Wednesday, April 23, 2014


“Mom, why did you give away my boots? You know how much I love them.”
“But they don’t fit you anymore.”
“So what? This is why dad left you alone.”
She stared at me for a moment and then turned away. I knew I shouldn’t have said it but I was so angry. 

My dad left us when I was five. It’s been ten years now. My mom and I never talk about him. I have no idea where he is today, whether he is alive or not. But one thing is sure, the world is cruel! This is why I didn’t understand when mom kept on donating things to the charity. When my own father can abandon, why worry about the people around. The world if full of selfish people, people who do not care anymore, people…… self-minded demons. I’m one of these people.

I took my back pack and rushed out. I didn’t want to yell at my mom so I thought I should take a ride alone. I paddled my bicycle towards the north. The City Park is some six kilometers away and that was where I was heading towards to.

Suddenly ---
My bicycle turned all wiggly. I stopped.
“Stupid! Who is the devil owner of this stupid nail?! Now I’ve to get this flat tyre fixed.”

I was still walking forward, pushing my bicycle when I heard a bike honking. It halted in front of me.
“Hey boy! Looks like your cycle broke down. I’ve my repair shop nearby. I can have a look at it.”
“No, thank you.”
“May be I can give you a ride---“

About ten minutes later, I reached the bus stop. Just beside it was a repair shop. The man from earlier was there, working.

“It’s flat tyre. Get it fixed. I’ll be back in an hour or two.”
“I will get it done.” he smiled as he said this.
“So, it’s you- the devil.”
I didn’t stop there any longer. The bus moving to the City Park had arrived. As I was trying to board the bus, a young boy was helping his grandfather get on the bus. I took the seat opposite to them.
“Sir, what is your name? And where are u headed to?” the young boy asked the old man whom I thought was his grandfather.
I paid no heed to the rest of their conversation.
“This boy must be trying to steal something from the old man.” I thought to myself.

I closed my eyes and drifted away.
A while later, the bus conductor shouted, “City Park!”
I got down. As I strolled, I could see a woman and a little boy who were sitting on a park bench. Immediately, I recognized the stitch I made on my boots. I sat next to the boy.
“Ma’am, he is your son?”
“Yes, he is my son. I’ve been taking care of him since the day he arrived at our orphan center. He is physically challenged.” She replied.
“Where did you buy his boots? It’s cool.” I asked because I wanted to be sure.
“A special boy gifted you, didn’t he, Tomba?”
Tomba just giggled away. And I smiled. At that moment, I felt a warm rush in my body.

Later that afternoon, I boarded a bus to go back home. It was a crowded one and I didn’t manage to get a seat. An old man was standing too.
“Excuse me, but can you please give him your seat?” I said to the man sitting.
“I’ve a long way to go.”
“You can have my seat.” The boy beside him said. “It’s okay father. I won’t be tired.” He said to the man.
Finally, the man stood up and gave his seat to the old man.

I reached my stop. I got down and rushed to the cycle repair shop.
“I’ve repaired it. You can take it.”
“How much do I need to pay?”
“Go home. Your parents must be worried.” Saying this he got back to work.
I didn’t know what to do. How was I supposed to leave just like that without paying him a penny? But the shop owner was so stubborn. He wouldn’t even listen to me.
“Thank you.” I said.
As I rode my bicycle, I thought to myself “I know how I can always pay him back.”
I raced with the wind. As I got back home, I rushed to my mom. I was silent for a moment.
“Where did you go? You must be starving!”
“Tomba has my boots. I’m glad he has it.”
“Who is Tomba?”
I just smiled.

My mom…….she is my mom.

The shop owner is a very good person. That child has a heart of gold. Tomba is a wonderful kid and is in the hands of that selfless woman. That son will be a great man.

And I’m a changed man.

Little things can change one’s life forever. The path I chose that day has changed me to what I’m today. I take care of my mom, people around me and the world. One can always repay good deeds and kindness with kindness.

“Kindness like grain, increases by sowing.”

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Hic! Hic! Responsibility?

for Susmita
for Gowri
for Priyanka
for Roohi

The million dollar phone!!!

20 minutes –
15 minutes –
5 minutes –

I kept on scribbling on the top corner of my notebook.
“What are you writing?” Naomi hissed.
 I turned towards her and grinned, “The countdown to lunch break!”

4 and 3 and 2 and 1 and 0!!

“Why is the professor still in class?” I grunted.
-1 and -2 and -3 and -4 and
“Thank you class!” the professor said this and left.
I quickly packed my bags.
“Come, let’s go! I said.
“No way! Not again, we are going there and spy on him.”
“But he is cute.”
“Young lady, you go and spy your prince. I’ll go and meet my prince.”
I laughed out loud,” Oh yeah! Food!” As I said this, I quickly ran away, out of her sight.
“Don’t forget we have a test after lunch break.” I heard her shout behind me. 

I headed towards the broadcasting room. Yes, he was there. And as usual I was moving forth and back, taking short glances through the partially opened door.
Jason, final year student from the Operations Department, RJ of the campus radio.

