Jhumka Jhumur -Episode 4

‘Stuck’ Market

Episode Background

A few years ago the number of women investors in the stock markets was minuscule. However the Covid pandemic has brought in a major change in this segment.

With job losses, salary cuts of self/ spouse, dropping FD rates and with time on hand, many women across India (and the world) started tracking stock markets and investing in them especially since most global stock indices have done phenomenally well in the past 18 months.

Today almost 20% of the investors in India are women. More number of them are opening trading accounts as rapid digitalisation of the entire process has simplified investing and helped fuel this trend.

Homemakers who have lagged behind are also now joining the bandwagon of traders/ investors as awareness increases.

One of them is of course the protagonist of our story Jhumka Jhumur. All her life she has believed only in Savings accounts and her primary investments have been Cash, Fixed Deposits and Gold.

However, few years ago Jhumur ventured into the world of Sensex and its myriad constituents. She played it safe and invested in what she considered ‘safe haven’ companies like ITC, Coal India, Maruti Suzuki, NTPC etc.

However such a strategy yielded totally unintended and hilarious consequences as we will find out from this episode!

Scene 1

Scene 2

Scene 3

Scene 4

Scene 5

Scene 6

Scene 7

Dear Reader,

Have you had a similar experience like Jhumka Jhumur where-in you have invested in some stocks and they have more or less remained stagnant in the past few years despite a rally in the market?

For the uninitiated, the stock names mentioned in the Introduction above have not performed very well in the pandemic period and seem to have been stuck at their respective price levels.

Do share your thoughts and look forward as always to hearing from you 😊

This episode comes to life through the Illustrations by Vartika Bhonsle, with whom this is my 2nd episode of JJ. She is a student of Fashion Communication and a graduate from NIFT, Bhubaneswar. 

She loves illustrating people and cute puppies and you can visit her Instagram page @yellowlittlelamp to follow some awesome art! 

Copyright © 2022 Wasim Jawaid

This work of fiction, written by Wasim Jawaid is the author’s sole intellectual property. All rights are reserved. No part of this story may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including printing, photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the author. For permission requests, send an email to the author wasim.jawaid@gmail.com

Chapter 3 – Chiku gets some answers

“Hey Chiku, what’s up?” asked Ajay as Chiku alighted from his bicycle. Chiku badly wanted to reply “my curiosity” but he thought the better of it as he saw Ajay’s father standing at the till of his restaurant. He was attending to a customer. Ajay’s father could very well turn around and ask what Chiku was so curious about that he had cycled early in the morning to meet his son.

And Chiku certainly did not fancy that situation.

It was the weekend and at that breakfast hour there were many customers who had come over to savour the various delicacies served at the restaurant. In fact, he could see a customer enjoying a paper dosa which was as long as Chiku’s arm.

Chiku quickly parked his bicycle near the entrance and beckoned Ajay to come out.

Ajay was one of the Fantastic Four group of Chiku’s friends. The other 2 members of the group were Venky and Ricky. All 4 of them were not only in the same class but in the same section as well – VIII B, in a leading co-educational school of the city.

Ajay’s family originally belonged to Lucknow and his father ran a restaurant in the busy area of Sriya Talkies Lane in Bhubaneswar. It was named Ambar Restaurant. It was true to its name as they had a menu as widespread as the sky, serving a wide variety of dishes with a multi cuisine flavour.

Ajay’s father was a culinary expert himself and had served as a chef in one of the leading hotel chains in the country before the entrepreneur bug bit him. He resigned from his job and set up a restaurant in Bhubaneswar as not only he liked the place and its people, but also Odisha was the home State of his wife.

On weekends sometimes, Ajay would take a break from his studies and come over to the restaurant to help his father out.

“Hey Ajay, need to talk something private to you.”

“Sure dost. Ask straight away.”

Chiku then proceeded to tell his friend the events of the morning without going too much into the specifics. All he said was that he had seen a random dream that had aroused his senses in a never-before manner.

Ajay smiled and explained to him that it was called ejaculation and proceeded to tell him in detail what that meant. At the end of it, Chiku was a bit relieved to understand it was a normal function in boys hitting adolescence and henceforth if he wanted, he could himself initiate an erection and then ejaculate – an act called masturbation.

“You have done it?” asked a still hesitant Chiku.

“What?” countered his friend.

“Err…that act you said…with your own thing.”

“Yes, few times already” replied Ajay laughing.

That was a lot of information to process at once for Chiku. However, he had been right in his decision to meet his friend and seek some of the answers to the questions which had been troubling him since morning.

