Life in a gist!

On all fours

He reached the verandah

Heavy sunlight

He closed his eyes


Sudden peal of laughter

The sound of waves crashing against the rocks

Collecting seashells

Clicking of a camera


Autumn’s evening breeze

Holding her hands

A promise of romance

Young love, sweet


Lots of beer, and a pretty girl

Soft music

Walking barefoot

Delight in your youth


Work done, files closed

Paper clips and a signature

You still listen to their complaints

You learn to become a hypocrite


Shouts and fights

A heated argument

Lies, secrets and negation

A broken bangle, a broken watch


A heartbeat, your kid

A prayer and a goodnight kiss

And then they grow up

They run away, far away

Did they look back?


As he opened his eyes

and looked towards the twinkling stars

In the silence of them, he realized –

The tree is dead

The leaves are gone

He’s sitting, all alone

Brave mothers, with sympathy.

A sunny afternoon but..

If the sun was about to explode
What would you do? Your last wish?
Because in those last eight minutes,
the world would still be bright.
There would still be life.

While the clock ticked, as time flew away

The alchemist kept using his stone, he was trying his best

The other golden stone melted to silver, far off.

Waiting for the last magic trick, the miracle


She consoled herself,

whatever may happen, we’ll be alright.

What is it that he stole?

Is it her acceptance? Or her peace of mind?


She sits and she prays

She walks and she falls

One step, she laughed

One step, she cried


As he drifted off to sleep

She could see it.

The dog had found the rainbow.

She stopped smiling


There goes away his breath, there goes away his soul.

She could feel the change.

It was a void, a vacuum


When you start doubting the truth

When you find out,

that no one’s perfect..

Not even God!


..


Today he wants to live again

He wants to die, today

For us, he will live again.


Maybe I wrote this in my sleep

or it’s all just a dream

But when he looks around, he doesn’t find himself alone.

He smiles.


He remembers the swings, the bicycle ride

The evenings spent catching fireflies with his sister or brother

He remembers his dad’s shoulders

The scoldings and the accolades


How scrapes and bruises were kissed and made better.

How no shopping trip was complete, unless a new toy was brought home

How decisions were made by going “eeny-meeny-miney-mo.”


How much he wants to return home.

A hug, a kiss. Tears.


..


She loved you then

She loves you still

Her love is like the wind

Live, awake and complete.


When light is showering down.

The flowers are blooming again

with the fragrance in the wind.

The roads become bright as

someone’s footsteps are getting closer


She knew, the story doesn’t end here,

she whispered to herself.

She sings, as she drifts off to sleep..


We will meet again. We’ll meet again.

Until then, my love.


#BackHome

Suicidal love at first sight

What does he have to do, he doesn’t know. Where does he have to go, he doesn’t care. He is too young to give a damn. Round and round he strolls and wildly he bloom. He keeps on walking towards the edge, unaware of the sun blazing his teary eyes, neither recalling the bloodshed of words with his parents downstairs nor about his learnings of desolation and of time.

Since 1993, he has gained nothing of value and has no experience, or so they claim. As time flies, he takes everything it brings for him. They say it shouldn’t be like this. He refuses, time and again. Soon, he is on the edge. He knows that in a few moments, he doesn’t have to care about anything.

Terraces, the higher, and the better. It is a kind of privacy he cannot detect in his room, nor on his balcony. He purely loves the cold, hard breeze, which just floats him away from all his thoughts albeit for a while, but when he simply want to shut his eyes and smile at the freedom around.

It is a broad afternoon after many cold nights and she did not want to miss out on basking in it, lost in her thoughts. Hobbes is lying by her side, on his back with his tongue hanging out and his paws punching the sun rays. She has her eyes shut, her one-earpiece-working earphones playing a Petrucci. It feels nice, she thinks to herself. The shade of the water tanks, the sun high above her and her best friend by her side. She feels content, she has a smile on her face.

It is only when she hears Hobbes’s bark does she open her eyes to see that he isn’t by her side but is happily jumping around a boy way ahead of where she is sitting, walking towards the railings. It isn’t like the boy, she observes, as he usually plays with Hobbes and talks to him at lengths. They personally haven’t talked yet, she knew he was shy, and finds him cute. But it isn’t like the boy to ignore Hobbes. She waits while she watches.

Hobbes is licking his hand, standing on the railing, while he sits on the other side, a beer in his hand. It hasn’t been long. Regardless, she gets up and brushes her jeans, lights herself a smoke and walks towards him.

