The young an’ the old

Dedicated to my avo an’ avozinha (my maternal grandparents) who by God’s grace haven’t been pushed away into an old age home somewhere an’ never will be. Love you both💞 To my dearest cousin (enjoy yer twenties an’ may ya turn out to be the best physiotherapist on the planet😘). An’ to my late mãe (my father’s mum), still miss an’ love ya with all my coraçao💖

Attended the twenty-first b’day o’ a dear cousin,
How fast time flies!
One moment yer crawlin an’ babblin, the next- ya begin to run.
The next day’s a Sunday an’ our church celebrates the feast o’ St. Anne and St. Joachim,
A day dedicated especially to our grandparents.
The one day when busy men an’ women take time off to spend quality time with their ol dads an’ mums.
Ya can watch em with their walkers an’ canes, draggin their feet tiringly to the pew,
A far cry from the b’day party, where every person was dancin the whole night through!
An’ as I sit ere, I’m reminded o’ how we’re all growin up so fast,
This beauty an’ youth, it won’t last,
An’ one day, eventually, we’ll find ourselves reminiscin bout our twenty-first b’day an’ bout our  glorious past.



A/N: Sorry for the hurried ending, but I hope y’all still enjoyed reading😁


Reunion at the hospital

You…. I thought you were…I thought he was…! ” his sister who was still recovering from the massive blood loss, exclaimed and rubbed her eyes on seeing Edward alive. “Teleportation! Can ya believe? Brilliant! An’ we just had sex in the broom closet! ” a joyous Nick cleared up her confusion, while Edward suppressed a blush on hearing all the praise for him. “Ugh…too much info, bro! Anyway, really glad ya could make it, Mr. Ash. You seemed devious  the first time we met, but then I saw past that, I s’posse. An’ I’m forever grateful to ya for savin me back there.” she whispered with a friendly smile, beginning to warm up to him. “Ya seemed quite devious too, but you’ve softened up since then, eh? ” he teased, settling down on the chair near her bed as he gave her hand a gentle squeeze and flashed her a toothy grin.
“Don’t mind if I help myself to that, d’you? I’m starvin! Sex makes me hungry!” he requested, winking mischievously at the vigilante as he spoke. “Again…too much info! Help yourself.” she replied, as the nurse sat down the tray of bland hospital food. “No…keep away from that, that’s mine! ” he was taken aback as she snarled at him when he reached for the jello! “Sorry. I love jello. Ya can eat the yogurt though.” she apologized, before beginning to hungrily wolf down the jello. He nodded his head amusingly and smiled at her childish behaviour. His smile widened as his daughter ran into the room and hopped onto his lap. “Oi! Who’s up for some telly? I think The Notebook’s on! ” Emma suggested, flashing him an impish grin as she spoke, before gesturing to Jo to switch on the telly. They decided to watch cartoons instead, since Neela insisted on it and her dad groaned on hearing her mention The Notebook! Nick sat at the foot of the bed, joining in their excited chatter while partaking some of the food too.
Long story short, Jo got a job on the police force. Edward left behind his life o’ crime for good and he and Nick now fight crime together as The Vigilante Duo of London. Emma works as a nurse at Neela’s school and runs the pub at night.

