Read Gone Girl – Gillian Flynn

I don’t think anybody enjoys a book like I do.
This, I just thought, on the toilet seat, when a near-the-end one-liner made me laugh hard on my slipping-off-the-seat buttocks.
I always linger on with the book for at least a couple days (this one, a week), carry it with me wherever I go – the market, the hills, the railway stations, the long bus rides, the toilet seat, of course – and sneak a line or two whenever I can, knowing all too well I will have to read it again to get the flow back when I sit down to read long-term. My long-term, by the way, is an hour at max. I have never sat down with a book for hours together, without food, without water (except with Fatherland, count one). I have to get up every ten-fifteen minutes with some excuse, just to let the words settle in me. To analyse what made the writer really write what she did.
I have always been jealous of people who can finish a book in one sitting. In one night. In a day. In hours, sometimes. I still am, jealous. But I guess I have accepted that too, thinking in vain (and vain), that I absorb more out of the dry pages than all else, maybe.

Anyways, a quick thought regarding the book.
Yes, I have seen the movie. And despite a dazzling screenplay, and a brilliant line up, cast, and direction, and acting of course, I’m sure we all will agree, it couldn’t make that impact. I will go as far as saying that the story – with all it’s intricate details and set-ups – deserved not a movie but a television series; and even that could never have matched the caliber that the book holds. Absolutely brilliant and lethal in every aspect!
P.S. If you are weak-hearted or easily affected/influenced (me), I would recommend, not to, never to read this work. You will be deprived for life of something awesome, but then we all are – regards “something”.

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Choco-chip mountain mall Friday

My father gave this one to me, and beautifully. Before I narrate this in his words, Let me tell you a brief history of my father. He has worked, struggled, fell off, climbed up again, worked, struggled for way over half his life, all very hard to become a man of decent stature and wealth, the man that he is today; touchwood.

So we were on the Shimla mall and the ladies in the group craved coffee. A scenic–widescreen-window first-floor Cafe Coffee Day served our purpose right and we were there for a good couple hours. When we were all stepping back down, my father had to use the loo, so we waited for him downstairs. He took his time. And he had a delightful smile and a story to tell when he came.

When I came out and picked my bag, this waiter who was clearing our table came up to me with a tray of an array of items which the CCD manufactures, and tins only to overprice. He said, ‘Sir, we have our targets and if you buy one of these, whichever you like, sir, it would be a great help.’

I know my father: he would never buy one of those not-worth-it mint tins, or cookie cans himself. Matter of fact- even I wouldn’t.

So I bought this.

And he brandished a dark brown can of choco-chip cookies in his hand.

And he became SO HAPPY, you won’t imagine. Thanked me, went back behind the counter, into a cluster of boys there, and pulling his elbow down, only whispered, though aloud, ‘YES!’

My father had such a happy, almost nostalgic, grin on his face as he narrated this climax, it was as if he had gone twenty years in the past himself and achieved one of his monthly company targets. Cherish able sight, that, I tell you.

This was last Friday, and today, as I cherish a can of chocolate chip biscuits untouched for a week, it all comes back to me.

Khuda Hafiz

Of chicken kebabs and pencils

I just switched on the fan. And turned the music off. Because that’s not what I’d been paying attention to all this while. It is one thirty-three a.m. and I am having fun. The kind of fun I haven’t had in a very long time. The kind of fun that makes me love myself more and makes me want to run away with myself right away. So I’m controlling the unrequited excitement by writing this.

I’m in the kitchen. Just done with the cooking (and now most of the eating). It’s holidays’ time and I’m living with my parents, and they do serve me a sumptuous dinner each night, but that isn’t my idea of fun, unfortunately or fortunately (I am never able to put my finger on one).

A half hour ago, I was done with the night. I had watched the first thirty minutes of two good English movies and given up on them. I had tried to read the book I was reading and shut my lid at half a page. I just happened to make a trip to the kitchen for water, and CLING-SHLING-PLING! Idea! (And I know that’s not the most appropriate sound I used for representing an idea, but then, I’m not the most appropriate person you’ll meet).

So I started checking the fridge and the shelves and cupboards for all things I was going to need. And OOH LAA LAA! (forgive my mood, please do) Look what I cooked.

