WWE War Games

Once upon a time there was a great wrestler Dara Singh. He was famous all over the world not only for his great strength and wrestling skills but also his honesty and fair methods of fighting on the mat. Everyone attributed his honesty to the fact that he was Indian and brought up on the wonderful traditions of honesty and fair play that have been practiced since the times of the Mahabharata. There was another wrestler from across the border called Majid Accra. He was the exact opposite of Dara and always cheated (what can one expect from those across the border?)

Whenever a bout between the two took place posters were pasted all over the city. Dara Singh in his wrestling gear showing off his magnificent physique smiled (albeit sternly) at us from the posters. Reading the accompanying text would make our chests swell with pride at Dara and enhance our hatred for Majid. The text went something like this: “Hey thundering cloud (that never could give any rain) every brick thrown by you will be answered by a stone!” It actually packed a far better punch in vernacular.

The whole city would be agog with discussions about the impending fight and our minds would be consumed as to how Dara would stop this murderous cheat from across the border. In front of a packed stadium and in the presence of a referee the fight would begin. Majid always started like a whirlwind punching, pinching, pulling Dara’s hair when the ref was not looking while the spectators hissed their disapproval. Dara never lost his smile and would calmly soak in everything Majid threw at him. Some spectators even whispered that Dara’s 56 inch chest would swell further the more beating he took. Finally the last straw would come when Majid kicked Dara below the belt. Dara would stagger but not fall and then get into position to administer the much awaited drop kick. “Wham, thud” Majid smelling canvas. Now for the killer move. Dara would hold Majid in his world famous “Indian death lock” There would be no escape for the villain and he would cry in pain and surrender. The crowd would roar its approval as if the forces of good had vanquished the evil empire.

For the past week I have been reminded of these childhood memories repeatedly as I watch various TV channels and read the jingoistic forwards that land on WhatsApp. It seems that a vast majority are thinking that war is not a devastating clash between two armies with direct as well as collateral damage to both sides (As a society we have already suffered collateral damage when the likes of Tendulkar and Gavaskar are called traitors) It’s as if  we think that this war is nothing but a wrestling bout between Narendra Modi and Imran Khan. Imran being a Pakistani will naturally deploy all the dirty tricks when Referee Trump is not looking but ultimately Modi is going to “drop kick” him to the mat and hold him there with the famed “Indian death lock” forcing him to surrender.

I know I should not trivialise a calamity like war, but I am in the august company of glorified TV anchors and gloating leaders of the ruling party who have already started counting the “electoral” chicken.


Short Story Challenge 2014

Genre: Horror/ Setting: Advertising/ Character: Bully

Nayantara’s Revenge

Sonalee screamed. It was a blood curdling sound that ripped through the evening sounds of the forest and sent shivers down the spines of all within earshot. Everyone froze, even the continuously chattering monkeys fell silent. It was as if some supernatural being had said the magic words in the childhood game of “stop” and the small film crew shooting a commercial in the forest had turned into a tableau of stone.

Shrikant, Range officer of the Junona range where the film was being shot, was the first to recover. Rushing to Sonalee, now collapsed on the grass, he shook her, gently at first, but then with more urgency when she did not respond. Her mouth was open and her eyes, huge stricken orbs. Her once beautiful face was ghostly pale and for a moment Shrikant thought she was dead. Gently he lifted her head and put his finger to her delicate nostrils, relieved to feel the uneven ebb and flow of air on his finger tip.

The worried crew edged towards the young woman, eyes darting around them, mouths clamped tight shut.

“What’s wrong with her?” Shouted Avinash, the much hated film director and company owner.

“I don’t know?’ Shrikant replied curtly.

He disliked everything about Avinash. The way he treated the film unit, always shouting, barking out orders, leering over the women, picking on the weaker ones. If it weren’t for the fact that Avinash was his boss’ relative Shrikant would have kicked his butt a long time ago.

“We need to get her to the camp and try to revive her.”

“Leave her! There’s nothing wrong with her! She’s just faking! We carry on filming” Avinash screamed.

Shrikrant ignored him. He was broad and muscular and easily carried  Sonalee’s limp body to the jeep, calling out to Jaya and Pushpa, two crew members “Sit either side of her, make sure she doesn’t fall! Hurry!”

Shrikant jumped into the driver’s seat, turned on the engine and pulled away leaving the rest of the unit, and a furious Avinash, to follow in the van. Camp was four kilometres away but the road, a mere dirt track, made it impossible to drive quickly.

Darkness had fallen on the trees and a heavy winter mist was settling in making it difficult to see beyond a few meters. The trees that had looked so lovely and inviting during daylight assumed sinister shapes in the dark. There was a mood of nervousness among them, a feeling that something dreadful was about to happen. All they wanted to do was reach camp, abandon the shoot even, go home.

Shrikant was negotiating a huge pothole when he felt the hairs on his neck stand up. A strange voice hissed, “Stop the vehicle.” He looked behind and saw that Sonalee had regained consciousness and was trying to get out of the jeep.

