Sunday, September 14, 2014

DUPLICITY : Chapter 3

                                                           Team : Writers' Express                                             
                                              Read the previous Chapters of the story here
                                                           Chapter 1: Pawan Hegde
                                                           Chapter 2 : Partha Sadhukhan
                              "Daya darwazaa todo," bellowed ACP Pradyuman
Cyrus grimaced ... that trademark order of ACP, so very famous in whole India.
‘Why doesn’t he get it copyrighted? Or instead of repeating the whole sentence again n again, why doesn’t he just short-form it with  DDT? Indian TV programs are so hopelessly idiotic and still it's world's second largest TV market. We have Rs. 42,000 crore TV industry that reaches 800 million Indians. I must be a true blue Indian to love it all,’ Cyrus wondered .

Cyrus was sprawled on a Sofa-cum-bed, which had now become his all-night throne, for enjoying his daily dose of TV serials. Shekhar, who had just finished his favorite chore of tucking Roohi into bed, joined Cyrus.
"How's Mumbai growing on you? You seem to have fitted here seamlessly,"  Shekhar said.

"Yes, I have started addressing all sundry people as 'Boss' and they love it. I adjust myself comfortably on the 4th seat, like a pro. I even claim the seat , as soon as I get in the local. Instead of Golgappa, I order Pani-puri at Elco arcade. One week ago, when I was a newbie here, a taxi-driver smirked, when I asked him to turn right at the Red-light. No more Red-light for me, it's signal now. I relish cutting-chai on street and pumpkin latte at Starbucks with same gusto. In the beginning, I was miserable as I missed my niece, Tiana  a lot. Roohi has more than filled her place with love and HOME-WORK ( that's  Bold and Dutyful not Beautiful ) These Mumbai-kids have such a vast home-work, project assignments, I wonder, what do the teachers teach in class?" Cyrus asked rhetorically.

Shekhar agreed wholeheartedly. "In our days, we learned almost everything in school, from our teachers. We returned home with little home-work to do, lots of spare time to play and enough time left to help our mothers with household chores. But now …. Thanks to you, I am getting a little respite from Roohi's never-ending string of project-assignments. Roohi enjoys doing  her project-work with you. Tara is delighted with Roohi's new-improved, school-grades, since you joined forces with me.”

"Forces... reminds me... Roohi is forcing me to buy her a Strawberry ice-cream-cone almost every day, while returning from our daily park-visits. I confess, that I could not deny her and since yesterday, her voice is a bit hoarse. Hope it's not serious."

Shekhar "Yes, I noticed that and gave her Vasakoff- syrup, in the morning. Cyrus, you should not be too indulgent with her about ice-creams and cold-drinks as she catches cold faster than normal. Health-wise she is rock-solid like me but tonsillitis is something that bothers her often "

"Sorry Shekar bhaiya for giving in to Roohi's sweet-talk, I will take utmost care of her henceforth." Cyrus apologized with heavy heart. He cursed himself for being negligent in his duty as an uncle.

Shekhar assured Cyrus that Roohi will be fine in the morning. After wishing good-nights to each other, they both returned to their respective beds. Cyrus decided to get up early in the morning and accompany Shekhar in walking Roohi to the school-bus. That way, he could check out on Roohi's well being first hand.

Roohi was so excited to have her late-riser, Cyrus uncle accompany her to the school-bus, that she asked her dad to stay home. She wanted to show-off her brand-new Cyrus uncle to her school-bus-mates. She introduced Cyrus to her friends, " Hey, meet my Cyrus uncle, all the way from Delhi. He loves Doraemon and Shin Chan. He sings and dances to 'Char bottle vodka' better than Yo Yo." Here she winked at Cyrus mischievously. " Isn’t he awesome?" Roohi's infectious enthusiasm fooled Cyrus into believing that all was well.

Shekhar and Tara were at the dining-table, having Orange-juice and Kellogg’s corn-flakes. Cyrus joined them with a mug full of black coffee and choco-chip cookies. Shekhar was discussing about his early morning appointment with Ms.Lekha Khanna, which was influenced by Tara's contact in media.

 Tara encouraged him to go easy and be accommodating to clients’ demand. Shekhar agreed reluctantly saying "I thought Demand and Supply theories existed only in the Economics textbooks, but who am I  to differ with Ms. Terrific Tara?. Anything for you my dear". Here Shekhar spread his arms ala Shah Rukh Khan and repeated that world-famous Marathi dialogue "Tumchyasathi Kay pan."  I want you and Roohi to be happy always 24*7 . It's for Roohi's sake I am wearing bandana now-a-days, though it makes me sweat profusely. One of Roohi's school-bus-mate teased her, “Tera baap takaloo.” It caused her so much grief that she persuaded me into wearing bandana to cover my  baldness."

Cyrus had decided to stay home that day. He was feeling a bit home-sick and wanted to chat with his mom for an hour non-stop.

Tara had planned an important Tele-conference with her UK and U.S.A. counterparts. It was so urgent that it should have happened yesterday. Tara left home in a hurry but still looking like, straight out of Vogue-cover , not a hair out of place. Shekhar and Cyrus both gave her admiring smiles with different contexts.

Shekhar made sure that his home resembled a warm, cozy place and not a pigsty before leaving Cyrus with a, ‘Bye; Have a nice time’.

Cyrus took a leisurely bath, poured himself another cup of coffee with lots of milk and sugar this time. He installed himself on his throne for that long pending chat with mom. He was startled by a shrill telephone ring just at the moment he was about  to dial his mom's number.

.... Meanwhile, Roohi was feasting on huge slices of Black-forest cake in the school-bus. It was the full-blown, mega-hyper birthday celebration of her BFF Kimaya. Kimaya's treat, that too with her favorite Black-forest cake, how could Roohi resist such a deadly combination?.
Within minutes of stuffing herself with cake slices, Roohi's aggravated, sore throat could take it no more. Roohi was vomiting  violently and her friend was trying to help her with water and tissues. The school-bus attendant came rushing to Roohi's rescue but it was in vain. The bus had reached the school-building. The attendant carried Roohi to School's in-house medical clinic.
The doctor checked her pulse, sponged her and decided to shift her to a hospital immediately. The school-principal and class-teachers were informed and were trying to contact Roohi's parents continuously.

Tara was busy with her foreign counterparts in Tele-conference room, so she had muted the mobile, while Shekhar had completely switched off his mobile to concentrate totally on his meeting with Ms. Lekha Khanna. At the Bhabha hospital, the municipal doctors  were adamant. They refused to admit a patient in such a serious condition without  any family member to sign the case-paper. The class-teacher finally tried to reach the Duttas on the landline number, which caught Cyrus by surprise as he was about to call his Mom.

Cyrus picked the receiver to hear an agitated plea of Roohi's class-teacher, calling him immediately to the Cooper hospital. Cyrus was shocked by the horrible news of Roohi's severe condition. Firstly he tried to reach Shekhar and Tara on mobile. Both were still unreachable. He stuffed the cash from his cupboard in his wallet, locked the door and rushed downstairs without caring for his disheveled condition. He stopped an auto-rickshaw and barged in without requesting "Chalenge kya", he ordered "Bhabha chalo. Quick!".The rickshaw-wala zoomed through the early-morning opposite direction traffic easily.

Cyrus persuaded the municipal doctors with his Parsi charm and broken Marathi. He got Roohi admitted in an ICU ward as well as he managed to get urgent treatment for her within a jiffy. They had put her on IV-fluid and the medicines were being administered through IV. Cyrus was keeping an eye on Roohi's shallow breathing and simultaneously trying to reach Shekhar and Tara. Cyrus could not move away from Roohi so he called up his friend and briefed him about the serious situation. He gave Tara's office-address and asked him to go and personally fetch Tara.

First time in his life, tears streaming through his eyes, Cyrus prayed not only to Ahura Mazda but all the gods in the whole world for Roohi's well-being. Whenever he spotted any little movement in Roohi's motionless body, he called for doctors and nurses to check her.

Cyrus's friend had picked up Tara from her office on his bike. It must have been the first time in Tara's adult life, that she looked disheveled, with her hair astray and her immaculate dress creased. Tara's face was scrunched up in dreadful worry for her little angel. She tried to embrace the bed-ridden Roohi but the doctors stopped her and soothed her with the report of her improving health. Roohi was out of danger now, but still needed 24 hours medical attention.

Cyrus decided to bunk his college for 2 more days to help the Dutta-family which had become like his own. By now Cyrus’s friend had managed to contact Shekhar. He joined Cyrus and Tara in sharing the news of Roohi's improving health. Doctors assured them that Cyrus's timely intervention had provided Roohi with prompt medical assistance.

Shekhar and Tara, especially Tara was speechless in gratitude for this quiet, nerdy Parsi boy , whom she had refused to have as a PG in the beginning. First time, Tara realized the warmth of Cyrus's voice, when he called her Bhabhi.

 It was the day of lot's of First Times. Secondly , Roohi as per her Rock-solid constitution , improved rapidly within 2 days. The Dutta family now 4 members strong returned to their Hill-road Residential Heaven in high spirits

And they lived happily ever after ?

keep reading the 4th Chapter to find out ... what next

Read the next part of the story here : Chapter 4 : Shilpa Gupte
                                                            Chapter 5 : Manjulika Pramod
                                                            Chapter 6 : ShazninPathak
                                                            Chapter 7 : Anuradha Khanna Pentapalli

“Me and my team are participating in ‘Game Of Blogs’ at #CelebrateBlogging with us.”
The copyright for the sketches lies with "Manjulika Pramod"

Friday, September 5, 2014

Hot n Happening Baby-sitter

Hot and Happening Baby-sitter

Hot as in Hawt and Happening as much as Breaking News on Aaj Tak .... 
Boss , Dekhate Rahiye ...

So ? Who's this mysterious Baby-sitter ? Any Justin Bieber connection ? 

Well you have , couple of them , in your Living room and bed room. 

No prizes for guessing. I am talking err... writing about TV . 

The charming , Kareena Kapoor look-alike hostess of  TVNXT2014  -  AFAQS  , aptly described the TV as the bestest baby sitter. She should know , she has a 4 year old child hooked on to Chhota Bheem , Motu-Patlu, Doraemon and assorted toons .

Gone are the days of weekly Chhayageet ,Chitrahaar and Hindi Movies. 
Doordarshan , the only channel available to Indian viewers , telecast very few programs , that too only in the evenings. 
It was the case of " Short and Sweet ... packs the punch "

And now ... everything is Fast and Furious ... happens 24*7 !

Indian television: ­ streaming ahead

" The world's second largest TV market is going through cataclysmic changes.
 The twin forces of consolidation and digitization are playing havoc with the way the Rs 42,000 crore TV industry that reaches 800 million Indians, has done business so far. 
Digitisation is forcing it to rid itself of structural chaos while consolidation has meant that more 70 per cent of all TV viewing is now controlled by five large networks.
The biggest change however is the rise of online video. At 100 million users and counting, online video presents both, the biggest opportunity and threat for the TV business in India.
 What is it doing to television programming, distribution, pricing and marketing?
 How is social media changing the way broadcasters react to viewers and the way viewers react to shows? 
These are just some of the issues that the fourth edition of India's biggest event on the business of television will focus on. Join us then at TV.NXT 2014 to hear and discuss what the future holds for Indian television. "

When I read this on the AFAQS's Facebook page - Events category. I wanted to attend this Mega-event at any cost, which happened to be Rs. 8000/- per person for 2 days , 4-5 September, 2014 at Novotel , Juhu Beach.

