Category Archives: Life

2015 in review


The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 240 times in 2015. If it were a cable car, it would take about 4 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

The Soulmate


The Angelic Child
The Angelic Child

As they walked into the auditorium, they were reminiscing the tastes they shared together. Yes, Alfred and Rachel were friends since more than two decades and it is a chance family reunion that brought them together. Alfred and Robert were friends and Rachel was married to Robert and the friendship between Alfred and Rachel bloomed gradually. Alfred liked Rachel’s disposition and introduced her as his female version to all.

In fact he always used to say ” We are soulmates. When we are together, the room seems to come to a standstill. Everything else stops and it is only our souls talking. I feel I am talking to myself when i see you.”

Today they were going to a music concert where amateurs were going to sing and Rachel had just got into the throes of exploring her voice and talent in singing.

The concert began and was hosted by a svelte looking girl who had blonde hair. However something about her irked Alfred and he instantly told Rachel that she should never be seen on stage in this manner. Rachel was also trying her stint with music and was at forty plus already a mother of two and was yearning to pursue her small dream of singing on stage . Alfred had always encouraged her to do things her way and secretly admired her spunk and adored her spirits.

Rachel was busy with her own life and her own small music sessions, one of which had Reginald as the director. Reginald’s troupe had performed many times and one such performance had the blonde haired girl who Alfred and Rachel had seen at the music concert. It was audition time and in Reginald’s troupe. The blonde haired beauty Dahlia was seated beside Reginald. As Rachel came up to the stage Dahlia whispered to Reginald “ Has she come for a wedding party or something? Oh she is so decked up aint she?” Reginald liked Rachel’s singing and soon selected her for his troupe.

As each performer came on stage, Alfred himself a connosieur of Western classical was very drawn towards the whole idea of singing to a beat. As one performer came on to stage, Alfred was transfixed and was completely mesmerized by his singing. He came back to the audience and to Alfred’s surprise sat next to both of them. One thing led to another and Alfred soon had befriended the performer. Nathaniel was the name of this guy and soon one found Nathaniel had come over to Alfred’s the weekend and very soon a small music session had begun.

A Tale Now all that Alfred wanted was a mike and he called Rachel when he had to buy one. Rachel did not have the time . Alfred and Rachel had a very casual friendship and there were days when Alfred used to drop into Rachel’s house just for a cup of coffee and lazed around doing nothing. He used to bring his terrier Luke over and Rachel never minded him messing around the place. There were days when Alfred used to take Luke for a walk and used to call Rachel down and they used to spend hours sitting on the steps outside their house and discuss everything under the sun.

Soon Alfred had made a music group on social media and it caught the attention of many. Alfred did not have the confidence to sing and he used to call Rachel over to practice so that they could have a few sessions of singing.

Time passed by and soon Alfred’s passion for a music group started growing on social media. Soon he had two, then three and then four and gradually a troupe of ten in his group. One day Alfred called Rachel and told her that Dahlia had joined his group and she was such a talented individual. Rachel was a little taken aback as she had distinctly remembered that Alfred had not liked Dahlia at the first instance. She wondered how could her friend change so suddenly. Well it takes everyone to make this world she thought to herself and did not bother much. On one such occassion in Alfred’s music meets she bumped into Dahlia and they met there first.

Reginald’s concert was nearing and Rachel wished to know what the attire should be. Reginald mentioned about Dahlia telling him that Rachel was over decked at times so asked her to go mellow on the clothes. Rachel was quite surprised that Dahlia had spoken behind her back. Reginald was in touch with Rachel for various issues and in one such instance Rachel happened to mention to him that his presenter Dahlia was in the music sessions run by Alfred. This took Reginald by surprise. A few days later Reginald had his concert coming up and he asked Rachel if she would run the show for him as his presenter had ditched him at the last moment. Rachel did  not mind and agreed. Towards the noon Alfred called Rachel and asked her if she had agreed to do a concert for Reginald. Rachel was surprised and she said yes she did . To which Alfred said that it was because she had mentioned that Dahlia was in his music group that she was shorn off her role as presenter. Rachel was a little pushed to the corner and happened to mention to Alfred that Dahlia herself had spoken about Rachel to Reginald so it was like Dahlia had the habit of putting one against the other. The matter was sorted and Alfred did not mind it a bit.

Alfred soon arranged for a small music session and it was a great achievement for him. Rachel had free entry into Alfred’s house and could come and go as she wished. On one Sunday afternoon Alfred planned a music party in another place booked specially for this. Alfred was very excited about the whole thing and had publicized everyone in the group but did not speak much about his own friend Rachel. Rachel never minded all this and went to perform in the party. She did and was an instant hit amongst the people there. She was well appreciated by all and the web page soon got filled with praises of her. Rachel loved poetry and there was someone else in the group who also loved the same. They interacted with each other through poetic verses. Maybe Alfred did not like it as the group leader and objected to it. Rachel obliged and refrained from commenting. Alfred mentioned that people have to be serious about work and should speak only about work in the group. The very next morning there was lot of camaraderie talk going on in the group. This irked Rachel and she enquired if this kind of talk was acceptable. To which Alfred responded that camaraderie was allowed but flirting was not. Rachel wondered whenever did she flirt . This bothered her a lot and soon she saw that Allen had left the group. She asked Allen why he left the group and Allen said that he was not happy with the weird talk going on in the group. Rachel agreed that Alfred was weird and said maybe Dahlia was influencing him . Rachel knew that Dahlia loved to put one against the other. Allen was clear to say that it was not Dahlia and that Alfred himself was behaving very weird.

Rachel was upset that she was called a flirt by her two decade old friend and felt quite bad that he was not responding to her messages. So she decided to speak to Katie, Alfred’s wife. In an hour’s time Rachel found that Alfred had removed her from the group. Rachel was shocked! Was she so unreasonable, or unapproachable that she had to face removal from a group? She was shattered beyond worries as she felt the others in the group would feel that she had been removed because she was a flirt. A thousand thoughts raced through Rachel’s head and finally she decided to confront Alfred about it. In tears she went to his house and tried to sort out matters. Alfred accused her of saying that she had said extremely wrong things about him and Dahlia to Allen. Rachel’s mind was in a whirl. Why had Allen to spill out things to Alfred when she had just mentioned her feelings to him. Alfred was upset that Rachel spoke to Katie about it as Katie was just recovering from a nervous breakdown. All in all, Rachel requested to be put back in the group and promised to stay mum.

Alfred put her back in the group and Rachel refrained from  saying anything in the group but was reading all the banter going on in the group. Soon Reginald had another concert and to Rachel’s surprise it was Dahlia hosting the show. Meanwhile Dahlia’s interaction in the group was lessened. Rachel wondered where Dahlia was. So she asked her on personal messaging system where she was and why the silence. In an hour’s time Dahlia said she was quite moved by Rachel’s question and was touched that Rachel missed her.

Meanwhile Rachel went to the parlour and looked at her phone while she was having her head massaged. She read a message “  You are removed from this group” . Alfred had removed her yet again.!

Rachel the cause of Alfred’s group to even begin, the cause of his passion to rise, was no longer needed and was stemmed from his life bluntly. Nothing changed for Dahlia, Alfred or Reginald but Rachel is left wondering where she went wrong and what is friendship all about. If Rachel was his soulmate, had Alfred removed himself out of his life??? Maybe…what say?

The Close Shave


Dare To Share is a part of Tales To Read which allows people across the world to share their stories . This not only enhances interactive reading but also provides a platform for many of those who wish to do something creative. Today Rukmini Krishnan brings on Tales to Read a story written by Shiksha Upadhyay .  A special thanks to PinkySharma who was instrumental in introducing me to Shiksha.

Pinky Sharma
Pinky Sharma

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shiksha Upadhyay
Shiksha Upadhyay

Name : Shiksha Upadhyay

Profession : First Year Medical Student in Pravara Institute of Medical Sciences in Loni, Maharashtra, India.

Interests : Music, Dance and Reading.

Family : Father, Mother and a Younger Brother in Navi Mumbai.

Life to her means : Insatiable.  She strongly believes that every person is dissatisfied with the way their life is and instead of viewing it as something negative I think that it is inevitable and drives us to do better in life

Here is her prize winning entry in a Creative Writing Competition

11 July, 2006

9:30 am

Virar, Mumbai

 

“Bye honey! Love you! I’ll be early today for your pasta.”

Arun kissed me and started to leave.

“Hey, wait!” I called him.

“What?” he said turning back.

I froze. My fists were clenched and words were getting stuck in my throat. Come on Natasha you have to tell. Now or never!

“Umm….I’ll tell when you’re back. Now be quick or you’re gonna miss your train!”

“Okay, bye!” He kissed me again and left closing the door behind him.

I quickly went to the window and peered out of it. Arun was walking on the pavement across the street. As he walked he shifted his gaze from the street to our apartment’s window. On seeing me he stopped, waved and smiled. I smiled too. A fake smile. He was still looking at me. Then he waved again and resumed his path. I was still looking out. I sighed. Then I remembered that day a year back.

26 August, 2005

“Will you marry me, Natasha?”

Arun was kneeling down like a typical lover staring right into my eyes. He was holding a tiny box which was open for me to see. It had the most beautiful diamond ring I had ever seen.

“What?!” escaped my lips. I staggered back. I knew the expressions on my face weren’t promising.

Arun’s expression changed. He was still kneeling down.

“I thought you loved me….”

Same old lines!

“I do love you honey! But I can’t marry you now!”

“Why?” he asked in a low, disappointed tone.

That face! He made a face that could have made a man of steel cry! His eyes full of sadness, guilt and sorrow; his lips almost shivering. Ugh! This isn’t fair!

I replied anyway,

“Because all this is happening so fast! I haven’t even started with my internship. And I can’t just get into this marriage business right now!”

This did no good. He was getting worse.

“But we had planned so much for ourselves. Then why….”

‘This would go on for hours!’ I thought. I had to think of something.

“Okay, baby listen. I can’t marry you now. I’m just not ready. But… perhaps…..we can move in?”

Now my plan had to work. He being the old school type would refuse to move in and this topic would be closed for some time.

He changed his expression once again. But unfortunately, a smile spread across his face.

“Yeah! That’s a great idea! You’re right. We don’t need to marry now. You should settle your career first. We’ll move in your apartment? I’ll be there in two days!”

11 July, 2006

I was still staring out of the window, not knowing what to do. I had been living with Arun for the past one year but never had a nerve to tell him the truth. I loved him a lot. But the thought of marriage and living together scared me. I wasn’t ready for it. I couldn’t do it anymore. But I also couldn’t hurt him. I would not be able to forgive myself if I did so.

But I decided I would tell him for sure today. He needed to know the truth. I couldn’t deceive him further.

The entire day had gone glum because of the fear of talking to him. I also did not go to work. I slept most of the time. Then I did some office work.

I was still staring out of the window, not knowing what to do. I had been living with Arun for the past one year but never had a nerve to tell him the truth. I loved him a lot. But the thought of marriage and living together scared me. I wasn’t ready for it. I couldn’t do it anymore. But I also couldn’t hurt him. I would not be able to forgive myself if I did so.

But I decided I would tell him for sure today. He needed to know the truth. I couldn’t deceive him further.

The entire day had gone glum because of the fear of talking to him. I also did not go to work. I slept most of the time. Then I did some office work.

11 July, 2006

6:30 pm

It was difficult to explain how I had been feeling the entire day. I wanted Arun to come home as early as possible so that I could spill out everything. But I was too scared to say anything. I was literally practicing in front of a mirror. But then I finally gave up in the evening. Before I went into the kitchen to make something for myself I checked the clock. It was 6:30 That’s the time Arun always calls when he’s sitting in the train and coming back. He was reaching in some time. I went to the kitchen, took out the packet of pasta I had bought the day before.

That’s when my cell phone rang. Arun, I thought. I went to our room and glanced on the phone screen. It was Smriti, my colleague. I pushed the green button and held the phone to my ear.

“Yeah Smriti, I’m sorry I ditched you today. I didn’t want to come. You know…”

“NO! Listen to me. Switch on your television! Quick!”

Her voice was filled with urgency and fear.

“What happened?! You sound scared.”

“Just do what I’m saying!”

I grabbed the remote and switched on the television. We hardly watch TV and even if we do it’s always for news so the channel was already there when I switched on.

“Breaking news coming, we are bringing live pictures from the spot. As you can see, the blast has completely destroyed the train. Dead bodies are still being taken out. A lot of bodies are completely unidentifiable. There is a lot of chaos and…Prakash? Yes I hear you! Oh my god. Yet ANOTHER blast has been reported at Santacruz. We’ll soon be bringing live images from the spot. Keep watching Times Now!”

As I kept staring my eyes widened. I couldn’t believe what I saw. A local train was completely mangled. People were moving around haphazardly. Then as the camera focused more I could see that blood had stained the walls of the train. I even forgot Smriti was on the phone.

After around a minute of shock I finally spoke to her.

“Wha…..what is all this?”

“There was a bomb blast reported just now in this train. There had been more just minutes ago. Natasha, Arun also travels along the western line, right? Is he okay?”

My gaze automatically went to the wall clock. It was 6:35. Why didn’t Arun call?

“I…..I….don’t know. He hasn’t called yet. I mean he calls everyday at 6:30. He….”

“Call him!”

“Yeah!” I said and quickly hung up. Then I punched some numbers on the phone and held it to my ear.

The number you are trying to reach is switched off. Please try again later.”

“Damn!” I said hanging up. I redialed the number.

The number you are trying to…..”

I called Smriti.

“Hello? Yeah, his phone is switched off! I don’t know what to do!

There was a deadly silence. Then she said,

“Listen, don’t worry. Just keep trying, I’m coming over there.”

I hung up. Then I again called Arun. His phone was switched off.

I focused my attention to the television. I could see horrific pictures of the scene. It was all very scary. I flipped to the other channels. Every single news channel was showing the same. Every minute the number of dead people reported was increasing.

Then suddenly very unknowingly my eyes started getting moist. My face felt hot. I was finding it hard to breathe. And then tears rolled down my cheeks. I closed my eyes. A cute and cheerful face of Arun materialized in my head. Was he leaving me forever? No! I couldn’t think of anything like that.

Just then the door bell rang. I went up to open the door. It was Smriti. On seeing me she hugged.

“It’ll be fine! Nothing’s gonna happen to him.” she tried comforting me.

She entered.

“There were total seven blasts. And that too in just eleven minutes!” she said.

I barely heard her. All my thoughts were focused on Arun. Why wasn’t he picking up his phone?

I called again. It was switched off.

“What do we do now, Smriti?” I said between sobs.

“Everything’s gonna be fine. Just…” she saw the TV screen. I followed her gaze. A woman was speaking.

“Nearly 200 people are dead and 700 are injured. All the dead bodies have been taken to the following hospitals. People who cannot contact their relatives are requested to visit these hospitals for the identification of dead bodies….”

Smriti looked at me. I looked at her. I knew what she was asking for.

“No…..no…..!” I said crying bitterly.

“This is the only way of knowing. We don’t have any other choice!” she said sighing.

I agreed reluctantly.

11 July, 2006

7:30 pm

Borivali, Mumbai

We reached the government hospital nearest to our home. As we got to the entrance a fat woman wearing a white uniform who was standing near the entrance asked us,

“You have come to identify a body?”

“Yes….” I replied in tears.

“Then come this way. A lot of bodies are still not identified. Male or female?”

“Excuse me?”

“The body is of a man or a woman?” she said rolling her eyes.

“Oh! Man.”

“Husband?”

“Umm…yeah.”

She lead us to a dark and smelly room. There were several bodies kept on the floor covered with white sheets.

“Now be quick. Don’t waste time.”

I approached the corpse which was nearest to me. I noticed how badly I was perspirating. I looked at Smriti.

“Do it……” she said. She was also in tears.

With my hands shaking I lifted the sheet from the head of the body. I saw the face. It was covered with blood but I could say that it was not Arun. My hands automatically went up to my mouth and nose to cover it as I breathed a sigh of relief.

It took a lot of time but we checked all the bodies in the room. Every instance of removing the sheet off the bodies was a horror. Those instances irked the fear of losing Arun.

With the last corpse, it was confirmed that Arun was not present among them. I couldn’t understand whether I was to be happy or sad about it.

I tried calling him again when we were out of the hospital. His phone was switched off.

“Which hospital should we move on to now?” asked Smriti.

“I don’t know. I am so…” I stopped. I couldn’t speak a word. What I saw had frozen me.

Smriti saw my face.

“What happened?”

“I….think…I think I saw Arun!”

“What!? Where?”

