Yes! I did it again!

Read this before reading the following post (if you have not already read it).

It was some day in August 2008. I was working in AnimationXpress as Design Head for their upcoming event AFF. Chaitra, Vidhi and I decided to go to Pop Tates for dinner after a really hectic day. Reaching there, we found a queue waiting and we were no. 6 or something. We were asked to wait for 15 mins. I and Chaitra resumed our conversation (we were in some very animated discussion, can’t remember the subject as of now) while Vidhi moved away to buy a fag. Right next to where we were standing was a chaat vendor surrounded by a gang of ladies loudly chattering while crunching pani puri. I always loved pani puri you see.

After something like 5mins or so I turned to find Vidhi gulping down pani puri. While talking to Chaitra I swiftly moved towards her and grabbed the puri she was about to gobble.

Akele akele kha rahi hai motu? (Having it all alone, fato!)” I said opening my mouth wide.

 Just as the superbly awesome crunchy mouth watering pani puri was halfway through my mouth I noticed a lady staring at me with immense disgust and hatred. Her eyes told me she was hitting me left right and center in her mind at that moment. A punch on the right cheek, one in the eye, one in the tummy, elbow on my back and that one final kick. BAM!

Next came the sudden hard hitting realization. THAT WAS NOT VIDHI! I saw Vidhi right behind that lady, at a distance, smoking and looking at me with Don’t-tell-me-you-did-that look.

I froze! Time had just stopped. The chatter faded. Everybody was quiet, fully concentrating on what just happened. I wasn’t able to decide if I should eat it or put it back at her plate. To my horror, I saw Chaitra on my left witnessing what just happened.

Itna hi mann tha pani puri khaane ka to mujhe bol deta, main khila deti, logon ki plate se mat chheen Himanshu”  she barked (yes! Bitch was what came to my mind at that moment!). Exactly what I was looking for, support of a friend. I could feel the blood circulation on my face. It was getting hot.

The lady smiled realizing what just happened and said “Eat it. Its ok. It happens.” I still didn’t gulp it. Was holding right there halfway in my mouth. “Arey kha lo, koi baat nahi, I will take another one” she insisted. I pushed that pani puri inside my mouth with all my strength (Trust me, it took a lot of it) and then I chewed and chewed. It was not tasting how it should. Referring to an episode of FRIENDS,  like Phoebe’s shoes, every crunch was sounding in my ears “Not mine Not mine” and if I would try to chew faster I would hear “Not not mine not not mine”. I swallowed!

I apologized to her. Smiling even more widely she said, “Its perfectly alright. It happens. Don’t worry, carry on”. I offered to pay but she completely refused.

“Guys, you can come in!” called the restaurant guy. I could have kissed him! I so needed that escape.  Embarrassed like never before I began walking towards the restaurant. I could hear giggles, laughs and comments from my back. No way I had done that to my self!

Vidhi and Chaitra had transformed into dementors sucking on to this dark incident and rubbing it in again and again. They had just swallowed all the happiness, hope and light from me. Everyone in that restaurant who laughed, I thought was just told about that incident by the waiter. Even the order looked like it wasn’t what I had ordered.

Kha le Himanshu, yeh tera hi hai!” giggled Chaitra and Vidhi raising a toast to yet another milestone in idiocy just erected by me.

For the rest of the evening, I couldn’t help but think of that incident again and again. I hated Vidhi for wearing that Black top of hers and tying her hair in her typical high jooda style. That was what had confused me since that lady was like the body double of Vidhi planted to fool me. It took me days to completely overcome this one.

Even though its been quite long now, the memories are still as fresh in my mind as the smell of pani puri.

Mom’s are amazing…

I am writing after a long time. Been wanting to write so many things all this while but never got the time to do so. However, today I decided I must write.

