Monday, October 14, 2013


cover photograph by duyum dulom
If you wanna know, Zubana Ishtiyaq is not the prettiest dame in Bhairav Nagar Colony, even though her lousy mother calls her ‘princess’ and everything. There are people like Nea Mittal and Honey Burza- the short one, for instance, but they are much older, like they graduated from high school when they were still teaching Pluto was a planet. But Zubana is smarter than these dames, being girls and all, if you know what I mean. She’s not the student council kinda smart, but is the I-know-I’m-not-a-princess-even-though-my-mom-calls-me-that kinda smart. She doesn’t do anything particular to make her look smart or anything, nor does she give a rat’s ass as to what you think about her. She’s about the same age as Aaliya, who- and I say this with great love- is one raging bitch of my sister.  They go to the same class at St. Theresa’s, not that I have seen them talk to each other or anything, like, ever.
Aaliya could be very competitive when she wants to be, and Zubana is too smart to talk to somebody that aggressive, and Aaliya couldn’t care any less, and I think, that explains that. It’s so funny, these dames, they can pretend like they were seeing each other for the first time even though they went to the same class regularly for eight bloody years. That is exactly what happened when Zubana showed up at our house a few days before the Christmas holidays started. It was tragic. They break that damn iceberg between them and make it look like they were meant to be the best of friends had they noticed each other in class before. I almost fainted. But if you are wondering, that’s not yet the shocking part. After they are done attacking on that ice, she asks the Aaliya fiend if she could meet her brother Raza, which is me! She damn well knows my nickname and everything! Aaliya must have felt like being abandoned at birth, if you know how big an attention-seeking monster she is. The fact that Zubana came to meet with me must have made her ego take a dive to the underground that I'm pretty damn sure that she'll go back to school and refuse to recognize her all over again. Anyways, as Mother Nature would have it, she asks for me, and you believe it or not, I immediately wuss out and go hide in the storeroom! I know! But before you start acting all offended, I think you should know that I have a slight history with her, and it’s all because of Kabir, the class captain, and the junior football quarterback, and my best friend, although he hasn’t the slightest clue about that last part. That’s ‘cause he is not the kinda guy you tell everything to, if you know what I mean. And he doesn’t spell out what he feels, like, ever. Very indoorsy with his moods and everything. Anyways, all you have to know is that it’s only because of him.

Being a smart dame, it might shock you if I say Zubana has a very inert personality, and is always walking alone and hanging by herself even after school. Now you know why I almost never get around to talking to that dame. She is naturally frigid. I guess it’s because she’s the only child of a father who’s never around, and a mother who’s an ogre so fat that she could stand at the gate and stop the damn wind from even entering Bhairav Nagar Colony. I’m sure you don’t believe me, but you should come meet her sometime, you don’t have a lot others like her around, I swear.

So one of those days, well behaved as hell, I walk up to Zubana, taking her stroll all by herself in her yellow Scooby-Do T-shirt, and ask her to show me her cave. See, this Zubana Ishtiyaq is a prize winning drama queen, and I’m not kidding  ‘cause she was the main fairy’s assistant or something in this play they did during the residential association’s annual massacre, which is the world’s stinkiest circus ever where all the world class morons of Bhairav Nagar Colony gather to bitch, eat, drink, burp and fart in each other's company. So when I tell her to flash me her stuff, she turns around and looks at me like there is this scud missile headed towards her, and says, why don’t I go ask my mom to show me her cave! Then I say, I don’t want to see old ladies’ caves ‘cause they all look like George Bernard Shaw and everything. She kicks on my shin and runs away, annoyed as hell. I have a slight limp from that chop even now, if you give a damn. Kabir is the one who said his neighbor Tanushree’s stuff was the craziest thing he saw his whole lifetime, and that she showed it for a mango Popsicle. I had a whole box of barfi on me, which I, obviously, didn’t get the time to reveal given the speed she went all Bruce Lee on me. I’m sure Tanushree would have showed two hundred times if she saw that glittery box of barfi from Nathulal’s. Maybe she is not half as smart as Zubana, for all I know. So this is what happens, she runs away after trying to kill me, and it’s about a week later that she turns up to break damn Aaliya’s iceberg. I hid inside the storeroom for as long as she hung around with the Aaliya fiend, who was wounded and crestfallen like a freak (I swear to god I’m worried for her). Okay bitch, most people hate you, deal with it.

