musings & short stories

terms of engagement

Posted 6/20/2015

What brings a set of people together? How do they become a gang or group?


Spent time thinking about this aspect of life (at least my life).


I hereby propound the Immutable Laws of Friendship and introduce the parameter Strength of Friendship denoted by Ф


While the grammar is important the mathematical representations are just what they are... representations. So don't go tying yourself up in mathematical knots.

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chasing your dreams

Posted 6/20/2015

How many of us actually end up doing what we always wanted to do?

In fact, how many of us have really wanted to do the same thing all our lives?? Haven't we all gone through our fair share of finding our calling?

Questions for which perhaps, the answers are more questions. 

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yaari, dosti etc.

Posted 6/20/2015

Walked into Coffee Home at CP after a very, very long time. A thousand memories walked in along with me, but that is not what this piece is about. Sitting at the table alongside ours was a group of elderly gentlemen.Seemed like old pals catching up over coffee and snacks and that's what set me thinking.

Watching them break into occasional laughter, pulling each others leg and then shift gears into a serious discussion on a story playing out on one of the news channels for some strange reason evoked a feeling of time travel. It was as though I was looking at my circle of friends through a telescopic lens through time.

Will we have the pleasure of meeting up like this when we are 70?? How many of us would still be in touch??

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kuch kahaniyan episode 5 - the final take

Posted 4/23/2015

OK here is a different take on growing up. One that does not involve alcohol. Well, after all its not just alcohol that makes people do silly things.... right?
Yes, this one is about Love and to some measure about Sex and Dhoka as well ;-)

The late 80's and the early 90's had lots of stuff happening for, around and to us...Trysts with alcohol, Driving Licenses, Rock Music and Girls!!!!

We were in our mid-teens and the other gender had started making its presence or need felt amongst us. Believe me, for those of us who spent long years in Boys Only schools they had a lot more importance a helluva lot more early!!

My final take is actually about 2 different takes on what the protagonists thought was "First Love" and the instances that made their way to for lack of a better term "friendship-lore". So brace yourself for a longish read.

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kuch kahaniyan episode 4

Posted 4/23/2015

They say going through the grind of an engineering course does, if not anything else, hone inquisitive thinking. You question the way things work, move yada yada yada. Mind you the inquisitive thinking takes an experiential form when slightly inebriated.OK, that is just a technical way of saying you get stubborn and stupid when you drink your self silly.

This was the final year of engineering for some of us. The last few months of any course often witness an increased level of bonding (read alcohol consumption) between friends.

Our institution was located in Tumkur a fair way away from the city of Bangalore, a town devoid of any night life. This particular incident is about one of our nights out in the city.

About 8 of us joined up for dinner and a session of beers. Post the sizzlers and multiple rounds of beers it was time to say our goodbyes and go crash at the pre-assigned pads of the friends who were from the city.Being from the city meant all of the following possession of a bike or a "Kiney", knowledge of liquor vends that would oblige and a list of must do drives.

As we stood around in the parking lot over the mandatory parting smoke

"Awesome weather man, would be great to get some wind on your face..." said the Adventurous Guy (AG)

"Dunno about the wind but I wouldn't mind another beer" said Silly Guy (SG)

I did mention that there is a cast of characters, so you will have to bear with all the names (which obviously have been carefully coined)

The Teetotaler Guy (TG) said "You guys have had enough..lets just get back home" to which the Profound Bong (PB) started to nod. He was not even half-way through the nod that the Tam Dude with his face beaming came up with
"Machan lets drive to Nandi Hills that way AG gets his wind on the face and SG his beers, God knows I can use a few too. If we start now we can catch the sunrise"

The normally Reclusive Prof did some mental stuff and said
"Yeah! You know guys, this probably will be the last time all of us can be out together... the semester end exams start 3 weeks from now"

I guess none of us questioned the finality of the what had just been said, not even the Overbearing Guy (OG).

We all set off in the direction of Nandi Hills a 65 km drive from where we were.

