Return of Humpty Dumpty

Image

Humpty Dumpty woke up next to a wall.

The same one where he had had his famous fall.

Under the skies of early dawn,

He stood up stretching his tiny arms.

Held his spinning head with a hangover from last night.

Resting his back against the wall, he looked around.

Cinderella was making out with Snow white and,

Drunk Rabbit was still fooling around with Alice in wonderland.

It was end of the year 2013 that had passed by.

He checked the drunken texts he had sent to his ex-wife.

One sided conversations with not a single reply.

And just when he was about to get depressed and feel sad,

He heard someone coughing, followed by a smell he could recognize.

Humpty Dumpty looked up as far as he could have,

To spot Baba black sheep staring at stars with glassy eyes.

“Baba black sheep, you’ve got any gra**?

Yes you stupid egg, I got 4 big packs.

One for the Beauty, two for the Beast.

One for Aladdin,

And one for you mate, come back up on the wall.’’

I shall not get back to where they keep pushing me down from,

Just roll one for me friend and throw it down” Humpty replied.

Taking a drag off the magic wand in his hand,

Humpty looked at New Year’s moon with glassy eyes.

Humpty had fallen for the ones he should’ve never climbed the wall for.

With his falls pretty metaphorical to most of our love lives.

Firecrackers now lit up the sky & reflected in Humpty Dumpty’s eyes.

He spotted the naked Cupid flying around and smiled,

Humpty had finally come up with his new year’s resolve –

‘To be friends with Baba black sheep and beat up blind Cupid’s ass.’

P.S. In order to fully decipher what you read, you must be over the age of 18 & adequately high!

Flight D-179

Most days of the year are ordinary. Most days of the year have no major impact whatsoever on your life.
December 26th was not one of these days.

Image

I hustled through the crowd at Indira Gandhi International Airport to reach gate no. 9. I was welcomed there by the screen displaying a notice that – Flight 179 from Delhi to Pune was delayed by half an hour from its scheduled time.

I did not say ‘crap’ or any of its synonyms. I could already see too many tired and frustrated faces around. Maybe the place needed somebody with a smile. And then I spotted one.

Sitting far behind.

Holding a plastic coffee mug in one hand and turning pages of the novel in her lap with the other. The other hand was also given the task of moving hair off her face every second minute as they slid down her forehead smoothly, blocking her eyes.

It must have been two to three minutes that I was staring at her like a fool. But a fool I would be even if I were not staring. She was just too good looking not to be distracted by.

And then I saw a tiny, minuscule window of opportunity. An empty seat next to her.

I studied the surrounding with the blink of an eye.
The fat bald guy with a suitcase was walking towards her direction and so was a dude with a pony-tail, eyeing the same seat and walking towards it.

I used all of my superpowers to get past 15-20 random, unimportant human beings on my way to her…jumping over the security ropes and avoiding small kids, trying to get kicked high. And I grabbed the seat. Hell yes! The seat was mine.

She turned her face up to see me sitting next to her. I pretended to look in front and then at my phone.

But ‘the corner of the eye’ guys, ‘corner of the eye’. It is what makes us yield to temptations.

“The trouble is I did not want to wish her goodbye. I wanted to kiss her goodnight. And there’s whole lot of difference in that…”

I sneakily read few lines from the novel she was engrossed in. And that was enough for me to understand what was making her smile.

“Have you read Fiesta?” I asked her.

“Umm…Sorry?’’

“I said, I mean I saw you reading Hemmingway. So I was asking if you have read the story he wrote – Fiesta’’.

“Not really. But I have heard it is a really good read. You like Hemmingway?’’ she asked me back turning her face slightly towards me.

‘’ Yeah. He is definitely…one of my all time favourites.

And what about you? Looks like this is the first Hemmingway book that you are reading.’’

‘’Well, sort of. I plan to read. I always do. I buy books and don’t end up reading them’’ she said and I replied in a hurry,

“Same here. I do the same, all the time. Unless some flight gets delayed or someone makes you wait for long and then you thank yourself for carrying the novel in your bag.’’

‘’I know right!’’ she smiled wide and I felt happy inside as I watched her closing the book and turning all the attention to our conversation.

No rings on fingers. Hair tied up in a hurry. United Colours of Benetton sports jacket. Not staring into the cellphone screen. Single? Committed? Or even worse, maybe Married as well? Maybe yes. Maybe not. I was trying not to be judgmental. But this girl was just too cute not to notice her.

