DUPLICITY by Writers' Express - Chapters: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18

3 Reasons reason why "S" gets kicked out

Ever wondered why was the letter "S" spared from the names of some numbers? Why aren't 200, 300, 400, etc. called Two Hundreds, Three Hundreds, Four Hundreds and so on?

Perhaps, the letter "S" was too overworked among the set of consonants.

My belief is mostly based on my own baseless logic and one fact. 
  1. Most of my friends' names begin with the letter "S" or have the letter "S". For instance, my friends include Sushmita, Sudakshina, Sandeep, Sagarika, Sanjeev, Sakshi, Salma, Saru... the list is long and as I would have said in a speech had I received an award, "I am sorry if I missed anyone's name here!"
  2. The plurals! Poor "S" got its ass kicked like how! Thank God for Men, Women and Children who saved some usage of the letter's plural overwork!
  3. I also believe in the fact of life that Men, Women and Children need facts to believe in senseless discussions like this one. So I did my research after I completed the 2 points above and listed below are the findings (I was quite right you see!):
The relative frequencies of letters (Source: http://www.cryptograms.org/letter-frequencies.php)
e     0.12702
t     0.09056
a     0.08167
o     0.07507
n     0.06749
s     0.06327

So let's ignore "T" and "N" for now for the simple reason that the following titles for this post have no punch:
3 Reasons reason why "T" gets kicked out
3 Reasons reason why "N" gets kicked out

And hence, my logic for "S" is justified. Poor Soul is too overworked. It is used billions, millions, thousands and hundreds of times, so much so that someone coining the names for numbers empathised with it and decided to kick it out from stuff like:

Two Billion (and not Two Billions)
Three Million (and not Three Millions)
Four Thousand (and not Four Thousands)
Five Hundred (and not Five Hundreds)

 So the next time you write a cheque for me for say some Nine Million Eight Thousand Two Hundred and Ninety Dollars, and skip the letter"S", I will consider you a philanthropist for saving my "S" ;)

Of nightmares, losses and a reality check

I woke up to a nightmare of losing someone very close to me. Perhaps it was the effect of watching back to back episodes of Monk last night. But it felt so real...

I was unable to find that person, so were the search teams as they scoured the area around a beach. After hours of search operations, I was forced to board a bus back home and I tried to peek out of the window to see if I could spot that person somewhere. The search teams feared the worst, but I held on to hope. In the nightmare, I wished it was just a nightmare. Thank God, it was!

I woke up as the bus passed over a pothole and wondered what must have happened next. I tried to sleep again, immediately, but in vain. Unlike most days, the nightmare didn't continue after the momentary break.

I had a realisation many years ago, after I lost a few people close to me. After that, I have been trying my best to be there for those I know and for some of those I don't know.

We get so busy in our everyday life, that we can't / don't give enough time to the ones we know. Sometimes, we care only about the family we stay with and forget caring about the others, sometimes we care a lot about our friends and colleagues and forget the ones back home. And when such unfortunate things happen that we lose them, we wonder if only we could have spent some more time with them. If only we had sat with them more often and heard them out. If only we had called them more often. If only we had shared more smiles and lesser complaints. If only we could have cared more for them when they were ill. If only we were certain that on their deathbed, the people we knew weren't disappointed in us, that they were glad they had us in their life. If only we made the life of those who leave us wonderful!

If only, on our deathbed, we knew that we lived and loved and cared all right. We can still work towards it.

Let's do a reality check as it's the start of a New Year. Let's resolve to attain something that's bigger than money and fame. Let's have a bigger heart!
PS It's very strange and very sad. Just when I sat to write this post, I read about a friend losing her mother. And just as I was about  to hit the Publish button on this post, I received a call about another friend losing her mother-in-law. May their souls rest in peace.

God is a Gamer by Ravi Subramanian: Book Review

Book Title: God is a Gamer
Author: Ravi Subramanian

Genre: Thriller
Pages: 310
Binding: Paperback

Rating: 4 out of 5


I like thrillers. Especially, if they are fast and can keep me guessing. God is a Gamer is just like that. It keeps my hand glued to the book and meets my expectations.

Here’s what I think of it.

The Good Game:
If you put The Flash and God is a Gamer side by side and ask which one is faster, I would go gladly with the latter.

Set in the modern era of bit coins, social media, BPOs, mass heists, debit card cloning, gaming and a little mention of banking, Ravi Subramanian's God is a Gamer is one book you will find difficult to put down. 

Glad to receive a signed copy!

A whole lot of things what in the favour of the book. The plot. The sub plots. The elaborate, well-reserached details. Parallel events. Interesting characters. And the unexpected (not one, but several) twists in the tale. It's simply brilliant! One thing I admire about Ravi's style of writing, it keeps you engaged, page after page.  

Many books start at a slow pace and pick up momentum as you move ahead. But God, this one's is a fast gamer here right from the Prologue! The concept of using the virtual currency, bitcoins, is awesome. He must have done a great deal of research to make it so perfect and ensure that the readers who don't know about bitcoins are not left confused.

I must confess, each of his books has imparted me some knowledge, emu trading in Bankster and bitcoins out here.

Glad to receive a signed copy!
This once, the author has tried experimenting a bit as it is not all about bank related stuff here unlike his previous books.

Anyways, coming back to the book once again.

Those who are into gaming, know all about cheat codes. God is a Gamer makes you cheat a bit. The plot is such that at times, even though the book has good pace, you tend to skip a few pages and cheat your way to find out what's gonna happen next!

The story starts in Washington, where a Senator, who's a close aide of the US President, is assassinated. The next destination is Mumbai where we are introduced to Aditya Rao and his gaming company. We then travel to Goa to meet the lovely Tanya. As the plot thickens, new events take place and new characters are introduced, each more interesting than the other!

How are these characters and the dramatic events connected to each other? Or are they even connected? To find out, don't delay and grab your copy of the book today!

The Not-So-Good Game:
One minus point I felt was that the title seems to be wasted on this book as gaming is not really the focus as it’s a backdrop, but nonetheless, it's a good read.
This review is a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books!

Duplicity - Chapter 18

     Team: Writers’ Express
Read the previous part of the story here.
       Tara went through some of Cyrus' blog posts again and paid attention to what his readers had to say. She was not surprised to see that the comments on his posts were very strong. 

      While the readers loved his writing style, they objected his views on how the criminals could have gotten away with their wrongdoings. Many condemned him for writing from the perspective of saving criminals. The comment threads were long with some writing swear words while others warning him that they would report his blog. Yet, Cyrus had not replied on any comment. 

      Tara wondered if he even read the comments. Her doubts about Cyrus resurfaced. He sure wasn't what he appeared to be. But then, he had always managed to prove her wrong. She thought about those disturbing photos she had found in his backpack. He had convinced her that he was helping Jennifer to find Maya's murderer. She remembered how he had called up Jennifer as soon as they had confronted him and proved he was not hiding anything. 

     "Was all this a big lie? Is Jennifer involved with Cyrus in some criminal activity?" Tara thought to herself.

     "No, how is that possible? In that case, Jennifer wouldn't have shared his blog with her," Tara shrugged off her doubts about Jennifer as she continued to read the comments on the blog.

      She was shocked to see that a particular reader was actually sharing his ideas on the "getting away with crime" parts in the posts. 

      ArAh2506: Man, you have some killer instincts! I think your idea of washing the knife very carefully before throwing it away in an abandoned house far from the crime scene was good. But don't mind, I think he should not have washed it in her house. The forensic guys are very smart these days. They can find evidence even from the minutest blood stain under a tap.
      She wondered what was wrong with the world. She had got used to watching crime shows on television ever since Cyrus started staying with them. Often, when she returned home late, Cyrus would insist she let him watch the end of a show he had been watching for a while. She would agree and join him while having her dinner. 

      All this while, she had been thinking that perhaps Cyrus watched those shows to understand criminal minds so that he could help Jennifer find Maya's murderer. But this blog, Eunomia's Quill, made it clear that Cyrus' interest in television crime shows was for all the wrong reasons. It also made her realise there were more people like him, Arah for instance.

      Arah was the only person Cyrus had replied to:

      Cyrus: Arah, nice to know someone agrees with me. Thank you for commenting. You are right, they are getting smarter by the day. Maybe, he should have wrapped it perfectly, carried it with him carefully and washed it at another location, before discarding it in the abandoned house. Yes, how would they have caught him then!!! I would like to know your opinion on my ideas on other posts as well.

      Arah had replied the same day: 

      ArAh2506: Thanks buddy. I am actually reading your next post. I wonder how I missed your blog all these months. I have another idea about taking care of that knife, I can share if you are open to discussion.

      A series of discussion followed and Tara found herself reading the all the comments on that thread and on other posts as well. Cyrus had found a friend in Arah. they discussed every post he wrote and shared their ideas on how the murderer could have gotten away with the crime.

      Something felt familiar but she could not figure out what. She proceeded to the other posts only to discover that Arah and Cyrus were becoming friends and were a dangerous duo. 

      ArAh2506: Awesome post again. I totally agree with your inputs on this one. I think I have just the right opportunity for someone like you. Would you like me to mail you my contact details?

      Cyrus: Of course, you can find my email ID in the About me section here. But I guess, you must have noted it already!

       Tara found their bonding very weird and dangerous. She had this strange feeling that she knew Arah, but she had never heard that name before. It was bothering her a lot. She continued reading the shocking comments in other posts.

      What shocked her most was a certain comment on a post dated 8th April, 2014:

     ArAh2506: Of course, that stupid murderer should have planned things well in advance. He should definitely have befriended the girl's friends, parents and even neighbours much before killing her. Especially the kids in the house. People tend to trust people who are good with kids. What was the hurry? He should have been very sweet to the girl in presence of everyone else. Had they not doubted his behaviour earlier, they wouldn't have doubted him after the murder.  

      That's when it struck her! 

      Tara finally figured out why she felt that she knew who Arah was as she decoded his profile name.

      2506 meant 25th June, her mom's birthday. And someone she knew quite well, or so she thought, shared her mom's birthday.

      ARyan AHuja, ArAh! 

Read the next part of the story in Round 3, coming soon.

Me and my team are participating in the Game of Blogs at Blogadda.com. #CelebrateBlogging with us.

Duplicity - All Chapters

For all those who are reading Duplicity, the collaborative story by Writers' Express, this is where you can find all the links to all the chapters. Each chapter of Duplicity has links to to the previous and next chapters as well.

Duplicity Chapters:  1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18

Meet our awesome team:

Duplicity - Chapter 9

Team: Writers’ Express

Read the previous part of the story here.

     After Tara found the shocking evidence in Cyrus' backpack — the three photos and Jennifer Joseph's visiting card — she started calling Shekhar frantically. When Shekhar did not answer her call after her several attempts, she realised that he must have kept his phone in the silent mode as he was watching a movie with Roohi.

    She could not afford to waste any second, now that she was convinced that Cyrus was a dangerous person. She started imagining all sorts of things - What if Cyrus intended to cause some harm to Roohi? What if he attacked Shekhar? What if he found her alone at home and killed her?

    Tara was known for performing her best under pressure and she soon realised this was the time she had to be at her best; it was, after all, the question of her family's safety. She took a deep breath, gulped down a glass of water and did some serious thinking. 

    Tara shuffled through her drawers and found a new lock and key. She then packed a change of clothes for Roohi, her uniform, books and other necessities. She picked her laptop, put the new lock on the main door and stepped out to meet Shekhar for lunch. Cyrus had a spare key to the house and she did not want to take any chances.

    On her way to the restaurant, she called up her friend. Her daughter was Roohi's classmate and a good friend too. Tara planned a sleepover for Roohi at her friend's place. She also managed to speak to Shekhar on the phone and explained everything to him. They decided to speak at length after dropping Roohi at her friends place post lunch.

    Tara tried to conceal her fear during lunch and tried to be as normal as possible in Roohi's presence.

    "So how was the movie?" Tara asked.

    "Oh you missed it, mom," Roohi said, "it was so funny! Can we watch it again with you?"

    "Of course, Roohi, I really want to watch it with you," Tara said.

    "In fact, since mom could not join us today, she has planned a great surprise for you," Shekhar added.

    "Are we going to go to the beach?" an elated Roohi asked.

    "Beach? How would you like to have a sleepover at your friend's place?" Tara asked appearing as excited as she could.

    "Wow! Seriously? Today?" 

    "Yes, we can drop you there after lunch and you can have lots of fun all day!" Tara said.

    "I love you mom," Roohi was thrilled.

    Tara and Shekhar dropped Roohi at her friend's place and then went to a coffee shop. Tara wanted to stay away from home to think straight. She showed him the photos on her laptop. Shekhar could not believe his eyes.

    "I told you so many times that Cyrus is not to be trusted. But you just think I am crazy. Now look at this. What do we do now?" Tara tried to keep her voice as low as she could.

    Shekhar understood that Tara was right. He tried to think what could be done next as she kept on talking.

    "Shekhar, you blindly trust everyone. You don't see the real world outside. I know, I meet people of all kinds. People are not what they seem to be. But what do you care? You stay lost in your imaginary world of writing while our world is getting rocked. What if I had not checked Cyrus' backpack? What if he..."

    "I am sorry, I am so sorry. You were right," Shekhar knew how to put Tara at ease, "Now let's decide what to do next."

    "I have thought of everything. We will confront him when he returns tonight. Enough is enough," asserted Tara.

    "Okay. And I will ask him to vacate our house tomorrow itself," Shekhar said.

