God’s Religion

When in religions all,

‘Mother’ means the same,

‘Father’ means the same,

Duties mean the same,

Rights mean the same.

 

When in religions all,

‘Good deeds’ mean the same,

‘Bad deeds’ mean the same,

 

When ‘Nature’ is the same,

‘Universe’ is the same,

When each one is the child of God;

 

Why then are sins committed?

Why does man kill man?

Though depart must we all,

To the same Destination.

Unshed tears

Like dark clouds they strain,
On the verge of blue sky,
Vying to rush and drain,
The sea of her cheerless eye,
To show strength to world around,
With great effort she smiles,
For her child she holds the ground,
To protect from vile and guiles,
You left me alone she says,
To the one that parted ways,
Her heart for one thing craves,
As rough weather she braves,
Haven , where without fear,
She can let go that unshed tear.

Woman anywhere…

I could have sworn

that a tear had run down

I knew she was strong

but how long could she

hold on?

A mother of two

a boy & a girl

a wife so devoted

a woman who cared.

Now,she remains all

alone

her womb is empty

so is her heart & soul.

For is there any life left

for a widow or a mother

who loses her kids

to death?

But she is strong,

she held on…

Answer me, God!

One incident took away almost everything from my world. Aayush, my younger son was only 4 months old then; I could have never heard the word “mamma” from him  neither would I knew how well my elder son, Aryan could sing or how handsome he looks in his all white cricketing attire. It all happened little more than a year back but it is still so vivid in my mind as if it happened just a week before. I am writing this on the eve of my birthday, thanks to the saviour for he gave me an opportunity to celebrate my birthday this year with my family.

We met with a  road accident when we were coming back from Pondicherry to Chennai after spending a superb holiday. Our red car, as Aryan recalls, “Papa’s red car fell and broke into pieces so papa bought a big black car.” Our car was rammed by a xylo from behind and the world became darkness to me.

When I was back to my senses, a month had passed and I was still in the hospital with a severe head injury. The worst thing that happened during this accident was that I suffered from retrograde amnesia and lost my last one-year memory. Due to that, I even forgot my younger son, since he was only 4 months then. Still, I keep on urging everyone individually, not to disclose this to him when he grows up. He will be very hurt when he will know his mother did not remember him. Many more things happened in that one-month period when I was in the hospital, but I was simply clueless.

Finally, one day I was released from the hospital, still on a prescription to continue my high dose medicines for an indefinite time. One day I was just lying in my bed, and found my aunt’s digital camera. She came down from Kolkata during those wretched days to help us. I took the camera and started browsing the pics in it. I saw the first pic, and then the second and then as I pressed the next button, the third pic came up. I stared at the picture blankly. It was Aayush’s pic, with one of his leg wrapped with a white plaster. I immediately ran to my hubby to enquire further. He didn’t hide a bit and told me Aayush fractured his leg during the accident. If that was not all, the fracture got detected after a couple of days when the leg started to swell. Poor Aayush underwent a massive pain for those two days.  In addition, my elder son, Aryan who was only 3 and half years then, broke his left collarbone and was in trauma since he was the only one who saw the whole thing. I became numb and only my tears, which do not follow any rules, continued to roll down my cheek. He also said that every night both the kids kept on crying. The younger one tried to pronounce “mamma” and kept on crying and the elder one, kept on asking everyone when his mother will come back to him.

For better care, my hubby sent me to my mothers place to Kolkata after a few days post my return from the hospital. During that stay, I would ask my mother about all that happened when I was not in my senses. She would always start her narration with Anirban, my hubby, how he took care of me. He was badly injured too in the accident, 21 stitches in his head and with a broken shoulder, still he spent all the nights in the hospital sitting next to me. His routine was somewhat like this; he joined his office few days after the accident – he would go to his office in the morning, return by 5 pm, then feed and make Aryan sleep (He was not allowing anyone to feed him and making him sleep).  After Aryan slept, hubby would have his dinner and go to the hospital with my dinner. He would feed me and then used to sit the whole night awake next to my bed and the next day morning again the routine continued…. I always love my hubby a lot but after hearing all this from my mother, that love increased manifolds and the respect I had for him increased too. He too was badly injured and required proper rest after the accident, but due to his commitments then he did not get any rest and now he is suffering from the side effects. 6 months after the accident, he started getting tremendous back pain, for which he still have sleepless nights. After a check up from the doctor, we came to know during the accident, he badly hurt his back, if he would have taken proper rest then after the accident, now he would not suffer from the side affects. I am very lucky to have him as my best half; he showed me what life is and where happiness lies.

I had no clue what my parents went through as i am their only daughter. Few months back when I was visiting  my aunt, the topic reappeared. She disclosed that my mother kept fasting because I could not eat properly when I was in the hospital. She used to tell, “I will leave my fasting only when my daughter starts eating normal diet.” ‘Hat’s off to you maa, you have shown me what mothers are for and thanks baba for your support.I know you too went through a lot of pain !”

A year flew by but the stigma of the incidence is still crystal-clear in my mind. Very frequently, I get the memories flushing my mind and I always ask with moist eyes – ‘why it was me and my family, who had to experience such a horrible fate.’ This is the only question that I have for Him, the power known as God!

Solitude

It seems time has numbed,

The wind has missed whispering

The sky is yellow, burning golden bright

Burning my within to dead ashes

Vulnerable, stony, I am a cadaver

Being without you is a sin…

Now, the heat has stopped

The sun seemingly pacified

The breeze cajoling the trees

It’s just started to rain inside

You are gone

Yes, you are gone…

The silence of the night

The silence of the night
As the darkness spreads,
The moon and the stars
The jugnu and the flies
Amazed her little eyes
Tip toe tip toe moved her little feet.
She loved the silence of the night.
The cloudy cool nights,
Raindrops falling on the face,
Shooting stars that pass by,
Magnificent view of the star filled sky
She loved the silence of the night.
Years passed, times changed,
The wishes sent to the shooting stars,
The dreams woven on full moon nights
The stars that sparkled her eyes,
All went in vain.
The tears that flow down
Are washed in the rain.

Still she loves the silence of the night.
Hiding herself in the dark,
The moon and the stars,
Are blurred in her vision
Nothing is the same anymore
Still she loved,
The silence of the night.
As the dawn approaches,
Tears well up,
Dreams lost,
She caresses the silence,
Silence of the night.