She: Hi. Do you mind? *pointing towards the stubbed cigarette and the terrace end, enacting to throw it over*

He was not paying attention. He looks at her, sees her, and nods. She throws the cigarette and comes to stand a small distance away from the boy, leaning onto the railing with her hands in her pockets.

She: How come you are up here all alone?

He: Not really. I just needed some time to myself. I love the gust on this corner of the terrace.

She: Okay. Oh! Yeah, no kidding. I never noticed. I liked it the same everywhere.

They don’t speak for a while. Taking in the weather.

She: I cannot believe how quickly we all grew up. Do you? I think, I think it is ridiculous…

He: Yet, disappointing somehow.

She: Why do you say that?

He: No. That’s all right. I am sorry. You were saying?

She: No matter how much you want it. You will not be able to chase all your dreams. Aye! What do you think makes us great?

He: *staring blankly at her initially, then composing himself* Err, I don’t know. What is it, if there is anything?

She: That we just cannot stop trying to be like each other.

He: I don’t  think that’s true.

She: Why don’t you ponder over it for a while with your beer?

He looks at her, smiles weakly and goes back to his thoughts. She keeps staring at him. Hobbes still stands on the railing, but now he is distracted as he figures out the varying smell in the air. After a while…

He: Okay, think about it. Would you say that it is argumentative that to be a nice person, you have to have a negative, dominant at-times thinking process? Huh?

She: I am not sure. *looking away, meanwhile scratching Hobbes’s ears* I don’t care. I think I can think like a dog. It is a satisfying feeling. I don’t know about nice or bad… Wouldn’t want to.

He: I am sorry. You are one of the lucky ones. I am thinking that life is a loop. That this 24/7/365 thing is all there is to it. One year after the other. And that every day is about the same old things. Good bad, selfish considerate, love hatred… *swinging his arm in a circle*. Yes, we do get to choose, yes. But how long can a man exist?

She: If you think you are a nice person, then believe it. If you don’t, then convince yourself. From the looks of it, there isn’t much more you can do.

He: Yes yes, but only if you are a good person.

They looked at each other as he turned from the winds towards her. They both chuckled.

He: Hi, I am Kabir. It is a pleasure to meet you at last. We have never talked, now I cannot think of a reason why.

She: *laughing as she shook her hand and settled her hair behind her ears with another* Mariya. Trust me, the pleasure’s all mine.

Kabir: Oh. Golden Eye. Mr. Bond!

Mariya: I am sorry, what?

Kabir: That reminds me of James Bond. From the movie, Golden Eye? I am a huge fan. And now I am blabbering.

Mariya: Oh! No. But yeah, I didn’t know that. I haven’t seen his films.

Kabir: WHAT? *now fully facing her, wide-eyed* Not even one? How’s that possible?

Mariya: No.

Kabir: You have literally never had a crush on Mr. Bond? Fantasized about him? All right, have you at least read the books?

Mariya: No. And it’s all right. Don’t get heartbroken, but “we” do exist, and “we read other books apart from Ian Fleming’s. *almost hysterical* Why don’t you suggest me on where to begin the movies, that’d be a great help.

Kabir: Bloody yes, I would do that. I would have watched a marathon with you, only if you don’t mind? *casually enquiring by pointing at her; she shook her head* But I have an issue. I cannot watch a movie without subtitles. So my face is usually at the bottom of the screen, and I am softly lip-reading everything. It is irritating for others.

Mariya: *imitating him, going all wide-eyed and hand flapping* Ohmygod, you cannot watch a movie without subtitle? What are you saying? How you are even allowed to breathe? *both bursting out with laughter* I know, right? Hey! That’s completely all right with me. I am not going to judge you. No, seriously.

Kabir: Okay, all right. That’s adorably kind of you.

Mariya: Well, then, why don’t we? How about sometime this week?

Kabir: Oh yes, we shall do this. But I doubt I have much time. *looking down at his half-finished beer, frowning*

Mariya: Oh.

They paused, looking around. Kabir clearly lost in the winds again as he gulped down his bottle. Mariya, smiling to herself. Hobbes, chasing a moth trying to befriend him maybe.

Kabir: Uh, do you have another smoke, Mariya?

Mariya: Oh, yes. Here, I have it somewhere… here, yes.

