• Category Archives paurush praveen sinha
  • Featured Image Welcoming the year of Apocalypse

    Hello and Happy New Year


    I hope your new year hangover is already over and at least some of you are back to the work-desks, well at least I am. So how did you welcome the year of apocalypse (At least this is what ‘The Mayans’ predicted)? My welcome involved a dream, a dream on this new year eve and I share it here.

    Image Source: http://www.desirsdavenir31100.com/
    It was already late after celebration at 4.00 AM, got into sleep within half an hour. The first phase of dream started somewhere in Mexico. Well not the mexico today but the time when it was ruled by Mayans. I reached a place where a few people were engraving something. I asked them what are you doing folks? Their eyes were half asleep and a jar with some drink lying around, they started laughing at me. Don’t you see we are making a calendar, saying this the man fell to the ground and went into sleep, perhaps he had enough of the peyote drink. They all enjoyed it and poured over one more drink. They smiled, and then offered me a drink too and continued their work. By the time they reached the day Dec 21, 2012 they were too drunk to refrain from sleep. I finished my drink which is supposed to offer psychoactive effect, enlightened me and concluded why the Mayan calendar ends on 21st Dec, 2012. I thought of moving out from there.


    In the next stage of my dreams, I reached the set of movie 2012 before anyone, I saw sexy Beatrice Rosen and I thought of ignoring everyone else. But someone interfered (That someone was Roland Emmerich). I approached him and asked about the movie. He answered “it is a movie about the apocalypse in 2012″. I asked out of curiosity, “will it really happen?” He laughed and said who cares as long as it earns me big bucks. My next question was what if it really happens? He winked and said “thats fine I hope this movie earns me enough money to buy a ticket for the life saving ark”. I joined him in his humor with a smile and he got back to his work.


    I moved on to next destination. this time it was a meeting between politicians and scientific community. They were discussing about the possibilities of 2012 apocalypse and counter-measures. After the meeting representatives from both sides addressed the media. The scientist asked for more funds to perform their research and studies in this direction and the politicians agreed to it. The money was to be raised by imposing a new tax called apocalypse tax on tax payers.


    Suddenly a sweet voice tries to wake me up, oh it 12.30 PM, I know how to seal her lips that yell out sweet voices to wake me up, and pulled over the quilt. No distant thoughts, that sweet voice was my alarm. 


    Well till now I see no difference. Something like an apocalypse already started last year with revolutions and crisis. May be, by apocalypse the predictors meant these changes happening around.


    Any way, Happy New Year again


    cheers,



  • Featured Image The Diwali Column

    Here I start with a very short story from the times of global financial crisis. 

    October 2011, a beautiful greek city close to the mediterranean, looks totally deserted on a sunny day. The country is facing tough times, everyone is in debt, living on credit, be it a person or an organization. Suddenly, a rich tourist from China comes to the city. He enters a hotel, accidentally puts a 100 euro bill (currency bill) on the reception counter, and asks the proprietor if he could inspect the rooms upstairs in order to pick one, the proprietor agrees. The hotel proprietor takes the 100 euro and runs to pay his debt to the butcher. The butcher takes the 100 euro, and runs to pay his debt to the pig-grower. The pig-grower takes the 100 euro, and runs to pay his debt to the supplier of his feed and fuel. The supplier of feed and fuel takes the 100 euro and runs to pay his debt to the town’s prostitute that in these hard times, gave her “services” on credit. The hooker runs to the hotel, and pays off her debt with the 100 euro to the hotel proprietor to pay for the rooms that she rented when she brought her clients there. The hotel proprietor then lays the 100 euro back on the counter so that the rich tourist will not suspect anything. At that moment, the rich tourist comes down after inspecting the rooms, and takes his 100 euro, after saying that he did not like any of the rooms, and leaves town. No one earned anything. However, a big part of the town is now without debt, and looks to the future with a lot of optimism.



    So moral of the story is, all it takes to get free from debt is the flow of cash not the cash itself.


    Diwali the festival of light, coincides with worship of Lakshmi, goddess of wealth in Indian culture and you observe a huge cash flow.  It is the season for gambling, personal gifts, corporate gifts, dry-fruit and liquor sales, expenditure on fireworks and concentrated quarter for sales of consumer goods.  Estimates of consumption expenditure are no more than guesses even ignoring sales of retail consumer goods gives a clue to an incremental consumption expenditure approaching USD 20 Billion. Truly, this festival should be the festival of wealth and Diwali. Money is flowing everywhere, from corrupt politicians buying elephant statues or selling telecom spectrums. Even those who are fighting corruption are making it flow by ‘traveling’ and ‘talking’. And this flow of money appreciates or depreciates the hope and development of people and society, depending on its direction of flow. Hope this Diwali, the wealth flow direction changes its course to bring development or at least a hope for development for the people and the society . 


