Wednesday, January 14, 2015

From Russia with love

The Bronze Horseman is an equestrian statue of Peter the Great in Saint Petersburg, Russia - my city ," Magdalia narrated sipping from her coffee mug shifting gaze to the person sitting in front of her.She responded to the person after he pointed out that the Buddha statue of the Hussain Sagar is the largest monolithic rock statue in the world.
The statue is now one of the symbols of Saint Petersburg, in much the same way that the Statue of Liberty is a symbol of New York City.
The statue's pedestal is the enormous Thunder Stone, the largest stone ever moved by man.The stone originally weighed about 1500 tonnes, and was carved down to 1250 tonnes during transportation to its current site.
"Your English accent is too good for a Russian," Akhil commented fumbling with his hand cuffs and changing posture sitting a bit upright.
I was born and brought up in Virginia,US to a Russian mother and an American father.Quite a fairytale aint it?

Magdalia is a lady in her early thirties.Her complexion was white with a face carved right out of stone age.A lean physique with nerves protruding out of her forearm skin.A clear sign of extensive workout.Her hair was cut sharp with a deep scar on her left neck peeping through it.Her three quarter trousers hug tightly on to her legs exposing the well shaped out calf muscles.She never smiled.

Not quite.Your passport mentions you are a citizen of Russia hailing from St Petersberg.You are currently on the soil of Indian Republic working on a joint extradition operation between India and Russia.The American connection unnerves me.

Akhil is an officer working with the crime branch.He handles most cases related to international convicts and joint operations.Akhil is an ex army personnel having served in the army for 2 years.Tragedy struck when he was injured in a grenade attack in Baramula,Kashmir.He had to undergo a surgery on his right knee and was deemed unfit to serve the army.He joined the crime branch of police after this.He is well past his thirties.His personal life hasn't been great either.Akhil lost his wife a couple of years back after she was diagnosed with cancer 3 years back.

I  had a disturbed childhood.My dad was a FBI agent.He served in the department for 21 years before the state authorities figured out he was smuggling nuclear secrets to the Soviet.My family came under the scanner.My education was terminated mid way.My mother and I migrated to Russia about 6 years back.The Soviet government gave us refuge and citizenship.My family isn't proud of what my dad did.He was executed last year.

Enough about ourselves and places.Lets come straight to the point.When do we carry out the operation?Akhil felt restless.The danger looming on the sub continent was too high.Much higher than their personal pitfalls,dilemmas and sufferings.

A major arms deal was plotted in Ukraine between the soviet extremists and a major Bangladeshi terror group.The huge consignment was supposedly smuggled from Israel.It contained automatic firearms,ballistic missiles,sophisticated IED (Improvised Explosive Devices) and huge amount of shells and bullets.Report had it the whole consignment was supposed to reach the extremist groups via the Nepal border through Arunachal Pradesh into Bangladesh and Myanmar.China was notoriously close and obviously party to this deal and provided strategic support for execution.

Magdalia was visiting India on a tip off from the Soviet Government.Few insiders reported the consignment being held up due to internal negotiation issues.The two parties decided to meet at a neutral venue and Hyderabad was chosen as a safe haven to carry out the transaction as per intelligence reports.

I have a very vague description of the Ukranian agent.My information says the agent has arrived in city yesterday.I need a list of the people who have arrived from Ukraine/Russia in the country within the last 24 hours.Also scan for VISA stamping of people originating from Ukraine/Russia but entering through a different country.My best bet would be such people.
How can you be so sure the transaction would be conducted by the kingpins and not aliases?
Too big a deal to be handled by middlemen.
As far as the Bangladeshi guy is concerned we have rounded up a few guys and charged one of them with criminal conspiracy and acts of terrorism.This certainly paves way for the actual guy to certainly go ahead with the deal and be less cautious.We have eyes everywhere.Quite a few whispers growing louder.

Akhil handed over the list of the suspects to Magdalia in the morning.As suspected one of the Russian guys - Asya had traveled to Hyderabad from Kolkata the previous day traveling via Bangladesh.He checked in at one of the premier hotels of the city.Magdalia also checked in under a different name and passport to keep vigil.Akhil was on close guard.She befriended Asya and connected well speaking in Russian dialect.Asya introduced himself as a trader hailing from Russia.He claimed to own farming plots from his ancestors there.
"One more gorkilla for me." he called out to the bartender and continued talking to Magdalia.'What brings you to this part of the city lady ?'
'We Russians are good with the metals you know.My company moulds a few into firearms.I get to sell them'
They continued conversing for around an hour.Asya was disappointed after she left.

Magdalia you are following the wrong lead.Our men have intercepted few telephonic conversations between a terror outfit and a locale.Looks like a shift of plan.Asya could be setup for us to divert attention.Here are some pics showing two Russians spotted in the old city area today.Magdalia took those pics from Akhil and frowned deeply looking at them.

