The Case of the Missing Case

Karamchand was faced with a particularly taxing problem

In a moment of madness, he had stolen a case of Mogambo’s finest Jamaican rum

And now the case to find the missing rum, ironically, had also come to him

With the clear instructions- Find my daaru, or find yourself in my acid pool filled to the brim

 

So Karamchand, in his desperation, decided upon a course that was decidedly risky

He ate half a dozen gaajars, (said ‘Shut up Kitty’ to Kitty), and replaced Mogambo’s rum with cheap whiskey

But fortune might favour the brave, but somehow it always gave Karamchand the slip

In this plan, as in every other, there was a big slip ‘twixt the cup and the lip

 

Karamchand had assumed that Mogambo would not notice the switch as he never touched a drink

But he did not take into account Mogambo’s BFF Kaancha Cheena, who loved getting hammered and throwing up all night in the sink

And here is when fortune (the one which favours the brave not Karamchand) comes into play

Kaancha Cheena was coming over for a party the very next day

 

So Karamchand found himself in a real dangerous bind

And he knew if he didn’t do something, he would get squashed like an orange with the rind

But thankfully, though fortune was against him, his trusted aide Kitty was not

And she said, “Boss, let us hit the nail on its head while the iron is hot!”

 

Karamchand, being slightly pedantic on such matters, immediately replied

“I’ve told you a hundred times to not mix your metaphors, but have you even tried?”

Kitty, also being Kitty, not that she had an option on that front

Flipped the birdie to Karamchand and shut up with a grunt

 

And that is why, dear friends, you do not see KC, i.e. Karamchand around any more

Because the other KC, Kaancha Cheena that is, discovered that he was a chor

And Mogambo’s acid pool party that evening got extensively covered by the underworld paparazzi

All because Karamchand shut up Kitty at the wrong time by being a Grammar Nazi

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A New Home (My shortest story yet, as the busy streak continues)

The streets were flooded with sewage water so foul that it could make even Varun Dev stink, the air so polluted that it could give lung cancer to Vayu Dev, the noise of blaring horns so loud that it could easily drown the sound of Indra’s vajra, made from the bones of Maharishi Dadhichi (if I remember my mythology correctly). This is not hell, thought Yamraj with glee as he got down from his celestial bull and saw the bullshit littered across the streets of Delhi…this is much worse….or should I say, much better…this truly, madly, deeply…feels like HOME!

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The super fight (In which Kunal finally gets a story of his own)

This story has been written on a special request

So read it carefully, do not treat it with jest

For at the end of the story, if you do not remember it down to the minutest detail

You will curse yourself forever on being marked F for Fail

 

There was once a bonny lad called Kunal

And all the women used to hold him in thrall

For he was not just handsome, but dashing & debonair

But obviously, as he used to say, I’m from La Martiniere

 

But Kunal was anything if not ambitious

Trust me, I am not at all being mendacious

And so, one fine day, when he was feeling particularly courageous

Kunal decided to do something outlandishly outrageous

 

So he thought and thought, and finally made a plan

He would become super se bhi oopar, by defeating Superman

To achive this feat, he read and reread Sun Tzu’s The Art of War

And found out that to win a war, age, sex or superpower is no bar

 

Having crafted a suitably crafty strategy, he placed a classified ad online

Which called upon Superman to come and fight him, or forever be called a swine

Superman of course was blessed with X-Ray vision

So he read the ad on his home PC, while being 2000 miles away on a mission

 

Since he could also fly at almost the speed of light

Superman arrived almost instantaneously, raring for a fight

Kunal of course had already spread the word across town

That tonight was the night when Superman would finally lose his crown

 

 

And so the school grounds with spectators agog with anticipation

For this was a bout that was sure to pique the interest of the nation

The odds in favour of Kunal were not very high

But Kunal laughed it away saying- Sab mile hue hain bhai!

 

After a prolonged build-up, the opening bell was rung

And a fight started whose paeans are still being sung

For Superman kicked Kunal’s arse well and true

And before you knew it, it was time for Round two

 

The rounds continued, and so did the carnage

But ‘tis not over till the fat lady sings, or so goes the old adage

For although, by now, Kunal had forgotten all about Sun Tzu or his stupid book

His BFF Ruchir decided to make him win by hook or by crook

 

So just before the start of the last round, my dear

Ruchir came to Kunal and whispered something in his ear

Lo and behold, Kunal’s eyes became green, and his nostrils started spewing smoke

It almost looked like he was suffering from a stroke

 

But it was no illness, as Superman was soon to realize

When Kunal beat him up so badly that all one could hear was his cries

He begged for mercy, and finally conceded defeat

For he wanted to avoid being turned into mincemeat

 

And that is how Kunal became a living legend that he is today

But at this point some of you will obviously interrupt me to say

What exactly did Ruchir whisper in Kunal’s ears

Due to which even Superman was forced to cry real tears

 

So even though I haven’t taken Kunal’s permission

Let me not commit this sin of omission (not commission)

I will finally reveal that secret if you so desire

For it is this honesty of mine that you guys so admire

 

Ruchir had come to Kunal and whispered in his ear

That one line that no red-blooded boy in Lucknow ever wants to hear

He said- Bhai yahaan aate hue yeh kameena Superman Bhabhi ke liye laaya tha ek chocolate bar

The Bhabhi in question of course being a girl whom Kunal used to secretly admire from afar

 

And so, the moral of the story is not hard to get

Even if you can fly faster than a speeding bullet

The green-coloured Kryptonite can still lose its power and lustre

But nothing, not even Superman, can defeat the green-eyed monster

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Deadly Plague (In which Stoppgappi falls for a common enough case of mistaken identity-happens to the best of us)

Narrator’s Note: Going through a slightly (read extremely) busy phase, so posting a story that I wrote a few years ago, but didn’t post anywhere. Have fun.

Stoppgappi was having a perfectly brilliant day. His maid Diana, who, as the young wizard had recently discovered, was a daayan, had cooked yummy aaloo-paraanthas for breakfast. His stomach had started complaining after his 7th paraantha, but firmly believing in the old adage of ‘mind over matter’, or ‘stomach expands to accommodate the paraanthas available’, he had labored on and on, finally making a halt at the 30th paraantha, when Diana informed him in a not-so-sad tone that the dough, the potatoes, the onions, the desi ghee and the cooking gas had all run out. Though disappointed, Stoppgappi stoically said ‘Honi ko kaun taal sakta hai’, and got up and washed his hands. He had just come to his bedroom to try and take a short power-nap of 6 hours to rejuvenate himself after the exertion of eating the breakfast when the doorbell rang, loudly, shrilly and incessantly. Diana went and opened the door (since no self-respecting wizard ever moves even a finger if he can avoid it). He could hear a spatter of chatter from the door and then Diana came into his room and informed him that someone called Indra, was at the door, asking for permission to meet him.

Stoppgappi was confused. He knew that within a short span of 6 months, he had built a somewhat solid reputation as the wizard-protector of the forest, but what could possibly have prompted the mighty Indra, the King of Gods, the wielder of the astral weapon Vajra, the controller of rains etc. etc. to come himself at his doorstep was beyond his comprehension. He imagined that it must be a really knotty affair if the God himself had to visit him and ask for permission to meet him. Could it be that the rain-God had showered his love on yet another wife of yet another powerful sage, and had now come to ask for Stoppgappi’s magical protection from his shaap(curse)? Or could it be that an army of demons from Paataal-Lok(netherworld) had once again attacked Dev-Lok(abode of the Gods) and Indra wanted his help in regaining his golden throne? Or could it be…His reverie was interrupted by Diana’s voice, “Stoppu baba, what should I tell him?”

“Tell him I shall attend to him presently” Stoppgappi said in an imperious tone. After all, not everyone can boast of Gods coming to their doorstep, begging for an audience, to help them out in their hour of need. The wizard took his time in getting ready. He wanted his first impression to be just right. Who knows, if Indra was impressed by his work on this assignment, maybe he could get an Annual Wizarding Contract of Dev-Lok itself. That would show those boys and masters in wizarding school who had scoffed at, and lampooned his ‘just-pass marks of 40.2% in his final semester. He didn’t see any Gods at THEIR doorsteps, did he!

He opened his wardrobe and took out his best (actually only, but no need to tell the client that) wizarding robe, put on some natural musk-essence that had borrowed from bun-muska, the neighbourhood Musk-deer, applied some hair-gel, combed his hair, put on his hand-crafted snake-skin shoes(totally organic, please don’t ask me how), picked up his wand, and walked out regally to the drawing room to greet his celestial visitor. “How can I help yoooooouuuuu?” he stuttered midway when he realized who his visitor was!

 

For it was definitely Indra, but not the king of Gods, the wielder of Vajra…(don’t worry, I will not repeat all the titles that I had mentioned earlier) but it was Indra-The Tiger, a denizen of the enchanted forest on whose life the blockbuster movie of the same name was based. “What what what… are YOU doing here?” asked the mighty wizard, still in a state of some shock. Not aware of the reasons for the wizard’s shock, Indra-The Tiger naturally assumed that the wizard was angry with him for not delivering the dough, the potatoes, the onions, the desi ghee and the cooking gas that Diana had ordered earlier in the morning. For, as you intelligent readers would have guessed by now, Indra-The Tiger was the delivery boy (Ok, tiger) at his father Bindra-The Tiger’s grocery shop, which supplied daily essentials to the whole forest.

“I will surely deliver your stuff within the next half-hour Sir, please don’t turn me into a cockroach with your magic wand”, Indra-The Tiger cried out. “What on earth are you babbling about, and why have you come to disturb me on this busy morning” said Stoppgappi now that he had regained some composure after the rude shock to his day-dreams. Indra-The Tiger, realizing that he was not going to be turned into a cockroach just yet, finally found the courage to say what he had come for:”Daddy asked me to get you urgently to our home, he said it is a matter of life and death and only your magical skills can save the day.”  Stoppgappi  listened to this and felt his earlier glow returning. So, people did need him and his magical prowess after all. Maybe Bindra-The Tiger’s wife was suffering from some grave illness, and only the mighty magic of the awesome wizard Stoppgappi could save her. Maybe Bindra-The Tiger needed him to magically contain some plague that was affecting his food-grains and even their supply source. If he could take care of that, he would be saving not just the inhabitants of the forest, but maybe all the cities nearby, the whole country, or even the world. He could imagine his class-mates and masters on the death-bed, and begging him for the magic potion that was the only cure to the plague. THAT would show them!

 

“Chalo, let’s go to your place, we must not waste another minute in this time of international crisis”, Stoppgappi told a slightly befuddled Indra-The Tiger. The wizard took out his cycle, made Indra-The Tiger sit behind him and started paddling towards the venue which would surely make him a global celebrity. Arriving at the house, Stoppgappi immediately realized that he was right all along. It indeed was a terrible disease that was affecting -The Tigers, since there was a frightful stench engulfing the whole house. Stoppgappi thanked his stars silently that it was he who was called on the scene and not one of those 90 percenters operating in the city. He was confident that with some trial-and-error, he would be eventually able to wipe-off this deadly disease from the face of the planet. He rushed inside, climbing the steps 2-at-a-time, not knowing what stage the dreadful disease would have reached by now, and whether he would be able to save Indra-The Tiger’s parents or not. He went inside and saw that he was just in time. Bindra-The Tiger seemed to be in tremendous pain and was holding his stomach tightly with both hands, while his wife was popping a pill, no doubt a strong antibiotic to try and stop the disease from killing her. “STOP”’ he thundered, “do not take any medicines till I have ascertained the cause of this disease”. “Disease? What disease? Who is ill? Has something happened to Diana?”, said Mrs. Bindra-the Tiger, this last one more due to her concern as to who would do the jhaadu-pocha-bartan if something happened to Diana(who was her Bai also) and less due to any humanitarian reasons. “What do you mean who is ill? Aren’t both of you on your respective death-beds and hence sent your son to call me?” said an incredulous Stoppgappi. “ Of course not, beemaar hon humaare dushman” replied a furious Bindra-The Tiger. “Then why did you call me so urgently, and why are you popping pills and clutching your stomachs, and most importantly, what is the cause of this frightful stench?” spluttered the mighty wizard.

