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Story Series 7: 3 Idiots and someone ...

Click here for Part 6

Vijay followed Marathe into the apartment # 309, Sehwag's highest score", Marathe indicated as he unlocked the door. As they entered Vijay saw a shoes popping out of stack onto the left and unwashed vessels overflowing from the sink on the right. Stinking socks smell compounded with stale smell from the sink had an fragrance that could make an empty stomach throw up. 24 hrs without a shower, and with hot and humid Chicago summer Vijay didn't smell any better. "Aage Sey Right", Marathe showed Vijay his room.

"Chay Peye Ga", Marathe asked him as Vijay was unpacking his stuffs, Vijay nodded his head for an yes, "Ek Cup Mere Liye Bhi Bana", Marathe replied. Vijay froze for a min with eyes wide open, "You are the first south Indian in my apartment so I will make TEA, don't worry", Marathe laughed loudly. "You south Indians drink only coffee right, we can get some coffee when we go to groceries this week", Marathe told him. "You were playing some game you said when I came in, which game?", Vijay broke the silence while dipping in ParleG biscuit into the tea. "CRICKET, what else a DESI plays in a tennis court". "That's one good thing the British did when they left INDIA, taught us CRICKET". Red Label tea with ParleG began to taste better as he heard the words CRICKET. "You play CRICKET right, that is an important condition in this apt", Marathe questioned him. "Yes I do", Vijay replied.

"'Chal', Lets go, they are waiting for me downstairs and you can meet all your south INDIAN friends there". Both finished their tea and walked towards the tennis court. "Tu Naseeb Wala Hai", you are lucky to be playing cricket right after you stepped into US; 'Sala' it took me a year and half to find a real man who played cricket. In last three years this is what I have created, he showed Vijay his team. "Dharmraj Patel, left arm medium" a fair slim guy introduced himself, "Vijay Arjuna, right arm fast medium" Vijay replied. One by one every introduced themselves, it looked like like a national team selection camp than grad students introducing themselves. They played cricket for the next one hr until the game was curtailed due to a fight over wide. Dharmraj Patel, Bhimrao Marathe, Vijay Arjuna walked towards their apartment complex, "wow we form the first of the three Pandavas in our apartment", Vijay spoke in excitement. "We had Karan Agrawal in this apartment before, now that 'drohi' dejected us for an old friend of his". "You know Karan right, the guy who picked you from the airport", Marathe replied.

While walking back Vijay suddenly realized that he had completely forgotten about Priya, neither had he taken her phone number nor her apartment number. The sight of lady in red top and blue jeans with long braided hair the entering the opposite building caught his attention; and with her luggage size one could say she was a grad student. From distance her body structure resembled Priya's and fading light and tired mind led into believing in it. Vijay desperately wanted to meet Priya and apologize for not meeting her after the flight had landed. It wasn't his his fault either, Claudia and the immigration had taken a toll on him. "You guys leave I will have to meet some", Vijay told both of them and headed towards the opposite building.

By the time he entered the main entrance she had just stepped into the elevator and doors closed before he could sneak a peek at her, 4th floor was what elevator showed. In INDIA stairs are close to the elevators, but in US stairs were far away from the elevators Vijay realized this when he had to walk a long way to the stairs. He then gathered strength and began climbing up the stairs, the fourth floor looked serene, no sign of any activity, neither Priya nor her luggage. Dejected Vijay walked back to elevator and headed down, just then apt 409 opened and the lady in red walked towards the elevator. She pressed the elevator button, Vijay got of the elevator and walked out of the apt complex kicked the stone with his right foot and walked into his apt complex. Lady in red walked out of the elevator and headed towards the car to pick her remaining stuffs and headed back.

`Mila` your friend, Marathe asked as he had his cheese pizza. "No I lost her before I could talk to her", Vijay replied as he sipped his sprite. "Her!", "saala you have a girl friend in US already," Marathe crushed his empty can of coke. "Friend! who happened to be a girl, she came along with me in the flight" Vijay replied. "In the last 3 years even the shadow of any female hasn't passed our apt", Marathe trashed his can in anger. "Girl friend for his creature!" Vijay spoke to himself as he smiled. "I don't know why girls run away when I talk to them" Dharmraj joined. "Stop chewing and spitting tobacco, someday your luck might turn around", Vijay replied. "`Abey chikne` stop giving me your advise," Dharmraj got furious. "Baccha hai, leave him"; "Your capital investments grader, whats up with her?" Marathe diverted his attention. "`Saale` stop rubbing on my wounds, if I don't focus on studies she will turn me into a disinvestment this semester, boss MBA is tough" Dharmraj replied as he drank his Pepsi. "As if knocking the mouse in the lab is easy!, one day I will get a cat and kill all the mouses", I don't know why I am doing a PhD, should have been an umpire or a cricket commentator", Marathe put all his frustration on the cheese pizza and finished it.

While laying on the bed random spark of thoughts began in Vijay's head, whether it was a good choice quitting his 5 figure salary for higher education, whether he would get an on campus job, whether it was the right apartment and whether he would meet Priya again. With the last spark he dozed off.

to be continued ...

Story Series 6: The Beginning

Click here for Part 5

The flight began its ascent, both the babes beside him were quite normal, completely contrast with Priya who was petrified. Vijay began to recollect how he had cooled down when flight first took off from Bangalore; how he had used Jai Kali Maa as an anxiety pill every time she was petrified. Priya was innocent at heart, and she appreciated his witty jokes and that had drawn him closer to her. She had responded sweetly to all his stupid and blatant jokes. He had done all the Ram Leela Nautankis and she had appreciated it like a devotee joining her hand. Sitting between the English Mam's he felt like performing drama behind the curtains. He realized that audience support is an integral part of any act. They say, 'if you are thinking about someone even after then have left, then you have a thing for that person'. Vijay had to figure out what that thing was, whether it was just an infatuation or a crush or whether he was in love with her. He had the whole 6 hrs to decipher that, provided he stayed focused and diverted his attention away from the two beauties.

"I am Claudia" the German miss introduced herself again after the flight had reached its designated height. "Vijay, I will be joining the CS dept at UIC for my Masters" he replied. "I am a Doctoral student at the dept of Psychology, UIC", she replied back as they both smiled. "Wow UIC, how long have you been in UIC", Vijay asked. "My third year now", she replied. 'Experienced psycho' he mumbled in his mind and had a sarcastic smile. "Psychologist not Psychiatrist, she asserted him, as if she had heard what he mumbled". 'Man she is a mind reader! I better be careful', 'Oh no she might have heard it as well', Vijay was very nervous.

Vijay was under the assumption that Psychologist were mind readers, initially he was in grief and was missing Priya but now he couldn't stop thinking about the German babe. Vijay had already been awed by the tall and fair GERMAN women at the Frankfurt Airport. He had seen a few tall GERMAN women volleyball players on TV, but in airport everyone seemed a national player. He was amongst the tallest in his class, but there he felt like a Lilliput amongst the Gulliver s. Germany and German women were taking his focus away from Priya. Attempting to focus on Priya and diverting away from the German babe seemed very hard. 'Focus Vijay focus, remember how Tendulkar focuses on the ball, concentrate, concentrate ', he told to himself as he fell asleep.