    "Tomorrow? Yeah right! Enrage that criminal tonight and give him enough time to kill us in sleep. He is leaving my house this night, after he explains to us everything. And that Shailesh, your friend, you'll speak to him after that," Tara was furious.

    Shekhar agreed, Tara was right. When they reached their doorstep, he was surprised to see a new lock on their door. He looked at Tara and her expression said everything. Of course, she had put the new lock. He was always proud of her intelligence. She knew how to handle tough situations. 

    The doorbell finally rang at 9.30 pm. Shekhar opened the door and let Cyrus in.

    "Hi bhaiya, bhabhi. I met this real estate broker today and..." Cyrus started to speak.
"What the hell is this?" Shekhar interrupted turning the laptop screen towards Cyrus with the three photos clearly visible. Cyrus had never seen him so furious. As he glanced at the photos, Cyrus was shocked and speechless. He could not meet their eyes. 

    Tara stood near the dinner table hiding a knife behind her back. She was expecting an attack from Cyrus and had cautioned Shekhar earlier that it was a possibility. 

    At first, Cyrus looked scared. He then convinced them to hear him out. 

    "Stay right there and say whatever you have to. Don't try to act smart, I have already informed the police. If you try to harm us, you won't be safe either," Tara lied.

    "Police? Why would you call the police?" Cyrus looked surprised and scared at the same time.

    "There is no need for all this drama anymore. Just tell us what this is all about and why you planned to stay at our place," Shekhar commanded.

    Cyrus told them that when he was in Mumbai the last time, he got a call from his acquaintance Jennifer Joseph who was a photographer. Her friend Maya was missing in Delhi. Since Jennifer knew nobody in Delhi, he had to fly urgently the next morning to help her. That's why, even though he knew it was rude, he had left the note before leaving:

    Shekhar bhaiya/bhabhi, some urgent work has come up and I have to leave for Delhi by the morning flight! Didn’t want to disturb your sleep hence leaving a note!

    When he reached there, they together looked for Maya. Shailesh also had joined them. By the time they found Maya, it was too late. She was already dead. 

    He also explained the three photographs — The first one was of Maya and Jennifer together, the second one was of the place where they found Maya's body and the third one was of Maya's body.

Read the next part of the story here.

Me and my team are participating in the Game of Blogs at Blogadda.com. #CelebrateBlogging with us.

Chapter 1: Pawan Hegde | Chapter 2: Partha Sadhukhan | Chapter 3: Sujata Tawde | Chapter 4: Shilpa Halwe | Chapter 5: Manjulika Pramod | Chapter 6: Shazneen Pathak | Chapter 7: Anuradha Khanna Pentapalli | Chapter 8: Anuradha Khanna Pentapalli  

Duplicity - Chapter 8

Team: Writers’ Express

Read the previous part of the story here.


When Tara realised that Cyrus was not at home in the morning, she was pleasantly surprised. She realised her behaviour was rather rude. She should have controlled herself since Roohi was around. She also felt bad that she didn't even offer him dinner the previous night. Shekhar was right, it was so unlike her.

Duplicity - Chapter 7

Team: Writers’ Express

Read the previous part of the story here.
Jennifer was worried. Ever since Maya told her about the guy who was not returning her calls, things were getting weird. Maya was adamant about Jennifer accompanying her to Delhi the very next day, no questions asked. Jennifer agreed simply because she did not want to leave a depressed Maya alone.

Celebrating Blogging with Game of Blogs: Duplicity!

Chapter 1: Pawan Hegde | Chapter 2: Partha Sadhukhan | Chapter 3: Sujata Tawde | Chapter 4: Shilpa Halwe | Chapter 5: Manjulika Pramod | Chapter 6: Shazneen Pathak | Chapter 7: Anuradha Khanna Pentapalli | Chapter 8: Anuradha Khanna Pentapalli

There is so much excitement write now... I mean right now ;)

I am participating in Game of Blogs (#CelebrateBlogging), an interesting collaborative story writing initiative on Blogadda. Random teams are created by Blogadda and we weave a story together with our team members. The interesting bit is that every team will work around common characters provided to us! So it will be exciting to see how a particular character will have different roles in each story.

There are lots of rules and, of course, eliminations over three rounds and three weeks. An excellent jury makes it all the more exciting!

I am glad to have a wonderful team of bloggers as we craft our story - Duplicity.

Our team - Writers' Express

Our story follows after this post and we will be sharing the links on Social Media as well. Do read and we hope you like it!

Filing Returns or Returning Files?

It occurred to me
while watching X-Files

I had sent him some
very important files

So I called the tax guy
who was all smiles

As I said with confidence,
"Return my files, return my files!"