I am a student of communication. Still studying Film Production which is indeed, a very sensitive form of mass communication. However, today even I failed to sort out a very small task which otherwise could’ve been done very smoothly. 
I got to know that Sankalp, my tiny 50gms bro is coming back from Lucknow. Overwhelmed by ideas of what all I can ask him to get from my home, I decided to get my black jacket (more of an over coat) and a half sleeve plain white t-shirt which I had forgotten to get with me this time. Mom happily agreed to send the items. Sankalp met my dad at a mid point and took the packet. On his way back home, my dad called me and demanded an explanation for asking for pointless clothes. I was utterly confused as why would a jacket be pointless in winters. But what he told me really made me realize the whole exercise has indeed become pointless. 
I asked my mom to give my black jacket (for all my readers, I have only one jacket in my entire house which is Black). She however decided to work this whole situation out of her gut feelings. She packed the following items and sent them across :
1. Black COAT – which apart from being out of fashion is so big for me now (losing kg of weight has its disadvantages). I had intentionally left it at home.
2. A half suede jacket – Me and my dad have identical jackets of this kind. This time, while coming from home, I picked dad’s jacket which fits me better than mine (read 1. for the reason of this). Now I will have two of same jackets out of which one I can’t wear.
3. A green jacket- which I had left at home because of its damaged inner lining. However, she failed to see the tear. It being over sized is not so much of problem as of now.
4. Two full sleeve t-shirts – which I never mentioned in the phone call. God knows what is coming my way now.
5. A pack of chikki and gajak – highly appreciated items but again not a part of the brief. 
As for why that undisputed black jacket never made its way to the packet, the reason is plain and simple – “I thought it’s dad’s jacket, why would you wear it?”. This took me to a flashback
Dad – “Son, you keep this jacket!”
Me – “But dad, its your favourite jacket? Why are you giving it to me?”
Dad – “I travel in air-conditioned car. I don’t need it. You have to travel outdoors, go on shoots in winters. It makes more sense for you. It one of the best jackets that can protect you in worst of colds.”
Me – ” Thank you so much dad!”
Now, to think of it, Mom was nowhere around when I and dad were exchanging these emotions. Can’t blame her now.
So, a poor chap is carrying a packet for me all the way from Lucknow not realizing that most of it is not of much use. 
Important point to note here is my dad called me and scolded me for asking for such useless clothes on his WAY BACK after delivering the packet to Sankalp. Interesting to think is, he knew the packet is useless before delivering it to Sankalp. He could’ve called and confirmed before giving it away. But dads are dads after all. 🙂
I will, however, not let this go all waste. Will try and get everything altered to fit.
When I got to know all this, it was too late. Upset I began chatting with Shruti. She told me another story. Please read 🙂

mum ne meko bola k unhone mere saare winter cloths naina k ghar rakhwa diye hain
i went all the way to meerut to get ALL my winter cloths from naina’s place

ok

what i get there???
3 jackets…..
nd that is it
3 jackets
2 new
and one old which i wr at home
no sweaters
no inners
nothing

hmmmm
are our mom’s competing by any chance?
if they are…its not a very good game to play with their kids

do i have only 3 jackets 4 warm cloths????
i cant agree more

hahaha
hahahahahaha
welcome to the club

i mean wat am i supposed to wr all winter long???

did u talk to ur mom
?

10:44pm

just 3 jakets
no
im too mad to do that
its soooooo damn cold hr
nd its going to b a lot worse
urrrrrggggggggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
Thus, I thought I can share this with the world. Awaiting Sankalp’s visit to my flat with my packet. 🙂

suntyms lyf isn’t as str8 as it seems…

Hi,
 I know I have delayed the third chapter way too much but I am afraid it is going to take longer since I am busy with a lot of things, mainly Common Wealth Games 2010 and my summer project. However, I am now ready to release the first promotional poster to my upcoming short film, ASL?. This film has been in my head for a long time now and will soon be taking shape. Since I am totally engrossed in delivering my commitments for CWG2010 and after that, I shall get on to the production of ASL?, I don’t see the next chapter coming out so soon even though it nearly ready. My apologies to all my readers.

Meanwhile, please have a look at the poster and give me your sincere comments. As my project progresses and things develop, I will keep my blog updated with it. So stay tuned and help me make this film a memorable one.

With warm regards,
Himanshu

Chapter 2: The Realization

I woke up and saw the familiar clock on the side table showing 01:30. I was in my room. I got up. I wasn’t wearing anything on top. There was a significant amount of bandage running all over my chest, stomach and back. My left leg had a cast. My head had a bandage, and there were lots of bruises on my arms. But strangely, I remembered nothing after my fall near the railway track. The room was bright with sunlight. Everything seemed very much as I had left it. The door of my room was open. I could see that someone had played my PS3 as there was a mess of dvds around it. I never leave stuff like that. Only one suspect…

I called out “Steve??”. I could feel some pain now.

