15 Oct 2009

A New Life

You have heard of Guantanamo, you have heard of Abu Ghraib. I’ll share with you, my experience more sinister than these.
Incarcerated in a shaking dark chamber, where one could barely wriggle; I was made to survive for months on just fluids.
A tube was thrust inside my body and they gave me, what they wanted, just through it. I kicked, I punched and then I just waited helplessly.
Finally, today I got free; I got born.

Continuing with the set tradition on this blog, this is a 77-Fiction on the occasion of my 77th post. No prizes for guessing, what possibly it can be dedicated to!


Presenting to you my lovely niece Nirbhita, who joined us today at 1538 hours.

I was the first amongst the impatiently waiting people to hear her first cries as she got free from her Guantanamo.
And the best part is that, today happens to be my sister aka her mother's birthday too.
So, Happy birthday Neha and Nirbhita :)

Click here to see her other pictures.

Image Courtesy:
Photographed by her proud Father about one hour after her birth (edited)

8 Oct 2009

The Last Number Dialled

This post got selected as BlogAdda's Spicy Saturday Picks. Click here to see the BlogAdda page.

This post remained as the all-time most popular blogpost on Indivine for the record time. Click here to see the Indivine page.

It was their first marriage anniversary and in the year gone by, they already had witnessed all the strengthenings and the weakenings of a lifelong nuptial bond. Life had not been all that rosy as they had imagined in those carefree days of their college life. Love was the only thing that mattered then. Once married, they realised that there are even other ingredients to make things work. Love can lubricate the friction to some extent but cannot be the substitute to every necessity of a married life.

Till yesterday, what he found cute about her now seemed irritating to him. Was that a reality or just her figment of imagination was difficult to tell. Self doubts started creeping in as both of them had a stark realisation - their immature decision to get married before giving shape to their professional life was now disfiguring their individual as well as married life. Their parents had warned them of such possible consequences but listening to them was the last thing on their priority list, once they had decided to step into their new world.

Other than the first month, the remaining eleven months had been tough in this world of theirs. Most of her time was spent waiting for him after returning from a neighbourhood school, which was the only source of their steady income. He had no such steady source. Since their marriage, he had changed four jobs. He was made for something big, he exclaimed. Had this marriage closed all doors for him was again a thought which lingered into his mind when there was nothing else to occupy it.

He had his reasons to be agitated. He had promised her the best life possible. Seeing himself helpless in fulfilling it, he could only curse. Earlier, he used to curse himself. She gave him an embrace and the warmth of their physical closeness used to soothe their mental agony. However, when he was done cursing himself, he moved to their marriage and this was the time when he ended up agitating her too.

Life was not easy for her after all. She was not used to all this, coming from a rich established family. She could not even complain. It was her own decision after all. She tried her best to keep her apprehensions from him. However, even she ended up cursing this situation at times.

This was not what they had imagined; a year full of curses. They wanted to pluck the roses together but ended up plucking the thorns. It’s not that they never tried, but somehow they were becoming distant. Some kind of inhibition had crept in. They wanted that to end but kept expecting the other to take an initiative. There used to be a time when they fought, they never waited for the other to reconcile but now such waits became too often and prolonged.


‘It’s enough of it,’ he said to himself and picked up his cell phone to call back home.

“Hi! Happy Marriage Anniversary!”

“So, you got the time to wish me?”

“I was really busy at work yesterday. Just dozed off on returning to my Hotel room. I saw your missed call in the morning but had to rush back to work.”

“It’s ok. Same to you. And how is your work going. Still a couple of days left to return right?”

“No. I’ll wrap up all the work soon to leave back for the city as soon as possible. We’ll spend the whole evening together.”

“Now that is your yet another promise. I don’t remember when you kept a promise last time.”

“No, I mean it this time. It is 1 o’ clock right now. I have the presentation in 15 minutes. I’ll take the bus around 3 and will be back home by 6 in the evening. Believe me.”

“Ok, let’s see. Take care of yourself. No need to rush. I hope you impress the clients. All the best for your presentation.”

“Thanks dear. See you soon.”

‘Dear?’ she said to herself and gave a smile. He had called her like that after such a long time, after ages it seemed.


It was 6 in the evening. She had baked the cake and his favourite cookies. However, she was expecting that call from him. She was prepared for it; yet another excuse for not making it on time or maybe staying over for another day. She thought, whatever happens, she won’t sound annoyed.

‘Why should I let him know about my weakness? If he doesn’t care, even I’ll act carefree,’ she told herself.

