What the Bus!

Today I was met with a peculiar situation whose ending left me searching for questions for which I knew the answers.

I got onto a local bus today evening. My stop was at least 50 minutes away from then, and I was frantically waiting for an empty seat (the bus had a few standees only) as my laptop bag was heavy. A stop later I got a good seat opposite the front doorway. In the next stop an elderly man, probably around 65 years got into the bus, he had a small lunch bag and a shoulder bag in his hand. He politely asked me to hold his lunch bag and went to get ticket from the conductor who wouldn’t step down from his conductor throne.

By the time he came back I had put on my earphones like I usually do. He came and stood near the pole beside me. No interactions between us after that except one. In the next 5 minutes I had the most intense conversation with myself. As I began fidgeting the strap of his lunch bag, my mind wandered and a question rose into the void, that was my mind.

What would a man of 60 odd years be doing with a lunch bag? Shouldn’t he be ideally retired, or at least be at home at this age? if he is working who would he be?‘ Maybe he had his own company, or maybe his car broke. No, no, sounds too far-fetched. I tried to Sherlock his appearance and deduce his background.  The Lunch bag looked like a branded one, one that middle class people could afford with some hesitation. His attire was also decent, with crumpled yet neat dress, so I was assured that he was working in some kind of office. I tried and failed guessing his exact job from his bag and his phone, which was a mid-range smart phone.

At this point almost 20 seconds had passed, believe me when I say this (because you have no other go, sorry). In the silence between the song change, I heard him cough. It was a fierce, vehement cough and there was faint scent of cigarette every time he coughed. I judged him almost instantly. ‘What kind of old person smokes even after having a cough like that. Doesn’t he realise it time he should let go of the habit’. Then I noticed his lips were darker than usual and his teeth were unnaturally yellow, which led me to the conclusion that he must smoke often or for a long time now (getting better at Sherlocking ain’t I?).

His coughs were louder now that I was conscious of this human’s presence. Now that I heard an old man in distress, my morale bot had come out, replacing the detective bot. Then began the profound conversation between myself and the morale bot. ‘You should stand up and let the old man sit, irrespective of his habits you should be kind. That is you. That’s how your parents raised you.’

I became indignant with myself. ‘Even you have shoulder pain from your heavy bag, plus with this traffic and the newfound crowd you won’t know when you’d be able to sit again next. You might have to travel for another hour (my selfish logic bot was taking various factors into account, that scumbag) Do you really want to offer your seat. If he is coughing, it is probably because of his smoking habit, why do you care about that? Just sit down. No one is going to bother even if you give your seat’.

The Morale bot used its important weapon, future. ‘Imagine yourself in the same situation 40 years later, wouldn’t you want a seat to sit, hell you we’re scrambling for a seat few minutes ago.’ (My bad joke bot tried to cut the tension by saying that there might not be bus seats in future, but it was shut off).

After an internal groan and an eye roll, I agreed to offer my seat.

He had moved to stand beside the seat in front of me, I tried to call him but he was not at arm’s length. So I got up, but before I could utter another word he turned and got back his lunch bag and asked me, “Eranga poringala, Sir?” (are you going to get down, Sir?)  and got down in the next stop and went his way.

In these few moments I didn’t realise that my seat was occupied by a middle aged woman.

I was standing there staring into dead space, thinking how stupid I was to let my seat unguarded in this Warfield. After asking my Morale to ‘kill and laugh’ a few million times I stood there awkwardly looking at the woman who stole my seat. Maybe she was judging me too. ‘Dear, George R.R. Martin look at the real Game of Thrones here’, I thought.
Almost 55 minutes later, I got down and came home.

In all this ruckus, I never took a ticket.

Moral: You tell me.