As you can very well imagine, by my earlier blog-post, I attended this prestigious, one of a kind event as a special invitee by winning the pass in a Twitter / Facebook contest organized by  AFAQS. #TVNXT2014  twitter contest created such a frenzy among the tweeples that #TVNXT2014 was trending since the 3rd week of August.

"Thank You for participating in TV.NXT Contest !!!

It gives us immense pleasure in informing you that you are amongst the Top-15 participants shortlisted by the judges. Now join us at the event to know the final winner. "

I received this e-invite 2 days prior to #TVNXT2014 and kept my fingers crossed for the jackpot , an exclusive Pierre Cardin wristwatch to be declared at the event.

Hold your breath , to know the final winner and till then enjoy the pic of that prize watch.

Over to Novotel , Juhu Beach now , for the Hot n happening #TVNXT2014 ... Here it goes ... or as the hostess said " Get ... set ... PO "

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Friday, August 15, 2014

Special @SocialMedia


The year was 2009 ; the aam-junta was still busy scrapping on Orkut. I too had an Orkut account but I was more committed to my Blogger Account, ‘Spirit of Mumbai’   . After receiving a prize for a blog post, ‘Tapori Mumbai’, I posted the photograph of my prized Chopper-ride on Facebook.

Facebook was a novelty then. Most FB_DPs boasted of fancy cars while my DP showed-off a ritzy Helicopter Raven in its full glory, ready to take off at Juhu Aerodrome. I was bombarded with Friends-requests and queries regarding the Chopper-ride. Suddenly I was having more than 1000 FB-friends, who were active in various extra-curricular activities.

The most fascinating and challenging extra-curricular activity, I loved on FB was the Contest. These online contests conducted by various prestigious organizations challenged the creativity, general knowledge, technical knowledge and artistic skills of the participants. The 1st ever FB-contest, I won was Valentine day contest (poetry writing). Next month I won 10 FB-contests, and then I promised myself, that I will win a contest every day. It was a hard task, as I had to keep track of the contest happening on various FB pages. I maintained a special diary for the companies / organizations holding contests, the company’s contacts, recording my prize-winnings from FB-pages, the prizes I won but have not received etc. Then I discovered that Twitter had also started the trend of contests. I joined the Twitter-contest-wagon within a jiffy and soon became famous on both Facebook’s as well as Twitter’s contest-circles.

I was so completely committed to winning contests that I powered on my laptop early in the morning and remained online for 11 to 12 hours daily. Within a year I was a Contest-champ .I joined the secret group of Contest-winners. I received the golden opportunity to meet the legendary author Sir Jeffrey Archer and got an autographed copy of “Only Time Will Tell “. An organization interviewed me about my exemplary talent in winning online contests.

After a visit to my cousin DR. Sandhya Kadam (M.D. Ayurveda), I realized that I have started neglecting my diet and social commitments, while being 24*7 busy with online contests. Now I have decreased my online time from 11 hours to 1 hour daily. It was hard initially to cope up with the withdrawal syndrome. My sister and mother encouraged me to remain off-line.

The most important lesson, I have learned from this episode is, it’s exhilarating to keep winning and still the health is more important than prizes and accolades.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Mahesh Bhatt @Bombay Stock Exchange

Thanks a zillion , Hindustan Times , for giving me the opportunity  to attend the interactive session with Mahesh Bhatt and Stuart Sender ' How Cinema influences Culture and marketing " , held at the Bombay Stock Exchange.

Mr. Stuart Sender, renowned Oscar-nominated Hollywood filmmaker and journalist won audience's united approval with his unique observations such as ' The BSE transactions influence the marketing of cinema ' , ' Whatever happens in India , happens on large scale  so makes big impact on the whole world' , 'Today's generation wants instant gratification as they are used to it on Social Media ' , ' Indian mythology has great heroes like Krishna , Arjuna , Rama inspire the Bollywood cinema ,while Hollywood had to create theirs fictionally ' .

Mr. Mahesh Bhatt , aka Alia's Daddy , advocated the Demand and Supply of his erotic films eg. Murder1-2-3 , Jism1-2-3 , Raaz1-2-3 , Woh Lamhen with , " I have to run a shop . I have to make movies which people pay to see. Pleasure seeking is be-all and end-all in today's times. I am catering to the 18-35 audience , which want erotica. Earlier cinema used to reveal the truth , now cinema hides the truth " . He summarized his reason of producing Murder , Jism , Raaz , Jism sequels with " You don't purchase tickets of City lights but of erotic movies and make them hit" .  The audience , which comprised mostly of college students gave thunderous applause to Mr. Bhatt's hard-hitting statements.

Friday, July 25, 2014


5 Black Dreams ... to live 4

I live for my dreams, which are fluorescent and boast of Black theme.
Black is Absolutely Fabulous to flaunt in whichever style you wish to dazzle.
Black is commonly associated with Magic, Power, Secret, Elegance and Authority , all of which I am passionate about . 
Dare to differ about my Black-buttering ? Then please take a look ...

1. Black Judith Leiber clutch :

 Just the very name Judith Leiber spells class, elegance and Exorbitance. Her clutches are heirlooms , to be passed on from one generation to the next. The designer-clutches are so uniquely magnificent that they should  be kept in show-cases for the guests to applaud for. I wish for this Black Cat-clutch for it's aloof preciousness and Dark fantasy.

2. Black Swarovski Bracelet :

The talent, the skill, the craft that assembled this top notch Black Bracelet is worth zillion dollars. Each and every Swarovski jewel is top notch and adds tony dimension to the owner's persona. I wish to wear this snazzy , black crystal bracelet while receiving a prize for one of my literary Gem.

3.  Black Jimmy Choo Faye lace pumps :

The ladies wish for at least one Jimmy Choo in their dream closet. I am no different , but a slight variant with Black Jimmy Choo Faye lace pump is on my wish-list for a long time. Instead of solid leather pumps, the delicacy of the Faye lace adds so much glamour and glitz to this Black Jimmy Choo. I wish to wear and waltz in it.

4. Black Beauty :

That is Jet Black, smoking hot, luxurious car to zip...zap...zoom around, when I am showing off above three Black treasures. I really, truly, absolutely wish for black Zest  car. On the highway, at the signals, in the parking lots, cruising past colleges, malls, offices and complexes my Zest will be gazed at and envied by all.

5. Black Cat commando :

Yessss.... why not ? My very own Black Cat commando, to guard me and my 4 ritzy possessions. I will need nothing less than Zed+ security detail. My last but not the least wish is ... The Black cat commando with hi-fi elex-weapons to frighten away any Black-Spirit.


This post is a part of #WhatTheBlack activity at

This post is a part of #WhatTheBlack activity at

All the images are copied from Google.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Zest For My Life : 5 Stars

My Zestful 5 Stars

I love to live my life luxuriously.  Each day brings new adventures, followed by the excitement. Being a lady, one has lots of merits as in we love so many people, things and situations zestfully. Selecting just 5 things, 5 stars which add Zest  to our life is quite tricky, so I have to be very , very selective.

1 *. E.O.S.S. = End Of Season Sale :  Oh my God .... have you seen the crazy crowd at the various malls ? Infinity, Inorbit , Growells 101 , Raghuleela , R city  etc. Well , I am always one of them mall hopping for all those feverish EOSS. The Dresses , the bags , the footwear , the cosmetics at flat 50% discounts makes me till my cash exhausts. I return from EOSS with shopping bags full of treasures. Just looking at them and counting how much money I have saved, add Zest  to my life ... How swell I will be looking wearing those dresses , shoes and cosmetics !

2 *. Aamen and Adi : My nephew and my niece are not just apples of my eyes but souls of my body. Since their birth , I have been their Mawshi and as they are growing up , they are transformed into friends and confidante. Telling them stories / jokes, helping in their studies, chatting, sometimes scolding them for miss-behaving, indulging in masti, enjoying coffee with them each and every moment spent with my precious bachchas add immense Zest to my life.

