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!

Monday, June 13, 2011

A Tragic Death Story

Aman finally broke down when he visited his school teachers home. When he was in 8th class, one Tuesday, he came to school only to realize that he left his homework copy at his desk. Mr. Neeraj Pandey, his English teacher was one furious man. When Aman could not produce his homework, he took his stick, broken off from a bamboo tree and hit him 3 on each palm. Usually Aman would not say a word, afraid that he might get more punishment. After the class he would just yell at Shekhar, who was the class monitor and in charge of bringing sticks. Rascal would never ever say that he did not find a stick. He always gets one and always a good one. He was brilliant at studies and must have something against the rest of the class. Probably his ego was too big and had no heart. But today was a different day; Aman had done his homework and missed the copy. When teacher went to Shekhar and he produced his homework, neat, correct and perfectly done, the teacher could not stop praising his sincerity. He looked towards other students in contempt, a contempt that meant that they were all worthless. When the teacher took his eyes towards Aman while preaching the class about learning from the attitude and hard work of the topper of the class, Aman could not keep it.
"Sir I did do homework. I just forget my notebook. You don't need to praise him so much."

No one ever dared to speak up straight against Mr. Neeraj's authority. He came all enraged towards Aman and slapped him so hard, the sound echoed from the walls. When he lifted his hands again, Aman grabbed him and slapped back as hard as he could and he did not stop. He kept beating his teacher up. But it was almost like the scene when elder and younger brother fight over an argument and the elder always beats the younger one up. When Aman found that he was terribly overpowered and Mr. Neeraj had been insulted enough, he just ran away. Aman was suspended for 15 days. It was his father's repeated requests, almost begging the Principal not to put him out of school that saved him a year. He also had to apologize to the English teacher. Aman, however, also had to say "Sorry." after being forced and threatened by his father and the Principal of the school. Next year Aman was admitted to a different school but he did not do well in studies after the incident. His anger destroyed his education.

15 years had passed since the incident. Who remembers such a thing after 15 years? After all, things like this do happen in all schools where students are vulnerable to punishments. But why was Aman at Mr. Neeraj's home today? Has revenge brought him back? Does he still blame his teacher for loss in his career?
When the door opened, a fragile man came out, wearing his glasses trying to recognize the face in front of him. Mr. Neeraj had grown more than his age. Seeing a healthy man in mid-thirties, he thought, probably would be there to collect some bills or collect donation money for some charity.
"Who are you?"
"Aman who?"
"Do you remember having rough time in the school in 1988?"

Mr. Neeraj thought for a while. An old man going back in time, counting tragedies that every year had brought, it takes a while to go 15 years back. When his memories did reach the year 1988, his mouth was left open in fear and in anger.

Why was Aman here? He must be here today to show that he did become a big man without his English teachings after all. What a fool! How big his ego must be to come back years later for that? Or is he here for revenge?

"What do you want?" the bitterness and agony of 15 years came stronger in his voice than his thoughts.
"I just want to talk sir. There is something I want to say. Can I come in?"
Pretty dare thing to ask an enraged and bitter old man. He did not want to but Mr. Neeraj had no choice, he did let him in. Servant brought water for them and soon came back with tea. The old man was cursing his servant for not knowing how to treat guests and shameless people like the one sitting right there.
"So how have you been? How is life?"
"It is good sir."
"I heard from Shekhar that you managed to get a diploma."
"Yes sir."
"So did you get a job too?"
"I did get a job but then I left it only recently."
Must have been fired, Mr. Neeraj thought, sipping his tea with utmost pleasure while listening to his ruined life.
"What did you do?" He asked without showing much interest, apparently.
"I worked as a draftsman."
"How much did you get?"
"Rs. 3000 per month sir."

Who would pay you more than that? The old man's soul was getting satisfied by the misery of his own student.

"Good." He said viciously.
"How are you sir?" Aman asked politely. The soft tone almost touched old man's heart. He retreated and replied with his firm voice.
"How would an old man be? I am good. Waiting to die you know. I wish I had more students like you to teach." He said contemptuously but Aman did not seem to feel bad.
"How is madam sir?"

It almost came as a shock to him. Was he trying to hurt him by asking such a question? Did he not know that they divorced long ago?

"We are separated, Aman." He wanted to sound bitter but the feeling of loneliness curbed him.
"Oh I’m sorry sir."

As if you are really sorry raising such a question only to make me feel bad. The old man was indeed feeling sad at being separated and felt it was cruel to have been asked about it. But he also knew it was his anger that drove his wife and his children away but right now he wanted to be angry and the conflict made him restless. He was about to say that he has some work to attend to and it was nice meeting him when it occurred to him to ask about the visit.

"So Aman why did you come to meet me after all these years? Any work you have got?"
"No sir."
He waited for Aman to speak but he didn't, so he just added

He waited getting more and more uncomfortable and impatient with the silence that held them, when Aman broke.
"Sir, I am here to apologize for what I did."

So his life did teach him a lesson. Mr. Neeraj felt proud now. He felt triumphed and viciously happy more than he had been in many, many years. As more tears fell from Aman's eyes, more satisfied did he feel. But Aman did not stop, his tearful silence turned into sobbing and then into inconsolable gasps.

The old man's arrogance immediately melted like candle wax and he took him in his weak, shivering arms.

"It was long ago Aman, forget it. Don't feel so bad. You had said sorry even then."
"No sir I mean it this time."
He clutched his teachers arms and said,
"Sir, I made a mess of my life after the incident. I did not care about anything. I became arrogant, careless and rude. I saw myself getting destroyed everyday but my anger did not let me save myself."

Yes indeed that must have happened. The old man had seen such people all his life. They regret for what happened but never change. It appears to be one such hopeless case. What a waste!

"And Sir I then became lethargic, oblivious and opposed to everything. I blamed you for everything that had happened and never tried to get up. Later I used you as an excuse for making my life miserable...until...until one day when I fell sick."
"What happened Aman?"
"I was suddenly afraid of things..."
"I suffered from flu and I became violent. Doctor said it was depression but it felt different. I got treatment for everything but my condition was growing weird and I suffered from terrible headache."
"What has happened to you Aman?" Suddenly the old man got nervous and concerned with his situation. After all he was his student once and he did like his hard work while in school even when he had only once managed to beat Shekhar.
"When everything failed, my parents took me to tantrics to get rid of the evil spirits from me but even then things did not improve. At last my uncle forced us to try at AIIMS and give one more chance to doctors. They admitted me for 3 weeks. They tell me I am no good sir. I have got a disease called rabies sir. They tell me I will die like a dog. May be I deserve it sir." The last sentence pinched Mr. Neeraj so hard that he drowned in guilt of the pride he felt earlier. How wicked human mind could be? How cruel life could be? He looks like such a fine young man and is about to die! Why? Why it has to be so?
"Sir I wanted to say sorry for everything I did. I could not have died with so much guilt in me." The English teacher started crying.
"Sir I just came to confess that I always felt bad for what I did but still blamed you all my life. Only when I saw my end did I realize that I had no time to blame and whatever life I had, I wasted it all...But I feel better now. I feel lighter now sir. I am thankful you did not shrug me off from the door."
"No son I did you wrong. You don't have to be sorry for anything."

The old man could not stop his tears. Even when it was his student who needed courage for his very last days, he could not offer him even that. He tried to be strong to tell him that he did not hate him so much, that he loved him in school, that sometimes he really wished that the unfortunate wrestle would not have happened, that he sometimes even thought about him and wished that he do good in life... But it all seemed to be futile now. It seemed to be too late.

And the thought of it broke him even more. He could not help himself over it as he escorted Aman to his father who had come to pick him up. Teary eyed, he wished Aman peace for the rest of the days.

The English teacher was the last person Aman had to meet. Everyone he met- his friends, relatives, chai walah, people who did not know him, cried. But he did not expect the old man to be so weak too. He always seemed to be such a strong man in class. May be life and loneliness from separation had torn him apart.

