A Couple of Choices


I’m still here. Been busy as a bee. And I need your help. But before we get to that… we have to digress a bit.

<Digression Alert: But why are bees always represented as being busy? Why not busy as an ant? Have you ever seen an ant lying around goofing off? No, right? But bees get all the credit for being busy, when, in fact, all they do is buzz around, pollinating flowers. Well, I guess they give us honey for my toasted English muffins. And of course, the thought that if we get rid of the bees, we’d have only twenty years to live before we die of starvation and cannibalism gives us pause.>

I know, you love those Digression Alerts! Nobody else alerts you like SloWord does. How absolutely darling we are here at SloWord. But now folks, we have to tell you why we’ve been busy. Busier than a hibernating bear. Busier than a Punjabi Pasta. Busier than a Bollywood dream sequence. Busier than… you get the idea, right? I’ve been busy.

Why have I been busy? Let’s consider the facts.

  1. I wake up at the crack of dawn.
  2. I undergo the usual morning ablutions plus additional special ceremonies to maintain the facade.
  3. I climb up and down flights of stairs carrying a bag.
  4. I catch commuter trains by the skin of my teeth, throwing them this way and that. ( Yes. I’m kidding. )
  5. I climb up and down steep, dangerous stairs among a crowd of other death marchers.
  6. I walk 12.785647 minutes to work.
  7. I drag a wheeled bag behind me as I cross streets, dodge other pedestrians.
  8. I undergo severe stress testing all day surviving on a single cup of dark roast coffee.
  9. I walk 12.785647 minutes to the station.
  10. I climb the steepest, narrowest stairs to the train platform.
  11. I ride home on the train.
  12. I stare at the ceiling for 3.986643 hours
  13. I repeat steps 1-10 the next day.
  14. I teach for 4.4637 hours on Saturday afternoons.
  15. I stare at chores for 12.5857 hours on Sunday.
  16. I go back to step 1.

Notice, what’s missing from that list? Exactly! No writing time. No time for you. No time for pandering to the polity that politely passes-up the possible pleasure of perusing posts such as this. In the interest of fairness and full disclosure I should mention that I have exaggerated a bit. It doesn’t actually take 12.785647 to walk between the station and work. It’s only 11.9863 minutes.

I’m hoping that my disarming honesty will charm you into wastin… I mean, indulging me a little.

For I have an announcement to make. Very soon now, you will be able to look for this on Amazon.

(c) Ajesh Sharma

Yes. True fact! I cannot tell a lie. I wrote a play and it will be available on Amazon as an e-book very soon.

How soon, you ask? Soon. As soon as I can read each stage direction and edit and re-edit for the 45th time.

What’s it about?

Ok. This is how it goes. Alex and Phyllis are estranged, middle-aged couple, who have never divorced. He moved away to the other end of the country. Ten years have gone by. They have two children. Mark is now married. Andrea is engaged and is planning her wedding. Phyllis calls Alex to say she is coming to visit him. The curtain goes up as he prepares for her arrival. What happens next? Do they resolve their differences? What do the kids think of all this? What about Linda, Alex’s agent?

And what happens at the end? You can help me decide. Vote below and tell me what you think happens when the curtain falls. Gives me your best guesses and wildest endings!

#ACoupleofChoices

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Socks


Not the cat….

You know this, already. No cats allowed at SloWord. This one is dedicated to actual socks, the things you wear on your feet. Like this one.20160620_183944.jpg

Contrary to what you may be thinking, I am perfectly sane. Socks are mysterious creatures. They are prone to a half-life without the means of radioactivity. They are excellent at camouflage, merging into the texture of life without any provocation. And they do that with only half of a pair, which is a wond’rous feat. All other animals have to either disappear 100% or not at all. Socks are the only creatures on this planet that can lose exactly half of themselves. There is no point in looking for the other half, believe you me. When a sock half goes amok, it goes AWOL for good.