                      #The end#



Kiss on reuniting

Fortunately, they’d made it in time and the doctor assured him that his sister was out of danger. He was at the vending machine waiting for his candy bar, when he saw someone who made his life even sweeter…and who he feared was dead- Edward Ash! He appeared stunned, his hair singed and his jacket torn and dusty, as the doors swung open and he looked around at the patients and stretchers as if searching for someone. An ecstatic and relieved Nick lost no time, his shoes squeaking as he ran across the sterilized ,polished white tiled floor over to him. “I’m searchin for someone…Nick an’ Em Qantas…? ” he mumbled, pushing him away as Nick pulled him into a warm embrace and began to weep on the confused looking man’s shoulder. “That’s me, Ed! I’m Nick.Dontcha remember me…? ” Nick whispered, taken aback by what he’d just heard. “Teleportation…memory loss…can’t remember…” Edward muttered, staring at him with his glassy, clueless eyes, as if he’d no recollection. “Oh…no! ” Nick stuttered, realizing what’d happened as he watched the man he loved fumble with the purple fob watch in his hand. “Oh…YES! Gotcha! Was that dramatic enough for ya, Mr. Drama queen?! ” Edward exclaimed after a long pause, pocketing the fob watch and flashing him a mischievous grin on noticing his sorrowful expression. “C’mere, you! Ya really had me worried there! ” Nick cried out on realizing he’d been tricked, punching him playfully and hugging him, pleased to see he hadn’t really lost his memory.  “Well, do I get a kiss for savin lives? ” he asked, moving closer till Nick could feel his hot breath against his face.
“Sorry for disturbin ya…but, dontcha think ya oughta kiss your daughter first? ” a voice interrupted, as the guard who’d just returned from the cafeteria with Ed’s daughter watched from the doorway, smiling on overhearing their conversation. She let go of her tiny hand as Neela ran to her father who welcomed her with open arms, tears of joy flowing down both their cheeks as they hugged. “Great kisser, great hair, can rise from the dead…Is there nothin your boyfriend can’t do? ” she teased, nudging Nick as she spoke. “An’ ya! Standin up to a gangster like that!  Sorry bout im hittin ya like that…He can be quite dramatic! ” Edward apologised on his behalf, thanking the guard. “It’s alright. Well, ya didn’t have to hit me…or seduce me, for that matter…I’d have given ya the keycard willingly, had I known ya were enemies of my dad! He was a real brute anyway!  ” she accepted his apology, smiling slyly as she spoke. “Wait a min…did ya say yer dad? ” a surprised Edward enquired, not sure he’d heard her correctly.”Yes. I’m Josephine Cardinal. Jo, for short. ” she revealed. “I think I’ll give ya both a minute alone, huh? ” she whispered, lovingly leading his little girl away as the two men exchanged stunned looks. “That sayin bout families stickin together” I call bullshit on that! ” Edward quipped, turning towards Nick who seconded it. “Yup! Now…I believe we were gonna kiss…? ” an impatient Nick reminded, licking his lips seductively as he spoke, before Edward pressed his lips against his, not letting him finish his sentence as they kissed passionately.