Both husband and wife looked at each other and finally Bindra-The Tiger said sheepishly:” That stench is from our blocked toilet, we were clutching our stomachs because we HAD to go you-know-where but couldn’t becaused of the blockage, and we called you to check if you had any magical spell or incantation that could unblock the toilets, since our plumber is away on a trans-atlantic luxury cruise!”. On hearing this, why the mighty wizard started screaming, shouting while looking skywards, and trying to tear his hair-off while doing all this was something The Tiger family could never figure out.

And what happened to the blocked toilet, the discerning reader might ask. Well, after Stoppgappi disappeared tearing his clothes off, The Tigers appealed to their patron God Indra to help them out, who then appeared in their house and used his astral weapon, the lightning bolt ‘Vajra’, to disintegrate the blockage and make the drainage smooth as silk!

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(Love) Triangle In The Jungle

Tarzan was perched on top of his favourite tree, resting his weary feet

When he saw a lovely sight that made his heart skip a beat

It was as if a vision from heaven had descended upon his jungle

My God, she was the epitome of perfection, from every possible angle

 

Tarzan was no English Gentleman who would woo slowly while biding his time

For him, to let such a woman go would be the equivalent of a deadly crime

He had fallen in love before, but they were all riff-raff, he now realized

That he had even given those girls a second glance left him surprised

 

For a man of action like him, deciding was doing

He would propose to her right now, and to hell with the wooing

So he jumped down from the tree, to the adjacent tree’s branch

He knew he was in love, so not for a second did he blanch

 

The girl belonged to a UN Mission, come to Africa to help the natives

There were reports of a mass outbreak of constipation, so they’d got truckloads of laxatives

Turning suddenly upon hearing a sound, she got a pleasant scare

For there stood a handsome hunk, with chiselled features, rippling muscles, and wearing only an underwear

 

The man introduced himself while she feasted her eyes on him

My name is Tarzan ma’am, and in your deep blue eyes, I wish to swim

Don’t you worry, not all those who live in the jungle are savages

I, for example, am white, cultured, and know 32 different languages

 

But living alone in this forest is not good for a man’s morale

So it would be my honour if you would make this jungle your sasuraal

Tarzan continued on a bended knee, in a tone almost sappy

Ma’am I would like to marry you and make you extremely happy

 

The girl blushed so hard that her cheeks went crimson

To Tarzan, this made her look even prettier, especially in the backdrop of the setting sun

And then, the girl said- I would love to accept your (extremely) tempting offer

But I am afraid Sir, I’ll have to say no, for I am betrothed to another

 

Tarzan was not one to give up lightly, and so he said

I’m way hotter, so you can agree to my proposal, and say no to him instead

On hearing this, Diana laughed loudly and said, – You may be more tantalizing than the biggest of jocks

But NO ONE SAYS NO to the Ghost Who Walks!

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The Eater of Sweets (A story in verse about deep loss)

The empty box of laddoos lying on my table

Looked accusingly at me in a manner unbearable

And said out quite embarrassingly loud

Now that you’ve finished me off, are you feeling suitably proud?