“Oyeeee….you got up…..wait a min…I’ll be right there…” I heard the familiar shouting. It was Stephen, my best friend, my room mate and he was in my project too.

“Yaar get some water” I told him. “Okay…” came the reply. I was feeling really comfortable to be back at my room after what all had happened with me. I totally denied my head to think of anything about that incident. I just wanted to relax for sometime because I had a strong gut feeling, it was not over.

Stephen came in the room holding a big tray with bread, butter, omelette, a big glass of mixed fruit juice, some medicines and a glass of water. This was the best part about him. He was very caring and equally good cook. He kept the tray next to me and quickly hugged me tightly. I too felt like heaven to be back to my buddy…alive!

“aaah….” I screamed of pain caused due to this brotherly love. He quickly released me.
“Sorry” he smiled.

“How did I come here?” I asked him.

“First gulp this medicine. Doc had asked me to give it to you the moment you woke up. You then have to finish the breakfast. We can then talk as much as we want to, we have the world’s time” he said in his usual calm tone.

I obeyed. The taste of omelette was superb. I gulped every bit within no time followed by emptying the glass of mixed fruit juice, my favourite. God I was hungry! He helped me lye down once again after the breakfast. He sat next to me and began,

“Sudhesh and Rahul were very close to you when you all were running away. They looked back and saw you falling down. They quickly picked you up and continued their run. After sometime, they reached a road where they stopped a passing by car. Luckily the driver was a good man, he agreed to get you in the car and they rushed you to the hospital. I returned from Pune at around 8 in the evening when Sudhesh called me and told me the complete incident. The doctors kept you on sedatives for two days. You did get up in between but I am sure you don’t remember any of that. We brought you back home in morning. How are you feeling now?”

“I don’t know. I am still figuring out. It all seems like nightmare that left real injuries.”

“I know man. I was shocked to hear what happened. I am telling you, this project is cursed. I have been telling you there is something absolutely wrong in it.”

“You can’t blame the project like that. I am sure there would be an explanation for this.” I tried to convince him as well as myself but no effect.

There was an moment’s silence. I broke it.

“How was your meeting? What do the guys have to say about the Module C9? They ok with it?” I asked him trying to deviate from our uncomfortable discussion. He took up this project because of me. He simply hated the project manager, Shonjoy Dash (Its actually Sanjay Das but you know how bengalis pronounce stuff). Not only was he amazingly ugly, he also had unbeatable cunningness and arrogance.

“Yeah it was ok. They said the bug testing wasn’t satisfactory and they want us to redo it since they found some strange bugs in there that even I was amazed to find. You had run qFix and CTSM on it right?” he asked me puzzled.

“Come on…do you think Das will let me submit the module without him approving the qFix and CTSM reports? these guys must have goofed up somewhere.”

“Oh God, I forgot to tell you. Das, Barun and Mr. Gibbs want to meet you as soon as you get well enough. It has something to do with what happened that day.”

“You know what…..”

“No…you don’t want to meet them right now please ” he snapped me.

“But it is really important for me to know what happened that day. The driver lost his life, we all got injured, I have to find out who was behind all that.” I argued.

He kept silent for a moment and then got up to get his phone.
————————————————————————————————————
“Himanshu, as you can see, things have changed drastically since we began on the HuCom project. And I am not too sure of the future. It may get dirtier than this. ” Mr. Das explained trying to sound as diplomatic as possible.

“One of our competitors has got hold of some information about our project. There is a breach of contract. Someone from your company has supplied certain parts of the code to our competitors.” Mr. Gibbs expressed his disappointment.

“But if you remember Mr. Gibbs, as per the project policy, every communication is encrypted, even the codes that we work on aren’t exactly what they actually are. Our systems are designed to encode and decode the workflow regularly with a new key leaving no room for any informationt to leak out. If I copy some information, it will self codify and keep itself locked unless decoded by our system key which uses a 256bit encryption. Moreover, if you know, we are a tiny part of HuCom project. Even we don’t know what the project is about. We just blindly meet your requirements designing the bio-digital plugins that we don’t even know where can be plugged in.” I blabbered in one go not able to hold my frustration.

“You are correct Himanshu and I have done my homework, you are clean. However, someone in the project knows more than it is required for him.” Mr. Das interrupted me.

“Sorry? How do you know that?” I may sound foolish to ask this question but it came to my head instinctively.

“We have been monitoring your activities and all your communication channels including your personal calls and messages. We haven’t found anything to suspect you.” revealed Das.