“Neela! Don’t worry, sweetheart…I’m ere now. Yer gonna be fine, kay? Let’s just get this off, eh? ” Ed exclaimed, heaving a sigh of relief as he untied his daughter who’d been gagged and locked up in the room behind the large metal doors. “Thank God yer alright! ” he whispered tearfully, hugging her as he spoke. “Of course, she’s alright! I’d never hurt her. I’m not a paedophile, or a child murderer. I’m just a desperate man who wants his money back. Now, d’you have my money, ya thievin bastard?! ” the furious gangster appeared at the door, demanding his money and pointing a gun at them. “Oi! There’s a child here, so watch your language! ” Emma advised, glaring at him as a whimpering Neela buried her frightened  face into her dad’s jacket. “Seriously, Em? That’s what ya want im to watch?! He’s pointin a gun at us! Which, btw, I can knock out of his hand in a heartbeat…” Nick boasted, preparing to make a run at the dangerous man. “I’d like to see ya try that with a bullet in yer brain, braveheart! ” he scoffed.
That was the last thing he said before he began to flay his arms about…like he was doing a weird mafia dance…until they realized he wasn’t. The blonde guard who’d regained consciousness by then had taken him by surprise, jumping onto his back and wrapping her legs around his waist and her arms around his neck till he turned purple. His gun went off during the scuffle. Everyone struggled to dodge flying bullets, while he struggled to breathe. She held on to him till he passed out. “I’m not as weak as ya think I am…An’ I’m not a dumb blonde! I won’t have ya callin me that! ” the agitated guard defended herself to the unconscious man. “Everyone fine? Neela? Ed? Em…Emma? Oh, my gosh! Emma?! ” a worried Nick cried out, on seeing his sister lying in a pool of blood. She’d jumped in the path of a bullet that had almost hit Neela and was now bleeding out on the floor at the frightened little girl’s feet.
“We’ve gotta get her to the nearest hospital. That’s the Portland Hospital ” the guard advised. ” Em…you’re gonna be alright! C’mon…” Nick comforted, as he proceeded to carry his wounded sibling. “Put er down! ” Edward ordered. “What d’you mean, put her down? We can’t let her die. What’re ya doin? ” he demanded to know, watching fearfully as the man slipped on his purple glove. “Gonna cauterise the wound. It’ll stop the bleedin, so she won’t bleed to death before ya get to the hospital. Ya can take er to the hospital safely then. It’s the only way…An’ it might hurt…a lot. But, trust me, Em.” he whispered, cupping his gloved hand over the wound as he spoke. “Aaaahhhh! ” her screams filled the room as the lightning seared her wound. The guard covered Neela’s ears in a bid to shield her from hearing Emma’s painful cries, while the injured woman dug her nails into Edward’s jacket, holding onto him and squinting her eyes as tears streamed down her pained face. “Shh…shh…Ya can relax now, lass…”  he whispered slowly, as she passed out in his arms. The relief was short lived though, as the beeping of the activated timebombs echoed across the room. “That’s our cue to move. Allonsy! Worked security at the Louvre. Picked up a bit of French…” the brave guard bragged, before leading the way out as the bombs began to go off one by one!
“Ed…no! Let go of him, Cardinal! ” Nick cried out, as the gangster came to and grabbed Edward’s foot, sending him toppling to the floor. Edward kicked at him frantically in a bid to free himself, but the gangster held on. He was finally able to free himself with the help of his lightning emitting glove, but it was too late! The walls around them crumbled and a large part of the ceiling crashed and blocked the doorway, trapping Edward and a fatally wounded Cardinal inside the room. “I’m sorry…There’s nothin we can do. Time’s runnin out! ” the guard apologized, pulling everyone out in the nick of time. He stood frozen as they watched the fortress explode and reduce to rubble. “I never got to say a proper goodbye…or even thank him for what he did.” the vigilante murmured, mourning the death of his villainous lover, before glancing down at his unconscious sister in his arms and sobbing. “I grabbed that gangster’s keys in there. Let’s get the bloody hell outta this creepy place! ” the guard exclaimed victoriosly,  snapping him back into reality as he put his limp sister in the backseat of the gangster’s swanky car, before getting in himself. The guard took the wheel, while Nick sat in the front seat, looking back constantly to monitor his sister as they sped away. In the commotion, he’d almost forgotten about Edward’s daughter who was sitting on his lap. As he turned his attention to a speechless Neela (who looked up at him in an innocent, clueless manner), hot tears streamed down his cheeks as he realised that the angelic child was now an orphan.



