Tobermory

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Sky poured densely. Clouds buried the daylight in their darkness.The umbrella sheltered me at the click of a button. But today the storm seemed more potent than earth’s gravity, pulling the fringes of the umbrella upwards. I lingered in a shady corner awaiting the rain to subside. A pair of green eyes popped out of the corner and disappeared in the blink of an eye. I felt an instant connect with them.

I slogged into my apartment. While sipping  my Hazelnut coffee and listening to the faint signal of All India Radio , I heard a letter drop in my letter box.

“ Who delivers posts on such a day? I hope its not the banks again”, I gave a sigh.

A black fur textured envelope was lying on the floor.

“Such a pretty envelope, definitely not the banks”, I carefully slid my hand into it making sure I ensue no damage to it. The leaf read

“ Ms Lesely, You are cordially invited to the Pet Pash , 24, Raisira Road “.

I checked my dress and the back of my heels before entering the plush apartment like I do before entering a luxury designer showroom, conscious that the salesperson might judge you for the slight imperfections. I tucked the last bit of the a-symmetrical shirt coming out of my skirt edges and entered.

The place smelt of Dior, Giordano and Guess. One would rarely get to smell such a fine mixture of fragrances.

“ Hi , I am Mr. Abees, today I am going to introduce you to my first speaking pupil, Tobermory”, Mr. Abees announced striking his wine glass with a spoon.

I saw a black tail stick out from behind him. A petite figure came into view. She was a black cat. Tobermory was standing upright in a posture suit to humans . As she lifted her eyes up, I recognized them immediately. My thoughts were interrupted by her syrupy voice.

“Heylo ladiesss and gentalmann, Ai amm Tobermorii. Ladyy Blamely is my masterr “, she said clearing her throat.

“She blames she blames, Lady blamely blames”, she turned into a jingle.

The gathering was astounded and there was a buzz around “Incredible”, “Terrific” ,”Miracle” and what not.

Lady Blemely, a stout woman of middle age in red high heels stepped forward and with a big plastic smile.

“Now now let the little mistress speak”, Lady Blemely said.

But Tobermory’s eyes were fixed on something

“That rot sushi is 2 weeks oldd nauw,  it must bee soo tasttyy”, she said with her tongue wagging.

Next I heard crockery break on the floor and a man trying to vomit out what he had just ingested.

“She blames she blames, Lady Blamely blames”, Tobermory again turned into a jingle.

“Ms.Carla, I have beenn dreadingg you”, said Tobermory.

“Oh why Tobermory? “, asked the lady inquisitively feeling privileged to be the topic of the incredible conversation.

“Ai am scaared of being eaten up by biggg fatt bitch”, said Tobermory sheepishly.

“What ! Do I look like one !!”, said Ms. Carla getting offended.

“Lady Blamely told me you are one and you hook upp with a lot of richhe dogs”, Tobermory said widening her eyes, folding her hands .

“ What if your dog gangg comee and eat, Tobermori is such a poor little thing”, said Tobermory shivering at the thought.

“Shee blamess she blames lady Blamely blames”, Tobermory jingled.

“You wretched animal, you tell lies !!”, Lady Blemely turned to Tobermory and cornered her.

“She blames she blames Lady Blamely blames” , Tobermory crouched back. As a reflex reaction she jumped and landed in my lap. I offered her the “rotten sushi” from my plate.

“Come back you nasty creature”, Lady blemley shouted.

“She offered Tobermori food from herr platee. Thiss is my new masterr”, Tobermory said shouting this time and pointing at me.

“You lie first now you tell me I don’t own you!!”, Lady blemely said.

“She blames she blames, Lady blamely blames”, Tobermory turned into a jingle one last time.

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Galleria

Studio lights flashed open nearly blinding me. I pressed my eyelids together and screened them with one hand in reflex reaction. Slowly opening my eyelids I adjusted to the bright light on a dark night.

I had come to Galleria. A hustling bustling place in centre of Gurgaon. I looked in cue of the lights and saw a stall with a hoarding that read “Kenwood”

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“This is the doughmaker, breads, loaves,rotis cakes anything it will do, we are giving special 15% discount”, the host said dressed in an attire resembling a cook. Although it didn’t seem he knew how to cook anything at all except stories of the machines he was promoting.

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A young lady cleaved a space for herself in the tight pressing crowd. She went up on her heels to get a better view of  the treasure she had just discovered.

“Kitne ka diya?”, she said re-confirming the bargain she had overheard of.

“23000 and 15% discount, madam”, the host re-emphasized the rare bargain he was offering.

“Dusra piece hai kya?, isme scratch hai”, an old lady asked.

“No Mam this is the last piece” said the host indicating this was her last chance to win the treasure.

“ Ise pack kardo !”, the young lady said fearing she might lose her treasure to the old woman.

The old woman hastily gave a push to the younger lady while turning her back to crowd and moving away.