19th December ,2014 ,Friday - 2 pm

The security was tightened across the city.Akhil lay strong vigil on few suspects outside a mosque.Wasim along with few of his men were seen coming out of the mosque.These were the same men seen with the Russian men the previous day.After offering the afternoon prayers they headed straight into a mid sized truck and drove away.The police followed them immediately.The truck drove till Zaheerabad almost 60kms from the city.The police watched from a distance laying siege.

Magdalia had not joined the team and decided to keep vigil on Asya.She spent most of the time watching Asya from the lobby corridor.His local phone was tapped.Nothing suspicious came out.He mostly stayed indoors.He made a call at around five in the evening.From what seemed was a discussion with a pimp.Magdalia listened carefully.Asya requested for an escort for the evening and the night.The explicit description to the pimp was disgusting to Magdalia.'Horny bastard' she muttered keeping her phone down.She thought for a while and made a call to Akhil.Come down asap.We are heading for showdown.

Magdalia we are laying siege to the suspects.Your guy isn't impressive enough.
Let your boys handle it over there I need you here right now.
Akhil headed back with two other men.The rest stayed back keeping a close watch.

19th December 2014,Zaheerabad - 7:30 pm 

The two Russian men arrived in a small car.Wasim and his men stepped down from their car as well.The police which was in hiding surrounded the whole gang and asked them to surrender.Two of Wasims men pulled out a gun and took aim.They were immediately shot down.The others followed the orders and surrendered peacefully.After a thorough search a bag was found with only few packets of drugs in it.

Too small a quantity for a arms deal.The quantity seized is just a few grams higher than the permissible possession limit.Magdalia you were right - this was a trap to divert attention!

Akhil and Magdalia kept a watch on Asya.A stunning lady arrived in the porch area around 8 in the evening.Asya arrived to greet her.The lady was a living Goddess.Very sharp eyes with brown lenses.She was dressed in a black evening gown which hugged her figure exposing the curves carefully.The most stunning aspect was her jewellery.Decked from head to toe she carefully brandished precious stones for neck wear,ear rings ,finger rings etc

Magdalia and Akhil were in a fix.The suspects at Zaheerabad turned out to be bogus.Here we have another suspect with an escort.They had a single question in mind - where is the deal happening?

Magdalia was watching closely both of them as they sat across the table and chatted flirty. She scrolled though few of her databases and made few calls.Akhil seemed very confused and looked curiously towards Magdalia.After around twenty minutes she shook Akhil's hand strongly and said ' Come.Show time'

Both of them neared Asya and the lady.'Hands up you two.Leave aside everything you have and put your hands behind your back"

Akhil was still surprised and murmured strongly to Magdalia ' What the fuck are charges we press against them?'

Akhil - Look at the lady.The jewellery shes wearing is worth 500,000 USD.They have been smuggled across countries and is being used in the place of cash.From a very long time jewellery is used a mode of transaction.It helps avoid suspicion.

It turned out the lady was not an escort but an Islamic terror agent.She was  wanted in multiple money siphoning and smuggling cases in Soviet and other countries.Magdlia had made those calls and checks  precisely on this lady before they decided to place both on arrest.

The case was solved.The culprits nabbed.Akhil still had something bothering him.He called out to Magdalia - 'We all were convinced on the new tip offs.This guy seemed unconvincing.However you strongly believed him to be the main kingpin.Any special reasons?'

'Akhil legend has it guys tend to give things away while drinking with a girl.This guy introduced himself to be a Russian owning ancestral farms.Russians seldom own farms.This is something very common of Ukrainians.Next his third drink he ordered as  'Gorkilla".Ukranian guys call vodka with that name.Do you get it my dear Watson?" she smiled.

Akhil was visibly impressed with her intelligence and presence of mind.'Quite impressive I must admit' uttered Akhil shaking hands with her.

Magdalia was heading towards her car when Akhil called out to her 'Do I get to see you again Holmes"

Magdalia stopped.Turned back and came agonizingly close to Akhil pressing him close to his body.She leaned her head sideways and whispered 'Russian girls like the complexion of Indian guys like crazy my dear Watson !' she smiled wickedly and parted with another whisper "Dasvidaniya.






Avique













Monday, October 20, 2014

Qubool Hai.


