An excerpt from my upcoming novel, THE COMING DAYS

Kabir walked on foot because he needed to guide Zima alongside, while he held the reins of his horse with the other hand. Many times a chirp or a flutter caught Zima’s attention, and she wanted to explore. But Kabir would cuff her by the neck and put her back in stride. They walked around shrubs and over rocks and twigs for more than a mile, and finally Kabir tied the horse to a tree and he patted Zima down to sit against a nearby tree that stood behind a cluster of bushes. Zima was now breathing animatedly and with her head raised was listening and looking expectantly for action. She could sense something was brewing. Frequently, she would glance at Kabir for a cue or a command.

Zima didn’t have to wait long. For now, she could hear Zorro’s intermittent barks. She wanted to get up for a better view, but Kabir, who had his arm around her neck, kept her down. Though Zima was now a full-grown tigress, she had spent a lifetime with pet dogs that included a foster mother. So her temperament and attitude were that of a trained canine. Her master was waiting for Abdul and Zorro to draw close and then to check what they had brought in the beat. Soon he could hear Zorro’s barks in repetition, and the hustle of dried leaves showed animals on the run. He got up, and so did Zima. Some distance away, he could see a group of sambhars scampering across a row of trees. Kabir pointed them out to Zima and then ran to get astride his horse. He jumped on it and then turned to know Zima’s whereabouts.

He had to pull back. For the beat had brought not only the mob of sambhars, a huge sloth bear too. The fearsome animals had seen each other; so the hairy, harried, and angry bugger had stood up on its hinds and the domesticated, striped feline was tensed and crouching. Both were on the verge of war, and to make matters more volatile, the German Shepherd’s barks sounded next grove. Kabir took out his holstered Colt as he didn’t want Zima to get scratched, and he was also worried Zorro would get entangled in a ferocious scrap.

At the war front, both the animals had displayed their fangs and furs, and in that electrifying moment, entered an animated Zorro on fire. The taut scene startled him, as it had done to Kabir. However, the rampaging dog didn’t think twice and in a flash, it jumped over the back of the bear to grab its neck. Taken by surprise, the hairy animal let out a shriek and dropped on its hunches with Zorro still astride its back. But the sloth, like all other endangered bears, put into action the immense strength of its powerful muscles to shrug off the dog.

 Abdul Karim was next to enter the arena on horseback. But he could only gaze wide-eyed at Zima, who was charging towards the beast that had dared to hurt Zorro. In two mighty leaps, Zima was on the bear to slap the offender on both sides of the jaw. The volley of clawed paws was too much for the cornered creature, and it rolled on its back to defend with its bigger claws. Zorro, by this time, recovered to attack from behind and caught the beast’s teensy tail.

A cacophony of growls, shrieks, snarls, and neighs created a commotion that carried for miles in the jungle. These were the sounds that make monkeys leak excreta from treetops, and some men pee in their pants, which was the case with Abdul Karim, ex-paramour of the late Queen. 

From the start, Kabir wanted to scuttle the scrap and was looking for an opportunity to scare-fire the sloth. Zima well understood that Zorro had done a marvellous job by attacking from the rear, so she too moved to the bear’s rear-end. That was when Kabir fired at the bear’s raised leg. He followed that with two more stinging shots to instil more fear in the rugged beast.

The deafening sounds produced the desired effect. For now, the bear rolled back on its feet and dashed. Zorro presumed he had won, so he went for the chase to claim the prize. But then Kabir called out, “No, Zorro, stay!”

The dog slowed down and Kabir galloped to overtake it. Then he got off the horse and caught hold of Zorro’s collar. Zima and Abdul also reached there, and so Kabir patted and hugged both pets to calm them down.

“So Mr. Abdul Karim, did you ever go for a hunt like this in your Bartania?”

“Nay, Sir!”

Kabir looked down at his pyjamas and teased, “I can see that. But you tell no one what happened today, and I’ll tell no one about your pyjamas.”

A Bachelor in Goa

Towards the end of our wanderings, the soul’s yearning is to record the lyrics of the song that was the joie de vivre of life. Here in this delightful memoir, a number of extraordinary incidents have been recalled in a manner which make them more scintillating in retrospect.

Two years may not be a long time, but in Goa the days are so stretched out that supplementary phaenomena can find room, and, as such, the basket may fill up faster.

What was a soliloquy has now become a dialogue between the writer and the reader.

Season’s greeting

The unusual weather, restriction of movement, social distancing, Covid variants, current electioneering in India are reflections of what I had expressed in The Heavily Indicted Man. See for yourself @

and @

Have A Go

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Till Break of Dawn

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Survivors of a Mutiny Book 1 & 2

A Bachelor in Goa

Beyond All Frontiers

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At a time when wolves are let loose and lambs are under vigilance,

When the world seems to be standing on its head then what is an ordinary citizen to do?

