Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The boy and the boy in me

Childhood dreams….don’t you think they are beautiful?  They may transform with the passing years, cherishing each dream we dreamt can be a beautiful reality.

The cries woke me up. The neighboring little kid must have woken up.
How I wished I could sleep longer. Right in front of my bed was this huge antique clock that belonged to my grandfather, old and abased but still it served its purpose. It was telling me that it was already five in the morning. As usual I got ready for my work. As I headed out, my wife handed me my packed tiffin.
“Please try to come home early.”
“I’ll try.”
I knew it was not possible to get home early. My wife knew it too. However she always asks this of me. I had no choice because of my profession.
I reached my workplace. It was ready to move… workplace. I am a bus conductor.
“Ok!!! All set! Let’s move.”
As the bus headed from stop to stop, I got busier and busier. Being in the profession for almost seven years, I was a perfectionist at it. My brain grew with the number of years. Memorizing every passenger, who has the ticket, who doesn’t ….I knew them all. I was the God in my bus.
“Sir, give me a ticket.” I heard a boy calling me out.
I was taken aback. Never in my life was I called a “sir”. I turned to check out who was that little fellow.
He was young boy and looked some 10-11 years old. He was carrying a guitar case. They were of the same size.
“Boy, where are you headed to?” I asked.
“The music academy”
“That’s five stops away. Here you go…the ticket. That’s nine rupees.”
He handed me the coins.
I smiled to myself. This boy….he was not scared of anything. I wanted to ask why he was travelling all by himself but I had others passengers to attend to so I wasn’t able to.
Days went by. The boy became a regular passenger.
One Sunday morning, I woke up hearing my wife’s yells.
“Shoo!!! How dare you eat all these fish?!!”
“It must be that stray cat again.” I thought to myself.
I got up and got ready. It was a day I waited for. It was Sunday and there would be less rush in the bus without all those office goers. I was hoping to talk to the boy. As usual my wife handed me my tiffin and I was off to work.
Later when the boy got on the bus, I went to the sit next to his.
“Good morning, sir!”
“Boy, so music classes even on Sundays?”
“I’m happy with it” he smiled.
“So what is your name? And your age?”
“Nanaopu…..I am in 8th standard and I’m twelve years old.”
“But kid…why do you take the bus alone?”
“Bus is comfortable. Both my parents are working so they don’t have much time.” he answered calmly. “Sir, can I ask you something?”
“Sure, shoot!”
“How do I organize my own concert?”
I laughed out loud. He gave me a what-is-so-funny-about look.
“Hey! Sorry…I just don’t know where that spirit comes out from a small body like you.”I looked around; some new passengers were on board.
“I’ll be back.”
After a while I got back to the sit next to his.
“Many years back….when I was in school…music ran in my veins.” I started. He turned towards me. “Like you...I too owned a guitar. Like you…I wanted to have a concert of my own. My father wanted me to focus on studies and not on music. Well I was a rebellious one. But when my father died I had to become the breadwinner and eventually that’s when I sold my guitar. I have never played since that day.”
He was silent.
“Your stop is next.”
“I won’t go today. I want to hear you play.”
I was going to deny it but it was a tempting offer so I ended up agreeing with him.
During the lunch hours we went to a corner. He took out his guitar from his case. It was an acoustic guitar…six strings. I could smell the freshness of the cedar. He handed me the guitar and a pick. My hands trembled as I touched it. I picked a string. I was reminded of my days when I ruled the world with my guitar.
I played all my way.
“Hey …you just made a string skipping.”
I smiled at him. “Boy, I was one hell of a guitarist.”
He took the guitar. As he started playing I gasped. He was really good for his age. 
From that day the lunch hours were our practice hours. Each day Nanaopu’s question  struck my mind. “How do I organize my own concert?”
His present dream was a lost dream of mine.
Weeks later, as we sat in our practice spot I asked him “You really want to have a concert?”
“Yes, when I grow up I want to be a guitarist.”
“Will u be ready if I say let’s have the concert now?”
“Sir, we don’t have money to organize that. I can’t even ask my parents...the sum is huge.”
“Who says we need money? We have the guitar….we just need audiences to call it a concert.” As I said this I winked at him. I could see the excitement in his eyes.
“I can bring another guitar for you. How will we have the audiences?”
“Have you forgotten that I’m a bus conductor? The bus can be a big medium for advertisement.”
It was all set that we would perform the coming Sunday at three in the afternoon. We decided to play at the park in front of the main bus stop. It was four days away. Music…..we practiced every day. And I would tell every passenger about our concert as I handed them the tickets.
The day before the big day I told the bus owner that I wouldn’t be able to work the next day. He yelled at me.
“If you don’t come tomorrow you will not be allowed to come back forever.”
I knew this was coming. However I didn’t say anything. I didn’t tell my wife about the concert. She wouldn’t like the idea.
The next day, I really didn’t go for work. The bus owner would want to behead me. I didn’t care at that moment. I really wanted to play in front of a crowd for once.
I strolled in the park in search of a perfect spot. Nanaopu joined after a while. When we have found our right spot under the tree, we had a final rehearsal. We ate what my wife had packed. We had our guitars in our hands and we were ready. It was past three, a small crowd gathered. I could recognize many of my regular passengers.
As we started playing the crowd increased. It wasn’t a huge one though. I had the greatest moment of my life. The crowd clapped and cheered for us as we played. Nanaopu attracted much attention as he was so young for all those. I was happy for him.
We finally had our first concert. A concert without any microphone , without any speakers, without any singers and without a stage. But we had the “music” running in us.
When I got home that day, my wife was so angry with me. The bus owner came and told her what I had been up to.
I didn’t hear anything what she was saying. It was a great day and I wouldn’t want to spoil it. The next day, I went to the bus owner, apologized and asked him to take me back. He didn’t resist for long after all I am a perfect bus conductor.
I still met Nanaopu and listened to him play. I would love to see him as great guitarist someday. As for me, I had achieved what I had always wanted as a boy….to have my own concert.
I am still the perfect bus conductor and I love my job. Music will run in me forever though.
Thank you Nanaopu!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Barking Love

