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WINK Anthology 2.0


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This is the second edition of WINK Anthology, aptly called 2.0. WINK stands for Writers INKorporated: the writers' club that I co-founded at XLRI Jamshedpur. Have a go at random musings by some XLers who took time to scribble their heart out from the mundane yet uber-hectic life at XL.

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WINK Anthology 2.0

  1. 1. WINK Anthology 2.0
  2. 2. Foreword Tucked away behind the lush green acres of Jubilee Park and the bank of the Subarnarekha riv- er is XLRI, Jamshedpur - Indias premier B School. I spent the two most transformative years of my life there. My relationship with XLRI has evolved over the last two decades. I was a stu- dent at XL in the eighties. With iconic professors whose impact was far beyond the subject they taught, it instilled a love for learning even in someone like me. More than anything, it cre- ated relationships with XLers, Profs and the support staff that have stood the test of time. Five years after leaving XLRI as a student, I came back to teach as a part time faculty. The big- gest perk of being back was that I got to spend five more years at the XL campus without hav- ing to worry about grades and assignments. Then over the course of my career, I came back many times to hire and to share an idea over a talk. But for me XL is the place where I began my journey as an author.Abhijit Bhaduri This is the venue I chose when I launched my first novel Mediocre But Arrogant. That was inAuthor and blogger 2005. That novel is about love and life in a B School. Many incidents and pieces of XL folklore@ showed up in many of my writings. Married But Available, my second novel, is about the firsthttp:// ten years of the protagonist who is a HR professional who experiences the transition of rate India in the ‘90s. The setting is Balwanpur, a fictitious town in North India. I am sure myHis day job is that of living in a town like Jamshedpur shaped much of my imagination of what a small town like Balwanpur would be like. What is so special about XLRI? The opportunity to shape one’s dreams as I stared out of the classroom windows to the Dalma range of mountains. Watching the sun set as I sat transfixed along the bank of Subarnarekha river helped me understand why the river is so named. It does look like a pot of molten gold as the rays of the sun bathe the meandering river. It is not sur- prising that XLRI has produced so many musicians, theater artistes and accomplished writers. Anu Kumar, Mini Dileep, Nirupama Subramaniam, Vijay Nair, MK Ajay, Prem Rao and more recently my favorite bloggers like Gautam Ghosh, Ramaa Ramesh … I could go on and on. This WINK anthology is like the first gathering of people who celebrate writing. It was con- ceptualized to collect a sampling of some of the best writing to come out of XLRI that we could get our hands on. It is a sprinkling of short stories, poems and blog posts - stuff that dreams are made of. We hope the next versions of the anthology will showcase the work of students, faculty, staff and even the friends of XLRI. Just imagine the joy of being able to read a few pages of a book and then turn to your fellow traveler and say, “I know the authors – they are all friends from XLRI”. While I am glad you are reading this book, invite you to write out a piece that will find place in the next collection of WINK. It is only when you catch 40 Winks that you get to dream. And the Roman wrote forty as XL!
  3. 3. Editorial So, here’s the second edition. Finally. Majorly because the lazy-ass buggers (that would be us!) who were supposed to do all the running around, well, didn’t. We’ve lived our lives according to great XL tradition of FRAXing and making exceptions for an anthology would seem unfair to the millions of projects and assignments we scraped our way through.Gurdit Singh Sachdeva In a country that practically runs on fake promises, let me assure you that the next edition will be out on time. There’s new blood now. We’ve been super- annuated and I hope you’d support the new faces in the same way you sup- ported us. Let us take this opportunity to announce our association with the iconic au- thor of bestsellers like ‘Mediocre But Arrogant’ and ‘Married But Available’ Abhijit Bhaduri, who as we all know, is our alumnus back from the batch of 1984. Presently the Chief Learning Officer at Wipro, he has made XL come alive in printed pages like no other has. WINK had organized a special ses- sion in our own lecture hall earlier this year for the budding writers who were completely bowled over by how down-to-earth could a man of such corpo- rate and auctorial stature be. He has been kind enough to write the foreword of Anthology 2.0 as well.Varun Kumar Gupta As we retire, let us thank the kind presence and guidance of stalwarts Prof. Madhukar Shukla and Prof. Uday Damodaran for believing in us; of the vari- ous professors, staff and students who showered their encouragement and blessings when the last edition was published; and Bishu Da because, umm, he’s a sweetheart. There’s a little lump in our throats. We’re handing over our baby to a new generation of parents who we’re sure are far better than we’ve been. Rock it, folks!
  4. 4. The Young Blood !
  5. 5. The Fifth Number by Abhijit Bhaduri
  6. 6. The Fifth Number by Abhijit Bhaduri