Which is the first multi-storeyed building in Hyderabad? No prizes for guessing. Of course, it is the city’s most famous icon -- Charminar. And do you know there is a cat’s head designed in the apex of one of the small arches on the eastern side?
It was perhaps meant to be a deterrent to rats, the cause of plague. And when the epidemic ended, Charminar was raised to commemorate its riddance.
A by-lane from the Charminar leads to the sprawling market of Laad (bangles) bazaar.One of the shops is owned by Fatima.A girl in her early twenties.Her eyes are captivating.Glimpses of which are visible through her veiled face.A strong girl who lost her parents when she was very young and the only relative is her ailing old uncle who lives with her..
After her parents died her uncle raised her up.The bangle shop at Ladd bazaar is owned by him.Fatima's uncle had inherited it from his ancestors.Fatima was pursuing her graduation in Social Psychology from the Osmania University.Unlike other girls of her age she was rational.She questioned a lot.Listened eagerly and provided meaningful responses. After college she would return to her shop.She would read a lot there as well.
A certain amount of darkness is required for stars to be visible.Fatima was raised in a very orthodox family which imposed quite a few rules which were beyond her reasoning or logic.She failed to decrypt the mystery of  'Hijaab' (veil) when she was young. She asked many people -young and old,wise or otherwise.Everybody asked her to follow without asking.Her uncle would tell her that asking too many questions will bring back the rat which once destroyed the city ! Now that she has grown,gained wisdom and possess a plethora of wisdom,she knows no body really has the answer.The rat has done its job.It has destroyed the city long back.

Faatihma's heart went out for a guy from Yerevan (Armenia). His name was Armen.He had come to the city as a part of the exchange program between the Yerevan Haybusak University and Osmania University.He was a linguistic student.Studying Islamic literature and history.Both of them connected very well.Armen was from a different country and things which seemed obvious to most of us were questionable to him.This very fact excited Fatima. Armen always provided unbiased opinions or refrained from providing any if he was unaware.
Armen and Fatima spent long hours together.They discussed diverse issues ranging from world peace,the superiority of one God over the other,religious beliefs and disbelief's,gender biases and many more.They hardly came to an agreement.However they soon realized the whole discussion was giving rise to various possible outcomes and trains of thoughts.These could lead to constructive thinking if implemented on a larger scale.

Passion coupled with love can turn dangerous.The two of them staged a theatrical adaption of their daily conversation in the old city area.They sat across table enacting a college canteen and discussed issues in progression.Hinduism as a philosophy,Christinaity and its beliefs,Islam- the way it is viewed by others,gender biases and many more.An excerpt from the play - ' Surely this is freedom of choice.Why should it matter to others if someone wears the hijaab or not.Freedom of dress whether hijaab or mini skirt should be universal.One should be free to dress as one pleases,so long as we all are free to do so.'

The play was not taken well by the people.Faatihmas uncle reprimanded her.The people in her locality were literally up with arms against her.The authorities turned down requests for further appearances of the play.She was meted with utter discrimination and humiliation.Armen could not gauge the severity of the whole situation.He failed to understand the resentment against something rational.

Fatima could not go to college.Quite a few radical groups started posing problems for her.Armen was also pulled up for his involvement.It was almost a month that both of them met.Armen was determined to help Fatima and get her out of the plight.They had taped the whole play.Armen sent it across to various bodies including the UN council.The UN council members were impressed by the clarity of thought and the intense topics influencing various religions has been vividly potrayed.They were invited to carry out the same feat at the Geneva convention to be held next month.

Fatimas' uncles' health had been deteriorating day by day.She spent most of her time caring for him.On a slighly clouded afternoon after finishing  lunch her uncle suddenly sat up from his bed.Faatihma hurriedly helped him sit down.He spoke very softly.He kept his hand on Fatima's head and continued.'I know you are still afraid of rats.Our shop is full of them.You always keep your legs on the stool beneath in the fear one would bite.When you were young I used to point out to the Charminar and tell you the story of the cat which has eaten every mice and that you need not fear.Fatima - Its your turn now.You need to provide hope to the people around you.You need to tell them that the cat exists.I have seen your play.It is good.You can perform at the UN council.Insallah."

Fatima and Armen put out their best act together at the Geneva council.Largely appreciated and widely acclaimed.

“We can be of many nations, but earth is our land.
We can be of many races, but we are just one clan.”


Regards,
Avique.




Friday, June 7, 2013

A child's World.







Aamir - A young banker in early thirties.Recently married.
Ayesha - An young woman and Aamirs wife.Working with an IT major.
Sharon - a kid who loves to play
Riz - a kid who loves to play

Friday evening.The worlds retiring home.Some to loved ones.Some to friends.Some heading nowhere.Aamir was one of them.
Aamir is a young banker.An MBA grad from a reputed college.Drawing a handsome salary.Drives a sedan.Dines at expensive places.Travels five star.Pays his bills on time.A good looking handsome guy with an equally hot and intelligent wife.And yes he is married for 2 years now.
Ayesha is in her late twenties.An engineering grad.A perfect example of beauty with brains.Soft spoken.Tender attitude.Ambitious yet humble.Yes she loves shopping and possesses credit cards !

