Saturday, 26 September 2015

The Bakasura Files

     I am Baku, and I am basically a foodie, love all kinds – non veg, man veg, cow veg and some veg.  And I feel hungry all the time. I stay quite far from the hustle and bustle of the village, for two reasons. One I would like to enjoy my meal in peace, without a crowd of giggling children ogling at my food. Then, I also usually ended up eating more than my share in public that the village folks pleaded with me to move out, lest they run out of food for themselves. They said if you stay here, you will continue to eat whatever you lay your eyes upon, whereas if you stay out on your own, they would ensure delivery of the right quantity of food at the right time and the food would never run out. I agreed to move out, because my heart beats my stomach hollow when it comes to being large.
     I was happy in my new surroundings.  I was single, staying alone and getting food delivered at home. What more could a man wish for! The food cart never failed to arrive in time, loaded with goodies. It was ingenious! I could just flip the cart over and devour the goodies. The sight of the flip-cart never failed to elicit a tune from my heart. I used to hum “I was living in the love of the common people and far from the heart of the family man” I loved that line.  It described my situation aptly. Maybe sometime in the future, someone would use it in their song and become famous. The villagers were generous with the quantity and gracious with the variety. They never forgot to top up the goodies with a meal-man who was delectable after his delivery.  Life was actually on a roll.
     It was then that this bloke turned up from nowhere and settled down in my village. An up-start trying to start-up his own food business in the village.  I heard that he was also a foodie with an appetite to match mine, the only difference being, that he was a strict veggie! He had started turning the villagers against me, campaigning against all forms of meat, to further his own vegetarian food business and getting them to ban meat from our plates. He posed a serious threat to me.  They said his name was Bhim – a hugely popular guy with the kids and the grownups alike. I knew he would be a fake. The only Bhim I knew, who was popular, was Chota Bhim who lived in the neighbouring kingdom of Dholakpur, and as far as I knew, he was not a foodie. This guy must be a wannabe, who is using a popular name to be popular.
     It was time to set up a meeting and sort things out with this guy.  It was either him or me. It was Meat Ban versus Freedom of choice to eat anything.  The villagers arranged the meet-up. The next day, he came in with the delivery cart.  I glanced at it. No meat, only veggies. It was deliberate. I refused to touch it. We sat facing each other, waiting for the other to blink. My stomach started growling, putting the rumbling of the dark clouds above, to shame. And then he burped. I suddenly realized he had come prepared. This was going to be a long wait.
     The siege continued. I stared at him hard and long, and as the minutes dragged by, the look turned pleading. His eyes softened and he laid down two conditions – One, that I would accept the Meat Ban in the larger interests of the village people and Two,  that I should leave the village and head for the mountains.  He said there were not enough veggies in the village for two foodies to coexist. If I agreed, he would give access to the cart. It was only a matter of time before I surrendered – a total and abject surrender.  He moved away from the cart and I pounced on it, gobbling up the veggies. They didn’t taste that bad after all without the meat. I smiled in content, and burped in gratitude. I left the village never to return.

     I am now spending the rest of my life in the Himalayas, dieting and living on herbs. I have made my peace. History may judge me differently. After all, history is written by the victors and not the vanquished. The future generations may read an entirely different tale of Bakasura- but who knows, one day someone will have the courage to declassify and release this diary to the public.

