Wings Of Fire

Dear Ruth,

               I know I should have written to you earlier, but its been really crowded here, with the sudden influx of arrivals. I think it is the single largest human migration in history after Moses and his epic march from Egypt, although the 'migration' in this case isn't exactly voluntary, as you know.

Ruth,look...please,please don't cry.... I want you to know that my death was virtually painless, honest. Granted, the element of surprise was there, but to be frank, I really don't know what I died from.... I'll hazard a guess that it was incineration. That my body was recovered and identified from the rubble was a miracle in itself, you see. It was like.... I was staring out the office window in fascination-turned-disbelief-turned-horror, and then bam! The screech of metal on metal, the shrieks...then everything goes black, and then I find myself here..... For a fleeting second I hoped it was a terrible dream, but nah.. as far as I remember, the worst of my nightmares involved me drowning in a glass of pineapple juice. Sometimes orange, for variety's sake.

But never this, Ruth....never this. And it sucks you know, being snuffed out just like that....  I certainly wasn't one of those people with a hundred dreams and umpteen ambitions...hell, the only things I had in mind were the weekend Knicks game, and our fancy Italian dinner date I'd planned...ah yes.... the place you told me about.... West 44th....Carmine's, isn't it? That's what I had in mind, it would have been such a splendid surprise for you.

The Quantum Conundrum

Firstly, this is not a post about science, but an attempt to narrate yet another quirky experience of mine in this wonderful city called Delhi.

Time to roll back the clock,children.

Second semester, and we'd just made the happy discovery that our syllabus included a course on quantum mechanics. However, nobody could have been more chuffed about it than my friend and batch mate Aman; he was positively brimming with glee at the prospect of digesting another bunch of arcane mathematical equations which every subject seems to reduce to. Bless him.

Mirage Of A Murder

Before I begin, I would like to make it very clear that whichever qualities I may possess, imagination is certainly not one of them. Rationalism and practical thinking pervade my life, leaving no space in mind for airy-fairy thoughts, pleasant or otherwise. One of my acquaintances is of the opinion that I could easily fall asleep in a horror movie, though I will not offer my views regarding that particular topic. To my insular outlook, any incident which cannot be explained and/or justified by the general laws of science did not occur at all. Such episodes are merely attention-garnering antics for those poor souls desperate for their five minutes of fame on some equally news starved media channel.

Nonetheless, one particular occurrence considerably rattled me, and forced me to question myself on my adopted stand on what people term as ‘paranormal’ or ‘supernatural’. Once again, I will state before you the bare facts of this singularly outlandish affair, without expressing any of my personal views, since I have none. You are free to judge, form your own theories, even doubt my sanity, and come to the conclusion of your choice. And if there is any feasible interpretation on your part other than branding me a hallucinating lunatic, please do feel free to let me know.

For the time being, plod on. Bizarre it may be, but by no means is it banal.

The Sound Of Music

Left was devastated.

Right was as good as dead. He could have never survived that fall; he was delicate, he was old but at least he had been with Left, standing staunchly with her. He was all she had cared for in their pitch black world...her husband, her support, her soulmate and her only friend. Right's voice had mesmerised her the first time they'd sung the Lionel Richie-Diana Ross duet for their obnoxious master.

Although both of them were blind, she had known that she had been married to the right mate; he sang beautifully, and they made a fantastic couple; a couple oblivious to the delightful sights that the world had to offer, but more than compensating for it with their all-encompassing love for each other, which brightened their days and warmed their hearts, so that they had never even stopped to wonder how it feels to be able to see.

Delhi Underbelly

The thirty minute auto ride from Nehru Place to Tughlaqabad Institutional Area was something that over the previous couple of weeks, I had learned to approach with caution, if not apprehension. In that relatively short period of time, I had rubbed shoulders with prostitutes, eunuchs and hordes of drug addicts drooling on my shoulder, all within the confines of the rickety three wheeled contraption.
The eunuch affair was particularly disturbing or downright hilarious, depending on your school of thought. They had trooped in, six of them, had grinned at me and had started bawling merrily, accompanied by cymbals and an occasional gesture in my direction, asking me to join the party. Maybe they were singing about their castration, but I did not ask. Somehow it didn't seem prudent.