Saturday, January 16, 2016

C - Casino

We live near a casino.So close that we can see it from our balcony, right across the road. Three years ago,it didn't matter. Because we were a bunch of morons , innocence writ large on our foreheads.For us ,gambling was a sin and we would be such misfits, saints that we were.

We took baby steps into the gambling world. We were first introduced to poker by our friends here.Every Friday, we would all gather at one of our houses, waiting for the guy with the smugglers-briefcase-type-looking-poker-suitcase.It was an addictive game that can be played with large groups..A combination of more of luck and a little bit of skill.I say skill because, it challenges you to take risks at the right time, study people's mindset and bluff at the right time. If applied sensibly, you can win a lot of chips.We were hooked to this game..played weekend after weekend, until dawn. We were so naive at that time that we refused to play with money.Even if it was just a dollar or a two. Play with money huh? We value money and don't play with it for God's sake !

That was two years ago.

And now.Here goes the story.

"Why are you late !?? I just asked you to get a couple of things from Walmart.What is taking you so long?" I was screaming into the phone.

"Er..I am in the casino.I got all your things. Dont worry.Will be home in a few minutes."


A message popped up on my whatsapp. It was a video from Sush. I looked at the still image as it was downloading and immediately went red.I could think of a hundred curses I was ready to blurt out.The download finished and it showed some numbers reeling very fast and then saw "Jackpot" somewhere. The number stopped at 35000.Then I saw sush pull out a receipt that showed 350.00.

My expression changed as fast as the light of speed and I was glowing like a 1000 watt bulb.
I was so proud of him.


Ofcourse we had to go to Las Vegas.It would have been such a sin not to.


"Did you find a good hotel?"

"Oh Yes..It is awesome and it has a casino!"

This was 2 days after we left Vegas, and travelling to a different city.


"This casino is not interesting anymore. After seeing Vegas, this one doesnt excite me much" , Sush referring to the fact that there were no human dealers in the one where we lived.They were all machines with the same women appearing in the same dress, looking the same and saying the same things.

I was delighted when I heard this.He is losing interest now!

"I should probably start going to Seminole."

I would kill this man someday.


Casinos are really fun.There are so many interesting games that really need you to strategize how you want to place your bets.Like the roulette.Black Jack is my favourite.Its a simple game but very intriguing. The pile of money on your side fluctuates like a sine wave.The trick is knowing when to call it a day.If you are on a winning streak, know that it wont last long.

My man's funda is simple. To have fun. He plays until he has emptied his pockets. He usually takes 30-40 bucks and plays as long as Goddess Lakshmi is on his side.And if by fluke accident he wins and gets some money home, his hand and brain would be itching to go back and spend it all.

So why do people go to casinos?Why do they gamble their hard earned money?

1.Laziness.People are attracted to easy ways of making money. But what they dont realize is how much they had been losing before they made than elusive win.

2.Adrenaline rush. Because it involves a little of risk taking which you wouldn't normally take in your day-to-day life, it begins to feel adventurous.The sense of anticipation, your decisions going right create a sense of vanity in you and you end up taking more bold chances.

3.You are tricked.Casinos have many tricks up their sleeve to keep bringing back the customers. One of them being cashing in on the near misses . There is nothing worse than "Almost winning".You are made to believe that you narrowly missed that big win.From Slot machine cherries that repeatedly fail to line up by just one symbol to Roulette where the dice landed on the immediate next number, or the paltry wins that encourage you to bet one more time, everything is a huge manipulation and exploitation of human psychology.

4.Pure fun. For many people these days, its just one week of overtime work . What if you lose, you can recover it in a day.Or for some , its just another harmless way of spending money for entertainment.Its the same as spending money to watch a movie.You get to play as long as you stick.
The live music, food and drinks allure people to the idea of having a great night life.

Personally, anything in limits is acceptable to me. Gambling gives you a high, provides entertainment, you can even make some money if you are lucky, and sometimes you lose some. As long as you are able to resist the urge to there again, you are not in danger zone.

PS - Dedicated to Sush :)

Saturday, January 2, 2016

B - Bitch

It all started getting clear to her. She was being such a fool.How did she even think that Akash was falling for her.
She felt nothing but rage as she recalled how smitten she was, completely blind to what was happening.


"This is my best friend Meera.And Meera, this is Akash, my best friend" ,Shikha introduced her two friends to each other, winking at Meera.
Meera gave a slight smile.Shikha had been raving about Akash and though she never acknowledged it, Meera knew she had a huge crush on him.
"Hello Meera !Nice to meet you". Akash held out his hand for a shake..and as a reluctant Meera shook hands, their eyes met.A slightly longer hand shake and eyes that instantly connected, both knew something was brewing.Meera noticed it too, but brushed it off as her imagination.

That was the beginning.


Her eyes were swollen and red with crying all night.The vodka helped her get through the night but it doubled the pain as she woke up to face her biggest fear.Akash was everything to her.It broke her to think that he never understood the "A" she had tattooed on her neck.How he dismissed her confession of love to him with that boyish laughter that day.How she had fallen more in love with him then.They were drunk ,yes, but that was the only time she mustered enough courage to express what she felt.

She felt more pain now.More hurt.And now it was giving way to seething anger. She felt worthless.She saw Meera's and her photo on the desk.They looked so happy.They were BFFs.Soul sisters,people used to say.She never imagined Meera would do this to her.She felt betrayed.


The door was open.She barged inside, armed with a knife.She felt weak, but she had a job to finish and time was running out. She saw a blurred figure running towards her,she wasnt too sure who it was.

"Shikha, Shikha ! Help !"

She saw Meera stumble out of the room, all bruised.Akash dashed after her.Something didnt look right.For a split second, Shikha saw fear in Meera's eyes and instantly realized what was happening.
She suddenly felt dizzy.. and everything around her was whirring in fast motion.Before she knew it, everything went dark.Blood was oozing out of her nose.


Life is such a bitch.
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