“Over there!” I said pointing to the crowd of people trying to enter the hospital. I started running towards the hospital entrance.

“Wait Natasha! Are you sure it’s him?”

“I don’t know! I think I saw his bag. The one he takes for work every day. I think it’s him!” I replied running.

The entrance was heavily crowded. I tried tearing through it and succeeded. I entered the hospital. It was no good and equally crowded. I scanned the corridors but couldn’t locate Arun.

Suddenly a zebra pattern caught my eye. It was the same pattern that Arun had on his bag. I followed it. I forgot all about Smriti, about the crowd and the entire world. For that moment nothing mattered more that Arun. I kept following it and almost leaped forward to catch it. Once in my hands, I pulled the bag and its owner also got pulled.

In moments I was staring at the person. Hazel eyed, brown hair, a slightly long nose and thin lips. Then suddenly I don’t know why, that day; five years back flashed in my head.

“Okay, so Arun, this is our first date. Why do you think I’ll fall for you?”

“Why not Natasha. Am I not handsome?” he said smiling.

“Why? Because you have hazel eyes, brown hair, a slightly long nose and thin lips?”

Then he stared right into my eyes and said,

“You’ll fall for me ‘coz I’ll always be there to catch you!”

Tears were rolling down my cheeks as I hugged Arun in that messed up crowd.

“Natasha!? Oh god! I was so worried! Where were you? I had been looking you all over. I got caught up in work and when I saw the news channels I thought something might have happened to you while you were returning from work! I couldn’t even call you because my phone was run over by a car in all this chaos…”

I hugged him for about five long minutes.

“Let’s go home!” I said half crying.

11 July, 2006

10:30 pm

Virar, Mumbai

That night I lay close to Arun my head buried in his chest.

“So honey,” he said smiling “You said you wanted to tell me something…”

I lifted my head and looked at him. His eyes were lovingly looking at me with a cute smile on his face.

“Yeah…I was thinking that it’s been pretty long since we’ve lived together.”

“Hmm…So?”

There was a long pause before I said,

“Will you marry me, Arun?”

 

2014 In Review of My Blog By Word Press


The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 310 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 5 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Betrayed Relations


Mom, I can’t see a thing ’ said Karen as she tried to blink her wide eyes and strained to see ahead of her in the darkness that had set in due to a sudden breakdown of power. It was a complete blackout and three year old Karen only could stand on the railing of the small balcony and sing all the nursery rhymes she knew.

Mary had a little lamb,’ sang Karen, as her mother put on the socks for her as it was a little chilly. ’little lamb little lamb’ echoed back a voice. Karen started giggling listening to the echo of her own song. Karen’s mom Rachel asked her to sing again and again came back a voice echoing down. Rachel realized that the voice was coming from the neighboring house and she heard a lot of commotion there. Rachel’s house was the last in the street and there were five such houses on the same street.. The voices were coming from the house next door. There was a common fence separating their houses and this was quite intriguing indeed that one could hear the voices so closely from the neighboring house.

Days passed and Karen used to sing a song and there was a child in the adjacent apartment that used to finish it. School started and Karen held her mother’s hand closely. She was scared to go in, but she had to and Rachel tried her best to fight back the tears. Her small innocent one was away to school amongst absolute strangers. She was worried how she would be and with this look of anxious thoughts she was walking down when she saw a female standing with her and straining to send her son. The mother and son had reached late and they had to rush in literally.

Where do you stay? ’ asked Rachel as their eyes met. A few more such mundane questions and the two females realized that they stayed adjacent to each other and realized that the noises they heard the e other day was that of Karen and this boy Richard.

Soon enough both these women became very good friends and with time passing with their leaving their kids to school and them having to strain their neck to talk to each other, they decided to do away with the fence between their houses and pushed it behind towards the wall. The space between the fence and the wall gave them lot of reasons to be happy about. They could sit there, eat there, talk there and soon enough this became the favorite haven for both the families.

Rachel and Laura the two women found solace in their company as they had many things in common. Soon this bloomed into a close friendship and as the children grew, so did their togetherness. Laura lived with her husband’s parents and Rachel had her mother in law with her. Soon the window sill became a major hubbub of activity and Reginald and Gary Rachel and Laura’s husbands soon gave up on even expecting that they would get time from their wives as both women used to share everything between them over a cup of tea, or lunch or dinner on the window sill.

Rachel got pregnant again and due to complications was laid to rest. Laura could no longer rely on Rachel for things like picking and dropping Gary’s parents, helping to take them to the hospital, or getting something along with Rachel. As Rachel lay down on her bed now as part of her bed rest she was reminded of one such evening when Laura had called her to the window sill and had broken down crying. Rachel shuddered now as she thought of how Laura told her that she had a kind of phobia which did not allow her to feel safe anywhere she went. Rachel assured her that she would accompany her always wherever she went and thus when Rachel was in bed, Laura found it difficult to cope up with going somewhere alone. Rachel lay back and thought of the times when Laura’s in laws used to get down from the train and Rachel used to escort them to the cab and help them back home. There were times when Rachel was tied up with work yet she never refused to accompany Laura whenever she needed it.

Time passed, Rachel had a bonny boy, and now there were more children to play with! Whenever Rachel needed anything she used to ask Laura, and whenever Laura needed even something as small as a piece of white paper, she used to ask Rachel. The Rachel Laura saga continued till such a time that Laura got into a new firm and got newer friends. Gradually this duo separated and they went about their ways. They used to meet for Easter, Christmas, Halloween etc and have loads of fun.

Soon the children were grown up and they were ready t o attend High School. Rachel and Laura went together everywhere and found the best institutes for their children. Reginald and Gary were relaxed as they knew their wives could handle everything. There was no relation like theirs and it was enviable.