Socks are an essential, but much maligned and much neglected component of our daily lives. People blame socks for many of the ills in our society, such as body odor, poor elasticity and an over-dependence on function over aestheticism. With this article, I shall give socks the place they deserve in society. By the time this goes viral, socks will have been raised to the level they deserve, somewhere between marmalade on toast and purple floppy hats.20161116_090218.jpg

See, socks are important, that’s why we have so many idioms that are built around socks. To quote Brave Sir Launcelot, socks are “right for my um, ah,  idiom”. One bright and regular correspondent remarked that there is an idiom for every idiot. It may well be that she was calling me an idiot. I haven’t had time to investigate that yet. In any case, the fact is that socks feature in many idiotic idioms, for all idioms are somewhat idiotic. {Digression Alert: What does “handsome is as handsome does?” mean??? The grammar just does not work for me. Nounifying an adjective is even worse in my book than verbifying a noun. Remind me to let the Peeved Punjabi rant about these horrendously horrifying verbal and grammatical monstrosities created by otherwise bright MBAs. And yes, I do know that I just made up shit like nounifying and verbifying… It was meant ironically. }

So then let’s look at these idiomatic idiocies using the idiom of socks. I mean, what else do you have to do? You’re here, because you don’t have anything better to do, don’t you? So here we go then.

Keep your socks on.

It could well be that you are a prudent and calm person, at peace with your neighbors and colleagues at work and you wish them well. You, therefore, keep your socks on, and keep your socks, too, calm and boring. Like these boring, all grey socks.img-20160426-wa0050.jpeg

Yaaaawwwwn.

Maybe, you let yourself go once in a while and you indulge your wilder side and slip into something like this next one, or the first two sober-tending-to-rebellion ones.

img-20161015-wa0012.jpeg

Pull your socks up!

You’ve heard this saying, right? It’s meant to pep you up. It’s a multi-vitamin of sorts. It’s a threat and encouragment rolled into one. This demonstrates broad appeal and versatility. Rather like this example.20160826_073329.jpg

When you put these on, you will get going. Your socks will be pulled up, man! Actually, these are pretty long socks, going well up my shin, so they are pulled up quite normally. Slip into these socks when you have that big presentation to make and you will slay ’em. How can they possibly resist the strength, the sheer magnetism,  the brilliant reflection of blues emanating from your feet? The correct answer is, they cannot. These socks exude uncompromising power. If they don’t keel over and curl into a fetal position at this, you know you have a tough crowd to deal with and you better initiate Plan B. (Plan B is also known as “Bamboozle with Bullshit”. Thus, Plan B. See? Now you know. You’re welcome.)

Put a sock in it!

I know, you’ve often felt like saying it when you read this blog. I wish, you’ve said to yourself, when you’ve been busy reading my recipes, that he would get on and get to the recip
e already! Which proves one thing. You talk to yourself, just as I do. Which, by the way, apparently makes you a genius. I wrote an article about that once. Read it here. See how reading SloWord makes you feel better? No self-help and motivational book can bring you the peace SloWord can. No Deepak can bring you the light this next pair of socks can.

( Ask a Hindi speaking friend about that last sentence. It’s brilliant, really. Not because I wrote it, which I did, and therefore, it is, but because it’s cross-lingual in it’s flamboyance. Also, look up “modesty” in the dictionary.)

20161204_185754.jpgThis beauty of a pair that will make your pulse rate pulsate. Feast your eyes on it. Savour the richness of the contrasts. Orange, blazing bright, overshadowing the bright blue. One glance at these little beauties and they’ll be putty in your hands. Though why anyone would want that greasy putty in their hands, I have no idea.

Sock it to me!

Without further ado.img-20160828-wa0002.jpeg

If that didn’t sock it to ya, you’re probably the type that chews broken bottles for breakfast. These are bombastic, bright, brilliant, bright, colorful and bright. In short, they’re bright. In pink shorts and these socks, you will make a statement. “Look at me”, you will effectively scream, nay, shriek. But, pause and think, when you do look at them, the world becomes brighter and isn’t a brighter world what we all desire? Countless saints, sadhus and meditative specialists have sought a world that was devoid of darkness and have tried to inflict their teachings on to you. Many of them have made millions of dollars in the process. I may be onto something here…..

