“Opossums in a Trap?” I tap the screen of the laptop in my truck.

“Yes two of them.” The voice over the phone crackles.

“O.K I’ll be there.” I assign the case to myself on the screen. Great, My second day on the job and I am dealing with Marsupials. Wasn’t this job all about Canines and Felines? Why am I saving opossums?

I press the button on my two-way radio. “10-4, Heading to trap #321.” I stare into the overcast Texas sky and quickly read my training manual regarding trapped wildlife. If wildlife gets trapped in our live traps set out for feral cats, they need to be released if they are healthy. If injured and bleeding, they must be euthanized in a humane manner as per Texas Health & Safety procedure 166.45-51.

Eight minutes later I pull into the maintenance building of the University and ask the complainant, “Two opossums in one trap? How?”

“This you have to see.” The Hispanic worker smiles.Snip20150425_3

I take a deep breath and prepare for the ghastly sight. Who cares for these ugly animals? I’m wasting time saving them instead some dogs or other cute…

Whoa. The sight in front of my eyes stops me in my tracks. A baby Opossum is wailing and whining inside the trap and its mother is outside trying in vain to reach her baby through the wire cage. A deep gash oozes blood from her nose as she desperately tries to reach her young

She stops when she notices me and then starts again, unafraid of me. In fact, in her world I don’t exist and my uniform isn’t valid, nor is my pole threatening.


I put her in a transfer cage with her baby and take her to a local vet. We dress up her wound and suture it. My job calls for taking her to the shelter and declaring her injured. However if I do so she’ll be put down and her baby won’t survive without its mama.

Snip20150425_4 So I break a rule on my second day at my job to save two lives I didn’t care for 2 hours ago and I re-learn the lesson of a mothers love for her child.


Tonight I’ll just call my mom and listen to her voice—just because…Snip20150425_7


Years ago, I worked at Nestle India in Moga. One day my factory engineer called me in his office for our weekly Ghee Plant project report status.

His office door swished and he looked up over his half-frame reading glasses, “Kya laaye ho, Inder?” (What have you brought, Inder?), he pointed to the pages in my hands.

I looked out the window, “It’s just–” — a scene of a frail old man carrying a sack flashed my mind.

My manager continued poring over some papers, “—hmm?”

My mind tried to focus away from the scene playing in my head. The frail man drops the sack on the ground and folds his hands, trembling like a reed. “—Jowar laaya hoon maayibaap. (I have brought a sack of millets, sir)” I managed to say.

“—What did you say?” My manager raised his eyebrows.

I realized instantaneously that I had just said the next line from the movie, Sholay from the scene that had been playing in my head.

A few awkward moments later I exited his office and slumped in my chair. Goshdarnit… what on earth is wrong with me? Why does my default thought go to Bollywood?

               Such is the influence of Bollywood on me. I grew up with those movies. I learnt my sense of righteousness, respect for elders, love for siblings, victory of good over evil, horrific dance moves and even my awful romantic thoughts from those Masala movies.

But am I alone?

Or are you one of us crazy people who on the surface dislike Bollywood movies but are deeply influenced by them?

Well here is your test. There are 5 levels of crazy.

  • Level 1– If you’ve ever boarded a train and then done a double take to check if there is any woman running towards you with an extended hand to help board the train.
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–You sir, are level 1 crazy Bollywood fan.

Level 2– If you’ve ever been in an open Jeep and have automatically started humming- Mere sapnon ki Raani kab aayegi tu? Or if you were riding a motorcycle with your best buddy

and both of you started singing, Yeh dosti hum na todenge.


–You sir, are level 2 crazy Bollywood fan.


  • Level 3– If you have ever used any of these lines in your regular speech.

Kaanon ke haath bahut lambe hote hain. (the law has long arms)

Police ne tumhe chaaron taraf se gher liya hai (police has surrounded you)

Ismein ehsan kaisa, yeh to mera farz tha (this is not a favour, it’s my duty)

Apni gali mein to kutta bhi sher hota hai (Even a dog is a lion in his backyard)

Mein tumhare bacche ki maa ban ne wali hoon (I’m pregnant with your child)

Tumhari maa aur behan hamare kabze mein hain (your mother is in our custody)

Kitne aadmi the? (how many men were they)

Mein tumhare bina jee nahi sakta (I can’t live without you).


–You sir, are level 3 crazy Bollywood fan.


  • Level4– If you know who any or all of these people are?

ranjitnirupa-royjagdish rajmacmohan


–You sir, are level 4 crazy Bollywood fan.

Level 5  – If you know the name of Gabbar Singh’s father


–You sir, are level 5 crazy Bollywood fan.