Sunday, 6 September 2015

The Old Man and the Cat

He stared at the clock and its face stared right back at him.  The clock’s hand moved slowly, as if in a trance, playing with the numbers, the rhythmic sound echoing the pounding of his heart. The old man was biting his nails, eating into the tender skin of his fingers, oblivious of the pain, and tasting his own blood, his eyes following the moving hand of the clock. The food on the table had not been touched for the last hour, lying uncovered and unattended, turning cold in protest. A few intrepid flies had made their initial advances, stealing furtive glances at the old man on the chair, as they feasted on the rice. The old man had anxiety written across his forehead in a series of thin lines positioned centrally, right above the bridge of his pointed nose.
The old man shook the cat on his lap gently. There was no movement.  His fingers gently ran over the soft fur and rested on its belly.  He could feel a distant thud, faint and rare, but yet unmistakably signaling the signs of a fading life. He looked at the clock again.  It was supposed to be quick. That was what all the internet searches had indicated for the potion. It had been an hour since he had fed Kitty that deadly morsel of rice soaked in her favourite fish curry. He had not wanted her to suffer.  There would be no one to take care of her once he was gone, and he did not have much time. Kitty was a lazy and proud cat, too lazy to get her own food and too proud to beg. Did she suffer, he wondered, as he patted her. Did she hate him in her last moments?  She surely would have realized what was happening, before she closed her eyes to sleep, one last time. He looked at the clock again. One hour fifteen minutes!
“God, Let her not feel any pain”, the old man prayed silently. He continued to bite his nails, as he stroked the cat with his other hand. Suddenly, he felt Kitty shudder, as she almost slipped from  his lap. He lifted her up gently and held her close to his face, his cheek pressed against her fur, listening to that distant thud that had pounded his heart till then. His cheeks met with defeaning silence. He looked at the clock again. One hour twenty minutes!
Would the effect be same on humans, the old man pondered for a minute.  Or was Kitty special? Had it not yet been her time to go? Did he act in haste? Maybe, she would have been happier without him. Maybe she would have found another soul mate. The old man glanced at the body of fur, coiled in static sleep on the floor. She was gone now. She has already found her peace.  Will I last that long, he thought to himself.  Age had not taken to him kindly, his body deteriorating, weakening and giving up on him, much before he gave up on life. He had led a wanton one and it had come at a price. He had decided not to suffer long. Only one hour twenty minutes!
The old man looked at the plate on the table. The number of flies feasting on the mound of rice had gone up significantly. Will they suffer the same fate as Kitty? He gripped the arms of the rickety old rocking chair tightly, as he pushed himself to an upright position and doddered to the table. Swatting the flies away with a weak wave of his left hand, he picked up the rolled ball of rice held together with ghee and gravy.  He raised the ball, as if in a toast of unison to Kitty, and stuffed it in his mouth. One hour twenty minutes!
The old man picked up the cat, struggled to find his comfortable position in the chair, and placed her on his lap again. He leaned back and rocked himself, finally at peace, and stared at the clock as it continued to stare back at him. One hour eighteen minutes!

Friday, 5 June 2015

Party Time

Krish was down to the last sip in his whisky glass, which according to his own standards were fast and furious ever since he laid his eyes on her.  He was taken in by her simple elegance and radiance and when she had caught him looking at her, guilt overcame him and forced him to focus on his drink more than what was required, resulting in the fast and furious sips at intervals far shorter than what would have been, had he been calmer.  Krish was of a nervous kind, nice but nervous, more so when he had to face a girl, or rather when a girl faced him, or rather either. When faced with the prospect of facing the opposite gender, his brain decides to temporarily and unilaterally stop functioning and his palpitations tends to border on the audible drawing concerned glances from cohabiters of that moment.

Sush saw the tall lanky guy in the dark blue jeans and grey checked shirt checking her out and almost stopped breathing. Unassumingly attractive would be what she would place him as, with his thin rimmed glasses and fritters of hair scattered on his forehead in rebellious disarray.  She quickly looked away, afraid to return the attention, and could not bring herself to look in that direction again. She had agreed to come to Hema’s party, assuming a large crowd, since Hema was the party person and her parties were always well attended with the party tales doing the rounds until the next one came about, which was usually sooner than later. She hoped that then she could easily get lost in the crowd and then slip out early without being noticed. Contrary to her expectations, only a handful of Hema’s friends had turned up, exposing her to everybody’s view on the large terrace of the house.
Krish edged towards the girl, not because he had mustered the courage to speak to her, but because she was standing next to the bar counter, and he was standing with an empty glass.  It had been only ten minutes since the party started and he had downed an entire glass of whiskey while there were some, who were yet to pick up their drink.  He had to quickly get a refill, which could yet pass off as his first drink, and he had to do it quickly before Hema or his friends had an opportunity to make him their after party story till the next one.
Sush caught the movement from the corner of her eye and when she turned her head, he was already quite close to her. It was the same guy who was checking her out earlier.  Panic gripped her heart, loosening her grip on the glass in her hand, as it slipped from her fingers and shattered on the floor next to her feet.  She looked up in horror and found herself staring into the eyes of the guy which mirrored her panic, as she heard another glass shattering near her feet. The guy had dropped his glass too.  There was horror on her face, horror on his face and as they turned around to look at the others, horror on everybody’s face as well.
Krish recovered first, looked at the panic stricken girl in front of him and said “Sorry, I wanted to get a drink, and the sound of the breaking glass unnerved me, and I dropped mine too”.  Sush looked at him and as his fears melted some of hers, replied “No, I am sorry.  I don’t know what came over me, I am really embarrassed, the glass just slipped from my fingers”.   She suddenly smiled, the situation forcing it out of her and then immediately saw his eyes softening and his lips forming a quivering line.  She said extending her hand, “I am Sushma, Hema’s friend from her school days”.  He smiled more firmly as he took her hand gently and said “Hi, I am Krishnakanth, Hema’s colleague at work”
“And I am Hema, the owner of these destroyed properties” announced Hema as she strode upto them and stood with her hands on her hips in mock anger.  “Next time, I will have a bell placed on the counter here, which you could ring, rather than shattering my expensive glassware to announce yourselves”. She then burst into laughter, “I am so glad that you guys met. I organized this party just for you two lovely but lonely souls to meet and that is the reason I invited just a few friends, so that you could not have escaped.  I was planning to formally introduce you both, but you managed it just fine without my help”.
Hema turned to her friends and announced “Now that the ice and a couple of my glasses have been broken, let the party begin”.

