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DEATH…

“Death is a great leveler”…. was something i had read and heard while growing up. Personally, i never could  understand the meaning of this statement. I mean, sure when people die, they are reduced to ashes and returned  to the very elements that they are made of. But what about this statement, philosophically. It was beyond my intellect, or perhaps i never paid too much attention to it. Well, until now that is.

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This weekend, i attended the cremation of yet another colleague of mine. Someone whom i had become close to, despite being only just over an year in my new office. Well, time doesn’t matter, does it ? When you meet some people, you connect instantly. There is a friendliness, a familiarity which you can’t really lay a finger on, but you know you can talk to this person, trust the person. And she was like that.

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“S” was like that. Office is a place where we spend almost 8-9 hours of each working day. That is easily 45 hours a  week. A week that has only around 100 hours of active time (including weekends minus sleeping time). That’s a lot of time. So an office colleague whom you trust and connect with, is almost like family. A lot of people don’t have such families in offices, places where people are more professional or simply don’t care. That was not the case here. To me, she was almost like family. I could talk to her, and i could trust her. And often she would reassure me, about things in life in general.

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I am not gonna go into the history of what happened to her, but sometime this September she fell ill. What seemed like a regular backache, turned out to be a case of recurring cancer. Things got worse, and in two months she died. We visited her in critical condition on a Friday, and we cremated her on Sunday. That fast. And this after, i had talked to her a week before, and we had decided to meet up at her home for some chit-chat. She was bored of the illness. Perhaps she knew her fate, but she never gave up. She was still cheerful whenever we talked to her, me or my team-mates, never for once giving the impression that she was suffering from something more than just a minor flu. All the time, till she stopped talking. And there wasn’t much time after that.

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It’s a great loss. But that’s an understatement. Such losses cannot be measured. She has a husband and a young girl (in class 5th), who was very attached to her. She has parents who have now seen the death of 2 out of 3 of  their only daughters. One cannot even begin to understand the loss.

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Something similar happened 2 years back in 2014 too. Yet another colleague of mine, a guy named “C” died of  tuberculosis. We had both joined our previous job together, straight out of college, and hence there was a friendship. Even though our thoughts didn’t match much. But all of a sudden he fell sick, and before we or our office-mates could even realize the severity of the situation, he was almost in ICU, then on Life-support and then death, within a span of 48 hours. We were there for a large part of that last 48 hours. But he could not be saved. A lot of it was pure negligence though on his part, but that is all in hindsight. He left behind a newly married wife and a new-born son who he could not even hug once in life. How do you even come to terms with that?

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We, at office did everything we could that time. Arranging from money to transportation of the dead body to his native place. The family went away and it was over. But a person who was alive was now dead. How do you even comprehend that? Funny isn’t it, how we say dead body once a person dies, while he has a name before death. Death robs us of the very thing which we spend so much time and energy building, when alive.

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Nevertheless, i left that city and that place shortly after that. A mutual friend of mine had urged me to write something then, but i could not muster the necessary words. But now, nearly 2 years after that incident, another one of my colleague is now dead. She sat beside me and worked. And now she isn’t there. One can argue over what she could have done for herself, what her family could have done to save her. But that is all in hindsight. Nothing brings her back.

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There on the cremation ground, while we cremated her, it was then that it hit me really. The meaning of it all.

“There are different kinds of people among us. There are rich people and poor people. There are good men and bad men. Some may be clever and others foolish. There are happy men and unhappy men. But all these distinctions and specialties last only as long as we are alive. Once we are dead all must certainly crumble to dust. Death has no distinction between the good and the bad – The poor and the rich – the kind and the beggar. Death comes to everyone one day or the other. That is why we are called mortals. In a way, death can called the great leveler as one that levels all distinctions. There is no way by which we can prevent death. All get defeated by death. People run after glory, power and riches without remembering this. They fight over silly little things. A man may be a great fighter. But he is fighter only as long as there is life in him. Once that life leaves him, he is turned to mere dust which everybody tramples on. Death makes all of us equal.”

Life moves on…

death

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SADABAHAAR NAGME…

Short Story..

Normal household. Typical Monday morning in the winters. The sun is out. The husband is lazing around in his “Lungi” on his favorite “Charpai” in the sun. Eyes half-closed as if in meditation. The wife is preparing tiffin, in the kitchen, slightly annoyed.

