The Mango Cheesecake

I was placed behind a glass case,
with utmost gastronomical grace.
I was dressed to lure and entice!
Adorned with a crown of mango slice.

I was well layered and decorated,
He asked for me and for him I was plated.
He looked at me with hungry eyes
And let out many passionate sighs.

Lyrical sonnets his stomach sang
multiplied by his hunger pangs.
He observed my crust, inspected my base
said wonderful things about my face.

He sent his compliments to the cooks,
praised my appearance and my looks.
Hs said that I’d be delightful to taste
but then, he did what most do in haste.

He let his hunger be satiated by
a half eaten, piece of Apple pie.
That pie wasn’t his to eat,
That pie was someone else’s treat.

That outrageously stupid Apple pie,
thought she was the Apple of his eye.
She knew she was not his to eat,
but she was thrilled by the all the deceit.

And he ate her up shamelessly,
Lustfully and ravenously!
He snatched her deceitfully, by force.
He ate her with no sign of guilt or remorse.

I watched him eat, I watched him binge!
It made me shrink back and cringe.
I watched him digest, I watched him burp
The dessert thief — so quick to usurp.

I had the mango and the cheese,
and all the ingredients to appease.
I had the texture and the punch
and the right amount of zesty crunch.

He could have had all of me —
Completely and entirely!
My base, my pretty face, my biscuit feet
Were all for him, all his to eat!

But he chose unwisely, he chose to steal.
Forbidden fruit has tremendous appeal!
He went for the forbidden Apple pie
And I sit, uneaten, on my plate wondering why!

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Dear New York

We didn’t get off to a good start, did we? When we first met, I found you haughty, pretentious and arrogant.

You were the type of city my mother had warned me about. You were overbearing with your tall buildings, non expungeable odour of refinement and blatant air of aloofness. You were emotionally and economically unavailable. You were high handed, like the pretty boys in college I totally avoided. Here I was, stuck with you for a month. I must admit, I tried to get away from you. I had a brief, very enjoyable fling with Orlando, but Orlando was a summer romance and It didn’t last.

Here I was, back to square one or rather to the 1st avenue. Back into your unwelcoming arms! You gave me a smug smile and I resigned to your company.

Did I like you? Hell no!
Was it love at first sight? Definitely not!

But you were a persistent bastard, weren’t you? Every time I thought I had you figured out, you’d surprise me with your enthralling charm. Who would have thought that even though you outwardly bear a countenance of glass and steel, on the inside, deep within, from the 59th street to the 110th street, you are green, welcoming and a ball of lush!

You were cheeky as hell, making me walk street after street, avenue after avenue just to get about anywhere. You were such a puzzle. Every street of yours was an enigma and mystery. Every avenue held a slice of history. Every few blocks, I would feel compelled to crane my neck and take in your majesty. You’d make me gape every step of the way, you’d show me sights to behold and you’d make me feel like a little girl in a huge library.

With an enviable skyline, a meticulous grid-like topography, with heroic natural history and irresistible metropolitan charm, you built a bridge to my heart. In fact you built multiple bridges- Brooklyn, George Washington, Queens, Bronx and so many more. You led me down the Hudson river under a starry starry night and you had me captivated.

After a point, and inexplicable as this may sound, I wanted to spend more time with you. I had begun to enjoy your company, to find humour in your sarcasm, to see your aloofness as a way of hiding your vulnerability. The more I discovered you, the more I liked you. There was this cosmopolitan tension between us that set my pulse racing. You could be practical and analytical when we walked down Wall Street and you could be naughty and dramatic when we strolled down Times Square. You could be extravagant in your approach and modest in your views. What a fine balance of both worlds you were. There were no dull moments with you. You were a potpourri of cultures and backgrounds. You were flirtatious as hell. You made me feel beautiful without saying a word. With indirect gestures and vague compliments, I knew you found me attractive. I got the feeling that you were beginning to find It hard to resist me. Most cities do!

In your steel grey eyes, I wasn’t just another girl. With you, I was a poetess, a dreamer and an artist. You made me feel free and liberated. My opinion mattered to you. Had I begun to like you? Perhaps.

You didn’t lech at me like my ex cities. You didn’t tell me how to dress up, what to eat, what to watch, how to think. You let me be me! You challenged my dogmas and corrected my prejudices.

I could wear my shortest dress and have no fear of finding your hand up my skirt. With you, I was a person and not a piece of meat.

You are inarguably the most dynamic city I have ever visited. EB White was right, a poem compresses much in a small space and adds music, thus heightening its meaning. You, New York, are like poetry. You compress all lives, all races, all breeds into a small island. You are without a doubt, the greatest human concentrate on Earth, the poem whose magic is comprehensible to millions but whose full meaning will always remain illusive.

I have begun to like you and I have dropped so many hints. I go out with you everyday and I flirt with your multiple confusing public network systems. I take so many selfies with you and I bare my heart to you. These are hints New York! But like they say, cities don’t get the hint unless you openly declare your love for them from rooftops. So here goes, NYC, I will declare my love for you, from the highest point of the Empire State Building and with a very public Facebook post. Will you get the hint now?

 

 

 

Diary of a Frank young Fish

I was desperate for a Rock Hard Subwitch with a dry seaweed sider. My mouth had turned dry with hunger. So I dumped my assignment halfway and swam for 15 minutes to the closest Submarine Fast Food center. 
 

I ate like a blue whale that day, that’s putting it mildly to be honest. I gulped it all down and then washed it down with sweet sea soda. My appetite may have suddenly sprung up on me because I hadn’t eaten in 3 days. I wasn’t on any kind of diet or something, it’s just that habitually I eat once in two days when driven mad by hunger pangs. Also I was a picky eater. I didn’t like my seaweed deep fried. I didn’t like plastic. Plastic was a craze among many young fish. Some fish also loved oil. But it would drive them into insanity if taken excessively. So we had an Oil Anonymous Center for addicted Oil drinkers. Some fish enjoyed smoking weed too. I however didn’t enjoy these things.

My boyfriend was due today. He had gone southeast to catch some sun. Doctor Waterworth had suggested that he needed some sunshine to improve his fin strength. He has dislocated his fin during a rough game of Fin ball. I was worried sick though, by his absence. The south East Sea was a fishing zone and also a place where the elite White Sharks lived. They hunted us for fun, sometimes they’d eat us and sometimes they’d just make us slaves in their weed plantations. My Uncle Tom, it is rumoured, was abducted and made a slave.

I tried to overcome my worry by venturing to the library. Our library wasn’t the biggest of its kind. The jellyfish community had a bigger one. Ours was decent though. Our library had racks and racks of wrecked boats dating as early as the 12th century. I’d love to swim in and out of the crevices of the old wrecked boats drinking in their history and imagining how they may have looked during their glory days. So yeah, you guessed right, we don’t have books in our libraries for obvious reasons, paper would get all soggy underwater. So we have stories and history and mythology all written across the body of all ships and boats. Someday I want to visit the Bermuda Triangle library. I’ve heard it has so many wrecked boats that the pile of them is taller than the Mount Everest. It is believed that climbing to the top of this pile is the closest we can get to the Human Gods. However oxygen is very sparse up there. 

I reached the library and swam around the boat which was wrecked against the rocks and whose few debris floated ashore and the rest sunk into our library. We have planes as well, some of them are so intact that the skeletal passengers are still rooted in their seats. One such intact plane (when I say intact I meant, a merely broken wing) has the words “Malaysian Airlines” written across it. 

You may be wondering how I learnt to read. Our ancestors, according to the holy book of the Waterbile, migrated to the sunny shores and were taken by the Human Gods. The human Gods kept them in glass cases and taught them to read and write. One of our ancestors, the prophet Jesusfish returned and gave us lessons the human gods taught him. But the Sharks were jealous and impaled him on a barbecue stick. Since then, his teachings spread like tidal waves and all over the seas, fish learnt to read and write. We keep a symbol of a fish in our home. It’s a sign of Jesusfish. ♋️ 

My boyfriend arrived on a Pulsar Racing Surfboard. He was happy to be back and his fin strength had returned. Also, he had acquired a degree at the South East Sea. He was now a Master of Blue Sea Administering. So he would easily get a job in administering the library or the security against white shark invasions. 

It was a happy day, but as the blue sea turned black, and the golden furious ball sunk like the wrecked boats, I shuddered and coiled my fin in my boyfriend’s fin. We retreated to the depths of our Immaculate Clownfish colony and he began to tell me stories of his days in south East Sea. 

I jealously asked him about the girls-fish there, and he told me they had sword faces and were generally scary. I slept happily that night.

The Comedy Act, 2013 

“Director” with respect to this Act means a human being who will crib about the Board room decor. 
“Moon” with respect to this Act means a celestial body.

“Meeting” -includes a gathering of individuals who discuss varying matters except food. 

“Shareholder” is an individual who owns everything, but is to be given tea (when needed), samosa (if required) and a few pittance every six months. 

Part 1 Director Meetings

a) The Directors have to meet at least once in a quarter on a full moon day. 

b) If the meeting is not on a full moon day, a statement will have to be issued giving reasons for the moons absence. 

c) Provided that, shareholders are to be informed about Director Meetings and given the detailed menu of food served.

d) The Menu shall be dispatched to the Directors, not less than 7 clear days before the meeting. 

e) If at any moment, during the meeting, a Director wishes to visit the washroom, he will have to disclose the nature of his visit. 

f) At the end of each meeting, a detailed report (“minutes”) will have to be prepared giving a minute to minute account of what occurred during the meeting. 

e) A minutes snapshot will have to be uploaded on twitter within 15 minutes of conclusion on the meeting

Provided that, a suitable meme should accompany the snapshot. 

Part 2 Minutes

a) Notwithstanding the misleading name to this Part, “minutes” need not be prepared in minutes. 

b) Minutes must capture even the funny moments that occur during a meeting.

Provided that if any Director does not find the moment funny, reasons will have to be given as to why he did not laugh. 

c) Director autographs will have to be taken on a green paper appended to the minutes. 

(Provided that, as per Selfie Standards “SS”, directors photographs are a better practice.) 

Messenger of Gawdy 

Has the side of your head ever been scraped by an express train? Have you been blinded by the glare of oncoming traffic? If you’ve answered either or both of the above questions with a no, then go at once to your nearest cinema hall and catch a show of Messenger of God (MSG) 

Unless you’re a Dera Sacha Saudha follower, this movie is going to fuck your brains upside down. Sant Gurmeet ram Rahim Singh Insan, with his overgrown shoulder hair and shiny sequenced multicolored clothing, can make a royal enfield look bad. He flies in and out of situations, always landing on his feet or rather shiny bling laced kolaphuri sneakers. 
He turns swords into rose petals and makes Innovas crash into each other in a sort of gravity defying domino effect wreckage. His swanky cars have smiley faces on the bonnet, he has invented his own game, which is a strange mix of cricket and baseball. He tells the crowd that this game is an upgrade to the forgotten geeli danda, which he further adds is India’s sanskriti (kabbadi, anyone?) 

This movie is Sant Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh insan’s way of justifying why he dresses like a clown and why he adopts prostitutes and makes them his daughters (yeah right), why he gets prostitutes married (education, anyone?), why he drives shimmery sports cars, why women love him (shoulder hair, anyone?). He has tried so hard to “tell the world” that he’s a stylish youth icon. That he so desperately needs security because a dangerous Vin disel lookalike wants to kill him. This Vin Disel lookalike dude is another highlight. He has borrowed a Harry potter snitch (yes, you read that right) which he sets on people. This snitch contains a gas which makes its victims bleed from their nose and mouth, in other words he spreads Ebola through a snitch. He unleashes this gas on a large crowd of Gurmeet singhs followers, can you guess what Singh does? 
He makes them chant “dhan dhan guru, Tera hi aasra” continuously. Their voice vibrations overpower the gas and nullify its effect (physics, anyone?) 
Gurmeet ram Rahim Singh insan is the actor, the director, the stunt man, the lyricist, the composer, the photographer, the choreographer, the bomb defuser, “the love charger”, also the actress. Ok just kidding, there’s a slim wide eyed blonde who claims to be in love with Singh. He calls her beti and conveys to his followers that he is sans testosterone and libido. He makes women his daughters, these women are always crying somehow, always. 
Lastly, he tries to convey how oh-so -modest he is. His followers force him to have extra security, they insist that he should telecast his satsang shows live. They want his thoughts to reach the world. He doesn’t try to make world records, oh no, they do, his followers! They want it, not him! He’s a modest Godman (yeah right!) 
  
