Saturday, April 23, 2016

The Seduction Of Anonymity

The Seduction Of Anonymity

It's been a month or so since I turned my blog to the dark side, made it by subscription only and since no one has yet subscribed to read my blog, in essence it means that I am for the first time since I started my blog writing for myself with moi constituting the only reader with access to my inner most thoughts. Now writing for oneself and reading it alone has made profound changes in my writing style- I no longer have to worry about being politically correct or follow society's conventions any way or in any issue. I can be myself- this great gift of expressing myself freely has only come about because of the anonymity of my blog. This takes me right back to the earliest days of my writing when I used to maintain a diary/journal where I used to scribble all my thoughts with the certainty that no one will ever get to read it except me (or maybe my sister if she was spying on me to complain to my parents).

Anyway I no longer have to worry about stalkers getting their vicarious pleasures in reading about my amorous adventures or exes with an Axe to grind following my blog religiously in the hope of learning who my current flame is or just the generally jealous and bitter blog readers who can't help but hate me for living the kind of life they can only fantasize about. Now I can be myself and chronicle all my adventures and misadventures with nary a thought of how they might be twisted and used against me in the future. This is a great gift, isn't it? The kind of peace which comes from using the blog as a confessional in the conviction that any confidences will be strictly maintained?

I can also crib about my colleagues and confess about my OCD to personally diagnose each and every patient that comes into the hospital in the (mistaken???) belief that my colleagues do diagnosis rather perfunctorily and if I don't check their patients too, they might miss catching something life threatening in the earliest (and treatable) stages itself. I won't have to divide my attention between sitting at my table and listening to my patients while on the same time sneaking a look at nearby tables where other patients are being disposed off hastily like on a conveyor belt. The fact that I can actually disclose this here-my obsession with not missing a single suspicious disease – is a tribute to the anonymity of my blog which alone has made me confess my OCD. But in my defence i am only doing this to make sure that the poor and illiterate patients who visit the government hospital get the same kind of attention and care that the private hospital patients do- even if i have to check and re-check every single one of the patients all by myself- all day.

I can also use the gift of anonymity to confess to having crushes on several of my lady friends. Although in polite society i pretend to be just friends and not interested in anything  more, i won't deny that in certain deep dark times of my life- late nights for instance, i can't help but fantasize how it would be to be married to this girl or that, how life would be if we were more than friends and how it would feel to be married to a friend/best friend rather than a complete stranger. I know that practically i won't be able to do anything about it, not even sure that it will work even if really happened but hey what the hell, can't a guy even dream in anonymity about his friends who are girls? Even if in real life i just end up attending their wedding reception with congratulations and gifts? And tell myself as i travel back home that it was all for the best and we would never have been compatible and at least this way we could keep being friends?

So what this closing down of my blog from the eyes of the prying public has done is it has atlast liberated me to get a lot of stuff off my mind safe from the eyes of the lecherous stalkers who orgasm on reading my every misadventure which i faithfully document here. Up yours assholes- oh wait, you won't read this will you?

P.S. -Coming up in future posts- more trash talking, more nose thumbings and more frank confessions on “the dark blog”.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

The Suicide Point - A Short Story

The Suicide Point

The Inspector was in a deep slumber at his desk when he was woken up by the Head Constable with a shake of his shoulder “Sir, wake up. We have another golden goose come in” which must have been their code word for something of importance as the Inspector Of Police came suddenly awake and alert and nodded to the head constable to bring in the goose to be plucked. The two persons who hurried in next were both young, twenty something males who were weeping but trying hard to show they were not. “Sir, sir” said one of them who had stepped forward, “our father has fallen off the cliff into the bushes below, you have to help us find him”. The head constable hurriedly put in his own version of their story “Their father has jumped off suicide point sir”. At this the other guy, who looked to be the younger one interrupted angrily “no, no, he didn't jump, he slipped and fell as he was posing for a photo”.

The inspector who had heard the same story a dozen times in his life raised a hand to cut him off in full flow “Stop, do you expect me to believe that any man would be able to slip and fall off that dangerous place despite all the warning boards we have put up and the fence surrounding it? Don't lie to a policeman” he threatened the brothers. The elder who seemed to be more in control of his feelings said in a plaintive voice “Sir but that's exactly how it happened, even we didn't see clearly how our father climbed over the fence and got to the edge to peer down there. When he called us to take his picture he was already there and waving at us. In a fraction of a second he disappeared over the edge and we think his foot must have slipped or something otherwise we could have saved him.”