“How could you do that without my permission? Its illegal” I screamed.

“Easy Himanshu. You are over reacting. You know it perfectly well that we monitor every communication of our employees. I know you have the company policy document by heart. Also, you may refer to the contract you signed before joining HuCom that such a provision will be acceptable by you. ” God I hate Das when he speaks so much of facts in one go. I understood he was right. I do remember everything clearly.

“Now cutting it short, I want to explain you the situation we have got here. Owing to the recent developments, we have decided to downsize the team, re-organize the workflow, re-assign responsibilities, re-locate our premises, fortify the security measures and get even more low profile. Since you already have been a key part of the project, we have an offer for you. We want you to head the development team henceforth. You will be given double your current salary, more perks and obviously more security. Or you may sign a memorandum of understanding to keep hush about this whole project and leave.”

I opened my mouth to say something but Das signalled me to stop. He wasn’t yet done.

“It is not as simple as it seems. If you quit, you risk your survival. Not only are our competitors are looking for you, even we would not think before eliminating you if we find it necessary to do so. If you choose to be with us, we guarantee your safety”

“You said I had a choice, well…I can’t see any in this situation”

“Sometimes, choices aren’t so simple to make” smiled Das in his most cunning way.

To be continued…

Chapter 1: The Escape

The huge red truck was speeding up. There was very less time. The road was about to end. We all looked at each other. We didn’t know if we would ever get out of this or not. I rushed to the driver of our bus.

“We have only one chance” he said and sped up to as much as he could.

I looked back and the truck was left behind. I looked in front and could now see the abrupt end of the road. Beyond was a raging ocean. My heart was pounding with horror.

We were eight of us in the bus. We all worked together in a leading software development firm.

The driver shouted. “All of you come to the exit door, you have very less time”. Everybody followed. I helped the two ladies to go in the front followed by four elders of my team. I chose to be at the end. This also allowed me to look back at the truck. It was too speeding up.

Suddenly, the driver kicked the brakes as hard as he could. The bus made a loud screeching sound and started turning left. All of us were thrown towards the windscreen. One of the ladies got hurt. The bus came to a halt very close to the edge.

“Get out everyone, FAST” screamed the driver. Everybody hurried out. The truck was now honking loudly and approaching like a beast. I was the last one. I looked at the driver who seemed to have no intentions to move out.

“Come on” I shouted at him.

“Go ahead kid, I will never make it out. Now RUN for your life will you?”

I didn’t know what to do. I kept looking him. Time was running out. I grabbed his hand and pulled him. Looking at my attempt he too began getting out but he had to cross the engine area and he was fat.

The truck was coming closer. We just had few seconds. He stood on the engine box and saw that the truck was about to hit. He immediately kicked me throwing me out of the door. I fell on the ground on my back.

The truck hit the bus with loud BANG! Within no time the bus fell off the cliff. I could hear the bus rolling down the rocks. After a few seconds the sound stopped and there was an eerie silence.

I had to run now. I got up. My back burnt with pain. The fall on the gravel had torn my back completely. I began running down the hill. There green thorny plants all over. But apart from that, the view was clear with no trees. It was evening and the city below was beginning to glitter.

I could see others running down. The last images of the driver was flashing in my mind. But there was nothing I could do. He was gone. I was running hard to chase the others but they were running too fast for me. I was injured.

I heard machine gun fire. There were bullets all around me. I ducked and jumped into a neaby bush. I sat down and carefully looked out. There were three guys standing near the truck. Two of them had machine guns. They stopped the firing for few minutes and then started walking down the hill following us.

I got up but not fully began to run. The plants were higher now and it was possible to hide in them. Night was now slowly enveloping the city. It was getting difficult to run owing to my bleeding back and bruised and cut arms and legs, thanks to the thorns. There were many rounds of random firings. None could reach me somehow. I was just running.

The bushes ended abruptly and it was open land with railway tracks in front of me. I could see a goods train at a distance. An idea occured to me. If I make it in time, I might cross over just in time and can get time to hide or run. I began running faster.

I was approaching the tracks. I looked back, the guys hadn’t yet emerged from the bushes.

Suddenly I head a blast. It was in the engine of the train. The ground below me shivered with the impact. The engine went ablaze with fire and got derailed. But the inertia of the train was still pushing it forward with blazing speed.

