More pictures on the theme here.
It had been a very busy day full of business meetings and client visits that kept me away from the internet. Finally it was all over and impatiently I opened my mail. I glanced at the mail box and my eyes fell on the second mail and I froze. The message said it was from my wife. Now, why would an email from the spouse freeze one’s blood you might ask. I was shivering like a man with ague as my finger clicked to open the mail. My heart beat must have been like that of an unfit man running uphill and I could barely see the text.
I hope you are having a good day at work. I will be out the whole day with Pammi to shop for her daughter’s wedding. If late, we will eat dinner at the Taj. You can also join us if you have the time. See you later. Don’t work too hard.
I turned the air conditioner on to full but still my sweating did not stop. “What’s wrong with the email ?” I hear you ask again. “It is an ideal email written by a wife to her husband!”
“Yes, nothing wrong with the contents” I splutter. “The problem is I have not shared this address with anyone except Amla, my lover.”
‘You go home and check your Emails. You read the second mail and freeze…’. Begin the story from here.
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 2,100 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 4 years to get that many views.
This was written for a screenplay competition in the format required.
Title : True Love
Couple find if they truly love each other in a Yoghurt Shop in a surprising manner.
Ext. Crowded shopping mall in festive season. An attractive couple are window shopping. Close up of them as the youth wipes off the sweat from his brow.
Boy, it is so hot. Shall we have an ice cream sweetheart?
Darling you know ice cream is so bad for my figure. Let’s have yogurt instead. Look, there’s a shop.
Ext. Couple walk towards a brightly decorated “Lord Krishna Yogurt Shop”
Int.Various flavors of Yogurt on display.
I am having strawberry flavored, I suppose you want the same.
Oh no, my favorite is mango. I will have a cup of that.
Darling, we are so much in love and engaged to be married. Shouldn’t we be sharing the same flavor?
Ha, ha, we can do that when we get married my love. Have patience, it is just fifteen days from now.
Int. Shop. Long shot of shop with Saurabh buying Yogurt. In the meanwhile a well dressed old man approaches Surabhi. Saurabh returns with the cups.
Darling, this is Mr. Agnihotri and he has something very interesting to say.
Camera pans on the old man. He has a greeting card in his hand. Shows it to Saurabh who is eyeing him suspiciously.
Good afternoon sir. This is a special greeting card.
Oh yea? And what’s so special? Looks ordinary to me.
No Sir. You see, you can write any address on it, this card will always go to the person you truly love.
You got to be joking, right.
Ten million rupees is not a joke Sir.
What do you mean ten million?
Buy this card and you will know.
Ok how much?
Not so fast sir…you have to agree to send it to the person you love the most. If the card reaches the person you have addressed it to you will get your 10 million.
Saurabh has a smirk on his face and winks at Surabhi.
What if we both participate?
Of course you can Sir. We will be delighted and you can win 20 million.
Both look greedily at the card. They grab at it and almost tear it.
Patience my young friends.
Int. Shop. A crowd has gathered around the three. Some more want that card.
Gentlemen, anyone can buy this card and have a chance of winning 10 million. But if your card goes to another address you will have to pay with your life.
There is a collective gasp. Camera zooms on expressions of the crowd. No one steps ahead for the card, but the two.
Ah two very lovely and loving persons. Give them a big hand everybody. And could you please write down the addresses on the card?
Int. Shop. Camera on Saurabh who smilingly writes down the name and address of Surabhi on his card
Alright so you want me to send them by courier or by post?
Oh no not by the Indian postal service. She would get old before she receives the card. Now that we both are here, can I give this card here and now?
Ah you do not want to wait to get your 10 million eh? Alright go ahead give the card to your beloved.
Int. Shop. Camera on Saurabh as he gives card to Surabhi. Victorious smiles on their faces.
Where is my ten million old man?
Of course you will get it Sir. Don’t you want the lady to give you her card for her ten million?
No, no. Give me my money first. Only then she will give her card to me.
Int. Shop Long shot of crowd applauding the lovers.
Here is your check for ten million.
But before he can give the check something strange happens. There is a gasp as the Card flies from Surabhi’s hand into Suarabh’s hand again.
Sir you can try again.
Saurabh gives it to her again. She keeps it in the purse. There is a click and the purse opens automatically and the card jumps on to a startled Suarabh again. He has gone ashen faced and Surabhi is dumb founded. The crowd is stationary as if in trance.
What kind of joke is this?
Again sir, this is not a joke. This card is never wrong. It seems you love yourself too much. Much more than you love your betrothed. Alright young man, get ready for your punishment.
Int. Shop. Camera zooms on a sinister looking man in black suit. He comes forward and takes hold of Saurabh.
Come my friend it is time to go.
His voice is a deathly hiss.
