Thursday, December 26, 2013


Somebody wanted him so dead! He was first poisoned, then shot, and later drowned. In the end, when his body was reclaimed from the frigid Malaya Neva, his hands were distorted in a crooked way as if he was trying to claw his way out of the ice. Death had to struggle through that winter, which capped the river that in less than two decades would witness the grisly Siege of Leningrad. The hands and legs of the badly mutilated corpse were tied with a rope, the genitals were crushed, and one of the eyes bulged out of the socket. 

Despite being severely bruised and swollen, it didn’t take a genius to identify the carcass, as he was missing for two days and the search was still on. Moreover that infamous shaggy face of “the man of God” was lately on every cartoon that incessantly circulated all over St. Petersburg, that face of the most powerful man in Russia, the mysterious staret from Siberia whose role according to many was instrumental in the downfall of the Russian monarchy! Even today if one were to sort a list of the most enigmatic and intriguing historical figures ever, the powerful face of the scandalous Russian mystic Rasputin would certainly rush to the top.

Around that hole in the ice where the body was found, thousands flocked with buckets and flasks and jugs to ladle up the water that brined the remains of the “holy man”. But in the meantime the other half of Russia rejoiced to the good news and prayed for the murderers. This divided perspective on the slain riddle called Grigori Yefimovich Rasputin, the semi literate peasant form a distant Siberian bog, reflects pretty much on everything we know of him to date through heresy and legends. While some described his fresh breath in vivid details with white teeth “perfect down to the last one”, all some others could recollect was “blackened stumps” for teeth and gagging at his intolerable foul breath. For some he was the savior and healer, and for some others he was that drunk and debauch who hypnotized and openly fornicated with countless noble women of St. Petersberg. While he was known to have recently become one of the most influential factors in Russian politics, some even believed he was a German agent who managed to send the Tsar off to the war front persuading the Tsarina. The wags also had it that he was her lover!
It was Rasputin’s daughter who reported his disappearance. There were reasons for panic as her father had survived an assassination attempt only two years earlier at the hands of an insane townswoman. In the absence of the Tsar who was away at the time, Tsarina ordered an investigation into the missing case, which was what brought them to the blood traces on the steps to the backdoor of the Yusupov Palace. The Tsar’s cousin by marriage, Prince Felix Yusupov, and his first cousin, Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich were consequently confined to house arrest, although to their defense, they ascribed the finding on an accidental shooting of a dog in the backyard the previous night.
The Russian Imperial Family of the Last Tsar, Nicholas II, 1913
It was about a decade before his death that Rasputin gained access to the Royal family through the incurable ailment of the continually sick heir apparent Tsarevich Alexei. Tsar Nicholas summoned this so-called faith healer to cure his son who suffered from hemophilia that by then had grazed through a considerable expanse of the European royal blood. Apparently the boy who, up until then, bled like a brook from every injury, showed for the first time remarkable signs of healing at the hands of the new psychic, to everybody’s surprise, especially Tsarina Alexandra Feodorovna’s who was overjoyed and charmed. There was another miracle at a near fatal incident a few years later when the doctors declared the inevitable end of Alexei while Rasputin was away. He who healed the boy with a touch saved his life with his prayers this time. This close association of Rasputin to the health of her son is what is known to have gradually firmed his effect on the Tsarina that in the due course of time wreaked havoc in the history of one of the world’s largest empires.
Rasputin surrounded by his admirers/ devotees/ followers
The second day following the disappearance of Rasputin, more traces of blood were found on the parapet of the Bolshoy Petrovsky Bridge. A brown boot was also found lodged in the wall of the bridge’s foundation. Divers were immediately sent in. By then rumors were running wild all over St. Petersburg presuming the murder of Rasputin. Price Felix, Dmitri Pavlovich and Vladimir Purishkevich from the State Duma were persistently named as being involved. Soon the divers resurfaced several miles down river from the bridge with Rasputin’s fur coat and his icy remains in a gruesome tableau of resistance. The damages done to the peasant’s body was as fresh as it could be, preserved in ice. In addition to all the pummeling to the body, he was shot thrice and the bullet that drilled his forehead was established to be the fatal one. The autopsy had to wait long for the body to thaw.