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Manichitrathazhu - from Sirf Indian

Manichithrathazhu – This literally translated meaning “The Ornate Lock” is an age old traditional lock of Kerala which adorns the doors of the fabulous Ettukettu & Nalukettu (8 sided & 4 sided mansions) This is a special lock used in the ancient times to lock doors where treasures and expensive items are kept. The special feature is, it rings while locking/unlocking. These locks have now made a come back to the new Kerala homes, though more from the aesthetic than the security aspect. A movie by the same name was made which went on to become a cult movie in Malayalam and then was later remade in almost all Indian languages ( Bhool Bhulaiyya in Hindi, Chandramukhi in Tamil and so on). The hero in search of an evil spirit promises that he would lock up the spirit using the Manichitrathazhu, meaning locked up in the most secure manner. The pictures show the old and the modern versions. A beautiful video made by Nipun Chander, shows the actual working of the lock. This is one of the historical artifacts being archived by

Monday, 1 September 2014

The Onam Feast

     Raj loved aviyal, a rich concoction of vegetables in a yellow gravy, especially the discrete sourness of curd, added in good measure, to give it its famed tangy taste. It was his favourite dish in the assortment, served on a banana leaf during Onam, Raj had always enjoyed the feast during Onam, the traditional harvest festival of Kerala, celebrated with culinary cornucopia. Raj wanted this Onam to be special for special reasons and he had insisted that Riya dish out the entire spread on the traditional banana leaf. She had complained that she would be too tired to do the entire cooking after she returned from work and had suggested eating out. But Raj was adamant that the traditional festival be observed in the manner reminiscent of his childhood.
     “Why don’t you come and help me with the cooking. I have also been working during the day. And it is you who wanted to have this traditional Onam feast for dinner.” Riya yelled from the kitchen as Raj plopped himself in front of the TV.
     "Cooking is your job. Haven’t you seen the new Airtel Ad. The woman who is a boss in the office still comes home and cooks for her husband” Raj retorted.
     “Really”, Riya sounded incredulous, “You chauvinist men! That ad was supposed to show that women are now so successful, that they can be right at the top in their careers, and how you men have distorted it to suit yourselves”
     "Hah”, Raj scoffed, “Ok. Forget the ad. Lets talk real. Did you not read Indra Nooyi’s interview. How she was sent out by her own mother to buy milk when she returned home late at night the day she was declared the boss of PEPSI, because her husband was busy watching a game on TV. Did you know what her mother told her? You may be the boss at work dear, but at home, you must first carry out the duties of a wife”
     “I know”, Riya sounded angry, “and she has received much flak for what she said. That statement has done us more harm and undone all the inspiration that women imbued from her success. “But Raj”, crooned Riya, segueing deftly to the matter at hand, “Come, help me with this, if you want your dinner in time. At least grate the coconut, while I make the Erisseri. I need to cut the pumpkin and boil the red cow peas. I hope I remember the exact mix.”