  7. 7. Life. 40. by Varun Kumar GuptaEditors’ note: This is an attempt at doing something different: writing an entire story in 40 words.)
  8. 8. Rain by Gurdit Singh Sachdeva
  9. 9. Rain by Gurdit Singh Sachdeva
  10. 10. उड़ान by Abhijit Shuklaआज बंद करक आँखें, ेजो आक़ाश को दे ख़ातो ककतने ही आज़़ाद पंछी ददखेउडते हुए एक ऐसी उड़ान,जजसक़ा न कोई अंत थ़ा और न कोई शरुआत, ुन कोई क़दमों क ननश़ाँ थे आसम़ान पर, ेजजनपर उनको चलऩा पडत़ान थी उम्मीद की बेडिय़ाँ,जो ब़ांधती हो उनको लोगों क सपनों से ेबस आज़़ादी थी और,उनकी अपनी उड़ानजो कहीं से मझे कछ इश़ाऱा स़ा करती थी ु ुपर जब आँख खली, ुतो श़ाम ढल चकी थी ुऔर आसम़ान ख़ाली थ़ाऔर मैं अपने परों से अनज़ानभीड में खोत़ा ज़ा रह़ा थ़ा…
  11. 11. Life is wasted on the Living - Aditya Gadre“Welcome, we’ve been expecting you,” a woman said cheerfully. Or rather as cheerfully asshe could manage. She even smiled. It was scary.“Thanks,” said Uther tentatively. What do you say to the dead? What are their social prac-tises? What is accepted and what is not? You could never be too sure. “Thanks” seemed tobe harmless enough.She didn’t seem to mind. So “Thanks” was not something that offended these people.Cool.“So, I’m dead?” asked Uther. Stupid question, of course. His spirit had seen his own fu-neral. Stupid idea that was. Watching all those people cry was terribly depressing.“Well ,yes,” she replied patiently. Denial was generally the first reaction while making thistransition. “You need to rest and get used to this. I’ll show you to your room.”She led him down the street. On earth, this would be called “scary as hell” or “wrath ofgod” or maybe “the end of the world”, but here in Necropolis the sky was ‘pleasant’blood red. “You are lucky to come today. Such lovely weather!”She took him to a huge structure and led him to a room. It was simple. One table, onebed. That’s it. The dead don’t wear clothes. Complete waste of time.Uther’s first reaction on seeing the bed was to ask “Can I lie down for a bit?” She noddedunderstandingly and walked out of the room, closing the door behind her.He slept like a baby, like he had never slept when he was alive. He woke up and went out.Shit. He hadn’t asked for her number or any other way to get in touch. He hadn’t evenasked her name. He hadn’t even told her his name for that matter. But that was more be-cause he was embarrassed of it than anything else. Who the hell is named Uther? King Ar-thur’s father? Seriously?“Hi” said a familiar voice behind him. It was her.
  12. 12. Life is wasted on the Living - Aditya Gadre “I am so sorry about earlier. I was really un-gracious. I’m Uther. What’s your name?” “Nadine” “That’s a nice name. So, Nadine, what do you guys eat out here?” Nadine looked at him as if he had politely asked if he could chop her head off. “Nothing”. “Nothing?’” , “Nothing.” “Oh.” Awkward silence. “What about, um , dating and stuff?” “We’re dead, love. Can’t have a ‘life’ can we?” That made sense. Somewhat. This death thing was getting increasingly depressing. Uther tried changing the subject. “So how’s the weather here?” “It’s okay today, it’s not raining.” “It normally rains a lot here?” “Oh yes. Does it still rain on earth?” “It did when I left. Uhh , how long ago did I leave?” “No idea. Just a few days ago I guess. Of course we can never tell the difference between days. There’s no concept of night or day here you see.” “So, who sent you to pick me up? I thought a scary dude with a scythe normally does that.” “Umm, I am the reaper! “ “Really?” “No. sorry. Haven’t joked about in a few thousand years. Couldn’t resist.” “You’ve been here that long? You don’t look it.” , She did. “No need to lie any more kiddo. You’re dead now. You can be honest. It’s a wonderful feeling. Just saying what you feel to whoever you feel.”
  13. 13. Life is wasted on the Living - Aditya Gadre
  14. 14. Identity by Amarnath Chatterjee (FPM)
  15. 15. CONSCIENCE-LESS by Anurag Sanwal
  16. 16. CONSCIENCE-LESS by Anurag Sanwal
  17. 17. You may not hold my hand by Priyendra K. Dutta
  18. 18. Tears by Priyendra K. Dutta
  19. 19. Silence holds its breath by Priyendra K. Dutta
  20. 20. The Widow by Debomita Mukherjee
  21. 21. The Widow by Debomita Mukherjee
  22. 22. The most Beautiful Pearl by Chinappa Reddy Avula
  23. 23. The most Beautiful Pearl—Chinappa Reddy Avula
  24. 24. An XLer is Born by Mr Naresh Gupta, XL Parent
  25. 25. An XLer is Born by Mr Naresh Gupta, XL Parent
  26. 26. Mother by Himanshu Saxena
  27. 27. Mother by Himanshu Saxena
  28. 28. Mother by Himanshu Saxena
  29. 29. Soldier Side by Jaideep Singh Juneja
  30. 30. Soldier Side - Jaideep Singh Juneja
  31. 31. Perdition by Jaideep Singh Juneja
  32. 32. Stare-Away To Heaven by Navroz Singh Dhillon
  33. 33. A Gift for Valentine’s Day by Raman Choudhury
  34. 34. A Gift for Valentine’s Day by Raman Choudhury
  35. 35. A Gift for Valentine’s Day by Raman Choudhury ANANYA- Love of my life.
  36. 36. A Gift for Valentine’s Day by Raman Choudhury “Never, I never want to see you or your fucked up family ever again...” I just stood there. What do you do when the world seems to have their eyes only for you but for the wrong reasons? “Sir, how are you going to pay for this? “ the cashier broke into my thoughts.
  37. 37. Complicated by Maneesh Dhooper
  38. 38. The Unfulfilled Last Wish by Manmeet Kaur Chhabra
  39. 39. The Unfulfilled Last Wish by Manmeet Kaur Chhabra
  40. 40. The Unfulfilled Last Wish by Manmeet Kaur Chhabra
  41. 41. To XL from VARUN by Varun Gupta
  42. 42. WINK Team