Saturday, December 15, 2012


"Abhishek, go on, join the line."
WHAT? Abhishek thought, standing under the shade of a little tree, in the hope of protecting himself from the blazing sun. He looks at his faculty house captain and gives his best 'confused' look to her.
"Yeah! Go on. We want everyone to try out to pick out the best ones." She said in an isn't-it-obvious tone and motioned him to join others in the lateral line standing just behind the starting line drawn by the white chalk powder on the soil covered hard ground.

He wondered, what makes her think I could survive this, leave alone qualify to represent my house! Or maybe I have a hidden super-power that only she knows, maybe I am a superhero!

The whistle jolted him out of his day-dream as he saw everyone else take off, leaving him covered with soil dust. He took off rather clumsily, but with a determined will to give his best. And he did. He ran like he never did before. He could feel his feet leaving behind the ground like the speed of light. He kept running and running, until he realized that he was the only one running. He stopped as he was already out of breath. He caught up with his breath, put his hands on his hips, and looks around. He felt good by the after effects of the adrenaline rush and the testosterone secreted that was going waste by his lifestyle that included only watching TV and playing video-games. He looked back from where he had started just to see how much distance he had covered, and to feel good.
He wasn't sure if he saw it correct. So he looked at where the finish was. And then again he looked at where he had started. From where he was standing, they looked equidistant !!

Exasperated and with all his adrenaline high now faded because of a disappointing performance, he just left the track and went back to stand under some tree away from his house students. He sat on the ground, and started fooling around with the little stones and twigs by pretending to play Hockey, or chasing ants sometimes with his finger or the twigs.
"Abhishek, you have some water left in your bottle?"
Abhishek looked up to see the house sports captain Chetan all covered with sweat looking at him.
He took his bottle, shook it and felt some water moving inside it.
Chetan grabbed the bottle with one hand like he usually did, as Abhishek had always observed, while he watched him gulp down water greedily by pouring it from above into his mouth.
"Thanks buddy." And Abhishek saw him jog back, the champion athlete of their house, and of their school.

Abhishek never really had any particular interest in sports or athletics. In fact in games period when he was younger, they used to have race among the boys of the class and he always came last in that. He didn't mind that, it never bothered him. In fact he never cared to put enough effort in running. He never pushed himself to win, even participation was like a punishment for him. But today, when pitched against everyone else in his house (some 15 boys in total), he felt inadequate, he felt weak when he couldn't even finish the distance of 100 meters. He wasn't fat, he was just so weak! He could now feel his weakness, his fragility in this world where he could be so easily defeated, or destroyed as he would have liked to put it.

News of bombings and terrorist attacks always disturbed him and his blood used to curdle within his veins and he always swore if he got one chance to face them, he would want to shoot them all, send them a message to stop their atrocities because he will be there to stop them. But how can he, when he can't even finish a 100 metres on foot?!
With a tired mind and a sad heart, he slept early that day. He opened his eyes and saw the roof of his room. He slowly sat up and looked around in semi-darkness. He flung his bedsheet aside, walked up to his window, moved away the curtains and looked out. It was still dark. He looked at his table clock beside his bed, it was 5:43 AM. His alarm would ring at 7 AM, he had more than an hour more to sleep. But today he just couldn't get himself to go back to that bed.
He dressed up in his track suit, and sneakers, and quietly left the house. He walked out into the street outside his house, he felt he was ready now. At a distance across the children's playground, he saw the milkman on his bicycle leaving one house and pedaling towards the next house. He started running in the same direction as the milkman and tried to keep up with him. For a minute he was at par with him and even overtook him a few times but finally Abhishek had to stop. He was gasping for air, exhausted by all the effort, all the excessive bursts of energy he demanded from his body. He held on to his knees and stood there, sweating, panting heavily and smiling. In his mind he knew it had begun.

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Talaash Spoilers !!

"Hey Rohan, you saw the movie Kaash?" Kapil asks.
"Not yet dude. BTW, how's it?"
"I haven't see it either but I heard its pretty cool."
"Oh, okay."
"I'm planning to go tonight, you wanna join us?" Kapil invites Rohan.
"Nah man, I have some work tonight. Maybe some other time."

