Saturday, September 8, 2012

Some food for thought

           I remember being once told by a teacher of mine that going to the temple in Kalyug will amount to "punya" or good points equivalent to praying daily in any other time :P
           I wondered if God had some kind of excel sheet with our names and entered points against it. :P Years later the same thought came back to me. Only the situation and people were different.
           On Tuesday ( For loss of memory on what special day that was, I will refer it as a special Tuesday :D ) there was some game scoring event in the court of Lord Ganesh.
           If you fast on this particular day, it is equivalent to fasting on 18 tuesdays. Or so they say.
           One of my very God fearing and religious friend decided to take advantage of the situation. The day started with a positive note for her as she could not finish her breakfast :P
           The rest of the day she could snack on "upvas" chips. Yea, the same ones which also can be eaten as "diet" chips. Get the logic?
           I asked her why she was keeping the fast and she replied, " It is equivalent to fasting for 18 days and also I get to eat special sweets once I go home."
           Come lunch time and the canteen fellow made Sabudana vada for the religious and starving students. Do I need to tell he make a good profit that day? So my friend devoured on the Sabudana vadas for lunch followed by dessert. I questioned the hypocrisy of the whole situation only to be shut up by another one who said " Aye, Upvas me ye sweet dish chalta hai". Point to be noted- The said sweet dish is a Bengali sweet laiden with calories which exceed half the the calorie requirements for the day.
           The day at college ended with a fruit to have enough energy to board the train back home.

           some other day.
             Three of us stood at the platform waiting for the train. I had a packet of peanuts in hand. I gave the other two half of them. A little girl came begging to us.
            The fasting, religious one gobbled up her share at the sight of the girl. I gave the girl my packet of peanuts. The other friend offered me half the share of what I had given her, while someone tried to swallow with difficulty :P
           It saved us both the calories and a little girl snacked happily on our share of calories :D

           Rather than starving yourself (which you obviously do not), feeding someone else is more fulfilling. Keeping accounts of punya is not your job and there definitely is no monsoon sale on it going on! 
           Recently I heard a radio jockey say, " The value of money increases when you share"
           If you buy lunch for yourself for Rs 1000, the value of that money is just Rs 1000.
           If you buy lunch for 4 other people in that same Rs 1000, its value increases to Rs 5000 because you are feeding not just yourself, but 4 other people!
           Beautiful thought, isn't it?
           Share while you have the capacity to share. Its not in everybody's destiny to be a giver :)

Sunday, August 19, 2012

A big hello from Cloud nine..

             Hello readers,
             Yes I resurfaced from the dead period called Writer's block :P
             Don't ask me where I was because I was very much alive and kicking and lazying around other blogs.
             Although this is no post where I write fiction, I do have something else to offer.
             I got this invite to write on the amazing blog called Mystical Skeptical Me by the beautiful owner and my dear friend MSM :) She's been generous in encouraging me and absolutely delightful in flattery and she's done my ego some serious good :D
             After a trial of writing on spirits, here's presenting Wooden Dreams on Fire which I wrote after a lot of deliberation and research. Its a different genre I m exploring and I hope you will like it :)
            Visit  Mystical Skeptical Me and I m sure you will be hooked by her :)

             Ending here for now. The next post will definitely be soon :)


Thursday, June 21, 2012

Justice prevailed.. Concluding part

      Read Part 1Part 2Part 3     
           On another plane, infinite time..

        The Master awaited the response of the learner.
        "Yes, I now realise why I had to leave.."
        " Would you want to introspect more? You are healthy now to enter the cycle again if you choose."
        " I want to rest here for sometime.. Master, did I hurt that spirit too much to not enter the cycle again?" asked the learner.
        " When you entered the cycle, you chose your fate yourself. You chose to see from the other side. You  ended a life when it was about to get all that it wanted. To experience the same pain, you were called back when you were at the peak of your happiness. The life you put an untimely end to, had no idea what was going to happen to it. The spirit was too hurt to enter a new life again. With much time to rejuvenate life energy and nursing the broken self, it entered the cycle again." the Master explained.
         " I understand now the pain it causes. I have learnt my lesson. I worked all life in difficult conditions. All that mattered in my life was snatched away at a young age. I didn't give up. I toiled to make that life work. I yearned for the union with my beloved. I dreamt of a better life for my mother and sister. I lost it all. I couldn't enjoy that in the physical plane." lamented the learner.
          "Everyone is balancing their karma. You have negated some of yours. The crime you committed in the heat of the moment had consequences which shattered the dreams of that spirit and those associated with it. Your beloved and mother are there to live their own experiences and learn. You all will ascend the spiritual level only after you have learnt in these lives and till then you have to continue the cycle."
         The master left the learner to think back upon his life and learn his lessons till he was thorough with it.
         The learner was Raju..
         Raju was no one but Manoj- the Driver, in another life...

         On yet another spiritual plane..
         " You have lived the promise you made.. There are yet many cycles where you will have to guard her." The Master said.
         "I shall protect her all I can. "
         " You have healed her  in the physical plane, but spiritually she still might be scared of you."
         " I was wrong to have ended her life.. I took my time to arrive on this decision and  I m ready to undergo multiple lifecycles to compensate for what I did to her." the spirit assured
         "You are bound to her. Your spirit is attracted to her in every life. You shall protect that spirit in whatever capacity you can. Her friend, her mate, her father, her mother, her sibling.. Your life is bound to her life.."
         " Master, I will be her protector in every capacity.."
          The Master smiled at his disciple. Not long before his disciple would again have to enter the cycle with another soul..
          Aashman-the protector, none other than Abhijit

         The Master went to the spirit which was in its resting phase.
         " Are you happy with your decision to enter the cycle?" he asked.
         " I entered with apprehensions. I couldn't dare to experience the physical joys and then the ghastly accident that took it all away. But yes Master, my this life was less traumatic. Not traumatic at all in comparison to what I lived before."
          "You have ascended that level of pain. Now you have learnt enough to deal with the next one successfully." he smiled.
          The spirit smiled at the Master.
          No points for guessing Sneha.. IT was Alka
         So what do  you feel? Justice Prevailed???? 

The story is inspired from a small excerpt in the chapter 'So called bad lives" from the book "Conversations with the spirit" 

Doctor: You said that no higher deity punishes you, that people do these things to themselves. Suppose someone had been a murderer. How would they punish themselves?
Spirit: They can choose to go back and for instance, have to leave that existence at the prime of their life when they are the happiest. In that way they are punishing themselves because they are putting themself in the place of the person whose life they cut down, at whatever time. They have to know what it feels like. They have to see it from the other side.
Something violent like a murder committed in the heat of passion will take several lifetimes to pay back and those ways of repaying are as numerous as the times it has been done.
Generally what happens is that in their future lifetimes they will continually be involved in a close relationship of some sort with the person they murdered.
And that is usually an antagonistic type of relation. Because the person they murdered finds that for some reason they fear or hate this person and doesn't understand why.
And meanwhile this person, the murderer, feels compelled to know them and be around them because he wants to make up for what he did in the past lifetime.

P.S: We so often wonder why someone died at such a prime age and what wrong could he possibly have done. Could this be the reason?
The strongest bond we know is between a mother and her child.  Could it be a design that she is compelled to love us in that bond? The same book says that you enter into a bond with your enemy in next lifetime, which makes you compelled to love them. Who is compelled to love you? Whose love has no control? Your parents and siblings right? Could they possibly be your enemy of the last lifetime??
Interesting isn't it?

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Justice prevailed Part 3

        Read Part 1 and Part 2   
Set sometime in the future..

               She kept looking around nervously. It was her first day in college and she didn't want to make a fool of herself with anything. She adjusted her glasses one more time like she always did in confusion.
              "Excuse me!!" called out a girl from behind her.
              She looked  back, tensed.
              "Sneha Gulati right??" asked the red headed girl who was in shorts and T-shirt. She had a tatoo on her neck. Sneha had heard how seniors cornered the freshers on the pretext of being friends.
               "Yes.. " she mouthed, unsure if her voice reached the red headed girl.
               "Hey chill, I m going to be your partner in today's events." she said blowing her gum.
               "What event?" Sneha asked worried.
               "Just some ice breaking stuff the seniors have planned.. " she replied
               "Ragging??" Sneha questioned softly making sure no one else heard.
               The girl laughed. "From which era have you come girl! Ragging was banned years back.. It is just harmless games that are going to be played. I m in your class. Oh I m Dia Awasthi.. I gotta go.. you chill girl..See you in the evening." saying thus she dashed off to meet other girls.
               Sneha kept walking towards the library to get her library card made. This college boasted of the largest library in any university. She had worked very hard to make it here but she was the only one who landed here among her friends, making her feel like a fish out of water.
              She got her card issued and was out of the library building. So engrossed was she in checking the books she got issued that she forgot all about her clumsiness and landed straight on her face as she tripped. Her books made it into the dust.
              Even as she struggled to stand on her feet she could feel the eyes on her and the laughter that she induced. Yes, she had made her impression! What a start!!
             "Are there still places that make glasses???" someone asked to taunt her.
            "No doubt they were done away with decades back! Look at the antique piece!" someone laughed loud.
             "Hey alien, can I touch your glasses?? The last person in my family to have used glasses was my grandfather" he teased as he came to grab her glasses.
              She stifled a cry. Her vision blurred.. Without her glasses she was as blind as a bat. She could never wear lenses as her eyes were sensitive to it.. She was the ugly duckling with glasses..
              "What are you waiting for! Go to your class" he yelled.
               She shivered. She tried to walk ahead but failed to judge the slope and slipped again. This time she closed her eyes, sure that she will again have to taste the mud.
              Instead someone's strong arms held her. She was frightened by his touch. Although he pushed her back onto her feet, he kept holding her till she could regain her posture. She felt herself reeling. She wanted to push away this person. He repelled her.
             "Yash, give her glasses back." he commanded.
             "Bro, what's wrong with you?" asked the surprised guy who was harassing Sneha.
             "I said just.give.her.glasses.back." He shouted aloud. Sneha got her glasses back in no time.

             Sneha put on her glasses and picked up her bag. He handed her books. Without even looking back, she ran off crying.
             She sat on the wooden bench in the college botanical garden. Her arms scratched and her jeans dirty. She dusted off the mud and washed her hand with the water in her bottle. She had never imagined her first day to be this bad. Her thoughts returned to the guy who had helped her. She hadn't seen him properly but she wanted to stay away from him. For some unknown reason, he scared her.
             Aashman kept his gaze fixed on her. He couldn't understand why he wanted to help her. Right now he wanted to wipe away her tears and reduce her pain. He wanted to make her feel confident about herself, to smile..
            "Listen Yash, never ever bother her" he told his friend.
            "I get it dude. But who is she?? anyone you know?" he enquired.
            "yea I have known her for a long time.. " he lied, fully knowing that any other explanation won't work.

           She steered clear from Yash or his friends. She soon found a group of girls who had the same kind of values like her. She became comfortable in this new environment by the end of her first year.
           She was unaware of the fact that there was someone always looking out for her.
           Unaware that she was the only junior who didn't have to act in the drama planned by seniors.
           Unaware of who left chocolates in her locker each time she tripped somewhere.
           Unaware of how someone always helped her in her new assignments.
           She became proud of her for having conquered so many challenges. Confident to face every new day.
           Every time she came in the same passage as Aashman, she stared at the ground till he passed her. She wanted nothing to do with him..not even eye contact. She failed to understand her hatred for him.

          It was the first day of the second year at college. Aashman was waiting at the college entrance on his bike. His friends were not around that day. He went to the near by tea stall and sat sipping his tea. Perfect on a rainy day he thought.
          It was drizzling since morning but it had started pouring in the ten minutes he was at the stall. He thought of going back home. Anyway the lecture would be boring! He was on his way to his bike when he saw her. Sneha was wearing a white salwar kameez that day. Unusual for a girl who came to college in shirt and jeans. She looked like an angel that day. Aashman kept staring at her. For the first time he wondered if he was just protective of this girl or was it something else?
          She was finding it hard to balance her umbrella and her handbag. Like always! he thought. He smiled at the way she carefully made her way as if she feared falling into a deep valley.
          She saw him staring. Oh my God! What had she done now to have his attention. Was she doing anything funny? Little did she notice the speeding car that was blaring at her. She was stunned when she was pushed aside and fell, making her new white dress brown. IT was like a lightening hit her when she saw that Aashman fell on the other side. She got up and saw that he was bleeding.
        She was scared to meet him. What would she say. She had been so rude to him and yet he had saved her. Came in the way of what was her fate. If it weren't for him, she would have been lying on the bed with not just a fracture maybe. Given her luck, she would have broken a lot more than just her leg.
        For the first time she went near him. He was watching football on TV in his deluxe hospital room. She had bought flowers and a get well soon card after much deliberation. He switched off the TV when he saw her.
       "Thanks for saving me.. you didn't have to do it you know.." she said.
       "You are welcome anyway.." he replied, feeling himself softening towards her.
       " You should have let it hurt me."
       " I couldn't.."
       "How long will you keep coming in my way.. If I m destined to get hurt, I will.."
       "As long as I can.. You won't get hurt when I m around.."
        She looked at him with tears in her eyes.. No one had ever said that to her..

       She visited him only once after that in the hospital. His parents had come to take care of him. She made sure she talked to him every day on phone. After his parents left to their hometown she took the responsibility of caring for him. From bringing him lunch to getting his notes and assignments on time. In the month that they came closer, she now felt comfortable with him and didn't fear him. They fell in love with each other without even knowing it..

