Chapter 23

“Dolores, I can’t believe that it’s just been three weeks since we’ve been seeing each other. I’ve been with my share of women, but you’re one of a kind. I guess because you don’t try hard. You don’t lead me on; neither do you let me go. You and I are like Lego bricks”.

Melina kept that piece of paper down. Removed her glasses. Untied her hair and holding that pensive look, glanced at Sean sitting near the window with his typewriter. “Sean, baby, I like where you’re going with this chapter. I mean there’s something there. But why does it have to be a semblance of something vague? Shouldn’t Gareth be sure by now? I mean he’s got to have figured it out by now. How can he always fall for someone intriguing? Don’t you see a pattern here? And why is he Gareth. Can’t he be Karl? Karl has a sense of mystique around him. Baby? Are you even listening sweetheart?”

After an unusually long stare, Sean began typing.

“Carla on the other hand did not approve of where Gareth was heading. She never liked a new woman taking over his life. She had put in a lot of effort to be the second best. She’d coloured her hair red, tangerine, electric blue, black and every other shade of lust. She had earned her divided attention. She loved being the emergency booty call. But this new sea of women was creating a ripple that made her uncomfortable. She wished Gareth could just stay put with his decision. She was getting bored of changing her hair colour. She was getting used to the natural whites.”

Sean punched in the last key and went to change his look. He did that while writing. His wife thought he was getting into character. The truth was he was just washing them off from his mind. Wearing a crisp orange shirt and white underwear, he walked back into the room. His wife was getting dirty with Monica, her bestie from college, who had just walked in consumed from the air travel. As they were licking off the honey from each other’s body, he returned to his typewriter.

“Carla met Dolores at the Ice Cream parlour. Dolores was devouring her Raspberry when Carla walked in. She ordered her usual chocolate vanilla and sat right opposite Dolores. Carla wanted to have the upper hand. She twirled her tongue. Gnawed at the cone. Her lips trying to pucker her way to the bottom. Dolores meanwhile was just gulping her way through the cone, trying to get there first. Before they could decide, Gareth walked in with Susie – a 21 year old, his 22nd conquest. She was beautiful. Sexy. But blind. Gareth wanted to get her into a world of colour. At that moment, Dolores did not exist. Carla was not there. The only thing on his mind was Susie and colour. He smeared her face with every flavour, telling her how pale it looked in front of her. And how tasteless the world is in comparison to her skin. Dolores had tears in her eyes. Carla had pistachio ice cream all over her hands. Her hands in her hair, trying desperately to turn them green.”

Sean punched in that last word. Wore his sunglasses and began dancing to an Outkast classic – Hey Ya as his wife and her bestie squealed in pleasure.

This was just another page in the life of Sean Mardy. 

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THIS PICTURE. THAT STORY.

So a still from Bejoy Nambiar’s David inspired me to write this fictional piece.

This is not an excerpt from the movie, just a figment of my imagination.

The purpose of this post is not to promote/demote David the film.

It’s just a story of what I make of the movie still.

 

THIS PICTURE. THAT STORY.

The time had passed. The rain had poured. Colour had walked away from the room. It was a desaturated Saturday night. Nysa was drawing grey shades from her mind and sketching them on paper. After all these years, a pen was her only faithful partner.

“Joy decided to stay back on the porch. It was too tired to move into another rented relationship. So I packed hope in my bags and left some room for smiles too. “ Nysa didn’t like the remorse in her writing. And the fact that she always tried to fit in quarter smiles. The fact that all her writing stemmed from self-reflection.  She never wanted to be an open book, but she always wanted to be read. In one way or the other.

She left her words aside and walked towards the window, tying her emotions in a braid. It was her idea of hiding pain under the disguise of desire. She found comfort in conflict, even if she was tangled herself. She let out a knowing smile of disdain, something she did privately.