2 months later Aman died a death of dog, chained to the hospital bed, hallucinating, partially paralysed, salivating and afraid of everything. He had lost himself; he was no more a human being. The disease had completely consumed him. Life did not spare him, neither did death. But at the very last moment, before dying, when he saw his teacher, his best friends, his parents around, his eyes did speak out loud; he really wished he had a better life.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Magical Drink

One day the king and queen of Satpura province decided to go for hunting. Early in the morning they left towards jungle with artillery weapons, food, water and a group of ten soldiers.
A long time passed but they did not find any animal in the jungle. It disappointed the king and the queen. So after lunch they decided to go a little further but asked the soldiers to stay there and wait for them until they return.
As they moved ahead the jungle got darker and darker. The queen spotted a deer wandering behind the bushes. They started following it carefully watching their path from stepping over snake or scorpions. Near a small pond amid big sal trees the deer stopped to drink water, when the king decided to hunt him. As he shot the arrow the deer turned into a big evil ghost who angrily turned towards the king,
“You have enraged me. Now I’ll eat you both.”
Stories of a ghost in the jungles of Satpura were known from quite a long time. He had tricked and killed many innocent people before also. So the king decided to fight with him. The brave king, with his bows and arrows wounded the ghost but before running away he sneezed on the king and queen and due to his poisonous saliva they fell sick.
They returned to the kingdom weak and tired. Day by day their condition worsened. All the doctors of the kingdom were summoned but none could treat them and the wounded angry ghost had started to haunt and target the villagers near the jungle.
Worried, the king called his guru for help. The Guru said,
“In the Himalayan mountains lives a Dadi, she knows many magical drinks that could treat the king and queen.”
So the king and the queen went to the Himalayas and asked Dadi for help. Dadi asked the king to tell the whole incident, the colour and smell of the poisonous saliva and about the sickness. Then she thought for a while and said,
“I have one magical drink that can treat you both.”
She went into the kitchen and brought back a white drink. She asked the king and queen to stay there in her hut and drink it every day to get well soon. After a week the king and queen regained their strength. To express his gratitude, the king brought fruits for her, repaired her hut and promised to visit and take care of her. With her blessings they returned to the Satpura kingdom.
Next day the king chased and captured the ghost haunting the villagers and killed him with his strength. He went back to thank Dadi and praised the white drink which later came to be known as milk.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

She Is Alone

The house to the west of Saket Garden was hardly ever lively. Tainted paint and texture of water leakage on the walls of building resembled to the poorly managed college hostels. Its second floor was one of those places which always seem to be deserted. No one lives and no one cares. Windows remained closed, no one ever came to its balcony and there was never a sound. But when you look at it, a tinge of curiosity prevails on your face. No one likes emptiness; no one has to be so lonely. Not even this floor. The curiosity to know was eating Sohit up, day and night, for the past one month. Since he had shifted to the building across the road he could not ignore it.

Once he invited his local friend Shanu and asked her about it but she did not seem to care either. It must be one of those unoccupied apartments in the area, she said. This did not answer Sohit's questions at all. But did he know the questions himself? He had an increasingly growing urge to discover something about it. The feeling was almost burning him from inside. He has to find out about it on his own or his thoughts will eat him alive. For some reason he was suspicious and fearful of what he may find. So he decided to make paper chits of the days from Monday to Sunday and then lift one randomly. Thursday it came and that was it! He left the consequences to fate.

On Thursday morning it rained so he postponed his quest till evening. He had waited weeks for this day and not being able to go there proved to be terribly unsettling. He could not finish his lunch. He almost felt choked inside. The unknown fear was driving him crazy. Was there something that was trying to stop him from going? Is it really empty? Is it a ghost house? Is there someone dead inside? Not able to contain the puzzling outbursts, he left for the building in the afternoon itself. The door to the apartment was closed. He raised his hand and as he was about to knock, he stopped and decided against it. He went up and knocked on the apartment on the third floor. No one answered. He went down and knocked on the apartment on ground floor. To add to his fears, no one answered there either. He returned to his room as soon as he could.

That night, the lights on the second floor were lit. The windows still remained closed. There was no vehicle in the parking of the building. Sohit had asked his retail shop person about the building and he had said that everyone went home on vacations. He avoided asking anything particular to the second floor. He did not really care about the rest of the people living there. Something had got him obsessed with that particular floor only. Having no clue what to do, he did not dare to go there again.