        2 years after college, Sneha married Aashman.
        He vowed to protect her for a lifetime. She was his responsibility. He kept her from harm's way. She was the sapling which he had nurtured and grown and made into a confident lady. He now lived to take care of her, for her happiness..
        Hold on for the last part and know if Justice Prevailed.. Concluding part to be updated tomorrow..

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Justice Prevailed? Part 2

Read Part 1 Here

        Raju was ironing his shirt when he heard a loud commotion. He carefully switched off the iron lest his new shirt gets burnt. The roof of the small room outside had again started leaking. He must remember to get some dambar (tar) on his way back, he made a mental note. It was his mother who was as usual fighting over her pot of water.
        "Arrre bai, me pehle rakhi thi na baalti, tu kaise ayi re.. Me 15 saal se idhar paani bharti!! Navin ayi kya tu idhar!!"  ( I have kept my tumbler first, how did you come? I have filled water from here for 15 years. Have you come new here?")
        It was the daily hassle of living in a chawl with a common water supply. Raju thanked his stars that atleast this chawl had individual toilets. His  mother forcefully filled the water while still mouthing abuses to the lady who had pushed in her way.
        "Rahu de ga aai, bhara na paani abhi jaane de" ( Let it be mother, you have filled the water now let this matter rest") Raju tried to pacify his mother.
        "Tereko nahi maloom idhar kaisa rehneka!" ( You don't know how to survive here") she shouted at him.
        " Aai, abhi jyada din nahi rehna padega idhar" ( Mother, now we won't have to live here for long)
        This brought a smile on his mother's face.
        "Chal re, tera dabba deti hu. Aaj tera wo intereev hai na" she said and went inside with the water she filled.
        Raju went back to do his ironing. His sister Bela had already ironed and kept his clothes folded. Bela was already 19. In a year or two he would have to get her married. Proposals for girls her age had started streaming in their community but given their financial status no one bothered to ask her. Bela was stark opposite of his mother. His mother was fiercely independent and a fighter. Bela on the other hand was docile and shy. Raju often worried about her. How would she cope with the big bad world?  Once he got a promotion and office quarters to stay in, he would look for a good boy for Bela and marry her off.
       "All the best Dada" she smiled at him. She was the sunshine of their house. Never complaining and always cheerful.
       "Thanks.. Aren't you getting late for college?" he asked her.
       "Dada I m going to Siddhivinayak today after delivering the dabbas. Aai also is coming to pray for you."
        Raju looked at his mother working hard to roll the chapatis in time. She made dabbas for a living. When Raju was studying, she also worked as a maid for some extra income. IT was time he earned for his Aai and Bela to live comfortably.

        He got ready to leave. He touched Aai's feet for blessings. Like everyday he went to the bus stop to find Vidya waiting for him. She was tensed.
        They got into the bus. She worked in a jewellery shop close to Raju's office. Atleast they had this journey time for themselves.
        "Baba has called someone to see me today" she said.
        "It is not the first time na pagal. This time also reject him somehow." Raju told her.
        "He is baba's friend's son. Engineer hai. Baba will not accept my decision this time. Let's tell at home Raju." she pleaded.
         "Please wait for sometime Vidya. Bela is still unmarried." he tried to make her understand.
         This seemed to infuriate her.
         "Raju, Bela is just 19. I m 23 already. Baba is worried that I will not get any match once my age is gone. Just like you are worried for Bela, my Baba is concerned about me."
          For the first time in their relationship, Vidya had raised her voice. She was right. He was making her wait. How long can she avoid marriage? He loved Vidya and did not want to lose her.
         "Raju I understand the hardships you have faced. We have grown up together. I can adjust with whatever we can afford. I will continue to work. We will convince Baba." she herself consoled him.
         "Give me one day Vidya. A lot depends on this promotion. If I get promoted I will get the staff quarters. I can then talk to your father. Please manage this one day."
         She nodded in agreement. He wished he could kiss her then.

         "Mr Raju Sawant, you are called in"
          Raju prayed once more.

         "Bela, tell Aai that I got promoted!!"
         "Really Dada! Congratulation.." she cheered. She called out to Aai "aaai, make dada's favorite dish and sweet."
         "Bela be ready in the evening and buy a new saree for Aai from the money in the locker. I will buy sweets on the way. We have to go to Vidya's house!"
         "Why Vidya's house?" she quizzed.
         "To ask her hand in marriage."
         Aai was angry at Raju. He had not taken her advice in such a big matter. She had wanted Raju to first go to Siddhivinayak to thank the Lord but Raju had insisted on going to Vidya's house. Aai liked Vidya no doubt but was apprehensive about his marriage.
        With lot of talks and convincing, Vidya's Baba finally let go of the engineer and agreed to Raju. Everything was now looking finally alright.
        The next week Raju got allotment in the quarters. He shifted with Aai and Bela. He missed Vidya at the bus stop but that was only a matter of two months and then she too would be living with him. He started talking around in search of a groom for Bela. Aai could now afford to rest at home and Bela started taking beauty parlor courses. She was never too bright in studies but with this course Raju wanted her to be self confident and worthy of filling her own stomach.
        He managed to find a good family for Bela and luckily the family agreed to Bela's marriage also to take place in the same month, a week before Raju's marriage.
       With Bela settled in her new home Raju's dreams soared new heights. He could now concentrate on his life with Vidya. Aai wanted to visit pilgrim with her relatives once they got married.
       On that fateful day, Raju was out to collect his wedding suit on his bike. It was a hot day and he was sweating profusely under his helmet. Was it out of sheer exertion or was it out of heat, he felt his vision blurring. He parked to a side to drink some water. He patted his face dry with a napkin. He let some air get to him and then started back on his bike.
      The next 100 metres sealed his fate. He tried to avoid colliding with a bus which was taking a sharp turn and ended up not seeing the truck behind. It was his last moment turn which left the truck driver helpless to avoid hitting him.
      That day, just 2 days before his marriage, Raju died.

      A year later, Vidya got married to the Engineer her Baba had looked for her.
      Aai stays with her relatives and still makes Dabba for a living.
      Bela works at a parlor and helps her husband to run the house.

Wondering what's the connection???
Read the next part !
(to be continued)

Monday, June 18, 2012

Justice prevailed?