    Extending my Diwali wishes globally, hopefully this festival also brings prosperity to Libyan  people who recently managed to get rid of their dictator, supposedly the richest person they had. The more important thing I wish for them is no rise of another dictator. I also wish some cash flows for the earthquake victims of eastern turkey who are still waiting for the cash flow from their western country mates. Also uncle Sam understands that they cannot control the flow of cash around the world alone, and not at least if they keep on waging wars and being aggressive to other economies or even copying other countries in terms of policies.


    Last but not the least I think Englishmen should also thank the Indian “Men in Blue” for paying back the debt that they incurred this summer in cricket. This debt was cleared in a very short span of time with enough interest, wasn’t it incredible? Well the debt in T20 and test is still there, Dhoni and co must keep this in mind.


    With this I close my blog, I also have to make the cash flow towards me and go to work, not a holiday for me :(


    “Best wishes for Diwali”

    “दीपावली की हार्दिक शुभकामनाओं के साथ” 



  • Featured Image The Peepul Tree

    It’s been almost 20 years.  I am back in the town as the district magistrate, where I spent a most of my childhood . I was yet to get the bungalow from the government so had to stay in the guesthouse for the time being. I was being driven in an open SUV to the guesthouse and I could feel the air with an essence of memories.  The area looked familiar, a river flowing by, kids playing around. The road now had some potholes opposite to those days, when we could find some road in the potholes. The chauffeur was talkative, addressing me as ‘sahib-ji’ (a substitute for ‘sir’ in Hindi). He was almost 3-5 years elder as it looked from his appearance.  Long dense mustache, slightly grown beard and short hairs, well wet with some excessively strong mustard oil and a well-built body. He was happy and tension free, whereas I was not. His (legitimate) income will be around one fifth of what I could earn legally, still he was more satisfied and relaxed. I was not very happy as I had to He was trying to explain me about the town especially temples and the banks of the river with religious importance. To be frank I was getting annoyed and was just trying to be polite by nodding my head in response to his words, some times with a sound “hmm!”

    Soon we reached the guesthouse, I paid some tip to the chauffeur saying “will fire you if you continue being talkative” within my heart, but the words that came out of my mouth were “you stay here I may go out in the evening”. The housekeepers took my luggage and lead me to my cottage. I gave him some money asked him to get some soft drinks as was the hot and humid month of July and I was not sure if I could get safe drinking water in there. I had more trust in the American cola companies than the motherlands ground water. Any way he went happily to fulfill my orders. I threw my self on the couch peeping out through the wooden window. The river, the temple and sound of bell in the temple, devotional songs being played there. When I was partially lost in nostalgia, I heard a knock on my door, it was the housekeeper with cola.  I thanked the housekeeper.  Planning to go the bed to have a nap. In order to make my nap go undisturbed, curbing the noise coming from outside was the priority. I moved to the window to shut it.  I could get a bigger picture from here. Women entering the temple, with a corner of their saaree called aanchal, on their head after taking a holy dip in the river, some of them pouring the holy water over the Peepul (Sacred fig) tree and kids playing cricket in the ground beside the tree. Peepul tree and cricket! Some memories forced me to look at Peepul again. It is the same peepul tree, as green as it used to be, as thick as it used to be and as sacred as it used to be, it did not seem that it got older.

    I refuted the idea of closing the widow returned to the couch. Memories coming to my eyes like a Bollywood movie of 80’s. 20 years ago I lived in this town. As the son of district magistrate I had all the luxuries, respect and care.  But respect stuff was limited to the grown ups. There is no such thing among the kids. They play together, fight and then play again. No one knows whom is what and neither they care.  I use to play cricket with my folks here in the same ground. The shadow of the Peepul tree; use to be our strategy room, dressing room, dugout and celebration arena. I used to dominate the game every time.  Not because I was a very good player, but because the playing kit belonged to me. Others had to bear my offenses if they wanted to play and I made full use of it. They have to bowl me out at least twice to really get me out of batting.  They have to get out if I am bowling even if they are not. Every time I use to threaten them that I will take my game kit if they do not accept my rules unconditionally. I was the undeclared captain, umpire, referee and manager of the playing troop.  Beside the cricket kit I always use to have a lot of tasty food and drinks with me that was another benefit for them. Another thing that made me rule the troop if not the game was that with my repute it was easier to get the ball back if someone hits it to one of the houses. But kids are kids every time they do not accept your illegal demands. That use to create kiddy fights and finally leaving me crying back to home with my kit. But there was one good thing, next day we again played as usual.


