one paid the phone repairman their Puja baksheesh. So…” Kasab snarls “What a hellhole this is.”

He brings out his satellite phone and starts dialing the number.

The phone at the other end keeps ringing. Presently someone picks it up. An immensely disinterested voice says “Hello”

Kasab says “Listen carefully. I am a Jihadi terrorist and along with my Jihadi brothers we have taken foreigners hostage at the Grand Eastern Luxury Hotel and will start killing them one every fifteen minutes. We have already killed…emmm….many.” The voice at other end: “Grand Eastern Luxury Hotel you say?”

Kasab says “Yes yes.”

The voice says: “Not our jurisdiction. Call Park Circus thana. “

Kasab says “Listen you. Did you just hear what I said. I am going to…”

The voice becomes irritated. “Yes I heard what you said. Did you hear what I said? I will watch you on television just like everyone else. Kahan kahan se chale aate hain…”

Phone disconnects.

Kasab is seething with rage. This he did not bargain for. Kasab looks at the old man.
“He hung upon me. Saying it’s not his jurisdiction. Whattttt……….. Okay let me get Park Circus..”
Phone rings again.

It is presently picked up.

Kasab says ” I am a Jihadi terrorist. And along with my Jihadi brothers we have taken foreigners hostage at the Grand Eastern Luxury Hotel and will start killing them one every fifteen minutes.”

The voice says “So what should I do?”

Kasab is stunned. “Come here of course.”

The voice replies “This is a strike day. Khamata Day. You expect us to go? You come here to the thana and file a diary.” Kasab replies.

“I am the Jihadi terrorist and you expect me to come and file a diary at the thana.?”

“Look Jihadi, Azadi, Barbadi whatever you are. If you want the police to come, you come here and file a diary. Understand? By the way, when we guys go to Grand Eastern to sell concert tickets for the Police charity, how come Grand Eastern never makes any contribution? Now these laatsahabs expect us to drive down on a strike day. Scoot.”

Phone disconnects.

Chapter 6:

Kasab sits on the stairs. Thinking. What is he going to do now? He is about to put a call to Pakistan when his eyes alight on his Bangladeshi crew. They are unpacking. “What the hell is that? I thought you guys were supposed to bring RDX”.

One of the Bangladeshi men say “Look here. We are not your slaves. You were supposed to bring it. We brought coal stoves and a large cache of hilsa fish. You told us to be prepared for a long siege and so we brought a lot of food. And spices. And coal. Kalu Miyan here can make a spicy fish curry.”

Kasab does not know whether to laugh or cry.

“Hilsa fish? Stove? You guys were supposed to bring dry fruits and get as much explosives as you can…..”

The Bangladeshi man loses his temper “Kasab Khan. You may be a Pathan we are not. We dont eat dry fruits. Look here since you are not using your satellite phone, can I use it to call my Khatun Bibi ?

Kasab hisses. “If I don’t get anyone to kill by the next hour, as God is my witness, I will start killing you guys off…..”

Chapter 7:

Presently, there is a commotion. Kasab’s face lights up. There are people at the gates. “Quick all of you lock and load.” The door of the hotel opens. Kasab takes his position. A corpulent woman in white sari is standing there with a frown on her face, hands crossed. Behind him are a gang of people, many with long kurtas and pyjamas.
The old man behind the counter whispers—”Oh my God. It’s Khamata Banerjee.”

Chapter 8:

Khamata Banerjee takes no notice of the Ak47 pointed at her.
She walks upto Kasab. “I just heard that someone checked into the Grand Eastern Luxury Hotel. Look here you punk. I don’t know what exploitative capitalist enterprise you want to set up here but I am sure it’s not good for farmers, street hawkers and auto-drivers. We don’t like your kind here. So just leave before I do to you what I have done to anyone who has ever dared to open shop or do any kind of progress in this state.”
Kasab says: “Relax. I am not here to start any business. I am here to do Jihad. Yes. Terrorize. Burn. Make people afraid. Stop all life.”