‘’So what do you…what do you do other than reading books?” I asked. I knew there was not much time left for boarding to start.

‘’Apart from reading books or carrying them along, I work as an HR Manager for an IT company.’’ She spoke.

‘’Hmm…That is not even remotely close to what I had imagined.’’ I said before thinking anything.

‘’Haha, and what did you exactly imagine me to be?” she raised her eyebrows and curved her lips at the same time.

“You know, I thought you would be a media planner for a company or an anchor for some TV channel…you know something like that” I said smiling back.

‘’Wow, your imagination was rather close to what I had imagined myself to be, once upon a time. An Anchor. Didn’t happen though. You know, scored well in graduation finals. Got a job through campus. Good salary….and kept going with the flow.
What about you? What did you see yourself becoming in future when you were in college or school?”

‘’Hmm…’’ I thought for a second as I answered that, ‘’I always wanted to be a football player. Play for some big club you see. At an international level. Something like that’’ I said scratching my head.

‘’And did the reality come any close to your dream?’’ she relaxed her chin into her right palm and waited for my answer.

‘’Well, I once got substituted in 60th minute for my school team. We lost the match. And apart from that, I became a die-hard supporter of Arsenal Football club which I have a strong feeling, might just win something this season. I certainly hope so.
Yeah, that‘s as close to my dream as I could get…hahaha’’ we both laughed.

‘’That’s okay. I think what matters is, that you try. At least once, wake up and tell yourself – Hey what the hell! Let me at least give it a shot. Maybe the dream might come true.’’

“True. True that’’ I agreed to her. “So you are going to Pune for a vacation or you work there?’’

‘’I work there. I’m from Delhi.  And you?’’ she asked me.

‘’I’m from Pune. Although I work elsewhere.’’

“Cool’’ she said as we both looked at each other to know if there was anything more to this meeting.

Boarding had already started five minutes back. It was time to go.

I suddenly realised that I had not even asked her for her number. Not even her name.

‘’Hey, I do hope you get a shot at becoming an anchor someday’’ I said as I got up holding my bag.

‘’Thank you. That is really sweet of you to say that. But I’m gonna have to tell you to postpone your dream a bit. Because Arsenal is not going to win a trophy this time either.’’

‘’What…?’’ I smiled a bit with a puzzled face.

‘’Yeah, you heard me!’’ her eyes twinkled as she said that putting her laptop bag over her shoulder, displaying a big Manchester United logo over it.

“Take care’’ she waved me goodbye.

I stood there for half a minute, wondering how fast the half an hour had passed.

Should I have asked her for her number? Would she say yes? Would she deny? Would we see each other again? Maybe. There were just so many possibilities.

I moved to the boarding counter and saw her walking ahead, her hair swinging from side to side as she walked.

I kept looking at her to see if she looks behind.

She did not.

But I could tell that we both shared a something during next two hours of that journey.
Our faces wore a smile knowing that, some stories are better left incomplete.

Curiosity killed Santa Claus!

images

Dear Santa,

What’s up? I am great. Guess what, I am in 4th grade now. Mamma says, I’m a big boy. I hope you remember that my birthday was also just few days back – on 16th. Anyway this means that like every year, I have more than a reason to expect surprise gifts from you. And yes, less of advice note on why those gifts might spoil me and my little sister Sana. So no more giving us some other gift instead of the ones mentioned on the cheat inside socks.

Santa, it has been almost 5 to 6 years that I have been putting a wishlist inside my socks hanging at the edge of my bed and keeping a close eye to catch you coming to read it. But you always win. You always did so far. I fall asleep somehow and you sneak your big tummy inside the room thought the tiny window besides my bed. Story book says that you carry gifts for kids in your big red bag. But then how do you know what’s on the wish-note in advance?

I’ll tell you how Daddy. Because you don’t want you kids to feel sad. Because you want us to wake up with a smile. To see a big Teddy bear sitting by our side. I’m sorry I asked for a phone last Xmas. I know I’m too small for that. But then I am big enough to figure out who is the real Santa Claus. I am your son after all. I was very curious as to why Santa always brings pencils & story books from the same shop and how come Sana and I get our own gifts even when I put the cheats into wrong socks. So, I thought and thought and I thought for a long time. I understood that if Santa was any real, then our Maid’s little baby would have been getting a big bar of chocolate every year as well. But he doesn’t. I figured it out daddy. I figured it out long back.