    Image source: http://www.outlookindia.com/article.aspx?231464

    That evening, I was batting even after being out three times (may be more I don’t remember), my dictatorship in the troop has prevailed. Chintu was bowling. He had me twice, once bowled out and once caught behind by the wicketkeeper. On being bowled out I just said it had bounced twice so it is not valid ball. Everyone saw it did not. But I knew they had to accept my words. A clear cheating and I got away with that. Second time when the player behind caught the ball coming off my bat I claimed it never touched the bat. Another clean cheating. Everyone saw that it touched the edge of the bat, everyone heard the sound of collision between leather and wood including me, but at that time I wanted to bat. There was a lot of argument this time. I used my trick; “I am telling it never touched my bat just spun away from it if you continue this cheating with me I will carry the bat and other things let me see how you play.” Chintu came cracking at me he said “you are cheating you are out twice its my turn to bat”. I continued with my trickery. “If you continue cheating with me I will not play with you guys I am telling I am not out” Suddenly another guy says   “even we don’t want to play with a cheater like find your way back home”. I said OK go to hell and started collected my stuff. I was expecting that now they will accept my conditions, I had tried this before and most often I was successful. This time was no exception. Chintu with anger said “OK we give you a last chance but this time no cheating” Well I got what I wanted but wanted it with pride so I said “what cheating I was never out, you are cheating I don’t play with cheaters like you” I was sure of the victory for my although not in the game and it worked. He said ok “go and bat”.  

    After two balls the haunting came again. I was run out, by almost a meter.  I was no ready to quit. I said “I reached made it” This time I faced a lot of anger for everyone. Any dictator does not continue for a long time. This time I had to quit. I said “OK what can I do if all of you are cheating but I was not out. But who can win against you cheaters.”  Chintu came forward and took the bat from me. I was already angry with him. I said “it is getting late the game is over for the day”. In the game of cricket all the kids like to bat their full session but who wants to bowl. We just bowled with a hope for our batting turn if the person batting gets out. My statement angered Chintu. He said what the hell is this? You kept on batting even after being out and now when its my chance how can you leave.  I replied to show my dominance “I cannot play throughout the day for your batting I have to go home”. And by the time reached under the Peepul tree. packing the stuff. I thought what I am asking for myself are my rights after all every thing belongs to me, I get the ball when if breaks Sharma uncles window, without any reprimands for these boys. I have all the right to decide about the game here. He came on to me and said “you cannot go like that  enough of your cheating I will have my batting”. I said I don’t care, go to hell I am leaving. 

    He came onto me holding my collars “I will take my batting, what do you think. I also caught his collar.  He was at least 20 cm taller and 15 kilo heavier than I was.  But as a kid usually do not make all these calculations before entering a fight. They just enter into it. A fight has already started between the two of us under the peepul tree. I had no supporters among the kids everyone was supporting Chintu (Yeah stop cursing me I know he was right). I was all onto me hitting me I suddenly grabbed the bat and hit him on his upper leg. The hit was strong but not enough for a guy like Chintu. He suddenly turned and hit me two punches really tough ones. I started crying, tears rolled down my eyes. Every one including Chintu got scared; the girly weakness that always acts as a weapon had worked for me that evening. They escaped and vanished. It all happened under that peepul tree. I also forgot everything and returned home without any signs of tears and crying. 

    My mom said tomorrow we are moving to another city as your dad has been transferred. I was really happy that I will get to see a new city, new school new people. My folks in that city never entered my mind. That was my last evening in this town. Not letting Chintu bat came haunting my mind today evening. It was all I could remember. The flashback was gone, I was back into present when I realized its 7:30 in the evening. I came out of my cottage without any nap. Found my talkative chauffeur and asked him to take me to that Peepul tree. He looked at me in a weird fashion as if I had asked him to take me to a cemetery. But he had to follow my orders.  I reached under tree soon. I climbed over the tree embankment. Some similar tree awakened Buddha thousands year ago. I was not hoping for any awakening but just thought “Although the sins that I committed that day were not big but if I could fix them”. I asked my chauffeur. The kids still play cricket here? He said yes ‘sahibji’ we all have grown up here playing this game. I continued “I was 10 when I use to live here and play. You must know some of the kids from that era. Any idea about, Shashi, Chintu and..” Before I could complete he asked me “what did you ask ‘sahibji’ “Chitu”? “ I said “yes do you by any chance happen to know him?” He smiled and said “not Chintu sahibji, Cheeranjiv his full name is Cheeranjiv.” I never tried to know his real name as I never felt the need. I looked at him as he continued “Shashi is a peon in a small school in a village close to the town.”  I desperately asked “…and Chintu?” He replied “right in front of you sahibji”. I looked at him closely and got myself convinced to accept that he was Chintu. I said “I remember the last day I had here, you batting chance is still due for which you hit me”

    The element of embarrassment and fear alloyed in his eyes and he said, that was the childhood sahibji, hope you have forgiven me for that. I laughed and said Chintu you were right on that day I must fix the wrongdoings of the past.  Lets have a game tomorrow evening. “Sahibji forgive me I forgot that please you forget that as well” he said. But, I prevailed and a game was organized the next day.