A trivial issue led to a mjor fallout between the two.They wernt meeting eyes.Aamir handled his clients really well;Ayesha her codes.Neither could handle their lives though.

The sky were overcast since morning.It started to drizzle at around day break.Aamir had returned from office early today.He walked towards the kids playing arena and sat quietly on a bench.The rain drops wernt steady.Theybounced off his linen grey suit. 
"You aint stupid...are you?" Sharon remarked at  watching Aamir getting wet with his formals on.
"Ayesha has left home.We had a fight.I dont wanna go home."
"You really stupid now"
"Hows that?"
"I fight with Riz always.Dont cry with my uniform on!"
"Riz your boyfriend?"
"He was till this morning.He called me stupid.I sort of dumped him."
"You called Ayesha stupid by any chance that she left you?"
 Ayesha had taken out the new sedan for a drive.She was a novice.Out on the road suddenly a kid came in front of her car.She tried to save the kid and smashed agaisnt a wall.Heavy damage was caused.Aaamir got furious after seeing this and yelled at Ayesha.
"You donno how to drive.Why did you go out without the driver.You stupid woman."Aamir would not listen to anything.
Ayesha left the house.Crying.

Today is their anniversary.Ayesha wanted to take Aamir out for a drive.She had been practicing hard for it.She did not take the driver along to keep things a secret. 
"I did call her stupid Sharon !"
"Hey Sharon you aint stpid enuf.I got these chocs for you." Riz handed them over to her and planted a sof kiss on her cheek.Sharon was surprised to see Riz.Sharon blushed and ran away.
Aamir was moved at the simplicity of the kids and their subtle ways of making up.
"Hey Ayesha you aint stupid enuf.I got these chocs for you,"he handed them over to her and planted a soft kiss on her cheek.Will you drive me around?"
Ayesha was surprised to see Aamir.She blushed and hugged him.She quietly took the cars keys from Aamirs pocket and started the car.They went for a drive.
 

Avique

 

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Homecoming

If we are united in our hatred for politics so are we united in our love for the Durga Puja.People who stay away from home choose this occasion to visit our hometowns in Bengal.It was no way different for Avik.He could manage a week's leave.

The wind has caught a sudden chill.The leaves and flowers all pale.A festive mood has caught us all.Everyone looking forward for those few days of enjoyment and togetherness with friends and family.Avik boarded a morning flight to Kolkata.

"Since you are seated at the emergency let me brief you about the security issues," the air hostess muttered .Avik happened to be a frequent flier and could almost recite those lines along with her.
The monotony was broken by the sudden appearance of the fellow passenger.
She was well past her teens.Had sharp features.Neatly done hair.Light eye makeup and heavy gloss.A smart suit with jeans.Classy platinum ear rings and a side laptop.She wasn't very tall.

"Let me help you keep that," Avik helped her keep the laptop bag.They exchanged a smile and took their seats.The air hostess resumed with her narration.Both had their share of fun.

"If someday this actually lands on water would she be so courteous even then," Avik cracked a joke with his co passenger.
"I bet I wouldnt. Had I been in her place!" came her reply.
Hi Im Avik
Myself Aparna.
Thats another name for the Goddess Durga.
You seem to know quite a bit about mythology it seems.So heading home?
Pretty much...I guess same for you?
Well pretty much for me as well.This is one occasion I generally do not miss to be with family.

They chatted away relentlessly.Avik generally sleeps by the time the flight takes off.They had loads to talk about.They figured out plenty of similarities.Fought over their differences.Shared some of their dreams.Boasted few achievments.Kept quite for few minutes to engage again in casual talks.

"So you have a boyfriend?"
"You were waiting for the flight to attain 600kmph and 35000 feet to ask this...huh?Common gauging you, I guess could have been faster ! " she flirted ,"No I dont have one"
And what makes you think Im generally faster.
 You have been resting on my arm rest ever since.Constantly shaking your leg a certain sign of nervousness.Continuous dilated pupils and a hitch in your voice carefully articulating your words.
Avik was swept completely off his feet.Bit embarrassing but none the less convincing.

A smooth touchdown at the Netaji Subhas terminal Kolkata.Not the same for Avik though.He helped her with the bag once again and waited patiently for the gates to open.
Do I get to see you again?He mustered courage to ask her as the door opened and she started moving out.
Check your boarding pass." Aparna swayed her head and replied on the move
He looked at it - Aparna Bose. and a mobile number printed in ink.A broad smile and final goodbye.Certainly a nice start to the pujas.
Maa aschhen.

Wishing all my friends a very happy pujas.


Cheers,
Avique









Saturday, December 17, 2011

God Sex and Spinach



"God is a circle of infinite radius having infinite centers and considering each human being to be discrete points inside the circle,are at equal distances from God !" Akshay said these solemnly without blinking even once
Since when did you start taking interest in such matters? Inquired Vijay
Do I look one who would venture into reading all this...common you guys know me !
That's exactly why we are worried.Hey everything's fine ? - Akash chipped in.

