I couldn’t sleep last night. The thrill and enormosity of a new life starting was too much for me. I was extra anxious about the new day that would be today. I rolled over many a hundred times in bed but still sleep didn’t knock on my door. I took to twitter to idle away the time that would be otherwise wasted trying to sleep. As usual I met the nighttime gang, well not the complete gang anyway. Metalsaint and KirtiB were up, however the Ullu was somehow missing and so was the UlluHandler. After around the 20 odd tweets I fell asleep. Then was woken up by Mom at around 7:30. Got up and went to print out a few pre-requisite documents for college. And as expected of me, I had overlooked a few minor things in the checklist. They were:-
I didn’t notice that 6 passport size and six stamp size pictures were required. And as usual the ones I had were nowhere to be found.
I didn’t mention either my name or my registration number on any of my Pre-College assignments.
There were these two things, one my tenth class pass certificate and the other my twelfth class pass certificate. I had collected neither from my school. And both were required at the university for registration.
But I couldn’t miss my first day at college just because I didn’t have a few things. I tried to print a few of my passport size photos on a glossy sheet but they came out too darn big. And after printing I realized that I was out of glossy sheets. By the time I gathered all that was needed for registration it was already nine, the time when my college began.
So I rushed out in the hope that I would reach in 10 minutes to the maximum. But again my luck was cursed and I was stuck in a jam for one and a half hours. And I couldn’t even run to college since it was like 6 kms away from where my car was stuck. And well neither am I cut out for running. So I sat there waiting for the jam to clear.
I had a proficiency test from 9:30 but I reached the insti gates by 10:45. I took the 2 hour test in about half an hour. I didn’t have any idea that they were going to give Chem, Maths and Physics questions in the test along with Computers and English. Well I kind of attempted every question in Computers and English to make up for my ineptness in answering the questions of the other three subjects. The test got over at 11:30 and we were supposed to go down for a havan but we didn’t go untill after 12. So it kind of messed up the day timings.
The havan was from 12 to 1 which gave us half an hour less for our lunch break. I grabbed half a sandwich and a slushie and went to get the photographs that I was missing from the school gate which was almost 1 km away from the computer science building. I had already climbed to the 4th floor atleast 7 times during the day and this bas just once more. I headed back to the assigned room for registration and verification of documents.
Well I guess its criminal to say this about the seniors especially since they were so helpful and cool, but they were hitting on every girl in my batch. The registration process was however totally mis-managed and what should have taken less than half an hour took almost 2-3 hours. Then when everything was done and I was ready to go home it started raining, a total downpour. I waded through knee deep muddy water to get to my car and my feet were already sore from all the walking I had done. It took almost 1 hour to reach home, traffic jams in Delhi suck.
I know that this is a very sucky account of such an exciting day but I’m too tired to write a better one. Hope you all bear with me this time. And anyways I have to prepare for a creative writing competition for the talent hunt tomorrow. Goodbye guys. See you in Twitterland.
I arrived at the address where someone had requested a taxi. I honked but no one came out. I honked again, nothing. So I walked to the door and knocked. ‘Just a minute’, answered a frail, elderly voice. I could hear something being dragged across the floor. After a long pause, the door opened. A small woman in her 90’s stood before me. She was wearing a print dress and a pillbox hat with a veil pinned on it, like somebody out of a 1940s movie. By her side was a small nylon suitcase.
The apartment looked as if no one had lived in it for years. All the furniture was covered with sheets.. There were no clocks on the walls, no knickknacks or utensils on the counters. In the corner was a cardboard box filled with photos and glassware. ‘Would you carry my bag out to the car?’ she said. I took the suitcase to the cab, and then returned to assist the woman. She took my arm and we walked slowly toward the curb. She kept thanking me for my kindness.
‘It’s nothing’, I told her. ‘I just try to treat my passengers the way I would want my mother treated’.. ‘Oh, you’re such a good boy’, she said. When we got in the cab, she gave me an address, and then asked, ‘Could you drive through downtown?’ ‘It’s not the shortest way,’ I answered quickly. ‘Oh, I don’t mind,’ she said. ‘I’m in no hurry. I’m on my way to a hospice’. I looked in the rear-view mirror. Her eyes were glistening. ‘I don’t have any family left,’ she continued. ‘The doctor says I don’t have very long.’
