India, officially the Republic of India, is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country, and the most populous democracy in the world. Bounded by the Indian Ocean on the south, the Arabian Sea on the west, and the Bay of Bengal on the east, India has a coastline of 7,517 kilometers (4,671 mi). It is bordered by Pakistan to the west; People’s Republic of China (PRC), Nepal, and Bhutan to the north; and Bangladesh and Myanmar to the east. India is in the vicinity of Sri Lanka, the Maldives, and Indonesia in the Indian Ocean.
“It’s a ladies seat…”
[Behaves as if I do not exist…]
“This is a ladies seat… Please get up…”
[A cell phone cries.]
[Hindi would have done just fine…]
“SEE! Reserved for women.”
[Looks at it, remotely interested.]
“So? If it’s written here, ‘Jump into a well’, should I…”
[… and spits out more dirt out of the bus!!]
“Okay I’ll call the conductor…”
[Looks around for her khaki-adorning-lean-stubbled-sleepy-eyed-savior, and drops the idea.]
“I’ll complain to the Police.”
[Has a good hearty laugh!]
“First, get that woman off that seat.”
“It’s a general seat, anyone can sit…”
“Ma’m, ma’m, sit here, I’m your servant ma’m …”
A ball of fur with two gleaming eyes;
Dark as a starless night,
Was this benign creature
A shadow in the pallid manor.
Under the bed, in the library,
Or she’d spend time,
Near the window, on a chair.
A connoisseur of tuna treats,
And an ace in hide and seek.
Coy as a touch-me-not,
A favorite among the First family,
The center of controversy in God’s own country.
Yet, all the glam and glitz, her peers did steal.
At times, she purred and mewed,
And got petted by her master,
Whom the world referred to
As a lowly bastard.
A feline was she till the age of eighteen,
But as an underdog she spent
Her nine lives, without complaining.
Miracle Drug (118)
I drank in the warmth of his embrace.
The smouldering sun smiled upon us with all of its affection.
I drew in a long, deep breath- the gasp of one who has too long been deprived of her air.
The rich dust mingled with the dark smoke, with an inkling of the scent from a public toilet.
My feet caressed the searing gravel, that once was an obscure fact.
My ears witnessed a kaleidoscope of sounds- Oh! The sweetest that ever were heard; the brawling tramps, the rickety scooters, the constant vendor babble, the ceaseless honking.
I opened my eyes to a life no other peoples possessed.
He smiled, and a tear abandoned my eyelash.
I was home.
In the land
Change the laws
Of the game,
While the Dome
You collected it.
And chose your
To hit below the
In the curriculum,
Stories of Ram
So that our
When you go to sleep,
Will wake up
“Bill where did you go this Christmas?”
Bill: “My 85 year old brain makes me forget the name. Its big. We just managed parts. Visited this awesome love monument having the same name as the hotels we stayed in. Jenny bought this long piece of embroidered cloth. Its their national costume. We ate rice pancakes with pulses, kebabs and chicken coconut curry and a snack looking like stuffed triangles. Spicy. At the southern tip there was this rock we visited. Breath taking sight with three water bodies mixing in. Also managed a massage with aromatic oils. Even saw these big elephants attached to temples.”
Bill: “Dhanyavad ie thank you. We’ll go back to sight tigers.”
Pratik Bubna (120)
International Watch Shop, Naya Bazaar, YKW (you know where!!!)
Here Sir… A perfect Swiss make
“Too expensive… ahem… I mean too extravagant design…I need something subtle you know …”
Yes sir, I have just the thing for you, a watch ‘made in China’. Only Rs. 20
“Too cheap. Look money is not an issue and I don’t want Chinese watch. Show me a nice foreign watch.”
Sure sir, here’s a French one, an Italian make and this one’s a latest English watch…
“This looks good”
Good choice sir… it’s the latest design, just arrived today morning from London …
“Put these in London packs. Mark these as Swiss. Make sure you don’t leave any old labels affixed …”
The serpentine passport queue irked him. Every time! He had outgrown it all -queues, red tapes, human errors….
Settled in USA for over 10 years, he had changed, grown and learnt to drive on the wrong side; to replace respect with informality; to share washing machines with strangers and give privacy to his kids; to understand Diwali to be a silent Sunday and send out colourful e-cards for Holi; to cheer Dhoni & gang with a ‘Refresh’ button; to forget castes and remember colour.
“Hey Harry! Howdy dude? Passport renewal totally sucks”. Jolted out of his reverie, Harinarayanan tightly clutched the small blue booklet -the final fragment of his identity connecting him to the land he belonged to.
Jana Gana Mana …
Pinky stood still and started lip-synching.
No one else stopped,
Everyone rushing to leave the hall,
Pushing, whistling, spitting, shouting,
Vindhya Himachal Yamuna Ganga….
The tricolor kept fluttering with the music.
And people discussing Bipasha and Priyanka,
Ogling at the Meenus and the Manishas.
Winking rubbing groping the Aishwaryas.
Gahe tav jaya gatha…….
“Come Beta, or we’ll get stuck in the parking.”
“But Pa, we should respect our anthem, no?
Don’t we love our nation, Papa?”
“Why care for this Nation, Beta?
We are anyways leaving for the States next week”
He pulled the reluctant Pinky and moved.
Jaya he! Jaya he! Jaya he!
Jaya Jaya Jaya Jaya he!
The Tricolor faded away in the darkness.