Rasputin feared his end nearing his final days according to many who dealt with him closely. He was greatly disliked more than ever since his assumption of the post as private adviser to the enchanted Empress when her husband was away at the war front. Up until then he was only sneered at for his wayward sexual excesses amongst the ladies from the upper crest of the Russian society and the hypnotic control he had on this ever-growing clique of subjects. But lately he was known for meddling with the affairs of the Russian politics by pegging his followers in positions of power and authority exerting pressure on the Tsarina who had only recently assumed power. And for his favors at the royal court, he also charged exorbitant bribes. 

Although his gift of curing sicknesses was widely believed, the public outrage about his insatiable sexual appetite only got worse with his newly assumed manipulative authority in matters of political importance. That is when a group of noble men gathered to plot a way to boot this burgeoning national danger. Although the inquiry was ended immediately after Rasputin’s body bobbed to the surface, the bizarre events associated with the episode of the murder spread like wildfire further muddling the predicament of the already murky Rasputin puzzle.

On the night of the fateful killing, Prince Yusapov lured Rasputin out of his Apartment to the Yusapov Palace where with the help of Grand duke Dmitri Pavlovich, Vladimir Purishkevich and an army officer called Sergei Michailovich Sikhotin he was first served poisoned wine and pastry laced with cyanide good enough to kill an ox, but when he refused to succumb, they battered him and shot him and later tied him up and dumped him in the icy Neva river. This version only presented Rasputin as the demon who kept on coming back after each deadly attempt further enhancing the supernatural capacity of his image. But then there are hugely varying degrees of alternating details attributed to this historically infamous manslaughter. Poisoning was chosen over shooting, as the conspirators did not want to attract attention from the police station across the Moika canal in front of the palace. Even though it was attempted, it is supposed that the pastry story (that Rasputin survived the cyanide poisoning) was a fabrication by the conspirators as Rasputin strictly followed a non-sweet diet since he suffered from hyperacidity after the first assassination attempt, and he couldn’t have eaten one at any cost. This was backed by the autopsy report wherein no trace of cyanide was found inside the body. There are also several versions as to who fired the fatal shot on the forehead. There’s one that implicates Vladimir Purishkevich, there’s another that puts Dimitri in charge, and there is a whole different new version that attributes the final blow to Lt. Oswald Reyner, an officer of the British Secret Intelligence Service who committed the political crime to rid of Rasputin’s strong pro German influence in the decision making of Russia during the First World War!

       Felix Yusupov             Dmitri Pavlovich         Vladimir Purishkevich
The Death Of Rasputin was the curtain call on the Russian empire. The disillusioned royal family did not have time enough to recover from his spell as the revolution that followed mercilessly wiped out their era. In a letter to the royal couple, Rasputin had foretold this end. “Tsar of the land of Russia”, he wrote, “if you hear the sound of bell which will tell Grigory has been killed, you must know this; if it was your relations who have wrought my death then no one from your family that is to say, none of your children or relations will remain alive for more than two years.”

Nineteen months later, following the collapse of the Tsarist reign and the Bolshevik overthrow, the Royal family including the newly abdicated Tsar, Tsarina, their son and four daughters were executed in a hail of bullets!

Rasputin is still an uncanny myth and in every possible way a paradox of supreme order. It’s still intriguing whether he was a saint or a sinner, or both! Even though he still lives on in the popular Boney M stanzas as the Lover of the Russian Queen and resurrected as the villain in the Hellboy comic book superhero franchise none of them could hold a candle to the original piece.

Thursday, November 28, 2013


cover photograph by yasha mushtaq mir
None of these bastards have to know, but honestly, having to act while dangling mid-air on the contraption, at the same time delivering dialogues to a lady played by a dude is like a double-deluxe-bonanza pain in the ass, especially when there’s the horror of Rishi Puggal acting the female part! You could be looking at that jerk from North Pole and the beauty on his damn face could still make you barf all over the place. He’s supposed to be playing Virgin Mary and everything, except that the face of this Mary, glowing and ugly as a toad, was buried behind those breasts the size of miniature mount Everests which Sanjay Mangeshkar from the mountaineering club, if ever knew existed, would’ve climbed and conquered and stuck flags at the summit points by now. And, guess what, the crippling size of the breasts is just one half of it. You could easily have balanced a large bowl of soup, without spilling, on that ass which overhung at least a foot out in the air. There was so much steam coming off her, half the time you’re afraid the holy mother of God will break into a cabaret number any moment to surprise you! And it was above this rotten freak-show, staring at the world of ugly, that I, as Angel Gabriel, helplessly oscillated down from the fly space with a killing urge to pee!

