Monday, December 26, 2011

I Too Had A Dream

First 20 years are undoubtedly the most important part of life. You are full of ideas, you want to do things, you want to learn and a lot of crazy thoughts you want to experiment with. 4 years in college make the best part of it. You are literally free there, to experiment with what you learn and learn what you want to. Things work out, good! If they don’t, well it doesn’t hurt much.

By the time you are in 4rd year you realize there is still so much left to do and time has passed by real fast! You try hard but planning things becomes out of control. There is a B.Tech project, there are placements, there is CAT, there are further studies option to ponder about, there are massive expectations mounting from everywhere. And then there in one corner is the idea you are crazy about. You think may be its time to let it be at ease for a while till you deal with other things. Placements start! You are not shortlisted in Day 1 and Day 2. You tell your Dad, he is not disappointed but surprised why you didn’t make it? First interview, you don’t go through. Second interview, you don’t get to the final round. People around you are getting placed and that leaves you worried. Pressure starts to crack you down and just when you start to think that it is all luck, in the very next days you are placed!

You went through so much in this time! There were so many things to manage and so little time for everything. Exhausted you take a break. Everyone back home congratulates you for the job while on the back of your mind you know you don’t want to do it. Then a certain uncle tells you about how you would do brighter things in future and may be work for the biggest companies in the world very soon. People ask you when you are going to settle abroad. You don’t know the answers yourself but you put on a smile.

So much pours down upon you in literally a span of 3 months that you start doubting your dream. You cannot put the same faith in your idea anymore. But you don’t give up. One day you go and talk to your dad and tell him about your crazy idea- to be on your own and work for your crazy dreams. And he does not deny you from doing anything but just advise you to take the job for a while and gain some experience. And six months later, there you are- in the corporate food chain, fighting to etch a name of your own.

You never realized how fast time moved after that. You earned good, you partied a lot, you made new friends and suddenly life was not all that bad. Until one day, you return from a hectic day in office and started thinking about the years that have passed by since college. You switched companies and increased you pay packet. You own a car and you have travelled abroad. You earn some respect in your work. But there is something you have missed. You don’t know what it is but somewhere you feel it.

You take a break again. You look around to figure out how much world has changed. Only then you realize that you are 28 years old now! You meet up friends and find out that some person you knew in college is making it big. He owns a company and works on his crazy ideas. All your friends talk about him. You go back in time and revisit your idea. You too had a dream. You can’t sleep next few nights. You go to your father and discuss about the idea again. He doesn’t deny anything but asks you to think and plan everything before taking any step. Your mother asks you to get married. You ignore it.

You return to office thinking that you will work upon the idea but a great project comes and demands you. You know you can do it and give it all it needs. It takes a year to complete it. Your work is appreciated and everybody applauses you and holds you high. Years pass and you get married too. You have a kid as well.

Finally one day you decide that you have done enough and you deserve to give a shot at something new. Nobody stops you but everyone advises you to think carefully and wishes you luck. You work upon your idea. It seems difficult but you know well how to get things done. You work like mad in the coming months. You give it all. And in the end; it fails.

You sit back and think what went wrong. You revisit the very first time you had a crazy idea that you wanted to work upon. You turn your head around and see your kid calling you. And then you realize; it is the 20 years that have passed by.

Link to the article on

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Curls In The Sky At IIT Kanpur

It was the time of Antaragni in IIT Kanpur. The campus was unusually noisy and full of beauties when I happened to see one incident which seems to come straight from facebook funny videos. Two girls were walking down the campus roads when someone on a bicycle stopped by and "Boom!" For a second all curls of the girl were in air and I wondered how do they manage it, the other moment a scream turned me to the man on bicycle who had sort of spanked her head and run off! In the campus, I came to know about someone names Ashyup, a man you must be terrified from, a man we had heard of only in stories, a man who does not exist.

21 years ago there was a tree in the campus, a tree with long curls. It is said to be a banyan tree. Reportedly a student in lack of company and companion made friends with the tree. Souring relationships with academics, lab experiments and Professors forced Ashyup to turn to the curly tree and share his plight with it. Later he fell in love with its curls and treated it as his gal. As with any tragic story this one was also not going to last. The romance of Ashyup was shaken the day he found that a new hostel was to be built on the site and the tree would be cut. Curly Tree had only few days left and Ashyup gave all of his time to her (Her!...yes the relationship had become pretty serious in last two months.) He would swing with her curls, narrate tales and tell her how it would be okay and all.