Khamata turns to the people and gestures in an exasperated way: “This keeps getting better and better. So you are here to terrorize people. Hmm. Make them afraid. Stop all life. Now listen carefully you piece of shit. THAT IS MY SOLE EXCLUSIVE AREA OF BUSINESS. I HAVE THE MONOPOLY. Do you understand? How dare you try to muscle in on my turf? I will make life so much hell for you boy you will regret the day you ever said “Let’s make Calcutta my destination”. I have brought to his knees one of India’s biggest industrialists. You are just a punk.”

Chapter 9:

A soft voice comes along and steps between Kasab and Khamata who are eyeballing each other viciously. “Please please let us not get agitated here.” Kasab waves his Ak47 threateningly.

“Who the hell are you?”

The bald and bearded man says ” I am just a humble intellectual. These are all my intellectual friends. We all came here thinking you were an industrialist and a capitalist and needed to be protested against but now we realize you are also an exploited. Come let us all hold hands.

Kasab yells “Stay away. Keep your distance”

The bald and bearded man says: “Myself Bamon Chakraborty aka Babur Bamon. I compose tuneless songs, sing them badly, weep on television and think highly of myself. Sometimes I do not even know what I am protesting against but as long as I can get some attention I do it nonetheless. This here..

Another man in a jhola interjects: “Aah got it at last. The only word that rhymes with Jihad is “Paad”. (Paad =Bengali for fart)

Bamon says “This here is a famous poet. Famous dissident. Against industrialization… That there is Ghyanghyan Dutta. He is a singer, a poet, a film-maker. He is known for dialing wrong numbers and composing virtually identical songs about jobless youth whose girlfriends have left them for rich men.

Kasab feels surrounded. He strengthens his grip on the trigger. There is something threatening about these slightly effete people with beards, something he cannot put a finger on.

“Oh my my my. A real Pathan. Oh by the whiskers of Abhishek Bachchan, he is sweating like Paposh Paul in a sauna. When was the last time he had a bath I wonder. Aaah I can smell the aroma of Rawalpindi…. Would you like to do a screen test for me?”

Bamon says “That dear Jihadi-bhai is the great movie director Ritubondho who stood shoulder to shoulder with us during Nandigram. We are all here to see if we can get together for something…”

Chapter 10:

It was then that Kasab has a revelation. Whether it was Ritubondho checking him out greedily or Khamata Banerjee glaring ferociously that trigerred it, Kasab knows not. But he at last understands.

The fundamental truth.

Khamata and these “Left” intellectuals are the true agents of terror. Not him. As long as they stay here, this city will always be a graveyard. A terrorist can only inflict few days of damage. These people can do the same thing but spread it over generations. Killing them would put a body count against Kasab’s name. True. Maybe he will even get half a virgin in heaven.But the larger Jihadi mission of spreading terror and stifling development in this part of the country would fail. As a great man once said “you need to lose in order to win”. And sometimes you need to give life in order to kill.

Kasab says. “Okay Khamata-didi. I surrender. Just let me walk out of here with my crew. One Bangladeshi says :” You leave if you want to. We are not leaving. Khamata-didi, please give us fake ration cards. We will become part of your cadre. None of us came here with bad intentions. We just want to settle down in India.”

Khamata smiles benignly. “That can be arranged. But you have to pass the three tests of the Bishaalbhool (translation: Big Mistake) Congress before I give you your ration cards. You have to successfully block a road for twelve hours, burn one item of public property and play a part in stalling at least one development project. As for you Pakistani, I give you three hours to leave the city. “

Chapter 11:

Kasab stands outside.

Smoke is bellowing from one of the windows of the Grand Eastern Hotel. But not in the way Kasab thought it would. Kalu Miyan and his friends are cooking up a storm using their coal stove. The smell of hilsa fish permeates the air.

Once again Kasab is alone. Peeling the crow shit off the shoulder of his shirt, he looks heavenwards.

The End

%d bloggers like this: