Well, actually…

the-well-1378979_1280

Picture by mh-grafik at pixabay.com

My legs are trembling and heart thumping wildly as I stand upon the well’s edge and look down into infinity.

But I’m out of excuses.

So I take a deep breath and let my body fall, cursing loudly at the idiots who came up with this idea of bungee jumping into an abandoned well.

**************************************

Written in response to Kat Myrman’s Twittering Tales # 111 – 19 November 2018

 

Advertisements
Posted in Flash Fiction, Humour, Thriller, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Trip to Turkey Day 7 – If Wishes were Balloons… #TurkishDelight

This gallery contains 13 photos.

Originally posted on jagahdilmein:
Note: This is the eighth and final installment in my series of trip reports from Turkey. You can find the previous seven here: https://bit.ly/2RQV9jT , here: https://bit.ly/2Q2FWPO , here: https://bit.ly/2B76IOB, here: https://bit.ly/2zSYmZ0,here: https://bit.ly/2qTPYVa, here: https://bit.ly/2DLTr0d , and here: https://bit.ly/2QXjHrE ? It was the last day of our trip…

Gallery | Leave a comment

Trip to Turkey Day 7 – If Wishes were Balloons… #TurkishDelight

Note: This is the eighth and final installment in my series of trip reports from Turkey. You can find the previous seven here: https://bit.ly/2RQV9jT , here: https://bit.ly/2Q2FWPO here: https://bit.ly/2B76IOBhere: https://bit.ly/2zSYmZ0,here: https://bit.ly/2qTPYVa, here: https://bit.ly/2DLTr0d , and here: https://bit.ly/2QXjHrE

 

It was the last day of our trip as a group, and at the Kayseri Airport in Cappadocia, even though there were smiles on our faces for the camera as usual, our hearts were heavy. No one likes saying goodbye, after all.

IMG_20181109_120749

We all were traveling till Istanbul Airport together, after which Jiggy, Thakkar, and Pratik would fly off to Antalya, while Medha and I would get into Insanebul, I mean Istanbul for a night and then return to India the next day.

We started trudging towards the plane, dragging our feet to make those last moments together last for as long as possible.

IMG_20181109_122203

“This is such a sad plane,” Medha said morosely, “I wish we didn’t have to travel on this for the last phase of our journey together.”

The other two just nodded in assent, like they were on auto-pilot.

And suddenly, just like that, I knew what we were going to do.

I raised my hands in excitement, accidentally poking the pilot in his one good eye, and then jumped high, landing with all my considerable weight on the co-pilot’s toes, and shouted, “Have we gone mad? Why the hell would we fly back on this ugly metallic contraption, when we have THESE at our disposal?”

 

IMG_20181108_071809

And now, the sky was filled with balloons all of a sudden, those that Jiggy had bought for Tvisha and I had blown up (See yesterday’s story. How many times do I have to remind you that this is a series, please be serious about it.) as well as many, many more.

And just like that, the heavy burden on everyone’s heart was lifted like magic, and we all felt as if we had become so light that we could fly. Which we did….all the way to Istanbul.

IMG_20181109_072341

At Istanbul Airport, we kept on saying  Auf Wiedersehen, Sayonara, Au Revoir, Alvida, and Farewell, till I felt a tap on my spine, and the pilot whom I had nearly blinded at the Kayseri Airport said from his stretcher, “I promise I’ll fly all of you together on another trip soon, that too for free, but for now, please just leave so that my stretcher can pass through. The co-pilot’s stretcher too is on its way.”

IMG_20181109_141755

And so it was that Medha and I found ourselves on the Metro to the city, where we promptly got lost.

First, we were unable to find a bus stop outside the Metro station, and then, having gotten down on a bus stop on the opposite side of our hotel, which was on a main road, we struggled for almost three hours to cross over the road and reach our hotel’s entrance.

But as the famous saying goes- All’s well that ends in the well, and it was thus that we ended up in not just a well, but an entire sea of humanity, otherwise known as Istiklal Street, aka Lipstick Lal Street, aka Red Lipstick Street.

IMG_20181109_184332

 

“You know,” Medha said longingly, “Two things are still pending from my list. Should we do them today?”

“Neki aur poochh-poochh?(Old Indian saying, literally translated as Goodness and ask-ask, which doesn’t mean a thing, just going on to prove that you should never trust Google Translate beyond a point) I said jauntily, as two Donner Kebaps, filled with the juiciest, tastiest filling of bee….I mean BEEP (Don’t want to get into trouble with religious nut-jobs, so please fill in the blanks) we had ever eaten.

IMG_20181109_192026

“That’s one down, and one to go,” I said with a loud, satisfied burp.

“And now,” Medha started off, “if I could just have some….”

“Baklava?” I said, pointing towards the window display of the shop in front of which we had just stopped.

 

IMG_20181109_184505

After polishing off kilos and kilos of the tastiest Baklava we had ever eaten (well almost, the one in Hamburg shall forever remain unbeatable in our memory), Medha purred with satisfaction, and with a loud sigh, said, “It feels strange to be back on this street without everyone. What a night that was. The live music, the atmosphere, the dancing on the street….I wish we could do that all over again.”

“That’s what these stories are for, aren’t they,” I held her tight and whispered gently, as together, we went back to the night when our entire group had painted the Red Lipstick Street red!

Flashback over, Medha chuckled and said, “I’ve become tired just reliving those moments. Can we go back to the hotel now? I just wish that the bed is good, so that we can sleep in peace.”

And suddenly, before I could say anything, it seemed as if time had stopped on the street. Everyone stood frozen, and then, a familiar voice enveloped the street, the city, the entire country….as Pratik, through an akaashvaani (celestial announcement, loosely translated) announced in his trademark deadpan style, “The quality of the bed does not matter. Anyways, as soon as you hit the bed, you’re dead!”

And on that happy note, we said Shabba Khair (Good night) to Turkey for one last time. The honest truth was, we didn’t really like Istanbul, but we loved every moment of our trip due to the crazy gang that had banded together impromptu at the Mumbai Airport seven nights ago, and bonded together and become thick as thieves through the rest of the trip.

So long guys, and thanks for  all the fish!

IMG_20181104_193541

 

 

Posted in fantasy, Humour, Travel, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Trip to Turkey Day 6 – Jiggy Loses It! #TurkishDelight

jagahdilmein

Note: This is the seventh installment in my series of trip reports from Turkey. You can find the first six here: https://bit.ly/2RQV9jT , here: https://bit.ly/2Q2FWPO here: https://bit.ly/2B76IOBhere: https://bit.ly/2zSYmZ0,here: https://bit.ly/2qTPYVa, and here: https://bit.ly/2DLTr0d

ZAPPPPAATTTTTTTTTT!!!!!

The violent sound rang out so loud in the valley-like Goreme Open Air Museum that 73 Churches caved in, and the steep slopes of the Museum became as flat as a draught beer poured out 37 days ago.

We quickly turned to check out the source of the explosion, only to discover that it was not a bomb, it was something much worse. The noise that people from Goreme to Istanbul had heard this afternoon was the resonating sound of the palm of Jiggy’s right hand on her brother Pratik’s left cheek.

IMG_20181108_155856

Now if Jiggy had done this to Vijay, our Visa Agent who had messed up our entire Visa Application process…

View original post 733 more words

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Trip to Turkey Day 6 – Jiggy Loses It! #TurkishDelight

Note: This is the seventh installment in my series of trip reports from Turkey. You can find the first six here: https://bit.ly/2RQV9jT , here: https://bit.ly/2Q2FWPO here: https://bit.ly/2B76IOBhere: https://bit.ly/2zSYmZ0,here: https://bit.ly/2qTPYVa, and here: https://bit.ly/2DLTr0d

ZAPPPPAATTTTTTTTTT!!!!!

The violent sound rang out so loud in the valley-like Goreme Open Air Museum that 73 Churches caved in, and the steep slopes of the Museum became as flat as a draught beer poured out 37 days ago.

We quickly turned to check out the source of the explosion, only to discover that it was not a bomb, it was something much worse. The noise that people from Goreme to Istanbul had heard this afternoon was the resonating sound of the palm of Jiggy’s right hand on her brother Pratik’s left cheek.

IMG_20181108_155856

Now if Jiggy had done this to Vijay, our Visa Agent who had messed up our entire Visa Application process, and was Jiggy’s bête noire (or Khaandaani Dushman, as they are called backed home in India), one could still understand her behaviour, if not endorse or condone it. But Pratik was Jiggy’s iklauta bhai (only brother), her jigar ka tukda (A traditional term of endearment in India which literally means Piece of Liver. This term has always left me terribly confused. Why would a piece of one’s liver be more valuable or endearing to one than say, a piece of one’s heart, one’s brain, one’s kidney, one’s gall bladder(as Medha insists I put in) or one’s small or large intestine, for that matter? I just don’t get it), and so, we just didn’t get it!

As a result, this rash and reckless act by the perennially even-tempered Jiggy left me with no option but to don my hat of the Elder Statesman of the family, and try and get to the bottom of the matter. So, I took Jiggy aside, and made her sit on a bench.

IMG_20181108_153630

And then, I gently asked her, “Jiggy, what’s wrong. Tell me.”

Jiggy shook her head violently, as if removing millions of non-existent lice from her hair, and said, “I think I’ve lost it.”

I looked towards her in a commiserating manner, and said, “That much is apparent to everyone from here to Istanbul, Jiggs.”