Obviously, it’s not like any of us at St. Michael’s felt swell about the fact that we didn’t have any dames around here. But situations such as this made it worse than it already was, and you bloody well felt like giving birth to one. There are only two dames inside the St. Michael’s biosphere; the psychotic Chandrika Chandavarkar, the student councilor, and the music teacher, Shoniketa Bhor, and they’re both cows. So technically there still are none. The damn place has been down on its luck since they invented schools, and it became the most trying when they had to find a new Mary for the annual nativity play every other Christmas! At St. Michael’s it’s like a very big deal to stage the play about Jesus’ birth every year, as the battalion of fathers here are crazy about it, no matter how well they knew every inch of it already. You wake them up at two in the morning and say there’s a nativity play showing in Uganda, they’ll all start running right away to catch it before it got over. That’s how crazy they are about it.

It isn’t very difficult to cast the rest of the characters, as they’re all supposed to be dudes and animals, but finding the right Mary is like the school’s worst nightmare. Father Dogzilla, our principal, unleashes a hunt right from the beginning of each year and eventually ends up with somebody like Rishi Puggal, who has a difficult relationship with reality, ‘cause none of the other dudes, in the right frame of mind, agrees to take up the part of the heroine in the biggest and the most watched event of the year. And if we were to learn from history, Dogzilla couldn’t insist anybody to take up the role, as there’ve been incidents where guys left St. Michael’s when forced to. If you’re dying to know about Puggal, he’s this garden-variety loser who names his pee pee, which he gets totally bored of from time to time and upgrades regularly, and I’m not kidding. These days he’s going with ‘the beast’. Very classy, huh? But true story! He can come up with twenty-five dick-jokes, like, at a per-minute rate that can make the goondas from Barkat Sarai blush, and besides being mentally unstable, he’s also a bully. He has dinged up most guys here, and Kavach Rustagi is not without four teeth from the top row and three from the bottom for nothing. If they had a contest to count the highest number of suspensions one grossed per year, he’d have taken the cake, and the cherry, and perhaps the whole bakery for all we know. Besides he’s flunked, like, fifty times already and is twice as old as any of us here. Trust me, there could be nobody as uncivilized as Rishi Puggal even outside of St. Michael’s, and I’m not saying it since he’s playing Mary, but yet the hard truth is; HE’S STILL PLAYING MARY! Actually my pick for the part was Kartik Byotra, not just ‘cause he shuts tight his eyes to stop bad things from happening, but the guy looks like that lady with bushy eyebrows in Blood Diamond from one side, and he also walks like dames from fashion week, plus he seemed kinda asexual to me anyways. So I did go up to him one day and ask if he gave a shit, especially to stop Puggal from attaining bliss in his secret fantasy mission of dressing up like dames. Bloody joker started crying, can you believe it? Apparently it offended him! I might have said a few things about how he fitted the role and everything, but seriously! You dig into his purse, and I’m sure you’ll find more than just lipstick and eyeliner. And d’ya know, he carries a handkerchief? I mean the last person I knew who ever had one was my grandmother, who died some three hundred years ago. And the pansy wept like Bambi’s girlfriend for being offered a female part! He was just unbelievable.