Years passed and Gary’s parents departed for the heavenly abode. Rachel and Laura got busy with their other interests and their circle of friends also changed. Once Laura did not call Rachel for a long time and Rachel wondered where she could be. Later on she came to know that Laura’s family had gone to Costa Rica. Rachel was slightly disappointed as Laura never told her they were going. Rachel felt left out and opened her heart out to her other friends. They pacified her saying that maybe Laura never meant it to be that way but it happened.

After some days Mrs. Claire had a tea party. She ordered for some croissants and muffins and chose to keep it entirely different. Here Laura told the rest of them that she was to undergo a major open heart surgery. Rachel was a little taken aback as Laura had not mentioned this to her in so many of their meetings. To tell it to others and not tell her and for her to know something about Laura in public rather than from her, disappointed her. Rachel let it pass and on the day of the operation was very much with Laura. There was a huge lump in her heart which had to be removed and the nurse came and showed the lump to Rachel and her other friends who were with her. The nurse asked to take a photo if required for future reference. Rachel took the photo and told Laura’s daughter that she would send it later to her.

The operation was successful and Rachel came back home and continued with her other chores. Her husband had just recovered from a major illness and needed lot of care. Rachel’s daughter had to join the University and son had to reach High School. The day over and Rachel settled to read a book at night. Her phone beeped with a message and Rachel saw it was only a push message. She suddenly realized she had to send the photo to Laura’s daughter’s phone. Hurriedly she chose the picture and sent it. Just as she sent it she realized that the photo had got uploaded in a group chat that was open in Rachel’s phone. Holy Angel! Now what! The group would see the photo and Rachel’s mind raced how she could undo what she had done. She saw the time. It was 1 in the night. Not the right time to go to someone’s house. But she had to as Laura would see it the next day otherwise.

Rachel could not leave her home and let Reginald be alone as he needed people always. Yet she decided the best thing she could do was get hold of the other people in the group where the photo had get uploaded and ask them to delete the photo which was anyway of no consequence. The entire night Rachel was trying to set things right and she did and spoke to Laura’s daughter too asking her to check at home.

Time passed Rachel remembered the night with a shudder and also told Laura’s friends not to tell her about it and that Rachel would herself tell Laura at the right time maybe within a month.Tears exchanged and hugs given out, and lot of things to share, Laura was brought into the house. Rachel had a handful of work and she felt she should tell Laura about the grave mistake that they had done. However she pushed it aside as moved on. Rachel got busy with her work and was busy making her son enter the best High School with proper luggage. Time passed and few months edged by. Rachel went on a family vacation and came back. She brought a gift for Laura and gave it to her.

Laura was furious. Rachel was a little at a loss to know what was amiss. Later it came to light that Laura had come to know about Rachel’s’ fatal error on the phone – the picture that she had sent by mistake. Rachel felt miserable that she had forgotten to tell her dearest friend about it. She apologized and also tried to make up with a basket of flowers. She told Laura how much she meant to her, but Laura would have none of it. She had lost faith in the relation, all due to a single message. Friendships are meant to be tied and held firm with faith, affection and warmth and not through technology and machines.

World would be a better place if Rachel and Laura had learnt to move on. Today they are stagnated in the quagmire of doubt, mistrust and refusal.

Life is short, and Rachel and Laura could be any of us. It is important for us to know that life is too short, let us live it happily and without any qualms. Forget, forgive and move on. Life is a gift, let us unwrap it with care

 

 

Vehicle of Success


Subhash The Car Washer who owns a car today
Subhash The Car Washer who owns a car today

As he knocked at the door, Radhika wiped her forehead off the sweat and looked at her dirty apron, and said a “never mind” to herself as she had to open the door.

She gave the keys and asked him to get them back soon for Ramesh had to leave for work.  ” This is the guy who would wash your car from today, ” Krishna the car washer had said. Today the new guy had come and Radhika saw him , a thin looking lad with a smile on his face. “Not bad” thought Radhika and hoped he would do a good job.

Time passed and Radhika’s everyday routine too flew by. She used to go on her morning walks and come back in time to finish work at home before Ramesh left for office. Everyday she used to see Subhash the new car washer and he used to salute her with a “Good Morning M’am” greeting and a wide smile.

Time slowly went past and soon Subhash had to leave the job as he had other new assignments in hand. Radhika’s car washer changed to someone else. Yet everyday she used to meet Subhash and he never ceased to give her the respect he always gave her.

Gradually Radhika’s children grew up and her son grew to be a lanky lad of sixteen years. One day he came back from school and excitedly told his mother “Mom, you know that Subhash, the car washer , well he has bought a car”. Radhika was quite impressed and the next day when she went for a walk, she saw Subhash and congragulated him for the new car.

Subhash The Car Washer who owns a car today
Subhash The Car Washer who owns a car today

Subhash proudly showed her the car and RAdhika insisted he should take her on a ride round the place. He did, and RAdhika was mighty impressed with his achievement. She asked him how he bought it.

Subhash said his brother died some ten years back , when Subhash left school to start earning for his family. It was his ardent desire to own a car and he had saved right from the start and soon enough when he had had enough money he bought a second hand car. Whatever be the make or the condition, or the quality, he bought a car and that was important.

A person who washed cars earlier today owns a car. Radhika was really appreaciative of his achievements and asked to take a photo. He complied with a lot of modesty and humility and Radhika was quite surprised to see him shy away when he saw one of his clients draw up the parking lot.

Such was the modesty and humility of the boy, and such was his achievement that Radhika asked him how he could drive it so easily. He said he had learned driving and was also working as a part time driver. She asked him if he brought the car to work .To which he smiled and replied

“Yes M’am, what is wrong in showing off the results of your hard work?”

