Friday, September 30, 2016

The Lesson

You would be well aware of the cactus plant. We all have seen it grow somewhere near our house. It was this specific plant that made me who I’m today. I’m a curator with an utmost love for nature and art. You could call me a person who is fond of plants and gardens, but it was only recent advancements that made me the person who would not mind getting his hands dirty and sweating through the day, in order to bring into life the tiny little seeds and shoots each day. And I won’t hitch a little to admit that I enjoyed my work. But I wouldn’t have find my jinx if this one small yet significant incident hadn’t occurred in my life.

When I was a kid, we had a little cactus plant which was planted in a very decorative vase, kept on the roof. We had a little home garden in our roof thatch and that place was my refuge. I would spend hours admiring the cactus as it stood different from the rest. That’s the first thing which lured me towards it. And believe me it was just a start. Slowly steadily, the fondness grew a lot more. I would talk to that plant for hours, water it. Although I knew that these plant need minimum water to survive. They have evolved themselves this way, but my fondness almost blinded me. I wanted this plant to be the best. I wanted this plant to bloom beautiful leaves and flowers. So I nurtured it as if it was my child. I was confident in my venture and believed that the thorns of the plant can never prick me or cause me pain as I was loving it with all my heart and giving it all it ever wanted.

The day reached when the clouds of my misunderstandings were now about to precipitate. It was time for me to know the truth. I happened to somehow lose my balance and about to fall down the stairs and that’s when I reached to get hold of something to prevent the fall. And guess what I reached for. Yes! “The cactus”. Though I didn’t fall but I was terribly bruised and bleeding through my right arm because of the cactus pricks. And that was an eye opener for a kid like me. Like it just pricked the bubble I was living into until now. The cactus was never in need of “water” I offered it- day and night. I wanted the cactus to bloom! That was my first mistake. Cactus is not meant for that. They are meant for many things, but not that.

For so many years I paid no attention to any other plant whatsoever. Full of resentment and feeling betrayed, I looked up to the sky and yelled to the big man above. I yelled and yelled, asked for answers that if my love have gone into waste; What good did all these years brought me; I wasted my precious time and attention for a reason and for the plant that were by all means never to be gratified. Then what I discovered at that moment is a lesson I treasure to this day in my life. I saw a big outlet outside the vase. All the water I was brimming up into the cactus, was actually also going out to the bed my mother had made for new exotic flower seeds. She got it from our neighbour who claimed that it was nearly impossible to get these little devils pop out of the soil of our country and my mother decided to take the challenge and seeing me so fascinated with the roof garden, gave me the task of watering those exotics.But as I said, it was only cactus which was worth to me, so I never actually pour my love to those exotics. Despite this, when  I went closer to the quarry and to my surprise; there were saplings all around the soil. I jumped with both enjoyment and enchantment. I couldn’t believe it was me who was responsible for bringing these plants to life. It is one in a million feeling when you see the plants you grow, come to life. That was the moment I cherish till today and if it wasn’t for the cactus, I would have never realized that “Who are those, who are worth my time”. I almost forgot the pain from all the bruises. Indeed some lessons in life are learnt with pain and better they arrive early in life so that you can recover speedily and live rest of your days remembering the experiences and not the pain!

Metamorphosis in Relationships

She willed herself to not check her phone to see if he had replied. It had been about three days now. She hated that she was constantly checking his 'last seen at' status and yes, he had logged in just five minutes ago. Yet she couldn't stop herself. This sinking feeling to find absolutely no communication from him was becoming unbearable, almost torturous. And then, just as she sat down in her chair, her phone vibrated. With her heart thudding in her ear, she unlocked her phone and stared at the screen. Finally! It was his message. But when she opened it and read it, she nearly stopped breathing. She didn't know if he was joking or not. What was this? (these highlighted lines are by an author, given in write india contest TOI)

“Hi! can we be friends again?” This message nearly gave a hard blow to the last seven years Priya had spent with Nikhil. “What’s happening?” she thought to herself. “Is he joking or what?” “Friends?” “What about those seven years?” “Were we enemies then,” she murmured to the point that a squeak came out from her throat, though unintentionally.

Three months have passed since they got transferred in different cities and haven’t talked after having that moment with each other where the line between love and friendship became blurry. Nikhil was avoiding every kind of communication that can happen between them. But, Priya needed answers. She wanted Nikhil to put an end to her misery and tell her what exactly he wants from her. Priya couldn’t handle the pain anymore. She wanted to return to the past were Nikhil and Priya were best of friends. Things seemed to be much easier then. But ever since Nikhil staked their friendship and took a step forward their relationship took a new turn. Now he was confused. So he began to avoid her.

His every thought was being diverted towards all kinds of “what- ifs”. “What if this was a bad idea?” “What If I screw up and lose her forever?” Nikhil kept repeating this chain of thoughts every now and then. He admitted that things cannot be same as before as his heart had changed. Of course, he needed time to think about it. But Priya’s growing anxiousness forced him to cut her off for a while.

Nikhil was also in distress. He tried writing his feelings to her in a SMS but he couldn’t just press the enter button and instead he wrote something silly and sent her. He banged his head hard; pulled his hair; called himself an idiot and slammed the phone as hard he could. The phone landed on a towel lying on the floor few inches away from him.