Thus the deserving candidate took the high road and the psycho landed the infamous prime role that nobody wanted. And there I was slowly being lowered by means of pulleys from the fly-space-heaven to appear in front of the Everest breasts and the titanic ass of our mesmerizing Mary who, despite all the training from Dogzilla, couldn’t act for nuts. Before even I’m supposed to “appear” and be visible to the human eye, she restlessly starts to look up, over and over, giving away my dramatic entry. There she killed half of it for me to begin with. Apart from the strap that was tied to my stomach crushing my risky bowels, the fake wings were giving me a terrible itch on my back. But still, controlling all my instincts, I begin to speak, don’t be afraid Mary (like shit was this one afraid). You’ve found favor with God. You will become pregnant, give birth to a son, and name him Jesus. Then I say the rest of the bit praising Christ and everything, all swell and graceful as hell. All this while Mary who, by the way, was supposed to look frightened, kept blinking up at me with a stupid smile like she had not the slightest clue what this bird-looking bloke on the rope was saying. Either that or she felt swell about getting knocked up by God or something! Then they pull me back up into the fly space, and if you think the ascent was smooth and graceful, you’re crazy! I oscillated like a bloody pendulum as if they were rescuing me from a storm or something. I even rotated once right before vanishing up there, but by that time, I can’t tell u how much my bladder was about to explode. Before even you start judging me, let me tell you for how long I’ve been put up there. The nativity play is the last item of the evening. First they have the stupid prize distribution for the biblical essay competition held earlier that afternoon, then a long- very long- speech by Dogzilla that bored you to tears (and I swear, he gave the same speech every year, word by word), then an even longer speech, sadder than Dogzilla’s, by this big-shot priest from Godly Faith Christian Center of Haisham Bagh, and it took an additional two hours since this big shot priest arrived late, having lost his damn watch or something. Since the nativity play was supposed to start immediately afterward, and since hoisting me with the crane was the most time-consuming part, they had me put there before the whole event started. And like I feared, the program extended way beyond my toilet time. So by the time I’m hauled back up after the Angel’s first appearance, breaking the good news to Mary and everything, I fought like a soldier with my urge to take a leak, perched above the stage not being able to enjoy Mary and Josef’s travel to Bethlehem on the donkey, their interaction with the innkeeper, the birth of Jesus Christ (played by this smart looking doll, that was gifted to Alok Nanda’s sister by his dad from Dubai) and the arrival of the three kings- Nimar Ali, Sajan Mahapatra and that pale dude with a squint from Nimar Ali’s brother’s class. And then it was time for me to reappear for the final blessing. Shoniketa Bhor’s choir, from the right wing of the stage, had already begun Silent Night, Holy Night, and I was slowly lowered to hover above the final tableau by which time, now with the added pressure of the harness and all, I couldn’t take it any longer, and I violently opened my spout! My bad, but I peed like a world champion! In the background the chorus continued …Glories stream from heaven afar, Heavenly hosts sing Alleluia… But with the unstable chord I hung down from swinging like crazy, the rain of pee was sprayed on pretty much everything on stage and the minute it landed on Puggal diva, he lost it! The holy mother of God furiously looked up at Angel Gabriel, took aim, and leapt onto the rope like Mowgli! Then what followed was a mid-air Kushti match that stunned everybody, especially Dogzilla, who was mortified at seeing a portion of his divine play turning into an Evil Dead sequel in front of the big-shot priest from Godly Faith Christian Center of Haisham Bagh. Kabir Waquif, my best friend playing Joseph, in an attempt to break the aerial stunt tries to intervene, without any success. He spins out of control and lands on Sooraj Soni and Ryan Jacob inside the Donkey costume, who in turn collapse on the first cow which was Abhinav Bhatia and Arun Khanna in the outfit, and then more cows fell, and finally the dazed flock of sheep, all tumble down like a row of dominoes. Puggal got me good! We were both still dangling on the contraption and he pummeled on every part of my body, including the wings. I had no other means but to grab on his ‘beast’ and crush it like a walnut. That’s when the loony started to jerk like he was hit by a stun gun and he finally brought down the crane! The machine snapped and collapsed above the stage. Luckily, it stopped right there, and we were all saved from becoming the Christmas mash. By the time the grown-ups moved their ass and rushed up to make peace, it was all over, and Puggal was chained and taken to the psych ward or wherever. Shoniketa Bhor’s clueless choir was still singing Silent Night, although it no longer was.

My wounds are healing very well. You’d know better if you were around. It’s been almost a week since you came to these parts. I still don’t like Nurse Binumol filling in for you. She has halitosis and her hands are awful hairy like cavemen. And she lies, like, all the time. First she said you were unwell, now she says you’ve left the hospital for good. Anyways, I thought you might be interested in what actually happened since you are the only one who asked. So by the time you got back I thought I might as well have it written down. I will be done with this the minute I figure out an opening. I’m not going to give this to Binumol. Even if she felt like passing this to you, she’d read it first. Nurse Shyamala is much better; lesser hair and smells less, and sure bluffs much lesser. So you’re getting this only if she shows up.

Your ever-healing & favorite patient,

P.S. I hear they are planning to dismiss Mary from St. Michael’s. But I think she should be sent to jail first.
Also from the ‘Raza’ series;


For the complete RAZA series Click here

Thursday, November 21, 2013


For months on end I was in hiding in that watery refuge, pathetically submerged from the falcon eyes of my faceless enemies and helplessly listening to them plotting my murder, their identity baffling me every second of my existence, when my mother, using all her charm and cunning, delayed their attempts, as powerless as she was to suspend their scheme in whole, till a point one scorching afternoon, I was startled by a deafening scream, which I instantly recognized as my mother’s, followed by a mayhem that emptied the water leaving me in the absolute void of the dark choking in the shit and piss I myself released in the sudden panic, subsequent to which I freed myself from that dehydrated asylum, and in doing so I came slipping down her thighs to a loathsome world surrounded by wolves that were my grandparents and uncles, eager to eat me alive still sustaining loud their decision to exterminate the new illegitimate birth in the family, especially because it was held high as a fashion in the village to consider it a disgrace for a white woman to breed with a brown-skinned native. 


