Posted by: storyaweek | December 1, 2011

An idea whose time has come

“Are you even authorized to be here?”

“Yes of course. I have been alloted this area to carry out highly confidential work that only a few souls in all the world know about!”

“I did not know that there was a private research laboratory in the deep recesses of the Large Hadron Collider.”

“There very much is. Listen, during the first decade of its existence, the LHC was closed off many times. And people outside of the core group and also the world at large was informed about technical snags, glitches in performance, the works. We, on the other hand were working our asses off at that time to cover up the discovery that we had made!”

“Whoa! Should I be here then? Isn’t this the part where you say that if I tell you, I will have to kill you?”

“Relax. I am a scientist, not a cheap actor in a B grade movie, masquerading as a spy!”

“So, what is this unique discovery then, John?”

John did not answer. He led Rueben into a room, at the centre of which was a round table. On the table, rested a device made of translucent material, a sort which Rueben had never seen before. There was a spherical glow emanating from the bottom of it. The device had a protrusion, much like the ones seen on automatic weapons.

“John, please tell me that you have not invented a WMD”

“No, no. No, no, no!”. John was particularly agitated now. There was a nervous energy around him. Kind of like when a child is introduced to a new toy. “No, no. Of course not. This device here, this magnificent machine, is for reading minds!”.

“OK. So where is everyone? Where are the hidden cameras? I’m being taken for a ride, aren’t I?”

“No, no. Working underground for so many years has made you a cynic. I will make you a believer. Just get me a rat from the cages over there.”

John pointed the muzzle of the device towards the rat and turned it on. A screen on an adjacent wall came to life. There was a noise like muffled thunder, as if someone had suppressed lightning while it was striking. And then, an image of cheese appeared on the screen.

“See! The rat is thinking about food. Its hungry! This device has worked unerringly on all the animals we have tested. We discovered a unique particle during the first tests. We are yet to name it, but the discovery of this particle has immense ramifications for the world at large”

Rueben was amazed. “How does this particle work and how does it convert thoughts into images? Man, this is so cool, its bordering on the ridiculous!”

John answered as though he was muttering to himself. He was distracted because he was making some adjustments in the device. “All life is energy. Thoughts in the brain are nothing but disruptions in electromagnetic field enveloping the grey cells. Just like light amplification occurs in a laser by stimulated emission, this particle emits a radiation which amplifies the disturbances in the electromagnetic waves surrounding the brain. By correlating these with what we think the animal is thinking at the time and by making a matrix, we have been able to portray images of the thought.”

“But how can you know for sure? I mean, its an animal after all. You can never be sure that what you think it is thinking is indeed what it is thinking!”

“Yes. That is why, it must be tested on humans.”

“Is this legal? Have you been authorised to do this?”

“No one in their right mind will grant me permission to do this. That is why, I am here on an off day. You are going to witness the reading of a human mind”. John had finished adjusting settings and had pointed the device towards himself.

“Wait! Don’t be hasty in this. Have you taken enough precautions? Should we not carry out the test first on individuals whose loss would not be felt in the society?”

“Don’t be ridiculous. This device, is an idea whose time has come…”. John activated the device.

Remember the scene from the movie, The Day of the Jackal. Where the “Jackal” is test firing his assembled gun and has used watermelons as targets. Well, something similar happened to John then.

Posted by: storyaweek | April 30, 2008

Travelling Tales

Story of the Week [for the week 28.04 to 04.05.2008]

Author’s note: This is the first part of the story that has three endings as Rare, Medium and Well Done. Jeffrey Archer’s short story “One man’s meat” has a similar format. Please read the first part of the story and then the endings. The first half is common for all three.

There is a certain romanticism, if there is such a word, about travelling in trains. At every junction of the endless tracks, at every platform, in every tunnel en route and in the train itself, there’s a mystic force which keeps you in awe of the journey. There is never a boring moment on board a long journey in a train; simply because there is so much to look forward to and enough time for some quiet contemplation.