He looked at the phone and yelled “Lucky for you as I didn’t care enough to clean this mess.” He looked around and saw the mess he had made. He had not cleaned the room in months as he kept obsessing over Priya. And he started arranging his room. His mind was still hovering over Priya. He coughed all along while dusting his book shelf. His eyes caught a sight of an autograph book which he had maintained during his college days. He started turning the pages. His eyes were searching for a particular name. He then remembered where Priya could possibly give her autograph. He turned to the last pages and there was it. He read through the whole five pages she wrote about her life, likes and dislikes; dreams; friends; thoughts. There was not a word in those pages that was unknown to him. He knew everything about her. This realization came as a surprise for him too. He never thought he would have known someone so closely in his life. With this realization now he could make up his mind and know what he really wants. He wanted to be with Priya for now and forever.

“Cleaning room was not such a bad idea,” he said to himself. He had understood that all the mess was solely in his head and his own creation. Once he decided to clean it, he could finally find real answers. The answers were lying there with him in his room already; he just needed to find it. All his doubts seemed to be conquered by the arrows of belief. The same “belief” that Priya holds in him. He felt so low and guilty for ignoring her for all these months.

He planned a trip to her place on the coming weekend so that he could make up for the restless, anxious days and nights he had given to her. The only problem was that he didn’t have the current address of her. He called their common friends one by one. Some didn’t respond due to office hours, some were too angry at him as they know tits and tats of the whole episode. Fortunately, one of our school friend who was in same city as hers reciprocated positively to his call and helped him in locating her residence in Delhi. It only takes 6-7 hours from Dehradun to reach Delhi. Nikhil chose to drive there by himself.

He wore his best clothes; sprayed cologne liked by Priya; bought a box of ferrero rocher and hurried to his car. It was Friday night and he wanted to be there with her before she wakes up on the Saturday morning. He reached Delhi an hour ago because of light traffic but it took him few hours to locate her house. Gladly, the boon of google maps saved his time and he was standing at her door by 7 am. He stood before her door for a while. He repeated the whole speech which he had been preparing on his way. His heart was pounding yet he somehow gathered the courage to ring the doorbell.

After ringing the bell thrice, he heard footsteps approaching near. Now he was sweating in a winter morning. She opened the door, yawning and on seeing Nikhil, her jaws dropped with surprise and she kept rubbing her eyes as if she thought she was dreaming. She was having mixed reactions. For one second she was so elated that she was laughing and for another second, she was giving him angry bird looks. He stood by the door silently, watching her reaction and then she invited him in. He said nothing but hugged her for around ten mississippi. Tears rolled down their face. Of course, these were the tears of joy. He told him about his realization and they talked for hours until their stomachs were growling. She cooked him his favourite meal and they had their brunch together. He asked her if she had forgiven him. She said nothing but smiled in the most innocent way ever. He understood Priya’s gesture and why he wouldn’t. He was her best friend who had undergone metamorphosis and turned into the love of her life!

Thursday, September 29, 2016


2015 was the worst year of my life. But it did teach me life's great lessons in disguise as well as some quiet out open. I was living an aimless life, like most of us do today. We are living either an aimless life or a life with aim which is not ours but of our partner! I'm a person of huge potentials and have many interests and hobbies. But did I do anything to make them grow? No! I sat down waiting for the right time, which believe me was never going to come with that attitude. When life was delivering its best of lessons in the class, I was the back-bencher who was playing with chalk pieces and busy in carving my teacher's mimic on the desk. Sometimes I was looking out of the window as the view enticed me more than the lessons. I had no clue what I was missing until that fateful day. I missed the lesson on TRUST. Yeah you heard me right. Only when I got mine broken, I came to know what all I missed. Only when I lost something very dear to me, then I realize how wrong my methods of aimlessly steering the caravan of my life were! I kept bumping into stones, even deep pits and wasted precious time going in a direction which was a dead end. And believe me I could see the “Dead End” from miles away yet I was faking to be myopic and driving towards it.

What was I thinking! That miraculously a hardy road will appear there, out of the blue. Oh how I wish that to be true. I guess I engrossed myself a way too much in fairy tales, believed a bit too much on the fairy god mothers! If only I was a Cinderella. I could have fairy god mother or a prince looking for me with a shoe in his hand. But neither was I a Cinderella nor was some prince looking for me. I was an ordinary person who was hoping that miracles can happen. But then life happens. And when I was hanging by a thread on the edge of the dead end, my whole life flashed before me. The familiar voices, the familiar faces and then suddenly face of my father came into forefront and he shouted “Jump now”. And I jumped. From a distance while I was falling, I saw the caravan burst into flames. Although my version of miracle differed from this one, yet it was a miracle after all. And due the aftershock I went into unconsciousness, only to find myself lying on the shore, soaked in water. I thought for a second if I was dead. And why would I not think that? I could see my dead father resting in an arm chair few meters away from me. He was waiting for me to gain consciousness. I rubbed my eyes as hard as I could. I couldn’t believe my eyes. Then, he spoke. “Feeling good?” And then I could not believe my ears! He reached for my forehead, to check for my temperature and then I lost trust in the sense of touch too. I managed to utter something, a little less rude. “Am I dead, papa?” ....To be continued