That is the story of a car washer who today owns a car – Subhash.

Sugar Sweet Success


For music is the spice of life

They worked on without any strife

There was a certain joy about them

Amidst all the confusion and mayhem…..

 

Mount Mary Basilica Bandra Fair
Mount Mary Basilica Bandra Fair

And as we climbed down the steps leading down from the Mount Mary Basilica in Bandra, there was a certain joy we felt in our heart. Everything was so nice and so divine here in this beautiful area in Mumbai. Every year the Bandra Fair was held in celebration of Mother Mary’s birthday on September 8. Following this there was a ten day feast in the form of the Bandra Fair. Filled with a certain ambience of beautiful candles, and lovely miniatures this had its own charm and old age grandeur. Not everyone who came here came with any expectation. They just were there that is it? No, give no take. Yet everyone seemed to look at Divine Mother with a longing look, a hope filled in their eyes. It is this that gives the world the strength to move on. This implicit trust, faith, and hope that we get when we go to any religious place.

Filled with such thoughts I made my way through the crowd and was quite thirsty and really wished to relax in a place.

The sugarcane stall
The sugarcane stall

And fair enough, there at the end of the winding crowd was a sugar cane stall. And what a relief. For me it was one of those regular ganne ka juice centres in Mumbai, little did I know this was something special?

So what could be special about a sugarcane stall? Well we had this person behind the machine singing away to glory. He had no care in the world, no sweating the small stuff. There was a charm about him that instantly tugs your heart. And that charm is his honesty; his voice was so true and honest. He was singing a Marathi song, a local folk song, but he had so much honesty in him, that I understood what he was singing. He was communicating love and warmth to the world.

The sugarcane stall
The sugarcane stall

I walked a little further through the benches laid there and sat down. There I saw a grim looking cashier keeping all the money in place. There were seven to eighth of them who were at the machine. T his was quite unnatural as I had always seen only two people working on the machine in other stalls. I had come with my sister and we were discussing how happily the man was working. She then told me that all of them were from Pune and they had come especially for the Bandra Fair. they had been coming for 27 years.

The sugarcane stall
The sugarcane stall

Quite intrigued and further aroused with curiosity I went and spoke to them. They said they were from Pune and came to set up a stall here since 27 years. it was their custom, they said and this is their offering to Mother. It was such a contrast. Here there is the Basilica for the Christians and here we have these dedicated Hindus coming from an Indian town all the way to an Indian metropolis just to serve the people with their bit of social work. So what if they were bringing the sugarcane from their village and had come here to make business, their intention was to be near Divine Mother and serve during the celebrations.

Ganpati, Popat, Tukaram, Sakharam, the name does not matter, they had a common name attached to them and that was Love. The fervour with which Govind, the singer was managing the sugarcane into and out of the machine is to be seen to be believed. This is what struck as absolutely intriguing and wonderful for me and it is a one time experience for me. When we complain about the vagaries of life, here was Govind, proving that if you learn to love what you do, then you will do what you love to learn.

The Pune group which comes to Bandra Fair since 27 years to set up a stall
vThe Pune group which comes to Bandra Fair since 27 years to set up a stall

They also stood together for the photo with a kind of glee that is seen to be believed. They expressed that the photo be sent to them to their village and I immediately took down their address. It was ages since I heard an address stating only the village and the taluka and I felt this is India, this beauty of being in our country. Life never stops here, progress goes its way, villages grow their way, but communication is still intact. What a wonderful experience to meet such people who make a difference to your life.

This group of people from Pune has shown how interest and intention helps to make a better world, whether it be being at the Bandra Fair or singing ones way into work.

The Angelic Child


The Angelic Child
The Angelic Child

As Rachel busied herself with the dough, she had a sense of pleasure and happiness. Every morning she woke up and she infused life into the statues she made. She used to talk to them, speak to them about her troubles and share the pains and pleasures of life. Rachel a professional statue maker today was busy with a special creation  which she felt was deserving of her profession.

 

Everything was perfect about the child, the soft curly hair, the perfectly shaped hands, the beautifully long fingers, gentle shaped legs whcih automatically gave a lovely personality and absolutely

 

truthful lips. Everything was perfect and now she worked on the eyes.

English: Ramat Rachel Hotel - statue by David ...
English: Ramat Rachel Hotel – statue by David Polus עברית: מלון רמת רחל – פסלו של דוד פולוס (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

She dabbed more of the powder in the bowl and made a perfect dough and took the other end of the paintbrush to carve the eyes. She first looked back at the eyes, and paused to look into them. They looked so beautiful she thought and added some eyelashes. As the puppy love eyes looked at her, Rachels heart skipped a beat. It seemed as if she would drown in those eyes. The very hands that made the idol now shivered as she raised her hands to fit the pupils. As she went towards the eye region, a big blob of plaster fell down. RAchel bent down to see and saw that it had fallen right in the pot of black paint. She climbed down the ladder to clear the mess and looked up and again felt a shudder as she felt the beautiufl innocent eyes looking at her, as if pleading her to keep it for ever. Rachel sold a piece a day and used to put up the best as the Sale of The Day. She had made this Angelic Child statue with making it the Sale of The Day in mind.

 

But now she couldnt and she just left it at that. She left the eye damaged as it had got when she was climbing down. There was a tear near the eye but Rachel let it be there. And she told herself she wouldnt sell this. This was her precious creation, her innocent child, her loveable companion.

