One (k)night stand

It was clear that she had smiled at me for the second time. Clad in a tight top and a fashionable jean that revealed more than it covered, she had a mesmerising presence. We were the only occupants of the waiting room in the airport lounge and were seated on the two rows of chairs facing each other. The time of the night and the cool breeze from tthe air conditioner accentuated the general feeling of romance.

A few minutes passed or was it hours? I was getting impatient when I saw that she had gestured to me by a sleight of her hand. Was it real? Was she an apparition? I was thinking while observing her every movement.

That was when she made the move. She shifted her leg, placed one over the other, cast a seductive smile before pursing her lips and blowing a kiss. What more sign does one need?

Oh My God! Is this what they call ‘One Night Stand?’

My body stiffened. I didn’t want to miss the chance and got ready for any eventuality. How should I begin? I thought to myself. Racking my brain to remember some scenes from the many books that I had read, I finally stood up and started towards her.

That was when the little boy, hiding behind me, darted across the aisle shouting ‘Mooommmy.’

The Iron Box

The feeble, frail and old diamond merchants’ gaze was fixed on the old and rusted Iron box in the attic as he lay dying on the bed surrounded by his remorseful son Stephen, crying daughters and surprised grand children.

‘Grandpa wants his old box’ said the five year old, Stephen’s only son.
‘Shut up’ Stephen said, ‘grandpa is not well. Don’t talk about anything else. There is nothing in the box now except for some rusted iron tubes from his old bicycle’ he said with the appearance of a know all.

The old man opened his mouth twice and then lay still with his eyes fixed on the attic.

Three days after the funeral, the attic and its contents were dumped into the yard for John the ragpicker to collect.

For sure, the old iron box contained worn out iron tubes.

Stephen was pleasantly surprised when John moved in to the next bungalow later that month.

‘Bought it, Sir’, said John, increasing Stephen’s surprise.

‘Doing lots of business, I believe’, said John.

‘Yes Sir, left the rag picking. Became a diamond merchant last week’.

For sure, the old iron box contained worn out iron tubes, as well.

Taxi gyaan, yet again

Clearing immigration at Changi at 4 in the morning was a breeze, as usual, though my head was throbbing due to the highly turbulent air over the Bay of Bengal.
I quickly drew cash from the ATM and was at the fag end of the taxi queue when I noticed the rather peaceful looking but fragile chinese gentleman near an SMRT taxi.
‘Clementi, uncle,’ I said

‘Vacation a,’ uncle asked.

That was when I noticed that he was straining to see ahead of him. He had to lean forward to see the road ahead. I felt acid secretion in my stomach.

‘Does he have an eye problem?’ I said inwardly while I actually said,’ Uncle, everything alright?’ He never answered. So were he hard of hearing as well ? What a way to start my day,’ I thought.

That was when the lorry came too close. We were already in AYE and there was no one in sight.

‘Oh my God, Uncle, please be careful,’ when the lorry came close once again.

After two minutes, the lorry came to an abrupt halt in front of us and the yound chinese driver jumped out.

He came menacingly towards the taxi gestured uncle to lower the glass window. And started his abuse at uncle. He spoke extremely fast in what I assumed to be Hokkein. His middle finger was raised al through.

Uncle never uttered a word. He kept looking patiently at the abuser.

The abuser left but only after hurling, what I assumed to be, the choicest expletives and combined that with different bodily signs.

I took a photo of the lorry’s number plate and started dialing 999 when Uncle stopped me.

‘Never mind. Leave him. It should have been my mistake. He was probably halving a bad day and found a vent in me.’

‘But, he could have hit you. I suggest you call the police,’ I said.

No, young man, I call the police and he goes to jail. Looks like he is from mainland China. He might have a family there. What will happen to them?’ said uncle.

‘No Uncle, he might have caused an accident, don’t you think so?’

‘See, accident needs two parties. I normally am not party to accidents. So relax.’

I was spell bound and never opened my mouth until I arrived at my destination.

‘Take care and have a nice day, young man’, said uncle and off he drove.