              "Can't wait for 4th Dec..  :* My jaan will then b wid me forever" 
              "Just 2 more weeks ! thoda intezaar.."
              "ek ek pal bhaari ho raha hai.. already booked the honeymoon suite ;)"
               She blushed as she read the last text which didn't go unnoticed by her colleagues in the cab. It was her last day at work. She would be on leave from the next day till her marriage on 4th Dec to her sweetheart. After 4 years of relationship they were now finally going to be married! Her joys knew no bounds.
               The cab came to a halt outside Ruhi's apartment. She hurriedly hugged Alka, "Bye babes, see you at the wedding. I will miss you at the office" and rushed to her apartment.
               Her stop was going to be the next. She looked at Abhijit who was seated near the other window. She checked her phone again.
               "Kya hua? So gayi kya?"
               "Nahi baba.. reaching home in 20 mins. Call u then" 
               "waiting for u :*"
                "Me 2 :*"
               The cab screeched to a stop abruptly. Her cellphone dropped. She bent to pick it up when a hand pulled her to the side and someone tied a cloth on her mouth. The cab door opened and the driver pulled her out and into the bushes. The whole street was deserted. It was 2 am afterall. She had never been in this place. Why, O Why had she not seen the driver take an unknown route? Why had she been so busy texting? Where was Abhijit??
               Her eyes opened in shock as she saw Abhijit approaching and smiling at the driver. The driver moved out as Abhijit undid his belt.
              Every  drop of blood in her body felt frozen. She was numbed. She mustered all her strength to push him as he parted her legs but her body won't move. Why was she feeling lifeless?? She lay there helpless as he violated her...
              Darkness came over her. Abhijit, the most well behaved guy in their team.. he was doing dirty things to her.. and she could do nothing to resist him..
             "Bitch! At last I had you.. You thought you can get away with breaking my heart? Couldn't you see how much I love you? You were just mine and look I had you.." he gave a maddening laugh and pushed her back.
             She lay there for 10 minutes trying to gather what happened. Her memory failed her. She tried to think again when another man preyed on her. She tried to scream but the her screams reached only her ears..
            "Kaha tha na.. ye dawai kamaal hai sahab.. madamji ko na hosh rahega na kuch yaad.. kal sab bhool jayegi.." the driver grinned at Abhijit.
           Abhijit was scared. He had been in love with Alka for more than a year but never said it. It was only when Manoj driver had remarked on the way he kept looking when Alka walked home, he was maddened.
          "Aap toh dekhte hi reh gaye.. madam toh kisi aur ki ho gayi.."
           HE had made this devious plan with Manoj when he was drunk.. Drunk for the first time when Alka had given him her wedding card...

           They pulled her into the car and dropped her just outside her building. She was hardly breathing when they left..
           Abhijit couldn't sleep. He wondered how long it would be before Alka regained conciousness. She wouldn't remember a thing Manoj had said. They would just say that they had dropped her outside the apartment. Even if she did find out that she was raped, she wouldn't tell it.. Not now when she was just 2 weeks away from marriage to Dheeraj. Not after all the family drama that happened before everyone agreed to their marriage.
          It was 5 am when his cellphone rang. IT was Ruhi.
        "Abhi.. abhi " she cried.
        "What happened?" he asked, sweating..
        "Alka is dead" she sobbed.
         Abhijit felt the room turning upside down.. How could she die!! Were the 3 tablets he put in her coffee that strong to kill?
         He couldn't think straight. He called Manoj. His number was not reachable. The bastard!! Why had he even listened to him?

         Manoj lay in bed with his regular whore. She would not be enough now he thought. After the pleasure with Alka madam..
        He checked his watch. IT was 4 pm! He had missed work. He switched on the small T.V in the room which seemed to annoy the woman.
        The breaking news gave him a jolt! "I T professional Alka Sharma found dead outside her apartment"
        Panic striken, he searched for his phone. IT was dead! Thank God!!
        Were the police looking for him? What if Abhijit had opened his mouth? What if he had trapped him?
        How did only 3 tablets which Manoj put in her coffee kill her?

5 years later:
       Abhijit was out on bail after his arrest. Manoj was the prime accused. Both were left off due to lack of evidence. Alka is said to be raped by someone after she was dropped by the cab and before she reached home.
      Abhijit is engaged to a girl his parents have found.
      Manoj returned to his native and has 4 kids now. 2 of them girls.
      Ruhi left her job and is now settled in another city after her marriage. She still can't get over the fact that she hugged Alka just minutes before she died.
      Dheeraj hasn't come to terms with Alka's death yet. If he could, he would have killed the bastards with his bare hands.
      Alka's parents are devastated. They were working hard to make their only daughter's dream true and instead they got a nightmare.. They are tired of the rounds to the police station and courts but still hope justice prevails..
 25 years later:
    Abhijit has his own software firm. His wife is a loving homely lady. His children are settled abroad.
    Manoj and his wife live in Uttar Pradesh. Their daughters are married and have children. Their sons have turned to city for employment.
    Dheeraj too is settled with a wife and a daughter.
    Alka's parents are no more.

  Did justice prevail?? Read on the next part..

To be continued.


Thursday, May 24, 2012

From the beautiful bloggers :D :D :D

                    I have been given some wonderful awards by fellow bloggers The Little PrincessChirag and Smita. I have been terribly late in acknowledging the awards and I m really sorry *kaan pakadke*. Between being caught up in college and multitasking, this little space of mine gets ignored often. I m truly blessed to have readers who still do read my post even when I take ages to complete it sometimes and to top it they even give me awards :D
                    I love to get such pleasant surprises. In my initial days of blogging it was a big deal to get an award (  I never got any :P ). But with time, the followers and comments become a part of life and you know people still read your blog even if they don't comment much. I have been guilty of reading every post that's been up in the last so many months but not commenting on any and I m sure I have many such readers too. Thank you all my readers for reading my blog.
                   Little Princess, Chirag and Smita I m displaying all three awards together as all of them require me to write 7 random things. Thanks to you three, I now have an opportunity to give awards to some bloggers and spread the happiness around :D

These awards will be displayed on my blog page :D
                Time for the 7 random things:
           1. I love doing Sudoku
           2. I get restless if my net connection has some problem. I need it to be working ! Even if I don't need it that urgent :P
           3. I don't like people talking in negative, "You don't want it right??" Even if I want ,I will say " no" :P

           4. I have lots of talents thoda thoda :P I love all types of creative stuff, be it mehendi designing, be it sketching, be it craft, cooking, decorating. But like I said "thoda thoda". I can't keep doing it continuously but when I do, I do it massst!!

          5. I fight this compulsive urge to correct spelling mistakes :P
          6. I m a biggg fooodie :P Now that's not much random going by my size. I love my fish fry and chicken! Vegetarians can make all the faces in the world :P
          7. I can double as my own beautician ! other than shaping the eyebrows I can pretty well do everything :D
            And now I have the honour of passing these wonderful awards to my fellow bloggers.
                        This one is from chirag! What do I say I m flattered :D
I would like to pass this award to the following bloggers:
PeeVee: One of my favorite blogs Confessions of the Chocolate obsessed. She is excellent at stories, cute with random and mindblowing with her abstract posts :D And we share a common love for food :D :D

Dr Roshan: He is witty, he is humorous and he is a Doctor :D His posts have set my thoughts in motion, sometimes made me laugh and sometimes made me crave for food :D I m linking one of my favorite posts by him -What dreams may come. Ah did I mention? He has been published too!