There were yells and laughter at home when Tony came back from school. He rushed in to see the commotion. There was a puppy among his cousins.
“A puppy!!! Dada, when did you get this puppy?? Male or female???” Tony asked. His voice was filled with excitement.
“It is a boy. Boys should have boy dogs. Father brought him today.” Adan replied.
Adan was his cousin brother. Tony was nine and he was two years younger than Adan.
“What about the name?”
“He is my puppy. I’ll name whatever I like.”
Tony ran away towards his home.
“Mama…..MAMA” he called out for his mother.
“What is it son? Did something happen at school?”
“Dada Adan has a puppy. I too want a puppy…..a boy puppy. Tell father to buy me one.”
His mother laughed out. “Son, why do we need another? Your dada Adan has already one. You should play with it together.”
Tony did throw a big tantrum about owning one. But, at last, he did agree with his mother on “the playing together” concept.
“Children!” his mother murmured to herself.
Weeks passed.
Tony was back from school. Since the day the puppy arrived, it was Tony’s every day “do” to go to Jacky before even going to his room.
“Jacky! Jacky! Catch it.” Tony threw a ball to Jacky. They played all day long.
Jacky was the name given to the puppy. Yes, Adan named him.
One evening, Tony was all gloomy as he was doing his homework.
His mother came in to call him for dinner. She saw his motionless hand with the pencil and his eyes fixed on the wall. She knew something was not right.
She asked him on the matter.
“Mama, Dada Adan ……why is he like that?” this was all what Tony said.
Later during the dinner, as he sat down, he took a bowl. Before he ate, he took half of everything from his plate and put it in the bowl.
“I’ll be back.”
Saying this, tony took the bowl and ran away from the kitchen.
As he returned back, he was all smiles.
It went on. Many a times her mother would shout from the bathroom for her shampoo. Many a times her father would search for his cologne….only to find Tony grooming Jacky with them.
Sometime that year, Jacky was there at the gate waiting. It was already past the time Tony usually got home. Tony’s mother joined Jacky.
Soon after, Tony’s father shouted from the door “it’s on tv……news…..”
“What news?”
“A bomb blast near Tony’s school.”
I kept waiting for Tony. He didn’t come home that day. Nor the next day and the day next…..he didn’t come.
There was this picture of Tony on the verandah. He looked happy. I sat next to him. I didn’t move any inch away from him. Nobody tried to move me away too. May be everyone knew that Tony would have wanted it that way.
“Tony, don’t close your eyes. Keep smiling. You no longer play with me….the ball you gave me…I play with it all alone” I barked.
I headed back to my bed. The ball was there. I wouldn’t let anyone touch it. Not even Adan.
As I stared at the ball, I could still remember Tony.
Tony would hide me when Adan was going to beat me up.
Tony fought with Adan because Adan didn’t care about me.
Tony came to feed me every day.
How I spent those summer days with him, sleeping under the fan.
How he use to play with my tails.
I miss him….his smell…his touch…his love.
But I’ m not going to let him down by sulking around like this. I’ve things to do for Tony.
It has been months since Tony died. Tony’s mother was still overcoming the loss. She was crying again looking at tony’s uniform.
“You are crying again. He was my son too. Lets cherish our moments we had with him. And I bet Jacky is on his way here. He must have sensed your tears” Tony’s father said.
He was right. Jacky came….came to lick off the tears from her face .
Both of them laughed out.
Jacky has always been over protective for the family. No one understood why he was like that. No one was able to explain it. But one thing was sure……they found a new son in Jacky.

thanx to google......i think this pic is lovely for this story!!!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

The Coffee House

Reck was remembering the day he and his wife were expecting their first kid. It was a fine day when his wife was taken to the hospital. It was a day he had to shed tears of both sadness and happiness. He was sad to have his girl child born with many medical complications. A missing chromosome resulted in his daughter’s state.
But he was happy to see his child alive. He was happy to see his child come out fighting at an early stage.  He had promised to himself that day that he was going to protect his daughter in her fight.
“Reck,I need your help!” Jessie shouted.
Jessie, his wife, was all busy preparing for their daughter’s fifteenth birthday. This small family has been fighting together with the girl from the moment she was born.
Humami was in her wheelchair. At this age she should be shopping with her girlfriends, she should be talking to her mom about her crush at her school.
Though she couldn’t walk, she was happy that she could use her hands. Though she couldn’t help her parents, she was happy she could talk to them. This girl, she could count a number of blessings around her.
“We are going to celebrate your birthday somewhere else.” Reck said.
“Papa, I am so excited.”
The three of them got ready for the big day. As Reck drove the car, Jessie and Humami were singing. It was a perfect picture. But Reck and Jessie carried a heavy heart each day thinking about their girl. They have been teaching Humami about life, they have been giving her moral support. And on this birthday, they have thought of something for Humami’s future.
Reck parked his car outside a little coffee store. There was a board written “coffee house”.
“Happy  birthday!” Reck exclaimed.
The coffee house was the birthday present from Reck and Jessie. They have been preparing for this day.
As they went inside, Humami have already understood what this house was to her. She knew she was growing up. She knew her parents have not given up on her.
“I am a lucky child and I may even live longer than my parents. A day may come when Papa and Mama wouldn’t be with me anymore. This house, my future lies in it.” Humami thought.
“I am going to run a successful store”
“I like your spirit.”
“The world must be thinking that we people who are in wheelchairs can’t do anything. i may not become an engineer or a doctor, I may not rule the world. But I am going to definitely going to show the world a lot of things which can be done.”
Humami was  so matured for her age. And why wouldn’t she be. When the other kids of her age were playing peekaboo, she was fighting so many battles of life.
“Your father and I rightfully named you Humami”
Humami was named after “humam” which means brave in Arabic.
“I want to run my store in my own way. I want the many lots in wheelchairs to learn to believe. This coffee house, I want to run it together with those who are like me.”
Humami believed in herself and her potentials. And the world is not going to stop her from making her other comrades believe too.
Some years later, she is going to turn this coffee house to a house for her and her lot where they can dream and know their potentials.