Life Management

Life Management By Self-empowerment-1

To find the ways to manage our lives, we have to first understand what life is and what management is?

The difference between a dead and live person: Our body consists of innumerable number of live cells. Each cell is an independent unit. Numbers of cells keep on changing all the time. The dead cells are replaced by the new cells. A person is live till the time this process of change in number of cells in his body is taking place. If this process stops the person is dead. Throughout the life span of a person this process keeps on taking place. Therefore, if one wishes to increase his life span, he has to make sure that this process of change in number of live cells remains active. Moment this process stops he is declared dead.

Now Life (age) of a person in years is the time span between his birth and death. When we say ‘management of life; we mean ‘to manage activity in this time span’. In my opinion, we keep on changing our life span (or remaining-age period) all the time. This happens because of our activities. We can’t survive without activity. Even while sleeping (either relaxing or otherwise) our life span keep on changing. All our activities – god or bad – will have effect on our life span. In other words, our remaining life span is in our hand.

Management is broadly defined as ‘efficient utilisation of all available resources to achieve the desired objective in predefined time frame.’

Now to manage the life we have to define its objectives, available resources and the time period available – to achieve those objectives.

Now let us first understand that time period available (remaining-age) to one is not specified. One can live for a long period or one can die at any moment. So we can’t define time period available. This increases our difficulty to manage life.

Next we have to define objectives of our life. Now each individual may set different objectives for his life. This also makes it impossible to make a fixed formula, which can be universally applied to all persons, for managing life.

Next, resources available also vary from person to person. Resources available may be time, energy, will power, intelligence level, money, manpower, material help, responsibilities etc.

Thus it becomes more difficult to define a universal formula for life management. In short, laying down a plan for life management, which can be applied to all, is not an easy task.

However, we should not leave hope and try to do it.

Firstly let us set an objective that is universally applicable to all living beings, irrespective of time period (remaining-age) and resources available to an individual.

We know – one of the main requirements of good management is efficient utilisation of available resources. Efficient means optimum utilisation of resources to achieve optimum results.

Now it is a well-known fact that our efficiency is optimum when we are happy (i.e. we are in the best mood and our mind is at rest). When we are sad our efficiency is the least.

Therefore, our aim in life should be ‘to remain happy all the time’ so that our efficiency is optimum; and thereby what ever we do we do it to the perfection. Now this objective can be universal, as it is independent of available time or resources.

Now we will try to find ways to achieve this ‘objective of life’ i.e. TO REMAIN HAPPY ALL THE TIME.

In other words, Management of life means – ‘to manage our life in such a way that we are happy all the time’. In other words, we have to control our activities in the present, so that they have good effect on us and we remain happy all the time.

To remain happy all the time we have to understand what happiness is and what are the factors affecting our happiness?

One of the paths to achieve happiness is self-empowerment. And this is the most important path, as any one who is dependent on any one else for any thing can’t remain happy. Can you remain happy in your old age, when you have to depend on others (including doctors or medicines or conveyance etc)? So, we have to depend or rely more on us for our daily requirement. How we can do it?

As we have realised that life can be managed well if one can live it efficiently; and one is most efficient when he is happy.

As the life span of an individual is uncertain one has to live happily all the time. One can not postpone his living happily otherwise his efficiency will go down, and his life span (remaining-age when he can do some activity as per his wish) will reduce.

Living happily all the time means we have to live our life (consciously) in the present, as we can’t live in past or future.

Living in the present means we have to live every moment of our life consciously so that we make sure that we utilise that moment efficiently. The moment not utilised will not come back to us. Our future depends upon our activity in the present. We will reap in future what we sow in the present.

Therefore, we have to empower ourselves so that we live all the time happily. Therefore, one should not waste any moment without efficiently utilising it.

Self-empowerment can be achieved by self-awareness and self-actualisation.

The other important point in life management is – how to increase our life span so that our problem of life management becomes little bit easy. Less the time, more is the difficulty in managing it.

Therefore, we should find methods of increasing our life span – period available to us till our death. This period should be such that we can use it for some creative work – not to feed the body only and curing it with medicines.

This leads us to next important point of living healthy all the time. Unless we are healthy we can’t be happy. We will also see how to remain healthy without having any medicine – whether allopathic, ayurvedic, homeopathy or of any other pathy.

(To be concluded…)

(Presented by: Harish Nagpal, [email protected])

Not depressing Its cheering…

Many here in world with charming faces,
Who make the best their life’s phases.

Sometimes they do slip down and have a set back,
Confident are they towards their come back.

They are among us, One of them is you too,
Strong heart and mind, is the way human move.

Aware, unaware you, me and all walk the path,
Path of light and positive pleasures, till our last breath.

Aware of all, we are grown ups, no more a kid to be guided, still waits for a mother’s/father’s/elder’s instructions, take their advices, Do move in our life, with lots of hopes on ourselves.
Our elders do build up umpteen number hopes on us.
Hopes are good. It brings smile on face. Put up good dreams.
Question here to think and wishing for a answer is still to go…
..

We do take advices and move, May not take advices and move..
We may achieve what we dreamed of, else may not.
Utmost, we are very much knowledgeable, whatz good in life, But still why don’t we follow the good path, The true light of life…

Heart beat

You just came and set the tone
for a song of my life to repeat itself
Not  knowing that the hurt  inside
can turn my heart to a molten stone

What is in you that makes me a fool?
over and over and over again
To amuse yourself, but never again
will let you use my  heart as a tool

Oh! how could you, just how could you
do what you did, a second time through
You walk into my life and out as you please
won’t you turn  back  once to see the pain I go through?

The time has come now in fact
to keep my life and focus in tact
I will try my best and never let you see
in my hearts and thoughts,whatever the cost be.


Life is beautiful

Life is beautiful for this ten year old dark mahagony colored wooden bench placed in the public park about eight years back. It was brought here after the park opened for public, and since then it’s been around day and night, through scorching summers and chilly winters.

Over time, the bench has had many a buddies, who come and sit on it while visiting the park. But ask the bench to pick five to six of its most favorable buddies and it doesn’t hesitate one bit to describe them.

