Sunday, 18 September 2022

From Africa they came

 Whatever their fate in their new land, the 8 cheetahs from Africa have already made history, being the first Cheetahs to fly. Well, they have been recorded to run at an amazing speed of 98 km/hr but they had to fly from Namibia to India for their Indian sojourn. A special jet was hired to bring these special guests to India followed by a helicopter ride to Kuno National Park, where they were released in a specially designed enclosure. Now they will begin a life of being acclimatized to Indian prey and forest conditions.


It's their good fortune that hunting has been banned in India since 1972. Otherwise the ex-Royalty of India or the neo-royals would have made their life a formidable struggle.

Settling in new lands is a challenge in itself, hopefully they would find sufficient prey in the National Park. And poachers would be on the prowl too. I am not aware whether any highways pass through the national park otherwise there would have been an added hazard. Not to mention, they would also have to compete with their cousins, the leopards for their prey and their habitat.

And when they start sprinting, I hope the area of the national park doesn’t fall short to break them into a trot.

People line up in Mumbai to gawk at the penguins. A similar line would have been seen at Kuno to ogle at the new arrivals but for the cool off time given to them to first settle down.

Yatindra Tawde

Thanks to @pumplekin for making this photo available freely on @unsplash 🎁


Thursday, 1 September 2022

Driving in England

 The country is known for its Exports; the export of its talented human resources. Most of the Top 50 Organizations are headed by Indians. That certainly makes you feel proud.

Then there are some other exports who make a name for themselves by some other means, not always on the better side of law.

Riding a car on the wrong side of the road! Isn’t this an euphemism for breaking laws? Well an Indian lady did just that on the distant roads of England.

England.

A country, which over the years, has seen unprecedented influx of immigrants from its ex-colonies, especially from the Indian subcontinent. They move to a western country in the hope of making a better future for themselves.

While a few take the route of higher education followed by a good job to settle in a new country, a big number are from the labour class.

While most from the Indian subcontinent are comfortable with the English language due to a more than 150 year legacy, there are quite a few who struggle with the A, B, C’s of it.

But they don’t let this small inconvenience be a setback to their dreams. They work hard towards making a better life for themselves and one of the signs of progress is buying a car to move around the new country.

This is when their struggles start.

To begin with, their authorities are stricter during the actual test. But the theory test is no walkover either. Those English examiners can be quite intimidating while asking questions, and especially the accent can be confusing if your language skills are so-so.

Here’s where the lady saw an opportunity for herself.

She happened to be a good driver and possessed good language skills, backed by confidence. She made her move.

By the time she had been caught red-handed, she had more than a century of driving tests, both theoretical and practical, to her discredit. While it is alleged that impersonation is a common offense at quite a few Indian RTO’s, it was a new experience for the English. Hence she made the front page in their newspapers.

While she was driving away to glory, she managed to make a cool crore for herself. But now she will cool her hard working heels inside an English lockup.

Yatindra Tawde


Saturday, 26 February 2022

The craze

 

His face contorted into a grimace and he went still suddenly. One shoulder drooped while the other touched his ear. One leg stretched sideways and then he pulled his other leg towards the first without bending it. And just like a child rubs his chocked-up nose with the back his palm, he gestured similarly near his throat.

His bedridden grandmother watched all this from her cot, horror writ large on her crinkled face.

“Ohh...my poor Bunnu. Paralysis...he...he is paralysed. Help! Bunnu Ki maa...please, oh please come here fast. Bunnu is getting paralysis attack. Come fast”, she screamed at the top of her voice.

Supriya, Bunnu’s mother, who was cutting Bhindi, cut her own finger in her hurry to get up and rush into the bedroom. She put her finger into her mouth to stop the blood flow, thinking that her mother-in-law is getting a paralysis attack. But no, it cannot be, nobody would announce their own paralysis to the world at the top of their voice. It’s not biologically possible. But nothing is beyond the old witch, she thought to herself. Then she remembered mother-in-law mentioning Bunnu and she froze. What has he got into, this time. She remembered the last time he had come home howling in pain, his hand bent in the opposite direction. It had cost time and lots of money to set it right.

When she barged into the bedroom she saw her MIL sitting upright in the cot. The witch lives, she thought to herself regretfully. Then she saw her Bunnu rolling on the floor with laughter. She had one mind to throw whatever was in her hand at Bunnu, but then she remembered that she was carrying her Bhindi cutting knife and controlled herself.

“What has come over you, Maa? Why did you shout so? Do you know how petrified I was? And you Bunnu? Why are you laughing like a madman?”, Supriya rattled off her questions like a machine-gun.

“Oh Maa. It was hilarious. I was dancing the Pushpa step and Badi Maa had the look of pure horror on her face and then she shouted. Oh Badi Maa, you are so cute. I love you.” And he embraced his grandmother warmly.

The grandmother just shrugged in mock anger and turning her face away from him said, “Is this how a grandchild treats his grandmother? You act paralysed and ask me to remain calm? How can I remain calm if I think that you are having some serious medical problem?”

Then turning to him and scrunching up her nose she said, “And you call this a dance. You should have seen Bhagwan dance. So graceful, so cute...what are you looking at me like that. Bhagwan was the greatest Matinee hero. You know...”

And so Supriya left the two blessed souls exchanging their generational anecdotes to attend to her cut finger and to be cut Bhindi.

Folks, this might be the scenario in more than one household in India which is currently in the throes of a Telugu language movie and more specifically, a song in that movie.

Yatindra Tawde

 

 

Thursday, 3 February 2022

The Simian revenge

 

I live in a city on the outskirts of Mumbai which is near to the National Park. So nocturnal visits by the big cats are common in our area. Proliferation of street dogs is an added attraction to lure the big cats. The street dogs have proliferated so much that they are trespassing into the housing complexes.

The newest addition to this trespassing problem are the simians residing in neighboring woods. The street dogs consider the boundary walls of the housing complexes as their territories and don’t take kindly to these new intruders. Thus ensue barking and hissing encounters between the two trespassing species which are watched by ‘wfh’ species from the safe environs of their closed windows.

However this uneasy but non-violent environment has been breached in some other city in Maharashtra.

A pack of street dogs happened to kill a kid from the simian species. That too, in front of a pack of simians. And all hell broke lose.

I think the simians had binged on the 80’s revenge dramas of Bollywood. At last count, the simians have put more than 200 pups to death by kidnapping them and then flinging them to the ground from the heights, of trees nearby. The dogs don’t know what has hit them and are losing this grisly gang war with the simians. The forest department run by the human species is in a quandary and struggling to bring about a truce.

Yatindra Tawde

Monday, 31 January 2022

The snake bite

 

A snake committed sacrilege by biting the Demi-God of millions of Bollywood fans and it became trending news for days together. But the Demi-God overcame this setback, very much like the innumerable larger than life characters he plays with aplomb,  on the silver screen.

It so happened that the Demi-God was visiting his farmhouse, which happens to be his second home, and stumbled upon the snake enjoying the cozy abode in the Hero's absence. Being the hero that he is, he decided to take matters into his own, capable hands instead of calling ‘Friends of reptiles’ who specialize in catching such vagabond reptiles and releasing them into fast depleting jungles. The Hero, being inexperienced in such matters, fumbled with the slithering snake, which bit him not once but thrice. And hopefully it managed to survive this love bite. There is a huge debate going on, whether it was poisonous or not. As per the Hero himself, it was of poisonous orientation.

Meanwhile, some four-legged creatures were found celebrating this unfortunate incident in their parched jungle but the celebrations were short-lived as the jungle authorities cracked down on them by releasing the video of the Hero’s triumphant release from the hospital, waving and throwing air kisses to his umpteen fans.

Last heard, the four-legged creatures have gone into hiding, staying far away from the windshield vision of the Hero.

Yatindra Tawde

 

Thursday, 27 January 2022

A robber

 

When you see pigeons near your balcony or window, indulging in indecent behaviour or generally being noisy, your first reaction is to shoo them away. They are also known for creating abstract designs on the ledges and windows and you don’t want to waste your work-from-home valuable time in erasing their deeds. In addition to being gross, in these times of reduced immunity, you don’t want another reason for the spread of diseases.

In the good old days the pigeons were not seen as pests. They were said to be messengers of love. Why, Bhagyashree from ‘Maine Pyar kiya’, sent her first love note to her Saajan, Salman, using this very kabootar (vernacular for pigeon). In it, the pigeon hogged the camera in an entire song. Coming to think of it, Bhagyashree didn’t want it to stay with herself much longer,  but entreated it to ‘Ja, ja, ja...’ .

Pigeons were also used as spies or undercover agents in the wars of olden times and some of them enjoyed Knighthood too.

Recently I came to know that in the former city of lakes (I say former because nowadays the lakes froth with pollutants which don’t look pretty), the pigeon indulged in crime. Or were made to indulge in crimes perpetrated by one extra-imaginative criminal.

He bought some innocent looking pigeons to his targeted neighborhood. During day time, he released them. As is their second nature, they flew and settled on the balconies in the neighborhood. Our extra-imaginative friend would then pay a visit to such flats and ask for his escaped pet. The flat owners would let him in to collect his pet and this was their undoing. While being in the house he would scan for expensive appliances and soon the flat owners were poorer by a few lacs.

Last heard, the said criminal is behind bars and the pigeons (but nobody’s pets) have been added to a burgeoning population of their own species in the former city of lakes.

Yatindra Tawde

Friday, 17 July 2020

Blood Runs Cold - An Introduction to a Ebook

The Hive is live with its second offering "Blood Runs Cold"

It contains seventeen edge-of-the-seat thriller stories written by seventeen authors. -Ratnakar Baggi Varadharajan Ramesh Tina Sequeira Sarves Rashmi Agrawal Srivalli Rekha Mantrala Anshu Bhojnagarwala Priya Bajpai Sreeparna Sen Christopher Dsouza Aradhna Shukla Ell P Kanika G Sheerin Shahab Pranav Kodial Pavan Kumar and Yours truly.💛💛

The efforts are being noticed and appreciated by well-established and well-respected writers like Neil D'Silva and Damyanti Biswas who have written the forewords for ‘Route 13: Highway to Hell’ and ‘Blood Runs Cold’ respectively.

With diverse voices on board each story has something for the readers.

 Grab your copy of 'BLOOD RUNS COLD' from here:

 http://mybook.to/BloodRunsCold

#bookrelease #BookReleaseDay #thriller #writingcommunity #TheHive #anthology

Mumbai - 2025

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