Akshay ,Vijay and Ajay are friends from college.They have shared everything ....well almost everything.Studied together,cheated together,hit out on girls together and even got rejected together.The most important part they all even got married almost at the same time.It has been a year that they met and after much effort they planned for a get together at Akshay's place in Delhi.Their wives also came along.

According to our Vedas there are 330 million Gods and Goddess!
Dude did you get hit by something or something really shocking happened or just that you are out of your mind?
"The most shocking thing which happened to me is marriage!Ever since I got married I have been constantly hearing lectures about Gods and Goddesses.Initially I did not pay much attention but slowly it grew like an obsession,"saying this Akshay put down his glass and reached for the bottle of scotch.He refilled his glass.Ajay helped him with 2 cubes of rocks and some soda.Sipping his new peg he resumed,"Guys my house is now like a temple where everyday some puja or the other keeps happening.I am thinking of replacing the calling bell at the front door with a 'ghanta' and hire a 'pujari' instead of a maid ."
All burst out laughing.All of them were in the third round of drinks.Their wives were having a separate conversation.Not about their husbands but about their mother -in-laws.The guys were re-living their college days.Under the influence of wine they were speaking more freely.
Yaar Akshay you can atleast sleep at peace.Temples do not open at night.If you hear me out, you would consider yourself lucky.Vijay kept his glass down and looking sideways started narrating.My wife is a doctor.She has this weird habit of relating everything medically.I can understand washing hands before having food or keeping house tidy but SEX....no way.
What she explains SEX in medical terms - Akshay asked curiously.
Yes dude you heard it right.She will explain the reasons of having sex.The pros and cons associated with it.The psychological aspect of it.But how do I explain that when you make out you simply make out.I do not require explanation or motivation for it.Arent we all motivated from the time we were sperms maybe!
Ajay and Akshay were thrilled to hear the narration from Vijay.Vijay has been quite a loser throughout his life.His hit ratio with girls has been pathetic.Yet he had this habit of bragging about his experiences.To find him in spot both were laughing their wits out.
Yaar Vijay we can understand your plight but really we cant help but laugh.- Akshay interrupted in between their amusement.
Ajay suddenly stood up and became silent.Everyone stared at him.He took a sip from his glass and supplemented with some fried cashew from the table.
You guys can at least have a sound sleep.I cannot do that as well.My wife has this obsession of having fresh fruits and vegetables everyday.I wake up everyday at 6 AM and head to the sabji mandi to buy fresh fruits and vegetables.
Akshay was shocked.You were the one who used to always miss the first period since it started from 9 AM.I do not recall a single day when you woke up at 6 AM.That's some achievement ! Hats off!
Yah what is game for the cat is death for the rat.Guys just because having fresh spinach gives you those extra few kilo calories and increases your eyesight doesn't mean I will compromise my sleep for it!

Just as the conversation was getting more interesting that their wives arrived.The guys suddenly stopped and stared stupidly at their wives and then at each other.
Akshay its already 11 PM.Tomorrow we have the Maa Santoshima puja at our home.I need to arrange for it.You better wrap up fast.
Vijay you better start having brandy.Scoth has molasses which will increase your Triglyceride levels in blood.She whispered something silently-"Ajay's wife mentioned having sex actually burns 300kCal of fat!"
You better be fast.
Ajay you need to get me some spinach and coriander leaves.I have a new preparation which Akshay's wife told me.You better hurry else you'll be late for market.
The three wives put in their ultimatum and left.The statements made by each was so very ironical.The guys were speechless.Each word they were discussing had been put to testimony.They heard it from the horses mouth.
However these are the most thick skinned people human race has ever seen.The toughest of papers,the most humiliating scolding or the worst rejection did not deter their spirits.The wives came in much later.All of them refilled their glasses and raised a toast.
To God!
To Sex!
and finally To Spinach !Cheers.


 Cheers,
Avique



Thursday, September 1, 2011

Date with One Zero Zero







"Stand Down ....Stand Down.... ." a sharp tone swept across across all walkie talkies held by the cops.
It was near 2 AM on the Christmas eve.The cops had been on duty throught the day.Huge forces were deployed.The "Stand Down" order brought some relief.Everyone started to disperse.

