Mother

A mother was sitting by her small child, she was so sorrowful, so afraid that it was going to die.

It was so pale, its small eyes had closed, its breathing was so shallow, and occasionally it gave a deep heave as if sighing; and the mother looked even more mournfully at the little soul.

There was a knock at the door, and a poor old man stood there, wrapped in something rather like a large horse blanket, for it warmed him, and warmth was what he needed in the winter’s cold.

Everything outside was covered in ice and snow, and the wind cut like a knife in people’s faces. And since the old man was shivering with cold, and the small child had dozed off for a moment.The old man sat there rocking and the mother sat down on the chair next to him, gazed at her sick child that was breathing so deeply and she lifted its tiny hand.

‘Don’t you think I’ll be able to keep him?’ she said, ‘surely the Good Lord won’t take him away from me?’

And the old man, who was Death himself, he nodded in such a strange way – it could just as easily mean yes as no.

And the mother gazed down into her lap and the tears streamed down her cheeks – her head felt so heavy, she hadn’t slept a wink for three days and three nights, and now she dozed off, but only for an instant, then she gave a start and shivered with cold: ‘What’s this?’ she said and looked around her everywhere, but the old man was gone and her little child was gone, he had taken it with him; and over in the corner the old clock whirred and whirred, the great lead clock weight slid straight down to the floor, boom! and the clock too stood silent.

But the poor mother ran out of the house and called for her child.

Out there, in all the snow, sat a woman in long, black clothes, and she said: ‘Death has been in your house, I saw him hurry off with your small child – he travels faster than the wind, he will never return what he has taken!’

‘Just tell me which way he went!’ the mother said, ‘tell me which way and I will find him!’

‘I know the way!’ the woman in the black clothes said, ‘but before I tell you, you must first sing to me all the songs you have sung to your child! I am fond of them, I have heard them before – I am Night, I saw your tears while you sang them!’

I’ll sing all of them, all of them!’ the mother said, ‘but don’t hold me back, so I can reach him, so I can find my child!’

But Night sat there, silent and still, then the mother wrung her hands, sang and wept, and there were many songs, but even more tears; and then Night said: ‘take to the right, into the dark pine forest, that is where I saw death go with your small child!’

Deep in the forest the paths crossed each other and she no longer knew which way to go; there a thorn bush stood that had neither leaves nor flowers on it, for it was winter now and cold, and its branches were glazed with ice. ‘Haven’t you seen Death pass by with my small child?’

‘Yes, I have!’ the thorn bush said, ‘but I won’t tell you which way he went until you warm me up close to your heart! I am freezing to death and will turn completely to ice!’ And she clasped the thorn bush to her breast, so tightly, so that it could get really warm, and the thorns went right into her flesh and her blood flowed in large drops, but the thorn bush grew fresh green leaves and came into flower on that cold winter’s night, there was so much warmth at a sorrowful mother’s heart – and the thorn bush told her which way to take.

Then she came to a big lake where there were neither ship nor boat. The lake was not frozen over enough to be able to bear her, and not open and shallow enough for her to be able to wade through it, but she had to get across it if she wanted to find her child; so she lay down so as to drink the lake dry – and that is impossible for a human being, but the sorrowful mother thought that perhaps a miracle would happen ‘No, that will never work!’ the lake said, ‘let’s try to reach some agreement, the two of us!

I love to collect pearls and your eyes are the clearest ones I have seen, if you will cry them out to me, I will carry you over to the large greenhouse where Death lives and tends flowers and trees – each of them is a human life!’

‘Oh, what wouldn’t I give to get to my child!’ the mother said, red-eyed with weeping, and she cried even more and her eyes sank to the bottom of the lake and became two precious pearls, but the lake lifted her up, as if she had been sitting on a swing, and she flew in one swing over to the far shore where a strange house stood that was miles wide – it was impossible to know if it was a mountain with forests and caves or had been made out of wood, but the poor mother couldn’t see it, for she had cried out her eyes.

‘Where am I to find Death, who took my small child!’ she said. ‘He hasn’t arrived yet!’ the old grave-woman said, who tended Death’s great greenhouse. ‘How have you been able to find your way here and who has helped you?’ ‘The Good Lord has helped me!’ she said, ‘He is merciful and you will surely be too! Where can I find my small child?’

‘Well, I don’t know,’ the woman said, ‘and you are unable to see! – Many flowers and trees have withered during the night, Death will soon come and replant them! You know of course that each human being has its life-tree or its flower, each as it has been ordered; they look like other plants, but they have a heartbeat – a child’s heart can also beat! go after that, perhaps you can recognise your own child’s heartbeat; but what will you give me to say what else you must do?’

‘I don’t have anything to give,’ the sorrowful mother said, ‘but I will go for you to the end of the earth!’ ‘Well, I’ve no business there!’ the woman said, ‘but you can give me your long black hair, you know yourself how beautiful it is, and that I like!

You can have my white hair in return – that’s always something!’ ‘If that is all you are asking for,’ she said, ‘I will gladly part with it!’ And she gave the woman her beautiful hair and got the old woman’s snow-white hair in return.

And then they entered Death’s great greenhouse, where flowers and trees grew among each other in a strange way. There were fine hyacinths beneath bell-jars, and there were large, hardy peonies; black crabs nipped their stems.

There were lovely palm trees, oaks and plane trees, there was parsley and flowering thyme – every tree and flower had its own name, each of them was a human life and that human was still alive: one in China, one in Greenland, all over the world.

There were large trees in small pots and they looked so repressed and ready to burst out of them, and in many places there stood a small, drab flower in rich soil, with moss round it, that had been fussed over and tended. But the sorrowful mother bent down over all the smallest plants and could hear how a human heart beat inside them, and among the millions she recognised that of her child.

‘There it is!’ she cried out, and stretched her hand out over a small blue crocus that was drooping down on one side, very unwell. ‘Don’t touch the flower!’ the old woman said, ‘but place yourself here, and when Death comes – I’m expecting him at any moment – don’t let him pull up the plant, and if you threaten to do the same with all the others, he will be scared! he has to answer for them to the Lord God. None of them may be uprooted before he gives permission.’

Suddenly, an ice-cold wind went through the vast hall, and the blind mother could feel that Death had arrived. ‘How have you been able to find your way here?’ he asked, ‘how have you been able to get here faster than I have?’ ‘I am a mother,’ she said.

And Death stretched out his long hand towards the small fine flower, but she kept her hands tightly, so tightly, round it that she was afraid of touching one of the petals.

Then Death blew on her hands and she felt it was colder than the cold wind, and her hands dropped weakly down. ‘You can’t do anything against me!’ Death said.

‘But the Lord God can!’ she said.

‘I only do what he wants me to,’ Death said. ‘I am his gardener! I take all his flowers and trees and plant them out in the great Paradise in the unknown land, but how they grow there and what it is like there I dare not tell you.’

‘Give me back my child!’ the mother said and wept and pleaded; suddenly she grasped with each hand one of beautiful flowers close by, and cried out to Death: ‘I will pull up all your flowers, for I am in despair!’

‘Don’t touch them!’ Death said. ‘You say that you are unhappy, and now you want to make some other mother just as unhappy!’

‘Some other mother!’ the poor woman said, and immediately let go of the flowers. ‘Here are your eyes,’

Death said, ‘I have fished them up from the lake, they gleamed so brightly, I didn’t know they were yours, take them back, they are even clearer than before, look down into the deep well beside you, I will tell you the names of the two flowers you wanted to pull up and you will see all their future, their entire human life, will see what you wanted to disturb and destroy!’

And she looked down into the well – and it was bliss to see how one of them became a blessing to the world, to see how much happiness and joy unfolded around it.

And she saw the other life and it was one of sorrow and need, fright and misery. ‘Both of these are God’s will!’ Death said.

‘Which of them is the flower of misery and which that of blessing?’ she asked.

‘I will not tell you that,’ Death said, ‘but this I will tell you, that one of the flowers was that of your child, it was your child’s destiny you saw, your own child’s future!’

Then the mother cried out in terror, ‘which of them was my child! tell me! save the innocent one! save my child from all that misery! I’d rather you took it away! took it to God’s kingdom! forget my tears, forget my entreaties and everything that I have said and done!’

‘I don’t understand you,’ Death said.

‘Do you want your child back, or shall I go with it into the place you know nothing of?’ Then the mother wrung her hands, fell to her knees and prayed to the Lord God: ‘Do not listen to me if what I ask is against your will, which is always the best!

Do not listen! Do not listen!’ And she bowed her head in her lap. And Death went with her child into the unknown land.

Life

In the morning of my life, when I had to start my heartbeat in my mother’s womb, a good fairy came with her basket and told me:

“Here are gifts. Take one, leave the others. And be wary, chose wisely!”

The gifts were five: Fame, Love, Richness, Pleasure and Death.

I said, eagerly: “There is no need to consider”; and I chose ‘Pleasure’!

I came out into the world and sought out the pleasures that anyone can delight in. Much pleasures from good family, good bringing up and good education, but each in its turn was short-lived and disappointing, vain and empty; and I wanted to get more and keep with me forever, but each departed away, mocking me.

In the end I said: “These years I have wasted. If I could but choose again, I would choose wisely.

The fairy appeared, and said:

“Four of the gifts remain. Choose once more, but remember– time is flying, and only one of them is precious.”

I considered long, then chose Love.

“This is the only one which was missing in my life” I said, but did not mark the tears that rose in the Fairy’s eyes.

I had to fight to get my Love! At last I got him, but he vanished within the blink of eyes. I completely lost my trust on Love. And I communed with myself, saying: “Desolation after desolation has swept over me; for each hour of happiness the treacherous trader, Love, as sold me I have paid a thousand hours of grief.”

“Choose again.” It was the Fairy speaking.

“The years have taught you wisdom–surely it must be so. Three gifts remain. Only one of them has any worth–remember it, and choose warily.”

I reflected long, then chose Fame; and the Fairy, sighing, went her way.

Years went by and Fairy came again, and stood behind me where I was sitting solitary in the fading day, thinking. And she knew my thought:

“My name filled the world, and its praises were on every tongue, and it seemed well with me for a little while. How little a while it was! Then came envy; then detraction; then calumny; then hate; then persecution. Then derision, which is the beginning of the end. And last of all came pity , which is the funeral of fame. Then, the bitterness and misery of renown, targeted for contempt and compassion and took in its way to decay.”

“Chose yet again.” It was the Fairy’s voice.

“Two gifts remain. And do not despair. In the beginning there was but one that was precious, and it is still here.”

“Wealth–which is power! How blind I was!” I said. “Now, at last, life will be worth the living. I will spend, squander, dazzle. These mockers and despisers will crawl in the dirt before me, and I will feed my hungry heart with their envy. I will have all luxuries, all joys, all enchantments of the spirit, all contentment of the body that man holds dear. I will buy, buy, buy! deference, respect, esteem, worship–every pinch-beck grace of life, the market of a trivial world can furnish forth. I have lost much time, and chosen badly heretofore, but let that pass; I was ignorant then, and could but take for best what seemed so.”

Three short years went by, and a day came when I was sitting shivering in a mean garret; and I was gaunt and wan and hollow-eyed, and clothed in rags; and I was gnawing a dry crust and mumbling:

“Curse all the world’s gifts, for mockeries and gilded lies! And miscalled, every one. They are not gifts, but merely lendings. Pleasure, Love, Fame, Riches: they are but temporary disguises for lasting realities–Pain, Grief, Shame, Poverty. The fairy said true; in all her store there was but one gift which was precious, only one that was not valueless. How poor and cheap and mean I know those others now to be, compared with that inestimable one, that dear and sweet and kindly one, that steeps in dreamless and enduring sleep the pains that persecute the body, and the shames and griefs that eat the mind and heart.

Bring it! I am weary, I would rest.”

The fairy came, bringing again four of the gifts, but Death was wanting. “I gave it to a mother’s pet, a little child. It was ignorant, but trusted me, asking me to choose for it. You did not ask me to choose” she said.

“Oh, miserable me! What is left for me?”

“What not even you have deserved: the wanton insult of Old Age.”

Destiny

“GRS Fantasy Park…” I said to Ola cab booking counter man after coming out from railway station and while putting my power sunglasses…

Oh, Its too sunny here…” I said myself.

The counter man told me “Its cab num 2474…” after completing its formalities…

It’s the cleanest city of the country…, really its true!!! the plants are covered with yellow and purple spring flowers…Yes, its looking much beautiful than the last time, I had visited… I cannot expect any change within this short period of 2 months.

By the time, the cab driver had kept my only baggage on the carrier of the cab and I sat inside the cab without making any delay.

“Ma’am, where do you want to go exactly…” suddenly I took back my attention from the big Beganville creeper covered with amazingly beautiful pink and white flowers, towards the driver’s question.

“Abbhi Campus, Bioclinica…” I replied back…

“Strange!!!” this time I was enjoying the beautiful flowers…

But, last time, I was not able to take my eyes towards any flowers…

A feeling of emptiness was suddenly grabbing me by putting a quick picture of my own flowers which I had grown in my balcony garden. A scene of dried and crying plants were coming to my eyes, which I had left alone in the same balcony to get them dried up there under the heavy sunlight and without water….Then how can I enjoy here by seeing these smiling plants and flowers!!!

I enjoyed the calm and clean city with many up and down sloppy roads…

“Mam….its 170 bucks” the driver said…

I paid the amount, entered inside the office, after taking visitor’s pass from the security and asked Cheryl whether Harsha has come…

“Harsha has not come yet… but you cannot imagine how happy am I by seeing you back!” Cheryl, our sweetest receptionist said after welcoming and giving me a warm hug…

“Its my pleasure by getting you all back…” I said while sitting in the sofa near to her…

“Oh, hello Suchi… a very Good Morning…” Harsha said while rushing towards the reception and taking out his helmet from his head…

“How are you? Is everything fine? Didn’t have any difficulty in coming here? Where do you stay? How can I help you?” Harsha, our HR professional asked me…

“Everything is fine…I am directly coming from railway station and will search a PG accommodation by the time it gets evening…”I replied back giving him a smile…

“You are a brave girl, as usual…! Just give me 5 mins… I will call you back” Harsha said…

“Thank you” I replied back.

By the time, I started enjoying the fishes, in the aquarium, which was kept in the reception.

“Really, very beautiful fishes.” I said to Cheryl

Then Harsha called me inside the HR Bay and I went inside…

“Just show me your last relieving letter and besides that everything is done” Harsha said…

I showed and he completed all the HR formalities without taking much time…

“This is my passport size photo for access card!” I told while giving my photo to Harsha…

“No, this time, I will not accept your old photos…!” Harsha said

“Then?” I asked

“I need a new photo” he said

“I don’t have any…” I said

“I don’t know… you have to give” He said.

“ How does the photo matter? It only work matters!!!” I said

“Photo matters…” he said

“Have you seen that how many eyes were grazing towards you while you entered inside this HR Bay? You don’t know how beautiful you are… you have to give a nice photo. Wait, I have it”…Then immediately he took 6 passport size photos and showed me….

“Where did you get it…” I asked being very surprised

“Guess….” Harsha said…

“Hummm…. From linkedin!” I replied

“Yeah….”

“See how cute you are looking here…”

“Cute?!!! At this age?!”

“Yes, your look matters… it will give you more confidence”

.

I just smiled and took the access card from Harsha…

“Please be in Phoenix, Britto will take your laptop there…In the meantime if you want to have tea or coffee, then you can join with me”

“Thank you….” I thanked Harsha and moved towards Phoenix

After few minutes, I started working as usual, which I was doing 1 week back, the same work, the same Product, the same team members but the different location and the different manager!!!

At 4 O’ clock, Saroj invited me to have a walk outside of the office, his intention was to give me update about the Organization within these 2 weeks in my absence, which he was not able to say in the workstation…

I went with Saroj and Satya just to explore some nearby areas. They ordered Amma for tea and started giving me the status of my product within these 2 weeks, these 2 weeks when I had resigned from this company and had left it… but instead of listening to them, my mind and eyes were enjoying the surrounding nature.

I saw a little cute black puppy sitting under the wooden bench, was not able to come out, as it was scared by seeing so many giant creatures… we humans.

I took it out from its place, started passing my hands over its head to tail…

Like last time, I was not cursing myself by seeing this cute little creature…

Because, last time I was always remembering my cute little pug, whenever I was seeing these street cute doggies… which I had left with my parents

I gave it a little milk taking some from the Amma who was preparing tea for all of her customers…

I left the doggy there and started to come back to my workplace.

“Didi, you are looking too beautiful !” -I heard someone was telling me…

When I turned my head, I saw a small little girl, in school uniform and carrying school bag in her back, was standing beside me and was giving me a smile…

“Oh, so sweet! You are also very beautiful baby” I told her and gave a KitKat chocolate bar after getting it from my trouser pocket.

Then Saroj told that “See, how Mysore is too friendly! How everyone greets you here? In Bangalore, have you ever received this kind of compliments, because no one is having time to look at you, but still you are not accept Mysore? ”

“Yes, Saroj, you are true…” I said and smiled.

In the lunch hour, I had already searched a PG by googling and had a talk with its owner Madam, for what I started at 5pm…

Completed all the formalities with PG Madam and started arranging my stuff in the room which I had to share with another 2 young college going girls…

Life as a Paying Guest was not a new for me…

I had lived many years as a Paying Guest when I was in Bangalore.

I was well habituated with this, so there was no difficulty in adjusting here…

After giving my daily update to my mother and having my dinner which I had brought from outside… I went to the terrace to enjoy some calm time with myself in the cool breeze, moon light shades under the long palm leaves… my favorite moment and place of the day!

Tomorrow 19th March 2018 is going to be a new day in my life…

The entirely new day which I am going to start my life in a new way, taking all of my experiences gained throughout these years, accumulating all of my strengths and having a clear strategy how to deal any situation by maintaining a proper balance between my strengths and weaknesses.

No need to worry about anything. This is a calm and very friendly city. Everyone greeted me in a so friendly manner that I forgot of being new to this city. The only thing was that I had to accept my destiny and then I had to flow with the grace of the tide. Until and unless, I don’t see, the opportunity that it provides, how can I resist this? I didn’t ever want to go abroad, leaving my parents in India and also didn’t want to get settle in a new, busy, crowded city. So, for me, Mysore was the best option and which I realized very late!

Decision was not so easy to come to Mysore… but I had to move on in my life!

I had to leave everything which was restricting me to move ahead in my life!

To forget everything about my past!

Even though, I was always claiming that I had forgotten my past, but somehow I was not able to move on…

I remember the day, when first time I had come to Bangalore, to start my professional life…I was very shy and innocent…Now also, I am innocent, but have known myself.

Bangalore has seen my struggling days in my professional career, my career growth, my loneliness, my routine personal life and struggling daily life with the huge traffic on the road!!!

With all these, somehow I was feeling my life had become stand still, it was not moving. The same daily life. Was working hard since 5:30 am till 11:30PM, but I was not happy at the end of the day. I was not getting anything of meaningful. Because, I was not happy in my job, for which I was spending 4 hrs daily in the traffic and not much professional growth. Only a job change could have brought a huge change in it and for that I started looking for a job near to my house, so that I can save time and utilize that in my personal interest. Surprisingly, I was getting job offers from other cities and countries but not from Bangalore. I was becoming completely mad, tried to engage myself by exploring many new things, which supported me in my professional growth but still I was struggling in the same job. I was in need of coming out from the same daily routine job. Yes, they added value in my life experience, I got an another identity and passion, which I can never ignore, but always having a feeling of something missing.

On one fine day, Bangalore said me that it has given me everything which it could have given me, now the time has come to move to different place where I can learn something different and start my life in a new way.

But I was not able to accept it.

I struggled a lot to come out from all of those memories… which I had maintained with each and every life or object that was staying with me in my home, starting from the my pug puppy, my tiny aquarium fishes, my flower and vegetable plants, all of my furniture, my kitchen where I spend my most favorite time when I become depressed, my bed which gives me a peaceful sleep at the end of the day, God’s room, where I used to pray to give me strength and confidence, my vehicles where I was spending daily almost 4 hrs in entertaining me by listening songs, practicing my speeches, and a secure place which does not restrict me in expressing myself, sometimes an uncontrolled tear used to come out from my heart and eyes, not asking to get wiped out, as no one was able to see that I used to cry while I drive, giving a safe place and consolidating me that if I will be able to forget my past, only if I share all those painful moments. All of these stuffs, had taken care of me and my emotion and it was my duty to take care of them always. I will never leave them alone. For me, they were not lifeless objects or the lively objects who cannot speak, they were my kids. I was very much attached with them not for my comfort but for being a part of my life.

Many people suggested me to shift somewhere other than Bangalore, as I had seen very painful failed life here, but I used to say that Bangalore will be always my favorite, I have completely come out from my failed marriage and it does not have any relationship with Bangalore. Even if I had to travel several times in front of the house where I had spent those painful 6 months, but still I don’t feel any negative emotion for that. I am all quiet, peaceful, happy and have always felt great and thankful to God for taking me out from that life….

Same daily life, had locked my life in such a way that one day I decided to resign from my job, go back to my home town, and to do something different. In difference, lies life’s momentum and progress. But, there was also no change in life!!! I was not able to understand how to take it ahead…I came back to Bangalore, rejecting the job offer from a renowned MNC in Singapore and started seeing that life is moving very fast surrounding me. Then why have I restricted myself, in accepting my destiny?

Mysore….!!! Even though, I didn’t have accepted the transfer and promotion offered by my current job, but eventually, I had to accept it, because I had to bring a change in my life.

My new destiny, where I had gone 2 months back but could not continue there…came back to Bangalore and started again the daily routine…

Still I remember my words: “I had to grow in my career, not to shift a depressing city. What shall I get here? I will get more depressed and one day I will be died.” This was my answer when my manager had told me to move to Mysore for the first time.

Now, I have accepted it. I have to start everything new. I have to take a break in my fixed daily routine. This place is neither far from Bangalore nor I have to spend long hour in the traffic. I will get enough time for myself, to work on my next plan, be free from that busy life and it will bring at least something new in my life!!!

“Hello, Dr. Karna, Suchi here. I would like to resume with AG, in Mysore office” I called up to the gentleman Dr. Karna, who had told me to join back with the same organization anytime, if I would like to.

“It’s a very good decision and when are you planning to start your new job” Dr. Karna.

“The next working day, means Monday, 26th March 2018, if this is acceptable” I replied back

“Sure, I am working on it immediately and will let you know within today evening” he said

“Thank you, Dr.” I thanked him and started cleaning my house for the last time, I had to take care of kids before leaving them alone, which I had promised not to do.

But, I am doing. As I have to accept my destiny. Until and unless I cannot leave my past I cannot move ahead…

At last, I congratulated Dr. Rituraj for his new job and thanked for giving me moral support and making me more disciplined, I will have always a great respect towards him. All the best for his future life and take care.

Destiny

“GRS Fantasy Park…” I said to Ola cab booking counter man after coming out from railway station and while putting my power sunglasses…

Oh, Its too sunny here…” I said myself.

The counter man told me “Its cab num 2474…” after completing its formalities…

It’s the cleanest city of the country…, really its true!!! the plants are covered with yellow and purple spring flowers…Yes, its looking much beautiful than the last time, I had visited… I cannot expect any change within this short period of 2 months.

By the time, the cab driver had kept my only baggage on the carrier of the cab and I sat inside the cab without making any delay.

“Ma’am, where do you want to go exactly…” suddenly I took back my attention from the big Beganville creeper covered with amazingly beautiful pink and white flowers, towards the driver’s question.

“Abbhi Campus, Bioclinica…” I replied back…

“Strange!!!” this time I was enjoying the beautiful flowers…

But, last time, I was not able to take my eyes towards any flowers…

A feeling of emptiness was suddenly grabbing me by putting a quick picture of my own flowers which I had grown in my balcony garden. A scene of dried and crying plants were coming to my eyes, which I had left alone in the same balcony to get them dried up there under the heavy sunlight and without water….Then how can I enjoy here by seeing these smiling plants and flowers!!!

I enjoyed the calm and clean city with many up and down sloppy roads…

“Mam….its 170 bucks” the driver said…

I paid the amount, entered inside the office, after taking visitor’s pass from the security and asked Cheryl whether Harsha has come…

“Harsha has not come yet… but you cannot imagine how happy am I by seeing you back!” Cheryl, our sweetest receptionist said after welcoming and giving me a warm hug…

“Its my pleasure by getting you all back…” I said while sitting in the sofa near to her…

“Oh, hello Suchi… a very Good Morning…” Harsha said while rushing towards the reception and taking out his helmet from his head…

“How are you? Is everything fine? Didn’t have any difficulty in coming here? Where do you stay? How can I help you?” Harsha, our HR professional asked me…

“Everything is fine…I am directly coming from railway station and will search a PG accommodation by the time it gets evening…”I replied back giving him a smile…

“You are a brave girl, as usual…! Just give me 5 mins… I will call you back” Harsha said…

“Thank you” I replied back.

By the time, I started enjoying the fishes, in the aquarium, which was kept in the reception.

“Really, very beautiful fishes.” I said to Cheryl

Then Harsha called me inside the HR Bay and I went inside…

“Just show me your last relieving letter and besides that everything is done” Harsha said…

I showed and he completed all the HR formalities without taking much time…

“This is my passport size photo for access card!” I told while giving my photo to Harsha…

“No, this time, I will not accept your old photos…!” Harsha said

“Then?” I asked

“I need a new photo” he said

“I don’t have any…” I said

“I don’t know… you have to give” He said.

“ How does the photo matter? It only work matters!!!” I said

“Photo matters…” he said

“Have you seen that how many eyes were grazing towards you while you entered inside this HR Bay? You don’t know how beautiful you are… you have to give a nice photo. Wait, I have it”…Then immediately he took 6 passport size photos and showed me….

“Where did you get it…” I asked being very surprised

“Guess….” Harsha said…

“Hummm…. From linkedin!” I replied

“Yeah….”

“See how cute you are looking here…”

“Cute?!!! At this age?!”

“Yes, your look matters… it will give you more confidence”

.

I just smiled and took the access card from Harsha…

“Please be in Phoenix, Britto will take your laptop there…In the meantime if you want to have tea or coffee, then you can join with me”

“Thank you….” I thanked Harsha and moved towards Phoenix

After few minutes, I started working as usual, which I was doing 1 week back, the same work, the same Product, the same team members but the different location and the different manager!!!

At 4 O’ clock, Saroj invited me to have a walk outside of the office, his intention was to give me update about the Organization within these 2 weeks in my absence, which he was not able to say in the workstation…

I went with Saroj and Satya just to explore some nearby areas. They ordered Amma for tea and started giving me the status of my product within these 2 weeks, these 2 weeks when I had resigned from this company and had left it… but instead of listening to them, my mind and eyes were enjoying the surrounding nature.

I saw a little cute black puppy sitting under the wooden bench, was not able to come out, as it was scared by seeing so many giant creatures… we humans.

I took it out from its place, started passing my hands over its head to tail…

Like last time, I was not cursing myself by seeing this cute little creature…

Because, last time I was always remembering my cute little pug, whenever I was seeing these street cute doggies… which I had left with my parents

I gave it a little milk taking some from the Amma who was preparing tea for all of her customers…

I left the doggy there and started to come back to my workplace.

“Didi, you are looking too beautiful !” -I heard someone was telling me…

When I turned my head, I saw a small little girl, in school uniform and carrying school bag in her back, was standing beside me and was giving me a smile…

“Oh, so sweet! You are also very beautiful baby” I told her and gave a KitKat chocolate bar after getting it from my trouser pocket.

Then Saroj told that “See, how Mysore is too friendly! How everyone greets you here? In Bangalore, have you ever received this kind of compliments, because no one is having time to look at you, but still you are not accept Mysore? ”

“Yes, Saroj, you are true…” I said and smiled.

In the lunch hour, I had already searched a PG by googling and had a talk with its owner Madam, for what I started at 5pm…

Completed all the formalities with PG Madam and started arranging my stuff in the room which I had to share with another 2 young college going girls…

Life as a Paying Guest was not a new for me…

I had lived many years as a Paying Guest when I was in Bangalore.

I was well habituated with this, so there was no difficulty in adjusting here…

After giving my daily update to my mother and having my dinner which I had brought from outside… I went to the terrace to enjoy some calm time with myself in the cool breeze, moon light shades under the long palm leaves… my favorite moment and place of the day!

Tomorrow 19th March 2018 is going to be a new day in my life…

The entirely new day which I am going to start my life in a new way, taking all of my experiences gained throughout these years, accumulating all of my strengths and having a clear strategy how to deal any situation by maintaining a proper balance between my strengths and weaknesses.

No need to worry about anything. This is a calm and very friendly city. Everyone greeted me in a so friendly manner that I forgot of being new to this city. The only thing was that I had to accept my destiny and then I had to flow with the grace of the tide. Until and unless, I don’t see, the opportunity that it provides, how can I resist this? I didn’t ever want to go abroad, leaving my parents in India and also didn’t want to get settle in a new, busy, crowded city. So, for me, Mysore was the best option and which I realized very late!

Decision was not so easy to come to Mysore… but I had to move on in my life!

I had to leave everything which was restricting me to move ahead in my life!

To forget everything about my past!

Even though, I was always claiming that I had forgotten my past, but somehow I was not able to move on…

I remember the day, when first time I had come to Bangalore, to start my professional life…I was very shy and innocent…Now also, I am innocent, but have known myself.

Bangalore has seen my struggling days in my professional career, my career growth, my loneliness, my routine personal life and struggling daily life with the huge traffic on the road!!!

With all these, somehow I was feeling my life had become stand still, it was not moving. The same daily life. Was working hard since 5:30 am till 11:30PM, but I was not happy at the end of the day. I was not getting anything of meaningful. Because, I was not happy in my job, for which I was spending 4 hrs daily in the traffic and not much professional growth. Only a job change could have brought a huge change in it and for that I started looking for a job near to my house, so that I can save time and utilize that in my personal interest. Surprisingly, I was getting job offers from other cities and countries but not from Bangalore. I was becoming completely mad, tried to engage myself by exploring many new things, which supported me in my professional growth but still I was struggling in the same job. I was in need of coming out from the same daily routine job. Yes, they added value in my life experience, I got an another identity and passion, which I can never ignore, but always having a feeling of something missing.

On one fine day, Bangalore said me that it has given me everything which it could have given me, now the time has come to move to different place where I can learn something different and start my life in a new way.

But I was not able to accept it.

I struggled a lot to come out from all of those memories… which I had maintained with each and every life or object that was staying with me in my home, starting from the my pug puppy, my tiny aquarium fishes, my flower and vegetable plants, all of my furniture, my kitchen where I spend my most favorite time when I become depressed, my bed which gives me a peaceful sleep at the end of the day, God’s room, where I used to pray to give me strength and confidence, my vehicles where I was spending daily almost 4 hrs in entertaining me by listening songs, practicing my speeches, and a secure place which does not restrict me in expressing myself, sometimes an uncontrolled tear used to come out from my heart and eyes, not asking to get wiped out, as no one was able to see that I used to cry while I drive, giving a safe place and consolidating me that if I will be able to forget my past, only if I share all those painful moments. All of these stuffs, had taken care of me and my emotion and it was my duty to take care of them always. I will never leave them alone. For me, they were not lifeless objects or the lively objects who cannot speak, they were my kids. I was very much attached with them not for my comfort but for being a part of my life.

Many people suggested me to shift somewhere other than Bangalore, as I had seen very painful failed life here, but I used to say that Bangalore will be always my favorite, I have completely come out from my failed marriage and it does not have any relationship with Bangalore. Even if I had to travel several times in front of the house where I had spent those painful 6 months, but still I don’t feel any negative emotion for that. I am all quiet, peaceful, happy and have always felt great and thankful to God for taking me out from that life….

Same daily life, had locked my life in such a way that one day I decided to resign from my job, go back to my home town, and to do something different. In difference, lies life’s momentum and progress. But, there was also no change in life!!! I was not able to understand how to take it ahead…I came back to Bangalore, rejecting the job offer from a renowned MNC in Singapore and started seeing that life is moving very fast surrounding me. Then why have I restricted myself, in accepting my destiny?

Mysore….!!! Even though, I didn’t have accepted the transfer and promotion offered by my current job, but eventually, I had to accept it, because I had to bring a change in my life.

My new destiny, where I had gone 2 months back but could not continue there…came back to Bangalore and started again the daily routine…

Still I remember my words: “I had to grow in my career, not to shift a depressing city. What shall I get here? I will get more depressed and one day I will be died.” This was my answer when my manager had told me to move to Mysore for the first time.

Now, I have accepted it. I have to start everything new. I have to take a break in my fixed daily routine. This place is neither far from Bangalore nor I have to spend long hour in the traffic. I will get enough time for myself, to work on my next plan, be free from that busy life and it will bring at least something new in my life!!!

“Hello, Dr. Karna, Suchi here. I would like to resume with AG, in Mysore office” I called up to the gentleman Dr. Karna, who had told me to join back with the same organization anytime, if I would like to.

“It’s a very good decision and when are you planning to start your new job” Dr. Karna.

“The next working day, means Monday, 26th March 2018, if this is acceptable” I replied back

“Sure, I am working on it immediately and will let you know within today evening” he said

“Thank you, Dr.” I thanked him and started cleaning my house for the last time, I had to take care of kids before leaving them alone, which I had promised not to do.

But, I am doing. As I have to accept my destiny. Until and unless I cannot leave my past I cannot move ahead…

At last, I congratulated Dr. Rituraj for his new job and thanked for giving me moral support and making me more disciplined, I will have always a great respect towards him. All the best for his future life and take care.

Megha

It was 5:00PM, 20th May 2018, Mysuru.

I got up from my relaxing weekend afternoon sleep, sat near the table to write something.

I looked out the window. The sky was tar-black and the large clouds were moving towards me. I heard a tapping on the window and then it became a pitter-patter.

Before it hit the ground, rain had just water. It had no smell. But after the drops hit the ground and interacted with soil, a homely, baked-earth smell rose from the land as it was washed and cleansed by the dewy tears of summer rain. Petrichor, the smell of the first rains after a dry spell, rose its sweetness. It was a jasmine-and-gingerbread fragrance, warm and fresh, and it left the land with sweetness, which enforced me to capture it and put it in an airtight vessel, which I can smell as per my wish. But, sad! I didn’t have that capability.

The water droplets fell like they simply could not think of anything better to do, as if they could barely be bothered to conform to the will of gravity. People ran for cover outside and umbrellas were opened as the clouds spat out their beads of water. Nearby puddle began plinking as the rainfall became heavier. The roofs of the cars danced with spray and I could hear the murmuring of the rain through the window. It sounded like the buzzing of angry bees.

When I held my bare arm out of the room window the droplets splatter on my outstretched fingers made all the dryer by reading in front of the fireplace. They were large and soft. I tilted my fingers upwards and watch the remnants of the drops run downwards like tiny rivers. If this was the way rainy days were here I could get used to it real fast; even the sound on the cedar roof is comforting. With a half smile I retreated leaving the window open, this way I could hear the steady drumming all the louder.

Steaming shrouds of cloud coil and writhe. Then an unearthly caterwauling sounded filling the air. The wind whipped up into frenzy. It was a shrieking, keening omen of the carnage to follow. The clouds race across the sky, thrumming with the charged energy they were desperate to release. It started with big, sopping drops of moisture. They were wild and indiscriminate, plump missiles of mass destruction that splatter onto the soft soil. The topsoil turns into slushy goo, but it didn’t matter. The harvest had been taken in and the farmer stokes the glowing coals with a poker and a sigh of contentment. The rain was sissing and hissing off the roof, teeming onto the spongy earth.

I quickened my pace as the clouds began to gather in the sky. Up to now, the sky had been postcard-perfect, but it was changing. The beautiful cocktail-blue shade was beginning to darken into gravel-grey. Large pillows of cloud were forming, blotting out the old-gold colour of the sun.

Droplets of moisture began to drip from the leaves. They were sprinkling onto the grass like a gardener’s hose. Then the rainfall became more intense. So much rain was falling that the sound blurred into one long, whirring noise. It reminded me of the rotor blades on a helicopter.

My soul forced me to get up from the chair and rush outside. I ran to the nearby woodland, at the bottom of a small hill. Rainwater started flowing from my tip to toe, soothing out all of those disturbing emotions which were boiling out within me a few minutes back. I could remember the song ‘Barso re megha megha…’ from movie Guru, started singing and dancing myself without my knowledge. First time, I realized…”Yeah…my voice was so sweet! I could make a nice combination of rhythms…!! I could dance in a self-way on the tune of this self-made rhythm…!!!Is the rain so beautiful…? Then why didn’t have I realized since so many years…!!! Anyone who says Sunshine brings happiness, has never realized the joy of dance in rain!!! If beauty is God’s signature, then rain is his final flourish”.

Eventually, the noise lessened and the drops faded into a musical chime. The sun came out again, casting slanted beams of light across the meadow. Steam rose slowly from the grass. It rose up eerily and drifted mist-like towards the molten-gold sun. The dazzling and very beautiful rainbow came out behind the hill, reminding me that rainbows are like people. They shine the brightest after the storm. I love rainbows. They’re basically miracles and symbols that shows me that even after the worst storms, things can still end up being beautiful. Who was that painter who is painting this beautiful scenery so nicely!

The image was so vivid that it stayed with me all the way home.

Megha

It was 5:00PM, 20th May 2018, Mysuru.

I got up from my relaxing weekend afternoon sleep, sat near the table to write something.

I looked out the window. The sky was tar-black and the large clouds were moving towards me. I heard a tapping on the window and then it became a pitter-patter.

Before it hit the ground, rain had just water. It had no smell. But after the drops hit the ground and interacted with soil, a homely, baked-earth smell rose from the land as it was washed and cleansed by the dewy tears of summer rain. Petrichor, the smell of the first rains after a dry spell, rose its sweetness. It was a jasmine-and-gingerbread fragrance, warm and fresh, and it left the land with sweetness, which enforced me to capture it and put it in an airtight vessel, which I can smell as per my wish. But, sad! I didn’t have that capability.

The water droplets fell like they simply could not think of anything better to do, as if they could barely be bothered to conform to the will of gravity. People ran for cover outside and umbrellas were opened as the clouds spat out their beads of water. Nearby puddle began plinking as the rainfall became heavier. The roofs of the cars danced with spray and I could hear the murmuring of the rain through the window. It sounded like the buzzing of angry bees.

When I held my bare arm out of the room window the droplets splatter on my outstretched fingers made all the dryer by reading in front of the fireplace. They were large and soft. I tilted my fingers upwards and watch the remnants of the drops run downwards like tiny rivers. If this was the way rainy days were here I could get used to it real fast; even the sound on the cedar roof is comforting. With a half smile I retreated leaving the window open, this way I could hear the steady drumming all the louder.

Steaming shrouds of cloud coil and writhe. Then an unearthly caterwauling sounded filling the air. The wind whipped up into frenzy. It was a shrieking, keening omen of the carnage to follow. The clouds race across the sky, thrumming with the charged energy they were desperate to release. It started with big, sopping drops of moisture. They were wild and indiscriminate, plump missiles of mass destruction that splatter onto the soft soil. The topsoil turns into slushy goo, but it didn’t matter. The harvest had been taken in and the farmer stokes the glowing coals with a poker and a sigh of contentment. The rain was sissing and hissing off the roof, teeming onto the spongy earth.

I quickened my pace as the clouds began to gather in the sky. Up to now, the sky had been postcard-perfect, but it was changing. The beautiful cocktail-blue shade was beginning to darken into gravel-grey. Large pillows of cloud were forming, blotting out the old-gold colour of the sun.

Droplets of moisture began to drip from the leaves. They were sprinkling onto the grass like a gardener’s hose. Then the rainfall became more intense. So much rain was falling that the sound blurred into one long, whirring noise. It reminded me of the rotor blades on a helicopter.

My soul forced me to get up from the chair and rush outside. I ran to the nearby woodland, at the bottom of a small hill. Rainwater started flowing from my tip to toe, soothing out all of those disturbing emotions which were boiling out within me a few minutes back. I could remember the song ‘Barso re megha megha…’ from movie Guru, started singing and dancing myself without my knowledge. First time, I realized…”Yeah…my voice was so sweet! I could make a nice combination of rhythms…!! I could dance in a self-way on the tune of this self-made rhythm…!!!Is the rain so beautiful…? Then why didn’t have I realized since so many years…!!! Anyone who says Sunshine brings happiness, has never realized the joy of dance in rain!!! If beauty is God’s signature, then rain is his final flourish”.

Eventually, the noise lessened and the drops faded into a musical chime. The sun came out again, casting slanted beams of light across the meadow. Steam rose slowly from the grass. It rose up eerily and drifted mist-like towards the molten-gold sun. The dazzling and very beautiful rainbow came out behind the hill, reminding me that rainbows are like people. They shine the brightest after the storm. I love rainbows. They’re basically miracles and symbols that shows me that even after the worst storms, things can still end up being beautiful. Who was that painter who is painting this beautiful scenery so nicely!

The image was so vivid that it stayed with me all the way home.

Blind Spark

“Beat him…, Beat him…., Beat him so much that he dies…”

By listening to this, I approached towards the crowd, from where this sound was coming…

Standing at the outer layer of the crowd, I tried to see what was happening in the center…

But, unfortunately, could not!

As I came a little closer to the center, I heard that a boy was crying and saying “Leave me this time, I will never do anything like this again…”.

“No, there is no excuse….!!” – one person told from the crowd…

“You have done the blunder…” –another person told from the crowd…

“You don’t have right to live in this society…”

“You are an evil spirit, vampire in front of God’s eye”.

By that time, I had already reached the inner layer of the crowd and was able to see how heartbreaking the victim looked.

A boy was lying on the ground and the public was throwing stones, pebbles towards him…

Hair was grey and completely messed up, falling on his face, covering part of his face, which was hiding his tears to be viewed by the public. A thin line of blood was coming out from his head, moving towards his neck, touching his pale, concave contoured cheek. Dress was completely messed up and torn away, seems like it was not even dipped into water since months. Many wounds throughout his body. By getting hit so much, he was not even able to get up from his place. Rice was sprinkled everywhere around him and a small vessel was thrown near him….

I could not understand the reason of this scene.

Then one person from the crowd shouted loudly that, “This man does not have any right to live, as he has stolen rice…”

“So, rush up and give him a death…” diligently

Suddenly, the crowd rushed towards him by pushing me back…

All started hitting him with best of all their means of what they could…

I was seeing calmly that the boy was slowly approaching towards his death….fighting for his last breath…

All the so called men of our society finished their job, even though everyone in the crowd was well aware that the boy was mentally retarted, took a selfie with him and left to their respective houses…

That boy was still lying there full of blood and I was still looking at him like a silent evidence…

I didn’t have to say anything….

25th Feb 2018, India.

Two tragic deaths- one was Bollywood queen Sridevi and the other was Madhu, a very poor tribal from Palakkad, Kerala. Sridevi died from cardiac arrest, a natural death, but Madhu was beaten up to death.

Reason? He was suspected to have stolen rice. Did he deserve it because he was extremely poor and so had no right to live? He too was as precious to his mother, as I am to my mother.

His mother must have been eagerly waiting for him to return, but all what she could get back was his dead body. Sridevi and Madhu might be from different class and status, but both of them were made of flesh and blood, both of them had a family waiting. We might counterreact, by saying that these people deserve this kind of killing as they have no shame in stealing or blah, blah..

But what makes them steal??? Are they born crooks???

There was a huge inacceptance of the Indian public about the comment of Congress that UPA government had accoladed Padmashree to Sridevi during its tenure. But how many were there to raise their voice against the molestation that happened with Madhu?

A New Cycle of Life

That day, old man was leaving us, forever!!!

I heard my mother calling relatives and friends, one-by-one, on phone and telling the news in sobbing voice, “They will take out ventilator today at around 3 PM. You may come to see him before that.”

A week before that day, when he was taken to hospital, my father was helping grandpa to lie on back seat of our car. I could not forget grandpa’s last unanswered reply when I, while trying to control my tears, asked my mother whether he would be all right. Grandpa called me by weak gesture and softly caressed my hair as he generally used to do. But, very soon, his hand slipped away from my head, holding left part of his chest to unsuccessfully stop the rising pain. He was struggling to breathe normally.

He was the same man who once almost ran to market in heavy rain to buy inhaler for me, when I used to suffer chest pain due to severe cough, who eagerly waits for our coming from my father’s workplace after each summer and winter vacations, who runs towards us and asks us “Beta, what do you want to have?”, who gives us gifts after our academic achievements, with whom I play by making him fall on the floor from the arm chair by taking the back stick away from the chair, who never eats first, before us, who tells me many stories, who teaches me to become brave and better than my father…But when it came to him that day I could not do much but just cried. My mother embraced me saying grandpa would come back soon.

A night before that day, at hospital’s reception my mother was consoling my distressed looking father to accept the destiny, “it has to happen one day.” I did not understand what it meant but simply closed my eyes and prayed God to let my grandpa be well soon. My grandpa once told me that prayers from children are pure and they surely reach God. But it did not happen, perhaps.

That day, we reached hospital at 1 PM. We went inside. Security at reception did not stop me that day. I was following my mother trying to meet her pace, climbing stairs, to ICU where grandpa was admitted. A nurse guided us to a room. After a long week gap I saw my grandpa — my best friend. Grandpa was sleeping peacefully on hospital bed. There were many small TV and radio alike boxes with tiny lights. Few boxes were making “beep-beep” sound in rhythm. I knew that the sound was fading heart beats of my best friend — my grandpa. Then I saw my father, with red and swollen eyes, sitting closer to grandpa’s bed. My mother could not control herself. She started sobbing loudly kneeling at my father shoulder. My father gently stood up and took my crying mother out of the room.

I was left alone with the most adorable man of my life. I went closer to him, where my father was sitting just few seconds back. I watched the face of my dear grandpa. There was no pain — it was calm and composed. Even with few plastic tubes in his nose and mouth and a white foggy gas mask on it, I found his face quite charming and graceful. I started caressing grandpa’s hair. I wished that he utters my name… just once… It was the same mouth that told me so many stories, every day, until I slept. I was waiting for his eyes to open… to see me last time… but he continued sleeping… these were the old eyes that never got tired enjoying watching my toys, my drawing, my homework, my mark sheets… Then I looked at his hand. It was same hand that used to caress my hair. I held his palm in my both hand. I tried measuring my palm with his. Nothing had changed. His palm was still larger than mine. I touched his index finger… I held it last time… holding it always assured me safe feeling in busy markets and crowded places…

I took out my inhaler from my pocket and kept it on a nearby table where already many medicines were kept scattered. I remembered once my grandpa told me that the inhaler was my life savior… I murmured in grandpa’s ear, “Don’t worry Grandpa, you would get well soon. I kept here inhaler to save you.”…

“It’s a boy” exhilarated voice of my father brought me back in my present. Today, after twenty years later, on the same floor of the same hospital I found my father rushing towards a nurse who was carrying a just born baby. “What are you doing there… come… look at him… he resembles ‘ditto’ your grandpa”, almost shouted my father in excessive excitement, carefully holding the baby in his arms.

But I saw my grandpa in my father more than in my sister’s just born grandson. A new cycle of life has started… to repeat itself once again.