She lit a cigarette, put on her glasses and picked up the piece of paper she had just written on. Her words followed the wisps of smoke as she began to chronicle her present past. “I don’t know what I saw in David. I guess it was the idea of a man which was never seen or heard before. Rash, unstable, unforgiving, passionate, hard, brutal. Everything that was wrong in the world was right inside him. I’ve been an object of desire for many, but with him, I get to be the subject of desire. Even if for a short while, isn’t that something worth being?”, she left the cigarette burning in the ashtray. Removing her glasses, she let her thoughts be as they were, incinerating on a piece of paper.

She graced towards the mirror to be ready for him. It would be dawn anytime now, David would be home any minute now. The night had sucked her in its mood and she did not want to rebel against it. Not tonight. Untying her emotions, she let her hair flow free of every doubt. She readied her eyes with black and dressed her nose in gold. She returned to the piece of paper and folded it away in a book she never read. Sipping the night away, she walked to the porch and awaited joy to come to her doorstep. The car thundered its way through the gate. Her past compelled her to stay at the porch, but she wanted to bring it home. She was determined not to make this one a rented relationship. She’d paid her dues. As she walked into the house, she could hear his footsteps. She slowed down and stood near the window. Her moment was waiting. As she closed her eyes, she could feel warmth wrapping itself  around her body. His lips kissed her sultry neck. At that moment, hope and smiles climbed out of her bag and took shelter in her face. She thought to herself, “Joy, we meet again”.

Image

CIVIL WAR UNCHAINED

VERSION 1

It’s funny how a German and Jew came together

To turn the tide of the black feather

To uproot an oppression

Stuck in a desert of congress session

The President wanted an ammendment

The Dentist too was hellbent

One abolished slavery by skewing the legal hand

The other took the law in his own hand

Quentin unchained the western myth

Steven went with a wordsmith

Nigger became the razor sharp blade for Quentin

While Steven sliced with Negro in his fight against the fair skin

Djamie aced it and foxxed it too

But it was Daniel’s Day and Lewis got his due

 

VERSION 2

Two Americans decided to tell a story

Of blood & death and eternal glory

They both wanted to free slavery

So they told tales of heroism and bravery

It’s funny how one used a German

And the other used a Jew

Black was fashioned by both

And such contrasting shades they drew

One rampaged with Nigger

While the other campaigned with Negro

Quentin pulled out an ace

Steven put forth a case

Cowboy Django and President Lincoln made their point

And neither did disappoint

One packed in the punchlines

The other made a statement

Django killed the oppression

Lincoln passed an amendment

Jamie saddled down the slope

As Daniel rode away with the Golden Globe

COUNTER ARGUMENT

“The year was good for me you know. Goals and achievement, what better way to assess a year that’s gone by?”

Accomplishment, he corrected her as he continued to type in the computer.

 

“I completed my first novel. Roughly hundred pages, but I finished it nonetheless.

You have no idea how liberating the feeling is.”

That’s a novella; he corrected her again while making the coffee.

 

“I have also kept my weight in check. I’ve lost 2 and half pounds. Maybe I will fit in that little black dress.”

Do I wear glasses for that, because I cannot see it, he scuffed out while stirring the coffee.

 

“John, why are you so grumpy all the time?”

“Will that be all ma’am?” he said with a fake upbeat voice she was accustomed to.

 

“I actually feel like having nuggets”

“Would you like fries with that?” he spat out.

 

“No. you’re very mean. How much is it?”

 

“That’ll be 4.5$.”

“Thanks and cheer up. And happy New Year”

 

“Hello, Welcome to McDonalds, how may I help you?”

GREY MATTER

The following piece is a collaboration between  Nachiketa Anand and I – Links to her blog (http://easeleyes.wordpress.com/) (http://behindthatsweetface.wordpress.com/)

Birmingham station was crowded. Office-goers in greys and blacks stood in stark contrast to the bohemian collegians. Couples kissed each other goodbye with a promise to return. A young lad of six clung on tightly to his mother’s hand. Scattered around in parts were tourists, some looking lost and some in the innocent hope of finding themselves.

