Besharam bevakoof badtameeZ

Some words – Honest like a honey bee's, pure like a butterfly's and dumb like an Ogre's when I run out of stupid similes.

Month: December, 2014



“Have you been fucked… Neel?”

The question lingered in the smoke that had ejected with the words, and it seemed to hang there forever, before– “No.”

The pause should have been awkward, since there were just two of us in the room, and my name wasn’t Neil. Or Nilak. Or Neelakanta, or anything that could be shortened to Neel. Still, the name wasn’t as important as the question. Maybe the wrong address, quickened the lie.

“I’d thought so…. Ever…..  Ever smoked a cigar?” the voice was dreary and rugged, and had seen its share of fire and ash to get that rasped edge. Blunt but not broken, sonorous yet not strong.

“A Cuban? No. I don’t think so.”

No thinking, on these terms, Steve- go on, take a bite- and don’t worry- these ain’t Communist! Hahaaahhh…..”

The laughter was a full one, one that rung in the air and forced you to join in, even if the idea wasn’t remotely funny. The wrong name did not bother me this time – not enough to refuse the offered packet. A pleasant hour of silence passed. Red light seeped in through the broad tainted glass. The windows were fastened, but transparent. There were hardly any furniture on the floor, unless you counted a broken sofa. It must have belonged to an old lady, downtown. She must have made that embroidered sheet- pieces of it still clung on- as if reluctant to leave a carcass. She must have sat through the monsoon, with her cat by her side. The cat might have died, and it was probably still inside the sofa. Nothing else would explain the room’s odour.

“You know why they banned these? Hah, Reed? All these……? Alcohol…. And cocaine, and….. Smoke….and cigarettes and … whiskey…. And women… and whiskey?”

“Women aren’t ba-”

“YOU know why? Because these- make us men- make you, alive. And they are all afraid of the living. They all want you dead and broken and …. Lifeless. Not the live ones, Oh no no, never, ever-”

The clock chimed ten times, and he kept muttering through it all, and while it subsided- I couldn’t wrap my head around his words. There was no pressing need to clarify, or any assurance that he’d remember whatever he had blabbered. He took a long draught and let a sheet of smoke rise up through the nostrils, clouding his eyes. That technique-It was called something fancy, something after France- I could never recollect the trivialities. It was terribly annoying.

Another hour of sullen silence, yet the train of thought hadn’t past the last bridge, fully. Oblivion and pleasurable bliss were banned to keep us dead inside? Couldn’t be. How could something dead, care? Be cared for? How could something dead fall in-

“You fallen in luv, Bran? Ever? Huh?” The gruffly old beard, could read my mind now. Great.

“Yes, Guv’nr. Yes. Over and over and over again- a hundred times the very least.”

“Hahaaahhh! Good for you, son, good for…..”

It was true.  Every single day, every single time I killed the ones I was paid to – I fell in love. Especially the brave ones. I had a choice. Indeed I did. To walk away and meet a wife and kiss her and cry on her lap like a baby. But I wasn’t a strong man- I could never cry. Couldn’t shed a drop, even when they slit her throat and dropped her at the doorstep.

That was the second time I’d fallen in love. And since then, every single time I let the crimson warm color drip, I fell in love. It was magical.

The clock struck twelve.

“Mind if I borrow these, Guv’nr? You won’t be smoking no more” He nodded drunkenly.

I stood up.

Next morning while washing the blood stained shirt, I got it. French Inhalation- that’s what it was called.

-Sr Ja [22/12/14]


Et tu brutal?


                               I find it difficult to say ‘No’. It’s my Achilles heel. Not that it’s my only one- imagine a human centipede with thousand feet, and this is a particularly rotten heel. It crudely influences the way I think, act and in some chronic cases – even speak. I avoid confrontations as much as possible and when I absolutely have to, I make it as brief as possible. No blowing off steam to instil fear, no pulling smug faces to induce guilt. There were instances when I rarely did, but then those were really desperate times. All the other while my default excuse was – “Char log dekhenge toh kya sochenge?” (*what will others think?)

Tch Tch. Such an average Joe.

Hard decisions. How do you make hard decisions? How do you decide whose head would roll when they wake up on a pleasant Monday morning, unaware in bliss? At what point does being conscientious cross over to brutality? Funny how our brains are hard wired to ask the wrong questions, all the time.

Cruelty is remarkable. One, among very few things, that truly depends on perspective. It closely resembles a diamond. The bright emanating rays are due solely upon the way you hold it up in the light.

Take a deep breath, lean back and look away from the silver screen for a moment. Go into that Sherlock-esque mind palace of yours; it might not be as well illuminated as his, but you can still find your way around. Move into those dark nooks and corners, struggle past a few sticky cobwebs. There you shall find them, buried deep underneath those dusty scrolls, where they were conveniently forgotten. Now you see them, vivid and clear. All those deeds of blood curdling savagery.

Did you just shake your head in disbelief, mocking my self-righteous rant? You did. You just pulled a come-on-I’m-too-sweet-for-this smirk! Go on- dim the lights, tilt the screen, look at your image, turn to your good side and fake a smile. Hey! You look so adorable. How convincing!


Perspective. Being on the right side of the wrong wall.  Nothing is ever the way it seems. A routine act for a spider is “ …chaos to a fly”.

But let this all not alarm you. If it wasn’t for all this ‘perfect imperfections’ wouldn’t we all be boring empty bottles of wine?

Remember the diamond analogy? Ruthlessness has its own matchless value. How do you think we outlived those gigantic flesh eating monsters? We suffered, we let suffer. We survived, we had to.  There wasn’t really another choice.

  Sweet are them pair of eyes,

That didn’t see those bloody nails.

Aren’t only those wise,

Who don’t hide their lies?

But that was long long ago, and I don’t see the point of it all now. Maybe I am an average Joe after all, I don’t get the bigger picture, God bless the rest.

Greed may be good, I’m not so sure of cruelty. I don’t mind a bunch of Gekko-s, but another Hitler? No, Thank you.

-Sr Ja

(May the souls of those little angels who perished in the horrific Taliban Peshawar school massacre, rest in peace)