Friday, November 01, 2013

Miles to go

Off to...

It was a long stretch. I drove and was desperate to see the road come to a halt…a dead halt. I was tired to my last drop of sweat.

This is an endless wait for that place that is supposed to be a paradise for the hopeless! What is this place and why would it be so far away in fantasy, as far as the farthest star?

The light of the day dimmed and I drove further into the falling moonlight. I was unsure of the minutes I had to count before I entered the gates of the magical world. Dry wind dried my hair that was wet with sweat and the agonizing wait.

What if I hadn’t agreed to this? Would the love for me diminish? Is this a test of my strength?

I was hit by the deafening silence of the night. My ear befriended the whoosh of the wind, and nothing around me mattered to the mind that was engrossed in an exchange of thoughts and feared silence as an answer for the lingering questions. I was being driven to the dumbness of the life around me.

What if we drove back into the warmth of the sun? The night could just get colder with no end in sight.

I gave up. My foot maxed the gas pedal and my eyes flung to close. I risked ending the quest, although the start of the pine forest and labyrinthine road kicked my spirit and the journey into new life.

The shadow of this tree could just be the place where rest could mean something. Shall we? Could you talk now? Am I halfway there? At least…?

No. That was the first time she spoke in more time than I could imagine. I eventually resorted to keeping my hope of fulfilling her dream alive. I relaxed my tired feet and asked for some rest. I held myself to hear her speak. She didn’t.

I succumbed to the crack of my muscle.

This isn’t the end.

I woke up to her voice. It was a whimper that fueled my concern.

This isn’t how I would like to see my dream. I could be on this drive, be by your side, and be surprised as we go along. Would you be up for it?

I am up for it. But what is that dream if it is only a never-ending chase? My voice trembled with fear. But that was the closest I could get to conviction.

What is quest if it is not without hope and the confidence of the company that could make it happen? I sensed the promise she could have made to herself. It was implicit in her deceptively pleading voice.

This place is the farthest in fantasy, yes. That is where all hopes see light, and to that, I’d like the company of your belief. This isn’t any test of your strength. This is merely the path to strengthen my belief that dreams can be realized. Even if it means seeing a million cycles of the Sun and the Moon. 
She meant it. And I had to keep myself going, with questions unasked.

Perhaps it is her faith that lets her wait to see what she would want to. Perhaps it is the confidence in me that instilled that unshakeable faith in her. Perhaps I could be part of it and experience what a dream would be in the real world.

I picked myself up. Off to our next mile.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Imagining reality

Chai at A bar

Rob made chai for himself, placed it on the handle of his chair, and sat with his laptop on his lap. He typed away frantically. His sweaty palms slid along the black surface of his brand new Lenovo. He sweat profusely. His typing came to an abrupt halt. He burst into tears. He tried to blind his sight to a few photographs on his screen, which slowly surrendered to his copious tears. He sat upright, breathed heavily, and slapped himself hard. He picked up his phone to call his best friend. “Yaar, you come. I wait at Angel’s street,” he requested. “Angel, my foot!” he banged the phone down on his chair and cracked his Catwoman phone case. His chai cup fell off the handle.

In a show of renewed spirit, he unlocked the doors of his swanky new yellow Volkswagen Beetle. His phone rang again. “Where do you want me to come? Where on Angel’s street?” Ron asked. “I saw place called A bar yesterday. New place, I think. You come. I wait. New place good for topic I will tell,” he replied. 

He reached the place early. When he got down, he noticed that one of the car’s headlamps failed. He kicked to blow the other one too. He smiled. “Same now! All girls same,” he told himself. He walked up to a paan shop and bought a Marlboro. He lit it and fished his phone out of his heavy pocket. Along came chocolate wrappers of ChocOn and The Dark Knight Rises ticket stubs. He put them on fire and checked his watch. It was 0000 hours.

Ron arrived on his yellow Vespa. “Such a beautiful drive, this!” he said while locking it. “OK, so...what’s wrong?” he asked Rob. “Dude! You look totally spent. Are you alright?” Rob hugged Ron and said, “I end it...OK... I tell full happened story.” 

They walked in together into a place that seemed old and deserted. There were four bean bag chairs around a short table and there were just four such tables spread across the huge hall. The walls were painted black. The paintings were hanging loose. There wasn’t anyone at the counter. “Weird. I think I know this place,” Ron told himself. A man in black arrived at the table, “Anything for you misters?” he asked. “Yes...” “No. Wait. You drink means you no listen to what happened. I too drink after,” Rob interrupted Ron and requested the waiter to give them some time. The waiter obliged,”I’ll be inside. Asleep probably. With my earphones listening to Sinatra. I’ll be happy to be disturbed to help you guys.” Ron asked, “Let me have a drink. Never mind. Go on. Your story.” Rob began.

