The memorable last day-II


74 students, one Auditorium, no trainer and lights out. Somebody falls and rolls down upto the stage.A painful wail is heard.Scroll below to find out what happens next.You can read the first part here.

THE MINDBOGGLING FINALE

Let me rewind the sudden loud thud and someone rolling down towards the stage, in slow motion. The turn of events for that restless multitude bumping into each other could not have led to anything different. It was romantic Ruchi and jolly Jyoti who first collided and then in the hurry to stabilize herself, Ruchi stepped on someone’s feet, and as she moved a bit trying to find space in the dim light, her feet got tangled with the wires alongside the wall and she fell backwards. Fortunately, Arvinder caught her in time. But then, sarcastic Saksham standing just behind her lost his balance and slipped. This time, Shivam came to his buddy’s rescue. It could have been a ‘dil mein ladoo phuta’ moment as in a Cadbury shots Advertisement for many onlookers, but the horror filled in the air had frozen everyone’s thinking ability beyond getting out of there safely.

Thus, after so many fails, it was only Vasudha from Mumbai who could succeed in falling straight on the carpeted floor. We were very surprised to see her lying down as if she was resting on her bed!

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The memorable last day


It was 10 AM sharp. It was the last and the 15th day of the Management and Communication skill (MCS)class. A crowd stood at the entrance, waiting to sign their attendance sheet. Getting one’s signatures on this sheet was a no less than a victory, because the attendance could not be marked even a minute after 10.

There was a certain level of excitement and joy that filled the air today. Being a mandatory training course, some of us were really delighted that it was finally the last day.  Many like Shreya were happy that they would not be  made to get up in the chilly winter mornings from the next day onwards, while others were happy that the day would mark the end of their woes of not getting an off to go back to their home towns.

We were a huge batch of 74, with people coming from far and wide.We were really a remarkable blend of diverse backgrounds and personalities.To add to this great mix, there was a Deepak from Nepal, Komal from Dehra, Vasudha from Mumbai, and rest were from different cities of Punjab.

But it was this ‘rest’ group, which was most active in promoting their own towns and cities. Read More

Learning along the way..


This post is in response to Incredible Blogger Marathon Challenge #09 called ‘The Be A Baby Challenge‘. The task was to see something with a fresh new perspective, and explore this new perception and dimension with engaging thoughts.

How better can it be than to see it from the eyes of a child itself?

Read on to get a peep into the psyche of a little girl in her preschooling years and how she sees the world through her innocent eyes.It is interesting how a child as young, analyses the ways of society and forms her own opinions, while asking some fundamental questions. The unbiased, unmalinged perspective she has while exploring the world around her is an asset only a child can have.Follow her below: Read More

For life and beyond..


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Reva stood admiring the picture hanging above a wooden counter at Girl’s hostel. That was it! That was the place she wanted to go all her life but never could. This was the place she wanted her dream house to be, overlooking the sunset, with its various pinkish orange hues illuminating the sky and the pale lake. “What a beautiful lake..”, She thought. She imagined herself standing at the wooden and breathing in the aura of the place, amidst the gushes of cool wind playing with her open hair, away from the rut of life. She stood with her eyes closed, as tears trickled down her pale cheeks.

“Tring-tring, Tring-tring”, sudden ringing of the telephone kept on the table top brought her back into reality. The loud noise irked her to the core and she looked here and there wishing someone to come and receive the call. When no one came into the sight, Reva reluctantly picked it up, still teary eyed. Before could muster a ‘hello’ in a normal tone, a scratchy and hoarse voice from the other end began speaking, almost in whispers, as if for her ears, only her ears..

“In,
search of skin,
color no matter,
brighter or darker,
tell no one,
I will take someone,
Ssssshhhhh!
–  ghost, me!”

“Ahh! You are a ghost too!! Thank god, thank god. Someone to help me out of this. But how do you takeover someone else’s body? I’m new to all this, you  see.” , the excitement in Reva’s voice was obvious.

“You- you..are not afraid?!” The voice thundered in same scratchy tone, but this time using all its strength to speak.

Oblivious to the query, Reva was lost in her own excitement, “How did you dial a number? I can’t remember anyone’s number since I woke up”, She had a lot of questions. “And do your fingers work as before? Mine don’t seem to be…. ” Reva was complaining now, looking at her palm. There was no reply from the other side. “Hello, heelloo..are you listening?”, Reva was confused at the sudden silence.

She peeked in from the landline’s receiver and saw a young lad, probably in his early twenties,  standing by the support of a wooden counter and drawing long breaths. He was trying to remain steady by keeping his hand on the table for support. The receiver of his telephone was dangling down the length of the table. Why was he so spooked out?