Dressed in a grey trench coat and a black hat, he looked like a remnant from the 1970’s. His handlebar moustache accentuated his Hitchcockian persona. Standing at his usual spot, right next to the Doughnut Mart, he took in the sleepy Monday morning. There was something amiss about the day. It didn’t seem blue enough. And that bothered him. Aware of his OCD of sorts, even a minor change in events disturbed his equilibrium. With a Dunhill tucked perfectly between his lips, he took a last and generous drag of the nicotine nirvana before viciously stubbing it under his black soles. His train was due in five minutes and he had to grab his seat, the third one from the left. He hated missing his seat. With that, he marched towards the platform leaving behind a sharp woody fragrance. Keith Wilson’s week had begun.

The train was two minutes late and Keith hated delay. It made him uncomfortable. As he stood there tapping his right foot rather impatiently, Keith noticed him standing two feet away. He had been noticing this stranger since Doughnut Mart. An athletic man in his late 30s, he looked a tad too suave in his black suit. He had a kind face which was repulsive and icy-grey eyes that lacked compassion. Keith disliked him instantly and had no idea why. Before he could draw a conclusion, the train pulled to a screeching halt. Keith jumped in and rushed to grab his seat. But he was late. The seat had been taken by the stranger in black.

Captivated by change and inspired by evolution, Mark Henderson believed he was special. And believed to have a rather unique mutation. Unable to put it to words, this enigma about himself baffled him and excited him at the same time. A lover of after thoughts, the perception and possibilities of people taking him to be someone trivial was fascinating to say the least. Always sharp and hiding under a cloak, black was his confidante, wife and mistress. But the truth was pregnant and could go in labour any minute.

Caught in a Monday breeze, he was all set to change the blues to greys. He had tilted the newsstand next to the Doughnut Mart. He had tilted the ‘Open’ sign on its door too. He had doled out half smiles to all the people present at the square. He only wished someone could sense the difference. Someone who knew he was behind this. Appreciation was all he longed for. His mutation otherwise would go unnoticed. With a plagued heart, he sauntered towards the station. The train too dragged itself and stopped right in front of him.  Dejected at the lack of response and gratitude, he relinquished his window seat and sat on the third one from the left.

Keith was trying hard to control his temper. He had half a mind of grabbing Mark by the collar, punching him in the face and dragging him out of his seat. But sanity prevailed and he thought otherwise. Keith sat opposite him, staring hard, tapping his right foot once again, hoping that Mark would get off at the next station. Hoping he’d get to sit on his seat. Hoping that Monday would soon turn the right shade of blue. Keith looked at Mark. There was a disturbing quality to him. His neck was tilted to one side as was the newspaper he was reading. Keith found it very strange, yet amusingly funny.

‘Odd Bob, he muttered under his breath.

Just as his thoughts escaped his mouth, Mark looked up from his newspaper. ‘Excuse me?’, he said in a baritone voice that seemed to echo through the hollow corridors of the unusually empty train.

‘Nothing’, Keith said embarrassed at being caught, struggling to find the right words. ‘I noticed how you were reading the paper. The tilt…very unique, indeed’, said Keith mirroring Mark’s style.

‘Hope that didn’t make you uncomfortable, it was intentional. I’ll tell you a secret. The tower of Pisa? You know what happened to it right? Don’t tell anyone.’ Mark said with a response evoking grin.

‘I’m Mark Henderson’, he introduced himself. Keith looked at him uncertainly. He disliked over-friendly people. And Mark had a way of stamping his presence, one that made onlookers uncomfortable. Mark was looking at him expectantly.

‘I’m Keith’, he replied. ‘Wilson’, he added.

‘I’m a tourist here. I got here a week ago. I’m a little unsettled with the drone sort of life people lead here. I’m here to change that, just like I did with Pisa’, Mark said, trying hard to sell his mutation. Keith nodded again. He was getting increasingly uncomfortable.

‘Actually… would you mind suggesting a few places I could go to? Just to explore, maybe?’, Mark added handing Keith a pocket-sized leather diary and a pen. Keith did not want anything to change, let alone his favourite places. Thoughtfully, he penned down a few places.