Tuesday, November 5, 2013


So this is what happens, one of those days when I return home after bunking swimming lessons, the Tagore twins were sitting on our divan in the living room, looking all identical and everything. You know about these twins; like it was not already embarrassing to have the same face as the other, how they freak you out with their identical green T-shirts, with the same stupid reindeer on them, and the same ‘Abercrombie Braves’ and all written on their chests. Now who the hell is Abercrombie anyways? I mean, whoever could come up with that name for her son was either plain stupid, or wasn’t feeling swell about the idea of having him is all I have to say on the matter. Now even Bubbly Kukreja sounds better. Anyways, the twins were sitting on the divan like it was their home and everything. They are the only two dudes from Bhairav Nagar Colony who didn’t go to St. Michael’s. They go to the fancy-ass Redding Wasson High where the kids of all the embassy people went, co-ed and all. I guess Mr. Adhiraj Tagore has some fancy-ass job at the Irish embassy. Or was it Mrs. Shreyosi Tagore? I guess not, she only has a fancy ass- more like that hippo from Madagascar! The Tagore couple was pretty thick with Paa, so they came over most evenings and drank all night like blue whales, but their malnourished twins never came, up until now. Actually, I did not even know their names, but they went to the same Karate class as me, where I had a little incident with one of them although I’m not sure which of the two. I mean we had a little scuffle, which this guy blew out of proportion and reported as an “assault” to Master Saikia.

It happened during one of the practice sessions last week when this psycho sucker-punched me in my chest, even though that was the world’s lamest sucker punch ever. I mean it only did an awful lot of tickling in my ribs, that’s all. But then I stop the practice like a gentleman and ask the mental, why’d’ya sucker-punch me? He starts to act like he just lost his wallet and all and says, what do you mean I sucker-punched you? And- oh my God– trust me, he was the lousiest actor on the planet. I mean, he could be playing the part of that sheep in the nativity play and still stink to high heaven. But then I think I might not have been clear enough. So I say again- why did you sucker punch me in my ribs, you ape-shit? - this time, loud and clear, and there was no way in hell he didn’t hear any part of it. Then he says, just because you don’t know how to defend the chop, you can’t call people names, you sonuvabitch! Now you would have expected a slightly more civilized reply, he being from Redding Wasson High and everything. But he stooped way below my expectations with that lousy punch already. So I say, like hell it was a chop! And who’re you calling ‘sonuvabitch’, you lowlife guttersnipe! I actually know far worser swear words, you know, but somebody had to keep the cool here with the nutcase going all crazy. Then suddenly, unprovoked and all, he jumps at me, and starts to tug on my karategi like he was playing a pretty screwed-up version of Tarzan or something. The sight just broke my heart. So I say, let go you friggin psycho, let go! There was no way that dude would listen to me ‘cause he had already gone crazy. So I bite him on his neck till he lets me go. Then he goes even crazier and bawls, and roars like a dinosaur till I go deaf. Then Master Saikia comes running and pacifies him. By then he  was holding on his neck and writhing on the floor, overdoing his stuff as usual. To be frank, I thought Saikia would fix up a duel between us to settle scores, being a fight master and everything. But it turns out, he’s the world’s biggest chicken, and he makes us apologize to each other. I mean, c’mon! He made us shake hands even, and you might think things would’ve ended there. But that Tagore imbecile wouldn’t let go of things. He made all the losers from the Karate class call me ‘piranha’ from that day on. I guess he must‘ve had a seriously damaged childhood, or was hit by a car or something. Or he must be one of those special kids, I mean, like, they call the retarded ones. If there were a competition for ‘special’ kids and everything, he’d have bagged the first, the second and the third prize altogether, if you know what I mean. That’s the kind of special kid he was. Now after pulling all that show on me, he’s sitting on our divan with his brother like nothing ever happened. So I nod and say, whatsup! to them, at the same time wondering which of the two was the whack-job. One of them sits up straight in his green Abercrombie T-shirt with reindeer and gives me a whatsup! back. The other one, who was obviously the sucker-punch-specialist, continues to look up straight ahead like he didn’t notice busy being hit by a lightning or something (‘cause the last I checked, I was still visible). He was probably afraid I’d bite him again. So I give him a big ignore and ask the other one, who’s this Abercrombie? He says, Abercrombie of Abercrombie and Fitch. (God Almighty! Who’s Fitch now?) So I say, oh okay, Abercrombie from Abercrombie and Fitch! I didn’t know they split up. I mean, like, why just ‘Abercrombie’ now? He suddenly looks all puzzled and says, they just write it that way some time you don’t wanna know why, to which I say, maybe I don’t wanna know why! It was already boring me to death, but right then I get rescued, and to no good!