I have always loved travelling by trains. The clickety-clack of the wheels on the track can soothe my frayed nerves in such a manner as no whine of jet turbine can ever hope to achieve. Little wonder then that at times when I am most perturbed, by pressures of work or otherwise, I am most likely to be found on a train journey, heading in no particular direction.

An evening journey by the downtown special has many advantages: there is the opportunity to have a whiff of the sea breeze as the train rolls past the wharf, the chance to catch up on daily happenings in the world via the newspaper or radio and of course, the opportunity to meet interesting people. Daily co-passengers soon become friends, although it may be years before we know each other by name. Acquaintance usually begins with a smile across a lowered newspaper as a beautiful dame passes by. Or by a discussion on the sudden turn of the weather for worse. In many cases, there is the usual dismal performance of the national football team and as time has proved, nothing can foster male bonding quite as similarly as football, or for that matter, sports can.

Post the initial friendly banter, sharing of tales of tedium at the workplace occurs. And because of this, there breeds a sense of unity – something only a rail journey, repeated daily over a period of ten years can achieve. Of the few loco-buddies that I share this feeling of brotherhood, the sprightliest and funniest has to be Phil. He is the only one of us who has had time on the other side of the law and often, his escapades, or those of his cronies, keep us entertained throughout the one hour journey. This is one of his tales.

Phil’s friend, who for want of a name (Phil has a bad memory) we shall call Harry, was travelling on a train to nowhere (destination unknown, courtesy Phil). Knowing Phil, we assumed that Harry is a chip off the old “small-time” thieves block. It was only later that we learnt that he is more than that! Harry, as any penny wise train traveller is wont to do, was travelling without a ticket. It all boils down to a balance between the amount you have to pay if you are caught without a ticket and the number of times you think you can get away travelling ticket-less explained Harry to Phil, who explained to us. Quite ironic that we should learn practical life application of trade-off from some cons. But such is life.

Harry’s always had a good run with the ticket checkers, with the closest he came to being caught was when he was trying to flinch a wallet off a guy at the Manquire station. Much to his horror, he realized that the guy whose wallet was almost in his hands was a ticket checker. He fled in panic, dropping the guy’s wallet there itself. But Harry got a good look at the guy’s uniform and made a mental note to himself never to approach any person wearing anything remotely similar to that. Suffice to say that he was fairly ruffled by that particular incidence.

So, you can imagine his plight (said Phil) when on a particularly lazy Sunday, he saw a ticket checker board the exact same bogie he was in. With more than mild trepidation in his otherwise brave heart, he made a dash to the nearest exit. He was dismayed when he saw that there was no way he could jump off the train without seriously damaging his appendages. Dismayed, he returned to his seat and awaited his fate. He was sure that there were going to be more unfortunate souls like him. At least he would have company in his misery. Many thoughts crossed his mind as the ticket checker approached him – pick the pocket of the guy beside me and hand over his ticket to the checker, create a diversion by shouting snake, pull the chain and jump out of the train, better still, create a commotion and claim that my wallet has been picked and in the ensuing ruckus, pick other people’s wallets to add to the confusion. None of them really made any sense and he silently acknowledged defeat.

To pass time, Harry began making a mental list of people whom he thought would give him company. Since he had no money, he was sure that he would be taken down to the local gaol and held there for a couple of days. He was sure that none of the females on board the train were going to be caught ticket-less, forget accompanying him to the gaol. Certainly not the looker who was sitting near where the ticket checker was right now. She definitely appeared to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and Harry was sure he had not seen her before on this train.

Author’s note: This is where the first half ends. You can now read the following three endings:

Posted by: storyaweek | April 23, 2008

Rare

Author’s note: This is the first ending to the story Travelling Tales.

The first half of the story can be read here: Travelling Tales

Story of the Week [for the week 21.04 to 27.04.2008]

Posted by: storyaweek | April 16, 2008

Medium

Author’s note: This is the second ending to the story Travelling Tales.

The first half of the story can be read here: Travelling Tales

Story of the Week [for the week 14.04 to 20.04.2008]

Posted by: storyaweek | April 9, 2008

Well Done

Author’s note: This is the third ending to the story Travelling Tales.

