About Me

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Mumbai, Maharastra, India
Born in Mumbai, my earliest memory in life is a story. A story that said – perhaps I was adopted. Every person has a story to tell. I like to listen and most of them form the base for the stories I write. I also teach creative writing to students and professionals from all walks of life. Many have a story to tell...I help them to pen it down. I also edit, guide and help students create Statement of Purposes, LORs, Resumes and Personal Essays for their Study Abroad documentations. Please go through the samples of the SOPs done by me...I work via the electronic media with students at a global level. I also help corporates as well as individuals in regards to handling all their communication needs. Brochures, newsletters, pamphlets or press releases are delivered under strict time-lines and as per international quality.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Green Grass V/s No Grass

I can manage just 2...

Come sit down here, cajoled Mani to his wife of 40 years. Ramya sat down. “See we have a day in hand and then we have these 3 places that we can go and visit. But let me tell you honestly, we can afford to do only 2 of it. The entry to all the three places is steep and I can manage just 2. ‘’

“Let’s skip the Casino…we anyways can’t even hold cards in our hands, “laughed Ramya . Is that okay with you dear? I wanted to see the casino but did not want to disappoint the elderly couple.
No problem Akka, I and Bhaskar will go there later in the day.

Ok…done said Mani and they both looked at me. I managed to give them a pleasant smile. 

I, Bhaskar, Ramya and Mani lived in Shyamdhan Nivas in a quiet alley in the bustling city of Mumbai. Bhaskar had been born and brought up in the locality we lived. I had moved to this locality when I was just 6 years old, grew up here and have not moved out of the alley since then. 

Mani and Ramya were at least two decades senior to us but they were my ideal couple. Both of them would take extreme care of each other’s needs and at most times would be in ideal tandem with each other about various issues affecting their personal as well as social lives. 

Bhaskar and I hardly had any age difference, three months to be precise and we always argued on everything under the sun. Yet, we four formed an impressionable team when it came to going out on vacations or planning any outings. Earlier, the children had a choice to make but these days they had their own things to do, so it was just the four of us. 

“Malini and Ishma will be coming down later this year. I haven’t seen Ishma’s younger one in person and am waiting eagerly for them to come down this December. Once they are here, we won’t be able to move anywhere for a long time. Wanted to check if you guys want to plan a quick trip to Goa.” Ramya had knocked on our door one evening with this proposal. 

Bhaskar shifted through his scheduler and said, “Akka I will manage…we can come….but can you ask Mani to make all the arrangements, I am too tied up for the next few days”

I loved Goa. Had been there umpteen times. Felt excited but felt distraught for a moment. Bhaskar did not even bother to look in my direction before deciding to reply. Did he just assume, I wanted to go too? Just like it’s been done for the rest of my life, my opinion did not matter. Anyways as usual I brushed aside my disappointment and started preparing for the trip. 

Good of Mani to plan this trip. This way I won’t be nagged for another six months for not taking you out anywhere. Bhaskar had the usual twinkle in his eye. 

Me and nag? I didn’t utter a word. 

That’s how the four of us were in Goa. We were discussing the plans for the day seated in the lobby of the hotel.  Bhaskar had opted out saying he had to attend to an urgent concall. I did not want to start an argument and this was nothing new. Sometimes I wondered if he preferred Mani’s and Ramya’s company because they always became my companions on such trips and Bhaskar would be stuck onto his laptops and cellphone. 

Don’t you want to see this new place and have fun? I had once asked when on a trip to Singapore.

I have come here umpteen times on official trips….the place no
The place no more excites me!
more excites me…you go and have fun with Akka and Mani. I will see you at the south indian restaurant down the street later in the day. 

His excuses and answers were always ready. And I no longer bothered to ask. The feat was repeated in Goa too. 

Hey Sweetheart...where are you lost?? Aren't you coming with us? Forget Bhaskar for the day, you know how he is and we know how he is. Let him be happy with whatever he gets out of those gadgets....come one be a sweetheart and change and come. We are going to the beach, some shopping and some disco-kisko....