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She shouts angrily at the husband

Aji sunte ho, kabse bol rahi hoon. Paani garam ho gaya hai. Thanda ho raha hai. Jaake naha lo. Main dobara paani garam nahi karoongi. Kabse susta rahe ho bas..

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The husband wakes up from his slumber, with a sudden burst of inspiration.

Arre bhaagwan, ruk jaao. Abhi abhi ek taaza taaza inspiration aaya hai. Woh bollywood director saala kabse 5 gaane maang raha hai. Ek bhi nahi diya hai ab tak. Zara ek kagaz-kalam to pakdana..

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Wife – “Khud le lo, dekh nahi rahe ho khana bana rahi hoon. Paani thanda ho raha hai.

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Husband – “Tum bhi na bhaagwaan…ruko accha….5 minute me yeh ek gaane likh loon, fir jaa raha hoon nahane. Ek cup chai le aao bas jaldi se..”

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And that is how the world got the song…

“..Hai Love Mera Hit Hit Soniye
To Phir Kaise Khit Pit Soniye
To Baby Badi Fit Fit Soniye
Na Kar Aise Khit Pit Khit Pit..”

Cheers..

Short Post i promised..

billubarber011

 

 

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LAKSHYA…

Why did i chose this title ?
Well, you’ll know.

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On a crazy 4 day weekend (thanks to Ganesha Chaturthi and a rain-shortened day), there were 3 stupid people who decided to scale a local neighborhood mountain. I call them stupid because no one in their right senses, decides to wake up in the morning on a holiday, go to the edge of the city and even remotely think of climbing a hill. Hell, the mountain was not even in the neighborhood, it was some 40 kms away from the bed, the soft and comfy bed, the bed which is the next best thing to heaven, on earth. To make matters worse, after procrastinating the silly event for 3 days of the weekend, they decided to do it on the last day, the Sunday, the day which even God intended to do nothing but laze around in the winter sun, catch some akashvani and get high.
But then, i guess they were insane.

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So, these 3 stupid people wake up on this fateful (more like hateful) Sunday morning. 6 AM was the designated time. One of them was able to stretch this to 7 AM using his charming morning inter-personal skills (read coaxing the other people by repeatedly saying -“abe, so jaa yaar, abhi to andhera hai bahar“). But 7 AM was one of those 3 morons decided that enough is enough and there’s a mountain to be climbed today. I don’t know what sort of a sadist person takes personal pride in climbing a f***** mountain. But then, they were all sadists i guess.

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So, 7 AM, they get up, get ready. They pack up all the equipment for the expedition (read jackets and caps and water bottles and snacks), and get going. A quick morning selfie to mark the beginning of the trip, and that’s enough rituals done. The sun is peeking now from the clouds now, and they realize that the sooner they leave, the sooner they return and sleep again. So off they go.

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Its a fucking 40 kms drive. Half of the road towards the end is not even good. There are potholes the size of martian craters. In some places , they don’t know if the road was built that thin or was it just eroded to leave that thin patch. Nevertheless they walk on. They reach the base of the mountain.

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Now for some stupid and intensely passionate and pessimistic reason, they decide to walk the last of the 3-4 kms to the base of the mountain, despite the locals warning them against it. “It will be good warm-up“, one of them said. The trio decide in favor of that, with curses muttered under the breath.The stupid warm-up lasted 3 kms. At least the sun wasn’t out, so it was pleasant. But then, even the wind had decided for holiday, so it wasn’t that pleasant. At a distance, in the upward direction, they could see the top of the mountain, where they had to reach. Everyone let a lump down their throat, but no one said anything.

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They reach the base camp. Next was what, Everest ? Let’s concentrate on this for now, they decide. Then they start climbing the trek. The trail is made of stones and its not an easy path really. 5% into the trail, they think whether to move ahead or enough of trekking was done. By a vote of 1 in favor of moving ahead to 3, they decide not to turn back, enough said.

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And so they climb. They walk and walk and walk. They walk at angles they never knew existed outside the treadmills. They walked at 10 degrees, 45 degrees and even 80 degrees at some points. There were no shortcuts. Well there were a few, and they miss them all. There are no shortcuts in life, they say. Whoever said this was such a loser they think. Who doesn’t love shortcuts. But they keep climbing.