“Excuse me?”
I turned back. It was Jason. Was he talking to me? I turned sideways. There was no one around. I pointed my finger towards me and I found it very silly doing that. Of course, he was talking to me. I didn’t realize that I was turning all red.
“Would you please do me a favor?” he asked. In his hand was a wireless land line phone.
All I could do was nod.
“I was waiting for an official call for which I have to take down messages, but something came up…..”
“So you want me to wait for the call?”
“I would be so elated. But I’m sorry that I can’t let you inside the broadcasting room. You see, it’s out of bounds. So can you do it in the next, empty classroom?”
I nodded again. He handed me the phone. He, then, locked the door. “Thank you so much! I owe you one.” He said this and left.

I was sitting in the empty class waiting for “the” call.
“What am I doing?” I said to myself.
I kept on tapping my fingers on the table and suddenly realized that I had a class test the next hour. I was relieved that I had the study materials saved in my mobile phone. I was going through it when the phone rang.
“Hello, is Jason around?” It was a lady’s voice at the other end.
“Errr- no, who is this speaking?”
“I’m Jason’s mom. I can’t reach his phone.”
“I’ll tell him that you called.”

CLICK! Beeppp----beeeppp----beepp

“I should have taken his number.” I thought and smiled.
I opened my study materials again. I was going through it and I was going through it. Suddenly, the time at the top corner of my mobile phone caught my attention. I had five minutes till the next class-YES CLASS TEST!

I rushed out. The broadcasting room was still locked. I was pacing up and down.
“What do I do? What do I do?”
I checked my watch again- Four minutes. I rushed to the common room near the broadcasting room.
“NO! I cannot take responsibility for the phone,” the man in charge of the common room said in an irritated way.
I was back pacing up and down again. The dean who was on his rounds saw me.

“What happen? Why are you moving around with that phone?”
“Sir, I have to return back the phone to the broadcasting room but the room is locked. And I have a class test now. Sir, can you please take the phone?”
“Oh! Sorry, you took the phone. I cannot take responsibility for it. Make sure you return it.” He said this and left.

I was so frustrated. No one was ready to take responsibility for the stupid phone. I didn’t even know when Jason was coming back. A Janitor came to me and told me it was time for class.
“I know. Ten minutes have passed. You will return back the phone to the broadcasting room? “
I didn’t know what to do so I asked him.
“I cannot, girl!”
“Stupid Jason! No, stupid phone.”

I returned back to the class with the phone. The test had already started. I took a pen from Naomi and went to the last unoccupied desk. I kept the phone inside the cabinet and before I closed it, I made sure the receiver was open.

After a while, the phone rang. I was so startled and petrified. Everyone turned and looked at me. I gave them a What-did-I-do look. The professor just smiled. I was wondering how the phone rang when the receiver was open.

I kept on exchanging looks with Naomi when the phone rang again. That time, the whole class laughed and turned at me again. I was turning red. I was boiling with anger.
“This too shall pass.” I thought.
After about five calls, I stood up.
“Excuse me, Sir, but I have to take the call.”
“Hello! May I talk to Jason?”
“Sorry! Wrong number.”

I placed the receiver hard.
The first thing I did as the class got over was I took the phone and rushed out. Naomi caught up with me. As we neared the broadcasting room, we saw Jason along with a group.
I handed him the phone.
“Thank God! I was about to make a complaint that the phone has been stolen.”

I didn’t bother to explain what exactly happened.

“Oh yeah! I got two messages for you- one, your mom called and second, you will probably never get your important call again.” I said bluntly.
He was confused but I turned and walked out with Naomi.

“You will not come back again, I reckon?” Naomi asked.
“You are crazy. Why won’t I?”
“But he did this to you!”
“It was the stupid phone’s fault. No one didn’t want to take responsibility for it. You see, it’s a million dollar phone.” I winked as I said this.

Definitely a million dollar phone!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Pocketed Faith

This story is a complete fiction. Some characters may bear resemblance with true persons. 

It was Miss Kavita’s class.

“God! We have to learn by heart this lesson again?” Anil said.
Well Anil is my classmate, desk mate and yes my best friend. Anil loves complaining. That day he had something to complain about the whole day----Miss Kavita had asked the whole class to learn the new poem she taught during that class.

“7-A!!! no noise!!” 
“You know what, Malem?” Anil said in a hushed tone.
“Each time she shouts, she sends chills down my spine.” Anil said in a hushed tone.
“Errr….not exactly. She sends chills down the spine of the class” I replied trying hard not to laugh.

The class jumped with joy. There are two bells the whole students like: the recess bell and the final-class-over bell. 

“dhanyabad guruji” 7-A said loudly in chorus.

The girls went crazy running around with their lunch boxes. 
Well, there were few boys who brought lunch boxes. And I thought it was really sissy for boys to do something like that. We are the cool boys and cool boys don’t need lunch packs. Our favorite recess spot is the top floor stairs. 
The day dragged on. The last period went by so quickly. As we were heading towards the school main gate, there were two girls in front of us who were discussing about the next day’s homework.