When a sword-like feeling dangles over the soul

During moonlit nights and sunny days, in winter and and in rain;

When pain stabs the chest again and again;

When beauties, gratification and similar luxuries

Compete for an embrace with the outstretched arms of humiliation;

When a fire is felt lighting up the darkness within, and the cup overflows;

When the fragrance of wounded dignity rises up from the bottom of the heart

Then the desire is to reach out to the heavens

And to pluck at the mute moon, and the blinking stars.

To tear them all at one end, and to rip them apart upto the other end.

To seize not one or two of them but to wipe out the entire horde of helpless onlookers,

The brain numb bystander silently watching the saga of scarcity here

And a disgraceful display of abundance there.

When numbers of the majority of the meek and mild gathers

Then the heart can only beat faster.

Then the command of the conscience is to confront the tormentor,

To seize the weapon of destruction from the hands of the despot.

Whether someone else chooses to do so or not,

This the time to smash the stone glittering upon crowns

And to end all performances of song and dance.

It is time to set fire to the garden of pleasure, to smoke up not just the throne

But to ignite into oblivion the entire house of injustice

Before the autocrat gets away with that no one should get away with.

To express similar emotions is a natural response of all human beings with a heart to injustice. To be disgusted with all things that have been not addressed, and with things that have in fact got worse than the last laugh, is to be human. It is only fair to human beings to react strongly to wrongs and to inequity. Lucknow has an old tradition to revolting against cheats and thugs. Lucknow has expressed aversion countless times when the individual is treated unfairly, but also on behalf of others. The desire for justice and a more fair world has been the dream of citizens throughout the history of the city, from freedom fighters to poets.

More about this :-

An Introduction

Whoever said you can’t start or end a sentence with and?

And so?

So is also one of those words. Whoever said that.

And so, that’s all.          

An excerpt from the book:

Speak or Be

A Slave of the Dumb

Not so long ago, a merchant named Jimmy was returning to his home after selling his quick-fire Ponzi scheme in the metropolis. In his compartment on the train was a cagey man who was immersed in a book. After a couple of hours, the man put aside the book and took off the tiffin box dangling from the hook provided by the railways. There were kebabs and rotis in the tiffin. Then the man said to Jimmy who had eyes on the grub, “Please join in.”

That startled Jimmy, and he blurted, “No, thank you. My lunch would be coming from the pantry.”

Then he asked, “What’s your name, Sir?”

The man replied, “Marhaba.”

“That’s a nice name. What does it mean?”

“It’s a combination of two words. Hello and Wow.”

Jimmy smiled and then asked, “What do you do, Marhaba Sahib?”

“I teach,” he replied.

“What subject do you teach?”


“Where did you study?”

He continued with his brevity, “St. Martin High School.”

“Hey, that’s a renowned school. My father used to teach there,” Jimmy exclaimed.

“What’s his name?”

“Mr Dickson.” This time, it was Jimmy’s monosyllabic answer.

“He was my class teacher,” Marhaba divulged his first complete sentence.

“What did he teach you?”


“Why? What went wrong?”

“He shouted all the time, and I always wondered if the son is so noisy what the father would be like.”

They spent the rest of the journey in silence.

Politics is a noble profession. It needs constant attention, selfless devotion, and an abiding concern for the welfare of the people and the State. This takes sparing long hours to address the demands of the public, as well as the machinery. And that does not leave room for pursuing any other vocation in earnest. Till a politician is not elected to represent a segment, he or she has to feed the needed exigencies from his/her sources, and that could be a taxing but handsome amount. Therefore, the remuneration of an elected representative is well worth his/her hard labour.

But Marhaba was not impressed. He was upset because he was angry, for why was he angry?

He was angry because he learnt that Jimmy’s grandfather had sent his son, Dickson, to the best school in town, and he became a teacher, of all the things. And all this while the old man remained well-enshrined in a robust political party that for years was unruly, hence never understood the basics of the ruling. Faced with the uphill task of climbing over a tall order, the think tanks filled up to devise an unthinkable plan. Here the conclave cannily resolved to attach resurgence of communal supremacy with the party’s political fortune. This strategy was implemented with gusto and it worked to scale the wall for the first time, and then there was no looking back. The impressive show struck the political acumen of other nations and they adopted the same method, but with a slight difference. For their people, religion was not an emotive issue, so they attached either racial supremacy or an induced nationalistic fervour to political endeavours. Those who stood against such plotters automatically became racial outcasts or anti-nationals.

 Jimmy’s grandfather, Dick, had proven to be a great asset for the party, as he had the inborn talent to shout. At the drop of a hat, he shouted down all challenges, probes, inquiries, in fact, everything under the sun that opposed him.

An excerpt from a composition in the making.

The Grave Rhymes

Oh God, I need to know why was I born.

Why was I sent to that world so torn?

            Torn was the house, so were the bodies under its debris;

            One was my mother, the other was my brother, Idris.

They took my father to a prison not known to me;

Shrapnel had hit the bulls-eye, so could hardly see.

            My school did open until sirens blared,

            Staying further proved fatal for who dared.

Pens and lil friends I lost many, so I lost count.

Surely You would know, so give me the account.

            Been hungry for days and sleepless without bed

            Was searching for crumbs when a thing hit my head.