Dr. and Mrs. Kapoor are the firsts to visit the park for their morning walk at 5.45 am every day. Dr. Kapoor is a renowned physician in town, and after their walk, every single day Mrs. Kapoor inquires to him about his schedule for the day. Every now and then Dr. Kapoor has an operation scheduled. Today he tells Mrs. Kapoor he has a major operation scheduled and that he’s tensed up whether it would go well. He sits on the bench and discusses about his anxiety with her. The bench quietly wishes the doctor ‘all the best’.

Then at 7.30 sharp enters Mrs. Rustomjee and her cousin Sally. They are associated with an NGO and have almost devoted their life to service. Dreaming about a clean city is what Mrs. Rustomjee believes and fights for, day in and day out. For her mission close to her heart, her NGO organizes several rallies and drives to bring home the importance of clean and healthy cities to urbanites at large. Be it schools, hospitals or slums, they organize the awareness drives across the board to seek maximum involvement and people participation. Every day when they perch on the wooden bench in the morning, the bench comes to know how the women’s day would be unfolding, and what all chores they have in store for the day. And thus the bench feels nice and fulfilling from inside, to have such a workaholic person as its buddy.

At 8.00 am walks in Mr. Pujari, a senior citizen, retired judge accompanied by his dear friend Shri Kher. After a brief walk around the park, they settle down on the wooden bench and discuss everything there is to discuss under the sun- whether it is affecting or not affecting their lives directly or indirectly. They talk politics, law and order, about busy lives, about the changing societal patterns, about how these days even to visit a close nephew or niece they need to call up before hand and then visit, they talk about the latest books each one of them has recently read and the conversations just drift on and on till 8.30, when usually it is Mr. Kher who peeks into the watch and remarks it is time for them to get going….Sometimes the bench wonders why it is very fond of these two senior citizens and then it convinces itself that it is because of these two gentlemen that the bench stays up-to-date on the happenings and events around the country/ world at large. So in a way, the two buddies are the bench’s information bank!

As the day advances, the bench sits all alone amid the scorching heat, sulking and waiting for the evening….because it is only in the evenings, that it gets to meet three of its last set of buddies.

Jay enters the park at 6.30 pm. After a brisk round of the meadows, with an i-pod stuck to him constantly, the fellow halts for a while and perches on the bench. To the bench, he seems to be a confused guy. Actually he is well educated and all, and he has also begun work recently. But the bench somehow feels that he isn’t enjoying his job. It isn’t giving him the kind of kick and push he’s perhaps yearning for. Although the bench doesn’t know where the problem lies. And then, every single day, slowly, he dials a number from his mobile handset, only to disconnect the number….until some day he musters some courage and dials the number again. This time he speaks to the person on the other end. He addresses her as Priya, and then slowly but surely the bench comes to know part of Jay’s confused life….girlfriend, less paid & stuck up job, zero job satisfaction, rising parental expectations….But something about the guy tells the bench that he’ll someday come out of his issues and pangs surely. There is one glitter and twinkle in the eyes of Jay, which the bench is very fond of, which tells him, that this boy will surely find his path. And the bench waits for that day curiously….

Exactly one hour after Jay leaves, a lady walks in, completes her daily 10 rounds of brisk walks and silently sits down on the bench. She’s been a visitor of this park for a longer time than the bench has been around. Till as recent as the bench could remember, this lady used to exude a sense of confidence in her walk, in her demeanor, and in general in her attitude. But it’s as recent as the past year, that she’s appearing to be kind of clumsy, irritant, absent minded and angry in general. Nowadays, every once in a while she forgets something or the other on the bench. One day, it’s her purse, some day it’s her vegetable bag. And then the bench wonders how a person can age so fast and how it could affect that person’s daily life….Then one day it is from his information buddy Mr. Pujari that the bench came to know a term dementia, and then it struck the bench that perhaps the lady is precisely suffering from this kind of similar disorder. Like a tree laden with fruit and flowers on one day, and then other day having shed all its flowers and having become dry and worthless, the bench has seen the journey of this lady transform from confidence and charm to the uninviting corridors of memory loss and dementia. And the bench’s heart reaches out to the lady….if only it could help her in her agony…

The last buddy whose story the bench wishes to share is a fifteen year old girl name Meera. She stands outside the park every day in the evening, selling flowers and garlands. As the sun sets and the park becomes a desolate place, she enters the premises, and quietly perches on the bench, opens her tiny yellow colored pouch, which is her money bag and sits to count her day’s earning. The bench doesn’t know about the whereabouts of Meera’s parents, or whether she does even have any family to go home to. Because right after finishing the money count, she heads out of the park to a stall, gets herself some quick bite and continues sitting on the bench for a long time. She just looks up into the star studded sky with eyes wide open. Perhaps there’s no one to tell her any stories about stars, perhaps she wonders about the universe or about her destiny….or perhaps the bench wonders she gathers dreams in her eyes and watches the stars awestruck.  Her earnings are meager, the bench understands. It’s just herself that she’s supporting, the bench guesses. As night falls, her sleepy eyelids grow closer and in a moment she falls to sleep, like a child in the lap of the bench, under the envelope of the night sky to take care of her and to sing her a quiet lullaby. It’s been almost three years that Meera is going on with the same schedule, and then bench is more than her buddy. It’s her care taker.

So for this eight year old mahagony bench, this is life. Those who come and sit on it, all those special ones whose stories it shares heartily are its mirrors to the outside world. With their experiences and stories the bench realizes and comes to know how bad or sometimes good the world can be. Their anguishes and hopes ignite a curiosity in the mind of the bench, as it keeps on sitting where it always has, though quietly praying for each of its buddies; hoping that wherever they are, they stay happy and contented, and hoping that its friendship with all of those continues for years on….

For the wooden bench, this is life and life is beautiful, just like the scented flowers grown on the tree right beside it, the fragrance of which the bench keeps getting as seasons move on. Sometimes the fragrance is maximum, sometimes minimum, but the bliss stays etched in its memory until next year when the blossom would come back in full swing. Until then, it’s just the bench and its six close buddies.

A Little Bit of Luck

Avinash stepped out of the pavements and started to cross the road. The horn, screech of wheels and the sudden swerve of the car came just a second too late, and he was thrown away into the middle of the road, with a pool of blood under him. Everyone thought that he should have been dead.

“Oh, my God, is he alright? Is he..?” cried a young and beautiful girl, who was driving that car that knocked him off his feet.

“Can’t tell?” said a stranger.