She became slightly more hyper at this, and cried out, “Noooo, that is NOT what I mean. I mean that I have lost IT, not that I have LOST it.”

I still had no idea what she was talking about, but I let it go and tried a different tack. “Why don’t you start from the beginning,” I said.

She took a few hundred deep breaths, and finally started narrating her story.

“I’d bought it only last evening as a gift for my 5-year old niece Tvisha. But I can’t find it anywhere now. At first, I thought I must have dropped it somewhere. So, I retraced my steps since the morning, starting off from the Karamjali Underground City…

IMG_20181108_105312

“Kaymakli, not Karamjali…” I started correcting her instinctively, but one fiery look from her and I shut my yap pronto. “Pray continue,” I said.

She continued, “Then I went to the Pasabag Fairy Chimneys Valley….

IMG_20181108_122313

…but I looked on top of each mushroom, and still couldn’t find it.”

Jiggy cleared her throat and went on, “It was then that I started suspecting foul play. I initially suspected Thakkar, that maybe this was one of his practical jokes. But he protested his innocence, and pointed me in a different direction.”

IMG_20181108_155608

“Then….” Jiggy stopped here, seeming a bit embarrassed, but at my encouragement, moved on, “I’m sorry but I thought Medha had done it. I started giving her a cold shoulder as result.”

IMG_20181108_155238

She immediately saw the horrified and betrayed expression on my face, and quickly said, “But I realized that such a thing was impossible, so I made up with her. I was now sure that the girl in the yellow sweater had done it. I could swear that this is the same girl whom I had bumped into in Dubai last year on a tour, so she must be stalking me.”

IMG_20181108_153252

“But Jiggy,” I couldn’t resist saying, “don’t you think that hypothesis is a bit far-fetched?”

Jiggy bristled and replied, “That is exactly what Pratik told me when I shared my suspicions with him, and you all saw, or rather heard, my response to that.”

I quickly covered my left cheek surreptitiously, making it appear as if I was involved in deep contemplation. Jiggy now asked me, “Do YOU, by any chance, have any idea as to where it could be?”

“I’m sure I can help you find it Jiggs,” I told her, “but first, I need to know what exactly we are talking about.”

“Ohhh,” Jiggy said, surprised, “I thought I’d told you right at the beginning. It is a packet of balloons of different colours that I had bought for Tvisha. Have you seen them anywhere?”

I recalled the explosive sound of the slap on Pratik’s face that was still reverberating through the surviving 4238 churches in the Museum, the colour of Pratik’s cheek, fresh after receiving the aforementioned slap, and the fire in Jiggy’s eyes, and I innocently replied, “I’m sorry Jiggs, I wish I could help you, but I have absolutely no idea what you are talking about!”

IMG_20181109_070645

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in fantasy, Humour, Travel, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Trip to Turkey Day 5 – Feel the Magic in the Air #TurkishDelight

This gallery contains 10 photos.

Originally posted on jagahdilmein:
Note: This is the sixth installment in my series of trip reports from Turkey. You can find the first five here: https://bit.ly/2RQV9jT , here: https://bit.ly/2Q2FWPO , here: https://bit.ly/2B76IOB, here: https://bit.ly/2zSYmZ0,and here: https://bit.ly/2qTPYVa I could see Medha’s hand inching slowly towards the huge stone…

Gallery | Leave a comment

Trip to Turkey Day 5 – Feel the Magic in the Air #TurkishDelight

Note: This is the sixth installment in my series of trip reports from Turkey. You can find the first five here: https://bit.ly/2RQV9jT , here: https://bit.ly/2Q2FWPO here: https://bit.ly/2B76IOBhere: https://bit.ly/2zSYmZ0,and here: https://bit.ly/2qTPYVa

I could see Medha’s hand inching slowly towards the huge stone axe. This could not be good. Aiming to distract her, I asked, “So Medha, what is the next thing you want to see in Istanbul?”

As soon as the words were out of my mouth, I knew I’d committed a grave error. The speed of Medha’s previously slowly-inching hand suddenly accelerated to Escape Velocity, and as she picked up the axe effortlessly, a gleam came into her eyes and she said in a threatening tone, “DO NOT TALK TO ME ABOUT ISTANBUL!”

Jiggy tried to be the voice of reason, and responded, “But why Medha? It is not THAT bad. Look at the Blue Mosque, the Hagia Sophia….”

Medha interrupted her mid-sentence and said, “I still don’t know which dome is that of the Blue Mosque, and which one is Hagia Sophia. It’s not as if the Blue Mosque is blue, you know, as you would expect it to be in any sane city.”

I tried again, “But Medha, while we all agree with you on the lack of any inherent charm or grandeur in Istanbul, can I please implore you to let go of the stone axe. It seems to belong to another planet and another era, so we don’t know what ancient magic could be stored in it.”

Medha looked at me incredulously and said, “Really? You still believe in all these things despite the elaborate prank that all of us played on you the other day at Topkapi Palace?(Note: If you have been reading my stories regularly and in a sequence, like you are supposed to, you know which incident she was referring to. If not, why not? I know who you are, you delinquent. I’m going to find you, and then I’m going to make you read the entire series on a 4-inch mobile screen, just you wait.)

So saying, she calmly lifted the axe up, and slammed it down on two wheels that were kept in a recess in the wall. “See, nothing happened,” she said, laughing “you are such a coward.”

IMG_20181107_193631

Everyone started laughing at me then, the tension having dissipated almost magically, and Pratik said, “Come, let’s go out to have a grilled chicken, because that is all I get to eat in this God-forsaken city.”

Suddenly, all of us had also started feeling extraordinarily hungry, so we walked out….and froze!

Instead of the millions of people, cats, and shops that we were expecting to see in Istanbul, we saw a fawn-coloured landscape that was unlike anything we had ever seen in our collective lives. There were rocks, big and small, everywhere, and in many such rocks were constructed caves, in which we could actually see people going about their normal lives.

But more significant than the change in scenery was the change in our moods, indeed, the way we looked upon the world, and our lives. All of us felt lighter, fresher, unburdened from the weight of the world that we seemed to forever carry on our permanently drooping shoulders and backs. This world was magical.

“This world is magical,” I couldn’t resist telling Medha, “see, I told you so.”

I saw a sudden spark of the Istanbul mania return to her eyes, as she asked, “And do you blame me for it?”

I hugged her tight, and said, “Whenever I tell you to NOT do anything in the future, just remind me of this moment!”

IMG_20181107_144130

“Let’s explore this strange land,” said Thakkar, the ever-curious researcher in him coming to the fore.

We came out on a narrow road, and started walking downhill, where we could see the outline of a town from a distance. Suddenly, I saw a sign that made me stop in my tracks. Could this really be true? A golden opportunity like this, being handed over to me on a platter?

“What does that sign say, Pratik,” I asked, my fingers crossed firmly, praying that I was right.

“Go-Re-Me….” he said.

“Ohhhh NOOOOOOOOO!!!!” Medha howled, for she knew what was coming next.

And right on cue, I started off, “Go, a gear, a female gear, Ray, a drop of golden sun, Me, a name, I call myself…”

Medha was just readying her palm to whack me on the back of my head when I stopped automatically, for sitting on a thin wall at the edge of a valley was a Baba, not of  the Ganoush kind, but a Holy Man, his palms raised in blessings.

IMG_20181107_143626

We bowed in front of him, and when he said, “Look up my children,” we all looked up in unison, and nearly fainted with shock. For the Baba was none other than our very own Thakkar.

We all turned towards the Thakkar standing amongst us. Yup, he was still alive and kicking. Then, like zombies watching a really long game at the French Open, we kept looking first at one, then the other.

IMG_20181107_143620

The spell was broken by Pratik, as expected, who suddenly spoke up, “Merre do-do Baba, merre do-do Baba,” hence, demonstrating his in-depth knowledge of trashy Hindi movies (something that would stand him in extremely good stead during Dumb Charades later that night).

The Baba wasn’t a fan of Gopi Kishan apparently, and so just shook his head in disgust, and said, “When Medha used the stone axe, it took us back to the source of its magic. This is Cappadocia, which, in the old tongue, means The Land of Fabulous Horses. I loved the place so much that I decided to stay on, for this place has no beginning and no end. It exists beyond time. Now go, soak in the spirit of this ancient magical land as much as you can.”

So, in accordance with his wishes, we proceeded to do just that….

IMG_20181107_152021

IMG_20181107_152228

…till finally, our pangs of joy were replaced with pangs of hunger, and we decided to sit down and eat.

Copious quantities of food and drinks were ordered, and relished. The bad taste of Istanbul’s commercial over-hyped food was finally erased. It was then that Jiggy asked her brother, “Pratik, how do you like Cappadocia?”

Pratik had a strange light in his eyes by now, like he had discovered the true meaning of life, the universe, and everything, and it was not 42. As if in a daze, he replied sagely, “This place is indeed magical.”

We kept waiting for more, for his outlook on the aura and spirit of the place, of the history and culture oozing out of the fairy chimneys and caves, of powerful magic of ancient Gods….

IMG_20181107_141143

…but when he did not volunteer anything further, I pushed him, “Why do you feel so?”

“Well,” he replied, “this is the first place in Turkey where I’ve been able to find something apart from Grilled Chicken to eat!”

Posted in fantasy, Humour, Travel, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments