Mrs Nobody

I know a funny little woman,

As quiet as a mouse,

Who does the mischief that is done,

In my humble house!

Oh, how she loves to scatter things,

When I’m on a cleaning spree.

And makes sure the phone rings,

To watch me harrowed, with glee!

She makes the utensils jump down,

From the cupboards up overhead,

Startling my new guests in town,

Who rush to save my head.

She likes to haunt my closets too,

And ransacks it into a mess.

Therefore, It’s a terrible woe,

To find a fine, decent dress!

The monster laundry glares at me,

For she piles it high and mighty!

And makes sure I’m never free

To blog or chat away idly!

She drops hair and stains the kitchen,

For me to clean and fix.

Oh how I curse the naughty vixen,

But she loves her little tricks.

As I try to make the chapati round,

She leaves the tap running.

At times, I hear the alarm’s sound,

And rush to see what’s burning!

I don’t know how she does that,

But the house key goes missing,

Whenever we have to go out,

For some fun and fishing.

Despite, all the trouble folks,

I kinda love the dear lady.

She sure knows how to make us laugh,

And things often end in comedy.

“Oh, o, you must be better organized,”

Remarks my loving Honey,

But he doesn’t believe when I say,

“It isn’t me, it’s MRS NOBODY.”

(Inspired by the great poem – Mr Nobody, one of my favorites, written by an anonymous poet. Do you also have a Mrs Nobody in your house?)

Images courtesy Google

After Kangana’s Coffee with Karan….

Seething with anger, Mr Karan Johar sat in a luxurious room post his ‘Koffee with Karan’ episode with the arrogant actress Kangana Ranaut. He had been contradicted and slammed on his own famous chat show by a little actress, who was weaker than him in every way. She had no ‘godfather’ in the Hindi film industry, she was not the daughter of a renowned filmmaker or celebrity, she had far lesser contacts and connections than him, and less wealth in comparison to him.  Although, red faced after being called a ‘movie mafia’, Karan had tried to maintain his composure, making it all light and good humoured but the cracks had shown on the show…

Breaking his reverie, the phone buzzed! It was his favourite actress. “How could she, the shabby thing, speak to you like that Karan.You poor thing, I know you must be really mad….and did you hear her disgusting accent….what’s wrong with her….,” the actress purred. Karan spoke his heart out for the next ten moments. The staff in the next room could make out that the boss was indeed in a very bad humour.

“The down market thing, needs to be taught a lesson….,” another favourite whatsapped him. By this time, the media and twiterrati were having a gala time at the expense of poor Mr Johar. The man had been stumped at his own ‘masala’ show! The media sided with Kangana, who had chided Karan for his nepotism and tendency to act as the owner of Bollywood.


 The Hindi film industry is indeed brimming with actors and actresses with less talent and more contacts. All the top notch actors are sons and daughters of celebrities – Alia Bhatt, Kareena Kapoor, Sonakshi Sinha, Shraddha Kapoor, Sonam Kapoor, Varun Dhawan, Tiger Shroff….to name just a few. Ms Ranaut had won this round of applause.

Mr Johar reacted subtly in his next episode of ‘Koffee with Karan’ with Kapil Sharma. “What would you do if you wake up as Kangana Ranaut?,” he asked the comedian. “I would delete my emails,” Kapil Sharma replied sheepishly. And then both laughed nonsensically, insinuating at Kangana and Hrithik’s affair! But the humour fell flat. 

By this time, more than half of the industry sided with Karan Johar, they needed to be in his good books. Ms Ranaut was always an outsider, a nobody, despite having talent. She had also dared to pick up fights with other prominent goliaths like Roshans and was said to be arrogant and rude. 

Karan struck again! While speaking on the sidelines of an event at the London School of Economics, he hinted that Kangana may not have understood the meaning of the word nepotism, that he was fed up of seeing her play the ‘woman card’ and ‘victim card’ and that if the actress had such a problem with the way  industry worked, she was welcome to leave.


That day, watching Karan’s vengeful speeches, Kangana smiled inwardly! She knew most of the industry people would refuse to work with her now. She had irrepairably damaged her career by being loud and clear but…what made her smile was…atleast she had managed to hit back in some way. She knew that she could be called names and dirty allegations might be made against her but she was here to stay! It was time for her to react again! She straightened her back and strided confidently albeit towards an uncertain future.

(Disclaimer – This is a dramatised version of the ongoing battle between Karan Johar and Kangana Ranaut. It is partly factual and partly fictitious. Images courtesy Google.)

The Pink Panther


Sheila waited nervously in the lobby. Soon, she was to be called in for the interview. Looking down at her plain clothes and worn out sandals, she thought, “Will they even consider me?” The other candidates looked so stylish!

But she was not the only one, who was out of the place at the huge Film Design studio. 

Placed in the middle of life-like paintings of Cherubs, Nymphs and landscapes, was a huge photograph of a pink diamond against a black background. It just did not fit!

Her turn came and the overbearing boss threw a question without even looking up, “I saw you checking out the diamond picture in the lobby. If you were me, what would you name it? 

“The Pink Panther,” Sheila answered.

“Why,” he asked with interest.

“First, because the diamond in the picture is flawed just like it was in the film ‘The Pink Panther’.” 

“And second,” she paused looking around at the posters of Aishwarya. “Your favourite star was in that film.”

Sheila nailed the job!

(This image reminded me of the series of films -‘The Pink Panther’. In the film, a flawed pink diamond is used as major plot device. Famous Indian actress Aishwarya Rai Bachchan acted in the movie. Find her picture below from the film ‘The Pink Panther’. She will soon be seen in a new film ‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’)

(Image courtesy Google)

This is my entry to the flash fiction challenge, Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers hosted by the lovely Priceless Joy. We are given a photo prompt and approximately 75-175 words with which to create our stories. This challenge is open to all who would like to participate. Please CLICK HERE for more. Thank you Jade M Wong for the image!