Up in the mid air somewhere close to Arctic Circle the air-hostess woke him up for meals. The Oberoi's meal no longer excited him; he had no one beside to listen to his stupid sarcastic jokes on food. Claudia was enjoying her cold sandwich, and that green thing called salad. “Healthy and tasty isn’t it” she asked him as she began enjoying her salad. Vijay stared at her tongue and wondered if people in this part of the world had something called taste buds. What was considered cook’s folly in INDIA, was tasty in this part of the world. ‘Strange he mumbled’ as he chewed his paneer cubes dipped in tomato sauce aka paneer butter masala. ‘Air India food gets bad to worse as we move from East to West’, this really is a smooth transition” he mumbled.

Finally flight landed at O'Hare at 4 pm, picked up his luggage and headed towards the gate. "See you later at the school he waved at Claudia". Was it the sleep or the Claudia effect, he had totally forgotten about Priya. He was greeted by a student from Indian Student Association holding a name tag VIJAY – U I C, Karan Agrawal he introduced. They reached the apartment and Karan picked up his phone and yelled “Marathe, your new roommate is here”. “No no his name is Bhimrao S M”, Vijay replied after conversation ended; “Yes Bhimrao Shivajirao Marathe” Karan asserted. “Dude, here we call people by their Surname or their state name”, he clarified. “What’s your Surname” he asked. “Arjun, but that’s my Dad’s name, please don’t call me that”, he replied in a low tone. “You don’t have a Surname, Where are you from?” he asked in a loud tone. “Karnataka”, Vijay replied. “Madrasi?”, “No no Kannadiga”, Vijay replied. “What’s the difference anyways?” Karan laughed. ‘Cauvery River’ Vijay wanted to say, by then a big dude swearing in marathi broke their conversation “KYA REY!, tumko match key beech mey aana tha, Ie Z*v*da”? “Anyways I am Marathe; he shook hands with Vijay, and picked his suitcase and then headed towards the apt”.

Keep reading … a new series coming up ... read the last paragraph carefully ...

Story Series 5: Chemical Locha

Click here for Part 4

Turbulent weather eased out but Priya didn't return to normalcy even though plane did; her pain was lot more than the turbulent weather. Priya and Vijay didn't speak for the next 2 hrs. Vijay began to ponder on the conversations he had it with Ravi and Priya, and was wondering what he had done. And what made him eliminate Ravi from the scene. Why were Ravi's sweet talks with Priya hurting him? Why was he behaving like a jack ass? What provoked him to take these extreme steps? Why was he being so possessive about Priya, she wasn't even his friend or classmate, forget about Girl Friend. A lot of short circuits took place in his mind, sparks of thoughts began to mess up his brain chemistry; or was there a chemical reaction developing for Priya in his head, he badly needed a catalyst. The flight landed at the Frankfurt International Airport, everyone boarded onto the bus that took them to the terminal.

It was 5 pm local time and SUN was at a position where it used to be at 1 pm in INDIA, "Something wrong with this country don't you think" Priya asked. “Why, what’s the matter?” Vijay asked. “First look at the SUN at this point of the day and second if SUN is so bright and shining why are we feeling so cold?, isn’t SUN the source of light and heat?”, Priya questioned. He looked at the heavens and then gave a cold stare. “When did u have your last meal”, Vijay asked curiously. “About three hrs ago”, she replied. “Your stomach is empty, so there is more blood flowing to your brain”. “Lets have something at the terminal so that there will be equilibrium”. Vijay replied. Priya was puzzled for a minute, and then gave a 45 degree angle stare and banged his head with her purse. “Now your head and stomach are both empty; in equilibrium”, she replied. “Are you sure the purse went through the metal detector?” he began rubbing his head and before she could reply he walked towards the food court and Priya chased him. He finally found a catalyst that would trigger their chemical reaction.

AI 127 was delayed by 3 hrs due to technical difficulties, Vijay thought this was the best time to fuel his chemical reaction; spend some more quality time with Priya. They had food coupons tagged with their boarding pass courtesy the 3 hr delay. They sat at a table and began munching at lively pace. “So what are your hobbies apart from cricket commentary and cracking poor jokes?” she asked. It is difficult when someone puts an answer as a question he wanted to say but instead he replied “Did someone tell you had beautiful eyes?” to divert her attention from the question. “Nine people have already told that, you are the 10th “, “but will still take it as a compliment any day”, she replied. Sometimes genuine appreciation of beauty works, women do like it, Vijay thought. "You didn't answer my question Vijay?" Priya brought back topic again. "Not this beauty" Vijay mumbled in his mind. "I blog a bit" Vijay defended. "Cricket and comic fundas I bet," Priya laughed, "no comments" he replied as his face grew red. "You are so chweet", Priya squeezed his cheeks, as if he was her puppy.

Whether it was the sandwich or the GERMAN air Vijay began talking in a nice and polite way totally orthogonal to his sarcastic, mean and chirpy ways, or may be it was the chemical reaction that was speaking. They chatted for the next two hours as if they were soul mates and Vijay got nice smacking on his shin from her leather shoes every time he was mean and sarcastic, he enjoyed every bit of it. They spoke from Bollywood to Sandalwood(Kannada Film Industry), from Amitabh to Hrithik, and from hated topics of Engineering Drawing to Computer Ethics. "You are not as bad as I though initially" Priya said. "I am like alcohol acquired taste, bitter taste wise but once you get a hang of me I am addiction", he stared into her eyes. "You and your PJ's" and rolled over her palm on his head and blushed. "Oh you have such smooth hair, didn't your female classmates tell you?" she asked. 'Only my barber complimented it, as he did not need to sprinkle water before the hair cut' he wanted to say but just smiled.

Boarding for the flight AI 127 heading Chicago began, Vijay saw his boarding pass it read 15B, Priya was behind him in the line. He went to seat 15, a gorgeous young lady was sitting in seat 15C. Vijay thanked his lucky stars, Priya on one side, English meam on other, he thought he must have done something really good in his last life. 5 minutes later 15A arrived to occupy her seat, she wore a jean, turtle neck sweater and had a pony tail, she was talking on the phone and sounded "zzzha zchu zheoo something something bye love you" and hung up the phone. Vijay figured out she was speaking in GERMAN and she wasn't his Priya and Priya had a different seat no allotted. Claudia Schweinsteiger she introduced herself and shook hands with Vijay after placing her bag in the shelf. He began pronouncing he last name in mind, and wondered why only south INDIANs were ridiculed for their long names.