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kuch kahaniyan episode 3

Posted 4/23/2015

I forget the year but this incident happened during one of my visits back to Delhi from my engineering college.
It was a cold winter evening, of the sort that called for a rendezvous with friends and needless to say a couple of stiff-ones to beat the chill. Money was scarce and we were consciously frugal. The venue invariably used to be one of the parks or parking ares in the neighbourhood. The colony folks had kinda resigned to the fact that these kids were incorrigible. We would also get by scott-free because we were the kids who did enough and more for the Residents Welfare Association during the annual Diwali Melas.
Be that as it may, we were a few drinks down, and catching up with things that had happened during the interim (those were the days when internet did not mean anything, mobile telephones were gizmos only the rich could afford and you could not do a conference call from and STD/ISD booth). During the course of conversation one us mentioned about some trouble his parents were having with their next door neighbours over parking. The irritating neighbour would invariably park her Scooty where his parents used to park their car. After a minor argument in this regard the neighbour would do it at times just to spite his parents. That was it, the group decided it was time to teach the errant neighbour a lesson.

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kuch kahaniyan episode 2

Posted 4/23/2015

This is a fairly long one. It was the summer just after the Class X board examinations. Most of our gang, to the surprise of many, had cleared the dreaded exams with flying colours and had therefore earned our right to the Science stream in Senior School.

Our take “We had arrived….BIG TIME”. Thus began the seasons (I use the term because it did not last very long and the plural because it lasted long enough) of unbridled fun. Studies, attending classes regularly and paying attention when we did was something we stopped believing in.

We were boys turning into men; it was time to move on from school boy crushes to dating. This obviously needed to be done during the school time and ours being a boys only school it meant it could not be in school.

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kuch kahaniyan episode 1

Posted 4/23/2015

Are you one of those people who always have " A similar thing happened to me once...." story? Doesn't matter whether you're sitting over a leisurely weekend drink or taking that quick smoke break at work you most always have an anecdote that's related.

Confession time....I think yours truly is also one of those for the lack of a better word or phrase "notorious recounters".
No excuses but here's where I feel the first mover has the classical advantage of being considered origninal. So here's a new series of officially recorded anecdotes(for the wives..sorry you still got to hear these everytime) and my claim to the high ground forever for as the copyright owner.

All characters and incidents in this narrative are rooted in truth. Resemblance and reference to people and places is intentional and not in the least coincidental.
Another Disclaimer:I wasn't necessarily involved/present when some of these happened hence some amount of artistic liberty requested.


It was New Years eve and once we had been officially invited by someone who was a friend of someone whom we barely knew. But what the heck!!! This was one of those must attend "Farmhouse" do's which were very "in" as far as Delhi of the early 90's was concerned.

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the benefactor

Posted 4/23/2015

If one were to hear how Dheeraj and Uma got together, the story would have all the elements of a typical Bollywood potboiler.  Love at first sight, strife, parents opposed to the relationship, you name it!  Theirs is a relationship most of their friends swear by. But this is not a testament of their love, it’s a tale about how they started their married life.

It must have been the late eighties or the early nineties at best.  Dheeraj was in the final year of his Bachelors in Science. Our man however harboured hopes of becoming a poet…a “shaayar”. Never had the courage to tell his father though!

The evenings in the boys’ hostel of Jamia Millia were renowned for their “mehfils”. Aspiring shayars would gather and exchange views over endless rounds of tea & cigarettes into the wee hours of the morning. Dheeraj under his pen name “Gaafil” had gained considerable repute. A name that had started finding a mention in the haloed corridors of the Sahitya Akademi.

Uma had just completed her BA in Journalism and had joined the Mass Communications program at Jamia.  Incidentally poetry was a passion of hers and in the few months that she had spent in Jamia “Gaafil” and his poetry had a special corner in Uma’s heart.  I did say the story has the elements of a pot-boiler didn’t I?

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one one lovely

Posted 4/23/2015

I have never been a happy traveller.  It is not that I do not enjoy the journey or look forward to the destinations. I do. But there is something about starting a journey that makes me sick. The deep down in the gut kind of sick if you know what I mean.  Many years of travelling have reinforced my belief in the concept of travellers luck.  Most of us do not think about it.  Then again there are those of us who are designated to be living proofs of Murphy’s Law that states “If something CAN go wrong, it WILL go wrong!!”  Have you have ever missed a flight because of a flat-tyre en-route to the airport or been the guy in the check-in line who has been told the flights full or the guy after the guy who got bumped up to first class?  Get the drift?

They say it sometimes takes the exception to prove the rule. What I am about to narrate is precisely that the one exception to my travel woes!

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