the room

His memory had failed him, he had to struggle a lot to find that place – in the middle of nowhere, it stood there, alone and aloof, like a big condescending judgement. The last time when he was here –  it was years ago.  He didn’t know why he came back to that room after all these years. May be because it reminded him of a time when he was free from all worries, a much simpler time, no wife, no kids, no responsibilities and no share holders haunting his nightmares, he was alone in the world without a care, he didn’t have this high paying job for which he had sacrificed his very soul, he was broke back then, but he was happy.

He looked around, the roof looked like it would fall off any moment. He saw the words written on the wall, “this is a safe place”. He thought back about the time when she wrote that on the wall with a broken charcoal piece. He was lying down on the floor, looking at her, she was dancing around to an unsung song, some music in her head that he couldn’t hear. He tried in vain to remember her, couldn’t place her name or her face, all he remembered was the music he didn’t hear.

He slowly sat down leaning against the wall, closed his eyes, tried to remember the last time, the only time he had ever been here. It was a beautiful memory, something he vowed to never let go. The girl who came out of nowhere, the best conversation he ever had, the bite marks on his shoulders, but he still couldn’t remember what they had talked about, all he could remember was how it made him feel. She had left before he woke up the next morning and he never saw her again. If he was sure of anything in his life, it was that moment, when he knew, he would give up everything he ever had to go back to that room, that night. It made him feel young and whole again.

When they found him the next morning, he was curled up under a pile of roof tiles and debris. On the wall above him were the words – “this is a safe place”;


Kate didn’t know what she wanted when she came back to her home town. A lot had changed, the old ice-cream parlour where she used to hang out with her girlfriends was now a spa, her favourite second-date movie theater had disappeared into a mall. Then she remembered that she had moved away from this place looking for spas and malls. Nothing was ever good enough for her. The hope for the warmth and nostalgia that she came craving for was turning into a shrill cry of despair. When the hard realization struck her, she wanted to cry out loud. Just stand in there and cry, in the middle of nowhere, just scream out loud. She craved for her old friends, the attention, the love and the security.

And BAM! The bitch got hit by a bus.

A fuller stomach means higher spirits

Have you ever had to experience the hateful sting of hunger? The very thing that reminds you're nothing but a mere mortal?. For me, I've had my fair share.

I was born into a fairly rich upper middle class family, thanks to that I've had five meals a day and I was always a chubby kid. When I started earning on my own, there was this brief time I did not have many responsibilities. So I spent it mostly on adding to my waistline – owing to the fact that I've never had alcohol in my life and there was no better way to spend it at where I come from.

Things changed all of a sudden on a fateful night. I had to go out of town for a presentation and it was really late when I came back, I haven't had anything to eat that day, and since the presentation got over much later than I expected, and since I had to ride a long way through unfamiliar places, I didn't want dinner to slow me down, the hungry stomach and my sense of urgency rode my bike a lot faster than I normally would. Not long after I entered city, the night patrols stationed by the side of the road signaled me to stop, in my attempt to stop I didn't know what I did to topple my bike over, but I do remember a few good somersaults before I landed on the hard ground with a heavy thud bleeding to death. I felt a murderous pain in the back of my head, like several white hot needles being plunged in. I still have the mark.

When I came around, I was in ward 9 of a government hospital, which I would later learn from my very angry family that it is a ward where they admitted the poor and homeless, people died there everyday due to sheer starvation. I did not have anything to eat for the next day and a half, they did not give me food, they weren't obliged to. The only food I had then was half an orange shared by an unknown inmate, a small kid. Let me be realistic here, normally, I wouldn't accept to share food with an unknown, unclean kid from an unhealthy hospital environment, that was the day I realized people would do anything to avoid hunger, all of a sudden all the cliches in the novels and movies made sense, those were written by people who had known the hateful sting of hunger. 