He was feeling very uncomfortable sandwiched between two gorgeous women, and to add salt to injury neither of them were his Priya. They all fastened their seat belts and flight was all set for a take off. While the plane took an ascent Vijay began humming “Yeh Dooriyaaa, tadapati hai dooriaya ...

to be continued ...
comments suggestions abuses welcome

Story Series 4: Vijay Priya Ravi

Click for Part 3 here

“SO howz Uncle and Aunty doing Ravi”, Vijay asked. “They are fine, absolutely fine, couldn’t be much better” Ravi replied looking at Priya. “Lovely, what a lovely name”, Ravi asserted continuing his stare at Priya. “It’s a pleasure meeting you”, Priya replied. “Pleasure is MINE”, Ravi replied. Priya began staring at Ravi as he moved back to his seat. "So where does Ravi work?" Priya asked, "Don't know some s/w company is CHI KA GO" Vijay replied. "Which part of INDIA is he from?" she inquired. "He was a State level Cricketer, represented our state", "Now he plays for some league there". "That's really great na; working and playing in the US". "He was a deadly fast bowler; evident from his height and strong shoulders I guess", "I should definitely get in touch with him" Vijay replied. "Yes tall and strong MAN he is" Priya replied thinking of Ravi.

"You follow cricket right?" he asked positively. "Cricket chi, I hate that stupid game"; somebody keeps throwing the ball all day long, somebody keeps hitting them, no meaning to that junk game", she raised her voice. "As correctly described 22 idiots play and 22 million idiots watch it". "Wooh wooh back off young lady, back off; take back you words". "Don't you dare call it junk and stupid", Vijay got furious. "And that throwing and hitting all day long is called test cricket young lady" Vijay got defensive. "Do you even know how much patience, stamina and perseverance it takes to play for 5 days madam?" Vijay questioned in high tone.

“Well one has to have more patience, stamina and perseverance to watch it for 5 full days ha”, she replied sarcastically. “On top of that look at how much money those buggers make?”, “And the moment they become a bit famous they start dating with actresses”. “Hmm should I blame the cricketers or the actresses for that act? Vijay scratched his goti beard. “Could you please leave the cricketers and actresses alone for a while the bearded gentleman interrupted their fight. “Sorry” both replied together.

“Breakfast Sir” the airhostess placed a couple of well wrapped and sealed pouches on Vijay’s foldable table. “Oberoi’s !” he raised his voice when he saw the logo on his breakfast pouch. “Wow, it's in fact a 5 star catered airplane, how lucky we are?” Priya replied. Vijay was shocked when he opened his meal which contained, salt less pasty Upma, cold bread with butter, small can of orange juice and couple of slices of apple. Stuffed his mouth with Upma and lubricating it with orange juice, looking at Priya he asked "How is it?", "Not bad" she replied, "How about you" she asked, “Walls are well plastered, and these cold bread slices and butter will suffice for the RCC” Vijay replied. “Just look over the window, you might find some hot idly, vada and chetney vendors”, Priya pointed towards the window and began laughing. At this point Priya began to enjoy Vijay’s sense of humor. “I tell you, Lalu should be made the Airline Minister”, “atleast the food that is served will improve if nothing else”. Both had a big laugh, big enough to consume the whole cold bread.

“I guess you are a Foodie” Priya said. “Leave my CRICKET and my FOOD with me you will be good”, Vijay raised his right hand and pushed his hair back. “Priya was all silent suddenly”, probably the sense of humor went over board. “Excuse me” Priya stood up and walked towards the restroom. While walking back from the restroom she suddenly heard some familiar voice calling her, “Hey Priya” Ravi called her. “Hi Ravi, nice to see you again”, she replied. “I believe you would have made some arrangement for accommodation by now close to your campus”, Ravi asked casually. “Yes found it via the Indian Student Association”. “That’s good”, he replied. “So where do you live?” she asked, “Downtown close to office”, he replied. “So had good sleep and breakfast?” he asked. “So far so good” she replied. Both struck a good chord and began chatting as if they were old lost friends.

20 mins passed by and Priya wasn’t back at her seat, Vijay started walking towards the restroom where he found Ravi and Priya giggling. “Hi Guyz” Vijay interrupted. “Let’s walk towards the passage and talk”, they moved to the passage adjacent to the cafeteria. Ravi began sharing his student life experiences in US, he began boast about his cooking and his hospitality skills. Priya was all drawn into his sweet talks. Nodding her head, staring at his eyes and laughing at every sentence, she was a complete fan of Ravi by now, why wouldn’t she be. Vijay sensed that.

“So how is your fiancé Ravi, is the marriage date fixed?” Vijay asked and that broke their conversation. “She is good”, Marriage next Jan, during Sankranti he replied. Fiancé and Marriage these 2 words struck a lightning in Priya’s head. Suddenly she closed her eyes and was about to lose balance when Vijay held her hand. She suddenly felt the plane tilting, shaking; Out came an announcement “We are experiencing turbulent weather, so I request all passengers to please return to their seats and fasten your seat belts”. Both reached their seat and fastened their seat belts. Weather went really bad and the plane was tossing and turning. The lightning called Ravi that struck Priya was bigger than the turbulent bad weather. She closed her eyes in remorse while Vijay began chanting ‘Jai Kali Ma, Jai Kali Ma’.

To be continued …

Open for comments, suggestion and even abuses ...

Story Series Part 3: Mid Air Crisis

Part 2

Flight AI 127 has reached 36000 feet, you can now turn on your wireless devices, out came the announcement. Vijay searched all his 6 pockets in his pant, 4 pockets in his denim jacket and 2 pockets in his shirt, then jumped up and started searching his bag-pack, sweating all over his body, he sat down in despair, "You are sweating is AC!!!" she said. "I can't find my mobile", he replied. "Why did you get a mobile while coming to US? We get mobiles free with the service you know", she questioned". "That's a very good question, but let me find my mobile first and then I will think of answering it!" replied in a furious tone. Got up and checked all his pockets again, then sat down dejected. With almost tears in his in his eyes he replied "that was my first purchase with my first paycheck, kind of first love you see". "Feeling nostalgia and getting goose bumps" she asked, "that ain't helping the cause!" he chirped. "Do you remember where you kept it?" she asked casually, "I have no idea why people ask that question! Anyways I don't remember" he replied with a red face. "OK, OK cool down, lets back track; let me put it in a nice way, when was the last time you saw it". "At 9 pm I saw it in my sister's hand and at 10 pm in her bag" he said. "OK ... after that?" she questioned.

Suddenly he began laughing loudly. "What happened, why are you laughing like RAVANA?" Priya asked. "Thumping his right palm against his forehead he replied "I didn't bring any mobile with me, I gifted it to my sister". "The fact that I was missing my mobile from my pocket for the first time in 5 years is a bit tough to digest", "That is why I got so scared", Vijay began laughing again. "TUBE LIGHT", she joked. "NO SUNLIGHT he replied", "tube-light takes only 8 secs, sun rays takes 8 minutes to reach the earth's surface", "see I exactly took 8 minutes to figure it out", pointed his right index finger at his left wrist. "Priya was suddenly silent", thinking about what lies ahead she starting staring at his non-existing wrist watch.

"Do you know the 3 Idiots funda ? Priya asked, 'What?' he questioned. "YES Idiots are of three types"; Some look like, Some think like and Some are actual; and you don't look like one, Vijay felt his lips Fevi-Quicked, he couldn't move his lips.

