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  • balrajrathod 8:34 pm on August 11, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    The Unparalleled Conclave 

    With the 65th Anniversary of Independence of our India round the corner,Presenting “The Unparalleled Conclave”.

    After reading chapter V “ FATHER OF THE NATION”of my syllabus book English Balbharti, the thought kept pondering my mind that this man who became father of the whole nation, whose words swayed the youths in 1942, who won the contention against Britishers without armaments, How was he as a child? What did he think of his Nation at my age? Did he like to study or did he hate homework just like my friends and me, did he play or use to sit and think like my dad? The thought caught up alacrity and I could feel the whole wave of questions in my mind? Probably I just wanted to know something more about this Man called Mahatma Gandhi wished I could personally meet him or rather I could travel time and see him when he was exactly of my age, suddenly recess bell rang all the students went out but the thought of Mr. Gandhi did not want to leave me for lunch, I plunged and started reading that chapter again, but could not concentrate as my classmates were making lot of noise but then all of sudden they were silent and all I could hear was some one counting digits in Hindi “ ek, do, teen, char,…….” Main aa raha hoon, this voice was new to my ears so I just turned to see who this boy was and to my surprise I could see someone sitting below a tree and could see a boy almost of my age with weak physic, bright eyes and glowing face, he was walking towards me with a smile I heard somebody whispering “Mohan aagaya chalo chupo”, By now he was very close to me, I smiled at him and offered my hand for a hand shake but he did not respond. He looked like he too was playing with his friends in lunch-recess as I could see him in those neatly dressed uniform going converse, I said “ I am Arjun Desai”, he said My name is “ Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi”.

    His sentence blew me I actually traveled time and met our “Father of the Nation” , God had somehow fulfilled my wish to meet him, I was on the ninth cloud could but believe it , the man himself was in front of me.Or Wait! Is this what People call Going “Nuts”?Leaving all the Science of the Time Travel cascading into my mind,I thought of “Just Going With It”

    We started talking and The First question I wanted to ask him was rather more advanced for him to answer, I asked him “How did you become father of the Nation? He smiled at me and said “Are you alright?”, I realised my mistake and then tried to find out what qualities in him made him so great that he himself has become symbol of peace all over the world, we started walking I was least interested which place of the world we were; he was very calm but was trying to be friendly and was helpful by nature, He wasn’t that good in studies and never liked to study Maths at all just like me. I told him about video games I had at my home, my new Playstation, and about all my friends, we shared lots of details about our families and within half an hour we became friends, I asked him do you know who I am to which he answered yes you are a good friend of mine and God fearing fellow and that’s enough for me to be your friend, well I would never think this way for an outlander I meet, rather I could not have been comfortable at all while talking to a person I never met before but he was, I told him his future that he is destined to become the most strongest man in the history of India it was very natural he could not believe it,but could sense a sarcastic facial expression on his face showing “This Guy is Bonkers”.

    Then I saw my watch, my recess was about to finish and next class was Maths , hence I tried asking him something about our nation, today if somebody asks me about my nation and my feelings about the same I would answer I am proud of my country because of its technological developments, because of Ambanis because of Azim Premji, I had many ideals in a row to be proud of, but when I asked this question to Mohandas he said I know the verdure of my country and that is equality , though we have Hindus, Muslims , Sikhs, and people from other religions still they come under one dome called “Bharat”, I shall go and try to bring out this constitution in Indians and show the world that we are the best example of unity in diversity, sometimes when I see people without clothes I feel why can’t they wear like me, when I see some one starving of hunger I feel why can’t they eat like us, why can’t everybody face truth of life, Now I could see very clearly Mohandas metamorphosing into Mahatma and then Father of the Nation,

    This child at the age of 12 had thoughts full of dedication towards his countrymen was definitely no run-of-the-mill child. India has got its identity on the world map, but even now we fight even now there are people who live without clothes and famish for meals, even now education has not reached the roots, we still need one more Mohandas to make this country gratified. He didn’t say anything more or had gone mute but I could see his face telling me “It’s  your turn to bring out the substantial”.

    I had got all the answers and knew what I owe to my compatriots.

    Except the fact that I had returned back and was the “Center of Laughter” for the entire classroom as the Mathematics teacher was bestirring me out of sleep knocking hard on my head.#HowEmbarrassing.

  • Debapriyo 7:05 pm on April 19, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: books, laziness, , literature, loneliness, , man, misery, , night, sleep, woman, writer   

    A Visit 

    [From my blog]

    It was a tiny apartment on the 6th floor. Rather, it was just a room with an attached bathroom; no kitchen. There wasn’t anyone to cook anyway. The rent was cheap and it suited Allen well. The place gave all the privacy a writer needed. Not many visited him and he visited no one.

    On this particular night, he sat on his armchair whilst sucking heavily from cigarette after cigarette, thinking of nothing in particular. The cloud of smoke in the closed room grew denser by the minute. Thoughts flew past Allen’s head, each new one erasing all traces of the previous. These were tired thoughts which were never meant to create a lasting impact, but to touch the surface of his brain and then dissolve away into nothingness. Such was the state of dazed drowsiness which every unhappy man dreams of.

    But it didn’t last. There was someone at the door; a steady, familiar tap. He decided to wait a minute or two, hoping that the tapping would cease. It didn’t. An observer inside the room would have witnessed him sigh and drag his stiff body out of the chair and to the door with utmost reluctance. And even as he undid the locks, he could smell the soft jasmine scent which seeped in through the narrow slit under the door.

    “Hello.” A woman stood there with a look of slight exhaustion; her quiet eyes fixed on him. Her shoulder-length hair hung loosely, with a few stray strands sticking lightly to her sweaty forehead. Her face showed a slight flush. All from climbing up the stairs, Allen deduced. Her current attire made her fit for a party; a crimson designer dress exposing one of her pale shoulders and ending a bit too high on her slender thighs.

    “You broke your promise.” Allen replied.

    “Won’t you be a good host and invite me in first?”

    Allen stood aside to let her in.

    “Had a quarrel with your husband again, did you?” he asked after peeking down the corridor and shutting the door.

    “Leave all that. Come sleep with me.” She had smoothly settled on the bed, one thigh over the other. Frankly, it was the only place in the room to settle on, the other option being the armchair filled with cigarette debris.

    “Don’t be ridiculous, Emma. Are you drunk?”

    The woman smiled, tiny dimples appearing on her cheeks. She got out of bed and scuttled about the room for a while; opening windows, picking up scattered pieces of clothing, and tidying up the heap of books lying on the desk. Probably it was her flashy dress or her somber beauty that made all this quite a spectacle.

    “There. All a bit cheerful now.” She said so in a satisfied voice. Indeed, in few seconds the room had transformed from dim and smoky to somewhat presentable. As if putting an end to the show, she turned off the solitary lamp.

    “You should get a woman,” she continued. “And quit smoking in closed rooms.”

    Allen returned to his original spot on the armchair. He knew her too well to ask her to leave. Besides, he felt a little uncomfortable throwing a young woman out at such a time. Who knows what might happen. But then again, he knew she always arrived at this hour precisely for this reason. In the faint moonlight, he could see Emma’s outline settling down on the bed again as if it was her own.

    His voice came out, tired and low. “Tell me about the quarrel.”

    “I didn’t have a quarrel with anyone.”

    “Is it your job, then? Did you get fired again? I have no money myself, you know.”

    “Have I ever taken a penny of yours?”

    “Then what is it that you want?”

    She sighed and remained silent for a while. “Excuse me for just coming to see you. Oh well, you’re still alive. I was worried that the latest incident would bring you down and you’d jump into a river or something.”

    “Of all people, you should know that I’m too lazy to do something as silly as that.”

    “I guess so. You’re too lazy to even sleep with a lady.” She swayed herself teasingly. “You’d rather starve to death than do any jumping.”