The first half of the story can be read here: Travelling Tales

Story of the Week [for the week 07.04 to 13.04.2008]

Posted by: storyaweek | April 2, 2008

Showboating

Story of the Week for the week 31.03 to 13.04.2008

Cris, I wish you’d stop your showboating. Every time you score a goal, you go to the opposing teams’ supporters area and start dancing and prancing around. What fun do you derive from irking them?

It’s not them who I irk, my dear Ron. It’s you who I want to irk. You see, my step-overs leave opposition defenders floored. When they try to tackle me, they miss. Always. And they always get you with their tackles. Maybe you are not as blessed as I am.

Saturday night. Big match at the Burrington Stadium.

Commentator: … and as usual, it is Cris who is bossing the mid-field. Something that the relegation threatened Cobblestoners will not relish. Here he is again! Ohh!!! What an amazing display of skill… It takes some doing to chest the ball down at your own feet and now he is on the run… Running at Floyd… and away from him… running at Cris, his namesake and away from him!!! Still, its Crissss!!! What a goal, what a wonderful solo effort from the Brazilian mid-fielder. A mazy run, which ended with the ball in the back of the net and Cris on his knees, in a mock celebration of a Miss World winning participant. And his team mates are beside him, as they converge near the Cobblestone goal post.

Oh no! Something terrible has happened! Ron is writhing on the ground in agony. He seems to have been trod on his foot by one of his own team members during the celebration. He’s bleeding profusely from his left foot. Aaarghh! He’s been shot at! He’s been shot!!!

Up in the stands:

Sharp shooter to his boss: Damnation! Missed that darned Cris. He must be blessed.

Posted by: storyaweek | March 26, 2008

Be careful what you wish for

Story of the Week [for the week 24.03 to 30.03.2008]

Checklist:

1. Blasphemy

What does God know about creating peace on earth? Give me power and I’ll ensure that there is world peace. First, I’ll have mercy on all of God’s poor creations and condemn them to the gallows. Then, in the name of the almighty, I will condemn all pious know-it-alls to hell!

Check – - Loosen the screws.

2. Arrogance

What do these movie hall goers know about safety? This place is a hell-hole. Believe me, if I know the guy who designed this movie hall, I’d rip him to shreds for even thinking of becoming an architect in the first place. This hall is a disaster waiting to happen! One single spark, one single short circuit and this place will be in blazes. And people will have nowhere to run to. I wish they had consulted me before building this place…

Check – - Cut the wiring, make it appear as if rats have done the damage

3. Jealousy

Man! How can a dud like that get a hot chick like that! I mean, you would think that God would be more benevolent to his special creations like me. He should reward me with his more exquisite creations of the opposite gender. How I wish I had a girlfriend shaped like that! Man, that dude has got me going green!

Check – - Change the orientation

4. Lust

“Umm… that feels so good!”

Will you stop it?!! Just a while ago, you were drooling over “the chick with the other guy” and now you want to play around with me. I’m not impressed. Besides, I’m here to watch the movie. Not to fool around with you… Hmph!!!

Check – - Aim – ensure that target will be acquired

5. Gluttony

Jack! Stop hogging the popcorn!!!

Check – - wait for any signs of remorse

6. Anger

Why, why, why did I agree to watch this stupid movie with all of you? For all the freaking movies lined up on Broadway, we had to watch a documentary on Mars? I’d have been so much better off driving madly on the roads, maiming people for fun. Man, I love the look on their faces when they grimace in pain after I’m done driving all over them!

Check – - none forthcoming. Wait for final check.

7. Willingness

Man, I’ve seen cows shitting faster than this movie is moving. Why the heck is that title ‘Welcome to Mars’ still on the top of the screen? What a stupid documentary about some rover on some God-forsaken place. I’m sure hell would be a better place to be in than this shit-hole. I’d rather go to hell than be on Mars!