(Picture Credits: http://www.saavn.com/s/album/hindi/MSG—The-Messenger-Of-God-2014/ys-QFl3yx9I_

From vows to wows 

I walked down the aisle, bouquet in hand and veil in tow. It was quite a task walking in pointy silver stilettos and I regretted having agreed to wear them.
Everyone was smiling and I could sense all eyes on me as I walked towards the altar. He stood there with his hands pinned to his sides and his face, devoid expression. He was perhaps the only person in the chapel who wasn’t looking at me. His eyes were fixed at some object in a distance. My stomach knotted, and my pace slowed down. I could feel my father tug at my arm. Imagine having cold feet while walking down the aisle. And imagine cold feet in stilettos! 

 
My shoes turned into blocks of ice and I had to drag them forward. My father may have sensed my immobility, he tugged at me. I felt like an unwilling dog being dragged for a walk.
It was a good thing that my face was under a veil. It covered my trepidation and masked my expression of horror. As I reached the altar after what seemed like an eon, I let go of my father’s arm.
I stood facing him, he had fixed his eyes on my tiara. Strange thoughts were floating through my mind. I remembered having milk that morning, and began to wonder if it had turned to yogurt, given that my stomach wouldn’t stop churning.
The main celebrant began the nuptial service. There was a hymn followed by something else, can’t recollect what. The priest said “if anyone knows of any reason why this man and this woman should not be tied together in holy matrimony, speak now or forever hold your silence”
I knew several reasons, the person standing outside the chapel at that very moment knew several reasons. But both of us held our silence.
The priest then turned to the groom and said “do you take” *my name* (albeit wrongly pronounced) “to be your lawfully wedded wife?”
There was a pause. A painfully long one.

“No” said he

I looked up at him and for the first time since mass began, he was looking at me

“I beg your pardon?” Said the priest

“No, I do not” said he again

The audience gasped. Several people had their hands over their mouths. My mother was crying.

My bridesmaid let go of her womanly graces and stood beside me, anger riddled all over her face. My brother stood up, his fists tightened. I was perhaps the only person, who wasn’t surprised.

I thought about the person outside the chapel who had warned me time and again that this would happen. The person outside was the person I should have listened to, the person I should have trusted.

“I’m very sorry, I am not the man for you. You deserve better”

How often had I heard this sentence! What annoyed me most was that I always knew I deserved better, the men didn’t seem to feel this when asking me out, but somehow they would stumble upon this very obvious fact much later.

“I’m sorry” he said again

I wasn’t really paying any attention to him anymore. My mind was elsewhere. Outside, the chapel was someone who would not leave me, who would never give up on me, never give up on us. Outside, stood a person who knew the very depths of my soul and recognised my every expression. There, outside, was the person who loved me. And that was the very person I had disregarded.

I spent so many years seeking validation from the world, I wanted to be worth fighting for. I wanted to be with someone who was afraid of losing me. And gosh, all this time, the person had been right there. Outside the chapel, stood the person, I should have been making lifelong vows with.
My friends had left their seats. A few of them took off their jackets and rolled up their sleeves.
I tossed aside the bouquet and stepped down from my uncomfortable shoes. I turned to look at everyone. Some people looked at me with concern, others looked curious. What would be my next move?

Would I slap him? Would I cry? Would someone from the crowd leap up and claim to have always loved me and ask for my hand in marriage, thus saving my honour? (Or whatever shit people think) Would my friends beat the shit out of the groom? Well, that I wouldn’t mind seeing, but then again, what good would that do?
I turned my back to him and to the altar. I picked up the hem of my white gown and began running towards the exit. All eyes followed me. I like to believe that my mad dash to the exit happened in slow motion, it did not. I am told I ran out pretty fast.
Anyway as I made my way to the exit, amidst gasps, clasps of hands, general whimpering and sympathetic glances, my mind held only one thought. I had to apologise to the person outside. I had to tell them that I was sorry for having disregarded their opinion. I was sorry to have sought love, acceptance and validation elsewhere when I should have known where to find it all along.
I crossed the threshold of the church and ran towards the love of my life. I ran into my own arms.

Lady Locust and Count Cockroach 

The shores of Juhu Beach are strewn with litter. Plastic waste and other pieces of garbage are belched ashore by the sea. Amid the filth, hawkers establish food stalls. People flock these eateries, gorge on missal pav and pav bhaji. Half the food is consumed; the other half is dropped on the sand. Paper plates are dumped on the shore, waves swallow these plates, lick them clean and again the sea belches them out. This process is continuous. 