For you see though Ajay was never a school topper, yet he was worldly wise. Though only a few months elder to Chiku, he was more aware of the surroundings around him.  Ajay seemed to have answers ready for different situations. He had one elder sister who was also studying in the same school as them.

“It is awesome. You should try it too” suggested Ajay with a wink, obviously enjoying the unbridled curiosity of his friend.

“I am not too sure if I am going to try it anytime soon!” replied a blushing Chiku. In his mind he was still trying to fathom this new development in his life.

“Anyways friend welcome to the growing up boys club!” Ajay concluded by saying and giving a friendly punch to Chiku’s round puffed-up cheeks.

“Ajay!” bellowed his father’s voice at that instant from within the restaurant. “Come and calculate this customer’s bill and collect the cash.” That was a signal for their brief yet enlightening meeting to end and for Chiku to leave.

“Chiku…just wait a moment,” said Ajay as he rushed inside to attend to the customer.

Chiku noticed after the customer had paid the bill, Ajay quickly scribbled something on its reverse side and came and handed it over to him.

“Look it up in the dictionary.”

Intrigued Chiku opened it to read the paper. In it was written only a single word and of course it was something he had never heard of before.

Chapter 2 – Chiku has a dream

Bhubaneswar, Odisha

Circa 1989

He was dreaming. Like most dreams it seemed to be random. He was standing in front of the bathroom mirror brushing his teeth. Suddenly the bathroom door flung open and as if by magic one of the models from the Tree Top advertisement appeared alongside him.

Tree Top was a fruit drink brand manufactured by one of the leading consumer companies worldwide and it had been launched in India recently. Their advertisement had started appearing on Doordarshan a few weeks ago and somehow one of the models in it had caught Chiku’s attention.

She would probably be only a year or two older than him and he found her to be extremely pretty. He especially loved her sweet smile. The more he got to watch the ad the more he became her fan. Though she appeared only for a few seconds in the ad, it was enough to give a lot of happiness to Chiku!

Now as she stood next to him and lifted her hand to brush her teeth, he noticed what she was wearing. It was a baby pink night suit and comprised of a top and a pair of pyjamas. It seemed to be made of satin as the fabric appeared smooth and shining and rustled softly against her skin.  Her hands moved in a brisk to and fro motion and she seemed oblivious to his presence.

However, this time it was not her face and smile which drew Chiku’s attention, but it was a gap in her partially unbuttoned shirt which did. Much to his surprise he could see that the top part of her breasts were visible, as they swelled and curved downwards. Her skin was dusky like the colour of honey in milk and the exposed side seemed to be a part of something more astonishingly beautiful.

Something unseen and unknown.

Chiku stood transfixed at this sight. His hand seemed to stretch out; eager to touch. How would they even feel?

Just at this moment, Chiku woke up with a start and his heart was hammering wildly. He realized it was just about breaking dawn. He had a stiff erection in his pyjamas as he got up and rushed into the bathroom. At that early hour the household was asleep. He sat in the Indian style toilet and that saw his erect penis was already oozing out a light coloured fluid.

It was something he had never seen before. It shocked and surprised him at the same instant. There was an odd sensation about the entire experience. He sat there for a few more moments, his mind in a whirlpool and finally washing his organ, he flushed away the sticky matter and got up.

He once again looked down to cross check the toilet to make sure no signs were present of his ‘deed’.

He went back to bed but sleep eluded him.

Aamir, his father had been transferred in his job from Cuttack to Bhubaneswar a few years ago and had been based in the city since. He and Ruksana had enrolled their only son in a leading school of the city. Chiku had almost completed a decade in the same school and loved it immensely. He was now studying in Grade VIII.

Off late, he had begun to become aware of his adolescent body and the hitherto unexplored areas of the changes that were occurring in him. He had come across a brief section in his Biology textbook which made a list of various systems which function in our bodies. One of them was the Reproductive System and its organs- both male & female- with a note that it would be taken up in detail only the following year.

That disappointed him. He would have liked to read those chapters this year itself and gained some idea of a topic that had piqued his interest.

He wanted to know more about what happened with him that morning and what he had seen – both in the toilet and in his dreams. But he was at a loss on how to find out the details. Asking his parents was out of question. He felt nervous around his father and too embarrassed in front of his mother.

He sat brooding and lost in thought. It had been a new feeling altogether. What was it about the girl that had aroused him in this manner?

Suddenly he realised with a smile where exactly he could go and get more information on the same.

Hello Dear Reader,

Welcome back to Chapter 2 of Chiku's adventures! The story jumps 13-14 years ahead in time; so Chiku is now a teenager.

As mentioned at end of previous chapter that this story will try to capture the essence of those teenage years when we all had some memorable experiences.