That was one big competition ! The phrase “Survival of the fittest” deems fit to describe it! Who knows , maybe Darwin got inspired to propose the theory based on the cold war between his wife and mother in law to win kitchen fights !

I sat on one of the many miniature benches on the sidewalk resembling a bus stand.

“ Standard Chatered Bank, 10% cashback”, the back of the bench read.

There were numerous benches like this, sponsored I believe.

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The Place architecturally resembled a Charbagh.

A fountain in the centre where children frolicked. On a hot summer day like this, one could see people circle around it just to experience the cool sprinkle.

This modernized version of the Charbagh had concrete instead of the four gardens that the original concept depicts.

Each of the 4 concrete structures was covered by canopies to give it the swiss cottage look. Only difference was once again: The greenery was replaced by concrete!

The two story structures  comprised of shops from that of supplements to restaurants to even slimming centres.

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It was ironical how one could binge and gain calories at one of the restaurants and then move to another to burn those calories.

“ Crazy Noodles”, I read out the highest hoarding that I could sight. The moon glistened just beside it. The leaves of the tree on side of my bench shivered and quivered from the light breeze. It was a lovely serene view in a busy market. Probably that’s what was unique about this place.

Each breath of air that I inhaled smelled different from the previous one. It varied from the roasted chicken’s coming from the popular “Lazeez food shop” , to italian Pizza fresh gourmet cheese, to the fumes from the Tawa of the Frankie Kathi roll counter. All just to tease my taste buds. These often mixed with the fragrance of the cologne of the guy sitting next to me.

I saw a lady in a wrap around skirt and a casual top speaking to a man in shorts and a T-shirt, probably having differentiated view over where they should have dinner or a party. One of the modern Gurgaonites mostly residing in the nearby DLF towers that remind me of pigeon houses.

The place gave a feel of one of those backyard grill parties that were held in our home. The smell, the atmosphere only difference was here that nobody talked to another. I saw some guys come out of a liquor shop and join the couple. I whispered to myself, “Let the Party Begin”.

I got to my feet and headed for CCD  to have “Coffee with ME”

The Jumbled Life of Studi

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Once upon a time lived a studious girl, Studi. She lived in a library. She wore big round glasses. On one sunny morning she felt tired. Her cuckoo clock had been singing all night. She had had a sleepless night. She  entered her classroom. All students were sitting with their head down on tables.

“Situp”, the teacher commanded storming into the classroom.

“Gooodmorningg Maamm”, everybody sing-songed slowly. All woke up from their slumber except Studi. Her head was still down on the table. She was in deep sleep.

“I said situp!!”, the teacher screamed.

Studi suddenly woke up looking around.

“What? stupid!” she said jumbling the word “situp”.

“You called me stupid?”, the teacher  said furiously.

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“No mam, situp”, Studi replied looking down.

“Now you are telling ME to situp?”, the teacher shouted.

“No, stupid”, the girl said now feeling messed up.

“I am going to take you to the principal’s office. You will be detained for your misbehavior”, the teacher threatened.

Lisa raised her hand weakly.

“You also have something to say now?”, the teacher said hastily.

“Mam, Studi is suffering from Apraxia. She jumbles words while speaking”, Lisa said nervously

“Oh my child!!” , the teacher said softening up.

Another hand raised up , it was Rohan this time.

“Mam, to ensure the right meaning is conveyed, Studi can write the words instead of speaking them. ”, Rohan said hopefully.

“That’s a perfect solution Rohan!”, the teacher applauded approvingly.

Studi smiled at both Lisa and Rohan and they remained best friends ever after.

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Sweet Pain

sweetpain

You are the sweet taste when I bite my lip

The rising wave on an ECG monitor

The lowering sea level of the ocean

The soggy sand when the water recedes

The toppling of the pillars of gaiety

The loss of hope

yet denial  of reality

The flashback of what’s gone

The glimpse of what could have been

The turmoil in the deepest seas

The suffocation in a cellar

Yet the abundance of air to breath

The loneliness in a crowd

Yet a companion that doesn’t let go of me

The doppler effect in calm water

yet  an uninterrupted lull that it continues to be

~Shreya

Ceaseless Printing

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The freshly printed stack that smelt of an obscure pleasure made me dizzy. The synchronous clack of the printer ached my ears. Finally it stopped

“ Oh thank goodness , this is all I have to read”, I gave a sigh of relief.

I advanced to muster the stack, but then I  saw the paper tray symbol blink red.The printing had just begun!

Mistletoe

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“Could you please get me a cup of latte?” I asked lazily on the phone. I had to spruce up and get that pen-drive to the office for it to be guarded.

“ Sure, mam” answered the housekeeping staff courteously .

Meanwhile, I strolled around the room and went to have a closer look at a painting on the opposite wall depicting a mistletoe berry plant, the one’s that look adorning but are poison. On grazing the surface I felt a protruding centre berry, it was a camera!. The room bell ringed, the coffee had arrived sooner than usual. I was not alone . It was going to be a very busy day.

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