Pulling out a double-pack. It was about half finished.

Kabir: Oh, this is my favorite too. *lighting himself one*

Mariya: Oh, that’s nice. Why’s that?

Kabir: Huh?

He is clearly stunned by the question. You see, when you ask someone for a smoke and you share the same brand, nobody really asks you as to why. It is a natural behavior. You simply start considering the requestor wise.

He lit the smoke, smiled at her.

Kabir: It is because it is strong and less tar. You know.

Mariya: No, it does not. How about *naming another brand*?

Kabir: *particularly puzzled* All right, all right. I surrender. I don’t know much about all this. We, me and my boys have had talks. I know this shit, I just don’t remember the shit. It is a good cigarette, ok.

Mariya: And do you like the taste? The flavor?

Kabir: Uh huh.

Mariya: Then that too.

She turns around, sees Hobbes spread out on the cold mud in the corner. She runs towards him and he jumps up in a playful stride. She pretends to dive at him, and he runs one way. Then the other. They start playing, Hobbes laughing, running around with his ear-flapping, barking at Kabir to join in. Then running away again from them both.

Mariya: *huffing* There is so much happening in every second, isn’t it? It will never cease to amaze me.

Kabir looked on, smiling at them.

Mariya: C’mon on. Join in already. Hobbes needs a challenge. There, look at that big ball of fur. *giving him her right-hand* Come here, get down here and chase him and let him chase you. He will love it. Who knows? You might start to like it again too.

Kabir smiles at the hand, then at her, and then at Hobbes in the middle of the terrace, looking towards them with his tongue hanging down, clearly laughing.

Kabir: I guess I will just sit here for now. I am sorry.

He turns towards the west towards the setting sun. Mariya sighs to herself, picks up her pint and goes back running towards Hobbes. Hobbes barks and starts to run away, enjoying the game.

Hobbes knows, they don’t. Kabir, that though is lost somewhere, he had just refused to hold the hand of his only hope. He is angry as to why when he is finally resolved on what needs to be done, when he has accepted the fact that there is no hope, his willingness showing its back to him. Why did he hate the fact that he refused to come down from the railing when she asked? He didn’t want to believe that he was already in love with this girl. Mariya, that though she is playing with me, at the back of her mind, she is confused. She cannot comprehend she fell in love with her the first time she saw him. How did she never pause to think about it? Why did she have to waste so much time? She cannot comprehend she hadn’t asked this boy out yet.

Hobbes keeps on running from one to the other, waiting patiently but laughing. Men and women are so different. Poles apart. But both have, without a doubt, love at first sight.

After a while…

Kabir: Okay.

Mariya and Hobbes stopped to look at him. He was facing them again.

Kabir: Assuming, just assuming *showing his palm* that I agree to help you with the James Bond franchise.

Mariya: Yes?

Kabir: Well, I demand something in return. I will be doing you a favor after all. *sounding more eager than confident*

Mariya: *pretending to be taken aback* Oh, of course. Right. Anything.

Kabir: Hmm, I don’t know. You tell me, right? Isn’t that the way it works.

Mariya: Ok. All right. Well, you really need a wardrobe makeover. No offense. *skittish at her promptness*

Kabir. Hey! Ouch! What do you mean? You wear similar fashion.

Mariya: Yes, yes, but these are my home clothes.

Kabir looked down at his baggy sweatshirt and baggy jeans.

Kabir: And what makes you think I was even going out somewhere?

Mariya: Wow! You really stay at home or come to the terrace every day after applying wax on your hair?

Kabir couldn’t stifle his laughter. Her eyes were sparkling.

Kabir: All right. I accept that. Fine. What do you suggest? Beforehand, I can say no and you will have to come up with something different to give me than a makeover.

Mariya: Deal, just hear me out. We can go out this weekend and find you something. If you are up for it?

Kabir: That doesn’t sound too bad. I want to see what you have in mind.

They keep staring at each other.

Mariya: But if you like it, you cannot stop me. You will have to listen to me till I get you sorted. Do you agree to those terms?

Kabir: Only if you promise that you won’t get pissed. I am known to be vexing.

Mariya. I won’t.

Kabir: Then it’s a date.

Mariya laughs earnestly, staring at his face, looking for answers. He looks back at her, calmly. She climbs down to sit on the railing herself, looking at Hobbes lying beneath her in her shade, clearly tired. He shuts his eyes.