She struggled out of the receiver saying, “Wohoo! What happened?” Read More

Practical Love #4



Indian Bloggers

This is the finale of a tale I started sometime back, a tale I never thought to extend beyond a single blog post. But then, it was not meant to be and here I am, giving the story an ending, after three installments, only to lead it  to another beautiful start. I hope you will enjoy reading the tale, just as much I did imagining the duo and writing about them!

You can read the first, second and the third part here.

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They walked silently towards the escalator leading to the food lounge, while their minds raced albeit confusion and fear, fear of what was about to come and confusion over how they would deal with it. He had rehearsed the upcoming moment a dozen times in his head and he wanted the evening to go perfectly, while she had made up her mind to leave- as soon as he was done discussing whatever  he had to , or, if it was something meant to change her decision of keeping this just  to a friendship. There could be only two possibilities and she was preparing herself best for any outcome.

The food lounge on the third floor  was buzzing with activity, with eateries presenting an array of cuisines lined one after the other. There was a pleasant aroma of various cuisines wafting through the air.

“Which one should we to go?”, he asked.

She thought for a minute, unsure. She had more doubts in mind than choosing  an eatery.

‘This should get over before he does something which would make me stay..’ , She thought looking around and in the next moment said ,”Let’s try that Chinese restro, it’s the only one I haven’t tried here before.”,  all in a hurry. She wanted to spend least possible time, or at least a part of her did.

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Through my Lens-29


Hi there! Welcome to my quest to explore beauty in the overlooked and share them with you.

As you know(I hope you do), I started a tale in TML-27, inspired by the shot I shared therein. This week’s picture brings an end to the tale, and if you have missed reading this mystical adventure, you can always follow up through ‘Story so far’ section below. And if the curiosity to see the world through my lens gets the better of you, all you have to do is to scroll down a bit and get to the picture! 😉

Story so far:

The protagonist is visiting her grandma’s when she ventures out to check out her kitchen garden. She is about to leave when weird things start happening, all attracting her to a mystical tree at the exit of the garden. From that moment, her life steers away from the normal course, tangling her amidst a world she had never expected to be a part of- a world full of mystery and strange happenings all encircling around ‘nature’ and its creations in despair. From standing blankly for about an hour in front of a tree, to driving a car filled with cobwebs, the omens don’t leave her side until she joins the scattered pieces encompassing the mystery of those puzzling  events. Her subconscious shows her the truth through a dream which makes her connect the past events and draw a meaning out of them…. But what would she do next? Can she really help the tortured souls get a better life?

Read the finale to find out… Or catch on the first and second part first, if you have missed those!

Dreams can be weird,
They can make you see and explore the depths of your subconscious,
They can make you behold those latent desires and wishes lurking somewhere at the back of your mind,
My dream had introduced me to a part of myself which knew the answers I had longed for all along, something my mortal body was not capable of holding or registering yet…
All I needed was to tune in.

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It was a warm and sunny day, and driving amidst a calm environment, away from the over speeding traffic of the city, was a soothing change. The road to grandma’s home went through lush green fields , and the cool breeze hitting me through the rolled down window was a good distraction from upheavals I was afraid I could be facing in a few minutes time.

Finally, my destination came into view. I parked outside the modest house, my heart shuddering hard against my chest. But I calmed myself, going mentally through the basic  plan I had made, which was to do some background research before acting upon anything.  After realizing the connection between my dream and the events in grandma’s kitchen garden  that day, the reality had dawned upon me as something my subconscious knew all the while I was madly trying to figure it out.

The tree stood in front of me as I marveled at what I had gone through in those forty five minutes I spent interacting with the mystical forces of nature. That bee I had seen had been trying to consciously knock itself at the tree when it got sucked inside. That web had been purposefully made around my ankle to prevent me going away before I heard her tale of woe. But why me? Simply because I was standing there admiring the beauty of nature or was it something bigger?

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Through my Lens-28


Hi there! Welcome to  my quest to explore beauty in the overlooked and share with you the world through my lens.
This week’s picture ‘upside-down’ continues the weird and mystical adventure started last week. You can read the story so far below and be a part of the exciting adventure. And yes, don’t forget to see how this week’s shot blends in the tale!
If you would like to see the capture first, just scroll down and just a bit more down 😉

Story so far:

The protagonist is visiting her grandma’s when she ventures out to check out her kitchen garden. She is about to leave when weird things start happening, all attracting her to a mystical tree at the exit of the garden. Her hunches tell her to get out of that place when she hears her name being called out, the voice coming from the tree! She forgets her fear and is hypnotically drawn towards the tree. She touches its callous bark in a daze and goes blank. The next memory she has is of the situation when she is awakened by the voice of her grandmother, calling out , searching her. She finds herself in a puzzling situation, standing at the same spot, her hand against the bark. She out unable to fathom what could have happened in all that time she was standing there, touching the tree’s bark.. ?
You can access the full first part with all its thrills and mystery here
Now read the next part to get enlightened, just as the protagonist does…. or does she?