     Raj grudgingly switched off the TV. Anyway the Englishmen were making a mockery of the match and didn’t make for great viewing. The regular trudge of the Indian batsmen back to the pavilion was exasperating.  At least he could grant Riya her wish. Everyone was entitled to a last wish. So, if her wish was for him to help her in the kitchen, so be it. Tomorrow he would be alone. And soon Shweta would join him. He loved her cooking, and she never called him to the kitchen. He could watch TV, and she would wait on him, and do his biding. Raj had met her at the gym where she had caught him stealing amorous looks at her well endowed figure. He had learnt that she was a recent divorcee and had just moved into the city. They had bonded well over work-out routines and coffee, and soon Raj was staying over at her place, convincing Riya of important client meetings out of town, which increased in frequency as the days passed. It was a symbiotic arrangement, till Shweta wanted Riya out the equation. It was either her or Riya. It was Shweta, who told him about the new chemical XDN which on entering the body initiates a massive heart attack after 12 hours, and does not leave a trace in the blood stream. He had planned to mix the potion in Riya’s food that night, as they feasted. It was a fool proof plan. He would spend the mandatory month in perceived mourning, after which Shweta would move in with him. Nobody would suspect anything, as the death would be due to natural causes, and he, being in his prime, would be encouraged to begin life anew by one and all.

     Raj looked at the assortment of vessels on the kitchen counter. Rice was cooked and was in a large aluminium container next to the stove. The Sambar, a mix of boiled lentils, potatoes, beans, drumsticks and carrots looked inviting in a large Salem steel vessel. The next one contained the Payasam, which was a thick mash of semolina floating on condensed milk. Pappad was fried and was dumped in the plastic bucket. A copper bottomed utensil was placed next to the stove to receive the Erisseri once it was cooked. The banana leaves that they had bought from the local market were washed and kept ready. The Aviyal was already done and was in a small Borosil  bowl, which he had gifted Riya for her last birthday. He had explained, that he thought, he should buy her something that she could use everyday, and which he hoped would make her remember him fondly whenever she used it in the kitchen. The look on her face, told him, that she did not believe what he said made sense even to him. But he had spent that evening at Shweta’s house and had only remembered her birthday, when she called him to say that she was waiting to have dinner with him. The only thing that he could find then was an unwrapped Borosil bowl in Shweta’s kitchen, a wedding spoil, which she had brought along with her. The Aviyal in that bowl brought a crooked smile on his lips as he recollected that night.

     Raj started grating the coconut. She needed the coconut to make Ishtoo, the potato stew. He always wondered why it was called Ishtoo, and not just stew.  It was the same thing except that this was made only with potatoes. Riya loved Ishtoo, but Raj stayed away from it because of all the carbs.  He had decided that this would be the ideal dish to add the XDN. Just five drops, Shwetha had warned. Anything more and the taste would be evident and anything less, would not have the desired effect.

     Raj helped lay out the banana leaves on the table. The first serving was always salt, which he placed on the left edge of the leaf.  Next came a few pieces of banana chips and after that the pappad. Riya brought the rice and served it on the leaves using a steel ladle. “Get the Sambar and sit down” I will serve the rest of the dishes”, she said. After they sat down, Riya picked up the borosil bowl and served him the Aviyal. “. I know how much you love it. So I made this one just for you. You know that I have never liked it”.
“Thank You Dear”, Raj smiled. “Here, let me serve you your favourite dish”, he said as he stirred the bowl of ishtoo once again and served it next to the rice on her leaf. He had been careful to add the drops while she was busy with arranging the dishes. And as he watched her relishing the dish on her leaf, he thought of the freedom that the next morning would usher in.

     As he lay on the bed waiting for Riya to join him after clearing the dishes, he felt the need to make love to her one last time. He looked at her as she came in wiping her hands with the pallu of her white set saree. She had always looked good in a saree and this one with the golden border, the traditional dress of kerala, made her very desirable, atleast for now. He grabbed her and as she squealed in mock horror, pinned her down with both his hands. She looked up at his face as he hovered over her, lust burning through his cold eyes. Desire filled her as she held him tight but the face that she saw was not Raj’s but that of Shiv, her colleague at work and recently her soul mate. He had been her only source of comfort ever since she discovered about Raj’s dalliance with Shweta. It also helped that he shared her cab and her shift at the call centre, because his strong presence was a pillar of strength during the initial tumult. He had even followed Raj one evening and discovered the house where he spent his nights with his paramour. Riya had all the evidence, but she refused to confront him and play the victim. She wanted to pay him back in his own coin. She welcomed Shiv ino her bed and her life and soon discovered, that he had all the qualities that she had imagined in a partner. Things had progressed to the extent that they could no longer bear to live without the other. It was Shiv who told her about XDN.  He had recently read about it on the net and knew someone who could supply it. Riya had not needed much prompting. She had been filled with revulsion when she opened her birthday gift in utter disappointment, and discovered the faded words ‘To Shweta” on a corner of the hardbound cover. She decided that she would serve him the deadly poison in that very bowl. She had watched, in grim satisfaction, as he savored his favourite dish for the very last time.