"Coffee or Tea Sir" the Air hostess interrupted, "Coffee definitely Coffee please" Priya replied, "Coffee for me too" Vijay replied, Priya was glad that the focus was shifted away from the wrist watch. Vijay poured in sugar and creamer and began stirring the coffee. The aroma of hot steaming coffee was enough to charge his batteries, let alone the caffeine entering his blood stream. He drank a sip, twisting his face he turned towards her, "Is this coffee?” he asked her. "Don't expect a 'V V Puram' coffee house coffee in Air India Vijay" she replied. "Hmm V V Puram coffee shop coffee", "Dark and strong filter coffee with froth enough to sink in your lips, " Vijay began imagining the coffee. Suddenly out of curiosity he said "V V Puram coffee shop!", "You know about V V Puram coffee shop?" wow he said. "So you live in and around V V Puram area?" now he began his Q & A. "Jayanagar 4 th block she said". "I used to go to V V Puram Coffee shop when I was studying in Engineering college there". "Oh that Eng College, I stayed close to it, actually across the street, Wow What a coincidence", he replied "Yes I have seen you many going to that Coffee shop, via our campus, eating bhelpuri and dosa on the way" she asserted. Vijay was stunned, doing a Micheal Jordan, sticking his tongue out, eye balls bulging out, wondering whom he was messing with.

"Here you are Mr Vijay" his friend Ravi broke the silence. "Hey Ravi what a pleasant surprise man" Vijay stood and shook hands with Ravi. Vijay could hear the crushing sound of his bones in his palm, Ravi was well built, dark and thick haired, fair dude who could give any women a knee jerk. "So still working in CHI KA GO?” Vijay asked. "Yea still in SHI KAA GO, I love the wind", he replied in a sarcastic tone. Suddenly Vijay felt an elbow hitting right his side, it was Priya who was hinting him to introduce her to Ravi, and little did Vijay have a clue about this. He continued his conversation with Ravi ignoring the elbow pierce, the elbow piercing became more powerful and frequent; suddenly elbowing stopped, pinching began. Vijay had no clue why she was torturing him this way, thought coffee had made her hyper; he continued his conversation; Ravi noticed Priya and her unsuccessful attempts to get introduced. So he broke the conversation, "So you have a friend along with you ?", he asked Vijay looking at gorgeously fair Priya with sharp black eyes, parrot nose, cute dimple and glittering set of teeth, will complimented with her aesthetic dress sense.

"I am Priya V, she introduced herself, nice to meet you" she shook hands with Ravi, and both stared at each other in silence. "She is going to the same University, but different branch" Vijay interrupted.

"How you doing?" Ravi asked casually, Priya started to blush

to be continued ...

Story Series Part 2: Baatooni Priya

Part 1 Seat 15A

Part 2 ...
Vijay looked at Priya, she was fast asleep even before the announcement of the flight reaching its designated 36000 feet came in. She was sleeping like a child on her mother’s lap, resting her head against the window. He couldn’t believe that she was the same talkative Priya who had given him such a hard time asking silly and irritating questions. He was also feeling bad for giving her blatant answers. Sitting back Vijay looked at the navigation screen which showed 45 min to Mumbai heading west so decided to take a nap. It was 6 am and sun was scorching through the windows from the east into Vijay’s eyes. He outstretched his hand to close the blinds but soon to realized that the slight movement of the blinds and the sleeping tigress would start roaring again, so he decided against it. Sun was hitting right into his face, he shifted his head to the right to avoid the sun; Priya subconsciously shifted her head position, now again the sun was right in his eyes. He moved his head to left a bit to avoid the sun, the stinking cigarette breath of the bearded gentleman pushed him like a same charge pole magnet pushing the other. Both his seatmates were giving him a hard time subconsciously and unintentionally, imagining what would happen when they wake up, Vijay dozed off staring at the navigation screen.

‘This is your captain speaking, we well be landing in Chhatrapati Shivaji International at 6:30 am”, out came the announcement, all the lights were switched on; fasten your seat belt instruction came in. Vijay was yawning and rubbing his eyes, suddenly he heard “Where am I?”, ‘Why are some many lights ON’ Priya began her Q & A session. “Chicago, we are just landing” Vijay replied. ‘So fast we reached aa’, ‘Air India is good man’, she asked in a typical south INDIAN accent. ‘Flight AI 127 would be parked at gate 2B at Chhatrapati Shivaji International’ out came the announcement. Confused initially and a minute later she soon giggled looking at Vijay laughing at her stupidity; they both had a big laugh while picking up their bag-packs. Checked his boarding pass, ‘2 hrs stop over’, he said to his student gang when they all met at the gate 2B. Yawning and stretching their arms and legs they headed to freshen up. Restrooms at Mumbai airport were filthy, worse than Bangalore Majestic Bus Stand, stinking and wet everywhere and looking at the queue Vijay joked ‘now I know why they gave 2 hr stop over at Mumbai’.

Flight got delayed by 2 hrs as result of rain, that seemed like a build up to 2012 doomsday in Mumbai that day. Vijay stared through the windows and was wondering how the airplanes were managing to take off in that rain, when with slight rain he would go off balance on his bike, was thanking for GOD that he was not a pilot. Milk, Cereals, Oat meals, scrambled eggs were served as part of complementary breakfast by the airlines; ‘We are being prepared for the US food culture’ one them joked. Neither of them knew that those food items weren’t just breakfasts in US, but were life saviors when their experiment in the kitchen failed.

Couple of hrs later boarding began and 15 A B C were occupied by their respective seats holders. Vijay was feeling bad about the way he had spoken to Priya earlier, he was very sarcastic in his answers and she was way innocent for it. So he decided to be as patient as possible while talking to her. Plane began to gather some speed; they always say the real fun of experiencing takeoff is by actually looking at the run way and rather than sitting back and closing your eyes as he did. He had read about same AI 127 skid off the runway a week ago from the same runway. He looked at the runway it was a bit damp, water spot here and there, thoughts of his bike slip and skid over the wet road near his house lingered his mind. “Hey look, the plane is going so fast she broke the silence”, “that’s 100 Mph the speed Shoaib Akthar bowled to Craig McMillan” he said indicating her in the navigation system, she smirked at him. The bearded gentle man stared at them at asked "First time plane experience?", "Second time actually, first time was from Bangalore to Mumbai 5 hrs ago, first international take off technically", she replied which was enough to silent the bearded gentleman. "Look at the speed" she pointed at the Navigation map, "Wow Michael Schumacher drives at that speed", he said. "Who" she asked with closing her eyes.

"Do u know swimming Vijay" she asked, "yes, but why that question on a flight?" Vijay replied. "If our plane looses balance in mid air and falls into the ocean I need someone to rescue me, I don't know swimming". she said "Don't worry I will save you, plus we have the safety jackets" Vijay assured her. "What are the odds of plane falling into the ocean and then me being able to swim and save someone!" he just mumbled. "What will happen if our plane skids while taking off" she asked again. "Last week AI 127 had a small incident and all the passengers were fine, so I believe we would be good too" he assured her again. "Aren't you feeling sleepy he asked her" yawning a bit just to cut short the conversation. "No I had a good nap from Bangalore to Mumbai, plus we had a breakfast na, I can't sleep after breakfast". "OK" Vijay replied in a very low and hopeless tone. "Guys, would you please leave Shoaib Akthar and Michael Schumacher alone for a while" the frustrated bearded gentleman stared at them. Vijay replied "Sorry" and thanked him in his mind for putting a full stop their conversation.