Her eyes were wild and her nostrils flared as she struggled with Jaya and Pushpa and shouted in a deep husky voice “You mother fu…., I said stop the vehicle at once.”

“Don’t let her get out!”

Jaya and Pushpa began whimpering.

Remembering something he had read in his childhood, Shrikant pushed down hard on the accelerator and turned the jeep towards a temple of the goddess Kali that he knew was a few hundred metres away. He was aware he didn’t have much time; they had to go fast.

“Hold on tight.”

They pulled up sharply in front of the stone idol of the goddess Kali the scourge of the forces of darkness. He hoped his hunch was right.

The granite Kali idol was almost as terrifying as Sonalee had been. This slayer of evil, had eight arms, each one carrying primitive weapons or a demon’s head. Her tongue protruded from her mouth, and her huge bulging eyes glared angrily down on them.

As soon as they entered the temple grounds Sonalee slipped back into her stupor much to the relief of Jaya and Pushpa.

The van caught up with them and the worried crew led by a fuming Avinash got out.

“Why have we stopped here?” he demanded.

Jaya and Pushpa spoke at once, an incoherent babble.

“Shut up both of you” Avinash snarled, “I am asking you Shrikant, Why are we here?”

“I think she may be possessed. I am sending for Penta Talandi the witch doctor.”

“What nonsense! These things do not exist! You of all persons should know this. I demand you take us all to camp, NOW,” Avinash screeched.

Shrikant turned on his heels and walked purposely over to the van driver.

“Don’t you DARE walk away from me! I will have you whipped!”

“Rafiq, there is a hamlet about a kilometre from here on the road to the camp” Shrikant spoke quietly to the driver. “Ask for Penta Talandi and tell him there is an emergency and he should come immediately. Don’t stop for anything till you reach the hamlet.”

Seeing the reluctance in the driver’s eyes he gestured towards the group huddled around Sonalee.

”Take Jaya and Pushpa with you. Don’t worry, we’re all scared”.

Rafiq smiled at him gratefully.

Jaya and Pushpa looked to Avinash for permission. His face was contorted with rage.

“Go on then, go! What’s it to me?! I will just take the time out of your wages!”

They jumped into the van and drove into the mist. As the engine faded, there was only silence. There is never only silence. Where was the cheep cheep of the crickets and the comforting voice of a hooting owl?  Something was very wrong.

They huddled closely together, seeking comfort in each other, even Avinash joined the group.

Shrikrant switched off the jeep’s headlights.

“The battery will run down.”

Darkness engulfed them “Please keep them on” a nervous voice in the dark. Ignoring the plea, Shrikant switched on his LED torch and all eyes turned towards him.

“Anyone have a lighter or a match? We’ll make a bonfire. Get some dry twigs, but be careful and don’t go too far.”

No one dared to venture outside the temple perimeter. They collected the wood casting nervous glances over their shoulders, waiting for something, or someone to pounce on them.

They gathered enough for Shrikant to start a small fire and huddled around it, not caring about the smoke that burnt their eyes and flavoured their breath.

“How much do you have to shoot still?” Shrikant asked in an attempt to break the silence and lighten the mood.

“Well, eighty percent of the work is finished. It is an advertisement for a famous Jeans’ brand. We are hoping to finish by tomorrow” said Vinayak, the camera man.

“Do you think it is possible with Sonalee in this state?”

“It HAS to be possible and there is nothing wrong with Sonalee. I bet she has taken some drug earlier” interjected Aviansh. “I am going to punish her for being so irresponsible.”

Vinayak looked at him with distaste and said,” You can’t be sure what happened, give her a chance Avinash.”

“You don’t tell me what to do Vinayak!” Avinash snapped.

They settled back into an uneasy silence.

Finally they heard the sound of an approaching vehicle and, as the headlights of the van appeared on the horizon, bobbing up and down as the vehicle negotiated the rough terrain, their relief was palpable.

The van came to a halt and a tall dhoti clad Adivasi, whose forefathers had roamed the forests since ancient times, emerged. He walked towards Sonalee and the crew fell in behind him.

He examined Sonalee, then nodded to  Shrikant and motioned towards the jeep hinting that he wanted to speak in private. Avinash tried to follow but the Adivasi shook his head and Shrikant pushed him away.

Penta Talandi spoke quietly. “This is serious, Sahib. I warned you not to shoot in these parts. The girl is possessed and will die soon, but before that she might take a few lives”.

“I’m sorry Penta, I could not stop that idiot from choosing this spot. He is connected to the Chief Conservator and threatened to get me transferred if I did not comply. This girl must be saved. Do whatever you can, she must live.”

“I will have to perform Kali pooja immediately. It will be hard. I suspected something like this so have brought a cockerel to be sacrificed along with the other things I will need.”

“We will have to inform everyone what this is all about. You make preparations and I will tell them about it.”

As Penta moved towards the van Shrikant headed back to the waiting group.