Maa, Raza’s here! Aaliya fiend, my evil sister, yells from the kitchen door. Then she walks up to me in a lousy slow-motion, chewing on her bubble gum double hard and all, and whispers in my ear, you’re in deep shit, you deep-shit! Then she goes and sits next to the sucker-punch-freak-of-nature like they were best friends and like they were gonna watch some show together. She’s worse than antichrist, and was sent to earth with the soul mission of torturing me. She motions towards the kitchen door and says, you’re wanted in there. Maa and Paa, and the Tagores are waiting! Why don’t you go deal with your shit Ra-haza-ha! She tries to make everything she says sound witty and all, except nobody gets the point, like, ever. I slowly proceed towards the kitchen, which is the biggest room in our house, if you wanna know why they always did these kinda meetings in there. In fact our dining room is smaller than our breakfast area alone, which is where all important discussions and decision makings of the house took place and which is exactly where these four were waiting for me- Maa and Paa and Mr. Tagore, dressed like he was some secret service agent, and Mrs. Tagore with all her gigantic breasts and everything (she was always telling you how she couldn’t wear any bra while she was pregnant with the twins as her boobs were so sore. So you are always trying to figure if she’s wearing one right now). So I enter and say, Hi maa! Hi paa! Hi Mr. Tagore! Hi Mrs. Tagore! They all give me back silence like in the films and everything.

Then Maa is the one who starts. She points on this small yellow box lying on the breakfast table and says, do you recognize this Raza? I say, no, I don’t. Then Paa says, today’s Wednesday, why’re you not in your swimming class?  Before I open my mouth this time, Maa interferes and says, the Tagores got this package by today’s mail, and it’s a box containing human feces! Now who’d do that? The Tagores are all silent and pretend like they were at a funeral and everything. Then I say, I swear to god, I don’t know! And I don’t know why you’re asking me! Maa makes a face and then continues, be honest beta, Maan and Maanvi are traumatized, but does this have anything to do with the Karate incident? Maanvi says you threatened her saying ‘things aren’t over yet’. We were just wondering if this was your way to get back at her! HER? I’m utterly mortified, Maanvi? I gather Maan and Maanvi are the twins, but the sucker-punch-specialist is a girl?! This is exactly the moment I feel like throwing myself under a bus. But then I change my mind and say, I feel so offended, Maa, that you should even think I was capable of sending somebody a box of my own crap. I don’t know why it’s so friggin important to rub my face into every mess around you that you are not happy with. Now Maa is all confused. She’s so clueless anyways. So she says, that tone’s totally unacceptable Raza, and you better be watching your language! At this point I get really angry with my old lady and I say, or what? You’re gonna send me to jail for that? Suddenly she looks all speechless and everything and says, I’m not sure you know what you’re talking about son! Then I get all Jack Nicholson about it and says, I’m not sure you know anything at all Maa! I’m not sure you even know why I bit their daughter, who I just got to know was their daughter and not their son, ‘cause I initially thought the twins were two boys, and not a girl and a boy, anyways, that doesn’t matter anymore. But I bit her ‘cause she provoked me by saying I was not your son. She said that I was somebody’s illegitimate child you guys took in and raised and everything. I got so angry Maa, I didn’t see doing what else made any sense. Then I started crying and all. I could do that at the drop of a hat, and I did that real well this time. Through the corner of my eyes I noticed Mrs. Shreyosi Tagore shaking in shock with her big boobs vibrating and all. In fact they were all shocked and silent, like somebody died. I was not done actually. So I turn to Paa and continue, I bunked the swimming lessons ‘cause that chlorine water was making my skin like the back of a fish, Paa. I was turning all scaly! They already call me piranha. Now I don’t wanna look like one too. This is the time when I’m supposed to break down but right then, Mrs. Tagore stands up shaking the glasses and plates, fuming and everything, and talks to herself, she has no right to say something so outrageous! What’s gotten into her? Then she straight hits the living room and yells at the ignorant twins, you both are grounded from today! And we’re leaving right now. She then gathers all her children in their green T-shirts with reindeers and ‘Abercrombie’ and all, and vanishes, forgetting to make that sucker-punch-bitch to apologize to me. She even forgets everything about the package. Or they all rightly thought it was well deserved. And I agree with them on that (although Aaliya fiend must have cut up her wrist and should be lying somewhere dead). Right before disappearing, the Maanvi dude turns around and shoots a blazing look at me, like it was supposed to incinerate me or something. I pay her homage by doing a Karate bow from behind my folks.