Admist this conversation the flight began to take off, he could feel vibrations of the wheels against runway, and suddenly the vibrations stopped; and all he could hear was 'Jai Kali Ma', 'Jai Kali Ma'. Scratching his goti beard "Vijay began wondering whether this indeed was the longest conversations he had with any female". He actually started enjoying her company, and was passing through a phase where her silence was more irritating than her talks. Thinking about what to talk to her through the journey Vijay enjoyed the take off.

... to be continued ... part 3 coming soon.

NOTE: The story is purely fictional, it bears no connection with living or dead

Story Series Part 1: Seat 15A

Vijay checked his wrist watch it read 10:10; he had a 3 am AI flight to the Chicago; accompanying him were his parents, sister, two uncles and their spouses and their kids to see him off. Red tilak was drawn on his forehead, followed by a flower garland and a small arthi, all wishing for his safe trip. Vijay felt like either a soldier on his way to KARGIL or a goat being offered as a Bali to goddess durgra. This was soon followed by moist eyes and dripping tears. Vijay was in a mixed and confused state of mind; was sad that he was leaving his parents but at the same time was happy that he was pursuing his Masters his parents dream.
  
He entered the airport dragging three 70 lbs suite cases, 30 lbs as his carryon; it looked like a bullock cart in motion. Walked towards the luggage check in counter where he met a fellow student who was incidentally traveling to the same school. That dude was carrying same amount of luggage along with his 10 lbs leather jacket and 3 enormous medical books. Checked in the luggage and cleared the security before heading towards the lounge where he met 5 more student/co-passengers. At 2 am there was an announcement for a delay of 2 hrs. For the next 2 hrs Vijay got acquainted with others and had a good time chatting and expressing their fears and excitement about their future in an unknown country. Vijay had an emotion of a brick, so neither had fears nor any excitement, which was the reason why he could maintain his cool and calm till then.   
Boarding began and Vijay walked towards his designated seat 15B middle seat, put his carryon luggage in the designated area and rested his arse and began staring at people moving in. Vijay always played this weird game of mapping people’s face and the seat numbers. He would guess their seat numbers looking at their facial expression as they approach their seats. A bearded gentleman walked towards his seat, Vijay was hoping that he wouldn’t be his neighbor even though his facial expression told the true story. He sat on the aisle beside Vijay 15C, trying to stay calm n compose was a bit difficult now. Such a narrow minded person some would say, but he was travelling in his first International flight.
The sight of a good looking lady in red top and blue jeans approaching his seat increased his heart beat to 100. He began his the facial expression mapping game with her, mapping it to 15A right next to his. He was sure that she would be 15A seatmate reading her facial expression; so he stood and made a gesture for helping her. She approached seat 15 and went past him, his heart beat went below 50 as he sat down in despair. He was about to pass out when he saw a stout elderly lady walk towards his seat, but she sat in 15D, the adjacent aisle.
‘Excuse me’, Vijay was woken by a soft sweet sound, he opened his eyes to see the same lady in red standing right next to the aisle, she indeed was 15A. After helping her placing her carryon in the designated area Vijay moved out allowing her to sit in her seat, Vijay sat down and smiled.  ‘I saw you with your family doing all that pooja and arti’, she broke the silence. ‘You are lucky to be born in such a religious family’, she continued. ‘YES’ Vijay spoke hesitantly. Vijay had this problem of speaking with pretty females in the first instant, let alone looking into her eyes.       
‘I am Priyadarshani Venkatasubramanian, she broke the silence again. ‘Vijay’ he replied.
Priya: ‘Are you going to Chicago?’, Vijay: ‘Yes the Flight is heading Chicago’ 
Priya: "You know this is my first international flight", Vijay: ‘Mine too’ 
Priya: "First time I am leaving my parents you know", Vijay: ’So am I’ 
Priya: "What if our luggage gets lost?”, Vijay: ‘May be baggage claim’.
Priya: ‘Are we going via London or Germany?’ Vijay: ‘Via Mumbai and Frankfurt.
Priya:" Did u read about Mumbai rains?” Vijay: ‘yea dam match might get canceled due to wet outfield’ she had no clue what Vijay was talking about; it was evident in her tone.
She was irritating him and the bearded dude was scaring him, he felt like he was in a torture room. Plane began to gather speed, ‘I am getting scared’ she mumbled, ‘Close your eyes and chant “Jai Kali ma” it might help Vijay assured. Couple of mins later the flight began to take off, she got so scared that see stopped speaking for next hr and dozed off finally. The sorrow of leaving his parents and the fear of landing in an alien country was over shadowed by Ms 15A.

... to be continued ...

Short Story 5: Curious Case of the Golden Shoe.

Vijay was flying west and had just landed at the airport where he and his fellow classmates all were on course to a job interview. They began to discuss about the company and dress code for the interview the next day. Vijay was proud that he had packed a suit along with a formal shirt and trousers; and then the discussion moved on the color of shoes. He shifted his attention to the white Nike shoes and black socks as part of his journey apparel. Just then a dreaded thought struck like bullet in his mind; he had forgotten to pack his formal shoes for the interview. He realized that fear had the power that would make one sweat on the air conditioner.


No sooner he checked into the hotel, he began his hunt for his magic shoe. He began to wander like nomad in search of his treasure holding directions and looking for signs. The picture of him wearing a black trouser, blue suit, white shirt, red tie and white shoe; ‘Mera Naam Joker’ gave him a 440 volt spike which drove him towards the nearest mall. He entered a branded shoe showroom and a pretty young lady came upto him for help. She showed him a bunch of black leather shoes, Vijay picked up a decent shoe that went well with the trouser. Got it packed and moved to the billing counter. ‘440 dollars sir, credit or debit’ asked the lady in red. His so called magic shoe was now a golden shoe.


Vijay’s face turned pale, eyes opened wide open staring at the price tag. He had heard that leather was expensive in the country, but this was ridiculous. The shoe’s cost was more than his airfare, more than his rent check. By then his credit card was halfway through to the cashier via his outstretched hand, backing off was no more an option. “What is the return policy? in case of an exchange” Vijay asked the cashier. This sounded a valid question, but it was a brilliant idea that struck him that split second. Idea of using the shoe for one day and return it after interview was a golden one, nothing new though, he had used it for books, electronics and many more. Finally after signing the bill he picked up his golden shoe and headed towards his hotel. Logged into the internet and checked his credit card statement, it read USD 440, stared at it for seconds. He then placed his golden shoe beside his pillow and went to bed peacefully.


And by Murphy’s Law (`Anything that can go wrong will go wrong`) it was raining like cats and dogs the next day, he was still debating about risking his 440 dollar shoe for an interview. Finally decided to take his chances and stepped out his room. He positioned his umbrella in such way that it covered his entire shoe taking preference over his head, and headed towards the venue for the interview. The interview process lasted the entire day, he skipped a heart beat when every drop of water that fell on his shoe. He was more worried about his shoe than the interview, probably that too his mind off the interviews. Interviews went well and later that day he headed straight to the store to return his golden shoe. He had to go through awkward conversation with the saleswomen and cashier while returning the shoe. All he cared was his 440 dollars which was credited back to his card.