"Avik what about dinner?Come lets enjoy the Christmas eve with few rounds of Scotch.Game young man?" the Additional SP said these light heartedly to Avik.
"Oh thank you sir ; please carry on."
"As you wish young man,Merry Christmas"
Avik was an Inspector with the Police force.In his late twenties,dedicated to his work,soft spoken and has  lately started putting on weight at wrong places.However he always longed a physique of a Spartan !As the jeep of Additional SP sped past,Avik courted a salute and proceeded to his chamber inside the police station.He had just lit a cigarette that a commotion broke outside followed by a girl who dashed inside his chamber.He was taken by surprise.Avik struggled to find his ashtray.After getting sight of it he rose up from his seat stubbing the newly lit cigarette and asked " Whats the matter?What happened?"
The girl was still trying to catch her breath.Avik asked her to take a seat and sat down himself.He was observing her carefully.Her hair was neatly done,curled and tied with a hair band.She wore a short kurta and  jeans.The colours werent vibrant either.Her eyes were very expressive and massively highlited with black shades.She had a sophistication which is diffcult to express.
"Someone get her some water.You dont seem to be one of those party going girls.Its very evident from your appearance.Now tell me what is the matter."
"I am a journalist,was covering the celebrations for the Christmas eve.In one of the pubs while doing coverage overheard a conversation for a drug deal.I followed the people but they somehow became suspicious and chased me.I somehow managed to run and raeched here.They will kill me!"
"Relax,you are in safe custody."
"Ravi,register lana inka statement lena hai aur FIR likhna padega."
Ravi gave him the register and he started penning down the details.So what is your name?
Piu....Piu Banerjee.
Other details like where do you stay,your family etc?
I stay in Salt Lake.I share my apartment with a friend of mine.My family is in Bhilai.I work for Kolkata TV.
Independent girl huh.Itna bada risk lene ka zaroorat kya tha.
"Had the police done its duty with dilligence we would not have to take such risks,"she replied sharply.
So you think we are useless?
Not exactly but incompetent is a better word!
Had it been any other person he would have surely got it from Avik but strangely he did not react just smirked.
Piu let me tell you,in this police station there are 15 men who are on duty at any instant of time.The population of our jurisdiction is 7-8 lakhs.A crime is reported every 6 mins.4-5 convoys of minsiters pass through our area every day.A procession or gathering of atleast 500 people is held fortnightly.And we generally have our dinner everyday at 3 AM.
Piu although did not buy everything Avik said in his argument but she was quite impressed by his clarity of thought and eloquence.
You should be reporting for our channel officer.You speak pretty well.She replied light heartedly.
Avik rasied his eyes from the register,excahnged a quick glance and said "O really...thanx....naukri chali gayee toh aapke channel mein hi kaam karunga !"
Can you describe the people whom you had noticed.The one who chased you.
I did not see them very clearly but I can provide some details.She provided details of whatever she could recall.
Did you have your dinner?
No I havnt,was too busy covering the Christmas eve.
Would you mind having dinner with a cop three hours past midnight ?
I would rather get chased by those same people ! Just kidding but then at this time there wont be anything open.
Oh you leave that to me.Just make yourself comfortable I will change and come.
They both went towards Avik's jeep.Avik took out the pistol and kept it on the dashboard.
Why did you take this along?
You must have seen in the movies.Tumhara encounter karna hai !
Very funny !
They found a restaurant on the highway.A quiet place.They spoke at length.Various incidents.Both had loads to share.Both had loads to fight over.Time just flew.They have been continuously working since last night.Somehow they found more strength to talk.
Do you want anything else.Shall we get the bill?
No thanks I am done.
When they came out it was around 4:30 AM.Dawn would break in an hours time.
Should I drop you home?
"Hmmm theres a problem.The place where I stay they dont allow anyone after 11 PM and the gates open only after 6 AM."
When was the last time you saw a sunrise over the river.
Cannot recall.Infact never.
Come let me take you somewhere.They drove to a bridge.It was completely empty except for some heavy vehicles.
Do you have a boyfriend.He looked into her eyes while saying this.
I generally do not carry excess baggage!
Oops ,not even once in a while?
Depends if it is worth the pain.
Nice sentences and well pronounced.You have a camera in your mobile?
Ofcourse I do.The sun is expected to rise anytime.
The water was calm and serene.A sharp wind was blowing which brought a spine chilling sensation.Dawn had broken.In the distance Avik noticed an old man carrying a basket in his head.On approaching near he noticed it contained flowers which he was probably carrying to trade.
He asked Piu to start take pictures and signalled the old man to the other side of the road.He bought some flowers.Red roses and lilies.
Congratulations! You have just made history.You are the first person in the world to dine with a cop at three hours past twelve and receive flowers from him at sunrise !
A bright smile flushed across her face.The sunrays falling on Aviks face.It lighted a part of it.
Hold it there.Piu took out the revolver she had quitely sneaked from the dashboard.
Are you crazy its loaded !
Do I look like a fool to show you an empty revolver.Kneel....now !
Avik went down on his knees.This girl is crazy.
Congratulations.You have just made history.You are the first person in this world who will propose a journalist on gunpoint at sunrise!
Avik looked up.His heart was beating fast.This girl was smart for sure.He remained on his knees and proposed.The sun had now risen completely and shimmering brightly in the distant.He dropped her home.She returned his revolver and said -
"Anyone can fool you.You dont deserve to be a cop."Saying this she smiled and got down the vehicle.
Avik started his vehicle and replied "Once a cop.Always a cop"


