Monday, December 28, 2009

A Messenger on the Sleigh

I lay still … eyes closed enjoying the morning chill. The new mattress on my queen-sized bed appears so cozy that I feel like never waking up. Soft effect of the foam, the plush sheet that covers it and the cute warmth of the comforter … all merges into the dawn of the thirty first.

From the window glasses, I could see smaller flakes … falling as they softly do, from the heavens. This is the dream of the white New Year’s Eve … as I draw the comforter close to my face.

Every winter, during the dawn of the thirty-first of December, I feel there’s a happy dream. A lovely hangover like it has never felt before.

Guess he comes in my dreams … riding his deer-sleigh!

Some romanticism is forever, and it doesn’t always require two to tango … the dream of the old man in red, riding the sleigh, remains visible. With a misty morning waiting me and a hot cup, bells from the reindeer’s neck remain jingling for long.

The mind just doesn’t get up. The body remains wrapped in the warmth of the comforter. And this idle mind keeps romancing the snow capped route with the sleigh!

Flakes fall softly on the window glass, turning into tiny globules of water and drips down. Nothing seems softer than this, not even the quietest fall of leaves. Tiny traces of white shine amidst the green of the small garden around my house.

My mood, there’s none to disturb. Wrapping the comforter around, I walk outside. Just to take that look. The small lane that leads to the neighbourhood winds away a lonelier soul. A chance look towards the letter box reveals it’s half open.

With carefully covered hands, I reach out for the depths of the letter box. A colourful envelope comes out.

In these days of electronic mail, the coloured envelope is a gift indeed. I open it, neatly tearing the border as I walk back inside.

Oh my! She has sent me a New Year’s wish. The warmth of the wrap and the delight of the lines that she has scribbled, my heart warms up. My lonely soul gets the spirit wrapped with those coloured images from the wishes.

Long time no see. Guess she looks at me like this every year. And the old man, the messenger, heeds her request … each year … every year.

Happy New Year … a happy new year indeed!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Gossips sweet and sour

Winters are bit chillier these days… but many residents from my city are too cautious. The December chill makes them move in neck-high pullovers or warm mufflers wrapped around their much-hyped vocal areas. Or as a fashion statement, may be – the pink cardigan or the puffy sweater from areas like Kashmir or Ludhiana.

From bus stops to coffee shops, most prefer a huddled conversation. More likely is a man-woman combination, often engrossed in the choicest discussion to keep their minds and bodies warm.

Men and women are all covered.

During my stay in US, there was a colleague who had this ‘manly’ habit of drooling on pretty faces and petite female bodies. He was in the billing department. He said he loved ‘working with figures’. But, come winter, he went morose. He cribbed about bodies getting covered from head to toe … fur replacing skin, and woolens covering more of the ‘attractive areas’.

This rarely pleases a hot-bodied man!

Substitute that with a cozy talk, winter seems welcome. Sitting inside the Barista or a CCD, one can work wonders speculating about fellow humans. Personal, sensational and intimate details of lives fall easy prey to speculation and make for some spicy stuff to go with the cup.

No sweat, no exhaustion of summers. Guess gossip time is around the corner.

I am a bad gossipmonger, not because it’s ‘unfair’. I fail to cook stories about others, may be it is not my cup of tea. But, I love to hear tales. Juicy, frivolous and naughty ones that attempts to tear apart a guarded individual it is directed at.

Breaking free from the afternoon naps, I recall aunts and cousins rejoice in winter discussing spicier tit-bits about celebrities, modern (and progressive) relatives or about cases of free-minded neighbours. Most may be predictive, yet the pleasure of dissecting private lives and deriving an enchanting gratification in chatting could be worthy of a chilly afternoon.

Back seats of buses seem no different. Young and old, crossing all barriers would be blabbering mouthfuls of peppery details. The listener can be immediately identified. Their eyes wide open amidst the chill … and all ears to the story despite the cacophony of sound in a frenzied milieu of noisy activities.

One of the latest I overheard the other day was between two co-passengers sitting cozy inside the bus. The subject is a married guy at work who’s ‘handsome’. And there is a lady, the one who wants to make it big. This pair seems to be working late too often. The lady in the bus, covered head-to-waist with her shawl, confides to her male friend (with a muffler around his head) of something going between these two co-workers. She has heard people say that they leave work pretty late. Some are even pointing at a fling developing with all ingredients of an adulterous flow of passion.

