Posted in Life

With Friends like these…

When you stay away from your country for years at a time, you tend to get home sick. Everyone is aware of it. Most have felt it. I too have felt it at times. Mostly during festivals, when your friends keep sending you season greetings via social medial. All you can do is wish back and wish that you could be back home, joining in the festivities.

But that is not the only time that you are bound to feel homesick. Those who haven’t been away from their family much, feel the homesickness when they come to a sudden realisation that they are now about to leave the loved ones behind and travel abroad, just to feed the loved ones. It is ironic, that you need to leave those people behind whom you care about , just to earn money and send it to those loved ones who will then save it, waiting for you to come back. But perhaps the wait makes the reunion sweater.

I had the pleasure of going through this experience, the second time I was travelling. But then onwards, I never felt those butterflies in the stomach. I always found myself busy shopping for my friends who were living abroad and wanted something from the home country.

As soon as my date of travel used to draw near, I used to start getting calls from the friends. They would spend some times asking how things were”back home”, then demand some items to be brought over.

I always used to wonder, these guys, who had stayed away from their family for years now, must be feeling homesick and hence used to order these items, just to get a feel from home.

Little did I know then, that those calls, demands for items were all just a ruse to keep my mind off the sadness.

A few days ago, I gave a call to one of my friends who was coming over. I asked him to bring me an item which is a bit hard to get, even back home. He had to spend a considerable time looking for it, with his wife accompanying him behind his bike, just like they used to during their college days.

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Posted in Life

Happy Holidays

In a few days, the year comes to an end. For some it was a fantastic year filled with a lot of new experiences unlocking a plethora of achievements. For some, it was a routine year with nothing out of the ordinary happening for them. For some, it was full of disappointments and pain.

I neither envy nor pity any of these people. For, those who unlocked new achievement badges, were happy with the year, those who had a routine year wanted exactly that, and those who suffered, now have a ray of hope to look at the days to come as a new beginning.

For me, the year was filled with everything – Happiness, a sense of achievement, new adventurous, new places, new sadness, new disappointments, new ways to goof-off (ahem). But I can’t live without these aspects of the life, so I consider then as a very important phase of my character building.

I wish all of you to have the same in the coming year ahead.

May God grant you all the happiness and joy and other important bits of life.

Happy Holidays and a very Happy new year to all you beautify people.

Shalom, Namaste, pip pip.

Posted in Life, Short Story

Reunion

“Hi there, do you remember me from the class of 85 ?”, she asked the  guy behind her in the queue for name tags, a broad smile on her face.

She was in her late 40s now,  hardly any resemblance to her 16 year old self. But then, that  was true with most of the people gathered in the hall.

It was their 30 year school reunion.

They took the name tags, only first names with their pen names in quotes, pasting them on their chest starting to mingle with the crowds. It was good to see some of them, hard to recognize some of them and very difficult to remember, that some of these people were actually ever in the same class as them.

It is common, to have very few people from your school to be still in touch, but it seemed that they had forgotten a lot of their own classmates.

Eventually, they ended up sitting at the same table.

“Do you remember how you used to throw colour pencils at me?”, she asked him.

“Of course I do. You used to be very good at art and craft, I was just helping you out”, he answered with a sheepish smile on his face.

His hair was grey now, she noticed,  but he still had that mischievous sparkle in his eyes that he had even when they were kids. It seemed time was not able to touch that aspect of him.

“Well, I did help you out once or twice. When the teacher was not looking, remember ?”, she asked.

“Well, drawing a mustache on the face of queen Victoria from our history books, does not count as helping out”, he remarked.” It cost me a week’s worth of detention . My parents were furious. Dad thrashed me like anything that day. And this was all because of a girl ! That thought kept me awake. I had to take my revenge”, he said while filling up her glass with water,a grin on his face. ” Well, I don’t think that revenge should have included me sitting in the library for a month as detention, for allegedly throwing a chalk at the teacher while she had her back turned to the class. I did not even have a good aim, and I used to sit next to the captain of the cricket team, famous for his accurate aim at throwing the ball onto the stumps from great distances. I wish they would have made that connection”, she said, responding to his grin with a smile .