RedHanded: Humor, hardhitting facts, stories that run deep and a poetry that is narrative in itself. She defines the word "versatile".
                                          Little Princess thank you for writing such kind words for my work :D
I would pass this award to:
Anita : Her blog Mirroring my Thoughts brings a smile on my face. The simplicity of her posts makes it so special.

Suruchi: Do I need to even introduce her? You are not a blogger if you haven't read her My tumbling thoughts to the world. She's insanely humorous and has the knack to deliver *her message ofcourse* without creating a drama. But when she gets to nautanki, you can't beat her at it:D :D Being an English teacher does have its perks! Her language flows effortlessly and without even realising you are into the flow! Don't believe me? Read Friend zoned lover and Dear Girl nursing a broken heart and see for yourself!

                     Smita I m sooo happy to receive this from you !! <3 <3 <3
And award I pass to
Nirvana : She is a clever story teller and someone whose blog is replete with diverse works. You can spend your day reading her work!!

Sujatha: She is one writer who can write about anything under the sun and make it interesting. Her posts are very honest and raw. There have been so many things which she can fearlessly talk aloud which a lot of us tend to brush under the carpet. :D

Congrats to all the winners!

P.S: I suddenly realised I m not following much male bloggers :P And of the few I follow, most of them have the award already or have been inactive!
P.P.S : I didn't realise I wrote so much :P

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Broken promises

               Today, as he sat holding Shreya's hand, he could feel nothing but remorse for their failed love. For the broken promises. A little more patience on Shreya's side could have changed their lives.
               Shreya was getting conscious and attempting to speak. She sensed Naksh's  hand in hers and a bleak smile came on her face. Her frailness was heartbreaking to see for Naksh.
                "Naksh.. I won't make it.. I know its my last."
                "Don't say that Shreya. Please don't." He tried to console her.
               "Naksh, I want to tell you something. I always loved you and I still do. If it weren't for my last wish to see you, I wouldn't have called you."
               "Shreya, why didn't you wait? You knew I loved you and I wanted to fulfil all the promises I made to you."
               "I was weak Naksh. I needed you. You always kept me away from you and your problems. I spent days waiting for you. And when I had someone who did all that I wanted you to do, I thought it was love. He showered me with attention. We spent so much time together. He took time to appreciate me. Did you notice Naksh, even once, that I had lost considerable weight in all those months you were busy?"
               Naksh remembered seeing her with another man. She had looked much more beautiful and lean than before. But the sight of her in another man's arms had made it impossible for him to stay there. He had just stormed away from there.
               "Don't Naksh. I know you didn't. You broke those small small promises you made to me. You hurt me and I still loved you. But when someone had time to love me, I thought it best to be with that man."
               "Then where is he now Shreya??" He raised his voice on her.
               "Left me.. like everyone who claims to love me." her voice broke.
               "I was just his muse. It was good when he was in my life. Maybe you don't know that he was a painter. It was beauty he was after. He was divorced too. When we were dating, his divorce was under way. Once he divorced I asked him about our future. He was a commitment phobic and his divorce had made him lose his belief in marriage. He still kept me happy though he started getting distant when I broached the topic of marriage."
               "It was a joke how I was getting the extremes in love. With you, I always knew that you would marry me someday but I didn't know if you would ever give me attention. With him I experienced happiness but not security."
              "He was shifting his base to Delhi. Meanwhile I too got a good offer in Delhi. He suggested we live in. It was a big decision for me to let go of my inhibitions but I still went ahead. I thought it might make him believe that we could be together happily in marriage. But this step of mine separated me from my parents. They disowned me. They haven't once spoken to me in all these years."
              "I was proved wrong. He was not the one to be settled with. With time he grew distant but you know what Naksh? It never hurt me the way it did when you grew distant. I realised then that maybe I never loved him. True love hurts. Like it hurt me to love you."
             "I m sorry Shreya. I cursed you all these years. Our relation could have been very different if both of us had taken some time to understand the other."
             "You had the right to curse me. I spoilt everything. For us and for my family."

She was getting short of breathe. As if it was going to be her last and that scared him. For all the sorrows they had gone through, they atleast deserved a day of love. Maybe it was time they both forgive each other.
           "Shreya, just let go of the past. It will only  hurt. I want you to forgive me." He had tears in his eyes when he said that.
           "Naksh I don't want to die thinking that you hated me."
           "I love you Shreya. I really do. After all that has passed, I still do."
And just like that, he stayed with her through the day. Talking about all the years spent apart. About the times they had spent together. He kept her spirits high.
He saw her drifting off to sleep again. This time with a smile on her face.
He knew what to do now. Things had cleared in his head. HE went back home to get that ring which he had still preserved. He dropped to her favorite restaurant in city and ordered her favorite food.

By the time he returned to her ward, she was already awake.
"I thought you won't come back." she said.
"I had to.. " he smiled.
He set the small hospital table with the food he had brought.
"The food smells like Kuku's!! I haven't had real food in months!!" she jumped with joy.
"I know.. But before that I want to give you something.."
He took her hand and slipped the ring which he had brought for her years back.
"Naksh this is beautiful" she said gleaming at it.
She looked at him with the same love which he was used to with her.
"Naksh please come closer. I want to hug you." He held her close with tenderness.
They had dinner in peace.

She sat resting her head on his shoulders. In perfect satisfaction. IT was time for her medicine and check up.  She dreaded it every time.
"Good Shreya, you are responding well to the latest drug." Doctor smiled at her, giving an understanding look to Naksh.
Naksh followed the doctor outside.
"Will she hold on more?" he asked.
"Response is much better but its difficult to say."
"But you said she is responding well."
"Response is only helping her cope with the pain. I m sorry."

When he returned to Shreya, he saw her crying on her mother's lap. Her father and her brothers had come to see her too. He felt it best to leave her to spend some time with them.
He went out to call his wife and tell her he will be stuck with some work.
Later that night nurse came to call him inside.
Shreya asked him to come and sit beside her.
"You called them?" she whispered. He nodded.
"Thank you" her voice almost inaudible. She held his hand and rested on the pillow.
Minutes later, her mother let out loud wails. Naksh felt her hand going numb and cold.. He had lost her...

P.S : sorry the story stretched long and took lot of time to be posted.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Broken Promises.. Part 3

        "Are you Shreya's relative?" the doctor asked.
        "Ah.... Yes.." Naksh lied.
        "Please come into my cabin." He said grimly.
         Naksh followed the doctor. He knew it was bad news.
        "Mr Naksh, I won't beat around the bush. Medicines have stopped working on Shreya. She won't make it through the day. I would advise to get prepared for it. I m sorry we cannot do anything to keep her alive now."
         Naksh sat in front of the doctor speechless. He had no idea what all had to be arranged for. He had never done funeral preparations. Who should he call?
         "She has gone to sleep but that won't last long. You can talk to her when she wakes up. Try to cheer her. That would atleast help her cope with the pain."