Inspired from a true story....go ahead...inspire others as well!

Friday, February 3, 2012


I am someone who is useless and jobless. And most importantly,I am a drunkard. So everything I am writing right now may be just a piece of junk I do nothing but watch these women. Actually I am not watching them; I am making a research on how women can be so out of the world.  No hard feelings, this doesn’t necessarily apply to all women.
[This is a report made by a jobless person in search of a job.]
There is a class of woman struggling for the survival of the fittest in the WW.
[WW-Women War. I am trying to make this report look nice by making abbreviations.]
Unfortunately or I would rather say fortunately I belong to a family with this class.
I am making a useless note entry of their behavior in this so called “survival”. Every class has a Queen, the follower and the outcast. Its hilarious to tell you that my wife is an outcast. She is the one with a kind heart….or an abnormal heart. This naturally makes her an outcast. Or am I taking her side because she is my wife?! Well, God knows!
Firstly the queen,the one on the throne, the one  with money, the one with power,blah blah! She would be happy as long as her follower combs her hairs. She would be happier to get her feet washed. She would consider her follower “the follower” as long as she listens to her every word and every gossip with a reply “yes you are right as always”. Yes, the queen is always right!
Secondly the follower, she is the action spy.  She is the one who would supply the Queen with the world’s interesting gossips. She would search for every outcast and anything the outcast does is the hot topic. How loyal she can be….you never know because she is the spy…the action spy. When I set up my own detective team someday, I am going to hire her.
Thirdly the outcast, the outcast is always the outcast. She is the VVIP because if there is no outcast there will be no Queen and no follower.
Dang! I’ve been talking nonsense again. Every word a drunkard like me says is something the society tags with “crazy” and “waste-of-time-listening-to-him” attitude. Don’t take a word of this note.  I am bound to tell only the “non-truths” because I am I, a drunkard!
Let me sleep under this welcoming tree. Sleeping under it, I am taking part in their “survival of the fittest”.

Friday, January 13, 2012

A Thing Called First Love

I am sitting with her on this park bench. I am not sure what is going on her mind. I could see the tears inside her. It’s innocent as it was five years ago.
 Five years ago
It was winter vacation. All the students must be enjoying at home then. But as for me, I had to come with her. We were sitting on the same park bench in front of our school. She waited for him there since the end of summer break. I couldn’t convince her to go back home. She would wait for him with the hope that he was going to come to school and return back her smile.
Her smile??
Yes, her smile.
He would sit at the last bench. She would sit in the front with me. When the teacher wasn’t around, she would laugh at my slightest joke. I noticed many a times that he would look at her. Then, I would tell her. She would then turn back and smile at him.
Gig! He was a gig. He would just look down every time she smiled at him.
Innocent! She was innocent. She would still smile at him. Every time she smiled, she hoped for the same in return.
They were the stupid sweethearts!
How could they just be happy with that? I wasn’t sure. He was happy just looking at her. And she was happy just giving him unreturned smiles. We had this art class; he opted for music section while we were in painting section. I was tired of them. She would drag me to the music room just to get a glimpse of him pulling those strings.
Once, he waited for her outside the school gate. She was blushing all the way as they walked back home. I didn’t tag along. Well, I knew what they could have done as they walked back. I had known her for so many years.
The next day she happily told me at school that it was a silent walk. They didn’t talk. I knew it. That was what I had guessed that previous night.
It was after the summer break that she brought his portrait she made during the break. He didn’t come that day. He didn’t come the next day as well. Days passed, weeks passed…..she was all gloomy but she didn’t show it.
No one knew what had happened to him. She did try asking his friends to check out on him. They told her that his house was locked.
She went on with her life. But there wasn’t a day she wouldn’t wait for him in the park bench. winter came and it was a very cold winter for her.
After the high school graduation, everybody moved on.
He disappeared into the thin air. She was left behind with just the painting and the memories.