That was Mani. His kind face a perfect match for the softness in his voice. 

Give me a moment Mani. I will change and be with you in  a jiffy. I was just thinking of our pet...wondering whether he had his food. You know Casper can be such a brute at times...won't eat till I feed him with my hands. 
Ah! that pampered canine of yours...how can we forget him, mused Ramya.

I went back to our room. Bhaskar hardly noticed me enter. He was engrossed and discussing something over the phone. I changed quietly and came back to the lobby.  As we were about to leave, Mani asked Ramya – you not feeling tired are you? Shall I get you a lemonade? 

No dear, am alright. Remember our first trip to Goa that many many years ago….what fun it was….do I look tired??? No ways, call the car, lets go out…its so suffocating inside the hotel….off we go to the beach!

Mani put his arms around Ramya and both giggled like teenagers. 

Ramya is a very lucky woman, I thought. Agreed that the grass always looks greener on the other side but what if there is no grass itself on this side???

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Poga's Office Office

ORIS Sales, read the board outside the spacious industrial gala on 14th Cross Road, Andheri (West).

To the far right corner of the gala, a window opened and a white haired lean face stuck out. It seemed to be breathing in the fresh air. Suddenly, the face turned around for there were two of his junior team members,  Sajiv and Paresh, knocking furiously on his door.

‘Come in’ said the silver haired man. The misty glass door opened and stepped in the two youngsters. 

Sir, blurted Paresh, Bronson tells me he will come with us to close the Bumbani proposal deal. It’s so unfair sir. I built the client relationship and now Bronson wants to come along with his arm candy Brinda and prove to Poga sir that he drafted the effective proposal and Brinda delivered the solutions.

They want to take all the credit sir, added Sajiv. I want to close this deal myself!!! It was so difficult to convince the Bambanis to buy our vacuum cleaners instead of Durekas. I spent months costing the budget to their specifications, and now Bronson and Brinda want to share all the credit.

The silver haired man spoke softly - what understanding does she have about vacuum cleaners??? She used to work in a drain suction pump company earlier and Bronson believes she is a pro in understanding the works of a vacuum cleaner! Boys! I am going to put an end to all this nonsense. Let me meet Poga in a while and I will soon bring you good news. 

Meanwhile, in Bronson’s cabin, romance was in the air. If Sajiv and Paresh were at the height of frustration, Bronson and Brinda were lost in the heights of lust and passion. The levels were equally high at both ends.

Bronson had the cunningness of a fox and headed a coveted position in ORIS, that of a Managing Director, the end point of all deliveries and Brinda was akin to an opportunist, a witch and headed a team just for namesake. She had no clue as what the team was doing. "Update your task sheets yourselves and allocate work to your own self . I want you to grow and not follow orders from me as a leader" That was her welcome speech to her team. The team squirmed in their seats. Nice way of saying I don't know what to do, so do your tasks yourselves thought Guava Singh, one of the brightest talent in the team.

Premchand Ogavarty who loathed the name given by his parents, chose to be known as Poga. He was the recently inducted CEO of ORIS and had slowly but steadily kicked out a lot of the brilliant talents in ORIS and smoothly installed many of his faithful cronies from his earlier company. The only common test that all had to pass was if they remembered Premchand Ogavarty was asked to get out of his previous job? A ‘ No’ facilitated direct entry to ORIS with the most attractive perks one can possibly imagine. 

Poga fancied Bronson for being brainy but not using it to debate the futility of any of his own decisions. Poga believed in hiring people who would never raise their heads in front of him. Bronson continued this legacy below his line. Both would go to any extent to uplift their professional careers. Even at the cost of trampling on the corpses of their colleagues. 

The phone rang and interrupted the blissful moment in Bronson’s cabin...unrelentingly Bronson reached out to pick it up. Brinda pulled his hand back and continued to kiss him. She loved to move her tongue over his crooked teeth and for some reason Bronson would lose himself to the devil when she did that.  Bronson slid his hands over Brinda's arse and was surprised when he got a whack on his hand!