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At one point they ask a person coming down, “How much more?“. He says 60% with a wry smile. They were a bit thrown back, but they thought that can’t be. They could see the mountain top in front of them. Hell they could even see the small colored birds , perched near the top. “Huh, we will be up in no time“, and they keep moving. There are numerous pit stops on the way. They eat all that it is on offer. But there were more pit stops than things on offer, so at point they just start ignoring them. Well, if that lazy-ass hrithik roshan can climb the mountain and kill those bloody Pakistanis and hoist the Indian flag, they can definitely do this. They are now pumped up. They turn on the mobile radio, hoping to hear the song “Lakhsya to, har haal me paana hai…“. Instead they hear, “Ae ante amalapuram..“. Damn the radio. Never helps when needed.

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So, they keep climbing. There’s no wind. Not a leaf moves. The water in the dam below can be seen now, and it seemed they had climbed where no man had gone before. Then they see a cow a bit ahead of them. Embarrassed, they keep moving.

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It started getting tougher. Maybe the air was getting rarer. They were out of breath. The pit stop frequency had increased. They notice a person coming down. Hell, it was the person who had started with them at the bottom. “How much more sir ?”, they ask. He says 1/3rd more. They look up again in disbelief. “Ah, we can see the road at the top“, they say. Those aren’t birds at the top. They are people moving up. Damn, they are still some distance from the top.

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There is no going back now. Limbs are tired. Sweat does not evaporate any more. They either climb up all the way now, or just die there. With a last remaining effort of will, they move again. The slope gets steeper now. They slip at places. But they keep moving up. Lakshya is all they remember. And then, the last few feet. The toughest few feet. They crawled up as slow as possible. And then they reach the top.

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The top. Its 1 PM in the afternoon. Its a lovely view from the top. Someone had once philosophically said ,”The Top is always empty, its always crowded at the bottom“. Unfortunately, there was quite a bit of crowd at the top. Some were watching us climb the last few feet and enjoying. Shameless people. But they were now on the top. No more up to go. Next is what, Everest ? “We’ll scale that too. We need to be a bit more prepared for that“, they say.

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There’s cold wind at the top. There’s the clouds too. They march to the inside of the mountain fort, built by Shivaji. Someone in the crowd shouts, “Abe itne upar kaun kambakht aake banaya bey quila“. One of them keeps thinking of that saying, once he heard at Comedy Circus on Star Plus, Morning show,
“Khudi ko kar buland itna, ki himlayaon ki choti pe pahunche..
Aur khuda tujhse pooche , abe gadghe, ab utrega kaise…”

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Well, they have a sumptuous lunch at the top, of the local cuisine. The food has great taste. Or perhaps they were just too exhausted to question the taste. They roam around the fort. The wind is cold and refreshing. The view is breathtaking. The slight drizzle is enjoyable. They spent some time there. Also there’s cellphone network, so they update the achievement on Facebook with a few pics as proof. And then they come back. The journey is played in reverse till they reach back to the comfort of their home. Another tired selfie is taken in the end to mark the end of the journey. It is 5 PM in the evening now. It was a stupid thing to do on a Sunday morning. But then, they were proud of themselves. It was journey of tears and sweat and blood, but they had done it. The Lakshya was reached.

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And then they dragged themselves to the beds.

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PS: They were later told, that they had climbed a total of 5 kms up the mountain, and had walked to total of 9 kms from the starting point till the end.

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Well, i guess you all enjoyed my last post. It was me rambling about life after marriage and all that. When you start watching episodes of “Qubool Hai”, “Kitni Mohabbatein”, “Ek Hasina thi”, “Kumkum bhagya” and what all, it gets tough for the mind to differentiate between reality and virtual-reality. So now when you open the door for your wife, you do it like three times, and feel strange that there is no background score. Now when your wife tells you something, you ignore it oirst attempt, because you think in your mind..”oye chill yaar, ad break ke baad repeat karenge fir se”. And you expect a thrilling suspenseful background music, when your “saali” calls your wife, and tells, “…aaj pata hai kya hua..”. The real problem in life is that it does not have any background music.