Cheers
Avique













Thursday, March 31, 2011

Memories in March




It had been a long day.Pushy clients,quarter end pressure and infinite abuse combined to form a cocktail in Avik's head.The drive to home either has not been pleasant.Clogging at various junctions in the city.In one of the junctions read a digital sign board with date and temperature."12th March, 36 deg C ".
A quick freshening up.Then what?After pondering for quite sometime decided to hit the pool.It has been almost a decade and a half that Avik went swimming.
The evening breeze blowing gently.The pool was on the roof top.Few more high rises besides.The horizon is still red but darkness has engulfed.Lights from the neighboring high rises falling on the water and diffusing in a blissful orchestra.The water seemed to wash off the sun rays still on his skin.
Avik was still in the water.From what seemed from there was a solitary figure on the farther side of the pool.He could not see clearly from the distance but could make out it was a girl.Somewhat skinny,curly dark hair which was kept open and part of it was fluttering,an expressive face but an unsure one.Avik observed her for sometime  and realised she was alone.
"I sell measuring instruments.Have faster ways in which you can measure the depth of the pool !" Avik came from behind and caught the girl unawares with these lighthearted lines.An immediate blush and an exchange of glances.She was taken by surprise and did not speak.Avik with a compulsive habit of speaking started once again.
"You seem new.."
"Yah Ive moved in just a couple of days back."
"You'r working for...."
"An MNC ...software stuff.Is the water very cold?" She said the last part with a childlike innocence and fear.
Avik could not hold back his smile and replied cheerfully ," I also sell thermocouples...you know the ones which measure temperature ! Just hop in."
They used to bump into each other frequently.Never really spoke much.Avik somehow was at loss of words in front of her.He made it a point to go swimming everyday.The summer was picking up.The colours of the fruits and vegetables slowly changing.They enjoyed each others company.They went for walks and chatted for long hours.The heat was slowly picking up.He did not know if it was love.He was very confused with the subject anyways !A company which he longed for.A person whom he started missing.
The girl was not very expressive though.She chose her words.Smiled often. Fidgeted a lot.Listened to whatever he said and never complained.
It was again a busy day for Avik.The board read "30th of March,37.6 deg C".This was going to be a painful summer.They spent quite some time together that evening.Avik was doing most of the talking and she was receptive all the while.She was in black top with a pair of jeans.Neatly done her hair and a soothing nail color.Suddenly Avik was caught unawares  -" I shall leave tomorrow.Dont ask me where."
Avik respected her and understood she meant each word of it.He stood there with just a sideways glance to and fro.She would not meet his eyes.They did not bid good bye.The summer was severe.

Almost an year passed.The digital board reads a new date and time each day which Avik observes daily but nothing really seems to change.It was again a quite evening in March.Avik decided to stroll by the pool side.Familiar memories flashed by.He could soon visualize the year old moments.
"Do you still sell those instruments ?" a voice came from behind.It struck him like lighting.He knew this voice.He has spoken to her within himself a million times and has anticipated  her response.He was not sure if he was hallucinating.He turned back,looked into her eyes and smiled.
 "Yes,I still sell those !"





Cheers,
Avique

Saturday, January 15, 2011

He weds She


"I do " and life changes !
I am sure many of my friends can relate to what I am trying to hint at.The past two to three months have seen the Indians most active trying to wed their children.Many of your friends boyfriends and girlfriends get married during this period.An exercise which starts well in advance from finding a suitable boy or girl (just in case you are useless and believe in outsourcing the same to parents).The whole exercise assumes herculean proportions with slowly the whole family and friends giving you options.Most of us haven't had much of a choice in our entire lifetime.Be it choosing a the stream of study,career ,you were even given names without your consultation!However this is probably the only time when we are asked to exercise our choice.More often than not if we are given an option ,we choose. Isn't that a great strategy!

Marriage has been termed as an institution.I beg to differ.It is more of an economy.Movies,songs,event management,caterers and almost anyone and everyone gets a share of the pie during this period.Hum Aapke Hain Kaun and DDLJ were the greatest hits of Bollywood.Such was the impact of these films almost all dogs in the nineties were named "Tuffy" !Even the pressure cooker sales goes up being the most favored wedding gift !
Its a known marketing strategy to engage your customer.So if I believe that Marriage is a company it engages the people flawlessly.From the moment your marriage has been announced almost everyone starts talking about it.Gossips run wild in all parts of the country among your friends and family.Almost every age group has their share of gossip.The 20 odds talk of your ex and breakups and how this guy is an *ss*h** for you to the elders in the family who discuss the feats achieved by people who were born 4 -5 decades earlier in both the families.