I realized it was now coming right at me and was much closer than I had thought. I had to escape. There was sudden firing behind me. The guys had finally emerged. I had to cross before them. But looking at the situation, it was difficult.

I ran but the train was much closer. I would never make it. I decided to use all my strength in one shot. I jumped forward. For a split second I thought I have made it. But my foot hit the train. Something cracked and I fell off on the big stones around the tracks with my head hitting the ground the first.

I rolled over and looked around. I could see the wheels. The engine had rammed into the bushes from here I had entered few minutes back. There was definitely no sign of the guys with guns.

I had trouble getting up. My forehead was bleeding profusely. I held it tightly with one hand. My left foot seemed to be broken. Not to forget the back which was now worse. I tried to get up but all in vain. I couldn’t.

But I had to. How could I be there? I had to run away from those guys who might just emerge any moment now. I gathered all my energy and got up. Once I was standing, the next challenge was to walk. The foot was definitely broken.

I was also afraid to shout out for help. I desperately looked around for any sign of a human but none. It was one deserted yard.

I tried to walk but toppled and fell down. This time the fall was too much. I gave up. A numbness surrounded me thereafter. The veiw slowly faded away from my vision. Sounds went away. I fainted…

To be continued…

Vitrified Ideas completes One year!!

Hello my dear readers,

Today was the day when I had written my first FRUSTRATED blog entry a year back. Since then, life has been a real roller coaster ride with lots of twists and turns, ups and downs, shocks and bumps, laughs and tears. A reflection of which is this blog. I want to thank all those who have been reading my blog regularly and have been giving their valuable comments that have really encouraged me to write more.

I don’t need to mention but my heartiest THANKS to my dearest friends Abhishek, Chaitra, Kasturika, Shruti, Snehal, Sonu and Vishrut. Abhishek has never failed to read any of my stories from the very start. Kasturika always messages me/calls me whenever she reads those old stories (she has read those 1000 times already but still she and Shruti laugh like crazy). Thank you so much guys. You all complete my life.

Also, how can I forget, this blog has given me a very sweet friend, Rashmi who has been a major support (even though haven’t met till date) all this time. I really feel great when I think of all the stories that I have published on this blog. I will continue to write more stories as and when things happen in my life or when I decide to take my readers into a flashback. Wish you all a great year ahead.

Cheers!
Himanshu Dubey

One really jumbled up dream!!

Its Founder’s Day celebration time in Jaipuria School, Lucknow. I was in some kind of rehearsal when the principal, Mr. P. Arvindakshan came in the room and told us to get ready, we were on stage next. We all prepared ourselves and headed towards the stage which was a bit far from the place we were rehearsing.

As we were approaching the area, we saw many people with guns. Well, such functions in Jaipuria always had some important personality from politics as the guest. So security was of prime importance.

We all assembled on the backstage. Suddenly, we heard people screaming and panicking. Within no time there were people running all around, screaming. Then went on some gun shots and those people who had guns that time appeared firing in air.

Our group didn’t get time to run away and soon we were circled by the gang. I realized there were some girls too in the gang. One of the guys from our group named Ankit [Interestingly, Ankit is a guy who stays in my pg in Noida] ran towards the exit when a spectacled guy from the gang shot him. He was on the floor the very next moment bleeding badly.

I couldn’t stand this. I was filled with rage. In that rage I ran towards the spectacled guy and kicked him really hard taking his gun. He and the rest were totally taken aback. I pointed the gun at his head and asked him to move. The remaining group followed as I bargained my way towards exit.

As we were about to reach the exit, the guy resisted and as a reflex I fired a shot. Well, that was it, he fell on the ground with blood all around him. I was frozen. Never had I shot a human. Forget human, I hadn’t even shot a gun in air in my life so far and now I had a dead guy in front of me. CRAP!

My group ran away from the exit. By this sudden gesture of mine, the gang was really horrified. I turned to them in time noticing a lady pointing her gun at me. I was faster than her. I shot. After shooting, I was not sure if my shot actually hit her. But then I saw her freeze and then fall on the ground. I could see the shot had hit her on the chest. The gang ran to her. I dropped the gun and ran towards the exit.

Outside, there was panic and people were running around (I didn’t see any reason for that). Right in front of me, I saw Didi (Shweta didi).

“Didi, what are you doing here?”

“I was a guest here.”

I could see her really calm, relaxed as if nothing had happened and the panic around was just not visible to her.

