Saturday 31 July 2021

Happy Birthday Rupie

Rupie is about to enter the building. She hesitates at the door. It is dark. Suddenly the lights come on, accompanied with a loud - "SURPRISE!!!" The entire Sonuholic family has gathered together to throw a party for her. And what d'you know? Some special guests are there as well ๐Ÿ˜

Sonu puts his hand on her shoulder and leads her into the hall. It has been beautifully decorated with colourful balloons and tinsel.  There's a huge red balloon hanging from the ceiling, with the words - HAPPY BIRTHDAY RUPIE. And right in the centre of the hall is a table with a yummy chocolate cake.

Jagjit Singhji (pointing to the cake) - 

Hothon se chu lo tum, 

Yeh cake amar kar do.                             

Rupie goes to the table to cut the cake. But there's no knife. Nobody remembered to bring one along. 

Sonu - Pal pal pal pal har pal har pal

            Kaise katega yeh cake iss pal?

One of the guests has a Swiss knife in his pocket and Rupie manages to cut the cake with the wee little knife. 

Anu Malik arrives, late as usual. Rupie offers him a piece of cake. 

Anu Malik - Cake toh khaata rahunga, pehle...

                      Ek garam chai ki pyaali ho.

Soon Amitabh Bachchan arrives with a balle balle and sets everyone moving and grooving. 

Amitabh Bachchan

Ek Punjaban, kudi Punjaban, 

Hey, kudi pataaka, Dil churaake le gayi...

Just then the big red balloon bursts with a loud bang. 

Kailash Kher - Toota toota ek gubaara

                           Aise phoota ki phir jud na paya. 

Rupie looks at the balloon, teary-eyed.

Seeing his sister sad, Sonu puts his arms around her.

Sonu - Tere dil ka, mere dil se,

            Rishta purana hai.

            Inn aankhon se, har aanshoo

            Mujhko churana hai...

            Apne birthdays ko

            Sang-sang manana hai.

It is time for Lataji to leave. She gently touches Rupie's head and gives her, her blessings. 

Lataji - Har khushi ho wahaan,

              Tu jahaan bhi rahe...

              Zindagi ho wahaan,

              Tu jahaan bhi rahe...

              Teri raaton pe raaton 

              Ka saya na ho...

              Roshni ho wahaan,

              Tu jahaan bhi rahe.

Happy Birthday Rupie. Hope you enjoyed this virtual party as much as the real one.

Keep ๐Ÿ˜Š friends. Life is beautiful. Cherish each moment. 
Har par yahaan, jee bhar jiyo...

Sunday 12 April 2020

Easter Billy

Billy looked at his litter of seven puppies lovingly. His wife Ruby was licking them as they slept. They looked adorable – all curled up like little bundles. How he longed to cuddle them.

A sound caught his attention. What was that? There it was again. He tilted his head and listened. It sounded like a mouse. Billy growled, then barked loudly.

‘Shush. You’ll wake the pups,’ Ruby scolded.

‘Yeah, but they sleep all day anyway,’ Billy grumbled as he left the room.

He decided to go for a walk. It started raining after a while. Billy ran back home as fast as he could. But the rain was so heavy that by the time he reached home, he was soaked.

He looked at his babies curled snugly beside their mother, nice and warm and dry. While he himself was completely wet. A puddle began to form where he was standing. He shook himself hard. Large droplets of water flew into the air. Some landed on the puppies. They opened their eyes and squirmed, surprised by this sudden shower.

‘Look what you’ve done,’ said Ruby. You’ve made them wet. Dry yourself in the other room.’

Picture Credit: Charles Deluvio

‘So now there’s no place for me in my own room?’ Billy thought gloomily as he flopped down in front of the fireplace in the living room.

‘Yo, what’s up?’ said Gordon, Billy’s friend, as he sauntered in. He wore a blingy silver chain around his neck.

‘I’ve been declared useless by my wife and pups.’

‘You’ve been what?’

‘They’re my babies as well. But all they want is mum. It’s mum who feeds them, mum who cleans them, mum who keeps them warm. I feel like an outsider.’

Gordon looked at his friend’s long face. ‘Surely there’s something you can do?

‘Like what?’ asked Billy.

‘I know,’ said Gordon, clapping his paws. ‘It’s Easter tomorrow. Why don’t you do an egg hunt for your pups?’

Billy wagged his tail. ‘That’s a great idea. Why didn’t I think of that?’

The two dogs found an old basket in the shed. Some pots of paint in the attic. And a dozen eggs in the pantry.

Gordon cleaned and polished the basket. Then he painted it a bright yellow. Finally, he wrapped a red ribbon over the handle and finished with a bow on top.

In the meantime, Billy had been working hard painting the eggs. He coloured one a bold orange, another a sparkling blue, the third a bottle green. On one he drew a chick while another had a bunny on it. And the prettiest one had all the colours of the rainbow.

Once the eggs had dried, the two dogs put them in the basket and stood back to admire their handiwork. It looked beautiful.

Billy and Gordon gave each other a high five.

It was evening and soon it would be dark. So they quickly set about the task of hiding the eggs. Billy walked towards the flower bed with an egg.

ATISHOO. He sneezed loudly.

Oh dear. In his excitement, Billy had forgotten he suffered from hay fever and was allergic to pollen.

Hearing voices in the garden, Ruby went to the window and looked out. She watched in horror as Billy sneezed and the egg flew out of his hand. ‘Oh no,’ she said and covered her ears.

The egg landed with a plop and broke into a gooey mess.

Billy held the rainbow-coloured egg carefully.


Ruby covered her eyes as the egg fell into a puddle this time.

Billy groaned as all the colours began dripping off the egg into the water.

‘Gordon, you hide the rest. I aa-aa…’ ATISHOO. ‘I aa…going… ‘




Billy tripped over the hose pipe and fell right on top of the eggs.

Ruby looked at her husband, sitting on a pile of broken eggs and shook her head from side to side. ‘Totally useless,’ she said, and went back to where her puppies lay.

Billy learned for the first time how difficult it was to get rid of the smell of eggs. He had to shampoo four times, before the smell finally left him.

Couple of hours later, a squeaky clean but tired and red-nosed Billy flopped down in front of the fireplace, yet again.

‘I’m a loser,’ he said, his jaw drooping and his tail between his legs.

‘C’mon, you can’t give up so soon,’ said Gordon. ‘We still have the entire night.’

After much coaxing, Billy agreed to give it one more shot. The two friends painted a fresh batch of eggs late into the night. And then at dawn, Gordon hid the eggs one by one. Billy watched him from the door. He dared not step into the garden again.

After breakfast that morning the puppies were told they would be going to the garden for an Easter egg hunt. They barked and wagged their tails excitedly. They had never been outside before.

They rushed out of the door as soon as it was opened. Then stopped abruptly and looked around. The blue sky, the green grass, the trees, the flowers – everything was new and strange for them. They had never seen them before.

Ruby gave them a little nudge. ‘Go on. It’s not going to bite.’

The puppies sniffed and stepped onto the grass cautiously. And what do you know? They began to sneeze. All seven of them. They sneezed softly. They sneezed loudly. Their tiny bodies shook from head to toe as they sneezed. Finally they collapsed in a heap, one on top of the other.

Ruby smacked her forehead as she watched her babies sneezing over each other. As for Billy and Gordon, they laughed and laughed till tears ran down their cheeks.

‘They are my kids after all,’ Billy said with a grin and winked at his wife.

Ruby rolled her eyes and tried to disentangle the puppies.

Amidst all the sneezing and wheezing and tumbling, the puppies somehow managed to find each and every egg and placed them in the basket.

Then, rather pleased, they ran to their daddy, happily wagging their tails and licked him all over.