    All the cricketing stuff was organized along with spectators sitting under the peepul tree. The peepul tree was witness how I approach to fix the misdeeds of the past. Those who were older supported me but the kids supporting Chintu.  The game started. I had to start with batting and Chintu had to bowl me out to get his batting turn. There were 10 other kids who were supposed to field for us. I started with an honest mindset. Chintu was no more a player that he used to be. But at the 3rd ball I faced I nicked the ball and one of the kid behind caught it. It was completely against my honor to get out in the beginning itself, I decided to say no to the honesty and claimed, “I did not nick the ball”. It was a clear nick everyone saw that but no one could resist because of my reputation. Even Chintu said you must be right sahibji. Twenty years ago, his reaction used to be completely different.  Again on the sixth ball I was trapped leg before wicket, the ball hitting me on pad right in front of the stumps. My reaction was the same. I quietly move my foot a bit forward and said this is not leg before wicket, see I am leaning forward (Assuming no one saw my moving foot).  Chintu accepted this as well.  The third time I got stumped but slowly moved foot inside the crease line I called the umpire to prove that I was not out. The kid behind me got angry but I was still powerful if not with game then with  my social status. 

    The entire thing did not last long. I had to accept when I was clean bowled after few deliveries. Now I had to save a target of score of 11 while bowling. I was already dark. The first ball went past Chintu. Something came to my mind, I can use darkness to defy the umpire, Chintu and the truth. I threw another ball past him and appealed for a caught behind. I knew he never touched the ball, but I pretended that I heard a nick. With my short argument with umpire and Chintu I could convince both of them. Chintu said “If sahibji is telling that he heard a nick I must have nicked the ball, otherwise why would he do so.” I was victorious, the elder ones greeted me with applause, though the kids did not like the way I played. I was feeling happy to have saved my rep, no matter how I did that. I was thinking I won the game and fixed what went wrong 20 years ago. The peepul tree was not witnessing anything new. Infact things never changed. Elder ones were still influenced buy personal reputation, kids had nothing to do with that. I was still using my social position to win games and prove my control over the game. The only thing that was different was Chintu’s attitude, today he was accepting whatever I said, he was not a kid any more.



  • Featured Image India: Young at the age of 65

    Namastey (Greetings), 

    I am India, a 65 years young country. Well my my actual age is few thousands years in terms of civilization but I was reborn 65 years ago from my ashes created by colonialism, losing some feathers in the process. To introduce myself, I am the worlds largest democracy, one of the oldest civilization, birthplace of four major religions of the world followed by a quarter of world’s population and I house around 17.5% of world population. 

    Historically, I was one the worlds first urban civilization, first country  to have developed counting, zero and decimal. The civilization I cradled was the first to start a university, a proper language and grammar system and was among the first one to know that the earth revolves around the sun. Perhaps one of the few countries with more than five kings titled “the great”.  I was the richest country in the entire world before I was captured and killed and was called the Golden Bird, or the Jewel of British Crown. 

    Well enough of history. Today, I have the second largest army, fourth largest air-force and navy. One of the most modernized air-force in the world. My navy in the only “to be Blue water navy” in Asia. I am one of the few recognized nuclear powers on earth, one of the five countries to have a lunar mission and  only 2nd with a lunar landing mission. I have the second fastest growing economy across the world. When the big power reduce their research  budgets I double them. There are only two countries in the world that generate more number of scientists and engineers than I do. The world is being cured by the doctors and nurses I trained. I own, the 2nd largest railway network, largest communication network. I have 8 of world’s 100 richest people.  

    My people claim that we never attacked any country, but thats not true, Indian kings attacked and ruled Srilanka and parts of old Persian empire, and my people still continue to attack within the country in terms of caste, religion, region and language. Most of the attack on me were the invited by my own people be it Moghuls or British.


    No boasting around anymore, lets go to the irony. I have about one third of poor people of the world and $2 Trillion of my money illegally lies in other countries.  Though, I started the university system in the world, a quarter of my population is illiterate. I provide doctors across the globe but I have 0.7 hospital beds per 1000 as compared the international requirement of 3.96 and so is the trend in number of doctors. Some of my kings planted trees around the roads and today I am among the worlds highest CO2 emitter. We have a sex ratio where males outnumber females, a result of aborting female child although many of my people worship female Gods.  I import more than we export, even after such growth of economy. My national animal tiger is endangered in my own lap. I have a high desertification rate a lot of people do not get clean drinking water. Concretization of land has led to reduction in ground water recharge.

    But all is not lost. I turn 65 today, I have many years of life ahead.  I believe my people can generate more wealth, fight to get back the trillions. Respect female child with equal rights, educate people, develop infrastructure without disturbing ecological and natural balance. Some of the efforts have already started paying. I am the one considered among the top countries in harvesting renewable sources of energy. The emissions are being cut in an ordered way, methods of enginnering a more eco-friendly infrastructure is evolving. People who left me for a better future want to come back. My people own some emperial companies. I am striking back. Hopefully the illegal flow of money and legal flow of Brain will slow and ultimately stop one day in near future. 

    You know good thing about my people that they always hope positive no matter what the situation is. And, I am still young enough to enjoy the fruits from their efforts.

    Have a great week ahead,

    India




  • Featured Image The New Year Column

    Happy New Year, oho wait..!  well let me take this opportunity to wish something bigger “Happy New Decade!” Writing a column at this onset can take two ways, either I write what happened during this year (or decade) or write what can happen in coming days within a length that does not test your reading patience. Daunting, isn’t it ? Talking about history does not make sense as I know, “the only thing we can learn from history is that we don’t learn anything from history” (Not my words).  

    Images: www.goodreads.com and www.enlightenedredneck.com 



    I will tell you about an incident that I came across this new year party. Two personalities meeting and greeting each other, one looks very tired, consumed and aged, the other one is enthusiastic, energetic and young. It is a farewell evening for one and welcome for the other.


    The aged one greets the younger “Hi buddy I am the decade 2001-10″, “It is a pleasure to meet you Sir ! I am your successor 2011-20″ replies the younger. 



    “I promise you to do far better than you did” says 2011-20 with sarcasm. 


    “Thats will be stupendous pal, hope you match your promise. Moreover, I promised the same to my predecessor 1991-00 and I do not know where do I stand on the verge of my retirement.” replies the 2001-10. 


    With an arrogant smile the other replies “At the abyss sir. What you have given during your tenure is just war, catastrophes, disputes, crisis and problems.” 


    “Buddy I have also given development, advancement and solution to long lasting problems. ” Says the older one with a sign of politeness hiding the anger. 


    “As long as I can see sir, from your very childhood you have given wars, killings and hatred that still continues. 2001 started with the twin tower incident and the after effects are still there. you had Iraq war, Afghanistan war, terrorism, climate change, economic crisis all sorts of problems. Who can rate you as a decade of achievements, you just carried the thousands of year civilization into a plunge.” Says 2011-20 aggressively.


    “But I also brought development see mars rovers, decoding life, internet use telecom technologies so many things. I also had the emerging powers at the world’s stage. The poverty reduced. And the negative things you are talking about was was in some way inherited from my predecessors.” Claims 2001-10 with anger


    “And thats why you aggravated these inheritances and passed on to me. You are providing me with a thorny couch and ask me to do better. But believe me, I am going to change it.” Shouts 2011-20


    This triggers the anger in the outgoing decade and is ready to lock horn with the upcoming decade. Before it could get worse, I interfere with a laughter. “Hi poor fellows you are fighting over an issue that is a folly. Well before I tell you further, let me introduce myself. I am a representative of the world, a human representative.”


    “Could you elaborate your intentions ?” says one of them 


    Yes off course my dear (with nefarious smile) I said. “I am here to tell your exact role. You guys are into some kind of illusion. What makes you believe that you control the world, you can take it on the course you like? Just wake up folks, its we who are on the driving seat. You are merely the witnesses. You can just feel the course we steer on, we create war make peace, we love we hate. If we want war we wage it, we create crisis and sometimes even disasters. You cant even close your eyes to avoid watching them, you are just witnesses and we keep the records of our deeds within you. So stop bandying with and grab a drink enjoy the evening. We need you for the future.”


    Their heads went down and I said 


    “Happy new year, happy new decade.. and went deeper into the party with my drink.”


    cheers,



  • Featured Image Nostalgia

    Eight years! siting on the window seat of train I was just getting myself anxious. The train stopped and I managed to get my slim body out of the door through the crowd rather easily. It’s 4.30 AM, January morning with chilling breeze around. Feeling the cold I made myself shrink in my warm jacket. My unfolded fist wandered inside the pocket looking for the mobile. I dialed dad with freezing fingers to know if someone is coming to pick me up. After a short conversation I was asked to wait for sometime. I thought of satisfying my anxiety with a look outside the station. It was a changed city with new building structures and more of cars than rickshaws but people still looked the same. Starting off their day early in the morning even at 3 degree Celsius with freezing wind and visibility limiting fog. I reached near the temple which was unchanged and still looked new, separated by a street from a mosque; both crowded for morning prayers. In the flower shop the keepers were busy in handling the customers and occasionally sprinkling water on the flowers to make them appear fresh. I reached the narrow street there.