No, no please I do not want to die so young. I have not even finished my yogurt.
Well you gambled and lost. Rules are rules.
Surabhi who is in state of shock suddenly breaks into action. She falls at the feet of the old man.
Forgive us our follies Sir. Please do not make me a widow before getting married
Old man looks another way. Surabhi is desperate.
Please Sir. I will be your slave, and do your bidding all my life.Or better still take my life.
Agnihotri is getting emotional too and finally relents.
Ok little one. Just this once for your sake I will give you one chance. You can address this card to the person you love the most and if it reaches the right person we will spare this young man’s life. Needless to say you are not going to win any money now.
The girl is reluctant to write on the card. The boy pleads.
My love only you can save me.
The girl is still hesitating.
The boy moans.
Now I know you do not love me truly. Oh you can even write the name of your childhood sweetheart from whom I have parted you forcibly. But save me please.
Crowd is divided. One group wants her to write on the card and the other wants her to leave him to his fate.
Int. Shop. Camera on girl as she writes on the card. She hands the card over to the old man. The card flies out of the hand of the old man and hovers in the shop looking for the addressee.. As the Camera fades a voice is heard saying
Young man you are saved.
Links to more Weekly Photo Challenge pictures can be found here.
Lord Vishnu the Saviour was resting in his Sheshashayee mudra when he heard the obsequious “Narayan, Narayan” that heralded the entry of the sage Narada.
“Prabhu, Victory to You, greetings from your humble servant.”
“Come Narada. What troubles have brought you here?”
“No troubles Oh Lord! I am on my way to Kailas and thought I would take your blessings”
“Narada, my good wishes are always with you. Tell me how are things with my favourite people of Jambudvipa?”
“Why are you testing me Lord? You are omnipotent and omniscient. I am just a wanderer.”
“No my friend, you are also my eyes and ears. Tell me.”
A thoughtful expression crossed Narada’s face and then clearing his throat he said, “Your beloved people are not doing well Lord. The majority are becoming poorer by the day and they are also breeding more and more. But there is no cause for worry, the poorer they get the more religious they become and supplicate to you. As for the wicked, the richer they get the more they donate for temples. Heaven is safe with lots of followers and lots of money.”
“They do have a Government, don’t they Narada?”
“Yes Milord, they do. But it is filled with scammers and self-serving rascals.”
“Then in a democracy the solution is very simple. Throw them out in the next election. “
“It is easier said than done Milord. Throwing the present rascals out is only one part of the solution. They have to elect others, and for the last so many elections they are doing it too. Sadly the replacements have been as rapacious as their predecessors, leaving the people disillusioned and disheartened.”
The Lord of the Universe grew pensive. It was evident that the plight of his followers was troubling him. An idea struck him and he said, “Shall I use the ‘Brahmastra’ and kill all the evildoers?”
“It would be great Milord, but if you kill all of them at once there will be a power vacuum and that will create chaos. There will be collateral damage too and even the almighty Americans are facing problems because of this.”
“I must do something Narada. Think harder.”
“Almighty I have an idea.”
“Do tell my friend.”
“Jambudvipa will be having Parliamentary elections soon. Why don’t you participate?”
“You think it is a good idea?”
“Oh yes Prabhu. Who will vote against God? You would be a winner hands down and then Ramrajya will prevail. By Shiva, I have coined a slogan too. How does this sound to you ‘Back to Ramrajya’!”
The Lord thought for a long moment and finally said “You know Narada humans are my trickiest creation. Some of them even have the temerity to say that I am their creation. But the poor really need me. Alright then I will contest the next election.”
Laxmi, who was watching all this with a smile thought it was time for her to say something. “Swami you know I have never interfered in your business. Go to Jambudvipa and take part in the elections. Just promise me this”
“What my love?”
“Promise me you will not perform any miracles or kill anyone in anger.”
“That situation will not arise beloved. I am sure. Narada, here is how we will make the announcement….
Sunday evening found Sheila watching her favourite ‘Saas-bahu’ soap while her husband and son were in the living room going crazy at the heroics of their pyjama clad T20 cricket warriors. Most households of the country were similarly engrossed in their respective television entertainment when the TV screens flickered and went blank. If ever there was a collective howl of petulant protest in the history of Jambudvipa this was it. Its waves even reached heaven where Laxmi was rudely awakened from her beauty sleep. The mouths opened in protest remained open in amazement as Lord Vihnu appeared in every household.
“My beloved faithful, I have been watching your suffering for too long and I have also seen the shabby treatment meted by different governments. Enough is enough. None of the present set of politicians deserves to be in power and must be thrown out. I am here to give you an alternative and have decided to contest the elections myself. We will provide you the government and the governance you crave for. I am sure you have read the Ramayan and know how well I ruled in the Avatar of King Rama. I promise you those days again. Back to Ramrajya.” The TV screens resumed their inane telecasts.