Knock your socks off.

Now we’re getting into the really top of the line stuff, not for the faint of heart. Readers discretion advised. Readers with sensitive eyes are advised to use sunglasses, or look through photonegative paper. I’m not quite sure where you would find such paper nowadays. I suppose you could try looking at it through the viewfinder or preview screen of your digital camera.

(SloWord, its writer, its writer’s family and descendants are not liable for any retinal damage, nervous tics and disorders or any medical conditions arising out of the viewing of such imagery as may be found here. Proceed with caution.)

img-20160827-wa0000.jpeg

img-20161016-wa0005.jpegPaired with navy blue sneakers with lime green accents, these really bring out the, uh, er, hmm, aah. Well. You come up with something…

I suggest a stiff drink to calm your nerves.

All socks portrayed here are the property of the writer and no socks were harmed in the photographic process.

An Anthology of Personal Poetry


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I hear sunsets go well with poetry so I took this photograph from my collection. Just so we could test that theory.

Since I hear no clamor from publishers wanting to publish anything written by me, I have decided to publish my “poetry” here. I suspect it will make them look quite silly. That is, if this blog is on their reading list.

Most of these lines appeared as throwaways on assorted Facebook groups. When you read them you will know why they were thrown away. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

“Oh Alright,” you say, “Let me read them, stop talking!”

“What? Me talk? Heavens! I’m the quietest, shyest person you ever did meet. I don’t like to talk too much. I prefer to let you get on with it. Action, you know! That’s the ticket. Stop the nattering and get going. Yes sir, ( or madam ), you won’t find Ajesh B going on and on longer than necessary to get the point across. Brevity! Simplicity! Brevity! I said that twice didn’t I? Hmm. It goes to show the value of brevity. And I only want to say one last thing… uh… what? Stop? Stop what? Oh talking. You wish to read? Ok. Go on then. Do let me know how it goes, won’t you?”

Lamentary

The post was not a pome
It was a lament, no more.
Poetry is not my home.
I shall write it no more.

There was a time when
Words I wrote were in rhyme
Curs’t it was, my pen
But I’m cured just in time.

How lovely is my prose
How amusing and funny!
This ditty I must close
For I hear the call “Bunny!”

Blues #1

The old man who played the blues
on his guitar while everyone did snooze
was beaten for his pain
and for raising cain
“it’s not the playing but the singng, you goose!”

Orange Juice Blues 

The old man who played the blues
One morning while he drank his juice
remarked to no one
I wonder if anyone
Drank coffee as if it was booze

Ghostly Roast

A lady who hunted ghosts
Travelled to both of the coasts
Of ghosts she found none
She had tea with a bun
with some potatoes, pickles and roasts

Ode to Cats

Violets are blue,
my nose is red,
what cats do,
is fill me with dread.

Zero to Six in Five and a Bit Minutes.


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Note teeth…. ( count two )

You already know that I was born.

“Well, duh!”, you say, “how else would you be writing this rubbish?”

Yes, your head is screwed on right and all those wires and things are mostly connected right. However, the mere fact that you’re still continuing to read this means that all is not well. I mean, come on, would any right thinking person actually read this? They would? You insist you’re completely sane and normal? Well, you’d say that, wouldn’t you? Only the sanest people are insane and only the insane call themselves totally sane. To be normal is to be insane. Personally, I worry about those who call themselves normal.  They really don’t know what you and I know. It’s so much more fun being abnormal, like me ….

Now, you’re wondering what that title means. Zero to Six in Five and a Bit Minutes means just that. I will give you a summary of my years from from Age of Zero to the Age of Six in Ten Minutes of Writing. ( Not Zorro, Zero! )  It may take you longer to read, but hell, that’s not my problem. You should have paid attention in English class, read more books, improved your comprehension and generally been a model student. Alas, I should talk, for I did none of the above and remained an average-to-slightly-below-average student. I have the marks to prove it, so there.