It was later that I got to know Zubana came to ask some favor of me. That made me giddy with an urge to cry because all this time, I thought she came home to tell on me. Should have known better, she being smart and all.

Alright, I don’t want to be bragging or anything, but at this point, since you don't know me much, you should know I’m a gifted child. In fact, exceptionally talented. I mean if they make a movie on my life and all, they better cast Aamir Khan to play me, and not some corny ass dude like Shahrukh. Even Kabir would agree with that. Slurpy from the physics department has called me a genius time and again and both Father Dogzilla- our Principal- and Shrek from the English department address me as a child prodigy. If you are wondering what my gifts are, I’m a record top scorer of my school, I crack any double salt in less than fifteen minutes, I can memorize the entire Rime of the Ancient Mariner (God, I loved that poor albatross), I’m the school long jump champion, I can occasionally read people’s minds, I make the best chicken sandwich in Bhairav Nagar Colony and I paint better than Da Vinci, that’s what! One more thing, I go by four different cyber identities, AchilisRAZA, smartass_2002, Blowtorch-traitor and S4Cinderella_gun. So that’s me for you in a nutshell.

Only dudes went to St. Michael’s, ‘cause for dames they had St. Theresa’s. So there was no way Zubana had any idea about my gifts and reputation at St. Michael’s. Thus when she went around asking to see me, it did catch me off guard.  But it turns out she did not wanna tap on any one of my diverse gifts. I was a tad bit offended than surprised when all she asked me was to offer a little help to meet with her dad. Apparently her mom and dad were separated and she was dying to meet him without the Hulk woman knowing, so as not to annoy her, as she grew more and more gassy when she got upset, and it was killing to stay in the same house with all the fragrance. I was not shocked when Zubana already had a plan how to, being such a smart kid, I guess. So, about three in the morning there was this bus that went to Batergaon from Old Jahangir Gate and she wanted me to cycle her to the bus station as she was scared of the dark being a dame and everything. I was game because I really was in the mood to kick some serious ass, and I almost died of happiness. I was sure I could later trade something in return from her, if you know what I mean. I was just being a pakka Bania about it! Sorry if I offended you. I’m a Bania myself, so I can say that.

Okay, so except a few snags that almost woke Bhopu at the gate, the plan was perfect. You should ask her to plan some covert operations for you guys some time. And man, the Old Jahangir Gate Bus station was some two hundred kilometers away on bike. When we reach the station, her cousin Shashi is waiting, he’s the one to take her to her dad. This Shashi dork was quite a piece of work, if you ask me. You look at him and the first thing that comes to your mind is a crane- not the machine- the white bird. Up until then I hadn’t felt so sad about the fact that one can’t really help the way one looks, and this one was beyond help. It was partly since I felt that sympathy and partly because he was Zubana’s family and everything that I tried to be overfriendly with him. But the loser hardly spoke. All that he said was ‘thank you very much’ right before the bus moved. Like, yeah, you could say that again! Zubana only smiled, and I swear to god she was a player. And sir, had it not been for you, I would still be expecting for her to return. I wouldn’t have guessed she could run away with some pig like that, Shashi Chinnappa or whatever. Just imagine, if they end up together, she'll be Zubana Chinnappa! Eww! Now who'd want that!

I don’t know what Aaliya told you guys, but she’s a friggin psycho. She’s even capable of saying I killed Zubana for her watch if you promised to give her something. She wants a trophy for everything, ‘cause she genuinely thinks she deserves it. These dames, you can't trust, especially the smart ones. See, the one I trusted pulled this stunt on me and hung me out to dry. They always sell you out in the end. They sell you out even if you were the Brunei Sultan. So all I have to tell you is, stop this search. It’s not worth it, sir, I swear.  And if you don’t wanna hurt that fat lady any further, I’d say you tell her that her princess hated the smells. With the kind of farts I hear she breaks, I’d already have left the Milky Way.

It wouldn’t be difficult to spot Shashi, he’s the ugliest bastard I saw my whole lifetime. But Zubana Ishtiyaq, you wouldn't know, she's quite ordinary. Like I told you before, she’s not the prettiest dame in Bhairav Nagar Colony.
Also from the 'Raza' series;



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