The illustration in this chapter by Kishor took some discussion and time. The idea was to capture the innocence of a teenage boy's dream when he becomes aware of a girl's body and tries to visualise it, but without being vulgar. 

Hope the effort shows in the result. Look forward as always to your thoughts and comments below!

Copyright © 2021 Wasim Jawaid

This work of fiction, written by Wasim Jawaid is the author’s sole intellectual property. All rights are reserved. No part of this story may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including printing, photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the author. For permission requests, send an email to the author wasim.jawaid@gmail.com

Chapter 1 – The Arrival of Chiku

Cuttack, Odisha

September 1975

Aamir and his wife Ruksana sat munching popcorns in the dark auditorium of Grand Cinema in Cuttack.  It was one of the city’s earliest cinema halls, and the show was houseful.

Ruksana was in the final stages of her pregnancy and good news was expected any day soon.

Both were big movie buffs and Bollywood fans. The film they were currently watching was Sholay. It had released on Independence Day that year. After an initial lukewarm response, the movie had picked up, due to rave word-of-mouth reviews and it was now talk of the town.

Thus, going by the early feedback Aamir had decided to give it a miss. But when he saw the long queues in front of the box office, he decided they must watch it! After trying in vain a couple of times (including skipping office in the morning to stand in line), Aamir had finally managed to book 2 seats for the noon show.

All though he was not too keen on taking his wife along, (keeping in mind her health and especially since this was her first pregnancy), Ruksana had simply disagreed. She had pleaded and cajoled him to buy a ticket for her too, since she had loved the Amitabh Bachchan -Dharmendra camaraderie in the movie Chupke Chupke released just a few months earlier.

She loved the big screen with its larger-than-life magic which transported her to another world. In there she forgot her pregnancy blues and mundane household chores. Not to mention the small doses of mirth these movie outings provided sometimes.

One such incident she remembered in particular, was Aamir booking tickets for the movie Julie. He had heard the movie’s songs umpteen times on the Vinyl Record Player at home until they had grown on him so much that he kept humming them; especially when in the bathroom. So, when the movie hit the theatres in April that year, his exuberance took over and he also booked a ticket for his mother Saima.

Imagine his embarrassment when the movie with its bold theme made him squirm in discomfort in his seat. It reached a tipping point when the much-awaited Kishore Kumar song “Bhool Gaya Sab Kuch” came on screen. To the real-life couple’s horror, the reel life hero-heroine indulged in a passionate embrace and suggestive love making.

To make matters worse the song continued for a good 4 ½ minutes which seemed never ending to them. Ruksana, who was sitting next to Saima did not even dare steal a glance at her mother-in-law for fear of getting scolded in the theatre itself! To compound her situation the child in her womb seemed to be suddenly kicking around in joy as if enjoying her discomfort.

Now, back in the present moment as she watched Gabbar Singh, in a thirst for revenge mercilessly kill Thakur’s family she felt a sudden thirst herself – but for something to drink. “Aamir, you need to get me a cold drink quick. The baby is making me feel a bit uncomfortable.”

Aamir with his eyes still glued onto the screen fumbled and moved in the dark to the small shop just outside the door. When he returned to his seat with 2 colas in hand, he saw 2 things simultaneously which gave him a shock. Not only 5 members of Thakur’s family were lying dead on the screen covered in white, but also his wife was writhing in pain with the lady in the seat next to her, fanning Ruksana with her saree pallu.

“Aamir, quick take me to the hospital. I think the baby is coming!!”. People were already gathering around curious to know what was happening and Aamir with his heart pounding rushed in the darkness towards his wife.

The hall usherer with his torchlight on, scampered in too and he had already alerted the theatre manager. Soon enough the wailing sirens of the ambulance could be heard outside the gates of Grand Cinema.

As a visibly shaken Aamir was leaving the hall, he could not help but steal one last glance at the screen. “Yeh haath mujhe de de Thakur!” yelled a ferocious looking Gabbar as both his swords came down on Thakur in one swift flash of movement.

JD Nursing Home, Cuttack

“Yeh bacha humein de de upar wallah” murmured Saima nervously as her fingers were quickly moving over the rosary beads in her hand. She had severely admonished Aamir for taking out her daughter-in-law to the cinema towards the fag end of her pregnancy.

Her heart had skipped several beats when the family had heard about the mishap in the theatre. All that she wanted now was the safe delivery of her grandchild who would be her 7th and she considered that to be a lucky number. Moreover, Aamir one of her 5 children was her youngest son. Naturally she was inclined towards him and very fond of him.

