Category Archives: State College

Back-Up Guy

“What are you writing about -in your book?” I assumed that it would be a nice ice- breaker question, especially when you are in your first writing workshop, and everybody else looks much older, experienced and scholarly then you. But half way through the question, I thought that it was a very trite question in such a gathering. So, I fumbled with my flow of words, clearly showing that I am quite a novice and do not deserve to be there. But still, I decided to go ahead with same question as I had already started it, and could not think of a new question half way through my first one.

“Ahha!” Good. He seems pleased and excited. So not that much of a disaster question as I had assumed it to be. He continues, “Its about this very normal guy, who is like always the back-up guy, like you know, who always gets this, ‘If-I-was-not-committed/married-you-would-be-the-one’ dialogue, you know, that type -it’s a story of his pain, suffering and how he finally ends up committing suicide.”

Now the hard part, he finishes and looks at me expectantly, and I have no idea as what should I say next -should I ask another question, maybe about his character, maybe something totally different like weather or local crime rate, or maybe about his favorite cuisine.

But all these seemed like totally unrelated follow up questions to my earlier one. So, I ended up asking this incredibly stupid question, “Oh! That’s a cool storyline. So, you are you going to kill this character, this lonely dude in the end.”

‘Cool’ and ‘Dude’ in my last sentence. They definitely thought that I am a gate crasher at the writer’s workshop.

“Oh, no, that’s not the end of story, it would be like very stereotypical, as you call it, ‘lonely dude’ novel, if I do that. In my novel, after the guy commits suicide, he goes to limbo, and here is the twist, God there is a female, and he ends up being her back-up guy. And…wait, I don’t want to ruin your suspense, and frankly I don’t want to lose on an almost sold copy of my book.”

“What?”. This followed effortlessly.

No Arguments

[family talk]

My dad calls me up this morning and says, “See, That’s why I did not let you become a sailor. If you had your way that day, you would have been hostage on some pirate ship on coasts of Slovenia today,…”

“Dad!!!” I said, adding “Its not Slovenia, its Somalia.”

“Whatever. No arguments! You kids never get the point.”


[occupational hazard]

“I am an evolutionary biologist, and I live in Pennsylvania. Taken together, it means that as soon as I am outside the peripheries of my campus, I am known as ‘Satan’s Son’



8.30 AM Phone rings

Me: hello…HELLOOO!

Some women on other end starts speaking.

Some Woman (SW) : Mumble Mumble mumble from __________faith church. I would like to read a chapter of Bible to you. Can I start now?

Me: What?

SW: I would like to read a chapter….

Me: NO! I think I understood you the first time…

SW: So, can I start now?

Me: NOOO !!! Ehm…(I realize I am sounding very rude)…hmmm…I am in middle of something right now…so I think its not a good idea right now.

SW: Sir, in that case, can I call you some other time?

Me: ahh…NO!

SW: Mumble ‘French sounding Mumble’ Thank you sir. Thak!


I throw my cell phone on bed, and start wondering, what if, this is exactly what happens when you die -you get a call, somebody tells you your crime/sin stats, and then somebody starts narrating you chapters of Bible -that too, on phone.

Notes from Webster’s Bookstore Cafe


If you ever happen to visit State College, then add Websters Bookstore Café on your itienary. Why? Because I am saying so, isn’t that enough! On a slightly less serious note, if one day I become a very famous author, then you will know the caffeine source behind all those great writings. Café Mocha..Single..Whole Milk..thats my pick! Choose yours!

So after a year of shamelessly ignoring Websters Bookstore Café from my writings, I decided to devote a whole blog to my caffeine source of every day.

They always play this nice song, which seems to belong to every possible language on this earth. Today they played this track that can easily be used in a Hollywood horror flick. Especially in the scene when the ghost has killed everybody and then realizes that he is not a ghost but a man while all those he killed were actually ghosts.

If you drink tea, this place is like heaven but if you don’t, then the ordering counter seems like a well-planned conspiracy against coffee drinkers.

One of the Baristas is really cute and I have this itsy bitsy crush on her. She also makes best Café Mocha. I don’t know if cuteness quotient and mocha skill are both related.

Talking about bookstore, can somebody please tell me how many books has Joyce Carol Oates written? She seems to be all over the bookstore, in all the sections, in all the racks.

The Hillary Clinton lookalike, in an all Blue suit spent like hours browsing through the biography section and at the end did not pick even a single book. It seems that she was searching for biography of her servant’s dead grandfather’s German Shepherd. It does not concern me much but I had to crouch in my seat for full 15 min., so that she can easily search for the biography of her interest and then she killed my curiosity in the end by not picking up any book.

Having said all this, I must tell you, I really love this place.  The pleasure of sitting near books and Cafe Mocha….Two of the most amazing things…