     And as they lay in bed thrusting at each other, their hate laced with lust, hoping to end the harvest festival with a fresh bounty, the taste of their favourite dishes of the Onam feast came regurgitating back into their mouths. And it tasted like death.

Monday, 2 June 2014

Patriot Games

     The recent elections brought out the patriotic fervour amongst the nation’s populace. They fought over the country, for the country and within the country! The social and other media threw up quite a few of the ardent patriots who were all extremely concerned about the future of the country.  A closer inspection of the various opinions expressed and their modus, by the patriots of this great nation, revealed quite a few categories into which these patriots can be classified according to their proclivities.

The Cubicle Patriot:  These are the IT wizards who can in a blink of an eye conjure up an app with a wave of their left hand and simultaneously code a few bugs with their right. They sit in their 2 x 2 cubicles in gargantuan, space age, glass façade buildings,  that shuts out the sun, but lets in the light. They set out to fight the disbelievers on facebook, chat rooms and similar battlefields in the virtual world,  using jingoistic aphorisms and extreme obscenities as their primary weapons. This patriot does not know fear. Age, race, size, and six pack abs of the opponent don’t scare them. Their obscurity is their shield.

The Cocktail Circuit Patriot:  These are the wine glass clinking, high heeled or leather soled (depending on the gender), elitist, party hopping patriots, who are hard pressed to serve the society by doing “social work” during their free time. They move about in the higher echelons of power, are often visible on visual and print media and their opinions are bandied about with absolute authority as the defining prognosis for the future.

The Activist Patriot: These are the foreign /corporate funded, cause-driven or deemed to be driven, activists whose views are accepted as unbiased, as long as the source of their funds are unknown. These activists would travel abroad to different countries and speak about the ills of particular parties/ individuals and their detrimental effects to world peace if not stopped in time. They would implore upon the world nations to help the country, scoff at any perceived slight to the national pride and consider themselves as citizens of the world than being restricted by boundaries.

The Google Patriot:  These are variants of the cubicle patriots, but harder working and better informed. They will google and research, facts and figures, and argue with gusto, about the merits and demerits of the case that they venture to espouse. Every argument would be well researched with the help of google and thus helps them to counter even the field specialist in a particular profession, who would hardly have the time to google past history in his professional pursuit. These patriots usually win their arguments without much competition unless faced with the Cubicle patriot who may, at the prospect of defeat, use his vilest weapon to counter google.

The Communist Patriot:  These are the surviving few of the erstwhile communist way of life, for whom China forms the shining example of progress and development and Mao the living God! (Err dead god….. no… non living god … …. whatever) They would find problems with the national policy of the government in case of any  issues with China and if questioned about their patriotism and loyalty, have the answer ready for any doubting johnnies, “We don’t have to prove our patriotism to you !”

The Intellectual Patriot:  These are the deemed “intellectuals” of the country. They could be sleazy film directors who engage in social service by launching porn stars into mainstream cinema, former bureaucrats currently engaged in full time sycophancy, litterateurs, theatre artists, song writers, kitsch novelists, environmentalists, or in some cases even film stars. They are considered intellectual enough to speak on any subject varying from foreign policy to internal security and from poverty alleviation to minority affairs.  They express their pain at the marginalized sections of the society, speak about freedom of expression and art, and even deride promises of development lest it affects the sentiments of a particular community.

 The Fauji Patriot: These are the dumb patriots. They have strong opinions on the condition of the country but since as they are governed by an Act which forbids them to discuss politics they go and drink rum with soda and under conditions of extreme disapproval at the sorry state of affairs, they drink it neat.  Then they go about their duty, wondering what the other patriots have in store for them, keep vigil at the border, get shot, some coming back in body bags and are immediately replaced by the next lot, who would have, by then, downed their couple on the rocks, wondering when sense would prevail on the rest.