All the family members had now assembled at Dr. Joshna Devi’s nursing home. It was a small but efficient set up housed in a 2-storey red brick building with white borders. Word of mouth had spread about the lady gynaecologist’s proficiency in handling even the most complex cases.

As a result, it was gaining popularity amongst families who did not mind shelling out additional money to receive superior service as compared to Government Hospitals. Moreover, the lady herself attended personally to each patient and her comforting touch had relaxed many an expectant nervous mother over the years.

Meanwhile Aamir was nervously pacing up and down the veranda. The nursing home was mostly silent, and it was only occasionally broken by the wailing sound of an infant in many of the rooms there.

Despite the turmoil in his mind, Aamir realised It was a pleasant autumn afternoon. He was now standing near the steps which led to a small garden in the clinic. He was a nature lover and found great solace when he was close to it – even if that meant a few shrubs and trees.

To his right was a large Sapodilla tree with a couple of chikoo fruits on its branches. He wondered if they were ripe enough to be plucked. They certainly looked so.

Just when that thought came to his mind, he immediately heard the cries of a newborn baby. His 1st child!

He rushed towards the O.T. room eager to catch a glimpse of the apple of his eyes.

What he saw amazed him. A tiny baby boy lay on the cot besides his wife who had an exhausted but beatific smile on her lips. The baby’s hair was abundant and shining black and his cheeks round and full. His skin was an earthy brown colour just like the Chikoo fruit he had seen moments earlier in the garden.

But what caught his attention were the size of his ears – they were big in proportion to his tiny face and gave him an odd endearing appearance.

The father’s joy was unbridled. Very nervously he picked up the baby and gingerly placed his hand under his neck and held him with fascination. “Such a sweet baby. Just like that chikoo fruit” he said.

That drew some smiles from the nurses and Dr. Jyotsna Devi herself, who had one more successful delivery to her name.

As was the practice in their religion, Saima quickly came close and whispered the azaan* in the baby’s ear.

*call of the muezzin for prayers in a mosque.

In those days, most households especially in the Eastern part of India had the practice of giving 2 names to a child – a pet name and a formal name. 

“Let’s call him Chiku. What do you say Ruksana?!” said a visibly excited Aamir.

His wife only smiled in affirmation.

It was the same year that PM Indira Gandhi had declared Emergency in the country and somewhere in the world David Beckham/Tiger Woods, and stars like Angelina Jolie / Kate Winslet had also been born.

So, it was in such an eventful backdrop that the protagonist of our story had arrived!

Dear Reader,

This story will be about the teenage years of Chiku involving his friends and cousins. It will try and capture those fun, roller coaster years of adolescence when not only the mind but the physical body too evolves and responds to the wonderful and myriad stimuli in life!

The story will be based in the 1990's. 

For all Illustrations in this work of fiction, I am collaborating with the ever talented and ever improving Kishor Mistry. Those who follow my work, know Kishor is a graduate from NIFT Bhubaneswar and you can follow his Instagram account kishormistry_ for some wonderful art!

Copyright © 2021 Wasim Jawaid

This work of fiction, written by Wasim Jawaid is the author’s sole intellectual property. All rights are reserved. No part of this story may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including printing, photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the author. For permission requests, send an email to the author wasim.jawaid@gmail.com

Jhumka Jhumur -Episode 3

Episode Background

Hello Everyone!

Jhumka Jhumur is back in Episode 3 in a new avatar. It is titled ‘Time Travel’.

Have we not sometimes wondered that maybe we could go back in time? To our childhood, to our youth and maybe do something different!

What if we get an opportunity to do so but just to give advice (borne out of our experiences) to our own younger self? If yes then what would that be…

That is the topic for this episode. Along with her son Ishaan, Jhumka has undergone a make over giving them both a more fluid, contemporary look.

Hope you all like it!

So, read on to find out what light-hearted fun banter takes place between the lovable mother-son duo this time 🙂

Scene 1

Scene 2

Scene 3

Scene 4

Scene 5

Scene 6

Scene 7

Come on everyone, do share your thoughts! Taking the cue from Ishaan what would your 3 words be?

Look forward as always to hearing from you 😊

This episode comes to life through the Illustrations by Vartika Bhonsle, with whom this is my maiden collaboration. She is a student of Fashion Communication and a graduate from NIFT, Bhubaneswar. 

She loves illustrating people and cute puppies and you can visit her Instagram page @yellowlittlelamp to follow some awesome art! 