“You know what happened here, right?”

“Yeah I know but are you ok?”

“Am I ok? My friend, who was hardly 16 was shot dead right in front of me, there is panic everywhere and you are asking me if I am ok?”

I decided not to tell her about my shooting spree.

“Get used to it baby! You are new in the show business. I have seen a lot of this stuff.”

I had no words. I was just standing there looking at her wondering WHAT THE F IS HAPPENING???

She walks towards a SUV (It was some big cool SUV, black colour) and I run towards her shouting, “Ok, take me along didi”. But she seemed totally deaf. She got into the SUV, followed by some more people who seemed other VIPs invited in the function and they sped out of the premises.

I just didn’t know what to do now. There was a dead boy. I killed two people and left the gun right there with my finger prints on it. I knew police must be on its way. I would be arrested. I had to escape.

I started walking swiftly towards the main gate. It was late evening now with hardly anything visible now. People were asking me all sorts of questions and I was walking past them indifferently. Some were asking me if I had seen their kid, others were asking me the way to exit. I wasn’t answering anything. I had only one thing on my mind, to get the hell out of that place.

Out of nowhere, Gauri ma’m came to me holding a big packet of chocolate cookies. [Now this doesn’t make sense, Gauri ma’m is my mentor at Amity. She can’t be present at Jaipuria School Founder’s Day].

“Where are the rest of you?”

“I don’t know ma’m”

“Ok here. Grab some and save the rest for your group. Find them and tell them to meet me.”

(Not so) Surprisingly, even she was extremely calm and happy. As if unaware of what was happening around her.

“Ok ma’m”

I took the packet from her. I personally didn’t know where to find the others [Excuse me? Who others? I mean I knew she was referring to the rest of the class but hey, were they all there too?]. I took out one cookie and grabbed a big bite. Wow! It was yummy. I finished it and reached for the next one. Hmmm…cookies are a boon during crisis. CRISIS? Oh yes! I had to run away. I resumed my exit while chewing some delicious crunchy chocolate cookies.

As I was about to exit the main gate, I saw police vans entering the premises with loud sirens. A fear again engulfed me. I was reminded of what all happened inside. I took another cookie and ate it fully in one go stuffing my mouth full.

Some one woke me up right there. Phew! Thanks a ton mom!

BSNL strikes back!

This incident didn’t happen with me. But a friend of mine recently narrated this incident to me and I couldn’t help writing about it here.
He bought a BSNL 3G sim card that BSNL people were not interested to activate. Its like they don’t want to do anything that spoils the reputation of BSNL. Fed up, poor fellow called up the BSNL help line (Really Pissed to Help!!).

“Namaskar, BSNL mein call karne ke liye dhanyavad, main blah blah aapki kis prakaar se sahayata kar sakta hun?”

“Ji main Aviral bol raha hun. Maine ek 3G sim liye tha ek hafte pehle par yeh abhi tak activate nahi hua hai…”

cutting in between and full of sarcarsm (the best shot he could give) the representative replies

“Aji haan!!”

Excuse me?? Do I look like the most digusted sick human left on this planet who is so bored of his life that he is calling BSNL call center to have some fun?? I would rather throw an egg at an electic fan and laugh.

“Huh? Main chu**** dikh raha hun jo tumse mazak karunga?? Arey main…..Bhaad mein jao!”
BANG!

The best part! His sim got activated the next day. He used it for a couple of days and realizing the quality, usability and affordability of the host of wonderful services offered by one of India’s largest telecom operator Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited, he threw the sim in dust bin and bought a Vodafone number.

This reminds me, Anurag too once bought a BSNL number lured by its SMS card offers. He quickly composed a SMS about the sick services of Aircel and his new BSNL number and sent it to all his friends in Gurgaon. It started showing the balance getting deducted with each outgoing SMS. He instantly realized that the SMS card didn’t mention National SMS. He immediately switched off his phone, took out his SIM and without thinking even for a second popped it into his mouth and began chewing it brutally. He reached the dust bin and spat the deformed SIM. Ha! Can you beat this?

Rail ki patri paar na karen…pulon ka karen istemaal!!

It was 9am. We had been waiting for Amita now for 1 hour. I called up her home, her mother told she left by 7. Amita never carried a mobile phone, she hated it. Eva had already lost her patience. She called up Shweta. Chaitra and Shweta were on a different location trying to get some sponsors for our project. I, Eva and Amita were to shoot Mithi river near Bandra station. We were currently at platform 1. Suddenly, Amita arrived. Eva came back saying bye to Shweta on the phone.