In the colony of dung heaps, there was one particular heap of filth that stood out. It towered over the other piles of garbage and was rich with excreta. This particularly large heap was the home of Count Cockroach. He was young and handsome. His tentacles were long and indicative of his sharpness. His silky black torso was a subject of envy among his peers.
“The sand softens the texture of his torso”, said the Cockroach of the Sewage drains. 

“No, he’s born with handsome features”, said lady Locust in his defence. 

Lady Locust harboured feelings for the Count, ever since she laid eyes on him. Her mother tried to reason with her; nothing could come out of such a mismatched Alliance. But lady locust, like most young locusts her age, was adamant. She would secretly watch the count take his morning sprint. He would dash between overturned plates and leftovers. The most defining feature of the count was his wings. Wings were a sign of handsomeness and bravado among the Cockroach class. The count wasn’t oblivious to the locust’s watchful eyes. He would flutter his wings and oscillate his tentacles in a slow seductive way to entice her. 

One day a large group of college students squatted on the shore for a picnic. The insect colony was delighted. As expected, the students left behind unfinished food. The cockroaches scurried among the chips packets. The Count was leading the way in the operations. An army of Ants lined up with determination to collect the best of the leftovers. A bevy of bees buzzed to and fro, dung beetles soaked on a dollop of jam; flies flittered from one bread crumb to another. Lady locust found a particularly juicy apple core and dug her tentacles into it. While she sucked the apple clean of its juiciness, the conceited Mr. Cricket grabbed it and bore his tentacles into it. Lady Locust wailed with anguish, nobody paid heed to her cries for help. The count was summoned. He arrived to the rescue of the locust in distress. He grabbed the apple from the cricket and handed it to Lady Locust. Thus began a whirlwind romance between the two. 
The count would hover outside Lady Locust’s sand dune. He would sway his tentacles and she would whisper back in her croaking chirp. The sound he emitted was alien to her and her croaking was gibberish to him. The only form of communication they had was physical affection. The dung piles would come alive with the sound of their music. 
Everything seemed well between the two until a fateful September day. It was pouring cats, dogs and cows in the city of Mumbai. The insect colony had taken refuge under solidified garbage. Large processions of human beings were accumulating at the beach. Almost every group carried an idol. Some idols were small, others were massive. The insect colony was rattled to the tentacles by the loud thumping music. Lady Locust was frightened. The count enveloped her in his wings and they snuggled together. 
The humans at the beach turned rowdy. Men smeared in pink powder ran to and fro and kicked sand into the air. This display of hooliganism dislodged many insects that were in hiding. All hell broke loose. 
The bugs scurried, the ants sprinted in all directions. The red ants watched from a distance but did nothing to help their distant kin. Cockroaches dug deeper into the soil. This proved fatal since crabs attacked them. During the chaos, lady Locust ran out of hiding and took refuge under a food stall. The Count tried to follow her but got trapped meters from the stall. He shivered in fright and dodged footfalls that crashed on the sand. A momentary lapse of judgement and he would get crushed. Lady Locust watched with horror. She let go of her better judgement and lunged forward to his aid. She intertwined her wing in his. 
They ran together, wing in wing, tentacle in tentacle. They were a human foot’s distance away from safety, when a human foot landed on the Count and crushed him. 
Lady tugged at what remained of him, but he was still and unresponsive. She knew it was over. But she couldn’t bring herself to move. There he was, the love of her life lying motionless and lifeless. She wanted to cry, but tears wouldn’t flow. She wanted to run under the stall, but her feet had ceased to function. She bent over him and caressed him with her tentacles. Her mother called out to her from a distance, but Lady was lost in thought. With a sudden gust of wind, a deep shadow fell over her; a larger shoe landed on her and crushed her to death. 
The two lay motionless on the sand. The insect colony watched their romantic tragedy from a distance. When the crowds dispersed and calmness settled over the beach. The insects that had hitherto been hiding, began to stir. 
The count, who had been lifeless all along, stirred and woke up. He momentarily looked at the dead locust, then crawled towards her corpse and bore his tentacles into her motionless cadaver. He began to nibble on her remains, when he had his fill, he turned around and scurried to his dung heap.