Posted in Short Story

Spoils of …

The family was eating their dinner together.

It was a custom that all family members eat food together. But the dad kept looking at the empty seat in front of him. The usual clatter during their diners and lunches was absent. His wife and daughter were eating the food in silence, sobbing silently.

He kept going back to the day of the riots, the day his son was arrested. Just 15 years of age, he was there in the midst of it all, throwing stones at the cops. Someone had told him that people from other religion were torturing people from his cast, which had sparked a fire in his young belly. – A fire which should have been used for society betterment was now being used to nurture hatred.

The father cursed himself for allowing this to happen.After all, it was his task to protect his children from such negative elements of the society. It didn’t occur, nor did it matter to him, that he spent more than 14 hours per day away from his house, working hard to put food on the table. It was, he thought, his duty to shield his kids.

He slowly put the morsel of food down. Prayed silently to God, for forgiveness and left the table.

Although the son was arrested, the family died that day.

All falsely, in the name of religion.

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 !

Posted in anecdote, Article, Life, Rumblings

Kids and the pressure cooker.

You know in the old days, (wow… I feel very old now) i.e. 10 years back kids used to play outside and used to beg for  more mins before coming home. I know I did. Life was simpler back then. You play for two hours everyday except Sundays and vacations, then study for a few hours and sleep soundly till you reach the high school. Then you pass the exam, select a good college and try to keep yourself afloat long enough to graduate and look for a job. That’s when you can start to stress yourself out.Well this is what I did.

Now I see kids sitting on benches, playing on their ipads and various other tabs while the ground is mostly used by people out for a jog, or at-least what is more like brisk walking.

I am sure you are aware how much time, money, paper and blogs are filled with articles on the topic of ” Kids these days are more engrossed in their smartphone than the ground”. I am confident you might have chuckled at the article and remembered the “good old days”. I did this myself today. Which prompted me to write this article.

I saw my little sister, who is not even 14 yet, fuss about the points she got in her class tests. Now, let me tell you, in India thee is only one exam that matters and the marks of only that exam are considered while selecting a good high school. (we select the high school first then we can select the college , after two years in high school). This kid is scoring a perfect score in all her exams and still she fusses about her marks. She is stressed that she might loose a point in one exam and loose the top spot. Though admirable quality, winning, not for a 14 year old.

Now, parents are always blamed for pushing their kids. But not in this case. Both the parents try to convince her to take a “chill pill” once in a while, but to no avail. I can’t seem to understand when she will enjoy life ? when will she just take a break once in a while to sit still and do nothing, just breathe ?

I guess this madness will stop only when people stop associating intelligence with the grades or marks scored in an exam, but till then, it will continue to be a rat race.