“Well, I definitely was very good at cricket back then. I loved to spend time on the field.  Joining the national Cricket team was my live goal back then, but life had other plans it seemed”, he said. Looking down at his bulging stomach. He missed playing cricket .

“You know, that was the day, I developed a small crush on you”, he confessed.”To be honest, I had a crush on you from that day as well. Maybe a teenage crush for a rebel, but a crush all the same.”, she admitted.” I wished I had proposed that day, but I was too scared and proud for it”, he confessed. ” When I was in the library, I spent most of the time day dreaming about how I could have spent time with the team captain”, she said and blushed. I was a long time since he had seen her blush. He missed it so much.

The conversation went on for hours, they did not notice that the other people on their table had a completely different conversation going on between them. It was as if they were immersed in their own world, they had traveled in the past, re-living their school days.

Now, the party was coming to an end, it was time to bid a goodbye to the batch of 85. The host called for an attention from everyone. Lightly banging the champagne glass with a spoon, he announced,”Ladies and Gentleman, fellow classmates, it has been 30 years since most of us saw each other. During this time, we have changed, we have grown, we now have separate lives which we share with loved ones. Some of us are still good friends, but some of us were less remembered by us. Some are just a memory and some, a missed call”

“However, most of us here still remember our “Head-boy” and “Head-girl” , who were always loved by all, during their school days. A strong example of how strong love is. Please welcome, Mrs and Mr… ”

She touched his shoulder and said,”Honey, I think they want us to go on that stage and give a speech. Think you can manage it ?”. “Sure”, he said” Just help me with the wheelchair.I see they have a ramp , just push me onto the stage, will you ?”. “You should have  a lot of practice by now darling. After all, it has been  31 years since the accident. ”

They started going towards the stage, accompanied by a thunderous applaud . The high school sweethearts remained so, even after being married for 28 years.

Posted in anecdote

Mall visits… Part 1

Visiting a mall is extremely entertaining. There are thousands of people around, which means there are a thousand different opportunities to observe human behavior and quirks.

In one such visit recently, I came across once such incident. Now, I am not very good at any language other than English and my native, but actions speak louder than words. So all this is my take on the events.

The testy Father:

There was a big family, 5 kids, their Dad and their mothers- who had come for shopping and were now hungry.

The dad was ordering a pizza for the entire family. He stood in the queue, waiting for his turn. His son, looked about 10 year old, came and stood next to him. He check if his father was paying attention to him. He was safe. His father was busy selecting which pizza would be best. He looked around. There was a hugh pile of pizza delivery  boxes, neatly staked, on the counter. He pushed them. the tower of boxes did not come down, but the deed was noticed by the Dad. He got irritated and asked the kid to stop doing that. Dad went back to contemplating how he can feed his litter. The moment the dad looked away, the child, with a sheepish smile, touched the boxes again twice, just to show his defiance. Dad noticed that and now ordered him to go sit with the rest of the family. The kid, touched the pile, one last time and ran to him mother.

Now, by the time this happened, Dad has reached the front of the queue and placing an order. The sales assistant was trying to communicate in gestures and English (which is not native here), that it was Tuesday and he gets a free pizza with every pizza he orders, but dad was having a hard time to understand that. In all this commotion, his other son, who looked 15 year old, came and asked him for some money to eat the pancakes from the next stall.

The Dad give him a look that would have melted the Himalayas faster than the global warming. The Boy was unperturbed. The dad, shaking his head, put his had into his pocket and game him a tenner. By now he looked very irritated. He must be thinking:

Here I am, trying to buy these guys a pizza, where this red Tshirt guy is trying to tell be that I can order less because he is happy to give a free pizza, God knows why. My son is asking money to by pancakes when he is going to have pizza in a few minutes. He will say that he doesn’t want a pizza now because he is not hungry now. And to think only yesterday he demanded that he wanted to eat Pizza tomorrow, no matter what. My other kid is trying to cause me embarrassment by causing havoc when he manages to topple the tower of boxes, the baby keeps crying and the two girls keep roaming around like they own the place.  God help me !