Anyway, I was born. This happened at 11:11:11 AM in an hospital on Ajmal Khan Road, in Karol Bagh, New Delhi, India, on my mother’s 39th birthday, and I well remember the party got a little out of hand. Mother Earth came knocking the next day and as the walls shook and the ground moved, my mother, so she said, made sure I wasn’t switched with another baby, an event that is distressingly common in India, if Bollywood movies are to be believed. ( I know, I know it’s a run on and on and on sentence…. )

I then ran around the neighbourhood, snotty, sometimes barefoot, in itchy wool pants in winter. Fought other little boys in ditches, had my head split open, managed to spill cement & lime dust from the construction site next door into my eyes, burned my little hand on a hot iron and generally made a nuisance of myself.

The family already had 7 kids. Yes, I counted and there were indeed 7 kids already in the house when I arrived. When I first started going to school in Kindergarten at the Frank Anthony Public School, my parents proudly boasted representation in every other class all the way up the school. We walked to school together. Older ones leading younger ones and so on down the line, until all of us were across the Ring Road and safely into school.

All this happened in Delhi. When I was six we moved to Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India on the western bulge of India. This was a completely different kettle of gathia and will be covered in another post, possibly titled “Six to Nine in Seven and a Half Minutes”.

Until then, or until my autobiography, titled “One Bluish Egg – A Faded Memory” comes out, ( RSN… ) I shall have to leave you with this short read. Disclaimer:This post is a plug. It is an advertisement, a commercial, if American.

It is short, isn’t it?

By the standards of this blog, it certainly is.

We may be turning over a new leaf. It is a new year after all.

Well, you never know.

Stay tuned.

Oh, and Happy New Year!

A Post About ME


I started off by writing a major told-you-so post about #Trump and #Elections2016. Wanna read what I wrote? Head over to the bottom of this post. I’ll put it there in italics. Not that it matters. We can only look ahead now. No use, as no one in my family used to say, whining because there’s only soup and cheese toast for dinner.

No let’s talk about something interesting. Me.

I mean what could be more interesting to me, other than Me? I. Me. Mine. Yep. That’s all I want, I need, I wish to talk about. Me, moi and myself alone. And if you don’t want to talk about it with me, that’s fine too. I’m quite happy talking to myself. This is going to be one of those useless posts. You should be familiar with them by now. They do try to say something. However, as you know, by now, I say it in such a roundabout way that you get bored and turn to watch cute cat videos. Mind you, I wouldn’t watch a cat video. Cats are not cute. No. Never.

So let me be direct. I can’t write.

There! I said it. I can’t. I haven’t. I finished the play and it is just sitting there, unused, unwanted, unpromoted. I’ve been told I’m too shy to shop it around. I’m not marketing it well. I think I’m not marketing it at all. I got to the point of setting up a Kindle Direct account. I tried various draft book covers and rejected them all. A friend offered to help. She did and did a pretty good job of it. I asked for some changes. I’m supposed to send stuff to her. I haven’t.

The truth is. I’m scared. What if it is a total piece of crap? The 3 people who have read it seem not to think it is utter crap. Which means it may be a little crappy, but not totally crappy. I’m really, really wondering about what I should do. In this situation all I can do is sit around, worrying. I’ve done precisely that. It hasn’t helped. What it has done is turn off the Tap of Words completely. The Well is dry. No words come welling up. Barren. Arid. The written word eludes me. I think I may have been deluded into thinking I should write. I used to have so much fun here. Now even this blog has become a chore.

HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!

Apparently, from what I can tell, I don’t seem to have any promoters. Thus my NPS ( Net Promoter Score ) is = zero. Now, NPS is the latest, greatest thing to hit the market when you are trying to market something into your intended market. The fact that my NPS = 0 is trying. I’m trying to explain how trying it is. It’s a trial. I’m a trial… so my Beloved Bangalan says. On the happier side of this trial by promoter, the NPS runs in a range from -100 to +100. Zero really means I have no detractors. No promoters, either, as we’ve already established. Apathy runs deep here at SloWord. I mean, my readership is apathetic, not me. I’m not at all apathetic. Pathetic, maybe, but not Apathetic. I’m told I’m also not empathetic or even sympathetic.