 

I followed grandma into the house, not sure what to tell her when she asked what was I doing out there for an hour. Would she believe what I had to say or will she take it to be a case of sun poisoning or even  lunacy?

I was not sure what would be the best thing to tell her when I was myself uncertain  of what had happened. Had I hallucinated? I was still in a daze over what had happened and that daze when mixed with fear of the unknown, was not exactly a pleasant feeling. I wanted it to go away.

‘I should probable drive back home’, I thought. ‘Maybe getting away from that place can help in forgetting the whole incident.’

So I told grandma I had to leave a bit early due to some office work and would drop by some other day, while she insisted I joined then for evening tea at least, if not dinner.

“I would have loved to, but I can’t”, I said in a sad tone. I had expected to spend a lovely day at grandma’s, but I guess it wasn’t meant to be.

My mind was caught in the web of these spoiler thoughts when I realized the adventures were not over yet..

I had got out the house, consciously keeping my head turned away from the garden. Hurriedly, I had opened the driver’s door only to see that my car was covered in cobwebs! The entrance to the driver’s seat, that whole area had a film of cobweb. I brushed that aside, disgusted, only to find the opposite window’s glass frame had a film of web too.

‘This is as horrible as it can get…’, I sighed. The only bright spot I could see in all that was that I had a very logical and probable reasoning for this. Just that morning, I had kept a big bunch of Neem leaves, complete with tender branches , in the car’s dicky and it was reasonable that this bunch housed spiders. This thing had been kept in the open for two whole days after being cut from the nearby tree by the gardener. What else could I expect from it? I nodded my head in frustration and started the engine. There was a good amount of cleaning to do once I reached home and I still couldn’t imagine how the dicky was going to be like.

The whole way back to home, I was trying to ward off the memories of that incident away, but the cobwebs here and there were only making it worse. Finally, I reached home, only to find it locked. ‘Must have left for the vegetable market’, I thought. I took out my spare key, opened the door  and ran straight to get a dusting cloth. I wanted to get rid of those cobwebs before anything else. After a through cleaning of the car and after putting those leaves at their place, I felt utterly exhausted.

My room seemed like heaven, I had not been so happy to see it in a long time.

And there I was, sprawled on it in the next moment ,if only my mind could be at peace! It was still struggling to unlock the impenetrable locks that covered the incident. There was block, a closed door which would not budge, however hard I tried. I could not recollect anything except the realisation that I went to the tree in a trance of some sort, as I would never do that in my right senses. I hated the prospect of somebody else controlling my mind and actions and shivered at the mere thought of it.My mental rant continued for some time and I did not realize when I went into a deep slumber.

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Upside down

I stood at the staircase, staring at the stairs. They looked different….were they upside down? There was bright light coming from the end of it. What could be up there? I crept up the stairs, curious again, my hands touching vines of a climbing plant trailing the wall as I climbed up. But this light was not the only bewitching thing about this place, which was drawing me closer to it. It was the sound of somebody, probably a woman crying which caused to go and see what was happening.

There she was, sitting on the floor, leaned against the wall, crying. She looked 16-17 of age and was clad in yellow. The ambience of the room, which was stacked with every wooden thing possible, was soothing. Was that cupboard actually upside down or I was it my imagination, I was never able to analyze because now the wailing had got a lot more louder. I rushed over to her and put a comforting hand over her shoulder. “Why are you crying dear? Are you okay?” I asked. She replied with some more incessant sobbing. I rubbed her shoulder, trying to quieten her down. “Maybe I can help if you tell me”, I said comfortingly, kneeling beside her. It was then I noticed her lower body was covered in something like black grease, or had her feet blackened? Puzzled, as I tried to look closely. “There was an aa-attack on my family..”, she said trying to control her sobs. “..they sprayed a poisonous liquid on our food and …and I accidently sat on some of it spilled on the petal…” She said drawing long breaths and sobbing in between, while I took her shaking hand in mine and listened intently. “It killed them a..all…before I could know what was happening. I just heard papa yell not to drink any of the nectar before I saw them leave me alone in this cruel world.”, She started waling again.

“I’m sorry..” That was all I could say. Her state was heart wrenching. “It will be okay…please stop crying”, I was trying my best to pacify her, but it all seemed vain, given the situation.