Suddenly, the bell rang. But it was not the phone; it was the door. Her heart started beating faster as she approached the door. She wanted him to be there. She could not take those unkept promises anymore. She wanted those promises to be fulfilled; she wanted him.

As she opened the door with the anxiety of a newly wedded bride, she saw him, standing there with some confused expressions on his face and the bouquet of her favourite flowers in his hands. Both stood there for a moment not knowing how to greet one another. Finally, she stepped forward, opened her arms and hugged him, getting that eternal warmth, she had waited for so long.

They looked at each other with moist eyes and then hugged again tightly, hoping to remain in this trance forever. With not a single word spoken, they both had conveyed to each other that it is the time to forget the past and make a new beginning.

The next two hours flew by quickly. They didn’t speak much, fearing that the words could break this dream. It was around 8 that the phone rang in the other room.

He was not ready to leave her hand as she pushed him gently giving her mesmerising smile.

“It must be mom; I’ll just be back baby.”

As she left the room, he gave her a smile and waved his hands gently.


“Hello, who’s there?”

“Mam, I am calling from the police station.”

“Police station? Why what happened?”

“See mam, we found your landline number as the last dialled one in the cell phone of an accident victim.”

“Oh, my God? Which cell number?”

“Mam, it’s 9876432211.”

“What nonsense! It is my husband’s number and he is with me right now.”

“Oh, are you sure?”

“What do you mean, sure!”

“Mam, you were called around 1 o’ clock. Later on, this person got crushed under a bus destined for your city, while trying to board it in a hurry around 3.”

“What? Just wait, I’ll get my husband on the phone.”

She hurriedly ran to his room. But he was not there. She called out but didn’t get a reply. She was confused. Her heart was beating fast.

‘He was just here. Everything seemed fine. We were making a new start. We had the two hours of our life.’

All kinds of thoughts started flooding her mind. She had no courage to return to the phone.

‘What will I say?’

‘What will I do?’

‘What is happening?’

She had no idea. She kept sitting there like that, the different stories flashing through her mind. She had heard those stories, seen those movies where the soul of the dead returned to complete the unfinished business.

It had happened to her. She had to understand that. All those myths were nothing but reality. With tears rolling down her eyes, she gave a faint smile, ‘He indeed, kept his promise at last.’

Suddenly, she heard the sound of toilet flush in the adjoining bathroom and the door opened.

“Hey, I forgot to tell you dear, my cell got stolen at the bus stand,” he said, removing the ear plugs of her cell phone from his ears.


AUTHOR’S REFLECTION: Life might give you the second chance or it might not. But you definitely can give yourself that second chance. When it comes to relationships, don’t make hurried decisions and if you make them, make those decisions work. Dial that last number before it’s too late. And yeah, do not expect that paranormal crap on my blog!

P.S. This was my first attempt at pure fiction and hence, inadvertently has many flaws. Still, thanks to the love and support of readers, it was promoted as the most popular post on Indivine before dropping down to the second position. You may click here to promote it further and bring it back to the top if you liked it too.

Click here to view all my other attempts at fiction writing which have been applauded at other blogging communities like Blogadda and Blog-a-Ton too. If I have to suggest my favourites and the popular ones amongst these short stories, they would be Jihad, Wish and of course my three-part semi-autobiographical novelette Everyone Has A Cupid Tale To Tell.

Image Courtesy:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/coveringsmagazine (edited)

3 Oct 2009

The Indian Dream

This is the Platinum Jubilee (75th) Post on this Blog. It is a tribute to our Father of the Nation, M.K. Gandhi whose 140th Birth Anniversary was celebrated yesterday.

This post has been published by me as a part of the Blog-a-Ton 3; the third edition of the online marathon of Bloggers; where we decide and we write. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton.

You can be what you want on that land of paradise
So they said and left to chase the American Dream
Some fell on the way while others managed to rise
But they missed to realise a possible Indian Dream
Here can be no dream but nightmares they nagged
Hurriedly packing their bags for the foreign shore
What has India given to me they demandingly asked
Not bothering to mention what had they given to her

A possible Indian Dream?

Yes, to dream in India is possible and to realise it, staying here is also possible.

However, I am not an idealist. Hence, I am not against anyone leaving the country for the greener pastures. Moreover, in this global village where each economy is dependent upon each other, free flow of human resources is as important as goods and services. India is the largest receiver of remittances from its overseas citizens, something that fuels our forex reserves and makes us competitive on global front.

In short an Indian Dream can also be realised while staying away. However, for that to happen, you will have to see your dream and the Indian dream complementing each other. You may stay away physically but emotionally you will have to stay close enough.

