Saturday, February 28, 2015

A Universal Human Problem......Presumptions.
A Universal Human Problem......Presumptions.

A lady in a faded grey dress and her husband, dressed in a homespun suit walked in timidly without an appointment into the Harvard University President's outer office. The secretary could tell in a moment that such backwoods, country hicks had no business at Harvard and probably didn't even deserve to be in Harvard. "We want to see the President "the man said softly. "He'll be busy all day "the secretary snapped. "We'll wait" the lady replied. For hours the secretary ignored them, hoping that the couple would finally become discouraged and go away. They didn't and the secretary grew frustrated and finally decided to disturb the president. "Maybe if you see them for a few minutes, they'll leave" she said to him. 

The President, stern faced and with dignity, strutted toward the couple. The lady told him "We had a son who attended Harvard for one year. He loved Harvard. He was happy here. But about a year ago, he was accidentally killed. My husband and I would like to erect a memorial to him, somewhere on campus." The president wasn't touched.... He was shocked. "Madam "he said, gruffly, "we can't put up a statue for every person who attended Harvard and died. If we did, this place would look like a cemetery." "Oh, no," the lady explained quickly "We don't want to erect a statue. We thought we would like to give a building to Harvard." The president rolled his eyes. He glanced at the gingham dress and homespun suit, and then exclaimed, "A building! Do you have any earthly idea how much a building costs? We have over seven and a half million dollars in the physical buildings here at Harvard." For a moment the lady was silent. The president was pleased. Maybe he could get rid of them now. The lady turned to her husband and said quietly, "Is that all it costs to start a university? Why don't we just start our own?"

Her husband nodded. The president's face wilted in confusion and bewilderment. Mr. and Mrs. Leland Stanford got up and walked away, traveling to Palo Alto , California where they established the University that bears their name. Stanford University , a memorial to a son that Harvard no longer cared about.

P.S: This is not a true story, I have checked on the Stanford University page. It was sent to me one of my very close friend "Aditya Prakash", a long back in 2009. I loved this piece of fiction and I hope you all have enjoyed it too. Try not to presume things. Good Luck.

But still, Anjali had a smile on her face.
But still, Anjali had a smile on her face.

But still, Anjali had a smile on her face. She had a very rough day. It started with arguments with her project manager, that too because of someone else’s fault; then her friend didn’t turn up for the lunch, then online order got delayed  and the worst part, now she had to attend the marriage party this weekend, with her relatives. Not only the parties but she never liked her relatives too. 

She was working for a reputed media firm in Pune. After completing her masters in media management, last year, she had joined this firm through campus placements. Her roommate was Saira, a young, dynamic, college going girl. After taking dinner, while Anjali was doing the dishes, her mobile beeped. Saira, who was watching “House”, looked at the blinking light, on table and shouted, “Di, koi message aya hai!” She always addressed Anjali with “Di”, which was, perhaps a shorter version of “Didi”. Anjali, who was busy in her work, replied without bothering, “please, dekho kiska hai.” Saira had already checked the message. Anjali’s ex-boyfriend had been on a date today, with another girl. Saira, who was waiting for Anjali to ask, replied, “Aapke X ka hai, shyad.”, pretending that she has not read that message. 

Apart from being roommates, Anjali and Saira were very good friends too. They shared almost everything. Anjali was done with the dishes. She came back while drying her hands with the towel and sat on sofa besides Saira. Anjali was in a relationship for almost one year but recently they broke up because her boyfriend was a drug addict and had “no more feelings” for her, however, Anjali has not stopped talking to him, unlike he had expected. They were now trying to treat each other as friends, normal friends. Saira always wanted to ask Anjali and today, when she saw the fading smile on Anjali’s face, she couldn’t resist herself and asked, “Di why do you still talk to him? Even after what he has done to you.” Anjali looked into the eyes of Saira and smiled, with pain in her eyes, “I never ignored any of my friend.”, Anjali replied.  ”But he is not a good friend and so you need to change this habit.” Saira was already prepared with her reply. Anjali thought for a while and replied, “When he did not leave his bad habits for someone, who truly loved him, why should I change a good habit of mine for someone, who doesn’t even care about me?” said Anjali, while writing back to her ex.