The head constable said then “They have already wasted so much time trying to find the old man on their own, they should have come straight to us instead of wasting time”. The inspector looked sharply at the two brothers and asked “what time did this happen? “ The elder brother replied “Around noon today sir ” and he stood there staring guilty at the inspector who replied “And it's going on three pm now, you look like educated people, how can you behave like this? Don't you know you have to report any crime like this immediately to the police?”.

The younger and angrier brother replied “Sir this is not a crime, this was an accident. We know the rules too. But have a heart. Our father had fallen over, we were mad and distraught and didn't know what to do. Coming to the police station to give a complaint was the last thing on our minds then”. The inspector looked sharply at him and asked “Then why have you come now ? For what?”. The kid looked boldly back at him and said “For your help in recovering our father’s, father’s” he couldn't complete his sentence. “Body?” asked the inspector with a cruel grin “of course you will come to the police for help when no one else is there, otherwise what are we for?” he continued “Now hear this , we are overburdened with crimes already,the investigation of which takes precedence over anything else, you yourself say this was an accident, so that's it, go give a statement to the head constable that your father fell in an accident and take a FIR copy with you when you leave” he turned back to contemplate the calendar behind him marked with dates for court appearances.

“But, but” the elder faltered in front of him “aren’t you going to help us search for him sir? Search for” he swallowed and said “my father's body?”. The inspector turned back with a look of genuine amusement in his face “what do you think we are mountaineering experts like they show in movies? Do you know how dangerous it is, that place where you father fell? No policeman is going to risk his life searching for a corpse there” and he paused to look meaningfully “BUT,  there are people who can help you, certain of the guides there will go down to bring up your father’s corpse but it will cost you money, as it's very risky they charge a lot, talk to the head constable there, he will guide you”. The elder brother said then “money is no problem inspector we just want our father” and suddenly the younger one erupted “wait a minute, isn't it your duty to find our father's body? Why should we employ someone else and what guarantee is there that they will find him for us after taking our money?”

The inspector almost got up out of his chair with anger “guarantee, how dare you ask for a guarantee here, you whelp” he screamed and raised a hand as if to hit the kid when suddenly the head constable loomed in front of him, intervening with his anger and driving away the two brothers to the other side of the room “sir let me talk to them and explain things” he cajoled the inspector into relaxing and moved away to the other corner of the room with the two bereaved offspring of the dead man. After what seemed a long time but was little more than ten minutes the head constable came back to the inspector and said “I have talked to the boys and the deal is finalized”.

The inspector grumbled “and how much are they willing to pay” the head constable gave a sly grin before he said “Five Lakh Rupees for their father's body”. This time the inspector did get up out of his chair almost involuntarily “FIVE LAKHS? damn, how did they agree to that amount? And they have no idea that the tribals who do the actual finding charge no more than twenty or thirty thousand rupees depending on how deep they go?”. The head Constable preened himself “no sir they are just kids and they have no idea about the value of money. The elder has already given me fifty thousand rupees which he carries about as loose change in his pockets. He was ready to bring around the rest tomorrow but the younger one insisted, he is pretty annoying by the way, that the balance will be paid only after we show them their fathers body which should be no trouble at all. And then we are in luck- almost four and a half lakhs to divide between ourselves”. The inspector looked thoughtful “OK. This seems to be our lucky day. Get their statement, write a damn FIR that it was an accident and get rid of them immediately. Go  call up that fellow Irulan and his team, to go down the suicide point immediately before these two idiots realize they have been duped”.
But the best laid plans can go awry too and that's what happened with the inspectors plan. Two days later, Irulan a well muscled tribal whose profession was retrieving dead bodies at the suicide point stood before the inspector wringing his hands “We searched everywhere Yeajaman, but we couldn't find the old gentleman whose photo was shown to us. He must have fallen even deeper into the Devil's pit area and not one of us will willingly go into there”. The inspector and the head constable both looked at each other sadly, they could feel the rest of the money slipping away through their fingers. As they hesitated over their next course of action it was Irulan himself who suggested a solution to their dilemma “unless, if you agree sir we can bring up some other unclaimed body fully smashed and claim it's their father's dead body. No one can say how damaged a body will be after failing from such a height and you can convince them and give a death certificate that its so.”

With no other option to lay their hands on the balance amount the inspector immediately agreed to Irulan's plan and it all went as smoothly as he said it would. Even the younger brother whom they suspected will make a scene quietly accepted that it was their father's body and after paying the rest of the finders reward the two brothers went away with the death certificate and the corpse, to cremate it. And thats the end of it all thought the inspector as he went onto buy a new maruti swift with his share of the dead body money. But fate had a different story to show.