Check – - execute

One of the lamps hanging overhead was rattling all the while Jack was rambling away. It finally lost it’s battle against gravity and fell on Jack, crushing him on the spot. The last thought that passed through his mind was why the title of the movie had suddenly changed from “Welcome to Mars” to “Welcome to Hell!”

Posted by: storyaweek | March 19, 2008

Glory

Story of the Week [for the week 17.03 to 23.03.2008]

Final minutes of the second half. Soon, it would be injury time. And it would not last more than a couple of minutes. The game had been a really good tempered one, with no stoppages to speak of.

And now, his team was on its way out of the Champions League. He had had a very quiet game, his creativity stifled by the stoic defending of the rossoneri on their home turf. They gave him little room; pushed him, shoved him and cut off his supply lines from his mid-field. He was as effective in the game as he would have been sitting on the bench.

The UEFA fourth official lifted the electronic board. His team had been given a lifeline of two minutes. One hundred and twenty seconds to find a goal which would seal the win for his team and get them into the finals. How he wished destiny were in his hands.

A flash of movement on his left side! Instinctively, he knew that he had to make a run. His friend, the brilliant Portuguese winger had just completed a set of seven step-overs! He knew what would follow: a Marseille roulette, a mazy run past defenders and the final killer ball into the box, where he would be at hand to tap it into the waiting net. He ran as he had never before. He knew he had to be waiting in the box for the pass when it would arrive.

He fell! He cursed the Italian groundsman who had prepared the pitch, although somewhere in his mind, a small voice was telling him it was not the groundsman’s fault. Time was ticking on even his brain now. His estimate was that around twenty seven seconds had elapsed since the fourth official had raised that sign. He knew that his amigo would have reached halfway to his destination by now. He himself was not far off where he knew the ball would come. He knew now, that when he turned around, the ball would be on its way to him; a perfectly weighted pass, that would dodge all defenders and make its way to him. And he would score the winning goal. He could sense destiny paving its way towards him, riding the ball as it brushed past the blades of grass.

He turned. And the whistle sounded! No, it could not be. There were at least thirty more seconds to go. The whistle had to be for something else! It cannot end this way, not when he was this close. It must be for a foul, he thought. And he was right. He had strayed offside! He cursed himself for not timing his run well and getting lost in thought when his concentration should have been at its peak. Just a matter of time now. It was all over bar the shouting. The Milanese were having a ball now. He could feel the joy surging through the thronging masses in the stadium and their raucous chants irked him. Of all the people in his team, it had to be him. This was not supposed to happen. He was supposed to hit the winning goal, not waste an opportunity by losing concentration.

The Italian club team members started moving forward as their goal keeper came forward to take the free-kick resulting from the offside. He saw the disappointment in his team mates’ faces and he knew he was in for a hiding from the manager for his mistake. Even his friend from Portugal, who was the sprighliest chap even in the worst of times, had dismay written all over his face. He could see the beginning of a tear in his friends’ eyes, and that was what was giving the twinkle. No! It was a twinkle in his eye! He looked around to find what had made his friend look suddenly interested. The goal keeper had slipped! He had slipped while taking the free kick and the ball was out in the open. It was heading towards the wizard from Lisbon. He has one defender to beat, and I have none! Pass the ball to me, he thought fervidly.

And finally, the pass arrived. It was a simple lob over the last remaining defender and he was on his way towards the ball. He had the net in his sights and the ball was going to reach him at a nice height. Very similar to the pass that Thierry Henry had received from Zinedine Zidane in the 2006 World Cup, when he had famously scored past an immobile Dida of Brazil. He was going to volley the ball into the back of the net. Victory would be his and fans back home would break into raptures of ecstasy. A hush went across the stadium as the moment of impact of the ball on his Nike sponsored shoes approached with imminent inevitability. He was almost there. He could see the headlines in tomorrow’s newspapers!!!

The stadium was in shock for a moment. The cheering away fans had a look of amazement in their eyes. And then, as if the last bastion holding an invading army back had broken, collective cheers erupted from the home fans’ throats.