“Somebody please get him into my car, in the back seat and I will take him to the hospital…Please….” She cried

They picked up his limp body and laid him down on the back seat of her car and closed the door. She thanked them got into the car and was about to slam her feet on the accelerator.

“Ma’am, I think this belongs to him” Said a stranger, handing her a file. Which she placed next to her seat.

“Thank you,” She said, slamming her foot on the accelerator and driving as fast as she could and raced towards the hospital. Finally, she reached the hospital. He was taken into the ICU. The doctor examined his body. When he came back.

“Any hope?” She asked.

“Can’t say? He has fractured his leg; the loss of the blood is the problem. Because, we do not have his blood group in the blood bank of our hospital and if we don’t get it in the next half an hour or so then he will surely die.” The doctor replied.

“What’s his blood group, doctor?” She asked.

“A+ ”

“Mine is A+ too. You can take my blood” She said.

“Good, then follow me.” The doctor said

Later, Priya came out of the hospital and got into her car. She saw the file. ‘The Whispering Willow’- A collection of short stories by Avinash’

“God, please let him live…please ..” She prayed, starting the engine of her car.

When Avinash opened his eyes, he felt awful. He blinked his eyes, looking at the ceiling. Images seemed to be blurred. He blinked again; it took him sometime before he could clearly see anything.

He was lying in a bed in a strange place that seemed like a hospital. His left leg was covered with plaster and was raised high in the air, suspended to a pulley; he wiggled his toes of his right leg. They seemed to be fine. Then he began to move his arms. Just then a nurse came to his bedside.

“Hi! Mr. Avinash, welcome back to this world” She said.

“How long have I been like this?” He asked, looking at her.

“Three days.” she replied, keeping the thermometer in his mouth and checking his pulse rate.

“Good, you’re making very nice recovery.” She moved on to the next bed. He looked out of the window, opposite to him.

Avinash’s short stories had appeared in the children’s magazines during his schooldays and then in newspapers. When he grew up, he had a dream to become one of the best story tellers of his time. He had joined a book publishing house as an assistant editor, hoping that they might help him in getting his collection of short stories published. Amar Jyothi Book House, where he worked was owned by Mrs. Anupama, a widow in her late thirties.

One evening, she offered to give him a lift in her car. Though he hesitated at first. Finally, he agreed and got into the car, next to her seat.

“Mr.Avinash, do you like reading?” she asked.

“Yes, ma’am. Why?” He asked her.

“Just call me Anupama or Anu. I just asked you because, I had seen you going through Jeffrey Archer’s Collected Short Stories so.” She said.

“Yes, Ma’am..He is one of the greatest story tellers of our age” He replied. Agreed. But, do you only read or do something else apart from that?” She asked, looking at him.

“Well, I write short stories too.” He said.

“Really? I didn’t know that!” She said, “It’s exceptionally very good. By the way, give me some to read. Let me see if you really have the talent” she said, changing the gear.

“I will.” he said, turning and looking at her.

“If your stories are really good then maybe I would consider publishing your first collection of stories.” She said
“Oh, That’s really very nice of you, Anu. ” He said.

“Well, met me at 7’o clock tomorrow evening in the office with your collection of short stories” She said.

Next evening at 7, stepped out of the pavements and started to cross the road. The horn, screech of wheels and the sudden swerve of the car…..

“Mr.Avinash, you have a visitor. I think you should see her for she is the reason for you to be alive today. Hadn’t she brought here in time and given her blood to you then it would’ve been a different story altogether.” The nurse said “Would you like to meet her?”

“Of course, what do you expect me to say. Send her in please.” He said.

“Ok, I will send her in.” She said, going away.

He looked eagerly towards the door for her to come.

“So, how are you doing?” Priya asked, coming and sitting on the stool, next to the bed.

“Fine, thanks for saving my life.” He said.

“No, please don’t thank me. Infact, I am the reason for this” She said, pointing her finger at his body, “Well, I couldn’t sleep well for the past three nights. I was always thinking and praying that you should get well. If at all something had happened to you then I don’t know what would’ve happened to me.” She said.

“Nice to know that suddenly I have become the center of your attraction” He said, smiling at her.

“Not just me. But, everyone else too.” She said.

“I didn’t get you?” He said. Well, your first collection of short stories ‘The Whispering Willow’ got published. Believe me; all the copies got sold within one day of its release. Now, it is out of stock in the book stores. All the newspapers had your picture and the critics have acknowledged that you do have talent to be a great writer.” She said, handing him a copy of the book.

He took it and stared at the cover page for a while and as he turned the pages, drops of tears twinkled in his eyes and fell down. She caught hold of them in the palm of her hand.
“Thank you. Thank you, very much. I just don’t have any more words to express my inner feelings of gratitude for what you have done for me” He said “I don’t know how I am going to repay this?”

“No mention. I have already got my reward by this.” She said, showing him the drop of tears to him, “Actually I did nothing. I just happened to read your collection of short stories. I liked most of the stories and I tried to get them published and succeeded.”

“Your stories are so nice, especially the twists and turns in the end. ‘A Plan for a Murder’; in which the husband plans to kill his wife to unite with his lover. But, ends up killing his lover in the end, was great.” she said.

“Yes.” He said.

“In the story ‘Into the dark of the night’; two couple meet with an accident and reach a house
that seems to be haunted. But, what they don’t realize is that they are dead and ghosts, was excellent.” She said.

“Thank you.” He said.

“But, one story ‘The Lost Friend’ seemed to be based on a real story” She said.

“Yes, it is based on a true incident from my childhood days.” He said.

“Did you ever come across her again?” She asked him.

“Unfortunately no.” He said.

“I think now you have.” She said, “I am Priya Sarma, who was studying with you in your school days.” She said, extending her hand to him.

“Really? What a surprise!” He exclaimed, shaking her hand, “Today I am really very happy and pleased.” The door bell rang. Sangeetha kept the pen down on the sheets of paper, on which she was writing something. She went to answer the door. She found Priya standing outside the door. She welcomed her inside.

“What are you doing Sangeethu?” She asked.

“Well, just writing one of my stories, that’s all!” She said.

“What’s the title of the story?” Priya asked.

“A Little Bit of Luck” She replied.

“Nice title.” She said “What’s it about?”

She explained the story to her. Priya listened to her with much interest. Then suddenly she interrupted her.
“Hey! All this had happened to me and Avinash” She said.

“You mean that short story writer, who became famous overnight?” She asked surprised.