Copyright © 2021 Wasim Jawaid

This work of fiction, written by Wasim Jawaid is the author’s sole intellectual property. All rights are reserved. No part of this story may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including printing, photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the author. For permission requests, send an email to the author wasim.jawaid@gmail.com

La La Land – Chapter 2

Hello Everyone,

Today on the blessed occasions of Suna Besha Darshan of Lord Jagannath and Eid Ul Adha, I present Chapter 2 on this double auspicious day.

Happy Reading!

……………………….

She was the elder of the 2 daughters of Sizzler Shikari. As far as Mafia Mona could remember, her father was the one person she was the closest to.

The reasons for this were many. Shikari had been more of a friend to her than a parent, more of a confidant and companion than a disciplinarian.

She was her papa’s daughter unlike her younger sister who was more inclined towards their mother.

However, what excited her more was that Shikari would invariably bring a gift for her from his jungle expeditions.

They could vary from the simple like wildflowers and mushrooms to the exotic like berries or a slab of wild honey from the beehive.

While paddling back in memory, she also recalled the way she got her moniker Mafia Mona.

As she was growing up, she realized she had many qualities of her father including his guts and fearlessness. Words like thieves, jail and Mafia were commonplace in her discussions with Shikari.

This created a fantasy world for her and she would roam around the village with an air of audacity around her.

*ମୋଁ ନା in English translates to ‘my name’

Somehow over the years those words condensed, and her name stuck, but in reverse order – Mafia Mona!

Though she was short in height, she more than made up for it by being high on confidence. She felt that she could beat the blues out of errant poachers and rogue tribesmen!

To prove her point she even rolled up her frock sleeves and with her teeth clenched, she punched both her arms in the air mocking a fight and repeating her name “Mafia Mona, Mafia Mona!”

Now, as she sat with her son hoping to catch fish for dinner, she knew her father was somewhere in the vicinity hunting and trying to arrange food for the village.

Just then she felt a tug at the bait on her fishing rod and also heard a gunshot in the far silent distance!

Did the alphabet carry a meaning? Were the birds trying to communicate something…Instinctively she knew both father and daughter had simultaneously ‘caught’ their prey.

While returning and unseen by her, Mafia’s 3-year-old son quickly dropped the still struggling fish back into the river.

Dear Reader,

It is good to have you back to read Chapter 2 of La La Land 😊

Hope you liked the character Mafia Mona! All Illustrations have been done by Kishor and you can follow his Instagram account kishormistry_ for more wonderful art.

I have also penned a few traits of Mafia's personality in a short verse below.

Do leave your thoughts and comments and as always I look forward to replying to them.
Impulsive and talkative, with a bit of ego in my core,
Nature and its beauty brings my best to the fore!

Not mere words, I believe in action..
Will speak my mind, regardless of your reaction!

Willing to take risks, I follow my gut feel,
Life's adversities bolsters my nerves of steel!

Undaunted, even by the mighty Corona..
I am feisty and my name is Mafia Mona!

Copyright © 2021 Wasim Jawaid

This work of fiction, written by Wasim Jawaid is the author’s sole intellectual property. All rights are reserved. No part of this story may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including printing, photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the author. For permission requests, send an email to the author wasim.jawaid@gmail.com

Jhumka Jhumur – Episode 2

The Covid Cook

Hello Everyone!

Jhumka Jhumur is back in this second episode with yet another interaction with her son Ishaan, who seems to be at his witty best as ever.

Episode Background

The pandemic has brought in disruption in umpteen ways, which we didn’t think possible. For example, at home it became even more challenging with the entire family in WFH mode and domestic help becoming scarce due to various reasons.

This situation of course did not spare Jhumka Jhumur either!

So, like millions of homemakers across the world, she too had to learn to manage the additional work that came in when the cook, the maid or the part time help simply could not turn up in their regular routine as earlier.

Episode 2 makes an attempt to highlight this, albeit in a light hearted manner. Read on to find out what the mother-son duo have in store for us this time!

………………………

Scene 1

Scene 2

Scene 3

Scene 4

Scene 5

Scene 6

Scene 7

All Illustrations created in collaboration with Ritwicka Banerjee. Your effort and creativity always impresses! Thank you so much 😊

You can visit her Instagram page phantasmicart for more amazing art.

Dear Reader,

Have you had any such experience as above? Have any of your domestic help, who provide us comfort with their presence in our homes, been unable to re-join work due to the pandemic?

Do share below your thoughts and also what you think of this particular episode.

Look forward as always to hearing from you!

Copyright © 2021 Wasim Jawaid

This work of fiction, written by Wasim Jawaid is the author’s sole intellectual property. All rights are reserved. No part of this story may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including printing, photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the author. For permission requests, send an email to the author wasim.jawaid@gmail.com