He woke up from his stupor! Poga was glaring at him while feasting his eyes on Brindas bare skin at the same time. With a curled stubby finger, he gestured Bronson to follow him to his cabin.

What the hell! Can’t you lock your cabin, yelled Poga. A ruffled Bronson meekly retorted – you didn’t knock sir!

I called you on your desk line...you never picked it up, you imbecile.

I was busy sir, mumbled Bronson.

Busy with whattttt???? I told you to be cautious. Her brown hair and her dimplish grins blinds you but don’t think others are blind! I had a tough time placating that ogre from business development. He was here a few moments ago, his silver air emanating electric currents. He wanted to know why you both should go to close Bambani’s final proposal meeting!

Sir, Brinda has 3 years of solid experience in suction pumps. She is the most ideal candidate in ORIS to prove to the Bambanis that we have employed the best from the industry. Her experience in suction pumps is very valuable, don’t you think so sir??? 

After all vacuum cleaners do have a suction pump at the end, don’t they?
Poga glared at his loyal follower. Brindas suction pump knowledge seemed to have worked on every malleable bone in Bronson's lanky self. Bronson was losing it. He had to stop him.

Listen, you ARE NOT going to the Bambani meeting. Let the Ogre and his team taste the flavour of success. And, between you and me, that’s the last taste they get!

What!!! I promised Brinda I will take her for her first bid win tomorrow. How can I deny her joy at the last moment?

Young boy, there are many other ways to delight a young woman. Why don’t you use some other tricks I taught you? After all, you should have made me proud by now. As your mentor, I want to bask in the glory of your deliverables at work and outside of it.

Crap, thought Bronson. The old man thinks he taught me everything.

Boss you are right, he blurted. Am going to take her to Delhi and stay at the Taj when we go for Bonsons meeting. Kindly pass the budget.

No issues Bronson. Remember we share, we learn and that’s how we earn. I will also be joining you both at the Taj. 

The color drained from Bronsons face.

By the way, continued Poga, we have to make 3 more proposals for our prospective clients. Let the Ogre and his team do the groundwork and ask them to send it to us for final approval.

And when they send, don’t give them the approval. You and Brinda take it to the client and close it between yourselves. Let the Ogre hear it after it’s closed.

Bronson’s face beamed with delight and the color came back to his face. Meanwhile Paresh and Sanjiv were delighted that Bronson and Brinda were finally off their back. 

Back in his corner, a sense of satisfaction and warmth glowed on the face surrounded by a cloud of silver hair. He was happy he could give his boys their due...

Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Departure....

“So when did you tell me that you are going to Kolkatta,” yelled Dhwani at the top of her lungs.
“ I had posted it a few months back on my FB wall ” yelled back an equally livid Shekhar.

Shekhar and Dhwani were in a relationship for the past two years. Both were working in strife ridden work atmospheres. At first, both were working in the same firm where they had known each other for more than four years as colleagues. It was only when Shekhar left the company to join another that they started missing each other and realised they were in love. Then on, both met whenever time would permit which would be once in a fortnight.

Dhwani's parents resided in Kurli, a quiet serene township in the coastal region of Ratnagiri. She would meet them every alternate weekend and the other weekend she would spend with Shekhar. However, right from the start Shekhar kept the meetings short. He had umpteen things to attend to on his weekends. Dhwani was just a small part of his life. Dhwani would often wonder why she had not felt uncomfortable about this in the beginning. Shekhar had many other important things to do on his weekend. A marketing professional, he was trying to set up his own company and would forever be meeting people for endless discussions about the same. He also confessed to belong to a large joint family where the youngsters still adhered to the plans made by their parents and would have one or the other family engagement to attend to. This left very little time for him to spend with Dhwani. Dhwani, an extrovert by nature had more friends than she could handle. Every weekend most of them would invite her to join them for clubbing, parties, drives etc. Yet, somehow, her heart longed to be with Shekhar.