One week later a boy came to his apartment and said that someone has asked for him from across the building. It was evening, Sohit turned towards the building and the lights only on second floor were lit. The day has come he said. He let the boy go and went towards the building as calmly as he could. As he started climbing the stairs, his steps turned heavy, his breath began to burden. He stopped for a while to let his heartbeats get normal but heard someone coming up so continued to climb thinking that he would wait for a few minutes outside the apartment. When he reached the second floor, the door was open. He was surprised but had no choice except to carry on with his fears. Trembling, as he entered from the door, he felt like submitting himself in the hands of doom. He was taken aback with what he saw! The room was filled with photographs of French girls, Switzerland, London, ocean line, forests and portraits. When no one came for a while he thought of stepping outside and waiting there but spent a few more minutes looking over pictures and the expensive decoration in the room. As he turned back to move out, he almost screamed! A girl was standing right behind him.

“Hi!” she said.
“Hi!” he was still trying to catch his breath.

"I was alone and was thinking of inviting someone then this boy told me that you are new in the vicinity. So..."

Sohit stopped listening. "But that happens only in movies!" he said to himself. He was still trying to feel normal

"It’s so kind of you to do that. Thanks!" he said.
“Would you like to give me company for some time? I was waiting for my friends but they are all busy and I don’t like to be lonely. I would appreciate if you could stay for a while. Is that okay with you?” she said in her soft persuasive tone.

“Sure. I was lonely as well.” Sohit was having the best day of his life. A beautiful girl was willing to spend the evening with him. What more could he ask?

"Well that’s just great! I am a photographer…” She quickly interrupted herself and said “Oh! Let’s talk over coffee."

She led him to her drawing room which looked more like a bed room and went to make some coffee.

"Is this happening for real?" “First day and she is showing me her bedroom.” Sohit thought.
Wild imaginations filled his head. He was stupid to have kept himself afraid and away when such a sexy and friendly girl was living right in front of his building. The throwing of chits made him feel even more stupid. He carefully looked at the pictures, music collection, curtains, yellow lights that glowed behind the windows and...

She came and immediately started talking.
"So I had this idea of capturing people's life in fragments, you know? They would be like real puzzles."

Then she showed him the lives of the people she had captured. Not everything seemed to be related. Some photographs were particularly disturbing, others simply hilarious.

"The idea is quite intriguing. I never saw things this way."

"Exactly! Do you like to see it this way?"

"I am not sure." Sohit could not make out most of what she was talking and wasn't sure how she was taking him. Frankly speaking he never had an intellectual sort of conversation with a girl before. And this seemed to be going too tangled to make a meaning out of it. This was her bed room and she certainly has called him for some reason but to talk about her hobbies.

She probably read his mind and said, "Tell me something weird about you."

That is the way it outta go boy! Sohit was in the ninth cloud of wildest imaginations.

"Well, I like thinking about people I have never met, never seen and never heard of." Fitted perfectly to the present case he thought proudly.

"And what about people you have met?"
For the first time in life, he was having a naughty feeling about how this might end. He was behaving quite unlike himself he secretly accepted.

Their conversation slowly progressed and became quite intimate. There was nothing they did not talk about dating, love, one night stands, and occasional pleasures. Amongst all love was their most hated topic and neither talked much about it. Both agreed that it is just a concept and one should only believe in living in the present moment.

They had dinner together at a fine restaurant near the garden and on the way back she moved slowly. Sohit had heard of people meeting in clubs and discs, who end up on beds. He believed them to be mere stories but now he was expecting to be part of one of those stories. As they reached near her building, she turned towards him and said good bye. Well this was not what Sohit expected to happen all of a sudden and he had to resist all his temptation to ask for some more time. It wasn't a good idea to be all demanding and desperate on the very first day you meet someone. So he also waved her good night. “She is gonna be around”, he said to himself and grinned.

Returning to his apartment, he was the happiest man alive on the planet. He could scream, run madly, sing songs, say anything to anyone, jump; he even thought he could fly if he let go from the top of building. His happiness had more signs of desperation than satisfaction.

“What was her name?” he suddenly asked himself. “Stupid, stupid, stupid!” he refrained and cursed on his stupidity. He stood there for a while thinking about going back to her. It makes perfect sense to go back saying he forgot to ask her name. “That doesn’t sound like a pretext.” he made himself believe. But then he continued moving. May be she didn’t tell the name on purpose. May be she wants him to return to her at night. He enjoyed the thought of it, as he kept moving to his apartment.