Mariya: Well sure, it’s a date. But then what of your girlfriend? Won’t she get mad?

Kabir: WHAT?

Mariya: Your girlfriend? Won’t she get mad?

Kabir: What are you saying, madness? I don’t have a girlfriend. *aghast at her confrontation*

Mariya: Oh, I am sorry. Then why are you trying to jump?

Kabir: Oh my god. Hey! Wait, what do you mean, why are you trying… Yes, well… I am here for that, but not cause of my girlfriend. What is wrong with you? I am here because of my parents. I don’t have a girlfriend.

Mariya: Well, I am sorry. I just assumed. My bad. What happened between you and your parents?

Kabir: Oh, forget that. It’s a long story. Don’t bother yourself with all the rubbish.

Mariya: Okay. But whatever it is, don’t worry about it. It will be all right. It happens with all the kids. Every day. All around you.

Kabir: I know about THAT. You don’t know. You don’t understand *now, more to himself, staring into space* Yes, I guess it will be all right. That is why I am here. I think I know what will make it all right. *looking away at the twilight*

Mariya pauses. She doesn’t know what to say.

Mariya: Well, how about you tell me that story first? You clearly don’t have a better place to be, right? And I am here. I would love to know what is so different in your life. *clearly pulling his leg*

Kabir: Okay. Your seconds, your choice.

Mariya: Gorgeous. *climbing down the railing and walking towards the door* Okay, I want a beer first. I will go and get it. Do you want to come? Just 2 flight of stairs, to my fridge.

Hobbes shakes himself awake and starts to trot alongside her. Mariya asks him to “stay”. He obeys but stands there looking at her. Mariya looks at Kabir again, waiting for his answer.

Kabir: Oh, no. But I will be right here. I will be waiting. Ermm, Mariya, do you by any chance, have a spare pint?

Mariya: Sure. *turning away, sniggering to herself*

Kabir: What?

Mariya runs towards the door. She pauses at the door.

Kabir: What happened, tell me?

Mariya: Nothing. It means you are not going to jump.

She disappeared behind the door.

Hobbes comes back to Kabir and stares at him with his innocent eyes. Kabir smiles. Hobbes wags his tail, stands on the railing and licks Kabir’s hand. Kabir bends down to kiss him, ruffling his hair. Both laugh as they stare at the setting sun.

To a girl.

Bright morning rains

spinning the skies

kissing those valleys

hearing exaggerated tales

smiling

blinking eyes

having no shame

laughing at yourself

drinking

dancing like a devish

setting myself free

roaming around

vanishing into thin air

crossing limits

letting go of the world


Your doorstep

submitting myself to you

dark nights

I am your shadow

You embraced me 

complaining but not upset

The day ends

I wish you all the happiness


Taking flight again

here, there, God knows where.

OYO Rooms – Nightmare of an experience

— Trip Details —

Dates: 9th September 2016 – 12th September 2016

Day 1: I had planned a short weekend, budget trip to Kolkata and it turned out to be the worst travel experience thanks to OYO Rooms. Booked an OYO room at Salt Lake, sector 10 (NEAR TANK NO. 10). Having arrived at 1 and half hours past the check-in time, the caretaker wasn’t informed of my arrival, neither was the owner of the property. It took the caretaker another 30 mins to straighten up the room. The mattress was dirty and doubled down, the sheets were stained, the towels were stained, the bathroom had black and yellow spots and was smelling unpleasant. IT DIDN’T MATCH AND WAS NOWHERE CLOSE TO THE PICTURES IN THE APP. I was highly displeased and when was asked to sign the documents, refused saying I will be calling up the OYO customer service and wait for their response on the matter. I was waiting for my friend to have a look.

As my friend arrived, she was shocked to see a half naked man strolling outside near the dining area and the condition of the room. We immediately called OYO customer care. The executive name was PRIYANKA. She asked us to mail the pictures on “bookings@oyorooms.com“. In the meanwhile, I assume Priyanka called the owner for the same issue. The latter called us up and asked us to leave the house. It took OYO people 4 hours to relocate us after we convinced them that we are not willing to pay a penny extra as it was their responsibility to provide us with another accommodation. We are the victims after all. C’mon guys, not the least you could have done?