He had failed. He had hit the ball into the stands and the reason for it was the headline he had seen when he was in on goal:

“STRIKER’S BLUNDER HANDS MILAN VICTORY!!! “

Posted by: storyaweek | March 12, 2008

Impassibility

Story of the Week [for the week 10.03 to 16.03.2008]

I used to work in a jeweller’s shop.

I say used to because I no longer work there. I was fired last night. We were robbed. I was labelled a pococurante, was called names left right and centre and was discharged dishonourably from my duties.

And all of this happened because the security cameras showed me nowhere in the picture when the robbery happened. All it showed was me getting pushed in when the robbers came in. And as the robbers went about their business, no visual cue about my activities thereafter was provided.

Here’s what happened:

After locking all the cases and tidying up the workplace, I was getting ready to leave the jewellery store premises. As I locked the outside door, in my peripheral vision turned up images of sudden, rapid movements near the mouth of the alley alongside the shop. I doubted malice and turned to check for strangers lurking around corners and miscreants waiting to pounce. I was greeted with silence and an empty street. With fear in my heart and trepidation in each wavering step, I started walking towards my home.

And then, I was pounced on by five people. Each of them was armed to the teeth and their common “sole purpose in life” seemed to be to trample me under their common weight. I realized that they were planning to get rid of me before looting the store. I managed to whimper a few words like, “Please don’t kill me. Please take whatever you want, but don’t kill me” or something to that effect.

All this had no effect whatsoever on them. So I turned to Plan B. Plan B involved shouting out loud: You morons! Killing me will not help you. I can disarm the alarm system. If it is kept on, and you try to barge in, the police will catch you in no time!

This had a calming effect, if calming is indeed the word I am looking for, on my attackers. A lull ensued, wherein each attacker was analyzing the situation and so was the victim. I was placing mental ticks and crosses on my options: make a dash for the nearest underground station… NO, make a dash for any random main street and hope and pray for a vehicle to stop for me… NO!, make a dash on foot and keep running for as long as it takes to get rid of my would be pursuers… Bigger NO!!, try to placate the perpetrators of a would be robbery and offer to help them, YES, try not to infuriate the people who were much stronger than me, YES… You get the drift, don’t you?

Anyway, the assailants reached a consensus and nodded towards each other. As one of them said to me later, when I was disarming the alarm, it takes plenty of guts to shout at someone who is mugging you. It seemed to me that they took note of my guts in this particular respect and decided to tag me along in their pernicious adventure. Once the alarm was disarmed, I was shoved into the store nonchalantly [this, of course was captured on the surveillance camera]

A thousand thoughts must have rushed past my mind in the first few seconds of my ordeal. However, the rate at which my brain was processing information had reduced by three orders by the time I was inside the store. Now, all my energies were focussed on how to survive this nightmare and come out of it alive, never mind the knight in shining armour.

The burglars went about their business pretty briskly. I could sense the urgency in their each movement. They signalled to each other to hurry up and maximize the hoard in minimum time. They might have entered the store as good for nothing haggards. But they were going to leave as millionaires. Of this, I was sure. What I was not so sure about was what the owner of the store, and my boss, was going to say.

My vision was filled with images of the burglars moving around the store, methodically examining and picking the priciest jewels, the costliest jewellery and the most expensive diamonds. If I had an eidetic memory, it would have shown me visuals of people moving around the store, carefully avoiding laying finger prints on any article. Of people who were moving really fast across the floor, yet never really moving at all.

Yet, I saw nothing.

My ears were bombarded with discreet sounds, as metal rubbed metal in the sacks in which the burglars were stashing their loot. My eardrums were exposed to sound waves that carried information about the rustling of their clothes against their hirsute bodies, cloth rubbing on calloused skin and unkempt bodily hair.

Yet, I heard nothing.

My throat was going dry. There were voices inside my head which pleaded me to speak up. Voices, detached from their speakers, which urged me to shout out loud and seek help from someone, anyone. My vocal cords were straining at their leashes, waiting to unleash a scream, a cry for help. Anything that would bring an end to the devastation of a legitimate business that had seen prosperous times till only a few minutes ago.

