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“You Are Invited...!”

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We could see the activities down in the longish courtyard of our colony. The courtyard was surrounded by buildings divided into blocks on three sides with the front side having the main entrance gate. Comfortably seated in the portico of our third floor quarter we often took a window view of the goings-on in the courtyard around the garden located in the center. This time it looked like preparations for some social ceremony. Soon we knew. It was going to be the marriage ceremony of the colony secretary’s only son. We heard it not from the horse’s mouth as yet, but from other neighbours. We knew the secretary’s family housed in the ground floor of the same block quite well; I was often talking to the secretary on various issues including domestic ones while my wife was friendly with both him and his wife. So we expected to be invited for sure. And, so it came. One morning about three days before the marriage I was as usual going through the daily newspapers and my wife bu

How To Protect Yourself From Online Fraud in 2018!

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Credit Card Frauds: A Real Close Shave!  (I had this experience 3 years back. However, this problem is raging all over including India. To create awareness I'm reproducing this article along with the link. Plus, a comprehensive article on  "Protect Yourself From Fraud in 2018" has been published below with the link. We thank  Anna Kucirkova , ex-DCCU, for her kind permission to utilize the article for our readers. The 9-step guide is very useful for all with other relevant information for US and other countries.) Only the other day we were discussing with a few bankers about the fact that online frauds or crimes are still very low in India compared to advanced countries. We justified this with another fact that millions of Indians are still ignorant or have no online presence. And just the next day I had a close shave from a potentially serious credit card fraud. We have heard a lot about card protection in terms of safeguarding against phishing or seemingly

The Bloated Musician!

He had just two lousy obsessions in his artistic existential being. First, he believed firmly in what he said, ‘East or the West, I am the best!’ Second, he always wanted others to talk him, hype him, move around him and worship him like an artist…nope…like the Hero! He learned the classical method of playing his Indian instrument through a plethora of gurus so that he could finally perform on stage. With only a few stage performances he ballooned into an ill-gotten pomposity thus creating a chain of ill-fated disciples and making quite a few ill-humoured connections. Like you build your down lines! He managed to capture several concerts outside India too through his connections that were desperate enough to help him have those in order to get rid of him permanently. Now, with his foreign trump cards he started manufacturing more hype for himself. When performing on stage he was totally focused on the audience rather than on his music. Of course, he wanted his audien

Milord O' Landlord--The Spit-Fire!

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Even the closed bedroom door could not shield the shrill of the door bell. I woke up and switched on my mobile to check the time. It was very early. We had been new to the place and the visits of the usual newspaper vendor or milkman or maid or the laundry guy had not yet been formalized. Who could it be? I got up and trudged lazily to the door. Felt happy that my wife was still sleeping peacefully. I closed the bedroom door behind me, and as I did so the shrill of the door bell caught me squarely. That someone outside had to be an impatient customer. I opened the main door and was surprised to find our landlord right in front. His short and thin figure was upright; his longish face with a hairline mustache showed unmistakable signs of agitation and his eyes, still puffy from sleep, were blazing. “Good morning! ...” I began in the customary way. He ignored it completely, “This has never ever happened in my house! How is this possible?” “What happened...?” “Just cannot

The Zombie Progression!

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It’s no longer implausible now. It’s happening everywhere, it’s rampant everywhere and it’s not imperceptible. We need to retain some of the humanly senses to understand it and to think about why it’s being so. They prominently exhibit brutality, but emotionless. They are like programmed entities guided by machines, gadgets and devices. They act on instant impulses taking those to the final realization. Like the professional executioners. Totally devoid of feelings, they demonstrate their skill everywhere, on the streets, in the highways, in the hotels and within four walls of the homes. They seem to indulge in human activities only, but not as humans. The emerging species of the zombies, if you take it as natural you do indeed belong to them. The programmed beings react immediately to impulses provided in-built by a wide variety of sources. Some of them quarrel in public places; someone, still not programmed and a rarity, comes up and tries to mediate to bring peace. They

Who Goes There—Friend Or Foe?