The Idiot Box Patriot:  They form the majority of the population and may also be termed as the saas-bahu patriots. They are the ubiquitous middle class, mango men, who work hard for a better life for themselves and their children. They are not aware of divisions based on caste, religion or communities and often wonder what the hullabaloo is all about. Their life after work revolves around the idiot box, their opinions swaying with the intensity of the high pitched anchor on prime time. They go about choosing their party with absolute innocence, maintaining eternal hope as the only factor that decides their future.
The Political Patriot :  These are the public warriors of the country, generally found wearing white and a collapsible cap on their head, that enables them to  wear different hats for different situations. They carry their patriotism on their sleeve. For them the country is their ‘MAA”. So they profess undying love for their “MAA”,  professing their salutations, “ Maa, Tujhe Salaam” and then when elected to power, don’t mind pocketing a few crores belong to ‘Maa”. After all which mother would deny her child some pocket money from her purse.
 “ Tujhe sab hai pata……meri Maa”!

Saturday, 24 May 2014

The Dream Merchants

     The library door opened. Diya and Jyothi were walking towards me. I quickly rearranged the sheets,  and pretended to make notes from the voluminous encyclopedia of Science, afraid to meet their gaze. I never wanted to write that letter to Diya. It was my best friend Suraj, who seeing my forlorn days back at the hostel, goaded me to write the letter and convey my feelings to her. Diya was like the quintessential dream girl... the one whom every boy covets secretly but would not dare risk the ridicule of approach. My courage must perhaps have been influenced by the quarter bottle that Suraj had smuggled in after dinner and prodded my senses to take his advice. He said ‘Don’t write to her telling that you love her. It will sound so commonplace and clichéd. She must be getting such letters dime a dozen everyday. Women like honesty in men. So tell her, that you lust for her. That, she comes to you in your dreams everynight and you make passionate love. Your letter must catch her attention, dude. Only then will she look at you”. Suraj sounded like an evangelist with a halo after I had downed a peg or two, and seeking his blessings,  I had endeavoured to write a passionate letter dwelling on the intricacies of the manifestations of my love for her.

     So now, as they walked towards me, my heart was in my mouth and the sound seemed to reverberate in the empty library. I could sense that one of them had stopped midway, possible to keep a watch while the other beats the shit out of me.  Her perfume sent my head into a tizzy before I lifted it and looked at her. Her eyes penetrated deep stripping me of my layers of clothing before she even uttered a word. She leaned forward, and brought her lips close to my ears and whispered. “I liked what you wrote. I think you know exactly what a woman wants. I am not a prude as you guys think. Let us see now what you can do for me”. I couldn’t believe my ears. I looked around to see if anybody was present. I saw Jyothi standing by the door, keeping watch as she motioned us to go ahead. For a moment, I wondered if she would join us. But then considering the restricted space and the possible contortions, I decided to keep her away at that juncture. I could always write another letter.

     I stood up and extended my arms inviting Diya to step into paradise. I saw the shyness in her eyes disappear,  as she decided to take a step back and inspect the package. I pulled in my stomach, stuck out my chest and flexed my biceps and prepared myself for her scrutiny. I had read somewhere, that visual stimulation is a prerequisite for a woman, and so i decided to give her all the stimulation that i could. And so, as I stood there in my body builders pose, I saw her eyes gazing into my eyes, and then travel downward,  slowly, taking in my robust physique in the loose pyjama.

       “Pyjama”!!!!—Why was I dressed in a pyjama?   Sure, I did not expect her to consider my proposition with the speed of a hungry hyena, but at least I could have dressed better! Maybe a cargo half pant would have been decent enough, when you expect your inner feelings to be subjected to close inspection for its genuineness. The built up bravado seemed to seep away through the flimsy strings that held the lower pants together. It was then that I realized, that I had to let go of my feelings. My bladder had swelled with the tension, that I could no longer hold it under control. My head cleared with a jerk that sent the pretty damsels scurrying through the door. The library and the books evaporated into thin air, knocking me on to the ground. I was lying flat on my back. When I opened my eyes, all I could see were the white ornamental blades of my Usha fan, moving at the third degree of speed control, fanning my sweating body. The floor suddenly felt like my own bed, and as I firmly planted by feet on the floor and padded on to the bathroom to clear my bladder, my mind was still clawing at the fading images, pleading with them to return after the recess. What if I was in my pyjama? It is the inner feeling that mattered as far was Diya was concerned. But by then,  I had realized the enormous power vested in the fluid filled sacs of the male body. They were like the government…Dreams can wait, get our clearances first!!