That was the worst day and half of my life, I've never felt so low before and after it, the worst experiences of my life came flashing to my mind, despite my best efforts for happy thoughts, I was hungry, I was hurt and I was alone. I couldn't even think, if I had the energy to, I would have cried out loud. When my folks turned up later that day, I was discharged and taken back to a warm bed and a hot bowl of porridge. Nothing ever tasted better than that one bowl of porridge I had, I suddenly felt right in body and mind, I was getting back to my usual cheerful self. That was also the day I realized a fuller stomach meant higher spirits. 

What did I do about the inmates of ward 9 ? You'll never know, because thats not what I'm writing this about, this is about something that has a greater impact and a greater purpose than anything that I will ever be able to do. This is about Akshaya Patra. The Akshaya Patra Foundation is the largest non-profit organisation in the world to implement the school meal programme. They reach out to over 12 lakhs children in 19 locations across 9 states of India, providing them with freshly cooked meal on a day to day basis. These kids, they need food, they need higher spirits to achieve greater heights, to have a higher moral standard. They're the future. I wouldn't ask you to donate out of charity, I implore you to INVEST in the future of our country. Take one step closer to brighter future, this is something you can do. do it. 

the proverbial dagger

“When the lights went out, she knew she was going to be stabbed by the proverbial dagger.” – Photo courtesy Joshi Daniel

She curled up into the little nook by his side, kissed him on his shoulder. She wanted to wake him up, talk to him, laugh – like they used to, but she knew better. She knew he was too tired and she was worried – this wasn’t the man she fell in love with, she longed for him, the cute kid in glasses who used to make her laugh. When she looked at his tired old glasses on their nightstand, she felt even the glasses said the same thing – he has turned into someone else, a machine, a workaholic who never cared for his health or her. She involuntarily kept drawing circles with her finger on his hairy chest.

“What’s bothering you ?”, his deep calm voice startled her, he wasn’t sleeping after all. 

“I thought you were sleeping…”, she smiled at him. He did not open his eyes, but smiled back, like somehow he knew she was smiling at him.

“Its you, you’ve been working on this project days on end, you don’t eat, you don’t sleep, hell you don’t even brush your teeth…”, she just found a vent. 

“I thought it was because I wasn’t spending enough time with you…”, he chuckled. 

“Well, yeah…that too”, she knew that was why she was upset, but she also knew that telling him that would mean she was being selfish, and then she felt helpless, the man knew her inside out. 

“Ever heard of the Macbeth’s dagger ?” – he asked out of nowhere, that was unusual, even for him. Then without waiting for her answer, he went on, “Its from a Shakespeare’s play called Macbeth – Macbeth was the kings kinsman, that’s like a Noble man – his wife and him conspires and kill the king with a dagger for very selfish reasons. “

“Selfish reasons ? And what exactly is a dagger ?” – She was amused that he was talking, even though it was about things she wouldn’t normally prefer. 

He let out a silent laugh and then went on to maintain his silence for a while before he spoke again, “A dagger is like a sword, but small and handy but not too small to be a knife. Before Macbeth kills his king, he has this inner confrontation between his sense of freewill and predestination, eventually he submits to his baser urges and decides to follow the vision of a dagger that would eventually kill his king.” 

“Why are you telling me this now”, she had to ask.

“Because I am facing an inner confrontation and I am going to follow my baser urges”, he then turned over, dragged her onto his frame effortlessly, kissed her forehead. When the lights went out, she knew she was going to be stabbed by the proverbial dagger.  


We all wear a mask, infact several masks. Everyone. Every single day.  Sometimes we wear them so much, we forget who we really are. And then if you are lucky, very lucky, there will come along a person, who will take off your masks, show you the light, and tell you who you are. Who you should be. 

You have always been there for me, through thick and thin.
You never once doubted me, never left my side. 
You believed in me.
I never had to explain for you to understand.
You just got me, all the time. 
Seeing you, is the highlight of my day.
Spending time with you, is what makes me happy. 
I praise the Lord for giving me the most wonderful gift ever.
And you are the one thing in my life, I am eternally thankful for. 
I love you. A lot.

Dedicated to a certain someone, who showed me the light.

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