Saturday, 28 December 2013


… This is NTV news broadcasting from Moscowe. Our anxiety soars high, as we are very close to the 20th Presidential Election. There is a debate between Norman, the Secular Party nominee and Cara, New Justice Party nominee. Soon you’ll have a live telecast from ‘town hall’ at Ostozhenka Street.

On a decorated stage, Norman sits on the left and Cara is on the right. The young Norman is admired for his Charismatic and Charming personality. The flaw is his arrogance. Cara is praised for her dignity, diplomacy and work-o-holic traits. Many feel that she lacks a sense of humour.

At the lectern
Norman: Ladies and Gentlemen! This is the moment, you have all been waiting for. A Renaissance, of course. Our government will give you a clean environment. A stability in job is assured of. Old Age Security Pension has got a place in our election manifesto.
NBC Reporter: What type of approach do you have?
Norman: Carrot and Stick approach.
ABC Reporter: Can you suggest the methods to carry out our aim?
Norman: Of course, yes. Adopt all types of manipulations (pulling the leg, back stabbing)
CNN reporter: Lately, you have erected a Buddha statue in the garden of your palatial house at Severn Road….
Norman: Don’t dig into somebody’s privacy.
NBC reporter: Your opinion on the New Justice Party nominee..
Norman: They have more rhetoric than substance.

(At the lectern)
Cara: Good morning Moscowe. The moment has come to wave a ‘bye’ to the past and say ‘hello’ to a new chapter. I promise that I’ll create one million jobs in my period. Justice is my objective. It echoes, wherever you go. I work for revamping educational system.
Job opportunities will be  given only on merit basis. I act against terrorism and I need your support in bringing peace and harmony in the state.
CNN : How will you handle a situation?
Cara: A kid-glove approach.
ABC: What is your vision as a politician?
Cara: Utopia
NBC: Can you define the term?
Cara: Unity under an umbrella identity
ABC: on Norman
Cara: Pusillanimous

CNN to Norman: What is your ideology?
Norman: Mammonism
ABC to Cara: Where will you go strong?
Cara: In creating a corruption-free state, child benefits and of course no bed room tax.
NBC to Norman: Elite, working and middle class – who is your primary concern?
Norman: Of course, elite.

…. The most awaited Presidential election result will be announced shortly. NTV takes immense pride in being the first to give a live courage on the swearing-in ceremony. It is an anxious moment to know, who is going to hold public office.

… 3, 2, 1, …. Yea, it is Cara who has won the election. She has catapulted into glory with a sweeping majority. There are photo-ops ahead of. All the channels vie with each other as Cara is going to make her first victory speech. A huge gathering waits to hear from Cara.

(At the Kensington Palace)

Cara: Good Evening, Moscowe, I stand before you to thank those, who have rendered their support. Thank you, Mr. Norman and others who stood opposite me. It is indeed a great responsibility on our shoulders to lead our Nation to a prosperous condition.
It is a dream-come-true moment. Of course a collective dream. It is not an individual’s victory. It’s ours. We stand together in our nation building. We will neither feel proud of our success nor get discouraged from our failure. Both winning and losing are the two sides of the same coin.

(Cheers, applause)

It is our duty to teach everybody not to get deceived in our mundane life. My thanks are due to those, who live a life of a hermit. Without them, how do we know, whether we are right or wrong.
We all know that the life on earth is not going to be a roller-coaster ride. Yet there is a hope in each one of us…, in our blood, in our bones and in our kids. It is in our destiny that we will win in future and it is a full-fledged one. Let us pledge together as to find ‘Justice Everywhere’.
( I wave my hand to the gathering)

Land of Hope and Glory,
Mother of the Free
How shall we extol thee,
who are born of thee?”

I hear the song in praise of our Nation and it wakes me up. Is it a dream? … A disappointment envelopes me.

Monday, 23 December 2013

Monday Matinees

…. Porters load the baggages on a trolley and push it to the ground floor at the terminal, where water taxis wait to transfer you across the lagoon to the Hotel Bala del Mar. It is on the front of the beach Lido di Venezia. There are bars, shops, restaurants and of course a nice swimming pool in the garden. You can catch a glimpse of the sea, from the balcony. The Hollywood movies are often being shot here for its scenic background. The elders and kids immerse so keen on watching the film shooting.

-         Benedict (Assistant Director): ‘Picture is up!’ ‘quiet, everyone!’
I wear a dab of make-up and am ready for a shoot.

