Origamic Love

When I was 7, I lived in a little apartment with my family.It was an old building and had 3 stories, and unlike the modern times the ground floor was the best to have because you get your own yard and a white picket fence, not so much like the ones that are as clichéd as “The American dream”, but was a pretty good place to have in a poor country like India, kind of like a third-world-American dream.

Yeah! except for the fact that the fence was the most insignificant part of the dream in my poor third world country,because we actually had a lot of  “not- so -American” problems!”

There were about ten similar  apartments next to each other.

Every morning, there were three rituals my parents relentlessly performed to wake us up.

5 different alarm clocks, snoozing every 5 minutes from different locations of the bedroom.

It was awful! It was a mini treasure hunt game played by four over-sleepers.

The opening of the blinds

I would rather call this the act of blinding, because in a tropical country like India the sun is up and shining at 5 in the morning, and it can blind you through your eyelids

Turning off of the ceiling fans.

This was worse than Chinese torture especially in a hot and humid place like southern India. Additionally, from all the years of falling asleep to that faint screech from  the rusted ceiling fan , you cannot sleep without it screeching.

At the end of all this, you can either pretend like sleeping just to feel happy about  kicking your tropical countries ass, getting fried in the process and eventually losing it, or just wake up and get started with the bright humid day. The choice was easy.

The school bus arrives at 7:45 am sharp, but we never got ready on time. Everyone in India has a separate standard time Offset, which has a 5 to 15 minute deviation from the Indian standard time, so while my mom handed two steaming cups of coffee to the bus driver and conductor, my dad checked our school bags and made sure we got everything, and by the time the coffee was done, my sisters were ready to get on to the bus, I reluctantly followed them while eying the empty road for the Origami guy.

Yes! we have conductors for all buses in India

It was summer and around the time the 4 o clock rains start, just before the monsoons.  We had just started to learn to play cricket with the boys in our apartment community. There was a huge water tank which was perpetually dry and I seriously do not know why the government spent so much money and time and used all our gully cricket space to build the damn thing.

I would like to think they wanted us to have a nice place to sit and watch the gully games.

There was an elderly gentleman who sat there ever evening and watched us play. When someone was bowled-out they would join this man sitting on the water tank pedestal.  He seemed to be glad to have company and he asked me for a notebook when I got out one day and had to wait my turn by sitting under the water tank. he asked me to get an old notebook he could use, I ran and got him a notebook from my huge and heavy knapsack that was heavier than me. he tore a paper from it, and started folding it up into some weird shapes and voila,  it finally transformed into a beautiful butterfly. He sometimes even came by in the mornings to hand me and my sisters little origami birds, butterflies and angels. It was something new every day. I fell in love with his origami skills and popularized it in school by wearing it as a badge. Soon there was so much demand for his  art and my  teacher wanted to order a few of these badges for all the members of a sports club. I was so glad something I started became such a huge hit.

I didn’t know his name, I called him ” Paper thatha” . My parents knew him as the elderly gentleman who lived a block away from our apartment. He was a man of few words and in all those days, he didn’t speak a word. He just smiled and handed the little toys to me. I kept storing them in a wooden box in my closet. All I know about him was that I see him every day and he gives me and my sisters those little paper toys. That day when I got into the school bus, I expected to see him, but he didn’t come. He had shown up every single day the past week, but I didn’t see him in his usual spot under the water tank that weekend. I asked my dad where he lived and he didn’t know. I was upset that I couldn’t talk to him about the badges. I never saw him after that day. I don’t know if I will ever see him.

It has been 20 years since the last time I saw him before getting on my school bus. I still remember how he looked like and his stealthy smile. All I know is he loved children, and did his bit at making them happy. He sure understood and appreciated the beauty that lies within simple things in life.

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Irony of Fate

The street was always bubbling with activity. There were merchants , goldsmiths and florists trying to charm the few customers that frequent the little bazaar by displaying their wares.There was an old bearded man who always stood near one of the flower shops playing his violin and there were at least ten people around him all the time.  There was shabbily dressed  eight year old who always stood right in front almost everyday with a little stick which he can use to find his way.He didn’t go without coming there, not even on a single day, he remembered how all the songs sounded like when the bearded man started playing it.On one such  usual Day and the bearded man beckoned the little boy and taught him how to hold the violin and how to play it. a couple of months went by, the little boy learned fast, he soon covered his master when he had to rest for a while so the crowd is entertained. He looked at the prodigy with all pride, when he rested.

One fine winter morning, when the street was not particularly crowded, the little boy dressed in his best clothes came running to see his master as usual, only to not find him. The florist beckoned the little boy and took him by his hand to give him something.The violin was left on the footsteps outside an abandoned little hut. There was a little braille note- he opened it. It was the notes for the new song he was supposed to learn, and someone had signed off saying “You are on you own…”. He felt the note with his little hand. Tears rolled down his cheeks, he took the violin trotted to the bazaar, where a couple of eager listeners waited, and started playing the violin, just like his master,only what he played was a mournful melancholy for it was the only way he was able to express his sorrow.