I am meeting her after five years. She came to my house today morning. I wasn’t surprised at all when she told me she wanted to go to school.
And now here I am with her. I thought in these five years she would have forgotten all about it. Well, I am wrong. I don’t know where he can be. I don’t even know if he is alive.
“How many smiles do I owe him?” she said after a long gap of silence.
This winter is still cold for her. As she looks back to those times, I know all she can see is his face.
“First love can be crazy and painful” this is what I am thinking right now.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

To the Evolved Me, I Salute Her

My daughter got sick that morning, her blood pressure lowered and she got hospitalized. The doctor gave her sleeping pills. And there she was, lying so peacefully. There she was, with her mind out of the world, no bad dreams to disturb. I was sitting right next to her, rubbing her hands. Her hands were so warm.  The words which the doctor had told me still rang in my heart.
“She has a very weak heart. Don’t make her face anything which is going to make her unstable.”  I was so heartbroken. The whole world crumbled down for me. “She is the only person of my own. How could this happen to her” I thought at that moment.
“Ahem! Seems like you are crying, aha?”
There was a man next to my daughter’s bed. His words brought me back to senses.
“So, who is this person you are crying for? What happened?”
“She is my daughter. She is very sick. I am very worried.”
He said nothing. He returned back to his sleep. I was still sitting next to my daughter. Each time I looked at her, tears would roll down.
I stayed the whole time sitting next to her. I waited for her to wake up.
After some time, that man woke up. He looked out of his window. His bed was just next to the window.
“Ah! What a lovely child!” and he laughed out loud. It must have been a scene worth seeing but I was not in the mood, or I would rather say I didn’t have the audacity to go any meter away from my daughter.
He went on and on with various beautiful things he saw in the park, the man who was selling balloons, the couple who was walking hand in hand and so on.
I just listened blankly.
I must be really tired because I slept off.
Hours later, there was confusion in the room. The doctors and nurses surrounded that man. It seemed like he was in a critical state. They took him away.
It was then I realized that I was shivering. My whole body was shaking. I returned back to my seat, the seat next to my daughter.
When the doctor came in to check my daughter that night, she said “she should be fine, let her sleep as for now. She will wake up tomorrow. But I would advise you not to stress her out.”
She was about to leave when I stopped her.
“Doctor, how is the man who was previously in this room?”
“It’s so sad about him. He died. He is a terminal patient. And above all he was blind. But during his stay here, he was a wonderful man.”
“Oh! Thank you, doctor.”
She left.
I didn’t understand what was going on in my mind at that moment. He was blind. He was blind. He was blind.
I rushed to the window near his bed. I looked through the window; I didn’t know what lies outside. But definitely there was no park.
“Yeah! He was a wonderful man.” I murmured to myself.
The next morning, it was my daughter who woke me up.
“Are you okay?”
“Yes mom, were you very worried about me?  Did you cry?”
“So many questions…yes I was worried about you and yes I cried. But I am not going to cry anymore. And we both are going to be strong. You don’t have your papa but mama is going to be everything for you. Mama will make a great lady out of you.”
My daughter raised her eyebrow. I reckon she thought she was either dreaming or I was mad. Who would ever imagine I was going to become bold overnight.
“Honey, don’t give me that look!” I nudged my head towards that particular bed.
“There was this brave man who was sleeping here till yesterday. We have to be brave for him, for papa, for you and for me.”
My daughter was still confused.
“I am going to tell her the story of the man and his beautiful window someday. I am going to retell her each day about him.” I thought to myself.
Scientifically it may be not possible to evolve overnight. But I did evolve into a stronger woman that fine day.