“So what’s this hoo haa about Mr Ranger?” Smirked Avinash.

Shrikant ignored the sarcasm.

“She has been possessed by a churail that used to haunt these parts and is in danger of dying as well as posing danger to others”

“Nonsense, there are no such things. You are trying to protect this girl. I demand you put her in the jeep immediately and take us all to the camp. I will deal with this bitch tomorrow morning.”

Shrikant looked at him with contempt “You can go if you want to. I won’t allow you to touch her.”

Avinash motioned to the crew to follow him and started towards the van. Before anyone else could move a cackling laugh split the air. Everyone, except Penta who was chanting mantras, oblivious to everything around him, froze.

The laugh was coming from outside the perimeter of the temple, from the darkness.

A second cackle propelled them into action. Screaming, they ran towards the sanctum sanctorum and took cover; Avinash looking like a dog with its tail between its legs.

Penta Talandi’s chants grew louder as he invoked the goddess. The cockerel struggled in his hands. Penta drew his knife and cut its throat in one smooth motion, then let the blood flow on the mouth of the idol. The city bred onlookers closed their eyes in fearful disgust. The girls hugged each other and shook like leaves in the autumn wind. The blood flow stopped and with that, eerily, so did the cackling. There was a defiant scream and the branches of the big banyan tree near the temple started to shake. Penta broke a coconut at the feet of the Goddess and gave each one a piece of the kernel.

“Keep this with you till you reach your home and no harm will come to you” he said in a grave voice.

“What are we doing here?” A calm female voice asked and everyone looked in wonder at Sonalee, now wide awake and looking as fresh and beautiful as she had earlier in the day. No one said a word as Shrikant took her hand and guided her towards the jeep.

“Let me tell you a story.” It was Penta. “Long time ago these lands were owned by the Deshmukh family of Warora. It was in 1947 that the Zamindar’s wife Nayantara died during her pregnancy due to negligence on part of her philandering husband. As the legend goes she became a churail and started killing all the males of that clan one by one. They tried every preventive remedy prescribed in the Puranas but could not prevent her ravages till the last of the males of that clan was dead. Each death was horrifying with their bodies sucked of all the blood and semen and even the youngest looked like an old man when he died. I do not know why she has resurfaced.”

“Did you say Deshmukhs of Warora?” Avinash asked almost choking on his words. “We are not going back to the camp. Take us back to Nagpur immediately.” He was shaking as if stricken by ague.  “Please Shrikant I beg you.” He whined. Gone was the swagger of the bully.”You can send our equipment later”.

Shrikant looked at Penta. “Will you come with us?’ Penta nodded in agreement.

It was a very quiet group that travelled 200 kilometres to the city that night. Only when they reached the safety of their homes did some of them realise that they had wet their pants.

Work at Sunidhi Advertising had returned to normal and the finishing touches to their latest ad were being given in the studio. The remaining shoot was completed employing technological trickery. Avinash was back to his bullying ways and seemed to have forgotten the episode in the forest.

“The laughter must have been some wild animal making noise and that idiotic Ranger was ignorant about it. Or maybe because I am a descendant of a bastard son of the Deshmukh’s must have saved me” he thought. He drummed his fingers on the desk expectantly.

Sonalee had been very cooperative to his advances since coming back and had agreed to see him today in his studio. He had planned her seduction to the last detail. The door opened and he looked up. Sonalee entered wearing a very sexy outfit that showed every curve of her youthful body. Her face was flushed with desire and it was as if it was her and not Avinash who was the predator.

“Let’s go” she said in an urgent whisper as she took his hand and pulled him towards the inner room. Avinash followed her mesmerised by her sensual walk. Once inside she did not wait for a moment and undressed herself, wrecking his plans of a slow seduction.

“What are you waiting for?” she asked him as he stood transfixed looking at her curvaceous body. “Don’t you want me” she taunted him. “Of course I want you” he said and flung his clothes on the floor and pulled her to the bed. He kissed her on the mouth fervently and placed his hands on her ample breasts. The nipples were hard and he closed his eyes in wonderment.

“Got you, you bastard” he heard a gruff voice saying and as he opened his eyes in surprise, his mouth formed a scream, but this time no sound came out. What he saw in front of him was a hideous naked old hag with sagging breasts and an ugly, wizened, face, her mouth curled in a triumphant smile, her long matted hair falling to her waist. He looked further down and saw the feet were pointing backwards.

“Oh my God it is you!”

The next morning the cleaning lady entered the studio and ran out screaming in terror. Avinash Deshmukh was found dead. He was forty years when he died but the body was that of an old man drained of all blood and his male member was destroyed beyond recognition. Nayantara’s revenge was complete.



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. 

Love Kshama.

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.

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda

2012 in review

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.

Click here to see the complete report.

True love

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.

Sinister man

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.

Sinister man

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.

God and Elections…A Tribute to Jaspal Bhatti.

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!”

My most beautiful thing


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

Has shifted….

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