I am all ears, but they don’t notice me eavesdropping on their conversation. With due respect to the actors from the conversation, I also find the couple in the bus cooking up a spicy chemistry in their curious tones.

We don’t always need champion golfers. There are enough tigers in our woods catching prey day in and out!

Misty forests of life, chilly days are definitely godsend for some among us.

Saturday, December 5, 2009


I feel the only time a man can’t fake his identity is when he’s trapped. Not sure if it is true for all beings on earth. Let research prove it.

Almost five minutes have passed. The elevator hasn’t moved an inch. It had shaken and stopped on its way up … halfway through the eleven floors to get to my office.

We got caught … yes, just the two of us. Of all people, there’s only this girl with me from the call center on the tenth floor. She’s busy listening to her iPod. Aaaaargh … so annoying.

This god-damn elevator doesn’t move. And a co-passenger merrily spending time with earphones tucked to her ears. Plain problem-unconscious!

She looks relaxed. Modern lady … not afraid of unknown men, may be. I feel sick, sweating at the very thought of being with a stranger woman, also getting late for work. Pure frustration!

‘Hello, do you hear me?’, I call up the attendant on ground using the phone.

‘Remain calm, sir’, he advises ‘we are on our way’.

I feel restless. What a mess! For a moment, even the lady seems a sure distraction. She seems so comfortable, that’s irritating. Need to teach her a lesson … do I grope her?

At least, she will get a freaking lesson in life – not to trust strangers!

Her blouse top is cut ridiculously low, exposing a bit of what every man wants to see … but never gets to. Shut up, I need to think sober. I look up to see the light bulbs.

Shall I break them now?

A molestation saga can be a simple routine thereafter. Ah, my damned thoughts again.

The elevator vibrates a little. The lady smiles at me … says ‘looks like they’re working’.

No comments. This is stupidity at its worst. I should have never been in this mess. Guess she feels safe to be with me. I don’t understand the reason.

May be, women prefer to spend time with caring men!

The elevator shakes again, rather a big one. Unable to balance, the lady trips and falls on me. Well, almost. She should have felt sorry. But she’s normal. It’s me who feels uncomfortable.

Feminist world, I grumble. My day won’t be any better.

Hold on, now I’m scratching my head. Did it prove something? Or disprove? A man trapped is definitely a cause of despair. May be I was a bit unfair to this woman.

Ok, let me reconstruct this case, say, with an elder man this time. And let the elevator again get stuck on its way up.

The only person with me on the elevator is this old executive from the tenth floor. This gentleman may be in his late fifties, takes a deep breath every time he hops into the elevator. Yes, he literally jumps into it.

His chauffeur carries his briefcase using the service elevator. Typical babu he is.

There’s an ‘executive’ arrogance, as he looks at me. Silently still, he prefers me to call the ground staff through the phone. I meekly oblige. Senior pro, I feel, elderly person … he should get a preference. My gentle being gives up.

The next thing I hear is, ‘Remain calm … we’re coming up’. I feel good. The elderly gentleman looks around, may be looking at other options … to keep me busy.

‘You work in the eleventh floor?’, he asks.

Stupid question. The fact that I pressed the button marked eleven should have been enough. I think he wants a conversation. Clever fellow!

‘Yes, I do’, I firmly answer.

‘How long do they take to come?’, he queries again.

Now, was I angry? My choicest answer would be ‘well, I’ve never tried locking myself up to test their response time’. But politeness gets the better of me.

‘No idea, just stay calm … they should be here anytime’ was all I mumble.

He asks me to check with them again … as if the entire world reports to him as the executive. I follow again, succumbing to the aura of the executive maturity that he has.

Some three or so minutes pass by. I feel restless, but this gentleman is keen to keep me busy. He reminds me to call them again … and this time I refuse, asking him to stay calm.

There’s annoyance written on his face. As if in this stupid held-up, the only thing that bothers him is me not obeying his orders.

Peculiar humans, I must admit! But are they getting any better with gender or age?

Or do I resist being trapped? Let research prove it.