Tuesday, 1 April 2014

The most wanted

She adjusted her sight in the array of blinding spotlights that flooded the studio. She sat on a revolving ‘hot’ seat with the Quiz-master right across the table. Along the circumference of the game-zone, sat the audience. Radhika could feel her stomach turning into a circus where butterflies performed dangerous trapeze-acts. 

The Quiz-master explained the rules of the game. “India’s Most Wanted Questions” followed a pattern little different from the usual “how to become a millionaire” model. In fact, the rules were just the reverse. Each contestant would start with a million. They would be asked questions which ‘the nation wants to know’. The Quiz-master will pick and choose the most popular ones and pose them to each contestant. The contestants have to protect the money with right answers. With every wrong answer, the amount of money suffers diminution.

“Are you ready?”, the Quiz-master asked.
Radhika nodded in approval. The first question walked up to her. So did a lot of bafflement.
“When will you have a baby?”
All Radhika could come up with was a shocked “Huh?”.
The Quiz-master repeated. “Yes, you heard that right. When will you have a baby? The nation wants to know, Radhika”.
Radhika: But aren't babies too cute to be had? However, if you insist, I can have a baby for lunch, may be?
Quiz-master: Ten thousand rupees gets deducted from your account…..on account of over-smartness.  Anyways, tell me something. Are you trying?
Radhika: Yes I am. I am trying to get the next answers correct. I had a bad start. But I will make up with correct answers.
Quiz-master: Radhika, that question was also a part of the quiz. What a stupid answer! I am sorry to see your money vanishing at every question asked.

The third question came soon thereafter: Have you tried good doctors?
Radhika: No, never had the chance or the desire. I would rather try George Clooney. He looks delicious.
Quiz-master: Another ten thousand rupees bids you good bye, Radhika for cracking jokes that aren't funny.

The fourth missile didn't take time to arrive. “Have you tried good temples and good astrologers?”
Radhika: For what?
Quiz-master: For having a baby!
In order to come up with a correct answer, one must understand the question first. Radhika wondered whether there was actually any temple that made babies and delivered them. For the ‘astrologer’ part, she didn’t even try to visualise what it meant.

“Can I use ‘flip the question’ option?”, asked Radhika.
The question disappeared from the computer screen to give way to another.
“How frequently do you make out with your husband? Do you know the number of times one should make out to have a baby?”, the  Quiz-master asked.
Radhika: I think making love and making babies are two different concepts altogether. And so far your question goes, my husband and I have failed to achieve that ‘magic number’ just like most political parties fighting for electoral votes.
Quiz-master: Your lack of knowledge saddens me Radhika. Another ten thousand departs from your account.

Radhika’s heart break was followed by the next question.
Quiz-master: Have you tried all the desired positions?
Radhika: Yes I almost have. My most desired position was to head an entire region to begin with. Right now, I head the Eastern zone of my organisation. There are fifteen offices working under me. Huge responsibilities, managing huge number of people, handling huge clients…..are all part of my portfolio. I am one of the youngest Regional Heads of our company.
Quiz-master: Are you even listening to my questions properly? These answers are just not acceptable. Your money is vanishing at the speed of light. Another ten thousand goes, Radhika!

He continued. “Okay. Take a deep breath.  I am sure you can do better. The next question is: Aren't your in-laws telling you anything? What is their reaction to this failure of yours?”
Radhika: What will they say? I do not know what failure you are talking about. They are very proud of my achievements as an individual.
Quiz-master: For the first time, your money remains where it was. You have great in-laws indeed. They must be extremely broadminded and sympathetic people.
Radhika Google-searched for the reasons behind such high praises from the Quiz-master for her in-laws. She could not find one.

He moved on to the next question. “Do you think the relationship between you and your husband is fine? I mean, all good between the two of you?”
Radhika failed to understand the question, its relevance and its context. The blank expression on Radhika’s face invited an impromptu helpline. The question was thrown at the audience for the “audience poll”.  Option “YES” earned 15% votes while “No” won a sweeping victory.

Radhika was too tired to answer.
“I want to use my last lifeline. Phone-a-friend please.”
The Quizmaster dialed the number.
Tring tring tring……

The alarm rang. Radhika woke up from her sleep.

The 'show' didn’t turn out the way Radhika had imagined.  
The nation had its own set of “most wanted” questions. 
Radhika had her own set of answers. Their questions and her answers could never become the best of friends.

“Not all your answers get friendly with the questions asked to you”, Radhika told herself.
But, some do. One such was lying in the bed right next to her. Radhika hugged her “most wanted answer”.

“Wake up!! You’ll get late for work again”.


  1. :) Brilliant! Absolutely loved it.

    1. Thank you Sunil. Welcome back on my page. long time...

  2. Sensitive, yet witty. That is the awesomeness about you.

  3. such effortless humour! playing with puns, aha! :) loved it!

  4. I loved the alarm that woke her up!!!

  5. hahahaha...loved it. They should make such a show.

  6. hahahaha...loved it. They should make a show out of this.

    1. Thanks Biju. Coming from you, it feels great.

  7. Parama, from where do you get all these ideas? So effortless yet so candid! Brilliantly woven! :)

    1. From where do I get these ideas? Life, sweetheart. What else? :) Thanks re.

  8. loved it! u r seriously d wonder women i personally kno! grt work dear!

  9. u r seriously d wonder woman i personally kno! grt work keep posting ...i thoroughly enjoy!

    1. wonder woman!! too big a compliment re. (jodio sheta shune mone mone je akashe urchina, sheta bolte parbo na :D)

  10. অসাধারণ। :)
    কিছু বলার নেই এছাড়া। :)

  11. prosno gulo sohoj--uttor o je jana...cNhuye gelo....

    1. Thank you Sumana. :) Tomar comment o mon chuye gelo...