On his way up, there were marks of footsteps on the stairs. Probably people had come to meet him. May be Shanu was here to leave some message. When he reached on his floor open lock was hanging on the door. God, he was so stupid to even forget locking the door properly! When he entered from the door he was shocked by the view. His apartment had been robbed and thrashed! There were just papers and broken pieces of furniture all over the place. What should he do now? For a moment he even felt that it would be an opportunity to go to the girl next building and ask her to let him stay there tonight. He felt stupid, poor, robbed but secretly proud as well. Anyways he needed some help to deal with the situation and immediately went to the girl’s apartment.

Having a sorrowful and helpless face, he reached to the second floor of the next building. The door was still open. She was indeed expecting him. He thought about how he would tell her about robbery, ask her for help, she might say it happened because of her which he would deny, probably will go to police station with her for reporting the theft and then stay at her apartment at night. He entered confidently, with mixed feelings, and as he did,


There was not a piece of belonging left in the apartment!
She was alone and she had robbed them both!

“What was her name again?” he said and kicked himself as hardly as he could.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Arguments: Story of Two Mice

In the jungle, one day two rats were fighting over their supremacy.

Lui: “One day a cat was after me, I turned around and warned her not to try to catch me but she did not abide by. I held her ears stretched and banged my slap on her face. She did not wake up for a week.”
Dui: “That is nothing. One day I challenged a cat to catch me but she refused so I challenged her ten friends to catch me but they refused. On the night when I was sleeping they captured me and tied me on the tree. While they beat me up all day and night long, I was yawning. After they were tired I gently flexed my muscles, the tree fell on them and I walked away.”

Lui: “Oh that is nothing! One day my mother was captured by pirates and they took her far in the middle of ocean. I sprinted on the water reached their ship and made a hole at the bottom. The ship sank; I took my mother and swam back.”

Dui: “Are you proud of that!? The pirates once held all of my family including me and put us in their jail on the ship. A thunderstorm struck the ship and it started drowning. The pirates could not do anything so I broke the jail and challenged the thunderstorm. Angry thunder storm struck me with lightening, I jumped on the sea and I heated up so much from the striking lightening that the sea dried. Later, the pirates apologized and carried us back to the jungle.”

Lui: “Once a kite flew over my house and when I came out he captured me with his claws and took me away. Then he threw me to his Kite boss for food. Kite boss asked me “Are you afraid?” I laughed at him. He said “Why are you laughing?” I laughed loudly. He said “Aren’t you afraid of dying?” I held his beak, tied it with a rope; straightened his wings with sticks and flew the world using him as glider. When the Kite boss begged for forgiveness I landed on my house and set him free. He now scavenges my enemies.”

Dui got afraid but he could not turn his back so he punched again.

Dui: “Once a Kite abducted me and he threw me to his Kite boss. When I told them I was Dui both of them escaped. Next morning I took a bow and arrows and shoot both of them down.”

Lui got irritated. His every story was thrashed by the story of Dui. Frustrated he started yelling on Dui that he is a liar, his stories are rubbish they started fighting. Listening to the noise other rats gathered around them, enjoying the show. While they were wrestling, punching on faces breaking each other’s tooth, suddenly they heard the ground go “Thump! Thump! Thump!” Lui saw to his left and found all the rats stamped on the ground then Dui saw it to his right then both of them looked up and saw giant elephants were passing by. They saw a foot rising and coming over them. “Thump!” they escaped. “Thump!” they escaped again. “Thump! Thump! Thump!” The group of elephants ran all over. When they had passed, Lui-Dui stood together and found the crushing foots buried everyone and everything around them. They looked towards each other thinking about their arguments earlier, grinned with their broken teeth and holding each other, returned back to their homes.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Bird without beak

Morning whispered its noise in the ears of the jungle, yawning and curling the living woke up.Flexing their limbs and stretching the faces their eyes slowly welcomed the sunlight. In no time the whispered noise turned to a loud continuous chatter.

A bird flew from her nest, flapping and soaring and gliding in the air moving up and down, occasionally facing the whoosh of the breeze coming from the jungle Peech. Looking for the breakfast, she hovered and alighted on the huts and houses in the nearby village Sat-Tal. Generous people of the village loved the birds and would put seeds, rice and food leftovers from last night in front of their houses. Large groups of birds would come every morning and afternoon in the village to fill their belly. They would fight amongst themselves for the tastiest food, feed their offsprings and would carry boiled and soaked food to their children in the nests. Villagers would love watching and talking about them. Our bird, Chiki was also one of the naughty ones from the groups. But one day a gang of hunters came to the jungle Peech and everything changed for her.