A few months later the inspector got a sealed envelope which he opened, read thoroughly twice and then whistled before beckoning the head constable near to him “Those two bastard swindled us. Look,” he said and showed him a photo  of a fifty something man coming out of a bank “Do you remember those two brothers who came to us with five lakhs to find their father's body. Seems that the old man had swindled five hundred crores from the banks before convenient falling off the cliff in an accident. The bank which had sealed his lockers in anticipation of his bankruptcy petition had finally relaxed their careful watch after seeing his death certificate and two days ago the same guy had walked in and emptied his lockers of all the cash. Now the bank has sent us a photograph from the surveillance camera asking us if this is the same dead body we recovered? And how a dead guy came back to life in the banks vault?”.

The inspector and the head constable looked at each other with crestfallen faces “And of course we have to reply that it was the same corpse that we recovered form the suicide point. We can't be changing our story now after all this time especially after insisting to the boys that it was indeed their father's body we found. We would be accused of falsifying our own records and we will lose our jobs. We are screwed both ways unless we stick to our original story till the end”. The head constable looked sadly at the inspector “To think that we let those frauds get away with just five lakhs from that five hundred crores” And the inspector said more irritably “To think we were both fooled by two young kids pretending to cry over a still healthy father. What idiots we were”.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Set a Thief To Catch a Thief

Set a Thief To Catch a Thief

“Notorious brigand kills three police officers who tried to stop his smuggling trucks at the border checkpost with neighbouring state“ was the headline which stared in the face of the Director General of Police as he sat down to his morning cup of coffee and opened the newspaper his wife had pointedly placed face up to catch his attention. The senior policeman sipped his morning brew thoughtfully while his mind was miles away at his office thinking over all the extra paper work he had to do to prepare the financial benefits and pensions for the three slain officers. He hated paperwork and the brigand had forced it on him on three separate occasions within the last twelve months. He just had three more months to go till his retirement and his political enemies inside the department, a phrase he used to describe all his eligible juniors, would leave no stone unturned to try and find some kind of financial malfeasance to to dishonor his last stage of service before e retirement and to make sure that he went out  under a cloud after thirty years of government service. If he wanted to retire with his pay and pension intact he had to, just had to, do something about this brigand problem. With that settled in mind  he got down to the rest of the days business.

It was late evening by the time he could finally put his plan in action. He directed his driver to take a long and circuitous way home via the police training academy. Once at the academy, he stepped in to confer his plan secretly with the principal-in-charge, also his long time friend and partner in quite a few real estate deals over the years at their various postings together over their thirty years of service. Although his friend demurred at first, he cajoled him into sharing the details he asked for by painting a grim picture of what would happen to both of them if their financial dealings were put into greater scrutiny by their enemies in the police department. Even their political patrons wouldn't lift a finger to save them as they were both approaching their respective retirement ages and would no longer be of any use politically. So the principal-in-charge called to his room his three best cadets from the outgoing batch and the Director general of police interviewed them separately and decided on one particular person he felt best suited to carry out the job.

Exactly one month later the DGP called a press conference and paraded before the media the forest brigand handcuffed and looking beaten like a rabid dog. “This is the man” he thundered at the assembled scribes “who had slain over fifteen police officers, enforcement officers, forest officers over the last two years in addition to slaughtering numerous elephants and tigers and chopping down sandalwood trees”. He looked at the tv hacks with a face full of pride “and it took a dedicated team of officers trained specially by the army commandos in jungle warfare  three months to trace and arrest this most desperate felon.” He went on to look directly into the  tv cameras focused on his large mustachioed face  as he said “ I hope the government recognizes the daredevil officers and grants them large cash prizes and allots housing units in prime localities as a reward for their bravery and hard work” as he looked meaningfully at the assembled police officers sitting in the hall below the dias.

Later that afternoon he rang the bell to call his personal assistant who was seated outside in the ante-room. “PA” said the DGP “has the trainee officer arrived yet?”. “Yes sir” said his PA “just as you said i made sure he only came here after the press conference was over”. The DGP twirled his mustaches “hmmm, well then don't waste time, ask him in, he is a brave fellow”. The PA turned to leave and just then as if remembering something else turned back and said “Well, i have been getting a lot of calls from officers about including their names in the reward list for capturing the brigand”. The DGP said thoughtfully “The terms still stands the same, they have to pay us the value of the cash price, whatever the government gives them and 30% of the land price of their allotted plots if they want me to include their names in the brigand capturing team list. After all they are getting large residential plots in a prime locality inside the city at such a cheap allotment price from the government with no risk at all and after i did all the hard work in capturing that fellow”. The PA said “Understood sir” and went out to send in the police trainee who had actually captured the brigand singlehandedly.