"Tu abhi aayi??"

"Haan!"

SLAP!!

This was so like a cheap daily soap situation. Felt like picking up my camera and shooting them using those amazingly irritating camera effects zooooom zaaammmmm pan tilt…red, green blue….ok relax!

My eyes were about to pop out. Eva just slapped Amita. Ok, guys…Amita was doing her post graduation while we were in our first semester of graduation. And considering Eva, it was all the more difficult.

Another SLAP!! This time it was Amita. Eva’s specs went flying on the platform. I ran to catch them. I observed by the sound that Amita’s slap was many times harder that Eva’s. By now, we are surrounded by people. Early office going bored people who would love some fun on the go. I separated the ladies who were all prepared to take it all to next level. Slaps were just a start. I could sense the anger and I am sure, had I not separated them, one of them was sure to be thrown in front of a borivali slow. Amita left right away. I asked Eva why did she do that.

"Last time usne kaha tha ki agar woh der se aaye to use thappad maar dena…so maine maar diya"

I had no words to reply. This was so not what I had planned. I had to shoot, then go to college and edit the footage. Acting as a referee to a ladies’ wrestling match was nowhere on my list. Then it struck me that Eva spoke to Shweta right before this. I don’t know why but I called up Shweta.

"What did you tell Eva??"

"What did I tell her??"

"Arey, abhi Eva se teri kya baat hui??"

"Usne bola ki woh aaj Amita ko thappad maaregi agar woh aayi to…"

"Aur tumne kya kaha??"

"Maine kaha jo karna hai kar!!….ek second…Himanshu kahi.."

"Haan shweta, she slapped Amita right on platform 1 on Bandra station"

"Oh shit…I didn’t know she would actually do that! Give the phone to her please"

I tossed the phone to Eva. And I began looking for Amita. I didn’t want the problem to increase. Luckily I found her waiting at the platform for next train.

"Amita, uski taraf se main sorry bolta hun. Ab chal na please, we have to shoot alot of stuff"

(Inside me, I only know how much I hated myself for doing that. I would have really appreciated if she would have moved out of the project.)

"Dekh Himanshu, main sirf teri wajah se chal rahi hun…"

She came back with me to where Eva was sitting, now crying. Seeing Amita, she disconnected Shweta’s call.

"I am sorry Amita. Mera tujhe insult karne ka koi intention nahi tha. Tune pichhli baar kaha tha ki agar tu late aaye to tujhe thappad maarna so maine maar diya. I didn’t want to humiliate you or anything."

"Its ok Eva. I was also very late. Now, lets go."

They smiled and began walking towards end of platform discussing about what all we would shoot.
 
Whatever happened to “Dekh Himanshu, main sirf teri wajah se chal rahi hun…”!!!

And I was looking at them literally expressionless waiting for someone to explain me what was all that?? Girls I tell you. People should have now gathered around to see how they were talking to each other. Few minutes back they were all ready to break the jaws of the other. And look at them now, sisters. Grrrrr!!!
 
I assumed they would take the bridge at the end of the platform but they just kept walking and finally, they got down on the tracks. What the F***!! I am not walking on the tracks. But who listens to the poor cameraman. They continued walking on a track that was not used. I was relieved.
 
The tracks ended at the bridge on Mithi river. Amita crossed to the extreme left track from extreme right because it is rarely used by trains. She had the camera as of now.  We too crossed.
 
When we were all there, she started her usual nautanki “I want to shoot!”. I was in no mood of arguing. I gave her the camera to shoot (I was the one who was supposed to edit it so no issues you see). She took a small pan shot and then started moving towards Mahim station on the bridge.
 
My breath ceased! If she falls with the camera in that water, I would be screwed big time! The camera was issued in my name after all. Hey, did I hear the word MEAN?? Ok I agree I was more bothered about the camera than Amita  but I had told her many times to wait. She only didn’t listen. Within seconds she was on the other side. I too had to follow her and cross. Eva followed me mumbling something. She was equally shocked.
 
“Lets go to Mahim station…walking on the tracks!!” Amita suggested.
 
I and Eva looked at each other and said in one go “NO!”. This time if Eva would have shown any interest to kill Amita, I wouldn’t have stopped her. A little disappointed, Amita agreed and dropped the idea of walking to Mahim station.
 