“I tried to end my life but it would not let me…even after what that liquid has done to my feet!” my gaze shifted to the feet she turned towards me. They looked charred, I noticed, horrified. This was the blackness I had seen before. I turned my head away only to see a strangely beautiful pair of cup and a saucer on my left. The cup was made of a flower while a green leaf served as its saucer, kept over the cup to cover it. I couldn’t help but admire them. Suddenly, my thoughts were diverted  by the noise of frantic banging…somebody was calling out my name!

I got up from my slumber, anxious. What was this noise? I rushed in its direction, half asleep only to find mom standing at the door with a bag of vegetables in her hand. I lousily opened the latch and let her in. “Why..You are back quite early. I wasn’t expecting you too be home”, she said, keeping the veggies on the kitchen counter while I filled a glass with water. “Me neither”, I was feeling rather groggy and an unusual heaviness in my head. “I need to catch on some sleep..” I said and returned to my room, without another word, as she looked at me quizzically.

As I lay there again, the dream broken in the mid came rushing back to me, its negativity seeping into my present. That was the only reason I could fathom for my sudden foul mood. Also, there was something quite wrong with it and it was now thatI could analyse it with sanity as each detail of that strange dream came rushing back to me, surprisingly, crystal clear. This had never happened before. Moreover, the dream seemed connected to my past, present and future somehow, as I went through it again. I saw myself going up that strange staircase, with a creeper along its walls. My mind raced and as I recollected each thing; there was wood all around, and a girl in yellow and the happening thereafter. ‘Wait, did she say she drank ‘nectar’?’ I wondered. ‘And Wasn’t that crockery made of flowers and leaves ?!’ I thought if I was over analysing this, after all it was just a dream. But then I remembered an ‘it’ something  had stopped it from committing suicide, after her feet were charred by a poisonous liquid. And where had she said she sat and drank nectar? A flower! The events of the morning at the kitchen garden came before my eyes and suddenly everything started making sense, a lot more than it did before. Astonished, I sat up. Like a bolt, the whole reality hit me a with a huge force.

‘I think I just connected the dots’, I rejoiced, just as I feel back on my pillow. There was a lot to be done the next day. The first one being going over to grandma’s, again.

 

The strange dream and her mystical encounter at her grandma’s seem to be connected. See her connect the fragmented pieces and complete the puzzle in the next part, to be released next sunday, June 5, 2016 – same time, same place. What is our protagonist chosen to do?

Stay tuned!

 

 

 

Practical Love #3


Read the previous part here

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She entered the mall, trying to assure herself that it would be alright and she would stick to her resolve. ‘There’s no reason to take this forward. It would hurt us both’, she thought as she stepped on the escalator.

He was standing outside the store waiting for her, leaned against the railing of the second floor, facing the large floor beneath. He had been waiting for whole five minutes now and nervousness had started seeping in. ‘She will come’ he assured himself. In all these years, it was the first time he had felt this way at the prospect of meeting a girl. What had happened to him, he could not fathom. He had been on innumerable dates before but this was different. This girl was different.

And then he saw her coming up. She was clad in a white suit, her long hair flowing down to her back. ‘She is beautiful’ , He thought, his heart beat getting faster with each passing moment. Was that simply on seeing a girl approach? ‘I must be going mad’ he thought. He could not take the eyes off her until she joined him outside the store and waived a ‘Hi’.

“Hi!”, he said. She came and stood beside him against the railing, watching the crowd in silence, until he remarked, “Salwar Kameez suits you more than those western dresses”.

She smiled, still looking down at the crowd pouring in. “Thanks”, she replied. She was conscientiously trying to keep the conversation to the minimum, for she had seen in his eyes what was about to come, and a part of her wanted to avoid that altogether.

“So, what would you like to do? Head to the store or maybe chill at the food court first?”, he asked.

“I’m sorry, but I’m in a bit of a hurry. Could we head to the store straightaway?” she said smiling in a sorry way.

And that did the trick. “As you say, Madame”, and they started towards the store. Though his heart was sinking, he was tongue tied before that smile, a smile which could bewitch. It was getting increasingly difficult not to fall for her. ‘This girl has some magic’, he thought. He felt surprised to think what he had been doing all those years, as they went over to the Men’s Clothes section. All that looked simply a waste of precious years now, as she stood beside him, going through the shirts.

It was a new and weird feeling and he almost felt as if everything would turn out to be alright. He was feeling at home, with her standing beside him, doing something for him. He was unmindfully looking at the shirts, his mind tangled in his chain of thoughts when her voice brought him out of his sweet reverie.