It was pitch dark and the three little yellow lamps on the dirty damp walls of the tunnel where simmering for want of a new tungsten. There was a puny little man  standing with a pile of messily cut wood just outside the tunnel, while he kept looking out for any sign of danger, from the wild world, Gripping his Axe tight as if ready to attack anyone near him.The train passed by and the night went by, the   next morning, a little Boy came by to take a last look at his Father and pick up the Axe. Life had to go on,  And so that night near the tunnel, there stood a Little boy with  a Lantern  and an Axe .

They were laid to rest under the orange sky, On the silent Land.Two people rose up into the sky and reached the huge wooden door in the middle of nowhere. One of them was a happy bearded man and the other a sad puny little man.They smiled at each other while they waited for the door to open.

Spare the Rod ….

He should learn to live. Surrounded by hatred and negligence. Uncared and Alone in the blend of this monotonous world.

But sometimes it feels good to spare the rod.
ah !! now you must be wondering what I’m talking about !! 🙂  a couple of years ago,  something very insignificant happened about which I had written down on my little journal. I was flipping through it and felt I should put it down here.
It was a cool winter afternoon, the weather was fine and you could not wish there were a better day than that in the middle of the desert. I was coming back to my hostel from the insti with a friend of mine, wheeling my cycle. Something seemed to be interested in following me. It was a cute little puppy with a black patch around it’s snout. It bore an expression of untold Sorrow -something that struck too close to home. It was as if he did not know what to do next, where to go, what to do? I would have picked him up and given him a hug but  i didn’t want to.  for No Reason.
I gazed at him for sometime and started walking again. he followed. I stopped,  he stopped too. I didn’t know what he expected. I started riding, he started running behind me. I wanted to give him something to eat but something stopped me.  Something in my head kept saying why spoil him.he should learn to live alone in the blend of this monotonous world.
I rode faster and kept thinking about the little one.
Somehow the reason I told myself to escape from doing something for the puppy was not something even I would buy. so I decided to get  my cycle and go back there. I did not have to look for him. He was standing right there near my cycle. Then i got some biscuits for him and he ate it like a little kid. then I took him out and left him near the temple wishing someone will take care of him. Then wheeled back to the hostel. I heard some sniffing so I turned around. The puppy came behind me and went ahead to the dumpster and started sniffing something .. it was a dead dog !

To Where I Belong …

Alone in the Rain I walk
With nothing but darkness flanking me,
I know not where the path takes me
Away from the blend of this monotony
Trodden with spite deceit and agony
I tread my way to
Where I belong
Where there is peace
Untainted by spite
Where there is truth
Unshaded by deceit
With faith Unshaken,
Hope Unswerving
Heart heavy and grief-ridden
The lonely road I walk
With Solitude for company…

24 Carat Dearth ?!?

I initially thought Oblivion was somethin to do with the teanage and the quarter life crisis where u live a life that doesn have much scope for expectation. You have no idea what you are made of.But now here is what I have to say about this crazy word which has meanings untold

What will you do if you lived in a place with temperatures varying between -2degress in winder to 52 degrees in summer and you got no scope of occupation except may be cultivate a few of those dry arid area vegetation which have to be sold in some far off place which  means you have to toil and make them grow some how and then haul ass along with those stuff to some better area which has some marketing scope. Phew ! just thinkin about it leaves me sulky.

I stay in one such places -Pilani  I am an undergrad student at BITS-Pilani. I didn not pay attention to the day-to-day life of the natives of this place  till one day I thought I’ll go this place called “VFAST” where you get this really yummy food for a few bucks more but then the plan went in the pooper and  me was dissappointed. You see getting good food in hostel is like having Punjabi lassi on a hot summer afternoon. So dissappointment was sky high.Then I went out with my friend to do some work it was to get some food from the professors and distribute it to the children in the village.

Yes! There is a Village outside the campus which is not Nutan. This is where a lot of rickshaw walas and the dobis who have worked in the BITS Campus live

 

My Friend generally called me to help her because someone who had to come did not turn up. We started off in the cycle that mid summer morning and that day became one of the most important days of my life. The day I learnt something very signifcant and I am Indebted to my Alma mater for this particular day!

We  went to all the professors’ houses, collected food, packed the food and started off to the pilani vilage, right behind the gliders club. I have been in BITS for four years and this was the first time I went to do this thing and I gotta see the miserable plight of these people. There were around 80 food packets.We landed near a banyan tree and called people to collect food. Soon there was a rucus. It was unbeleivable. Grown ups and children fighting for food.Old people grabbing food from children and running away.Children being beaten up with chappals by middle aged rickshaw walas since they wanted to get some packets for the household. Everything was happening before my eyes I just thought about the irony of fate .I was dissappointed because I did’nt get to eat out, They were dissappointed because they did not get any food to eat how can things be so different? I still am not able to forget those little outstreched hands begging for food. I have never felt so helpless before.