Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Celebrating Life with a Stranger...

I raise my glass to you Stranger, for without you I would have remained blind forever...
The heat had abated a little that evening and the cool breeze on my face felt wonderful. I miss my hometown where the rains had been frequent and generous, where the winters gave way to lush springs and beautiful summers, and where the sun would peak behind from clouds to encase us in its moderate sunshine. The sun in the city isn't as generous and I have been finding it increasingly difficult to venture out into the heat. But that evening the Gods above had finally shown mercy and the winds decided to blow all evening long.
 I was returning home after a hectic brainstorming session with my friends over studies and I felt oddly restless and down. Life in the city isn't easy and living away from home can take its toll when often, things refuse to work out in your favour. I decided to walk rather than take the auto and the exercise felt relieving to my senses. The roads too were strangely silent that day with little traffic and the few cars that zoomed past showered me with welcome air, their engines vibrating smoothly.
I was lost in my own thoughts, walking lethargically, enjoying the work out after a long time. The footpath was uneven and gravels lay in chunks here and there and I tripped a couple of times when I noticed a man beside me.  Hands outstretched, with a walking stick in his right hand and black glasses he was carefully gauging his steps as he cautiously lay one foot ahead of the other. He was blind...
The sight left me stunned...Seeing this stranger on the broad wide street making his way all alone to some unknown destination left me speechless. For a moment all my thought processes stood standstill as I looked at this beautiful brave man, unafraid yet unsure, steadily walking through those uneven roads as countless wide eyed men walked past.
I walked upto this stranger and asked, ’Do you need help Sir?’
‘Oh...So kind of you to ask. Can you please tell me exactly where I’m?’ His voice had a soothing ring to it, a kind of peace that touched my soul and took away the day’s exhaustion with it.
‘You are standing just beside the petrol pump at Chowrasta Sir’, I replied.
‘Thank you so much... I’m actually headed to the Calcutta Blind School. I’m already nearby I see.’
For a moment I hesitated and then I offered to walk him to CBS. And as I walked slowly, guiding him through those rough streets, I felt wonderful. For the first time that summer the heat, the city and its unruly crudity, life and its harsh lessons stood at bay. I was untouched by it all. I encounter numerous people in the city yet this man touched something deep within me. He talked of life as if it were a feisty lovely gift that needs to be savoured and lived joyously. His unwavering courage and untainted faith made me question a lot of things about myself.
I left him at the gates of CBS. Before leaving I saw this man take hold of the hands of an old blind lady and offering to take her inside. Chivalrous and blind...
I salute you stranger for you opened my eyes to something beyond myself. Your courage and joy, your infectious faith and hope in all things worldly and unworldly, the hues of life you believe in even if you can’t see them and your daring to fight against all odds are rare and contagious gifts. They touched my life and gave it a whole new meaning. Your brilliance inspires me to be something more than I’m meant to be, your joy inspires me to live life brave and unabashed.
I raise my glass to you Stranger, for you have inspired me like no other...

I raise my glass to you Stranger, for you deserve no less... 

I am writing about #MyRoleModel as a part of the activity by Gillette India in association with

Thursday, 24 April 2014


  The house looked forlorn, it’s once magnificent walls now covered in ivy and the winter snow lay soft on the ground stirring something deep within my soul. I unlocked the huge wooden doors and stepped inside and a sudden feeling of loss overwhelmed me, pulling me down with it to bottomless dark pits that plunged my whole world upside down. Five long years away from all that I had loved, away from her haunting memories, away from her bittersweet presence...I walked up to the beautiful portrait and leaned my head against it, no longer willing to escape, as I heard her soft voice whisper...

  It’s Christmas my love. And you are finally home...

Written as part of the Five Sentence Fiction prompt.
Word Prompt: Vacation

Saturday, 12 April 2014


I looked at the innocent serene face of my son. In his sleep he looked almost divine, an unworldly angel from the heavens above to torment my soul. My heart desperately wished to acknowledge his presence; I wanted to let the world know that this celestial child was my own blood, fostered by my insatiable lust for the beautiful woman who had mothered him. But my courage failed me. Cowering under the shame of infidelity and betrayal, Sunita’s face swam unbidden into my mind. My love for her had died along with our marriage and now it was all a farce, a pretence to shield our family and daughter from the harsh gossips of society.
‘It’s late Rajesh. I think you should leave.’ Her voice intervened my thoughts and I turned around to look at Rita. How could she do this to me? Tear me away from my son and condemn me to the rings of hell. To never look at my son, to never touch him and feel the pride and joy of a father; his absence would burn me alive from within and rip apart my soul.
‘I don’t want to Rita. I want to be there for him, I want to see my son grow...’ Words failed me. The emotional upheaval within me was rendering me speechless. But it was too late. I could see it in her eyes; the finality and deadly determination to protect our son from the consequences of our affair.
‘You must Rajesh. I shall not allow my son to grow up under the shadow of infidelity. It is in his best interests. He deserves a secure childhood and I do not want him subjected to the insecurity that your infrequent presence in our lives shall incur.’
As I drove through the rain that night, tears rolled down my cheeks. The heavens poured down their grief relentlessly from above, the thunder echoing my silent cries. On reaching home, Sunita opened the door. But I walked past her as if she were a ghost and headed straight for my daughter’s room. My four year old daughter sat playing with her toys, her eyebrows screwed tight in concentration while her black curls cascaded down her shoulders, oblivious to the world around her. I picked up my daughter and looked at her face, searching for resemblances to hold onto the memory of the child who will never know of my existence. The eyes, soft and brown like her brother’s... like me.
And as I held her frail little body close, I tried to draw strength from my daughter. Both my children mingled into one as I kept looking at her eyes and as I broke down, holding her small hands in mine, I tried to make peace with myself, knowing very well that I had lost it for a lifetime.
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