“How about this one?”, She asked. He took one glance at her choice and smiled.

“Not bad at all”, he said taking the shirt from her hand and keeping it aside. Then he took out another from the rack saying, “I’ll go and try these on” and started towards the changing rooms, while she went over to the women’s clothing section.

‘She has a knack of finding the best stuff out of that ‘, He thought, looking at his refection in the mirror, smiling. He went out to show her the final look, and there she was, her back facing him as she browsed. He was about to call her and ask how that was looking, when a sudden memory flashed his mind. It was a random question, but somehow it seemed linked to this moment. “Would you pay her bill?”, The words resonated in his head. He tired to think but he could not pin point what could it possibly relate to, until he saw where she was standing. It was the women’s clothing section; He had replied he would not pay her bill! Yes, that was it and he had said it right in front of her but she had never seemed to mind. At that point, it had seemed to be the obvious choice because it would not have been worth that effort, She was just another friend. A friend who had gone to become the one with whom he had shared every tiny detail of his world. This close connect had lasted a few months hence, until a silly rumor doubting their growing friendship, had made them part ways for the better.

He silently walked back to the changing room, aiming to correct something he had said long ago.

She had gone through some great stuff, selected a handbag for herself and was now waiting for him to come. ‘He has taken more than fifteen minutes.. ..What in the world is this guy doing?’, she thought, keeping her purchase the payment counter.

She had already paid, when he came into view. He had a sheepish expression on his face which said , ‘Sorry to keep you waiting’. She nodded and gestured him to join behind her in the queue. She gave him the way and then waited patiently. She noticed he had kept both the shirts and along with another flowery one. She had not expected a guy with a fashion sense as him to wear that, except at a beach. It has small printed flowers all over . ‘Wait, Is that a women’s Shirt?’, A possibilty crept her mind as she got a close look at it, when the salesperson opened the otherwise crumbled shirt kept in the basket, to remove its sensors and fold it neatly.

Surprised, she looked at him as he was engrossed in clearing the bill. ‘None of my business’, she reasoned herself. ‘He has no sister, didn’t he?’ again a thought crept her mind before she fought it away.

Finally, they stepped outside the store. “Lunch ?”, he asked expectedly, meeting her eye.

“I’m sorry, but it has been over a hour already. Maybe next time..”, she seemed to be in a hurry.

“I have something urgent to talk about. Could you please stay, just for the old times sake?”, he said with a serious expression.

‘Old times sake?’ she thought. “What is it? Something happened?”, she replied, concerned, like she always was, for everyone, sadly.

“Yes..” he said, his eyes cast on the cream tiled floor beneath. And they walked silently towards the Food court. An awkward silence ensued between them. Only, if they could remove those eight years from in between..

Catch on the finale here!

The image used here has been sourced from the internet.

Practical Love #2



Indian Bloggers

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Read the first part here. This is for everyone who motivated me to bring out the second part.Happy reading!

Memories of yesteryears flooded back as if they had been ducked into a farthest corner of her mind, waiting for their release as she pondered over their last meeting, sitting in her room. He was one of those guys she tended to avoid, but her heart would not listen to any of the reasoning she gave it. It was getting difficult to argue with her heart and make it see the sides of him which made him highly unsuitable.

‘He may possess every other quality I idealize but I can’t say the same for his character’, she remembered how girls were nothing more than a number for him. He could never be  a ‘one woman man’. Now she was getting double minded at the prospect of going out with a guy like that altogether, but the wait of years to find the ‘perfect one’ got the better of her when she got a call from him. He was already on his way. And she could not help but say she would be leaving in a minute too.

“Love is blind, personified!”,  She exclaimed, stuffing her cell phone in her purse.

“He must have had a dozens of affairs by now….Stop it!” She reprimanded herself. Why would a girl preserving her love for the ‘one’ go for a guy like him…it wasn’t practical …and right!

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Practical Love


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Back in middle school:

“If she was stranded in a shopping mall, short on money, would you pay her bill?” he was asked, quite cunningly at that age, just to know his feelings for a girl he chatted all day long with.

He thought for a fraction of a second and said “No” quite plainly, in a matter of factly voice. She sat on the opposite bench, listening to the conversation. It hurt obviously, but she was too naive to understand the real intent behind this question or the complexities of Love, but other surely did. This guy was open for grabs!

After eight years:

He sat in front of her, as the little conversation replayed in her mind. She was seeing him after a long time and today, she understood what that plain “No” meant and what this meeting meant too.

They were at Coffee Klutch, both qualified professionals and had changed for the better over the years. It was high time they exploited their own options at finding a partner before being plunged into the ‘shaadi.com’ frenzy by their family.
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