I quietly reached over and shut off the meter. ‘What route would you like me to take?’ I asked. For the next two hours, we drove through the city. She showed me the building where she had once worked as an elevator operator. We drove through the neighborhood where she and her husband had lived when they were newlyweds. She had me pull up in front of a furniture warehouse that had once been a ballroom where she had gone dancing as a girl. Sometimes she’d ask me to slow in front of a particular building or corner and would sit staring into the darkness, saying nothing.
As the first hint of sun was creasing the horizon, she suddenly said, ‘I’m tired. Let’s go now’ We drove in silence to the address she had given me. It was a low building, like a small convalescent home, with a driveway that passed under a portico. Two orderlies came out to the cab as soon as we pulled up. They were solicitous and intent, watching her every move. They must have been expecting her. I opened the trunk and took the small suitcase to the door. The woman was already seated in a wheelchair.
‘How much do I owe you?’ she asked, reaching into her purse.
‘Nothing,’ I said ‘You have to make a living,’ she answered.
‘There are other passengers,’ I responded.
Almost without thinking, I bent and gave her a hug. She held onto me tightly. ‘You gave an old woman a little moment of joy,’ she said. ‘Thank you.’ I squeezed her hand, and then walked into the dim morning light. Behind me, a door shut. It was the sound of the closing of a life.
I didn’t pick up any more passengers that shift. I drove aimlessly lost in thought. For the rest of that day, I could hardly talk. What if that woman had gotten an angry driver, or one who was impatient to end his shift? What if I had refused to take the run, or had honked once, then driven away? On a quick review, I don’t think that I have done anything more important in my life. We’re conditioned to think that our lives revolve around great moments. But great moments often catch us unaware-beautifully wrapped in what others may consider a small one.
PEOPLE MAY NOT REMEMBER EXACTLY WHAT YOU DID, OR WHAT YOU SAID, BUT THEY WILL ALWAYS REMEMBER HOW YOU MADE THEM FEEL.
This is no way my original work. Its just an E-mail forward i got.
This is a work of fiction. Names, Characters and incidents are products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to actual events or person, living or dead is entirely coincidental. You have been forewarned.
It was just 3am, I probed into the farthest reaches of my mind but sleep was definitely far away. I picked up phone and flicked it open. There were no new notification, no missed calls and no unread messages. I started playing with the phone. Wondering whether I should or shouldn’t call Varsha. She would generally be up this time taking to her mom. It was an everyday affair for me calling her up at this time. Today however I felt a tingling in my heart, it wasn’t very alarming but it was there. I kept playing with the phone for five more minutes until I gathered up enough courage to finally press the call button. The call connected and started ringing. After two rings the service sent back a busy tone. I started getting anxious. I called again. The service sent back the same busy tone after two rings. I tried five more times before finally calling up on her home number. It kept ringing, 2 rings, 3 rings, 4 rings, finally someone picked up the phone. A voice sounded and it was unmistakably her mom’s. I replied in a very quiet tone ‘Hello! Can I talk to Varsha?‘ ‘She’s been waiting for your call for a long time’ replied her mom. ‘I don’t know what is wrong with her. She’s refusing to talk to anyone.‘ My heart skipped a beat listening to what she had to say. ‘I tried calling her. But it kept getting disconnected.‘ I said to her. ‘Wait I’m coming over.‘
I gathered up my phone and wallet. Walked down the stairs to the car and drove out. I left a message on my Dad’s cell saying that a friend needed my help and I’d be back by morning. I drove my car at a breakneck speed, ignoring ever speed breaker and every traffic signal on my way. My heart and mind were on fire. Nothing mattered more than that. I finally reached her home at around 3:30. I ran up the stairs and knocked on her door. Her mom opened the door silently and I headed to her room. She was sitting in one corner of her bed wrapped in a blanket. Her face buried in her hands. It was evident that she had been crying. I took off my shoes and went and sat down beside her. I put my hand on her shoulder and ran my fingers through her hair. She looked at me, and I stared into her eyes. There was something wrong, something gravely wrong. I could feel it, her eyes spoke of it too. And I had rarely seen anything but happiness in them. I pulled her to me and hugged her. And then I asked ‘What’s wrong?’ She stared at me in a dazed state for over two minutes. She look in her eyes very plainly said ‘I thought you’d understand.’ I shied away from her eyes. I felt guilty for not understanding her. I tried to look at her again. But this time she looked away. I held her hand in mine and asked again, ‘What happened?’
She slowly let go off the blanket that she so tightly clutched before. The dress she wore was torn in many places in the most brutal ways. And it was entirely ripped from below her waist. There were gashes all around her figure. I took her by the hand and made her stand. It was clear that she had been abused to the very highest degree. She couldn’t even stand properly and collapsed into my arms. I took her gently and laid her down on the bed. There was a fire burning inside me, a fire that no amount of water could quench. I asked her gently ‘Who did this?’