Quit Job to Travel? Edit

I see all those posts saying, Quit Job and go travel. I personally feel that particular statement is wrong, it irks me to see such a wrong message being portrayed. You don’t need to Quit your job to travel, You should Quit your job if and if only you’re not satisfied with it at the end of the day. You might have other interests which might fetch you a job, or you might have skills that other jobs require, quit your job and go there. Simply letting go of your source of income to travel is absolute bullshit. Yes, you need to travel, not because the world says so or because you want to take a vacation. Travel because it would give you experiences that your routine life wouldn’t, travel because it would give chance to push your body or mind or both, travel because it would be a way to learn new people and new stuff from far and wide. So many posts roam around the Internet with horror stories of people who quit their job to travel and ended up on road after a point. They only fair reason to quit your job to travel is if you know how to make money by travelling, if you don’t, then let nature help you. We’re all social beings, though ideally we shouldn’t be controlled or micromanaged by our societal pressure, we have certain responsibilities to do. If you travel without taking steps for those responsibilities, then travel is just a luxury.
Never let that travel spirit down, kindle it every now and then.
Travel far, Travel Wide, Travel Free.

The Tree that Flew away.

Branches that spread far and wide, nature’s bride,
That one huge tree, so green, so fresh and tall,
Giving earth a snuggly Hug, and everyone else too,
A symbol of symphony, a Signal of serenity, The tree,
Abandoned by cousins of other colors, White Raven That I am,
Flew without a place to rest, soaring places I shouldn’t be,
First rejected then dejected, the bird with out a nest,
As luck happend, the branches of the tree provided shelter,
Others left silently, I was there, the reason that wouldn’t leave.
Nurtured by its care, left no love to spare, It rained inside too,
‘Do you not miss those who left?’ Was my question,
‘Left are the ones who know no love, care not’, came out the answer,
Elated and joyous, The free soul that was mine bound itself to the tree,
With every little rustle of leaves, every single sorrow leaves,
But as fate destined, coincidence was coined for us, that ‘one day’ happened,
There was not a branch to sit on, or the tree, all gone,
Coloured cousins consoled, friends from far fought forlornness,
But only one thought burned through the White Raven’s black heart,
‘I’m the who should fly away, why did you?, She smiled like always,
After a brief Mum, ’bye’ was the reason that echoed through the sky.

The one who.

I will always be that person, the one who used to be,

The one who used to be cheerful and made someone yearn,
Bees buzz the comb, moths seek the light, and ants sugar,
Sweetness faded, the brightness jaded, and the queen dead,
Once the centre of concentrics, now its just guilt and jilt,
I will always be that person, the one from the past,
Cared is past tense, a bit tense in the heart and throat,
What was once crowded with thoughts now has a one single strain,
What changed? What changed? What changed? It echoed…
Obvious was the answer, Time.
I will always be that person, the one that didn’t move on,
Move on not from love, but things that aren’t same now,
Foolishly sentimental, yet an intelligently conscious moron,
Nostalgia doesn’t hurt as much as the memories,
Oh, ‘what crap you say, it itches the every living second’, bellowed heart,
I will always be that person, the one that liked kindness’
Looking back, only the optimism has moved along with,
Nothing else, May be I should change, may be I will,
People always change like they did with you, and everyone else,
Hearing all this, the heart sighed and the Reflection showed a stranger, but it knew,
I will always be that person, the one will always give love’

The Third Wheel Conundrum

Is it happening?

Though as silly as it sounds being a Third wheel is one of the most difficult things that can happen to people.
A Third wheel is basically the person who is the awkward addition to the Loverer and the Loveree.
Now you might understand where the third wheel stands in the relationship, and note that most third wheels are singles. Most times being a third wheel is fun, but there are times where a third wheel’s word makes or breaks the relationship. If you had ever been a third wheel you would know the awkwardness of being one.