She had often broached the topic of marriage but Shekhar had brushed it off saying it’s too soon to think about it. It’s been two years that they had been together and umpteen fights and arguments surrounded their relationship. However, each time Dhwani decided to call it off, Shekhar would promise that he would give her more time and assured her he wanted them to be together. Shekhar was reputed for having excellent marketing skills and his ability to sell ice to an Eskimo was well recognised by his company. Dhwani didn’t feel right to force him for a marriage when he wasn’t ready but his desire to be together made her feel precious. His attempts to increase their communication and close the gap were evident in the way he would shower her with attention in the few days after such a discussion. Both would settle down for a smooth relationship for the next few months.

Now the friction between them had resurfaced. Just like it always did. Long gaps in any form of communication, meetings probably once a month, even though both lived and worked a few kilometres away from each other. Shekhar never seemed to miss her, unless it was a period of over two weeks. Dhwani flicked  through the bangs on her forehead. Her head seemed to ache and hurt. Shekhar wont miss her she was sure for they had met just day earlier for a brief period of 15 minutes. And in those few minutes, Dhwani tried to express her desire to meet more frequently, talk more often and Shekhar kept trying to explain to her how hectic his days had been in the past few weeks. He tried to hug her and plant a kiss on her cheek, the way he always did whenever she was fuming. Dhwani was exasperated. She  was surprised to see that his touch hurt her mind and body. She brushed his face aside. She said a firm good-bye and left Shekhar as he was trying to pacify her.

Soon afterwards, Dhwani had found out that Shekhar was planning a holiday to Kolkotta. When she first heard it through common friends she could not believe it.  Then when she tried calling him up but he did not reply, nor did he send her a message. Typical of him. Dhwani tried in get in touch again the next few days. However, her calls were never answered. Perplexed she used her friends cell to call him up. He didn’t answer. But an hour or so after she tried, he called back and wanted to know who was calling him from the unknown number. Dhwani flared up. She could not control her anger and blurted.... “So you want to know who this unknown number is?? Didn't you see my missed call? And when did you tell me that you are going on a trip to Kolkatta” yelled Dhwani at the top of her lungs.

“ I had posted it a few months back on my FB wall. “ yelled back an equally livid Shekhar.

“ So I am supposed to check your FB updates to know your whereabouts...Can’t you just leave a message?”

 “ I was busy”

“ Not too busy to call back an unknown number?”

 “ Look, I don’t have time to argue with you right now. This is your perennial problem. Basically by nature, I speak less and informing you every time I leave for some work or vacation may not be my top priority”

Dhwani was too stunned to reply. However a meek voice seemed to erupt from her dry throat,” when will you be back ?”

 “Probably next Wednesday.”

Dhwani kept the phone and broke down inconsolably. Her friend Ruchi took her to the women’s room. This time Dhwani decided to call it off but without telling Shekhar.

 Dhwani, said Ruchi, I had long back warned you to stay away from this Shekhar. We all know what sort of a person he is. He is too ambitious and is a person who will prioritise work over a relationship. Then again he has his never ending family and social obligations to fulfil. Leave him alone Dhwani. You are well off without him.

Dhwani knew it was time she got a grasp on her own life. It’s been 2 weeks since she had any form of communication with Shekhar. Her parents were waiting for her to give them a signal so that they start hunting for a groom for her. Everytime, they asked her she would brush them off saying that she will think about it the next time she came home. Sweet as they were by nature, not once did they force Dhwani to concede to societal pressures. She was 28 – late by Indian standards.

Dhwani finally decided what she wanted. She wanted to share her decision with her parents and booked herself on a train to Kurli. While she was waiting for the train to come, her mobile buzzed. Shekhar calling.....displayed the text on her screen. She was contemplating her next move when the train arrived. She knew what she had to do. 

She picked up his call and said, “ Shekhar I am going home, forever.” 