Sheila came out of her trance and immediately opened her smartphone to tweet about what she had just seen. She also made a mental note to write about it on her Facebook page ahead of any of her friends especially that irritating female Devi. The thought of sharing the moment with her husband and son did not occur to her at all. These worthies, to their credit, were engrossed in texting on their respective smartphones. The whole country was abuzz with this news and for the moment silly soaps and meaningless cricket matches were forgotten. Every TV channel was broadcasting this ‘breaking news’ irrespective of the fact whether they were news channels or not. The newspapers took out special editions depicting the moment. Only one topic dominated conversations from North to South, East to West and Bars to brothels, Ramrajya.
Preeti Dhawad, field reporter for Jambu24 was covering an accident when her phone rang. It was her boss Kalyan. “Hey you are our nearest unit to the PM’s residence. I want you there immediately.”
They reached their destination only to find it already crowded and the Prime Minister about to hold a press conference. She was surprised at the alacrity with which the conference was scheduled. “Wow did they get approval from the high command?” she wondered. Her curiosity was sated when the ‘High Command’ seated herself besides the PM. There was the usual rush for questions and the PM raised his hands to quieten the crowd and started reading a prepared statement. “My dear countrymen, today we have witnessed an unprecedented occurrence. We believe that this is a conspiracy of the Saffron party and foreign forces. We have decided to appoint an all party committee to look into how this joke was perpetrated on the people of India. No further comment till their report is received. Thank you.” The whole delegation left the room disregarding the questions and protests of reporters.
A similar crowd had gathered in the office of Saffron Party, the main opposition. The Party spokesman was reading out their reaction. “This is an Italian Job and a joke played upon the religious feelings of the great people of India by the Government and its Italian collaborators. We demand the resignation of the Government immediately, and we have also called for a nationwide ‘bandh’ in protest.” Contrary to the PM, he was ready to take in as many questions as the media could ask but his answer was always the same, ‘it was a government conspiracy with the Italians and the PM should resign.’
Lord Vishnu was watching the television with great interest. “Narada, what do you think of all this?”
“It is only the first day Almighty. We must give them more time to digest it all.”
“Oh yes that we should. We have announced our intentions, but we need 500 plus candidates for the elections.”
“Almighty that is the easiest thing for you. You just have to clone yourself” Then with a wry smile Narada said “you might consider giving yourself local flavour for the states. I hear in land of the Andhras they like to see you in the form of one actor by the name NTR, and in the land of Tamils as MGR.”
The next seven days were very heady and euphoric, both for Lord Vishnu and the people of India. Every poll showed that if elections were held just now God and his party would sweep their way to power. But wait, there were some that were not happy at all. Obviously the political class did not take kindly to God’s intervention.
The PM decided to invite top leaders of all parties to a secret enclave at the exclusive Swami Somdev Ayurvedic Treatment Spa. However he found out that most of them were incarcerated in Tihar Jail for various crimes. Therefore they decided to hold the meeting in Tihar itself. As the agenda was not declared a lot of suspicious looks and ginger handshakes were exchanged. One or two did not come at all fearing this was a Government ploy to get them into prison.
They gathered in a secluded spot where cell phones and electronic equipment were disallowed. The PM began “My dear friends, I have called you all to find a solution to this extraordinary problem. God has announced his candidature and this is a calamity for all of us. If we let things go on the way they are very soon we will all be unemployed. Let us forget our differences and come together for the sake of our people.” There were nods and murmurs of approval.
The leader of the Saffron Party rose to spoke. “Friends, the PM is right for the first time in his life. Politics is our profession and ruling the people is our right. Not even God can deny us, but we have to be careful about this. We cannot oppose God directly but we also have to ensure that He withdraws from the elections.” The other leaders too continued in the same vein and finally a plan was formulated.
The managing editor of Jambu24 was having her morning coffee when her phone rang. She hated being disturbed while enjoying her favourite morning drink but the number the number flashing on the screen was too important to reject.
“Good morning Mr Muckraker Khichdiwala, how are you?”
“I am fine Miss Supercilious Butt. How are you?”
The civility in their greetings was admirable considering that they had almost ripped each other’s clothes during a debate on her program.
“You have been unusually quiet Mr Khichdiwala. What happened? Have you run out of muck?”
“Not at all Miss Butt, in fact now I have material on the biggest of them all, God”.
“Oh my God! God? Did you have Irish coffee so early in the morning?”
“Well you can take it or leave it. Ah hold on a minute please, I have an incoming call from Nina”
At the mention of her hated rival, Ms Butt grimaced and interjected “oh no, no Mr Khichdiwala you are on Prime time today.”