‘Thank you, kind Sir’, Mark said, tipping his hat as a sign of appreciation. And as he started to read his diary, his eyes gleamed. Written in a neat, sharp font, Keith’s handwriting was a heart-wrenching beautifully straight. Mark could not stop staring at it. He had found his shot to fame. It was going to be Keith.

Keith walked out of the train with a mission. He could not let a stranger change his world. He had made peace with order and preferred it that way. He had to keep the order. For himself if not the world. He picked up the phone. “Hello Susie, I need to see you at half past 11 outside the subway.” Susie Jones was a detective. The finest of her time. Her providence lied in disguise. One that she had mastered without masks. Back in the department they called her the “Camouflage Antidote”. During pressing situations, she was the woman of the hour. She was Keith’s confidante too. The only woman who could keep a secret. Keith had met her at a conference in Poole few years ago. She was the only one who could bring back order.

At half past 11, there she was. A beige skirt, a white shirt, a scarf that was electric blue, matching her shoes. Burgundy hair that was kissing her shoulders and grey shades that were fighting the sun. Keith always found her beautiful, but always maintained a distance. He feared being tricked at some point. As Keith approached her, he gave her a list of all the places he had suggested Mark to visit. Trafalgar Square, Stonehenge, Tower Bridge and the London Eye. Keith had carefully listed down these places. He knew Mark would sense an opportunity in these marvels, and this was the best place to catch him red-handed. Susie on the other hand was fascinated by Mark’s motivations. And did not find his intentions wrong, but Keith was a dear friend. She could not betray him. Fascinated to meet Mark, she set up a team at each of these places. This was going to be her biggest challenge. To turn in a man, she would rather take home.

The first call came from Trafalgar Square. It was flooded by pigeons. After the law was passed to ban feeding food to pigeons, there was a dearth in pigeons in the area. Suddenly there was a flock flying around. And people had started flooding in. Peace was disrupted. There were children playing around the square. Couples photographing themselves with the pigeons. Old loyalists had returned to feed the pigeons. Trafalgar Square had come to life. It was like the old times. The place was infected with smiles, and there was nothing authority could do now. Witnesses reported seeing a man bringing these pigeons overnight. They called him the “Grey Crusader”. Susie was late. Mark had disappeared.

Second call came from Stonehenge. The Stonehenge was carved to form sharp cylindrical cubes and written in a heart-wrenching beautifully straight handwriting was, “Let’s change”. Keith was present this time around. So was Susie. Susie’s eyes spoke of love, Keith’s spoke of anger. Mark had taken Keith’s form and was doing what he had set out to do. Keith could not digest the fact that he had led Mark to these wonders of the world. He stubbed the cigarette under his right foot in contempt. The Grey Crusader was leaving his Mark.

London Eye was painted grey. And the two towers at Tower Bridge were now tilted. Mark had been mocking Keith all this time and Keith had no answer. Susie and Keith were sipping tea at the nearest café. Keith was bound by his composure. Susie in the middle of twirling her hair, dropped the pencil on the table. Her look said she had figured it out.

“Keith, take the morning train. You’ll find him there. I’m sure you will. I would have been on the train, if I was him.”

Keith liked the idea. He also sensed emotion in Susie’s voice. It was heartbreaking. He could not let Mark do this to him. Not anymore.

Keith dressed himself in black. It was his turn to mock Mark. This Monday was different from the previous Mondays. The air was fresher. The blues were brighter. The greys were fading away. Keith was confident. Order would return to his life. Sensing victory, he stepped inside the morning train.

Mark had taken the third seat from the left. Keith had expected this; Mark had walked into a trap. Letting out a generous half-smile, Keith sat opposite to Mark. “Hello Mark Henderson or should I call you the Grey Crusader now?”, Keith smirked at him. “Hello. Sir, have I thanked you for directing me to those places? Let me thank you again. It was a delightful journey”, Mark replied with ease. “Oh, stop the pretense already, you’ve lost. And now you’ve been caught as well”, yelled Keith. “Susie, here’s your man. Arrest this scoundrel”. Susie was dressed for the occasion. Dressed in a stone grey dress, hair swept back, kohl laden eyes, Susie was dressed for a date. Taken aback with her appearance, Keith’s eyes reeked of dejection.