A week later he got a job offer from that company and gracefully accepted it. Finally when he joined the company couple of months later and at the end of first day when everyone would gone to the temple to thank the almighty GOD, Vijay went to the golden shoe store and picked up his lucky shoe and began staring at it and wondering whether wearing the magic shoe got him his job or returning the shoe. He walked to cashier and used the same credit card and bought the shoe.


This indeed was a curious case of golden shoe.

Short Story 4: Unforgettable Night


At 7 pm Vijay entered the local terminal from the train that connected it to international. He looked like a punished prisoner with his 20 lbs bag-pack and dragging his two 50 lbs luggage running from one corner of the terminal to the baggage check. 8 PM was what the departure time printed on his boarding pass pushed over from 7:15.  Next 30 mins he was roaming in the airport and wondering when he would rest his arse on the soft cozy bed of his. Suddenly the weather alert on the TV showing "Heavy snow storm in the City" drew his attention. His heart missed a beat when he saw his fight being delayed by an hour. Peeping through window he saw the snow covered the airport and with light reflection making it RIN SAFEDI white. He had forgotten that it was mid Jan and he was in countries most windy and snowy city; another update and flight delayed by 45 mins. He had heard “Delays were dangerous”, realized it was frustrating too.
The outside temperature read -20 C and it was 20 C in his native; not only were the two cities diametrically opposite, but also weather equally other side of 0C. Only Vijay could think about this when one’s flight gets delayed. By Airlines grace at 9:45 the boarding began, and by 10 all passengers were seated. Vijay was so tired that he could barely check out the Air Hostess as he always did, let alone listening to their seat-belt instructions. A loud crying kid across the aisle woke him, he heard the Air Hostess announcing about the heavy snow storm and that they were waiting for weather to ease out, he didn’t even bother for Air Hostess to finish he fell asleep again.

Roughly 2 hrs later Vijay was woken by a fellow angry passengers yelling at the crew and some using their weekend minutes out loud. He peeped out of the window and the scene looked familiar, and more over his destination airport was not that huge and there weren’t too many lights around. He was partially scared and partially hungry and that’s when one’s mind really works in the reverse direction. His sixth sense sensed something bad, and he heard the sweet golden words "WE REGRET TO ANNOUNCE THAT THE FLIGHT HAS BEEN CANCELED DUE TO BAD WEATHER" sorry for the inconvenience!!! Putting 2 and 2 together he realized that the flight never took off at all. It stood stand still like a rock, white rock was more appropriate. 

One by one everyone moved out of the airplane into the gate and stood in the queue for a rescheduled flight. Vijay smiled at the attendant and picked up his ticket and the flight time read 2:40, he was happy that he could fly soon and then saw the text PM in bold letters (2:40 pm, next day afternoon). And just to rub salt on the wound there was no refund, as the cancellation was due to weather, now one more reason to hate weather, but they would provide hotel at a discounted rate of $70. He met an INDIAN couple with a 2 yr old; incidentally boarded from his native in the same flight, they decided to rent a car and drive back. They came out of the airport to headed towards the rental shuttle stand, out came the gusting wind at -20 C making him realize what winter was. Holy mother of GOD were his exact words, it was 20C when he had left his native. Since he was a shabby packer, he accidentally had small winter jacket (enough to keep me alive) in his cabin bag, which otherwise would have been in his check in luggage.
At 3 am they began their marathon drive in a weather, which mighty Airplane refused to take off. Sitting in the front seat and watching their car cut through the snow increased his heart beat and with more blood pumping into his brain helped him fight against the sleep, well supported by the jetlag. The visibility was so poor that they could barely see the headlights of the car ahead. For the first time in his life he was as focused as Arjuna of Mahabharata in watching the road, that he could barely hear the kid crying in the rear seat. Every mile covered was like an inch encroached into the enemy territory by the army. By GODS grace n Chevy Impala reached his apartment at 9 am and 10 mins later was found resting his arse on his soft cozy bed of his. The sense of relief and the joy of reaching home in one piece was enough to take his mind off missing his home town.
It truly was an Unforgettable Night

Short Story 3: Power Cut.

Wind was roaring like a ferocious lion attempting to enter the apartment via the small opening b/w two sliding transparent doors; that stood b/w the warm cozy 75 F interior and the cold darn 0 F exterior. Vijay was seen comforting on his soft spongy bed, had no idea what the day had to offer him. Sudden flash of light entered his relatively dark room and woke him up. As usual flipped opened his laptop to take a look at the time, realized that it was out of battery searched for the power cord but it was inserted to the laptop. It felt a bit strange seeing his laptop’s battery dead as he never ever removed his power cord and his laptop always ran 24/7.

He then reached for his mobile, the only other source of date and time in the house it showed 10:10 am with its battery indicating low. Plugged the phone to charger and it wouldn’t charge. Still in the state of sub-conscious gazed through the window to see his car submerged upto the wheels in the heavy snow, it felt like dream land everything covered in snow. He needed cricinfo to charge him up, did everything to power his laptop up, switched chargers, switched ports nothing seemed to work, and finally realized that their building had a power outage.

Vijay felt like an INDIAN batsman entering an unknown territory of pace and bounce in Australia, he had entered the unknown territory of blackout. Even though he had been through the power-cuts in his native country; he felt lost and didn’t know what to do, as he had never experienced this situation in this country before. Back in his country they had candles, emergency lamps, flash lights as backups; he had nothing close to any of those at his apartment.

Suddenly he felt hungry and the whole idea of skipping dinner as part of weight loss didn’t feel good. He took out the milk gallon from the refrigerator poured it into his mug and placed it in the microwave as he did every single day. He pressed the magic button (the add 30 sec button) and wouldn’t respond as it needed Benjamin Franklin’s electricity. For the first time in this country he was proud of his kitchen as it had gas based burner, other apartments had electric ones; he turned the knob of the burner to auto-ignite, heard the click but nothing happened; it took him five attempts to realize that auto-ignite ran on power. How ironical, power is needed for something that is an alternative for power. He felt like driving on the wrong side of the one-way street.

He needed some form of fire to ignite the burner; for the first time being a non-smoker pinched him very badly, atleast he would have had a lighter and with the absence of mini-temple eliminated the oil-lamps and hence matchstick. Suddenly the picture of his good looking neighbor smoking in the balcony struck his mind; he always hated smokers, especially women smokers. “Wow she smokes, thank GOD she smokes, long live smokers” were his words, how ironical `long live smokers!!!`.He had lent her sugar one day now it was her turn to lend him fire or something that produces it. Stepped out of the apt and entered the hallway, it was pitch black dark, walked to her apartment and knocked her door.