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No doubt, we’ve entered into a highly digital, automated and a rather virtual world where the inhabitants are increasingly interacting with each other without actually knowing each other in the physical sense. Transparency, the avowed goal of digitization, will indeed be achieved in a whole lot of interactions though the electronic slips generated thereof.  However, the desired transparency in terms of human relations is getting more and more shrouded in ambiguity, suspicion and blatant paranoia. Basic definitions of a ‘friend’ are available on various dictionaries online. One says, ‘a friend is a person with whom one has a bond of mutual affection, typically one exclusive of sexual or family relations’. Another says, ‘a friend is a person attached to another by feelings of affection or personal regard’. The common factors among various definitions are ‘affection’, ‘attachment’, ‘lack of hostility’, ‘esteem or regard’, ‘patron or promoter’ and ‘belonging to a group or nation’.

The Eternal Stalker Named Death

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Late Ramen Sarma Death strikes its victims in varying forms. Sometimes it takes one unawares. Sometimes it makes one embrace death second by second. It's not known why a particular kind of person deserves a certain kind of death. It stalks, always; be it in terms of diseases, accidents or any natural or unnatural causes. When I lost the youngest of my beloved maternal uncles that was a kind of an experience I was desperate to share with all. He had only minor ailments like pain in the legs, of course, apart from well-controlled diabetes and moderate blood pressure. Ramen Sarma worked as public prosecutor in the district court. He was always a cheerful person and cracked jokes or mimicked funny lines at every encounter we had. He had been my all time favorite since childhood days. He was a happy-go-lucky one. He never bothered about what to eat or what not to eat and spent more than his salary-always. He was a renowned stage actor and also acted in a few Assamese feature f

The Eternal Stalker Named Death - Bizarre Strikes

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Late Anjali Barua (Biju Baideo) She was preparing for the marriage of her youngest son to be held within a few days. That day was really hectic. She visited nearly fifty households around the city and extended personal invitations to them. She reached home just before eight in the night. She was not at all aware that the stalker had entirely different designs ready for her. A unique plan at that. She was a bubbly girl from childhood days and was immensely popular. She was also a talented singer. Though she did not pursue it to professional levels she never left it either-continuing to perform in private sessions and family functions. She got married to a business stalwart and immediately set about putting her new home in perfect order. Her home was always abuzz with guests and relatives from all sides and of all connections. The one storied bungalow was lovingly named 'canteen' by many due its staggering hospitality at any time of the day or night. Slowly she got

The Eternal Stalker Named Death: More Tragic Scripts!

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The way death claims its victims is as normal as it is unique. One wonders who writes the scripts for some of the victims who perish without knowing why. These scripts are always most inhumanly creative, cruel beyond imagination and most horrendously instantaneous. True, one would never know the when-how-where of one’s last earthly activity, but one has the right to know at least why there is discrimination in the scripts, and this question we had raised earlier also. Of course, the answers would never come. The youngest member of the family had all the right to be excited at the coming event. It was too early for him to get unduly concerned about the ways of the eternal stalker named death. His earthly existence began just about six years ago, and every small or big pleasure entertained him thoroughly. And this time it was big. His father was planning to buy a car. He was doing the countdown one month in advance making or revising future plans every single day. Why him, no on

Milord...O' Landlord!

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The local landlord was known for his fastidiousness. Although some would like to term it eccentricity. Whatever it be he had been extremely choosy in finalizing his clients. He had several small flats for rent in his building, and he always preferred non-local hassle-free renters in his own unique way. His terms and conditions were very clear, if not transparent. Guests staying overnight were a strict no-no; water with a predetermined litre limit given only once, mostly in the dead of the night; main gates would be locked at 10 pm every night and anyone coming late must inform in advance; CCTV cameras in the campus observing irregular activities and playing or singing of loud music not at all preferred. By profession he and his wife were teachers, and maybe he took his profession too seriously. He had three young children, two boys and one daughter. One of his flats was going to be vacated soon and the word spread easily by mouth in the small city. Normally he engaged a broker