East Weare camp- the lair

Cameo by Georgia Moffet as the female guard.
“Ok…No loss of memory, no nerve damage either…Well, that’s me. How are ya lot? ” Edward enquired, as they finally made it to their destination. “Ya could’ve  warned us beforehand, before ya flipped that bloody thing! ” she cried out, angrily shaking him by the collar. “But, but…” he sputtered, more frightened of her than he was of Cardinal or the cops! “But what?! I’ve a good mind to…” she didn’t let him finish. “But, check out the view!” he blurted out, in order to divert her attention. “Oi, Em! He’s right…It’s beautiful!” Nick seconded, as they watched the frothy waves lap up against the rocks and felt the salty, cooling gusts of wind against their skin. “Reminds us of that time we visited that urban beach.” the cloistered siblings exclaimed in unison.   “Nothin like the real thing though, eh? No time to sightsee. We’ve gotta save my daughter. Maybe I should’ve made ya both sign an agreement. Bout how ya weren’t dragged into this an’ were willingly helpin me…unless ya decide to turn me in or somethin! ” he reminded. “I can see why ya fancy him! ” Emma remarked sarcastically, on hearing him. “No…it’d be a bit too much, eh? ” he changed his mind. “Yeah…a bit! ” she agreed in a sarcastic tone, before they followed him to the heavily guarded building known as East Weare Camp- derelict and disused for years, it served as detention barracks before the mobster turned it into his lair. “Kill anythin that moves, eh? ” Emma, who was against violence, squirmed in disgust on overhearing what he’d whispered to Nick as they neared the entrance. She watched as he pressed a little wooden box into his palm once the vigilante had taken care of the man guarding the entrance. Nick nodded as Edward whispered something in his ear and they both exchanged wicked grins.
“What was in that box that ya thrust in my brother’s hand….before ya know he went jumpin off to kill those guards? I’ve never seen such a maniacal grin on his face before, ya know? Ever since he’s met ya, he’s someone else entirely. Would lay down his life for ya in a sec. Madly in love with ya, he is! ” she whispered to him, as the duo searched every room for signs of his daughter, coming up empty. “Aye, I know he is. That box contains lil gifts for Cardinal. Just teensy time bombs that’ll blow this place an’ its contents to kingdom come! ” he replied, darkly. “It…It’s contents? Like the loot that’s hidden here? You’re not takin it with you? You’re leavin the money behind? ” she exclaimed, in disbelief. “I’m only ere for my daughter, kay? An’ to finish off that arsehole! I wish I’d never stolen his blood money. I was just desperate…an’ maybe, greedy. I thought stealin would help us survive, but it’s unsafe an’ if it’s gonna cost me my daughter, I’ve had enough! But, I’m not gonna let im steal from any poor souls either! ” the criminal who’d undergone a change of heart replied, as they reached the mouth of a dark tunnel.
“Are ya sure ya know where you’re goin? ” she asked, impressed by his change of heart but doubtful of his sense of direction as she followed him through the winding, smelly tunnel. “Aye. Why d’you think I had those blueprints an’ maps with me, eh? They don’t show the way to bloomin Edinburgh, do they? ” he scoffed in reply, as they neared the end of the tunnel. “I wonder what’s in there…” she whispered, as he pulled her behind a pillar on seeing a guard walk past. It was a female guard this time and she stood in front of a heavy metal door. “What d’you think? Can ya take er on? ” he suggested. “I’m not gettin my hands bloody for ya! ” Emma declined. “Scaredy cat! Guess I’ll have to turn me charm on! ” she heard him mutter as he walked up to the blonde lady. “What’d I miss? ” her bruised and bloodied brother enquired, showing up beside her. “Well, your boyfriend surely swings both ways! ” Emma replied teasingly, as they watched Edward snog the guard till she let her gun drop to the floor! An agape Nick decided it was the last straw when he heard the breathless blonde murmur Call me. “Well, he won’t, cuz he’s mine! ” he yelled out protectively, before knocking her out and demanding an explanation from Edward. “Just wanted to distract er while I snatched er keycard, Romeo! Strictly business, geez! ” he explained, rolling his eyes at the overreacting Nick as he proceeded to open the metal door using the card.


A/N: Sorry, been busy finding out whether Sir John Mandeville was a real dude or not (for a project), but I’m back! An’ so is the vigilante! 👇


The fob watch

“So, what’s the plan?” Nick asked, staring in anticipation at the blueprints and maps he’d laid out on a table. Judging from his puffy and dark-circled eyes, he’d been up all night coming up with his plan. “Ere’s where he’s taken er. We’re gonna go on a lil trip to the Forbidden City.” he whispered cunningly, pointing to a black and white photo of lines of abandoned buildings, archways and towers looming over the sea. “Ooh….where’s that, then? ” a clueless Nick enquired. “You Londoners don’t get out much, do ya? An’ why would ya anyway? Wouldn’t wanna stray away from those all those BEAR magazines you’ve got stashed away in that cramped apartment o’ yers now, would we? ” he muttered ,mockingly. “Those aren’t his…they’re my magazines. I sorta find hairy men sexy….anyway, answer his question! Where’s this Forbidden City an’ why would he take her there?” Emma interrupted in an uncomfortable manner, before demanding an answer from the nosy Edward (who suppressed a smirk at her revelation). “It’s this ghost town in Dorset. He’s got a Fort Knox sorta thing set up there. A lair that also doubles as a hideout for the rest o’ the loot which he deems too valuable to keep in the bank. Now, the man left me this ransom note…quite cliched, dontcha think? Anyway, it says he isn’t gonna release er unless I return the rest o’ his money….which unfortunately, I’ve spent…” he replied, rolling up the blueprints as he spoke. “Well, what’re you plannin on showin up there empty-handed? He’s gonna kill her! ” Emma interrupted yet again, before he could finish speaking. “Who said anythin about showin up? We’re gonna sneak in! An’ since I can’t give im what’s his…Might as well take back what’s mine, eh? That’s why I need more manpower…” he continued, grinning at his supposedly brilliant plan. “…Someone to take out whoever’s guardin the place, eh? Glad I worked out extra hard today! ” Nick completed the rest of his sentence, agreeing to help him and feeling ecstatic about kickin butt an’ savin lives, things he lived for! “Before lettin it get to your heads, how d’you s’posse we’re gonna get there, huh? Dorset’s a pretty far distance to cover by bus or tube.” Emma stepped in as the two men shook on it, reminding them about the hurdle that stood in their way.
“Nothin’s impossible with this! It’s the teleporter that I invented for long distance travel. It’s light an’ easily conceivable, unlike that ridiculous, heavy one that I use to pull off petty thefts.” the inventor bragged, pulling out a flat, round, shiny object from his coat pocket. “A fob watch? ” an unimpressed Emma asked, staring at the antique, engraved fob watch in his palm before looking up at him for an explanation. “It’s not just a fob watch! ” he defended. ” Sure looks like one from the outside. ” she argued, doubting its capabilities. “What is it with ya people, huh? Always judgin books by their covers. When are ya gonna see past the exterior o’ it an’ see the actual thing, eh? ” he muttered with a scowl, feeling insulted by her scepticism.
“I’m startin to think he isn’t just talkin bout the watch anymore. Em, quit arguin an’ let’s get on with it! ” Nick put an end to their argument before it spiralled. “Fine. But, I’m only comin with so that ya don’t end up killin him with this plan of yours! ” she declared, shooting a protective glance at her easily convinced brother. “How does it work exactly? I mean, how will it know where we wanna go?” an intrigued Nick asked, studying the ticking timepiece with his curious eyes. “Complex stuff. Scientific stuff that commoners won’t understand. Spent years on it. Haven’t used it till now…..So, teleportation might cause irreversible nerve damage or loss o’ memory or some other side effects. Just hold on to me an’ you’ll be fine…I think! ” he replied, unsure about his own device as he gestured to them to grab on to his arms. “Wait… what?!” the siblings cried out in horror, their cries drowned out by the loud ticking before they were engulfed in the blinding purple light emitted from the fob watch as he flipped it open.