Taxi Gyaan, yet again

Clearing immigration at Changi at 4 in the morning was a breeze, as usual, though my head was throbbing due to the highly turbulent air over the Bay of Bengal. 
I quickly drew cash from the ATM and was at the fag end of the taxi queue when I noticed the rather peaceful looking but fragile chinese gentleman near an SMRT taxi. 
‘Clementi, uncle,’ I said

‘Vacation a,’ uncle asked.

That was when I noticed that he was straining to see ahead of him. He had to lean forward to see the road ahead. I felt acid secretion in my stomach.

‘Does he have an eye problem?’ I said inwardly while I actually said,’ Uncle, everything alright?’ He never answered. So were he hard of hearing as well ? What a way to start my day,’ I thought. 

That was when the lorry came too close. We were already in AYE and there was no one in sight.

‘Oh my God, Uncle, please be careful,’ when the lorry came close once again.

After two minutes, the lorry came to an abrupt halt in front of us and the yound chinese driver jumped out.

He came menacingly towards the taxi gestured uncle to lower the glass window. And started his abuse at uncle. He spoke extremely fast in what I assumed to be Hokkein. His middle finger was raised al through.

Uncle never uttered a word. He kept looking patiently at the abuser.

The abuser left but only after hurling, what I assumed to be, the choicest expletives and combined that with different bodily signs. 

I took a photo of the lorry’s number plate and started dialing 999 when Uncle stopped me.

‘Never mind. Leave him. It should have been my mistake. He was probably halving a bad day and found a vent in me.’

‘But, he could have hit you. I suggest you call the police,’ I said.

No, young man, I call the police and he goes to jail. Looks like he is from mainland China. He might have a family there. What will happen to them?’ said uncle.

‘No Uncle, he might have caused an accident, don’t you think so?’

‘See, accident needs two parties. I normally am not party to accidents. So relax.’

I was spell bound and never opened my mouth until I arrived at my destination.

‘Take care and have a nice day, young man’, said uncle and off he drove.

The book launch

The front office opulence floored me so much so that I didn’t realize I was glaring at the receptionist who had apparently asked my name for the third time. ‘Err, I am Ranga,’ I stammered, trying to hide my south indian accent in front of the suave north indian receptionist.

Looking at the office and the lady, I was determined to clinch the publishing deal. I didn’t dare to speak to her for fear of appearing coquettish. She ushered me to a lounge looking waiting room where I was given a cup of tea. Why did the tea taste so out of the world?

‘Finally I have made it,’ I said to myself not knowing that the lady had overheard what I had said. I had toiled for this day all through my life. How many rejections? I wondered what the publishing houses would do with rejected manuscripts. Would they bin them? I checked myself so that the inauspicious thoughts don’t creep in.

The meeting with the editor lasted 2 hours and ended in an envelope that contained a $100 cheque as an advance payment – whatever that meant.  I was moved and realized that I was moved when things started to look blurred.

I spent the next two weeks in informing Facebook friends on the impending launch of my book under the famed ‘Anshul Publishing House’ tag. My chest swelled to 56’ (Modi forgive me).

His Excellency the Governor is launching the book tomorrow at 4 PM in ‘The Ritz’ hotel. Please do come over. The book is titled ‘The Madrasi’. Author: Anshul Sharma. Publishers : Anshul Publishing House.

No, I won’t be in the function. Why? Didn’t you see yesterday’s obituary page?

The old box and its tubes

The feeble, frail and old diamond merchants’ gaze was fixed on the old and rusted iron box in the attic as he lay dying on the bed surrounded by remorseful sons, crying daughters and surprised grand children.

‘Grandpa wants his old box’ said the five year old.

‘Shut up’ his father said, ‘grandpa is not well. Don’t talk about anything else’.
‘There is nothing in the box now except for some rusted iron tubes from his old bicycle’ he said with the appearance of a know all.

The old man opened his mouth twice and then lay still.

Three days after the funeral, the attic and its contents were dumped into the yard for ragpickers to collect. The son was right. The box had all worn out tubes. But he didn’t know the full truth though.

The tubes had diamonds worth 3 million that the old man had hidden from the authorities.