United we stand!


It has been a very hectic schedule at work and I felt so bad being away from the blogging world for 10 days!! I am back for good, however and will try to be more regular 🙂 And here I come with some of my thoughts that have been pondering my mind since many days!!

28 states, 7 union territories, 29 major languages, third largest Military force, Most populous democracy, Seventh largest by geography, Second fastest growing large economy, fourth largest in purchasing power, Asia’s oldest stock exchange…this list only goes on!

If someone outside India asks me about my country, do I remember all this? Not at all! I remember the much used phrase that I read in my Social studies text book years ago – “Unity in Diversity”!!

It does not need a genius of sorts to say how diverse India is. But how united are we? River water sharing, Religious riots, Cultural intolerance,land rows, civic and social indifference and supernumerary jingoism. What should I relate myself to?

A particular group of people is so protective about its state and culture. So far so good! But what is its agenda? Create insecurities among the people belonging to a different state, demolish the properties, that they think, represent an “alien” culture, ban all the social advances that do not promote its own language or culture.

So what does all this mean? Should a group resort to vituperative advances to preserve the provenance of its culture? Just check out any widely read online news website! Read about the Nuke deal, read about a politician-turned-actor, read about a gory bomb blast, read about a freaking train accident, read about a trivial entertainment news, read about a culinary cuisine, read about an opening of a shopping mall, read about the launch of an electronic gadget. I bet, you will find something common in all this! Wondering what it could be? The comments’ section in all these news articles will have the most lambasting and scathing remarks against each one’s culture and statehood. No matter what the point of subject is, the arguement always goes wayward and ends up standing as a “virtual” wall of division we are creating for ourselves. The North and the South divide, The Hindi and the non-Hindi divide, The Hindu and the Muslim divide and worst, The North eastern India and the rest of India divide! Considering that Internet is mainly used by educated Indians, are all these people educated illiterates?

Are we not missing something? Don’t we need a common representation? Does the language I speak or the kind of dress I wear matter at all? Am I not supposed to be an Indian at the end? We have to slam our faces against our noses for want of a true National Spirit! For want of a common thread that binds us together! For want of an identity that represents us!

Finally, I respect the phrase “Unity in Diversity”, if only we give some sense to it!

PS: Some piece of the general information about India in the second paragraph has been taken from Wiki.

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Happy and Responsible Independence Day


Wishing you all a very happy, and most importantly, a RESPONSIBLE Independence Day.

Well, few days back Vishesh has conducted a poetry/story contest in which both Sameera and myself have won.

The poetry/story had to be developed from the 3 photos below. Here is my entry:

Images’ courtesy: Vishesh‘s Blog.

A tribute to all the people who lost their lives in the recent bomb blasts:

Let the budding spirit bloom like “a flower”,
in this time of gory and violent hour,
to see the humanity atleast from far.

Let the spirit envisage the “blossom of power”,
that helps us put two and two together,
and find out the ones that made our nation wither.

Let the eternal”hope” spread its colour,
on our “spirit” and our “power”,
as we pray for the peace to shower!

PS: The first flower is our Spirit, the other flower in the second photo is our Power, and the three colourful flowers in the third photo are Hope, Spirit and Power.

The trails of a flower


Alright! Here’s a bit of General Knowledge for you folks 😀  Kajol celebrated her birthday on 5th of August as I have been spending a hectic week at work! I managed to come up with yet an other creation of mine while slogging my sweat out in the office! Here it follows… 🙂

The cold breeze swept over me again and I peeped into the lucid waters. Its frothy arms tried to reach me, but the breeze heaved me along with my blitheful petals. My petals jeered at the water for its nugatory attempt.The water swirled in ebullience and splashed on my petals. I winked at the river as it continued its journey.

The breeze switched on to its intractable jubiliance hastily. My plant jerked and I fell into the water creating concentric circles all over its surface. A bee suddenly made its way into my petals tickling me with its fluttering wings. The breeze slowed down and kissed the water causing small waves that drifted me across. Two guppies swirled around me playfully. I swaggered across the water wagging my stem. I rolled on the laps of water and danced in joy.

The sky opened up on the serene waters and I felt like floating in the sky. Swans followed me, birds picked up a song, Butterflies flapped their wings in rythm as I pranced on the tranquil waters. The bee rolled on my petals and buzzed intermittently. It was probably singing too.

The water carried me all along the tortuous way, per its flamboyant whims. It swelled at places causing small cascades. I jumped over the falls, shook my petals, winked at the bee inside and wagged my stem.The bee fluttered its wings again and tickled me.

The water increased its pace dramatically and roared with the wind. I wagged my stem fast, mustered my petals trying to save the bee inside. There was no sight of the swans and the butterflies. I peeped into the water and the sky was no longer visible. There was no sight of the guppies either. The water lost its flounce and changed its colour. A gushing cross stream jolted me and ripped through my petals. I tried wagging fast but my stem broke. My petals wilted at the smell of water. I tried mustering my petals up but in vain. Half of my petals were washed away. I could see the bee being carried away by the bubbles of oil in the water.The oily water choked me and the rest of my petals withered losing their colour. I stumbled and hopped helplessly as my stem got washed away.

I remembered the lucid waters that once embraced me in its frothy arms, I remembered the two guppies that swirled around me, I remembered how I pranced in the water strutting my stem. I turned back for the last time as the giant saline waters swallowed me forever.

Please stop polluting the river and the sea waters!!

Arvind’s Tag


Arvind has tagged me (Thanks 🙂 ) and here’s something about me:

1. What have you realized recently?

That the guarantee of life is fast fading, what with the increasing number of bomb blasts, train accidents, stampedes causing insecurities. This list only goes on. I must share a humorous experience that one my friends had. He was buying a pair of really expensive shoes and asked the shopkeeper for its (shoe’s) guarantee. Pat came the reply from the shop keeper – “Sir, Life itself has no guarantee, after all, what do you expect from a shoe?” lol.. 😀 Itz an other thing that my friend did not buy the shoes from him 😀

2. Have you given your first kiss away?

Yes, to my Mom! 😀

3. If you were to be stranded on a deserted island, who are the 11 blog buddies you would take?

Too big a question for a fledgling (in terms of blogging).BTW, I would not leave this opportunity to say how amazing Nita‘s blog is! The kind of research she does before posting something is simply awesome! 🙂

4. Where is the place that you want to go the most?

I would like to see as many places possible on this Earth 🙂 But, for now, I really want to be at the Times Square in New York on a New Year’s eve 🙂

5. If you can have 1 dream to come true, what would it be?

I would want to become a playback singer who has an ability to walk over clouds and see the whole world along with his loved ones and spread joy and peace wherever he goes…Sigh!..Hope this “one” dream comes true!

6. Do you believe in seeing a rainbow after the rain?

Why not? Did someone say that refraction of light is a fake phenomenon?

7. What are you afraid to lose the most now?

My age! 😀 I celebrated my Birthday just a few days back! 😦 lol

8. If you win $1 million, what would you do?

I would take time (may be for the rest of my life) to believe that it really happened to me!

9. If you meet someone that you love, would you confess to him/her?

Definitely! I keep doing it until the other person gets fed up 😀 I believe in Love and Mushy romance! 🙂

10. List out 3 good points of the person who tagged you.

   Arvind has a cool pair of goggles 😀
   As far as I can make out from his posts, he must be a very down-to-earth person 🙂
   And last, but not the least, he reads all the posts in my blog :D..(lol..just Kidding) 🙂

11. What are the requirements that you wish from your other half?
To complement the another half of mine 🙂

12. Which type of person do you hate the most?
Braggarts- the people suffering from a syndrome called “delusions of grandeur”, people lacking civic sense, people who can’t truely appreciate others…and finally, all those who don’t like Kajol 😀 (kidding again).

13. What is the one thing you cannot live without?

My near and dear ones 🙂

14. If you have faults, would you rather the people around you point out to you or would you rather they keep quiet?

It doesn’t matter as long as my loved ones have no problem with me. No human being is perfect 🙂 Ultimately you should be accountable to your conscience.

15. What do you think is the most important thing in your life?

People whom I love the most. And ofcourse, a good career to earn and enjoy life with them.

16. Are you a shopaholic or not?

I am an impulsive shopper. I have no idea if this is equivalent to being shopaholic. 

17. Find a word to describe the person who tagged you.

“Cool” – Just like his blog 🙂 

18. If you have a chance. Which part of your character you would like to change?

To try not to expect anything from anyone 🙂

19. Whats the last shocking thing you’ve seen or heard?

That we, Earthlings, have been visited.Check out this link:
http://unexplained-mysteries.com/viewnews.php?id=131570  

20. Would you rather have love but no money or money but no love?

Just a true and “unconditional” love, and nothing else, from a rich and happening young girl 😀 OK..I was kidding again here…I would love to love through out my life.

Now, I will tag this to:

Xylene, cinnmintLively, Sakhi, Mahak

BTW, Happy Friendship week to everyone of you! 🙂

Not like any other day!


“I don’t know Vimal, I can’t talk right now. It is not like any other day”, I cut the call and threw my mobile away. Yes, it was not like any other day and I didn’t seem to be in the best of my moods.The monotony of life, for some unknown reason, seemed to down my spirits that day. I felt bad for Vimal, but, by now, he is used to my terms.

I looked at the clock that kept on ticking so fast. I banged its glass frame, got hold of the two needles, and tried wrenching them.But, alas! The eternal arms of the time weren’t so submissive. Their loud alarm jeered me and wrang my conscience out of me, “Stop dilly dallying, it’s 9AM and get ready for the work”.

I gave a perfunctory look at my blazer and took out the company’s identity card from its pocket.The two buttons on the blazer stared at me as I left them in the lurch.

I tied my shoe lace tighter than I did anyother day. I opened the door,saw the sun lurking from behind the clouds, and started walking towards the bus stop. I felt that the head iwas so heavy for my neck to carry that it almost tilted. My lazy gait complemented my mood.

As I walked few blocks away I saw a snow flake dangling in the air. I took it onto my palm and wondered at its amazing complex shape. I looked up at the sky and it showered its glory on my face. The flurries danced down to the earth as I opened my mouth.

I jumped and danced and tried catching the snow flakes. I saw the trees giggling as the snow trickled into their branches. The snow slowly settled onto the ground and spread its bright carpet all across. I saw two squirrels rolling in the snow. Oh boy! If I were a squirrel too!

I felt a thump at my back. I turned back and saw a kid with snow balls in his hands. He threw it onto my face this time. I wiped off, digged my fingers and took a lump of snow.

The little boy giggled and started running way. I followed him with the snow ball in my hand. I saw my bus leaving but didn’t seem to care, for, I really thought that it was not like any other day!

The Big Thing!


“Did you hear about this showroom, Ben?” John whispered. I looked at the giant scintillating glass walls of the showroom and quickly turned towards John.

“A lot is being talked about this showroom off-late”, John said as he widened his eyes.

“No one has really seen it so far, buddy”, Jeff slammed, “the less you think of it, the better”.

John gave a silly look at Jeff. Even I wondered how Jeff never heeded to this discussion anytime.

“No escape from it Jeff”, John retorted, “It’s happening tonight and they say it’s so big it can track you down wherever you are”.

I smelled an eerie scent in the air as we stood against the blinding lights of the showroom.

                            ******************

It is 10 in the night and I still could not sleep. I could hear my heart thumping. A wave of anxiety gripped me. I helped myself with a glass of water, but that did not quench my thirst. I sat on my bed and looked outside the window pane.

I walked towards the window pane and peeped outside. 

It is pitch dark outside with no sight of moon in the sky.

The streets seemed unusually silent. I rested my chin on the window frame and started thinking about what John told me this evening. My heart started pounding fast.

I suddenly felt a strange eerie bright thing creeping towards me. A giant curtain of mist started drifting towards my window. I have seen the street lights slowly being engulfed by its spooky wings. As I tried to draw my head back, I felt an uneasy brush on my neck. All I could see is just the shadow of a giant arm with long nails hanging all over. My heart almost thumped. I quickly closed the window pane, jumped onto my bed and hid inside the comforter.

I started gasping but did not have the guts to get the glass of water that is right beside the window.
                                   
                        ********************

An hour passed by. I slowly pulled myself out of the comforter and looked at the window dubiously. There seem to be no trace of the mist now. I walked towards the table beside the window and took the glass of water into my hands. I looked outside maintaining a distance from the window. As I took a sip of water I put forth my heavy steps towards the window. “Bravo, my boy!”, I patted myself. I looked at the street lights outside and for once everything looked calm again. I took a deep breath and sipped the water again when I realized that something knocked the window pane.

The knock sent shivers through my spine. My thumping heart forced the glass out of my hand. The water splashed on my feet as the glass lay broken on the floor. Fangs of shock tied my limbs as I stood there startled. An other knock on the window pane seemed to work like a miracle and set loose the fangs of shock around me. I felt I almost breathed out a gale when I realized the long arm to be nothing but an overgrown branch of the coconut tree.

I wiped my sweaty forehead and closed my eyes for a while. I heard murmurings from the hall downstairs. I opened the door of my room and stood beside the railings of the steps that lead down to the hall. It was mum and dad. They did not sleep too!

“Just few more hours for the D-day, Sara” dad sighed and continued, “and the whole town is going to become a prey for this luscious thing”.

“I waited so long, David”, mum replied, “and I have no more patience to see the damn thing”. I noticed my anxious and worried mum as she pressed her palms against her cheeks.

Dad put his arms around Mum and cajoled her, “Don’t worry sweetie! It’s going to be alright. Let’s hope everything ends well”.

                        ********************

A sudden bang at my door woke me up.

“Ben, we gotta hurry”, Dad almost barged in, “we have no time left!”
A flurry of events happened and I realized myself sitting in our car. The car dashed through the mysterious darkness of the night as it pushed all the houses and street lights behind us.
“We are going to face it, Ben”, Mum sounded anxious.
We travelled for about two miles and the car stopped at the Showroom that John talked about. Mom and Dad got out of the car and banged the doors in haste. I ran behind them, worried!

My inner voices told me that something strange is going to happen. For once I wanted to stop Mum and Dad from rushing towards the mysterious Showroom. I shouted but the sound did not come out. I followed them helplessly.

It is still dark and no one seemed to be in the Showroom. The door was closed and we felt like dwarfs in front of the huge glass doors. I stared at the Showroom with fear.

An hour passed by and soon the whole town gathered there. Strangely no one seemed to talk to each other. Mum and Dad looked far more tensed.

                           ******************

It is almost 5:30 in the morning. There seem to be no trace of Sun yet. Probably the Sun too is terrified to spread its light. There was an impatient buzzle in the crowd that was silent till then. I saw two blinding lights roaring and gushing against the darkness. The crowd came to an alert and the buzzling sound increased. The two lights of a truck approached us and came to a screaching halt. The crowd grew impatient as they saw the cartons being carried inside the Showroom. I turned to Mum and Dad. Mum brushed my hair and tried containing her anxiety. The cartons went in until the truck was emptied. The truck driver took the last carton inside the showroom.

It is 6AM now and we haven’t heard anything from inside the showroom. The truck driver came out and giggled at me.

We stood just near the Showroom’s door. The driver looked at my dad, nodded his head, smiled and left in a haste.

                    ******************

I almost dozed off . As I stood there , the lights inside the showroom suddenly glowed just like the anxiousness of the frenzy crowd. Mum and Dad rushed in. I tried to catch them up but the crowd was so heavy that I said Mum that I would stay outside. Mum gave a glance at me but didn’t seem to feel the pertinence of taking me inside the Showroom.

I stood there at the door so very confused. The crowd formed a long line. It is 6:30 in the morning and the Sun seemed to extend its glory on the crowd. I wondered what the D-day meant! What is the “big thing” that the whole town is going to fall prey to? As questions started fighting inside my mind, I remembered what John told Jeff last evening.

“No escape from it Jeff. It’s happening tonight and they say it’s so big it can track you down wherever you are”.

Someone caught me by my shoulder. I was startled for a moment and then turned back. It was Dad. Mum stood beside him holding a box tightly in her hands, as if she is protecting it from a prowling tiger.

“Did you see this thing, Ben?” Dad looked excited, “Did you see what Mum has in her hands? You wont realize we are the first ones to make it in the town”.

“Oh Honey, I can’t believe this”, tears trickled down Mum’s eyes as she put “The thing” in my hands. Dad looked far more emotional. I looked at the sleek thing in my hands with awe!

Someone screamed and I turned back.

“Oh my God! The little big thing, in my hands, at last”, a guy shouted, just coming outside the Showroom, “My sweet little iPhone 3G with GPS, that tracks me down wherever I go”!!

The frenzy went on as each time the huge glass walls of the showroom stood witnessing the anxiety of the people for the “newly born”!!

                           ****** The End ******

Never say Goodbye!


 

When the lilting flowers envied our dance                      
when the chirping birds sang to our words
when the passing cloud looked at us and bowed
when the spouting water sounded like our laughter

Little did I know that seeds of distance it would sow
Never did I think my heart in pain would sink
Forever will my hopeful gaze wade through the time’s maze

Saying goodbye, in general, is quite dis-heartening. Not just for loved ones, but I have always found it difficult to bid farewell to anyone.

The waving hands of a father, the teary eyes of a mother, the uneasy silence of a friend…these are the subtle feelings that touch any heart.

Sunshine of Life – The last part


His suicide news did not come to me as quite shocking as it had to be. Afterall, it was a blink-and-I-go image of him in the hospital yesterday.

Megha and I decided to go to the hospital that evening.

“Did you give the coins to Suhaan? Where is he?” Simi asked as soon as she saw me.
“Jojo would beat him if Suhaan does not make hundred rupees a day”, she continued, not expecting answer from me.

“I will give them to Suhaan”, was all I could reply.

                                          ********

Days passed by. Simi was put up in an orphanage. Her little heart was somehow so strong that I felt she took the rest of her life for granted. She learnt doing things herselves. I wondered how fate turns people’s lives.

“She never talks much to the other children”, the aaya at the orphanage tells us.
But then, that doesn’t matter. She was having a changed life. Most of all, she was having an education.

Simi has changed the way Megha and I percieve little things around us. Megha would often attribute some sort of mystery to Simi’s life before the accident, until that fine day, when Himesh concluded his investigation.

Jojo was a small time goon who gathered a group of twenty children, all either orphans or lent from families that could not make their both ends meet, to make them into street urchins. He would often force these children into begging. More often, he would even resort to physical assault with the already distraught children, if they fail to  bring a “nominal” amount each day from the alms. Suhaan was one of them.

Simi’s father, who was a daily labour, found Suhaan alone at one of the construction sites he was working. He took Suhaan with him to his house. It did not take much time for Simi to bond with Suhaan. Things didn’t go well when there was a  slump in the real estate world. Simi’s father could not get work as most of the contractors did not risk hiring workers from unknown sources. He realized he would not be able to earn his bread. That was when he met Jojo and agreed to lend Suhaan to him. He got money from Jojo in return. Simi would go out with Suhaan every morning.

On the day Simi was knocked off by a car, people gathered around her and started enquiring her where-abouts. One of the workers at the STD booth who knew Jojo, stopped Suhaan from running towards Simi and informed Jojo. What happened later was still unclear. Some say Jojo fled to Kolkatta taking away Suhaan and the other children with him.

Simi’s father, it seemed, knew that Jojo left the city that night. Afraid of the volley of questions he had to face from the cops, he committed suicide.

A crap of a man! This was the only impression I always had on Simi’s father….. until today.

                                                   ****************

I gave a deep breath and sighed as I tried to remember all this that happened five years ago.
A knock on the door startled me.
I looked at my watch and realized that it should be Megha.

“What were you doing?” she quizzed.
She saw the scrap book on my table. “What was that you were scribbling?’ she gave a glance at the scrap book and laughed.

“It’s not just a scrap book, Megha. It’s probably the mirror of a little girl’s heart which we somehow couldn’t connect to, all these years”.

Megha looked at me puzzled, took the scrap book from the table and started reading it.
” I think I did not quite understand whom to look for a support on. I was terribly afraid. Pappa and I were very happy. He was the strongest man I knew.His instincts to many things in life, perhaps, made me think so. I saw my world through his eyes. I remember the night when pappa returned home very tired from work. I wanted to eat vada paav from the shop at the end of our street. He never let me down. When he had no work for days together, he used to take me to the lake every morning. We used to sit there on the grass and chat for hours together. When I had fever he would never leave me. He would sit beside me and tell all the stories he knew. The one in which the moon comes down to earth to make the little girl happy was my favourite. I never used to be tired listening to that story.

One day Pappa brought Suhaan home. I liked Suhaan a lot and we played together since then. I remember the glow in Suhaan’s face when he brought home the marbles he found on the sands of the lake. We played with them for a long time and then I stored them in a cigar box that pappa would normally throw away.

Pappa somehow never liked Suhaan. I always wondered why he brought him home if he never liked. He would never tell stories to Suhaan when he was sick, just like he used to d so for me. But pappa didn’t know that I would tell all of those stories to Suhaan the next morning. I was so fond of Suhaan. He said he worked on the roads. I used to go out with him whenever pappa was not at home. I used to play with the marbles and sometimes help Suhaan collect some money.

But now I am left all alone. Megha didi and bhayya takes good care of me. But I could never come to terms with pappa leaving me suddenly. I am angry on him. I do not know what I would do if I ever see pappa again in my life. I would probably hate him for leaving me, or I would hug him tight and cry a lot. The aaya in my school calls me a dumb girl. But what does she know about me? I would take her to Suhaan one day and then she wouldn’t call me dumb again. I will show her that I can take care of myself. I am angry on Suhaan too. Why should he leave me when I  told all my stories to him without Pappa’s knowledge? I have many friends in my school, but it is not like how it used to bewith Suhaan.

— Simi”

Tears trickled down my eyes. Megha cried copiously.

“Where did you get this from?” her voice trembled.
“The Psychologist treating Simi gave this book. He took it from her”, I said.

I realized how most of us would act so indifferent to the things that happen around us, until that day comes when we have to face it for ourselves. As I read this scrap book I did not see just Simi’s thoughts in it. It reflected the thoughts of a child whose comfort lies in its parents, who draws strength from its caretakers. How the dreams of children would be shattered, when, the very person they see the world through, lies helpless infront of them. The fear and insecurity that creeps in their minds when they come to know that they lost the support.

And most of all, how a suicide wrecks havoc in the lives of the people living with that person. The one stupid thought at the nick of a moment would grab life away from not just the victim, but his loved ones too.

I realized how there are many people out there, who are stolen away from their smiles, who are withered by the world’s indifference. Life is beautiful. But not everyone has the previlege to understand its beauty. No matter what happens, a ray of light always waits to touch our lives. It is only that people tend to stand in the shade and not be able to see the light of life. May be it is time I bring them out of the shade and show them the Sunshine of Life.

As thoughts encircled me, I opened the drawer of the table and took out the five coins Simi gave me years ago. I stared at the coins for a long time. I noticed that the coins were not worn away through out these years, just like the hope that Suhaan would one day own them.

                                          ****************** THE END *****************

Well, hmmm…the idea of this depressing story came to my mind when I was completely fed up of reading the daily news papers report a suicide each day at the drop of a hat. And then how children (rather, orphans/street urchins) lead a gloomy life in a metro where people have no time to think of them. Psst! People these days have no time to even think about themselves, leave alone thinking of others. 🙂

I tried to link up various incidents we see in the news papers everyday and make a rather-not-so-short story. 🙂

Sunshine of life – Part II


Hiya! I am back with the next part of this short story.

                                                      ************

“Were someone else with you?” Megha asked the little girl as she waded her fingers through the girl’s dishevelled hair.

The girl could hardly speak anything. She opened her mouth, mumbled the name Suhaan again and rested her head on Megha’s arms. I rushed and got a bottle of water from a nearby shop.

The girl sipped some water but we realised she couldn’t gulp it. Megha dialled an emergency number from her mobile, that she always keeps handy. After a series of questions from the other side I understood that they were about to send an ambulance.

I suddenly heard a dominating voice from behind the crowd. A tall person with sharp features! Ahem! Here is the cop for you. He gave a doubtful glance at the crowd and enquired about the girl. We told him that the little girl could not have been alone and that how she mumbled a name Suhaan.

He enquired the crowd and a few shops around but couldn’t figure out who Suhaan is.

Megha called her home and explained the scene. “Don’t worry papa, Nihaal is with me”, I heard her telling before she disconnected the call.

The ambulance arrived and we decided to accompany the girl to the hospital.

“Sir, I need your mobile number” the cop asked me. He was rather polite. “Well, I am Himesh Singh, Assistant Police inspector”. I shook hands with him, exchanged the pleasanteries and gave my number to him.

“Good to see youngsters like you!” He thought he gave a complement. ” I will make a quick enquiry on Suhaan and meet you at the hospital soon”.

                                          ****************************

We were half way to the hospital. Megha looked into my eyes.I blinked my eyes assuringly.
I felt the brush of a soft palm on my elbow. I saw the little girl trying to talk to me.
I touched her palms and kissed her on the cheeks, “Everything will be alright!”.

She took five coins, a rupee each, from the pocket of her coat and muttered, “Give this to Suhaan, bhayya, please”.
She gabbled in broken words. I took the coins from her and looked at Megha.

“Hopefully the cop finds about Suhaan”, Megha sighed.

                                             *********

It had been two hours outside the operation theater that had a grim ambience. All we knew was that the little girl had multiple fractures and blood loss.

We sat there on a bench all through the while. Megha looked tensed. I realised we haven’t really talked for a while now.
                                              **********

“Hello Mr. Nihaal”, I heard a startling voice from across the corridor. I saw Himesh approaching us. He had a confident gait. He was accompanied with a lean, bearded old man with a withered and pale face.

“I finally traced this man. He is the father of the little girl. By the way her name is Simi and Yes, Suhaan is her brother”, Himesh declared, ‘He works as a day labour at a construction site”.

“There is a bad news too”, he said in a low voice, “we couldn’t trace Suhaan”.

I nodded my head and looked at the old man. He made a face that is completely weary of emotions.

                                               **********

The doctor came out of the operation theater. He looked at us, smiled and said that the girl is on her way to recovery.

I didnt care to look at the old man at this point of time. I do not know why. All I could think of is home. I shook hands with the cop and left for home with Megha.
                                              
                                               ***********
The next day at the college was quite hectic. Social Psychology, Crime and Justice, Science, technology and society..the most boring classes on a boring tuesday. I dozed off in the back seats of the class. I felt fresh by the evening. I happen to be a member of the previleged “N-MARKS” team, the most happening one in the campus. We are six of us and we named our team by our initials. We gather at the college refreshment stall every evening, play pranks at each other, discuss about nothing important at lengths and finally get back home.

It was a usual tuesday evening. Kamal was busy playing yet an other prank with Sunaina. We all remember how it went  awry and ended up Sunaina in tears the last time. Sunaina is the most sensitive of all. Abhi and Rihaan usually end up cajoling Sunaina.
                                           
We had a hearty guffaw at the joke played by Rihaan on the Psychology professor as my mobile began ringing.

                                                ***********

“Hello Sir, Sorry to disturb you, this is Himesh Singh”, a dejected voice came from the other side, “I want to inform you the bad news that Simi’s father was found dead in his house this noon”. He made a pause. I understood he had something to continue, “It was a suicide!”.

                                                                                 ——- to be continued

 

Sunshine of life


Alright! I would post this short story (rather, not-so-short 😉 ) in three parts. Here’s the first one! 🙂

                                                                        ****************

It started drizzling suddenly. All the kids playing around a few minutes ago were running towards the shelter. The elderly lot who were rambling in the park started walking briskly. The Gol Gappa seller was wrapping up his things and running towards a tree. All this didn’t seem to care me.

The smell of the wet soil, vast green grounds of the park and a bench in the midst of it. I sat on the park bench. Megha sat beside me. I couldn’t stop looking at her hair caressed by the cold breeze. Her ear ring started tapping her upper cheeks playfully. My hands raised. It was almost a reflex action. I wanted to fondle her hair.I felt as if this was THE moment, sitting on a Park bench with Megha.

“It’s starting to rain, Nihaal”, she rose to her feet suddenly. She caught my raised hands and almost started dragging me towards a tree.

I could only see her moving pink lips. She pursed her lips.

“What?” I asked her. She gave a playful smile.

“Nihaal, what’s up with your part time job?” she asked suddenly.

“Are you sure you want to discuss that now? Come on, Megha! Such a great weather”, I almost complained.

“Nihaal, i am serious” she said.

“Well, I did get an offer. Some private agency. They have a trauma care center and I will have to deal with suicidal tendencies and crap. Such a depressing job”, I said, rather impatiently.

“You should give it a try Nihaal. it’s not just about earning. You get to help people”, she asserted.

“Not for me Megha!” I wondered why she was so boring that day.

She sighed. “Well, let’s go. It’s getting late. I am worried Mamma would shout at me”.

I wanted to touch her soft cheeks that raised as she pursed her lips.

I started my bike and headed towards Megha’s house.

                                                                              *****************

“Let us run Simi, It’s RED again!!”, shouted Suhaan amidst the squawky sounds of the vehicles that paused at the red signal. Simi gathered all her playing marbles in a haste, puckered them in a small shrivelled grey pouch and tucked it inside the pocket of her faded brown petty coat.Simi ran behind Suhan until both of them got lost into the vehicular jungle.

“You catch up with the rickshaws”, Suhaan signalled Simi.

“And you, the cars!!”, Simi turned back to Suhaan and orderes, pointing her dusty, but gentle palm at Suhaan as if he were still waiting for her response.She ran onto the road, all along the buzzing vehicles, that were as impatient as their owners.She cupped both her palms and started singing in a cursory manner.

“Look at me if some time do you find
Show this poor that you are kind
Lend me a penny if you dont mind ”

She knows many such songs which she learnt from her other friends, slightly elder to her, who come from the country side along with Jojo. She often wondered what the songs meant.

                                        *****************

As we approached the Frazer town signals Megha shouted suddenly, ‘Nihaal, stop!”. I could see her, through the corners of my eyes, waving frantically behind me.

“What’s wrong Megha? I can’t stop here. The signal is GREEN”, I said, rather irritated.

“Take a U turn at the next signal, Nihaal” she ordered, “Did you see a small girl crawling across the road? I think she was hit by that black car”.

Megha is more sensitive to these kind of things.I sometimes wonder if she makes a better Sociology student than me. I did not know why I chose Sociology in college.It is not as interesting as I thought it would be.

I took a U turn and parked the bike at the corner of a telephone booth. We crossed one side of the road and stood on the divider.

My heart wrenched for what I saw. No one seemed to care about the girl. All the vehicles rushed through the road. They formed a branch at the spot where the little girl fell in a pool of blood. They created a traffic island for the girl. No one seemed to care for her.

As the signal went RED, we quickly walked into the road from the divider. Megha took the little girl into her arms.
We carefully lifted her and moved towards the foot path. I could see tears in Megha’s eyes.

“Get some water, Nihaal”, she said.

A pool of people soon surrounded us. Each one had a suggestion.

“Poor kid”, someone murmered in the group.

“Does she breathe?” someone quizzed. 

What a herd mentality people have!

Megha took her hand kerchief and wiped her bleeding legs gently. The little girl quivered. She opened her weak eyes. Her looks were staggered. She was searching for someone.

“Suhaan”, she called in a feeble voice.

                                                                            ……… to be continued.

 

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