Thursday, February 28, 2008


Been really busy for the last few weeks. Form filling, applications and interviews all leading to me joining the pitiful MBA rat race that I somehow cannot avoid for unknown reasons.

Finally went out on a trip with friends to Ooty. Was good fun. We visited Black Thunder close to Coimbatore on our way back. The place used to be the biggest water park in India earlier on but now half of it is defunct. Have heard that Wonder La in Bangalore is much better. Plan to visit in the near future.

Watched a few movies too - Shutter: a brilliant Korean horror movie that has a twisted ending, Stardust: Decent Fantasy movie based on the book by Neil Gaiman, and Om Shanti Om. This last movie did live up to my expectations. A complete popcorn movie with enough spoofing makes it even better than Main Hoon Na, although the last section is directly lifted from Madhumati. I particularly liked this dialogue:

Itni Shiddat se maine tumhen paane ki koshish ki hai,
Ki har zarre ne mujhe tumse milane ki saazish ki hai.
The original lines in English are from The Alchemist, but I never realised that it could be put in so beautifully in Urdu. Hats off to Javed Akhtar for that!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Valentine Standoff

I had to submit a story for our college magazine more than 4 years ago about a phone call from Yamraaj. And on the eve of Valentine's Day, with all the love in the air that warms your senses while exiting your rear end, I thought I should share this with you folks. (PS : I was only19. I know the whole story looks juvenile now. Forgive and forget.)


It wasn’t exactly one of those beautiful days when the evening sun slowly sinks into the horizon leaving behind a golden sky for mortals to dream of immortality. No, it was another day. A day where the grass grows, cars move, some people fall in love, while others, simply die! It was the 14th of February, a Saturday. Sometimes I wonder as to why the sequel to ‘Friday the 13th’ wasn’t called ‘Saturday the 14th: Valentine returns’. Of course! It was Valentine’s Day! That’s right, the day when Cupid (or is it Aphrodite?) is god and love is a religion.

As many other lucky people on this day would do, I did go out on a date. It went well, quite well! After dinner, I took her to an ice cream parlour. And while I was leaving to take her to my place, to watch one of my favourite movies that I had rented, I looked up to the stars and thanked them for such a great evening , little knowing what their mischievous twinkling had in store for me.

The phone started to ring at around ten in the night, just about when the hero is to die after taking oaths of undying love from his wife. It is comical sometimes, the way the irony of fate hits you right in the face, at the right time. I picked up the phone. The drama that unfolded that moment is best described the way it should be, so here is how it went:

ME: Who is it?

VOICE: This is Yamraaj!

It is important to mention at this point about people who have told me that I had the voice of a god. Well, it seems they were right. He sounded just like me!

ME (alarmed): Are you sure?

YAMRAAJ: Is that a trick question?

ME:Where are you calling from?

YAMRAAJ (at least he sounded like yamraaj): Right outside your door.

YAMRAAJ: Why are you standing outside your own door?

ME: Not me, it was you who said that.

YAMRAAJ: Not me but someone else.

ME: But who…

VOICE: It was me, Cupid.

YAMRAAJ: How dare you call me stupid!

It is even more important at this point, to mention that probably all gods sounded the same! The cross connection with an added disturbance wasn’t helping too much.

ME: He didn’t call you stupid. His name is Cupid. Why did you call me? Are you here to take my life?

CUPID: Why do you think I would take your life? I am not evil. You have hurt my feelings!

ME: Oh no, I was talking to the god here.

CUPID: So you think that I am no god. This is an outrageous insult! I shall render thy seeds infertile!

YAMRAAJ: So, a mere mortal would like to challenge me?!!

ME: But that wasn’t me!

YAMRAAJ: Then who was it?

CUPID: It was me, Cupid?

ME: Will you please stop saying that?

YAMRAAJ: Will I please stop saying what?

CUPID: Come on, I don’t have all the time in the world!

YAMRAAJ: Neither do I.

ME: Me neither.

YAMRAAJ: Then why don’t you hang up and let the two of us talk!

ME: Hey, it was you who called me!

By this time I had lost track as to which god was who. What ensued turned out to be A Midsummer Night’s Nightmare!

‘I have come to tell you that you are not doing the right thing.’

‘This is a preposterous accusation!’

‘Taking advantage of a young woman is not right.’

‘But I was here for a man’s life!’

‘Hey I wasn’t going to do that.’

‘You don’t have to do anything to die. I’ll do it all for you.’

‘Die?!! This is unfair. Back up there, they told me that I was immortal! I knew they were tricking me!’

‘I am too young to die!’

‘I must take her away from you.’

‘I don’t think you get it. I take the souls away here.’

‘He is talking about my date, not my soul!’

‘Who is he?’

‘It was me, Cupid.’

‘For the last time young man, traveling on a bull doesn’t make me stupid! You are going to rot in Hell!’





‘It was me, Cupid.’

‘Nooooo!! Die, die you imbecile mortal! Your foolish pride hath incurred the wrath of the god of the dead! No more shall I suffer this ignominy. Your soul is now mine!!!’

My nerves, which couldn’t take any more of this, just managed to make me place the receiver back on hook before my mind slipped into unconsciousness.

The next morning I woke up looking into the worried face of my date who was up all night. Oh no, not with me. She was helping out Mrs. Batra, our neighbor next door, whose husband died of a gruesome heart attack while watching TV at home with his secretary last night. They say his heart simply stopped beating…at around ten in the night.


We had to submit a brief introduction about ourselves and this is what I submitted:

Mohammed Ali is a student of electronics and communication. True to the spirit of Final Year, he has pulled the necessary strings required to print an outrageous story in this revered magazine. He loves comics which represent true Indian culture like Nagraj and Shaaka. He derives inspiration from method actors like Smriti Irani of ‘Tulsi’ fame and aspires to woo a woman like her someday. Ali also possesses the uncanny ability of fooling you into believing he is ‘posh’ by rambling Tolkien quotes but that’s all he knows.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Do you feel lucky?

This is easily one of my favourite movie dialogues :
Movie: Dirty Harry

Inspector Harry Callahan (Clint Eastwood) :I know what you're thinking, punk. Did he fire six shots or only five? Well, to tell you the truth, I forgot myself in all this excitement. But being this a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world and would blow your head clean off, you can ask yourself a question: Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya punk?
And here's another equally good version of it.