Later, sitting inside the room and facing the nervous trainee the DGP looked at him and said “You did your work well, officer”. The trainee relaxed a bit and said “Nothing to it sir, merely followed your orders  sir”. The DGP twirled his mustache and asked “So you made sure none of the local police people knew you were there on my behalf to capture the brigand?”. The trainee officer said more confidently “Not a single person in the local station suspected anything sir, otherwise the brigand wouldn't have boldly walked alone into the police station at 10Am in the morning to pay his regular monthly bribe sir. I handcuffed him right outside the station as he came out and brought him directly here. Your plan worked beautifully sir” he said and stood up to salute the DGP.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

The Games Gods Play - A Short Fiction.

The Games Gods Play.

Ravi sat there in the exam hall scratching his head. The chemistry paper was as tough as he had feared. He had intentionally omitted to study certain chapters hoping that as the same questions had come in the previous years paper they would not be repeated again. Examiners tended to do things like that. They too went through the last years paper diligently like the students did and avoided repeating the same questions again and again. Or that's what Ravi had gambled on. But unfortunately  this time Ravi’s gamble had only worked halfway. Sure none of the questions looked to be repeat offenders. But that was all that could be said in their favor. They were a bunch of no-shit garbage scraped from the bottom of the barrel. No decent person would spend three hours sitting in a crowded hall to answer these kinds of questions and still keep their self dignity intact. But. The pathetic state of the educational system forced students to crib and answer such drivel. He glanced up heaven wards to curse at an unthinking unfeeling God who had allowed such a question paper to come to him- now he wouldn't even have to fulfil his promise of breaking those ten coconuts he had promised to break at the temple if he got an easy question paper. Ok God, he threatened heaven , you had your chance and you fluffed it- no more coconuts for you or temple visits or anything else special from me- you are persona non grata from now on- our relationship is definitely over even if you don't agree. He was that angry with God for abandoning him like this to the whims and fancies of sadistic chemistry examiners.

Ok, he told himself, enough of staring at the question paper and questioning the paper setters multiple parentage. It's time to fill in at least a few pages of that so far blank answer book and hope to hell it at least reaches the hand of a compassionate paper corrector who wouldn't mind being liberal with his valuations.  So Ravi put his head down and started scribbling stuff with his chicken scrawl hoping to fool the evaluator that the scribble was the correct answer just written in hieroglyphs. As time passed he got absorbed more and more into his creative writing assignment until a faint hiss woke him up from his total absorption in his work. He looked up to see who had disturbed his concentration to find the candidate sitting in front of him- their class swot Ramu trying to hoarsely whisper out of the corner of his mouth “Machan the invigilator has gone out of the hall da...tell me what you know”. Ravi was flabbergasted for a minute “he wants me to tell him? Hows that for a role reversal? Uh..okk...” He rapidly went over the possibilities for utilizing the invigilators absence from the exam hall and concluded that given it was the last twenty minutes or so on the clock he just had time to complete three or four short answers at the maximum. The essays could go to hell- if he could get at least half the marks on the short notes he might scrape through.  “Yeah i will help you” he whispered back to Ramu “if you will tell me the answers to these short questions first” and bargain concluded he started scribbling away as Ramu dictated the answers.

As Ravi finally numbered his papers, pinned them and waited for the invigilator to come around the hall to collect the answer papers at the end of the exam, he felt a strange guilt. He felt he had unnecessarily abused god and reneged on their bargain of ten coconuts without waiting for the end. Hadn't he been a tad too harsh with god? Afterall, poor God had finally done his best by sending away the examiner from the hall for a good part of half an hour and allowed Ravi to write enough short answers to pass or at least scrape through the exam which was all he wanted. What if god become angry at him for not following through with their deal? What if his answer paper got lost in transit and never even reached the evaluation center? Or something else equally bad happened? Its better not to risk God's wrath felt Ravi and hastily tried to restore their earlier bargain. “God” he prayed again “those ten coconuts deal still stands, just somehow make me pass this paper and i will never forget you. Please forget all my harsh words earlier and show me a sign, just one sign that all is now well between us and you will make sure that I will pass. Show me the way god and give me a sign, just give me one, gimme, gimme, gimme”.

And as Ravi handed over his answer booklet and went outside the examination center, someone thrust a piece of paper hurriedly into his hand and went away. Ravi glanced at it and read “100% tutorial college, for those who fail this time, a pass guaranteed next time, God's Promise” the last words in bold letters. He could almost hear god laughing at him from above. Even gods have their little jokes, don't they?