Its all happening

You are the initial ladder in the relationship. You’re the centre point of almost every relationship that starts with you being the mutual friend. They talk about you, they very rarely bitch about you and they do care for you, after that that’s it. Oh no, I’m not saying this in a negative tone, but this will happen. First there will be meetings that you know(you think!) after that there will be secret meetings, don’t worry it won’t be that a secret and then there will be a time where it all becomes public. During all these stages the 3rd one is the one that hurts most. The first one will just make you angry but you’ll be okay with it. The Second stage will make you plain sad, you know, cause you’re feel that you’re being betrayed and stuff. But the 3rd stage where it all becomes public is the most difficult thing you’ll ever watch being a best friend to the couple. From that point on your best friend is identified by his or her Beau and not by you. They call the partner to know gossips or stuff about them, you are missed out on certain plans where you could’ve been roped in. What was one gang now becomes multiple, the spouse’s schoolmates, college mates, colleagues, paanipoori mates, tablemates and more. It’s not like you don’t have other friends, pfff. (no you don’t)
I pity you if you happen to have two best friends in a relationship. You can pretty much move to another state. But these three stages ultimately make you happy, I mean come on its your best friend. What kind of best friend wouldn’t be happy if that Potato or that Asshole is in a good relationship.

Is the happening getting better?

You will definitely have your fair share of cringe worthy and Awww moments when you’re hanging out with them.
The PDA is the most awkward part. At times you’d want to disappear or sink into seat you’re sitting in. God help those souls who put up with the obvious noises from car back seat. *Get a room you guys*. You will have to break your head for buying gifts for their spouse, why? because you’re that single best friend who would give your life. Ugh.
And then there are those great times where they bring a mutual friend (another third wheel), don’t worry they’re usually pretty/handsome. If you have enough talent you can end un unthirwheeling yourself. But nope, talent was the first reason why you’re here *insert hilarious laugh smiley*. Here comes the best part, You get free food. Every time you go out, every time they take you to some place you get delicious, expensive -expensive because our idiots love fine dining- free food.

It shouldn’t happen.

Though this might be one side of there is a dirty and dark side to all of this. When the couple fights, when the pair breaks-up, when the duo cheats, it is unbearable. You’re the obvious choice for them to complain about each other when they have a spat. Only a true mutual third wheel would how much it pains to see a loving couple say bad things about each other. They would never realise how agonizing it is to see them tear at each other and how you would kill to have what they have/had. At least this could be managed. When a couple decide to break up, it your head that rolls.
Breaking up for a couple is scarring for life, but what people forget to understand is that it impacts this friend, this friend who was so happy to see you smiling silly, the friend who was waiting around the corner awkwardly so that you can go meet your person, the friend who gave up so many plans so that they could come with you. Things like these are more significant to the third wheel than to the couple. This creates a everlasting dark image in our minds which even our enemy shouldn’t get. The queasiness that is created between the three is inexplicable.

It happens for us.

I know many third wheels who spend their nights sleeplessly thinking about their friend who has love crisis, frequently calling them to know if they’re good and so that they don’t try anything stupid. Having a heartbroken best friend is like dealing with a time bomb, we never know when they will tick off.
Finally I thank all those wonderful souls who stand with their respective pairs to be the best third wheels, those hearts which take bashing and thrashing from all ends, the minds that helping in solving all life problems, those wonderful humans that That try their best to a best friend.
To all Third wheels out there from a fellow Third wheel Managing 3 pairs in life.


Vision – Part 1

This is the first part of my mini series. Thanks for reading and please let me know your thoughts in the comments 😀