 

I was obscenely rich till this morning, it continued in an accusatory tone

So full of sugar, besan and desi ghee that I almost shone

In MM Mithaiwala’s shop I held a place of pride

And I ensured that all the lower caste mithais got pushed to a side

 

But then, I got picked up by you, or should I say, a hog

Who polished off my laddoos in a single sitting, salivating like a dog

And all my pride and joy came crashing down

I suddenly felt like a king without a crown

 

So the next time you feel like attacking an item of food

Don’t forget this one lesson at any cost dude

Maana dus kilo laddoo ek saathkhaane ka alag hi thrill hota hai

Magar laddoo bhi insaan hote hain, unke seene mein bhi dil hota hai

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Taan Se Taal Mila Part 3 (In which mistaken identities rule the roost, and the secret of Sachin’s energy is Boost (just to complete the rhyme, no Tendulkar here))

It was now 30 minutes since Sanket and Dr. Chinnaswamy had kidnapped Anu Malik, and Sanket was already ruing the day he had applied for an internship at LPU! The kidnapping itself had been fairly straightforward. Anu had not been able to distinguish between a water gun and a real gun, and so, had calmly allowed Sanket to put a black cloth bag over his head to blindfold him, and lead him to Dr. Chinnaswamy’s car.

But as soon as the car started, so did Anu, and in a muffled voice, said,

“Do me a favour, let’s play Holi

Gar kuchh kahoon toh maar na dena mujhe goli

Car ke chalte hi mujhe kuchh ho jaata hai pyaare kidnapper

Khud-ba-khud jag uthta hai merre anadar chhupa rapper!”

And with that declaration, warning or threat, whatever you may call it (depending on whether you were Anu or Sanket), he took off like the USS Enterprise, to go where no man has gone before (thank God for small mercies) and rapped non-stop about the birds and the bees, the pods and the peas, of men and mice, eating daal and rice…You get the picture (though hopefully, not entirely, or else you would have torn your remaining hair by now and caught the next Shatabdi Express to Agra to get yourself institutionalized there).

Imagine the plight of poor Sanket, who had to bear this karkash cacophony on his own, since Dr. Chinnaswamy too, just like his nemesis Anu Malik, had a quirk related to moving cars. He slept off the moment the car started moving. Sanket wouldn’t have minded it that much also…if the doctor had not been at the wheel of the car!

Anyways, the journey finally ended, thankfully with all three passengers alive, and one of them kicking, that being Sanket of course, who was kicking himself for not standing up to his boss even once in his life. The Professional Rocket Science Department at LPU was dark and silent when they parked the car in the garage, and took the elevator to Dr. Chinnaswamy’s office.

The first thing the doctor checked on reaching the office was whether Taansen was still unconscious or not, as he did not want the legendary musician to discover his evil plan. He then turned towards Anu Malik, came close to him, paused, took a deep breath, and with a loud, theatrical gesture, removed the black cloth bag from his head, and said, “Pehchaan kaun?

Anu blinked his eyes a few times to adjust them to the dim lighting in the room, and then, noticing that Sanket no longer had a gun in his hand, said indignantly, “Dil mera churaaya kyun, jab isse todna hi tha, mujhko gharse uthaaya kyun, jab mujhe chhodna hi thaaaaaaaaa…..Why did you break my trust, Tell me cos I insist you must, Why did you take me away…away…away…”

Dr. Chinnaswamy, meanwhile, was posing triumphantly in front of him, but when he saw that Anu is too busy making up his ‘on-the-spot’ song adaptation, he shouted, “I SAID, PEHCHAAN KAUN?” Anu stopped midway through his song, and then, started looking at the doctor quizzically from various angles, and after scrutinising him closely for 19 minutes, said, “Yeh kaali kaali aankhein (Sanket couldn’t help but chip in with- Tu ru ru tu ru ru, which earned him a stern and acerbic stare from his boss, but by now, he had started having too much fun to care) Yeh kaale-kaale gaal, Yeh bikhri-bikhri zulfein (Sanket again pitched in with the mandatory Tu ru ru, tu ru ru, though another voice had joined into the chorus this time, without anyone noticing it) Yeh gainde jaisi chaal….Dekha jo tujhe doctor….hua hai bura haaaaaaaal….Kyonki, let me tell you something clearly yaar, I have no freaking idea who you are!”