Yet, I said nothing.

The next day, I would be chastised exactly for what I did not do. Yet, that was a better thing than to face than a dressing down for what I did do. It is difficult to explain what was going on in my mind, when there was a beehive of activity surrounding me. I know whatever I did was a result of the duress I was subjected to. I know that there were a thousand reasons to justify whatever I did, yet the fact remained that what I did do in the store was disdainful and repugnant at best.

The reason I was not seen in the video surveillance camera evidence…

The reason I did not see, hear or speak anything during the entire gamut of the burglars’ activities…

The reason why the store got robbed in spite of my presence… is…

I was busy soiling myself in the corner where I had been deposited.

The only thing, other than this activity I performed, was a cleanup job.

Posted by: storyaweek | March 5, 2008

Strategy

Story of the Week [for the week 03.03 to 09.03.2008]

“Hold on, Honey. There’s a ruckus here. Hey, you two! What are you quibbling about?”

“Coach, this guy here says that its possible for a team to have two managers. One for the Barclays Premier League and the other for the UEFA Champions League. It’s what we are arguing over!”

“What’s there to argue about? I agree with that chap. In fact, if I may say so, it’s a pretty nifty idea, laddie!”

“But coach, don’t you see the problems associated with this? Why, it’s like being married to two wives. And as Matthew 6:24 says, ‘No one can serve two masters'”

“Of course you can have two wives, boy! The wifey is in England and the other bitch is on the continent. It’s as simple as getting used to sleeping on different beds! You follow one strategy in the BPL and another in the CL. Just like you sleep on the left side of the bed in London and on the right side in Paris! Tchah! Boys these days have no imagination!”

“But, coach…”

“Enough! There is no argument. I am inclined to agree with that chap. Fine brains that lad has. Maybe we should get another coach to improve our Champions League record. Now run along, boys. Get back to your warm up… Now, Janet honey… Where was I?”

“My name is Liz. Not Janet. I will have the divorce papers ready when you reach home!”

The phone clicked off.

Posted by: storyaweek | February 27, 2008

Jealousy

Story of the Week [for the week 25.02 to 02.03.2008]

Sangeeta whispered, “I wish he would stop showing off his Asus P735. He’s told me about a million times that it costs $875 and though that is a steep price even for a PDA phone, it is worth every single penny because it has GPS and that helps him navigate around in India with ease”
“You haven’t been listening to what he’s saying. It’s an Asus 750 and it costs $879.30!” chuckled Ratish, before mimicking Arnold’s Texan drawl “It’s quite a machine, you know”
Sangeeta was still fuming. “Still, we could do without his infatuation with the instrument. God knows we need him to be able to mark all the places right for us to get the World Bank loan. I wish we get this over with soon”
Arnold was the World Bank representative, checking all the villages where Sangeeta’s NGO planned to work for the upliftment of the beleaguered masses. Her NGO wanted to improve the milieu that the poor village folk dwelled in. The three of them were traveling in the NGO’s Ambassador. Accompanying them was a local World Bank employee, Ashutosh and the driver of the vehicle.
Ashutosh, in a low voice advised Arnold to stop flaunting his machine. He warned him that it was susceptible to envy and that envy in India had negative connotations. Envy could lead to harm coming to the person who was being envied.
“Nonsense! Why would anyone be jealous of such a device? Why, it is helping me do your work so efficiently. In fact, just now, with the touch of this stylus, an email will be sent to the World bank, approving your loan…”

Just then the car hit a bump, and Arnold drove the stylus into the heart of the Asus 750. The machine beeped twice and conked off.

Posted by: storyaweek | February 20, 2008

Usual Practice

Story of the Week [for the week 18.02 to 24.02.2008]

“Won’t you be getting down at your usual stop today?” asked Utkarsh of Ravi.

“What’s the point? I used to get down there because…” said Ravi in a somewhat choked voice. Utkarsh noticed that Ravi was looking out of the bus window in a longing sort of way.

“I used to get down there because there was a chance I could meet Prerna and have a chat with her as we both walked down to office” said Ravi, finishing his previous statement.