The judgment day of the Curly arrived and it was being cut from the bottom. Ashyup could see it no more. He ran and took the tree in his arms. The construction workers tried to console him then request him then forced him to leave but he didn't. So they decided to continue cutting the tree while it was in Ashyup’s arms...and suddenly, THUD!!! The tree with all its curls swinging in the sky fell on the ground. Every worker around ran towards the site to look for Ashyup but he was nowhere to be found. With the life of curly Ashyup had disappeared too.

Many theories have been proposed since about what happened but the most accepted theory is that in the last moments of Curly, Ashyup became one with her and disappeared with her soul. Later on that site GH2(Girls Hostel 2) was built up and ever since curls of the girls is being swung by Ashyup every now and then.

Some say that Ashyup does not like the curls of the new girls at all and so he comes to make fun of them. Others say that Ashyup comes to remind the world of Curly's curls who had to sacrifice her life for GH2. Anyways to honour the martyr Ashyup was and his love for Kesh (Hair or curls) he was later rechristened to Keshyup (Kesh-up).

Hope everyone in IIT K would let their curls free once in a while to honour the man.
Up, up Keshyup!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Story Of A Snail

Once upon a time in the jungle Cilaze, there lived a family of snails. They called themselves The Slorers. They were incredibly slow but were the wisest of all. In the world of snails, they were renowned for being adventurers and dreamers. When no one could even dare to dream of racing with turtles, Slorers invented skates to outperform them. The elder in their family would teach the younger generation of snails, their skills, so as to pass wisdom and knowledge across Cilaze.

One day while taking a morning walk by the garden, Bate-the elder Slorer, saw Kip-the child snail from the family of Dumnails sitting alone. He was sad and weeping. When asked by Bate, Kip said that last night he had a dream. Like a butterfly, he grew wings and flew up in the sky. From there he saw Cliaze. He saw the waterfalls, the green pastures, the jungles, the mountain and it was beautiful! Like one can only dream of! But when he woke up, he didn’t find his wings and felt sad. He asked his mom and she told once great grand Dumnail also had the same dream and so he tried to climb the tallest tree in the forest to know how it looks like from the sky but before he could reach the top, a hungry hawk ate him. Now he knows he would never know how it looks like from the sky and will soon forget the dream as well. Even if he tries to climb the tree again and hungry hawk does not eat him, he will probably never reach the top and die on the way itself. This made him cry.

Wise Bate had never faced a situation like this but he could not afford to break the heart of young Kip. So he thought for a while and said to him that if he could dream that he can see from the sky then he will but he has to believe in his dream. Then Kip promised that he will believe in his dream and returned happily.

It was on his way back, Bate was thinking all the while what he can do for Kip. All of a sudden he heard elephant Zeus coming his way. Heard it? Yes! The whole jungle shivered from pounding and thumping footsteps of Zeus and earth would sound like drums. When he came close, Bate greeted him but he did not respond. Zeus was known for being arrogant because he was powerful and no one dared to disrespect or challenge him. Even lions were afraid! Bate called him again loudly this time. Zeus turned towards him and said that he does not talk to such puny creatures. But Bate convinced him that it was important and told him the story of Kip. Zeus felt really sad for the child and agreed to help and they started thinking. But even after trying long and hard they couldn’t figure out any way to help Kip realize his dream. Bate felt sad but kept mulling over. When they were about to give up broken leaves and branches started to fall over them. In amazement they turned their heads up and there it was the Great Grand Giraffe Eddie chewing the tallest trees with his head on the top of the jungle! Bate and Zeus looked at each other and beamed in joy. On an impulse of thought they knew what had to be done. Zeus whistled to Eddie and told him the plan.

Next morning, Bate knocked upon the Dumnails house. The Kip came out happily and told him how he spent all night dreaming like he told him to. Bate told him that he has brought him a surprise and from behind came Zeus and Eddie. But little Kip did not understand what was happening. Suddenly, Eddie lowered his neck, Zeus smiled and put young snail and Bate on his head and then Eddie lifted them up, high in the sky from where they could see the waterfalls, the pastures, the jungle, and the mountains, all so beautiful like one can only dream of! Kip cuddled wise Bate and tears started rolling down his eyes. His dream has come true!
“Just believe son, just believe!” Elder Slorer whispered.

P.S. The story has been selected for filming a three and half minute animation movie which will be released by the end of May 2010

The Gift

Giant cherry rose from the east and slowly turned orange! Dawn bathed the earth with its glow. And like a fearless robber, sunbeams streamed, from the window panes, into the room and robbed her of laziness from the last night. May felt her arm muscles stretching the warmth in the blood, chasing the cold gathered of sleep away. She opened her eyes smiled a song in the world and rose from the bed. Morning it is!
As she opened the door, her dog Kip came running for an early frolic, as if he was waiting the whole night just for that. Then she greeted her mother and set herself up for the daily chores.

May made beautiful paintings. The whole world knew her for the artist she was. She emblazoned the black and white sketches with such perfection and exquisiteness, it seemed that universe of colours existed to be variegated just by her. Every night she would take the brushes and colourful pigments to imbue the dead sheets with the vibrant life she was made of.

After the breakfast, she took a look at the paintings from last night, gave a thought or two to some and then walked up to her school. But she was alone as no classmates would gossip with her or share their jokes nor would any parents return her greetings or allow their children to befriend her. The whole town of Blume was jealous of May and she could not understand why? Once, in order to make friends she made portraits of all the children in the town and gave them as presents, still nobody came with her. She asked her mother about it and she said that they are just jealous of how beautiful, sweet and gifted she is. But could a child’s mind comprehend such idiotic thinking of human psyche? She was too innocent to believe her mother but did wonder how she really looked like but there were no mirrors back then, the pond in Blume was too dirty to look at anything and no one would draw her.

So every evening she would watch the neighbourhood children play in the fields while she would sit alone with Kip. No one would invite her, nor take in their groups. At first, she did not care but as days passed, slowly she turned sad and secluded. Even Kip felt estranged because she would not play with him anymore. And finally it all appeared in her paintings as they turned dull and dingy. Every evening she would hope that tomorrow will be a different day full of friends and joy.

It was the night of meteorite falls when her mother seeing her sad said “Pray it to the falling stars and they shall answer your wishes.” May looked at the sky, closed her eyes and with her heart she prayed to those millions of stars. She felt the stars are falling as if to bring a boon, falling as if to revitalise the world, falling as if to liven up every life and she remembered them all night. She felt that something is about to happen, something is about to change and she slept a deep peaceful slumber.

When she woke up there by her side was a gift. The door was locked from inside so she knew mother could not have put it. She was surprised! As she turned on top of it was written,
“Be yours,
whatever you asked,
whatever you dreamed of,
whatever you whispered to the stars,
the stars shall bring you!”

Suddenly she felt a great deal of excitement. She unwrapped the box as quickly as she could. Her heart was pounding with the speed of a cheetah. She wondered whether there would be magic, she wondered whether there would be friends, she wondered whether there would be happiness, her horse of imagination galloped free in the vast fields of dreams and hopes. She opened it, took out the gift and there it was looking onto her, the most beautiful girl in the whole world, smiling in amazement, filled with joy, animated with life. It was a mirror!

Suddenly she knew why the whole world was jealous of her. Suddenly she knew that her mother was right. She opened the door to greet the most miraculous dawn in her life. Kip sensed it and ran into her for he knew she was happy and he wanted his May back. She opened her arms wide for the hug but as Kip jumped on her, she lost the hold of the gift and the mirror fell onto ground and broke into millions of pieces. And all the joy of May turned into tears! In anger she pushed Kip away, yelled at him, went into her room and slammed the door. She could not believe her dream was broken so soon and started to cry.

After she had calmed down, Kip came and started to bark and pull her out of the room. She knew it was not his mistake and so playfully caressed him and when she came out of the room, she couldn’t believe her eyes. The broken pieces were growing big and right before her they all turned into mirrors and the whole house began to glow in the town of Blume. In amazement all the people came running. They had never seen a thing like that and all wanted to have one. May took all the mirrors and gave it to every child in Blume and they looked into it how beautiful they were.

Everything changed for May and they all became her friends for such a wonderful gift. For the first time everyone wanted to take May in their group and in the evening she played with them until she was empty of every ounce of energy she had.
At night she looked at the sky and thanked the stars. She took out the gift again to look at her smiling face and felt something in its back. When she turned the gift and on the back it was etched,
“May every kid know how beautiful they are!
May every child realise, the real gift!”
And May understood it all!