Now comes the D day.Young, old ,irritating, agonizing, lovable, short, small all types of people attend your wedding.You suddenly wonder you've grown up without even hearing about them and suddenly you treat them on your wedding.Well some charity guys at least once.

And then you have friends like us it the crowd who are the most eligible bachelors.We are the ones who are most sought after.A sexy (I cant use a better word than this) marketing place for you just in case you happen to be one like us.Looking strongly at 30,too tired to date someone,running out of options - an apt place for some new leads.So it really pays off to attend most of the wedding ceremonies during this period :)

I wish to congratulate all my friends who have tied the knot recently and are going to do the same recently.There is no such cozy combination as man and wife! All the best for your future ,do remember to call me to your wedding,cant afford to miss them anymore :)


Avique

Thursday, November 18, 2010

I donno where shes leaving or where shes gonna go!

Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose,Terminal Kolkata isn't a great place to be at 5 in the morning.I simply wondered if all the people in the queues are here for boarding a flight or maybe their loo is dysfunctional!
Just as the FIFO was getting implemented I happen to pass a bookstall.Grabbed a Alice in Wonderland.While browsing the pages happen to read the following para -

'Would you tell me please,which way I ought to go from here?'
'That depends a good deal on where you want to get to, said the Cat.
'I dont much care where -,' said Alice.
'That it doesn't matter which way you go,' said the Cat.
'-so long as I get somewhere,'Alice added as an explanation.
'Oh,you're sure to do that,'said the Cat,'if you walk long enough.'

Nice way to start the day!Well Hi friends... haven't been around for quite some time.Was between jobs,relations and cities.Thankfully have rested now and settling for peace on all three fronts.I am found in Kolkata these days in a place called Rajarhat where the human population still matches that of Australian coastal cities.I have a job thankfully and yes Im single...on the wrong side of twenty five !Dont really mean to retrospect though.
Alice would probably be categorized as a aimless wanderer by many,which eventually is true.However what catches attention is the attitude of Alice.She doesnt really care about the goal.If Lewis Caroll is difficult to digest then even Einstein once mentioned that "I do not think about the future ,it comes soon enough!"
I am describing a bunch of people who act on their instincts rather than those who think beyond time and space coordinates.The later are the ones who prioritize their actions based on events which are yet to happen.Well even neural networks are based on algorithms which takes decisions based on past events and none works on future anticipated events!
I have this liking towards people like Alice who are rare.Most are the ones who I classify as 'visionaries' (pun intended).However I am lucky not to be surrounded by the later type people.They either stay away from me or categorically reject people like Alice and me! We need more Cats which is actually responsible for bringing out the Alice in ourselves.

Friends ......twas a long time after which I m posting.This was a casual piece jotted down by a tired soul.Promise to come back soon with my 'Manohar Kahaaniyaan' before Christmas.Well, gave up on painting..the canvas doesn't seem to like me anymore !Miles to go.

Cheers,
Avique

from Calcutta

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Officers and Men

Blanket of white snow had engulfed everything around.It had snowed for the first time in the valleys this winter.The intensity of the sun started rising once the snowfall stopped.Multiple reflections of the sun rays reached a tin rooftop on the other side of the road which blazed directly on my blue shades.Awesomely soothing I should say.The relief was shortlived.Immediately a gust of wind started blowing.The arteries and veins seemed to contract.A slap on the cheeks which were exposed.
I looked around and saw a tea stall nearby.Without wasting time ran for shelter.
"Ek chai aur cigarette dijiyega please."
"Cigarette kaun si lenge Janaab?"
"Kings ...badi waali"
"Yeh lo Janaab.Aap Hindustan se ho ?"
This question hit me even more stronger than the chilling winds on my cheeks.I never expected this sort of a question.Not able to understand how to react answered in a single syllable - "haan!"

I am giving an account of my recent trip to Srinagar.From the moment one reaches Srinagar do you find very tight security.Men in uniform guarding the whole city.On the way to hotel I was sort of confused.The mesmerizing beauty of the place,the beautiful hills surrounding the city,the charming Dal lake and lush green estates all around.On the other hand the view of all these scenic wonders are interrupted by men in uniform with snipers and hand ammunition.An unusual tension can be seen on all their faces.I was left all confused.
So far away from the capital I realised that things like Leftist,Rightist,Communist do not hold good here.I have left them far away.You are just a few seconds away from the bullets on the other side of the border.
Kashmir has been termed as the paradise on Earth.Few can contradict it though.A place you would promise to return.Can we not have the paradise once again or is it too late....is it paradise lost?