She told me the entire story, how one of her classmates asked her to help him with his project. She agreed and went to his house. Once she entered she realized that no one else was there. He told her nothing would happen but she was still scared. They sat in the living room and worked on their assignments. Then when that guy went up to get a glass of water she tried to call me, but my phone was off. Abhay her classmate returned with a glass of champagne and offered it to her. She refused and he began to pressurize her. Finally she got up and started walking towards the door. He pulled her back and kissed her on her lips without her consent. She screamed but he covered her mouth with his hands and dragged her to her room. And she stopped. She could say no more. But I understood, I realized what had happened.
I asked her where he lived. She kept begging me not to do anything, but it had already gone too far, I had made up my mind. I was going to report him straight away to the police. I asked her once more for the address and she blurted out. I kept repeating the address to myself, ‘Golf Links’. I went to the car and set out towards the Police station. But I stopped mid-way, he lived in Golf Links, that meant he was loaded, he would get away from the police in no time. I turned my car around and headed for the Golf Links address. I found his house but parked my car at quite a distance. I opened the trunk and took out a crowbar. With the weapon in my hand I walked to his house. My hands shook as I rung the bell. The door opened and a servant spoke to me. I asked for Abhay. He told me to wait in the lobby. I told him that I was in a hurry and that he better fetch him quick. The servant closed the door and ran to call Abhay. The door opened the second time and a guys face peeped out. I asked quietly ‘Abhay?’ Yes came the reply and I hit him straight on his head with the crowbar. He let out a shriek, but that did not stop me. I kept hitting until his head smashed open. His servants came down and saw me with blood all over my body and whatever was left of Abhay lying down in front of me. They ran towards me and tackled me to the ground. They kept hitting me but the pain was beyond me now, the pleasure of revenge took hold of every feeling that I could ever feel. I heard the police sirens as I passed out. But I had done what I set out to do, I had avenged my blood, I had avenged my sister.
In the great wait for twilight, little lights shine.
Each with a story of its own, with fiery design.
And then again a light flickers, dying out with time.
Whilst the others shine on, quite in their prime.
They lighten up, every finite darkness.
And stand out, shine in their naked starkness.
In the the great wait for twilight, little lights shine.
Each gleaming with life, each a lone man’s shrine.
Brighter than a thousand suns, burns what i feel inside.
Destiny many call it, but this i can’t hide.
Days go by, i am lost, you show me the way.
I have tried to hold it for long, but i must say it today.
Long have you chanced upon my eyes, and made them blind.
You played unbelievable games of love with my heart, my mind.
Your beauty reminds me, of a geisha of admirable grace.
In your arms i seek to find, my one true solace.
I yearn to do what no one has done, i swear by the white winged dove.
If i kneel down and beg, will you give me your love?
There’s a certain type of girl you try and look for, for your entire life. She has bits and pieces of everything you hold dear and yet she’s so unlike every other girl you meet. A girl who doesn’t make your jaw drop down and oogle. The girl should be such that you spend a few precious moments with her and hope to cherish them forever. The girl should make you want to stand up and shout ‘She’s the one! I think i wanna live my life with her’ She may not be perfect but almost everything about her should seem perfect to you. She should definately be a bundle of joy, thats essential, theres no life without fun. When you try to do something adventurous she should be the one holding your hand and taking you along and not the one holding you back. I met a girl once who was oodles of joy. Used to call her hyper. She’d be willing to do the craziest things in the world. Screaming at the top of our lungs on a crowded bus. Jumping from desks onto chairs. Be what it may she was always raring to go. It seemed like nothing could restrain her. She wasn’t exactly the girl but so much like her. So so much. Then she changed. I found no one like her after that. I’m not writing this to crib about how pathetically lonely and loveless i am. I don’t even care about that. But there’s something, some kind of girl, i can’t explain. Maybe its one of my late-adolescent fantasies. Who knows? But i still feel there is someone out there. Someone who doesn’t really care about what others say, someone who agrees to do even the most craziest things. Someone who isn’t complicated and accepts a shoulder to cry on. Someone to seamlessly merge friendship with what maybe love. Someone who slaps me in the head for every mistake i make instead of sulking away. Someone who looks through the stereotype that people created for me over the years and sees who i really am. And finally someone with whom every step in life will seem like an adventure.