“Girls will always be girls” I thought.
“Anil, do we have Hindi class tomorrow?”
“Yes, first period--dang it! We have some bone up to do.”

When I got home that evening, I was greeted by my cousins and my aunt. They had come to have dinner with my family.  My cousins brought a brand new video game cassette. After the dinner, my cousins decided to stay back for the night. It was a hell lot of gaming.
The horror came the next morning when I woke up just to realize that I had not learnt my Hindi poem for Miss Kavita. I had a plan built up in my mind. I rushed to the kitchen to tell my mom that I was having a stomach ache. All I could think of was a stomach ache and it seemed very plausible as I had a dinner feast the previous night.


My plan backfired when the aroma of my mom’s fish curry drugged me. I could not lie about me having a stomach ache as my mom would not allow me to have the fish curry if I told I had a problem with my tummy. I just grinned and turned.

“Darn!” I said to myself.
Without a clue of the poem in my head I was ready to face any punishment Miss Kavita would give that day.
I was quite scared in the class. Even Anil went on reciting the poem over and over again.

“I am surely getting doomed today.” I said banging my head on the desk.
“Hey, join me try learning some few lines. It’s not very difficult.” Anil responded on a positive note. “But, you know I am so going to love seeing you get punished.”

I punched him hard.
Before he could yell in pain and I could give him a winning smirk, our school principal came inside. All of us were taken aback. As we greeted him morning, I could sense the confusion in our voices.

“My young monkeys, your teacher is absent today. So I decided to take this class.”
“yooohoooooo! Good that I didn’t learn that poem” I chuckled.
“Well -- your luck won’t be your side kick tomorrow.” Anil snapped back.
“Boys and girls—there is someone I would like to introduce to you all. But only one of you gets to meet this person.” Sir Daniel said, nodding his head.

The whole class started to whisper and discuss among themselves.

“Oh! This is so exciting!! I wish Sir would take the whole classes for us--- why can’t he?”
“That is because he doesn’t want to listen to your nags and complaints.” I replied.
Well that straightened us out all.
I would not deny that I was excited about it too. I could feel my stomach turning upside down. I could not stop thinking and wondering who the person was.
Just then Anil started poking me. 

“Who could that person be?”
“God knows! Stop poking me.”
He chuckled and poked me again. I was so irritated that I took out my water bottle and ------
“Who was that?”

The whole class was silent. It was so nerve wrecking. I didn’t know what to do. It was my fault. I really wished that our principal would just leave it and go back to his lecture. But he didn’t. And that moment seemed liked ages.
“I asked you all something—“

Before I could realize anything, I was standing up.
“Sorry sir! It was me. I hit Anil with my bottle.”
“And why did you do that?”
I burst out laughing.
“Both of you out of my class.”

We stood outside the class. The class got over and Sir Daniel came to us.
“Anil, you go inside. And you young lad, what is your name?”
“Malem, Sir!”
“Malem, you come with me.”
I was so scared that I followed him in silent.
After minute or so, he broke the silence.
“The person I wanted to introduce is me.” He turned and said.
I comically raised my eyebrows. I have always heard of our Principal being so amusing and humorous.
“I am not your principal.  I am a genie. Now let’s go somewhere it is isolated and silent.”
I still thought he was amusing. Just then he turned into fumes and disappeared into the air.
“What was that? I think I must be crazy.”
“No, you are not.”
It startled me. I looked around.
“Boy, I’m in your pocket. Let’s go.”
I really didn’t know what was going on and a place where can be alone----
“What is going on? And I’m not going to the place where we take a dump.”
Somehow I did end up in the toilet with Sir—no I ended up with this Mr. Genie.

“It takes great deal to admit your mistakes. So, name your wishes.”
He still had the appearance of Sir Daniel except for the fact that his lower body ended in my pocket. He was indeed a real Genie. I couldn’t think of anything else. My mind was blank.
“I just wish that my teachers won’t punish me on the days I forget to learn my lessons……”
I went rogue.
“…..and I wish that it will be always mom to find excuses for me no to go to school……”
“Okay done!”
“…and for the last wish...”
“It is already done. Two wishes—that is all I’ve got for you.”
“This is not done….Genies always grant three wishes.”
“Well those are imaginary genies with imaginary three wishes.” Saying this Mr.Genie pinched me hard on my thighs.
“Ouch----that hurts!”
“Then wake up!”

I opened my eyes, it was my cousin.
“It was so real----hmmm just a dream.”
“What was so real?”
“Nothing.” I replied in disappointment. “My Hindi poem----“ I added with more disappointment.
Just then my mom came in.
“Ebungo, since your cousins are here skip your school today.  Spend the day with them.”
I winked at her in disbelief. A warm feeling kicked up.
I’m waiting for my school van now. I will never skip school today for the whole world. I have my Hindi class in the first period.
“Yes, I have not learnt it.”

for TTUS!!