I did think there was a remote chance I might forgive her, but boy do I need my friggin head examined! She better go hide in some hole in Barkat Sarai ‘cause the war has just begun!
Also from the ‘Raza’ series;

For the complete RAZA series Click here

Saturday, November 2, 2013

TOP TEN INDIAN DISHES you must try before you croak!

“The only time to eat diet food is while you’re waiting for the steak to cook.”
-Julia Child
The cover is a parody of the True blood (HBO drama series) poster

Here’s a list of Top Ten Indian Non-Veg Dishes, Top Ten Indian Veg dishes and Top Ten Indian Desserts you must try before you croak.


       Non Veg             PORK VINDALOO

This Anglo-Indian spicy pork curry prepared in a vinegar-based gravy with or without potato (aloo) is a Goan specialty that attains its unique taste by the blending of pork fat with the spices. It goes swell with rice or any of the Indian breads.

       Veg                      SARSO DA SAAG with MAKKE DI ROTI

This dish made from mustard leaves and usually had with corn bread (Makke di Roti) is a traditional Punjabi favorite. Dollops of ghee or butter often accompany this deadly veggie combination.

       Dessert               GAJAR KA HALWA

A desert made with carrots (gajar), milk, ghee and sugar, and served with lots of dry fruits, mainly sliced almonds, gajar ka halwa is the only vegetable- based dessert in this list.


       Non Veg             MALABAR PAROTTA & BEEF FRY

This must be the “official” food of the Malayalis. Parotta is a laced multi-layered flat bread to go with the spicy dry roasted beef, which is not much of a ‘fry’ like the name suggests.

       Veg                      BAINGAN KA BHARTA

This mash made from grilled eggplant, somewhat similar to baba-ganoush, is a major ingredient in the veg platters from Maharashtra, Gujarat and West Bengal regions of India, and is primarily had with Indian breads like parathas or rotis.

       Dessert               SHAHI TUKDA

Shahi Tukda is a rich bread pudding from the royal (shahi) kitchens of the Mughals where slices of deep fried breads dipped in cardamom-flavored sugar syrup are topped with condensed milk sauce and dry fruits and served cold.


       Non Veg             THEVO CHU (NAGA PORK with BAMBOO SHOOTS)

Thevo Chu containing large chunks of pork cooked in thin spicy gravy with garlic and bamboo shoots, hails from amongst the Angami tribe of Nagaland, and goes best with steamed rice.

       Veg                      DAL-BAATI-CHURMA

This Rajasthani specialty constitutes of a lentil (dal) preparation to go with a kind of hard bread (baati) cooked in a traditional oven and a kind of ground-wheat food called baati cooked with sugar in ghee.

       Dessert                   MISHTI DOI

Hailing from West Bengal and Orissa, this frozen yogurt dessert is sweetened with jaggery and stored in earthenware pots enabling evaporation of water through its pores thickening the end result and cooling it at the same time.



This mutton dish from the Kolhapur region of Maharashtra is based on a white sauce called pandhra rassa made from ground cashew, coconut, poppy seeds and sesame seeds with other spices.

       Veg                      PAAV BHAJI

A spicy Maharashtrian fast food that has spread its root to every nook and corner of metropolitan India, paav bhaji constitutes of buttered bread (paav) and a thick vegetable curry (bhaji) served with chopped onion and a slice of lemon.

       Dessert               GULAB JAMUN

With its disputed origin, this sweet dish is made by soaking deep-fried balls made from freshly curdled milk in flavored sugar syrup. This dessert with a scoop of non-Indian vanilla ice cream is worth a try.