What it means is this. I’m perfectly balanced. I suppose I should feel proud of being so well-balanced.

But I’m not. Therefore, here are some cute puppies. ( No. Cats not allowed! ).

A Maltese puppy.
A Maltese puppy. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

 

 

 

English: Golden retriever puppy, three months ...
English: Golden retriever puppy, three months old. (Daisy Parker) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I want to be happy – like that cute Golden Retriever! Make me happy! Say nice things! Tell your friends ( or enemies ) to come over and say stuff at me! Tell me it’s ok! The world hasn’t gone completely bonkers! Reassure me!

Remember, though: it’s “there, there, there”. Not: “They’re, their, there”. ( Ever a grammar nut.. )

Would you like to read an excerpt from Ye Famouse Playe? To kinda help you make up your mind? Do let me know.

Please.

Thank you.

< I said I would post the election post here. Post the writing of this post, I’ve decided not to post it here. Instead, I shall post it as it’s own post. Post my posting it as it’s own post, feel free to read it. And post your comments on the post. > 

The Second Annual Birthmonth Festival


As you may remember, most of you very carefully and diligently ignored the First Annual Birthmonth Festival. Now here is your chance to do so again. Yes, there is a difference. The last time around your indifference lasted a whole month. This time around, given that the world’s collective attention span is shorter than Trump’s fingers, I’ve decided that you get a week ( or 3 – well, maybe 4 ) to celebrate this August moment.

August, the month of hot summer days and cooling summer nights. August, the month of early leaves on the ground. August, the month of the last few school-free days. August, the month that should have been October ( don’t get it? Send me an email. See Contact Page for email form.) August, the month of Mother Teresa, who I met a couple of times. August, the month of days on the deck. August, the month of waiting for the advent of cool autumn. August, the start of the month of the Virgin. August, the end of the month of the Lion. August, the month in which I was born straddling The Lion and The Virgin. I’m told the earth itself shuddered the day after I was born. Possibly, the shock of it all was too much for Ma Earth.

I don't think it was my birthday... but what the hell, I thought
I don’t think it was my birthday… but what the hell, I thought

26th, next Friday is the day when a few decades earlier a child was born to a family meek and mild. Wait! No! I mean, yes a child was born, but not into a meek and mild family. We saw it in action during the recent wedding. Not mild. Not meek. I wouldn’t have it any other way. I suppose family is the friends we didn’t choose.

I must have chosen my mother wisely, for she was born the same day I was. This does not mean that she and I were born on the exact same day. I mean, we were born on the same annual day but were separated by 39 years. By which I mean she was born 39 years before I was. I was born on her birthday as a birthday present, I suppose. In fact, my first first words on appearing out into the world were “Happy birthday, mum!”. I remember, cake was served too, with a dollop of Haywards Gripe Water for me in addition.

It was many years ago, so my famed memory may be failing me. So maybe, it didn’t quite happen that way. In any case, the fact of the matter is, I was born. You knew that already, because you are reading this. I must have written this, so I am alive. To be alive now, I must have been born then. At least, that part is clear.

So here we are then. I’m here. You are there. I know I am here. Do I know you are there? Possibly, you are. You can prove it to me. Right in! I mean, write in! This is the part where the rite of writing can be performed even as you exercise your right of writing. Tell me about you, tell me stories, made up or real, about me. About me and you. About you.

Go ahead. Get ahead of the crowds. Apply early. Get your stories in. The first 500 stories will win spots number 1-500! Don’t wait! Do it now.

Contest open while blog lasts. See blog for details. There are no details. May cause nausea, fatigue, drowsiness. Especially, drowsiness. Also, headaches, bloating and excessive uncontrollable yawning. Do not forget to wish The SloMan, the PeevedPunjabi and LeggieLefty too. Unclejee too, though, we fear Unclejee is in a coma and not expected to recover.

Little Red Writer – 1


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A cute doggie to draw the readers in….

One day, Little Red Writer decided to write poetry. Now, poetry is very hard to do. Little Red Writer was little and unschooled. He had some words in his bag and he wanted to show his words to his granny, Facebook. Little Red Writer knew that poetry has rules. These are to be followed and sometimes broken. LRW, as he was called by his dog, knew just enough rules to think he could hack it.

