Three Friends

“He is a district level champion”, Bro introduced Santy. “Wow! That’s a chance for me to professionally learn a game”, I asked smirking, “would he mind training me, then?” “Sure, let’s see where you stand and we can fix a time for daily practice”. We had then become buddies, travelling to university together. Forty kilometers isn’t fun without friends and guess what, a campus amidst a dense forest area, atop a plateau!

Three years of fun and adventure, they stood like pillars by me. But then you graduate, means you part ways! I spun away to the metro city and was lost in the crowd and humbug. To each his own, they say. Carving a career, settling to be professionals, takes away so much of your comforts. And there you stand proud of your achievements, sensing some happiness and creating a niche for yourself.

Until one day, when destiny knocks on your door a heavy metal anchor and binds you to itself, drilling and dragging as it swerves through the murky waters to test your agility and adaptability. Some call it crisis, some just enjoy the thrill of the roller coaster.

I opened my messenger inbox. “Where are you? Add me to your friends list”, came a message from Bro! “Whoa! It’s been donkeys years! Add you bull shit! Call me on my cell phone”, I left him my number. He called that evening, cussing me tip to toe. “We both searched for your for fifteen long years. You haughty kid! You never turned back to look at your mates? Off you went!”, he rattled off endlessly. “I was caught up in many things”, I said grimly, unwilling to spill the beans.

“I am a billionaire now! Would you believe it? And Santy is settled in the United States”, Bro exclaimed. ” I am separated, right now trying to relocate and settle down with better opportunities. Some social complications I am going through. “Ah! Sorry to hear that, but need to know how all that happened”, he added. Let me create a group for the three of us to share”. He quickly added me and Santy was dazed to see me after all these years.

Hearing my plight they both were concerned. Santy called up immediately to hear the story from my end. He told me his and Bro’s bit of struggle in life. “I have taken to a spiritual life, totally convinced there is no better life support. But Bro wouldn’t approve of my ways. I have told him how and why to avoid drinking so. But he gets upset with the mention of that”.

In a month Bro came over to visit us. It was a replay of college times. But a serious Bro! A pretty much binge drinking Bro, a guide to many careerists and an entrepreneur.

I stay struck at the different courses life had taken for each of us. A bit of pain, a bit of achievement and yet such different values. ‘To each his own’….I thought and it all depends how you create opportunity of your crisis.

 

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Flea Market

There are a few favorite flea markets, shoppers’ delight!

One generally visits a Flea to dig into something strikingly unique, at a reasonable price and a variety to choose from. At times on finds rarely marketed items, antiques and even second hand goods and throwaways!

“Flea” as the term goes, sounds rather originating from the ‘local markets’ in the Mid eastern or Asian countries where food, fish and other perishables are sold in a common market area open to many small and big vendors. Perishables often attracting flies and flea. However, ‘flea’ may also refer to the attraction these markets have to common people, that draws thousands to flock like fleas.

Existing in different regions of the world in various forms, these markets are a rented out space for sale of unique offerings. Sometimes used to dispose used goods or showcase antiques;from sports, household articles, jewelry to furniture, handwork, clothes and accessories. This has been a fresh ground to bring in people with common interest and search out goods to their liking.

“Flea market” lovers are usually people who want a special pick at a throwaway price; an ultimate achievement! Yes, the regular buyers are well prepared to pick from a whole lot of mix, an eye catching, strikingly different, stylish piece. They are cost conscious and keen to get maximum value for money.

Antique buyers are a different bred, they are knowledgeable in identifying an antique and its value. You could be easily duped into buying fakes, spending a bombshell for nothing but regretting your decision! Pretty much the same for electronics.

For accessories and trinkets or even shoes, garments and linens, this is definitely the best place to visit. Rest, be prepared to spend hours in spanning and selecting. This is not a place to be in a rush, you would rather keep a day off, be ready to walk and stalk for hours, scan through stuff and steer through crowds. Enjoy the search and you will win yourself the best picks ever!

Happy Shopping!

Love Hurts..

“Hey! Where do you live?”, came her notification! “A curious she, popped open her chat box, excited she had a reply from a new friend. From lazy chats to a strange sharing of moments and further on to a lovable bond, she was rather in awe how things were falling in place! Each time he endorsed he didn’t want it to end she was an inch more excited!

“Can we meet?”, she asked. He said, “there were too many things going on!”. Put back, she was a little hassled if everything was alright. From distances you can only presume, not perceive much of the real reaction.

Each time there was a new reaction, a new reason not to meet. All alarms set off! She began to worry if this was a fake, manipulative, abusive relationship!

One day she got a threat call from a woman, claiming relationship with this guy. She started verifying and threatening. When contacted he avoided, slipped away and denied any disclosure. Instead abused her for engaging in discussion and disturbing him. She was in utter shock! She asked him if he wanted to end this and had better people to be with. He still denied. This went on for years, until she fell through a nervous breakdown.

Yet, he claimed his love for her, while being away with others.

I wonder, what makes a man lie even when it is disastrous to the other! Just to evade truth, deny being characterless, protect the other relationship, enjoy a sadistic touch or sheer inability to displease anyone. Mind you, the cost of this lie could be a human life! The cost could be insanity. I don’t believe there is any excuse to let such a thing happen.

My prayers, people who resort to these habits understand the aftermath, learn some self control so that relationships do not become meaninglessly harmful.

But, one thing to learn is to let go, before it is too late. It is wiser to let such people go off your life so that they cannot hurt you. It’s tough to part ways, but just on yourself to keep away from trouble. This is where letting go helps immensely.

Happy Mother’s Day!

I called Mom,eager to wish, show my gratitude, make her feel special and valued on this special day, 14th of May’17.

Her mobile phone beeped and stopped. My excitement dipped a notch. I called a few more times, each time a singsong automated message said the phone was either, busy or unreachable. Hmmphh…! I let it go.

Hours of waiting for a good time when she wouldn’t be resting or working, I called again. This time bubbling with wishes and emotions, I waited to hear her voice. But the phone was now switched off? My imaginations running wild, I wondered if something had gone awfully wrong, she wasn’t home or just upset with me. Quickly, my mind ran back and forth recollecting the sequences of last few discussions. Nothing! That would upset her.

At Eight in the evening I figured her phone was busy, waited a while and called back it was switched off! This time I was sure there was some malice against me. I was a little put off. Yet I kept up with my hope. Just before the special day ended, at 11:45pm, I tried one more time. No response! Now, this was unusual for a Sunday. I was rather worried since she had been alone the past week. Since Dad’s passing away in January, she was still going through a trauma.

Worried sick, I waited to call her next morning when she would be in her office. I called, smartly waiting to pounce on her when a slightly different voice answered the phone. “Who is this?”, she asked. “Someone waiting to wish her Mom on Mother’s Day”, I said. The voice kind of trembled unsure of the prompt response, curtly asked me my identity. I was worried if I had dialed a wrong number. So I dropped the call. Yet, the discussion I overheard before dropping the call made me rethink. I quickly checked the contact list and dialed back. “Yes”, she responded. “Mom, it’s me!” I blurted before she had disconnected. “Oh! Baby. Is that you?”, she sighed after that whisper. “I had been trying all day to wish you!”, I yelled complaining. “Is this your contact number? I got scared yesterday”, she narrated how they had been putting the phone off each time they saw my call. I was using a number that they didn’t know. I just didn’t realize I wasn’t using my usual phone.

“I had a terrible squabble with my younger brother with regards to inheritance and I was scared they were calling to threaten me of consequences”, she said. “Ah!, so I made your day worrisome instead of making it happy!” I said regretfully. So much ado about making Mother’s Day Happy!

Happy Mother’s Day!

Mother! Is that an overrated word, overtly worshiped or is it the one trampled and swindled by most?