“Yes”

“Oh, so, you know him, isn’t it?” She asked.

“Very much.”

“Can you help me to meet him once? I’ve read all of his stories and I just love them all. I just want to meet him in person.” She said.

“Sure. But, do tell me what happens in the climax of your this story?” Priya asked, curiously.

“I’m yet to write the climax of this story.” Sangeetha said, “I am thinking whether to include a sad or a happy ending.”

“If you include a sad ending then I’m going to kill you. Just kidding” Priya said, “Sangeethu, whatever you had written has happened to me or may be it’s just a coincidence. Even then I would like to have a happy ending in your this story. So let her marry him and live happily ever after.”

“Let me think about it. You should bribe me for that.” She said, teasingly.

“How about tomorrow? You can meet him at Malgudi at 7 pm.” Priya said, smiling at her.

Old Man’s Paradise

The Prologue

“Whose letter is it?” Brinda asked her husband, Ashok.

“Dad’s. He likes giving surprises!” Ashok replied “They haven’t gone to Kasi*”

“Then where did they go?” She asked.

“Old Man’s Paradise!”

“Old Man’s Paradise? What place is that?”

“We shall find out soon,” He said “As he has invited us over there.”

***

The train was going through a place which had greenery on either side. Ashok peeped through the window of the train compartment.

“Do you see him?” Brinda asked.

“Yes, I see him!” Ashok replied, he had seen his father’s friend Dayanand holding a sign board with “Welcome to Old Man’s Paradise!” written on it.

He tried to pull the chain down with all his might.

“What the hell do you think you are doing?” asked a man, who was with them in that compartment.

“ We are going to get down the train!” He said turning back “I think it is stuck…come on, guys, help me!” He added looking at his family members.

His wife Brinda and his two daughters Priya and Preethi held his waist and pulled him back. The chain came down as well as the train came to a screeching halt.

“Who pulled the chain?” The T.C. asked, rushing towards their compartment.

“I did!” Ashok said, taking down the luggage.

“Oh, you should be that old man’s son” The T.C. said rather annoyed “You’ll have to pay a fine of…”

“Rupees five hundred…here it is!” Ashok said giving it to him.

“It’s nice to see you guys” Dayanand said with a warm smile “It is about fifteen minutes walk from here. Please follow me!”

“Dayanand Uncle, isn’t there a railway station nearby?” Ashok asked.

“Yes, there is one in the town.”

“And how far is this town from here?”

“Thirty kilometers!”

Soon, they reached the compound wall of the Old Man’s Paradise. As they entered, they saw Gulmohar trees and Yellow flame trees on either side of the path. It gave the feel to the name “Old Man’s Paradise”.

There was a pond with lotus flowers and a wooden bridge in the middle to cross it. On the other side, there was one huge banyan tree with a circular platform below. As they walked ahead, they found a big building with a beautiful spring fountain before it. The spring fountain was surrounded by colourful flower plants.

“Welcome to old man’s paradise!” Ashok’s father Kishore said, welcoming them inside.

“Hi!”Ashok’s mother Rukmini said coming.

“Why are your hands muddy, gandma?” Preethi asked.

“Well, I was plucking the vegetables for the lunch” She said.

“Plucking vegetables?” Brinda asked surprised.

“Yes, we grow our own vegetables in the vegetable- garden behind the house.” Rukmini replied.

Later, they all had lunch together on the dinning table.

“Well, hope you like the food.” Rukmini said.

“Yeah, we like it!” Ashok said smiling at his mother.

“Dad, how did you guys come to this place?” Ashok asked.

“Well, son, it’s a long story..It was long time back…” Kishore said.

“Grandpa, start it with ‘Once upon a time long, long ago..’” Preethi interrupted.

“Once upon a time long, long ago…when we friends weren’t even married…we all set out for a trip in our car. We had lost our way and reached this wonderful village…As it had turned dark, so we had decided to stay back in this village for that night. We were pleasantly surprised by the wonderful hospitality of these innocent villagers. The best thing about them was that they all lived like one big family…” Kishore started the story.

“Though they had their problems. They had power supply only for a couple of hours or so in a day. We, friends used to think that we should do something good and nice to others…which would give us joy and satisfaction in return..”

So we came back again to this village and talked to them about solving their power problem with solar energy. They co-operated with us and we solved their energy crisis.”

“Then the next big problem was that they used to waste their hard earned money by drinking, smoking and gambling. We tried to get rid of these three bad habits of these villagers and succeeded in the same, though this one took longer time to achieve.”

“The impact was so much that the person who was selling vine in vine shop was forced to close it and open a provision store in its place.” Dilip added.

“Wow! That’s amazing!” Ashok said

“Then we realized that these villagers weren’t educated and they were many times cheated in the town. So, we decided to come here some weekends and teach them to read and write.” Dayanand said.

“You guys did all this before you all got married?” Ashok asked.

“Yes, It was then your dad got this wonderful idea of buying some land over here and settling after our retirement.” Pradeep said.

“When we told this to the villagers, they were more than happy and gave us thirty acres of land in the outskirts of this village for a reasonable price. They even helped us to bring this dream place together and took care of the same in our absence.” Dayanand said.

“ But, why thirty acres?” Ashok asked.

“Well, I and Vishnu wanted to grow grapes!” Dilip said.

“I wanted to grow mangoes!” Pradeep said.

“It was my dream to grow strawberries someday..” Raghu said.

“I wanted tomatoes..” Dayanand said.

“Well, I wanted to grow sunflowers..so we needed more land.” Kishore said.

“That’s very nice!” Ashok said smiling at them. “You guys have achieved your dream!”

“Son, If you believe in your dreams, then go after them and never rest in peace until you achieve them.” Kishore said.

You’re right, dad!” Ashok said.

“As a matter of fact, they didn’t tell us too. We all were under impression that we were going to Kasi.” Narmada, Vishnu’s wife said.

They all rested for a while after a delicious meal. Later, they played “UNO” game together. In a way, the game had become like a tradition amongst them. Then they took bicycles and went peddling around the green path. They passed by the sun flowers field, the mangroves, grapes yard, strawberry and tomatoes fields.

When they were returning back, it started raining.

“It is very nice to peddle a bicycle in rain, you know.” Vishnu cried.

“Yeah!” They all cried back in chorus.

When they reached back, hot snacks and tea was waiting for them.