Down my memory lane- Belagavi/ Belgaum

Back before Goans began to vacation in foreign countries like USA, UK or the Gulf, back when the winding roads through the Western Ghats were in better conditions, Belgaum was the ultimate holiday destination. It was the quickest an’ cheapest getaway by train, by bus, by road, or for the healthiest person- on foot. They’d be off in the wee hours o’ the morn an’ be back by evening that same day after a boat ride at the Belgaum fort lake or enjoin the circus or shoppin to their heart’s content at Khade Bazaar, returning with their    shopping bags burstin with clothes, electronics, toys, bedspreads, dry red chillies, kunda (a famed local sugary sweet treat), mouthwatering masala crusted roasted peanuts/ crackling green, spicy channa (chickpeas), etc. Or they’d stay at a lodge and enjoy the cool climate for a couple more days. An’ if they visited durin Ganesh Chaturthi (the festival is celebrated in full swing ere by people o’ various religions), they’d only return after payin respect to the elephant headed God in his various avatars at the beautifully decorated pandals that lined the busy streets an’ after stuffin themselves with sweets galore! 😋
In fact, I’ve been visitin Belgaum with my family ever since I was a lil tyke who hadn’t even started school yet. Of course, back then, it was still called Belgaum. Now, it’s called Belagavi, just like Cochin became Kochi/ Ernakullam an’ Bangalore became Bengaluru (or was it the other way around? Anyway, my point is Indian cities/villages change names faster an’ more frequently than the Doctor changes faces!😆) I guess, the Indian govt focuses more on unnecessary makeovers an’ name changes rather than actually lookin after the welfare o’ the country, eh?
Well, let’s not get into politics any further an’ lemme tell ya bout my memories o’ Belgaum/ Belagavi. The climate is chilly during the day an’ extra chilly at night, but isn’t sooo chilly that yer fingers freeze an’ fall off. It’s changed a lot o’er the years. I remember a giant tree next to our hotel, full o’ nestin eagles an’ beehives buzzin with activity (don’t worry, no-one got stung!). That’s gone now, an’ a new building’s popped up where it once stood with its roots firmly embedded into the ground.  The bees have sought shelter outside an abandoned clinic nearby, so that’s a relief to see that the creatures haven’t been fully displaced.
I also remember a sheep bein tied up to the tree for slaughter a looong time ago. I dunno what happened to that poor creature, but I’m hopin someone let it loose an’ set it free before it’d met its fate….although, that’s unlikely. Anyway, it’s a good thing I refrain from lamb/mutton dishes or I’d be full o’ guilt every time I dug into mutton biryani! (Those disheartening bleats would haunt me…brr!) I was also lucky to have witnessed a weddin procession with the groom ridin an elephant instead o’ the traditional mare. An’ to have witnessed my first hailstorm from the balcony o’ my hotel, as I sheltered from the large hailstones that rained down upon the street below (Don’t worry, no-one got hurt!)
A lot’s changed at the hotel where we regularly stay at while we’re ere too (It’s sorta been like a second home to us ever since I could crawl an’ my bro could skateboard through its halls while the amused waiters/bellboys an’ guests gaped at him!) The waiters/bellboys o’ yore who toiled ere have been replaced by brand new ones, ever since they’d married an’ settled in their native places after quittin their jobs. An’ last we heard, the sturdy, moustached, hard-working man who carried heavy steel buckets o’ hot water to our hotel room (this was before the invention o’ geysers/ water purifiers, by the way) was long gone. He’d collapsed an’ died o’ a heart attack as he rested his tired feet in the hotel library/readin room. The library/ readin room itself (where I’d sat an’ devoured my Tinkle magazines, my Goa Times, my Filmfares, my newspapers an’ the countless Time an’ Forbes magazines that were stacked up on the large desk there) has now shut shop. Not cuz it’s haunted by the ghost o’ the sturdy water-carrier (as my paranormal activity lovin self had thought👻), but cuz the blind, diabetic librarian who worked there has now been promoted to the post o’ liftman! An’ if ya do see this marvel o’ a man, you’d say he deserves a salute cuz inspite o’ bein blind an’ incapable o’ walkin properly cuz o’ his crooked feet, he goes about his job sans complaints, ferryin guests up an’ down to their desired floors just by touchin, feelin an’ pressin the elevator buttons an’ always greetin us with smiles, recognizin us just by our voices, even though our voices have matured an’ changed with age!
An’ now as I return, Belagavi/ Belgaum remains that cool getaway. Small cinema halls have grown into large multiplexes an’ been treated to name changes as well. Peter Englands an’ other fancy showrooms have sprouted up alongside once abandoned, spooky lookin roads an’ livened em up. There was a time when the roads appeared empty an’ dark with rats scamperin about in the ditches an’ street lights often flickerin eerily as we returned from a late night show at Chandan theatre (which is now an Inox multiplex, by the way). But now, autorickshaws an’ cars an’ youth/students from the nearby medical colleges/ hostels ply on the busy roads late in the evenings as well an’ this quiet place has gotten a lot noisier than it was. Now more a bustlin city than a sleepy one, if ya ask me. But, it’s still the lil place tucked away in the beautiful state o’ Karnataka that I hold dear to my heart.

Tis bug season! 2: A snail an’ a weird bug with a moustache

Apparently, the creepy-crawlies have decided to follow me around an’ aren’t ones to shy away from the camera either!😁

Spotted this lil fella outside my music class, slow-dancin to the tunes o’ my piano 🐌👇


An’ this one waited patiently on the mirror o’ my college washroom, waiting its turn to…I can only guess, to trim its long moustache….while the students (oblivious to its presence) continued with their routine o’ slatherin their faces with face wash, talc, lip gloss an’ what have you! I’m yet to ascertain its identity from the biology dept.


Tis bug season! 1: Caterpillars

It’s monsoon season ere in Goa an’ there’s literally water, water everywhere! One could also say, there’s bugs, bugs everywhere too. Get it?  (queen o’ lame jokes ere😋)
Anyway, on my walk home with an oily newspaper parcel containing hot pakoras/ fritters an’ samosas for my teatime, I spot a family o’ caterpillars lunchin on a bush nearby.
The very next day, the same bush is bare an’ the caterpillars have moved on to the next big green leafy thing! Meanwhile, the remainder o’ my teatime snacks are still languishin away in the fridge as I was unable to finish em off. Maybe, I should let the ravenous caterpillars have a go at it, eh? 😉

Conclusion: Never share yer lunch with a caterpillar. See those white fuzzy things with the lil black beady eyes in the pic below? That’s them🐛👇


Green, one day👇


Gone, the next! 👇