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I’ve decided to call it “Chicken Seekh Kebab in an exotic tadka of kadi-patta and garlic and burnt onions.” Because why not? It was delicious, trust me; and don’t forget to notice was. But while trying to find the stuff, I couldn’t find the salt. I did well with chat masala, but where is the fucking NaCl in this house? This will bother me till death. Or maybe till next morning, when I get to ask maa about it.

And what did I do next? I started sharpening a pencil with a knife…in an attempt to make it look like the pencils used in that movie I watched couple of nights ago. What was it’s name? No, I’m not asking you, I’m asking myself. What was it’s name? Yes, I’m asking you now. Oh, wait! Got it: The Imitation Game. Clean! And I failed terribly soon, or say I gave up terribly soon. I’ll do the rest tomorrow.

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Hey! Now you know a secret. It’s about how crazy I am. So, shhh!

But where is the fucking table salt in this house?

Khuda Hafiz!

Over chai – a short story

13453263_1237733749585229_1155250201_oHe had been an old-fashioned man. She liked it, it was cute. He did not kiss her, never on the lips, no, no. A hug was something you only shared on occasions, special, or frequently, if, with people your own gender. Gender, not sex. Sex was a “higher term”. Not that she had noticed then, but she did, after he left and she learned the ways of the world; then she noticed, and missed, how cute he had been.

She had been used to, and okay with, all of that. She had loved him with all of that, for all of that, too. Now, he was gone. Gone, long gone.

And every night in her bed, sitting with her old ceramic cup in hand, holding some hot chai (tea) brewed with adrak (ginger) – and all this because he had once and always loved it this way – she would think of him. Of his stern ways, and of loving days she’d spent with him. It was a pattern, each night. She finished her tea in seven sips and all seven were a step-wise, systematic reminder to her of the seven years she had had the fortune of spending with him. The first three sips always brought photographs in the eyes of her mind. The next two and three were, then, flickering flashes: of memories, of moments. Just flashes. Of just the two of them, at home, in the park, sometimes a silent dinner at a restaurant; he was her world. The last sip, many of her colleagues in office always left the last sip, but she always took the last sip, for it then left in the cup the blackish powder of tea leaves and nothing else: a silent metaphorical reminder of how her life had been all dark after he left. After his death.

She would kiss the little crack on top of the cup and it would seem to her as if she was kissing his cracked lips. Each time she felt the strong flavour of ginger ravish her throat, she would hear him saying, ‘Aha! No flavour like adrak in this world!’ She would twist and rotate the cup around in her palm like he used to, and her heart would automatically hit play to some of his favourite ghazals he liked to accompany chai with. She would look at the painting of Laila-Majnu on the cup which had always fascinated her as a child and she would smile recalling how he, her father, would always tell her, ‘It’s a story for adults, and when you become an adult, remember to remember that it’s a nonsense story.’ She missed her father, every night, over chai. End.

Domestic eureka!

Ronnie is the name of the dog in our family, a dalmatian.

Ronnie looks sad, depressed. So am I. My insides are in a poor mess, and Ronnie lies around all day with gloomy eyes, either not sleeping or sleeping. It’s like Ronnie represents my state of mind. He always has.

When I was young, and he a toddler, he was a cocky, little asshole. I wanted to be a cocky, little asshole back then, because I was too shy and introvert. Slowly, two-three years down the line I grew up and did become what I wanted to, or something like that. I wasn’t shy anymore, just reserved, yet outgoing and social. Well, at that time, he became a humble, bitch. Maybe because that’s what I wanted to be then, or that’s what my state of mind was.

I went places after that and didn’t get to see much of him, but he was slowly becoming a dog-stud. I remember wanting to be that at one point, bar the ‘dog-,’ also mentally being that.

Now, he’s looking sad, confused, fed up, depressed, and doing nothing about it, all at the same time. HE IS MY FUCKING STATE OF MIND! Eureka!

Why I am all of that, is simply another story. But such a discovery this is. Now when I am unsure about my mood, I can refer to Ronnie. This is a post on this blog after long. I lost interest here too, I admit. Before a gentleman came up to me praising my old, childish blog. On Facebook, he came up on Facebook. So I led him here too and (let’s not get into all this), that is what encouraged me to bring up another post here.

Trust me, I do have many more such thoughts and logics and artsy fantasies, I’d love to share them, if only it were for an organised brain, and, more so, heart.

Khuda Hafiz.