       Non Veg             BHAPA ILISH

Bengalis would die for this traditional fish curry made in mustard paste and their favorite Hilsa fish. If not properly cooked, the gravy could be bitter so make sure you hit a reliable kitchen. It is served with steamed rice.

       Veg                      RAJMA-CHAWAL

The quintessential lunch of the working class north Indian, rajma-chawal is a thick curry made from red kidney beans (rajma) served with steamed rice (chawal). This culinary daily is cooked during special occasions as well.

       Dessert               MATHO

Matho is a fruity Gujarati variant of the Maharashtraian sweet dish Shrikhand. Here, yoghurt is strained and blended with saffron, cardamom, sugar and a fruit like mango or pineapple. It’s then chilled and served. It’s thinner than fruit yoghurt, if that’s what you’re thinking.


       Non Veg             TANDOORI CHICKEN

One of the most popular Indian foods, tandoori chicken is roasted chicken marinated in yoghurt and spices slow cooked in a very high temperature of the traditional oven called the tandoor.

       Veg                      BISI BELE BAATH

This rice-based dish that is a native of Karnataka is prepared with lentils, vegetables and rice along with tamarind pulp, asafoetida, curry leaves and other spices. Best when piping hot.

       Dessert               PHIRNI

This is a creamy pudding made by reducing milk mixed with rice paste or wheat flour and served cold with grated almonds and pistachios. A popular Mughlai dessert which is also a part of Kashmiri Wazwan.


       Non Veg             RAAN MUSALLAM

This beast from the Awadhi cuisine is for the absolute meat lover. Leg of lamb slow cooked in an open pot with rich yoghurt based paste makes the end result, which was also a Nawabi favorite, melt in your mouth.

       Veg                      IDLY SAMBAR

This south Indian breakfast includes a steam savory cake (idli) made from fermented batter of black lentil and rice to go with a sour vegetable stew called sambar. Often accompanied with coconut chutney.

       Dessert               RASGULA

This sweet dish from Orissa and West Bengal is a national favorite. It is prepared by cooking dumplings made from a kind of Indian cottage cheese and semolina in sugar syrup, and served chilled.

      Non Veg              VELLA APPAM & MUTTON STEW

Vella Appam is plain hopper made from fermented batter of rice and coconut from the southern states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu. A mutton stew with vegetables and coconut milk that’s a specialty of the Syrian Christian’s of Kerala is a great combination.

        Veg                      CHOLE BHATURE

This Fluffy fried bread called bhatura that goes with concentrated curry of chickpeas (chole) is widely wolfed as a street food all over the country, especially the northern parts, even tough they hail from the Punjab region.

       Dessert               RASMALAI

Another sweet from West Bengal, rasmalai includes small spongy disks made from paneer (indian cottage cheese) submerged in saffron flavored clotted cream (malai).


       Non Veg             ROGAN JOSH

One of the staples from the Kashmiri cuisine, rogan josh is a plush Indian curry with braised boneless lamb cooked in a mixture of caramelized shallots, yoghurt and other spices, chiefly the Kashmiri red chilies which give the dish it’s characteristic red color.

       Veg                      DAAL MAKHANI

This food originating from Punjab made from different types of lentils along with rajma (red kidney beans) has become eponymous to Indian vegetarian food even outside India.

       Dessert               KHEER/ PAYASAM

A pan Indian sweet porridge made by reducing milk with rice flavored with cardamom and mixed with heaps of cashews and raisins and served both hot as well as cold.


       Non Veg             HYDERABADI MUTTON BIRYANI

This chief comes right out of the palettes of the Nizams of Hyderabad and is a rice-based dish with mutton cooked in the dum style (slow cooking in sealed containers). Make sure you ask only for the Kachchi gosth variety.

       Veg                      MASALA DOSA

Dosa is a crispy paper thin pancake made from lentil and rice batter originating from Tamil Nadu. But the Masala Dosa, made by stuffing it with a potato filling was said to have originated in the Udupi region of Karnataka.

       Dessert               KULFI

Kulfi is an Indian ice cream prepared by prolonged stirring of sweetened flavored milk over flame thus caramelizing the sugar inside the reducing milk and giving it its distinctive smell & taste. 

In addition to the above mentioned, there are two very popular dishes that could keep your spirits going... Jalebi, the 'celebration' sweet that India break good news with, and Papri Chaat, the crunchy-slurpy fast food snack with 'everything' on it.

Bon appétit !  

Also check out the list of TOP TEN BIRYANIS you must try Before you croak!
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