This Mother’s Day give it a thought if this Day is genuinely celebrated and in the right spirit. The womb in which she gives a sperm the shape of a man, the chasm in which she nurtures the next generation, the arms that behold until maturity, the blood that nourishes, the bones that bear the weight, is that nurturer plundered off her resources and left barren when old.

Yet celebrated by many, worshiped as the care giver, the beholder of humility and compassion, the first and the last resort of creation! The Mother is an epitome of the mysteries of nature and a symbol of selfless love.

To this day, I salute and dedicate to all mothers. I request a pledge to care for all mothers, the nature , mother earth the most in return of their relentless care. Join me in my pledge and protect, serve the mother. Save the Earth!

Straw Hat

Straw is dried stalks of grain, used as fodder or as material for thatching, packing or weaving. Straw symbolizes simplicity, humility and a down to earth attitude. It has references in Eastern philosophies to humility that is undeterred even when trampled under feet and at the same time as powerful when the tiniest bit enters a person’s eyes.

Straw Hats have remained a fashion statement, a protection against sun and wind, part of uniform, a sporting head gear as well as a status symbol.
It was observed in the eighteenth century paintings to have adorned the richest ladies hair, decorated with a tuft of flower, feather or satin ribbon. It has been a summer time favorite head protection for men of all regions. The eastern world has always seen farmers, soldiers and other hard working men use it as a head protector in the sun!
It has been a natural gear for the communities that have ease of access to straw; meaning farmers and cattle herders. Hence, history holds some taboo to the status attached to straw hats as against felt or leather hats. Yet, there have been many times that this dash of golden, mesh has adorned the most handsome men and women as a shear fashion call.
A tourists favorite in the summers, it has held great value by the coasts, no matter where.
A ‘Straw Hat’ is also a person of great intellect, wisdom and values with enormous sense of humility, compassion and ability to present himself to the lowest of lows. His genius is unfathomable, often confused as an ordinary simpleton, he is  ignored and overlooked by observers as ‘a person of no value’! A Straw Hat can many a times be a true leader, one whose wisdom shows people the way into in-ordinariness.

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Unlimited Love

 

She was touching a crisp sixteen, spirits soaring, dreams too big to contain in a little heart! Anxiety to know her future, her present and know it all was about pouring out of the cup. Her mind filled with questions, building a strange vacuum around, leaving bystanders baffled about what she wanted, some dodging them as nonsense.

One day her uncle told her, some of the answers she sought would be there in the bible. she grabbed the holy book and couldn’t but stop devouring the sermons on faith, love, sacrifice, forgiveness and compassion! All those words that would melt into the ears, would read aloud a new story about itself. What else did a human need after all she wondered. It was almost like her answers were all there!

But the stupid mind wouldn’t just rest yet! “Love who?”, it popped.

She did visit the temple but resisted from her usual wishing for dreams to come true. She had awkward doubts about how her wishes would get fulfilled, if she was to ask and then why and to who?  A lot of searching to satiate that restless mind, a hungry heart led her wandering from books to bookies, not many could see her vulnerability.

That evening, she sat with her grandfather, a retired police officer. Having served the nation and some great leaders, he had resigned into a sedentary life. A stiffly disciplined man of high repute in service of utmost high standards, he had set bars for all children so tall, that she was scared to talk to him earlier. Now a teenager, braver and thoughtful, she was keen to hear him tell about his life achievements. A sad story why the unspoken truth about a public life had hushed him into seclusion as a healthier bet, but actually led him into suppression and ill health.

He was under treatment for geriatric ailments and in six months she was seeing final respects and gun salute offered to his body! She stood alarmed, heartbroken and moreover awe struck at the turn of events, the value of this living body and lack of control on life as a whole!

Twelve days post his passing away, she visited grandfather’s house to see six men, young and old, all clad in saffron loincloth reading, chanting, singing hymns and elaborating sermons. One phrase caught her attention! The old man said, “this body is not us!”. She blurted,”what?”, much aloud to stop the discussion for a moment.