    The street with which I share some pleasant memories. Two teenagers, a boy and a girl, The girl is looking at the flowers in the shop and the boy is waiting for his mom outside the temple. My mom never asked me to enter the temple as I used to make fun of her so called GODS. We looked at each other and exchanged a smile. Both of us had some hesitation to approach and talk to each other. Now the funny irony was we studied in the same school same class and don’t need unnecessary introduction. Well, the hesitation did not last longer than 2-3 minutes. 
    “Hello Ayesha, how come here?”
    As if I did not know that she must be here with her dad offering fajr prayers after morning aajaan inside the mosque. She smiled and gave me the answer I already knew. Now I did not know how to continue with our conversation. 
    She came to rescue me out of it, by asking “how come you in a temple? As far as I know you are an atheist, with a sarcastic smile.”
    This took me by surprise,. I did not expect her to know this part of me, as very few of school-mates knew this, at least not her. I could easily hide my inner expression of surprise with a short laugh. 
    “That’s why I was forced to stay out of the temple by Mom, I said. And you are busy looking at these flowers,” 
    I asked to continue with the conversation, she answered yes and these red roses are my favorites. We barely had talk for few minutes as it seemed to me at that time, I saw mom coming out. Honestly speaking, I was not very glad to see her coming out so soon. Anyway I introduced Ayesha to mom and she greeted mom in by touching her feet. It is a usual of greeting elders in India. In turn she got a hug from my mom and some blessing with the sweets from the temple. After a short conversation between mom and Ayesha we had to say goodbye for the day and I moved towards my car with mom, but did not forget to wave my hands before throwing myself at the driving seat. I was 15 at that time but could drive without hesitation. This is one  of the awards of being related to the city police chief in India.


    Next week we met in the school bus. Our houses were not very far so we used to travel through the same bus to school. But today it was different we were not just exchanging smiles but worded smiles. 
    She suddenly came with a question, 
    “You were surprised on that day when I called you an atheist, weren’t you ?” 
    Ah! I don’t how the hell girls can know something even if you try your best to hide it from them. I think that makes them a better spy (Mr. Ian Flemming your movies should have a female bond). I just smiled with acceptance. She laughed and told the reason was Priyanka (Only my good friends and anti’s knew about this quality). It was enjoyable to know that she used to talk about me before.  For the first and last time I was happy with what Priyanka did. She was an annoyer for me before. I just thanked her without blabbering a word. During the next days we talked more often than ever, with words and without words. Once in the school park she told me again that she loves red roses perhaps for the 9th time in 10 days. To admit, at that time I was stupid enough to not understand the meaning hidden in her words, and I continued to be idiot for next few days.


    The entire class was on an excursion to the city zoo, few of the students got intentionally lost from the troop during the visit., and fortunately we were a part of this lost bunch. We in pairs then departed from each other before reappearing in more or less an hour. After jocund excursion and the better one hour (When she got a red rose finally) we came back to our homes. I was talking to sis (the way I address my elder sister) I told her about Ayesha. And next morning it was a teasing day. Sis and Big B had entered a collaboration to banter me. Well anyone will love doing this if a 15 year old boy says he is in love. I was embarrassed, but had to bear it anyway. By evening Mom and dad had joined the collaboration, and I had no savior. Mom started saying I met my daughter in law and I support my little son. I don’t care about the religion stuff. And then she laughed at me. I was peeved, blushed and irritated simultaneously with their remarks and tried to show that I am getting angry. Anyway, it continued with a slow decrease in its intensity through the days.


    Eid- Ul- Fitar invitation brought a reason to meet her parents. I was determined to behave in the best possible to impress way. I did not need a lot of change or rehearsal as I was already a well behaved boy. Believe me I did more just accomplishing the job in my hand. The impression that I left that day won me the freedom to meet and talk to her more often than I used to enjoy before. But it was because their parent still took us as kids. This is probably one issue that has never been resolved and will never get resolved. All the parent take their kids to be kids even if they turn into grand parents.


    That morning she came and without saying even Hi moved into the lecture room. The teacher was inside so verbal communication was difficult. I thought of playing the postman game. The game was very simple and efficient way to communicate in presence of teacher. The sender writes something on a piece of paper and the paper passes to the person you want to communicate with, through class mates, hiding beneath the desks and tables.
     “What happened? Why are you not talking to me?” I asked. 
    After a long journey of 11 people it came back to me. 
    “Khaalaa jaan saw us yesterday and she told mom about us”, was the answer. 
    The news was not good but like a fearless lone warrior engulfed in enemies den I wrote 
    “so what?” 
    She wrote that we will talk after the lecture. 
    As soon as the lecture was over I rushed towards and almost screamed at her, 
    “so what if Khaalaa saw us ? Its still the same we love each other”. 
    She, without saying anything started crying and now I was down. 
    Trying to console her I said, “why do you worry its not a big issue”. 
    In sobbing voice she replied “no, its not possible to continue with this anymore. Mom slapped me yesterday. Look I come from an orthodox muslim family. My parents will never accept anything like this and that too with a hindu boy”. 
    “What the hell? don’t you think its just stupid and nothing else?” 
    She came closer and then said 
    “we would continue to friends but it cant continue in the same way anymore”. 
    “Friends! shut up” I barked. This is very typical of girls first carry you to a stage where they call you more than a friend and suddenly freeze with this kind of end. It was all getting to an end very suddenly and awfully


    I somehow managed to attend rest of the lecture came back home and cried for sometime hiding in a blanket. Then onwards I met her everyday for next 30 days or so but no talks, just  staring and hiding from each other. Board exams came and went. I went to a different school to continue with studies and then moved to the medical school. Next two years of study and preparation for medical school never gave me enough time to remember or forget Ayesha. Dad was transferred from that city, so never had a chance to visit this city of good old memories. Today after 8 years just trying to remember incidents that had happened, getting deeper into nostalgia. From the street I could see two teenagers who started with a story here.
    I was so drowned into all these memories suddenly the mobile vibration woke me up and without looking at the call I asked 
    “yes dad where are you?”  
    Oh I can see dad’s car coming, gotta go….. 