LRW knew that poetry often uses metre. A metre in poetry is not the same as a beam of light in some laboratory in Europe. Metre is a measure of sounds in a line. There are names given to the poetry that follows different metres. LRW did not know all these. LRW was uneducated. LRW had not read much poetry. Poetry also uses rhymes. Rhymes are words used to end a line to make similar sounds. For example, June and Moon are rhymes. LRW knew rhymes.

Most importantly, Little Red Writer knew that poetry expressed feelings. He had often written letters to Granny Facebook. He had felt things. He had told Granny F everything he felt. What he felt most often was a sense of wonder. Gran was a very social being. She always had people over, partying and yelling and taking pictures and posting cat videos and puppies and posters about the importance of gods and goddesses with big butts and lots of cleavage and ministers and tv hosts and communist propaganda and faith. Granny F also had salons where poets and poetesses of all strengths, convictions, skills and ideas met and denigrated each other’s poetry.

Poetry, Little Red Writer learned, was a big thing for Granny F. Poetry produced many likers, a type of wonderful insect that tickled every pore of the poet, thrilling him/her as they drilled deep into his/her very core. The Little Red Writer also wanted to feel these lovely creatures and so he resolved to write his own poetry and mail them to Granny Facebook.

Little did Little Red Writer know that he knew very little. He little knew that to attract those little insects, Likers, he had to write words that meant little but gave much. So he put on his thinking cap, the one with the yellow tassels, the colour clashing beautifully with the scarlet of the cap itself. His white hair, poking through under the brim of the cap, his glasses aligned on his well-manicured nose, he set to work.

Granny Facebook is still waiting for the poetry that Little Red Writer is trying to write. The word on the street is that Little Red W is not really trying. Rumours abound that he has been busy planning weddings instead of writing. There are those who are rejoicing at the thought of a blog less clogged with poetry. These people are known cat-fanciers, however, and cannot be trusted to understand the Power of Poetry. There are some, a rare breed of dog-lovers, okra-eaters, lotus-worshippers and yoga practitioners, who do expect a bit of verse at regular intervals.

For them, unfortunately, the wait continues. The Little Red Writer has no poetry to offer. Granny F has given up waiting, even stopped clicking her teeth in frustration.

Granny F is waiting for poetry no more.
Little Red Writer is back being a bore.
He has no poetry to offer.
But a few words from his coffer,
no gore or sweaty pore, just tales of yore.

Right Hand Man – Chapter 3


The heavy black car eased slowly down the street. Fatty craned his neck left and right to inspect the houses as he steered the car. Beside him, Goon sat impassively in the passenger seat.

“Not the most upscale neighborhood, Chief.”, remarked Fatty.

“Don’t call me chief.”, Goon stared straight ahead.

“Ok, Boss!”

“And don’t call me Boss.”

Fatty looked over at him. Goon stared ahead, his face expressionless. Fatty refused to turn away until Goon shifted and shot a quick glance at him.

“Ok, Chief. Where are we now? The building should be here somewhere.”

“Turn right, up ahead, not the next one, the one after that. It should be just around the corner.”

Fatty drove the car up to the corner and made a careful turn, coming to a stop just short of a set of steps leading up to a double door. Goon promptly undid his seat belt with a sigh. For a moment the two of them sat and peered at the entrance to the block of flats. The wood of the door had long ago lost its polish. Years of neglect and weather had stripped the veneer off the surface, with worn spots around the handle showing the lack of care. The glass on the left hand pane had a large long crack running from the top left to the bottom right where it ended in a splatter of shattered glass. Two small slivers were missing. The brass door handles hadn’t seen any polish for a while. The grime and dust of the ages had dulled the metal into a filthy finish.

They stepped out of the car, Goon heaving himself out with a whooshing grunt and inspected the building and the street in which they stood. The building was eight stories tall. The windows on the right hand side of the sixth floor were the only ones that were shut. They were also the only ones that were not in a state of abject neglect. On the 7th floor directly above the good windows, the window on the left was actually hanging by one hinge with the glass panes were missing.