3 *. Sidney Sheldon : My most favorite author , whose all books are full of entertainment , excitement and dramatic events . His novels add zest to my life with literary gems such as Rage of Angels, The Other Side of Midnight, A stranger in the Mirror, Master of the Game, If Tomorrow Comes, The Sands of Time, The Naked Face, Windmills of the Gods, The Stars Shine Down and of course his biography The Other Side of Me . Just reading any novel of Sidney Sheldon lifts my mood , whenever I am feeling low.

4 *. Blog -writing : I am writing blogs since 2007 and enjoying the process endlessly. Every time I write a new post , I discover something new about myself or the blog's technology, template , feature etc.  In the beginning , I didn't know about adding pictures, videos, URLs etc. so my blogs were somewhat mundane and monochrome . Now as I have discovered the magic of making my blogs Eye-candy , the Blog-writing has added rainbow-hued  Zest to my life.

5 *.  Merwans : It is a cake-shop for all and a special Treat-shop for me. It  specializes in Cakes ( Chocolate, Butterscotch, Strawberry, Pineapple, Dutch truffle, Black Forest, Swiss role, Eclairs Brownies, Doubledeckers, Black currant, Plum, Almond, Mawa etc.), Patties ( Chicken / Mutton / Veg. Manchurian / Paneer / Mawa / Kheema etc.), Surti maska Butter , Flaky Kharees, Anjeer cookies, Mousse and Softies . Ooh ... just writing about these gets me so excited. Buying so many of these delicacies and sharing them with my family and friends add oodles of  Zest  to my life.

This post is a part of the #ZestUpYourLife activity in association with TATA Zest and

This post is a part of the #ZestUpYourLife activity in association with TATA Zest and

All the images (except 2nd ) are copied from Google .

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Cake ... Ooh La La !

Cake ... Ooh La La ( My Beautiful Food )

Vanilla , Ginger , Strawberry , Cardamom , Cinnamon , Butterscotch , Coffee , Lemon , Orange , Chocolate , Pineapple ... you name it and these all essences mingled , mesmerized the 'D' division of 10th class in A.B.Goregaonkar English school...Ooh la la !

We,the 50 students of 10-D had brought Cakes with various flavors to decorate them as a live project for Work-Experience. Just imagine ... we were supposed to  do these cake-decorations ( icing / designing ) on the regular wooden benches where we read and wrote daily.

Every bench was boasting of 2 fresh, homemade ,spongy, fluffy, delicious cakes waiting eagerly to be decorated with colorful cream, candied fruits, tiny silver mint-balls , Gems, Cherries, crystal jelly, designing tools such as piping syringes , guns and handmade cones.

The students as well as teachers were making a beeline at 10-D, to have a look now and expecting a slice of those eye-candy treats after we had finished the decorations.

We began with icing/frosting i.e. covering the top of the cake with cream. Most of us used either White or Chocolate cream as the base and then proceeded with next step of designing. 

I had visited Mongini's and Merwan's Cake-shops to get an idea of Cake-decorations. Eventually I drew my own design, which made my cake look like a Million dollar artifact.

Firstly, I frosted my cake-base with Chocolate cream. Secondly, I divided it into 4 quarters with a ruler. Thirdly, I used Pistachio-cream to draw zigzag lines to cover the 2 opposite quarters. Fourthly, I used Strawberry cream to draw the same design on the remaining 2 quarters. Now my cake resembled a lovely Birdy's nest. In the middle of the cake , I put 4 White marshmallows as eggs. Finally, I put tiny silver mint-balls on the border.

I took out the exquisite Borosil serving dish and placed my decorated Birdy's Nest-cake on it. Last but not the least , I sprinkled the Rose-petals around my cake , while presenting it to the teacher for final grading.

Ooh la la... Yes!

Yes, you guessed it right. I got A+ grade . The teacher complimented me about BOROSIL serving dish , saying " The Diamond sparkles more in Gold-setting."

( This post is written as an entry for the BOROSIL - My Beautiful Food contest.)