  • Featured Image BigB (A STORY)

    My fifth grade exams were just days away and, I was doing everything to ignore them. I was out in the small town near my school. It was 10 AM of a Saturday morning, some boys were flying kites and the others waiting for an opportunity. The opportunity when they can run for a kite. Kite running is very common in Indian small towns and villages among the school boys. The irony is that there are more kite runners than those flying them. Suddenly, we saw a kite dancing down the earth. It was a tragedy for the boy who was flying but a hope for a flock like ours. A bunch of boys started running in the direction of the kite, no need to say I was one among them. During schooldays, a walk to the school tires you easily, even if it is at few meters from your house. But, when running for a kite, even a kilometers or two seems easy. We were all running behind the kite across narrow streets, stumbling over people; who in turn were rewarding us with some cursing words. Hmm ! but who cares. Suddenly, I stubbed against a person that kept me away from the kite.

    It was my elder brother “BigB”.  We studied in the same school. He was three classes senior to me. I was in class fifth and he studied in class eighth. Gerontologically he was 6 years ahead of me. I was ten he was sixteen, so he was the lawmaker as well as the law enforcer for me. He was supposed to take care of me and I respected and obeyed (or at least tried to obey) whatever he instructed, like a civilized citizen of his small kingdom. He was a very studious, always busy with books or writing, although some of the shapes he use to draw on his notebook were strange and meaningless to me. Some unique nonsense words were often found there. I use to assume them as some kind of encryption that can be deciphered only by someone studying in those higher classes, or as a type of entertainment for my brother; when he is finally bored with the studies. Obviously not as entertaining as kite running or playing street cricket. Anyway, I could never dare to ask him about his personal script. The irony was that his studious nature never paid for him rather making a strong foundation for him in every class. 

    I was altogether a different boy, who always tried to abstain from studies looking for excuses to execute my will to maintain a safe distance from books.  Kites, cricket, football and roaming around were more magnetic for me than history, science, maths and literature. I could not understand, how a multiplication table of 19 be more interesting than a cricket match with the boys in another school. My studies were limited to my homework, that too to save myself from the insulting punishments of the teachers.

    Well, after losing the kite that evening we came to our hostel.  He started-  


    “what do you think you are doing? You have few weeks left for exams and if you continue with your ways you will be in 5th class forever. You have an example in me. See how much I study, how hard I work still I had to be in the same class for 2 or sometimes 3 years. Don’t I feel like  going to play cricket, hover around with friends, going to movie? I prefer to study than being involved in these stuffs. If you continue to behave in this fashion you will never go further. Whats the use of spending money on studies if you are not interested in studies. Why do you waste dad’s hard earned money for nothing.” 

    The piercing words were exasperating my guilt. I really felt of having committed a sin. I started loosing my confidence and thought I am really not good for studies. Tears rolled down my face. Then he came to me and hugged. But the preaching continued. 

    “Whatever I say is just for your good. Dad has sent us here to study, do something in life but this is not the way to achieve it and so on.”

    These reprimands are like fall of pebbles in stagnant water. Creating ripples for the moment and then back to stagnancy. The night I decided to study and made plans. Possibly, the most difficult time table was drawn, morning 8-9 history, 9-10 science, 10am to 5 pm school, 5-7 Maths and so on . A strict time table has no time to play and relax and so was it. No time slot was provided for cricket or roaming around. Well, its easier to draw plan on paper but hard to follow them. The breaching started the next morning with a long sleep. The time table soon found a more apt place in the waste-bin. 

    Finally the exams came and went and the result day arrived. He failed and I passed and even was ranked first in my class. Somewhere in the back of my mind a question popped up for BigB. Where is the hard work? Look at me played a lot and passed with such a good grades, but I managed to suppress this ugly thought. The clutch was a bit released on me now; for sometime. The devil of pride tried to make its home somewhere in my mind  but I could manage to shake him out. Our results had led to a less strained grip of my brother on me. I was less often obstructed in my daily life and hence was more confident at my mischiefs. He perhaps found I am getting overconfident with all this (I think he was excellent in understanding the behavior and could read the mind). 