Goon made a grunting noise. Fatty looked at him.

“You say something, Chief?”

Goon cleared his throat in a rasping, rumbling manner and spoke.

“Doesn’t look like anyone looks after the building. Are you sure this is the right address.?”

Fatty took out his notebook and flipped over the pages. He nodded.

“Yep, this is the place alright. I wonder why it hasn’t been condemned yet.”

Down the street, a group of children were sitting on the steps of another building, one that looked only marginally better maintained.

“What’s wrong with those kids? “, Goon muttered.

There was definitely something odd about the group. For one, they were not playing or talking. There was no movement from them. They just turned and stared at the two policemen with unflinching stares. The tallest of them was also the skinniest. He looked like an elongated ten year old. For a few moments both groups stared at each other. Then, casually and slowly, the skinny young man walked towards Goon and Fatty. Fatty sensed rather than saw Goon stiffen next to him. The rest of the group of children followed their leader, staying a step or two behind him.

The thin boy walked up to the car and slowly ran his hand over the bonnet. He peered into the car, ignoring both men with insolent and exaggerated deliberation. The rest of his gang stopped short of the car, watching warily as the gang leader sauntered up to Fatty, looked him up and down and stopped at Goon.

“What’s the matter, laddie?”, Goon was at his growliest best, “you never see a car before?”

The youth didn’t answer, but just stared at him. Goon stared right back.

“You’re cops.”

“Yes. And you better watch it. You don’t want to be arrested for vagrancy and loitering.”

“What you here for?”

“None of your business, laddie. You just clear orf now, see?”

“You here to see the old hag? She’s batty.”

“I’m going to give you 30 seconds to clear orf before I arrest the whole lot of you for impeding an officer in the conduct of his duty.”

The youth took a step back and looked from Goon to Fatty and back again.

“Which one of you is in charge?”

Fatty said, “Now, look here, kid..”

Goon cut him off. He stepped toward the boy and his thick finger stopped 3 inches from the gang leader’s chest.

“You! Step away! You want me to arrest you for obstructing the law?”

Goon’s voice was firm and loud. His neck was thrust forward in a pugnacious display of authority. For a moment the big Detective Sergeant and the young boy stood frozen. Goon, a big giant, towered over the skinny lad. Fatty stepped towards the gang, who scattered and hastily beat a retreat. Goon and the gang leader were still staring at each other. Finally, the boy turned slowly on his heel and walked back to his gang, who had taken up station again at the original spot. They watched sullenly as Goon stood watching them. Then he turned and stumped up the stairs. Fatty followed, with his head turned to watch the kids.

Goon stopped at the door and asked “What’s the name of the lady?”

“Mrs. Miller. Been in the same flat for 54 years, she says. Must be in her 80s I think.”

Goon opened the door and stepped into a dark foyer. One lonely electric bulb hung from a wire high up in the ceiling, giving off just enough light to show the old oak staircase. Worn and creaky, one or two spindles missing, a couple cracked.

Goon looked up and asked “Which floor?”

“Sixth, I’m afraid, Chief. You’ll do fine. Take your time.”

“Don’t patronize me, young man!”

“Sorry Chief! Shall we go up and meet the lovely Mrs Miller?

Goon sighed and started up the stairs, with Fatty behind.

Stocktaking


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Stocklight (c) Ajesh Sharma. Do not copy or reuse.

Stock taking is the business of figuring what you do have on hand. There was a time in my life when I was fooled into thinking I should be an accountant. I spent many a time walking around in 38c weather in sunny and shadeless factories, with a tape measure and a piece of chalk, measuring steel sheets baking in the hot sun, or counting nuts and bolts in a hot stock room and comparing my numbers against the ledgers. Luckily for the world of accountants and accountancy, I found it “dull, deadly dull” and I dropped out, turned on and tuned in to the world of technology.

