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BHAGAT, Chetan

Five Point Someone

I suddenly leaned forward, bringing my face close to hers. Catching her breath,stifling that laugh and pink tongue, she watched me wide-eyed. I removed the wallet from my back pocket and sat down casually again.

"What happened?" I asked idly.

"I thought...never mind". She blinked.

Ha, gotcha.

It was the first time I’d seen Alok’s home. I told you he was kind of poor, I mean not World Bank ads type starving poor or anything, but his home had the barest minimum one would need for existence. There was light, but no lampshades, there was a living room, but no couches, there was a TV, but not a colour one. The living room was where lived Alok’s father, entertaining himself with one of the two TV channels, close to unconscious by the time we reached. Alok’s mother was already waiting, using her sari edge to wipe her tears.


The 3 Mistakes of My Life

I made three mistakes, I don’t want to go into details.

My suicide is not a sentimental decision. As many around me know, I am a good businessman because I have little emotion. This is no knee-jerk reaction. I waited over three years, watched Ish’s silent face everyday. But after he refused my offer yesterday, I had no choice left.

I have no regrets either. May be I’d have wanted to talk to Vidya once more – but that doesn’t seem like such a good idea right now.

Sorry to bother you with this. But I felt like I had to tell someone. You have ways to improve as an author but you do write decent books. Have a nice weekend.



17, 18, 19. Someone had popped nineteen sleeping pills while typing a mail to me. Yet, he expected me to have a nice weekend. The coffee refused to go down my throat. I broke into cold sweat.

“One, you wake up late. Two, you plant yourself in front of the computer first thing. Do you even know you have a family?” Anusha said. In case it isn’t obvious enough from the authoritative tone, Anusha is my wife.

I had promised to go furniture shopping with her – ten weekends ago

She took my coffee mug away and jiggled the back of my chair. “We need dining chairs. hey, you look strange?” she said.

I pointed to the monitor.

“Businessman?” she said as she finished reading the mail. She looked shaken up, too.

2 States: The Story of My Marriage

These stupid biases and discrimination are the reason our country is so screwed up. It's Tamil first, Indian later. Punjabi first, Indian later. It has to end. National anthem, national currency, national teams - still, we won't marry our children outside our state. How can this intolerance be good for our country?

I saw (Chennai ). It had the usual Indian elements like autos, packed public buses, hassled traffic cops and tiny shops that sold groceries, fruits, utensils, clothes or novelty items. However, it did feel different. First, the sign in every shop was in Tamil. The Tamil font resembles those optical illusion puzzles that give you a headache if you stare at them long enough. Tamil women, all of them, wear flkowers in their hair. Tamil men don't believe in pants and wear lungis even in shopping districts. The city is filled with film posters. The heroes' pictures make you feel even your uncles can be movie stars. The heroes are fat, balding, have thick moustaches and the heroine next to them is a ravishing beauty.

Actually, the choice is simple. When your child decides to love a new person, you can either see it as a chance to hate some people – the person they choose and their families. Which is what we did for a while. However, you can also see it as a chance to love some more people. And since when did loving more people become a bad thing?