Friday, February 27, 2015

I felt free.

I felt free.

Being an acrophobic, today I had conquered one of my worst fears. Standing on the outer edge of window, I felt free. I was not afraid; not even from the thought of dying. Infact I had never enjoyed the view of Juhu beach, this much before. I had a 2 BHK flat on 8th floor, in upper Juhu, South West Mumbai. I worked with a world renowned consulting firm and was living with one of my colleague, who happened to be my classmate as well. At this height, the air was pollution free, atleast I felt so. Vehicles looked no different than tiny toys, and were unable to disturb my internal tranquility. People appeared like ants, running without purpose. It perceived very similar to a mute movie scene or perhaps a dream.

It was quarter past six and I knew my flatmate would be arriving anytime now. I had written a long letter to thank everybody who were or had once held an important position in my life. I had even forgiven my boss who was never good to me and asked sorry from girlfriend for being bad to her. I had also written that how much I had loved my family and missed them.

Taking this decision was not easy; it took me almost three months to decide. I had tried every single way get out of that mess but failed. Even my flatmate had developed a slight doubt about what I was planning, and for the same reason he never left me alone, always picked me from my office or asked me and called me at around 5’o clock to make sure that I was in my office.  

I had finalized it last night and had also switched off my mobile in the morning itself. Today I had not gone to my office and instead, I enjoyed my last day. I watched a movie, eat sea food and even got a tattoo on my arm, which was of course painful. And then, I heard a knock on the door, my flatmate was here. He knocked restlessly. The door bell had gone mad. While all tangible things in my reach, the broken window pane, abraded paintwork and dust under my feet were making it clear, the concerned physical aspect of me wondered if this was just a dream. We both were struggling, my flatmate to break the door and I, to make sense out of this. A loud thud on the door and I was dazzled by the bright light. My arm was still sore.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The girl in white dress.
The girl in white dress.

I was late today. Usually I left my office at around 6’O clock but today we had a client visit. I was waiting for 330-E bus and was enjoying Bangalore’s weather. It was at it’s best romantic note, thundering clouds and gusts of wintery wind made me furl my arms around my body. It was drizzling and the trafficless roads were reflecting the lights of vehicles coming time to time. Out of the falling drops a figure appeared, I had seen this girl before. The girl from next bay, in my office. I used to sneak her while she was busy solving bugs in the numerous lines of code or perhaps while she was busy checking facebook. 

She was running towards the same stand where I was standing, holding closed umbrella in her one hand and mobile in other. I still remember the red color of her mobile cover; it looked cute, but not as she was looking today, in her partially drenched white dress. As she approached the stand’s shed, I intentionally made a space for her by stepping aside and she too accepted it without any second thought. She was too close to me, I even saw the water drops on her face, and indeed she looked pretty. 

Only then she turned towards me and asked “What time is it?” “Sorry?” , I replied, with a question, as if I had not heard at the first place.”Kitna time hua hai?”( Translation: What time is it?) she asked me again and instead of replying to what she had asked, I asked her in return, “Aapka mobile time nhi btata?” (Translation: "Can't you check it on your phone?") she scowled at me and turned her face on other side.

Before I had made up for my mistake, she bellowed at me while pointing her finger at my wrist watch, “Ek baar time btane se aapki yeh watch nhi ghis jaati..huh!” (Translation: "Telling me time, wouldn't have harmed your watch.")and again she turned her face away from me. Her reaction had made me smile. 

”I am sorry, its 8:30”, I told her the right time. She turned back and looked into my eyes, “I am sorry, I had bad day. My cell phone fell down and now its not working anymore”, she told me with a sad face. 