“Shrii, a Cop is on the hot trails of a serial murder case, counting 27 identified murders over the past 17 years, after various case studies and reports and numerous attempts to nab the killer and going through two divorces and a child and losing a partner in the process, a face was finally given to the “cone killer” by Shrii. The whole department is on their seat’s edge waiting for the Shri to catch the killer, the only information know about him was that he leaves a cone-like object in the victim’s body. The whole case does a flip when the identity of the killer comes to light…”
The Audience gave a standing ovation after the host read the book’s Synopsis. Rishi Walked in slowly with a smug look, slightly adjusting his cuff, the suit dark as night was tailored to perfection, he walked towards the center of the podium beaming with confidence and his face sporting a smile. It was a rare sight to see a man nearing 50 so dashing.
Reshika sat down on the seat reserved for her. She was clapping her hands slowly as if relishing the moment and registering it in her mind, currently in her early twenties pursuing engineering, living with her father Rishi in their estate uphill. She was the only child and her biological mother had passed away long before she could recognize her.
“It was a pleasure and my honor…” By the time her dad was finished with his speech her she might’ve been the hungriest person in the room. She usually hated these kind of ceremonies, it had a weird kind of claustrophobic effect on her. Ever since her father published his first thriller novel 7 years ago, inaugurations, ceremonies and parties had become a commonplace in her life. She put whatever she found in buffet on to her plate. As she soon as she started the first spoon, her father walked towards her smiling.
He just held her hands softly, “Why are they so cold?”, Before she could utter a word, a clang followed by a scream was heard from the far end of the room.
A man stood there clutching left side of his abdomen, blood seeping through the fingers. Multiple screams began to echo the party hall. The guy clothed in a perfect formal dress fainted on the ground like a stack of cards. Rishi’s face tightened and in quick movement he clutched Reshika’s hands and began to rush towards exit. Trying to maintain speed her speed with him, “Dad, Dad… Where are we going?”.
“Honey, I’ll explain after we reach home, do not call Mom till I tell you, do not update anything on the internet, do not speak until spoken to, do not talk with strangers, I will be back in exactly 15 minutes” it almost felt like he wanted to isolate her from the world as if nothing had happened, letting her into the car he slammed the door and mouthed, “DO. NOT. MOVE.” And rushed off.
He returned without his Vest and his shirt was bloodied. He started the car right away.
“Dad! Dad what happened? Tell me where we’re going, what happened in there?”, Rishi shot a look that would’ve made anyone silent, “Dad! Answer me. I’m calling mom right away! Why is there blood on your shirt?!”
The car screeched to a stop, Rishi held her hand with a firm grip and looked into her eyes as if trying to burn his thoughts into her mind, “you’re hurting me… Dad!”. He took a deep breath and started to speak, “The man who was murdered in the hall-”,
“Murdered?!, He is dead?!,”
”Yes, he had no pulse, he was Mr. Robin, from whom one of my character was born. In fact he was also the one who gets murdered in my book first, well chronologically, He is killed the same way in the book too.”
“I don’t get you daddy, why are you–?”
“Reshi, give me some time to process what is going on, I will tell you what is actually happening, first let us reach home, Do not call your Mother and please trust me.”
“O..Okay Dad”, was what she could utter.
. . . .
He never told her anything about what happened at the ceremony, he screamed at her and asked her to go to sleep.
Tick. Tock. Tock. Tick. Tock. It was dark with the moon doing a melancholic lighting.
“Dad? Dad? where are you ?”.
She slowly tiptoed towards the kitchen hoping to find Rishi there.
She felt a small breeze brush on her face, the back door was unlatched, and the door slowly creaked open by the winds.
She saw a shoe by the door, with a breath of relief she called out to him,” da- “, Someone held her mouth and nose with a very powerful hold. One hand cupping her face, one hand held down her hands and torso and his leg coiled around her legs, trapping her in the most efficient way.
“Honey, its dad, I will let you go, do not scream or make a noise”, Pointing to the shoe at the door he said, “There is someone standing by the door, probably holding a weapon, I heard him rustle around for a couple of minutes now, I guess he is waiting for someone,”