For the first time in two years, she took a decision that was hard to take but then no one has guaranteed easy steps in life, have they? 

“ Will you marry me Dhwani?, asked Shekhar.

 The rush and noise on the platform drowned Shekhar’s proposal. Dhwani missed hearing what she yearned to hear since long...

Dhwani disconnected the phone. As soon as she sat down in her seat, she removed her sim card and threw it out of the window. The train moved out of the platform. Every image passed by her eyes in a blur. After a few hours, Dhwani looked out of the window, the city was fading far away in the distance, and with it she resolved to stick to her decision of staying away from the city...staying away from everything that appealed to her at one time....

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Being With You...

The last words you said were 'Take it or leave it'
And I wondered if 'Love' was a commodity

All along I imagined it to be...
Those moments when I found the mischievous sparkle in your eye
The heartbeat that beat a little faster when your call came through
The urge in me to buy that stuffed large caterpillar for the car's dashboard 
The soothing aura that spread through me when you said how precious I was to you
Those moments when you would try to squeeze some time for us
Those days when you did say...."I Love You" though you said it so rarely

All along I imagined it to be...something that was to be felt and shared by us two...

Sunday, December 4, 2011


Sharma-ji looked at Shyamala, his lovely wife of 14 years. Even after 2 children she looked young and lovely.
The diamond necklace and matching earrings he bought for her glistened in the bright lights of Ceremonial Hall.

‘Mom shall we head to the Chat counter?’ Asked 10 year old Rohit as his little sister Dimple clinged to his sleeve. Clearly both children wanted to have ‘chat’ and Shymala nodded with affection.
‘Don’t go far, find us we will be near the Lebanese section’. Sharma-ji pointed to the Lebanese counter as he said this.
‘The bride looks so beautiful ‘,said Shyamala as she looked at the bride and the groom on the extravagant stage. Payal Weds Amit was written in Rubies and Sapphires behind a large white velvety canvass. It must have costed the girl’s parents a bomb to host this wedding, thought Shyamala. At least a 1000 guests seemed to be in attendance.

‘Not prettier than you my darling, let’s go and have food. I am very hungry. The lovely couple moved towards the food counter smiling at several other guests on their way. Sharma-ji occassionaly kept talking on his expensive i-phone. “ I will be in Hongkong for a day Mr. Wang, after which I will be on a 15 day tour of Europe. So it would be better if you can make it there while I am in Hongkong.”

The Sharmas had the thinnest Pizza crust they had ever had. Later on they went to taste the Pasta and then moved to the Sweets section. They could see the children run all over the place but in a well-mannered way. They were enjoying the feast. Finally, they gathered near the Dessert section. Rohit had the biggest chunk of chocolate ice cream he could hold in his plate. Sharma-ji got Orange ice cream for his little girl and a ‘rabdi’ for his sweetheart. He himself preferred to have buttermilk as he was afraid of catching a cold.

Very soon, they made their way out through the massive gates of Ceremonial Hall and headed towards the main road. Staying longer was not in the agenda. ‘Dad, call Ramlal and tell him to bring the car here, my feet is killing me’, moaned Rohit. ‘Oh you little brat, don’t make up excuses. The only reason you can’t walk is you overate! said Sharma-ji in mock anger. All four burst out in laughter as they heard this.

‘How much?’ asked Sharma-ji to the auto driver. ‘ Twenty two saab’ said the auto driver. Shyamala opened the door to their one room small flat in MHADA colony in Mira Road. Mani their grey cat mewed as they entered home and started rubbing himself against Shyamala's leg. Shyamala poured her a cup of milk and the cat purred in content. The entire family had a look of content on their face. Did you enjoy your day, my little ones? asked Sharma-ji as he tucked the children in their beds. 
‘Yes daddy’ screamed Dimple  and Rohit.

‘Next Sunday we have to go to the Guptas wedding at Worli’. Sharma-ji told Shyamala as he looked at the bunch of wedding invites he got from the printing press where he worked as a paper setter.