In this country since guests call before they come in, the host generally knows who is coming to their apt, so when someone knocks the door, the first reaction is ‘who the hell is it?’ that was exactly what he heard from inside. ‘Your neighbor next door’ he replied, ‘coming’ was the reply. No sooner she opened the door ‘can I borrow a matchbox’ he asked in a very low tone. He had a problem talking to women especially the good looking ones; prettier the women lower was his voice, a problem similar to Raj Kootrapalli of Big Bang Theory sitcom fame. Without uttering a single word he picked up the matchbox nodded his headed back to his apartment.

When he stroked the matchstick against the matchbox to create fire and ignite the burner he had goose-bumps; he felt as delighted as Tom Hanks in CAST AWAY, though the later had used stone to ignite a spark. Milk began to boil and the aroma of BRU coffee filled his eyes with tears as it reminded him of the coffee house at his native. Poured steaming coffee into a cup and started sipping it, gazing through the balcony. He now had enough caffeine and sugar in his body to survive the entire day.

Short story 2: Maula Mere Lele Meri Jaan


Last minute into the World Hockey Championship PAK leading IND 1 to 0. Kabir Khan was marching his team forward gets hit by the opponent player and topples over. Referee whistles & IND get penalty stroke. He held the hopes of entire country, his hockey stick & scooped the ball aiming over the goalie, but the misses he goalpost by a foot and IND lose the game 0 to 1. Kabir can’t believe that he missed such an easy shot, the shot which he had mastered over the years. As a fact of sportsmanship Kabir shakes hand with a PAK players and was captured by camera & is printed on the main page of the next day’s news paper. The issue blows out of proportion and Kabir is treated as a Traitor.

Vijay the last batsman walks with 3 runs needed of 3 balls for his team to qualify for the finals. His eyes lit up seeing the full delivery outside off stump; muscles it over the covers ball lands just behind the fielders & scampers for 2. Scores were level, out came the cry from the dugout, run for everything, non-striker take a start; he walked upto the non-striker and punched his fist against his and took a fresh guard. Instead of focusing on the bowler the memories of AUS-SAF WC 99 semi-final lingered in his mind. He swung blindly and missed the ball completely so did the keeper, the scene where Kabir Khan kneeling with head down and hockey stick in this hand was witnessed when Vijay rather than scampering for a single was found on his knees with head bowed down. He neither heard the cry from the non-striker nor abuses and swears from the angered dug-out as he was in a state of mental block ; He actually recreated AUS-SAF WC 99 semi-final.

7 years later Kabir Khan took the challenge of coaching the Women’s Hockey Team for the World Championship in-order to restore his lost pride. Scene shifts to the penalty shoot-out where INDIA lead AUS by 5-4. Australian striker attempts to lob the ball over the goalie but Vidya Sharma (Goalie) stood still between the ball & the post. There is sudden silence in the stadium, entire Aussie team was in tears but the victorious INDIA girls were jumping in joy. Emotional Kabir Khan is seen in tears, it was more than match to him; the scene where he watches the INDIAN flag shining high & “Maula Mere Lele Meri Jaan” playing in the background told the whole story. The tag of traitor was off his back.

Vijay is seen practicing his trademark straight-drive in the dug-out and was sunk in the memories of scoring a straight boundary over the bowler in the last over of the finals that he played a month ago in a different city & for a different team. Tension prevails in the dug-out; yelling and swearing continues, entire team was aware of Vijay’s heroics of scoring boundary in the last over and they were hoping for a Déjà vu. Last man Vijay walks in with the intention to take the monkey off his back; which was tagged onto him for a year now. The term “he did a Vijay” had become infamous. Two things were in his favor; bowler was bowling full and there was no long-off fielder. He just stood outside his crease and didn’t take guard this time and shut his mind off and focused on the bowler.

Bowler speared in a full length delivery and as a natural instinct his foot went to the pitch of the delivery and with high elbow swung through the line of the delivery. The meaty part of the bat struck the ball and he watched the ball pass the boundary with a couple of bounces. Out came the entire team in joy with captain literally lifting Vijay off the ground. He was their hero of the day.

Vijay was happy that the monkey of finals was off his back and felt exactly like what Kabir had felt when Vidya saved the goal for INDIA, he had tears in his eyes. And the background music “Maula Mere Lele Meri Jaan” kept playing in his mind.

Note: The character Vijay is purely fictional, and has no relevance to living or dead.

Short Story 1: Spring Break

DOSTANA AAJ KAL


Movies have a tremendous influence on our lives, we pick a lot of things from movies, be it hairstyle or the way we dress or the way we talk and walk; we sometimes relate ourselves to the movies we watch atleast the realistic ones. Ain’t most movies extrapolation of real life scenarios? Doesn't Director use the social environment and stuffs it with cultures and values present in the society and create a complete package called movie? Even though all the characters are fictional & far too idealistic, efforts always remain to relate the characters in the movie with real life individuals. So the theme and thought process put forward is in and around that era or can only go a step ahead.

Movies of 70’s were built on concept of 'a friend in need is a friend indeed', coupled with twist in their friendship either due to wealth or women or a villain striking a discord between them. One movie that stands for all these is Dostana (1980). It’s a story of two friends Vijay( Amitabh as Inspector), Ravi(Shatrugan as Lawyer) both falling in love with Zeenat(Miss Sheetal). Their friendship was so deep that it never conflicted their professional lives. It’s a landmark in the INDIAN cinema as it represents Dostana or friendship of 70s or bromance as it could be called. Be it a friend sacrificing his love for the other, or a friend trying to destroy the other in the wake of misunderstanding, it truly was an epitome of friendship. "I can't build castle of mirth on the grave of my friend’s dreams"; that dialogue spoke for the whole decade of friendship.

Things changed drastically when Dostana(2008) hit the silver screen, it gave a new dimension to friendship that never existed much before or something that wasn't spoken or heard off, yes the three letter word 'GAY'. Until then there was a thick line b/w being true friends and being termed gay, but Dostana (2008) reduced it to wafer thin atleast among we INDIANs. To such an extent that it has made two men invariably maintain an arms distance, forget about putting arms over the shoulder. And our approach & thought process to this matter and is as unreal & lighthearted as gay relationship b/w Abhishiek and John in the movie. In today's world just like in the movie one would even pretend to be gay if the necessity demands, be it for an apartment or for a job or even getting close to female.

Yash Johar's 1980 Dostana was known for the dialogues b/w the legends Amitabh and Shatrughan & the intense characters that those two portrayed. Amitabh was an ideal son, responsible brother, caring lover & faithful friend. B/w them and along with Shatru it was a movie that represented the 70's culture. If Amitabh was the heartthrob of the 70's, Zeenat was the woman to watch out for. It was a movie close to be called complete.

Karan Johar's Dostana (2008) filled in all the void gaps that it's predecessor had left. It was complete movie, it had bikini clad Shilpa & Priyanka having a healthy competition for the men, muscular and brief clad John for the women, and the chemistry b/w John & Abhishiek for the rest.

And the term Baap Nambari to Beta Dus Nambari truly holds good for the Bachchans as later made 10 times more profit than the former.

PS: The blogs intention is not to hurt anyone’s feelings. Forgive me if I might have unintentionally.

Does Birbal Cat Strategy Work Everywhere ?