“You used to walk to office from there? I was under the impression that you stopped there for your daily fag. Man, our office is like five miles from there!” exclaimed Utkarsh.

“Stop exaggerating. Its not five miles, it’s more like seven hundred or so metres. She gets down there… Well, she used to alight there because her bus comes along the road perpendicular to our office route and goes the opposite direction.” – Ravi

“Used to?” – Utkarsh

“Well, that’s the whole reason I am not getting down. She got a promotion. She will be joining head office from today. I didn’t even get a chance to say goodbye properly. She told me yesterday. I was too shocked to say anything. I wish I had told her of how much I like her…” – Ravi.

“Aah… That’s too bad, man. There goes your love story”.

At the usual bus stop, Prerna was waiting. She’d asked for an extension from head office to join at work. Today, she would tell Ravi that she really liked him and wanted a future for both of them…

Posted by: storyaweek | February 18, 2008

The Tourist

Story of the Week [for the week 11.02 to 17.02.2008]

“Your job is only to receive tourists at the airport. It is I who drive them around. Why the heck should I share my tips with you?” said Ali to Varghese, shouting to be heard over the din of the departing jet plane.
“If it weren’t for me, you would not be getting your tourists in the first place! And it’s not as if I am asking for an outrageous sum. I am just claiming ten percent.” retorted Varghese.
This conversation was in Malayalam and the bemused Maharashtrian tourist listened to the words being exchanged with the beginnings of a smile on his lips.
Something must have irked Ali, because he made a move as if to hit the agent from the travel company. He checked himself at the last moment. But his movement had alarmed the travel agent and in self defence he raised his hand to protect his face. And during this motion, he accidentally hit Ali on the nose.
A scuffle was the result.
Taking advantage of the fracas, the Maharashtrian retrieved his luggage from the vehicle and checked into the airport for his flight.
Another few hundred rupees saved by virtue of creating disquiet and angst between the driver and the agent. And to think that all it required was the words, “What? You are getting this much only?”

Posted by: storyaweek | February 11, 2008

News for Today

Story of the Week [for the week 04.02 to 10.02.2008]

“And in other news”, carried on the TV news reporter, after bemoaning another Indian cricket team loss, “The NGO, Communities Of the World [COW] has recently tied up with the Indian corporate society, BUsinesses for Leadership and Love [BULL]. This has been accomplished solely due to the initiative of Mr. Sanguine Bovine (founder member BULL) who has been instrumental in pushing forward his programme of Safety, Harmony and International Trust [SHIT] for the betterment of the planet earth”.

Mr. Bovine was quoted as saying, “The more the SHIT spreads around, the better it is for the world. In fact, as part of our ideals for setting up BULL, our agenda was to spread the message of SHIT, coming through BULL. Now that we have tied up with COW, we expect to get their inputs on SHIT and hope to improve the quality of our SHIT programme output”.

“In World News: Country leaders of the sparring nations India and Pakistan have decided to call a truce over the Kashmir issue and have decided to hold a novel referendum for deciding the status of the state of Kashmir. The ownership of the state will be decided by the result of a best-of-three match between an Indian cock and a Pakistani cock. The judge for this particular event will be the Chinese Premier and since the stakes are high, the Dalai Lama has been called as an arbitrator in case any dispute arises. The Afghani Taliban, which was into hiding all these years, has expressed interest in making arrangements for hiding the prized cock participants from the media.”

“That just about wraps our news cast for today, the 1st of April. Do join us tomorrow for the freshest of news, delivered with Love and SHIT!”