- Benedict calls ‘roll sound’ ‘sound speed’

The clapper board calls ‘Marker!’ and slaps it shut in front of me.

-         Benedict: ‘action background!’
-         Quinton (Director): ‘action!’
-         Benedict: ‘action!’
-         Cara (heroine): Why are you dragging me?
-      Kerri (a stranger): Please, come with me; Let me show you what happens over there.

I am being led to a huge apartment. In the 1st floor, there are thirty families living. As we go there, many men and women gather round in a circle and ask for story books one after the other. To my astonishment, I see many books on my hand. As we come out, the talk starts;
- Kerri: You have seen my husband Nikolay. He is good, but these people are cunningly playing against him. Don’t trust them.
- Cara: Which has brought you here? I don’t make a head or tail of it.
- Kerri: Nobody will be as innocent as you on earth. My hubby doesn’t have any health problem. We have two kids. Please help me.
- Cara: Please, Leave me alone. Let me find some peace.

(At the temple)

-         Vaccilici (stranger): Hi Cara, How are you?
-         Cara: May I know you? I’m sorry.
-      Vaccilici: I’m the wife of Norman. I’m from a poor family. When she is about to talk something… she faints.
-         Cara: Oh, God, what has happened to her? Does she suffer from epilepsy?

The struggle takes just a few seconds and now she recovers slowly.

-         Cara: How do you feel now?
-         Vaccilici: Quite well now. You know, I don’t have kids. If I were not from a poor family….
I could guess from ‘the pause’ that she is not happy with her family life.

-         Cara: I’m sorry (an interruption prevents me from talking)
-         Quinton (Director): ‘Cut!’, ‘Stop action!’

(At the house)

-         Nikolay: Let me invest a hefty sum for what you are doing now.
-         Cara: I don’t expect anything from anybody.
-         Nikolay: Don’t hesitate to accept my offer. Feel free to be here.
-         Cara: (I see Kerri at the back of Nikolay. There is a dark circle around her eyes. Her hair is let loose on her back)
I grow suspicious. Why does he make an offer? He has got a family to support.
- Nikolay: See my son Charles and daughter Sarah, he introduces them to me.
- Cara: (My heart really goes to the smart boy) I try to cradle him in arms, and say; He is so cute, sir.
- Kerry: My kids are so close to you. I’m lucky that I’ve got you. Will you please rear them up?
- Cara: What? I don’t understand!
- Kerri: Please, do. Keep them, as your friend’s kids. Will you?
(she whispers) I’m confused at her words. I come out of their house, but while parting;

-         Nikolay: If my wife were not succumbed to cancer… (tears well up his eyes)
-         Kerry: I’m dumbstruck.

…. There are 8 switchbacks on a 40 degree slope. Lombard street is one way. Approach from Hyde street. The flowers add fragrance to the spring season. It is quite thrilling to watch people drive down the crooked, one-block section. They all squeal in delight, while driving down. There is a car chasing scene to be shot at a few blocks uphill from Ghirardelli Square.

Benedict (Asst. Director): ‘action!’
Cara: (inside a car on the driving seat) How long have I been waiting for this moment? (I say it to myself)
Jason: (drives a car) Let me avail of this opportunity. Ha, ha, ha… (holding his hanky over his mouth to muffle his voice)
Cara: I’m going to push him down the slope.
Jason: Revenge is my destination.

Benedict and Quinton are so confused at the way, we drive on the hill. Oh God, Look at it… an accident! Steep indeed. ‘In the game of Love’ is shot, yet the real police inquiry starts.

I wake up with a great relief.

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Third Eye

 … a gleaming full moon beckons you to write reams of work on her. You go crazy to watch her sashaying in the dark sky, at a lonely hour. It is pessimistic to see the dark spot!! My palpitations soar high, as I go past a detached house at Ballyboley Road, Larne. It is ghostly and you feel a wee bit of stomach-churning at close quarters. My routine walk starts at 7 pm. Today a surprise awaits me, as I go near the house. A few gather at the entrance. I collect my strength and peep at the house.
-         of course, a disappointment, a man says
-         What’s the reason? The other asks
-         who knows! Anything….
-         See, the padlock is being sealed upon,
-         Any legal tussle?
-         Might be, if not, why is it sealed?
-         You know, they have been doing a séance
-         Anybody can do, they will say – comes as a reply

As I walk down the lane, a few police men in hi-visibility jackets approaching near. I go fast so that they will never catch me. I grow suspicious, though I haven’t done anything wrong. I reach St. Patrick’s Church. In my hurry, I didn’t notice the police. Now I see them going on Rathfriland Road.