In an episode in the sitcom "Everybody loves Raymond" (Sarabhai Vs Sarabhi is its INDIAN version) Raymond advises Robert, how to get away from doing the house hold chores. His strategy was basically to messes up the first time so that Debra, his wife never gave any important or extra chores. What struck me was that it was a no brainier strategy; it’s was the same old strategy that I was accused of using to get away from doing work. The fact was that I was inherently messy.

Just mess up a bit or give a cold response the first time and world would never assign you extra task. This strategy was demonstrated by the Great Birbal using a cat. Because he fed his cat with steaming milk for the first couple of days, his cat never drank milk and always ran away from milk. And after a month when everybody's cat had grown big and healthy, Birbal's cat was pale and lean. Birbal even showed Akbar that his cat never drank milk upon offer and always ran away for it. Akbar was astonished in the first place and then praised Birbal for his intelligence when the secret was revealed.

In our busy day today lives we tend to over look these Birbal's cat strategists. In grocery stores, super markets, malls, colleges, banks, offices you find them everywhere. These are the Amitabhs (angry young man), who would spur fire when approached; and with their grin, serious (read: scary) faces one would pass out rather than talking to them let alone seeking help. And with none of us having time/patience that Akbar had to analyze this, we tend to approach people with Madhuri (read: pleasant & smiling) faces and get the job done. The irony is that in the short run these Madhuri faced people tend to get the extra work just because they are approachable.

Next time just observe whom you would prefer to approach Amitabh or Madhuri and see if you can decipher and find those Birbal's cat strategists.

Software Companies and Premier League Franchises

When a software company starts a new project it would divide the work load among its full- time employees, which would be a blend of experienced as well are fresh hires who would be trained in return for long term benefits towards the company. At times there would be a scenario where a chunk of work needs to be done at min cost and at a quicker pace. Training employees and then expecting an output from them might not be feasible all the time and that is where IT Consultants come into picture.

IT Consultants are experience and technically well equipped individuals who would advise, implement and deploy the IT System on businesses behalf. They are contracted for a predetermined duration on the project and are billed hourly. Because they add so much value they charge heavily and hence much is expected from them without much advice. Every project would have a cap on the amount spent on full-time employees and the IT Consultants. Also fixed is the number of IT Consultants that can be hired in some companies.

Premier League Franchises pick their team in no different way than a software company, which would be a blend of experienced cricketers who are at the top of their game. Well complemented with very talented fresh hires who would contribute and learn at the same in a hind view of long term benefits to these Franchises. To maintain proper balance in the team and to fill in the void gaps, specialist and experienced foreign players or over sea players are hired.

Because of the value they bring into the team they are purchased at a higher price and are typically auctioned and are contracted for a fixed duration of time. Expectations are high from them as they are paid heavily and so their contribution are heavily monitored. Every Franchise would have a cap on amount spent on local and foreign players.

If software companies earn by selling software produced by their employees, Premier League Franchises get richer by selling the game produced by their players. Users enjoy using their favorite software just as much spectators get entertained in watching their favorite game.

I might call that game cricket you might call it soccer.

Cricket and Swimming Pool - Interesting thought

Have you ever noticed in a public swimming pool where the people density is the highest, it is at the shallow areas. With feet grounded and nose above the water level every one seems to be a winner. It is the only place where a beginner & expert are at par. If you zoom in a bit, you see that those are the ones who seem to be enjoying the most, jumping, peddling & splashing around. They always are keen on getting more attention from the crowd for various reason apart from swimming.

But there is a radically different scene happening at the other end of the swimming pool, where people are swimming intensely putting their head down without bothering about attention. Their strokes are perfect and feet peddling in sync making it look ridiculously easy. They are there because they technically sound enough to sustain the fact that their feet no longer touch the ground and water level is past their nose. As the time elapses owing to energy drain or lack of stamina one can easily separate the best from the rest, and the gap between them keeps increasing, the more these people swim.

Twenty20 and Test matches are no different from shallow and the deep areas of the swimming pool respectively. The fact that anybody can win in a T20 on his day makes it far me exciting and hence seeks in lot of attention. But the real connoisseurs of the game(read: test match watchers) would hate it calling it rubbish and would rather love to watch a dead Test match where winner is known before the toss(read Ashes), rather than getting a glimpse of T20.

Just as in a Quality Assurance reducing the bar level doesn't always guaranty quality products, reducing the number of overs in cricket neither guaranties QUALITY CRICKET nor would guaranty quality players. But what it guaranties is the sheer quantity that would guaranty dollars in quick time and that is what drives cricket and for that matter even the SWIMMING POOL.

CROSS POST cric-times

Mera Gaon Seh Mera Desh

After the high profile IPL the focus now shifts from Rainbow Nation to the Nation when it always Rains, yes ENGLAND and with attention shifting to international cricket, it would a nice change to see players don their national colors. Playing for your franchise is one thing and playing for your NATIONAL team is totally different affair. The talks about value of a player, runs / dollar or wickets / dollars won’t dominate every time a player performs. Rather than having a faked City Vs City rivalry we now will have the real Country Vs Country rivalry. Matches like IND Vs PAK or AUS Vs NZ would bring back the tension and hype that existed on the field.

The IPL in rainbow nation with the local drummers and bugles’ along with the bollywood music played in the background created a carnival environment. Cloud and gloomy weather conditions in England compounded with “decent” crowds, who would either clap hands or sip bear, hopefully won’t take away the festival atmosphere that T20 brings along with itself. Bigger capacity grounds would increase crowd count.

There neither would be DLF maximums or CITI moments of success nor would the commentators thank the sponsors every 10 mins. Neither would Lalit Modi been shown talking on the phone every 15 mins. With no strategic timeouts, we would miss the glamour that was attached with Miss Bollywood South Africa and also the HEAT (Health Educate And Teach) convention which funded a lot of local student in SA. Players will miss definitely the hugging and kissing from their team owners.

Two things the players would carry from IPL; MONEY and INJURY. Money was all talked about throughout the IPL; injuries would now be talked about. No sooner would a player miss a game due to injury; an anti-IPL of statement of cricket overkill would be made. Already talks about Flintoff, Zaheer and Sehwag‘s fitness is being talked.

One thing that T20 lacked was and that IPL has provided is statistics or numbers; with so less T20 played prior T20 WC 2007 teams entered with an uncluttered mind, played mostly with instincts. Now with so many games and different scenarios and many unexpected results in IPL even the minnows would fancy their chances. 60 required in 4 overs, batting team would still fancy it, because they now have the right statistics to back them up. A sense of belief would seep in. And the memories of Rohit scoring the required 26 in the last over against Mortaza will give nightmares to every fielding captain when they arrive at a similar situation.

As they say attaining the top spot is easy maintaining that is tough, INDIA now face the burden of defending the World Cup title probably first time since 1983; this is something new to this INDIAN team. And in the recently concluded IPL we saw how Royals failed to live upto the expectation of defending the title. Hope the INDIAN team would be unfazed by the hype and would live by its expectation. Also like how Bangalore and Deccan bounced back one wouldn't mind Dutch or even England clinching the cup.

Let the focus shift on Mere Desh Ki Dharti from my Mera Gaon ki Chori.

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