With his paltry income of 5000 rupees per month, he could never provide a luxurious meal to his family. Seeing the amount people spent on wedding cards, Sharma-ji made a wise investment. He bought expensive clothes for all four of them and some imitation diamond jewellery for Shyamala. His Shyamala looked pretty in a simple cotton saree but she would look out of place in a high end wedding.  He bought  a defunct iphone from chor bazaar’. The Sharmas have been attending weddings since the past 2 years. He made certain rules that everyone had to follow to the ‘T’. For the children, it went as under:
  • In case, there is commotion near mum and dad, leave the venue immediately and head towards nearest railway station.
  • Check with a police inspector and tell them you got separated from parents.
  • Give your home address and reach home safely.
He had certain rules for himself and Shyamala but he never had to use it till now. The happy family of four has never been caught as they gate crashed into several high end wedding. After all they had the wedding invite in hand....

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Why do both Men and Women Cheat?

To be honest, both men and women cheat.  But with that said, men are more likely than women to cheat and there are some important differences between the sexes when it comes to cheating. In order to understand why men cheat, it helps to understand what causes both men and women to be unfaithful.

The science of cheating is very clear on this point:  Roughly 3% of all mammals, including humans, practice what is called pair bonding or monogamous mating.  However, even within the 3% of mammals that practice monogamy, very few species, including humans, are truly monogamous. In fact, when it comes to both men and women, monogamy is not our natural sexual strategy.

To make a long story short, for millions of years, the desire to mate with multiple partners was a very useful reproductive strategy.  Men and women, who cheated on a partner, were more likely to succeed at having more children than people who were completely faithful to a mate.  Cheating was a strategy to increase reproductive success and diversify risk.  Or think about it this way: investing in a mutual fund (multiple stocks) is, on average, a better financial strategy than putting all of your resources into a single stock.  Because cheating was a better reproductive strategy than monogamy, all of the men and women who are alive today are the descendants of people, who for millions of years had the propensity or the desire to cheat on a partner.  Simply put, we have inherited this trait from our ancestors – it is a part of our human nature.  This does not mean that everyone will cheat on a partner or that people are fully aware of their unconscious sexual desires. 

How are men and women different when it comes to cheating?
While both men and women cheat, there are important sex differences when it comes to cheating.  The sex differences that influence cheating are based on two basic biological differences between men and women. 

First, men and women differ when it comes to eggs and sperm.  Men can produce hundreds of millions of sperm per day.  By comparison, women are born with a million or so eggs, but only a fraction, roughly one egg released every 28 days over a short period of time - from puberty to menopause - has the potential to create life.  Simply stated, women have about 400 viable eggs to use (and taking into account gestation, only about 20 actual opportunities to reproduce), while men are capable of producing billions and billions of sperm.

The second basic biological difference deals with gestation.   Embryos grow and develop in women, not men.  For men, reproduction can literally take just a few minutes of effort; while for women it involves, at the very least, a nine-month process.

From a biological point of view, men can constantly and quickly engage in reproduction while women are much more limited in their ability to do so.

These biological differences influenced our psychological desires before the invention of modern forms of birth control and still influence our unconscious sexual desires today.   Men are more likely than women to think about sex and fantasize about having sex with multiple partners.  In fact, a multi-billion dollar industry - pornography - exploits this basic sexual difference.

Given this basic biological difference, here are some key differences between men and women when it comes to cheating:
  • Men are more likely than women to cheat with someone who is less attractive than their current partner.  Women cheat up while men are more opportunistic when it comes to cheating.
  • Men are more likely than women to have a one-night stand.  Women are more prone to having emotional affairs.
  • Men are less likely to consider leaving their partners after cheating.  When women cheat, it tends to be more emotionally involved so they are more likely to consider ending their current relationship.
  • Men are more likely than women to repeatedly cheat on a spouse or partner (see, for example, my husband constantly cheats).

More about relationships on...http://www.truthaboutdeception.com