It was mating season for the birds when Chiki fell in love with Choker and conceived children. They were very happy and it was the first time Chiki would become a mother. Every morning Choker would get ready to bring food for Chiki but she would insist and go along with him. Chiki could not leave him alone, so madly she was in love with him. Other birds were jealous of Chiki's love for Choker. It was sometime in the spring when new leaves and buds were rejoicing their birth on the plants and flowers were blossoming when Chiki gave birth to three cute little birds. The newborns were very noisy and demanding, they would cry for food all day and Chiki-Choker would make hundreds of trips to the village to bring enough food for them. The loved their babies.

One day a gang of hunters visited the jungle as tourists. They came with the intention of hunting rabbits and had guns with them. One of the shooters saw a rabbit and started following him. After trailing for a while the rabbit sensed it being followed and instead of running on ground climbed on the tree. The shooter prepared! He sat down quietly and set his target. As he shot the rabbit escaped, the bullet skipped to the next tree and hit Chiki. Swirling in the air by the impact Chiki fell on the ground.

When Chiki opened her eyes all the birds had gathered. There was a lot of noise, some who witnessed the incident were telling others, some cursing the hunters, some felt viciously happy and others just joined the crowd. No one was really bothered about her. Chiki closed her eyes again and the image of her babies appeared in her mind and suddenly she could hear them chirruping and crying for food. Anxious Chiki stood up and saw Choker sitting by the nest, sad with tears. She flew to him and cuddled near the neck. As she did the pain from the beak gripped her and made her restless.

Next morning Choker went to bring food to the babies, Chiki was weak and in too much pain to fly. Choker made hundreds of trips to the village but the babies were still hungry and so was Chiki. Choker did not know what to do. When he asked other birds to help they advised him to leave Chiki and that she was useless anyways now. Others also made fun of the broken beak. Slowly the lower beak also gave away from the crack obtained by the impact of bullet and this left Choker completely confused and one night he slipped away quietly.

Finding herself alone with kids in the morning, Chiki knew he had left. She flew to the village for food but with broken beak could not carry much and the rice and seeds would fall. Tirelessly she tried all day but could not bring enough even for one baby. Faced upon by such a situation she had decided that she would try to save the healthiest baby but even that did not seem possible. This broke her completely.

It had rained last night in the jungle and the nest broke due to the thunderstorm. Chiki spent all night keeping the babies safe and since dawn repaired the nest. It was tough for her. Without enough food, help and hope she was getting weak and was worried about the babies who were getting weaker day by day and would not fight and cry much anymore.

She went to get food from the village. Tired she could hardly fly had become very slow. She rested in the village for a while. When she returned one of her babies was not very well. Worried she fed him and cuddled but the baby did not survive long. It was the cold from the last night's rain and starvation that had suffered. Tears started to pour from the Chiki's eyes she could not contain the fear of future anymore but she gathered all her courage and brought food for the two babies. But they did not survive long either. Within 2 days of the rain they fell sick and died. Chiki was left alone, weak, withered and hungry. She could not even feed herself with the broken beak. Slowly she was also dying in hunger and she decided to die.

She dragged herself to the near pond where she thought she would drown and die. Probably some crocodile or other animal would eat her. She went to the pond and looked in it. She could hardly identify herself. As she closed her eyes the younger image appeared in her mind but as she opened the withered image appeared again. Chiki closed her eyes again. She wanted to remember how young and happy she was before she dies. And with that image in her mind she jumped in the pond.

As she drowned into the pond floor something unusual happened and a small fish got caught between her beaks which clutched the fish like jaws. She could not even die peacefully. Angrily she tried to get rid of the fish and cuts it and eats the fish! She came out of the pond and dipped her beak again in the water and another fish was clutched. Dipped again and another fish and another. Other birds gathered to see what was happening and suddenly the new ability of broken beaks to catch fish took all birds by surprise. Happy, Chiki started running around, jumping, fluttering, flapping and screaming. Soon she became famous in the jungle as miracle bird and would help the weak birds by bringing them fish.

Even when she thought everything was lost she found that not all was gone. She just did not know what there was!