I told everyone to cross and go to the other side since there were some slums. I wanted to shoot them. We crossed two tracks, two more left. These two were the Churchgate and Borivali tracks, the busiest ones. We crossed the Churchgate track and noticed there was a train coming on it. We looked at the other side, and there was a train on the Borivali track too. Merlin’s Beard!! We were about to be sandwiched between two speeding trains.
 
I, Eva and Amita were stoned. We didn’t move at all and within few seconds a roar was around us. Both the trains were passing at full speed. I had closed my eyes. I could feel the monsters around me. I was feeling as if I am crossing over to some other world. I was telling all my loved ones how much I love them. Those few seconds felt like an hour. Finally it was clear. We quickly crossed the borivali track.
 
Now was the challenge, to cross that bridge on the river. That too on Borivali track. A couple of track maintenance workers where also there. One of them came to us and said, “Aap log cross kar lo, mere paas laal jhandi hai, agar train aayegi to main rok lunga.” We were relieved hearing this. We began crossing.
 
Once again my heart was pounding as if it would come out of my mouth. Below me, black, super polluted water was flowing. I was thinking if I would fall in this, I wouldn’t want to live. God knows how many diseases will I catch.
 
BANG! Right in front of me, I saw a plate missing. I was about to step on it. I carefully dodged the gap and kept moving. I could see that a couple of more plates were missing ahead. Mummy! Where am I stuck! I had MD9000 in my hand, which is a big and comparatively expensive camera (that time at least).
 
As soon as we reached the end, we quickly moved to the side. A train passed behind us, growling. I looked at that maintenance guy and felt like telling him to shove his red flag up his…We drank water and gathered our senses.
 
I took interview of a person staying in that area and took some short shots here and there. We then began our walk back to the platforms. We were walking on those abandoned tracks we had taken earlier. The second platform came much before the first one. I quickly climbed it. The ladies, however, continued their journey on the tracks. I shouted at them to climb the platform as soon as possible but they wanted to be on platform 1. Girls I tell you.
 
The moment Amita climbed the platform, a train passed behind her whooshing swiftly. Her face was white. For the first time I saw her horrified. We all met on the bridge and decided to sit on the platform for sometime before we left for college. Amita left for some work leaving me and Eva.
 
Then! Eva began crying. And not sobbing, crying loudly. “I want to talk to Shweta, right now!” she was constantly repeating. I didn’t know why was she doing that but my priority was to calm her down. I called up Shweta and gave the phone to Eva. After a couple of minutes, Eva was feeling much better. Though Eva didn’t tell Shweta what exactly happened.
 
Ironically, the platform speakers started playing their jingle – “Blah Blah blah blah…ghar par koi nanha aapka karta hai intezaar…..Rail ki patri…paar na karen, pulon ka karen istemaal…Aap rahenge sada surakshit aur hamesha hi khushhaal….Bharatiya Rail dwaara jan hit mein jaari”. I and Eva couldn’t help but laugh hearing this. This laughter eased both of us a little (for sometime at least…since my head was yet to go bonkers).
 
We reached college and all my way, I had only one thing in mind, I wanted to meet Shweta. The whole incident took some time to settle in me but when it did settle, I was restless, sweating and really horrified. The fact that I could have lost my life and never seen this world again was too much to think about. My parents wouldn’t have been able to see me again. Shit! I was going crazy. I was missing Kukki bhaiya, mausi, didi, lavu and everybody else I loved. Mujhe Abhishek se bhi turant baat karni thi aur Anurag ko bhi sab batana tha, Kasturika ki bhi haal chaal leni thi…I was really out of my head.
 
I called up Shweta. She was about to reach college. I stood at the gate waiting for her. It was afternoon and a blazing sun was right above my head. After me calling her five times (to her and Chaitra’s annoyance), the auto finally appeared. I just went near her and smiled. I was glad to see her. I was glad to see both of them to be true. I was glad to be seeing this world again actually.  Shweta was a bit puzzled about this behaviour of mine. Chaitra assumed it be one of the majnu symptoms of a boy recently fallen in love. I still loved her. I was loving everything around. Life was suddenly so beautiful.
 
After having lunch in college, we spoke to each other and told everything that happened. I and Eva were shouted at for having followed what Amita had to do. But we were all glad to be together once again. Best part was, when we watched the footage, there were some good shots.