Posted by: storyaweek | February 4, 2008

Resume of a Hero

Story of the Week [for the week 28.01 to 03.02.2008]

Name: Sajneekant

Age: Twenty seven years only. Period.
Status: Married to Seventy two thousand females and keeping each one of them glad.
Special abilities: Can dodge bullets, scale sky scrapers with bare hands, sing in twelve hundred languages, light a cigarette without the aid of match sticks / lighters, hair style that sets the trend, clothes that can give an emperor a complex, sport skills including but not limited to football (ability to score from goalkeeper’s position), cricket (able to hit any ball out of the stadium, especially if it is the last ball and there are 5 runs required to win the match), table tennis (reflexes quicker than a gazelle’s), tennis (currently playing under the pen-name of Federrer), javelin throw (world record for longest throw of javelin, across the pacific ocean), shot put (another world record), kho-kho (captain of the Indian team), rifle shooting (under the pen-name Rathore), boxing (world heavy-weight champion in the featherweight category), et al. Other abilities include: ability to run faster than Rajdhani, stop an Airbus A380 from colliding with runway fences, up turn cars and trucks at will with a single flick of the wrist, ability to raise and raze mountains with the twirl of the little finger, control over the rain gods and an immaculate sense of timing, when it comes to saving damsels in distress.

Academic: B. Tech. CSE, IIT Bombay, PGP – Marketing, IIM Ahmedabad, Ph. D. – Social Sciences, Stanford, California, MBBS, K. E. M. College, M. D. Neurosurgery, Oxford.

Applying for the post of: Sweeper for Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM), ‘S’ Ward

Posted by: storyaweek | January 28, 2008

Safe Haven

Story of the Week [for the week 21.01 to 27.01.2008]

I told them, I know who planted bombs in the train!” exclaimed Rahul to the crowd, which was watching him with glazed eyes and unwavering awe.
“I went on to describe them. One had orangeish hair, with a scar down his cheek. The second guy had pink hair. He had grotesquely coloured blue-red eyes. The third was a female, or so she seemed to me, and she was wearing no clothes!”
Silence in the gathering.
“Its amazing, isn’t it? But their response was more incredible. ‘Are you crazy, you lunatic?’ they said”
A few appreciative chuckles ruffled through the gathering.
“You are certifiably crazy, one of them said. I denied that. I told them I was not drunk. Their tests confirmed that. They took me to a shrink, where I repeated my story and also rattled off my other heroic; how I saved the world from drowning by drinking a lot of the flood waters from that gutter of a river”
Clapping from the assembly.
“That’s how I ended up here” finished Rahul, pointing towards the seven storied building housing the mental asylum.
Later, Rahul was joined by another person of similar standing, Rohit.
“You love blabbering, don’t you? However, I wish you’d stop that. I fear, one day, they are going to realize our game and chuck us out of this safe haven”
“Safe haven is right. Where else in this city can you get free food, clean clothes, and good medical care? Better live a secure life in an asylum than as a destitute roaming the unsafe streets of the metropolis” said Rahul.
“What if they catch onto us?”
“Who cares? I am sure both of us can cook up another tall story to come back to this particular tall story!” said Rahul, again pointing towards the aslyum building.

Posted by: storyaweek | January 21, 2008

Evening at the Garden

Story of the Week [for the week 13.01 to 20.01.2008]

As I sit down in the garden at my usual place, I wonder about many things. I wonder if the world would be different to me if I were different. And as is wont to happen at such times, I tilt my head at a certain angle and get lost in my own thoughts.
I was once told by a friend that when I am lost in my thoughts, there is a kind of expression on my face that is all-knowing. At least, that is what he felt. He said that I present a façade which can make even the hardest of men reel.
I asked him why.
He said, wherever you may fix your stare, some unfortunate person always happens to be there. (That’s a rhyme!) I have once been at the receiving end of your stare. Believe me, it’s very unnerving. I felt that my whole visage was being scrutinized under a microscopic gaze. I felt as if you could see right through my eyes into my very soul and uncover the subjacent layers of guilt, depression, sadness, envy and all the darker aspects of my living. I felt that you could see me for the phony that I am.
Do you think other people think so too? I asked of him.
I am positively sure of that, he said. I am one of the more scrupulous people on this planet. And you made me shiver. I wonder what effect you must be having on mere mortals!
At this I started laughing out loud. My effect on mere mortals! That was a good one. I am sure the ‘mere mortals’ would have laughed out loud themselves if they realized that I am completely blind.

Categories

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.