“Mr. Henderson, you are under arrest for disrupting peace and order in the city and its heritage.”

Mark looked deep in her eyes and smiled. “Thank you my kind lady. It’s been an honour.” Susie at that moment had fallen in love. As Keith walked out of the train, media was there to congratulate him. Kids wanted his autograph. And in that moment, it all came together for Keith. He noticed the change in his routine. He had liked the newness to the day. This change. He was wearing black. And as he was about to give an autograph, he realized he could not leave his signature. He had to tilt his writing. At that moment, he looked at Mark walking away. Mark left the station looking at Keith, tipping his hat as a sign of appreciation.

Sony Ericsson’s disgraceful ELM experience

Your eco-friendly venture is still getting recycled!

Shame on you!

With the mobile phone market booming, and friends and colleagues alike pushed me to go for a Nokia E Series phone, I stuck my neck out and promised to stick to Sony Ericsson. Been a loyal K800i user for over two years, taking the comfortable UI and my past experience with the brand, I decided to stick with Sony Ericsson. While going through the models, I bumped into ELM and thought of this being a very noble initiative and made my contribution with purchase. Even with my eyes set on Aino, I decided to go for SE ELM. The day I bought this, I texted all my friends and intimated them of my purchase and urged them to buy ELM! While a few retorted with mockery, the genuine environment caring people really appreciated my decision and also praised Sony Ericsson for such a noble initiative.

The downfall:

3 weeks in use, my phone started encountering problems. It started hanging way too often for comfort, that too without the memory card being fully loaded or heavy use of internet. I found this behaviour baffling. I had to remove the battery and turn on the phone 7 times a day to get it working. After losing patience, I approached the store from where I bought this handset; the culprit in consideration is FONES 4 U, located in Chembur, Mumbai, India. With the store having multiple branches and with Sony Ericsson never giving me a reason to complain, I thought this must be a minor fault and will be corrected. I was promised to get my phone working again in 2 days. With me writing this mail, it is evident that never happened. The store manager wasn’t even courteous too inform me about the delay and I had to follow up umpteen number of times, just to hear a delay from his side. The poor service made me judge Sony Ericsson’s incompetence in choosing partners to sell their products. The debacle went overboard when the store stopped answering my calls. I had to personally pay a visit to enquire about the actual problem. And mind you, this was 3 weeks after I had given them the phone. The store manager said there was some software problem which had relapsed and they were looking into it. Then I was informed, that it was not a software problem, but a hardware problem and the piece would come in the next week and I shall get the phone by 3rd of July. In the event of that not happening, and my work hours not giving me enough time, I asked my dad to go and follow up. My dad too was given a reason, this time of it being a software problem and if for the third time, it does not happen, the handset will be replaced. On 13th July, my phone was delivered. On receiving it, I found out, the phone in fact was not cured at all. And it required the same ordeal of inserting the battery again to get it started. And after a couple of attempts it died again.

Then the phone was taken to the service centre personally to look into the problem and they have given me a work order for the same. Work order no: SE310RT112275.

I have been utterly disappointed and mentally harassed at such pathetic service. All my friends have made a mockery out of my situation by insulting the Eco-Friendly behaviour of the phone. Never before have I received so much criticism on my purchase. It was demoralising to say the least. It has also led to a downfall in my credibility to suggest them effective credible purchases. Ever since, I have been regretting buying SE and would have definitely preferred Nokia over it. The physical and mental stress that your company has brought over me is inexplicable and unwarranted. Not only have I lost faith in Sony Ericsson but have also started advising people to purchase other brands over SE. I feel ashamed to have promoted your brand all this time and would like an explanation for such erratic behaviour. If you cannot repair my mental situation and bring peace to my chaos, you can surely, repair the phone at the earliest. It is pointless to ask from you a new phone or remuneration, because taking the past events into consideration, I know that too would be futile. I just wanted to inform you that you have lost a loyal customer and very soon would be losing many more.

It’s a disgrace, really!

Yours (former) faithfully,

Ashirwad Mhatre