But don’t worry, I have not told Sana anything. She is too small. I told her what you told me about God. That you will know once you grow up. Besides I want my little sister to be happy thinking I believe in Santa Claus too. Just the way you make Mamma happy when you worship God along.

Now go get me my Hot wheels car. If you don’t, I promise I will tell Sana about Santa…hehehe.

Love you.

Yours,

Pavan.

30 minutes nahi toh Free

Image

.

5.00 pm

.

Pizza-house, Sector 14, Gurgaon

I am waiting for Gaurav to handover two pizza boxes to me to be parceled. I pick up few sachets of oregano and chilly flakes along with few others of ketchup to put them in the parcel bag. Seema hands over the copy of bill to me and I closed the glass door of famous Pizza place behind.

I have now stepped outside the air conditioned world into the sun-kissed roads of Delhi. I take my bike out of the parking lot after I’m done carefully putting the pizza boxes inside the parcel box. I kick start my bike, adjust my cap once looking into the bike’s mirror and I’m ready to go.

My name is Atul and I am your pizza delivery boy!

.

5.04 pm

.

I am crossing the highway ahead of sector 2-market and I suddenly feel vibration in my right pocket. Not stopping by the side of the road, I take it out swiftly to see ‘’Neeti calling’’ flashing on its screen. I keep watching it while I dodge the traffic to turn the screen to ‘’3 missed calls from Neeti’’.  I was supposed to meet her today.

It is her birthday. I should have spoken to her at least by now. I am doing math in my head. 5.30 pm delivery is must in order to complete my daily target. I can’t miss her birthday. But then neither could I miss my incentives.

I do not know if it was depth of my thoughts about her or the length of the road, which just took almost 10 minutes for me to get to the signal at crossing.

.

5.14 pm

.

“Shit!” The asshole cop is whistling at me again to stop.

Last time he caught me jumping the red light, I had to pay him entire 45 bucks in my wallet that I had. Bastard knows very well that I do not have time to waste.

But I am not stopping this time.

My right hand wrist moves up and so does the speed-o-meter arrow in reply. With my bike is crossing another two squares, Policeman’s whistle is fast fading away behind.

.

5.23 pm

.

The giant glass building of Medanta Medicity hospital on the left side of the road looks down upon this pizza boy, as I stop my bike to recheck the address for delivery.

I wipe my sweaty palms over my jeans and open the page to read,

“Miss Sakshi Raai

Sector 39, Emerald Greens Apartment

Contact 99484…………”

My tired eyes are searching for any signs of this apartment in every possible direction.

A fleet of rickshaw drivers are chatting on other side of the road and at this moment I strongly feel they are the ones who might save me.

I have just few minutes left.

.

5.28 pm

.

They don’t. No one has an inkling of an idea, where the apartment is. I look at the contact number on the page and dial it for the 3rd time in last 2 minutes.

It is not reachable.

I turn my bike around and decide to trust my instincts.

I take a right turn inside the lane that stretches in front of the main gate of Medanta Hospital.

As I ride my bike at slow speed & racing heart beat, I cross a tall building displaying a big Tax office sign over it. Further I can see another big building with construction work going on in its background. And on the right side of it…I see…on the right side I can see some colonies…I fix my eyes on the right side now, as I ride my bike. I pass a couple of apartments and finally reach where I am supposed to.

Emerald Greens!

I park my bike by the side of the road and hurriedly move inside the building.

I don’t wait for the lift to take me there. I cannot risk fighting a battle with probability anymore. Time is running out. I take the stairs to reach the third floor.

Standing outside customer’s house, I balance pizza boxes on my right palm and stretch out my left arm to ring the bell.

The eye-hole turns dark and it is followed by hungry cheers from inside the room.

.

5.36 pm

.

I am late.

I adjust my cap once and yes, I wear my perfect pizza boy-smile.

Miss Sakshi opens the door.

‘’Good evening Mam’. I am Atul. Please take your order. And…this is your bill”

She checks her watch conveying the message clearly to me, and then checks the bill.

You know you are late, right?’’ She says as she looks at me from head to toe.

”Sakshi, don’t pay. It is well beyond 30 minutes” someone shouts out from inside the room.

I simply stand there with my impassive face. I have no answer.

She gives me another look…to my tired face & hopeful eyes and then opens her purse.

She hands over the money to me & locks the door behind.

Thank you!’’ is what I say and look at Mr Gandhi on the rupee note.

He gives me a content smile saying, ”humanity is still very much alive…!”