The Exotic Nautch Girl


I first saw a nautch girl (dancer) when I was a little girl. We were at our mother’s village to attend a wedding and the nautch girl was standing in front of the community guest house.

She was ordinary looking but had a pleasant form. What made her special was the buzz surrounding her! Ladies were throwing scrutinizing glances at her while gents were checking her out through the corner of their eyes. Old ladies were chatting about beautiful baijis (another name for nautch girl) of their time. The arrival of the nautch girl had made the calm village a little noisy. She was considered a public woman, a fallen woman and everyone wanted to have a good look at her. But for me, she was exotic!


One of my relatives chided me for peeping at her. “She is not a good lady. Stay away from her. She is a nachaniya (another name for nautch girl). She dances and entertains the male crowd. Nice girls never go near her.” Her words made me all the more curious. And throughout the day, I kept a watch over the dancer through the window.

In the evening, I saw her washing her face and getting ready for the dance. We heard that groom and the baraat (group) had been received and were resting in the tents. I couldn’t wait to see her dance.

Well, at the auspicious time, the groom arrived with pomp and splendour. The nautch girl began to perform a welcome dance in front of the group. She had whiten her face, stained her teeth with betel and put on a lot of make up. Under bright lights, she looked younger than she actually was. The ladies watched the welcoming of the groom from the terrace while gents stood around her in a circle. Some young baraatis threw money at her which she pocketed fliratatiously.


I watched from above while she danced on and on…on that magical night. I forgot all about the wedding but her forbidden persona stayed with me.

It was later in life that I learnt more about the likes of her. I had almost forgotten about my exotic nautch girl when I came across this quote by James Forbes (Oriental Memoirs 1813)-

“Nautch girls are extremely delicate in their person, soft and regular in their features, with a form of perfect symmetry, and although dedicated from infancy to this profession, they in general preserve a decency and modesty in their demeanor, which is more likely to allure than the shameless effrontery of similar characters in other countries.”

I learnt that possibly my nautch girl was a crude and jaded version of the former nautch girls, who were superior in art and bearing. With time, during family functions, nautch girls got replaced by choreographed dancers.  And now we have DJs playing songs at every wedding.

Earlier, they were a prominent part of Indian life and culture during the second half of the 19th and first half of the 20th centuries. They were mostly teenage girls, who typically performed in Mughal courts, the palaces of nawabs, the mahals of rajas, the bungalows of officers of the British Raj, the houses of zamindars as well as at ordinary homes wherever they were invited. Sometimes they arrived with their troupe without any invitation to a celebration and patrons were expected to pay them. They would break into an impromptu dance whenever situation demanded.

It should be kept in mind that they were not into flesh trade and their husbands accompanied them as one of the musicians. Their dance forms were an amalgam of prevalent dance forms of India at that time.


As royalty faded, the tradition of nautch lost its lustre. Some of them joined films and theatre. They have been widely portrayed in films too. The prominent ones among them were Shashimukhi from Chitpur and Phanibala. Shashimukhi was the first recorded artist of India. She went on to become the tragedy queen of Bengal theatre. 

Further on, nautch girls lost their dignity and came to be seen primarily as sex workers. That is why my concerned relative had admonished me – “Nice girls never go near them”.

I do not know whether the nautch forms are still alive in some corner of India or not but I cannot help remembering that particular  nautch girl, who had looked so divine to me! I had followed her almost like a fan adores a film star. I had enjoyed her playfulness and dance moves. I did not know then that I was witnessing a fading tradition…

Images courtesy Google

Lost in ‘Lost’

  
We have had the strangest New Year celebration this year. Since morning till late night, I and my husband, sat devouring the mystery TV series ‘Lost’ with relish. We texted ‘Happy New Year’ to most of our loved ones, called up a few, finished house work at a super fast pace… just to get ‘Lost’. 

A friend of mine had told us that ‘Lost’ was one of the most popular mystery series of all times back in 2000s and we went for it right after Christmas. Since then, we have been watching, eating, drinking and sleeping ‘Lost’.

The little ones are getting freaked out by our weird newfound love for TV but we can’t help it. Every episode leaves us wanting for more. The great thing is the series got over in 2010 and it is all available on Netflix. So, we just need to keep watching non-stop till we reach season 6. And then we will know the secrets of the island where Flight 817 crashed and the fate of survivors. From what I have heard, the serial had lasted for 10 long years, that means… a lot of watching!
Initially, the series reminded me of the popular Manoj Kumar film ‘Gumnaam’ but by the time we reached Season 3, I knew it was different from any other film or serial.

The ensemble cast, the dialogues and the great twists and turns are superb. Hats off to the writer!

The characters I am most impressed with are the dimpled rogue, Sawyer, Hurley Burly and Jack, the doctor dude.

And here are some of the memorable drawls by Sawyer  if you want to recall those ‘Lost’ days:

  
Sawyer to Kate: “Baby, I am tied to a tree in the jungle of mystery. I just got tortured by a damn spinal surgeon and a genuine Iraqi. Of course I’m serious.”
Sawyer to Jack: “A doctor playing golf. Woo, boy howdy! Now I’ve heard everything. What’s next? A cop eating a doughnut?

Sawyer, after squashing a tree frog in his hand: “Add a little ranch and it’ll taste just like chicken.”

Sawyer to Sun: You gonna lecture us about lying, Betty? From the look on his face even your old man here didn’t know you speak English!”

Well, well, well….I hope you know we just need to reach season 6 to get our curiousity quenched. Till then… I  don’t mind ‘getting lost’. 🙂