leaves of a tree

This conversation may or may not have happened. 

Girl : Its not the way you think it is. Sex, among other things, is a confidence booster for me. I'm actually good at it, it makes me feel great when I do something I'm good at. 

Me: Hmm, yeah, I totally get it. I'll ask them to stop calling you a slut. 

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. 

Cannes, part une

2:30 AM, A Sunday morning, a vibrating phone on the desk. Young man with big eyes and bigger thick glasses sitting in front of a computer picks up the phone with a smile. 

He: Hello

She : Hey! You’re awake!

He: Just woke up… What up ?

She: Been trying to call you since evening, is it raining there ?

He: Slept early, had work to do, you know my timings. Yeah, very heavy rain I guess.

She: Yeah, about that, actually thats why I called.

He: Huh ? About the rain ?

She : No silly, I can’t be with you any longer, this weird time stuff is killing me, sure you warned me before we started going out but its not going to work like this for me.

He: What?! We’re not going out, we’re just friends !!

She: Come ‘on…  I’m serious, I can’t do this –


She: I’m sorry.

His soft friendly voice takes a deep serious tone.

He: But thats not logical you know, we go out every time you say you want to go out to every place you want to go and I try my best to keep you happy

She: Well, yeah, that too, its like you’re trying so hard to be with me, and I feel I should reciprocate and try to be with you when you’re up during these weird times, but I can’t do that.

He: You don’t have to do that! Even if you were up, I am not sure if I’d want to skip work and talk to you, this is my bread and butter !!

She: You remember those times when we were just friends, back in college? I used to think it was really cool of you to have a night time job and that you pay your tuition

He: So ?

She: Well, I kind of expected you to have a “real” job after college, I already wasted so much time trying to be with you.

He: Wasted ?…This IS a serious job. 

She: What ? Who are you kidding, you’re just a freelance web-designer, you guys are dime a dozen. I really really expected you to be someone with your kind of potential.

He: Is this what its about ? That I’m poor ? That I didn’t turn out to be one of those rich corporate guys your dad wants you to marry ? May be I am poor, but you know what ? Atleast I know what I want to do and I’m happy.

She: Whats that supposed to mean ?

He: You have no idea what you want to do with your life, you came to college to become an Engineer, you said your interest was in arts and designs and you loved “colors”, and I thought you understood my love and passion for it, but you never did, and after college you said you’d pursue your “dream” as an interior designer, you never did, all you ever did was just hang around doing nothing spending your parent’s money. You can’t work, you can’t study. You loathe everything around you, you hate this place, you hated college, actually I’ve never heard you say you love anything.

She: Is that what you were thinking about me ? That I was a rich spoiled girl? There are things I love, when I get to UK…

Snorting at the other end of the phone 

She: WHAT?

He: Sorry, you’ve been feeding yourself with that UK dream for ever, no college wants to accept a slacker.

She: You actually hate me…don’t you ? Why are you even with me –

He: I thought you were ending this. 

She: You’re damn right, I am. You might also be pleased to know that, I’ve been sleeping with someone else for a while, in fact every evening while you slept early.


She: Yeah, I’ve been doing that for a while now, and you know what, this guy is actually very very nice, owns his own place, he knows what he’s doing. And he’s tall, muscular and really really well-endowed and he even tastes better than…

A muffled sob… Hangs up

12 years later.

The city of Cannes, its early autumn, a few golden leaves are adoring the narrow road, a short man in his late twenties walking a dog, he’s just humming along to a song in his head looking fairly calm, walking alongside him and reading to him from a file, is a white lady, in her early twenties but she looks young enough to be passed off as seventeen easily, the only thing that would make her look older is the suit and her very stern expression. She suddenly stops to pull out a vibrating phone, talks for a minute and hand it out to him.

(To be continued…)



its always too late

He walked into his house, dripping wet and cold from the rain. His wet and dirty boot prints decorated by the water dripping off his self, followed him till the door. A thin streak of light from the door crack cast his shadow to be looped over the length of the room as he stepped in. He somehow felt the dark and lonely room represented his life. As he was removing his cold, wet dress, he made a passing glimpse at his service revolver he just placed on his dresser, he remembered what his mentor, Mr. S-, a senior official he worked with, once said, “There were times in my life that revolver looked really friendly to me, the point is…” Mr.S-  always had a point to make, not quite like him, for him, everything was pointless. For a moment there, he forgot he wanted to slip into the comfort of warm clothes, he stood there – naked and cold, unaware of both, and involuntarily lit up a cigarette.


the future

You and I are so often worried when we don’t know what our future is going to be like. the uncertainty, instead of thrilling us, confuses us.

If it were someone else’s problem, you and I would advise them to look towards the future with hope, we’d ask them to see the invisible, non-existent, silver lining.

However, when it comes to you and I, we panic. We can not move a step further without knowing where we are going, we are afraid of the uncertainty.

But what we fail to notice, or conveniently ignore, is the fact that nothing is certain. How long do you think it would take,  for the perfectly flawless plan you thought you had in your mind, to become the most absurd mistake you ever made.

If that were true, wouldn’t it also be true to conceive that the future we think we have, in love, in life, in everything, isn’t anything more than a cruel joke ?

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