Ruby smiled at her husband and his friend. ‘Well done you two,’ she said.

Billy smiled back, his tongue hanging out and his tail wagging.

Keep ๐Ÿ˜‚friends. Life is Beautiful. Cherish each moment. 
Har pal yahaan, jee bhar jiyo...   ๐Ÿ˜Š

Sunday 5 April 2020

Through a Kaleidoscope

(This piece was first published a few years back on Telly Tadka).

My blood boils and bile rises up my throat as I watch the scoundrel ogle and grin lecherously at the poor girl. I feel like smacking that ugly grin off those paan-stained lips. Yey tha Angad. The vilest of villains ever to be seen.
Ek tha Yudi. A young cool huggable dude. The type of guy who’s so cute, you want to pull his cheeks. The exact opposite of Angad.
Ek tha Varun. Sensitive, serious nerdy Varun. Add to that – stammering, shy, introvert. Hey, that was totally me when I was in school.
Ek tha Amreek. A happy-go-lucky, warm lovable Punj. The friend everyone wants to have.

Ek tha Mohan Bhatnagar. The imperfectly perfect heart of gold. Nanhi’s Spiderman. Heartthrob of millions. A character that will always stay close to my heart.
Aur ek hai KUNAL KARAN KAPOOR. Who played each of the above characters so naturally, so effortlessly, so convincingly, you forgot he was just acting.There were other characters as well – Monty, Sukhi, Shaurya and Vasu Bhao to name a few; each unique and very different from the rest. Yet, like a Wimbledon champion, he managed to serve ace after ace, dispelling any doubts the audience might have had about his acting calibre.
When Kunal acts, he not only gives it his best. He gives it his heart, his soul… his all. Through all the characters he has portrayed over the years, he has treated his viewers to a gamut of emotions. No one can emote like him. No one. When he does emotional scenes, he tugs at your heartstrings so strong, you can feel his anguish, his pain coming from somewhere deep within and you cry with him.
But it is not just emotional scenes that are his forte. He is brilliant in funny scenes as well. Watch Left Right Left and Na Bole Tum and you’ll understand what I mean. Especially his scenes with Dushyant Wagh are so rib-ticklingly hilarious that no matter how many times you watch them, they still make you laugh.
As for his dialogue delivery, I personally feel it comes very close to Amitabh Bachhan’s. Just listen to Amitabh’s mai aur meri tanhai and then to Kunal’s recitation of the nazm – yaadon mein kitni dafa. Notice the likeness? Not just that. There’s something about the way he says certain words. Take the words “arre yaar”. People have been using those two words for years. But when Kunal utters them, they get a life of their own, become a rage even.
In Na Bole Tum, as the name suggests, there were moments when there were no dialogues. In those moments, it was Kunal’s eyes that spoke. Volumes. So intense is his gaze that once they start talking, you are mesmerised. You simply can’t look away.
Kunal Karan Kapoor. A complete actor. An actor beyond compare. Whether it is his expressions, dialogue delivery, nuances, comic timing or gut-wrenching emotions, he remains unparalleled. Whatever the role – be it that of a young cadet just starting out in life or a carefree journalist or a menacing goon, he plays it to the hilt. Watching him act, is like looking through a kaleidoscope; there are so many hues and layers to his acting.
He is beyond doubt, one of the finest actors on Indian television today. It is sad that owing to TRPS, many Indian soaps are at best mediocre and sometimes even verge on the ridiculous. I do hope an out of the box show comes along soon. A show with an original storyline and worthy of a talent like Kunal.
Until then, I shall bide my time. For it is not everyday that someone walks into your home through your television set, straight into your heart. When that does happen, you know he’s special. One of a kind. And there can be no other.

Keep ๐Ÿ˜‚friends. Life is Beautiful. Cherish each moment. 
Har pal yahaan, jee bhar jiyo...   ๐Ÿ˜Š