What is the Indian dream?

It is the dream that all the people, irrespective of their socio-economic standing, will get the opportunities to realise their potential within the country.

In this sense my Indian dream and your Indian dream are the same, i.e. to succeed in life and definitely we will prefer to realise it staying closer to our roots. Ofcourse there are some exceptions who are just adamant to move away to foreign lands irrespective of the fact that back home, the opportunities exist or not. For them, the grass is always greener on the other side.

Not including such exceptions in this discussion; we must realise first of all that the onus lies upon us to make our country resilient enough. Before demanding anything, we have to be ever ready to supply her with the nourishment she requires.

For example, on short term basis, the money we receive from non-residents may boost our economy but for the long term development of the nation, we also need their true commitment. It’s something like taking care of the ailing parents who need personal attention rather than monetary help.

As for those who opt to stay back because of their dignity or the lack of opportunity, must learn to accept the fact that we have many problems on our way which must be dealt by us, ourselves.

Indian, Fancy
Rising, Shining, Roaring
Would leave everyone behind
Many problems impeding speed
Trying, Solving, Succeeding
Pragmatic, Indian

Yes, we cannot live in any delusion and have to find our way through. We cannot put all the responsibility on the government but have to shoulder it too. Poverty, overpopulation, unemployment, illiteracy, corruption, environmental degradation, communalism, casteism, terrorism, regionalism and disparities are just some of the causes that are impeding our growth and not allowing us to have a promising Indian dream. And these problems cannot be solved by escaping from them but by facing them with courage and determination.

To make it possible, it is not necessary to be in any specific power position. We as the citizens have to perform our vocations, whatever they maybe, diligently. We have to act responsibly and empathically in our social interactions. We have to develop sensitivity towards the economic disparities that exist and help the government in plugging them. We have to perform our role as a good citizen before demanding good governance.

Our forefathers also had an Indian dream!

They saw an India where the people will be free from all the clutches and will rule themselves.

They gave us the freedom and gave us the vision but somehow we wavered off the path. However, the situation is not all that glum. Last decade or two have seen India taking the right trajectory once again and the conditions seem ripe to realise our Indian Dream. However, it should be ensured that the fruits of development are distributed among all the citizens and are not limited to any particular section.

What about our future generations' Indian Dream?

If everyone takes upon himself/herself to be a part of this Indian dream, and make our personal dreams a part of it too, then we can give a sweet Indian dream to our future generations.

Let us just not wait
For the Change to happen
Be the Change ourselves.

Moreover, this Indian Dream should not be seen in relative terms but in absolute terms. We have to compete with ourselves and not with anyone else. This is true for us individually and India as a whole. There is a thin line between optimism and wishful thinking. We must not transgress it.

Now, it is upto you to decide, this Indian dream of mine is a delusion or a vision.

Off-the-topic Relevant Reflections :

  • The first poem is a simple two-versed composition with the most common rhyming pattern of a-b-a-b.
  • The last two lines of this poem are inspired by the U.S. President J.F. Kennedy's famous quote, "Don't ask what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country."
  • The second poem is a Mirror Cinquain, an extended form of the cinquain, a form of poetry that I have introduced earlier on this blog. Moreover, this cinquain is much closer to the original form than my previous attempt. Here line 1 has 1 noun, line 2 has 2 adjectives explaining the noun, line 3 has 3 action verbs (-ing ending verbs), line 4 has a 4 words phrase and line 5 has 1 word explaining the noun in line 1. The Mirror cinquain is formed by a cinquain and a reverse cinquian. Original cinquains have a 2, 4, 6, 8, 2 syllables pattern which got gradually transformed into a 1, 2, 3, 4, 1 words pattern.
  • The third poem is my crude first attempt at a Haiku. It is a very popular form of short poetry, an unrhyming verse genre, conveying an image or feeling in two parts spread over 3 lines with 5, 7, 5 syllables pattern. Traditional Japanese Haiku is written with a seasonal reference unlike this one.
  • This Haiku is inspired by Mahatma Gandhi's famous quote, "Be the change you want to see in the world." It is a tribute to the great man whose 140th Birth Anniversary was celebrated yesterday.
  • Talking of Indian Dream and poems, you might like to read my childhood poem on this subject. It is in Hindi and have been posted earlier. Click here to read it.

The fellow Blog-a-Tonics who took part in this Blog-a-Ton and links to their respective posts can be checked here. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton.

Image Courtesy:

http://img.fropper.com (edited)