Later next day.
"Dude, I loved the movie !! Its the best thriller movie I've seen in so many years !!" Kapil says in an excited tone.
"Ahaan, its that good!" Rohan asked, a bit skeptical.
"Yeah buddy! I mean, this police officer is in search for this killer and he's totally clueless where to begin. He has these series of incidents in this case and he's confused. Then he meets this lady who surprisingly wants to help him. And then there's something that happened in his past... anyways, I really enjoyed it !!"
"Alright." Rohan smiles.

Few minutes later.
"Dude, and you know I still can't figure out how Kareena was the ghost!" Kapil just spills out the ultimate spoiler in the movie !!
"Oh sorry you haven't seen it yet! So sorry!"
"No problem buddy, a good  movie is a good movie in spite of the spoilers."

Few days later.
"Dude, how could you like that movie? I mean, sure the movie was well made but the suspense made no sense, it was quite far from reality." Rohan seems a bit disappointed.
"Hey I'm so sorry I told you the ending before only..." Kapil sighs.
"Dude, that wasn't even the ending! Rani was the ghost!"
"WHAT?" Kapil is shocked to know that!

Enters Anjali.
"Hey what you guys talking about?" Anjali jumps into the conversation.
"The movie Kaash. You've seen it?" Rohan answers.
"Not yet. I was at my hometown and you guys already saw it naa..."
"Yeah, it isn't that great!" Rohan says.
"No, are you serious? Its awesome !! Trust me, its really good!" Kapil defends the movie.
"Okay! Let me see if I can find someone who hasn't seen the movie." Anjali says and leaves.

Few days later.
"So what do you think?" Kapil asks eagerly.
"Uhm... I liked it!" Anjali says.
"Yes, I win! Its a good movie." Kapil grins.
"Ok leaving that aside, who was the ghost, Rani or Kareena?" Rohan says.
"What are you talking about?" Anjali is confused.
"He says its Kareena, I saw its Rani. I think he was playing this mind trick on me and I really hate that. I want to know, who was the ghost." Rohan explains the situation.
"You both are playing that mind trick on me, right? Aamir was the ghost naa !!" Anjali is a bit confused herself now.
"WHAT?" Kapil and Rohan are shocked !!

Last month during the final promotion of the movie before the premiere.
"Sir, how are we going to release this movie with so many different endings?"
"Different endings every week. I don't care for the loss, I'll pay for any loss we incur. After what happened to my previous movie, Talaash, with the ending being revealed on the first day itself, this time I want to make people experience the real thrill !! They will now understand how it feels..." the director replies.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

The Storyteller

"Would you be interested in reading a story, Mr. Sainani?"
I saw this message flashing on my screen, with the name 'TheStoryTeller'.
What the hell! This is no time for silly jokes. I am busy preparing a report due in two hours. This is no time to read stories. And who is this guy?
"Who are you? Sorry buddy, I'm racing against time here. Later!"
"Always procrastinating! The usual Mr. Sainani."

"TheStoryTeller" is sharing story.doc file with you." flashed on my screen.
I don't know why but I accepted the story! I looked at my watch.
I think I can take a break for 10 minutes, I told myself, and opened the story.doc. The moment it opened up on the screen, I was impressed! And as I started reading it, I felt as if the text is pulling me gently into itself, the reading was so effortless. The words, the alignment, the indentation, the punctuation, the spaces, everything was so at the right place and the right time. I felt refreshed, like a person feels after consuming glucose after a long run. I took a deep breath and realized that my head didn't feel heavy anymore. I went back to his messenger window but that person was offline. In spite of spending 15 minutes at reading the story, I finished my report and submitted it on time. Something changed within me that day. I still have that story with me, but it doesn't feel the same way on subsequent readings. I never procrastinated since that day. I thought it was because of the story that I got rid of my bad habit, so I tried helping others by sharing the story, but it didn't work on them, and if it did, it was temporary, but in my case it was permanent.
I wish I could come in contact with him again. I don't know how he did it, even hard to imagine something like this could happen. I'd spent half of my life reading self-help books and watching inspirational movies but it didn't work. But his story instantly did the magic. But who was he? How did he know I procrastinated?