…. It is Drumnagreagh Road. At 9 am, a call for a prayer is being announced with a chime from a clock tower. I’m a bit tensed to reach Antelope Valley courthouse.

-         hi, Chelsea. I turn to my left to see, who is that?
-         Wow, how is it! Briana!
-         Yes, I’m
-         I don’t believe my eyes. It is you, my Briana
-         Why didn’t you call me? Says Briana
-         I have missed your mobile number. Sorry I reply
-         I gave you when we have partied last week, says Briana
-         I lost my bag and my mobile too, I answer her with a sigh
-      Let me help you find the lost back. I know a woman called Ida, who suggests a remedy on this, Briana comforts me

… a serene villa nestled in the middle of the woods. A lake on the right side and the trees on to the left take us to the entrance, which carries the name Kishani Mata Ashram. There are Scots Pine, Sweet chestnut, Strawberry tree, white willow, Cherry plum… spreading aroma and it’s a real visual delight to the devotees. ‘Om Mata’ chantings welcome us to the inside.

-         Nice ambience, isn’t it? I ask
-         Indeed, Briana replies
-         Does Ida know about our visit? I ask with a doubt
-         I have got the appointment, the reply comes with confidence
-         How does Ida raise to such a position?
-         Oh, sorry, you are wrong
-         Then what?
-         Darcy runs this Ashram.

Our speech gets interrupted as Ida invites us inside. Divinity is felt with, as we go round the place. From Ida, I have learnt that Mrs. Darcy has hailed from Krish Dash Ashram at Agra. She is an occultist. As we get into the main hall, we are greeted with,

Om Mata Om Kali….
Shakti Kundalini Jagadumbe Mata…
Jai Jai ma’

A spiritual climate gradually makes us forget our self. A new light is seen at the front and I sit as if in the trance. Darcy is seen, sitting with her eyes closed, on a raised platform, in front of a holy pot. Her lips chant prayers, while adding ghees and flowers to the holy fire in the pot.
Many sit, with folded hands and closing eyes, opposite to her. Smoke, emerging from the pot, does give a blurred vision on Darcy. I get a shiver on my whole body, when she calls, Chelsea;

-         yes, I’m here, I say with hesitation
-         I often talk to you, still you have a doubt
-         What! When did I see you?
-         Your major contretemps with Jacob Jason
-         A surprise, indeed
-         You’ll get back your bag with more clothes and more jewels
-         I am left speechless
-         Your certificates are being taken from temple to temple. Rose petals are seen inside them. Of course the arrangements are made for a job, without your consent.
-         Really. I’m elated with her words. (tears well up my eyes)
-         There are many cheques. It includes one from Victoria College of Arts
-         …. No sign yet of getting them back, I ask
-         I know, how to make them return your articles to you at your doorstep

Darcy turns to another and calls, William….

‘Om Mata, Om Kali’

Echoing within wakes me up from my bed and it is a ring tone, to my surprise.

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Mystical Moments

… a cloud of smoke billows up in air. The whole atmosphere reeks of stale cigar smoke and wine. There are putrefying human corpses being collected and cremated. A skimpily clad man is meditating sitting atop a corpse. Many scantily clad men are seen smeared their bodies with ash from human cremated remains. They wear skull and bones as ornaments on their body. They let their hair fall to knees. It seems that they eat the leftovers from the dump site. I walk past them to the holy river Ganges for washing my feet.

I hear the chantings on Lord Viswanath everywhere.
Aghori Sadhus attract everyone’s attention. The devotees seek the blessings from them. The reverence they show; does strike a sense of mystery.
As I am on the lane, Jason approaches nearby.
You traitor, he starts yelling at me.
Shut up, I reply.
I returned your bag a long back. Still you ask for that, he shouts.
You gave!! To whom? I’m shocked.
I don’t have. That’s it. He says scratching his fingers against his forehead.
What do you mean? I ask placidly.
I won’t let you live happily, he challenges and leaves the place.
I watch him going to a corner. An aghori appears before him saying, you won’t go home.
Why does he curse him? I’m surprised.
Where is Gayathri? Shadhu asks.
She is at her marital home, a few reply.
As he takes a few steps, I see, many come fast and stand in circle. They inquire about their future. I hesitate a bit and after a pause I ask,
Will I get peace of mind?
Yes, for sure, comes as a reply.

…. It is night. I stand in the middle of the street and call Emma for the umpteenth time.
Why are you yelling like this? She asks angrily coming out of a house.

Others may notice us; her voice comes out with a bit choked.
I have been looking for you so long. Where were you?
I made arrangements for finishing Jason, she replies.
Hey, my bag is there. I go hysterical.
It is with me, she says.
Is it so? I heave a sigh of relief.

….. I watch the placid water at noon in the river Hooghly. It is Kalighat. As I go near the temple, it starts raining. I get soaked to the skin. Vermilion on my forehead gets dissolved. No shop at close quarters. Of course, no purse too. With folded hands, I pray to Goddess Kali, from the outside as the temple is closed.

When I think of returning, a call, I hear.
Will you come and take this? a lady sitting at the gate says.
I go and take Vermilion from her. Sorry, I have nothing to offer, I say with a little discomfort.
See your hand, there is aplenty, she shows my right palm.
To my surprise, I have a few notes.
You will give me more later, pray to Her for a bright future, she adds.
I’m in a hurry, I never ask Her, she knows everything, I bend and touch her feet with respect.
Chelsea, I hear a voice calling me.
I’m here, I reply.
The burglar, who stole your clothes, is gone. His body is at the back yard of Buvaneshwari temple. Come let us bring your clothes back, she gushes.

I try to grab her face in vain and wake up with mixed feelings.

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Divine bliss

… thousands of people are left without power and struggle due to a bone-chilling minus 42 degrees. An ice storm wallops the state. There are reports on cars skidded off icy roads. All put the blame on sleet, snow and freezing rain, when the country is in the grip of chaos. The Pink House, albeit being blanketed with snow, welcomes you for a banquet.

Priomh Mhinistear Tom C. Owen is sitting at his desk, flicking through the pages of a photo album. If anybody gets a quick glance close by, would not have missed the opportunity to see the pictures of Gypsies.

Chelsea, put it over there, the PM, hands me the album.

Much obliged, I say. I feel a tremor in my body after catching a glimpse of my photo in the family album.

How does my photo come inside? I wonder. A call from the office brings me back from my wandering thoughts. I am ready to take down notes on my paper pad.

A glint of surprise, I see, on him.

From where should I start, he asks? Is it biography? I question him.

No, will you do the translation? He asks me expecting a reply.

… a cloudy noon. There are buses and trishaws on the street. A Merlion statue is indeed a cynosure of our eyes. I go on a ride and my body is fully exposed to air outside. I watch the passers-by and the shops on the way. A loud noise attracts my attention to turn back.

Oh, shit, there is an accident. A woman and a man fly in the air and thrown on the floor in a jiffy.

O God, whose fault is that? A few inquire.

They were on a two-wheeler, the other says.

I see myself being sit in a trishaw. I have neither a purse nor a bag. A burglar has snatched them away in the journey.

How could I hire a trishaw?  I doubt. I thought I could reach the destination on foot. But they say that it takes quite a few hours ride.

I seek the help of a pedestrian to recheck whether they are right.

Ma’m, could you please guide me to this place? I show an address to a woman.

Will you come with me? She asks.

Both of us reach a small village Carncastle which is nearby. Many new faces fast approaching towards us with a surprise in their look. They ask her,

Aislinn, who is she? She exchanges a meaningful glance at them. In a hushed-tone, she asks them to be silent.

What is their intention? I doubt. Do they want to trap me? Why do they use a 'sign' language?

Chelsea, come with me. Let me take you to the bus stop, she says.

Certainly, I’ll. I accompany her. Still there is a fear inside, but I struggle to hide it from her.

The road sign informs me that I am on Ranelagh Road.

I often come here to worship Lord Nataraj, Aislinn says.

…. Stupefied at the way I am being led to a divine path.

While savouring the bliss, the temple bells chime and I wake up.

Friday, 6 December 2013

Is it clairvoyance?

… a serene atmosphere takes you to a country house in Lankashire. Its stone structure reminds of a tower house in the middle ages. Is it built with Palladin architecture? A few remark. The breeze from the orchid welcomes you to the backyard. There are white oaks, pines, sapodilla and Spanish lime. The woodpeckers add much delight to it.

Daniel is on the top of a tree felling the branches. While collecting them down, I say,

You know, what type of a person Mark Antony is?

Um, I’m listening, Daniel replies.

He is of one quarrelsome type staying at the right house. One day he had thrown a broken glass here, you know, I say

It is unfair, Daniel interrupts.
Yea, I asked for an explanation
Explation, … for a foolish act! Ha.. ha.. laughs Daniel
It shows my decency, I sigh with bitterness.

What type of a person is Jonathan? asks Daniel

He is a Jew, very pious indeed. I show the left side and say, there he is living with his family.

How many are there in the house? Daniel asks.

Rebecca, his wife, his son Aaron and Sarah, a daughter, I reply.

A voice from a channel diverts me. Hey, it’s a chat with talk show host Oprah Winfrey. I go inside in a hurry to watch it on TV.
Wow, it is my pink frock. Come on, let me see you close by. I am getting nervous.

Hi  mom, see I am on the show Oprah. It is an emotional outburst. All gather around to see me on TV.

To my surprise, the characters come out alive and I dissolve with them. Now I am teleported to the middle of the road, Cairnwell Pass. I hear a voice calling me from behind. I turn back to see Agnus running fast at a few steps away. I allow her to come closer. I hear her breathing heavily, when I ask her,

Hi, why are you chasing me?

I made an escape like you, she replies intermittently.

Do you have the similar bad experience? I ask.

It’s too bitter to recall, she says.

Both walk together talking of various things under the sky and reach Victorian College of Arts. Madam Celestina Jayasingh comes on our way. Agnus starts conversing with the lecturer.

My eyes read the names engraved on the black marble, stuck to the wall. It must be the founder’s name, I think.

Lord Justice John Bartley,
Lord Justice Robert Brian
Lord Justice Edward Cronin
Lord Justice Oliver Fitzleones
Lord Justice John Campbell.

Is it the court? I wonder. A voice, I hear, commands as such:
… seen the names? A few have breathed their last. All others are still alive. Write about them in future.

A shock is sent through inside and I grab a hand in fear. It is my mom greeting me Good Morning, my child.

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Euphoria - 2013

… uhu, ha, ha, a delirious laughter welcomes me to King’s College campus. A dry spell and sun-dappled water don’t bring the expected delight. I reserve the breeze and the natural scenery for the next day. Do you know the reason?

There is a competition in Arts and Humanities. I feel an adrenalin drive within, due to my role in displaying models at the Literary Exhibition.

I watch my friends emerging from the right side of the woods. While high-fiving each other, they come near me. Charlotte, Katie and Natasha hug me in turns.

Hi, Chelsea, this is for the scene from Daffodils, Charlotte points her fingers at the charts, she is holding.

Well done! I express my happiness.

I have water bottles aplenty, you know, shows Katie. I nod my head with satisfaction.

See these thermacol and dolls, says Natasha.

So, it is going to be a win-win situation, I reply with an encouraging tone.

As we enter into the class room, a few sitting there get diverted. A garrulous one throws a challenge on me.

Will you transfer this Lady Gaga to the wall? The smiling lady is of course a photo on The Guardian.

It takes a few seconds of concentration on the svelte, charming Lady. Wow, a round of applause, I hear, echoing every where. Is it a telekinetic power they ask me for? How does this happen? I haven’t tried so far.

… Hi Chelsea, we have been on the look out for you. Come fast, Lucy calls me.

Why are we in a hurry? I ask. She drags me towards a hall, where the Principal Dr. Eugene makes small talk. I take a pew.

Chelsea, can’t you hear your name being called upon? My friends shout in chorus to bring me back from the trance.

As I go on stage, the Principal congratulates me and says, you have secured the first place in the exam.

A pat on my shoulder with a firm handshake, don’t make me do a celebratory jig. But I say ‘thank you’ as a customary reply.

Does he really mention about me? A confusion pops up inside.

I make my way through the campus with a certificate in my right hand. But my thought journeys elsewhere.

A court crier calls me, Is it Chelsea? Can you hear me?

I turn to his side with a surprise. Sign here, he says showing a contract.

What is it? I ask

Many have come here, but you are going to be permanent, he replies.

What a surprise! I have got a chance to continue.

He shows me a place, where new faces chillaxing with each other. An eerie atmosphere fills the room. The darkness intimidates me to run away forthwith. I thought it would be the staff room. What is it? Why do they wear a black face?

She is newly-appointed for the post…, he mutters something which is not clear for me. He starts distributing tickets for each.

As my turn comes, I lift my hand to collect mine. Of course I am highly agitated.

No, it is not for you. Get yours from the office, he replies.

I sweat and feel a shiver running down my spine and it is dawn, to my surprise.