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.

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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 2

Earlier in the month, I had published a write-up on the people we see in the mall.To read that article, click here : Mall visits… Part 1

These are the people who inspire us to go to the mall. These are the people who spark my quest to observe human behaviour from various countries around the world.

Before we proceed to the anecdote, I want to make it clear that some Canadian Popstar singing”let’s go to the mall….. tonight”, does not really appeal to me. Only the fact that “Robin” is supper awesome, made me watch that song. Anyway…

The unsatisfied wife: 

We were still in the queue for a pizza, when a man of about 30 years of age came and established himself in front of the queue. A group of teenagers was already waiting there, browsing the menu and discussing what to order.I would like to point out, that unlike some other groups, these boys were exceptionally well behaved and were not causing much of a ruckus that is typical of a group of teenagers.

So this guy, ignores the queue and stands next to one of the boys. He makes a hand-motion where he formed a cone by bringing together all his fingers and pointing then upwards. The typical motion I associate with an Italian and an Arab, to get a point across.  He said something which I  think meant that he needed the boy to move away a bit.

The boy obliged.

Then this guy turns back to a woman and pointing to the empty space on the ground  suggested that she should stand here to give an order. I imagined she was his wife.

The wife obliged.

She glanced briefly up to the menu displayed on the top display. 10 seconds later she nodded her head in disapproval. There was a look of intense fury on the guy’s face, but he did not say a word.

The moved on to the next eatery.

This activity continued for a further 20 mins, by which time, they had managed to cover Pizza hut, McDonalds, Subway, KFC, Red Dragon, Nandos and a few other places, covering almost every cuisine usually offered in a mall.

By this time, I had ordered the pizza and the pizza was ready to eat, so could not follow their progress, but it was evident :

It is indeed difficult to understand what women want.

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 Humor, Short Story

Life is sacred…a satire

She was sitting at the hospital, looking at her stomach, gently moving her hand over it.

While doing so, she kept going back to her trip to Africa. She cursed the day she entered that place.

She never thought, that her one decision would cause her this much pain. But she knew she had no choice.

She had to get rid of the life inside of her. She did not want it.

“The doctor will see you now”, said the nurse.

She went in the doctor’s cabin. Dread was upon her like a large and heavy blanket on a kid’s chest. This decision weighing heavily on her.

The doctor  had a file in front of him. Eyes peering into a bunch of papers. His eyes kept looking at the papers while his mouth said,”We can kill it without the surgery. I will subscribe some medicines for you. We should be rid of it in no time. It is still in its primary stage”.

This was excellent news for her. Joy spread across her face.

She would finally get rid of the growth in her stomach. The parasite living inside of her.

The Tapeworm.