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But this is not what i am here for today. Today, after a few peg too many of that last remaining Old Monk Gold Reserve, what i really wanted to spill out was the unusual story of my wedding. Ji Haan, meri shaadi ho chuki hai, aur meri ek pyaari si honhaar aur susheel biwi bhi hai. To those of you, who feel that this is a repeated statement, remember that you too shall be married, and i too shall laugh then. What goes around, comes around ( i never quite understood the real meaning of this statement, but bolne me accha lagta hai).

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Waise to meri shaadi…sorry hamari shaadi ki kahaani, is like any other wedding. For details of the marriage, you can watch the video that we have. Its a long painful video, watching which can be more painful than the real thing. I mean its got all the people in it who are eating their heart out at other’s expense, its got the dancing people, and a shit load of other trivial details, which when you see now you think…”uiee maa, yeh sab kab hua”. Anyways, for this piece, i would just go over the top few crazy items that happened at the wedding, over the course of around 15 days.

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1) Kissa Train ke dibbon ka
Well it so happened, that we (the groom side) were all accumulated in the city of Kanpur. The wife side was in Nasik, some 1100 kms away. We were 12 brave souls who had voluntarily agreed to go on to this mission to bring the girlfriend back as the wife. It was not as easy as it seems, so don’t think so. Ab 12 log flight me to nahi jaa sakte (simply too expensive), so we had booked 12 seats in a train, woh bhi sleeper class me. Now they say its sleeper, but sometimes, sleeping in a sleeper is itself a battle. The problem was 6 of us were in S10 and six remaining were in S12. My uncle, who loves his wife a tad too much, took the lead and arranged us in battle formations on the platform. “Aisa hai beta, tum, tumhare papa, unke dost aur badi mausiji…aap log S10 ki line banao, aur chunni-munni ki mummy, tumhare bua ji log aur choti mausi aur unki beti, idhar S12 waali line me aa jaao. Mere peeche rehna, aur sab theek se chad jaayenge. Samaan bhi divide kar lo do group me”. I was like, “Uncle, paani le lete hai pehle”, to which he gives me a look as if i was breaking his formation and the entire mission was doomed thereafter.

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Anyways, the train came, and we were able to board the jam-packed train, thanks to our pre-train exercise. But the two groups were cut off for the night thanks to a hostile bunch of people in every nook and corner between S10 and S12. The blankets were in S12, so the S10 guys (which included me) had to sleep in the November cold without cover. The small bottle of Royal Stag was also left in S12, any attempts to retrieve it were largely unsuccessful. The next day, in total contrast was hot enough to make us forget about last night’s cold. Uncle had called “chunni-munni” ki mummy at least 10 times by the next noon. Eventually we reached though. We also ate the famous bananas of Bhusaval, but we had to survive on a strict diet of just food and water. This was just the beginning of a long mission.

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2) Kissa toote hue car seat ka
Well, the wedding in Nasik happened to be pretty uneventful. The pre-engagement party , the pre-sangeet party, and the pre-marriage parties, were all immensely fun with all my friends around. For a moment i thought, “yeh to main roz kar sakta hoon”. Scary thought that was. Anyway, so the marriage was done, and we came back by train to Kanpur. This time the seats were in AC, and we did not allow aunty to talk to uncle so much over the phone, so everything was pretty calm. Problems surfaced next day, when we arrived in Kanpur.

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Apparently mom had booked the “shaadi waali car” for the next day onward. So, there was no car available for that day. And, me and my wife had to enter the house , fully dressed as wife and groom. And there was no car. Ab biwi ko auto me to nahi laa sakte ghar, izzat ka maamla tha. So, me and my bhai, we go out in search of a car. Now this being the marriage season, getting a car for hire was like was almost as impossible as  getting sharhrukh to dance at your wedding. After about an hour of effort, we could find get a maruti omni van, which after dropping the school kids, was going for another assignment. We stopped the car, gave him some money and captured it for the next half hour. So, finally, me and my wife , fully dressed in sherwani and lehenga, along with my mausiji and chachiji and god knows who, stuffed inside that car, started for our home.

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Now it still not clear, that whether the weight was too much or the seat was faulty, but no sooner than the car started, the seat that me and my newly-wed wife were sitting, collapsed on the car floor with a huge thud.  It took us a while to realize what had happened. We were fully dressed, the car was moving at a frantic pace and was stuffed to the brink. So we could only manage to sit there on the car floor, till we could reach our home. At home, only after performing all puja and stuff, we could board down from the car. It was pretty embarrassing, with all the neighbours looking into the van for the newly-wed “bahu” only to find the “pati-patni” sitting on the car floor in a broken seat.. I quickly stuffed a 500 in the driver’s pocket, asking him to stop giggling and repair his car seat. Main nahi chahta tha ki yeh haadsa kisi doosre couple ke saath bhi ho.

To be continued…

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revital-293x300It is said that inspiration can be a great thing. It can make people endure pain, leap over obstacles and
do incredible stuff like climb the Everest, swim across the English Channel or sit through “Qubool hai” ( Its one of the numerous soap operas that run on colors or zee or star plus or some such channel i don’t remember exactly now). So, today after watching 3 episodes of “Qubool hai” on TV, i have found my inspiration to come back to this dark and dusty place, and write some bit.

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I know that the last post i wrote was way back in May 2013, and even that was just a lame-ass attempt to make fun of my own wife , at my own risk. The only comments that i see now on the side of this blog seem to be spammers who seem to love everything i once coughed up in those early morning hours of drunken stupor, and nothing made much sense at all. Sometimes i wonder if they are just coded messages , trying to sell me something. Maybe the CID can help me with that. They have that software called Neuro, which has a database of all known criminals. Maybe that might be of some help. Holy fucking crap, i have been watching too much of that TV.

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But then, inspiration to write can often be like Salman Khan’s Revital. No one believes in it, but people still try it out. So, i realized that it is my duty to share with mankind, things which can help them gear up for the biggest challenge of their lives – Being Husbands. Being Human is easy – you just buy a Salman Khan T-shirt. Being Husband – well that even Salman could not master.
A word of caution though, practice everything i preach, at your own risk. The Indian Marital Research Center after 23 years of research, could not satisfactorily prove that what works in one household, will work in other household equally.

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GuideLine 1: Never forget to make the bed.
Long time ago, when i used to be a bachelor, making the bed was a task just like taking a piss. You did it, only when you needed to, and not out of habit. Arre jab raat ko usi bed me wapas jaana hai, to theek karne ki kya zaroorat. That’s like logic. Even CID would agree to that, hai na. But NO. Once you are married, making the bed is something you are expected to do every morning after getting up. Don’t do this, and your sanskaars will be questioned. This is a sin, an absolute “gunaah”. And “gunaah” we all know is a greater thing than “paap”. And “paap” is asking you wife to do so.

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GuideLine 2: Never ever argue with the Wife.
Well, this is looks like a vague statement, but trust me it is not. For all discussions with a wife, are actually arguments. And in arguments at home, the winner has to be the wife always. You see, men have this stupid tendency to think over a matter practically and logically. This they realize after a marriage is totally over-rated. Logic and practicality are not the deciding points in any argument. It is the wife. So, you can speak all you want, but you cannot win. You cannot shout though, because that’s her right. You cannot throw things at her too, because that also her right. As men, the only right you have is to present your points in a gentle voice and then shut the hell up and listen. Listen but please, for if you don’t do that, it can lead to a secondary argument which totally deviates from the primary argument , till you start wondering ki “lad kis baat pe rahe the hum ??”.

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GuideLine 3: Nothing comes in between the wife and her serials.
People don’t often come to terms with this fact. But it is actually a blessing for the husbands. It is the only time of the day (except when you are in office), when you can do whatever you want. You can eat what you want (secretly). You can watch what you want (secretly on your laptop). You can even sleep peacefully if you want. They wouldn’t notice. The “shaajish” happening on “Kitni Mohabbatein” is much more engrossing for any of your tantrums. Come to terms with this, and you will be happy everyday. Plan your life around that, for a happier, more meaningful and satisfying life.

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GuideLine 4: Show some bloody care/emotions.

I know that you all do love your wives a lot. You endure shopping sprees with her, you endure emotional hindi-movies with her when all you want is the hero to punch the villain as hard as he can, and all because of your endless “pyaar” for her. But you will realize after marriage is that pyaar is an abstract thing. You feel it, but you need to show it too. So, if she does get a minor cut on her finger accidentally, what is important is that you show some emotions, shed a tear or two, maybe wash the cut with your tears too if possible. Just getting the band-aid is not enough. Maybe order her favorite food to afterwards just to make everyone happy. Likewise, if she does bump her car/bike, do not simply ask about the bike first. Its about her first, even is she is perfectly fine. Go ahead and shed a few tears. Later order some of her favorite food , just to make everyone happy.

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Well, likhne ko to bahut kuch hai abhi bhi. But as you know, the more you endure, the more you learn. So, i will stop now. I am willing to give more lectures over more secured channels like a public STD booth (not on mobile,whatsapp or gmail chats, they are all not secure as the world thinks they are). But just in case this piece of blog is ever produced in a court of law, save yourself the trouble. Yeh sab to maine aise hi timepass ke liye likh rakha hai (as i was really bored in office). I am drenched in marital bliss, and my wife doesn’t have a problem with making beds, cares a hoot about any argument, loves me more than her serials and is always understanding of my emotions. It’s all good. Shaadi-shuda zindagi maze me chal rahi hai, aap logo ki dua se. Dua rahi to aage bhi chalti rahegi, and i will write more…

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“Laal mere dil ka haal hai….lagta tumpe kamaal hai “….

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Guest_Post

NOTE: This is a guest post. Its by my girlfriend, who had this sudden epiphany on this trip described below, to start a travel blog. Wether she does that or not in future, is out of scope here. But, this is a hilarious piece of writing about an equally hilarious journey, that 3 of us had the nerve to undertake in the very peak summer of Hyderabad.

Well, Read and Enjoy… 🙂

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It was almost 5 year in hyd  and local ppl used to suggest only place in AP to visit –ARAKU…I asked my friends everytime but somehow nobody showed the interest… finally one fine day ashim agreed…but the next challenge was to convince friends…and we succeeded in gaining Vaibhav and Yugesh in agreement.

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On one fine night in Mar 2013, we sat to book the ticket…I nvr liked to travel by AC but becoz of maximum reverse action, I decided to go for Garib rath..Finally the ticket booked like Hyd ->Vizag->Araku->Vizag->Hyd…we planned for 3 days trip… I and ashim took the charge of planning out the trip meanwhile vaibhav and yugesh starting thinking the reason to put for the unplanned leave…

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Just one day b4 thr trip, Gr8 yugesh came up with his confession of upcoming wedding and started backing out for various errands.(but the main was he wanted to have party with his dear friends :P)..so he ditched us..A huge melodrama started…vaibhav started to back out..so do ashim…I made a statement that “I WILL GO ALONE AT ANY COST”…Finally all agreed except yugesh (but we spoke /remember yugesh thru out the journey).

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So we started the journey from hyd on Friday and headed towards secunderabad station. After having a proper dinner at cumsum , we boarded to our coach and their my boring AC journey started.. Unlike sleeper , no one talk in AC ..my super duper partners were involved in playing games on mobile… As a habit, I started locking my bag by chain…vaibhav got surprised with so much of curls in that chain and awesome safety locking; he thought that even thief will think that bag has some precious stuff inside: D

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Finally we reached next morning to Vizag….opposite to hyd..the weather is humid there…and the most interesting there the auto are bigger in size so we three were able to sit comfortably :D….our auto guy helped us to get a room…in order to crunch the expense we  decided to take only one room….Apparently room turn out to be decent one;….

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After having brkfast at daspalla we started roaming in market..while crossing the road I don’t somehow one of known people saw me and to enquire the chain went thru his mom to my dad . Thank god I informed my dad b4 otherwise it wud have been a huge issue :D…

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First we headed to sub-marine…but we reach at lunch time so didn’t get chance to c it (unfortunately we went their thrice but we cud nt c it-second time was no power…3rd time no visting day L)…then we went to kailash giri via roap-way…I was astonished to c vaibhav and ashim in scary mood during roap way journey… @hill we roamed around and chit chatted…

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Then we chose to go to harbor..omg for the 1st time I saw so many sea fishes just thrown on the road..i was caught by fish smell (means I was liking) and the exact reaction was for Vaibhav… we went for sea ride (again I was affected by sea effect…started dizziness )….

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Oh god after coming back from there we had bread-omlette and garma-garam chai ( these guys owe thanks to me)….then we chose Rishikonda  beach to visit…but by tht time we reach it was dark and these monotonous  guys didn’t come in water….after having scary walk to haritha  resort, we decide to revert back to our room asap…the funny was we took six seater from there till RK beach and from there a personal auto…That idiot fellow dropped us at city center not at central (which strikes us later)…we walked for almost 3 km but no sign of central….and finally stopped thinking of saving money we took another auto…had Frankie and doze off ….

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Next day early morning we had to catch train from vizag to araku at 7 am..we reached statio at 6.15 only…and these guys were so much into finding the platform tht I missed my morning tea ..i cursed them internally :D….this time we had SL class…becoz of tiredness we all took nap in the train…

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The most amazing thing of this journey that actually the train goes from one side to other side by crossing a mountain..we went till actually up of the mountain range..and wenever the tunnel used to come all people used to scream a lot ..

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As soon as we reach to Araku , we encountered a cab driver ..and we didn’t know he ll be our companion for next 2 days..we reached to our already booked Haritha resort… but they annoyed us not arranging the room b4 hand…not giving the tv remote and making us to stay in a room for couple of hours…After having proper lunch , our driver took us to bora cave, few points and coffee plantation.meanwhile he told us abt the tribal area and the films which got shooted (some chiranjivi’s movie, I love you Bengali movie :D)…

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Bora caves was one time watch..but really its one of the naturally formed cave…and the train by which we came to araku actually goes above that cave… While returning back we encountered a lady who kept on talking even though realizing that we are nt getting the language. I  realized her pain since she was left alone in this whole world.

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After that visit we came back to our room and started watching match…night we went to tribal market and realized no one like to sell their stuff…we went to chocolate factory and they were giving one piece for 10 bucks..even for demo /taste purpose…next handicraft shop I saw one peculiar banner “ We will give discount when a 99 yr person comes along with his father” I was nt able to figure out that it means no bargaining for few minutes…

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We ordered dinner in the room and started watching IPL match..and Vaibhav called his manager and informed that he had come to banglore to his one of his friends:D..the funny part was their conversation..

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But really tht view from our room was amazing…and apparently we were very few in tht big resort…morning we just look around that resort and went for breakfast..we took brkfast which was booked for yugesh (since they didn’t cancel his booking)….Our cab driver Dharma (how I got to know his name-his hello tune say “Dharma ko call karne ke liye dhnyawad)..After getting worst service in haritha , we asked for feedback form which they refused to give and after giving tip they just ignored out talk also

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Luckily we had araku siteseeing one day b4 becoz on Monday they had strike in that tribal area… I don’t know suddenly Vaibhav got an idea to have TADI there and eventually they bought for home…

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Since we reached at 2 pm in vizag , we decided to watch “Chasme badoor” only to sit In the AC… The worst part was we had to keep our bag in the open area..(kept tht TADI bottle in ashim’s bag)…The people are so velle there that Monday afternoon show was housefull ; not only telgu movie but hindi too…movie turned out to be hilarious and we enjoyed. The moment we came out we realized that the whole gas from that TADI bottle leaked out and its smelling badly .Just avoid that we went to central and bought deo. After having supper at one of the food courts in central we again went to RK beach…and same I went to water and these guys stood outside.. we enjoyed the dinner with the sea breeze…

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Now was the time to get back to station to catch train at 8.30 pm..Thus our journey ended and we came back to Hyd next day early morning and got back to our normal office routine life…

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Overall the trip was awesome…Actually we were at the border of AP and Orissa …And I realized one of my cycle bathroom->eat->sleep 😀 (as vaibhav says )

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Kanpur

Tere chehre me woh jadu hai, bin dor khincha jata hu

jana hota hai aur kahee, teree oar chala aata hu…

The song played in the background as i was coming back home, from a friend’s place, in a Tempo. It was raining outside. Not heavily though, slightly more than a drizzle. There had been an unexpected change in weather that day, and it had become real cold and dark. There was a cold breeze blowing from door to door, across the partially opened vehicle, so much so that the driver and his aide had to wrap a piece of cloth around their faces, while i sat cozily sandwiched between them. The song erupted from the vehicle’s audio system, and it was somehow lighting the otherwise dark atmosphere outside.

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This was in Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh, for those wondering. And for almost all people ouTempotside of UP, the vehicle i was talking about, the Tempo, does deserve some explaining. You see, it’s a strange sort of a vehicle. Its for public transport, and by far means, the most popular means of transport in Kanpur. Its got 3 wheels, but its quite different from the more conventional autos. They are all CNG operated in Kanpur, and easily carry 11 people including the driver and his aide/side-kick, who sit at the front of the vehicle, along with one more passenger sandwiched between them. Then there are 8 passengers at the back, perched on 2 bench like seats, meant for just 3 people each. Its a strange vehicle, least efficient but highly viable, and something that identifies the city itself.

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Nevertheless, this piece of writing is not about the Tempo, but about the city itself that it identifies with. The city of Kanpur. You see there is an old saying that goes as, “Change is the only constant”. Well, whoever said this, definitely did not visit Kanpur. Because, nothing here changes at all. Roads are constructed with enthusiasm, and de-constructed with more enthusiasm, just to leave the city in the same state as before. The same holds true, for buildings, shops and all that is worthwhile. The road from Lucknow airport to Kanpur city, roughly about 70 kms, has become much better now. But as soon as you enter the city, via Koylanagar(yeah you heard that right), you see that nothing in the city itself has changed. There are some under-construction roads and fly-overs which seem to be there, every time you visit the city, at precisely the same places.

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Then you come to my area, which is called Kidwai Nagar Chauraha(Interesting fact: There is a Kidwai Nagar in the US too). This is pretty much the heart of the city, and a very big area. You won’t see the road though, as the entire area is but a huge Tempo-stand. Tempos standing, Tempos waiting and Tempos broken. You need to tell people, that there is actually a road behind them all, leading to my house.

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Around this area, nothing has changed at all. There used to be this samosa center  called Janwadi. Hugely popular since last 10 years. Still the same. The prices have gone up though. The boys selling samosas, still the same, have now grown up. The barber shop where i got my first haircut, is still up and running. I cried a lot that time. The man is old now, but he still does a decent job. Diamond Shoe Palace, where we used to get all our shoes for school and outside, still the same. The owner still the same. Huge, hunk like, but now with grey in his hair. Still a great seller. The jalebis of Krishna, still as delicious as ever, on Sunday morning breakfasts. Triveni Market has still failed to expand since last 20 years. There are more shops in front of it now, than inside it, and still it is hugely popular. On the other hand, the other market called Chaalees Dukaan, literally meaning 40 shops, has survived riots,fires and everything worse, and has still managed to look the same. Even the Falooda shop, on the road opposite, is the same. Its the same Falooda, which we used to enjoy so much in our school days. Still bloody same.

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A bit far from my place(4kms, which is a big distance in a small city), things are still the same. The Govindnagar shops, the road bridge, still as crowded as ever. Fazalganj still has the same sardaar selling tyres, the shop is big now. Devki Cinemas, still plays B-Grade Hindi movies. And all around it, are coachings of all sorts, from IIT-JEE to CPMT and what not. This was where we came everyday for 2 years, 10 kms from where we used to live, in our school days to prepare for IIT-JEE. We had so much fire in us back then. We thought the world would dance at our feet. But now, the only fire that still burns, is the Holi Fire, every year, on Holi Eve, the festival of colors  at various places across the city. The enthusiasm to play with colors has gone down a bit, but you can still see children enjoying the festival of colors with full gusto, and childhood rivalry.

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Then there are some things which totally bring a smile on your face. The JK Temple, which is pretty much the only place to must visit in the city, still stands tall, and pristine white. It brings a sense of pride each time you pass it. The zoo, which was always more of a botanical garden than a zoo, still boasts of the same feat. The city has become richer over the years. Cars like Volkswagen and Renault have made it to the city. But the city has this strange urge to spell everything in Hindi  So the Volkswagen showroom spells something like “falkwagan” in Hindi  And that was hilarious. The city never stops amusing you.

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The song in the Tempo changed to

Tum hum pe marte ho hum tum pe marte hain…“.
I was close to my destination. The rain had almost stopped. It was cold now, but the wind had receded to a gentle breeze. My chain of thought was broken and i quietly started walking towards my house. Nostalgia is like a dream. You eventually do come out of it. The next day was hot and humid again.

It was time to leave the city once again.

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JK Temple3063198557_7798068d34

 

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