If you’re thinking technology lucked out, you may be mistaken. My technology career has been long, but not necessarily brilliant. right now, I live on the fringe of technology. Not quite in and not quite out. I believe that’s what “they” call “living on the edge”. How so, you don’t ask? I know you don’t, so it is quite fruitless to deny it. You have no interest in what I do for a living. However, I’m well known, to me, as a kindly soul, so I shall tell you what I do for a living.

Well, the truth is, “Not Much”. Yes, I don’t do much. Every once in a while some kindly, well-meaning person hires my brain and I go off to build something, and / or teach people how to do their jobs better. Otherwise, I sit around writing rubbish like this and worry about what this blog looks like.

For the past month, I’ve not even worried about the blog much. I told you already, back in this rant article that this blog may suffer from lack of attention. And I was right. You should have expected it, because I told you so. However, I feel it is not really fair to ignore you. Yes, I’ve also not been reading your blogs. In fairness, though, I haven’t read any blogs at all. So no one has been singled out.

I’ve been stressed out about The Play. It now has a tentative name. It’s called “Choice”. Maybe “A Matter of Choice”. Until something better comes along I shall use that. I’m now in cycle 4 or 5 of edits and it’s mindboggling how many simple things hit you in the face after weeks away from it. So many moments, where I look at the words and go “Oh really? That’s so corny!” Sometimes, there are typos, double words, “is is”, and the stage directions are very time consuming. The business of making the actors move to suit the story is hard! If the dialogues were hard, the stage sets and directions are exponentially harder. Then there is the issue of finding takers for it. I suppose the best way forward would be copyright it and publish on Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing. Might even earn me a cent or two, if someone actually downloads it.

Then there is the Memoirs, Vol 1. I’ve taken some of the stories you may have already read, and mixed them up with a lot of stuff you haven’t and created a volume that chronicles my life in India. This is now about 50,000 words long and will grow another 10k – 20k before I start editing. I think the ultimate length will be around 60-65k or about 130 pages. Short and to the point, you know. After all, it does cover 37 years of my life.

One of the things you should start seeing on this blog is some stories about my life in Canada. This is not something I’ve covered much so far, so you have that wonderful bit to look forward to. Once I’m done with the 2 things above, I shall work on Vol 2 of the Memoirs – focusing on my life in North America.

I have also, 2 or 3 short stories lying around. Neglected, these may see some work being done on them in the later part of the year. Possibly, by Christmas, I shall have enough to create a collection of shorts.

The there is fan fiction, based on characters from Enid Blyton’s stories. Two chapters already exist on this blog, labelled, for some odd reason, Chapter 1 and Chapter 2. I plan to post these on the blog directly. Freebies! The germ of the mystery comes from a certain situation some European friends told me once. Then the story itself pits erstwhile antagonists as partners charged with solving the mystery. Along the way, you will see references to a past incident that was instrumental in bringing them together. How will those children handle grown up life? How do they deal with the issues of working with people with whom they’ve had major conflicts? Find out more on this blog!

This then is the stock at hand. Stay tuned for further information. I’d like to know what else you’d like to see here:

  • Travel trips – France, Upstate NY, Quebec, Saskatoon, Cuba, Cruises ?
  • Recipes – More easy sandwiches, soups, curries?
  • Rants – The Age of Superlatives, Polar Opposites, The Orange Republican, The State of God?
  • Feelgood – Upliftment ( 🙂 )
  • Wonder – Fakes and Conspiracies.

Let me know!

Rushin’ Retirement


Proppeller-fan
Proppeller-fan (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
NOT THAT KIND OF FAN!

I met this lady online who reads this blog. From all accounts, she loves the posts. With her birthday coming up, she requested that I write a post and dedicate it to her. For her birthday. Which is today. March 7th.

Well, who am I to refuse a request for an article from a female fan? Actually, who am I refuse a request for an article? No one else has ever asked me to write and dedicate anything to them. People have made suggestions, yes, some articles, such as the Mishti Doi propaganda piece, came from suggestions by friends. I even, once, wrote a pome on request! I mean how low could I possibly sink, how desperate could I be when it comes to finding a suitable topic? The correct answer is, “pretty low, quite desperate.”.

Now this request is not Continue reading “Rushin’ Retirement”