“Like you know, I engaged last month. I happy and confident like that Joker in the movie. Yesterday itself both saw movie. She got lot calls in between movie. I felt disturbed with people looking me not her while she talking in phone. I suspected fishy.”

Ron broke his narration, “OK, let me guess. She was talking to some guy and tried her best not to let you know. So, you checked her Facebook account and realized that she’s having another affair. Is that it?”

“Yes. But not full story. Hear me,” Rob replied.

“Go on.”

“ over and I dropped at her friend place. She requested me like that. She had worrisome face. I got enraged and upset. She did not bye me.” He paused. “I want drink now. I call waiter.”

“Wait.  And?”

Rob walked into the waiter’s room beside the kitchen and woke him up. He was curious to know who Sinatra was. He got one of the earphone buds and listened to ‘Strangers in the night.’ The man in black rubbed his eyes and said, “May I help you?”

“Nice  tune. Stranger night. Can I get one glass Rum?”

“Sorry, mister. We don’t serve alcohol.”

“Why? What? I sad please please,” Rob pleaded the waiter.

“I’m afraid I cannot get you alcohol, mister. I don’t serve it here.”

Rob shed more tears. Ron walked in, looked at the waiter and said, “Vince. Vince? Vince, is that you? Oh, good lord! I knew I knew you. What is this place? Familiar but...have I come here before? What are you doing here? Isn't your restaurant down on Paradise road?”

“Do I know you?” Vince asked.

“Yes, you do. I was  a frequent visitor to your restaurant Ambar. OK...mmm... French toast, my favorite food?” Ron tried to stir up Vince’s memory.

“Yeah. Right! Man...Phew! Am I old already?

“Yeah. I sold that property. Rough weather. Prices in the area have gone up. Couldn't break even. Not a paradise anymore. So, I very recently got this. Fair deal. Got some plans to turn it around, decorate this place and restart all over. I plan to call this Chai at Ambar,” Vince explained.

Rob butt in, ”You know both?” He wiped off his tears and lit another stick. “Vince, never mind. I take Ron for personal work.”

“Sure. Can I get something for both of you?”

“OK. I want grab some buds," Rob asked.

“You know what...Never mind, Vince. Can you get us some chai?” Ron asked Vince.

“Ron, chai at a bar? I want kick off worry with Rum.”

Ron and Vince smiled.

After a heavy round of convincing, Ron got Rob to have a cup of chai and promised him a glass of Whiskey at his place. The three of them had masala chai together. Rob lay quiet and tried to clear the cracks of the case off his phone. Rob and Ron left Vince for some Whiskey at Ron’s.

Rob gulped his whiskey and resumed his tale of sorrow, “I went home and opened laptop. I saw Facebook and sure that she not fair to me.” He had several more rounds and fell asleep. Ron, though worried, was confident that there was nothing fatally wrong between the two. He logged into twitter and checked his timeline:

@F1winner Raikonnen gets pole. Catch the action live tomorrow.
@duderoy Massively drunk. Joker rules! Screw Batman.
@desiladka Winked at a woman today! \m/
@memaya Home finally! Two close friends split up. What's this world come to?! On the flip side, spent an amazing evening with @robme. Thanks, honey!

Ron smiled to himself and made himself a drink. He typed an e-mail to Rob:

Rob, you piece of sh!t. You know they say ‘Sh!t happens’.’ Exactly. You got yourself into a huge misunderstanding. Maya just tweeted that she got home and her close friends broke up. She probably got a few calls from them while you were at the movies. She even tagged your crazy handle mentioning that she spent a great evening with you. You, retard!

When you see this e-mail tomorrow, go out and fix your damn phone and car. I have never e-mailed someone who’s right beside me, sleeping with his ass showing in my bed.

And the place is called ‘Chai at Ambar’ not ‘A bar’ as you said. Those letters just fell off! Probably.

Chai at Ambar!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Asterix-Tintinix Comix

I was reading The Adventures of Tintin - Red Rackham’s Treasure this morning. I was thinking about about HergĂ©’s brilliance more than Tintin’s search for the treasure. I really wanted to draw the Belgian master reporter again and searched for Tintin, Haddock, and Calculus in one frame. When none satisfied my hunger for strokes, I dropped the idea, and surfed online for a good picture. While I searched a few, I thought, “Why Tintin alone? Let’s ‘innovate’.” So, I got Asterix and Tintin in one (page) frame.

It wasn't difficult to do this. I obviously replaced Captain Haddock with Asterix. 

Take a look at one of my old Tintin Drawings.

P.S: Oops, I forgot to mention little Snowy. I put the white furry canine in the middle, beside his master. I should have got Dogmatix in this, for his company. Hmmm!

OK! I’m off to investigate why I am attracted to Belgian people. Here’s another Belgian genius I drew a long time ago.

Did you know HergĂ©'s actual name is Georges Prosper Remi?

Au Revoir!