Sanket couldn’t stop his laughter any longer, and burst into a loud guffaw. That was like adding aag mein ghee (or as the English copy of this saying goes, adding fuel to the fire) in the eyes of Dr. Chinnaswamy, and his face turned a dark, almost burgundy red in colour and he sputtered, “But you must remember me, I had once appeared for the Indian Idol auditions, and you had rejected me!”

Tan tanaatan tan tan taara…ullu bann gaya yeh bechaara…” said Anu, and started laughing. Then, controlling himself somehow, he explained, “You must be talking about Anu Malik!” Dr. Chinnaswamy’s eyes became even wider than before (if that was possible) on hearing this, and he said, “Of course I am talking about you, and why on earth are you referring to yourself in the third person?”

Anu replied, “Because I am NOT Anu Malik, but his twin brother Kanu Malik. I am an introvert, while he is the exact opposite. So I compose the music for his films, while he sings the songs and judges Indian Idol. It’s a win-win situation for both of us. So your kidnapping has been in vain, you unnecessarily caused me so much pain!”

Dr. Chinnaswamy staggered and almost fell on the floor, but then suddenly, a thought struck him and he perked up like a wildflower in the spring, and said, “But I still have the greatest singer the world has ever seen with me. I will take him to the Indian Idol auditions and confront Anu Malik…all is still not lost.” And suddenly, a strange voice entered the discussion, and said, “Wow, the greatest singer in the world. I also want to meet him. Where is he uncle?”

Dr. Chinnaswamy took a moment to realize that the voice did not belong to Kanu Malik, Sanket, or himself (he checked), but it had definitely come from within the room itself. So he turned around, and saw….that Taansen had regained consciousness, and seemed to be enjoying the scenario unfolding before him to the fullest.

The doctor was shocked to his core (the second time within a few minutes, if he had been a volcano, so much shock to his core would have resulted in an eruption at least equal to the intensity of Vesuvius’ eruption) and asked in a hollow voice, “How do you know English Taansen?”

At this, it was Taansen’s turn to start laughing hysterically (it was sort of in fashion that evening, hai na?) and when he finally stopped to catch his breath, he said, “Who do you think I am Doctor?” “Taansen, the legendary musician and singer of course,” replied the doctor. “Not really Doctor,” said the guy with a smile, “You see, when your time machine pulled me into this room, I was just in a different city, on the same date, in the same time, not in a different era. I was shooting for a TV commercial in which I was playing Taansen, and had to sing a song to uplift Akbar’s mood. I was extremely disoriented because of the displacement, and so thought I have reached another part of the set, and so asked you where Akbar was. But you, in your haste and your pride, assumed that I am the real Taansen.”

Dr. Chinnaswami stuttered….”But…but…why did you not clarify the same?” The man replied sarcastically, “Because you drugged me before I could say anything O great one!”

“But then…who exactly are you in reality?” cried out Dr. Chinnaswamy. But this time, Sanket, who had been observing everything with great interest till now, butted in and said, “He is proof that you are the most idiotic scientist in the world boss, and he is also insurance against you ever trying to boss me around from now on, because if I ever reveal what colossal stupidity you have displayed today, you will be the laughing stock of the entire world!”

Dr. Chinnaswamy had almost broken down by now, and begged, “Please tell me who he is…” Sanket replied with a straight face, “He’s Virat Kohli boss, and he was shooting for a Manyavar TV commercial!”

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