Monthly Archives: May 2011

My mother’s death wish

I had recently imbibed the “big kids don’t cry” talisman successfully back then. Bruised and bleeding knees were no longer being greeted with tears and I was proud of it. And so when I saw a grown up man crying uncontrollably while a loved one was being buried, “Shame on you!” was the first thought.

I was on my way to school, when I saw this man wailing and howling over a dead body. “But how could he cry? He was an adult! Wasn’t he supposed to know that all people die? And more importantly, why was he visibly sad over it and not shrugging it off like a knee injury?” I thought about him all that day. And a lot of unanswered questions have lingered ever since…

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“Advani stood for Prime Minister’s election when he was 80. Armani is around the same age and still designs clothes. Those are just people under alphabet ‘A’. There are people right to Z like that. The point is – age is just a number”, I threw some logic and reason to discourage her to wish for “a peaceful death before 75”. When my mother first mentioned her wish for a pre-retirement death a while back, everyone laughed. She then started joking about it more and more, and we did not know how to react. Read the rest of this entry

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Habit of Vivacity

by - Antriksh RajeMen’s nature are alike, it is their habits that carry them far apart. I spent one day with two people who could have well been mirror reflections of one another if it hadn’t been for this one habit – happiness.

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He walked in after a meeting, threw his keys towards the table and then cursed the keys for sliding off to the floor. He sat inside the wheeled office chair, which disobediently rolled away from the table unleashing another set of loud curses. He held his face in his palm gave out a loud sigh and sat there still for a few minutes. I kept staring at his unusual behavior with surprise. “Welcome to our office, newbie. We have free weekly, sometimes bi-weekly, subscription of ‘I have a bad day’ show here along with the regular called ‘I’m a nice guy’. Learn to ignore”, a friendly colleague explained to put my shock to rest and walked away as if it really was a routine. I still gathered courage and asked, “What happened?” He stared back at me, said “Nothing. I’m going to murder that man” and went on to do his work grumpily. Read the rest of this entry

Ruse-tinted Glasses

I love rooftops.  Open spaces make unrivaled places for open conversations. And because things from a high rooftop appear beautiful, fragile, immaterial and ephemeral; just as they typically are.

“This is all the liquid I could get.  Let’s drink it and pretend we are drunk. Cheers!” she joked and handed out Mirinda bottles to everyone. The gang of girls obeyed dutifully, like they always did. She was a happy-go-lucky, vivacious woman of 32, a teacher, mother of a six-year-old, divorced and the uncrowned leader of the gang. Spending time on the rooftop at night, some sensibility and tons of non-sense had become a regular feature for all of us.

After a few poorly mimicked and supposedly funny drunken monologues, someone finally asked, “So what are we celebrating?” She stood up; still acting drunk and giddy, hoisted the bottle in one hand and announced “My son is coming to meet me! I will be seeing him after six months. He will spend his entire summer vacation here. He has grown up…” She went on fervently for another few minutes about her son. I waited with equal fervor for her mask to slip. Read the rest of this entry

The Spark and the Sympathy

Our eyes see hundreds of faces every day, reading stories they tell with their expressions. Handful of these faces and expressions linger in mind. And some, so exceptional, that even after a brief 5 minute encounter, they remain etched in the memory forever. I made one such memory for myself on a hot sultry afternoon in Nagpur.

I had been a freelance journalist for a year now. Acquainting people across the spectrum during the assignments made me believe that I now had better understanding of the eternal chaos that surrounds us, although I was chaos and confusion personified during those days.

My new assignment was about higher studies for physically challenged students. School for blind students, School for Deaf and Dumb students, School for special children; wherever I went, rhetorical answers, laced with pity and sympathy, filled the room after the questions started. Pride, accomplishment and achievements of both the students and the teachers were in plenty; but not without an undertone of grief, self-pity and silent sigh. Read the rest of this entry