It’s Alive!!

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My blog, that is. The post that causes it to be alive is, ironically, about death.

The weather was flawless, it was shamelessly sunny

Birds and bees were wearing party hats, and it wasn’t funny

It seemed that instead of going all choky and teary-eyed

The world was revelling in the fact that I had died

 

The reason of my demise is fairly pointless

Who cares if I was devoured by vultures boisterous

It doesn’t matter if it was an undercooked egg I was fed

Or if I got a hammer blow to the side of my head

 

The fact is I was dead; this wasn’t a joke

A pig was stuttering and saying ‘That’s all folks’

But the show was far from over for me

There was one more thing left to see

 

Was I going up or was I going down

Was a smile in store for me, or would it be a frown

Was I going to be treated with chocolate in a gold foil

Or would forced down my throat be beastly castor oil?

 

In a nutshell, what I’m trying to tell

Is I was wondering whether I would go to heaven or hell

 

Presently I found myself in front of an ancient brass gate

Behind it was an elevator; it was in a sorry state

The gatekeeper took temporary reprieve from his prayers

And said, ‘It’s out of order, take the bloody stairs’

 

I asked, ‘Does this mean I’m going to Paradise City

Where the grass is green and the girls are pretty?’

The gatekeeper replied, ‘Son, firstly it’s wrong

To steal the lyrics of a Guns ’n’ Roses song’

 

‘And secondly, don’t jump off your scooter

You’re just going to a sort of celestial router’

‘He’ll look in his record books, aye he’ll do

And then tell you which city you be going to’

 

And so my nervous heartbeat rose and fell

As I quietly climbed up the magical stairwell

And while my exterior was not with panic fraught

A battle was raging in my internal thoughts

 

I had been a reasonably good boy

Notwithstanding the sporadic tantrum for a toy

But even the inventors of football or miracle drugs

Must have unknowingly squashed the occasional bug?

 

I certainly hadn’t done anything particularly dire

Like supporting Tottenham or setting my principal on fire

 

But a sin was a sin, no matter how narrow or wide

I thought; playing devil’s advocate with my optimistic side

Magnitude wasn’t taken into account for any felony or wrong

It was just, ‘Here’s your ticket to Hades, so long’

 

So both sides to the argument reached a stalemate

As I exited the stairwell, afraid to know my fate

 

The router sat at a mahogany desk

Wearing an orange shirt and tie grotesque

I was shaking, ashen-faced, scared to bits

‘Your name’ he asked, talking out of his armpits

 

I told him; a piece of paper he tore,

Gave it to me and showed me to a door

When I opened it and looked around

I was astounded to find a grinning clown

 

I continued ahead, speechless with disbelief

My whole body let out sighs of relief

I bumped into a guy who was carrying trays in a stack

He smiled at me and I beamed right back

 

A guy at the counter beckoned me forward; I complied

He asked me a question to which I readily replied

And I was as happy as a milk-drenched cat

When he asked, ‘Do you want fries with that?’

 

‘Of course I want fries man, are you daft?’

I said brazenly grinning, after which I laughed

 

I don’t know if I’m in the low depths of hell or high heavenly society

Whether this is supposed to be chocolate or oil of castor variety

But as I contentedly nibble on a golden French fry

You might say I am one lucky guy

To be sitting in this McDonalds of the sky

This basically means that I’m still a little fat boy inside. And that the actual reason of my death would almost surely be blocked arteries.

Deserted

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A Backstreet Boys concert not in the 90's

The DW Stadium. Always.

Pilani's yellow pages

This blog

A Nut’s Life In A Nutshell

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This blog started out as an attempt to channelize my futile football frenzy into something remotely useful and also in the vain hope that, if I vomited my Arsenal thoughts here, I might pay attention to other things in life the rest of the time. Well, that plan worked as well as Arsenal’s defensive tactics and in spite of writing here regularly, I was still humping anything round, black and white (interpret this whichever way you want, perverts). But I recently found out a startling fact- many people write blogs about THEMSELVES. Also their hobbies, family, friends and favourite scenes from Twilight. Why this could possibly interest anyone is beyond me but it does. So to all voyeurs out there, here are some things about me-

– I am the perfect combination of John Abraham and Matthew Perry. If I had heard this upon being born (and known who the fuck John Abraham and Matthew Perry were) I would have done an impromptu jig with the nurse. Before you feel too envious, you’ve forgotten to take into consideration the undeniable fact that God has demonstrated a twisted sense of humour many times. The first statement of this paragraph is to be read as- I have the expressions of John Abraham and the body of Matthew Perry. And I’m not talking about thin Matthew Perry either.

And I don't even have a suit

– My mobile earphones are natural extensions of my ears. Classes become marginally better to go to if you listen to ‘Back in Black’ along the way. Also, I dislike meeting people on the way to class and engaging in awkward chitchat. The earphones give me the evergreen ‘I didn’t hear you’ reason as I use all means possible to avoid someone.

– My family thinks I don’t love them because I never call them up. This is a palpable untruth. I love my family almost as much as chocolate. I think.

I'd like to see YOU decide

– I dislike people who keep referring to McDonalds as ‘Mac Donald’. I’m not being high-handed or anything and it has nothing to do with someone being poor in English. It’s just an extra freaking ‘s’. To those who think a few removed letters make no difference, I could do things with Alfred Hitchcock that will make you blush. (again, entirely up to you to interpret that sentence)

– I believe Oprah Winfrey is trying to take over the world. Giving all those houses, cars and free colonoscopies is being done to upend the US government with the help of the goodwill generated by said houses, cars and colonoscopies. We will then be forced to sit and watch Oprah try on a succession of tight fitting clothes and will be forced to tell her that they don’t make her look fat at all.

– I am insane. Any sensible reader of this blog (oxymoron!) must have gathered that by now.

Hmm that was quite vague and abrupt, just as I like it. I’ll tell you more stuff about me some other time. Now I’m off to fight leprechauns with toothpicks.

KUCH KUCH HOTA HAI: REVISITED

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Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (I hope I haven’t missed any extra K’s, A’s or Z’s) was on today and, needless to say, I saw it. I was fascinated to see whether it was as corny as when I last saw it. The answer is: No. It’s a lot cornier.

I challenge you to find a college where people wear such clothes

– I’ve never seen a sport as mercilessly murdered on film as basketball is in this film. The molestation of rugby in  Namastey London probably comes close (Karna kya hai? Bas ball le aur saandh jaise bhaag) but that still captured the essence fairly well. Here, Shah Rukh travels with the ball, double dribbles and pirouettes as if the ball was his dance partner. Mind you, the ball would still probably dance better than Kajol.

– I haven’t seen many colleges, but I’m sure no college is like the one these hacks study in. Shah Rukh dresses like a runner up in an Elvis contest and Kajol like she’s a runaway from a Russian circus. Students openly hit on teachers (Archana Puran Singh at that!) and everybody thinks Rani Mukherjee is hot. Lunacy.

– Now, I’m nineteen years old. And while I don’t idiotically philosophically gaze at the sky a lot, I’ve still looked up a fair few times. And I haven’t seen a single shooting star. That’s a sharp contrast from the toothte taare parade on display in Karan’s candyfloss world. Perhaps they fell asleep listening to dialogues as original as Pritam’s songs. Or perhaps the lead trio are just one bunch of incredibly lucky bastards. It’s hard to argue with that, considering this film was a hit.

Look there, that's the audience. They'll lap up any shit we serve.

– Correct me if I’m wrong, but was this the first film to have ‘happy’ and ‘sad’ versions of the same song? The happy version would fill the air with love and romance, Bush and Bin Laden would forget their differences and tongue each other while the sad version would leave you with a heavy heart and make Oompa Loompas suicidal. There must be something wrong with me, because both the versions had the same effect on me i.e. made me cringe.

– When Anjali’s wedding was just a week away, Anjali lite gets down and does the only thing Indians do when in a fix. No, not blame the government, although you came close. She prays. And God immediately tinkers with some stars, shoves some constellations around and shifts the wedding to December. No wonder there’s poverty, unemployment, mass murder and the likes. God’s too busy being at the beck and call of estranged lovers.

Now, to people who like the movie/SRK/Karan Johar, please don’t take offense and flood the comments section with abuses. Actually, on second thought, please do exactly that. At least I’ll get some comments that way.

Here We Go Again

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It’s post apocalypse and the leaders and their methods are eerily familiar. Read on.

***

Chief Hilfiger sat haughtily with his feet on top of the table in front of him, whistling some obscure tune and clearly impatient for proceedings to begin. Smelly Smith’s always late. He thought. This gonna be the lastingly last time that I’m gonna stand fo’ this. Any more lateness shown by anyone, ‘specially Smelly Smith, and I’m gonna tell him what I think of him, as plain as plain. That’s right, boys. Chief Tommy Hilfiger ain’t gonna stand any more nonsense.

He surveyed his surroundings to pass the time, but that took barely a minute. The dilapidated little room he found himself in (not for the first time, not for the last) consisted of a few wooden barrels, stools and a rundown old steel contraption which nobody knew the use of. It spanned the entire height of the room, wide in the middle and narrowing as it reached the top. It had a hole, possibly to hold something. Looks like a hungry little critter waitin’ fo’ some nice meat. Heh, I’m getting’ poetic, I am.

The occupants of the room were far more fascinating than the room itself. Zebbie, Chief Hilfiger’s ever-present and ever-reliable sidekick was seated primly on a stool, waiting to see if the Chief needed anything. Grumpy Gordon sat scowling on an upturned barrel. Whether he was irritated by the tune the Chief was whistling or Smelly Smith’s lack of punctuality was difficult to tell. It was most probably both of the aforementioned reasons and a myriad others. Grumpy Gordon was always grumpy. He let out a huge grunt of dissatisfaction.

“I’ll stop it if it’s botherin’ you so much, Gordon.” Chief said.

“What? No, it’s not you. Just look at this crazy mong.” Gordon said. Chief followed his gaze and was more than a little interested to see that Chip had no pants on. It intrigued him. So he pursued the best possible avenue open to him to quench his curiosity.

“Chip, why don’t you have pants on?” He asked.

“Coz’ I’ve had me enough of Sasha, that’s why.” Chip said sullenly. “I ain’t havin’ my pants pulled down anymore, and that’s that. Sorry Chief, but I’ve got me my dignity. Plus it feels cold when them pants are ‘round my ankles.”

“Must be feeling pretty cold now, eh Chip?” Zebbie asked. As Chip’s lopsided mouth opened in a comical ‘O’ of realization, he continued. “And in the name of all things good and holy, put something on. Nobody wants to see that.” Chip turned crimson with embarrassment and Sasha, who was lounging on the floor, grinned widely displaying all of his frayed black and yellow teeth.

A rancid smell suddenly filled the room and a few seconds later, Smelly Smith entered looking extremely flustered. “Sorry I’m late boss.” He said gruffly. “Had me a little fight.”

“It’s fine, Smith.” Chief said, amused. “Now let’s get started.”

“Well, there be more fights than eva’ over at the Big Place. Its common knowledge now that the Fourth and Fifth floor folks don’t exactly get along. The Speakless get on everybody’s nerves and some people be miffed with me because they think I smell!” Smith finished, evidently outraged that anyone could cast doubts over his scent.

“You do smell, Smith.” Zebbie said.

“I do?”

“Yes, like mouldy bread subjected to an armpit massage. That’s why we call you Smelly Smith. I assumed you would pick it up, but obviously I assumed wrong.”

“I thought we all had names like that, for fun like. And Grumpy Gordon bein’ grumpy and all was just a coincidence.”

“Shut you stinkin’ mouth, you bald son of a bitch!” Grumpy Gordon shouted, spittle flying from his mouth in little specks.

“Yeah?” Smelly Smith retaliated. He wasn’t exactly known for his calmness. “Well, you should shut your stinkin’ mouth, cuz you’re nothin’ but a bald son of a bitch!” He wasn’t known for his wit and spontaneity either.

“Shut your stinkin’ mouths, you bald sons of bitches.” Chief said coldly, completing the thick-headed triumvirate. “And why exactly do them fourth and fifth floorers have it in fo’ each other?”

“Beats me.” Smith said, now sullen. “But it’s gettin’ right out of hand now. It was about to get nasty yesterday before Spiff went and intervened.”

“Oh really?” Chief said, impressed.

“Yeah, he was on fire.” Smith said.

“What did he say to stop the fightin’?” Chief asked.

Smith looked confused. “Somethin’ like ‘Aaaaaaaaahhhh!’. You know, what people usually say when they’re on fire. It wasn’t what he said that stopped the fighin’ more than the fact that he was in flames.”

He continued “Anyways, some people be tellin’ that we need a new Chief and tha-err.. umm..” Smith stuttered and then stopped. The silence in the room was like a stifling blanket, suffocating and uncomfortable.

“Zebbie.” Chief said, his voice now chilly as ice. “Our friend Smith seems to have forgotten some of his history. Go ahead and refresh him. Tonk him on the head first.”

Zebbie obliged unapologetically. He then proceeded to tell the story everyone had heard too many times, but never enough times apparently.

“The knowledge of events prior to WW III is extremely murky. We don’t know if people were bald then too. We don’t even know what WW means only that our dads and moms kept right on about it, never-ending like. It was always WW this and WW that. I got sleepy sometimes just listening to it. We can infer with some certainty that it might have meant Walloping Wham or something similar. It surely wasn’t something too smart, seeing the mess they got us into.”

“Anyways, my mom once sung this to me when I wasn’t feeling sleepy. Didn’t help much, I started crying louder, but here’s what it was-

There was once a grumpy Uncle named Sam

Who threw his toys out of the pram

When he didn’t get what he wanted

His riches he always flaunted

He went and took a firm stand

Against the Godlessness of the Motherland

The world could only stand and look

As they fought and tussled, stole and took

Every cranny and every nook

At the mercy of these cantankerous crooks

They unashamedly filled their pockets

With dollars and dynamites, roubles and rockets

Their selfish deals and mindless wagers

Exposing the Earth to constant dangers

Thus continued the altercations of Uncle Sam

Until one fine day, the world went Bam!

Chip raised his hand at this point, like he always did. “I didn’t understand it. Was this Sam a randy old pervert playing it loose with someone’s mother?” Everyone ignored him, like they always did. Sasha whacked him on the head, not like he always did. He usually pulled Chip’s pants down.

“Well, the Big Place was one of the few buildings left standing after the WW. Survivors quickly congregated there. A leader was elected to oversee proceedings and maintain sanity. Choosing wasn’t that difficult seeing that there were only three men capable of standing on their feet and two of them were dead. The third one was deaf and dumb, knocked silly by some kaboom no doubt, so people didn’t know what to call him. So they started calling him Tommy Hilfiger after the shirt he wore. Who knows, maybe that was his name? That was Tommy Hilfiger I, Chief’s old man.” Chief looked around impressively, obviously proud that his father had been able to stand when others had not.

“Now how Chief Senior managed to save the people that he did, I have no idea. Nor do I have any idea how he managed to have Chief here, what with more than half the population unable to… you know. All I know is that he did, and now we’re here.” Zebbie finished.

“You see, Smith?” Chief said, positively glowing with vindication. “You see the blood I got in me? Blood of strength, blood of valour. How can I not be Chief?”

“Yes Chief. Sorry Chief.” Smith said with utmost fake sincerity. “How did YOU become his sidekick though, eh?” He asked Zebbie with open suspicion. “Did you actually prove yourself, or did Chief select you because he likes you?”

“It seems there be no end to your insolence, Smith.” Chief said, cold again. “Do you think my selection process is so transparent and senseless? Do you think I choose my subordinates with no thought at all?”

“Sorry Chief.” Smith said, head hung in shame. “I shouldn’t have doubted you for a sec. So, how did you select Zebbie?”

“He comes first reverse-alphabetically.”

“Ah.” Smith said, satisfied.

“Anyways, back to work. This hardly be the first time we’ve had us such and such types of problems.” Chief said, talking about the in-fighting in the Big Place.

“Actually Chief, this is the first time we’ve had this problem.”

“It is? Then why were all them crazies raising a right ol’ ruckus three days ago? They were shoutin’ their heads off, abusin’ me and all.”

“That was because of the ridiculous frilly shirt you were wearing, Chief.”

“Oh. Well, this be a serious situation. Something needs to be done about this.”

“Yes, we need to mend it somehow.”

“Is it possible?”

“Why not? A little perseverance and skill are all that’s needed.”

“Super! I’ll go and get me some glue.”

“What?”

“What?”

“What are you talkin’ about, Zebbie?”

“What are YOU talking about, Chief?”

“My frilly shirt of course! That was the darndest best shirt I had and those crazies tore it all up!”

“Chief, I appreciate the seriousness of your problem, but these people can’t live together anymore. Let’s do something about that first and we’ll get to your shirt in due time.”

“Well, OK.” Chief grumbled. Silence prevailed as they all started thinking. The meetings usually followed the same underlying pattern. They all thought for some time and then did what Chief told them to do. Chief was finding it hard to gather his thoughts today though. It was so puffy and soft. And now it’s all torn up. Destroyed, like. Scattered across the whole place…

Light! Chief usually gave some sterling ideas if he did say so himself, but this was the zenith. This was the mother of all ideas. The idea which would start an empire.

“Listen up, everyone.” Chief said, his voice quivering. “I have me the perfect solution. We divide the crazies into little groups who do get along and shove them into pieces of land of their own.”

They all stared at Chief, clearly confused.

“It’s simple enough.” Chief said with a hint of impatience in his voice. “Smith, you and all the other ones who positively reek get to stay besides that lake-like thing which positively reeks. So technically, you don’t reek anymore. The oldies get to stay in that ol’ house by the cemetery. You know, so that they’re nice and comfy with their future surroundings.”

There were a few approving nods now.

“The Speakless can stay near that geyser-thing which makes a racket all the time so that they have something to hear.” Chief said, gaining in confidence and momentum seeing that everyone else had finally latched on to his brilliant brainchild. Sasha was delirious with excitement now, tearing Chip’s shirt in two, all the while laughing with his black teeth in full view of the world.

“Good. The rest of the locations be settled later.” Everyone started to leave, except Zebbie who came to Chief looking anxious.

“Chief, are you sure about this?”

“As sure as can be, Zebbie.” Chief said indulgently. “Everyone has their own piece of land. What could possibly go wrong? Everyone has their own..er..”

“Country?”

“What? NO! What sort of stupid name is that? I was thinking more domain, like. Everyone has their own domain. Those old crazies who got us into this mess could have done with an idea like this.”

“I guess so, Chief.”

“Now go get me some glue.”

“Yes, Chief.”

THE INSPECTOR INTEROGATES: PART 2

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“Inspector, I would just like to s-“

“Shut up.” The Inspector said, impressive as ever. This particular specimen had on khakis and a floral pattern shirt. ‘Always dresses like it’s bloody Hawaii.’ The Inspector thought. ‘No wonder he dresses like that, what with him thinking he owns the world and all. Buffoon from Baltimore. Will put on the stupid act while secretly pulling some strings to sue you to hell.

“Name?” The Inspector asked.

“Dave Coleman. And I was just saying that I completely understand your situation and am ready to fully cooperate with the police and any other forces in action.” The specimen said, a sickeningly sincere smile on his face.

“You’re ready to cooperate?” The Inspector asked as his eyebrows rose disbelievingly. “Well, why don’t you just tell me where you’ve hidden the bomb?”

“But I didn’t hide any bomb, sir. I don’t have anything to do with it.” Dave said.

“Oh? Well, you can go now.” The Inspector said.

“Really?” Dave asked.

“Of course not!” The Inspector said. A small smile crossed his face as his subtle sarcasm had flummoxed the hitherto cocksure American. “You think you’ll just come in here with your floral shirt, say ‘I’m just an innocent boy from Illinois’ and be released? Let me ask you something, Dave. Are you a superstar?”

“Umm… no.” Dave said, still confused.

“Well, in your country, they hold up superstars too, even when they haven’t done anything. I’m sure they pleaded their innocence too, but it made no difference. Why should it make a difference here? Do you know who I’m talking about, Dave? DO YOU?” The Inspector approached the zenith of his dialogue, expecting the American to be silent and red-faced.

“No.”

“No?”

“No.”

“No what?”

“No, I don’t know who you’re talking about.” Dave said, wishing The Inspector’s uniform would be replaced by a straitjacket.

“Well, get ready to be blown away.” The Inspector said and told Dave the name. The only thing Dave blew subsequently was his nose.

“I’ve never heard of him.” Dave said plainly.

It’s a rare comment that silences The Inspector. This was not one of them.

“Why didn’t you issue the Gujarat CM a visa?” The Inspector asked. “Who are you to decide what counts as crimes against humanity?”

“I have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about, sir.” Dave said, still confounded with the situation.

“Alright, enough with the stupid act! Drop it already!” The Inspector said agitatedly. The possibility that he may actually be stupid did not cross his mind.

“I’m not acting stupid, sir.” Dave said, offended that The Inspector had mistaken his obvious talent as a sham. “I have contacts at the visa department, so I think I would have known anything they considered important.”

The Inspector’s eyes glazed over, he wasn’t even listening now. He suddenly jerked out of his stupor. “You have contacts at the visa department?” he asked.

“That’s what I just said, sir.” Dave said.

“I’ve always wanted to visit the Statue of Liberty. Disneyland too.” The Inspector said.