After having lost all hopes, at around 6:00 PM we get a call again from ANIMESH that they have decided to relocate us and we don’t have to pay any extra cost. All well and done. Right? NO. The address provided of the property on the OYO map was faulty and it took us nearly 2 hours to reach our OYO room which was SALT LAKE NICCO PARK – INDO TAI GUEST HOUSE. Exhausted, we reached our room and went to grab some dinner for ourselves. END OF DAY 1 (waste).

Day 2 & Day 3: We woke up in the morning and carried on with our day. We went to meet a few friends and then for dinner later and returned to the room on Day 3 at 3:30 AM. Everything was scattered and on the floor. We reached for our bag where we kept all our money and everything was missing (the one which we were to use for the next two days and also for other chores when we returned back). We immediately rushed down to inform the caretaker. Another agitated, elderly man joined us who had faced a similar incident. We called the owner and the Police. While we are waiting, the other victim tells us that his two daughters were sleeping in the room and someone crept up from the window (which was shut) managed to slide the window and with a 6-foot long stick with a hook-in-the-end pulled the phone which was lying next to the daughter. As he attempted to rob something else, the daughter woke up from the sound, grabbed the stick and called for her father. The thief had fled by then but she had managed to pull the stick.

4:20 AM police arrives, inspects the situation and waits for the owner.

4:45 AM the owner (Mr. Mukherjee) arrives with his two sons, a lawyer, two caretakers and a friend. He asks us to write our experience, while he is sons inspects the CCTV which had some glitch as the timing wasn’t correct. We stopped our OLA trip at 3:17 AM, but the CCTV footage showed us entering at 2:33 AM. I recorded the same for evidence. But all this was conveniently ignored; the owner and his friend talked to the police in Bengali and we had no idea what happened there.
The police informed us that if we file a complaint, it takes 6 months to 1 year.
Whilst the interrogation and inspection, we call OYO to help, they say they “understand the situation” but nothing can be done before morning and promised that at 11:00AM first thing in the morning the Ground Staff will come. We ask them to relocate us in the meanwhile as we had been harassed enough (we were definitely wrong here) and we wanted to move out of the property ASAP. The executive promised us an accommodation by 9:00 AM along with the transportation cost.
.

6:30AM The owner decides that since nothing is on the CCTV (as the thief crept up from the window) they are safe and whatever we were saying were false allegations. The police convinced the owner to give us some money in return and the owner decided that nothing more than Rs. 1000 should be given, which we later found out was what the OYO executives had asked him to pay as a “complimentary charge“. We refused the apathetic money then and there and left for our room to pack our things.

7:00 AM With no money, we were forced to stay in the same room and wait till OYO decides to send someone and help us book a room for the next day.

12:00 PM We call OYO and it was RUPALI we had a talk with, we explained the entire situation, she forwarded the call to KUNDAN, who refused to help us in any further way. We asked for someone else and they said they will call us back asap.
(We recorded their conversation and they clearly contradicted themselves).

With no money, no place to go we were stranded in that room wishing that OYO helped as as promised, at least with an accommodation for the night and transportation.

1:00 PM The call was transferred to SUNIL YADAV who listened to our situation, was polite and sympathetic about it, and asked for 15 minutes. The next time he called, he asked me to send my flight ticket details for reassurance that I was indeed leaving the next day and hence needed a day’s stay in Kolkata. I complied, trusting his words that he was in the meanwhile looking for rooms around the airport. He called me 10 minutes later saying, “Since law and order is involved in the matter, nothing can be done”. We tell them that there is no police on the site and the complaint hasn’t been registered and they promised that would provide us with a room, transportation, ground staff to help us in the situation. He flatly refuted our claims saying they have been through our records and that there were no such benefits promised.

He asked us to borrow money from our friends and relatives.

The police confiscated the stick and the witness report was taken by them as well. The owner was rude and disrespectful once he realized that there is nothing that we can do as there is no CCTV footage of the crime; his friend and everyone he had brought along; his sons and the lawyer. OYO refused to help us in such a situation or take any actions. Mostly, our 3 days weekend away turned out to be a nightmare.

— Executives of OYO we talked to — 

: Priyanka

: Animesh

: Rupali

: The guy who promised us an accommodation and transportation fare.

: Sunil Yadav

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Invoice from OLA for our trip from Park Street to our property, Indo Tai guest House
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Back side of the guest house
screenshot-of-flight-ticket
Flight tickets confirmation to Sunil Yadav
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OYO room (near Tank No. 10)
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Report submitted to the Police
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Entrance – Indo Tai Guest house