He released his lock hold on her and she took a slow deep breath.
Reshika was surprised at the strength and technique he used on her to hold her down. She felt as if she were in the best straightjacket.
She pointed out to the smoke that was floating in with the breeze, it felt familiar. It was Malabar Pink cigarette, one of her mum’s favorite.
Suddenly the electricity went off, Rishi held her shoulder as if trying to guard her from something. Rishi didn’t move from the place and stood there as if he was expecting something. Seconds passed by and they stood still.
There was no one at the door.
Sounds of something or someone crashing came from the upper floor, Rishi gave Reshi a kitchen knife and he had a bat in his hand. he signaled her to stay right behind him and follow him.
Trying to avoid any sound they crept up the stairs, the cold hard stairs sent a shiver up their spine.
It was their Mum, Sarika, she was drunk and trying to find her way into her room.
Dad dropped the bat and ran up to help her stand up.
He asked Reshi to go to her room and sleep, “I’ll take care of mum Reshi, you go take rest, we’ve had a long day”
He took mum put her in bed and went downstairs. The Malabar pink had died on the ashtray on the table.
Rishi’s office was completely strewn with papers, his files were thrown across the floor and the room displayed chaos. It was as if someone was searching for something specific. Rishi felt a dread spread through him, he rushed to his desk and pressed the button below the lowest drawer in the table and put in a key. It opened a Secret compartment which had a shiny hardcover book. He took the book slowly and took in the aroma of the book. He held it against his cheek and muttered something. Reshika was standing behind the door and watching all this, her face displaying an expression of shock.
Reshika was not able to sleep. She kept hearing the water drip and the clocks gears turn. The tap drip suddenly stopped, it was followed by a rush of water down the sink.
“Who’s there?”, She called out.
“It’s Mum, Reshi”, said a soft voice.
Mum opened the and entered her room and sat beside her, “Sorry Reshi, it was my boss’s daughter’s birthday, I just had too much of whiskey. I thought I’d be able to walk it off but seems like I failed.”
“It’s okay Ma”, Reshi felt a bit disappointed but she was happy that it wasn’t one of her mother’s bad case episodes.
Sarika was a lead Crime scene investigator in the police department, she wasn’t an alcoholic but every now and then when a case with intense emotional weightage comes to her lab she comes back heavily drunk trying to wash it off with alcohol. Reshika had accepted her as her mother though she knew she was not her biological mother. They both understood each other like any daughter and mother would.
. . . .
It was all over the news.
“A man was mysteriously killed… similarity to the book and the murder is uncanny…”
Paparazzi and media were buzzing their home to get a glimpse of Rishi and get a comment out of his mouth. They shut all windows and doors and stayed inside. Mum was getting restless day by day, she got irritated that she was forced to stay home.
3 days later the crowd faded.
Reshika came down drowsy and tired from her sleep. She heard them arguing over something,” …. explanation for this! Why? Who are you Rishi? It’s like I don’t….”
Mum stopped abruptly when she saw Reshika. She slapped Rishi and walked out.
Reshika was confused and didn’t understand what just happened.
“Don’t even ask.” Said dad.
. . . .
He was gagging, He was having difficulty to breath. Someone forcefully shoved his head into a bag of some sort. He also realized that his mouth was taped and his limbs were tied. His mind screamed, “Think”.
He understood he was being transported somewhere. He knew he was in a car or a vehicle of some sort. He calmed his mind and listed to his surroundings. The car felt like it wasn’t a small or a compact car, he was not in a boot space of the car or in a backseat. It felt like he was in a back of a truck, probably a 4×4.
His hands weren’t tied as he thought, they were duct taped, his fingers were taped too. Someone had planned this for a long time. He tried to move his body to a more comfortable position but it almost impossible to move from his position. After 15 minutes of struggle he sat up, the atmosphere felt cold and calm except for the sound of the moving vehicle. He felt the tarp that was covered over him slip away. It felt cold and silent, if felt like it was snowing. He heard a muffled voice say, “He is up”.
A blow to his head knocked him out.