When this resting place is so serene, so blissful, and so

God, why I was born? I need to know.

Lord, I know you would know why was I shot.

Unknown to them, ‘twas not crossfire that I caught.

            In retrospect, I compose posthumous rhymes

            Of untold prose that they should know ought.

Virals behind me, Reuter assigned a greater riot.

Armed lenses and flew in the cauldron on the trot.

            For my safety, the family were the worried lot;

            So, refuge of peacekeeping forces I sought.

In those barren lands, my lenses soon caught,

It was the rightest and the leftist who fought.

             Commies got the dollars, Wahabis sold pot.

            Viciously they fought, forsaking civil thought.

On Friday, it was a quirk of fate or who brought

Right on left and left on right; how ironic was the plot?

            To carry hereon, it wasn’t crossfire that I caught,

            Crossed were the reasons impossible to jot.

Crossed were the aged who had lived in fraught

Crossed were the kids whose future was a blot.

            Who is the Taliban; the talisman knows not,

            Faces, factions, and frictions distinguish them not.

All got sautéed in the hot frying pot of onslaught

No, it wasn’t the crossfire that Danish caught.


I assume I deserve a pat on the back for today I successfully released my latest novel, Survivors of a Mutiny Book II, on, as well as (for readers of paperback in India). Needless to mention, besides writing, I did the formatting and designing the cover. Here’s the link to go directly to the page,

An excerpt from the novel:

 It was one of those frosty, foggy mornings when the sun looks like the moon and the misty clouds are in no hurry. Kabir and Ashraf, with haversacks on backs, were trudging up Kumaon Hill along with Zorro and Zima. Zorro was acting as the pilot for the other three as they clambered over moss and rocks that lay on the track beaten by the sturdy local folks. Ashraf could not contain his smile when he imagined Zainab’s reaction to the ongoing expedition. And Angela’s radiant image was perennially energising Kabir. While the excursion was right up the legs of Zorro and Zima.

 Raeesa had packed roasted hind of a spotted deer and parathas as tiffin for the boys’ journey. Ashraf’s tummy tweeted when he got a whiff of the roast as they were negotiating a steep bend, so he said, “Shall we stop and eat something.”

“I was about to say that,” Kabir said, and he called out, “Zorro, stop!”

Both sat down on the rock overlooking a cliff and unsaddled their sacks. Zorro, too, smelt venison and couldn’t believe this was not a fairy tale. Then Zima came close and nestled beside Kabir. He patted her and removed the colourful gloves that his sister and mother had taken turns to knit for him.

“My hands are so numb that I can’t even feel my nose,” he said as he struggled to open the lid of the tiffin box.

Ashraf rubbed his palms. “We could have lit a fire, but that will take time and we have to reach before sunset.”

“So let’s get busy,” replied Kabir.

A tribesman and his family, along with their Bhutia mountain dog, had been coming down the same track and that instant, they reached the makeshift picnic spot and then abruptly stopped in bewilderment. Zorro, too, stood up, and both dogs assessed each other’s strength and character. Kabir stepped in front of Zorro and signalled to the headman to divert their footfalls and move ahead. The headman got the message, and with eyes fixed on the tigress, he and his family staggered down.

 Then the bunch from Neoria broke bread, leaving nothing for supper.

Before the sun could disappear down, the two local alumni, each holding the rein of a carnivore, were steadily moving forward on Mall Road. Clad in familiar blazers, they were heading to Nainital Sailing Club, nonchalant to the bewildered looks of passers-by. As they approached the port of call, Kabir said to Ashraf, “You go ahead with Zorro; the guard will stop you again. Then I’ll come with Zima.”

As expected, the turbaned durban blocked the urban, “Were you not told the club has banned your entry?”

 “I know, but try stopping us this time,” dared Ashraf.

 “Who are us?”

“Here they come,” and he whistled.
Kabir was waiting at the corner for that signal, so he smiled and patted Zima, “Chal, beta.”

In ten seconds, he was climbing up the steps with Zima frowning behind the mist gushing forth from her nostrils. The durban saw what he was eager to know, and his mouth split open. Then, as Zima took the third step, he turned and bolted inside towards the open to air deck overlooking the lovely lake. Zorro wanted to give him a chase, but as he was on the leash, he unleashed a volley of barks. The path was now clear, so the foursome sauntered in to explore what was so great about the club.

All this while, the doorman had been hollering to whoever came across, “Sher has come, sher has come!”
Soon, everybody rushed out from their respective stations to collect at the deck. Among the staff were Daniel and Major Carey, who now took over command. “Where did you see the tiger,” he asked the doorman?

“Sahib, they were at the entrance.”

“Do you mean there’s more than one tiger?”

“No Sahib, there is one tiger, one dog, and two men.”

Then Daniel spoke out, “Are they the same people who came the other day”?

“Yes, Sir, but this time they have come with a tiger.”

Major Carey then realized the doorman had not been hallucinating, so he instructed the remaining staff, “Everybody look around. Find the buggers.” But, except for Daniel, everybody was now looking for an opportunity to slip out.

The book cover