“That’s nice. You’ll like Disneyland.” Dave said, surprised at the turn the conversation had taken but not unpleasantly so.

“I’m sure I will. Too bad my visa got rejected. Thrice.” The Inspector said forlornly.

“Gee, that’s too bad. You could try again; maybe you’ll get it this time.” Dave said, confident he was touching all the right points.

“If only someone with contacts in the visa department could pull some strings.” The Inspector said pointedly.

“Well, that would make matters easier.” Dave agreed. The Inspector had to repeat the sentence two more times and wait for five minutes before Dave realized the ‘someone’ in question was him.

“Hmmm, I could try and talk to Cathy about it. She could do something for you perhaps.” Dave said.

“Now now, Dave. I’m going to need more than sweet nothings murmured into my ear to be convinced.” The Inspector said testily.

“Er…ummm….” Dave was clearly struggling to correctly frame his assurance for assistance.

“Will you make sure you talk to Cathy, and pester her until she gives me my visa?” The Inspector came to the rescue, coming up with an eloquent alternative to Dave’s more rudimentary attempt.

“Err… OK.”

“Do you promise?”

“Sorry, what?”

“Dave, have you heard the saying ‘Americans never break their promises.’?”

“No.”

“I’m not surprised; it’s not a very well-known saying. True, though. So, do you promise?” The Inspector asked.

“Ye-Yes, I promise.”

“Good boy.” The Inspector said, satisfied. “Hawaldar, lock him up.”

“I’m not quite sure I understand.” Dave said politely. “I was under the impression that you just accepted help from me.”

“I did, and don’t think I’m not grateful.” The Inspector said.

“So I’m free to go?” Dave asked.

“No.”

“No?”

“No.”

“No what?”

“No, you’re not free to go.” The Inspector said, smiling. “Our department is not as shallow as the visa department, Dave. I have to do my duty and I will not shirk it. You can’t expect small favours to overshadow something like a bomb threat.”

“But I didn’t plant any bomb.”

“Just keep telling yourself that; it’ll probably make it easier.” The Inspector said helpfully. “Don’t forget, I want that little favour done once you’re out, if ever. I hope you put your money where your mouth is.” He added, before stopping Hawaldar Belsare, who had unsurprisingly come forward with his hand outstretched upon hearing the word ‘money’.

***

“Shut up.” The Inspector said, on his last cigarette now.

“But I didn’t say anything.” The specimen sitting in the room said.

“Well, then you obey your orders.” The Inspector said. “A good order-obeyer, if you will.” He added, smiling at his iron-clad hold over the language.

“Is this about those cashews?” The specimen asked.

“Name?” The Inspector asked, ignoring him.

“Abdul Ghaffar. From Karachi.”

The Inspector’s good demeanour vanished immediately.

“Hawaldar, lock him up.”

***

The woman with the two bawling babies was talking with The Inspector in the airport lobby. The bomb still hadn’t been found but some semblance of calm had been restored to the proceedings.

“What I don’t understand is why everyone has to stay inside the airport. What if the bomb goes off? Isn’t it better to evacuate the public first?” the woman said.

“And what if we unknowingly evacuate the culprit along with the public, madam? I guess that’s what’s called irony.” The Inspector said. The woman did not appreciate this particular instance of it.

“Actually, I think you can go. The bomb seems really well hidden and finding it will take some doing. Besides, after thorough research and elimination, I’ve shortlisted a list of suspects and just finished questioning them. Needless to say, they’re not going out anytime soon.” The Inspector said, smiling crookedly.

“Oh, thank you Inspector! I’m really grateful.” The woman said and started walking towards the exit, a baby in each arm. The younger one started crying loudly, so she put the elder one down in order to console him.

“You can walk the rest of the way, can’t you Artie?” she asked the elder one.

“Yes Mommy.” Artie said and started waddling. The general din in the vicinity and the constant wailing of the younger baby meant that no one heard the beeping sound coming from Artie’s fancy new boots.

***

THE INSPECTOR INTERROGATES: PART 1

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It was a plane landing like any other, and the subsequent hustle and bustle at customs was equally unexciting. It didn’t take a genius to guess that the flight in question was international, not to mention long.

Post-flight lethargy, air hostesses in short cuts (dresses) chatting up pilots with short cuts (hair), friendly Americans roaming about like excited cocker spaniels while uptight Englishmen looked on with the contempt of a German Shepherd, a mother carrying two bawling babies and keeping the bigger one down as she waited for her luggage, beep, a man arguing with Customs over cashews, beep, the robotic female voice blaring out flight timings disinterestedly, beep

Beep. Beep. Beep…

“Everybody down! This is a bomb check!”

Well, maybe it wasn’t a plane landing like any other.

***

“Sir, it is outrageous for me to be kept locked up like this and I demand that you release me immediately.”

“Shut up. “The Inspector said, puffing impressively on his cigarette. The specimen sitting before him wore a perfectly tailored three-piece suit with the creases still untouched. It seemed unbelievable to think that he had just travelled sixteen hours in a stuffy TransAtlantic. ‘Ignoramus from Islington’, the Inspector thought. ‘Never a hint of a smile on that arrogant face. When he isn’t looking at you like you’re yesterday’s leftovers, he’s weaving an intricate web of ‘Jolly good’s and ‘Toodle pip’s so that he can strangle you with your muffler or poison your tea.’

“Name?” The Inspector asked.

“Theodore Cook.” The specimen said stiffly. “And this is getting out of hand. I demand that-“

“Demand? DEMAND? You’re not in a position to demand anything, Theodore.” The Inspector said mockingly. “Did you hear our demands when we wanted freedom? No. You continued to oppress and supress and suck the life out of this country and only left after the War, when you could barely support yourself let alone other colonies. Well, how do you feel when the ball’s in the other court, huh? Huh?”

The Inspector was extremely pleased to see that the Englishman was completely nonplussed after his neat little speech. After a few seconds, he found his feet and started a little more cautiously. “Look here; I don’t know what all that’s got to with it. It was over fifty years ago. It’s all water under the bridge now, isn’t it?”

“Really? So I can do whatever I want with you now and it’ll be water under the bridge a few years later?”

“Well, yes.” Cook said doubtfully. “But that wasn’t what I meant. What I mean by ‘under the bridge’ is that it’s all behind us and there are new cards on the table now, it’s a fresh new start.”

“So that’s what you think, eh?” The Inspector said, before stopping Hawaldar Belsare who had heard the words ‘under’ and ‘table’ and had consequently come forward eagerly, hands outstretched. “Well, I’ll tell you something, Theodore. It doesn’t matter what you think. What matters is why you planted a bomb in the airport.”

Cook started spluttering like an asphyxiated goldfish. “Wh-wh-what? That is absolute codswallop. I want my lawyer here right now and I will not be the subject of such wild and fanciful accusations. Has any bomb been found yet?”

“Oh, you don’t need to worry about that.” The Inspector continued in the same mocking vein. “You haven’t hidden it THAT well, our men will find it soon enough. The beeping was audible, so we know it’s somewhere close. We’ve come a long way since 1947 you know.”

“Oh come on, drop the freedom card! And besides, why would I want to plant a bomb in your airport?” Cook said exasperated.

“Why indeed?” The Inspector said smugly. “Why would you plant a bomb in our airport? Perhaps the same reason why you invaded us four centuries ago and tied us in chains? Because you’re jealous of our wealth and prosperity and want it all to yourself. How about THAT for a reason?” The Inspector shouted, reaching the crescendo of this particular discourse. He was delighted to see that he had the old enemy stumped again.

“What?” was all Cook could manage after two whole minutes of doing his goldfish impression again. “That is the most stupid reason I’ve heard. Why would I be jealous of you when, frankly, my own country is better off than yours?”

“Come again?” The Inspector said dangerously. He crushed the cigarette butt in his hand, yelped in pain and threw it away quickly. “What did you say?” he said, after composing himself. “Did you just disrespect my country? Did you call it a joke?”

“No! I jus-“

“That was a rhetorical question” The Inspector said shortly. “Of course you did. Do you realize that, bomb or no bomb, I can lock you up under the charges of showing disrespect to the country, the national anthem, the national flag and national property?”

“But when did I-“

“To speak of one is to speak of all four.” The Inspector said, his voice dripping with emotion. “Hawaldar! Take this man away and lock him up. I’ll settle things with him later.” He then stopped Hawaldar Belsare who, upon hearing the word ‘settle’ had come forward eagerly, hands outstretched.

The Inspector took out another cigarette after Hawaldar Belsare took Cook away. “Send the next one in.” he said menacingly, before realizing that he was alone in the room and getting up to bring the next one in himself.

***

Part 2 is ready and will be published later if anyone is interested.

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