 

English: Ramat Rachel Hotel - statue by David ...
English: Ramat Rachel Hotel – statue by David Polus עברית: מלון רמת רחל – פסלו של דוד פולוס (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Everyday Rachel used to open the shop and first clean the child of its mess, speak to it about her activities the previous day and fondle it with great care. The Angelic child used to look at her through wistful unmade eyes. Maybe the child was wondering why it was not complete why Rachel was happy with the unfinished look. Well it did not matter for soon the shop started getting popular because of the one statue the Angelic Child which looked beautiful but was not for sale. People used to come to the shop look at the antiques and artifacts but finally used to ask about this creation of Rachels. They used to hold its hands, speak to it, fondle it, cuddle it and then want to buy it. But Rachel never let it be put up for sale as she felt only the most deserving customer should get it and she was waiting for that day when the special customer would walk in.

 

Unknown to Rachel at times customers used to handle the idol and some broke a finger, some a hand, some used to spoil the carvings on the idol and others used to spoil the beauty of the statue and each time Rachel used to set it right and polish it to give a new look.

 

Time passed and Rachels shop grew and very soon she had her own franchise. The Angelic Child went wherever she went and was in the shop which Rachel used to manage. One day Rachels friend came along to the shop and suggested that it was time she let the Angelic

Statue of Rachel, the daughter of Laban
Statue of Rachel, the daughter of Laban (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Child free and gave it a new home, a new surrounding, the idol deserved it like the other ones. Rachel was not really sure, and was hestiant as she had grown to like the idol like her own child.

 

After a lot of persuasion, Rachel decided to give the idol a fair chance. She decided that she would give it to the next customer who would she would come across.

 

Along came a bubbly cheerful girl filled with life, energy and zest and looked around the shop and her eyes fell on the Angelic child. It was instant preference for her and she whisked it away just as Rachel nodded her head that it was available .  Rachel could not quote a price for her best creation and said it was a giveaway of the day and was for free.

 

As Rachels back turned and she faked as if she was putting things back in place , her eyes welled with tears as she was parting somethign so close tto her , something so precious. The girl who took the idol wheeled her way back out of the shop. As Rachel searched her pocket for the handkerchief to wipe the tear on her cheek she heard a big sound. She turned around only to see that her prized possession, the Angelic Child, her keepsake of so many years, her strength, lay there fallen on the ground all shattered into pieces. Rachel could not believe it and shocked she rushed down to pick up not the girl who had stumbled but her beautiful creation, the angelic baby. And as she sat there on the ground in disbelief one piece attracted her attention. There on the corner lay the beautiful eyes, tender ones , puppy loved and innocent as if asking her Why Did you decide to give me away?

 

The Sixth Heaven


English: Photo taken by Rachel Kutzley
English: Photo taken by Rachel Kutzley (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sometimes the simplest moments in life go on to be crucial epitomes of bonds.Today Rukmini Krishnan brings one such interesting tale of bonding The Sixth heaven on Tales to Read which takes you from the innocence of childhood to the realms of grown ups and how they connect.

Part One

As Mrs. Berger entered the class, the entire class went into a hushed silence. She peered through her spectacles, satisfied that the class looked neat, and clean proceeded with her Grammar lessons. Rachel sat with a pout as yet again Samantha had gained over and was next to Vivian. Rachel longed to be with Vivian for she really liked it when he gave her an eraser whenever she lost hers. The seven year olds were all ready with Mrs. Berger’s lessons.

As they worked away in speed, Michael who was not interested tto finish the exercises nudged Andy who in turn nudged Richard who looked towards Vivian. Vivian gave a stern nod and they all got back tto writing again. The bell rang, the class got over, and it was time to take a bite. Velvette came towards Rachel and they shared a cookie and made their way towards the corridor where the people were. They looked at the people play and each of them wishing Vivian was with them, this small seven year old toddler romance soon faded into oblivion with passage of time.

Clips replaced ribbons and belts replaced suspenders. They were all grown up. Now Velvette and Rachel were in the same school and the rest of the boys were in another school. Vivian had progressed to a High School in the town nearby. Velvette with her long pigtails and bespectacled face was every inch an innocent charming girl while Rachel was more brash, careless, and wild.

Time flew each one to oneself and the simmering soft corner for Vivian notwithstanding everyone settled down to a new life filled with responsibilities, kids, family, and commitments.

Part Two

Velvette

She clung the scarf snugly to her neck and quickly walked up the driveway and entered home just in time, for soon it started snowing. Velvette had just come back after a week long tour at her mother’s house and was again back to the grind. Her daughters were fine grown women now and were surely examples of Velvette years of tender loving care. Sheila, the first one was a Management Grad in Bruxton University nearby and was now working as an apprentice in a very popular firm. Shania the second daughter wanted to be counselor and was pursuing her Masters in Counselling in a local University.

Oh! There was so much snow waiting to pour down. Glad I just missed it. Velvette told herself as she made herself a cup of tea. As the snow lashed away at the glass panes, the glazed glass only took her back to some years when she was in Costa Rica with Arthur. Arthur a bundle of energy, vibrance and intelligence and certainly the perfect match for Velvette. Today the family had grown and Arthur was in Kenstown while Velvette lived with her younger daughter. It was a small family yet Velvette missed something. She did not know what.

Rachel

Rachel typed furiously at the laptop as if there was no end. She silently thanked her mother for having made her learn to type the right way. Today Rachel the blogger was a well known figure yet she lacked the zest in her life. Her husband Robert was recovering from a recent accident and her children Krish and Kay were well on to making their life successful. Kay was a Commerce professional seeking apprenticeship in a firm and Krish was in the Tenth Grade. Time flew and after a lot of ups and downs, which are best avoided in Rachel’s memory, today she had a family she could be proud about. Yet there was something missing. Rachel did not know what.