“It’s a wonderful place!” Ashok said very pleased.

“Yes, you won’t regret growing old.” Raghu said smiling at him.

“How about watching a movie in the home theatre?” Dilip suggested.

Krishore led them to the large hall which had a big library of books, music cds and movie dvds at one end, and a home theatre in the other end.

Kishore picked up the movie “Big Fish”. They all watched this movie directed by Tim Burton and enjoyed it.

“I have seen this movie many times” Kishore said “and I have enjoyed it every time!”

Later, Kshore gave a book to his grand daughter Priya. It was a collection of short stories. She was surprised to see her grand father’s name on the cover page of the book.

“Grandpa, I never knew that you write?” She said.

“You wrote it, dad?” Ashok asked, taking it from her and going through it.

“Well, I used to write when I was young. Later, I became busy and couldn’t continue it. Now, I had time so thought of doing it.” Kishore said smiling. “Here is my first collection of short stories!”

“I’m proud of you, dad!” Ashok said.

“Thank you, son.”

The Epilogue

“I hope you enjoyed your stay over here.” Kishore said.

“Yes, dad, we sure did” Ashok said “It was like a dream come true!”

“All this will be yours along with children of my dear friends when you guys grow old.” Kishore said.

“Thanks, dad” Ashok said.

The End

Living In Nineteen Eighty-Nine

Presidency in the middle of the eighties
She almost never found
when she fell in love
and she knew he never did..
..
A dark blue denim kurta
and a light faded Jeans
with the upper half of the handkerchief
flung outside the pocket.
..
This is how she remembered him,
Trying to convince everybody in the hall
that communism was still the need of the hour.
Even though Reagan, Osho & George Michael ruled minds then.
But he like always knew what he was saying.

Perhaps it was then
when she fell in love with him
even though he lost the debate
and human capitalism won hands down
or maybe when
she saw him talking to
the tea vendor outside Presidency
detailing what Gorbachev is doing
and the vendor asked, who was Gorbachev dada
But when she saw him playing football
at Calcutta maidan with all the kids.
She knew it was love.

He was Heathcliff Mukherjee to her
a name dedicated to his antics
and the way he smiled at her
in a strange contorted but angry way
Heathcliff personified for her
Once told her,
‘You belong to tollygunge neither Presidency nor me’
and she said
‘And you heath belong to me, not Glazkov.’
He just smiled, contorted.
She knew then that he didn’t.

As love for him was always
an abstract notion
and he disliked things more than loved,
like bourgeoisie people,
people like her
The idea that he was in love with
was communist utopia
and Russian writers, but her
may be she loved him a lot more for this.

It was this devotion to his ideals
that she loved and hated
and yet it was the seed
that let her love grow.
..
For him it was
how she always had a poem in mind
for his thoughts
and the way she said,
Alturas de Machu pichu.
Though it was never she the reason perhaps.

Yet nineteen eighty nine broke him
the wall broke
and Russia made
his thoughts had failed him.
His ideals betrayed
a lost man he was
He decided to leave Presidency
for a govt. school in Midnapur,
never to be back.
He left her a Canto-General
few photographs and his memories.

The bourgeoisie in her
had to move on in life.
Though she read Peoples democracy every week
and a few times found his articles too,
Once he wrote
‘Our struggle against Neocolonialism is like
Heathcliffs love for Catherine
we can never attain it perhaps
but the fight gives us
the strength to breath.’
And she knew he loved her as well.

It has been two decades,
two fallen empires
and twenty seven articles in Peoples democracy
but she still hasn’t forgotten
the dark blue denim kurta
and a light faded Jeans
with the upper half of the handkerchief outside.

She prays perhaps in some village in Midnapur
a man stuck in 1989 and communism hasn’t as well.

Bread and Belt.

I was hungry and wished I could earn my bread just like humans do, but they have left nothing for others. I wish I was in a forest, hunting some animal and living happily, until some other animal hunted me down, but I’m not blessed enough to deserve that ecstasy. I lived among humans who consider themselves as Gods of earth. In one way they are right, they are Gods of destruction. They destruct everything they pass by.

I ignored their atrocity and sat in front of a small bakery, waiting for someone to throw a piece of bread. I never slept with a full stomach but hoped I would get at least a mouthful of bread, so I can survive another day. These days, no dog can be sure he will get to eat something, the next day.

I waited for hours and hours, but no one ever glanced at me. Still, I waited hoping someone would be generous enough to throw a small piece of bread. Hundreds of people walked in and walked out, carrying loads of food with them. For a moment, I wished even I was a human, but the idea was so disgusting, I gave up immediately. I did not want to be a human, who wouldn’t even throw a piece of bread at a poor dog.

I whined supposing someone will hear me and show some pity on me, but no one showed me any mercy. A man walked out of the bakery carrying a belt in his hand and hit me before I could retreat. I limped away from there as soon as possible, not wanting to die today.

I had not eaten anything since morning and on top of it I was hurt. My left leg ached like hell. I prayed to God asking him to give me death if not bread. I did not remember doing anything that would make me deserve so much pain and also hunger, and then I supposed I might have been a human in my past life.

I limped and limped, until the sky cried along with me. I took shelter beneath a tree not wanting to get drenched in cold water. I was already hungry and hurt, I did not want to catch cold too. There were lot of trees around and they looked good in rain. I drank some water hoping it would keep me alive, tonight.

A man ran towards the tree under which I was standing and then kicked me off from there and before I could wonder why he kicked me, my right leg hit a stone and started bleeding. I slept under another tree and drifted into dreams. The dream was wonderful unlike the reality. A young boy offered me a piece of bread and I licked his hand thankfully. He smiled at me…he looked so angelic.

Next morning, when I opened my eyes I found another dog sleeping nearby. I looked around and felt very happy. Everything looked so peaceful, but not the dog. It was hurt. There was blood all around him. I walked towards him and realized my legs didn’t hurt anymore. I looked at them and was surprised to see they were perfectly alright…no blood and no wound.

My heart stopped when I almost walked into the dog that was hurt. Then, I realized I had no heart to stop, it had already ceased. The dog sleeping nearby was me…my dead body. Someone had run a vehicle over me. I was drenched in blood and was almost in two pieces. I did not feel sorry for myself, instead I was glad I had felt no pain while dying. This was better than living with human. I closed my eyes and evaporated into the sky praying for peace.

Photograph

Picture 5

You were to leave for London
and had to reapply for the passport,
you look a little older
and your eyes seem a little swollen.
Perhaps you did not sleep well.
You are wearing this unlikely yellow,How??
Its strange that they do not make people
smile for passports, strange.

I received your message,
Just before the airlines announced for departure,
It said Goodbye and a smiley.
I remember that I couldn’t smile though,
I tried.

I don’t remember
how I have this picture but I do..

..But I don’t have you.

Picture 4

It was totally out of context,
It’s at your home sometime in december
a few years ago,
It was Sharmishtha
your little sis’s engagement
and we were a little late,
I wasn’t at home for last two days
and you wanted to go together and called me up.

This picture has you
in a maroonish sari with golden hues,
You had started to gain little weight
and the smile almost looks made-up
but then who can forget
that you were the Drama Champ in JNU.

I almost hated you for this picture
but kept quite.
How can we be so preposterous to smile
for a picture when we…

We never did talk
all the while there, did we?
To look at it now
..you still look worthy of the name Cleopatra.

Picture 3

On our anniversary,
this picture was taken
in Mumbai near Tara road.
I believe we went to Marriot that night
and into Enigma because you insisted.

I can see the cool sea breeze
letting your hair fly
you look at the camera
the way you looked at me then,
the eyes of Love.

I remember you saying,
“Don’t act like an oldie
and you kissed me inside the Enigma.”
Beside Richard Marx was singing
“Right Her Waiting..”
I almost fell in love again.

You wore this Cyanish shaded top.
How clothes conscious you were
your dress radiated the sea.

We had a small fight
that evening for me being late
on our anniversary.

..Perhaps we made love that night.

Picture 2

JNU campus Delhi,
You stand besides a peacock.
Remember we posted this picture
in our wedding album
calling it the queen of Aravali
or was it the queen of Ridge?
You have both your hands towards me
and you were mouthing I love you baby
while we were taking this picture,

the light green kurta
goes so well with the Campus green.
You had won
a University level Dramatics thing
Kallol it was,I guess.

The picture is crumpled
but you still radiate yourself through it.
You remind me of Anne Bancroft here
perhaps more beautiful.

..Remember How I couldn’t let go of you then, But I did…

Picture 1

This picture is black and white
and it has no connection with me
but I have it
you were ten years old then
Baba holds your hands
and you wore polka dots,perhaps red.
Its in your old home at Saltlake.

You look so happy,
I had promised to give you the same happiness
all through our life, this way
on our wedding night
and you had just cried and smiled into my arms.

In this picture you smile
the same way you did
while enacting Portia
and winning the best actress award
at kallol in JNU,
you lost that smile
somewhere between this and London.

You didn’t know you would loose it, did you?
when we first met at JNU,
when I called you Cleopatra,
my own Cleopatra and you smiled,
when we held hands
and spent our evenings at Haze,Delhi.
I still have that smile of yours with me…

I do…

The Promise

One year had passed. The memories still coming back on her mind that repeatedly seen in the golden sunset that shimmer at the meadow. A tragedy that had happened in her life , a bad dream, that she couldn’t take all the heartache, her life had no meaning at all, her days had been darkened like a rainy cloud, her days had been harder to live in each day of her living.It was eight days in August, the night was cruel, and the wind hardly blew. Joe had driven his car going back to the city despite a stormy weather, spending time at his weekend vacation so that he could think about his promise to Sheila, their dreams that they will grow old together, the family that they dreamed about, the loved that he swore beyond the stars that flickered at the sky. He drove his car at the maximum speed, he did not care about the slippery high ways, and even the darkened night that made his vision blurred because of heavy rains. All that he wanted now was to see and talk with Sheila. He could not wait until tomorrow to tell her that he was willing to give himself wholeheartedly. And for this evening he wanted to make it special memories that they could never be forgotten, a night, they could take them to the rest of their life.
Sheila was his life since then, he loved Sheila more than Sheila could ever be known, just like the way Sheila felt for him.
However, time is so untamed for the two hearts that loved truthfully, endlessly. Joe met with an accident and passed away on that night, all that she heard was Joe voice shouting loudly. She didn’t know that it was the last time she could ever hear Joe’s voice but not in that way she wished to be happened. Her anger was kept inside her soul, her love had been vanished away, like a rain that goes back freely to the sea, and her passion had been buried as deep as the ocean.

Tears fell from her eyes, her grief etched on sand that can be seen in every corner of the shore. She missed Joe, his smile that she could not be able to be seen since the day Joe was gone through, his eyes that dazzle in sunset. She missed the laughter that sounded familiar in a moment the wave danced at the shingle. She sighed at the wide ocean just like the way Joe and her done before. Walking together, sharing their dreams with each other, laughing at themselves for the time. They had fun just like when they were younger, but those moments were just painted on her remembrance that makes her feel weak and to live her life in a misery.
She felt the warm breeze that deeply brushed inside of her, like a pain through her veins. Joe was her life, but. How? Joe was not on her side, that now she could not be with him . Where was the promise that he whispered a thousand times. Where was the love that he promised that it would last forever. All of these were like a lost soul that hides on a shadow of loneliness that was a blanket by the bitter tears

She walked along on a tide of solitude. She let her body drown. She will follow Joe on the entire life. There she could be with Joe that no one can take them apart, they would fulfill their promises that their love will last forever until the last minute of their lives.

FALL

When a person hears the word FALL , how he/she gonna react? It can be a shock or surprise followed by sadness, anxiety and ultimately tears if he/she is someone who you really care about. It also depend on what kind of situations made him/her fall.We always need to analyse the facts that lead us to this awful situation. One should find out real reasons behind this.


When i mention fall, its not only human beings – even nature has to go through this like fall of seasons. For instance, you can definitely feel it and see it summer is over. Its time to get out the sweaters and jackets because its definitely fall outside. Once every one will have to taste this and feel it for quite sometime.


But best part of it is, every time you fall, you learn a new lesson. Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall. But if you don’t design your life plan, you will fall into some body’s plan and guess what they have planned for you-not much. This is reality, how the society works.We always fall for the people who have got little devil in them and no one can help it. I always think why this is happening???Is that  because  they are too smart for us or are we playing to their tunes???

The desire of knowledge caused men to fall. A man who stands for nothing will fall for anything. We stumble and fall constantly even when we are most enlightened. But when we are in true spiritual darkness, we do not even know that we have fallen. Fall can be the consequence of actions without thought.

Fall is also known as failures, but that always enlarges the spirit. As the famous saying goes- Failures are stepping stone to success…Mistakes guide us to failures.The truth is that No human being can avoid failures. I wondered why i always turn to sports page first, but now i know its just because it record peoples accomplishment where as front page has nothing but mans failure. From our falls we base a new different and better success.

We fall forward to succeed. So Go ahead. Fall down. The world looks different from the ground.

The Letter

Jaime is an ill young woman with so much hope in the heart, cheerful, with a sweetest smile as everyone could ever see. But everything in her life has changed until the tragedy strikes, as bad dreams that she will not be able to wake up. She can never see the beauty of sunset; she can never see how life is beautiful and even to walk on verdant fields of summer.
Sitting on a rocking chair swaying to the gasp of wind she feels the morning breeze that softly touched her pale cheeks. Waiting for someone that for today it could be a brand new day, a letter that she keeps on waiting for many days that turn into years, but her hope is still in her soul. Maybe it just a delayed, well she knows that one of this day, there is a letter for her.

She hears steps that sounded familiar, there you are again a soft voice coming from her back… she nodded and says nothing.
Your breakfast is ready; you want me to bring it to you. She just looked at the old woman with her sour smile. Is there a new letter for me? She asked the old woman.
There is no one for this day she answers Jaime.
I wanted to hear again the letter, he sent to me she says with her eyes shimmering on sadness.
Can you read it for me… asking a favor to an old woman who loves her with all of her life. She just nodded and touched her cold palm. You have heard it for many times.
But I wanted to hear it again… please, agony in her voice.
Okay as you want it.
Then she starts to read the letter for her lovely princess.

Dearest Jaime,

For today, I have been missing you, I wanted to show you the beauty of blue sky and those flowers that bloom in spring season. How I wish you would be here with me. And together we were having fun. I want to hear your laughter and to see your eyes that shine like a star. How wonderful, isn’t it? And I can’t wait for that day to see you and hold you again.

Miss you much,

Shane

She sighs and looks outside. Sadness is painted on her face, a grief that everyone could feel just like what her heart feels striving and fighting for life, hope and a leap of faith that she keeps on holding.
Nobody knows how much joy had been brought to her by those letters. It’s like a medicine that healed her illness, how much hope that lift her to live a life again, how much laughter that she collected just like a thousand times.

Days move fast, still the letters that she keeps on waiting were buried in force together with the flow of water that forgotten by the time. Day by day, she gets a weak and totally loses her weight. She is dying like a candle that melts under the burning sun.

She tried to get up on her bed and go outside to feel the sun that warm her skin, to feel the wind that closes to heaven, but then she has no strength to do that, calling help from someone to give her support.
She wanted to feel the sun that giving her strength to live for one another day,

She laid her head back down sobbing on her parched voice. She gets something in her pocket and gives it to her Nanny a letter that she wrote for Shane.

I want you to give that for Shane, I know he will be there one of these days but am afraid I could not be able to see him. She whispers softly.
I can’t be with him anymore my time is over, later I will go with the sunset that never shines again… crying in her Nanny’s shoulder.

Autumn had come earlier than time, golden leaves were scattered on empty streets wind to whistle in their lonely tunes. No more birds singing in her window pane that made her day bright, the sun was hiding on a darkened cloud no more rhymes that sound like an angel voice.

A day after Jaime has passed away Shane was coming to visit her, back from the strangers’ land that he spends his time in studying. A time that he spends a lot a dedication that he gave that someday Jaime will be proud of him, but then all this effort was been vanished away, he likes a candle that totally melts, his body shivers and his hands shaken, no more tears fell from his eyes on that moment he comes to know what Jaime had been through. Speechless… starring the letters that he is holding on that Jaime was written for him.

With his cold hands, he opens the letter, and then his voice was parched controlling his tears and sobs so that no one could ever heard him. Until he shouted out loud calling Jaime’s name.

Dearest Shane,

How wonderful is it? And I wish I were there with you, no more days I was not able to think of you, how much joy you brought to me for just a simple letter that you send to me. I am missing you so much, but I m afraid that day would not come for this time you have read my letter, I can’t be with you anymore, I’ll go with the wind and clouds, with the angels singing sweet symphony. But it is more than OK right? So at least I would not feel any pain and always fighting for life, you more like it and I m sure with that.
Don’t cry just because I can’t be with you, I wanted you keep your smile as always as you always do. I’m just here around watching over you.
Just one thing I asked for a favor….
Would you burn this letter together with the clouds passing by so then I will feel that I am much closer to you.

I will always missing you….

Jaime

For Jaime’s last favour, he burns out the letter. Where the ashes were scattered and go with the wind.

DARE TO DREAM

You may get a lot of negative feedback from some,

To block the road you wish to travel,

But you must dream anyway,

And cherish your dreams,

As they come from your soul,

It is the blueprint of who you are.

What more they represent

The direction you should take on earth

To reach before it is too late.

so lets dare to dream…..

Soliloquy…..

The bench in the garden

Next to the swing

Reminds me of something

Reminds me of him….

How for hours together he’d sit

On it

No other bench in the garden

Just that one….

The bench was old,

Of iron and rusted

Quite a bit like him

He and the bench

Much of same age

Both seemed to have witnessed

Hard winters

Scorching summers

Endless passing years…..

Wiping off the dust with his white plain handkerchief

Sweeping away those unwanted leaves

He’d glance at nearby children

With a twist in his eyes and some mischief…..

On some windy evenings

When the empty swing swayed by itself

I’ve seen him talk to himself

A soliloquy

Or perhaps a dialogue…..

He looked into someone’s eyes

And heard that voice

Took deep breaths

And spoke again….

To me the eyes weren’t visible

Voice wasn’t audible

But to him?- his figure wrinkled and feeble

It was a smooth conversation

Or perhaps a soliloquy……

His face said it all

Whose voice was it after all?

It was “her’s

His eyes met straight her’s….

I heard his fast heart beats

As he said to her through his eyes

“I long for you”

and asked her if she’d be in his dreams tonight…..

Perhaps it was a soliloquy

Or may be a dialogue

It seemed she replied Yes

As I saw in his eyes the sparkles

Despite his thick black edged spectacles……………