    For a moment Allen became all fired up and felt like giving her a bit of what she wanted. But with a burst of conscience he gulped it all down. He was a gentleman after all. To suit that image, he had kept a well maintained beard and moustache, and had learnt to put forth a show of calmness at all times. And he was not going to let himself ruin it now.

    “Keeping all that aside, a married woman should not be in a bachelor’s apartment at 10’O clock at night,” he said rather gracefully with both hands under his chin.

    “Oh please, Al. That line was suitable only for the first night. You’re getting too repetitive for my tastes. Now show me your last manuscript. I’d like to read it.”

    Allen gestured at the writing desk. He could sense Emma’s disappointment as her gaze fell on the two stray papers lying there. She brought them over to the window and held them in the rather bright moonlight. Such a show off, Allen thought.

    “It isn’t much, just a…” He was about to say something humble but was stopped by a dramatic voice. She had already started reading. Out loud.

    “Winter had set in with unprecedented severity. In the brightness of the day, his tired eyes had noted the malfunctioning gate, and it was there that he was presently headed. Shuffling on through the snow-filled deserted street, he was mocked by…”

    And through the soundless night her voice rang on, soft and clear, overemphasizing each and every word. She read at a slow pace dragging the meager two-page story forever making the entire thing sound terribly silly. Allen felt attracted. She was beautiful and the beams from the full moon had helped create a perfect mood amidst which the crimson dress stuck out; the only colored object in a total grey environment. By the time she finished Allen realized he hadn’t registered a word.

    “Well, how did it sound?” she asked.

    “You tell me. No point in being a critic to my own story.”

    “There is, actually. And it sounded a bit lame to me. The characters are not properly developed and you’ve blatantly given out dialogues without describing any actions at all.”

    “I know. No wonder it was rejected.”

    “You haven’t been reading the Chekhov books I lent you?”

    “I have read few of the stories.”

    “Try to learn from them, will you? In the second part you’ll find At Home. That’s one of my favorites. I suppose you haven’t read that yet?”

    Allen looked at the floor. Why was he being lectured? It was true that Emma’s literary abilities surpassed his own to some extent, but surely even hers’ wasn’t enough. He was sure he already knew whatever advice she was going to give. “No,” he grunted under his breath.

    “Well let’s read it now then. Oh don’t look so disinterested now. Come, I’ll read it out to you.”

    Allen indicated a drawer with a gesture of his hand. He watched on glumly as Emma opened it and dusted the thickly layered book. She looked serene as usual. He tried to make up some excuses like being tired but was met with an obstinate silence. Having made the book fit to be read, she came to Allen’s armchair and tugged at his arm. “Get up.”

    Seeing her determination, he didn’t protest. She led him across the room to the bed, her soft hand holding his. Shouldn’t he be telling her how inappropriate that is? No, that too was suitable only for the first night. A feeling of comfortable drowsiness overcame him as he lay down beside her. If she wanted him to listen to the story, she surely wasn’t doing it right.

    The voice rang again; clear but distant. He couldn’t concentrate past the tiny freckles on her pale neck, made paler still in the silver light. Strands of her loose hair fluttered with his every breath. He knew she felt it too, for her voice faltered; first a little and then completely as his lips made the first contact. The story was forgotten and the book tossed.

    Allen woke up with the sun in his face. It was late. His half-opened eyes automatically turned towards the door. There was a note sticking to it as usual.

    On it, few scratches of delicate ink declared – “Never again. I promise.”

    Yeah sure. With some effort, he rolled over and went back to sleep.

    • Abhra 8:04 pm on April 19, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      One suggestion: rename ‘Bradley’ to something else. It brings to mind an oversize, unclean, unshaven character. If he’s wooing such princesses he deserves a sharper name that will conjure a handsome image.

      • Riju 8:07 pm on April 19, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks. I’ve thought about that a little but couldn’t find a name which could give a nickname: like Bradley –> Brad.

        Any suggestions?

        P.S. At first it was Michael/Mike but I had to change it because of Godfather.

        • Abhra 3:07 am on April 20, 2012 Permalink

          I would think Adrian or something like that. Can’t think of anything at the moment. But it must be sharp, handsome, irresistible. Since you have left few clues about the protagonist, the name must serve a heavy purpose.

        • Riju 9:30 pm on April 20, 2012 Permalink

          Changed to Allen. Didn’t want it to sound too perfect/handsome, for his laziness is one of the main points of the story.

      • devsunipa 10:54 pm on June 10, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        Bradley reminds me of Bradley Cooper! He is handsome, ain’t he? :)

  • Debapriyo 6:16 pm on April 10, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    Martha snuggled up to Rick. He smelled so good. So many questions she wanted to ask about his life. It made her wish he was still alive.

    • Abhra 12:22 am on April 13, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      I’m suddenly struck by the idea of a (very) short story competition at IISER-K.

  • Gaurav 10:09 pm on March 28, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    The Monsoon 

    Heavy rain and monsoon. Another day went by and I was still in the middle of this turmoil of my life. I parked my cycle near a bus stop. It was too heavy a task for me to cycle all the way back to my dark grim room. Grim, because I was the only entity living there since four years I joined his lab.

    Well, he has been compassionate and well, I should say, merciful these four years. I was fortunate. I was blessed. He rightly says, ‘grab a beer and chill out, if your results are not coming up,’ Grab a beer! That’s easy to say. Yes, that’s easy to say…. But with whom? I sighed as I looked up.

    It was dark; rain was heavy and I was drenched up to my throat. I suddenly realised that I was not alone in this beautiful monsoon weather. Beautiful!

    I saw a girl. She was fighting with the heavy droplets that distorted her hair and darkened the blue colour salwar she was wearing. It was her. She probably didn’t notice me. For there was always this smile; there was always this smile every day on her face since we met. We met! That’s strange…actually we have been smiling at each other every day we came across back at our institute, since the last three years. We never met, infact. We walk across each other…

    I looked at her. There was this silver piece of earring she wore on her ears. It was always there. Always. I felt a slight tingle in my ears. I felt a song in the midst of this monsoon. Strange. She cared to look up and saw me. I smiled. She smiled back. We returned our usual glance and got back to our own ways. This has been the usual procedure since the last couple of years. Sad and pitiable, isn’t it? I desperately wanted to break the silence that we had been sharing all these years. But is it worth it?

    I was blank. I should talk. I looked at her. She was beautiful. I sighed, well, she is beautiful… I tried to open my mouth and say how’s you! Bloody hell! A ‘how’s you?’ What should I then say! Where shall I start? What shall I start? She noticed me staring and gaping at her. She looked. She smiled. I smiled back. And we returned to our usual ways. Great.. Worthless. Useless! I gave up.

    I took out my phone and tried to mimic as if I was calling someone. But before I can do that, her phone rang. Fate! Destiny perhaps… I gave that up too as she got busy with her electronic device.

    And minutes later a black sedan arrived beside me. I glanced at her. She smiled at me. I smiled back. She hopped into the sedan. Seconds later, it disappeared in the rain.

    I sighed.

    Does she care?

    Do I care?

  • Gaurav 7:38 pm on March 11, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    The Last Sunday 

    I woke up. Dozens of face surrounded me. My expression was blank. I looked around and realised I was lying in a hospital…

    …I could hear the whisper of the wind. Those beautiful memories, those beautiful days…I could hear the song of the waves beside me.
    She stood there, staring away into the sea. Her long black hair was plaited and reached below her waist. On her hands, she carried a silver plate on which were a tiny lamp, some flowers and some holy ‘prasad’. She had come from the Ganesh temple nearby. But her parents were not aware that she had come to the sea coast. They only knew that she had gone to the temple. Actually, she had come to see someone.
    She was there, staring at me, a mile apart. But I could still feel her; feel her that she was just near me. I kept looking at her, without uttering a word, without singing the song. She was in me, yet I deserted her…A tear rolled down my eyes. I wanted her and that was only my last wish.
    It was Sunday; she came to see me, at our usual meeting place. This has been our place since the last four months. No words were spoken, no emotions were expressed. But this wind always conveyed my feelings to her. I controlled my urge to run and hug her. She looked like a tiny spot in the golden sands!
    Her parents never accepted me. I was an orphan and an outcaste. That made matters worse. I was from a religion that I never knew; I was from a place I never saw. I guess I cannot love her.
    She wore the blue sari that I gave her. She was looking beautiful as always. I wish I wasn’t an orphan, I wish I was from her religion! But does that make sense? Why are these differences? Why can’t I marry the person I love? Caste? What is that? Why does it have to define a person? Perhaps, God was not with me. Perhaps, this is destiny. This is life.
    My thoughts swayed me away to all those bitter realities. I again looked at her. In her hand was a lamp that shimmered wildly. She came straight from the temple. She always does. It was the only place where she can meet me from a distance. Though, no words were ever spoken, no feelings ever expressed. She stopped meeting me after that fateful incident, after I was beaten up by her community. But that didn’t stop me from loving her either. She always came on Sundays. Even this mile-apart- difference couldn’t stop us from our conversations. The wind between us whispered and bought forth all those memories of our lifetime. A single second lasted for another life. I just wish, I got another chance; chance to be someone not defined by religion; someone to whom God would have shown mercy. God! What does he know about love? Does he have any idea why this was supposed to happen?
    Her sari fluttered in the wind. She pushed her long hair back and her bangles jingled in the wind. I had always loved the song of her bangles. My mind drifted to old days. I became weak. This was the last Sunday. Tomorrow she is going to get married…
    The wind grew stronger; she shaded the lamp with her hands. She again looked at me and probably smiled. She turned right and walked away. I wanted to shout at her and tell her that I can never forget her, tell her that she’s what makes me alive. But this wind stopped me right away. She kept walking towards the sea, the lamp on her hand kept flickering wildly. The waves touched her feet, yet she kept moving on and was out of sight.
    My eyes widened. I gaped! I shouted! I cried! What was she doing? I ran. Wildly… But this mile-apart-distance failed me .My heart became numb pierced by something excruciatingly painful…tears rolled down but failed to wet my face…I again yelled at the top of my voice. The whole world stopped, as though mocking me of my failure. She disappeared right before my eyes and I…. I kept walking straight into the sea, frantically. I saw the flame still flickering wildly. The waves beckoned me. It touched my body, touched my feet….i could hear the song of the bangles….I could hear her voice… The lamp, the flame, the sea! I laughed at God. He was again a silent spectator. He took away the only jewel I had in my life. I yelled loudly in anguish. Without thinking, I kept walking, towards the lamp.
    I saw the silver plate with the tiny lamp, some flowers and some ‘holy’ Prasad floating on the sea waters. The flame flickered wildly in the wind, but there was no hand to shade it…

    …My tears rolled down, but failed to wet my face…

  • Neel 5:24 am on March 5, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    A Tale of Two Strings 

    One Life

    Once upon a time there were two strings. They sprouted like fresh spring flowers from two old and mucky holes on a wooden plank. None of them knew what lay beneath the plank; where each of them led; and neither did they care.

    Anyways, what is worth mentioning is that these two strings loved each other very much. They cocked their frayed ends up and talked of old times, when they both had been strong and new, not frayed and dirty as they were now. They also liked to think that through all the times from when they were young and strong till now, when they are frayed and weak, they never ceased to love each other. And so lived these two strings, immersed in each other, never caring to know where each of them stretched beneath the plank.

    But nature has its rules, and one day she checked her…

    View original post 296 more words

    • dibya 1:17 am on March 6, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      I read this one in your blog sometime last year I think. I loved it so much!

    • Abhra 3:46 am on March 6, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Thank you :-) It’s got a little story behind it.

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