Rishi woke up. His hands were tied to a pole and his mouth still taped. The room was dimly lit and it was icy cold. He felt cold shivers run up his skin. There was something eerie about this place. He also noticed something twig like stuff bundled up next to him, in fact the whole room was filled with bundles of those twigs.
A hooded figure emerged out of the door. “this doesn’t look like a grown adult, it’s either some young idiot or a small person”, Rishi thought. His mind was thinking up of how he could escape from this place, but he was helpless, his limbs were disabled perfectly.
A cold hard kick landed on his chin followed by several punches on his face and stomach, he was able to groan only. The muffled noises from his taped mouth showed that he was in great pain. He writhed around the pole unable to take the beating. Then the hooded figure spoke.
“How does it feel? To lose all your grip on this world and fear occupy you. How does it feel? To be helpless, to not know what is going to happen to you the next moment. HOW DOES IT FEEL?!” the voice made Rishi shudder.
The figure slapped him on his left cheek. A voice from behind bellowed, “don’t touch his face!”.
Two more punches landed on his stomach. Blood leaked from his taped mouth. Rishi spit blood as the duct tape was peeled from his mouth. “Who are you people, please let— “, the weird angle of his nose denoted that it was broken.
“Don’t mess with his face darling”, the other voice from spoke again, but now softly. Rishi saw a lit match flying above his head.
Rishi woke up to his watch beeping. His nostrils were attacked by fumes from something burning, the whole place was up in flames.
He understood why the twigs were kept there. He tried his best to lose the tape and free himself but it was not fruitful. He gave up hope of living and just sat there thinking about his daughter. And her face appeared in the smoke.
A firefighter came in with an axe wearing a safety mask, Rishi was bewildered for a second. The fireman cut the tape around his hand rope that was used to tie him. They broke out of the inferno and came out safe.
What looked like a stable was on fire, blazing. There was a whole squad of firemen fighting the fire with safety masks. Reshika came in from the ambulance with a mask and put it over his mouth. The sudden rush of oxygen gave him a head rush. Then Rishi fainted.
Rishi woke up in his room. Sarika was sitting beside him holding his hand. “Honey, Dad is up”. Reshika who was standing behind Sarika came to his side. “Hey Dad, how are you?”.
Rishi tried to open his mouth to talk but it was dry as cotton. He motioned towards the glass of water on the counter. After a glass of water, he was able to speak. “Did you get them? Did you get the two?”
“Who, Darling?”, Sarika gave a confused look.
“The people who tied me and beat me up. Look at my bruises. I was beat up by two people in a barn Sarika, then they set fire to the whole place and I was saved by a fire— “.
“Dad yes true, we found you in a barn which was burning. But only a small wood stack was on fire, it was put off with an extinguisher. The only problem was that the log that fell on your car trapped you from moving. But if it weren’t for your seatbelt— “
Rishi’s face looked like a ghost had passed through him. He tried to talk but words stopped at his throat.
“Rishi?” Sarika had to shake him violently to bring him back to reality.
“Car? No Sari darling, there was no car. I was inside that barn tied to a pole or pillar or something, I was tied with duct tape and ropes. It was planned perfectly. There were two figures, one short and one tall. I was beat up by them. I was punched in the stomach, kicked in my mouth and slapped by the short one. But I guess they were gay, one kept calling the other with endearments. Then there were these bundles of twigs around me…”
Sarika’s partner walked in with a report in his hand. ”Hey man, how are you? Good to see you up after 3 days. The wood stack that was on fire had a hallucinogen in it. Any signs of it Sarika?” Rajiv asked turning to her. Her blank stare answered his question.
“That’s okay, apparently the effects will be there for at least 60 hours.” He said with a smile. “I would like to talk to him for a minute can you guys be outside for a bit?”.
Rishi’s face still had that lost look. Reshika left the room silently and Sarika kissed her on his forehead.
. . . .
Sarika wanted to smoke and left the house to get her lighter from her car. A Shriek made Sarika jump.
She ran in and the sight made her skip a beat. Reshika was slumped on the floor holding her stomach. Blood was slowly soaking her yellow shirt. In the other corner, Rajiv was lying in a pool of blood his face lifeless. Rishi was there on his bed his hands covering his face.
As Sarika lifted Reshika from the ground Rishi could not help but notice Reshika’s smug smile. It sent Shivers up his neck.