         Naksh went to Shreya and sat beside her. He held her hand lightly, scared that even that will hurt her. He kept staring at her, helplessly sobbing. Yes he had once loved her more than life and he still loved her.
         His Shreya. The one who had come into his life and filled it with unconditional love. He had never thought someone could love him so much. She made each day of his life special. Everyday she said something which made him beam with happiness. Her little efforts to bring a smile on his face, made him feel blessed. He felt the luckiest person around, when she held him.
         She used to say that it was their kismet to fall in love. Two strangers with nothing in common fell so irresistably in love.
        He smiled thinking about how they had first met. Unusual circumstances! They were in a departmental store close to his office. He was a fresher in his job and also new to the city. She had come to the same store. They were busy picking up their stuff from opposite racks. They  had turned at the same time and her long hair had lashed against his face. He was almost blinded by it. Moments later he felt himself being tugged ahead. Her hair had entangled in his chain!! She tried pulling it out and that only hurt her. She was moving too much, making it impossible for him to concentrate on freeing her hair.
        He had held her by the waist and pulled her closer. This had stunned her. He slowly untangled her hair and brushed it aside. She was nothing out of the ordinary. Wheat complexioned, short at about 5'2, a little overweight. What was enchanting about her were her eyes. She had large expressive eyes. Her thick, long, luminous hair had already done the magic . What he liked best about her was her smile. When she smiled her eyes lit up. She had that genuine infectious smile that brought a slight dimple on her left cheek. That was the Shreya he remembered.
         One thing had led to another and they had become closer. From acquaintance to just friends to good friends and finally to lovers. HE was not a romantic person but she made him feel special to be in love. She loved him like no one else  ever had. She took care of the small details of his life.
         She belonged to a good family and led a comfortable life. Naksh was a beginner and trying to make his mark. He wanted to give her all the comfort that she was used to and lot more. For that he was trying his best to get higher up in his work.
         Shreya was still studying. Earlier he used to pick her up after her classes in the evening but that reduced due to his long hours at work. The late night calls slowly decreased because he was too tired to talk at night. She kept telling him that she missed him but he could do nothing about it. He sometimes felt agitated that she wouldn't support him with his efforts.
         The work became even more hectic in the next two years when he became an entrepreneur. He would hardly be able to give her an hour or so in a week. They talked on phone but that was not enough for Shreya. She always complained about loneliness which made him angry. Couldn't see that he was doing it for their future?
         Fights were becoming every day thing. He getting angry, she crying, he feeling frustrated and then cutting off from her for some days. She acting crazy. IT was taking a toll on their relation.
        Once after a fight she had texted him,
        "One day u will need me and I will b very busy. So busy that I wouldn't even talk to u"
         He had no idea who much that would hurt!
        She had started working for an orphanage after her final semesters were done. She used to teach the kids and also organise fun activities for them. She would take time out to call him but he would return them when he would get free and at that time she would be busy. Sometimes they wouldn't talk all day because of not calling at convenient time. He missed meeting her on Sundays because Sundays were the fun days at the orphanage. When she would be busy organizing something for the kids. She was happy doing that and if he had told her to leave it and meet him then she would be upset. She would tell him how he never thought about her and how he was selfish and met her at his convenience. So he let it pass. 
       Somehow he managed to upset her each time they talked. He didn't know what would make her so edgy. She wouldn't take even a joke without taunting him. He loved her a lot but he didn't know how to make her understand that. She was no longer the happy person he had met. 
       Things had started getting better in the 3rd year of their relation. That was the year when she didn't even ask him to celebrate their anniversary. They just wished each other and that was about it. He should have known it then. He thought she had matured and understood his problems and ignored the signs or her walking away from him. She no longer called that often. She stayed busy with her friends or work. When he was busy it didn't matter much but on days when he would be free, he would ache for her. 
    It was her birthday. Naksh was better off now. He had already thought about the perfect gift for her. This birthday he was going to make very very special for her. He had bought a ring for her. He would propose her for marriage. 
    He had wished her at midnight and had anticipated that she would insist he spent her birthday with her like she always did. He was not able to do that but now he could do it. Strangely, she didn't ask. Nor did she ask him to say something special. He felt sad that he had denied her so many times that she no longer thought of asking it. This time he would make it up for her.  
    He had called her up in the morning but she had been busy with other calls and not returned his call. That day one of his friend had called him to meet up. He had gone to meet his friend in Zangi pub. It will still time for the evening when Shreya would get free from work. He thought of surprising her by going to pick her up at 6. Still one hour for that! 
     He was about to leave the pub when he thought he saw Shreya on the upper floor of the pub. He must have been mistaken. If Shreya had been free she would have definitely called him! And then he saw Shreya's friends Rachel and Smriti coming in and walking up the stairs. Now curious, he too went up to see what was happening. 
    People were dancing to the music that had just started. In one corner, a small group of friends had gathered. He recognized 3 of Shreya's friends among them. They were all singing the birthday song. And then he saw..
     Shreya feeding the cake to a man he had never seen before. Naksh couldn't believe his eyes. That man later slipped on a ring into her finger. Shreya hugged him like she once used to hug Naksh.. 
     Naksh curled his fingers into a fist as he saw that man plant a kiss on Shreya's forehead. Inside, Naksh felt himself breaking....

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Broken Promises. 2

          Naksh woke up feeling anxious. He could barely manage to sleep the other night. He had made up his mind to tell his wife everything about his past. About Shreya. He was yet to muster what he would tell her. She was oblivious to the fact that he ever had someone else in his life. This would sure shake her but he had to hold her through it. His wife was already up and not about in their room. 

          "Naksh, the breakfast is ready. My students are coming early for some problem solving. Will be busy till afternoon." she said as he entered the hall while still getting her kid ready for school. She then got busy with her work. She gave classes to college students. This would keep her busy and was just not the right time to tell her. He went to get ready and thought about visiting Shreya in the evening. Maybe he could come early in the afternoon and then have a talk with his wife before going. 

          He was about to leave his house when the landline rang. His wife was busy so he paced back into the room to get the phone. It was from the hospital telling him that Shreya's condition was deteriorating and she was insisting on meeting him. He was left with no option but to bunk office that day and go to the hospital.

         On his way to hospital he picked up some yellow roses... just what Shreya liked. For a moment he had almost forgotten how much he had hated her.. She was on her deathbed. She deserved atleast that much sympathy. Or did he still care?

         He was led to her room on the third floor of the hospital. He knew she would no longer be the beautiful girl she was when they were together but he was never prepared to see what he saw. She was pale. Her eyes were bloodshot and looked in great pain. Her cheeks has sunken and her collar bones protruding out. She had lost a lot of weight. Her hair was kept short and had reduced to such an amount that it almost made his heart sink. He was hurt to see her like this. He had thought that she would get the punishment for what she had done to him, but what was happening to her was hurting him too. 