The whole Friday the viewers of Jambu24 were bombarded with the news that Muckraker Khichdiwala was going to expose God. At exactly 7:00 PM Lord Vishnu asked Narada who was watching ‘Real Wives of Beverly Hills’ with great interest to change channels. Reluctantly Narada flicked on Jambu24. “Welcome to Prime Time” the anchor said with a wide smile and introduced Muckraker to the viewers. Muckraker smiled arrogantly at the camera and settled in his seat. “It is indeed a very brave and sensational step that you are taking. God has never been accused by a mere mortal…” The show’s anchor was ready to go on but was apparently cut short by the producer.
“I am only doing my duty Preetiji. God is one of the most corrupt persons in this universe.” Everyone in the audience gasped in horror.
“Mr Muckraker how can you that? Do you have any proof?”
“The proof is there for all to see. Since the birth of humankind we have to pay bribes in one form or the other to appease God or to seek his blessings. The more urgent our demand the more exorbitant is his demand. There are many instances in our scriptures where even human life was demanded as a bribe. In fact God is the very source of corruption in our world because bribing began with him. Our temples are not monuments of faith but of corruption. We may be rich or we may be poor, we HAVE to pay to God through his minions who go by the name of Priests. Temples are built on invaluable land given free of cost and with unaccounted donations from crooks seeking salvation. Huge amounts of gold looted from the people of this country are donated to these temples where they lie forgotten and useless.”
God had joined politics and the professional politicians had set their favourite game of character assassination in motion through their puppets. Every day new allegations were made. Rallies were organised by women who opposed Ramrajya because of the horrid treatment meted out to Sita. The ‘raslila’ of Lord Krishna was portrayed as decadence and orgies by one section of society. Even Lord Shiva was dragged into and accused of killing innocents when he had opened his third eye to kill demons. His pleas of collateral damage were not entertained.
The leftists saw their chance and jumped into the fray accusing God of being a bad administrator and keeping the majority wallowing in poverty. Why accuse the present politicians of doing nothing after just 75 years in power when God had done nothing for the poor and needy for thousands of years.
The fringe elements of the Saffron party accused God of being partial to the Muslims. When asked to substantiate their claim they said that God had given all the petroleum bounty to the Muslims and rewarded the devout Hindus with poor grade coal. The list of accusations piled up and the popularity ratings slipped. There were many instances when Lord Vishnu wished to use his Sudarashan Chakra but was held back by the promise given to Laxmi.
The last straw came when a poll was conducted in the country on a statement made by the PM (drafted by the High Command) that everything had its place and God’s was either in the temples or in Heaven and not in dirty politics. Eighty per cent people voted in favour of that. The dream of Ramrajya was dead. Instead of chanting ‘Back to Ramrajya’ people began saying ‘Our backs to Ramrajya’. Lord Vishnu had learned the hard way “Democracy is dangerous, even for God!”
It has been a long time since Shaila suggested I write a guest blog. I know you must be wondering why I don’t call her Shail which is her name. Well, she is an excellent writer, so for me she is Shail with an A (grade), hence Shaila. You bet even she did not know that. I know I am digressing but that is what she does in her blogs a lot so I am sure she will tolerate my digressions too.
Life had so much to offer,
So many beautiful things.
They got supplanted all
The day you were born.
The apple of my eyes
For a score and three years
Your beautiful smile,
Brought sunshine each and every day.
Along came Prince Charming,
Band, baaja, baraat…
Mother-in-law et al,
Took you away from Dad.
A new family you have,
Fresh challenges beckon you.
The focus of your smile
But you still are and will be
My most beautiful thing!
Today I’m taking part in the My Most Beautiful Thing Blogsplash to celebrate beautiful things – inspired by Fiona Robyn’s new novel, The Most Beautiful Thing. Bloggers from all over the world are taking part and writing or posting pictures of their most beautiful things today. Find out more here and see everyone else’s blog posts here.
On Tuesday the 24th of April, I’m taking part in a Blogsplash to celebrate beautiful things, inspired by Fiona Robyn’s new novel, ‘The Most Beautiful Thing‘.
People all over the world will be blogging, tweeting & writing about their own most beautiful thing. You could also be one of them. So how about joining the bandwagon?
You could post a photo or write a prose piece about your most beautiful thing. You could write a small stone or show us a piece of artwork you’ve made in honour of your most beautiful thing. It’s completely up to you. You could be extravagant and post a whole series of your most beautiful things, so says Fiona.
Writing Our Way Home are making a directory of everyone who’s taking part, and they will also re-post their favourite entries on their blog over the following month.
If you’d like to join her, email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details. Till tomorrow when I will be back with more on the most beautiful thing for me.
A tweet-story (140 characters) re-posted:
Life’s aromatic journey took Beth through baby soaps and powders to perfumes and deodorants ending in the smell of pain balms and ointments.