    Once I came back after a cricket match, and he was waiting. The lecture started- 

    “It seems you are swimming in a sea of overconfidence and pride. I know you have passed and that too with good grades. But that does not men you have all the knowledge. Don’t feel proud of this. No one has ever won his life with pride. HItler was also proud and this destroyed his thinking power, do you know where did he reach finally. Think about Raavan he was also proud of his power and kingdom and messed up with himself. He was a great king, if his pride could not stand the test of time, what do you think you are? You have just passed class five and flying on cloud nine.” 

    “Your grades are not the outcome of your hard work but just some favor of the goddess of luck. She will not come to rescue you every time. It was just fifth class when you come to my class you will see what is study. Your struggle with algebra and geometry will prove my point. Write BCA for a triangle in place of ABC and lose all the point. Whats the difference? whether I eat bread and egg or egg and bread. But, no you are supposed to know everything in the words of the book. Cram everything and call it education. You are supposed to write an essay on importance of time and waste hrs to write this simple thing in 500 words. We  all know time is important and we should manage it in proper way but why the hell should I waste my time in writing this in 500 words which can be written in less than 50 words. And to add to it they call it write in brief in 500 words, otherwise it would go to the size of a book. Read the history of England and you will find the most complicated families. Poor kings were so deprived of names that they had to use “alphanumeric names”. Just used to add numeric suffixes with common names, tens of James, dozen of Charles and every other king was Williams it seems. The only difference was their suffix. If you just misplace their suffix in the exam you get a completely round figure. Is it my fault if they did not get proper names. If they would have asked I could have suggested sufficient number of names for all their generations. When you go through this hell you will regret what you are doing. My failure in exams is another issue, I have more experience than you. Remember whatever I say. These activities will never fetch you anything.”

    The lecture has shaken me entirely(at least for the evening). The image of studies that was drawn before me scared the hell out of me. In fact for the moment I thought I should not continue with studies, its not my cup of tea. But, I stayed , as usual spending more time with open sky than closed library. The fear created by BigB was gone, and I was busy in kites, cricket and fun. The exams came and went. The results were announced. I again passed with good grades and BigB had failed. He cried and so did I. His failure halved my joy of passing the exams. He studied day and night. Mugged up every lesson but the results were disastrous. Perhaps BigB would not have cried so much, If I would have failed.

    A disgusting thought came to my mind; if BigB fails again and I pass, we will come to the same class, and then I will see how could he boss me. I just shook my head to put such nasty thinking out of my mind. With my promotion in school, I promoted myself even in sports. I was no more a kite runner but, a kite flier. All the time after school was now dedicated to kite flying. People who blasts kite fliers telling that you do nothing just flying kites. Let me tell them its a difficult and demanding job. Tying the kite at the right points, sharpening the string for the kites, its al not as easy as it appears. Collecting glass pieces (sometimes even stealing the working electric bulbs and lamp glasses from houses), crushing to fine dust and making a paste with glue. Above all I had to do all this hiding from BigB as I respected him and did not want him to have any kind of suspicion on my ways. That day was lucky for me, I had almost cleared the sky of the kites. My kite runners were hoping around with me enjoying our day. Eyes stuck to someone coming, it was bigB, and he was approaching me

    I tried to hide my kite equipment but he stepped towards me and blasted. 

    “Does it suit you to play with these boys? You are much better than these boys, show some self respect. Tomorrow you will be at a very good position, you are the one who deserves that. You are talented and intelligent but someone who does not have self respect is not intelligent in real sense of the term. You must be thinking that you are just one year behind me academically, therefore, I have no rights to say you all this. Next year you will come to my class and if the teachers continue with their ways you may turn out to be senior to me in studies. But do you know my little brother, I am 6 year senior to you in terms of life. Even the God cannot eliminate this seniority of 6 years. Tomorrow you will be graduate, post graduate even doctorate but I will always be your elder brother. Knowledge does not come only from book, rather from experience.  This is the way in which you learn to handle real world things, and I will always have more of it. Our principal holds so many degrees, but when it comes to managing the real world problems, he asks for advice from his mother and father who are not so educated. Look at our home before taking some important step we seek guidance from our mom and dad and they seek from grandpa and grandma who are much less educated, but my dear brother they are more experienced with the real world. So just throw this idea out of your mind that since you have reached a higher class, I cannot check you for your misdeeds. If I feel that something you are doing is not good for you I can always scold you and if required I can even use a slap to awake you. “

    This was an argument I could not counteract even in my dreams. How true was he? It kept me standstill for the moment and the silence broke with my confession. 

    “You are right BigB” I said and hugged him with my wet eyes.  

    He said- “don’t I feel like flying kite, playing cricket and all. But how I can I show you a path with myself deviating from it. I am supposed to take care of you; it’s my responsibility and I would love to fulfill this responsibility,  because I am your BigB and will always be.” With this he took the control of my kite and cleared the sky of kites completely. Now there was only one kite in the sky that belonged to us. BigB flying it and I was cheering for him.