        She attempted to sit up but was too weak to do it on her own. Her nurse helped her and she motioned her to leave. Naksh was in a strange situation. While a part of him wanted to go close to her and hold her, the other part just couldn't move. Shreya kept staring blankly at him. Her eyes full of tears.
        Naksh sat beside her. Restless, angry, sad,  hurting, crying. Like that night when she walked out of his life. 

          "Won't you give me those yellow roses?" she asked him putting on a smile. That smile which once pulled people towards her. That smile which brightened his day. 
           He handed her the flowers. She looked at them adoringly. Breathing in their smell. 
          "Thanks, its been quite sometime since someone gave me flowers."
          He wondered why no one was there with her at this time of her life.
          "Isn't it strange how you never ever brought flowers for me in all those years we were together and now, when I m about to die, you bring me these and tempt me to live ?" she said.
          "Leave it, you were never too good with catching my words." She waved her hand
          "And you were never too good with understanding my feelings."He replied

          "Why Shreya? Why did you do that to me?" His anger bottled for years was out now.
          "You really don't know? Think about all that you did when I was with you." She too was getting angry.
          "Damn it Shreya, I was working day and night for us. For our future. To be able to give you every comfort that you want. And what did I get in return?" He screamed at her.
          "But what did you do for our present? For that hug I wanted. For that compliment I wished you gave me. For that little yellow rose I wanted as a gift? For that little note I would have cherished a life time if you had given me? Where were you on that lonely Valentine's day I spent waiting for you? What did you do on my birthday to make it special??? Just say "happy birthday" and go off to sleep?  What did you do to make sure that "us" in your future plans stayed "us"? You spent too much time on future to think about the present." she was feeling fatigued with the outburst and rested her back on the pillow. 

          She was getting breathless. Naksh panicked and called for the nurse. 
          "Its about time for the doctor to visit Shreya. I will call him right away." The nurse said running her hands through Shreya's hair and then went to call the doctore. She looked genuinely concerned for Shreya.
          "I m only human Naksh. I did what I felt was right then." she said to him looking hurt.
           The doctor came into the room with the nurse in tow. He asked Naksh to wait outside.
           Naksh waited outside introspecting all that happened. Whose fault was it that Naksh and Shreya were not together? Who was to blame for the broken promises?

(To be continued)

Monday, April 30, 2012

Broken promises

            It was past 9 already. Naksh stared at his computer screen. Just an hour of work left and he could go to bed in peace. He had been denying his son his bedtime stories for a week now. He thought of putting his son to sleep today with his stories. This new project had put a toll on him. Maybe he could manage to spend some time with his wife Neetu after their son slept. He realised he was already dreaming and got back to work.
           He was done with his work when he thought of checking his previous email id. He had a feeling since morning that he was forgetting something about today. Was it someone's birthday? Maybe his old yahoo id could give him the answer. There were some 599 mails! He didn't remember when was the last time he checked it. Anyway Yahoo had some serious spam issues. In the first two pages he couldn't find anything important and assumed that the rest were useless as well. He was about to open the spam box when his son called out to him, "Pappppa come sooon". He shut down his PC, stood up and stretched himself. He caught his wife looking at him. And he knew that look. She smiled and he patted her cheek, "you wait, today I will put him to sleep and be back" he said.
           He was about to enter his son's room when the landline phone rang. He let it ring. He heard the shower running. Neetu had gone for a shower. The phone rang once again. This time Naksh went to answer it. His son who was already enthusiastic to hear his story now made a face. "Paapaaa not done!" "Must be important sonny, let me answer." He wondered who must be calling on landline! It had been long since the landline rang. IT was more of a showpiece now :P
           No voice from the other end. Who would think of giving blank calls!!
           "Hellooo" this time he raised his voice.
           "Hello" said a feeble female tone.
           "Yes, who is this?"
           "Naksh" she sighed almost leaving a cry. Naksh felt himself getting weak.
           "Shreya" he whispered.
           "I missed you Naksh" she said in that soft voice which could make Naksh do anything!
            He felt himself losing control and then he remembered what she had done to him. His weakness gave way to anger. He had once wanted only one chance to talk to her and today when she had called he didn't know what to say!
           "Shreya how dare you call me!" he tried to get angry but failed. Somewhere it still hurt to shout at her.
           "Naksh, I m.. I m really sorry. "
           "Sorry! That's all you say after all that you did 8 years back?"
           "9 years Naksh.. 9 years and 4 hours back. I have been counting." she murmured.
           Oh yes!! IT was her birthday.
           In the years he had changed his  phone number but the landline number was the same.
           "Naksh it's probably my last birthday.. I m counting my days. Before I breath my last I want to see you. Take it as my last wish."
            "What?? Where are  you Shreya?" He couldn't stop worrying.
            "Tata hospital. Please Naksh meet me once." she pleaded.
            He asked her the visitor's timing and agreed to meet her. As he kept down the receiver he realised his eyes were moist.
            He went back to his son who was angry. He pacified him and after much cuddling and story telling, he finally fell asleep. It was midnight when he finally went to his room. His wife was waiting for him.
"Sorry darling, very tired" he muttered.
His wife turned to the other side of the bed, furious at his behavior.
He felt guilty to have hurt her but he was preoccupied with Shreya.
            In all these years she hadn't bothered about him then why was she remembering him on her death bed? He had forgotten the tragedy this day had brought into his life but today she reminded him the pain again.
           Should he even meet her?

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

When rats become Yoga teachers..