This was the beginning of a long and beautiful relationship. I don’t remember how long that bus took to arrive, how two strangers sat together and talked like best friends. A fierce lightening and a loud thunder clap brought me back to the sound of rain. I was staring at the sparkling rain drops, in the yellow street light, from the balcony of my flat. I had tears in my eyes. From that closeness to these thousand miles of distance, I was far away from Bangalore. I had missed her a lot in these last ten months.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Was it the bird?

 Was it the bird?

In these very moments, indeed he was not listening to her, distracted by a pigeon couple. He felt very soothing to see those birds playing and loving each other, away from the worries of this mortal world. They reminded him, the beginning of their own relationship, those good three months, when they both were together; they had laughed without reasons, loved lavishly and enjoyed each other’s company. But now, after three years, something was changing or perhaps something had already changed. They had to put efforts to keep conversation going; even the fights were not interesting anymore. In this long distance relationship, it was only these phone calls, which had kept their relationship alive. But now, these calls were not helping anymore.

“Are you even listening to me?” she screamed, he came out of the ocean of his thoughts and trying to hide slapdash, he replied, “yes, of course, I am listening.” She was complaining because he usually left calls in between, to do other things. “I feel like I am your least priority and I hate it.“, her voice had a touch of irritation. “babu please don’t say that. You are the most important person in my life and you know it very well.” He took a deep breath and continued, “Okay, from this very moment I have decided that I am not going to do anything at all while talking to you. But baby please smile now, I can’t see you sad.” he tried to cheer her up or perhaps tried to cover up for his mistakes. Then she said something which he was not expecting. “Its our daily story, our fights, arguments, your excuses, and your promises, I am fed with all these. I don’t think this relationship can tolerate any more fights.” It was his turn to say something.

And then suddenly, out of the blue, a cat pounced at those birds, giving them no time to escape. Before he could understand anything, the cat already had caught one of those pigeons in her jaws. He leaped towards that cat and tried to rescue the little bird, which was struggling for its life. Losing his fortitude, he ran after that cat and even picked a stone and threw it on that cat, forcing it to leave the prey out of its hold. He ran to help the bird. At the same time somewhere on the grass, a notification light of his phone was blinking, and a message was there on his screen, “you will never change but our relationship status has!!” 
Perhaps something had died.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

The future belongs to the curious. Really?
The future belongs to the curious. Really?

"Replace the fear of unknown with the curiosity." wow!! such a small sentence and yet so deep. It reminds me of a story cum joke that I had heard years ago. Here it goes:

He was sweating like a pig while walking back to his home, lost in the thoughts of future. It was indeed a hot summer day, sun rays were literally sucking the water out of bodies. The tar on the roads was melting and sticking with the shoe soles with his every step. He was continuously cleaning the sweat from his neck and forehead. Desolated roads and violent blasts of hot wind were more than enough to make him feel dizzy. The only sound which was disrupting the rhythm of hot wind and this deadly silence was a distant voice of a drunk man, holding a half empty bottle of local made whiskey and half bent on the open manhole. As he approached towards that point the sound became clearer, the drunkard was repeating, "Eighteen-Eighteen-Eighteen-Eighteen......", in an endless loop. He intentionally scuffled his feet on the road to make the drunkard aware about his presence. The drunkard twisted his head towards him while keeping rest of the body stationary and stopped saying anything for a while. Then he pointed his finger towards that open manhole and started that loop again, "Eighten-Eighteen-Eighteen-Eighteen......", this man became curious. Something must have happened here. Once he wanted to run away and reach his home as soon as possible. But then, this curiosity made him put forward his step to have a peep in the open manhole. As he moved near the edge, there came a blow on his back and before he could understand anything, he was upside down, falling in the abyss through that manhole. The drunkard did not say a word for while. After few seconds again that loop started but this time with "Nineteen-Nineteen-Nineteen.........".