Vivian

Vivian today a Tax Planner was every bit a shrewd calculative Tax professional. None could evade his eyes and Vivian the mild one could turn on his antennae tto swipe roles. Suddenly there would be an air of darkness and the smile would be replaced by a firm stiff upper lip. Vivian was a ruthless boss and anyone working with him would have to have tonnes of patience. As he drove down home, the real Vivian came to fore. He listened to the music in the car and smiled thinking of his wife Beth and his two sons Adam and Atkins who he knew would be waiting for dinner. As he drove into the driveway the shrill voice of Adam came through the window and Vivian kept the chocolate ready for him in his pocket. Everything was so perfect and Vivian silently thanked God for all the good things. Yet there was something missing and Vivian was trying to find out what it was.

Andy

Andy brushed the speck of dirt he saw on his Saville Row suit and eased himself into the Porsche. A staunch car enthusiast, Andy was here by sheer dint of his efforts and hard work. A simple, modest schoolboy worked his way to the top and today Andy was a well respected figure in Financial Circles across the world. His wife Pam an entrepreneur specialized in ethnic décor. A good house, a happy family, two handsome sons Ryan and Shane. Ryan a dapper young man of 18 years was out on military training and Shane was still in school.  Andy smiled to himself as he listened to the Western Classical songs on the Blu Ray. There was everything, yet there was something, he longed for. He hummed a tune but it had no meaning, He sang a song but the lyrics made no sense. There was something missing. He did not know what it was.

Richard

Richard looked every bit a perfect husband with his family. As the photo session got over, they came out of the photo tent and enjoyed the party. The photograph was part of the party organized by one of his friends. Richard married to beautiful Penelope had everything he prayed for. A good family, a lovely wife, and amazing kids. He was working with a very popular firm in the city and had a lot of things to boast about. As they made their way back from the party Penelope looked at Richards face and shook her head. She failed to understand what is it that made Richard think so much. Richard, Andy, Vivian, and Michael met every weekend. Andy away in Middle East, still managed to come up with reasons to visit his friends and they used to meet up.

The meetings were filld with laughter fun and enjoyment. Still they felt a lack and this was killing them.

Mike

Michael made his way out into he open and jogged. He loved his morning jog and used to come back home after picking up the milk, newspaper and some fruits. A man of firm beliefs, Mike as he was called was happier being alone. He loved listening to old classical and was very possessive of his friends. Not a man to emote easily, milkshakes were his favorites.  He believes in living life king-size especially after he lost his parents at a young age and is a living example of zest combined with tolerance. Yet Mike felt the lack of something, which he could not pinpoint or find out.

Sixth Heaven

Six people six destinations six professions and there was something lacking. The phone beeped. Velvette looked at it and sent a reply to the message she received. AS she logged into a social site she sent out a message in a group she saw was her school. She looked for known faces and she found herself typing only for five names. Vivian, Richard, Andy, Mike, Rachel.

Mike opened the laptop and showed his boss the presentation. Mr. Williams approved it and Mike made his way towards his seat. He had to finish this presentation in an hour’s time and it was imperative he worked well at it. Mike however settled to scouring the social site for few minutes. He typed his school name and out came the group. He searched for known names and he hit upon Rachel.

Vivian finished filing the tax papers and decided to call it a day. As he made his way towards home, he could only wonder what his cook would have cooked for him today. He looked at his cell phone and began deleting the unwanted messages. He could not still fathom what Shaun had told him on Mike’s birthday about Velvette. That she was in trouble and had problems and Vivian could not understand how to connect to her. Time had flown and old bonds had been replaced by new ones. For Vivian, Velvette was just the mild bespectacled girl in the class. But now years later when he came to know she was in trouble he wished to reach out to her. He opened the social site and searched for Velvette.

Velvette was online and looking for good information. She as a content writer liked to write on anything that pleased her. The ping brought her back into the screen. Vivian? Goodness Gracious! After an eternity, Vivian! The Vivian of Springdale Elementary School? Mrs. Bergers class. The Vivian! Whoopee she felt and she quickly accepted the invite. Now she was calling herself Violette and had a beautiful tattoo on her shoulder to show off. She was no longer that bespectacled charm instead was a graceful swan oozing with feminine elegance now.

Rachel was just basking in the glory of her article topping Google and was teaching her son the elements of science. The day passed with not much ado and she settled down at night to writing some more articles. Her phone showed her some messages from a phone social site. She opened it and she saw a host of conversation. ! Goodness! She thought and then she saw Vivian’s message and Mikes missed call. The Vivian! Good Lord! After so many years, they had connected and Rachel quietly thanked the social sites for featuring the phone numbers.

Rachel was already in touch with Mike so it was nothing unknown to her. Yet to be connected like this suddenly required lot of patience and time. Rachel was glad they had got connected and was amazed to see Richard, Andy also had joined in, and they were all a group now. They could chat, exchange news, share, and care.

It is a small world and the world has like minded people. Technology is the only element that binds people together these days. Today these six comrades of kindergarten school feel no lack. What they were missing was the camaraderie, the fun, the laughter and the tears and the simple language of acceptance without being judged. They had it back now suddenly out of the blue and had filled the gap that never seemed to have an end. Yes, a sixth heaven exists right here in their group. !

 

Manna Dey A Legend


Manna Dey
Manna Dey (Photo credit: ramesh_lalwani)

 

Legendary Indian singer Manna Dey is no more. Today I offer a tribute to him through this famous song from the movie Anand starring Rajesh Khanna, another great star. As I wipe the tear away all I feel is a loss and a vaccuum that is incomparable.

 

 

By Rukmini Krishnan