               Last week I joined the yoga class. This is my second attempt. I had joined four years back, reduced a couple of kgs and gorged some more and later put on double of it :P  This time I was advised by my family physician to join yoga. The idea was to reduce stress and anger management. For those who don't know- I managed to raise my blood pressure so much that the doctor and my parents worried I will break down and the very next day I showed the perfect mercury level :P
               Because of my haywire schedule I have no fixed timings for yoga. I enter into any random batch as I please. The first day I went into early morning 6.30 batch. This batch is packed with aunties. Salwar kameez wearing fat aunties. First time in years I felt thin :D :D One of them even remarked that she wants to get to my size.. Ahaa!! The joys of getting that comment :D :D  As for the stress issues- the yoga tires me so much that I have no energy left to show my anger or take any other stress.. World peace :D
               After half an hour of twisting and turning our muscles, doing that suryanamaskar that leaves us gasping for breath, the shavasan seems like the bestttt part of yoga. The driving energy for those suryanamaskars is the awaiting shavasan.
       On the second day, while I was lying on the floor trying to restore my heartbeat to normal, suddenly a loud shriek from the lady next to me shook me. In a matter of seconds the entire group was jumping around. I was too lazy to get up but the noise brought the dead me back to life. The entire hullabaloo was over a family of rats that lived in the yoga class. 
       Apparently the yoga class was their bedroom :D These rats stayed put in the neighboring kirane ka dukaan  (grocery store) and fattened up on the food there during the day. They are 4 fat rats. 2 stay below the desktop drawer (yes the yoga class doubles up as a nursery class during the afternoon) and two stay behind the door painted with tortoise and hare wala story. Intelligent choice the rats have. 
       The rats decided to meet each other while the ladies screamed away in terror. What is it that makes women give that "EEEEEEEEEEEEek" "Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa" even though the poor rats have been considerate enough and were crossing the distance from the sides? They are not like those mindless cockroaches which get inside anywhere! 
        Since the day the rats made themselves appear, the aunties have been severely terrorized. A few have shifted their batch to the afternoon when the rats go for their meals. Few have changed their position and stand on the opposite side from where the rats travel. While the rest continue to create a ruckus everyday. 
       A little noise from behind the painted door and there is a change in alignment of all aunties. While the instructor croons, "Relaaaaaaaaaaax ho kar saas lijiye" the aunties are constantly panting. Any asan done with closed eyes is blantantly not done :P Shavasan has been dreaded.

          Today I went in a little late to see that the entire class was full. Kya baat hai! I thought they must have got rid of the rats in the  last 3 days when I had been busy and attended  the last batch of the day. I didn't notice that the place next to the door was deliberately kept vacant and stood there. 
          While I was doing the butterfly yogasan, a small rat passed from right below my thighs while my thighs were up. I swear it would have been crushed if I had brought my thigh down. Thunder thighs I have :P 
                                                     I m  nowhere close to this :P 

             What followed was aunties rushing all over the place. I sat there patiently and went on to the next pose. The rats decided to have a gala time today and the entire 1 hour they kept going to and fro drawing hysterical noises from the poor aunties and a few young girls who had come today. I bet they are not coming tomorrow. The rats have made them do more exercise than the yoga instructor  :D :D Aur rakho darwazewaala position khaali :P 
             While leaving they asked the instruction a shift in their batch. The funny thing is no amount of rodent control will help as these smart fellows are never around during the day. so chuhe maarne ki dawa is out of question as the nursery kids are close by. Like everything, Adjust kar lo :P 

P.S: In the batch next to mine, 3 fat girls come for yoga.. I feel soo happy to see them! I want a picture with them.. :D Evil I know.
P.P.S: Of the many things I can do, this makes me proud.. I feel like an elastic when I do this :D :D 

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Lessons learnt

            "Mamma I will be back soon. You remember my gift ok?" her daughter yelled from the door as she ran to catch her school bus.
             Today her daughter was going to get the results of her internal test in school but Rachna was worried about something else. She was anxious about something her daughter had done. Rachna had prided herself for managing her job and her home perfectly. She believed she had ingrained good values in her daughter until today.
              Today she had found a storybook, tucked under the pillow of her daughter, while cleaning the room. It did not belong to her daughter Sana. Rachna opened the book. The first page of the book showed doodles done on the name previously written on it. Below that was a hurriedly scribbled "Sana". Her daughter had stolen the book from someone and kept it for herself. This was the cause of concern for Rachna. Where had her daughter picked up such a trait?
               Why Sana would steal was beyond Rachna's reason. That too a storybook? Knowing how avid a reader Rachna was, she would have gladly bought Sana the book if she had asked for it. Was her daughter stealing for thrill? The thought sent shivers down Rachna's spine.
                After thinking long and hard and setting aside the anxiety, Rachna decided to take actions to stop this habit of her daughter right away. Sana had to realise the wrong she had done. Rachna knew Sana was a sensitive girl. A wrong word or a little carelessness in handling the situation and her daughter would be lost to the wrong ways forever. One never knows how the tender and young minds work.
                Later that afternoon, Sana returned from school with a wide grin. She had got a 10/10 in her test.
"Mamma you promised me that you will give me a gift, where is it?" she asked.
"I did not get time to go to the market. I will go in the evening and get you something you will love." Rachna replied.
"Mammma, this is not done! You told me you will give me when I come back." she whined
"I will give you I said. Finish your lunch and get some sleep. Before you wake up I will get it ok."

Sana stomped her way to the bedroom. After sometime she came to the table for lunch. Rachna never pestered her to eat. She had taught Sana to respect food when it was served and not waste it. Once when Sana had thrown a fit because she didn't like a balanced diet for lunch, Rachna had taken her to the nearby street children and asked her to give her lunch to them. She didn't give in to Sana's demand for junk food for lunch and made her go hungry. But looking at the street children who feasted on her lunch, Sana realised how lucky she was to have fixed meals unlike the kids who didn't know when their next meal would come.

Today was time for another lesson. Her daughter had erred, but that didn't mean she couldn't improve.

"Wow my gift!!" Sana jumped in joy looking at the gift wrapped in blue paper.
"See I told you I will get it." Rachna said
"Ya ya mamma, let me open it."
She opened the gift and suddenly her face was pale.
It was a brand new story book but the same one which she had stolen from her friend.
"What happened Sana ? Didn't you like the gift?" she asked her daughter who wasn't seeing her in the eye.
"Its good." she muttered.
"You would have loved it if you hadn't already stolen the same book and read it." Rachna said

Rachna didn't utter a word after that. She didn't blame her daughter for behaving that way nor did she point out her flaws. She left it to her daughter to figure out the wrong.
Her daughter sat stunned. Her eyes were welled with tears.
Rachna took Sana into her arms and said,
"Sana I won't ask you why you did it. I will suggest you what you should have done. You should have asked me for the book. I would have given you. Even if I couldn't give you something, its not good to take away from someone else. You could have borrowed the book and returned after reading. Because you of your mistake you lost your gift. Because of you taking someone else's book, they lost their book. Now I leave it to you to decide how you are going to return the book."

Rachna had made a concious effort to not mentiont the words "steal" and "thief".

The next day she saw her daughter making a card. Sana had made a "Sorry" card and attached it to the first page of the brand new book which Rachna had bought last evening. However Sana had not mentioned her name. Rachna didn't mind it. Mentioning the name would only lead to guilt and undue torment from other kids. Her daughter had learnt to give and learnt to make up for her mistakes.
After parting with her brand new book, Rachna was sure that Sana wouldn't make such a mistake again. If she had wanted, she could have returned the same book but she had made up for her wrong by giving the brand new one.

That afternoon when Sana returned from school she quietly went to Rachna and said, "Mamma I m sorry. I will never steal again. I gave her the new book with a sorry note. She was happy to find her book under the desk."

"I know dear. Freshen up and come soon. I have made your favorite dish for lunch and also made a chocolate cake."
"Wow chocolate cake!! For what?"
"One good turn deserves another." Rachna smiled.